The Artist + Plant Healer
There couldn't be a more perfect person to feature for my first Her Rx series. This series of powerful women are educators, advocates, lovers and healers. Bergen is all three plus so much more. I will never forget the first time I met Bergen and the first time I stepped foot into her home located in the sunset district of San Francisco. Instantly, you are captivated by her plant collection and unique art strewn across the walls. Her art is as just as unique as she is. Walk around and you'll see crystal coated bats, taxidermy, skulls, collages, bejeweled teeth, gold bones, and anything else that inspires her in that moment. When asked where the ideas for her art stems, she responded, "I like to make the weird and creepy, look pretty."
What I loved most about our interview was getting to smoke a j together and learn all about how she rescued almost all of her plants. Apparently people will throw away plants because of little bugs that destroy their leaves but Bergen told me that curing them with neem oil has always done the trick to bringing them back to life. I also loved hearing about how close she is with her family and how important self-care truly is to her. Bergen embodies love and blankets you the second you're in her presence. I hope you feel her energy radiating through her words below.
Where did you grow up? Detroit, Michigan
Where do you currently live? San Francisco, California
Your mission: To be kinder and more gentle to others and myself.
What led you to where you are? I have always just really trusted my gut and knew what I was supposed to be doing.
Current Mantra: Do no harm, take no shit.
What does being healthy mean to you? Being healthy to me means being self-aware. Self aware of what I say, do, eat, where I am and especially what I think and why. Being healthy is to know myself and have body and mind in harmony.
What does happiness look like to you? Enjoying the shit out of everything life hands me.
How do you find balance? Forgiving myself often.
Exercise of choice: I take full advantage of living by the beach and love to go running with headphones and totally zone out. I also love HIIT workouts, especially when I am angry or frustrated. It helps me put that energy into something beneficial to my health and I feel great mentally afterwards.
What does a healthy day of eating look like to you..
Breakfast: Oatmeal with bananas and homemade blueberry almond milk
Lunch: Avocado toast with tomato, hemp seeds, and garlic salt
Dinner: Usually a super random concoction out of whatever veggies I have in my fridge
Drink: Water with lemon
What is your favorite thing to eat/cook? I love making vegan soups.
Food philosophy in one sentence: Eat real food and make yourself things from scratch as often as you can.
What are your beauty secrets? I always keep a jar of raw honey in my shower and wash my face with it, especially older honey that has crystallized is great for exfoliation.
Beauty routine? I don't have much of a routine, but my grandmother used to tell me that every morning when she woke up she would look at herself in the mirror and wink. I secretly do it sometimes and it really makes me feel good about myself.
What is your favorite…
Smoothie: I make a mean vegan chocolate almond milkshake
Local place to eat: Judahlicious
Grocery store to shop: I try to buy mainly from farmer's markets or smaller businesses but I could spend all my money at Whole Foods. Sprouts is upping their game too.
Drink of choice: Shorts Soft Parade, my favorite beer of all time.
Splurge: I buy really good food.
Article of clothing: I really love my butt so I have a pair of jeans that just make me feel luscious.
Life-Changing Book: The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Music: Madlib and Guru
Concert you’ve been to: GEORGE CLINTON FOREVER
Artist: Henry Roussea
Travel destination: Anywhere in the Caribbean.
Tourist spot: There is something about the Golden Gate Bridge that makes me feel good.
Way to travel: Road trip!
Adaptogen/Herb: I always keep an aloe vera plant growing in my house. I love to use it on my skin and I think it helps with scarring. Reishi mushrooms also really help me relax.
Plant: I love orchids, they are super temperamental and grow in crazy variations.
Flower: Cockscomb, they look like brains!
Terpene: beta-caryophyllene, I'm an indica gal and like the body buzz and love that clove-y smell.
Crystal: Cuprite; I am always attracted to warm colors, and my uncle has a giant one and I have always thought it was the coolest thing I have ever seen.
Ritual: I love making my tea/coffee in the morning. I have also made a ritual out of watering my plants, I actually talk to them sometimes, or sing terribly.
Healer: Myself, always. Others have definitely influenced my healing process but at the end of the day, no one really understands what you need to heal and mend traumas.
Natural remedy: Lemons and honey cure everything.
Who do you look up to for inspiration? My grandmother, she is so badass and she just really adores herself. She is so unapologetic about who she is and is so kind to everyone she meets. She constantly surprises me and makes me excited to be like that when I am her age. I also really look up to my dad, he is one of the smartest people I know and he inspires me to keep working my ass off and help people.
What does being a woman mean to you? Never having to define myself.
What’s the most important advice to women? Know yourself, love yourself, trust yourself, be yourself and always help a sister out.
Advice to your younger self? Keep it up cutie!
Advice for success? Re-evaluate often.
Money advice? "treat yourself"
What are you grateful for? EVERYTHING, ALWAYS. The present moment, my arms, legs, ears, eyes, mouth and my health. I woke up this morning in a home that I love with all my plants and electricity and water that I can drink from the sink. I am grateful I can create and say whatever I want. I am grateful for my siblings and my mom and my dad, all my friends and people that have challenged me. Everything I have seen and done, everything I have eaten, being able to have feelings, even death is strangely something to be grateful for. I know I am so blessed and try not to take anything for granted.
How do you nourish your mind? I love reading about food and plants and the environments and how they all correlate to one another. I think creating is mentally beneficial, especially around others, to learn new techniques and feel inspired.
Products you swear by: Moroccan oil, solely on the smell.
Best way to unwind: A perfectly rolled joint.
What keeps you grounded? Focusing on everything that I am thankful for and knowing that the world quickly moves on and is constantly guiding us and forcing us to evolve and move with it.