I promote slowing down. As often as possible, I seek to engage my parasympathetic nervous system, taking slow and deep breaths. There is no place that I will reach in my life where everything will be done, complete, or finalized. There will always be something left for me to do, manifestations left to unfold, and opportunities left to appear, so I try to avoid rushing around in an impossible attempt to complete everything right now. I seek to be easy on myself, rest when I can, and when I have a day that calls for it, I ask myself “What is the easiest thing I could think about right now? What is the easiest thing I could do today?” I have found slowing down assisted me when I made a mistake, because from a slower pace, I was able to rectify the mistake as I went without as detrimental of a consequence.
The term Blue Zones has been used to describe places where people live long and healthy lives. What exactly does it take to live a long and healthy life? What is the science and the secret behind longevity and life extension? In this series, we are talking to medical experts, wellness experts, and longevity experts to share “5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life”. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Lucy Byrd Hope.
Lucy Byrd Hope is a holistic guide, spiritualist, and entrepreneur who received her BA in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Lucy built onto this foundation by learning cognitive behavioral, somatic, and existential psychology as well as alternative medicine. She initially became certified in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at Duke Integrative Medicine. To further her education in holistic medicine, Lucy received her Reiki Level I, Level II, and Master certifications. She has also received her first and second level Shamanic Mastery certifications and is currently completing her third level Mastery.
As an entrepreneur, Lucy has successfully started multiple businesses. Currently, she operates LucYd Lotus, an energy wellness company, and Wholism, a healthy plant and fruit based beverage company focused on bringing nutritional function and awareness to consumers.
On any given day, you can find Lucy connecting with nature, bonding with animals, writing, dreaming up new business ideas, traveling, exploring, and adventuring into the unknown!
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?
My name is Lucy Byrd Hope, and I’m a holistic guide, spiritualist, and entrepreneur. I received my BA in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, and built onto this foundation by learning cognitive behavioral, somatic, and existential psychology as well as alternative medicine. I initially became certified in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at Duke Integrative Medicine. To further my education in holistic medicine, I received my Reiki Level I, Level II, Master, and Karuna Reiki certifications, and I have also received my first and second level Shamanic Mastery certifications. As an entrepreneur, I operate LucYd Lotus, an energy wellness company, and co-operate Wholism, a healthy plant and fruit based beverage company focused on bringing nutritional function and awareness to consumers. I have available for pre-order, releasing for publication March 28, a book entitled Daily Alignment, which compiles tools that balance the body, mind and spirit.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
In 2019, I faced a lot of trauma. In addition to many other things I incorporated to feel better, I scheduled a massage. After hearing about my recent experiences, the massage therapist offered to use Reiki, a Japanese healing art, in our session. I took her up on the offer and was pleasantly surprised. I felt so much better after the session that I decided to learn Reiki in order to give it to myself as often as I could. At the end of my first level Reiki class, my teacher shared that this was the part of the class where I could learn how to start my own practice. I thought I wanted to focus on something else for my career, so I asked to skip that part. I later decided to take my second level Reiki class, and was asked the same question. At that time, I had decided I was open and ready to pursue a new career in my life. This time, I said, “Yes!” I have since received my Master Reiki and Karuna Reiki certifications, and opened my own energy wellness company, Lucyd Lotus, where I use Reiki in one-on-one sessions with clients. My experience taught me the importance of the pivot and blend. This involves recognizing when I am no longer in alignment with my experience; when, despite what I want to happen, nothing is working out that way, and none of it feels good. Then, I pivot; turning in another direction, realigning, and recomposing myself. Finally, I blend; allowing new experiences in my life, and ready for opportunities to present themselves. I flow in the direction that I am being led, and in my life, that was to Reiki.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Barbara Whittemore is a special person in my life. She is a great friend who provides me with her time, love, and wisdom. She gives me a safe space to process my feelings, and shares her guidance when asked. Barabara stood by my side during one of my most challenging life moments, and that support encouraged me to keep going and uplifted me when I needed it most. She believed in me, and in time, I believed in myself.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
I believe courage is one of the most important leadership traits. Leading involves bravery, the capacity to take risks, and the willingness to resolutely venture into the unknown. Focus is another key trait. Intention, direction and the dedication to move in alignment with my goals is needed to efficiently lead. I find solution orientation to be a third essential trait; recognizing a problem and choosing to turn in the direction of the solution, leaving myself open to fresh ideas and evolving.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about health and longevity. To begin, can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fields of health, wellness, and longevity? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
I have three projects I’m eagerly enthusiastic about unfolding, each geared towards promoting wellness, longevity and health.
