Raised by bohemian parents in the countryside of Iran, Shiva Rose spent her young life fostering a relationship with her natural surroundings. Then in 1979, the revolution began and turned her world upside down. She found comfort in fashion, books and film, which later led to an acting career and Rose living in Los Angeles. After having her first daughter in her mid-twenties, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition and told she was destined to live a short life. Rose did not accept this fate, however, and instead redesigned her diet and lifestyle with a holistic practitioner, eventually working her illness into remission. She now lives with her two daughters in the Santa Monica mountains, where she writes her very popular blog thelocalrose.com, a platform on which she details her approach to leading a healthy, authentic and stylish life.
Here, Rose shares the guiding philosophy of her childhood, explains how her diagnosis changed the way she viewed her life as a whole and that bringing creativity to all she does is the crucial element to living her process.
Live The Process: How did your upbringing and childhood experiences inform your focus on self-care and health?
Shiva Rose: Escaping a war-torn country at the tender age of 10 can definitely impact one’s character. I think it taught me early about the transient nature of life and how everything is temporary. It also helped me realize that homes come and go, but a connection to nature and our Great Mother can last a lifetime. Both my parents relate to nature in their daily life. My father lived in the mountains of Topanga Canyon for 30 years and my mother lives in the Sierra Mountains surrounded by the forest. I see myself following in their footsteps for sure.
LTP: How did your diagnosis of an autoimmune condition following the birth of your eldest daughter change your philosophy and habits regarding wellness?
SR: After the birth of my first daughter, at the age of 26, a Beverly Hills rheumatologist told me that I had a few years left to live. Somehow my rebellious nature kicked in and I knew that there was another alternative. I was introduced to a Sikh holistic practitioner who then said I could feel better in six months. It took some time, more than six months, but with diet changes, herbs, and other regimens, the lupus and other issues went into remission. I realized then how everything is all connected and what we take in spiritually, emotionally and physically through diet can make a huge impact on our life force.
LTP: What tips would you offer people who aspire to live fuller, more holistic lives, but feel as if their urban or suburban environment keeps them from doing so?
SR: You can grow gardens on patios or rooftops. Now there are so many urban solutions to creating a garden. Recycling, eating organically and being mindful of our planet are all so much more accessible than years ago. Eating organic doesn't have to be more expensive. I recently tested the idea of what $20 could buy me at the supermarket versus the farmers’ market, and I was able to get quite a bit at the farmers’ markets. You can create relationships with farmers and this can help—sometimes they will give you deals at the end of the day.
LTP: What inspired you to found thelocalrose.com?
SR: I created The Local Rose three years ago as a way to bring to light all the artisans, farmers, activists and simply amazing folks who are trying to create good things for our world. It was also a form of therapy for me since I was leaving a Hollywood life for a more earthy, nature-based existence. I was going through a painful time with a divorce, raising two daughters, and other struggles so I decided to try to make my mark with something I was really passionate about. The acting business was not filling me up soulfully as much anymore, and this gave me a platform to write, investigate, be of service and grow.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
SR: Happiness is being in gratitude. I know that sounds so cliché but it really is a fact. Happiness is to be loved and to love as much possible. It can also be trekking the forests around Big Sur with my girls, discovering waterfalls naked, and eating organic berries with raw cream. It can be dancing around a fire with like-minded spirits, or swimming in the sea off Kauai with dolphins and starfish below.
LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process," and how do you do that every day?
SR: Being creative every day is living the process for me. The creativity can be self-expression through writing on the blog, working with my writing partner on a film project, baking a cake with delicious, whole ingredients, or thinking of the next product for my skincare line.
If you are a creative being then that is crucial in anything you do. Be an artist with even the most mundane basics of daily living!