HOW TO HEAR THE VOICE OF YOUR SOUL

Amidst all the external noise, how can you tell what’s coming from the “real” you? Samantha Moyo reveals how to hear the voice of your soul and open a direct channel to the messages that count …

“You are gold, GOLD! Always believe in your Soul. Youve got the power to know…” – Wise words from a 1970s Pop Guru.

Want more soulgasms?
Connecting with our soul means more confidence, clarity, intimacy, sensuality, creativity, sexual empowerment, passion, heartgasms, tribegasms, naturegasms and if you’re lucky, multiple-orgasm orgasms! Want more of that? Of course you do.

I’ve included a ritual below to help you call the voice of your Soul back in, plus all the ways I know when it’s my Soul speaking to me—and my hope is that you reach the end of this article with the realization that you don’t actually need me to tell you jack shit, since your Soul has all the answers you could ever need … 

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But first, I am because we are
My last name, Moyo, means Heart/Soul in a few different African languages. I grew up in Zimbabwe where life was a combination of breath-taking adventures, community celebrations and sunsets … and moments of what felt like hell. Poverty, Mugabe’s dictatorship, inflation, family drama, fuel shortages and AIDS spreading through families like wildfire.

In a climate like this, you learn very quickly about the importance of human spirit; rituals, tradition and ceremony that connect you to spirit are introduced to a child from day one. And with this comes an understanding of the word Soul, as well as the Ubuntu philosophy, which says: “I am because we are.”

Concepts of love, oneness, tribe, and generosity of spirit are infused in the blueprint of my people, to the point these are not even topics of conversation. When things simply are, they go unspoken. Like the sacred love you have for a beloved after 30 years of marriage.

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The unspoken, hidden truth
Some of my favorite childhood experiences were the times I’d spend with Grandpa in the garden. Hanging out with him meant sitting still, in silence, and staring at the plants and flowers. He’d sit there for hours and I’d challenge myself to sit with him for as long as possible. Little did I realize that Grandpa was teaching me to appreciate silence, nature, and the art of listening within. When we weren’t silent, he taught me African Proverbs.

In hindsight, all this time with Grandpa was teaching me to tune into my inner wisdom and read between the lines.

I remember from a young age understanding that we can see more than what others may see and we can see more than we share. That there seem to be unspoken truths to life that we all kept hidden away. Like the way my Soul could tell when an adult was lying about something to appease me, or knew that trying dangerous tricks on my bike and playing in the rain could get me ill (but still couldn’t stop me trying!)

The voice of my Soul in childhood was waaaaay less conservative than now. If my childish Soul could have her way, I’d escape the office daily to climb London’s scaffolding sites just for the fun for it!

Photo: Wilson, Namibia

A ritual to reclaim your soul
Before learning how to know when our Soul is speaking to us, there’s some prep we’ve all gotta do, which is to reclaim our connection with Soul and learn how to tune in easily!

(*And by the way, I still lose touch with my Soul daily—like when I find myself practicing mindlessness in the form of social media scrolling, grabbing a sandwich with ingredients I “shouldn’t” be eating, or daydreaming about having a sacred sexual awakening with Cara Delevingne and Danai Gurira).

Here’s how to start:

1// Place thy ass on the floor / a chair

2// Smile and feel into the heart. If this feels weird, just think of a heart-warming experience you’ve had

3// Use “boyband-reaching-up hand gestures” to bring your soul into your heart (repeat x 8)

4// Close your eyes and sit in silence for ***as long as it takes*** with your attention on your heart space. (“You can’t hurry love, no you just have to wait!” said another pop guru).

5// Only open your eyes when you have felt your essence, your soul, your spirit, your passion, your glow, your fire, any hint of aliveness that feels greater than the incessant chatter of the mind. This feeling might resemble a moment of excitement, intrigue, elation, or joyful curiosity.

6// Take MORE time if it’s required. Kindness, compassion, and gentleness, are the way to this connection

**Bonus step: Book an appointment with your “Soul Doctor”
Another way of reclaiming your soul connection is to prescribe yourself some Soul Medicine—meaning anything you can keep in your metaphorical tool kit for getting into your Soul space. Examples might be music, smelling essential oils, crystal bathing, nature walks, yoga, meditation, dancing, stroking your face. Anything that triggers the soft, raw, authentic You within you. Yes, you’ve got this! No health insurance required.

Photo: Jason Purple Photography

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But how do you know if it’s your Soul speaking to you?
We are all receiving internal messages and ideas all of the time, and it’s super important to distinguish what is Soul, what is ego, what is influence from the external world, and what is just plain old crap.

For example, feeling horny one night I texted my ex because I thought my Soul was telling me we needed to have break-up sex! Errr, yeah, this was not the Soul, it was pure horniness / ego.

The reason I could tell is because my ex laughed at me and had not had the same message from her Soul! What I was experiencing was loneliness and some vulnerability, and framing this as my Soul speaking to me gave me a romantic way out. #soulnotsoul

Here’s how to know it really IS the voice of your Soul …

1// There are no maybes. Ask yourself three times if it is your Soul. Close your eyes, place your hand on your heart and ask, “is this my Soul?” Then pause for an answer and repeat three times. The “yes” has to be clear and be a full body “yes.” A hint of doubt is “no.” “Maybe” is also “no.”

