7 SPIRITUAL TEACHINGS OF MY NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE

What you really get from a near death experience is a numinous new perspective on life, the Universe, and everything, says Worthy Stokes  …

The last thing I remember before leaving my body was the U2 song playing on my iPod shuffle: It’s A Beautiful Day. I was out for a morning jog wearing headphones and stopped at a crosswalk to wait for the signal to change. When it turned green, I turned up the volume and raced straight into Death.

A van had run a stoplight, and at the very moment it crashed into me, the world disappeared. Instead of memories of my skull breaking against pavement, I remember only that song and an image of wide, open sky. Thus, U2 serenaded my departure from this life; the ensuing brain trauma erasing everything except for Bono’s voice. So, when I tell the story of my Near Death Experience (NDE), I always think of him.

Five years have passed since my harrowing return to my body, during which time the nuts and bolts of universal intelligence have emerged in waves and codes. During this time, seven spiritual teachings have emerged — to inform my life and work here on Earth 

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1. Consciousness is not religious, humans are. When I dropped into the vastness of the primordial, cosmic soup, I came face-to-face with infinity. I was lucid in my perception of an elegant, fluid order, and, at the same time, the experience felt wholly incomprehensible to my human brain. I felt neither shock, or distress. I floated about leisurely, as I noticed, rather abruptly, that religion simply does not exist beyond the human mind.

Having previously “believed” in Buddhism, I came back into my body with a transfigured cosmology for which I have no translation. My faith rests instead in a mysterious beauty that remains unencumbered by mortal bias, dogmas, or doctrines—all of which, I see now, are highly destructive to human beings. Religion perpetuates guilt. Consciousness activates possibility.

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2. Death is a choose-your-own-adventure experience. If you like Jesus, he’ll be there. If you love practicing meditation, maybe you’ll see a monk. If you are tired of patriarchy, perhaps a fierce Goddess or tree spirit will greet you. For atheists or stoics who think this is nonsense, the journey into Death is destined to unfold in a way that is relaxing, uneventful, and not at all weird. Each of us naturally transitions from one state of consciousness to another without the slightest bit of pain—which brings me to the idea of Hell, which isn’t real, so everyone can relax. There is no darkness in that final exit, and if there is, it’s probably because you wanted it that way.

3. We are all as connected as we are separate. There is an individuated blueprint in each of us describing multiple portals to other dimensions, but how this system mechanically functions is beyond us. Invisible points of contact, layers of free will, shifting realities, and elements of destiny all move and meld in ways that are too complex for us to ever name. In the popular TV series about NDEs (OA), there are gestures coupled with movements to be found in the afterlife, which combine in an eerie combination of breath and choreography.

This hints at an interlocking system we all share and must sort out together, because each of us carries a vital piece of the puzzle that doesn’t fully work until connected with others. In other words, the success of our collective matrix depends on its parts functioning as coherent, interactive particles engaging consciously. So yes, your healing journey is valuable to all of us. My NDE showed me that we are linked, and we are separate. We have shared paths, and we engage singularity. We are interdependent, and we are alone.

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4. Some things do not heal. Consciousness is not just for manifesting a Ferrari or a mate or healing a primal wound; it is not a spoon we can learn to bend with our minds. We do not have as much control as we wish we did, and we do not get to know why some things heal and others don’t. Asking why X still hurts (despite having done all the Work), as so many of us like to do, leads nowhere. Let’s ask each other instead, “What happened? What can happen next?”

Our job here is to hold each other’s fragility, alongside qualities of strength, power, purpose, and possibility. Even after having seen in my NDE how vast we all are, and how very little control we have in our lives, I returned with a belief that wanting to heal something was enough. Over time, I learned I was wrong. I learned instead to make peace with hundreds of things I cannot fix. Now, I pay close attention to what IS possible here, in the realm of the living. I find enormous solace in my understanding that on the other side, there is no pain.

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5. Transformation is your birthright. We have the right to change what we do not like, need, or love, in this wakeful, transient life. Further, we are spiritually and neurologically wired for transformation. I’m not saying transformation is easy, and I am also not saying it’s going to be an affordable, realistic, or linear process. Nor is it a test or an experiment. There are no grades, or getting it “right” or “wrong.” Showing up and exploring is what counts. Dreaming, breathing, building, evaluating, noticing, and repeating what works. Getting into your carpe diem flow while motivated by visions of awesomeness is a very good place to start. Find mentors, make revisions, and don’t be afraid to color outside the lines.

Photo: Ameen Fahmy

6. We need our people guides more than our spirit guides. We are each like turtles bringing houses of consciousness from oceans of possibility to this shared, changeable world. Like turtles, we carry pieces of our primordial homes on our backs, which means we are all, always, “at home.” From this space, we can choose to be fiercely, tenderly present for each other, right here and right now. Yet I see countless seekers hitching rides on decorated spaceships to visit fancy vortices in search of “answers” and healing. The irony is we already boarded the most cosmic spaceships of all, our bodies, and we traveled a very long way to reach this life. Meeting each other in the flesh is a fantastic, holy, and healing event, in and of itself.

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7. Being human is the ultimate spiritual path. As spiritual beings, we are elements of unified consciousness, and as physical beings, we are connected by way of our neurobiology. Being human and being here in this life IS the ultimate path; regular meditation or devotional practices that nourish our relationships with each other are simply ways to maintain our connection with the Divine.

The task at hand, truly, is to care for each other in the physical domain, as creatures who age, break, triumph, and fail, through moments of tragedy and ecstatic, heart shattering joy. There is no need to look beyond this reality. Presence is what we are, and life inside of these beautiful days IS the messy, sacred experience we came here for. When we look outside of ourselves for truthful meaning, we shut down access to the very miracles we seek.

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Worthy Stokes is a healer, seer, and sage. Learn more about her work at thisworthylife.com, get her free meditations on Insight Timer, and follow her on Instagram @thisworthylife. Get on her mystical frequency with code NUMINOUS and a 20% discount: HeartMind: A 10 Day Meditation Journey for Sensitives and Survivors on the Path of Spiritual Awakening

VIBE HIGH WITH A CRYSTAL POLISH FROM THE NUMINOUS X LOVE BY LUNA

Create a manicure to deepen your meditation practice and get “sober curious” with a custom crystal polish from The Numinous x Mystic Mani

Crystal polish, $18, The Numinous x Mystic Mani

When Love By Luna reached out to see if The Numinous would be interested in co-creating a signature crystal-infused polish for their Mystic Mani line, it was a “hell yes”! The result is a cosmic purple polish designed to help you create a manicure to max out your meditation practice and get “sober curious.”

Inspired by Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year, Ultra Violet, the deep, mystical purple correlates with the crown chakra, making this a highly meditative shade. Thought to help activate higher consciousness, dissolve blockages and create balance, you still have to do the actual work of befriending your thoughts and practicing equanimity in the face of adversity, but in today’s hyper-triggering world, we’ll take all the help we can get …

The color also reflects the blend of micronized amethyst and obsidian infusing the polish. Known as the “sobriety stone,” amethyst promotes clarity and tranquility, while obsidian is a protective stone that encourages honest introspection.

PSA: this polish will NOT stop you from downing 3 glasses of rosé when you’d planned to have a night “off” (only you and your desire to experience a more … clarity and tranquility can do that). But allow having it flash on your nails as you reach for the glass to invite a moment to pause and reflect.

