Overwhelmed by the nuts and bolts? Maha Rose founder Lisa Levine shares 6 ways to get real about growing your business without losing your magic mind …
QUESTION: “I am super creative and intuitive but have major blocks when it comes to planning, structure, and managing the financial side of my business. That stuff literally makes me fall asleep! How much of this should I try to do myself, and what should I try to outsource? I also want to allow my business to build organically, and worry that too much planning will get in the way of this. What’s a good balance to strike?”
#1 Let it grow organically. You can’t rush spirituality. You can dedicate yourself to building your business but there is still a natural evolution that you must flow with.
#2 To partner or not to partner. When I had my jewelry business, I really wished I could have had a business partner so I could focus more on the creative side of things. But in the end, I never found that person. The same goes for Maha Rose. I have lots of amazing people I work with but at the end of the day, I am the end of the decision making chain.
But it all depends on how you work. I love working with people but I also like having the final say. Actually, God(dess) is making the decisions and I am putting them into action. If I had a business partner, what would happen if the message they were receiving was different from the guidance I was receiving? A business partnership is like a marriage, and I’m in one of those already! So I choose to work on my flexibility and compromise in my personal life instead of at work.
#3 Get help! Definitely and no matter what. We can’t and don’t need to do it ALL alone. So think about what that help could look like. Try to get as organized as possible and really visualize where you need help so you can ask for exactly this. This is actually still a challenge for me. I know I need help and lots of it all the time, but because I do so many different things I’m not always sure where to ask for help first. Sometimes it seems like it may be more work to train someone else rather than just do it myself—but this is rarely the case. Help can also be someone who assists you in structuring it all. Every type of help exists.
#4 Get MORE help! I have a few very talented healer and artist friends who operate so much from their right brain (the non-logical side) that it would be hard for them to really succeed on this earthly realm without help. If this is you, it’s good to recognize this without judgement, and to allow people help you in all areas requiring left-brain logic. So may differently-minded people are embracing spirituality now, you don’t have to be a one person show. Operating within a bigger structure means you can focus on the parts you are good at.
#5 Engage with your community. This is another reason healing centers exist. In this day and age of social media and online connections, real life experiences are still so powerful. Sometimes when we are engaging in just the digital side of things it is hard to find inspiration and connection to the people who can help us grow the most.
#6 Have fun and eat the frog! No matter what your business is, and even if you are choosing to focus on the creative side, there will still be a certain amount of “nuts and bolts” things that you have to do. Eat the frog, means … do the thing you are avoiding doing! Do it first thing in the morning to give you the feeling of having accomplished something big. Once you’ve done that one difficult thing, you can play in the magic for the rest of your day …
Got a question for Lisa’s monthly “Ask a Spiritual CEO” column? Email [email protected] with the subject line: “Spiritpreneur Questions.”
Are you a full-time healer whose mojo feels more 9-5 mundane? Maha Rose founder Lisa Levine shares 8 ways to recapture the magic …
QUESTION: “I’m full-time in the healing arts, and found this path through a lifelong obsession with all things mystical and witchy. Now that it’s become my main gig, I struggle to keep connecting to the mystical practices that have always supported me, which have now started to feel like just more work. How can I keep parts of this world sacred and separate, so all the healing magic I’ve always loved can still serve me off-duty?”
#1 Stay present to your needs. There are certain tools for certain times in our lives. Tools that served us for many moons in one capacity, may need to shift over time. Magic comes from staying in the present moment and listening to our intuition and our connection to Spirit. “What do I need right now?” is a good question to ask ourselves. It may not be the same every day. A practice that’s become your full time gig may need balancing with other activities in your off time.
#2 Know that our relationship with ANYTHING will have ups and downs. Think about a romantic relationship. There are the weeks where you’re totally in love and in the magic and the flow, and then there are the weeks when you aren’t, when it’s off, challenging, feels out of alignment or just bad. Do we leave the relationship when it is in a dull or difficult period? That depends on our level of commitment. If we are committed to somebody or something we ride through the waves of challenge or disinterest. We don’t abandon the puppy when it turns into a dog.
#3 The Universe loves commitment. I felt this when I got married. There are different things that we can work through when we commit to something. Our relationship to our work is not unlike our relationship to our partner. Sometimes magic, sometimes not. Stay in it and move through the __________________. Commit to seeing what’s on the other side…
#4 Find ways to keep the spark alive. Speaking of love relationships, how about romancing your practice? Get a new tarot deck, give your crystals a bath. Take them outside and talk to them under the stars. Be creative. Show how much you care.
#5 Seek fun. If you spend all day with your tarot decks, after work you need a different way to connect your magic. If a practice you used to heal part of yourself is being fully explored at work, try something different after hours: painting, dancing, singing, running, cooking. Follow your heart, make FUN your guiding principal as you explore the other healing arts.
#6 Receive. Get a reading, get a massage, get a reiki treatment. Chances are, if you are giving lots of energy through your work and not receiving back, you may just be tired, making it harder to connect to the magic. RECEIVE. Healers, I can’t say this enough, RECEIVE! The more we receive the more fun it is to give. The more we then have to give. Also you will most likely be inspired and learn from other peoples’ ways of doing things. It keeps the journey feeling like an adventure.
#7 Vacation. I’m an all-in mama CEO to my baby Maha Rose, but it is important for me to step away from her. And I mean far away from her. She can grow without me and I can grow in other ways outside of work. With distance comes clearer perspective. When we are so in something all the time, our nose in it deeply like a book, it can be hard to see the bigger picture.
#8 Gratitude and perspective. Back up and see how beautiful and magical and amazing it is that you get to be doing this work for your living. Thank you Goddess, thank you Angels, thank you Guides. Think of the jobs you were doing before and wishing that you could be doing what you do now for a living. Think of all the jobs you could be doing for a living that you don’t have to do. We are so blessed and so fortunate. Remember this to keep perspective.
Got a question for Lisa’s monthly “Ask a Spiritual CEO” column? Email [email protected] with the subject line: “Spiritpreneur Questions.”
How can embracing your deepest sexy unleash your creative force? In her latest column, Alexandra Roxo shows us that diving into our full sexual power is the key to world domination …
Owning my sexual and creative power, and letting it inform my life and creativity and work, has been revolutionary and radical … despite how much society had told me I’m too loud or too sexual or too freaky or kinky or messy or whatever.
Here are a few of my tried and true techniques for owning your sexual power, your guts, your voice, and your gifts to the world …
FIRST: A little visualization for your viewing pleasure …
Imagine you are a house. Perhaps 5 stories high. Castlelike. Grand. Tall. Well crafted. And each floor and each room is decorated beautifully. Lamps and lights and candles. Beautiful art. Cultivated space. But the first floor, the foundation, is dark, full of cobwebs. Closets locked. Perhaps a corner here and there with a little light that is only turned on “sometimes”—on a special occasion …
Now imagine this floor is your sexual energy. Your life force. Your creative power that is waiting to be stirred deep inside you.
Does it only get stirred in a bed in the dark? Between sheets? With your partner? Or a vibrator? What if you ran through that first floor, saged it out, turned on all the lights, decorated it—made it come to life?
We live in a world of compartmentalization. We shit in another room with a locked door. We carry our money in locked safes and little wallets held close to our bodies. We have sex in a bed in the dark.
When I was younger, my menstrual cycle was WAY off. After some soul searching, I realized that it was most off during the times that I was suppressing my power. Now, if my cycle is late, I look at how I’ve been holding back and “keeping it together?” How can I EMBODY my power, my vision, and my voice more boldly?
Sexual power IS creative power! And it does not work when controlled or locked away. In fact, this is hurting many of us. Disrupting our menstrual flows. Our skin. Causing diseases. Depression … the list goes on.
How might your life change if your sexual energy was present in every moment, every business deal, every Pilates class? Here’s how to awaken your deep sexy and use it to power your mission …
STEP 1// DEFINE YOUR “DEEP SEXY” Sexual energy does NOT have to be defined or encapsulated in the “sexy” of black lingerie. Or being coy, Or performing “sexy.” Or having skinny thighs. Or whispering fantasies at dinner. I LOVE all that but that is JUST one layer.
Deep Sexy to ME is sexual energy as POWER. Holding the key to all creation between your legs. The womb being an infinite pool of ideas and visions of growth. Orgasms healing the world.
A portal to the Divine that you are I are both gifted with.
We begin breaking the compartmentalization of sex as penetration, locked doors, and quiet moments in the dark, by practicing turning it on. No need to stroke a clit. No need to stick it in. Just breathe into that flow. give it space, connect to its depths.
This can be literally visualizing sexual energy as a certain color running through your body. Or connecting it to a scent. Or a song. Find a VISCERAL and SENSORIAL “IN,” and go with it.
