Zen Darling Shiva Rose

By Rebecca Wadey
Shiva Rose. Picture / Jamie Beck.

Actress, wellbeing blogger and natural skincare alchemist Shiva Rose is led into Venice Beach’s Cafe Gratitude by her huge belgian shepherd, Luna. Swathed in a floaty white dress and oblivious to the crowds that part before them, she is both regal and beautiful. Of part Iranian descent, Shiva is Hollywood through and through. Although acting is no longer her main passion, it was a divorce from actor Dylan McDermott (with who she has two children) that paved the way for her primary passion, the formation of her blog, The Local Rose, which launched in 2011.

You got your start in acting?
Yes, I was an actress for many years. That industry's very challenging on your self-esteem. Part of me will always love that storytelling aspect. But about seven years ago I wasn't working as much as an actress and I was getting divorced. I had health issues, and my life sort of was breaking. I know people would say breaking apart but I think it was breaking open, because it forced me to make major changes.

To help my health and to give me the strength to raise my daughters (now aged 19 and 10) I went down the path of holistic living and I started the blog to document that. It was like following some inner guidance, I didn’t know what it would lead me to but I trusted it would reveal itself. When you’re going into that world of healing, you start investigating things that are going to make you feel good and feel better. And then one thing leads to another . . .

The blog gave me the chance to meet people outside of the acting world, incredible artisans and people rocking the holistic path. I was always like a nerd that way, I love researching, like right now I’m researching the medicinal values of mushrooms for a blog post. It makes me so excited.

When you launched your blog five years ago there can't have been too much else out there like it?
You know it's interesting, I don't think there was. I feel like I've always lived this sort of life in a way, I always felt like a kind of weirdo, or too hippie, among some people. But I feel like the world's now embracing things I've been doing for a long time. I always made my own face oils, and I've always eaten organic — the things I did naturally are sort of in the mainstream now, which is exciting. I remember years ago meeting blogging agents, who said my site was too left of field. But now, within just a short amount of time it's becoming more mainstream. I'm so grateful for it.

How did the skincare line come about?
About three or four years ago I saw it in a kundalini yoga meditation. This face oil that I'd made for myself, I realised people wanted it. Oils were finally being rediscovered in the world, and so I started with just the face oil, and now I have a whole line, I split my time between that and the blog. Kundalini yoga has been such a saving grace for me, it's changed my life in a big way. I'd been dabbling in it for more than 15 years, since my older daughter was a child. But I've only been diligent about doing it daily in the past five years, since launching the blog.

Do you have a regular morning routine?
When I wake up I'll put on my rose water, I do coconut oil pulling and if I'm really good that day I'll do hot water and lemon. But sometimes I just bypass that and do my kundalini set for about 10 minutes. Then I make living tea, which I'm addicted to. It's tea that's not been touched or processed, it's straight from 100-year-old trees in Taiwan, it's like the Zen form of drinking tea where it connects you to nature. And I try to do this all before I have to get my daughter ready for school. I try to do some and then come back and do the rest later, it's hard when you have children and animals. They need us too.

And crystals are another passion?
Yes I love crystals, I use them in my work when I'm making my products, I cleanse them by the moon. I really feel their healing properties. And I've been doing Jade egg practices recently too. Jade is such a powerful stone. Known as Dragon's Tears in ancient China it takes away negativity and brings you fortune and abundance. Plus it's very healing. So you put the jade egg inside your yoni [vagina] and activate yourself from the inside out. It's kind of incredible.

Plans for the future?
The thing I'm working on now is pleasure. In our society, or at least here in the States, pleasure is sort of frowned upon. We don't take time for it. And also, all these things give me pleasure, I enjoy my greens and my kale, but I feel like we're becoming too neurotic. Maybe that's the one bad outcome of being out here [in LA], you know we're becoming too obsessed with it. I do think good wine and good pasta is just as important.

• The Cafe Gratitude ‘Question of the Day’ was ‘what is wonderful about your life?’ — ‘This’ replied Shiva, gesturing ethereally.

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