MY MYSTICAL LIFE: AN INVITATION TO CHOOSE PEACE, EVERY DAY

Our #TuneInPeaceOut initiative is an invitation to choose peace, every day and in every way…

:: MONDAY ::
Got to see Deepak “the don” Chopra speak live for the first time, at the launch of his Radical Beauty book with nutritionist Kimberly Snyder. TOTALLY get why he is who he is. The charisma! The effortless way with a deeply spiritual insight! A fave takeaway were his quotes about our relationship to our bodies: “Your body is an activity, not a thing. It’s not a sculpture it’s a river.” And how, since our cells are in a continual process of rejuvenation: “I’ve had this jacket longer than the body I’m wearing today.”

:: TUESDAY ::
Another day, another book about feeding our body right with Nicole Centeno’s Soup Cleanse Cookbook. Nicole is the founder of Splendid Spoon, one of our sponsors at Club SÖDA NYC, and she’s all about the healing power of soup. As Nicole tells it, souping changed her life (a low-calorie way to stay fuller for longer, the mindfulness of making soup, AND a totally practical way to cook and eat big batches of seasonal veg). All I really need to know is, my body just sort of gives me a big, cozy hug from the inside just looking at some of her recipes—which feels like an intuitive “yes” to a lot more souping this fall to me.

With Juquille, Eddie, Jaytaun, Tyrell and Raheem of the Urban Yogis, and Erica and Prince of Life Camp.

:: WEDNESDAY :: (Lots to say here, you might want to go make a cup of tea first…)
So roughly three weeks ago, I had the idea for #TuneInPeaceOut—an initiative to celebrate the UN’s International Day of Peace. This following some work I did with my coach Cherie Healey, when I was thinking about the big, underlying message of The Numinous. “If I gave you the loudest megaphone in the world, and put you on top of the highest mountain, what would you say to the world?” she asked. The words came immediately: “Can everybody just stop fighting. We’re all human. We all have the same needs, and the same fears. Please can we remember that we’re here to help each other work it out?”

Because essentially (besides me just being a massive pacifist), all the practices, philosophies, and ways of healing that we cover on The Numinous are about forging a deeper connection to our true nature—and therefore a deeper sense of connection to ourselves, and to each other. Two things I believe are fundamental to any conversation about creating more peace in our (inner and outer) world. This since a) connection to self is what fosters the resilience needed to respond to life’s trials in a calm, non-reactive way; and b) it becomes pretty much impossible to want to harm somebody once you recognize that we are all part of one big human family!

And then “Summer 2016” happened. Week after week we were slammed with reminders of the rampant divisiveness, hatred and violence in our world right now, and often stemming from a place of separation, of “us” v. “them.” Which is not exactly anything new. Bombings, shootings, rape, hate crimes, and other acts of terrorism are happening all over the world, every day. But what struck me was the emotional charge in the way we responded to the events of this summer. How personally we all took each heart-wrenching episode of violence and injustice.

I think this is because we’ve reached a tipping point in how we consume our news. It used to be that we first heard of such inhumane acts as mass shootings and racist police brutality from people in suits, reading from scripts, in newsrooms far away. Now, this information first reaches us via our social media feeds—the same place we connect with our family and friends, and share our own lives with those we love. As a result, it has become impossible not to empathize with the people being violated against as we would our own brothers and sisters, parents, friends, and colleagues. The veil of separation dissolves…and we are reminded that we are all part of one big human family.

And with this, comes the remembrance that it is all of our responsibility to look out for one another. To speak up. Literally. Like, “WTF, that’s not how we do things in THIS family!!” No matter how scary, or how uncomfortable this might feel. And to take whatever (non-violent!) action we can to change up the status quo.

The above is pretty much how I introduced my event in NYC for #TuneInPeaceOut, which ended up being one of 20 or so IRL gatherings held by the Numinous tribe globally. Earlier in the day I also hosted a live webinar with Bri Luna from The Hoodwitch and my dear friend and collaborator Alexandra Roxo (you can listen to the recording here), in which we spelled out what this initiative is really all about—empowering all of us to use our voice and take action to choose peace, and help create more peaceful communities from the ground up.

