A shrub is a versatile, vinegar-based fruit syrup that can be used in sodas, cocktails and cooking. In the DMV, you can buy this delicious and healthy drink locally from Element Shrub. Founder Charlie Berkinshaw talked to District Fray Magazine about his roots and the importance of routine in self-care. Note: This interview is a part of our 20 Masters of Mindfulness, Movement + Connection roundup, which ran in our Winter 2021 issue.
Tell me about your journey and how it brought you to your current role.
Two worlds collided about eight years ago when my wife and I were living outside of Boston. We had gotten involved in this group that foraged fruit from our neighbors’ backyards, and learned everything there is to know about canning, pickling, jamming, etc. We would pick this fruit that would have otherwise gone to waste and made jams, pickles and pie. It was where we learned about the concept of shrubs. At the same time, my wife was pregnant with our first child and she was looking for a healthier, nonalcoholic drink that had the complexity of a cocktail, but was made with real ingredients and not a ton of sugar.
How are you practicing and prioritizing self-care, especially mid-pandemic?
It’s tough, but my wife and I made one resolution in 2021 to wake up at 5:45 a.m. (45 minutes earlier than we usually do) to work out together for 30 minutes. Prior to that, having a schedule and routine was the most important part of it, for me at least. Also, we are lucky to have a yard in Arlington (as opposed to living in an apartment building), so we try and get outside as much as possible.
What does self-compassion mean to you, and how do you incorporate it into your practice?
Exercise, long walks, playing the piano and keeping to a routine.
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