Meet Jennifer Rose Goldman - She is the founder of mood-balancing beauty and lifestyle brand Essential Rose LLC and an expert in self-love and self-care.
Tell us about the two-year long therapeutic journey you took at age 15. What did you learn about yourself?
My two-year long therapeutic journey started shortly after I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression when I was 15 years old. Academically I was doing fine, in AP classes, getting my work in on time, etc, but internally I was a mess. My parents were very worried about me and as extreme as it sounds, felt like I was a danger to myself. Really I had been suffering from depression and anxiety for my whole life. I believe that it was caused by a combination of things...partly my brain chemistry, my super hyper sensitivity, and my empathic nature...feeling and absorbing the weight of the world's problems, if that makes sense. I've always felt so much and I used to think this was a curse. It's so difficult to grow up as a sensitive woman in society! Now, I know it's a gift. But at the time, I was experiencing so much internally that I did not know how to handle and cope with. Things were going on at home, and also at school. People bullied me, spread rumors about me, and I really did not feel safe for the most part. I know so many people struggle with this and that's why I feel so called to do the work that I do, which I'll elaborate on below. My particular breed of self-destructive behavior included excessive drinking, smoking, cutting class, promiscuity. I was also addicted to the computer...AIM was a thing back then (I feel old lol). I was basically self-medicating through unhealthy things and obsessively seeking validation to know that I was normal and lovable and okay.
So when I was 16 years old, in the middle of my junior year of high school, my parents pulled me out (without my knowing) of school, hired a team of people to transport me to a wilderness therapy program and then completed my high school career at a therapeutic emotional growth boarding school. I was in the wilderness for 9 1/2 weeks, and at the boarding school for 19 months. The woods was exactly as it sounds -- I lived outside in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in winter, with nothing but a backpack, journal, clothing, sleeping tarps and a sleeping bag, and food. The whole program was a combination of hiking, group therapy, and individual therapy, and we were on the move almost every day or every other day from one campsite to the next. The boarding school was called "emotional growth," as it was geared to dive much deeper into the therapy aspect while also allowing us to complete our high school degrees.
I learned so much throughout these experiences, first and foremost I developed the metaphoric "tools" to be able to look inside at myself, to witness unpleasant things that I normally would've avoided, and to take accountability for my emotions and actions. I like to say that I basically achieved a PhD in "Emotional Intelligence" throughout the whole thing, because the whole process entailed therapy, workshops, and exercises that strengthened my self-awareness and understanding of the relationship between my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
I look at this point in my life as the start of my journey, because it was really the beginning of me doing the "inner work" to get to know myself in a real and deep way. From there, I became very aware of what triggers me emotionally, where my negative thinking comes from, how deep my negative self-perception goes, and how all of that is reflected in my behavior. It wasn't until I did this "work" that I could learn how to heal myself properly and achieve a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.
From there, I attended Skidmore College (class of 2013) and double majored in Philosophy and Religious Studies. I wanted to understand spirituality and human behavior and in the process completely refined my critical analysis skills and ability to write and communicate. Besides school, I basically created my own after school curriculum. I would drive into the town of Saratoga Springs, connecting with local yogis, healers, acupuncturists, mindfulness practitioners, and more. I wanted to understand all of their practices and develop my own practice. Eventually, I incorporated Essential Rose LLC (DBA Essential Rose Life) when I was a senior at Skidmore, and the concept was initially a "lifestyle tea company," with a set of teas for various moments throughout the college student's day. There was a "mid day pick me up" a "morning tea" a "study tea" "date tea" and more. After finding out how little Skidmore was willing to pay for each tea, I quickly discovered this was not the most feasible business plan :D.
Post College, I became 3-times 200-hour certified in Hatha, Vinyasa, and Kundalini Yoga. I also went through a Transcendental Meditation program and completed the 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course. Energy healing was also something I dabbled in; I became certified in Reiki Healing 1 and 2. It wasn't until I became a 300-hour Advanced Clinical Aromatherapist that I developed the Essential Rose Life mood-balancing beauty line as it is now.
You're the founder of Essential Rose LLC. Tell us about your company!
Essential Rose Life is a mood-balancing beauty and lifestyle brand. It basically integrates my entire mental health journey into a line of products and self-care practices that promote mental and emotional well-being. I really want to give back from my personal experience and support other people who may be feeling stressed, disconnected, and unempowered in their lives. Truthfully, I think we all undergo depressive and anxious tendencies, whether or not we have a certified mental illness. We all go through periods of time where we don't feel comfortable being ourselves, or we don't feel safe, nurtured or supported. I am speaking to those women specifically, letting them know that it's okay for them to be who they are.
Our product line includes a set of natural aromatherapy wellness oils, mists, and exfoliants for face and body. They are made with natural and organic ingredients and formulated from my 300-hour Certification in Advanced Aromatherapy. We use essential oils to support the mind, body, and emotions. They've been described as "bliss in a bottle," balancing your mind and emotions with every inhalation.
Our practices include self-care workshops, retreats, and educational programs that I host in person and in the future will be hosting virtually through online courses. They integrate all of the things I've learned from the wilderness to now to offer tools for emotional development and sustained well-being. It's very important to me that people realize that it's about a lot more than just products -- it's about a lifestyle and entering into a positive self-relationship.
We donate 1% of proceeds to StompOut Bullying, which speaks directly to my personal story and is my way of giving back. I know from personal experience the impact that bullying can have on mental health and I am so committed to spreading awareness about this and supporting other children who are suffering. Ultimately, we hope to donate more and to really expand the philanthropic side of Essential Rose Life.
What is your best advice to others on practicing self-care and making sure we are the best we can be?
Best advice on self-care: there is no one size fits all formula. Self-care, when effective, requires first and foremost self-awareness. If we can't be aware of who we are and what our minds and bodies need, then we can't take care of ourselves properly and the most authentically. So: do what feels good, create time for yourself to be alone, practice things that clear your mind and bring clarity to your thoughts and feelings, move your body, still your mind, eat nourishing foods, in whatever combination is the most right for you. In terms of being the best we can be, perfectionism blocks progress. So I want people to know they are already the best, already perfect. As long as you are taking steps, moving little by little each day, you're growing and in alignment with your best self. Trust that.