Best of all, The Numinous x Mystic Mani crystal polish is perfect for when you want the benefits of crystal healing but have nowhere to stash your stones—as now you can “wear” your crystals everywhere you go, including into the gym or yoga studio!

This limited-edition crystal polish is the first Mystic Mani collaboration from Love by Luna and will only be available for purchase 8/28 through 12/31 2018 at www.lovebyluna.co.

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Priced at $18/bottle USD 10% of all sales will be donated to LIFE Camp, Inc., a Queens, NY, anti-violence and youth mentorship initiative.

NUMINOUS TAROTSCOPE MARCH 1 2018: 10 OF SWORDS

The 10 of Swords ends a cycle of up-leveling our awareness, and a time to integrate what we have learned, says Melinda Lee Holm …

DIARY OF AN EGO DEATH ON LSD

Facing a major life meltdown, Sam Lam was ready to turn herself inside out. Little did she know, her first LSD trip would lead to the experience of ego death …

Photo: Frida Aguilar Estrada

I’d majored in philosophy in college, studied metaphysics, epistemology, and even endured a stint in theology. But despite the multitude of theoretical expeditions I’ve taken into human consciousness, nothing could have prepared me  for the acid trip that led to me experiencing the much-documented “ego death.”

By age 30, I’d burnt out in my career as a Business Development Manager for a multi-national oil and gas company. So I did what any self-respecting women worthy of her prized Louboutins would do: I jacked in that job, packed my (many) bags and boarded a flight to ‘La La Land’ to pursue a career in fashion.

As if this identity crisis wasn’t enough, a couple of months prior I’d discovered that my now ex-husband of almost 10 years was having an affair. Needless to say, I was a total emotional-fucking-wreck. A 30-something divorcée with a fresh “Monroe” lip piercing, I soon found myself trying to heal my shattered heart by reliving my hard-partying youth.

Cut to me raging it up at a major music festival. I’d never taken LSD before that night, but in the sweltering heat of the desert, as the hot, orange sun began to dip, I decided to drop.

I felt very little at first. Twenty, maybe thirty minutes passed and by this point I was eager to rush to the front of the main stage and offer my metallic flash-tattooed body as a sacrifice to the music now engulfing me. I just wanted to dance. Dance all my life’s pain away.

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This was death, I felt certain of it … 
It’s not really possible to describe what happened next. Before I could even begin to move in the direction of the stage, I took one glance at the illuminated festival Ferris wheel swirling ahead and the acid hit my brain like a bolt of lightning.

In that instant all of my senses merged. I could taste sounds, smell the music, and literally see my feelings.

This was death, I felt certain of it. The world as I knew it disappeared, and while I could no longer feel my body, my mind got busy imagining my demise in vivid, graphic, Technicolor.

Gory, violent, blood curdling. Vicious ends that felt oh too real. At one point I was hit by a steam-train in the middle of the desert. The next I was being eaten alive by rattle snakes. Next, I was a victim to the desert sun as its rays pierced my skin and melted my flesh to the bone. I then tried to write an (imaginary) letter to my family to apologize for giving up and going out in such a shameful way, but I literally couldn’t find the words to express how deeply sorry I was.

Then came a silence. A complete and utter black quiet in my head. It was a peaceful moment where I was truly thinking “nothing” at all (if that’s possible). A temporary respite from that torment that followed.

Photo: Kelly Malloy

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I could feel the world weep … 
Nothing can prepare you for “Ego Death”—the term is used in various, intertwined contexts to describe a fundamental transformation in the psyche, where we lose the self entirely. The words “I,” “me,” “myself” lose all meaning whatsoever.

This is what I experienced next, and it altered my life forever.

I could feel the pain of the entire Universe. Immense and immeasurable, agonizing torture. Quite literally, I felt for both a split second and an eternity, the utter, agonizing grief of every single man, woman, child, animal, tree, the oceans, and the skies.

I felt the Universe inside of me and all of its desperate misery. I could feel the world weeping.

A the Universe sobbed, my sense of self had completely and utterly vanished into it. “I” no longer existed. “I” no longer related to anything. It was as if I had become “dark matter,” as theorized in quantum physics—”I” was empty space. Nothing.

I woke up the next morning on the floor of my hotel room, with my festival uniform intact (bikini top, denim shorts, misappropriated tribal feathers). The desert was still in my hair and I had no memory of how I’d gotten home.

As my eyes slowly opened and the speckles of light danced into my retinas, I realized I was still alive. “Samantha” had survived her first (and probably one and only) acid trip. But something fundamental had changed …

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Had I melted my brain? 
The trip had been so intense, I was left fearing the worst. For months I worried that I had in fact melted my brain. I was no longer draw to “partying” as a way to dance out my demons. What can I say, the world just isn’t the same after you’ve “died.” Nothing seemed to make sense anymore.

Four months after the trip, I was severely depressed and still trying to make sense of my marriage breakdown, my scattered career choices, and this extraordinary experience. One afternoon, I found myself all alone in my apartment.

I was lying on my bed ugly crying, with blood-shot puffy eyes and chapped lips, and the what felt like the weight of my woes making it difficult for me to breath. I was then gripped with an urge to step out onto the balcony of my pokey apartment to get some fresh air. As I stood out on that balcony staring at the cloudless blue expanse of sky, I could have sworn I heard a voice in my head:

“You have felt my pain, now let me take yours,” said what I can only sensibly identify as The Universe.

In that instant I felt a warm calmness encircle me, as if I’d been injected with a large dose of MDMA. Yet this was an instant, drug-free Nirvana. The voice signaled that it was going to take away my suffering and pain, and transform it into something positive, pleasurable, maybe even beautiful.

In that moment, everything in my life just seemed to make total and absolutely succinct sense. I understood that I was designed to contain light and dark energy—to be the embodiment of Yin and Yang. I wanted to kiss my pain. Without it, I wouldn’t have embarked on this journey. I wouldn’t have had the courage to push my body beyond its physical and mental limits. I would have remained spiritually asleep.

The author

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The comedown … 
My life has since returned to “normal.” But my Ego Death experience has led to notable changes to my outlook.

I’ve drawn relationships into my life that are supportive and calm but also fun. I laugh more. My current partner lets me fully be myself. And I’ve found friendships circles with likeminded creatives and artists who are interested in alchemy and alternative modalities.

After these experiences, it’s been hard to return to the corporate world. Climbing the ladder no longer appeals to me. And though I haven’t quite found my niche, I’m figuring it out. I know somehow I’m supposed to be here in L.A … that something drew me here.

Most importantly, I’m more eco-conscious and aware of how my choices are impacting the future of the planet (after all, I had felt the whole world sobbing). I still love fashion, but I am no longer her slave, and have lost the desire to consume in the way I used to. And while organized religion is still not something I identify with, I’ve become intrigued by esoteric and alternative spiritual modalities.

What learned about a connected global consciousness is well documented elsewhere—an open-minded outlook that’s especially relevant in our current era of regressive, right-wing politicking.

After all, in the words of ethnobotanist and mystic Terence McKenna: “If the words life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the ‘Declaration of Independence’ isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.”

