For Jessie Groveman and Tara Sowlaty, a parallel interest in holistic living started early: Both women grew up in openminded households, where home-cooked meals were valued. And, while a teenage Sowlaty was motivated to investigate more after being diagnosed with intestinal issues, Groveman was learning all about alternative spiritual philosophies.
Though the young women had yet to meet, their focuses only grew more complementary: Sowlaty studied business (specifically entrepreneurship and marketing) at the University of Southern California, then attended the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Meanwhile, Groveman majored in fine art and psychology at UC Boulder, earned her master’s degree in art therapy at NYU, earned her yoga teacher certification from The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, and got certified in integrative therapy and yoga through YogaWorks’ Urban Zen program.
Finally—and perhaps inevitably—they met through a mutual friend, recognized their symbiosis and decided to marry their eclectic expertise to create, How You Glow, a platform for those seeking health, inspiration, nourishment and solutions for more “vibrant” lives.
Here, the duo talks about their passion for educating and helping others and their belief that mindfulness is the path to personal empowerment
Live The Process: For each of you, what first inspired an interest in wellness?
Jessie Groveman: My family was not overly focused on wellness. Both of my parents are very open and always encouraged me to explore my passions, which happens to be the path of health and healing. My mom is a chef, so food was always a major focus in my family—not “healthy food,” but nurturing, love-infused food. My mom always had a million spiritual books that my sister and I would read, which definitely informed my view on life. I understood the law of attraction from an early age and have made long lists of what I want to manifest for as long as I can remember. My Papa Joe, who is now 93, has taught me a lot about wellness from a young age. He has been vegan for a while and would always give us Reiki sessions and read our astrological charts.
Tara Sowlaty: Wellness has certainly always been a regular part of my life. Growing up in my household meant daily home-cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner made with whole and fresh ingredients. I was the kid that was constantly snacking on fresh fruits and vegetables, but really just saw it as a natural way of life. Also, I was always physically active as a dancer from a young age. But it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in my teens that I started to pay closer attention to wellness in terms of food and lifestyle—the quality of the food I’m eating and how it affects my body. That was when I really started to make an ideological shift that eventually led me to my life’s purpose.
LTP: Both of you help heal others; how do you ensure that you do the same for yourselves?
TS: Helping others live a vibrant lifestyle is so incredibly empowering, rewarding and uplifting. Being a source of light and guidance for others not only helps them, but it also solidifies my personal commitment to a vibrant lifestyle. Overall, balance and mindfulness have been the ultimate game-changing practices I’ve incorporated into my life. Finding the balance when it comes to food, social engagement, physical activity and work is really what living a vibrant life is all about: being happy with yourself and content with your daily routine. That being said, there are certainly some specific practices that I do daily that help me feel best. Warm water with lemon in the morning helps me cleanse for the day ahead. Burning incense and candles throughout the day helps me feel centered, grounded and open. Getting in a good workout is absolutely key to my overall glow as well. Practicing mindfulness and writing down positive intentions is also a part of my routine.
JG: There are so many little things I do every day that keep me grounded, clear and happy. I start and end the day by thinking about what I’m grateful for. I think that it’s huge factor in having vibrant, magnetic energy. I also tell the people I love that I appreciate them regularly. When at home, I make my space sacred by lighting incense and candles. The home environment plays a major role in your inner state, and I try to make it as relaxing, soothing and uplifting as possible. I practice yoga and breath work daily, as even as little as five minutes makes a huge difference. Aromatherapy oils are a huge tool for me in my routine, and I always keep lavender and peppermint essential oils in my bag. It sounds cheesy, but making other people feel good is actually the secret to a lot of my own happiness. Doing something every day to make someone else’s life better—whether its teaching a yoga class, leading an art therapy group or simply just being present to the needs of those around me—makes me feel my most “glowy."
LTP: How did you come to found How You Glow?
JG: Tara and I were both busy working on our own projects. When we were introduced by a mutual friend we realized that the sum of both our skills and interests were greater than the individual parts. We joined forces and decided to create a platform for balanced living with a holistic, fun, well-rounded approach. We wanted something that could grow and expand with our interests and curiosities, so it would never get old.
TS: What really brought us together was our love of food and a similar approach to lifestyle. We have congruent visions on what it means to live a healthy and vibrant life, and we really wanted to share and explore that with others.
LTP: What tips would you offer those who wish to live fuller, more holistic lives?
JG: The smallest changes in repetition add up to big shifts eventually. If you drink lots of soda, for example, start by replacing one soda a day with water and then gradually keep decreasing until, before you know it, you might not even crave it. A lot of our behaviors are built on comfort and familiar patterns. If we can first identify the pattern and, without judging ourselves, become aware of a behavior that might be habitual or unconscious, we can start to make conscious choices. It is very empowering to feel in control of the things you choose to put in your body.
TS: I like to tell my clients who are reluctant to let go of some of their less useful habits to start off with smaller steps. Start incorporating new positive habits, which will eventually start to push out the bad ones. Living a fuller, more holistic life feels so good. And, when you start to give it a chance, you will want to continue with these positive changes. Add in good behavioral patterns such as adding something green to your diet every day or incorporating warm water with lemon in the morning instead of coffee or tea. There won’t be any more room for negative habits because you will come to love this new way of life.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
TS: Happiness is a radiating energy that comes from within. When I'm happy, I emanate good vibes to others and that makes me feel good. It is about liking who I am as a person and being content with my decisions, living my life to the fullest capacity and accepting myself and loving myself, no matter what. It’s about surrounding myself with the things that bring me joy: my family, delicious food, friends and nature.
JG: Happiness is feeling comfortable and whole within myself. Happiness is feeling healthy. Happiness is being around those I love and who love me. Happiness is a delicious meal.
LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process" and how do you do that every day?
JG: Living the process means practicing what I preach. It means recognizing the teacher in everyone I encounter and being open to learning lessons from difficult experiences. As an art therapist, the work is very process-oriented rather than focused on the final product. This is a great way to live: being less attached to a specific outcome and open to seeing how things unfold as they’re meant to. Life always has a beautiful way of working itself out and, if we are too focused on what’s to come, we miss the beauty of the only thing that we actually have: the current moment.
TS: To me, “Live The Process” means to stay committed to my true self in the present. Embodying vibrancy and good energy allows me to live out my passions and desires in the most effective way possible. Not only that, but sharing the goodness with others—I work to do so through How You Glow and my health coaching and nutrition practice—is the ultimate way to Live The Process, as it’s living life to the fullest.
Find more information about How You Glow here.