I was lucky enough to get to know Signe Nordstrom when I moved to her block in New York City over five years ago. I had known of her for years, mostly because she always seemed to get all the modeling jobs I wanted for myself! I finally met her at a casting one day, and the beautiful face I had seen on the pages, came to life, and in no small way. Part of me didn’t want to like her, but Signe has one of the biggest and brightest personalities I have ever known, and I couldn’t help but fall for her immediately. Signe is always teaching me lessons in personal development, and I admire the way she always strives to grow. From her yoga and meditation practice to her thriving modeling career and work with young girls, Signe is an inspiration. I”m so excited to introduce her as first of what I hope to be many outstanding women who share their secrets on how they do life.
Hi Signe. Where are you from, and where do you call home now?
I was born and raised on a organic farm in Sweden. These days I call New York and Gothenburg (Sweden) home and I split time between them.
You travel often, and I know how important it is to stay healthy with all of those flights. Would you share with us your self-care regimen?
Good sleep is a must, so I have little sleep rituals to put me in sleep mode wherever I am… Planes, a hotel or in a different time zone. It involves essential oils that smell lovely and are calming, melatonin tablets to regulate sleep patterns (melatonin is recommended by almost all doctors for people who travel across time zones, since melatonin is the hormone that tells the body it’s time to sleep), cashmere eye sleep masks to make sure it’s dark (I’ve read that lights that hits the eye immediately reduces melatonin in the brain), comfy socks for my feet and my big wrap around cashmere scarf that makes me instantly feel loved and cozy, like wrapped in loving arms. And then soft earplugs that block out noise.
Then when I wake up I always start with soft yoga, stretching and massaging in bed. I’ve noticed that the more exercise and especially yoga I do when I wake up the faster I can get over my jet lag. The body needs to move and get internally or externally massaged to soften the fascia and yoga is perfect for that.
I try to get in yoga wherever I am, and when flying, airports usually have these rooms for prayer or meditation. I’ve found them almost always empty and perfect for some yoga between flights!
You are a newlywed, congratulations! Can you tell us how you knew Tom was the one, and what you love about your relationship?
Lets just say I knew, when I saw that he possessed all these wonderful qualities I wanted in my future husband and father of my children. And I had a long list!
But the specific moment I knew (or hoped) Tom was the one when I saw how he interacted with kids. He was a pure natural with them: tender, sweet, caring and a natural leader. There is something intriguing I think with people who are very powerful, but completely without force. It comes from a place of love and from the heart, and that was something I had looked for in a man.
What I love about our relationship is how compatible we are! In Tom I have found that person that is my best friend with equal support and equal drive to push me when I need it (and most likely don’t want it, which makes it perfect for breakthroughs to happen).
You are a big fan of Landmark Education. What are the most valuable gems Landmark has instilled in you, and why should we give it a try for ourselves?
The most valued gem, Landmarks courses gave me, was the power to communicate and make miracles happen. I use it every day. And when we have the tools to communicate powerfully we are able to handle almost any situation. Turn a breakdown into success in the matter of seconds. Make any situation look bright and inviting. Handle any type of person that comes your way. Make your dreams come true effortlessly. How can that not be a gem?! It’s the best thing ever and have also given me a strong self confidence. You walk this planet with a different bounce in your step when you have tools like that in your pocket.
Landmark is for people who want to learn tools to create their dream life, or take it to the next level, or feel stuck and want to create a breakthrough, in any area of their life.
I’ve taken a lot of different self-development courses through the years, and their courses are of the most dynamic courses I’ve ever encountered.
You are one of the most vibrant and alive people I have ever met. It is so inspiring and magnetic. Can you tell us what excites you the most in life?
Getting rid of emotional baggage. Because the moment you feel you have let go of something that was weighing you down, there is a powerful surge of energy and pure joy! Sometimes that ecstasy lasts for years, sometimes for a few hours only.
I am constantly on an exciting journey of shedding old baggage. It is so much fun. I go to ashrams, climb mountains to meditate on top of, write journals, read inspiring books, search for gurus, get healing from interesting people, do breath-work, sing, dance, fast. Different things work at different times. And nothing beats the feeling of something heavy leave your body and a rush of your own pure bright light take its place, shining forth in the world.
