This year, Ali (CEO of Nena & Co.) has entered a new phase of life as she turned 40 years old in February of 2021. Because 40 is such a milestone, she has spent months reflecting on her past, with so much appreciation for what she has been able to experience in her 40 years on earth. She’s also looked forward toward her future with so much excitement and openness to what she has yet to live and experience. But she recognizes the importance of being present with the people around her and the place she’s in now.
Turning 40 has brought her into a New Moon – a beautiful new phase of life, of appreciation, hope, and love – and she wants to experience it with you. As a start to this new phase of life, Ali would like to introduce you to the New Moon Icon. Each symbol is a reflection of the steps Ali has taken in her life up to this point. It’s a culmination of all the different lessons she has learned in her 40 years of life and what brings her strength to step into a whole new beginning.
Our hope is that the New Moon Icon on your bag can be the peace needed to embrace what has been learned in the past and the motivation to grow as you step into your next phase of life. Here are Ali's inspirations behind New Moon, and her explanation of the symbolism!
Step 1. Honor Your Past
If you focus your attention to the highlighted Icon above, you will see the eyes at the top and bottom which represent Harmony and Regeneration. The radiating stripes reach beyond our earthly experience. We can draw strength from those before us, taking the good and leaving behind the bad.
The people and places where we’re from have monumental impacts on who we are. They can leave terrible scars but they can also give a foundation or direction for our lives. I believe we can use those experiences to strengthen ourselves. My heritage of a mixed Guatemalan and Danish-American family brought diversity into my home. I was taught about my ancestors and raised on traditions from both cultures that I love so much.
Step 2. Find Your Center
The four pillars of the Icon stand for Health, Creativity, Kindness, and Perspective. By exploring the world we live in – others’ realities and all that space between – we are able to discover who we are.
I believe it is crucial to consciously surround yourself with people that inspire you, but it is equally important to make a space just for you, to understand your thoughts and feelings independently of others. What do you think? How do you feel? It may be different than when you’re around others. It’s important to connect with yourself and Find Your Center. It can bring you so much confidence.
That is something we have to do continually but my 24th year especially stands out to me. I traveled the world on a shoestring budget away from everything and everyone I knew, with the exception of one friend. Exposing myself to so many different places, ideas, religions, food, and people was enlightening for me. It broadened my perspective and gave me space to really develop my own ideas.
Step 3. Allow Yourself to Love
The middle of the diamond is an infinity sign, symbolizing Love. This symbol is placed in the center because it can enhance our every thought and action. Once we have harnessed the power to love ourselves, we are capable of greater connection with others.
Have you ever been terribly angry or felt the power of hate or fear? If you have then you know what a great burden it can be. It can be so mentally heavy that it consumes your body and soul. I have felt those tragic emotions, and so I was able to instantly recognize the lightness and beauty of love when I met Jeremy, my forever companion and husband. I compare our love to the infinity symbol, placed in the center of a New Moon because we have chosen to walk through this life together. As I move forward on this journey I hope and pray that he and I do it together forever.
Step 4. Choose to Hope
The tides lining the Icon are symbolic of Hope through the ebbs and flows of our lives. Whether within the highs or lows, we should always choose hope for the future to come.
Hope and faith are interchangeable to me. Believing that there is something or someone greater than ourselves can be life changing or life saving. Just as the physical effects of despair can keep us down, hope can lift us up. The spiritual and mental effects of hope, combined with modern medicine, helped me get through years of infertility issues. This was one of the most difficult times in my life. Believing that things will be okay has helped me rise up over and over again, so Choosing to Hope has been and always will be a key value of my life.
Step 5. Own Your Power Within
The two snakes wrapped around the pillars are traditional symbols in Guatemalan culture. They two yin and yang creatures are representative of our Divine Power of creation.
I see this phase of life as a time to pause and recognize the good and bad we've lived through without letting either one jade us. We can feel more freedom and less fear. We’re wiser and yet have so much to explore and learn. Manifesting who I am through my brand has really helped me to Own My Power Within. I’ve been able to share my heritage with the world, show how passionate I am about where I’m from, and evolve as a designer, entrepreneur, and woman.
Step 6. It’s A New Beginning
The moons lining the side of the Icon represent growth and the completion of a phase of life. Stepping into a new chapter does not mean the end, but a whole new beginning.
And this brings us to the here and now. The present moment. The beautiful thing about living 40 years of life is that I have been able to experience so much already, yet I look forward to many more years of growth and learning. I’m moving into this next chapter feeling lighter, with less expectation of what I should be doing and more intention to enjoy the journey. I’m choosing to be present and appreciate what this new beginning will bring.
Thank you for being a part of my life and journey as my friend, my family, or my online family.