I certainly don’t believe that drugs are the only path to experiences such as mine. But surely to muse and ask “why?”—or to protest “WTF?”—is an innate part of the human experience. How else can we pursue the kind of evolutionary advancements I may have accidentally stumbled on during my long, bizarre, and deadly dark night of ego death?

Born and raised in the North East of Scotland to an Irish/Scottish mother and Chinese father and having travelled the world in her previous career, Sam Lam is an L.A based creative who spends her time writing, consulting, styling, modeling and collaborating with brands to produce visual content.

EMPATHY AND THE ART OF CONVERSATION

Want less small talk and more real talk? Show up naked, and equipped with vast reserves of empathy. This is the art of conversation, says Ruby Warrington

For the majority of my adult life, preparing for a “deep and meaningful” conversation with somebody meant stopping off en route for a bottle of wine. As if to go into the more shadowy, less well-trodden, and perhaps more vulnerable parts of our experience, some kind of anesthetic would be required. An “invisibility cloak” to keep the demons at bay, even as we sought to befriend and integrate them.

But putting on a mask and dressing up in bluster and bravado is not the best way to make friends. It’s better to show up naked.

Naked of expectation. Naked of judgement. Open to the possibilities. Armed only with our trust in own truths, and equipped with deep reserves of empathy.

These are the kinds of conversations Michael Ventura wanted to spark when he created Questions & Empathy, a 50-card deck designed to help move us swiftly beyond the small talk and dive right into the real talk. What can also feel like the scary, naked talk—and which is the talk we all secretly want to be having. All the time. No hiding, and no numbing. 

Also the kinds of conversation we don’t get too much practice at. Which is why we themed our next Club SÖDA NYC event The Art of Conversation, and invited Michael along to curate a special evening of deep connection and REAL TALK.

You can discover more and sign up HERE, and read on for more about communication and the application of empathy …

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RUBY WARRINGTON: How would you define “the art of conversation”?
MICHAEL VENTURA: All art forms, when at their best, come from a place of intuition and knowing. Conversation is no different. When we take the time to slow down our inner monologue, often confronting and attempting to subdue our ego in the process, we can get to a place where our true and authentic self begins to take charge. When in this state, conversation happens naturally. There’s a balance of listening and speaking. We connect. We see each other’s essential nature and there, in that moment, is where deep, meaningful connection is born.

RW: What was the particular situation or realization that made you want to dive deeper into this subject?
MV: For the past several years I have studied the idea of empathy, and more specifically, the application of empathy as a means to build rich understanding that can be used with intention. In this exploration, it became clear that there wasn’t a “process” or “framework” that was readily available. Very few of us receive a formal education in empathy. As a result, the ability of an individual to be empathic varies widely. I wanted to try and change this—creating tools and lessons that would ultimately help more of us build a comfort with this critical behavior.

RW: Why must we “apply” empathy in our interactions with others? Are we forgetting how to be empathetic? Why?
MV: I think about empathy like a muscle. If we don’t use it regularly, it can atrophy. It can become harder and harder for people to truly step outside of themselves and connect with another person if they don’t put in the work. I believe we are all born with the ability to be empathic, it’s just that some of us don’t work that “muscle” enough.

RW: What was your process for creating the “Questions & Empathy” card deck? What is the theory behind them?
MV: My colleagues (at my company Sub Rosa) and I began to develop Q&E by starting with the creation of 7 key “empathic archetypes.” Think of these like the major arcana in tarot. We wanted to identify certain forms that empathy takes and the behaviors associated with them. The cards utilize these archetypes—providing different empathic perspectives you can “try on” and work with. Unlike other personality tests (e.g. Meyers-Briggs), I believe each of us actually embodies all 7 of the archetypes—just not in equal measure. The point of the cards is to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and then work with the questions in the deck to ultimately “limber up,” giving you more dexterity and comfort with each one.

RW: What are some of the different ways the cards can be used—and how do you use them in your own life?
MV: There are lots of ways I use the cards. In workshop settings, we utilize the cards to help participants discover what archetypes they identify with the most / least and then work collaboratively with each other to improve their empathic skills. On a more informal basis, I’ve heard of people using them at dinner parties or as a more contemplative alternative to games like Cards Against Humanity.

Personally, one of the ways I think you can get the most out of them is to create what we call an “empathy journal.” On the first day, you’ll define empathy in the journal—describing your personal take on the topic and how skilled you believe yourself to be. You’ll then ask yourself a question each day, ultimately progressing through all 49 cards in the deck. On the 50th day, we ask that you reflect back on the process and re-define empathy from this newfound perspective. It’s a powerful exercise that can expand and empower you to be more comfortable with this valuable behavior.

RW: How have you seen people transform using the cards—over the course of an evening, or in the wider context of their lives?
MV: At the end of the day, the world needs empathy now more than ever. These cards aren’t a silver bullet, but they are a great start to the process. Using them brings new awareness to our empathic gifts and will undoubtedly aid you in not only understanding others better, but perhaps more importantly, understanding your truest self.

Michael Ventura has designed special exercises for you to practice the Art of Conversation at our next Club SÖDA NYC event. Monday November 13 2017, The William Vale, 7.30pm. Info + sign-up HERE. The Questions & Empathy card deck will be available for purchase on the night.

THE CANCER WAXING QUARTER MOON IS A DARE FROM THE UNIVERSE

The Cancer waxing quarter Moon forms part of a Cardinal Grand Cross. The message? Time to act with integrity and compassion, says Jennifer RacioppiCollage: Seana Gavin

Waxing Quarter Moon :: April 3 2017 :: 2/39pm EST :: 14 degrees Cancer

This Cancer waxing quarter Moon, in the sign that represents the feminine, family, and home, brings more than just a regular Sun/Moon square—it forms part of a Cardinal Grand Cross in the sky. Before I go down the rabbit hole of explaining this fancy terminology, let me express this: this moon offers all of us an initiation, should we choose to see it as such. An opportunity to rise to the next level of our creative power, claim the truth of who we are, and cut away that which does not align with our most vivid and desired outcomes for our soul. Are you up for the challenge? Cause the Universe is sending us a massive dare!

So what’s a Cardinal Grand Cross?!

An astrology chart with this configuration looks like a box with a cross in the center of it. It occurs when four planets “square,” or form a conflicting 90-degree angle, in the “cardinal” signs of the Zodiac, creating two sets of oppositions.

In this particular case, the Sun at 14 degrees of Aries, squares the Moon at 14 degrees of Cancer, while simultaneously squaring Pluto in Capricorn at 19 degrees. The Sun opposes Jupiter in Libra also at 19 degrees while the Moon also opposes Pluto and squares Jupiter.

And this cosmic showdown happens in the fierce, assertive, and get shit done cardinal signs.

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:: The Sun ::
The Sun, now halfway through the 30 degrees of Aries, holds the match to the fire that’s smoldering. Over the last few weeks the cosmos endured an enormous emphasis on the element of fire, and on the opening quarter of this lunation, the Sun in get-it-started Aries pushes us to think about what seeds we want to sow, and what crops we wish to cultivate right now! Opposite Jupiter in Libra, the emphasis is on standing our ground in our collaborations with others. 

:: The Moon ::
The Moon travels through her own domain in the sign of Cancer, the sign she rules. Here, she asks us to reach down into the depths of emotion, and our feminine force from within. She asks us to feel our needs, connect with our capacity to nurture ourselves, and others, and grant ourselves the dignity of our Queendom. Her opposition to Pluto may bring forth an awareness of the places in which we’ve subconsciously given away our power to please others.