2// Messages from the Soul are loud and clear. When they are ignored they keep coming back to you. So that thing that won’t go away—yep, it’s your Soul calling.

In August I was meant to go to Burning Man to host a gig with Carl Cox and then spend a weekend at a gathering at Harvard Divinity School. Two very important things for my work life. Then a message came through to cancel both trips. I tried to ignore the message but it kept coming back to me. My body was experiencing the message in every cell and it was clear I had to cancel the US trip. Cancelling was the best thing I did in 2017, as I ended up going on an unforgettable trip through Africa. My Soul fucking knew!

3// Your Soul is in it for the long-haul. Your Soul is non-biased and gives messages for your long-term wellbeing, not necessarily short-term. The messages can be obscured and may not seem urgent, but listening will help you make choices in the present that will benefit you further along in your Soul journey. Your Soul is a Compass that is Connected with the frequency of everything else in existence. It therefore has the coordination/timing of when you are meant to do certain things—exactly in alignment with the rest of world, for everyone’s greatest good.

4// It’s not all “me, me, me!” Your Soul is pure love so sometimes a message has other people or the planet’s requirements to share with you. Hence soul-synched people are always sharing, spreading and uplifting others. You’ll know you’re listening when you find yourself acting this way too! When we’re working from a Soul space we tend to be driven by purpose, and pleasure comes from the joy of contributing positively to our world. Yes, you become a bit of an urban-hippy and no matter how much you hide it, you may find yourself being super compassionate, giving, loving, in flow, while coming up with ways to help the homeless.

5// You’re in an “unfuckwithable” space. When your Soul is speaking you are in an empowered, clear, confident, “unfuckwithable” space. This means your Soul may be telling you to say “no” more often, cut out the haters, and protect yourself. Your Soul is wild and strong and has no filter. Your Soul is loyal, direct, and loving, but doesn’t take your shit.

Photo: Jason Purple Photography

The relationship with your Soul will be the one that brings all your dreams to life. Listen even when it’s hard. Listen even when it’s not what your want to hear. Listen even when it’s takes you out of your comfort zone. Then pass the learned wisdom onto the next person.

Nothing I have said is rocket science, and you will develop your own ways of knowing when your Soul is speaking to you. This is the only true knowing or knowledge there is to attain in life. And you can’t google that shit!

**Want to jumpstart your Soul connection? Dive into Samantha’s digital course for Community Building and Entrepreneurship HERE

Samantha Moyo is a wellness inventor, speaker, and mentor best known for founding Morning Gloryville, the sober dance experience that changed the face of clubbing in the UK. With the ability to help anyone connect with their purpose, Sam works as a wellness consultant for those looking for playfulness, wisdom, strategy, or new networks. Follow her on Instagram and connect with her at [email protected]  

THE GEMINI WAXING QUARTER MOON WANTS YOU TO LAY DOWN THE LAW

This week’s Gemini Waxing Quarter Moon reminds us to identify our needs, honor our boundaries, and use our voice to draw the line, says Jennifer Racioppi …

Photo: Maria Badasian

Waning Quarter Moon // February 23 2018 // 3:09am EST // 4 degrees Gemini

Pisces, a sign all about inclusivity, dreams, oneness, and transcendence, tends in the direction of empathy. At times, this can mean prioritizing the other at the expense of the self.

With the Sun, Mercury, Neptune, Venus, and Chiron all in the sign of the fish right now, the urge to step into another’s shoes and feel all their feelings may sweep over you like a giant wave.

But as this mystical Sun squares the Gemini Moon, now’s not the time to exclusively feel and take care of other’s needs.

As you find yourself surfing the sensitive Pisces waves, it’s essential to identify your needs, honor your boundaries, and use your voice to articulate them …

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// The Cycle //
Following the recent Solar Eclipse in Aquarius, the Moon’s opening square wants us to notice any unforeseen obstacles on the path to creating the intentions you set then.

Consider what’s coming up now that relates to intentions set a week ago. Where do you need to set a boundary to honor your desired intentions? Where are you being called to speak your truth in an even bigger way as it relates to creating what you say you want? Doing so now will support your desires coming to fruition.

Want to go even deeper? Think back to the New Moon in Gemini on May 25, 2017, that happened at the same degree as this Moon. What seeds did you plant then that are coming to fruition now? How can you further cultivate those opportunities as they arrive? Where do you need to set a boundary to honor your hard work?

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// The Transits //
With five planets in sensitive Pisces making a supportive angle to Saturn, you can make serious headway on your goals now. As Venus, Mercury and the Sun also partner with Jupiter over the next few weeks, your efforts become extra blessed, especially as the Moon waxes toward full.

At the same time, the Moon’s challenging angle to Saturn encourages us to eliminate what’s not working as we speak our boundaries into existence. While this may feel awkward, it’s all in service of a much bigger picture.

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// The Square //
With the Sun in Pisces, it’s imperative to notice where you jump in to rescue others at your own expense. Gemini energy reminds us to use our voice to draw a line, even if doing so feels weird or bitchy. Get in touch with, and seek to fully understand, anything that holds you back from trusting and integrating your own, intuitive voice.

