Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to where you are today?
My name is Olesya Rulin and I’m an actor and influencer amongst many things (as all women are). I’m originally from Russia, growing up in a small village of 12 houses where my family lived off the land. We immigrated to the United States at the end of the Cold War in 1992, both of my parents are licensed game wardens and taxidermists by trade, a career they continued here in the states for 30 years. I grew up understanding the delicate balance of nature and it’s my parents' love for the planet that has guided my path for not only environmentalistic ventures but for how I choose to live my life. At the age of 12, I started acting for the Disney Channel and starred in many films such as the High School Musical franchise. I’ve been very lucky to have chosen a career that is in alignment with my goals and dreams. Twenty-three years later I am still telling stories to audiences around the world. Currently, I play Sasha Gagarin (a Russian spy) on the hit show NCIS LA. My husband and I recently moved out of Los Angeles and to a small town right outside Yosemite National Park. We’re deep in renovating our 1970’s home and enjoying the “forest retreat” we have created. I’m about 7 month pregnant as I write this bio and we are thrilled to be on the journey of parenthood. When I’m not on set or in the states I help my mother run a nature reserve we purchased together located in Russia. It’s on this sacred space of 400 acres that we “practice what we preach” and ensure the safety of the trees and quality of the water. It has been one of my greatest achievements preserving the integrity of the beautiful Russian woods all while employing villagers to help us sustain a way of life that is as pure as harvest wheat.
Do you have any daily rituals that help keep you grounded?
I try to do meditation ( I like To Be Magnetic daily reprogramming) weekly. I wish it was daily but life is going fast then I can keep track of. Currently, it’s more of the beauty self care that’s keeping me grounded. Making the time to do my skincare routine vs replying to another email, taking a nap ( I’m pregnant after all) when I can and not feeling guilty for the never ending to do list we all have. I’ve recently cleaned out my social media as well, making sure that the images and stories of people I follow are inspiring and proactive vs triggering. Having my space both physical and technological clear of mess is vital to my flow as a creative. I’ve noticed that a 20 min break outside with no phone or distraction helps me reset if I feel anxious throughout the day.
What is your favorite spring tradition? Favorite part about getting dressed during the spring season?
Making flower crowns from the wild flowers growing in our meadow. When I was a child growing up in the woods of Russia, my mother taught me how to adorn myself with natures “ jewelry” flowers. It’s very simple to make a flower crown using only what you find in nature and it’s a tradition I hope to pass down to my daughter. Flower crowns and wearing dresses! Nothing feels more like Spring than a crisp white dress you can slip on knowing you’ll get just a little too much sun on your chest and arms. After a long winter, I don’t mind the gentle sting of the sun's rays.
How would you spend your ideal spring weekend?
Hosting a brunch outside for friends and family. Breaking out the linen tablecloths, the biodynamic wine, and fresh salads. Setting blankets out on the yard so we can all gather, nap, and enjoy the post meal lazy hour.”
What travel destination do you find yourself going back to again and again? One that you can’t wait to take your child to?
Paris. France in general. I lived there for a short period of time and it stole my heart. My soul is Russian but my heart is French. I can’t wait to dress my little one in a marine stripe and take her to Étretat; my favorite place in France.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self? To your child?
Myself: you know exactly what you need and where you are going. Don’t listen to anyone who’s not on the same vibrational frequency as you, be it family, friends, or your agents at William Morris. Go get em!
My child: The same advice from above… and also “ enjoy life, do all the things, and be kind”
What is a favorite quote of yours? Or a special saying that you go back to time and time again?
I think my favorite quotes change as I get older… for now it’s saying “ not mine” and dusting my hands off in a physical movement. I had a healer teach me that a year ago and it’s helped me stay balanced and not take on other people's energy. I’m an empath so it’s vital for me to choose what energy is being taken in by my system.
What are you most looking forward to about motherhood?
Passing down the wisdom of my mother and her mother. I come from a lineage of survivors, entrepreneurs, bold strong women that cry and love with all of their beings. I simply can’t wait to witness the life of this new addition and champion for her as she develops into the soul she is destined to be. It’s a privilege to watch someone grow, I’m just in awe that I get to have a front row seat.
Do you have any book or podcast recommendations that you are especially loving right now for our community?
I’ve been studying birth and childcare for 10 years now, I find it to be one of the most interesting subjects on the planet. It started when I dove into my own traumas and healing my PTSD which requires deep childhood work. Here are some of my must haves when it comes to healing yourself and yes sure if you choose to have a child in whatever way they come to you… these resources will help as well.
The book: The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Dr. Shefali Tsabary * This book will not only help guide you to understanding your own childhood and your parents but build a path of success for your journey ahead. It’s a MUST regardless if you’re a parent or want to be a parent. It teaches you to “ reparent” yourself and in my opinion that’s the first step to becoming your true authentic self.
The Your Zen Mama blog and book by Sarah Wright Olsen and Teresa Palmer are wells of information … all the beauty and glory of motherhood with all the poop and not great parts included. They keep it real and fun while also taking the “ fear” factor aside. I find there are many more “ scary” stories of parenting vs uplifting and these women have done a wonderful job balancing the two worlds.
The book: It didn’t start with you: How inherited family trauma shapes who we are and how to end the cycle by Mark Wolynn. * wow is all I can say. I love science and this blew my mind both logically and spiritually. It’s simply an incredible resource.