:: The Square ::
This Cancer waxing quarter Moon brings a focus on emotionally driven action. Given this quarter Moon’s status within the Cardinal Grand Cross, compassion and wisdom are a non-negotiable! At the same time, the Sun hovers around the same degree of Aries where Venus initiated her retrograde cycle on March 4: meaning this waxing quarter moon and Cardinal Grand Cross will likely highlights lessons of the current Venus retrograde period. Simultaneously, Mercury in his shadow prepares to go retrograde, too, on the 9th. While this cardinal, action oriented Moon asks us to lunge forward, it also presents us with a fierce point of reflection. Embrace the duality and lean in to both.

:: The Message ::
If we embrace the tension and mystery of this Cancer waxing quarter Moon, we may just find our voice and rise. Yet, it’s essential to witness and digest what emerges before acting. Staying in the place of the observer allows us to understand how we want to proceed. Allows us to genuinely hear and listen to the call from within, so we can set clear and compassionate boundaries with others. Will it feel smooth? Probably not. However, if we can pause and choose our words and actions with intent, this potent waxing quarter Moon offers an opportunity to awaken and integrate. Worthy of the work, see any tension as a pathway to a higher consciousness. Rise, baby rise.

For more Moon wisdom or to book a coaching session with from Jennifer visit Jenniferracioppi.com. To learn more about how to work with each Moon phase, join our community of likeminded spiritual activists at Moon Club!

THE MAGIC INGREDIENT: DREAMY VIBES WITH VELVET BEANS

In the first installment of her new column, Ysanne Spevack shares a creamy faux Cappuccino recipe for you to sample some dreamy velvet beans vibes…

Like Jack’s magic beans in the fairytale, velvet beans (Mucuna pruriens in Latin) truly deliver. They’re one of the strongest herbal ingredients I use, and a favorite for total vibe-change. Pods that grow on trees in India, and used as an Ayurvedic medicine, they’ve been tried and tested over millennia, and are now available as an extract in the US, sold as a brown powder that’s water-soluble.

The main active compounds in velvet bean extract fall into two groups: antioxidants, and amino acids, of which the main one is L-dopa, and another is called trypatmine, for obvious reasons. Together, these phytochemicals work synergistically for neural health, and specifically relieve stress and melt our sense of boundaries. Perfect for Pisces season—the archetypal symbol of ego loss and dreams. There’s some research that links velvet beans to sexual health too, but that’s likely to be a result of their relaxing effect.

L-dopa is a precursor to dopamine, norepinephrine and adrenaline, which means it has a profound psychoactive effect. You can feel it working, stimulating a sense of dreamy deliciousness and allowing you a peak behind the veil of consciousness. If you’ve ever wanted to feel the grandeur of the Universe while you melt into your pillow, velvet bean extract is the high vibe ingredient for you. I recommend using it sparingly—a little goes a long way. Also if you’re feeling unstable, or if you’re pregnant, it’s best if you pass on this for now, as with anything psychoactive.

Here’s my recipe for a delicious hot ‘faux cappuccino’ that won’t buzz you like caffeine, and will guide you to feel a subtle oneness with the cosmos. It’s not a bedtime drink— the velvet bean stimulates adrenaline production. But it’s a fantastic way to space out with some music on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and swim in cosmic waters of the Milky Way…

The drink is comfortingly sweet, while the bitterness of the velvet bean and umami of the reishi are similar to coffee, hence the name. Nettles soothe the nerves, and keeps the velvet bean from being jarring while it takes you up a notch.

Imbibe to enjoy about a one hour of day-dreams, in a suitably Piscean way…

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Pisces Velvet Bean Cappuccino Recipe
by The Conscious Cook

Makes one serving

Ingredients:

1 coffee mug filled with boiling water
1 nettle tea bag
*1/8 tsp velvet bean extract
*1 tsp powdered reishi mushroom
*1 tsp tocotrienols
1 tsp raw unfiltered honey
1 tbs raw coconut oil

* Denotes ingredients that are available online at Highvibe.com

Method:

Infuse the nettle tea bag in the boiling hot water in a large mug by pouring the hot water onto the tea bag as soon as it’s boiled.

Cover the mug with a saucer or plate, and set aside to infuse for 5 minutes.

Measure the other ingredients into a high-speed blender.

Remove the cover and tea bag, and add the nettle tea to the blender.

Blend on low, bringing the speed up to high, and then switching the blender to the maximum setting.

Blend on high for about 30 seconds, to create froth.

Pour into a large mug, spooning the creamy froth out with a spatula.

Hold the cup with both hands as you take sips, and finish it with a teaspoon to enjoy all of the frothy, creamy goodness.

Finally, relax and allow your dreams to unfold as you swim into the universal cosmos.

Discover more about Ysanne Spevack HERE.

HOLY F*CK: IN CONVERSATION WITH DANIEL PINCHBECK

Alexandra Roxo meets radical thought leader Daniel Pinchbeck, to talk spiritual materialism, future planetary solutions, and the rise of the extreme right…

Photo: Alexandra Herstik

Daniel Pinchbeck is a writer, thought leader, speaker, and one of few modern radical voices that come from a grounded, realistic, and holistic perspective. Today we are in dire need of leaders and thinkers who can articulate and envision a path towards union and healing that includes our political, environmental, cultural, AND our spiritual state. Daniel speaks of the whole picture, with a balance of right/left, masculine/feminine, science/art.

His new book How Soon is Now REALLY resonated with feelings I’ve been having for years about the nature of the world we live in, which I have explored in my own writing here on The Numinous and in some of my films. This includes the need to make a shift from focusing on the personal, to focusing on the global. To overcoming spiritual materialism. To escaping hyper-individualism and coming together.

Also, how plants may be aiding in our evolution on multiple levels. How our approach to love and sex is so heavily politically guided and conditioned. The need for rites of passage and the need for ecstatic connections to the cosmos and to each other, through experiences like Burning Man, with psychedelic experiences, and a reconnection to the Earth.

Beyond all this, Daniel’s book reveals to us how we can engage with the planetary shift and initiation that we all know at soul level is in progress, and in doing so be a part of the healing of our planet.

Even better, Daniel is going to be LIVE with us for Moon Club this Sunday Feb 5, which means you can join and ask him questions too! Click here to sign up.

I sat down with him for a little prelude to Sunday’s talk…

ALEXANDRA ROXO: So you’re an author, a TED speaker, a radical thinker, a writer. You wear a lot of hats in terms of your work. What’s the common thread?
DANIEL PINCHBECK: I think that the core of my work is a philosophical quest for the nature of reality.

AR: Word. Was there was a clear point at which this search began?
DP: I had a major spiritual crisis in my mid to late 20’s. I’d been writing for magazines, and it just began to feel very nihilistic. I felt this kind of total emptiness. I also realized ultimately that when people believe conscientiousness is only based in the physical hardware of the brain, then life has no particular meaning. I was like, ‘okay, how can I actually inquire into this?’ I remembered my psychedelic experiences in college as having suggested that there were these other layers of psychic reality that I didn’t really understand.