That is what lights up the house. Increases financial flow. Health. Radiance. Love. Business growth. The whole house is illuminated.
OKAY NOW YOU GO! Write your own list. What is sexy to YOU?
STEP 2// BELLY BREATH VS. CHEST BREATH This is how you start to see and FEEL your sexuality. Meditate into your pelvis, your guts. Give your whole lower body as much importance as you do your mind, remembering every day about the portal to source energy that lives in there.
This can be practiced through dancing in your undies. Doing deep belly breathing at home in the mirror or with a book on your stomach while watching TV. Or picking points in your day by putting an alert in your cal that says “Am I breathing into my GUTS? My deep BELLY?”
And notice if you’re sucking it in. Let your belly hang out as much as possible, even though it may feel kinda weird! Breathe it open with deep belly breaths instead of shallow chest ones.
STEP 3// WHAT IF YOUR BRILLIANT IDEAS CAME ALL THE WAY FROM DOWN BELOW? Ask yourself “Did I just make this business decision from my mind? My heart? My womb? My balls?”
Regardless of your genitalia or gender identification, let your ideas brew from your depths, the roots, the intimate parts of you. Not the surface layers of your mind.
One way to check if you are truly dropping into your sexual power and living from THERE instead of the mind is to see how much you can FEEL in the moment you are making that decision. Can you feel your clit? Your cervix? Your kundalini vibes? Your balls? Your anus? (Not by literal touching, just the vibes and energy!)
And if you’re not feeling it, THAT’S OK! Try using a Chakrub, doing some PC muscle clenching, or literally start talking to your body and trying to put into words what that part of you is feeling today.
It may sound LOL, but unless you can really identify what your root is feeling, you definitely can’t find your gut intuition or make decisions from there.
STEP 4// GET MESSY AND WILD Look to the most genius creator for wisdom—MOTHER NATURE! She is wild! Messy! Disgusting! Ravenous! Beautiful! Sensual! Vicious!
Messy for me can mean taking a day to hike, laying in a field, walking barefoot, wearing no makeup, peeing outside.
But what does it mean to you? This may mean vision boarding on the floor of bedroom and making a mad genius mess of old magazines. It may mean a week you play with letting your hair be wild and free. Or only wearing long flowy dresses.
Write down 5 things that feel “messy,” aka “outside the box,” to you. One day a week take a “IMA B MESSY AND NOT GIVE A FUCK” practice. So. Fun.
STEP 5// MAKE CONTAINERS FOR YOUR FLOW TO FLOW IN! As you unlock your flow, don’t be afraid to have structures. A set time to meditate. Time to stare into space. Time to journal. To masturbate. Time to roll around on the floor sobbing.
Because when you start to open that flow of energy stored in your pelvis you will feel A LOT. The power can be overwhelming. Don’t be afraid. Stay close to friends. Nurture yourself. And most of all … HAVE FUN!
We are deep in the collective process of healing through hundreds of years of collective trauma towards women, towards sexuality, towards, well, A LOT. We will not stay quiet, hating ourselves, being ashamed of being sexual, powerful beings. Let’s do this. TOGETHER.
In Moon Club, our online mentoring program and growth accelerator for your Spirit and Business, you can get help finding your power and voice, and sharing it with the world. Join our “New Moon Ritual Intentions Setting Journey” on April 15th with something to let go of! Last month people were loving it so much that we heard it was “orgasmic” and “completely life changing.” Attend your first New Moon Ritual for FREE by emailing [email protected]. We would love to have you!
Longing to work your mystical magic on more than just nights and weekends? Maha Rose founder Lisa Levine shows us how to turn a spiritual hobby into a main hustle, and start sharing our super powers every day …
QUESTION: “I recently started opening up about my empath side on social media and have been warming up to the idea of pursuing my reiki healing as more than just a hobby. Ultimately, it would be ideal to get paid for my services. But how do I even get started?”
LISA LEVINE: You’re in the process of waking up. You’re discovering your spiritual powers. Others are discovering your spiritual powers and gifts. You feel called to share them. Other people are asking for them! taking the leap and working out the best way to go about monetizing this process and transitioning into a full time mystical business can be daunting and confusing.
Read on for my tried-and-trusted 9 steps in turning your spiritual hobby into your main hustle ..
#1 Make your own path. Your route is unique. Follow your intuition. The answers and the guidance live within you. Don’t worry or model your route after others’—your path is unique and yours only.
#2 Give a lot! And be open to receiving. The best way to gain confidence in your work is by doing a lot of sessions. I’m talking hundreds. Exchange is important but don’t get stuck on it: give, give, give. When we are starting out, the experience gained is a big part of the exchange. That said, let there be an exchange. Be open to receive! Your clients/friends can make you dinner, take you out for tea, give you feedback—not just “that was amazing,” but ideas about how could it be even better. Allow constructive criticism to be your friend so you can constantly improve the services you are providing.
#3 Take cues from the Universe. When people start wanting to pay you for your services this is a tip from the Universe that you’re ready to start charging for your work. Accept the money graciously and begin to price out your services. Many practitioners I know have a hard time receiving money in exchange for spiritual work, so find a price that may make you slightly uncomfortable but that you know is right. This is how we up-level. Get comfortable with this discomfort.
#4 Become your own marketing department. First off, let people know what you are doing. I recommend emailing your friends and family for starters: “I just finished this course in Reiki, crystals, etc. and am ready to begin offering sessions. The first X number of sessions will be offered at a special rate of X.” Get people in the door and onto your table.
Secondly, gather feedback and testimonials. When someone tells you something amazing about their experience with you, ask them if you can share what they’ve said as a testimonial. This is better than gathering testimonials way after the session happened. Even if the client was to say the exact same thing it won’t have the same vibration as when they share with you fresh after the experience.
#5 Be organized: you are your own manager. Call out your inner Virgo! Gather emails, keep client lists, get on top of session dates and times, and other important information. If you are looking to turn this hobby into a full time hustle, then act like it’s a business even before it IS your business by being organized. Then you won’t have to add the foundation after you’ve already been in business for some time.
#6 Stay in touch, a.k.a. don’t be a stranger to social media. Totally necessary. But keep it fun and keep your unique expression. We are all artists—see social media as a way to create a 4-D picture of your business. Have fun and share from the heart. Don’t let it own you, and don’t obsess over numbers. If it isn’t feeling like a healthy relationship, take a break!
#7 Get out there LIVE. This is still the best way to meet people and perspective clients. You live is better than you on social media. Call me old fashioned, but I still believe real, live interactions are the best way to form lasting and meaningful relationships—including client relationships.
#8 Be patient and let it grow organically. Quitting your day job can put too much pressure on your new found hobby/hustle. Like a garden, allow it to grow organically and be patient. It takes time to build our strength and ability to hold space for many people. Feel into how many sessions a week that might look like for you now, and imagine how many people that would be in a year and in five years.
#9 Have FUN! We have spiritual businesses because we are connected to the Universe and we want to be of service and do good in the world. Let’s imagine a new paradigm of doing business: without stress, powered by the Divine as the motor , and with the Universe as CEO. What if we were just along for the magical ride?Business can be beautiful!
As we emerge from our wintry cocoon and head toward the Spring Equinox, how do we keep worldly ambitions aligned with our intuition? Greta Solomon shows us exactly how to support our soul goals by balancing hustle and flow …
There’s never been a better time to be a self-driven woman with big dreams, and a big heart. In the past, we were taught to err on the side of caution when it came to career. When I left my full-time gig to go freelance in 2002, I was warned not to leave gaps in my resumé.
Now, taking a year out is seen as decidedly grown-up. It’s all about the side hustles, taking big leaps, and embracing the highs and lows of being your own boss.
But to truly succeed on your own path, is about more than simply “making it happen.” It also means being in the creative flow. Without mastering this, it’s easy to feel stifled and frustrated, as you try to muscle through inevitable blocks.
In the corporate world, we’re taught to operate in fight or flight mode. Success often means “putting out fires” and dealing with crises. Many of us have absorbed this mentality. That work is all about pushing, striving and achieving linear goals. That it requires stress and strain.
But to get your own business off the ground—and see it thrive—we need to exist in an Alpha brain state. The state of being alert yet relaxed, this is where you can access your intuition, and write, think and speak most freely.
Read on for my tips for dipping into your Alpha, and using your flow to fuel a successful business …
1// Schedule flow time in your diary Meaning blocks of time where you deliberately do activities that create flow—ESPECIALLY when you have deadlines and tons on your “to-do” list. You could have a head-clearing walk, do a workout, or chop some veggies to make a big salad. Cooking, driving, running and showering help you get out of your mind and into your body. Listening to music at 60 beats per minute can also get you in an Alpha state, priming you to do your best work. Find what works for you.