After all, as a friend in the UK pointed out on one of my posts about #TuneInPeaceOut, since it was inaugurated in 1981, it would not appear that the UN’s International Day of Peace has actually done much to end—or even lessen—violence. Since September 21 was subsequently declared a day of of ceasefire and non-violence in 2001, US military spending has increased dramatically—rising from under $400 billion to almost $800 billion in 2011 (there has been a slight drop during Obama’s presidency, but spending is projected to increase again in 2017). I see this as yet another reminder that it is actually on YOU AND ME to demand a different way of resolving conflict. That the power, truly, must be claimed by the people.

This message is why I partnered with the amazing Urban Yogis for my event tonight, since here are some people who are walking the freaking talk. Based in Jamaica, Queens, a neighborhood where violent street crime fueled by prejudice and lack of opportunity is a way of life, the courageous and progressive human beings behind this initiative are bringing the tools of yoga and meditation into their local community. The results? Less reactivity. Less violence. More listening. Increased feelings of self-worth, leading to more empowered and empowering lifestyle choices.

And, most importantly, the slow chipping away of stereotypes (about the “kind of people” who do yoga, for example—or who perpetrate violent crimes) that are the sick, Monsanto seed of so much separation, fear, and hate.

“Real change needs all year round effort, not just a day,” my friend noted. And I could not agree more. Which is why it is my sincere hope that the conversations sparked by #TuneInPeaceOut will continue today, tomorrow, and every day going forward. That we will continue to choose peace every step of the way. On our webinar, we asked people to share what this looked like in their lives, and what they do to bring more peace to their communities, so we could all be inspired by each others efforts. I’ve created a post with the transcript from our chat. Check it out here—and add your feedback in the comments, so we can keep the conversation alive.

:: THURSDAY ::
Pulled the above card in a mini meeting oracle deck reading with my girl Lisa Barner. Thanks for listening, angels.

:: FRIDAY ::
And all that said, with the Moon in Cancer today, sign of nurture and self-care, I shall be mainly tuning in…and peace’ing out.

HOLY F*CK: IS MODERN DATING ALL ABOUT SECOND BEST?

Is second best enough when it comes to modern dating? Alexandra Roxo breaks her six-month self-love and celibacy regime to find out…

Over sushi last Friday with my friend Kristina, she suggested that perhaps it was time for me to dip a toe back in the dating game. I’d taken a six month break from sex and dating in the name of self-love and self growth, and, Jesus, that felt like long enough. But as Kristina recounted her latest dating exploits, I wanted to run for the hills—a.k.a. bury myself back in Doreen Virtue videos in my muumuu, with nothing but some Coconut Bliss in bed with me!

Okay, so maybe dating isn’t all that bad. I have a handful of friends that have found their “life partners” in the past year. Hopelessly in love. Soul mate status. One couple met on Tinder. One at Burning Man. Two other friends who just passed a decade met their loves out with friends, and just felt instantly “at home.” And these couples keep me full of hope.

But the rest of us perhaps fall into two categories:

-Those of us in a string of casual romances, engaging with people that seem exciting but just aren’t available or right.

-Or those of us sitting it out and waiting/minding our own business (a.k.a. dancing and having fun and meditating and sometimes feeling bored and starved of love).

So what’s best while searching for true love? Keeping on dating people who don’t seem “in it to win to it” (i.e. are always busy, “wanna keep it chill” and “low pressure with no commitment” blah blah) Or waiting it out? I feel like the easiest thing when it comes to modern day dating and sex is to accept what’s there: perhaps someone hot and fun who meets some of our needs, but not all. Especially since: “You can’t have it all.” Right?

Last week in our first Holy F*ck salon I heard a lot of this. Women accepting half loves. Or a morsel of connection. Or a lot of drunk sex with regretful mornings but fun nights. I’ve talked to friends too who are torn about this. We ponder “Should I go on casual dates? Spend that time on dating apps? Is it worth it if you know your heart’s not in it and neither is theirs?”

I’d been a serial monogamist for ten whole years, and last year upon being single and freshly in Los Angeles I found myself busy but not really satisfied. There was the hot writer who was in a failing open relationship (a.k.a. still in love with someone) but who would stare into my eyes with such passion when we had sex and orgasmed in tandem, and put cinnamon in my coffee.