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// The Opportunity //
How to balance your sensitivity with the need to establish clear boundaries? Stay on the lookout for these 3 patterns ….

Overdoing for others, to make you more lovable. You know, the voice that tells you, “If I give my all to others, I’ll finally be worthy to receive myself.” Ouch! Remember: we don’t earn our worth. It’s an inherent part of who we are.

Aligning with others to feel safe. Being agreeable to the point of dysfunction to stay loyal, friendly, keep up, and belong. This behavior is the kryptonite of authenticity and bravery in interpersonal relationships. And authenticity and bravery are actually key to intimacy and bonding—critical values of Pisces season!

The need to be liked. This stems from sourcing our worth from external validation rather than internal sources, and simultaneously avoiding conflict. Even with so much emphasis on oneness in the sky, fearing conflict may keep you from reaping the rewards available during this Gemini Waxing Quarter Moon.

Despite all the highly sensitive, empathetic vibes in the sky right now, identify your needs, articulate them, and risk drawing strong boundaries. Laying down your law will help you to stay true to your desires.

By working with this cycle, and leaning into conflict as a growth opportunity (rather than avoiding it out of fear), you stand to make incredible long-term gains.

For more Moon wisdom or to book a coaching session with Jennifer visit Jenniferracioppi.com. And to learn more about how to work with each Moon phase, check out Moon Club, our community of lunar-loving cosmic change makers! 

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: USING INSTAGRAM AS A TOOL FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH

With awareness and the right intention, we can use Instagram as a tool for spiritual growth. Here are four new practices to start today, says Ruby Warrington

Photo: Caitlin Mitchell

1//We all want to be seen
Scratch that: NEED to be seen. One of the most basic human survival mechanisms is making others aware of our presence. Babies do it by screaming their heads off. As grown-ups, we got all kinds of ways—selfie culture / vulnerable social media shares being one of them. But it can be such a double-edged sword, man. Where does the human need to be acknowledged, witnessed and appreciated for our unique contribution end … and insecure attention-seeking begin?!

As I wrote about in this post, literally being seen on my feed does not come comfortably to me. And yet, when the same post got more comments and likes than I’ve ever had, it felt really good. Like goosebumps good. Which is pretty messed up. Getting this kind of validation from what is essentially a big room full of faceless strangers is exactly what makes IG so addictive—and also potentially damaging for our self-esteem. If, that is, we begin to rely on being seen and heard in IG world versus doing the often much more complex work of forging truly supportive connections in IRL.

The lesson: look at the places where you feel ignored or perhaps have not dared to speak your truth, and find ways to practice asking that your actual, offline needs to be met.

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2//People are feeding on your feed
You’ve probably heard the term “energy vampires”, which is used to describe emotionally immature people who literally “feed” off the energy of others. Lacking in empathy and often believing that the world revolves around them and their needs, these individuals believe they must take everything they can get from others and that giving anything in return will only deplete their own resources.

Since it can seem like energy is literally quantified by numbers of followers and likes on IG, the platform is essentially a big old buffet of delights for anybody feeling “less than” and looking to fill their tanks. Those perceived as both energetically stronger AND open and vulnerable become fair game, and the feeding frenzy can take many forms. Overly familiar love-bombing. Demanding DMs. And at the scarier end of the spectrum, trolling and overt bullying.

The lesson: boundaries, basically. You do not “owe” anybody a response in the online space, especially if you’ve never even met them. In the words of Gabby Bernstein: “forgive and delete”.

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3//Life is not a competition
Except when patriarchal hierarchies make it feel that way. We’re basically brought up being taught to compete: at school, at work, in looks, in love. In a society based on the belief that there is only “X” amount of wealth, success, beauty, etc. to go around, thus designed to keep a small percentage of the population in positions of power, the internal narrative goes: if I want my share (of wealth, success, beauty, etc.), I must fight for it.

Sadly, since it is literally a numbers game, Instagram has the power to suck us back into this narrative—subtly feeding our insecurities (see points 1 &2), and fueling the belief that if one person has “more” than us, we don’t have / are not “enough.”

The lesson: notice when competitive feelings come up, and use them as a prompt to give gratitude for three things you love about YOURself and YOUR life.

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4//Not everything is for everyone
I recently found this quote from Zadie Smith about why, as a novelist, she’s not on IG or Twitter: “it gives me the right to be wrong … I want to have my feeling, even if it’s wrong, even if it’s inappropriate, express it to myself in the privacy of my heart and my mind. I don’t want to be bullied out of it.” Because none of us have all the “right” opinions and answers all the time, and, as Smith is pointing out, it’s the complexities of human nature that make the best art.

Complexities we need to feel safe to explore for ourselves—and which, if expressed on social media, can cause some pretty intense reactions when taken out of context. Meaning out of context of us being whole, imperfect, sometimes confused, very much still learning, human beings.

The lesson: use your journal to work out more conflicted feelings about news stories, relationships, and elements of your own personal growth. Turn these words into poetry or stories that are just for you—THEN decide if you want to share.

