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.

This week, Rachel Budde, founder of handcrafted, herbal body care company Fat and The Moon, shares what she’s letting go of, and why.

The Physical

What physical item are you throwing away?

This January, my home burned down and I lost all of my possessions. I’m still feeling the ripples of this event and the way it changed me. I’ve always loved treasures: art, thrifted gems, antiques, vintage clothing, books…I filled my life with them.

When they were all gone, I realized how much of who I am felt wrapped up in my things. This realization had two sides to it. On one side, I understood that the things we consciously decide to bring into our lives reflect us back to ourselves. This can be a beautiful thing, and is part of our self-expression. However, the other side is that we depend on this reflection to define us. But, in truth, we’re not our stuff. The fire, in a way, freed me from that dependency.

I’m no longer interested in having the amount of stuff I used to have. I still appreciate the objects I’ve acquired since the fire, but I’m more aware of their passing nature. I feel I can really value the things I have when I have less of them.

The Expectation

What expectation for yourself are you letting go of?

Expectations are sticky substances. What interests me about the expectations I have of myself is their root. We can drive ourselves absolutely crazy with self-imposed pressures, but if we don’t understand their origins i.e. familial, societal, we won’t be able to find relief from them.

Letting go of self-imposed expectations is a process of self-reflection and self-compassion. When I boiled down my expectations on myself, I found a core belief that unless I did a certain amount of work, achieved this, or accomplished that, I didn’t have value. Not having value is one of the hardest feelings to feel. This is the place from which I learn to be kinder to myself. And when I’m kinder to myself, I feel so much more connected to a sense of trust in the natural course of my life; I lose the sense that I have to muscle through, which, honestly, can take the fun out of living.

The Habit

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

I’m working with the habit of distraction — those things I get caught up in that take me away from myself. Distraction can look like a lot of different things, but it always has the same feeling: checking out. There’ll be a mindless draw towards my phone, and the next thing I know, I’m in an Instagram black hole. Mentally, I feel like I’ve eaten a bag of Cheetos. I’m really trying to notice the insidious urge towards distraction. I want to be more awake in my life.

The Visual

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

[See image at top.—Ed.] When I’m out in wild landscapes and stop to take in where I am, I feel beautiful. Something about a view that just is beautiful, inherently and unselfconsciously, inspires me to feel the same way. For me, being natural is beautiful. That doesn’t necessarily mean restricting the ways we adorn or change our appearance, it means being connected to one’s own nature.