2// Make important decisions when you’re in your flow Five years ago, most of my writing skills training clients were sales teams in the corporate world. So, a coach advised me to call myself a “sales expert” and totally ignore the fact that I taught writing. This was VERY, VERY wrong advice, that led me away from my true path. At the time, I was juggling a new baby and a newly-published book. I was frazzled and couldn’t think straight. I recommend using your flow time to carefully consider your big career choices.
3// Know your personality type, so you can do things YOUR way Do you know your Myers-Briggs personality type (you can take a free version HERE)? Having this info means you’re less likely to second guess yourself when it comes to the BIG decisions. For example, I’m an “INFP” type, which means I’m introverted, sensitive and rely on intuition to make choices. I’m unconventional and enjoy working alone, but my empathic nature means I also connect very well with people. Knowing my type has helped me to feel confident about building a business based on writing, speaking and coaching.
4// Plan and plan some more—because creativity also needs a container But don’t just sit at a computer and make spreadsheets. Go on quarterly or yearly planning retreats, where you switch off from everything and map out your vision in both pictures and words. Creativity is truly your secret weapon when it comes to business success. After all, there are no new ideas, products or services—it’s all about your unique spin on things.
5// Sometimes you just need to hustle hard It’s fine to hustle when you need to—when the deadlines are stacked up, opportunities are popping, and there are bills to pay. But do it consciously and mindfully. Keep your time in the Beta energy zone to a minimum. Then schedule plenty of time to rest and recover afterwards—as well as some space to just go with the flow!
Ultimately, there is no short cut to building your own business. But knowing exactly where you’re putting your energy and why, will help to prevent burnout. It’s about learning to protect your sacred creative time, so you can hustle with heart, and create a business that lasts.
Greta Solomon is an author, creative writing coach, business writing trainer and former journalist for British newspapers and magazines. She is the author of “Just Write It! How to Develop Top-Class University Writing Skills” (McGraw-Hill, 2013) and the forthcoming book “Heart, Soul & Sass: Write Your Way to a Fully-Expressed Life” (pre-order it HERE from April 15th for fab bonuses). She lives in South West London with her husband and daughter, runs creative writing workshops for bloggers and the business world, and coaches people to bring their own books to life. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Caught up in feelings of guilt about “for-profit” spirituality? Spiritual CEO, Maha Rose founder Lisa Levine, tells you how to lose your money-making shame and charge your worth …
Q: “I would love advice on making money in a spiritual marketplace. How do you make money when a majority of spiritual people that you know and talk with (aka your audience) are against spirituality-for-profit? Like, what if my audience expects me to do things like tarot readings for free because … well … they’re spiritual in nature.”
Lisa Levine: Why should we charge for our spiritual work? This is a tough one, but totally necessary to confront if we want to fully embrace our calling.
Here are my top reasons for trusting in the value of exchange and getting comfortable with charging your worth …
#1 This is the work that God/Universe/Goddess has called us to do. If it’s a part time, just for fun, thing then yes, let it be a hobby and keep your day job. But, if the Universe is calling, really calling you to do this as your full time, overtime, everyday gig then it’s necessary to be paid for it. Simply for practical reasons. The Universe doesn’t want us to suffer in exchange for doing what we are called here to do.
#2 It’s all about exchange. If we don’t receive something for our work then there is an imbalance in the Universe. The person who received a reading or session from us will be indebted to us in some way. This is not a good situation to be in. We want freedom and we don’t want anybody to owe us anything! It doesn’t have to be money. It could be an amazing meal, painting your house, watching your dog … get creative. But receive.
#3 Charging money teaches us how to receive. My first massage teacher, Elaine Marie, told our class, “You’re all going to have to get used to charging money for love.” As healers, we love to give. And it’s much more comfortable, as when we are giving we are also in the position of power. To receive, we actually have to be vulnerable to allow the money, love, meal, house painting in. This can be more challenging. But this is part of our work as spiritual healers, and mastering it we can teach others how to do the same.
#4 If we don’t receive, we will burn out. Then we can’t do our work in the world. How do we know when we are burnt out? The two biggest signs are that we feel tired and / or angry. If we want to do this work we must learn to receive: financially and energetically. If we don’t allow others to support us, we will get depleted.
#5 People value things they pay for. Especially in the western world. We receive more when we pay more. Sometimes, if we receive something for free we don’t value it. I was seeing an acupuncturist for some time who cost $300 a session. You can be sure I did every piece of homework he gave me and took responsibility for my part in the healing process.
#6 Money asks us to balance our feminine and masculine. I have found that most men find it a lot easier to charge for their services than most women. The feminine aspect loves to give and love and nurture, so it can feel awkward to charge for something that just flows through us naturally. But the masculine understands the business side of life and work. If you are using your time and skills, you charge for them. Period. Access your masculine business side for the business side of your business. Then, in session, access your feminine flow. We all have both. Let them marry to make a strong spiritual business.
#7 We want to do this work for a long time. There’s a lot of work to do, and the Universe needs us to be in this for the long haul and for us to be supported in building our career. Look at what stories you may have about needing to struggle or work inordinately hard to achieve success or stability. Rewrite those stories!
#8 Growing your business is part of your spiritual work. The more you practice your skill (Tarot, Reiki, etc.) the better a practitioner you will be. And through this practice, you will also learn about all the other energetics surrounding spiritual work. There are times when you can give your gifts freely and there are times it is important to charge. Pay attention to your intuition. Most spiritual work requires us to be in business for ourselves, which opens up a whole other Universe of opportunity to grow and evolve. Keep up with your own spiritual work. This will feed you the most, allowing for clarity and and awareness to grow.
Got a question for Lisa’s monthly “Ask a Spiritual CEO” column? Email [email protected] with the subject line: “Spiritpreneur Questions”
Go slow, find your community, keep doing the work. Why these are my three top tips for pursuing your spiritual passion project …
I met Neetz at a book reading event I did at CAP Beauty in NYC’s West Village. She’d read my book, bought it for all her friends (thank you Neetz!), and was excited that I was doing a reading just a couple of streets away from her apartment. When we chatted, we worked out that I’d actually lived opposite her building when I first moved to the city back in 2012. Yo, serendipity!
We met up again as she wanted to tell me about a sideline she’d begun working on creating custom one-of-a-kind malas, in part inspired by Material Girl, Mystical World. The chapter on dharma, in particular, had struck a chord. Pondering her own life purpose, she’d decided to listen to her intuition for once, which had been steering her towards a store selling crystal beads that she passed on her way to work.
Before long, she was creating malas for herself, her husband, her family and friends. Then people at her local yoga studio. There had been beautiful stories of hope and healing. And now she was offering to make one for me.
I’ve never had a mala before. As I’m not a Hindu or a particularly dedicated yogi, I hadn’t thought they were necessarily “for me.” But Neetz described her creations as more like personal talismans, since each and every stone was selected with intention based on a personal, 1-2-1 consultation.
For my mala, she wound up using garnets (for creativity), phrenite (spiritual growth), and smoky quartz (grounding), with a large smoky quartz to anchor it. She even added a beautiful natural ruby! My namesake stone, said to bring passion and prosperity. I’ve worn it ever since, finding it brings me confidence and a feeling of home—especially comforting any time I’m out of my comfort zone.
And while my mala and its story are lovely, and I would definitely suggest you check out Neetz and her work, it’s part of a bigger narrative that’s been unfolding for me.
When I wrote my book, I had a couple of goals. I saw it as a way to continue my mission of breaking the stigma around all things “woowoo,” and at the same time introduce a wider audience to the tools and practices that had been transforming my life—inside and out—since I launched The Numinous back in 2013.
Writing from the perspective of my personal experiences was the only way I knew how to do this. I also figured this would be a way to demonstrate how tools like astrology and tarot, for example, could not only merge seamlessly with “modern” life—but were perhaps also the VITAL MISSING PART OF THE PUZZLE for so many people who felt disillusioned with a patriarchal, capitalist system, that valued progress over people, and the accumulation of things over the pursuit of true fulfilment.
What I didn’t expect, but which I guess was my subconscious / real reason for writing it, was that so many people would read it and be inspired to embark on similar transformational journeys of their own. But already this year, I have been inundated with people sharing exactly this. Since the book came out in May 2017, I guess it’s taken 9 months or so (funny, that) for my early readers to heed the call, feel the fear, and get on with doing their dharma anyway!
The woman who’s started a spiritual platform for teenage girls. Another who quit her job as a lawyer and is going back to design school in her mid-fifties. The NYC PR maven moving out of fashion and into building the careers of mystics and healers. The readers who’ve been inspired to make similar changes, and who’ve joined Moon Club to feel supported in their missions.