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I realize this post kinds of makes it sound like I am anti-Instagram, which I am definitely not! It CAN BE an amazing tool for discovery, connection, entertainment, spreading love … and, as with everything in life, it carries a high and a low vibration. And can benefit from being approached with care.

Essentially, IG and other social media platforms are like the wild west of human consciousness, as they’ve opened up whole new ways of interacting with each other and being a person in the world.

So be vigilant, keep your integrity high, and above all, focus even more time, energy and love on the people you actually “like” in real life.

HOLY F*CK: RELATIONSHIPS AS A PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT

In her latest Holy F*ck column, Alexandra Roxo finds herself on the path to enlightenment with relationships coach Perri Gorman

Lettin’ my hair go full Leo in the Croatian sun…

I met Perri Gorman when someone who I had met once messaged me on Facebook and was like: “I think you would like this teacher.” Perri was leading something called a “Relationship Detox,” and it DID seem appropriate, since I had decided to take a six month break from sex, dating, alcohol and drugs to focus on my healing. But then again, randoms send me FB messages all the time so I couldn’t be sure.

When I got Perri on the phone she was INTENSE. I’m an intense woman too, so when I come head to head with another of my kind I can adopt a “been there done that” attitude. Like, “Oh yeah, I’m not afraid to look at my shadows. I do it all the time.” And “Um duh. I’ve done the work.” But somehow she convinced me to sign up for her class. And it was the best gift ever. She called me out on places I had been hiding from my truth and still living from deep rooted childhood fears. (Ugh when does it end????!) At the end of the class I felt palpable changes. Like major shifts. Like, I had looked at all of my uglies in the face and hugged them and given them space to, well…turn into butterflies. Cheesy, yes, but true!

I sat down with Perri to try and understand this alchemical process a little deeper.

Alexandra Roxo: Your website says “TRANSFORMATION IS NOT OPTIONAL” in huge letters which kinda freaks me out but in a good way. Why did you choose that?
Perri Gorman: It’s a bit of a story. When I was living in Hong Kong back in 2007 my life felt like Ground Hog’s day. I had actually hit a certain level of success, but I was like “Is this IT? Like, Is THIS my life?” I had a magnet on my refrigerator that was my savior, which said: “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” Oh, I must be in a cocoon I used to think. This part sucks. But just hang in there! After my life began to transform (longer story), my online moniker became and still is Bethebutterfly, and the butterfly is my inspirational creature.

Later, I went to a lecture by someone who was also fascinated by the life of the butterfly. She told a story of going to a butterfly farm and asking the keeper; “Does the caterpillar have a choice?” The answer was no. They either transform or they die. It’s not optional. And in this life, I think it is similar for us. Sounds grim but the stakes are really that high.

AR: I agree, and I also feel like the world needs transformation more than ever. Which is what I experienced on your relationship detox course. It’s hard for me to describe how you work though. It’s alchemy! Can you explain?
PG: Well, I am a guide and I create experiences. I walk people down a path that I have been down to and experienced transformation myself. If I haven’t been able to personally alchemize it (whatever “it” might be) I don’t create the experience. Rather than teaching, I help my students facilitate this in themselves. This part is really important. Often if you just “tell” people something, then either the Ego rejects it and can’t hear it—or the Ego hears it, rejects it and turns on you in the process! So in order to stun the ego, you have to guide the spirit and let the “aha” moments come naturally.

Each person has a different speed at which they transform, too. Mine was REALLY slow—partly because I had so much pain inside, it wasn’t safe for it to come out all at once. It was a process. Think of it like detoxing from chemicals. Since your body stores toxins in your fat cells, it won’t actually LET you lose weight too fast if you are toxic because it would poison the body. Awakening is similar. There is a massive pain body that you need to work through in order to open fully.

With the Relationship Detox specifically, it is designed to reframe your entire experience with relationships and have you see the divine messages that meant for you in each experience. By going through the process you are able to let go of behavior that is no longer serving you and choose something new.

Perri Gorman: relationships guru

AR: In the moments you’re coaching me I always start “strong” and then you get in there and crack me open. How do you always manage to do that?!
PG: I think a big part of my work is feeling “you” underneath the “strong,” which is usually a defense mechanism. It’s there to say “yeah I’m cool, nothing to see here, keep moving!” But if you listen closely there is another voice in there saying, “Hey! Don’t listen to her! I’m in here!”

My work is not for the faint of heart as you know, and I think it’s unique because I live it deeply myself. I am not perfect or enlightened but I have a deep deep practice of looking at my own stuff in every situation. I have unwound some really complex and tricky (and not so attractive) patterns in myself, so I can see the patterns more easily than others in many cases. So if you are like me and you have patterns that fog or trick other people, you come to me and I slice the head off that puppy and you feel so much better!

AR: So how is a relationship a crucible? That sounds scary as hell.
PG: Relationship as a crucible means that you don’t do this fairy tale thing of “acquiring” a relationship and then passing out back to sleep. It means staying conscious within the relationship, and being willing for it to “burn” the patterns in you that no longer serve you. It means looking deeply at the other person as a mirror and using that mirror to look at where you can be a better version of yourself.

