"Wellness is such a huge umbrella that means so many different things to different people and even different things to the same person at different times," Peekay Herbs' Paul Kempisty tells Sage & Sound.
In celebration of Father's Day, we checked in with Paul to talk about all things wellness, parenting, and of course, get his must-haves for in the AM/PM.
On working in wellness.
Work-life and wellness intersect very closely for me.
Firstly, it's about delivering for my patients. Providing the people who are drawn to my clinic as part of their self-care with both an experience and an environment that gives them the best opportunity to improve their health, sense of well-being, and achieve short and long-term health goals.
For me, personally, work-life and wellness is a puzzle that always needs rejigging and rarely seems to have the last piece locked in place. It's often a balance of doing as much as I can to lead a professional life that is meaningful by taking good care of patients and running a successful business while still constantly listening to my body and responding to the needs of the moment. Sometimes the moment whispers and sometimes it screams. I often push really hard during my work week, and then I still try to find the balance to be present for family life and home as well...and this is certainly a challenging and humbling relationship with wellness at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic year.
On the intersection of parenting and wellness:
Once you have that newborn child in your home and you have no clear idea as to what to do, the viscerally urgent desire to protect and provide for this tiny, vulnerable person becomes just absolutely palpable. The idea of wellness catapults from being a trendy, yet, vague concept to a very meaningful pursuit of nourishing a child's life on a moment-to-moment and day-to-day basis with every single thing you do.
And that's just the beginning. Because as that child grows, we are constantly listening, observing, and anticipating all the nuances that will help us nurture each child according to their needs.
On exploring wellness with children.
Humans are creatures that learn life habits through modeling, experience, and repetition. There's certainly the elements of wellness we try to impart to our children like healthy eating, reasonable bedtimes, sound work ethic, wearing sunscreen, and other opportunities for self-care, but I think just as important is the less controlled aspect of everything they pick up and assimilate just by being present as the parents lead their own lives, with all the good, the bad and the ugly along the way serving as fodder for important life lessons and reference points.
I make time to sit quietly and meditate every single day of my life. I have done this for over 25 years and have found it to be the single most nourishing, transformative, and healing practice in my life. I find myself often saying to people, really from my heart, "if I never see you again and if you ignore or forget everything I've told you, please just remember that meditation will help you, whether you start now or in years from now.
Currently, my main morning focus is the delicious Hanaka Matcha from Kettl. It's absolutely the best Matcha I've ever had and it came into my life at the precise time I was thinking of reducing caffeine intake. But in this case, by providing a gentle boost with all the health benefits of green tea, this matcha wins! I'll use my Nespresso foamer to make either hot or cold foamed oat or almond milk with half a teaspoon of his matcha powder.
I've also been indulging in my own Peekay's Saffron extract for its physically and mentally uplifting actions as well as its sublime flavor. I add a couple of teaspoons of this herb to plain filtered drinking water.
I personally take most of my herbs and supplements in the evening. It can range from a considerably sized serving of pills, powders, and potions and it can also be a very modest selection depending on the need of the day.
I also take whichever of my own Peekay's herbal formulas is most relevant for me on that day....recent favorites have been Peekay's Yummy Tummy to support my digestive functions, Peekays Moody CBD to help me wind down and get a good night of sleep & Peekay's On the Edge whenever I feel a slight irritation or tickle in my throat that suggests I might be getting run down. I mix and match these herbal tinctures in a cup of hot or cold water and it's as simple as that.