Mindful Living & Self-Care with Lucille Sylvester
Firstly, who are you and what do you do?
I am Lucille Sylvester. When I travel and have to complete forms for my occupation, I always want to put supermom or something extravagant! Because I don’t think I will have a more important job than raising humans really.lol ! In reality though, I put hotelier or business women, just so I don’t get detained!. I am an entrepeneur; I have small businesses that encompass accommodation, transportation and events.
How Many Children do you have?
I have 2, but it feels like an army of children. A boy and girl, we knew the secret and were able to get it right lol.
What keeps you balanced, because you seem to have a lot on your plate?
Yeah, I definitely have a lot on my plate. I actually schedule my self-care. I used to feel guilty about taking time for myself, but I absolutely know that it's the only way for me. I must fill up my cup before I can pour for anybody else. Honestly, it took me years to get to that point and this is probably even my first time saying it out loud. I’m at a stage in my life where I schedule my self-care and then everything else around it. Balance for me is minimising stress & remembering to laugh!
What are your challenges with self-care?
As a wife and a mother, friend, employer etc. you have to be really careful you don’t lose yourself in all the midst of all you do. Once you lose your sense of self its easy to lose your self-care practices or your worthiness. So I just work at who I am, what really matters to me, how i’m going to be authentic, how i’m going to be mindful and I think it’s always a work in progress. You can get lost in all the day-to-day stuff; however, I have a clear awareness that life is definitely more than the day-to-day grind.
I lost my sister Donna to cancer at an age similar to mine and although extremely painful I think about the amazing memories and a deeper bond created with her . How we did things and experienced more with a sense of urgency. That lifted my awareness to such a level, it was hard to keep stuffing it down. You know when they say you get the whisper, then you get the shout, and then you get a brick upside the head, .this was definitely my brick upside the head. So once I had this knowledge, I made myself a priority & promised myself to have more adventures..
What are some of your self-care practices?
My non-exercise self-care practices would be meditation. I believe knowledge is power to navigate our world with a more open mind and sense of gratitude, so I try to watch and read things that can enhance my knowledge, so a lot of TED talks, bio’s, documentaries etc. I’m just really mindful of my intake and my output. I have had to be careful not to binge watch the news.
Do you have any home remedies? Like a special way you take care of your hair or skin?
My self-care tonic is exercise. I have a brand new relationship with exercise so you can say it’s my bush tea lol. I weight train, Zumba, swim, beach walk, take dance classes, and do yoga. At the beginning of this year, I made a pact with myself to do 5 activities that I love a week, but i’ve gained so much energy, I often do 10 without even realizing it, I have weaved them into my life. In between working, or being a mom-taxi, and errands, there are things I can do alone or with company – (The difference is now I don’t wait on anyone). I’ll do some yoga or dynamic stretching or go for a swim. I love the beach. So making time for those things are now becoming second nature to me now. Exercise is my bush tea and I do actually love tea!
Grenada being such a small island, what keeps you inspired?
I’ve recently rekindled my love for learning, “to overcome fear is the beginning of wisdom” Bertrand Russell. So I learnt to swim just a few years ago and I had to overcome that fear, I had a deep fear of heights, which no one would believe because I love flying and travelling so I joined a hiking group and held someone's hand and cried as I navigated a huge precipice until it became some-what normal, and now I get so excited when we are going hiking. Especially difficult hikes like Tufton Hall – I appreciate my surroundings much more now.
I learnt how to dive, I went on a yoga and scuba dive retreat. Just a few years before I would never even had put my head under water. I pushed myself how to conquer fears, it has fuelled me, uplifted me a lot. My family and always try to have a travel break together but I’ve started travelling a little bit more on my own or with friends – time waits for no man, and I want to see more of the world!. This year I went to Iceland, I recharged. I really showed up in the new environment because it was definitely out of my normal comfort zone. All character, kindness, thoughts, needs and emotions really showed up for me, being in such a different foreign land. I thought about how to bring more of that back to my normal day to day life.
What’s your favourite fruit?
I am a mango monster, I absolutely love mangoes. Does avocado count as a fruit? I really love avocados as well. I have magic banana trees so I make a lot of smoothies. Oh coconuts too!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Oh my goodness, that’s such a loaded question. I try to squeeze in some reading, even if its one book a year! I recently read a book called The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor. In it, he says and I believe it, that you can have happiness habits, such as exercise, gratitude, kindness and lots more. So it really dispelled the myth for me that if you’re too happy, you’re self absorbed. So I would tell my younger self to cultivate happiness habits early on. You and everyone around you, benefits from your well-being - so invest in it. I would also tell my younger self “show up, you’re good enough, nobody makes a better you” and that’s pretty much it.