So I went back to them and went to West Africa, to do Iboga and I went to the Amazon to work with a tribe in Ecuador with ayuasca and so on. These travels informed my first book Breaking Open the Head, and then new questions kept opening up—because these experiences had completely transformed my world view.

AR: The subtitle of How Soon Is Now? is: “From personal initiation to global transformation.” To me it feels like that is what we’re all being called to now, on a micro and a macro level.
DP: I came from a leftist background, and I always had this uneasy feeling about our culture and the direction our society was headed. And then when I looked more into the ecological disaster that we’ve constructed and the amount of poverty and inequality that the system creates, I also saw this whole “new age” spirituality thing, with the meditation and the yoga, as kind of like a trap—because I felt that people were using it as just another distraction, getting so obsessed with their own little healing journeys.

AR: There is definitely the idea of: “I’m entitled to my healing and my enlightenment and I gotta just focus on that.” Healing individually is very necessary too—but how do you see us then finding a way to integrate this into healing the Earth?
DP: It would require for those of us who’ve been on this evolutionary initiation path to reach another level of our capacity to…hold a new frequency, to express it to people who are out of the loop. One thing that really began to upset me overtime was Burning Man. When I first went I was like ‘oh of course, this is the model for this new society. The point is to now bring this out into the world.’ But overtime I saw it become more like another entertainment complex. I saw the people who run Burning Man being really kind of pleased with themselves because all these rich people wanted to hang out with them.

But I think a shift is actually happening, because of this geopolitical emergency that we’ve unleashed. For example, I saw a really good thing on Facebook—this guy wrote that he used to have three different groups of friends that didn’t really integrate very well. One was artists, one was meditators, and the other was activists, and he was, like, thanking Donald Trump because now they’re all in the same group. We’re basically confronting a very, very severe existential emergency with this situation, that I think people are beginning to comprehend in kind of waves.

AR: In the book you use Burning Man as an example to show how if society praises you for good behavior, like cleaning up your own trash for example, and if we praise each other for good behavior, we can start to rewire the conditioning that says it’s somebody else’s responsibility to ‘do the right thing.’
DP: I feel that what Burning Man reveals and why it was such an ‘aha’ moment for me is that our social nature is extremely malleable and changeable, and humans will conform like putty to whatever reward system presents itself. So, say you get laid by becoming a Neo-Nazi and hating on the Jews, a bunch of people will do that. If you have lots of lovers or one lover or whatever you need, as a result of being generous, altruistic, and sharing your gifts open heartedly, you’ll do more of that that.

AR: So how did things tilt so far to the extreme right?
DP: Unfortunately, the extreme right has managed to marshal a lot of collective intelligence by expert use the media system, whereas the progressive community has been much more slow and much less strategic and tactical.

There’s actually been a phenomenon of people on the coasts in LA and New York having greater freedoms, better lives, more opportunities, but we haven’t really taken care to transmit these benefits to the rest of society. And, rightfully in a sense, the rest of society realized they were just being shafted and got extremely angry. I think that theoretically, the more conscious we are of this, we have to bear the blame when things go this wrong.

AR: That’s a tough wake up call for people. If you’re living in light and love all the time, you don’t want to hear “hey, this is your fault, take responsibility, step up to the plate.”
DP: But this awareness is spreading rapidly right now. In a sense, what I am trying to show with the book is that the progressive mystical counter culture hasn’t done a good job of articulating the world that we want to bring into manifestation, beyond our individual process.

For example, let’s take The Beatles at their word: “All you need is love.” But how do you actually create a society centered around altruism and sharing and empathy, what does that look like? In the book I am pretty rigorous looking at this in terms of love and relationships, in terms of monetary systems, even questioning whether private property is good for us. I’m sure many people will disagree with some or many of my conclusions but that’s good. At least we have something to disagree about, which can lead to debate and innovation.

AR: I write about sexual healing quite a bit and you share an anecdote about the community, Tamera, in Portugal, that’s so moving—how a young man’s first lovemaking happens with all the group gathered around the house, celebrating and holding space for him. I cried. There is so much internalized sexual shame in our society. I grew up in Georgia in a very, very Christian space and I was totally shamed from a very young age. When I heard that story, I was able to envision people not “losing” their virginity, but embracing this as a rite of passage—leading to us totally flipping the way that we approach love and sex.
DP: One of the founders of Tamera in Portugal said that sexuality is a superpower that radiates throughout all different facets of society, and we can totally see that with this last election. We saw it with Trump and the grabbing of the pussy, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Roger Ailes who was the Fox News head who was taken down in a big sex scandal, and all of their connection to Jeffrey Epstein, the pedophile…

In a system where sexuality is oppressed, alpha male types seek power and wealth (versus creating a system that spreads wealth evenly) so they can have sexual access, you know? Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, society is more open about sexuality, but it’s actually been reintegrated into a system of domination and control. So it becomes MTV Spring Break or Sex in The City, that type of vibe.

AR: Yes, those pop culture markers reveal that on one level we can “have sex” and “be sexy” but on another level it’s absolutely not okay as a culture to accept our sexual nature. 
DP: Rupert Sheldrake writes about the idea of “morphogenic fields” or “morphic resonance”—that actually, when a small number of a species is able to fully discover or integrate something new it can become generally available to the collective sort of non-locally. So if there’s a small number of communities that have shifted into this different frequency of collective care and responsibility and kind of a truly liberated Eros,  or attitude to love and sexuality, then that could really propagate quite quickly. I mean Neo-Nazism didn’t seem to exist two years ago…and now it’s all over the place. Or look at something like Facebook, and how quickly everybody began using it. Ultimately, I think it’s fully possible that positive shifts towards empathic and responsible social system could also happen rapidly.

Discover more about Daniel and his work at Pinchbeck.io. His new book, How Soon is Now: From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation, is out February 20 2017.

MEET TAMARA EDWARDS OF THE BE HIVE

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

REMEMBERING THE WISDOM OF WILDNESS

Re-connect to the wisdom of wilderness, and perhaps our planet will save US, says Darren Austin HallArtwork: Stéphane Recoupé

“To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.” — Terry Tempest Williams

The worst kind of loss is one you’re not even aware of. The loss of the wild and our allied wildness is one such loss, haunting us in a multitude of inner-howlings and muffled cries; deep, psychic pains and distant, all-engulfing yearnings.

We may taste it in the devastating awe of a sublime valley of meandering meadows and lakes surrounded by towering mountains. Or else in the skin-crawling terror that some city slickers can experience in the dark woods. We get little nudges of it, too, when we boldly take risks, calling upon unknown resources. In the ecstatic place when limits are transcended and we witness how much more powerful we are than we believed.

And we also find it in the rebellious streak that smirks at authority figures, sometimes playfully, sometimes out of a sheer desire to transgress any kind of ‘taming’ of our primal being, as if it were a grave betrayal. The story of our wildness—what it is, what happened to it and what to do with it now—is old and complicated, but it’s one worth remembering, for it harkens back to the most ancient wounds that usurp us all.

Our natural world, horrendously abused, is now in a state so perilous our very survival as a species is threatened. This is an example of just how deep the wound of separating from our wildness goes. At the heart of perhaps one of the longest and most insane of wars in our story as a species, it is also one we are largely ignorant of: the war against both nature and the wilds of our own human nature.