Neetz is one of a long list of Mystical Girls beginning to make moves on the Material World as we know it. Up the matriarchy! Somebody even called it the “Ruby ripple” effect—and if it means my book is in any way helping create a shift to a more emotional, intuitive, and healing-centered economy, then I’ll take it!
By the way, this post is NOT all like, “now you gotta go buy my book.” I’m just saying that if you, too, are feeling the call to pursue your (spiritually aligned) passion project, you’re so not alone. In fact, you are part of what is beginning to feel like a movement. Take comfort in this. We’re all in it together.
There are also a few key pieces of advice I’ve been dishing out to wannabe matri-preneurs (?!), those busy transitioning passion-led side-hustles into game-changing main-hustles. Based again on my own findings and experience, here are my top 3:
1 // Treat your business like your baby. Meaning, DO NOT make it have to pay your rent right off the bat. Think about it: would you expect your child to start paying their way before you’d nurtured them, educated them, and were confident they were gonna be able to fend for themselves?! A project that’s born of your passion and intuition is a part of you. Allow it to grow and develop in its own time—and think about ways the skills and experience from your old life can support you as you build your new one.
2 // Find your community. This may be a women’s circle, conscious entrepreneurs club, an official coach or mentor, or even just a few close friends who “get it.” But when you’re in the business of breaking old paradigms (personal and societal) you WILL find yourself suffering regular bouts of imposter syndrome / self-doubt, and you WILL need loving cheerleaders and shoulders to cry on. This is one of the reasons Alexandra Roxo and I created Moon Club—which is also a community that give US the support we need.
3 // Keep working on you. The more you align with your purpose, the more conditioning and “other people’s stories” about you and what you “should” be doing with your life, you will likely be confronted with daily. The tools in my book are essentially ALL in service of a) becoming aware this conditioning even exists (its influence can be so subtle!), and b) discovering your personal truths. Truths that are ROCKET FUEL for your passion projects. It might feel like a “luxury” to invest in readings, energy work, and other healing modalities (like getting a custom mala!), especially while you’re in a career transition. But you can always ask friends to do an exchange (see tip #2), and the clearer your channel, the faster you’ll manifest your mission!
Discover more about Neetz and her malas HERE, get your copy of Material Girl, Mystical World HERE, and learn more about our Moon Club community HERE. Because I love you!
Want to mix your magic with your mojo? Lisa Levine, founder of renowned Brooklyn healing mecca Maha Rose, shares her top 9 tips for running your spiritual business …
I’m an artist and a healer who fell deep into the magic, challenges, and medicine of running a spiritual business. My path was anything but straightforward. After graduating from art school in 2002, and setting myself up as a massage therapist in my hometown of Pittsburgh, I decided to dive headfirst into the fashion world making jewelry.
This dive brought me to my knees and I searched for tools to maintain my sanity- yoga, then meditation, then Amma. My path with her and the practice of devotion brought clarity and a different sense of purpose. I closed my jewelry store in Williamsburg, completed acupuncture school, and officially opened Maha Rose in 2013 (though the roots date back to 2007). It’s been a wild ride and a beautiful one, ever shifting, quickly evolving.
I’m always learning and seeking to be of service to others in finding their path and purpose in this life. Read on for my top tips to keep your spiritual biz magically real …
1// Cultivate a Beginner’s Mind. When we sign up to serve the divine, we are signing up for a lifetime of school. The Universe is always asking us to evolve, and the uncomfortable places are the places of learning and growth.
2// Commit to the Dirty Work. As a healer, the most important healing work we do is our own personal work. Do your spiritual and healing work, and everything else will radiate out from your own heart and fall into place.
3// Lean Into the Fear. Running a spiritual business is a calling- an agreement between you and the Universe. When you offer your life in service to the divine, opportunities will present themselves. If they make you feel excited and a little nervous, you are probably on the right track.
4// Find the Thing That Gets You Hot. My teacher David Elliott says, “The holy spirit is hot.” You can tell when you are in alignment with your path when your temperature rises, the hair on your arms and legs stands up, your senses sharpen, and your heart flutters: you’re on your path.
5// Head In the Stars, Feet On the Ground. Many of us healer/artists have resistance around legal, governmental, and financial structures. But if we signed up to make magic in the earth realm, we have to play by the rules of that realm. Free up the rest of your energy to make more magic by doing the work, calling the lawyer, buying the insurance. When the foundation is solid, then you can play and dance and heal for the rest of the day and night.
6// Trust Your Social Media Intuition.When you’re overwhelmed with how and what others are doing on social media, go inside and listen to find your unique expression. Play with social media and interact with it if it is uplifting and inspiring, but walk away if it is making you feel down or depressed.
7// Receive. Receive. Receive. Many healers are very comfortable in the role of giving but less comfortable in the role of receiving. When we are giving we are in the position of power. To receive we need to be open and vulnerable. This is challenging. But we must have this sacred exchange so we don’t get burnt out. Know that you don’t have to do this work alone. Who are your advisers? Who are your mentors? Who’s done this before you who can help you on the path? Let people support you.
8// Treat Money as Energy.My first massage teacher said to us, “You’re all going to have to get used to exchanging love for money.” It may feel weird at first, but we must charge for our time and because this is our life’s work. Figure out what works for you- this could be keeping your day job and doing work on the side, or bartering. But know that there must be an exchange. Otherwise, there is an imbalance in the Universe that leaves people owing you. And then things get super funky and weird in the energetic realms …
9// Don’t Push the River. When I first starting giving Reiki treatments, I still had my jewelry company and if I had immediately started pressuring myself to make rent and pay all my life expenses, it would have taken a lot of magic away from my sessions. You can’t push spirit. Let is grow organically and keep the magic as things evolve.
And remember, we are channels. Just like healing energy comes through you, let your business do the same. Rather than thinking “I have to [fill in the blank],” think “We (the Universe and I) are [fill in the blank] together!” Just show up, and be available for the magic, healing, light, and love to move through you …
From January 2018, Lisa Levine will be writing a monthly “Ask a Spiritual CEO” column for The Numinous, in which she will respond to readers’ spiritual business Qs. Got a question for Lisa? Email [email protected] with the subject line: “Spiritpreneur Questions”
On the brink of opening a brand new studio in Harlem, SHAKTIBARRE co-founder Corinne Wainer confronts the status quo, and shares 5 ways to get real about diversity in the wellness industry right now …
When I read that 77% of yogis are white, and that in New York roughly 44% make over $75,000 a year, I was astonished. Also, like I had been de-naïved. Seven years ago I founded a yoga and literacy non-profit for 7th-12th grade girls called YoGirls Program, but I had not assumed that the lack of access to wellness education my young students experienced would follow them into adulthood.
I started YoGirls Program because I knew the shameful feeling of being excluded from this often elitist world. Though I’m not a cultural minority, I didn’t grow up with money, and wellness education is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. And there was the one time I was told not to come back to a barre class because my shoulder injury, which necessitated modified moves, would make their sequencing “look bad.” Given this minor “image” infraction, you can imagine what other exclusionary practices exist.
Soon, I began to realize that theses issues needed to be tackled in the wider world. At first, I pitched articles to wellness editors along the lines of: “Hey, I see you have many articles written about elitism in the wellness industry but none that really discuss how to solve the problem … can I write about that?” My “idea” became SHAKTIBARRE, the yoga-barre studio and community space I opened with my partner in 2016.
Our mission was to actually DO SOMETHING about the aforementioned wellness injustices. So we implemented a sliding-scale pricing model, offer classes that emphasize body, cultural, and spiritual inclusivity, and dedicate 10% of net profits to YoGirls Program. As my friend Robyn from The Babe Collective says, it’s been about building a biz without becoming a superficial a**hole! This is all the more imperative because the yoga industry is 82% women. Change starts with us.
In an industry that profits from your self-doubt, any wellness initiative that supports you liking yourself is a healthy rebellion—but amazingly, we’ve gotten explicit push back for this, and been told we should just “stick to exercise and stop caring so much.” Or haven’t been invited to things where our mission wouldn’t be popular with those who are after more glitter-worthy press.
Because good intentions are one thing—making real change at a grassroots level requires GRIT. It’s not enough to hope our overall vibe and messaging would magically erase a deeply ingrained and capitalist-motivated lack of diversity in the wellness industry.
