“From fabric selection to garment creation, these are healing garments disguised as ‘fashion.'”
The Passion Project I wanted to create a sensory experience: one where you feel elevated and transformed … that feeling when putting on a robe after a Moroccan or Turkish bath. This is the feeling I imagined while creating the Kao-Kabi collection.
Kao-Kabi is Arabic for “my planet,” and with this collection I hope to meet the delicate needs of today’s modern wearer through garments that are kind to the skin and to our environment. I work exclusively with natural fibers, including bamboo, hemp, linen, and pineapple.
All the garments from Kao-Kabi have been bathed with Reiki light and love; from fabric selection to garment creation, these are healing garments disguised as “fashion.”
Dressing to Honor the Spirit When I was younger my style was very eccentric, layering my skin with lots of accessories and clothing that embodied a lot of mythology and symbology. This style reflected my fascination with the history of costume, and how each period influenced the image of how the self was portrayed.
After moving to Brooklyn in 2013, my transformative healing journey began: the cleansing and purifying process … shedding skin and tuning in to the core and essence of the delicious self. Now, I dress to honor my spirit by radiating the light within me outwards. In doing so, I find myself surrounded by similar radiant entities.
I really do enjoy wearing white, and a lot of that is influenced by my Kundalini practice. Yogi Bhajan’s idea about the color white resonates with me. Not only is white an auric color therapy, but wearing white is an exercise in awareness, as it takes more consciousness and care to keep white clothes clean!
The Futuristic Fashionista Vision Kao-Kabi offers a glimpse into the eco-conscious world I envision for fashion. Moving forward, I intend to create my own sustainable, innovative textiles from which my future collections will be designed—a sustainable material that honors our planet by being gentle to its resources.
The Moon Club Inspiration It has been a huge inspiration to be part of this community—Moon Club is a sacred space for all the Luna lovers out there. As the astrology fan that I am, I get an insightful dose of what’s happening astrologically, the Moon cycles, and their impact on us. Moon Club guides me with my creative process by reminding me to pause, clear my mind, and MEDITATE in order to dive deeper.
We’ve had such incredible coaching sessions with innovators and healers, like Sah D’Simone sharing the “Happiness Equation,” and powerful female entrepreneurs like THINX co-founder Miki Agrawal—I’m all about the divine yoni power!!!!
I’d also like to share here the Forgiveness Mediation from Moon Club founding member Eddie Stern, which has been particularly inspiring for me in my creative process:
“For anyone I caused harm, knowingly or unknowingly, I ask for your forgiveness/For anyone whom has caused me harm, knowingly or unknowingly, I offer you my forgiveness/For any harm I have caused myself, knowingly or unknowingly, I forgive me.”
Feeling ready to up your manifestation game? Read more about Moon Club here and start working your own lunar magic!
Brand new sweats, getting sober curious in London, walking the human tightrope, and saying “goodbye 2016″…
:: MONDAY :: Got interviewed by badass yogi Guru Jagat for her RaMa Radio show “Reality Riffing,” which was really kinda cool because usually I’m the one interviewing people! And luckily the moon was in Gemini and I was feeling extra chatty. We got through a bunch of stuff about spiritual activism, walking the wellness talk, and how “being in a human body feels like walking a tightrope right now” (her metaphor, but who isn’t feeling this one??). But guess what? Maybe the tightrope is the only way across the abyss. In which case, let’s keep calm, clear, centered, and never quit cheering each other on. You can listen to the full interview here.
:: TUESDAY :: First virtual Full Moon ritual for our Moon Club members, and we had people attend from Belfast in Ireland, Toronto, London, Mexico, and all over the United States. YES, this community is global! Since this week’s Gemini Full Moon was the last full moon of 2016, it has felt like a good week to take stock of a year that has brought so many harsh lessons, so much anguish (the tightrope, remember?), and, as a result, such tremendous opportunity for growth. What have you been through this year, and who have you become? This was the theme of Alexandra Roxo’s moving guided meditation, in which we journeyed to meet the different “selves” of 2016, and ask for their lessons, and their blessings. Intrigued? New members can access a recording of the session via the private Moon Club Facebook group any time you sign up.