I realized this returning to Toronto after a recent vision quest in Manitoba, and realizing what we’ve lost in choosing to pave over Her wild, ragged skin; to relegate Her rawness to sanitized city parks; to drown out the peaceful pulse of Her wilderness with the perpetual motion of the traffic and busyness that charge our cities with a certain kind of restless madness.

Moreover, how we have become cut off from something so vital and necessary; something that keeps us in constant alignment with what is true and good, on a path of virtue, and away from the suffering that modern culture wreaks upon us by way of social conditioning.

But all it takes to remember is to acknowledge the inherent wisdom that awakens within us when we’re in the wild, like a silent soul-switch.

In any moment of heartache, when you’ve felt called to take a walk in park or, better yet, hike in a forest, didn’t you experience an almost immediate peace-of-mind? And perhaps a subsequent yet even more powerful cascade of wise insights, resolve, and answers? In my one-on-one healing practice, I often send people besieged by turmoil to the park to sit beneath a tree, to ground into the earth and simply ask questions. I counsel them to enter a state of meditative receptivity and to wait to see what happens. It never fails.

One incredulous friend later admitted she thought it was some ‘hippy bullshit’—but that within minutes of sitting, she found extraordinary insights. On this note, one ancient name for Goddess Earth is Sophia, meaning ‘wisdom’—also at the root of the word philosophy: philo (love) of sophy (wisdom). Or Sophia, the Earth Goddess, whose quality is wisdom.

I believe that when we encounter any kind of wilderness, even in a city park, an extraordinary resonance takes place between it and the wilderness buried deep in us. Suddenly, stagnant emotions, thoughts and experiences find flow because what is wild is always in flow, cannot be tamed nor contained. To take a hit of this means an immediate sense of liberation.

It’s a feeling we experience as teenagers: as our hormones thrust our bodies into adulthood, and we feel the unhinged energies of our being expanding. In traditional cultures, these were times to take the boys and girls into the wild to teach them how to navigate these new energies, so that their wildness could be channeled, and not devour them in arrogant hubris and inflated egos vulnerable to narcissism.

Nowadays, kids do drugs, and partake in other risky activities to test their mettle against these dynamic evolutions. All too often, it leads to disaster—disasters we often survive (we are sturdy folk). But some are are never able to escape this deep yearning for more aliveness, chasing the sensation for the rest of their lives in whirlwinds of drug and alcohol abuse.

For the great call of the wilderness is forever present.

If we choose, we can learn to ride the stallion of our desires using the tools of our spiritual practice, while fostering a quiet reverence for the wild, knowing that there will always be a part of us that lies beyond our control. For if we don’t figure out how to live in harmony with our wildness, we’re doomed. Something we’re reckoning with as a species right now.

And so I invite you to rediscover the wild in you and to find ways to connect more deeply and even sacredly to the wilds of the world.

  • Perhaps this means a month-long discipline of mini-vision questing a la urban shamanism, going to the nearby park every morning to sit in gratitude and receptivity for potential flumes of wisdom.
  • Perhaps this means shaking for twenty minutes a day and letting the voice vent into roars, yells and spontaneous songs.
  • Perhaps it means following our instincts more, our gut-truths, and heart-wombing wisdom; giving head to our heart.

Whatever your way of connecting to the wisdom of wildness, know that you are healing the great wound between ourselves and the Earth, a wound that has pushed us to the harrowing brink. Know that these small acts are in service of a greater movement that is sweeping through our species as we begin to remember a deeply eternal love for Earth, and for the wild.

In which we might just find the way to live one of the most splendorous truths imaginable; we might find the way to let the world save us.

Discover more about Darren Austin Hall and his work at Darrenaustinhall.com

HEALTHY HEDONISM: IBIZA’S NEW SPIRITUAL PARTY SCENE

A Nu way to vacation on the ultimate hedonist’s playground: Jodie DS introduces Ibiza’s new spiritual party scene…

Ibiza. The quintessential hedonist’s playground, and ecstasy-fuelled party paradise. But, in keeping with the global shift in consciousness that’s about tuning IN to our innate bliss verses getting OUT of it with drugs and alcohol, the summer of 2016 has witnessed the birth of Ibiza’s new spiritual party scene.

And these parties have depth. Designed to take you on a journey though the senses, the idea is to leave you hangover-free and feeling inspired, revitalized and refreshed. Many events also have a conscience charity focus to help participants to be the change we all want to see in this world.

In a sense, it’s a return to the hippie roots of Ibiza’s original party scene, which was about coming together to raise consciousness through dance, often out in the open air, on beaches beneath the stars. And if an influx of big money over the past decade has seen flashy conspicuous (champagne Sangria) consumption, then high vibe events this summer have ushered in a welcome alternative.

The height of the summer season might be coming to an end, but there are still plenty of happenings in late September and into October. Check out our selection and let Ibiza’s new spiritual party scene inspire you to get high on your own supply…

WooMoon
Wednesdays at Cova Santa 6pm-6am.

Now an island favorite, WooMoon is a party that will take you on a beautiful artistic journey with a new story at every event. Imagine a night out that’s all about art, live performances, healing and interactive experiences, paired with mesmerizing music to feed your soul. There’s also a great variety of food and drink for all dietary requirements including vegan and vegetarian curries, ice creams, cocktails and organic acai bowls from Amazonia EU. The event is also family friendly with a kid’s circus and face painting. You will fall in love with the picturesque location of Cova Santa located in the beautiful mountains in San Josep, while at midnight the party continues downstairs all the way until dawn. All you need to enjoy this party is an open mind and an open heart.

Line up includes: Atish, Audiofly, Behrouz, Begun, Chancha Via Circuito, Chris Len, Crussen, Hraach, Ida Daugaard, Jhon Montoya, Luca Musto, Lulacruza, Mees Dierdrop, Noema, Rampue, Sabo, Timur, Unders, Valentin Huedo, Viken Arman and More.

Cosmic Pineapple
Thursdays in September at Ibiza Rocks at Pikes Hotel 4pm-4am

Every Thursday in September at the eccentric Ibiza Rocks at Pikes Hotel it goes Cosmic Pineapple! The conscious event positions itself as a place to dance, connect, create and transform. From spiritual workshops to cosmic activities there is something for everyone, combined with great music from the word’s most visionary DJ’s with the lineup remaining a secret until the day. Workshops and activities include yoga, energy work, live art, cosmic hairstyles and make-up, conscience talks, card readings, astrology, nature workshops, outdoor cinema, night market, healthy food and drink and much, much more. The community and charity focused event is free entry and welcome to children before 10pm. All proceeds going to Green Peace, Young Minds, Love Support Unite and the David Lynch Foundation.

 

Sundance: a dancing freedom practice
Various Saturdays from 7:30pm to 10:15pm announced sporadically at Lamuella Ibiza

Dancing is a medicine to express yourself, and to heal and transform, and this mindful dance practice helps you to surrender, to let go and to focus on the present moment. For two hours there is no speaking, while one of the best inspirational DJ’s will take you on a musical journey through the senses—connecting you to Earth, Water, Fire and Air to allow you to connect deep within yourself. The sessions usually begin with a powerful meditation. Dancing is living, living is moving, moving is dancing. No dancing experience is necessary.

