Courtney Somer was a carefree twenty-something fashion girl in New York City, when she developed an escalating health issue.
She visited all sorts of Western doctors without finding relief. Frustrated, she turned to an healer. And, suddenly, a seemingly negative experience beget a positive new path: Not only did she slowly begin to feel better, but she discovered a lifelong passion and set out to study everything from holistic nutrition and Kundalini yoga to meditation and aromatherapy.
Once she became a mother, she began experimenting with the healing powers of essential oils and, in November 2015, she launched Lake & Skye, a line of 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oil products, fragrances and floral waters—named in honor of her two daughters.
Here, Somer—now a healer herself—describes her fifteen year journey to wellness:
Live The Process: What first inspired your interest in wellness?
Courtney Somer: My wellness interest really found me—or rather landed in my lap like a lead balloon. I was in my early twenties, not taking care of myself, and I wound up with a health issue that started to escalate. After running from doctor to doctor for months to no avail, I went to a healer on a whim. He explained what was happening and how to stop it within the first fifteen minutes. I left there fascinated and knowing that I wanted to acquire all of his knowledge. Also, because this was over twelve years ago, there was much less discussion about the mind-body-spirit connection than there is now.
It wasn’t instant; it’s been a long journey, but I have acquired a lot of wellness knowledge along the way. I studied and am a certified holistic nutritionist, Kundalini and pre-natal yoga teacher and have studied meditation, reiki and aromatherapy along the way. As a side note, that first healer is a good friend of mine, and he wound up marrying me and my husband. I still see him fifteen years later.
LTP: How did you begin to learn about the power of oils and aromatherapy?
CS: Once I had my first child, I started getting into essential oils and their healing properties, as I was looking for natural ways to heal my body from birth. You don’t have time to do anything with a newborn, let alone diffuse or dilute essential oils. I wanted something that I could use immediately, so I started figuring out how to create my own blends and make a formula that I could carry with me and use when I needed it.
LTP: What sets Lake & Skye apart from other lines?
CS: L&S launched in November 2015. The energy you put into something is evident in what comes out of it. I am very cognizant of where the ingredients come from, how they are handled and in what type of environment they are distilled, produced and blended. For instance, I work with someone whose sole purpose is to travel the world and source essential oils from artisans, who care for what they do and are native to the region from where the ingredients come. For example, the person sources roses from the Valley of the Roses in Bulgaria, and jasmine from the Madurai region of India known as the “Nectar City.” The person who distills the floral waters blends them with water from a Hawaiian waterfall and blew his own glass for where they are distilled. Super high vibe!
LTP: With your business schedule, what do you do to keep yourself feeling balanced and strong?
CS: It’s interesting: Before I had children, I used a lot of my free time on spiritual outings and events. I would go to sadhna, yoga classes and meditation classes or hear healers speak. I loved doing that stuff and always felt I was growing because of it. Once I had my girls (and pretty close in age to one another), any free time was devoted to them. I would long to go on a retreat for a few days, but it just wasn’t happening anytime soon. I spoke to one of my teachers about it and realized that my spiritual practice was right in front of me, learning to be present in the midst of the chaos. And if anything will wake you up to the parts of yourself you want to improve, it’s having children. Motherhood is life magnified—the good, the bad, the messy and the beautiful. It cracked me open in a way that no spiritual course could.
After studying Kundalini yoga, I also use the tools from the teachings for everyday things: I use the mantra of protection every time I’m in a car with my kids or breathing techniques when I’m in an overcrowded and stinky subway car—even mudras to help find a taxi (really!).
As for my other rituals, in New York City, I go to Golden Bridge and The Shala for yoga. For nourishing food and juices, I head to Le Turtle, Dimes, The Butcher’s Daughter and Blossom Du Jour.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
CS: Upstate, at home with my family, with no plans and nowhere to go.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
CS: There is so much craziness going on in the world at the moment and the energy is very manic. I go back to the Yogi Bhajan quote: “If your presence doesn’t work, nothing will.” Bringing your light into the world for yourself and others elevates everything you experience.