:: WEDNESDAY :: Finalizing details for Club SÖDA NYC, the new name for my “sober curious” Club Soda events—which I am bringing to London on January 11 due to popular demand! And speaking of previous selves…when I left my home town five years ago for a new life in NYC, I was a full-on party girl, using alcohol and other drugs as a way to bridge the fulfillment gap (the abyss…?) that has since been bridged by creating The Numinous, and all the offshoot projects of this platform. London is also the kind of town where saying you don’t drink is often met with eye rolls and extreme pressure to “just have one,” followed by intense gossiping about how you must be a) in AA, or b) pregnant.
So to say I’m apprehensive about how my new attitude to booze will go down, is kind of an understatement. But it seems that even in the UK, the conversation is changing. Ever since I announced the launch of Club Soda on this side of the pond, I have received messages from Brits asking me to bring the events to the UK—”because we really need something like this.” Not to mention loads of newly sober (and sober curious) friends offering to help me stage a London event. Which means…it’s happening! Read more and get your ticket here.
:: THURSDAY :: New sweatshirts, new sweatshirts! A couple of months back, Urban Yogis co-founder Eddie Stern approached me with the idea of creating a limited edition print of his Broome St. Temple tees (worn by people like, oh, Russell Brand and MADONNA). The Temple was Eddie’s iconic ashtanga studio in Soho, which he vacated earlier this year to set up the equally beautiful Brooklyn Yoga Club—the tees a riff on the logo for punk band The Ramones. Our version? Went went kinda glam with gold foil! As with our Chakra and Vinyasa shirts, a percentage of proceeds will go to the Urban Yogis, to help fund the amazing work they do bringing peace to marginalized communities in the city. You can check them out and shop the collection here.
:: FRIDAY :: And speaking of Madonna, if you didn’t already then please, please watch her acceptance speech for the Billboard Woman of The Year award she collected this week. So many truths, such powerful vulnerability, and what a fearless statement about the need for true sisterhood. But above all a reminder, fitting in the final days of 2016, that: “in life there is no real safety, except self-belief.” The tightrope is real. You’d better believe.
A week that’s been all about finding and using my voice, as we get ready to #tuneinpeaceout...
:: MONDAY :: OMFG finally did the Mayers Briggs personality test. OMFG mind totally blown. (And not just cos my personality “type”—Advocate—also includes MLK, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Theresa, lol. #TuneInPeaceOut)
:: TUESDAY :: A Skype session with amazing Gail Schock, who’s work I’d been aware of, but had not connected with until we met in Croatia earlier this summer. Gail teaches Voice Freedom, and I need way more words than I have today to describe the serendipity of us finally getting to work together now, this week, with all that’s been stirred up for me during this particular Eclipse-season-Mercury-retrograde-999-portal.
Let’s just say, some karmic shiz been going down—much of it connected to all the ways I have not felt or allowed myself to be truly heard. Following some intuitive coaching, Gail took me into a Quantum Meditation, which she said would work to heal the memories keeping me stuck, quite literally, in my throat chakra, at a cellular level. And since we’re planning a couple more sessions, I’ll leave it there for now. To be continued…Read more about Gail and her work at: Gailschock.love
:: WEDNESDAY :: And another angel floats into my life in the form of Carey Davidson, founder of Manhattan’s Tournesol Wellness. Again, there’s too much to write about this meeting of hearts, minds, and souls in this post, suffice to say (for now) that it seems this week for me is ALL about being heard, using our voice, and, yes, advocacy. Which makes a lot of sense since Friday’s Full Moon Lunar Eclipse is in my Pisces-ruled (healing/compassion) third house (communication). Having run several wellness-focussed non-profits, Carey has tasked herself with the not exactly humble pursuit of taking on the entire US healthcare system, to make alternative healing practices available to all. What can I say? I’m SO IN. Read more about Carey and her mission at: Tournesolwellness.com
:: FRIDAY :: And would you just look at the line-up of events that’s coming together for next week’s #TuneInPeaceOut initiative for World Peace Day! You guys ROCK. And there’s still plenty of time to plan something—which could be as simple as a pot-luck dinner and gathering with friends to discuss ways to bring more peace to your family, community or workplace today. If you DO feel called to plan something larger then send details to [email protected] and we will share as many events as possible!
You can also sign up for a LIVE webinar + guided meditation for peace with Ruby Warrington and Alexandra Roxo of The Numinous, Bri Luna of The Hoodwitch, and Dori Varga of TRIBE de MAMA on 9/21. The broadcast will be at 12 noon PST / 3pm EST / 8pm GMT—and if the time doesn’t work for you, ALL those who register will receive a recording of the session. Click here to sign up!