Then there was the high school teacher who wanted to be called “Daddy” in bed and didn’t tell me he was engaged until date four. The friend of six years who professed his love and then confessed he had a new girlfriend. The Hollywood director who wined and dined me and wrote a part based on my life in his T.V. show, and then mentioned casually on date three he was in an open relationship of two years after ordering me an Uber town car home.

Not forgetting the famous musician who told me he wanted to meet my mom and refused to wear condoms, and who my friend saw on a dating app the next day. All. Unavailable. (And three out of five of these men meditate daily and do plant medicine or Buddhist retreats btw!)

There were women too. And at least they were more forthcoming and told me on date two they were just in it for fun casual vibes or what not. But overall it was a lot of kiiiiinda fun things that didn’t add up to one great thing.

So when I met someone earlier this year mid dating cleanse, who seemed amazing and into me, but who was also in an open relationship, I was like “Nope! I wanna be someone’s number 1!” I’ve had plentya number 2 status in the last year, and I honestly don’t know how I got demoted. So I also said: “Let’s be friends.”

But yes, I’m currently back to dating. And there I am, naked in a bed in a state of post orgasmic bliss, that cool Los Angeles breeze sweeping through the room, after a day having my feet massaged by the very same previously mentioned person. Because after six months of celibacy, I’ve somehow I’ve managed to I convince myself I can adjust my needs and be more progressive—a.k.a. share my lover with his two to three other lovers.

And then he stepped away to take a call. The primary partner of five years. Oh yeah…right. The magic spell lifted and I was reminded of the bigger picture. I was not Queen Bee.

This Rumi quote has echoed in my ears for over a decade: “A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”

And I’ve decided this is true, for me. And that it applies to EVERYTHING. Not just love, but work. Friendships. Sometimes something is so close, but just not 100% right. And if you say yes to it anyway, you’re telling your self that you will always settle for less. Worse, in lowering your standards, you could also miss that the thing you really want because now you’re vibrating at a half mast frequency.

As my new friend Andi reminded me on the beach last week: “If it’s not a hell YES it’s a NO!”

When you’re hungry for something, sometimes it’s hard to resist whatever comes along that’s almost what you want. It’s like you know that it’s not quite going to satisfy you, but you eat it anyway—then wish you’d waited for what you really want. And yes, sometimes healthy compromise is key—and only YOU can decipher where the line in the sand gets drawn.

Since my recent experience of making a commitment to loving my SELF, I’ve also found myself inspired and in love with art, nature, friends, my work, all of it. As I was up late the other night, deep in celebration of this, I found this quote by Bjork, whom I’ve loved since I was 18:

“I never really understood the word ‘loneliness’. As far as I was concerned, I was in an orgy with the sky and the ocean, and with nature.”

I hope whether single or attached you can commit to finding your own inner orgy—and I believe that from this place it’s impossible to accept half loves, or half jobs, or half friends. You just smile and wink and mosey along if it doesn’t feel right. And by holding space for the most magnificent YOU, all the other stuff will just begin to filter in.

Alexandra offers one on one mentorship and coaching and her Holy F*ck group salon, which was just featured in Amuse/i-d Magazine. The next session of the Holy F*ck salon will begin September 6th for 6 weeks of chatting/deconstructing/and tuning in around love, sex and spirituality. Sign up here!

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: CHATS WITH GURU JAGAT, AND THANK TM FOR THAT

Also the week of 5am wake-up calls (thank TM), a cosmic soup diet, and a message from Mother Mary…

Aries Arise sweatshirt: standard issue book-writing attire

:: MONDAY ::
Skype time with the one and only Guru Jagat, kundalini queen of the Ra Ma Institute in Venice. We were talking all things yoga for some research for MY BOOK (have I mentioned I’m writing a book? Only 2 more chapters to go *wipes sweat from brow*), and her parting piece of advice for anybody getting serious with their spiritual practice is to set your alarm for before sunrise (“any time from 3-5am is great”) to do some kind of meditation. Well…as the cosmos would have it, I’ve been waking at 5am on the dot (no alarm needed) for the past few days. I’m blaming the TM.

:: TUESDAY ::
So I’ve been eating a lot of soup – because basically the Universe said so. As in, a few days ago I overheard 4 different conversations where people were talking about soup and how great it is (seriously – like in the yoga studio, on the subway, in the street), the same day I saw some thing about this book called THE SOUP CLEANSE. Had to be a sign, right? So I had soup that night and it just felt so GOOD! And so nourishing, and so and right for my nutrition needs right now. And so not fancy, I’m getting mine from Amy’s Organic. The Universe delivers her guidance in mysterious ways.

