Beauty is holistic: it’s the energy that glows within us, and the energy we put out into the world. It’s what we put in our body and on it.

To enhance our beauty energy, we need to release what no longer serves us. We habitually add more and more to our lives until they’re overflowing with items, activities, beliefs, and routines. Releasing something brings us more space, more freedom, and more energy. We’ve spoken with our Spoon Crew — our team, our friends, and some of our favorite wellness gurus — to discover what they’re releasing, in order to uncover more beauty energy.

This week, mom boss and founder of Splendid Spoon, Nicole Centeno shares what she’s letting go of, and why.

The Physical

What physical item are you throwing away?

I’m throwing out all prescription creams or pills I’ve used to make my skin clear. Since adolescence I was on birth control and took prescription creams to control my complexion. This farewell has been a long time coming. When I was pregnant with Grover, my oldest son, I began the journey to being more kind to myself and my body. I began with my food, journeyed through my relationships, and found my way to my body and my perception of it.

What I’ve found is that beauty is a collection of the beliefs you have of yourself, the words you choose to describe yourself, and the things you do to express your totally unique you-ness. It’s taken time, but I have been working to replace my negative beliefs, words, and habits with positive ones. The culmination of this effort is a much more peaceful relationship with the skin I’m in, and the ability to step back and be intentional about what I put on my skin. Do I really need to mess with my gut health and my hormones in the name of perfect, chemically-dependent skin? Finally, I can say, no way.

The Expectation

What expectation that you put on yourself are you letting go?

I’m letting go of the need to control my skin. I have come to see my skin as a friend instead of an enemy. When I’m dehydrated she tells me so by showing me a few more smile lines. When I’m stressed I breakout on my forehead. When I’m about to have my period I breakout on my jaw line.

Instead of getting down on myself for this I say: “This is a sign that I can be kinder to myself by drinking more water/resting at the end of the day instead of being social/giving myself time to exercise etc.”. I don’t rush to kill the breakout because the breakout is part of me too! It’s a signal, not an enemy invasion.

The Habit

What long-lasting habit or movement are you putting a stop to?

Caffeine. I have been on a three month journey to let go of coffee, and it has been nothing short of miraculous for my energy levels (steady, without a slump at any point during the day) and my skin (a glowy, clear, even tone that I never thought was possible). I don’t believe in a no-no list (I’ll still have a cortado every so often, and I will never say no to chocolate), but I do believe in turning one’s awareness to everyday habits and asking why they’re there.

I swoon for coffee: the flavor, the ritual and the aroma. However, the grain of truth at the bottom of my proverbial coffee mug is that I’m an adrenaline addict. I love the feeling of movement and when I’m still or bored I crave that jolt of energy. When I quit coffee I had to become more comfortable with maintaining a steady — and yes, sometimes boring — pace. This was hard. Really hard. But guess what? I’m just as productive without it, and it turns out I make better decisions when I’m not hopped up on caffeine. Who knew?!

The Visual

What image or picture makes you feel beautiful, and why?

[See the image above. — Ed.] I felt so present when this picture was taken. This is basically my ideal experience: to be in the sun and the salt air with my kids. Being a mom is so hard, but moments like this show me how magical it is. The days of diaper changing and feeding and crying eventually wane, and now I have these two curious humans taking in the beauty of our world right by my side. Also, I do a lot of heavy lifting with these two guys, and you can really see how toned my back is. This makes me feel beautiful too :).