MURI LELU | Press – Muri Lelu

Muri Muse: Author, Social Activist and Mother Jodie Patterson

First thing you need to know about Jodie Patterson (@jodiepatterson): Everything about her is a VIBE. We stopped by the writer, social activist and mother-of-5’s home in Brooklyn to spend the day with her and chat beauty, and instantly found ourselves drawn in by her easy smile and cool, welcoming attitude. The author of “The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation” — which details how Jodie’s perspectives on self, identity and motherhood shifted after her her three-year-old child shared that they were trans — is a woman who gracefully inhabits confidence and curiosity.

In her work as an activist for Human Rights Watch traveling to raise awareness for LGBTQ+ issues, it’s clear that she’s unafraid to be bold and address big issues. And stepping into the skylight bathroom sanctuary she’s created for herslf, adorned with vintage mirrors and pieces collected from her travels, it’s clear that she brings the same level of passion to the small details as well.

In a special Mother’s Day edition of Muri Muse, Jodie shares how important it is for women —mothers especially — to claim moments all to themselves. To stretch out in this life and care for themselves, without shame.

Meet Muri Muse Jodie Patterson, author, social activist and mother

Image Credit: Chanel Matsunami Govreau
Muri Lelu: For those who aren’t yet familiar with you or haven’t read 'The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation', how would you introduce yourself and your work? 

Jodie Patterson: I am a writer, social activist, lover and mother. Im never not doing one or all of those things. 
Meet our Muri Muse, Jodie Patterson. Writer, Social Activist and Mother
Image Credit: Chanel Matsunami Govreau

ML: One of the concepts that your book explores is the need to be seen for who we are. Many times, women find themselves immersed in the role of ‘Mother’ and other aspects of self might fall away. How have you found ways to be seen fully by yourself, your family and your community? 


JP: Sometimes I just separate myself from everything and everyone. Even if its only for a few hours... I try to disappear into thin air. That may sound reckless for a mom of 5, but hear me out. Mothers are always asked to be responsible, predictable, and reliable. We show up all the time for people. But sometimes I want to experience freedom, where Im not attached to anyone or anything. So I take freedom. I practice 'silent mornings' where I don’t utter a word, not even to the kids, for an hour or so [so] no one can penetrate my vibe. Other times I walk my Brooklyn neighborhood for 45 minutes by myself, love songs playing in my ears, with no specific route, just weaving in and out of streets, getting lost. I write in my journal about myself (not about my lover, not about my children, or anything other than me). I become the main character of my thoughts. A couple of times I’ve traveled by myself for a week to a foreign place, just to experience this world on my own.

For women, taking freedom is complicated because it challenges the way we've been taught to value ourselves (which is always in relation to others). But women have to clear space for ourselves  We have to stretch out in this life and do as we please and not be concerned about others, or if it is what a responsible 52 year old women should do. Be selfish, if only for a bit. I call it Starfishing — to stretch out in this life and to do as I please.

Meet our Muri Muse: Writer, Social Activist and Mother Jodie Patterson
Image Credit: Chanel Matsunami Govreau

ML: What does your daily skincare routine look like? 

JP: I love catering to myself. I love being selfish and self centered. I know that sounds counterintuitive to the vow mothers make, but let me explain… Most of the time I'm caring for others - my 5 kids and their robust lives, my puppy, I even care for issues like transphobia, LGBTQAI hatred, sexism and racism. There are so many ways I give of myself that when I can give to myself I feel no shame.

I spend a lot of time in the bathroom, more than ever before. Sometimes I just turn up my playlist of love songs, sing along, and care for myself in my beautiful bathroom. I clean my face with a soothing wash from Kat Burki, then press in her toner and lifting serum. My favorite part comes next - I massage my face (nose, cheeks, jaw line, eyes, temples, even my lips) with Muri Lelu’s Mauvaise Herbe Indica Oil. Sometimes I do this 2-3 times a day as a way to relax and reset. If Instagram is good for anything it's finding great facial massaging techniques!  

Meet Muri Muse: Writer, Social Activist and Mother Jodi PattersonImage Credit: Chanel Matsunami Govreau

ML: How have the many stages in your life — from working as a creative and entrepreneur, to motherhood and now stepping into a new life purpose as activist and author — shown up on your skin? What have you learned about supporting and caring for your skin over time?  