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Got my first Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards! Yep, more book research, and also because I had a mini Goddess reading with lovely Erica Wiederlight of We The Light last week and the cards that came out were SO inspiring I was like, yes I’ll have more of you in my life thanks. Funny thing is, Mother Mary keeps coming up – which is weird for me since I don’t connect with the myth of Christianity on any level. But I do like her message – “Expect a Miracle.” As as for the immaculate conception…well it does feel like I’m currently birthing a #bookbaby (did I mention I’m writing a book?)

Scenes from my desk

:: THURSDAY ::
Got the first peek at samples of the sweatshirt line we’re launching on the site next month! So so good, I literally can’t wait to get share them. Even better than my Aries Arise “Don’t Be Square” shirt (see main pic), which has become my standard book-writing attire (did I mention…?) Also, something strange. I’ve always been majorly selfie-averse (upcoming 40th birthday etc), but for some reason I had no qualms whatsever posting this “make-up free” pic today. It honestly feels like something has shifted in the way I see myself this past week. Again, I think I’ll blame / thank the TM.

:: FRIDAY ::
So this is the year I’m really, fully, embracing sobriety. Not in a total abstinence sense, more of a “this feels like the healthiest choice for me and actually it appears to be making me really happy” kind of way (p.s. I’m also working on a really exciting project to further this conversation – watch this space!) And so today I’m on my way to the left coast for…a sober Las Vegas weekend! I used to have this thing about certain destinations (Vegas, Ibiza) being off-limits if I wasn’t drinking, but how lame is that? I’m excited to see what the bright lights look like through the lens of absolute clarity. Oh and ALSO it means I’ll finally get to visit Vegenation – the downtown Vegas vegan joint I’m totally obsessed with on Instagram… #sobervegas!

Taco time at Vegenation

13 WAYS TO HAVE A HIGH VIBE LONDON FASHION WEEK

Fashion Week is essentially ego central. Here are 13 ways to channel your inner Unicorn, and transcend the tantrums and the auric trauma…Words and illustrations: Erin Petson

Meditate in the toilets, while the other bloggers and writers star gaze for the nearest wifi, plug socket or mobile phone signal. A moment of solace.

Channel your inner guru when you actually should be taking notes or making scathingly hilarious remarks about the lack of celebs on the front row with some secret speed journaling.

Guzzle vast amounts of the highest vibrational green juice you can get your hands on. When it’s being given out for free at the showcases, 10 bottles in your handbag is, like, totally fine.

Take time to ground yourself with your standing only ticket. You’ve got plenty of time before the show starts to grow those roots.

Snort the must potent hormonal balancing essential oil you can find whenever possible. With oestrogen bombs exploding all around, it’s time to take cover.

Practise the art of being a lighthouse, we don’t want any shipwrecks.

Step out for a quick ‘smoke’ between shows – my preference is sage, and never at a bus stop.

Practice looking fabulously nonchalant while secretly watching Doreen Virtue on youtube (and naughtily using up that precious phone juice).

Actual tree hugging is obviously a big no-no. However, gravitating towards the nearest potted plant for a wee pet, totally fine.

Drape yourself with as many crystals as humanly and stylishly possible.

Dress witchy enough to get a good 6ft auric field clearance.

Make vast amounts of protein rich chia seed pudding and keep it in a coffee cup, as not to draw to attention to your secret attempt at at super-food stop-gap.

…And when your five days on the tundra are up, gong it all out with the mother of all sound baths.

How will you keep your aura clean and serene during London Fashion Week? Share your tips with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

WITCHY MAMA: 6 WAYS TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR UNBORN CHILD

You’d like to get to know the little spirit you’re bringing into the world before you meet them, right? Cate Emond shares some simple ways to communicate with your unborn child. Images: Aurélie Raidron via Behance.net

There have always been the obvious ways of connecting with our unborn children; see women talking, singing, or reading stories out loud to our baby bumps. And whatever stage of pregnancy you Numi mamas are in, there are so many things you can do to feel bonded and connected to the little soul you’ve created a home for.