So if you too desire to create tangible change—in wellness or any industry where there is a lack of integrity and action—then read on for 5 ways we turned feel-goods into do-goods, and let the SHAKTIBARRE story be your guide …
1.When we took a survey. So far we’ve had over 10,000 students and achieved a 4.9/5-star rating. Exciting. But we couldn’t help asking: “what’s up with that missing 0.1?” So we created a survey asking direct questions on everything from mat quality to cultural equality, promising to implement response-based changes within six weeks. We discovered that real empowerment comes from dynamic conversations, and thousands of our members were more than happy to share their honest insights when asked. The learning: In an industry where “exchange” has become the creepy synonym for “money,” make direct inquiries and practice active listening.
2. When we said “no” to big opportunities that would compromise our integrity. We’ve been asked countless times to partner with corporate brands and been offered 6-12 million dollar investment deals; and it was a memorable magazine moment that taught us early on the power of staying true to our SHAKTIBARRE selves. An incredible article was written about us, but the title used a pic of a supermodel as click bait. The feedback from some new students was that they’d been afraid to visit because they felt nothing like the famous woman portrayed in the piece.
From that moment on, we’ve refused to film or do interviews with anyone unless they use inclusive pictures and dialogue. We also decided to fundraise for our second location instead of taking on investors who may prioritize financial gain over our community efforts. The learning: Always emphasize your mission over money and fame. And be honest: if your mission is money and fame, reevaluate your mission.
3. When we got totally transparent online. Originally, we thought SHAKTIBARRE was just going to have local impact, but we realized our responsibility on-site and online. We take time each week to individually reply to reviews and Instagram comments, and pay extra special attention to tense conversations. For example, a woman recently challenged our fundraising campaign in response to a post we wrote with Alexandra Roxo, arguing that we’re “a for-profit company who can just go to the bank.”
We created a whole newsletter on it and asked for input from our community, ultimately opening our Quickbooks and telling the whole world exactly what we make, why, and how, all in the name of transparency. We even invited her to tea! The learning: Every criticism is a chance to unveil a deeper truth for both parties.
4. When we empowered our OWN community. We have about 30 people on our team at any given time, and in order to help them bring their gifts to the world, we extend our services inward. This means we’ve raised salaries twice before paying ourselves more, provided free coaching when asked, generated promo codes and worked out various continuing education opportunities (marketing seminars, teacher trainings, and attending outside classes, benefits, and performances together). The learning: When your team gets to experience your mission first hand, your foundation becomes rock solid, and your impact will be true.
5. When we became socially … awkward or awesome (you decide). We are a trendy, boutique fitness spot that also promises to create large-scale sociopsychological shifts in the way women experience wellness. That is why we sometimes post (with permission, of course) really provocative shares from teachers and students about racism, sexual assault, vaginal health, chronic illness, family dysfunction, learning disabilities … you name it. That is why we create SHAKTIPOPS (SHAKTIBARRE classes with a theme) that take deeper looks at how wellness is more specifically experienced by people of color (there’s a class coming up on December 3rd!), queer populations, Latina heritage, Judaism, morbid obesity … again you name it.
These subjects can be super triggering, and are NOT necessarily gonna get us all the likes on Instagram. But we see it as our responsibility as role models to go there. The learning: With every second you have in the limelight, say something consciously disruptive to exclusive wellness industry statistics. Want to get ridiculous right now? Post our crowdfunding link on your Instagram and start a conversation about real change through wellness.
The biggest challenge you’ll face with our 5 tips? That you’ll have to let go of being accepted and step into being accountable. The greatest reward will be a loyal, lasting, and long-term impact on an industry ripe with opportunities for equal-opportunity empowerment.
As I build more and more studios over the next 5 years (where do YOU wanna see one?!), more and more adult women will get inspired to become activists, and more young girls will have a fully-funded after school program. Meanwhile, my co-founder Shauny Lamba will continue expanding our Shakti Teacher Trainings all over the globe which is where this dream gets even more real because every year the YoGirls design a service project where they visit a city in need and learn alongside their local peers! And this all starts in our SHAKTIBARRE empowerment hub home-bases …
The BE Hive is a unique space for spiritual exploration in the heart of Hollywood. Alexandra Roxo talks plant meds and conscious entrepreneurship with founder Tamara Edwards…
Part of mine and Ruby’s mission with Moon Club is to meet people who are killing it at business but with a foot on the ground and an eye on the cosmos. People whose work is also of service to humanity. Which led me to Tamara Edwards, founder of The BE Hive in LA, a new space that combines wellness and workshops with co-working space and even accommodation. I love it so much, I now work out of there twice a week!
I decided to ask Tamara about the why and the how behind the project, because I know first hand that creating a business from the ground up is so so much work! As such, us spiritual entrepreneurs absolutely have to stick together, share, and inspire each other, as we create a new paradigm around money, community, and work.
ALEXANDRA ROXO: What’s your background and what led you to this work? TAMARA EDWARDS: I grew up in a meditating household. My dad is an M.D and a practicing Ayurvedic physician and learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1970’s, which allowed me to witness first-hand the transformational power of meditation from a very young age.
Over three years ago, my own practice led to me I founding The BE Society, a nomadic meditation group that gathers in myriad locations globally. And in 2016 I opened The BE Hive, an Urban Sanctuary in Hollywood, where groups and individuals can meditate, stay, and engage in other consciousness related activities and services. Now, alongside my career as a film producer, I travel internationally sharing meditation with private individuals, companies and even film crews.
AR: Oh dang. No wonder I like you. We both work in film and are conscious businesses owners. Amazing! So, how did the idea for the BE Hive come about? TE: The idea came during a stay in a beautiful empty NY Soho loft. This particular space inspired the vision, but the concept was a natural evolution of The BE Society. The BE Hive is our sanctuary, a sustainable, eco-friendly sacred hub for practitioners to facilitate deep healing and share ancient knowledge and tools for expanding consciousness in a fresh way. There’s also a focus on plant medicine.
AR: What makes it different than other spots in LA? TE: Blending hospitality, community and plant medicine healing has not been done like this before. Our current physical space is also the oldest building in Hollywood. We have 15 + rooms to play with. We are the only space in LA that provides accommodation with a strong intention for expanding consciousness, building community, creating deep connection, facilitating healing, and providing transformational tools.
AR: Why the plant medicine focus, and how does this fit with your other offerings? TE: BE Hive is about expanding consciousness using all tools available—including yoga, meditation, tea, sound, food, science, design, space, movement and plants. I personally study plant medicine, and profound studies have been done over centuries on the power of plant teachers like Ayahuasca as facilitators in healing humans and creating harmony on this planet. Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda are also ancient and powerful technologies for enlightenment. I see all of these modalities as the master teachers. We are simply here to hold sustainable space for the knowledge to be shared and to blend them into a digestible format for the communities that gather here.
AR: Why is this kind of programming so important in these times? TE: I believe this kind of healing is what our global family needs and is craving in order to deepen our connection to our souls and our planet. We curate specifically to address these needs. Each workshop leader is brought in intentionally because we have researched and experienced their work and feel guided to share their teachings. Each of these people are providing ancient concepts around nature, culture and gathering, in a fresh, accessible way. We are all about big visions that serve the planet!
AR: What’s in store for The BE Hive in 2017? TE: We are taking everything to the next level. Expect solar powered energy, urban bee hives, rain barrels, a vertical garden, custom plant products, an amazing array of wellness services facilitated by the best practitioners around, and a new membership program.
AR: How can we go from learning about different spiritual practices to making real changes in the world? TE: This requires PRACTICE! It’s such a blessing to receive teachings, insights, guidance, and epiphanies. However these things have no merit unless they are paired with intentional action. I ask myself daily—am I talking the talk, or am I walking the talk? How am I or am I not in integrity in this moment? Am I here now or am I here now-ish? 😉 As Gandhi said, the best thing we can do to see the change we wish to see in the world is to BE the change we wish to see in the world. Practice mastery of the self, and the action needed will come effortlessly.
AR: Do you have advice for female entrepreneurs? How did you get your start? TE: My main advice to anybody is to meditate. Why? Meditation connects us to our soul, which enables us to access our intuition. Our intuition is our most advanced technology. It is our internal GPS system. It helps us to discover our purpose and to trust in ourselves. Being an entrepreneur is all about taking risks, following your gut, and taking leaps into the unknown. We have to learn how to trust ourselves and to continue trailblazing forward. Doubt is our roadblock.
QUICK FIRE Qs What’s your sign? Capricorn in Western Astrology, Sagittarius in Vedic Your mantra? I must do what I am afraid to do Your fave food in LA? Paleo Bread with sprouted almond butter from Erewhon! Your fave LA retreat or getaway? Sleeping in my friend’s Lotus Belle in Topanga
On December 25th 2016 Kitchari Kitchen sponsored by The BE Hive, Groundworks, & Sweat Theory will be feeding the homeless Christmas morning food and chai from 10am—12pm. Volunteers and donated gifts are welcome. Do discover more about upcoming workshops at The BE Hive visit Thebehive.us
When it comes to astrology for entrepreneurs, it’s about knowing your cosmic career signature—and following a few hard and fast rules, says Rebecca Gordon…
I grew up learning astrology with my step-mother, and I simply could not get enough. As soon as I opened my first book on the subject, I knew that this was going to change my life in a profound way. Here was a timeless and symbolic language that seemed to describe all the happenings in our lives.
