Catherine Spence

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37, Founder

Tell us about a time when you felt cared for?

My sister and I text each other all the time—she lives in NY and I live in LA. Most of the time we are not talking about anything in particular. She sends me funny videos and pictures, 80% of which are of cats. I get texts from her in the middle of the night when she can’t sleep. I get texts from her mid-morning when she is stressed out at work, and when she is on the subway. It sounds insignificant, but there is something really wonderful about someone trying to make you laugh a little every day.

How do you provide care for others?

One of my favorite things is to cook for people I love. Of course, it is wonderful to be able to give people a meal, but the dinner table is also a space for telling stories, for sharing anxieties, for belly laughing until you cry. Sometimes I hide a bit in the process of cooking, always a little too busy to fully engage in an extended conversation. But, I am always listening to the happy din of people who have gathered to eat. I like to hear the ways they connect that I did not anticipate.

Favorite self-care ritual?

Without a doubt it is a nap. This was true before I became a mother, and now naps are more valuable than gold. I could write a love song dedicated to napping. Sleep deficits are crushing because our bodies and minds operate so poorly without sleep. Everything feels less possible when you haven’t slept. Even the simplest task like unloading the dishwasher or going to Target can feel like an odyssey. But a nap, well that opens up a world of possibility. I can feel my face relax after a nap. Naps make smiles come easier and allow me to be more present in all my interactions. And the best thing about naps is that all you need is the time and space to take them.

What would you like to see more of in wellness?

I want to see more human connection. It’s a quiet sort of thing. Let’s take the High Line park as an example. This beautiful piece of landscaping exists in the middle of the grit of NYC. And on one of those first warm days in spring New Yorkers can be found enjoying a bit of nature at all hours of the day. You can look around and there is no hurdle you have to meet to exist in a public park. Everyone is just happy to feel the warmth after the overcast days of winter. There is a lightness and gentleness to the way people talk to each other in that space. Like life is a little bit slower, and for once everyone is not just trying to get to the next thing. You can feel it radiating off of people. Even if you are there alone, you are connected to everyone else in that moment.

Who is a hero of yours?

I found Nayyirah Waheed’s poetry by accident several years ago. I love her writing, and I admire her steadfast dedication to being self-published and letting her work stand on its own without compromise.

Catherine Spence