Cultivating a Mojave Desert State of Mind At Home

Tips for bringing that high desert energy to your home, through the lens of top local businesses in Joshua Tree.
Maddy Nimmo
Experience Creator

When I think of "home," I think of Joshua trees and the dry, quiet heat. My family doesn't live there anymore, but every few months I crave the slow pace and the starry night sky and I make my way to Joshua Tree to reset. When San Francisco went on lockdown, I wanted to retreat to my happy place. But while Joshua Tree might be my favorite place, it isn't my place to be there right now. Instead, I’m on a mission to cultivate a Mojave Desert state of mind here in my little home in San Francisco! Read on for how you can do the same.

Getting Started

I'm always instinctively a little bit slower, more intentional, and more mindful in the desert.

Step one in my oasis creation project was to bring that in. I've been loving Sam Harris's Waking Up app for morning meditations. The Assembly's IGTV channel has some really lovely short guided meditations as well.

Step two is to bring in some of the physical elements that are usually a part those mindful moments for me. Springtime is usually peak tourist time for the high desert, and a lot of the small local businesses here depend on the rush that typically happens around now. So, I can do two things in one: help those shops out by treating myself to a few things from the places that I would have been going to anyway - and have the physical goods to support my desert mindset at home.

These are a few of my favorite spots (and how, for now, you can support them from afar):

Jenny Q’s Herbals // Grateful Desert Herb Shoppe and EcoMarket

She has all of the classic single herb tinctures and essential oils you can imagine, but the magic really lies in her tincture formulas and aromatherapy blends. I swear by her “Chill Out” tincture; it seems to bring me right back down to earth when I’m feeling a little anxious. The Mojave Sands aromatherapy spray is another one of my faves. I’ve been misting my blankets and pillows in it these last few days and if I close my eyes, I can almost hear the coyotes howling.

The online shop is open!

Photo by Grateful Desert.

Joshua Tree Coffee Company

Joshua Tree Coffee Company simply has the best coffee on the planet. I put a little bit of coconut oil, cinnamon, and oat milk in mine, and I’m transported to an early, blissful campfire-side morning (don’t let anyone tell you you can’t get bougie with your coffee when you’re camping)! You can buy their hand-roasted beans online or stock up on gift cards for the next time you’re in town.

Photo by Luxe Provisions.

Hoof and the Horn

I always pop into this little shop after grabbing coffee and lunch at Frontier Café next door, and I almost always leave with something funky that I probably didn’t need. My backpacking pack is covered in their patches, and they have cute tees, bandanas, posters, and all sorts of other cool things from brands I love. You can buy from them on their site!

Photo by Hoof and the Horn.

Pappy and Harriet’s

Pappy’s is one of the coolest bars/restaurants/venues that I’ve ever been to. It’s got an old western vibe, insanely good BBQ, strong drinks, and great music. Once this is over and we can roam free once again, I highly recommend checking out their calendar, buying tickets, and planning a trip around it. Support them now by buying a gift card online, and pay for your dinner and drinks with it when that time comes.

In the meantime, recreate the vibe at home: make yourself a whiskey soda, turn the lights down low, and put Gene Evaro Jr. on the stereo. You should probably put on some bell bottoms and a brimmed hat, too, for good measure.

Photo by Pappy and Harriet's.

Cedar and Sage Wellness Studio

The first yoga class I ever took was at the local Yucca Valley gym with Sabrina, and I've been hooked ever since. She has her own studio now, and it's heavenly. Definitely leave a morning open for a class here next time you're in Joshua Tree, but for now, you can find online classes on their site and IGTV live sessions on their Instagram.

Photos by Cedar and Sage.

BKB Ceramics

This sweet ceramics shop in Joshua Tree has all sorts of handmade home wares and decor, and every time I visit it seems like they have something new. I know from experience that it's impossible to have a bad day when you start your morning sipping coffee from one of their hand thrown mugs. Their online shop is open, and new things are being added as they come out of the kiln.

Photo by BKB Ceramics.

Shop on the Mesa

The Shop on the Mesa sells all sorts of wonderful, pretty things to make your space feel serene. Their shop is full of artisan made home goods, clothes, and furniture, handcrafted in their nearby design workshop, Fire on the Mesa. While the doors are physically closed, the online store is open and they're having a springtime sale!

Here's hoping we can all travel to our happy places again in due time. For now, I'll be recreating mine by slowing down, tuning in, and buying from the small local businesses that I love when I can. Wishing you the same!

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