With hatty j. lee
Welcome to Living Well — our bi-weekly spotlight on different women that we admire and find fascinating. Our goal is to share an intimate peek into these women’s lives by asking them the questions that allow them to open up about their imperfect truth, whatever that may be.
I wish that there were more therapists who create and innovate beyond the prescribed path of psychotherapy and I also often wonder why so many ignore the comfort and supportiveness of beauty in their theraputic offerings. Not Hatty though. She's a therapist who has used her expertise to create a stunning and special book, Indwell, which is a mental health guide as pretty as any art book you'll find. Beauty and creativity all wrapped up with incredibly useful information for self-care. I admire Hatty's cleverness, I love carrying Indwell in our shop, and I look forward to both knowing how she brings the same intentionality into her life as well as seeing what else she creates from here!
If you've done the Values Deck exercise, what are your top five values? Tell us how one of them manifests in your life. What is a decision you’ve made using it to guide you?
Peace, Beauty, Authenticity, Creativity, and Community.
I think Creativity is something that I discovered and learned to value more much later in life. It was always there, but in a dormant kind of way because it wasn't given a lot of value in my immigrant family experience. Plus, it's not a value that is often associated with being a psychotherapist even though it is so intuitively integrated with our work. Being able to rekindle my relationship with creativity has lead me to starting a lifestyle brand, Indwell, which integrates what I know as a psychotherapist in the wellness world and my passions for the arts, interior design, and creativity. It's what helped me co-create our first product with my friends, ReeJae (life coach/designer) and Eslee (visual artist), which is a coffee table book during a pandemic!
What does a life well lived look like to you?
It's definitely changed over the years and it feels as though it is constantly evolving with me. As of now, it's looked like some combination of less striving, more being who I am, expressing my creativity in ways that enliven me, doing life within a community of people that I love, and offering myself in some shape and form to make a difference in someone's life and the world at large.
My version of success is…
Being able to live a full, restful, and vibrant life where I am without the need to do/achieve more, have more, and go anywhere. It's the loving "being at home with myself" idea that I'm all about these days.
In what way are you seeking to grow right now?
Growth has looked really different for me this season. I've been learning to relearn how to rest without guilt, create new meanings around "doing nothing," slow down to enjoy my cup of tea everyday, and do less so that I can give myself the room to be more me and do more of the things that matter most to me - like spend quality time with my family and friends, lean into my creative work, write, and take responsibility where I can in my corner of the world.
What is one way that you are different today than you were ten years ago?
I notice less striving within me to become someone I am not or do something that I think would be seen as 'extraordinary' by other people. Instead, I'm leaning more into who I am. My choices feel much more aligned with my values and truths. One of the evidences of this is that my schedule isn't packed with a million things to do and people to meet. Ha! The extra 10 years have been good for me.
Setting aside modesty for a moment, what are you excellent at?
I'm excellent at intuitively seeing the gifts and possibilities within people and situations. It's what allows me to support the people I journey with to meet themselves deeply, heal, and truly live. It's also what helps me to create experiences collectively with others, whether it be a party, support group, wellness retreat, meaningful meal together around the table, or vacation itinerary (this is the one I get to benefit the most from, ha!).
Whose life perspective and way of moving through the world teaches you something about who + how you want to be?
No one specific comes to mind right now, except the few people in my community that I've come to intimately know. I think each person exposes an underdeveloped part within me and deepens my admiration for each person. Somehow being with each of them has intuitively helped me to be more kind, compassionate, considerate, hospitable, creative, inclusive, and less self-absorbed. I'm learning and growing everyday with the people I have the privilege of calling my community.
Is there a quote or mantra you always come back to?
"Less striving, more being."
Can you share a book, podcast, or article that changed you in some way?
I've been reading a book recently called "How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy," by Jenny Odell. The messages in this book has nourished and kept me grounded in my season of resisting my inclination to be more productive and push harder. It's been reminding me of the natural rhythms of my body to rest well, connect with nature, listen to my family more, notice the beauty around me, and live from a place of abundance and peace.
What are you grateful for today?
The little glimpses of autumn with the changing colors on my persimmon trees :)
Hatty is the Co-Founder of Indwell (@indwell_co), a lifestyle brand that is dedicated to making inner wellness within reach through mindful products and experiences that nurture the mind, body, and soul. She's also the Founder of a group psychotherapy practice called Oak and Stone Therapy (@oakandstonetherapy). Connect with Hatty personally on Instagram at @hattyjlee.