My book, Daily Alignment is currently available for pre-order and releases for publication on March 28. With my book, I hope to give readers the tools to grow in awareness of themselves, allowing them to consciously choose wellbeing in their lives and relationships.
I operate an energy wellness company, Lucyd Lotus, where I utilize Reiki and shamanic practices to assist clients in balancing their energy bodies. In sessions, I hope to facilitate mental and emotional clarity, allowing for further self discovery and better connection with others.
I also co-own Wholism, a holistic beverage company that offers nutritionally functional drinks and promotes nutritional awareness. I speak weekly on the Wholism podcast, where I share new understandings I gain about myself and my relationships in order to process them myself and share with anyone who can relate and benefit.
Seekers throughout history have traveled great distances and embarked on mythical quests in search of the “elixir of life,” a mythical potion said to cure all diseases and give eternal youth. Has your search for health, vitality, and longevity taken you on any interesting paths or journeys? We’d love to hear the story.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve had an active mental landscape. As a child, I frequently counted each of my steps and walked in intervals of seven. I outgrew this special quirk, yet subsequently, throughout my life, I have experienced intrusive thoughts, panic attacks, agoraphobia, anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Complimentary to these mental and emotional patterns lies the fact that I experience life as a clinically highly sensitive person (HSP). As an HSP, the optimal level of arousal in my brain as it relates to environmental stimuli is set at a lower threshold than that of 80 percent of the human population. As a result, when I interact with the world and others, I frequently become overstimulated. My body chemistry changes accordingly, often leaving me feeling distressed. With this sensitivity, I consistently perceive the subtle cues in the energy and environment around me, which at times feels like a gift and at others a curse. With these personality foundations in place, my life has been rich with wonder, although often internally painful. For many years, I sought a way to regulate the feelings and thoughts I experienced, and balance my body, mind, and spirit. This is what led me to write Daily Alignment, a collection of tools to balance the body, mind and spirit, open Lucyd Lotus, my energy wellness company, and be a part of starting Wholism, the holistic beverage company I co-own.
Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Live A Long & Healthy Life”? (Please share a story or an example for each)
One of my favorite practices is pausing. When anything triggers me, disturbs me or upsets me, I try to pause. One way I can tell I’m triggered is by noting physiological changes in my body. If I am suddenly breathing quickly, my heart is racing, or I am sweating, I recognize that my fight or flight system, my body’s sympathetic nervous system and evolutionary reaction to a perceived threat, has been activated. I pause, check in with myself, and re-align; self-regulating my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual responses to my experience. I’ve used this during an emotionally charged conversation in order to lower my state of arousal, and accordingly, my regrets.
I find self-compassion to be an important practice. Self-compassion consists of self-kindness, whereby I show myself the same kindness that I would show a best friend; mindfulness, whereby I am in the present moment instead of pondering on what I could have done in the past of should do in the future; and common humanity, acknowledging that we as humans are in this together. I’ve used self compassion to acknowledge that “I did my best”, showing myself grace in a scenario where the outcome was not what I had hoped for.
I try to embrace living as “authentically me”. Being authentically me involves becoming aware of who I truly am, letting go of the parts of me that society instilled in me, and embracing my true self. Being unapologetically me means that I am so accepting and supporting of myself that I feel worthy and whole without needing others to approve of me. Being authentically me has led me to find freedom, purpose, and peace in my life.