I can’t help but mention your outer beauty also. You are a knockout, and I know among other exciting things you have recently modeled the lingerie collection for Fifty Shades of Grey. Can you tell us any of your beauty secrets or about your favorite products? Do you have any nutrition secrets for that incredible body?
Anyone who is happy and content is beautiful. No product in the world can beat that. I’ve seen people who have come out of a powerful breathwork session, look 20 years younger and a hundred times more attractive. An inner light, peace and love shines from the inside, illuminating their skin, erasing wrinkles and making them so much more lovable.
But if I have to mention a product, I must go with my favorite: Burt’s Bees Beeswax Day Creme which has kept my skin moist during the driest flights and coldest weather.
And why not throw in a good IPL (laser) a few times a year to remove sun-spots and increase collagen in the skin, works like a charm.
Nutritionally, I try to make sure my body gets plenty of water and nutrients. But more important is removing the things that steal nutrients like, coffee, alcohol and stress.
What is the best advice you have ever gotten, that you would like to share with other women?
I have two. First one I got from my older sister about 20 years ago.
She told me: A beautiful women with looks is great, but quite common.
But a beautiful woman with looks who has brains… is amazing, and a real knock-out. Which one you wanna be?
She made me cultivate my brain, my intelligence and inspired me to be completely self reliant and independent. Brains before beauty, which oddly enough landed me lots of modeling.
The second advice I got was from the famous author Elizabeth Gilbert recently.
Here it goes. It may be long but ‘boy is it worth the read!
“The scale of beauty in our world is vast and complicated and often politically, socially, and culturally confounding. At one extreme, you have the “all-natural” obsessives, who judge anybody who artificially alters her appearance in any manner whatsoever as vain and shallow. At the other of the scale are the extreme beauty junkies, who will do anything for an enhanced sense of beauty, and who judge everyone else as slovenly and drab.
We all have to figure out where we land on that scale!
Lipstick, but no hair dye? Legs shaved, but not arms? Hair processing, but no Brazilian wax? Short skirts but no bikini tops? Two-inch heels, but not five-inch heels?
It all sends a message, and it all comes with complications. None of it is easy to figure out. And this is not even taking into account larger questions about religion, history, and cultural ethics. What looks like modesty on a woman in Rio de Janeiro looks like flagrancy in Salt Lake City. What looks like modesty in Salt Lake City is flagrancy in Cairo. What looks like modesty in Cairo is flagrancy in Riyadh. What looks like flagrancy to your grandmother looks like frumpiness to your teenager. What looks beautiful to me might look grotesque or even offensive to you.
My experience is this: once we have decided where we land on that scale of beauty, we tend to judge all the other women who have made different decisions in either direction around us: This woman is too vain; that one is too plain…it never ends.
It also bothers me that women who define themselves as liberal, left-wing feminists (like myself) will stand on a picket line to defend the right of another woman to do whatever she wants with her reproductive system — but then attack that woman for what she decided to do to her face.
Let me break it down for you: It’s none of your business.
Every single molecule of woman’s body belongs to HER.
Yes, even her lips.
Yes, even her butt.
To judge a fellow woman for her choices about her own appearance is not only cruel, it also speaks to a fundamental insecurity that says, “I am so uncomfortable with myself that I have now become deeply uncomfortable with YOU, lady — and I don’t even know you.”
So have some compassion for the fact that it is difficult for any woman to figure out where to place herself on that vast and emotionally-loaded scale of female aesthetic.
And check your own vanity before you criticize someone else’s vanity. (And do not kid yourself that you are not vain because you do not partake in certain beauty rituals that other women partake in — because you are also making decisions about your body, your face, and your clothing every single day. With every one of those decisions you are also telegraphing to the world your own politics, your own opinions, your own needs and fears, and yes, often your own arrogance.)
No matter what you’re wearing, you are dressing up, too.
As the great drag queen RuPaul has said: “We are all born naked. Everything else is just drag.”
So be sympathetic. Everyone is facing her own battlefield in her own manner.”
Thank you Signe!! You can find more Signe on Instagram @signenordstrom or her website,www.signenordstrom.com.
(photos courtesy of Signe Nordstrom and Enrique Vega)