AR: Yes! I find the deepest work I do is often in partnership. It’s like boot camp. No hiding! Wanna give us an example of what this can look like?
PG: Sure. Right now in my own relationship (I am getting married in October) I am working on a pattern where I try to fix him when he is down because his pain makes me really uncomfortable. So instead of letting him have his experience, I do things that would make him feel better. That sounds like the “nice” thing to do but it is not the “kind” thing to do. The thing to do is focus on myself, support him how he wants to be supported and not need him to be any way other than how he is.

As I started to look more deeply at it, I was like “Why do I do that? Where does that pattern originate?” It comes from childhood and being afraid that things going wrong were my fault and not wanting to get in trouble. But if I fixed it then that meant I did something good! It’s a rescuer pattern where I get personal validation that I am a good person by making him feel better.

But if we are practicing being conscious, then I have robbed him of his down which it is NECESSARY for him to get through himself to get to the freedom on the other side. By trying to help him feel better, (i.e. distract him from his feelings or helping him cover them with yummy things like a chocolate milkshake) I have helped him numb out and I have kept him from feeling what he needs to feel. So I notice it and then I actively practice doing something different so I can shift that piece of myself internally. It’s a practice.

AR: I love this, and I’ve been on both sides of this same coin. Allowing the uncomfortable is tough. People are always looking to “be ok.” But I wonder if some of us are avoiding the shadow. The truth. The messy side. Hiding under a mask of “zen.”
PG: We all have masks and patterns, which is why relationships as reflection from others is so important. I surround myself with people who can penetrate my defenses so the truth can get through. Of course we avoid it. I don’t think that I ever said “Oh hey, I want to be awake and spiritual.” I was a fucking walking ball of chaos and destruction, and I had no choice. It was transform or die. I had to learn how to use all the energy. For others, they feel dead inside or their relationships don’t work or they are bored. In this sense, it’s like we all have different locks that require a different key.

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So there you have it. Perri always pisses me off with our work, but then she breaks me down and then I cry and feel so happy and see the light!  It’s an amazing process if you surrender to it.

And next up from Perri: self-love. Something I think gets misunderstood A LOT. Self-love doesn’t just mean treating yourself to a mani pedi. It means cutting off toxic relationships. Releasing self-judgment. Body shame. Sexual shame. Owning your voice. Standing up for your needs. Creating healthy boundaries. Self-love is deep. I’m still learning it more and more everyday.

Perri’s new experience, PRESENCE, is all about coming home to yourself through the path authentic self-love. Not in the “everything needs to be good and nice” kind of way, more like “I will sit here with you through it all—good or bad”—something she admits has been one of the most challenging practices for her, and so a major focus of her own healing journey.

Registration for PRESENCE opens August 1 for a limited time. To sign-up, and to learn more about Perri Gorman and her work visit: Theschoolofalchemy.com

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: BLESSINGS, BOUNDARIES, AND HIGH VIBE JULY 4 BOOZING

Plus a moment of swap-shop glory and a meeting with the mind behind Shaktibarre…Numinous founder Ruby Warrington shares her Mystical Week

:: MONDAY ::
Still buzzing from yesterday’s beautiful Blessing Way ceremony for my dear Victoria Keen. We gathered, we ritualled (yes I’m making this a word), we created an altar, we shared memories and we set intentions. My favorite part of ALL? When we took an actual bone-fide cauldron (purchased by our host at a Brooklyn junk yard) filled with fears and sage, out into the street to be burned away. As Victoria lit her fire, we stood around her in a circle of sisterhood, playing drums, shaking rattles, and singing. At the height of the Williamsburg brunching-hour. YES we got a lot of stares, and YES it felt so right to be bringing this kind of s*it out from behind closed coven doors!

:: TUESDAY ::
A l’il psychic moment in my favorite clothing swap-shop the Buffalo Exchange (first introduced to me by Goddess Gala Darling). I’ve been taking my cast-offs there for the past two years or so and have racked up a serious amount of store credit, so I stop by whenever I’m in the area for some guilt-free retail therapy. Today, as I’m browsing the racks, this little voice goes; “some Isabel Marant shoes would be nice, right?” I’m like, “yeah, higher self, sure would!” And YEP, found these beauties (below)—boots not sandals, BUT, my size, UN-WORN, and FREE (cos of my store credit).

What a beautiful lesson in the all-abundant nature of our Universe! Namely: when we just listen to our intuition, everything we desire is right in front of us; when we give freely of ourselves (or our old clothes), not necessarily expecting financial pay-back, we will get it back 10-fold; and when we don’t attach to the details, is when we grant the cosmos permission to surprise us in all kinds of magical ways.

:: WEDNESDAY ::
A lesson in boundaries. My first reaction when a friend in need texts to say: “I may need somewhere to stay the next few nights, can I have your sofa?” is to reply with a straight up “no.” Some things are a non-negotiable, and my sacred morning alone time is one—as such, I usually only have family stay over in my home. Sorry-not-sorry, but I’m also a believer in strong boundaries as a marker of self-respect.

But THEN I’m like: woah, here I am preaching (check out my IG account etc.) about how we need to create a world that looks after our most vulnerable first, and how the current political climate change is giving me a new depth of compassion for the displaced people in the world…like my friend who’s being kicked out of her apartment! And the first time I’m asked to walk the talk, I stumble.