JP: I think my face shows exactly who I am. In my eyes you can see some of the worry that goes into being responsible for others, and you can also see the joy in my big, toothy smile. My hands are worn and aged just right because I’ve done a lot with them over these 52 years. I like that I don’t look brand new. I like that my tenure shows up on my skin in the most beautiful way, all over my body.

These days I travel a lot for work. I go from state to state with the Human Rights Campaign, talking with people who believe in equality and want to help course correct our country. Like right now, I'm on a 2 week stint. Travel can be brutal on the body. Airplane and hotel air, conference food, coffee, sugar, coffee - its rough. So I’ve learned to take the few important things with me in my toiletry bag (Muri Lelu’s Mauvaise Herbe Indica Oil night ritual is a no brainer) and I use it every day on my face to stay hydrated and a dab on my hands and cuticles as well. Anyplace that needs attention. 

Meet our Muri Muse: Writer, Social Activist and Mother Jodie PattersonImage Credit: Chanel Matsunami Govreau

ML: Favorite Flower? 

JP: I love bunches of wild flowers. Wild!

ML: Most subversive thing you've done lately? 

JP: Raise happy, healthy, proud, carefree, smart, confident, unified black children.

Muri Muse: Laura Chavez Silverman, Founder of The Outside Institute

Muri Muse: Laura Chavez Silverman, Founder of The Outside Institute Image Credit: Elena Uryadova

Writer, creative director, branding consultant. All are infinitely interesting career paths, but when we were first introduced to Laura Chávez Silverman we couldn’t help but be intrigued by her latest life turn — Founding Naturalist of The Outside Institute.

Founded in the Upper Delaware Valley in 2017 by Laura herself, The Outside Institute is a year-round program offering guided nature walks, forest immersions, foraging, wildcrafting workshops and botanical mixology. The Institute’s mission is to nurture humanity’s original affinity for the wild and inspire a sense of reciprocity amongst all beings.

Just in time for Earth Day today, we're excited to announce Laura as our latest Muri Muse. In this timely conversation, Laura shares her tips on cultivating joyful connections with the planet, healing with plants and why it's impossible to pick just one favorite flower. 

Muri Lelu in conversation with muse Laura Chavez Silverman Image Credit: Arden Wray


Muri Lelu
: For those not familiar with The Outside Institute, how would you explain your mission? 

Laura Chavez Silverman: The Outside Institute fosters a greater connection to the Earth. By nurturing humanity’s powers of observation and innate affinity for the wild, we hope to inspire joyful awareness and an essential reciprocity between all beings, regardless of species or race. 

ML: You describe yourself as a Founding Naturalist. What is the technical definition of this, and what does your daily embodiment of it look like? 

LCS: As I see it, a naturalist is someone deeply enthralled by—and actively engaged in the study of—the organisms and environments that surround them. Every day, I venture into the landscape to observe and learn about whatever natural phenomena I encounter.

Muri Lelu in conversation with muse Laura Chavez Silverman
Image Credit: Kimisa H.

ML: We've been taught that to build intimacy with the natural world, we need to be fully immersed in it. How does your work challenge that notion? 

LCS: I stay away from the phrase “natural world,” because I think it sets up a false dichotomy between the world of humans and the world of plants and animals. There is only one world and we all share it—including wild creatures, which are everywhere, including the concrete jungles.

ML: We firmly believe in the power of plants — including the "taboo" ones — to bring us back into harmony and healing with ourselves. What are a few things that plants have helped you heal in body, mind or spirit? 

LCS: I have long looked to plants as my exclusive source of healing—as food, as medicine and as gurus that have revealed to me the beauty and fullness of life.

Muri Lelu in conversation with muse Laura Chavez SilvermanImage Credit: Noah Kalina

ML: What does your daily skincare routine look like? Does that change on days that you spend more time outdoors? 

LCS: The products I use on my skin are all plant-based and minimally processed. I am very attuned to fragrance and love essential oils and natural plant aromas like the flower-forward scent of Muri Lelu. Since I am outdoors all the time, I often wear St John’s wort oil for sun protection and essential oils such as rose geranium and cedar to repel ticks.