Ibiza Spirit Festival
October 2 at Atzaro 11am—10pm

An event that brings the people of Ibiza together to share in the joy of our true spirit. The event combines creative dance, yoga, tantra, musical meditations, workshops, inspirational talks, singing circles, natural food and drinks, great music and much, much more!

The schedule for the day is endless, but a few not to miss party alternatives are:

Kundalini Flow Dance with Cecilia Dyaljot
This workshop involves dancing with spirals and waves beginning with a short meditation to ground to Mother Earth to awaken your Kundalini Energy. The dance movements connect you to the source of the power to produce heat to unlock the energy that is rooted at the base of your spine.

New Moon Dance with Veetmaya
This dynamic ritual will inspire you to set new intentions and help you manifest it. You will dance together to express your intention through the body allowing energy to flow. Through your breathe you will charge your body with energy and dance to let go of what needs to be released making space for your manifestation to begin.

Music Moves the Spirit of Ibiza
Various musicians and DJs will be filling the air with melodic and uplifting sounds from the day to night. Kareem Raihani will do a Sunset Dance Celebration through Ecstatic dance paired with inspirational music. Celebrate life through rhythm, sound, movement and expression. Kareem doesn’t just mix music, he mixes emotions.

Virtue Ibiza brought to you by Rainbow City
October 27 to November 1 at Hotel Es Vive

After their success with Yoga Mornings in Ibiza, Rainbow City are back with a full retreat for healthy hedonists at a new location, the Hotel Es Vive. The 5-day experience at this magical venue will have a party vibe—but without any toxic substances. Virtue is a concept to show you can have fun and be healthy at the same time, with alcohol completely removed from the bar and replaced with fresh fruits and super foods. Daily yoga, reiki, mediation and more will help guests settle into a beautiful, peaceful environment that will be hard to leave.

The 5-day launch week package is 595 Euros per person. The package includes:

Welcome party themed 70’s, 80’s and 90’s
Organic, plant powered health bar
Daily healthy buffet or menu breakfast and dinner
Sunrise and sunset yoga, healing and meditation sessions
Mystery group excursion
Daily live sacred music
Regular guest DJ’s and pop up healthy pool parties
Rainbow hippy market
Spa access with Jacuzzi and sauna
Healthy cooking, raw food and nutrition workshops
Ppop up workshops, including dream catcher and jewelry making, reiki, essential oils and more
Ecstatic dance
Group sound healing
Moonlight mantra session
Detox guidance and support
Lots of hugs
Cacao and Matcha farewell ceremony

A COSMIC PORTAL: THE NUMEROLOGY OF 999

The numerology of 999 is a powerful invitation to let go and move forward in our journey, says Felicia Bender. Artwork: Victor Moatti 

999

Ah, sweet surrender.

September 9, 2016 breaks down to 9-9-9 (since “2016” = 2+0+1+6 = 9, making this a Universal 9 Year). The code is a message and also an energetic reality.

This day opens us to surrender on the highest realm. It is the end of a concerted struggle and a transition into wisdom or even a sense of rebirth.

Think about what has constituted your biggest or most consistent struggle—either in the past year, or even throughout your life. This is the time to put this issue (or issues) to center stage and into the spotlight. Now is the time to make some deep changes.

In Numerology, the number 9 is sacred and offers all of the lessons related to all the numbers 1-8. It challenges us to take the lead and embrace independence (1), to love and serve the needs of everyone (2), to express emotions in a healthy way and to be creative (3), to work hard and create stability (4), to use freedom constructively and have fun (5), to nurture and create a home (6), to live with a spiritual base and also ask questions (7), and to empower ourselves and to manifest in the material world (8).

The numerology of 999, day where there is a TRIPLE serving of 9 energy, it opens us—whether we “like” it or not—to our truth, in ways that we have been both searching for and avoiding. While we can say we want enlightenment, we often romanticize it, when the actuality is that enlightenment a painful process. It is a constant stripping away and revealing of Truth and also shines a light on how we must participate in creating what we want in the world.

There is true beauty in the transition opening on this special day. And given we also have two eclipses in September—which themselves are known to accelerate change in a big way—the numerology of 999 in this particular year presents an opportune time to unveil your deepest desires and visualize what it would look and feel like to step into your new reality.

So how to maximize the numerology of 999?

TAKE THE LEAP. Have you been hovering around a decision for so long you can’t remember a time when it hasn’t been eating at you? For example, I know people who have been thinking about getting a divorce for years and just continue to hover in the relationship. A friend of mine said it so well: If you’re constantly thinking about whether or not you should be in your marriage, you shouldn’t be in your marriage! If you’re meant to be there, thinking about whether or not you should stay or go is simply not on the radar.

BE REAL about your actions and participation—while forgiving yourself fully and completely. Do you keep beating yourself up about something you did or didn’t do in the past? Do you replay it over and over again? I think it’s Byron Katie who observes that often we have one traumatic experience and yet our mind relives it so often, it is if we experience the trauma every time we replay it. This is the time to find a way to truly forgive yourself and move on. It’s up to you to find your way to do it—Therapy? Energy work? Hypnosis? A “Release” ritual? Whatever speaks to you, try it it.

EXPAND YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS. Oh, sure. Sounds so cliché. Yet the energy of the 9 is optimized when we can truly live the Buddhist tenant of being Present—when we can live in the moment, let go of the past without resentment, and be open and curious about the future. If there’s ever a time to clear our slate of negativity, this is it. And this is made more challenging by the current conditions we’re experiencing in the world. There is so much tumultuous change, it can be disconcerting. Yet if we can be the eye in the center of the hurricane—even in the most intense times—the rest of it will become so simple.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: OBONJAN DREAMING, AND A SOLSTICE PICNIC

Getting excited for a summer of healthy hedonism…

 

:: MONDAY ::
I’ve been pretty upfront on here about my journey re-framing my relationship with alcohol—a.k.a. to treat it (and use it) like the powerful psychoactive substance it is, rather than a knee-jerk way to feel “good” quick. And crystals have played a major role in this—namely amethyst, the “sobriety stone.” I’ve been carrying a piece on a key-chain for the past year or so, a pivotal time on my path to semi-sobriety. A key-chain which actually broke the week I launched Club SÖDA NYC our meet-up group for the sober curious—signaling that its work with me was done!

And you know, I’ve felt myself slip back a few steps in the months since…so I bought a new one last week ahead of the Memorial Day weekend (PRIME day-drinking danger zone). And yes I had a couple of beers. But literally two, thus achieving the ever-elusive but perfect “2-drink high”—opening the doors of perception just enough to land some killer insights about my life and my path going forward, but closing them tidily up again before drunkenness (and hangover / self-doubt territory) set in. Yay AMETHYST!

Amethyst clusters from $18, The Hoodwitch

:: TUESDAY ::
Which also got me in the mood to plan our next informal Club SÖDA NYC event—a sober solstice picnic in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, June 19. Invite below—come!

 

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Last week amazing Alexandra Derby posted on the subject of “Cash and Consciousness” in her new weekly vlog A Beautiful Answer—after watching a new doc called The Beginning of Life at the UN (yup, she got invited to a screening at the United-freaking-Nations, which is how important important people think the message of the film is). You can watch Alexandra’s take here, but the overall theme is: “money” = how grown ups frame “nurture” (since money provides for all our needs) = lack of nurture in childhood = poverty consciousness in grown ups = the poverty we see in the world (since our perception shapes reality). Are you with me?! And so the call to action is: time to invest (love / support / and or money, as needed) into the nurturing of the next generation, globally. To tackle poverty consciousness—and therefore a society that creates the poverty we see—at source. The Beginning of Life came out today.

