APPLIED EMPATHY: WHAT TYPE OF BUSINESS EMPATH ARE YOU?

A new book, Applied Empathy, says it’s time for feelings to flow into the workplace. What type of business empath are you?

“Empathy” is where we are at in the Now Age. Thanks to social media, we have more contact and communication with people of all different backgrounds, cultures, and POVs, than ever before. And never has it been so important to cultivate an understanding of ALL the different perspectives, experiences, and needs, of the people we are on this Cosmic journey with.

Cultivating empathy—literally the ability to understand how life looks and feels for others—is an essential component of creating future solutions that cater to the true diversity of the human experience. But when it comes to doing business, one arena where these innovations have the power to take root, empathy is often a dirty word. A “weak” word, since it’s associated with “feelings” and “intuition,” versus profits and progress reports.

But feelings and intuition are the hallmark of the kinds of leaders we need now. It’s what we teach in Moon Club, and it is a core tenet to lean into as we set about manifesting the matriarchy. It’s also the subject of a new book, Applied Empathy: The New Language of Leadership, by Michael Ventura, founder of NYC branding agency Sub Rosa.

You can read more about Michael in Alexandra Roxo’s interview with him, HERE. Below, in an excerpt from his book, he shares the role of seven different empath styles in the workplace. What type of business empath are you?

>>>

1// The Sage
Be present: Inhabit the here and now.

We discovered the Sage when we realized that deep insight can emerge when we are fully present in a space together. During one project, we had a few ground rules that helped us to remain fully present in our SoHo space: no phones, no computers, no cross talk. Those simple behaviors led our team members to be respectful, contemplative, and fully in the moment with one another. We saw how those simple behavioral adjustments created an environment in which deeper understanding could be attained.

The Sage represents wisdom and the ability to be fully in the moment, sensing truths about the mind, body, and surrounding space, examining what is brought into the moment and what is meant to be taken away. Look to the Sage when a situation becomes untethered from the present and disconnected from reality. Relying on this archetype will help you bring people and their ideas back to the here and now.

>>>

2// The Inquirer
Question: Interrogate assumed truths.

The Inquirers on our team are deeply curious question askers who don’t stop at the first response but probe deeper, looking for more complete understanding. We saw this emerge in an assignment when we began asking why hospital examination rooms were so cold. By asking this over and over, going deeper down the rabbit hole, we eventually reached an opportunity for improvement that was a key to our success.

The Inquirer is one part reporter, another part therapist. This archetype challenges preconceived notions and pushes for deeper, more authentic truths. Inquirers neglect small talk in favor of “big” talk: deep questions that demand contemplative responses. Always intrigued by the “why” behind each answer, Inquirers dig and dig until they reach the root.

>>>

3// The Convener
Host: Anticipate the needs of others.

The Conveners on our team knew that establishing a sense of community would bring out the truth from everyone with whom we interacted. Everything from the furnishings to the food and drink was selected to inspire a sense of safety, security, and comfort. That provided all of our colleagues the comfort they needed so they could drop into deep conversation quickly. From that we got loads of information—both verbally and nonverbally—that helped us design a better overall experience.

The consummate host, the Convener understands the importance of space and space holding. Recognizing that every detail is critical, the Convener creates a purposeful, appropriate setting for the work at hand. The space we share is an active member of the experience. The Convener anticipates what you need before you do and brings the space surrounding you to life.

>>>

4// The Alchemist
Experiment: Test and learn at all costs.

The Alchemist emerged in a project where we built waiting rooms and prototype exam rooms. They were spaces where we were able to experiment and test different ways in which women experience a mammogram. Such behavior is prevalent in many of the projects we analyzed in developing the empathy archetypes and is a powerful tool often used in many innovation and design firms. The willingness to test and learn is an empathic behavior that delivers powerful understanding and impactful solutions.

Never afraid to fail in the pursuit of knowledge, the Alchemist tests everything, confident that the best work comes only from countless hours of experimentation. The Alchemist is curious, persistent, and patient, takes a chance on a new approach, and closely studies the results. Turn to the Alchemist when the only path to a solution lies through the brambles of resistance.

>>>

 5// The Confidant
Listen: Develop the ability to observe and absorb.

Creating a sense of confidence is paramount to the work we do. The space we work in is covered by the Convener, but we still need to show up in the space and listen. Our team brings a sense of patience and a willingness to open up. We listen fully and absorb every ounce of information shared with us. In many ways, this is a strategist’s first and primary skill: to shut off the inner dialogue and purely listen.

