For this month's Curl Talk, we wanted to feature someone in the field of spirituality and wellness. Because on top of being in the midst of a global pandemic, the approaching holidays can often trigger us to feel increased levels of stress and anxiety (are we right?). So, who better to connect with than a certified spiritual coach and meditation teacher. We reached out to Marissa Moon-who is all about raising your vibration and finding your own journey by giving yourself the tools to deepen your inner connection. Keep reading to get her tips on beauty (including her recently embraced wild and free curls), and how you, too, can get in touch with your spiritual side. What led you to become a spiritual coach? I found myself constantly striving for things that ended up leaving me feeling empty: relationships, material items, job promotions. I kept asking myself, "Why am I unhappy if this was what I wanted?". I realized something crucial was missing-it was me. Somewhere along the way of checking all my boxes, going to school, getting a job, and pleasing others to fit into who society wanted me to be I had lost who I really was. So, I made the decision to begin rediscovering myself, which was what led me to quit my job and move to Bali. I learned the relationship I had been building with myself was actually a relationship with the Universe. The Universe had been guiding me all along and here I was listening and learning to trust. I began manifesting things all around me. I manifested a place to live, the closest friends ever and I even manifested a yoga teacher training (something I had dreamt about for years). Somewhere along the way the answers I had been seeking for myself became the guidance I was sharing with others. I became the spiritual coach I never knew I would be. All along I felt this call to something and now I look back and see it was my purpose calling me. How can one get more in tune with their spiritual side? There's two things I always suggest. First is to begin meditating every day. A steady meditation practice allows you to reprogram your mind. Nowadays most of us allow stress, the lists of things to do and the clutter in our minds to take over. More often than not our minds run wild with unwanted thoughts, fears and worries that lead us to feeling anxiety or depression. But when you build a steady meditation practice you begin programing your mind to stop your thoughts from spiraling out of control. It's literally training your mind to stop thinking. So when you find yourself in the midst of doubt, overwhelming emotions or anger you can easily bring yourself back to calmness. Eventually you'll be able to catch the unwanted thought before you get to any unwanted emotions. And you'll begin rewiring your mind to think and believe the thoughts you want to think like: "I can do it;" "Anything is possible;" or "I am beautiful". The second is begin choosing you. Sign up for the yoga class you always wanted to take, find time to read the books you've been putting aside or even choose to stay in and watch tv instead of attending that gathering you've been dreading. If it makes you happy then choose it. We have this backwards idea that we must sacrifice ourselves in the service of others but all that gets you is feeling drained. If you think about it from an energy perspective, when you're feeling drained and stressed you are exchanging that same energy with another. That's why when someone makes a rude comment or loses their temper with you it ruins your day. But when someone shares an act of kindness like holding the door open for you or surprising you with coffee you feel loved. Who do you want to be when you share your time with others? The absolute best thing you can do is be selfish with your time and energy, because that's true love. Not only for yourself but for others. In what ways do you stay grounded? I have a morning ritual that is a non-negotiable for me. It changes with the seasons and how I feel but usually I wake up every morning and lay in bed thinking about all the things I appreciate. I mentally make a gratitude list that way when my feet first touch the ground I feel appreciative. It's a great way to start the day because it gives your mind something positive to think about and sets the tone for the day. Then I'll meditate for 15 minutes, journal and have a matcha and pastry while listening to a podcast or something inspirational. This is truly my ME time. It feels like I take myself on a date every morning because I'm treating myself to my favorite things. It also allows me to set my intention for the day, I always finish my morning feeling clear minded, grateful and excited for life. How would you describe your relationship with your hair and has it changed over different stages of your life? I used to have a love-hate relationship with my hair. Growing up I would do everything in my power to look like everyone else. I would straighten, brush out my curls, gel my hair down-all to tame the "mess" on my head. My mom would actually hide my straightener from me so I could go all natural and my family would always tell me how lucky I was to have naturally curly hair, but I hated it. There were times when my curls would cooperate with me and other times where they didn't. I feel like I was constantly in search of new products, hair cuts and styles just to feel pretty. But it was living on a tropical island with very limited options for hair products (much less curly hair products) that forced me to learn how to appreciate the wildness of my curls. And then I had this realization, my hair wants to be free and wild just as much as I do. That's when it clicked and I started falling in love with my curls. I let my hair be wild, loud and free and started choosing products that accentuated its beauty, not hide or change it. I really feel connected with my hair now. I feel like it's been a part of my self growth journey but now I'm able to see its beauty so clearly. So right now I would describe it as being in a long-term, loving and committed relationship with my hair. We just get each other. What does self-care look like for you? To me self-care is not just about slowing down and healing. Self-care is listening to your emotions at all times and taking action when you feel called. I think the idea of self-care has become this healing modality that gives us permission to run ourselves dry as long as we come back to recharge. But real self-care is having a fully charged battery at all times. There are days that I feel so empowered to be a busy bee and I don't feel drained because I'm in full alignment with those actions. Then there are days I feel called to move slowly but I feel on top of the world because no matter the action I am taking, it's in alignment with what my soul desires. My self-care changes depending on day but at its core it's always to align with my desires. What does beauty mean to you? To me beauty is a translation of love through our eyes. We can find beauty everywhere or in anything but not all of us will see it all the time. It's when you choose to see it in a person, a moment or yourself and you're tapping into love. And it's hard to find that beauty if you don't feel love for yourself first. But once you start taking the smallest steps towards self-love you begin seeing beauty in everything. You'll notice beauty in the flickering moments of kindness all around you, in a stranger sharing a smile, a mother bundling up her child, a farewell kiss, a welcome home embrace or in the reflection in the mirror staring back at you.