wellness

*Roots of the Sun* An Interview with Destini and Jake, Owners & Herbal Apothecaries

It’s not everyday that you encounter such a charming herbal apothecary shop. Upon arriving at Roots of the Sun, I was welcomed by Destini and Jake with some of their handmade tea (so lovely!). While sipping it we discussed their love of humans, love of St. Petersburg, and love of wellness. I learned SO much. They’re well educated in their craft and will guide you through whatever you may need.

Be sure to check them out!

Ladies and gents, Destini and Jake…

tell us about Roots of the Sun.

Roots of the Sun is an herbal apothecary that creates, sells, and distributes sustainably-harvested loose leaf herbs and wellness products. We specialize in Magic-Infused herbal tea blends, tinctures, extracts, and salves using biodynamic practices. We also have a space for community co-creation and herbalism outreach, where we host classes, workshops, ceremonies, and other events.

when did your passion for herbal healing start?

Destini’s passion for herbalism started when she first discovered the benefits and connection the plants have to offer, which occurred about 10 years ago.

what would you say is your big vision for Roots of the Sun?

Roots of the Sun’s vision is to offer and spread natural wellness through herbalism and herbal products, to create a space for community to come together with the intentions of healing, and to support local herbalists in their ventures of discovering and applying this ancient wisdom.

tell us about how you came up with the name Roots of the Sun?

The name Roots of the Sun came by happenstance as collaboration with another herbalist. Once the name was spoken, we were struck by the symbolism of the need to be grounded in our roots in order to let our light shine. To be the spark in the dark.

what made you decide to start Roots of the Sun?

Destini struggled with various health issues in childhood, and was only exposed to traditional allopathic medicine. This provided little to no remedy, and she decided to begin doing her own research and experimenting with various alternatives. She soon discovered the healing power of plants combined with our connection to the cycles of nature. Through herbalism, she regained her health and vitality, and decided to become an herbalist herself. She started Roots of the Sun with the intention of creating a foundation of natural wellness and spreading this knowledge.

what is your big “why”? why do you do what you do?

We do what we do because we care about people, we care about the Earth. We want to connect with people, to help people connect with the Earth.

what are your personal favorite books?

The Celestine Prophecy as it illustrates the spiritual side of life in a simple and applicable way. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs is a wonderful resource for discovering and applying the magical uses of plants.

what feelings do you want your customers to walk away with?

We would describe our shop as a portal to another dimension, like stepping out of the 3rd dimensional world into a whimsical forest. We hope our customers walk away with a sense of wonder and connection to a higher frequency of existence.

if you could drop everything and do ONE thing, what would you do?

Go on a weed walk because we love getting our feet dirty and connecting with nature.

if you had to chose one person in your whole life that has inspired you, who would that be and why?

I know this may sound cliché, but under careful consideration, we have come to the conclusion that the person we are most inspired by is each other, because we both have endured tremendous adversity and have chosen to follow our purpose and passion with relentless love and determination.

favorite quote.

“When the Power of Love overcomes the Love of Power, the World will Know Peace” -Jimi Hendrix

what made you decide to open Roots of the Sun here in St. Petersburg?

The very first day we looked in the St. Petersburg area, this location became available. Plus we discovered there was an available apartment above the shop! We boldly jumped on the opportunity and couldn’t be happier to be a part of this amazing community!

describe St. Petersburg in a few words.

The best place on Earth.

as a business owner what are some of your personal self care practices? what are some you recommend?

Daily yoga, meditation, grounding, energy work, spending time in nature, healthy organic food, and lots and lots of herbs!

what are some non negotiable daily practices you have?

Self-respect, self-love, kindness and compassion for others.

when do you feel the most creative?

Usually during the full moon and the new moon our creative energy seems to be more palpable.

what do you think is the most important thing to focus on when running your business?

Setting pure intentions based on love, respect, and care for ourselves, for others, and for the Earth.

what is the best place you’ve traveled to?

Waterfalls in the Appalachian mountains.

when do you feel your best?

When we are being impeccable to ourselves, our purpose, and our truth in a way that serves others.

what would you say is the best thing about running your own business?

Freedom and the ability to connect with people in a way that serves the community.

any words of advice would you give to our readers wanting to start a business?

Success starts with passion and it requires relentless determination to bring into reality. When your passion is in service to both yourself and the world the universe will conspire to assist you! However, success does not always happen the way we expect, so we must be flexible and patient.

what inspires you?