Your trusted ally, the Confidant hears to listen—instead of simultaneously planning what to say next. The Confidant embodies stillness; listens, observes, and absorbs. Keeping what you hear safe on behalf of another is what gives them a sense of integrity and strength. Look to the Confidant when asked for advice or when others need to share something of importance. The Confidant provides emotional security and comfort.

>>>

6// The Seeker
Dare: Be confident and fearless.

Seekers are daring. They are confident and fearless. The Seeker gives us the assuredness we need to take on a daunting challenge and be unafraid to do things differently. I have discovered in my own self-work that I often operate from this archetype. Entrepreneurs are inherent risk-takers, and they must dare in order to be successful.

A boundless explorer, the Seeker bravely sets out on new adventures. The Seeker lives outside his or her comfort zone, acts with confidence and self-assurance. Embody the Seeker when embracing new experiences and daunting challenges, knowing that unfettering your pursuits will eventually lead you to the answer.

>>>

 7// The Cultivator
Commit: Nurture with purpose and intentionally grow.

Cultivators have powerful vision. They understand that we commit to things today as a way of getting what we want in the future. Most people get so caught up in the day-to-day that they lose sight of the long game. The Cultivator remembers to maintain a state of empathy for the point he or she is working toward, even if it’s far out on the horizon. In our work with GE, we constantly reminded our team that the work we were doing was bigger than selling more machinery. It was about improving the overall patient experience and potentially having an impact on the lives of those involved.

The Cultivator is committed to developing ideas and is intentional about every action. Through the Cultivator, you can connect everything you do to the development and maintenance of your thoughts and work. When something feels daunting and protracted, look to the Cultivator to provide perspective and leadership. Naturally gifted at seeing the greater purpose, the Cultivator knows what it takes to reap what he or she has sown.

**Excerpted from Applied Empathy by Michael Ventura. Copyright © 2018 by Seed Communications, LLC d/b/a Sub Rosa. Excerpted with permission by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

 

JOURNALING BY SIGN FOR THE CANCER NEW MOON

Deep, sweet healing is available under the July 4 Cancer New Moon—on a personal and a collective level, says Ruby Warrington. PLUS a New Moon journaling exercise by sign…

 

 

Buckle up, bust out the tissues, and get ready to feel some serious feelings under the cashmere blanket cover of the July 4 Cancer New Moon. But rather than a hair-raising roller-coaster of emotion, forming part of a tender, loving trine to Neptune in Pisces and a newly direct Mars in Scorpio, this feels more like a loving embrace of the most sensitive, idealistic aspects of our beings—both individually, and as a collective.

And MAN does the world need this all-enveloping, watery hug right now—which is not here to drown us, or invite us to get swept away on on a tide of sentimentality. Rather, here comes a clarion call to see past the drama, the blame, and the collective pain so many have been experiencing, and simply feel all that is ready to be healed.

The Moon is at its most potent in its home sign of Cancer, the nurturing care-taker of the Zodiac, where it is being charged by the life-force energy of the Sun. Joined here by PR planet Mercury, and Venus, planet of peace, love and beauty, not only is this stellium sending us a beam of pure hope; voicing our vulnerability and caring so much we cry won’t look weak during this Moon cycle—it will reveal us at our most beautiful.

Cosmos willing, we’ll see the same from our world leaders too—since the Cancer New Moon, along with her stellar backing singers, is opposite a retrograde Pluto in Capricorn, shining a light on just how ugly things get when it becomes all about the power plays, at the expense of truly empathetic, authentic leadership. A taste of which we’ve been getting already.

And so the bigger opportunity now is for us all to use whatever influence we wield—in our own lives, within our family constellations, and with whatever voice we put out in the world—to transmute anger and defensiveness to pure, unadulterated compassion. To an mother’s unconditional love. And from this place, to harness the fiery power of Mars direct in Scorpio to assist the downtrodden in rising, Phoenix-like, from the ashes.

Oh, and you know that expression about drinking your cares away…? Not even the most kamikaze-strength cocktails will be able to mask the outpouring of emotion (that which we care about) that must accompany this healing process. If anything, we can all expect to be crying into the guacamole way before Monday’s Cancer New Moon rises.

And so instead, we invite you to turn your back on the BBQs and the inevitable, albeit beautiful, public crying this July 4. To carve out a day for some Cancerian self-care, to retreat into your shell, and to engage in the below journaling exercise—which is designed to help each sign plumb the depths of what personal healing is available beneath the benevolent beam of this Cancer New Moon, and during the next two weeks of this Moon cycle.