Astrology occupies such a sacred space, the space where the cosmos meets the soul and inner-psyche. I simply could not think of anything better to do with my life than to decode the wonderfully poetic language of our skies and use it to help others align with their own life-path.
Since launching my subsequent career as an astrologer, I have consulted many people on astrology for entrepreneurs—and my strategy has always been to simply apply what I know about astrology to running a business.
This could be as simple as scheduling meetings at the most ideal cosmic alignments, and using lunar cycles, planetary returns and so much more to inform business practices. But on a deeper level, it’s about letting the clues in somebody’s birth chart to help unearth their “calling.”
For when you are aligned with your natal chart, your own path, and the natural cycles, a feeling of great support and synchronicity pervades. We all have a specific role here on earth and something unique that we are here to share, and life is as much about the journey to discover this. Your path to your calling is truly what makes you who you are. Value each “misstep” as nothing but a teaching, all of which are vital parts of your unique journey.
:: DISCOVERING YOUR COSMIC CAREER SIGNATURE :: How can we know the type of career best suited to us? The first indicator I look for is temperament, as seen through the balance of elements in the chart: fire, earth, air and water. Each element rules a different kind of function in work and life, and each unique combination of elements and signs has its most ideal work habitat and daily practice.
The other thing it’s important to note are the modes which are: cardinal, fixed and mutable. These tell me your strengths and weaknesses as an entrepreneur and your most ideal platform on any team. It’s really about knowing ourselves and finding a way to express what we do best.
Some people have a balance of all of these elements and modes, though most of us do not. So I am a firm believer in hiring out in the places where you are lacking. For example, if you have no air, you may need to hire a big picture strategist or consult with.
:: THE CAREER HOUSES :: There are three houses (sectors of your birth chart) that deal with ideas around work. These are the “Earth houses,” which deal with the practicalities of life, and are sectors two, six, and ten. Each of these houses deals with a different aspect of your work day; cash flow, daily practices, and your vocational calling.
Each of the 3 houses speaks to another aspect of career. The 2nd house is synonymous with the concept of “your farmland—your crops.” It represents the inherited skills, attributes, talents and also the attitudes around them and the ways which we may derive self-worth.
Your 2nd house will reveal attitudes around money as well as inherited and karmic wealth stories. If any entrepreneur wants to integrate astrology into their business plan, the first thing is to understand your own 2nd house and how it works.
The other house that deals with running a business is the 6th house. This house deals more with what sort of business atmosphere and work-flow suites you best. The 6th house also relates to the style in which you will deliver your service and what kind of service this may be.
The 10th house, in my opinion, is the most important because this deals with the concept of your ‘true calling’ or your ‘vocation’. Not everyone has their 2nd house (income) aligned with 10th house (vocation) though they can be congruent.
The 10th speaks about where you will find your dignity in the world and this is a key to happiness at work. I feel the 10th house must be awoken somehow for anyone to feel like they are on their true path. Think of the base of the chart (the IC) as your root system and ancestral stories and the top of the chart (the 10th house) as the fruit you bear—what you may emerge into when you follow your calling.
:: THE CAREER PLANETS :: There is not one planet that rules career. Though I often look at the ruler of the 10thhouse, as well as the “conversations” that planet is in (how I refer to the different aspects it is making) and where it is positioned. Also, and planets in the 10th house speak volumes about your career interests. This and the ruler of the 10th will usually tell me a pretty in-depth story about your calling.
:: CHOOSING A TIME TO LAUNCH :: Choosing a launch date for a business, product or service can be make or break, and it’s something I put a great deal of time and energy into. First there are a series of questions I ask because the chart of your business (calculated using the time, date and location of the launch) must speak to the mission statement and goals of the business.
What is a stellar chart for an online coaching business may not work at all for someone opening a restaurant! I also consider the entrepreneur’s natal chart, to make sure the timing also works for them.
There are also a couple of hard and fast rules when it comes to astrology for entrepreneurs:
– Stay away from Mercury Retrograde for your launch. – Try to also have Mars, Jupiter and Saturn direct, if possible. – Friendly aspects to Saturn show stability so I like to have some of those – Jupiter and Pluto alignments with the luminaries (sun and moon) can bring wealth and abundance – I try to make sure the important planets for your business type are in a sign they function highly in. – Launch on a friendly New Moon, ideally one that’s near the top of the chart. – Stay away from launching on Full Moons and especially not on a Lunar Eclipse. Full Moons and Lunar Eclipses are times of endings and culminations, not beginnings. – I look for the Moon to be applying to a positive aspect, for example a conjunction to Jupiter or trine to Venus.
I have seen my clients launch under all kinds of personal transits, though Saturn and Jupiter are the two main ‘business planets’—as Saturn rules consolidation and stability, and Jupiter expansion. Both equally important.
Sometimes a Saturn transit gives someone the discipline they need to actually concretize something. Another person may need a Jupiter transit to give them the vision and confidence to let go of all of the preparation and studying and finally set sail.
BEST ASPECTS FOR CAREER TRANSITIONS… I have also seen people change career paths suddenly under a Uranus transit or transform their life direction under a Pluto transit. One client I had a years ago had Pluto crossing her 10th house, and she left the cosmetic counter at MAC and went to study Chinese medicine. Now she’s a full time doctor and loves it. Pluto rules over medicine and research, so we used astrology to successfully time her transition.
BEST ASPECTS FOR LAUNCHING A WEB-BASED BUSINESS… For launching a website or online business, I look for a strong Mercury because “communication” is the main focus here. Also I may emphasize the 3rd and 9th houses (axis of communication), although the details of the chart will depend on what sort of website it is.
BEST ASPECTS FOR A MARKETING CAMPAIGN… If the marketing campaign is oriented to bring in revenue or sell items, I’d arrange the chart to have a healthy 2nd or 8th house depending on the revenue stream. Maybe both. Also I would like strong aspects to the 11th if there will be affiliate partners.
BEST ASPECTS FOR HIRING STAFF… Hiring is definitely something to avoid in Mercury Retrograde as the agreed terms would change down the road anyhow. Hire when planets are occupying Earth and Air signs so judgment does not get too clouded by emotions and there will be clear communications about the role and expectations. Also hire when you are not under a Neptune transit or any challenging influence for that matter because whoever enters your life while you’re under that transit, will likely be another manifestation of the lesson it brings.
BEST ASPECTS FOR HOSTING AN EVENT… You will get a much better turn out on a Full Moon then a New Moon, generally speaking, as a Full Moon has a more celebratory feel, making people want to go play in the magic and connect to others.
“Is the entrepreneur life for me?” Resident Yogi and philosopher Eddie Stern responds… Artwork:Francesco Clemente
“After years of working for other people and putting all my creative energy into their dreams, I finally decided to do my own thing a couple of years back. I have worked on various projects since, some more successful than others—and while I try to always learn from the lessons of my ‘failures’ it can be hard not to focus on things that have gone wrong, and blame myself. Lately this has made me fearful about continuing on the entrepreneurial path and I’ve been fantasizing about the ‘easy life’—i.e. working for somebody else again—even though I know in my heart this would make me depressed and leave me craving my freedom again. How can I get past my mistakes and remain confident about pursuing my own dreams?”
Almost everyone sometimes feels trapped between two worlds; one world we know, the other we don’t really know…but we have some ideas. One world is exhilarating and free, and the other is safe, but is a prison. The world of safety, as you pointed out, can often be boring, unfulfilling, and limiting, while the world of the unknown—where our hidden, unlimited potential lies—is scary. Until we jump in, that is.
These two realities are spoken of in Hindu philosophy. There is the reality that can be measured, is logical, has size, shape and weight—and the reality that cannot: thoughts, emotions, inspiration, potential and creativity. We can measure our bodies, possessions, money, buildings, cars, cities, even the Universe, but we cannot measure that things that inhabit these spaces: knowledge, love, compassion, empathy, dreams, ambitions, hopes, desires, potential and friendship.
The reality that can be measured is called sakala, “with form,” and the reality that cannot is called nishkala, “without form.” However, they are both real—they both exist! The realm of man is the sakala realm, and the realm of the Gods—as well as our hopes, dreams, potential and feelings—is nishkala.
