#5MinutesWith Bianca Lawson

The eternally-youthful, Bianca Lawson, has been in show business for over 30 years, acting since the age of nine.  She currently stars in Ava Duvernay’s critically acclaimed series QUEEN SUGAR (OWN), as Darla.  A few of her most memorable appearances include the cult series’ BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, DAWSON’S CREEK, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER, TEEN WOLF as well as the feature film SAVE THE LAST DANCE opposite Julia Stiles.
I had the pleasure of hanging with Bianca late last year in LA, and talking all things inner and outer beauty, and so I can testify- she is absolutely just as gorgeous in-person, both inside and out.  No cap, no filters, all Love. In our #5minuteswith interview, she shares her beautiful book stack, her super-effective and grounding morning rituals, and her biggest life lesson learned thus far! Check it out!
On her morning routine…
I’m a huge water drinker so I’ll start my day with a large glass of water and then tea to wake up. 
I’ve been building a mindfulness practice. There’s a wonderful book called “Good morning, I love you.” In it, there’s an exercise where when first waking up in the morning, you place your hand on your heart and take a moment to simply feel the connection; receive this tender gesture of self care. And say to yourself “Good morning, I love you, [your name].” So every morning I greet myself with “Good morning, I love you Bianca.” There really is something very magical and soothing about it. I’ll also send this gesture of love out to anyone that comes into my mind that morning.
There’s also a Reiki technique called ‘Kenyo ku ko’ or ‘dry bathing’ where while still lying in bed you brush your hands, starting at your shoulder diagonally down, across your body on both sides and then down your arms to invigorate the energy and brush off any stagnant, stuck energy. It clears you so that you can be present and grounded. 
Some mornings I meditate. Before the quarantine, I did a weekend intensive where you get a personal mantra and the whole thing. When I was doing it consistently it made a huge difference; I’ve definitely slipped since quarantine. Otherwise, I’ll listen to a guided meditation or positive affirmations and set an intention for the day. I’ll write down things that I’m grateful for and journal. 
And sometimes I’ll listen to binaural beats or any kind of music that makes me feel good. I very much believe in the healing power of sound.
I’ve been working with Tarot. Learning it. So I’ll pull a card for the day and research it while also intuitively feeling into the message it has for me. It’s been scarily accurate and it’s also just a very relaxing practice for me in general. There’s something very comforting about it to me. I enjoy this alternate form of communication.
One thing that I lost while social distancing is exercise. I’m someone that needs to move my body for mental health. I’ve done some dance video workouts and I also have “The Mirror”, but I’ve been dying to get out of the house to exercise. I went for a hike yesterday and it was heaven to workout in nature! 
And then it’s returning emails, text messages, phone calls etc.
I’m not a breakfast eater.
On successfully becoming the BEST, #OrangeJuiceFresh version of herself– #Bianca2.0…
Awww thank you! I’m not feeling particularly fresh right now lol. I TRY not to let things that I have no control over stress me out. Acceptance and optimism is key. I’m a very hopeful person. Even during the darkest of times, something in me always feels that there’s a blessing around the corner. The people you surround yourself with, is very important. Good energy. Kind people. What I eat has a tremendous impact on how I look and feel. My diet has been ATROCIOUS while sheltering in place. My goal right now is to get back on track with that. Positive self-talk is important. It’s so easy for us to get in our heads and start spinning about everything and nothing. Especially the past, which we have no control over. And simplicity; the simpler I keep things, the more peaceful I am. That goes for everything.. Beauty products, hair products, my environment, decisions. I’m still working on setting better boundaries, not feeling guilty about cutting something/ someone off if it’s not in my highest good, or is just simply draining me. And I’m an intensely curious person, always learning, seeking new experiences, trying my best to be courageous regardless of the outcome. I’m always trying to move forward in all ways while still being patient and compassionate with myself. Just showing up and trying is the win. Perfection doesn’t exist. For me, being of service in some way, doing things for a higher purpose beyond my own ego, vanity or personal gain, I believe enlivens the spirit. And practicing energetic ethics- leaving people and situations better than I found them.
On her biggest life lesson learned…
Let. It. GO. And absolutely trust your gut over all else. Sometimes things aren’t logical or rational, but your intuition always knows. Don’t care what other people think. If it feels right to you, go for it with abandon. There’s nothing worse than regret. 
On her current read…
This is what’s currently by my bed. I sometimes revisit books, read based on my mood, several at a time, just beginning, or “studying it”: 
Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom- Rachel Pollack
Holistic Tarot- Benebell Wen
Winning Through Enlightenment- Ron Smothermon
The Three Body Problem- Cixin Liu
Kafka at the Shore- Haruki Murakami
All About Love- Bell Hooks
The Pocket- Thich Nhat Hanh
Tar Baby- Toni Morrison
Hunger- Roxane Gay
Reflections on the Art of Living- Joseph Campbell
On how she’s staying centered during this time of social distancing…
It was fine in the beginning and then I hit a little bit of a wall. Staying connected to friends and family has been huge. Remote Reiki sessions have been helpful. Getting lost in ‘story’, whether that be through film, TV, books, audio books, podcasts etc.. And I just started therapy again over video chat. I wanted the routine and container and accountability of it. It’s also nice to have someone outside of your normal life to be completely transparent with who has a very clear understanding of what your goals are and will be completely honest with you. And studying/ practicing all of the different esoteric things that I’m interested in. Spiritual self-care if you will.

Show Bianca Lawson some love in the comments!