“Is the entrepreneur life for me?” Resident Yogi and philosopher Eddie Stern responds… Artwork:Francesco Clemente
“After years of working for other people and putting all my creative energy into their dreams, I finally decided to do my own thing a couple of years back. I have worked on various projects since, some more successful than others—and while I try to always learn from the lessons of my ‘failures’ it can be hard not to focus on things that have gone wrong, and blame myself. Lately this has made me fearful about continuing on the entrepreneurial path and I’ve been fantasizing about the ‘easy life’—i.e. working for somebody else again—even though I know in my heart this would make me depressed and leave me craving my freedom again. How can I get past my mistakes and remain confident about pursuing my own dreams?”
Almost everyone sometimes feels trapped between two worlds; one world we know, the other we don’t really know…but we have some ideas. One world is exhilarating and free, and the other is safe, but is a prison. The world of safety, as you pointed out, can often be boring, unfulfilling, and limiting, while the world of the unknown—where our hidden, unlimited potential lies—is scary. Until we jump in, that is.
These two realities are spoken of in Hindu philosophy. There is the reality that can be measured, is logical, has size, shape and weight—and the reality that cannot: thoughts, emotions, inspiration, potential and creativity. We can measure our bodies, possessions, money, buildings, cars, cities, even the Universe, but we cannot measure that things that inhabit these spaces: knowledge, love, compassion, empathy, dreams, ambitions, hopes, desires, potential and friendship.
The reality that can be measured is called sakala, “with form,” and the reality that cannot is called nishkala, “without form.” However, they are both real—they both exist! The realm of man is the sakala realm, and the realm of the Gods—as well as our hopes, dreams, potential and feelings—is nishkala.
We get stuck in the world of quantification, of measurement, because that is what our world demands of us. How many followers do we have on IG? How much money do I have in the bank? Do I have six packs in my abs, or only one and a half? We measure, we compare, and we are miserable in doing so, because we always come up short. And we measure because we don’t know who we are.
In Yoga, this knowing who we are is the solution to all misery. It is the plug that let’s all the dirty, stinky water down the drain. For when we truly know who we are, we are immeasurable, pure consciousness. When we don’t know who we are, we are limited by the things we measure ourselves against.
When we don’t know who we are, we imitate those who project the kind of confidence and knowledge, or beauty or wit, that we wished we had. We give up the struggle of discovering who we are, by playing it safe, and taking on someone else’s self-expression. But in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna, “It’s better to do your own dharma poorly, then to do the dharma of another well”, meaning, it’s better to do your own thing and fail, rather than do someone else’s thing and succeed.
Why? Because you’ll never be happy and never find fulfillment with someone else’s purpose, only with your own. And it’s only you who can discover what that is. When you do, is when freedom begins. It’s how you access the realm of nishkala, and bring it forward, actively, into your life.
In the Tarot, a card which seems to accurately represent the dilemma that you are in right now, is the Two of Wands. The image on the card is of a person standing between two upright wands; he is holding onto one of the wands with his left hand, and in his right, he is holding a globe, or, the world, as he gazes off towards the distance.
The meanings of the card can relate to decision making; you have reached a fork in the road, so to speak, and there are two directions you can go. One direction will lead you towards freedom and abundance, and the other towards safety, which is binding, and will be fraught with self-doubt. The card symbolizes independence and boldness on the one hand, and fear of failure, and dependence on others, on the other.
Being bold is an expression of personal power, which is simply another terms for your unique potential and creativity. Now may be the time for you to own that originality within you, and be bold enough to express it in the world. You may have had some failures, and you will definitely have fears to face head on, but in the end, regardless of success or failure, you will have the inner satisfaction of knowing that you were brave enough to listen.
The important thing is to keep at your work. Your creativity will continue to grow as you feed it. It will continue to grow as you use if for work that aligns with your own vision.
There are three key words I’ve seen associated with the Two of Wands: personal power (which I read as infinite potential channeled through us each as unique individuals); boldness; and originality. Your potential will become clearer the more you exercise it; your boldness will increase when you face your fears directly and don’t let them rule you; and last, connecting with your own work, and your own originality, will lead you towards personal fulfillment, which is true success.
But the Two of Wands reminds us of one other thing: we do not own our creativity, or our potential, or power. These are channeled through us, and if we are lucky, we can tap into them and express them through our actions and attitudes. We should remain humble knowing that we are not the authors of our creativity or power, that we are conduits, and that when creativity flows through us, all goes well. But when we try to control it, or think that we are special because of it, things will eventually go south. Be bold, but be humble. Be fearless, but also, be grateful.
