The natural state. There are countless definitions of wild, but at Annmarie Skin Care, we are fond of the definition that speaks to wildness as the before, the untouched nature of something. That is, its natural state.
Here, we dive deep into nature in our efforts to make all our products and practices embody wildness. From some of the herbs and honey used in our line are foraged in the mountains where they grow naturally. In other words, these ingredients are wildcrafted, rather than harvested on a farm.
However, our insistence on preserving the natural properties of our ingredients unfortunately isn’t the ordinary; in fact, it’s far from it. It may be surprising to find that many skincare brands, even some that display an ‘organic’ label, tamper with their base ingredients, adding chemicals, preservatives, or synthetic fragrance to change the original, wild ingredient into something artificial. Though you all know this already.
Escape the Ordinary
What you also may know, which is even more alarming is the realization that so many people in our culture are turning the idea of altering the natural, inward. Too many women and men interfere with their beautiful, wild selves, in an attempt to become something they think they should be, rather than who they are at their roots.
As a reaction against this, the Annmarie team has a resolution for 2018: to boldly adventure into the too-often uninhabited terrain of being yourself—to truly live wildly. And we want you to join us.
Since you’re on our site, we know you already care deeply about the importance of natural, wild ingredients, free from harmful chemicals. Our hope is that you’ll see (if you don’t already) the value in embracing the unique wildness within yourself.
But just what does living wildly look like? At Annmarie Skin Care, we think of it as escaping the ordinary.
Social researcher and storyteller, Dr. Brené Brown, offers a clear picture of the toxicity that permeates through our culture, a poisonous way of thinking that has unfortunately become the norm. She says, “We are the most in-debt, obese, addicted, and medicated adult cohort in U.S. history. The problem is that you cannot selectively numb emotion. You can't say, here's the bad stuff. Here's vulnerability, here's grief, here's shame, here's fear, here's disappointment. [You can’t say] I don't want to feel these.” This insistence that everything, including ourselves and our lives, be neat, easy, and perfect—artificial—is the ordinariness we’ve got to escape from.
Thankfully, Brene Brown doesn’t leave us with the negative. She continues, giving us the key to breathing easy again and slipping back into that wild place: “To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen, to love with our whole hearts, even though there's no guarantee.” Escape the ordinary and don’t look back, live wildly.
Three Challenges for Living Wildly in 2018
1—Go Foraging for Your Wild Self
Foraging is the opposite of zipping into a store and buying something new and manufactured off the shelf. Sometimes it means crawling on your hands and knees through a thicket until you find what you’re looking for in its natural habitat. Nobody can hand you a ready-made package of who you are. Instead, you must ask yourself the tough questions and answer honestly, no matter what kind of answer you think you should have. Foraging is messy, and it’s hard work, but it’s the only way to get down to your wild self.
You can start with these questions, inspired by this post we love by Mindbodygreen:
- What am I curious about?
- What genuinely brings me joy, every single day, not just what I think I’m ‘supposed’ to enjoy?
- What inspiration can I act on that I’ve been putting off for some reason?
2—Lean into Your Natural State
Once you’ve uncovered your wild self, the next challenge is to be brave enough to allow yourself to be that person. This is where vulnerability comes in, because it’s not easy to bare yourself to the world. But we’ve compiled an arsenal of inspiration for you for those days when it gets tough to be wild, or if you need a good kick in the ass to get you started.
- Listen to Brené Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability to discover the human reasons that living wildly is so hard, and why we should do it anyway.
- Read this post by life coach Amber Chalus on how to trade your toxic, ordinary life for one that’s true to your wild self.
- Follow @louise_hay_affirmations (on Instagram) for a dose of inspiration and love, self love will always help you lean into your natural state.
- Check out books like Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, Michael Singer’s Untethered Soul, and Glennon Doyle’s Love Warrior.
3—Make Your Escape
This happens with small, courageous steps taken daily until you’re living 2018 fully in tune with your wildness. We suggest you create your own steps to follow through with every day, but here’s three to start with.
Choose the spontaneous. Next time you have an idea to try cooking a new dish, sign up for that new fitness class instead of yoga, or drive to a new city next weekend—do it!
Do what scares you to your core. That fear probably means it matters more than you’re acknowledging, so take careful inventory of your fears, and then try overcoming them, one at a time.
Stop asking “why” and start asking “what.” When it comes to your unhappy parts of yourself ask, “What is making me feel this way and what can I do to change that?” instead of “Why do I feel this way?” Why questions tend to you lead into circles of self-pity, but what questions set you on an active path where you’re in control.
Sometimes living wildly can come with many questions and disbelief from family and or friends. Be courageous. When conversations like that occur, I take a deep breath and remind myself that: when I am living wildly, I’m infinitely beautiful.
I can remember when Kevin and I first got into business together over 13 years ago, a family member came up to me and said “If you are planning on ever having a family, It might be a good idea to come down from the clouds and get real jobs.”
Fortunately, our courage has kept us up in those clouds and it’s a beautiful view.
This is the second of a three part series written by Annmarie about what it means to uphold the phrase that drive us to be what we are; what it means to be wild and beautiful.
Annmarie Gianni is a mother, health activist, entrepreneur, and founder of 3 successful businesses. Over ten years ago, she and her husband, Kevin, formed a team and Annmarie Skin Care was founded to provide a clean, natural skin care experience using natural, organic and wildcrafted ingredients. After a few years of focusing on creating a successful skin care business, Annmarie was able to step away and focus on raising her kids. Today, you’d find Annmarie volunteering her time at her kid’s school, helping out at community events, going on trail runs, and spending quality time with her family.