ELLEN NGUYEN

MAY artist of the month

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ELLEN NGUYEN
Mid-Wilshire, California
FOUNDER / OWNER of united other


Do you recall the moment UnitedOther was created? 
There were many levels of unfolding for UnitedOther. Before it was a name, there was a deep yearning in my soul to be of service and to be a full creative expression of kindness. If we’re speaking formalities, I think it was when I held the finalized box packaging for the incense ropes. I was still working full-time as a Creative Director for a cosmetics company and formulating incense blends at night and on weekends. It took a year of exploring to get to the point where I felt like I had something worth sharing. It didn’t feel real until I held the box with the logo on it, mainly because I ordered 4K boxes to get the best rate so there was no turning back from that point!

Your work goes beyond the scent, it's about a purpose. What's that process like?
While I was learning about the properties of the sacred elements in incense, I saw that they were burned for a specific purpose and ritual/ceremony work since the beginning of civilizations — that incense and the smoke were used to carry prayers to the cosmos. Incense was a spiritual tool for deeper connections to the Spirit realm and to the Universe. We live in modern times, so I wanted to be very focused with the incense experience. If I could formulate blends that had a clear focus, it would be more powerful in ritual. The five intentions were all things that every soul is working on — being present, living our true purpose, personal/partner intimacy, being one with the universe and releasing the day. These are all common threads that are woven together in making us feel whole.

 

Where in the city are you and what’s your favorite place to visit nearby?
I live in Mid-Wilshire, or, as I fondly say, “ in the middle of the mixx.” I’m in the middle of the Eastside and Westside. It makes it easy to go in all directions. My favorite place (partly because it’s so close) is LACMA. I love meeting friends there, conducting business or reading in the park there. I think energetically, the buildings contain so much art and creative expression that somehow I feel at home there (and a 10 min walk ain’t bad as well). Stargazing at the Griffith Observatory is also pretty magical, especially on warm summer nights. It’s like the stars fell from the night sky onto the city. I think of all the dreamers who are looking for their light and not realizing that they are cosmically cloaked every night. 

Do you get stressed? What ritual helps you get rid of it?
Uh, yes!! Being a solo business owner is being on a non-stop roller-coaster ride of emotions. With practice and understanding, I’m more aware of why I get stressed, or the deeper place of my need to do and achieve. I’m big on daily releasing rituals. A fourth of my day is releasing, half is being in the flow, and the rest is for sleep. Anytime I feel resistance or feel overwhelmed, I take a moment to breathe deeply, do a 20 min meditation, I burn my Intention Incense Papers, I walk my dogchild Marcel, or take an Epsom salt bath, etc. I didn’t always have a healthy practice of releasing, so I was unhappy and frustrated. We all need our own special rituals for releasing negative and stagnant energy. 

What is one thing The Cosmos are telling us this month?
Funny you ask! Well, we have 3 planets (Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn) all in retrograde for about 4 months. A retrograde means that a planet is paused and not moving forward in motion. People hear retrograde and go cray because things just don’t go as smoothly as we like. If it wasn’t for retrogrades, we wouldn’t release anything or truly learn what we need to learn! So currently, we are reflecting on how we view abundance, how we transform on a soul level and what lessons we need to complete. NBD. It’s powerful in a sense because we have to get REAL REAL about what really matters.

Four months down in 2019 and eight more to go. What’s ahead?
I hope to continue to grow and expand — business wise but also personally. Already a few branches have sprouted from the business tree which includes workshops and Natal Chart readings, so I hope to nurture them by showing up and being open to what unfolds. More importantly, to honor and have gratitude for the gifts I’ve been given. This thing called life is magical in that way — the more that I become open, the more the Universe opens for me. It’s when I try to grip or control that things become hard. I hope to travel to one new country each year and I have my eye currently on China!

CURRENT FAVORITES

Scent: Hinoki
Poet: Maya Angelou
Fruit: Lychee
Book: Untethered Soul by Michael Alan Singer
City: Cinque Terre, Italy


follow ellen at @unitedother and VISIT LENITA THIS MONTH to meet + purchase some of her products.