Humbled, I text her back—”shit, of course, mi sofa es tu sofa, ANY TIME.” By which time she’s found somewhere, and actually goes on to tell me how MY strong boundaries are a lesson for her in cultivating the same in her life. HOWEVER, it was a moment of pause for me in terms of what it means to be a good Now Age hippie global citizen. #bethechangeyouwanttosee

:: THURSDAY ::
A meeting with incredible, inspiring Corinne Wainer, founder of the new Shaktibarre studio that’s coming to Williamsburg in August. Reasons I love this woman No.1: She’s all about the shaktivism (spirituality + activism), and so her studio has sliding scale pricing to make classes + workshops accessible to ALL, with the underlying mission of uniting women in the fight against body fascism in the yoga community. No.2: She’s a total no-smalltalk zone. No time + no interest = no holding back. No.3: She guessed that my spirit animal is a black stallion (which he is, I write about how I met him here). So suffice to say, watch this space for some Shakti-Numi collabs coming your way later this year.

:: FRIDAY ::
Regular readers will know all about my path to raise my overall vibe with sobriety—which has meant totally re-framing my relationship with alcohol. Which basically means treating like it’s as powerful a mind-and-heart expander as, say Ayahuasca, and thus only imbibing with extreme reverence and caution. And then along comes a big fat trigger like JULY 4 WEEKEND.

And you know, I likely will have a couple of cocktails Sunday, since I booked tickets to this super high vibe event (flyer below)—high vibe as in, it’s outside, it starts at 2pm, it’s on the West side so there will be a sunset situation, and it’s alllll my favorite DJs so I can be guaranteed an afternoon of truly emotionally resonant tunes.

And here’s another reason to maybe raise a glass (but really, how about just one?) this weekend. It’s America’s birthday—and America could really use some truly intentional toasting rn, and some reminding that far from broken, she’s just going through a rough patch. As a Cancer country, I think this weekend’s reading from Strong Eye Astrology resonates for the good old US of A pretty darned hard:

Cancer :: Cancer Rising
Taking a horse over jumps. You are sitting in the driver’s seat. But where do you want to go? We can so easily get caught in an image of ourselves. But who do you want to be? This is a fresh start. Now is the time to visualize about who you are becoming. Get very, very specific in your intentions.

*NB: read the weekend forecast for your sign here!

SHADOW EMOTION: HOW TO WORK WITH ANGER

Mars retrograde stirring up any suppressed…rage (um, Lemonaid)? You can use your anger as a powerful tool for transformation, says Erin Telford

Anger is my favorite shadow emotion. It’s powerful, it gets things done and it is excellent at creating boundaries and change.

But anger is also one of the most misunderstood and underutilized emotions. As women, we are socialized in both overt and covert ways to be nice, not make a fuss and not rock the boat. When we are taught by our loved-ones and by our culture to bite our tongue in service of keeping the peace, we can get very disconnected from trusting our feelings and from feeling safe to work with this emotion when it flares up.

The thing is, most of us have never seen a healthy expression of anger. We associate it with road rage, throwing things at people, screaming, crying, cursing, fear, abuse, physical threats, danger, and out of control people. These are all examples of unhealthy anger. It’s not an emotion we appreciate so we try our very best to suppress it out of existence.

But it’s actually unexpressed or suppressed anger can get ugly. And beyond the stigma, all anger is, is a catalyst for change and an opportunity for some honest communication. Anger can actually work for you if you work with it.

Anger in its purest form simply says: “I don’t like this. Something needs to be different about this situation.” It’s a call to action! You don’t like it? Okay, change it!

One of the best examples of healthy anger is peaceful protest. This is anger put to work—a group of people turning their collective anger into action to create change. We are seeing this right now in politics, the environment, and human rights. It is impossible for anyone with a beating heart to turn a blind eye to what is going on in our world. We are riled up, expressing our opinions and getting involved!

We can all do this in our personal lives as well. Anger is a very powerful force and if wielded with grace and finesse, it can move mountains. Where we get into trouble with anger is when we push it down, causing it to build.

Anger is connected with the season of spring. This is because it speaks to the catalytic energy surge required to turn a seed into a plant, to push it’s little head above the soil and reach for the sun! Spring, our liver, and by association the energy of anger, are connected with upward and outward growth.

So what happens if your growth is inhibited? What happens when someone tells you “no”? A ridiculous new policy is created at work? What if you are simply just trying to walk down the street and everyone is in your way? You didn’t get the apartment or the job or the acceptance letter, a flight is delayed, a class isn’t offered, you didn’t get the promotion?

These are ways that an obstacle interrupts the smooth flow of our life. We don’t like obstacles. We don’t like no. We don’t like interruptions to our plans.

And so our natural reaction can be anger. Which is totally fine. We are upset.

But to deny this is to block our access our personal power. When we feel guilty about what we feel or label ourselves as being “negative” when we feel angry, we miss out on an opportunity to out-create our circumstances.

Rather, if we can sit with our anger, can look at where it’s coming from and why we feel it, we can polish it into a nugget of transformational gold. If we have been hurt or upset by another person, rather than lashing out, we can advocate for ourselves and clearly state our needs to that person. If someone continually disrespects or hurts us, you may need to use that anger to create a change in the terms of that relationship!