We get stuck in the world of quantification, of measurement, because that is what our world demands of us. How many followers do we have on IG? How much money do I have in the bank? Do I have six packs in my abs, or only one and a half? We measure, we compare, and we are miserable in doing so, because we always come up short. And we measure because we don’t know who we are.
In Yoga, this knowing who we are is the solution to all misery. It is the plug that let’s all the dirty, stinky water down the drain. For when we truly know who we are, we are immeasurable, pure consciousness. When we don’t know who we are, we are limited by the things we measure ourselves against.
When we don’t know who we are, we imitate those who project the kind of confidence and knowledge, or beauty or wit, that we wished we had. We give up the struggle of discovering who we are, by playing it safe, and taking on someone else’s self-expression. But in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna, “It’s better to do your own dharma poorly, then to do the dharma of another well”, meaning, it’s better to do your own thing and fail, rather than do someone else’s thing and succeed.
Why? Because you’ll never be happy and never find fulfillment with someone else’s purpose, only with your own. And it’s only you who can discover what that is. When you do, is when freedom begins. It’s how you access the realm of nishkala, and bring it forward, actively, into your life.
In the Tarot, a card which seems to accurately represent the dilemma that you are in right now, is the Two of Wands. The image on the card is of a person standing between two upright wands; he is holding onto one of the wands with his left hand, and in his right, he is holding a globe, or, the world, as he gazes off towards the distance.
The meanings of the card can relate to decision making; you have reached a fork in the road, so to speak, and there are two directions you can go. One direction will lead you towards freedom and abundance, and the other towards safety, which is binding, and will be fraught with self-doubt. The card symbolizes independence and boldness on the one hand, and fear of failure, and dependence on others, on the other.
Being bold is an expression of personal power, which is simply another terms for your unique potential and creativity. Now may be the time for you to own that originality within you, and be bold enough to express it in the world. You may have had some failures, and you will definitely have fears to face head on, but in the end, regardless of success or failure, you will have the inner satisfaction of knowing that you were brave enough to listen.
The important thing is to keep at your work. Your creativity will continue to grow as you feed it. It will continue to grow as you use if for work that aligns with your own vision.
There are three key words I’ve seen associated with the Two of Wands: personal power (which I read as infinite potential channeled through us each as unique individuals); boldness; and originality. Your potential will become clearer the more you exercise it; your boldness will increase when you face your fears directly and don’t let them rule you; and last, connecting with your own work, and your own originality, will lead you towards personal fulfillment, which is true success.
But the Two of Wands reminds us of one other thing: we do not own our creativity, or our potential, or power. These are channeled through us, and if we are lucky, we can tap into them and express them through our actions and attitudes. We should remain humble knowing that we are not the authors of our creativity or power, that we are conduits, and that when creativity flows through us, all goes well. But when we try to control it, or think that we are special because of it, things will eventually go south. Be bold, but be humble. Be fearless, but also, be grateful.
A yogic practice you can try to balance out the two realities that we all live in is alternate nostril breathing. It’s fairly simple, is calming, and balances both hemispheres of the brain.
Begin by sitting comfortably in a chair, or cross-legged on the floor.
Place your right thumb against your right nostril, inhale and exhale 3-5 times through your left nostril. Your breathing should be smooth and even, not too long, and not too short. Usually a 3-4 second inhale and exhale is a good place to start.
After 3-5 breaths, close your left nostril with your right ring finger, and breath the same amount of times through the right nostril. Your breathing should be smooth and even, with the same length of breath that you used on the left side (3-4 seconds inhale, 3-4 seconds exhale).
After 4 breaths through the right side, place your right hand back into your lap or on to your knee, and take 3-5 slow deep breaths.
You can do this once or twice a day—morning and evening, and before having food, are optimal times to try it. There are many variations of alternate nostril breathing, that overall have some of the same effects. This one in particular is single nostril, or unilateral, breathing, and has been show to have positive effects on both spatial awareness (knowing where you are in space, and where things are in relation to you), and improving cognitive abilities. I think the two wands in the Two of Wands card are reminiscent of the nostrils, and the subtle energy channels that are attached to them! Try it, and see if it helps.
Sarah Gottesdiener, the artist behind the cult Many Moons workbook, breaks down how your Moon Sign plays a role in your career. PLUS! Numinous readers receive free shipping on of her site through July 13. Use the code: NUMI
Some astrologers believe that your Moon sign reflects your most essential self, your intuitive make-up, your emotions and innate talents. As such, for any entrepreneur—where what you “do” is a fluid reflection of who you are—a connection to your Moon sign is essential.
For example, having my Moon in Gemini (with Cancer Sun and a Taurus Ascendent), could explain why I’m obsessed with research and reading, and why my childhood dream was to illustrate and write children’s books. Also why, as an adult, I have many interests and endless subjects I am curious about, while almost everything I do professionally requires some form of communication, whether it is design, writing, or reading people’s Tarot cards.
Day-to-day, my Gemini Moon means I can be funny, charming, witty, and engaging. It is easy for me to communicate what I intuit, and to utilize messages from spirit and channeling while I give Tarot readings or write. All my clients know how much I love to chat and talk things out!
But I also have a moody side, to be sure, and having many different pursuits can also lead to feeling scattered, which in turn affects my nervous system and adrenals. I’ve also experienced having people think that my flirting is more than just a fun exchange.
For my Gemini Moon, as well as the smooth running of my business, serving my body through physical exercise is really important to me, and my nervous system. As is drinking enough water, meditating, getting enough sleep, and listening to my body. I did not do this at all until my 30’s—and if there is one piece of advice I could give to any person running their own business, it would be to prioritize this kind of practical self-care!
Below, I share some wisdom for each Moon sign at work…
:: ARIES MOON :: At your very best you are pure fire water, a flickering flame of warrior inspiration. Bold and brazen, most likely you are a natural leader. Put your ideas out there—they are almost always completely unique to your vibrant vision, and usually serve the greater good. Just know that patience, long-term commitment, and compromise are parts of the process.
:: TAURUS MOON :: The Moon is exalted in loyal, steady Taurus, and financial fortune may favor you. Try to flex your manifesting muscles, particularly with Earth-related projects and possessions: tangibility is the name of your game. The key here is making sure your self-worth is strong, and that you feel emotionally secure, with all sensory modes intact and engaged. Accepting how lovely you are, inside and out, is the key to sharing and spreading and harvesting more harmony.
:: GEMINI MOON :: Curious, whip smart, lively Gemini Moon! Overanalyzing and over-communicating your emotions will not help you: utilizing your strong gift of communication to engage others will. The need for variety is strong; spreading out your many intriguing versatilities amongst different projects and groups is a way to keep interest piqued.
:: CANCER MOON :: Sweet Cancer Moon, what a kind delight you are. With your Moon in this placement you are most likely emphatic, supportive and sensitive. As the Moon rules Cancer, there could be a strong chance you are psychic, a healer, a deep nurturer. It is imperative that you address your own emotional desires and boundaries, and the needs of your highest self before taking on the energy of others.
:: LEO MOON :: Liberated, passionate, Leo Moon! You expect r-e-s-p-e-c-t, you regal, royal creature. And you deserve it: when you share and give to those you love, they feel lit up with all the shining force and power of the Sun. Incorporate your natural gifts for play, dramatic flair, and creative expression as much as possible when you lead the pack.
:: VIRGO MOON :: Virgo Moons are naturals at writing and analyzing. Health, healing, and self-care is of upmost importance to those of you with a Virgo Moon: don’t forget that tending to your SELF must take precedence. You could be happy to be working behind the scenes, since being of service is a natural state for you. When things are organized and well-structured, the sky is the limit for you.
:: LIBRA MOON :: The emphasis for those with a Libra Moon is emotional and inner balance. Harmony, peace, and beauty are a priority to you: Libra is ruled by Venus, after all. You might be straight up gifted at art-direction, hosting, and anything that involves grace and design. While you are at your best around others, don’t let the perception of having to cater to others’ needs swallow yours whole.
:: SCORPIO MOON :: Scorpio Moon: passionate, penetrating, and powerful! Part of your lifelong struggle may be dealing with the “feelings vs. facts” equation that all emotionally vibrant, attuned beings on this weird rock of ours must reckon with. But when you’ve poured your endless energy into something you care deeply about, there is no stopping you. With the suggestion of psychic and intuitive gifts here, you might be a psychologist, an investigator, healer, a change-maker, a trail-blazer.
:: SAGITTARIUS MOON :: Teacher, preacher, permanent student, wanderer, brutal optimist: those with a Moon placement in this sign do not want to be pinned down. You want to inspire and be inspired. You want to wake others up and expand your own limits. Design your life and work so that your love and passions get expressed through metaphoric or actual travel and different perspectives.