If you find yourself stuck drop back into your gut—using the keyword as an anchor for your musings. And above all remember to feel it all, to keep feeling, and then to feel some more.

ARIES :: ARIES RISING
My deepest family or ancestral wound is… The personal power I have access to when I move beyond this is… So, what healing modality is my intuition guiding me towards this Moon cycle? What shift could this create in my career, and in my being a role model for others? Keyword: Mother

TAURUS :: TAURUS RISING
What am I most reluctant to voice right now? To whom? How might my connections and close relationships move forward this Moon cycle if I could just find the courage*? What wider impact could these honest conversations between me and my collective have on the world? Key word: Vision
*NB you can

GEMINI :: CANCER RISING
What do I value the most about myself? My greatest talent is… How can I bring more of this to my day-to-day during this Moon cycle? Of what service could this ultimately be to others? What new levels of depth would this bring to the legacy I am imprinting on the world? Keyword: Abundance

CANCER :: CANCER RISING
The creative project I am ready to invest in this Moon cycle is… What is the love note I need to receive from myself this week to get started? Why is it difficult to write? How does this shift when I see myself through the eyes of my dream lover? When I express my creative gives, how does this shift my relationships with others? Key word: Vitality

LEO :: LEO RISING
Where and with whom in my tribal system do I need to exercise more compassion this Moon cycle? This will also be healing for me because… What are the limiting beliefs I hold about my my personal power? Seeing beyond these, how am freed to be proactive in doing my dharma? Keyword: Integrity

VIRGO :: VIRGO RISING
My role in the group currently is… To what extent does this allow me to flourish as a creative being? And what part of myself is being stifled? The conversation needed this Moon cycle for me to express my true gifts begins with… In what ways might my relationships, in love and business, flourish as a result? Keyword: Innovation.

LIBRA :: LIBRA RISING
My greatest ambition for 2016 is… How can I expand on this vision to also be of service in the world? What limiting belief am I holding about my capacity for attracting financial abundance? Who in my family tree am I most inspired by career-wise? This moon cycle I will connect to their energy by… Keyword: Reputation.

SCORPIO :: SCORPIO RISING
Five new ways I can find creative inspiration this moon cycle are… My dream travel location would be… What does my highest self find so fascinating about this place, and its culture? What emotional need does this speak to in me? Speaking from this place, my message for the world is… Keyword: New horizons.

SAGITTARIUS :: SAGITTARIUS RISING
The great mystery I am being called to investigate this Moon cycle is… Five ways shining a light on this area will improve my family relationships are… What in my own life could be healed as a result? This will make me feel more confident in my ability to experience abundance because… Keyword: Obsession.

CAPRICORN :: CAPRICORN RISING
In my close relationships I am always the one who… How can I experiment with being more authentically myself this Moon cycle? Three things I would like people to know about the real me are… In what positive ways might this shift the way I am perceived by the people in my life? Keyword: Respect.

AQUARIUS :: AQUARIUS RISING
I have been neglecting my overall wellbeing lately by… How has this impacted on my ability to truly value myself? What ambitions have I achieved in the past as a result of instilling healthy habits and routines? What new way can I find to connect to my higher self this Moon cycle? Keyword: Efficiency.

PISCES :: PISCES RISING
When I am in my creative flow I feel… But the limiting beliefs I hold about my creative self are… What actions can I take this Moon cycle to challenge myself creatively? In an ideal world, in what ways would this transform the way others see me? Keyword: Play.

SENSITIVE SOUL: WORK WITH A CANCER MOON SIGN

Tips and practices to help understand and work with your Cancer Moon sign from Ash Bonelli. Artwork: Prince Lauder via Behance.net

The Moon represents the inner subconscious world that we usually only share with those we love and trust. It can show us our needs and how we care for others—and as such, our Moon sign (where the Moon falls in our birth chart) shows the style in which we express this softer side.

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

The inner world of the Cancer Moon sign is a gentle, vulnerable and emotional landscape. The Moon rules the sign of Cancer so she feels quite at home in this sign making it easy to fully express her archetypal nature. When we think of the crab itself (the symbol for Cancer), we see the hard protective shell on the outside but know there is nothing but softness on the inside. A small being that carries its sanctuary on its back so it can feel at home wherever it goes.

These themes symbolize the Cancer Moon sign. You can put on a brave face, but deep down you feel EVERYTHING. You usually cry easily and really experience the emotions of any particular situation or environment you happen to be in. This Moon is very in tune with its intuition, thoughts and feelings—so much so you sometimes forget that not everything is always about you. Being sensitive is great, until it isn’t and you become resentful and hide away in your shell. There is a fine balance to be found with the Cancer Moon sign.

