Jolene Hart is the author of the new book Ignite Your Light: A Sunrise-to-Moonlight Guide to Feeling Joyful, Resilient, and Lit from Within. She also has written the Eat Pretty series, and is a health coach and former magazine beauty editor. She lives near Philadelphia.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Ignite Your Light?
A: Ignite Your Light was first conceived around the shared answer to three separate questions that I had been exploring in my personal and professional life.
The first is that universal question around beauty: What creates the vitality and magnetism that we perceive as beauty?
The second comes from my own journey with chronic illness: how could I better support and optimize the healing process in my body— beyond eating well, resting, etc.?
And the third is the question of how we can contribute to higher good in our lives and in our world, at a time when there is so much fear, pain, and division.
I believe the answer to all three has to do with how we consciously create our personal energy, which became the foundation for this book.
Q: Why did you decide to organize the book by the times of day?
A: I’ve always felt that different moments of the day have a noticeable effect on our personal energy; the foundation for this is rooted in the circadian clock.
The book looks at 13 major influences on personal energy—including relationships, interior spaces, breath, movement, spirituality, and food— that you can use to spark a shift in your energy over the course of one day, and over time.
I wanted the reader to put herself or himself into their own daily routine when considering how these energy influencers cast influence day to day, and arranging the book by time of day felt like the perfect way to do that.
I also love the powerful imagery of light, dark, outward and inward that accompany the sun and moon, not to mention the major role that all of nature plays in our energetic health.
Q: You write, "Your energy is the power source for your inner light." What is your definition of energy, and of inner light, and how do you see them working together?
A: Unlike the metabolic energy that powers your morning workout, your personal energy is the feeling your presence conveys. Your personal energy is you—it introduces you before you speak a single word. And that energy creates the light that you feel in yourself and that you shine into the world.
I think energy is an essential, yet overlooked, element in beauty, healing, and happiness—across races, cultures, and life experiences.
The energy that you possess and the light that it powers can strengthen positivity, success, and joy; reflect beauty and vitality; support health, and help you thrive amid the varied chapters and challenges of life.
Q: You also include recipes in the book. How did you choose them?
A: Food has a huge influence on energy, foremost in the quality and quantity of nutrition it delivers. But your relationship with food and the way you feel while preparing and eating it also influence its overall energetic effects.
The recipes in Ignite Your Light were created with the goal that you will experience their energy—in the food prep process, in the freshness and color of their ingredients, in the tastes and smells they produce—and watch how it affects your own.
A recipe like the Sunday Morning Ginger-Apple Fritters produces slow, meditative energy as you peel apples and fill your home with the smell of baking treats.
The Coconut-Raspberry Love Bites lets you create handmade snacks filled with love.
And the Wild Salmon with Apricots and Honey is meant to feel as joyful and decadent as it is nourishing at the end of a workday.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’ve just finished a companion journal to Ignite Your Light called Shine On that will be released in October 2020.
It features many of the journaling prompts that I use with my coaching clients to encourage them to reflect on their own energy and brainstorm ways that they can light themselves up to feel healthier, happier, and more resilient.
Our ability to use energy as a tool for wellness begins with reflection, and journaling is one of my favorite ways to step back and reflect in a busy world where there are few opportunities to pause.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: I found that taking control of my energy and mobilizing it as a positive force for healing made big changes in the way my body felt while helping me endure the darkest years of my chronic illness.
My energy was the one thing I could control, and it really helped me take back my power to lead my own healing and find moments of joy during a very dark time.
Right now we’re faced with a giant collective challenge and the energy we choose for ourselves is so important as we determine our way forward. We all have this superpower to control our energy, and it’s a big part of our story, now and always.
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--Interview with Deborah Kalb