As we investigate ways to stay engaged and flex our creative muscles, it has become more necessary than ever to communicate and check in with members of our community that inspire and motivate our small team. Whitney Mitchell is a constant source of inspiration - she is lightness and brightness personified. We've been drawn to Whitney's beautiful spirit ever since she wore some of her lekha pieces on a Grand Canyon retreat last year. When we connected in person in the fall, Whitney's unique attitude and creative approach to small details was instantly captivating. Back in late March, she donned a few of the newest lekha arrivals, and spoke to us about how she has been navigating her time in isolation. Scroll for Whitney's take, and photos in Lekha by Augusta Sagnelli.
We struggle in our daily lives to disconnect from everything and find time for isolation and space. All of a sudden, we've been catapulted into a world where isolation and personal space is all around us. How have you been managing to reconcile this - staying connected emotionally and digitally, while separating yourself from the inundation of news, latest figures & statistics?
whitney: I’ve been honest with myself, giving space to every feeling. In that, I set boundaries on the type of information I take in. More than any time before, I give priority to the voices I trust. This isn’t a muscle I’ve flexed very much before the virus – this time is the catalyst to big change.
Any good habits you've started to form? What about bad habits!
whitney: This time has giving most people time to think. I’ve started thinker deeper about where my food comes from, moving to source produce and the like from local vendors – a result of my roommate’s ongoing research and folks like the ReFresh Coalition. I’ve started creating space for movement at least twice a day, allowing my body to be celebrated or, call for rest.
whitney: Most days I go for a long morning walk and do some sort of bodyweight exercise in the afternoon. A routine for moving your body and rest is important. The days I don’t work out I stretch, I breathe and give my brain some dedicated focus through love and inspiration.
It's been challenging for us to evolve our routines and grow through our own quarantine process. Where are you finding inspiration during this strange time?
whitney: I’ve been growing in conversation with so many in my tribe. I’m finding myself continually inspired and in a deeper love with the people that have chosen me as family.
What are you reading, watching, cooking, listening to?
whitney: I’m reading Maid by Stephanie Land with my mother and sisters and hoping to jump into Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmereer. TV has been an exciting vacation that has added weekly spice to my life. I’m 100% positive that the 2003 me would either be proud or the questionable side of impressed with my ability to stay consistent all these years with watching MTV’s The Challenge and Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn’s fashion ventures with Amazon’s Making the Cut – Of course keeping Little Fires Everywhere, Insecure and Westworld in the rotation. So far, I’ve been listening to music. No podcasts, no TED Talks, just music. Music that offers the sort of comfort a hug from an auntie would give and tunes in compliment to the weather. Here are my Favorites:
Do you have a go-to stay at home outfit?
whitney: I’ve been rotating a terry cloth muu muu and my lopa dresses every couple of days.
You know we love hearing that! Any note on how you've been feeling in your lekha?
whitney: Wearing Lekha makes me feel like I will bring light in any space. I feel
regal in every silhouette.
Definitely echo that sentiment - that's lovely to hear. We approach clothing from a place of comfort - we always hope that lekha wraps our community with warmth and tenderness, thereby being able to go forth and spread that internalized peace with others. In this time it can be difficult to find a balance between personal wellness and being there both emotionally and financially for others. What has been your approach to this?
whitney: I check-in with myself and my people, often. If things get too loud, I embrace silence. With every change, I pay attention to how I feel, giving space for processing and questions. I give energy to the things I can control releasing the things I can’t to a zoom chat game of Cards Against Humanity. I look for places I can provide value and fall in line when folks like the Red Beans Krewe create a system of positive impact. None of what we’re going through is normal. I don’t think I’ll get tired of hearing or saying, we’re in this together – because we are. Our honesty in this moment will continue to shape tomorrow.