Sera Lindsey | Photographer + Founder of Studio T O T T O  




RITUAL • What are your daily inner + outer rituals to cultivate beauty and radiance?

In college I became seriously interested in Ayurveda, and eventually worked as an Ayurvedic spa technician. Here I learned to treat myself with an abhyanga massage every morning. To this day, I've retained this practice. In the shower after rinsing, I'll apply an oil (a custom blend of essential oils with jojoba or vitamin E as a carrier) from the outside in - always towards the heart, and with enough pressure to drain the lymphs and encourage unnecessary weight and stress in the muscles to soften.


NOURISH • What are your staples for beauty + wellness + radiance?

At our house, we make a regular meal that comes in various forms - but we call all varieties "mountain mush." Haha. It's a combination of either raw or gently cooked greens and vegetables - my favorites are broccoli and kale - beans, and a rice or quinoa. We source from the garden when we can, the farmers market being second choice, and the grocery store for everything else. I look to pomogranate, blackberries, and other juicy reds, purples, and dark blues for vitamins and sweet hydration. 


BODY • How do you keep your body healthy, strong, and powerful?

I love to dance. I'll often freely move at home with music playing. To someone sneaking a peek, this may not look like dancing, but more a slow ballet meets qigong. The intention is to get my body to greet itself, and to elongate. This includes muscles, veins, breath, spirit. I go to yoga when it suits me. It should be more of a routine because I feel so great when I'm going regularly. 


MIND • How do you stay grounded, confident, and centered in this modern day craziness we call life?

I've been practicing Transcendental Meditation for over a decade, which has been an extremely powerful tool of connectivity and calming. I'm a photographer, which is a sort of meditation for me as well. Being a visual person, I focus on creating a world of my own through photographs. Moving pictures, as well. I love going to the cinema and watching films at home.  And cooking! You really are what you eat, just as you are what you think - and when I make my own food, or food for others, I stay aware of the energy I'm putting into that which is to be taken in. Sort of a big deal, right? 


SPIRIT • BENSHEN means 'root of the spirit' - how do you root your spirit into your life, which in turn, keeps your body beautiful, healthy, and radiant?

'Benshen.' Feels nice to say.

 I used to have a teacher in college (who is now a dear friend) named Nynke. She's a writer and poet from the Netherlands. She introduced me to the idea of "killing your darlings," which sounds so harsh, but is truly necessary to carry on as a creative. The notion is simply to do away with the details that don't serve. Even if they're pretty and we have a topical attachment to them. If these things no longer benefit the whole, there is no use for them. I'm quite a minimalist in many ways, and feel that that the things I own and ideas I apply myself to, I tether or "root" my spirit with. If I feel suddenly that I'm giving too much energy but receiving very little, I have to review my choices and make some new ones as well. I don't like to have a lot of "stuff." A good meal doesn't need to be an insane hodgepodge of ingredients and preservatives. It can include maybe 4 things, and be far more fulfilling. And often time, less is more. Asking for guidance doesn't mean coaxing the universe into being your magic genie. It means trusting that you're being given just what is needed.