On the feeds of her lifestyle site, The Monarch Mag, Alison Goodwin was the Instagram-friendly social media star giving us a view from her life as a yoga-loving mom of two littles. Today, her Instagram handle has changed to @agoodwinlife and on it, she’s still chronicling her life as yoga-loving mom, however now she’s flying solo. After a life trajectory that brought her from a decade of curating her own gallery to full-time mom and then a work-from-home mom when she launched Monarch Mag, her longstanding entrepreneuri
“I got a small tattoo of a heart when I turned 40. I know it’s not super original but my mom has always told me I wear my heart on my sleeve. I got it after my divorce and it’s a reminder that no matter what I’m going through I’m always going to wear my heart on my sleeve.
When my marriage ended, it was extremely difficult. I experienced a lot of anxiety which felt foreign after having so much control over my life and my emotions. Looking back, I realize I was having a difficult time living in the moment throughout all the turmoil and change. Beautiful things had come from the life I had been living – my kids, unbelievable travel, a dream home that I built with love and a relationship that I had so much hope for. I spent so much mental energy thinking about what my life would look like in 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years. With this change, the intensity and lack of control was giving me panic attacks and I thought, ‘I have to get a grip here.’
Then one day while I was driving I felt an attack coming on and I finally reached back to my 20-year-old self to get through it. After years of going to yoga classes, I had this a-ha moment to just breath and it slowed down my thoughts and really helped me calm down that day and every day since. I lived in LA during my early 20s and I studied with [Power Yoga founder] Bryan Kest. He would start every class with clearing our minds to slow down any racing thoughts. When I was younger, I had no idea what he meant because it was so easy for me to be present. Now, stopping to breath was making an impact I never really understood before. I had this epiphany that I could take my wellness into my own hands and maybe even do it without anxiety medications, which the thought of taking was making me panic even more.
After 6 months of being on my own again, I started a 200-hour-2-month intensive yoga teaching training course. It was an unbelievable physical, mental and emotional experience for me. A lot of my anxiety unravelled and I met new people that embraced it all with me. It was such an important part of my journey; it exposed my feelings and my resilience.
What have I learned after all this? Divorce doesn’t happen overnight. For a while, it’s incredibly unsettling while you try to decide to go through it or not. That’s normal and I think you have to go through that stage because it’s not black and white and it’s such a huge decision. Everyone’s stories are different and everyone’s reasons are different, and whatever stage you are in, just take it one day at a time and seek small milestones as opposed to big ones. For me it was trying my best to be present in each moment, taking the occasional conscious break from social media (where we tend to follow everyone’s highlight reel) and most importantly focusing on a few personal goals that had nothing to do with my children or being a mother.
Today I think, ‘wow this is my life—I’m a single working mom with two kids’. I actually had that thought the first night the kids and I spent in our new home together. I’m not going to lie—it was hard walking away from what I thought was my dream house. But it feels so much better to start something new after being in a period of wondering what to do next for so long. As difficult as divorce is, there can be beautiful things on the other side once you put one foot in front of the other, find patience and perseverance and remind yourself this is your story. I am remembering my authentic self in this new chapter and simply being me and it turns out, that’s not so bad.”
“I bought this work at Art with Heart just after my best friend’s wedding in Vegas and this scene on the strip will forever remind me of her big day.”
“I’m a cookbook junkie and I’ve reconciled being a foodie with being healthy. I know how to enjoy food in moderation, I still enjoy decadent things but while realizing things like if I’ve had carbs and bread with breakfast, I try to eliminate them in my lunch.” The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson, My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow and 3 Times A Day by Marilou.
On her bedside, Milk & Honey, a collection of poems by Rupi Kaur. “My cousin bought me this just after I went through all my changes; she wrote the nicest inscription inside it. I always keep pages 38 and 39 marked.”
Her daily essentials: Wool felt hat, Rag & Bone, and shoulder bag, Hermés.
She shifts from slippers (her latest obsession are these from Glerups made of Gotland sheep wool from New Zealand)…
…to her current go-to heels with ease. Velvet boots, Prada.
She has an inside-out ethos to her beauty routine, whether it’s a drop of lemon essential oil (her faves are from doTERRA) in water (it’s an internal cleaning machine) or a daily dose of Age Quencher Hydrate Beauty Electrolyte to perk up thirsty skin.
She wears pearl earrings bought in Pienza, Italy a few times a week. “I’ve spent so much time in Italy so these are special reminders of my summers there. The ring is designed by Erin Tracy; I’ve known her since high school. The person who gave it to me knew we knew one another but he didn’t tell her that it was for me.”
“I love this watch; it’s such a classic and I and wear it most days. It was a birthday gift from about 8 or 9 years ago.” Watch, Rolex.
“I purchased this at the Design Exchange Auction in Toronto. The photographer, John Rawlings, was one of the most important shooters of the Condé Nast publishing house. This was the first work I purchased as a single mom so it was a pretty significant piece for me with my life going through so many shifts.”
“My kids and I call this the bear cave piece and we pretend there is a bear inside that little shack.” Artwork by Kim Dorland at Angell Gallery.
“I love that this combines the hair silhouettes of Basquiat and Warhol, two geniuses from the art world.” Artwork from Daniel Faria Gallery.