WOMEN IN WELLNESS: Leah Ferrone
In this new series, we want to feature the women in our Dubois Beauty community who are wellness leaders. From local practitioners to national influencers, each woman reflects on their personal journey to wellness.
Dubois Beauty: Tell us who you are?
Leah: Hi, I’m Leah! I teach Mindfulness and Movement, mostly to children and moms. Getting to this point in my career was a curious journey, but no matter what role I’ve had, I was one of the first people to volunteer to start a “Wellness Club” or some other initiative to create a culture of wellbeing. The fact that I now have my own business (Brave Lion) where I get to share wellness tools feels like hitting the lottery of life.
When I’m not teaching, I love being in nature with my family. I do a version of yoga everyday and usually have about four books started at any given time. And I love music - most all music. Right now I’m on a Cat Stevens jag, but at any moment you check back, I could be rocking to Beastie Boys or Beethoven — who knows!
(Here is an eclectic collections of songs, any of which I would love to cruise to, window down on a sweet spring day.
My partner and I just celebrated our tenth marriage anniversary. I’m so grateful for the grounding and loving force he is in my life. We have two children, a son who is 7 and a daughter who is 3. They give us an opportunity to see the world through the wonder and awe of childhood, and we dive right in.
I grew up right here in Saratoga Springs, the eldest of five kids - - some of you might remember “ Lanci’s” the Italian restaurant my parents owned!
Dubois Beauty: How did you become so passionate about your work?
Leah: I feel so lucky to have grown up in a mindful home, with parents who encouraged and modeled many of the attributes of mindfulness such as; curiosity, flexibility, patience and acceptance. I’m immensely grateful for that foundation, and the radical presence and unconditional love both my parents offered each of us.
But one of the most defining moments in my life was during my freshman year of college, after having to take a year off because I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Being sick was hard, but being home when all my friends were in college was harder. That’s when my mom introduced me to a meditation school and I started exploring my own mindfulness practice. I was able to better manage my thoughts and feelings from a place of cooperation, trust and non judgment.
It was so transformative during that time in my life, and every. single. day. after.
Over the last 25 years these tools have been my faithful companion in life, and now as I navigate motherhood, I don’t know how I could live without them!
When I share these teachings with adults, I feel like I am offering them a true shift in their lives and wellness, like grabbing their hand and guiding them to the surface after being under the waves for a really long time.
And with kids, being able to help them nurture a loving self-awareness and offer them tools and strategies to navigate this big, big world, well, that’s the most fun and joyful place to be in the whole world.
Dubois Beauty: What’s one wellness practice have you found most changed your wellbeing?
Leah: No surprise here, my mindfulness practice! Throughout all the seasons of my life, that practice has looked different and I love that your practice can meet you right where you are.
At this stage in my life, mindfulness looks like gently managing my mind and nurturing my brain with so much loving self-awareness and compassion. It’s finding as many moments of stillness I can in my day; whether I’m waiting in line somewhere, or actually doing a formal meditation. Yoga is also a foundational piece of my practice.
And within all that, cultivating a playful, curious and child-like approach to life brings me so much wonder and joy - - which radiates into everything I am and do. It’s like the fountain of youth, literally.
But of course I must mention, I’m not this twenty-four seven blissed out person, there are days when I can be reactive and my mindfulness tools don’t feel within reach. But on those tough days, any moment I can slow down and pause is still a win.
Dubois Beauty: What would you say is your daily mantra right now?
Leah: Breathe, smile and go slowly.
Dubois Beauty: Tell us one fun fact that may surprise people about you.
Leah: I love Star Wars! I was born the summer A New Hope came out. Growing up, kids thought they were teasing me by calling me Princess Leia - but it was hardly a burn to me. What’s cooler than being the leader of the rebellion!
Dubois Beauty: What are your favorite skincare products these days?
Leah: Dubois is the beautiful intersection of nature and science with a holistic approach! My favorite thing about these products is how much they enhance the skin care routine.
There isn’t a detail missed with these products, from packaging, aroma as well as the feel of each products when applied and then throughout the day. I can feel myself truly relaxing into my skincare rhythm more with these products — a truly holistic experience. And a little goes a long way!
The serums are so smooth and luxurious, and they smell so great. I love taking a little extra time to massage them into my skin. After using them for just a week, my husband told my makeup looked great….but I wasn’t wearing any!
I’m completely in love with the Calm Mist; I have one in my bathroom and one in my everyday bag. Throughout my day, I use the mists as an opportunity to have a moment of stillness and relaxation. It’s like a mini meditation in a bottle!