We are inspired by nature, by the universe, by the unfathomable connection between all things. We are inspired by people for choosing to be here on this Planet. We are especially inspired by those who care about themselves, care about each other, and care about the Earth.

what kinds of social media can we follow you on? how can our readers contact you?

You can find us on Instagram & Facebook. Our online store will be available in the next month to order from. You can reach us at rootsofthesun.com, 850-443-2523, and rootsofthesun4.4.4 [at] gmail [dot] com. We hope to see you there!

***

// interview + photography by Olivia //

Inner Peace in a Busy World

I always had this idea that I should be better than I am.  I think a lot of us have these thoughts. We say to ourselves: “I should focus more. If should live up to my potential. I should be more like that other person.”

These were the thoughts that buzzed through my head on my commute to Harvard in the Fall of 2015. I was a Masters student at Brown University and an exchange scholar at Harvard. I’d commute twice a week from Providence to Boston. The commute would last about an hour. I’d leave my house around 9 am and return about 9pm.

A couple of weeks into this routine, I noticed my brain became extra busy. Like really busy. With assignments from 5 classes piling up. My internship. My job on campus. I felt scattered.

I judged myself because there were people on the train who’d been doing this commute 5 days a week for over 15 years. To me, the thought of commuting like this for even a week exhausted me.

So…. what did I do about it?

I started experimenting.

I got some earplugs. I’d put them in and I’d sit in the subway people watching, wondering what their lives were like analyzing their facial expressions. It seemed like they were happier than I was. They seemed to be at peace.

I thought the earplugs would afford me peace and quiet, but my thoughts got louder and more chaotic. I felt trapped in my head. Truthfully, I never fully realized how trapped in my thoughts I really was.

I was hard on myself for feeling this way. Why couldn’t I just sit in this train and enjoy the ride? Why couldn’t I just enjoy the journey??

It seemed like a deeper metaphor for life.

“Enjoy the journey.”

Late one night while surfing the internet looking for solutions … I discovered meditation.

Like a lot of us, I’d heard of meditation, rolled my eyes at it, and was unwilling to give it a shot. I didn’t think I was one of those people who could do it. I really thought I had a busier mind than most, and that meditation couldn’t help me.

But, I was desperate, so I gave it a shot.

One of the meditations I started with were mantra meditations I learned from Gabby Bernstein. These are meditations you do while repeating a phrase in your mind.

The one I started with was, “peace, begins, with, me”, “peace, begins, with, me.”

After trying it out for a few minutes, I instantly noticed my mind became more calm and at ease. I wondered, “whoa. Is this working?”

Meanwhile on my commutes to Boston, when I noticed my anxious thoughts take over and my fears begin to creep in I would do this meditation both with my eyes open and closed.

“Peace, begins, with, me… peace, begins, with, me.”

A couple weeks into this practice, I felt more at ease. I felt like I could control my anxiety, which otherwise seemed to creep up out of nowhere. Like the boogyman waiting to scare me.

After doing this practice on my commute, I decided to begin waking up earlier and meditating in the morning while I was still at home. What I noticed was that I felt better even before I got to the train station.

….

Here’s what I learned from my commutes to and from Harvard:

Feeling grounded doesn’t come from being in a specific place, with specific people, or doing anything in particular.

Feeling grounded comes from a deeper sense of knowing that you are safe, and at peace wherever you may find yourself.

My scattered thoughts were there before I commuted. I simply projected my anxiety and fears onto my experience on that train.

I encourage you to observe your world and see where you are projecting chaos.

I encourage to forgive yourself for not being present, for not being focused.

I ask you… can you feel rooted and at peace regardless of what is happening around you?

 

 

 

*my commute to Harvard on video.*

 

California Part 5: A Long Weekend in Long Beach

I recently traveled to Long Beach, California and… I loved it! Have you ever been to Long Beach? I was first of all pleasantly surprised to arrive at an indoor/outdoor airport.

I stayed at an airbnb 4 blocks from the beach. Palm trees. Sunshine. Warmish/Coolish breeze. Friendly people. Fresh veggies and avocado on everything. Yes! I especially loved the Shoreline Pedestrian Bike path which stretches for several miles along Long Beach.

I also loved that my morning walks and runs included passing a neighborhood park with exercise machines. A little morning walk is a game changer! It’s such an easy way to implement exercise and movement into your daily routine.

Some photos from my travels below.

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Feel free to reach out. I’d love to hear any recommendations you have on Long Beach!