The Medicine Cabinet Series was created to give you a unique look at the everyday lives and wellness routines of a diverse group of women from around the country. Dive in for a candid approach to wellness unlike any other.
Meet Lena Franklin, a mindfulness-based psychotherapist and international spiritual teacher. Originally from northern Virginia, Lena currently lives in Atlanta, GA.
Lena's work life takes her all over the globe, teaching mindfulness workshops and retreats both in the U.S. and overseas, mostly in Asia. When she's not traveling the world, you'll find her seeing individual clients for psychotherapy and mindfulness coaching sessions during the week and teaching mindfulness and meditation workshops on the weekends.
Her life's work: to teach ancient Eastern healing modalities to the West in a modern, approachable way. "Busyness is our modern-day epidemic, causing higher-than-ever levels of stress so I help people heal that stress from the inside out through mind, body, spirit approaches," Lena explains.
BINTO: What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
LENA FRANKLIN: First thing in the a.m., I chug a large glass of alkaline water to rehydrate my body. Then, I make a nice cup of organic coffee with almond milk and a protein smoothie. After fueling my body, I will read a passage in whatever spiritual text I'm into, then do a 30-minute meditation. The spaciousness that meditation offers helps to balance out our hyper-connected lives. This zen morning time has been a game-changer for me. After meditating, I feel grounded and strong as I head out into the world for my day.
BINTO: What's your non-negotiable self-care routine for your mental health?
LENA: As a psychotherapist, I'm always checking in with the level of balance within my mind -- observing what helps to create calmness and what ignites unhelpful mental activity. Meditation is a non-negotiable for me -- like brushing my teeth -- because it aligns my mind with my true intentions for living.
When I feel expanded and spacious in the mind, I'm able to connect with the limitless potential of my human life. In this spaciousness, stress and anxiety cannot exist. THIS is why meditation of all kinds (including mindfulness, mantra, visualization) is my best secret for self-care and high functioning mental health.
BINTO: What are your favorite healthy foods? What foods can you not live without?
LENA: Organic berries, eggs, wild-caught fish, quinoa and fermented foods like pickles and kimchi are a part of my weekly diet -- keeping me fueled and energized. Also, I'm a sucker for the Vietnamese noodle soup, pho, because it is the food of my childhood.
BINTO: Tell us about your fitness routine. What workouts do you enjoy? Which do you not enjoy?
LENA: In college, I played soccer at the University of Georgia so my daily workout routine was incredibly intense. These days, I've embraced the softer side of working out -- honoring what my body needs day-to-day through various forms of yoga practice like vinyasa, ashtanga, and yin. I also love spin and barre classes.
BINTO: What was the defining moment when you realized you could take your health into your own hands?
LENA: A few years ago, as I was growing my business and in an unhappy marriage, I was pushing myself to work 12-14 hours a day. My stress level was at an ultimate high and I could barely peel myself out of bed. After visiting a highly recommended acupuncturist and exploring energy medicine, my life began to transform and I reignited my internal healing journey through energy work, deep meditation and therapy.
Today, I feel renewed in every way and it was the courageous power to face fear in service of transformative change that helped me to prioritize my health and happiness.
BINTO: How has your wellness routine changed over the years?
LENA: Over the years, I realize that the more restorative wellness practices are even more important that the ones where we push ourselves to the max. Wellness is an inside job that touches every aspect of our lives from where we travel, to how we prioritize stillness to our nutrition...and beyond!
BINTO: Do you use Binto? If so, what kind of changes have you experienced as a result?
LENA: Yes! After years of being overwhelmed by the amount of supplements on the market, I was grateful to be introduced to Binto. I've been using Binto for a few months now. My energy has definitely increased and my mood feels more balanced throughout the day. My digestion has improved. I used to experience an energetic lull in the afternoon and that no longer exists!
BINTO: How do you define wellness?
LENA: Wellness is a state of being that always exists within us. When we are in a true state of wellness, we're living in mind, body and spirit alignment both internally and externally. Wellness is prioritizing self-love and self-compassion through our thoughts and actions. Being balanced and well is our true nature as human beings.