With laina miller
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.
Laina is an artist through and through. She was the thoughtful designer of the Values Deck, helping me find a way to visually represent the exercise I love so much. A custom illustrator with her own line, she combines beauty and intention in a way that adds goodness to the world. I loved her process of designing and I’m excited to know how her approach generalizes to her broader life.
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?
Compassion, Peace, Creativity, Authenticity, and Beauty.
Peace is a value that has served as a guiding force for me lately. I’m a newly single mom and there have been many moments over the past year where I was living in a state of fear. The stability of family, routines, and finances had shifted and this new phase of life was completely unknown. I had to relinquish my urge to control the future. Peace was like a litmus test that I ran all my decisions by. It strengthened my resolve. I found that what matters most for my daughter and I is not whether our life look and feel perfect, but that it's filled with peace.
What does a life well lived look like to you?
A life well lived is one that is authentic at its core; grounded in compassion for myself and others, and bolstered by my inner-knowing. I often think about what I’ll reflect on when this grand journey is all said and done. I believe that what will matter most is that I was in touch with my purpose and did my best to live that out fully, that I loved my family unconditionally, and that I was empathetic and kind towards others. That’s a life well-lived.
My version of success is…
To me, success is having the privilege to show up consistently for my daughter; instilling in her an innate sense of confidence and demonstrating the value of kindness and tenacity.
In what way are you seeking to grow right now?
I'm seeking to grow as a solopreneur and single mom. My sole focus is on creating a stable and fulfilling life. I honestly don't know many who embody these qualities. I'm actively looking, though! I'd love to find other women who connect to this unique set of responsibilities.
What is one way that you are different today than you were ten years ago?
I have so much more awareness. I now understand the concept of trusting myself and holding boundaries.
Setting aside modesty for a moment, what are you excellent at?
I'm excellent at listening and connecting deeply. I'm able to hold space for people and their truth and often find that acquaintances, whom I’ve only known for a short period of time, will open up to me and reveal thoughts, feelings, even secrets that they’ve never told their nearest and dearest. After personally enduring years of hurdles and trauma, I’ve developed a true aptitude for empathy and exude a sense of trustworthiness that isn’t so common nowadays.
Whose life perspective and way of moving through the world teaches you something about who + how you want to be?
Rev. angel Kyodo williams has opened up my view of transformation and her way of moving through the world gives me hope for collective change. She’s trained in the Zen tradition and focused on social evolution from a spiritual perspective. I’m super inspired by her view of building the “We” economy and feel so aligned with her outlook on the importance of love, justice, and inner change for social healing. It’s easy to feel hopeless with all that’s going on in the world. Her teachings encourage me to recommit to how I truly want to show up in this life every day.
Is there a quote or mantra you always come back to?
The incredible dancer & choreographer, Pina Bausch is quoted saying, "Your fragility is also your strength." and a mentor once said to me, "Your greatest asset is your own unique perspective." I've handwritten both of these quotes and hung them over my nightstand to come back to daily.
Can you share a book, podcast, or article that changed you in some way?
The Law of Divine Compensation, by Marianne Williamson completely changed my perspective on money, abundance, and prosperity.
What are you grateful for today?
I'm grateful for the optimism I feel for this new stage of life.
Laina Miller studio is a multidisciplinary brand shedding light on the therapeutic benefits art. Drawing from her career as a professional artist and designer, in combination with her own personal journey navigating inner trauma, Laina places equal emphasis on the process of creativity as well as the beautiful and intentional visuals we surround ourselves with.
Explore Laina’s work in addition to the variety of in-person and virtual Creative Wellness products she offers by clicking here.