You may have heard that anger turned inward results in depression—an oversimplified expression, since depression has many roots and takes many forms—but there is some weight to it.

When we repress our anger toward a partner, friend, loved one or co-worker by not sharing our truth, we are betraying ourselves. We are inadvertently communicating to ourselves that our feelings don’t matter and we are not worth standing up for. Self-betrayal is the most painful betrayal of all and can decrease self-esteem and confidence—leading to depression.

So we stay snippy and unexpressed and we self-medicate even more or our tense up even more, or our digestion suffers. It doesn’t have to be this way. Use your anger as a call to action to change your circumstances.

Breathe it out. Dance it out. Run it out. Write it out. Scream it out (not at someone else!) Sing it out. Create it out. Talk it out. Paint it out. Boot camp it out. Express it out.

You have to feel it to heal it. You have to let it out to transform it. Just don’t be afraid of anger.

The more you know your triggers and can feel when it’s rising in you, the more gently and safely you can manage this emotion. Anger is so powerful and properly harnessed it can do so much for you. Think of anger as your inner Mama Bear, your inner Kali, and your inner badass.

And let it be fuel to create powerful change and transform your life.

SENSITIVE SOUL: WORK WITH YOUR PISCES MOON SIGN

Understand your Pisces moon sign and maximize your self-care practice to be the best YOU, says Ash Bonelli. Artwork: Prince Lauder via Behance.net

“My heart is ever at your service.” – William Shakespeare

If you were born with a Pisces moon sign, then this one is for you, dear hearts. Our moon is our emotional headquarters. It alerts us to our deepest feelings and we express it in our knee-jerk reactions. It shows us how we nurture and how we wish to be cared for in return. Our lunar landscape is an often private land that we only fully reveal to those we trust most  and the Pisces moon sign is a particularly tender one.

You believe in compassion and kindness – often referred to as too sensitive and emotionally weak. You may have experienced people telling you to box up those gushing feelings as you walk through this intense world, or you will just get hurt even more. But suppressing your truth is never a good thing. You were born with a big, sweet, all feeling heart and frankly, more of which we so dearly need in our often detached world. You naturally radiate a light for humanity that allows others to easily trust you. Possessing the ability to really listen without judgment helps you to move through the world with intuitive ease.

Work out your moon sign, when you do you chart for free here.

You can be an idealist in love – because your heart space LOVES to love. Which also means harsh realities can really sting you deeper than others. You probably have the tendency to give “too much” of yourself, which in turn can set you up for other people taking advantage of your sweet little disposition. But since you’ve been blessed with an intuitive heart you have the ability to know when your tank is running on near to flat out empty. You have to give back to yourself so you can be recharged enough to give again.

Letting also comes naturally to you – letting go of that which you can’t control. It’s a slippery slope though with the Pisces moon sign though, because sometimes you let go too often. You may have the tendency to let someone off of the hook for something you need to confront them about, just so you can go on being the nicest person everyone knows. You’ll forgive before you rock the boat – but only to keep the peace. Working on discerning when it’s appropriate to move on because the situation really isn’t worth fighting over, and situations that require some discussion, examination, and / or healing.

Below are some wellness suggestions to assist as you get to know your delicate Pisces moon sign.

:: GROUNDING PRACTICE ::
The Pisces moon sign can sometimes have a bit of a savior complex. You feel your feelings so deeply – often along with everyone else’s. You hate to see someone suffering so you will go to great lengths to help out however you can. This is beautiful but not if it comes at the expense of your quota of support for your own soul.

Create a grounding practice by learning to say “no” more often. Actively notice how often you feel depleted and see if you can cut back on the areas of your life that are draining you. Are you overcommitting your time? Do you say yes to things just so you won’t hurt someone’s feelings? Write a list of all your activities for each day for a month and put a checkmark by the ones that made you feel down/sluggish. See if you can cut those out.

Sometimes we get into such a comfortable habit that we don’t even realize it’s an issue until we literally see it on paper. You also want to set up healthy boundaries. One way is by being selective about the company that you keep. If they don’t bring positivity to the table and you just feel heavier after visiting with them, then their energy are toxic for you. Time to weed the garden! You want only roses of hope in that yard, and it’s up to you to plant wisely.

:: SHIELDS UP ::
Your heart experiences life via feelings, and those feelings become your thoughts, so the last thing you want is everybody else’s negativity clouding up your judgment. Being a natural sympathy sponge you want to be mindful to ward off any vibes you don’t need in your bubble!

Each morning, either in bed before you start your day or while taking a shower, imagine shimmering golden light surrounding you from above your head to below your feet. Let the feeling of completeness engulf you. Take enjoyment in your breath and try not to think of anything other than your own personal ease and calm. Take at least one minute to do this practice.

This is so simple and effective because when you start to feel something negative in your day you can come back to the sensation of serenity that you created earlier. If it really is the bad vibes of other people or places then this centering practice should suffice. If you are still feeling off kilter, these could be your own genuine feelings. In which case it’s up to you to feel deeper into your situation and tend to the issue as needed.

