Street Views: Los Angeles
Against the shine of Hollywood, it’s easy to forget millions of people call Los Angeles home. Here, local resident and holistic life coach Ryan Willms shows us the city through his eyes and shares his tips on wellbeing.
‘Los Angeles offers the chance to make your own life. Whether socialising or staying home, from the ocean to the mountains, you can really create your own version of the city — more so than any other place I’ve lived. Often a city can imprint itself on your lifestyle, but in LA you can create the lifestyle you want.’
‘As I’ve jumped more deeply into spiritual and emotional well-being, I felt compelled to share the journey I’ve been on and the lessons I continue to learn on Into the Well. I was hopeful that my own journey would resonate, while also giving me the opportunity to learn more about myself and be vulnerable in the process.’
‘Be patient! It’s hard to fall in love with LA on your first visit. It’s sprawling, slow-moving and there’s plenty to distract you from the beautiful landscapes, people and nature. I describe it as a bunch of small towns that overlap. It’s when you find your own path that it feels like home, and its subtle beauty can present itself.’
‘For me, the most peaceful place is the beach north of LA. From Santa Monica to Malibu, the coastline is beautiful, and the air and sea are really refreshing. I always feel more at peace near the ocean.’
‘One of my favourite places to visit is the Noguchi Garden. The more I’ve got into touch with my true self, the more respect I have for Noguchi and his incredible sensitivity to natural beauty and nature. His work feels so organic and subtle.’
ON PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH
‘Without a doubt in my mind, physical and mental health are connected. If you think about a human being, it would be impossible to separate the physical body from our mental body, or from our emotional body. They are all connected, and we need to tend to them all in order to find balance in our lives.’
‘So much of self-care is self-love. It’s easier said than done, but we can all try and learn to be gentle with ourselves, hold ourselves with compassion and to not only treat others how we’d like to be treated, but treat ourselves that way too.’
ON HIS EXERCISE HOT SPOTS
‘I tend to exercise more often and for longer when access is easy. I’ve found a couple of hills within blocks of my apartment for sprints, or I use Griffith Park for trails, the Silver Lake Reservoir for laps and then a couple of local parks for pullup bars. Recently I’ve been cycling as well, which has been a great way to explore Los Angeles and even see areas of Griffith Park that I’ve never seen before. It’s a great way to move, be outside and build community!’
‘Since the pandemic started, I’ve spent a lot of time at home but curating the space to support well-being has always been a priority. My apartment has great light, lovely features and feels nice to live in whether my partner and I are working, meditating, relaxing or exercising.'
‘My choice of activewear depends on whether I’m going for a run, doing strength and mobility training, or getting on a bike. I generally prefer a solid base layer and tights that fit well, have functional storage and feel good on my skin. In an ideal world, I’d be able to go outside and not wear a shirt to soak up some Vitamin D, but instead, a short-sleeve moisture-wicking top is often in the line-up.’
ON THE FUTURE
‘The more I learn, the more I realise that everyone is struggling in some way or another. Life is challenging and this year has been a pressure cooker. My advice is not to run away. There is a Lakota metaphor that says when a storm is coming, the bison gather shoulder to shoulder and face it head-on. The more we’re able to confront our fears and our feelings, the better we’ll come out the other side.’
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