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The Rise of Herbal Wellness & Advocacy for Holistic Self-Care

Meet Natalie Bonner, the CEO of Blue Lotus Creations Herbal Emporium, LLC, Founder of the Cannabis Festival Mississippi, LLC, and Founder of Blue Lotus Social Equity Investment Group, LLC.

Natalie's journey to becoming a trailblazer in the self-care space began when she launched Blue Lotus Creations Herbal Emporium, LLC. in Biloxi, Mississippi. Her company offers a range of high-quality, organic cannabis products to promote relaxation, relieve pain, and improve sleep. But her work didn't stop there. She also founded the Cannabis Festival Mississippi, LLC, which aims to educate the public about the many benefits of cannabis and promote a more positive image of the plant. Natalie's dedication to promoting self-care and wellness has earned her widespread recognition and acclaim. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets and podcasts, where she shares her expertise and insights with others passionate about self-care and cannabis.

For Natalie, self-care is rooted in the art of caring for oneself, which she has learned through meditation, journaling, being comfortable alone with oneself, and reciting mantras. As she entered her 60s, Natalie prioritized longevity, overall health, and wellness. She believes in the power of wellness, the ability to empower oneself through proper allocation of self-care, and the power of the mind. "As an aging woman, my longevity, overall health, and wellness are a priority," she said. "I have more years behind me than in front of me. I am not trying to feel like I am 20 or look like I am 30; I am trying to feel and look good for the age that I am. The use of plant medicine to care for me has become my new normal."

Because she enjoys living a full, hectic, overcommitted life, Natalie said she's meeting many women in her age group trying to make the most of "it's my time to shine."

"My part in helping them shine is sharing my wellness regiment," she said. "Sharing with others who want to age well, and live robustly, unapologetically silver, and disobedient to societal norms for the aging woman in her 60s. It sounds cliché, but the implementation of self-care creates a state of well-being—a state of joy. You must find joy in simply being you, with all your perfect imperfections that make the hot mess that is you. My understanding of this has impacted me to just be me in a world where many want to be someone other than themselves."

Natalie said her journey with self-care has led her to incorporate plant medicine into her daily life – specifically cannabis.

At Blue Lotus Creations Herbal Emporium, a health and wellness apothecary, Natalie provides consultations and product recommendations to customers seeking alternative medicine for their self-care. As a trusted agent, she intimately understands the importance of taking care of herself, which has contributed to an increased customer base. Her journey with self-care and sharing things that have worked for her has led to recommendations to others based on their experience and satisfaction with the service she provides. Because of her passion for using cannabis for wellness and the Cannabis Festival Mississippi, which she launched last year, Bonner has become known as a trailblazer in the cannabis industry who's changing the game for self-care enthusiasts everywhere.

"If it wasn't for the stigma and dogma surrounding cannabis, as well as employment concerns, I do believe more people would add cannabis to their holistic wellness regiment," she said. "Especially once they understand they do not have to endure a psychoactive experience to benefit from cannabis usage. This is where education is essential."

Despite the accolades, Bonner's focus remains the basest level of human existence – finding the joy in simply being your imperfect self.

She said she was recently reminded of that importance when she failed to prioritize self-care. Bonner said she's blessed to have a secluded cabin on the outskirts of Atlanta when she needs to get away from it all.

"This is where I go to simply be still," she said. "I live a very fast-paced life. I am committed to many activities of great importance to me. As a result, my bandwidth is stretched, and my battle rhythm is fast-paced, which often causes me to push through feelings of mental and or physical fatigue. I have come to learn that life whispers to you before it screams. My recent inclination to push through almost had me at a point of mental breakdown. I woke up on a Sunday morning, loaded up my Jeep, and headed for the woods of Fairburn, GA. Our cabin sits in the middle of a 14-acre plot. In our cabin, we literally have a queen-size blow-up mattress, a few linens, a few towels, necessary toiletries, a stocked kitchen, a single table, a few chairs, a treadmill, a Bluetooth speaker, and a small television. After a week in a minimalist environment surrounded by nature, my battery is reset until the warning trigger. Every instance of self-care leads to a positive impact on your life. It can't be separated. Self-care is well-being. It is the foundation of a life well lived."

Natalie encourages others to prioritize self-care by understanding the importance of scanning their environment to understand what influences their daily choices and priorities. She also recommends starting small, with just five minutes of sitting in silence each day. Over time, you will be amazed at how just five minutes of attention to yourself can invigorate you.

Natalie's advocacy for cannabis and her herbal wellness business models are symbiotic. Being well-versed in the medicinal benefits of cannabis and her plant medicine holistic alternatives allows her to engage in a dialogue with those interested in utilizing cannabis as a therapeutic alternative. Additionally, for those with personal convictions or circumstances preventing their use of cannabis, Natalie can engage them in discussions and recommendations that best suit their wellness/personal care needs. Often, she spends much of her time breaking down stereotypes about cannabis.

"Cannabis is such an amazing perfect plant," she said. "I truly hate that I didn't understand its efficacies until late in life. It is the perfect lock and key for our human body construct."

Bonner said cannabis is a complex plant with over 400 chemical entities, of which more than 100 are cannabinoid compounds. Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals that interact with cannabinoid receptors present mainly in the brain. These are inhaled or ingested orally. These drugs affect the cardiovascular system of the body. They affect brain areas that influence pleasure, pain, memory, thinking, concentration, movement, and coordination. They interact with the body's Endocannabinoid System, responsible for various physiological and cognitive processes.

The health and wellness of one's endocannabinoid system are foundational elements of wellness.

"If it wasn't for the stigma and dogma surrounding cannabis, as well as employment concerns, I do believe more people would add cannabis to their holistic wellness regiment," she said.

"Especially once they understand they do not have to endure a psychoactive experience to benefit from cannabis usage. This is where education is essential. We offer educational sessions to seniors on cannabis efficacy. Baby Boomers are aging, and they are seeking holistic methodologies and medicines to increase longevity and quality of life. These methods encompass herbal medicines, lifestyle changes, and self-care."

In the future, Natalie sees the self-care industry evolving towards a more holistic living environment and alternative medicinal aids. People are seeking a sense of unity and a stress-free vibe. The holistic wellness communities are thriving because wellness brings a synergy of collectiveness, balance, calm, and nourishment of the body and the mind.

When asked how she encourages others to prioritize self-care, Natalie stresses the importance of controlling one's environment and thoughts. She also emphasizes the need for individuals to recognize that it is okay to be selfish and prioritize their well-being. As the self-care industry continues to evolve, Natalie sees her business fitting into that evolution by providing education and support to those seeking holistic wellness and alternative medicine. She is particularly passionate about educating seniors on the efficacy of cannabis as a medicinal alternative.

Natalie's story and her contribution to the self-care space are inspiring. Her commitment to self-care and holistic wellness is a shining example of how prioritizing one's well-being can positively impact all aspects of life. As the self-care movement continues to grow, individuals like Natalie will continue to lead the charge, encouraging others to prioritize their health and wellness above all else.

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