When I found out I was pregnant I was excited, but despite this I also felt very disconnected from my body, and from the little life steadily growing inside me. I realized I was going to have to go deeper into myself and my spiritual practise if I wanted to start creating a bond. Below are a few of my favorite ways to create that connection, and communicate with your unborn child:

:: Prenatal Meditation ::
Prenatal meditation is really no different from regular meditation, the only difference being that a) you, or your partner, are pregnant and b) you are specifically using this time to connect with a little spirit. It can be just as simple as taking 15-20 minutes of your day to sit quietly on your own in a relaxed setting with no distractions, to tune into the energy inside. But I prefer guided meditations because they help me to visualize the baby – especially this one, which that also incorporates some kundalini yoga, as well as this prenatal belly dance and meditation, whiCh has helped me feel more connected with my body.

:: Creative Journaling ::
I’ve kept a journal since I was a child, and more recently I’ve realized it’s not just a place to record the events of your day or how you feel. You could use yours to write letters to your little girl or boy, write songs or poetry, or create collages and vision boards about your future life together – the possibilities are endless.

:: Intentional Dreaming ::
Dreams are a great way to send and receive messages from spirit. Before going to sleep, either think of the message you want to send or receive from your baby or write it down and place the piece of paper under your pillow. Keep paper and a pen by your bedside and record whatever dreams or messages came back to you as soon as you wake up. If the messages or images seem unclear, meditate on them for a few days, focusing on the feelings they arouse in you. You can also try this handy dream interpretation method I learned years ago:

  1. Write down the events of the dream in short simple sentences.
  2. Next, go back and underline one word in each sentence that jumps out at you immediately.
  3. On a new sheet of paper, using the underlined words retell the dream as a brand new story in the way that best makes sense to you (but don’t think too hard about it).

People are so unique, and though many symbols have common universal meanings, they can still represent different things to different people. The point of this exercise is to get an interpretation that’s specific to you.

Early in my pregnancy I had a few minor complications and I was worried about losing the baby, so one night I asked for a message before going to sleep. The dream I had was about killer bees taking over my city, and I saw images of myself hovering over a little baby boy, protecting him. The next image I had was of a mailbox securely posted to a tree. I like to think that was a clever way of my baby letting me know he was safely waiting to be delivered, and that I was capable of providing a safe and protective environment. Much of my anxiety faded away after that dream.

:: Connecting with a Birth Intuitive ::
Because I was feeling so disconnected from myself, and my pregnancy, I decided to book a session with a woman who specifically helps expectant mamas and couples communicate directly with what she calls their ‘spirit babies.’ This might be a great place to start with if you need a little bit of an outside boost to help get you in the spirit of connecting with your little spirit.

While preparing for my session with Colette, I had fun dreaming up questions such as “are you okay in there” (is my anxiety that obvious?), “how can I love you best?” and “what aspirations do you have for this life?” No question is off limits, though she was quick to point out that it wasn’t about prediction, simply connecting. It was an interesting experience, and I would recommend it for the reasons mentioned above, as well as just for the fun of it.

:: Angel Cards ::
You can use any type of oracle card, but personally I love the Messages From Your Angels Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue. The messages are comforting, clear and simple to understand. I tend to do single card draws because I like the focus of a single message, but there’s no right or wrong way to do it. If I have one I ask a specific question, but if not I just ask for a general message and then I shuffle and wait for the right card to pop out.

:: Self Care ::
Okay, maybe not technically a way to bond with your baby, but it is one of the most important things to remember during pregnancy. We spend so much time worrying about how we’re going to care for this brand new life, that it can be easy to forget to care for ourselves, and if you’re neglecting your own needs you’re most likely going to feel miserable. Not the most conducive environment for feeling bonded to the little human inside of you.

One of my favorite takeaways from my session with Colette was the idea of “grand-mothering” ourselves. She asked me to: “remember how grandma loved you…how grandma paid attention to you and gave you advice and support [when you were young]. This is the kind of self-love that is recommended for pregnant women.”

So bake yourself some chocolate chip cookies, snuggle up with a blanket and a cup of tea, and journal, or meditate, or do whatever feels right to you in the moment. There’s no right or wrong ways to communicate with your baby, but he or she is most definitely listening.

How do you communicate with your unborn child? Pregnant or not! Share your stories with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

You can read more from Cate Edmond on her blog, and connect with her on Twitter.