January 22, 2021
Happy New Year, Shop Good gang!
Wow — what a start to the year! If you’re anything like me, you’re in great need of a good cleanse — physically, emotionally, and mentally! Good news: all month long we’ve been offering our tips and tricks to cleanse your life of all the craziness of 2020. That’s why I am so excited to introduce you to Cat Lantigua, founder of Goddess Council. She is passionate about wellness and community + has so much goodness to share with us about caring for our souls + cleansing emotionally.
SG: Tell us a little about who you are + your journey to becoming a wellness enthusiast.
Cat: Hi! My name is Cat Lantigua and I’m a first-generation Dominican-American facilitator and community architect based in Austin, Texas. I’m dedicated to building spaces that foster soul-centered conversations and connections! I’m the founder and CEO at Goddess Council, a wellness community and sisterhood for all women seeking new friendships, authentic connections, healing, and joy. I’m also the producer and host of the Chats with Cat podcast!
To be completely honest, I stumbled into the realm of wellness when I moved from Miami to NYC out of sheer desperation. The transition to NYC wasn’t the smoothest and after struggling with depression, anxiety, and loneliness I began to seek out wellness tools that’d make life easier. With this new found curiosity I integrated tools and wellness modalities like journaling, reciting mantras, yoga, talk-therapy, and a newfound appreciation for the healing elements embedded into nature. I haven’t looked back since!
SG: You are so open about your journey through navigating the nuances of community, identity, advocacy, self-care, and storytelling in your everyday life — what are two of the ways you prioritized mental wellness throughout that journey?
Cat: Journaling and talk-therapy are my go-to’s! I have to admit that for most of my life, mental wellness simply wasn’t a front of mind concept for me. I didn’t realize that the things I struggled with most of my life had a name or a category. I understood therapy to be a resource worth tapping into only during moments of crisis but over the past 2.5 years I’ve come to terms with the fact that there’s an unlearning process that must take place so that I can truly embrace the self-care practices that will keep me going. I now realize that my dreams are tethered to my mental health and self-preservation habits, so I’m more diligent and mindful.
SG: This past year took an unique toll on the mental health of our country — can you speak to the cultural moment and what you think we as humans need most right now?
Cat: Sigh, this really has been a tough time for many Americans-particularly for Black, Indigenous, and POC folks. I can’t speak to what everyone needs because we’re nuanced, but I believe it’s safe to say that we cannot move forward without a true sense of belonging and connection to a community we’re deeply integrated into. I think that the healing power of love and the impression that we’re really being cared for by other people will help us connect with the feeling of hope, purpose, and humanness!
SG: you call yourself a “community architect” — I love that! Can you share with us what that means to you?
Cat: For me, this means that I’m dedicated to bringing spaces to life that foster soul-centered conversations and connections.
SG: what are 3 ways we can all start implementing self-care and cultivate joy in our lives right now?
1. Integrate consistent social-media detoxes to ensure that you stay in touch with your own thoughts, feelings, and sense of being.
2. Explore in nature! Trust me, basking amongst trees, escaping noise pollution, and being able to take in deep breaths of clean air work wonders on the spirit.
3. Carve out some time to show up for you. This looks differently for all of us, but try committing to at least 2 things each day that you do just because it makes you feel good.
SG: how are you prioritizing the practice of emotional cleansing after a year like 2020 (& a rocky start to 2021)?
Cat: I’m embracing a slow living lifestyle. The only way I’m going to regulate after a year like 2020, an insurrection, and 4-years of a Trump presidency is to extend myself grace, avoid stressful situations, and lean into anything that promotes goodness in my spirit. During my day-to-day, this could look like me gardening, making myself a matcha latte, riding my Peloton bike, drinking smoothies, reading 4-6 books per month, writing letters, or FaceTiming my loved ones!
SG: What is your definition of success when it comes to your own wellness + community?
Cat: For me, the marker of success as a community architect is knowing that people’s lives are being impacted for the better because the space exists. Ultimately, I thrive when I can be of service and know for certain that my efforts are creating some level of impact!
I know that I’m succeeding in my wellness journey if I am consistently committed to ensuring that my toolkit is primed with the tools I can turn to when I need them the most, or that I remain committed to never give up trying to feel my best.
SG: Who is a woman who inspires you and why?
Cat: My Guela (aka grandma)! She’s in her 70’s now and consistently offers proof that good humans exist. She’s committed to showing up for her community in the Bronx, is a nourishing well of love and wisdom to anyone who meets her, and she’s always trying to be her best self.
SG: Just for fun, how do you take your coffee? If you don’t drink coffee, what’s your go-to drink of choice for a pick me up?
Cat: Lately I’ve been drinking expression with a teaspoon of brown sugar but on the days I’m feeling fancy, I indulge in a vanilla oat latte!
We’re wishing you all a peaceful + fresh feeling this month. As always, we’re so grateful you’re here.