Hi, I’m Brynn. Early in my life, I came across a quote from Harriet Beecher Stowe: “a woman’s health is her capital.” The clarity of this simple statement stopped me in my tracks, and even as a little girl, I felt empowered to know that my “capital” was something I had a lot of control over. From that moment on, I saw wellbeing as a critical foundation for myself, for all women, and for all people — a launchpad to learning more, doing more, experiencing things fully, and making an impact on the people and world around us.
My idea of what it means and what it takes to be well has evolved through the years. Physical health has been a steady thread, but as I’ve gotten older and life has gotten richer and more complex, I’ve realized the importance of mental health, spiritual health, a sense of purpose, and being in community with other people. And I’ve learned that when faced with constant choices and hard tradeoffs, wellbeing doesn’t happen without intention and clear guideposts to keep me honest about whether I’m living the way I want to be living.
So on my 35th birthday, the auspicious day of 12.12.12, I gave these guideposts a name and this home: Wellfesto. My wellness manifesto. This site is a place where I share thoughts, experiments, tensions and failures in living well. I write about things I’m learning, wondering about, working on, and concerned about….things that are working beautifully and things that are failing miserably. As a working mom of three, I’m focused specifically on exploring how parents can take better care of themselves, their bodies, their spirits, and their dreams….so they can take better care of the people they love. I write for myself, but share my thoughts here in case they spark an idea or an action for someone else. Because I still believe our health is our greatest capital. Thanks for dropping by.
Here are a few more facts about me…
- My parents tell me that as a kid, I wanted to be outside all the time. I feel the same way as an adult. I’m still trying to figure how to make that a reality. Living in California really helps. I came to California thinking I’d stay for two years and have been here for 16.
- I grew up in Wisconsin where I spent summers with no hot water, no TV, and an outhouse. As kids, we bathed in the lake, caught and released fireflies, and learned to love the simple things. I love California, but will always be a little bit homesick for Wisconsin.
- My husband and I ran around the world with a team of 20 international runners in the Blue Planet Run. We learned firsthand that Siberia is vast, yak butter tea tastes horrible, a misty sunrise over Japanese rice paddies is spectacular, America needs more sidewalks and bike lanes, and our bodies are strong and resilient.
- I’m irrationally terrified of animals. Big ones and small ones. As an avid trail runner, this is challenging.
- My go-to meals are oatmeal made with almond milk, berries and nuts and avocado toast with a poached egg. But I also have a penchant for a good IPA.
- I have no rhythm, but love to dance, mostly in the comfort of my own living room with my better-dancing husband and three forgiving children.
- I love being a mom. I live with my kids, but not for my kids. I want us all to have our own identities — and also a magical shared one we create together.
- I love making things — greeting cards, art projects, photo albums, and hot breakfasts.
- I once rollerbladed to a job interview. I didn’t get the job.
- I now work on the People team at Meta (formerly Facebook) and have evolved from being unsure of my non-linear career path to proud of it. I’m inspired that the future of work is now — and where, when and how we work is changing for the better.
- I want to be a writer. So I’m getting started by…writing. I’ve learned that the way you get over the fear of putting yourself out there is simply, putting yourself out there.
You have inspired me to write more… Thank you.
Wow, that made my day. It is a joy to have something just for yourself and to make something new every time you write. Be well…
Just discovered your blog via Freshly Pressed, although I had seen that post in my Facebook feed last week. I couldn’t agree more with you, on that particular post and on your outlook in general. I’m looking forward to reading more.
Thank you for including me on your blogroll! Love the love ❤
I have just started blogging after moving from the UK to Norway. One of my goals is to become healthy (physically and emotionally), fitter and spend more time outdoors in this beautiful country I live in. I think I might just find your blog handy!!
Terrific – look forward to staying in touch!
Nice Mont Blanc photo
I love your word print — it is so cool!
It’s just black paint on canvas. Was a fun project to work on while I was on maternity leave. 🙂 Super easy to do!
I love your blog. There is so much on here that I can relate to. Thank you!
It inspired me to share this to my friends…
“Last year, I was inspired by the minimalists . I took away a lot of things, made decent strides into decluttering some of those boxes that I’d carried around for years and not even opened.
This year has been loosely about integrating the active and outdoor life of the West Coast. In that journey, I’ve come across Brynn’s blog that I’ve found to be pretty interesting.
All this is not to say that I’m making any drastic changes. This is more of a loose direction, a philosophy that makes sense to me. Perhaps, he words might resound with some of you as well, so I thought I’d share.
Thanks so much for this comment! I love your thinking about making loose changes…pointing in the right direction. Be well!
Thank you for following The Office Blend Brynn. (I’ve just followed you.)
Just read “Ten Things I Want to Tell Daughter About Working Out” via Arman’s reblog. You are right on! Although I do not have daughters, I can totally relate as a female athlete. The messages are different for women it seems. For me, it is all about feeling good. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!
Thanks so much for this comment and for following along!
Today, I logged into Facebook and it reminded me that I posted one of your posts (10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out) 1 year ago today. I posted it, then forgot about it. However, two days after posting your article, I found out I was pregnant! Lo and behold, it ended up being a girl! So this morning, I was reminded of that article, and it speaks even more truth to me now than it did then. So, thank you for writing and keep up the wonderful work!
P.S. We have quite a bit in common! I lived in California for a stint, and absolutely loved the emphasis on health (hiking, hiking, hiking). I also love to make homemade greeting cards – I’ve been doing it since middle school. Funny things!
Looking forward to following your blog and reading more! 🙂
Thanks for such a thoughtful comment, Kelsie! Congrats on the arrival of your little girl! I look forward to being in touch and thank you for following along. Be well!
I absolutely LOVE this! I am also a working mom with two young kids and I strongly believe you have to be a living example of what wellness means everyday for them and for you to be at your best. I have been through periods of imbalance where I was 100% focused on my husband and children forgetting to take care of myself- and I have learned you cannot be any good to anyone (work, home, or otherwise) if you aren’t making sure you are healthy mentally, physically, and spiritually. My boys (9&10) read nutrition labels to evaluate protein and sugar content before they will buy something- they exercise on their own and they know exactly what each type of food does for their bodies. As a former health teacher I have made it my goal to ensure they understand what it means to eat and live well, and I’m hoping their future wives will benefit from it! Thank you for your work- it is vital and exciting!
Thanks for your comment! Yes, we need to put on our oxygen masks first! I really appreciate your story about your boys — they should wise beyond their years!