A yogic practice you can try to balance out the two realities that we all live in is alternate nostril breathing. It’s fairly simple, is calming, and balances both hemispheres of the brain.
Begin by sitting comfortably in a chair, or cross-legged on the floor.
Place your right thumb against your right nostril, inhale and exhale 3-5 times through your left nostril. Your breathing should be smooth and even, not too long, and not too short. Usually a 3-4 second inhale and exhale is a good place to start.
After 3-5 breaths, close your left nostril with your right ring finger, and breath the same amount of times through the right nostril. Your breathing should be smooth and even, with the same length of breath that you used on the left side (3-4 seconds inhale, 3-4 seconds exhale).
After 4 breaths through the right side, place your right hand back into your lap or on to your knee, and take 3-5 slow deep breaths.
You can do this once or twice a day—morning and evening, and before having food, are optimal times to try it. There are many variations of alternate nostril breathing, that overall have some of the same effects. This one in particular is single nostril, or unilateral, breathing, and has been show to have positive effects on both spatial awareness (knowing where you are in space, and where things are in relation to you), and improving cognitive abilities. I think the two wands in the Two of Wands card are reminiscent of the nostrils, and the subtle energy channels that are attached to them! Try it, and see if it helps.
In a new column, yogi and philosopher Eddie Stern offers advice from a yogic perspective—with additional guidance from the tarot. This month’s question: “How can I be of service?” Artwork: Lucy Dyer
QUESTION: “All the recent socio-political unrest has left me feeling equal parts vulnerable and impotent. Alongside feelings of fear about what the future holds (environmental issues obviously play into this also), there is a huge sense of compassion for communities who’ve been affected directly and a newfound depth of empathy for all the displaced and marginalized people in the world. This has stirred up a desire to want to help in some tangible way, but it’s so hard to know where to start—and to not feel hopeless about the impact one individual can possibly have on such monumental global issues. How can I be of service?”
SUGGESTION: Knowing where to start is often the hardest part of service—the same way you might look at your kitchen sink after preparing a huge feast. Your sink will be overflowing with dirty dishes, pots and pans, fragile glassware and sharp knives, all covered in gook, and the thought of washing them, while you are tired and overfed, is overwhelming. Your initial thought might be to leave them for the morning, and perhaps you secretly hope that one of your guests or your partner will do it for you. However, while the whole mess is indeed completely overwhelming, washing just one single cup, or one plate, is not. If you start by washing just one dirty dish at a time, before you know it, the whole kitchen sink will be clean.
We can look at the world in the same way. For one person to clean up the whole mess of global warming, geopolitical conflict, poverty and hunger is not only impossible, it’s completely overwhelming to even think about. But taking personal responsibility for trying to do one thing better, and inspire others to do something better, is totally doable. In yoga, Sun Salutations—breathing slowly, and connecting each movement with one breath—teach us to embody a step-by-step approach to our lives. Further, if you can choose that one thing that you are going to work on or perfect about your behavior and attitude while here on our small, green and blue planet, you’ll also find that you are re-inspired, and will become filled with energy, inspiration and creativity.
In the Tarot, the Eight of Pentacles might be a good card for you to meditate on. This card shows a young man absorbed in his work; he is an apprentice, meaning that he is learning and perfecting a new skill, and has committed himself to hammering out the details that will lead to mastery. He works on one coin at a time, without stress, only moving on to the next coin when the one he is working on has been completed. The Pentacles are the suit of physical work, and are representative of the Earth energy. This is essentially what your question was regarding. Our planet Earth is a mess, what work can I do to help?
The first thing is to be grounded, stable, and practical, like the Earth; and then to take it one step at a time. Come up with a simple strategy that you can stick with, like the washing of one dish at a time. This is how a big job gets done. Your commitment to being of service to the world will strengthen and blossom when the job before you feels like it is attainable. The Eight of Pentacles also teaches us that we should not isolate ourselves for too long, for the kind of work you wish to do is not the work of one person.
We need spiritual friends to work with, and communities to develop who share our ideals, values and desire to be of service. Cleaning up the world is not the job of one person, it’s the job everyone! If you take it all on your shoulders, it will just be depressing. So look around, see what is close by that you can take participate in, or what you can create from scratch. After you have taken small steps, you can build bigger teams if you wish to, delegate more, and fulfill your vision of creating a more loving, compassionate world.