Taking care of others usually makes you quite happy, but when it goes unappreciated or the care isn’t returned you can get quite hurt. And so Cancer Moons are often working on expressing their needs. Working on being vocal about this is really important, as you can get so lost in taking care of others that you end up with the short end of the stick.

Fear of getting hurt is very real for you for you, mainly since being hurt in love, for example, you may feel it more deeply than others. Honestly, unless you live under a rock, you will be familiar with this pain and what it can do to you. So this is a genuine fear, but not one that should stop you from receiving love.

Often times the Cancer Moon sign is associated with the mother, and rightfully so—since both Cancer and the Moon represent this energy. But not every Cancer Moon sign wants to be a parent. The mother archetype is actually about nurturing and caring for others, offering tender love and support, and this can be applied to anything in life. Your career, your pets, your friends, your home or your hobbies. You can channel this inner need to love into anything and it will be fulfilling, just as long as you let others love you back so there is a sense of balance in your life.

Below are some suggestion to connect more to your sweet Cancer Moon sign, and make the most of its intuitive expression…

:: ACTIVE LISTENING ::
The Cancer Moon sign has a tendency to feel first when engaging with others. This can go badly if you what you intuitively pick up about someone is incorrect, which can shape the relationship in the wrong direction. You can get your feelings hurt because you feel you know what they “really meant.” But assumption is really dangerous, since it can lead to un-founded resentment which can turn into distance.

This can be easily avoided if you work on listening to what they are actually saying, rather than simply feeling into their energy. If assumption-based feelings occur take the time to ask questions to gain further insight. Use your nurturing nature to engage in a more open conversation. This way you aren’t incorrectly just reading (or rather feeling) between the lines.

:: SANCTUARY ::
All Cancer Moon signs need a place to retreat. They need a space to feel safe and secure where they can let all of their emotions out without judgement. This doesn’t need to be an entire home or apartment either. It could be one room, or even a space within a room. Maybe a meditation pillow with a small altar if this practice speaks to you.

It could also be a certain location, such as your favorite park or beach. For some it could be a place from your childhood. The Cancer Moon sign can be very nostalgic so places that awaken happy memories really warm your heart.

:: NURTURE ::
Find something to nurture in your life that isn’t another person. The need to express care is innate, but you can get burned out if this means attracting energy vampires. Needy people love the sweet lunar crab, for you will always try to help solve the problems they should be dealing with on their own. And so learn to be selective.

Finding a hobby that will reward your nurturing with feelings of worth and accomplishment is such a good idea. Think gardening, or cooking, working with animals, or becoming a beekeeper. What do you want to be good at that requires time, nurturance and patience? Find something that makes your heart feel good and you will bring some emotional balance back into your life.

:: INTUITIVE PROTECTION ::
Being that you are such an intuitive, maybe even psychically gifted person, you need to work on protecting your energy. Otherwise it’s likely people will energetically take from you until you are totally drained. This can make you feel vulnerable in an unhealthy way.

Begin by taking time each morning to visualize yourself being cleansed by white healing light. Just a simple shower before (or even during!) your regular shower. Then imagine a bubble of light surrounding you, which people can only enter into when invited by you. It can be any color that you love.

These are your mental and energetic guards for the day ahead. You could also burn some sage in your space before your start your day or make a healing spray with essential oils to mist yourself with. Anything that  creates an energetic boundary between you and the world will help.

Also, be present to when you feel depleted. What was going on? Who were you around? Sometimes the best defense is creating literal space between you and the people or situations that take advantage of you.

Above all, may you find comfort in your innate ability to be vulnerable—and use it to show others the strength in letting down our guard in a world that needs it more than ever before.

TEMPLE OF VENUS: BEAUTY IMAGE BEAUTIFUL

In her latest Temple of Venus column, Elyssa Jakim discovers that even among spiritual circles, body image issues persist…Images: Karis Wakeling-Farren 

Beauty. Isn’t that a gorgeous word? Look at how it sits on the page: regal with all those vowels. I’ve always adored words with lots of vowels: elegant, exquisite, gorgeous, pleasing. Beauty is such an angel word.

Recently in a meditation, I heard the message: “You are more beautiful than you think you are.” This message struck me—it brought a sad little pang to my heart. When I thought more about it, I realized I’ve been experiencing one of those periods where I look in the mirror and think I look weird. Where I’m breaking out more than usual, where I don’t feel particularly connected to my sensual side, where, I don’t know, I just don’t “feel beautiful,” you know?