:: ESCAPE ARTIST ::
The Pisces moon sign can sometimes avoid confrontational issues in order to keep things copacetic. While sweet in theory it’s bad energy to carry. Plus it can create a karma ripple you certainly don’t want showing up later. So you need to create boundaries by proactively planning ahead if you are entering a situation that could turn negative.

Practice what you would say. Visualize the upcoming conversation, but try a different response each time. How do you physically feel with each answer? The one that closes you down and makes you curl inwards is the one you don’t want. The one that gives that sensation of light, expansive openness is the winner.

If it’s a situation where the gross feeling option is the right thing to do, then take time to find a way to move forward in the kindest way possible. Sometimes you have to rip the band-aid off to let the wound heal. Know in your heart that you are doing the right thing and let the feeling of truth be the balm to any fear that arises.

:: RESTORATIVE YOGA ::
When thing get too much and it’s time to get back to yourself, you need the desserts of the asana world in your life. I suggest doing these poses when you feel sad, depleted or stressed to revive your spirits and help your heart feel nourished from within.

Supported Bound Angle Sitting in easy pose, draw the soles of your feet together to touch. Take a block under each knee. Take your hands behind you and slowly lay down on your back. Take a folded blanket and place it under your head (if you find that to be more supportive). Let your arms relax to your sides with the palms up. Relax your whole body and rest for five minutes. To finish, bring your feet as wide as your mat and let your knees fall in. Rest here for a few more moments.

Supine Twist Come to your back and draw your knees into your chest. Take a deep inhale and on the exhale drop both knees over to the right. Take your arms out to the sides like wings. Take your gaze to the left. With each inhale allow your spine to lengthen and your belly to fully expand. On the exhale allow your body to twist deeper. Stay here for two minutes and then inhale the knees back to center. Exhale and repeat on the opposite side. In this detoxifying twist, use your breath to emotionally release anything holding you back from moving forward with your goals.

Legs up the wall Come over to a wall space and sit down next to it with one hip against the wall.  As you start to lay down on your back simultaneously begin to walk your feet up the wall until the legs are straight towards the ceiling – and your body is on the floor at a right angle to your legs. The knees can have a slight bend and if you want extra support take a block or blanket under your hips. Your hips and seat should be touching the wall so inch your way as close as you can. Just rest your arms out to your sides or on your belly/heart. Close your eyes and feel yourself relaxing. Stay here up to 15 minutes.

Keep space, move with grace & continue your healing work. From those places, your Pisces moon sign will feel content.

NEW YEAR, NU YOU: FENG SHUI YOUR FRIDGE

Embroiled in a love-hate relationship with your refrigerator? Time to set some boundaries, show some respect and radically shift the negative vibes, says Feng Shui expert Elana Kilkenny.

Chances are you’ve already spent a lot of time this year making (and breaking?) resolutions around your relationship with food. What if I told you that the state of your refrigerator plays a contributing role to your goals? Here’s how to Feng Shui your fridge, aka “where your food spends most of its time hanging out,” to powerfully shift the energy around it and bring you closer to your 2014 vision.

LAY DOWN THE LAW (AND ORDER)
Cluttered refrigerator = cluttered relationship to food. So mindfully clear out your refrigerator and freezer by making a habit of throwing out what is no longer fresh and what no longer gets you closer to your desired feelings about how you are feeding your body.

IT’S NOT JUST WHAT’S IN YOU FRIDGE
Take a symbolic look at what’s on your refrigerator door.  Does it look chaotic, filled with things from the past, stressing you with to-dos? Take off anything that is not fully inspiring to you and re-invent this space as a vision board for how you want to feel.

TAKE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Caution note: before you put up a picture of a perfectly toned actress or yourself when you were at a “better weight” ask if these images inspire you or depress you. Reinforcing negative feelings about your current weight will only push you further away from your positive intentions and deeper into self-sabotage. Choose instead to put up pictures, words or quotes that remind you of how you want to feel about your health, food and body. Sexy, vital, satiated, luscious…

CREATE GOOD CHI FOR YOUR CHIA SEED PUDDING
Most trainers suggest stocking your refrigerator with cut-up vegetables and washed fruit, so that you have a healthy choice at your fingertips. Elevate the mundane into a feast for your senses by storing these items in beautiful vessels and containers. This further raises the chi of not only your refrigerator but also your energy around food.

LOOK AWAY FROM THE REFRIGERATOR
If your refrigerator is the first thing you see when you enter your kitchen, it could condition you to eat more. Don’t roll your eyes thinking I’m going to tell you to embark on a costly renovation. Create a pretty distraction to draw your energy away from the refrigerator. Decorate the surrounding area with art, a funky chandelier, or a bold kitchen rug. Be creative.

GO JEDI ON BEN & JERRY’S ASS
Practise going into your kitchen with laser focus on what you DO want, with the use of a positive affirmation about food. “I desire to wake up feeling energized,” “I desire to feel beautiful in my jeans,” “I desire to love myself and trust my food choices.” Eventually your desired feelings will be so potent that they might just be a stronger draw than that pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Elana Kilkenny is a Feng Shui Designer, Intuitive Counselor, Empowerment Psychic and Healer. To book a session please contact [email protected] or 877-858-2100.

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