Discover more about Eddie Stern and his work here. Do you have a question for “Yogi Says”? Email: [email protected]
With Pluto, Saturn and Mars all retrograde, there’s rich opportunity now to transcend deep-seated patterns and re-vamp your sense of purpose. This week showed me how to use the retrogrades for healing…
:: MONDAY (-WEDNESDAY) :: A healing session with Michael Ventura, who also happens to be CEO of design and branding agency Sub Rosa, which also happens to be the venue for some of NYC’s most high-vibe happenings (including our Club SÖDA NYC event in April with Biet Simkin). This is what I love about New York—everybody has a side project that’s at least as interesting as their day job. In Michael’s case, 10 years spent studying everything from Traditional Chinese Medicine to Native American shamanic healing (with Yogi Bhajan’s personal healer, no less).
“These retrogrades have stirred up all kinds of funky stuff,” I told him. “You know, like ‘who am I?’ and ‘how can my voice have real impact in the world?'” (um, anybody else feeling the existential crunch right now?) My treatment was a combination of hands-on healing and pressure-point release, with some crystals and some burning herbs, after which I practically levitated off the table, leaving with the instructions to send an update by email after two sleeps. By which time I was actually experiencing a disquieting sense of wanting to completely re-evaluate my message and my mission, in line with my personal needs.
And since I know I’m not alone in this right now, I share with you here Michael’s beautiful response:
“We all too often think of our lives across two spectrums—positive and negative. However, there is a third and powerful force—neutrality—which can serve you well in these times of reflection and integration. You don’t need to have the plan. At the same time, you don’t need to get down on yourself for not having a plan. Simply un-attaching and not identifying with an outcome will let things happen at their own pace. A flower doesn’t bloom by trying to bloom. It simply allows.”
:: WEDNESDAY NIGHT :: So I allowed the unease (WTF am I doing with my life? How is what I’m doing actually of service in the world?) to just be there. And now enter my third sleep of the week, during which I experienced the most incredible healing dream—facilitated (in my dream) by wonderful Alexandra Derby, who appeared in my mind’s eye and told me it was time to perform a ritual.
This involved an astral visitation with my ex—a man to whom I utterly subjugated my sense of self during my late teens and early twenties. Confronted with his same old, patronizing ways, I felt his words and gross, overbearing sexual energy bounce off me, like I’d developed a cosmic force-field. “You are an insect on the sole of my shoe, and I am more powerful than you will even know,” was basically the over-riding vibe. At which point I came semi-conscious to the sound of a series of “clicks” in my brain—as if a piece of code in my internal operating system had been re-written. By morning, I awoke feeling newly and fully empowered on my path. Existential crisis averted!
So…I’ve gone into way more detail here than I usually would in this column, but my this week has been an amazing opportunity to work with the current retrogrades for healing. Pluto and Saturn, in particular, are opening up deep karmic wounds, and since everywhere I look it seems people are experiencing a similar sense of having outgrown their own skin, or are having conflicting thoughts and feelings about where they’re “at” and what they really want, it felt appropriate to share.
And so, I believe this is a perfect time to:
– Seek assistance bringing any funky energy that’s being stirred up to the surface—ideally a session with a trusted energy worker (think reiki, acupuncture, sound healing—whatever works for you). – Allow all the weird shit you might be thinking and feeling to just be there. Don’t over-analyse it—just allow it move through you. Trust that it will find its own way out—in a dream like mine, perhaps. – Feel it to heal it. Which means resisting the temptation to numb out from it with drink, drugs, drama, shopping (*insert your preferred method of numbing here*). – Journal. I actually wrote a poem the morning after my healing dream, my favorite new way to purge the numinous un-namables that are screeching to be let out. Try it—I bet you like it!
:: THURSDAY :: Mainly processing the above. While also finally finishing my book manuscript (TF!)
:: FRIDAY :: A beautiful astanga class with Makeesha Hill of the Urban Yogis—a grass roots initiative bringing the tools of yoga and meditation to NYCs inner city communities, that we’re supporting with sales of our Designer Yogis sweatshirt collection. A fitting end to this week of self-enquiry, as one of the things that’s coming through loud and clear for me right now is that if my work (like, this platform) isn’t actively in service of helping people be happier humans, in a healthier, more harmonious society…then really, what’s the point? As the Yogis themselves would say: #peaceisalifestyle!