:: THURSDAY ::
Getting super excited for…Obonjan! Booked my flights today for this summer-long private island festival in Croatia (yes you read that right), where I’ll be giving a talk on healthy hedonism July 29. Full report PLUS details of a Numinous discount coming on next week’s newsletter. Here’s the link to sign up!

:: FRIDAY ::
In Berlin for some hang-time with my fam

EARTHLY DELIGHTS: NO MORE GUILTY PLEASURES

Be kind to yourself and indulge says Kate Horodyski, as questions why they must always be guilty pleasures… Artwork: Marcus Allen

A few years ago, I was flipping through a celebrity magazine, and on one of the pages, they’d asked different celebs what their guilty pleasures were. Most gave the typical answers like wine, chocolate, or online shopping, but one person, I wish I remembered who, wrote: “I don’t have any because I never feel guilty about my pleasures.

The perfection of this caught me off guard, and it had such an impact on me.  I’ve actually seen it quoted by a few different people since then, but the origin isn’t important. What’s important is how profound and amazing a concept this is.

Living things are hardwired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Obviously, right? It’s a survival mechanism, but also, what would be the point of living if it weren’t for pleasure? Somewhere along the way (many would blame organized religion, but that’s a whole other topic), the idea arose that pleasure was to be avoided and that to “indulge” in pleasure must require a healthy dose of guilt.

The message this sends is that we can’t be trusted around pleasure as if it will derail us, or something.  In this scenario, guilt acts to protect us from ourselves and keep us “safe and in line.”

I’d like to propose though, that instead of only occasionally indulging in pleasure, while also feeling guilty about it, we just fully own it and make our lives as full of pleasure as possible. I think if we made pleasure (which translates to happiness) a priority, the world would be a much better place.

Because we’re so stingy with it, we’ve come to associate pleasure with selfishness or greed. But if we were more open with it, we’d see that it’s the exact opposite! Pleasure is like rocket fuel for our lives and the more we embrace pleasure, the happier and more loving and generous we can be.

How do you feel after a day of hard work, having also denied yourself delicious food, rest, or play?  Are you full of energy and ready to help others? Or do you want to simultaneously cry, sleep, and eat a tub of ice cream? Now compare that to how you feel after a day of chatting with friends, eating delicious food, being outside, and having some great sex (or whatever it is that you find pleasurable). You probably feel happy, at peace, and more open to helping others.

Pleasure doesn’t have to be an expensive or lengthy process (i.e. it doesn’t need to involve a trip to the spa or a five-star resort). It can truly be as simple as taking a few deep breaths, making yourself some tea, or hugging someone you love. The beauty of pleasure is its simplicity. Pleasure means caring about yourself and offering yourself the love that you deserve.

While I write this, I keep pausing to check in on my breath and any tension in my body.  The more I breathe and relax, the more pleasurable anything and everything feels. Practicing presence is practicing pleasure.

I also believe that we should be able to eat chocolate, drink champagne, take mid-day naps in the sun, go for 2-hour massage appointments, and buy ourselves beautiful things. We are spiritual beings living in a physical world, and the best way to celebrate this is by diving head first into the pleasures that this physical world can offer. We are here to have fun!

Most importantly, I think it’s important that we don’t see these as guilty pleasures that we only earn by putting in a hard day’s work. I want us to see pleasure as our prerogative, our birthright, and a celebration of what it means to be alive. I want us to know that pleasure doesn’t have to be earned.

I used to take life so seriously and having fun just didn’t seem overly important. But life changed for me, not all at once, but gradually, when I changed my perspective on pleasure. It got a whole lot more fun and a whole lot more amazing. I’ve made fun and pleasure my spiritual practice, and I am never looking back.

COMFORTABLY NUMB: WHY ARE WE ALL AFRAID TO FEEL?

Dry January opened my eyes to how I’ve been comfortably numb, so this year I’m committing to feeling it and healing it, says Kate Atkinson.

‘Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me.” Ringing an opiate bell in your psyche? If you’re a borderline millennial like me, you’re shamefully more likely to recall the Scissor Sisters version before the much more pleasant, sedate and, well, numbing, Pink Floyd original of the track “Comfortably Numb.”

But this song bears a special significance in my world right now. Having completed my first ever dry January I, like I suspect many Instagramming, Malbec-drinking, Bumble-ing, Happn-ing global citizens, have realized to what extent I’ve been moving through my life in a similarly cozy but numbed-out state.

The Oxford Dictionary defines “numb” as depriving us of the power of sensation. So to do so in any capacity means more or less living and feeling at a fraction of our capabilities. Or in Numi speak: “vibing at a lower frequency.” By CHOICE. How depressing is that?

And it’s not just the booze. NYC might be a cultural smorgasbord, but it also offers ready access to all the compulsions that can take you down a rabbit hole of distraction and, eventually, longing.

Rather than dealing with our shit, we drink. Opposed to being alone, we over engage on social media (no wonder “Digital Addiction” has become an actual “thing”). Others get high on the rush of success and pepped on promotion. There’s addiction to substances, of course – legal medications, essential oils, cocaine. Addiction to online dating.  Addiction to people. Addiction to pizza. Addiction to tattoos. Addiction to solitude. Addiction to sex.

The list is endless, and the more you get to thinking about it, the more it feels like anything can become an obsession when you’d rather numb-out than feel…and deal. Then there’s the replacement of one addiction with another. Partying for yoga. Work for a relationship…and so it goes.

Without booze to cloud this revelation, I’ve only become more aware of back-to-back evenings of time wasting on Facebook; the getting obliterated after a bad day at work; the 18 nights a month I eat pizza. And many more obsessions I don’t care to list in a public forum.

And I’ve decided this is no way to live. Along with this newfound awareness, I’ve realized how sick I am of the “terrifying Tuesdays,” the hours spent staring at my phone, of saying I’ll do things I never do, and spending my precious hours on mind numbing, opposed to mind-expanding activities.

So what’s the alternative? Bottom line is it’s tough to to feel the full spectrum of your emotions. It is hard to stay at home and sit with your loneliness, when grappling with an overwhelming desire to put it all behind you, just for one night.

Personally, that social itch and need to be surrounded by others is a compulsive distraction, and when I obey it and ignore my calmer (and undoubtedly more vulnerable) intuition, generally the more disasters head my way. The thing with numbing is it becomes a cycle. Drink too much. Make bad dating decisions. Attack your liver again with Advil. Waste $40 on breakfast. And so it goes.

With this in mind, I’m accepting you have to “feel it to heal it” – which means, for now at least, I am committing to a time of being UN-NUMB. And what this will entail exactly I don’t know, since I’ve been living comfortably numb for well over a decade.

Nonetheless, I want to commit to it this year. I have no idea what I’m doing – and already I’m finding myself interested in activities I would have laughed at this time last year. So welcome to my blank canvas of withdrawal…which right now seems to be manifesting into this column.

Signing off until next time, with one of my favorite quotes from Anais Ninn:

“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book…or you take a trip…and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating.

The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death.

Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”