Another practice I try to engage in is forgiveness. I seek to forgive myself and others, in order to free myself of resentment, anger, and bitterness. These are toxic emotions that don’t hurt the person that I feel them toward; they only hurt me, the person feeling them. I try to forgive myself for my imperfections, my humanness, and for past occasions when I feel I hurt myself or others. I apologize if I can, and if I can’t for any reason, I make a karmic apology; treating other people I engage with now in the kind, loving way that I wish I had treated someone I hurt in the past.
Lastly, I promote slowing down. As often as possible, I seek to engage my parasympathetic nervous system, taking slow and deep breaths. There is no place that I will reach in my life where everything will be done, complete, or finalized. There will always be something left for me to do, manifestations left to unfold, and opportunities left to appear, so I try to avoid rushing around in an impossible attempt to complete everything right now. I seek to be easy on myself, rest when I can, and when I have a day that calls for it, I ask myself “What is the easiest thing I could think about right now? What is the easiest thing I could do today?” I have found slowing down assisted me when I made a mistake, because from a slower pace, I was able to rectify the mistake as I went without as detrimental of a consequence.
Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning?
I find balance, openness, and love fill my life with happiness, joy and meaning. I seek to remain balanced physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. From this place of balance, I try to remain open to new opportunities and experiences. In my experiences, I attempt to think, speak and act from a place of love for myself and others.
Some argue that longevity is genetic, while others say that living a long life is simply a choice. What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture debate? Which is more important?
I feel that while both nature and nurture are at play in living a long life, ultimately the choice to align with wellbeing is the most important factor in living a long life. I’ve found aligning with wellness to involve nurturing myself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually; feeling enthusiasm about life; focusing on the positive aspects of my life that uplift me; and engaging with nourishing foods, environments, and people.
Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?
In the face of trauma, I was waking up every morning feeling awful, my mind racing with negative thoughts and my body filled with heavy emotions. Throughout the day, I would discover different ways to feel better. I would read about a new breathing technique, hear a friend share an encouraging life perspective, learn a new type of therapy from a counselor, or familiarize myself with uplifting concepts from a spiritual teacher. Yet, the next morning, I would wake up once again feeling awful, unable to mentally assimilate and practice what I had learned the day before. I started digging into why. I found biological markers, some personal to me and some found in the entire human race, responsible for facilitating this occurrence. These markers boil down to that, when I don’t feel good, I am less likely to have the cognitive ability to access the techniques that help me feel better. With this information in mind, I decided to write down the tools I learned during the day and leave them on pieces of paper beside my bed. This way the moment I woke up, I could align myself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually with what I had learned, and proceed into my day smoothly from this basis. The pieces of paper grew, and eventually I self-bound a book to tie them all together. Friends and family noticed an improvement in my life, and asked what spawned it. I showed them my book, and they recommended I publish it. Three years later, the book that resulted, Daily Alignment, is available for pre-order!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
One of my favorite guiding quotes is, “Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” -Unknown
I use this concept to encourage myself that peace is always possible and available to me regardless of my circumstances, and then to motivate myself to actually engage with a sense of peace. I take the perspective that I am building my inner peace muscle, and I appreciate opportunities to grow and flex it. I find this quote especially helpful in that it identifies life trails and that they are normal. The goal here is not to eliminate all noise, all trouble, or all hard work. The goal is to remain peaceful regardless.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would love to inspire a “Worldwide Laugh” movement. I envision everyone on the entire earth coming together to laugh at the exact same moment. I would adore seeing everyone united by laughter, and I would be curious to see how high the earthly vibrational frequency could peak during that time.
What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?
You can reach me at Lucyd Lotus and follow me at @lucydlotus. Please check out my book, Daily Alignment on Pre Sale now:
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.