ML: The definition of self-care continues to expand and shift, sometimes drifting far from what it is at its core: a well-rounded practice of replenishing the self. When you strip it all back, what do you consider essential acts of self-care? 

LCS: Every act has the potential to replenish the self. Drawing boundaries, finding work that is fulfilling and letting go of negativity are as essential to me as meditating, drinking enough water and exercising regularly.

Muri Lelu in conversation with muse Laura Chavez Silverman Image Credit: Stephan Schacher

ML: Favorite flower? 

LCS: Who could choose just one? Favorite spring flowers are bloodroot, trillium, dogwood and black locust. 

ML: Most subversive thing you've done lately? 

LCS: Relinquished my fear of turning 60.

ML: When do you feel most beautiful in your own skin? 

LCS: When I am in the forest.

A Cheat Sheet: Avoiding Flaky Winter Skin

Avoid Scaly Winter Skin in Two Steps

Sacred rituals for surviving winter’s coldest conditions have long existed. Around the globe, raw ingredients like honey, marigold and olive oil are revered as natural healers, while centuries-old traditions like dry brushing, body wrapping and hot spring soaks continue to be practiced today.

The universal truth behind these rituals? During the coldest months, we must take special care to hydrate and moisturize from the inside out.

This season, we consider the science of winter skin, and explore how simple routines and ingredients — particularly full flower cannabis — can restore a more natural radiance and glow. 

 

First up, we wanted to learn why our skin reacts to winter and what it typically presents as on the surface:

HOW DOES SKIN REACT TO COLDER TEMPERATURES?  

Cold weather signals a drop in humidity and a rise in dry air that draws moisture away from the skin. Skin cells on the outermost layer react by shrinking, making them less capable of retaining the protein that regulates our natural moisture functioning.

WHAT ARE SUBTLE SIGNS OF EVERYDAY DRYNESS?  

Start with what your skin feels like. While extreme reactions to colder temperatures can present visually through eczema or psoriasis, even light sensitivities and irritation can indicate dry skin. 

Now that we know why dryness increases during the winter, what ingredients, products and home rituals are most therapeutic for skin combatting the effects of winter?

WHAT DOES DRY AND THIRSTY SKIN CRAVE DURING WINTER?  

Parched skin craves immediate relief and replenishment. Look for a combination of ingredients that repair the skin barrier's capacity to retain moisture, as well as those that make up for the loss of moisture in the air during winter. Some of the most effective and time-tested ingredients for combatting dry skin? Plant extracts and oils are derm-favorites, especially potent and proven ones like aloe, plant-derived squalane, coconut, rosehip, marula oil, and pomegranate. 

AND WHAT ABOUT FULL FLOWER CANNABIS? 

The ingredient that's always top of our list offers its own unique protection against drying conditions: unmatched anti-inflammatory benefits. Cannabidol (CBD) is especially known to help skin become more resilient to environmental triggers. Those shrinking skin cells we learned about earlier? With consistent topical application of cannabis-derived ingredients, skin becomes less sensitive to the irritation that cold temps cause.  

HOW TO RESTRUCTURE A SKINCARE ROUTINE FOR WINTER? 

More is less when dealing with dry skin — instead of adding a host of new products, focus instead on hydration-boosting ingredients to protect during the day and nourishing ingredients to replenish at night. Occlusive agents that lock moisture in to the skin barrier are top on the list too. 

Here are a few easy swaps and good habits to build into your daily skincare rituals: 

1. Opt for oil-based cleansers that moisturize while removing impurities. 
2. Layer in an intensive cream or oil, especially at night, for recovery. 
3. Avoid longer hot showers (even though they're tempting in the cold) because they strip skin of its natural moisturizing qualities 
4. Try something new: dry brushing sloughs off dead cells, improving skin's appearance and overall feel

"My favorite product for January is the Muri Lelu Sativa Serum. The aloe, squalane and fruit extracts absorb quickly into my skin, keeping me moisturized throughout the day."
- Janelle Freeman, VP of Beauty Merchandising at Thirteen Lune

Our Full Flower Ritual was specifically formulated for effortless and optimal skin health during all seasons, but especially harsh winters. Bloomrise Sativa Serum quenches thirsty skin by day with triple-hydration, and Mauvaise Herbe Indica Oil locks in moisture and restores softness and glow. 

 

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