:: CAPRICORN MOON :: A Capricorn Moon most likely will have no trouble paying the bills, advancing in a larger company, and thriving in a long-term relationship. You are high-achieving, capable, reliable, and realistic: what a wonderful relief in this flaky day and age! Let your impeccable standards serve as an example to others, and not a harsh expectation, an excuse for flagellation. Let others catch a glimpse of your huge and warm heart sooner than you might feel comfortable.
:: AQUARIUS MOON :: A big advantage you have is your ability to see the bigger picture: the collective is an easy point of access for you. Your propensity towards originality and the avant-garde is a gift. Your vision is future-forward, wide, expansive, celestial—at times you might even feel like an alien observer. Put your formidable intellect to use and help us turn the page towards progress.
:: PISCES MOON :: Those born with their Moon in Pisces are lovers, sweethearts, romantics, idealists, dreamers, and old-souls. You might have heightened gifts in multiple art forms. Nurture your creativity and helping nature, give it the time and space it deserves. Use the urge towards escapism in a healthy way by recharging in the wild, making art, and through channeling. Show us the value of your subtle power.
Can speaking the language of plants help you become more beautiful? Jess Morgan, owner of Good4You Plant Makeup thinks the answer is a deep, resounding YES. Finding time to appreciate the natural world and to listen to the voice of nature can have a profound effect, one that makes you feel the love of the Universe. And she believes that in honoring this cosmic connection with Gaia we can find beauty in the world around us, AND ourselves.
Plant Makeup is a makeup and skincare company that’s all about this numinous approach to beauty, by crafting products from locally grown/foraged or certified organic flowers and herbs. Here, Jess shares her special brand of plant-based wisdom…
THE NUMINOUS: First and foremost, Good4You started in 2004 in a medical herb greenhouse. Can you tell us more about this experience? JESS MORGAN: Yes, it’s been a 12-year journey of learning about plants—and wanting to work for them! In my late teens I was searching for the answer to life’s meaning. A major quest—and I found that answer in plants. When I walked into the green house on that special awakening day, I was able to feel this great love in my heart coming from all the green friends that surrounded me. Further, I felt plants wanted me to ‘work for them’ in a way. As humans, we are from the Earth too, but I feel we are becoming disconnected from this. So Plant Makeup is to help people remember.
TN: You also told me you “felt called upon to be a voice for nature in our modern era.” What’s the message they want you want to send? JM: The highest goal nature has for us is to help us see all the beauty on Earth, and so the message is really for everyone to get outside! As well as to inspire generations to come to be continual care takers of the Earth. I hope everyone can find the inspiration to do more Earth work, as on a deeper level I feel like this can help align everyone more with their true purpose—which is to find a way to live harmoniously with nature, a situation which is out of control right now.
My work is also my own small contribution to awakening people to the fact plants and nature are talking to us at all times, trying to communicate with us through the heart, so they can explore their own connection and further be inspired to take action for the overall good of the planet.
TN: How has this mission cultivated more compassion for you in the way you live and interact with nature personally? JM: My work has taught me that what we put in and on our bodies is definitely a way of interacting with nature. For example, the more fruits and vegetables we eat, the better we can operate as bio-machines of the Earth. Our minds become clearer and our bodies feel better! For this reason, I personally love a diet (when I can) of fresh juices, rice and beans with steamed vegetables, salads, and lots of kale (I know, such a cliché—LOL).
TN: What’s your advice to someone looking to lead a more natural life? JM: It’s is hard to do everything sustainably, but it is important to do whatever we can. Investing in a reusable water bottle for example, or riding your bike or walking instead of driving a car. In my experience, making eco-conscious decisions becomes very fulfilling, almost freeing the ego since these choices are connected to a deeper idea about what it means to be a human here on planet Earth. Any anyway, eventually we won’t have a choice about these things.
TN: So how does honoring the earth change the way makeup affects you, if at all? JM: In using Plant Makeup, we can enhance and honor the cosmic force that we truly are. Since all the products I make are 100% natural, the way I see it there’s nothing in them to block our natural beauty being able to emanate from within.
TN: How do you communicate and honor the plants you work with? Can anybody do this? JM: Plants and animals communicate through the heart and, yes, everyone can do this— if we keep an open mind. Not that it’s impossible, it’s just not something we’re consciously trained to do in our society. The best way to practice is to just sit quietly outdoors where you can be undisturbed, and invite a quiet mind so that the miracles of nature can be awakened in you. For example, when people talk about finding inspiration when they take a walk in the woods, I believe this is nature calling to us to live our purpose.
I also love to honor the plants I work with by offering bird seed, always composting, and giving thanks for their gifts. When I collect a plant from the earth, in the case of foraging, I ask for permission first. Most of the time the plants say: “Yes, please use me!” They want to share their gifts. But sometimes they say no. Most of the time I am actually “called” to certain patches or led places to discover a specific medicine for someone, a new plant that wants me to learn about them, or simply a secret the Earth wants to share with me to help me admire its beauty.
TN: What’s the most notable thing you’ve learned throughout your journey making plant based makeup? JM: Be yourself. We have to really stick to our vision in life, which can so easily get toned down by all the distractions around us; technology, our current job, family, world affairs, etc. It might be harder but it’s more rewarding to follow your own dream. It also might not be possible immediately, but any time we step out into nature and think “wow, what a beautiful day,” we are taking a step in the right direction. Overall, Plant Makeup is the manifestation of my own never ending fountain of nature-based inspiration. A reminder to live your art, to be your dreams.
This week, I learned a new way to say grace, and got some Spirit Junkie teachings…
I created a rainbow blessing code. Last night I went to the official launch of my friend Raquel’s coaching program, 7 Vibrations. I was actually with Raquel the week she began testing the program on herself – and the methodology went something like this: We have all these amazing spiritual and wellbeing tools at our disposal. What would happen if we used all of them, at the same time, intensively and with intention, for a whole week?
As in do a juice cleanse (or similar), while you do daily affirmations + coaching + reading of spiritual texts, and you incorporate a daily mind-body-soul movement practice. The results create a state of what she calls “living vertically” – or being able to navigate life with “a Penthouse state of mind.”
She’s since refined the program a whole lot, and also created 7 Vibrations yoga, which is essentially a vinyasa practice that also incorporates affirmations, breath work, some kundalini kryas, and which is also customized for each and every client. Wowzer.
One fun takeaway from the night, which I will share with you here, was also the idea of creating a “blessing code” for the food you eat, to raise the vibration of everything you eat. A bit like saying grace, but WAY COOLER.
– First, think about all the parts of the process the food went through before it got to your plate. The people who produced it, the way it was transported, stored, and perhaps prepared. Some of this was likely pretty low vibe. – So okay, now you want to spend a bit of time blessing every step of that process. Raquel suggests writing it down so you don’t miss anything. – Next, because you’re not exactly going to wanna go through this every time you grab a quick bite at Sweetgreen, choose a symbol that represents, or becomes a sort of shorthand, for this extended blessing. – Raquel gave the example of a star – and this then becomes your blessing code, to energetically be “placed” on your food every time you eat!
Love, love, LOVE IT. And since I’m still boarder line obsessed with them, I’m making mine a rainbow 🙂
Raquel’s intensive 7-day 7 Vibrations coaching program, including a custom high-vibe diet plat, custom yoga practice and daily coaching, usually costs $1350 – but she’s offering Numinous readers a friends and family rate of $995 if you sign up before September 24th 2015. Contact [email protected] and just quote “NUMINOUS”
I asked what it takes to teach. So a lot of people I know have been doing my friend and spirit sister Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie Masterclass – a course on how to become a leader, a teacher like Gabby, and set up your own spiritual business. Just like Raquel’s done with 7 Vibrations!
You can get a taste of the teachings from the Masterclass in this free video, in which Gabby explains what she considers the three essential elements that helped her launch her business.
And the message in the vid has really got me thinking – what does it mean to be a teacher in the Now Age? Well for starters, we can’t all be Gabby Bernstein. We don’t all – myself especially! – have what it takes to stand up on stage in front of hundreds of people and, well, preach. That’s Gabby’s gift, and she uses it to beautiful effect.
We can’t all express ourselves authentically, and with meaning in the written word (which is what I hope I am able to do); we can’t all guide others to elevate their yoga practice to another level; we can’t all heal using sound, or food, or the wisdom of our spirit guides.
But what we can all do is teach by example, right? It’s what I’ve heard Gabby call “being the light.” And to me this means working on ourselves to get clear of all the c*** and all the conditioning that’s stopping us from identifying our own unique and inspirational gifts. I’d love to know your take on this conversation – can we all be a teacher in the Now Age? Watch Gabby’s video and comment below, or connect with me and share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
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