And I know what it’s about, really, this denial of beauty. I’ve been dancing with body image issues since I was thirteen. There was something wrong with my belly! Why did it stick out from my body like that? Why was I the only one with a strange belly like this? At 17, when other stresses kicked in, I acted on these thoughts and began dieting. I struggled from compulsive dieting for the next eight years.

I had grown up wanting to be an actress, famously a profession of body image perfectionism. When I was 19, I spent my summer as an apprentice at a theatre festival. I recall hanging out in a circle of about 10 women, and the conversation turned to food and dieting. It became clear to me that all these young women who wanted to be actresses had struggled with or were struggling with eating disorder.

All these gorgeous women who I knew as gorgeous because of their insides, their passionate outlook and fearlessness on stage, were folding themselves in one way or another in order to feel included in an exclusive industry: in order to feel included in their own dreams. It was the first time I realized how much I wasn’t alone in this “bad body image” compulsion. And, of course, it’s not just actresses who go through this. It’s all of us.

As years have passed, I feel better about me. A lot. I’m no longer dieting, and I feel I can accept whatever it is I have chosen to eat. However, I now find myself in many other women’s circles that mirror the above one. Healing circle. Meditation Circle. Brunch table. And to tell you the truth, even though these are circles of loving, empowered people, I’m often still worrying about the size of my belly.

The tendency toward self-blame is always there lingering in the background—and I’d like to posit that it is for many of us. It’s an elephant in our yoga studios and sound baths. We’ve had so much programming about how we’re supposed to look for our whole lives, that body anxiety just feels like a channel many of us have been set to. Especially if you live in a trendy city, and the street suggests fashion putting your body on show.

In groups and even just among friends, I’ve started paying attention to when my body image insecurity comes up. I get in touch with my inner knowing and I ask, “Is this mine?” Often, I hear “no.” It belongs to a peer. It belongs to a friend. Doing this has helped me understand, once again, that I am truly not alone in my insecurity. That it is SO MANY OF US who feel not right in ourselves.

Everyone, everyone has that something: “I’ve got a great body, but my skin sucks.” “I love my hips but my eyes kind of cross sometimes and I think I look messed up.” “My face is weird.” “I should look more masculine.” “I should look more feminine.” We compartmentalize ourselves and obsess over our “wrong” thing. So of course, even if the thought is usually not mine, it IS mine too. It’s all of ours. And we “empath” it back and forth to one another.

At this point, I’d like to bring up that this is the ego’s favorite myth, that: “There is something wrong with me.” Psychologist Tara Brach brilliantly describes this concept in her book Radical Acceptance:

[T]he universal sense that “something is wrong” easily solidifies into “something is wrong with me.” When I look into my own feelings of unworthiness, sometimes I can’t point to any significant way I’m actually falling short. Yet just this feeling of being a self, separate from others, brings up a fundamental assumption that I am not okay…Believing that we are separate, incomplete, and therefore at risk, is not some malfunction of nature. Rather, this perception is an intrinsic part of our human experience—indeed of all life.

Brach makes it clear: it’s our sense of alone-ness that makes us feel wrong. The great irony of course is that we’re all together in feeling separate. And there is nothing wrong with you or me or us. There may, however, be something wrong with the society we live in (“The universal sense that something is wrong…”). There may be something wrong with the messages that we ingest and unknowingly propagate.

The author today

But what is the gift of these insane societal standards? What is the gift of the insecurity?

Disagreeing with the ego’s unloving ideas strengthens the mind and soul. When you choose to say “no” to this habit of self-attack, when you choose love in favor of compulsion, you are growing. You are claiming your worth. You are getting stronger each time. Whenever we actively proclaim the Truth to the unloving self, we are paving the way for freedom.

Choose an affirmation today for your unloving habit and resolve to challenge it in order to gain freedom. Mine is: “I know that these fears about my body are untrue. I know I am so much more than this body. I surrender these fears to love.” This can, of course, be applied to any flavor of compulsion, not just body perfectionism. And of course, whenever we free ourselves, we free our sisters and brothers, too. The grip of group insecurity relaxes, we’re all getting spiritually lighter together. Which, in my humble opinion, is way more important than physical lightness. This is a spiritual workout!

These hurts also build empathy and compassion. How could I, Elyssa, help others love their bodies if I hadn’t run the whole gamut of fear and love in my own thinking? Thus our misfortunes become our miracles.

I told a friend about my meditation, the one in which I heard, “You are more beautiful than you think you are.”

“What do you mean by that?” He asked. “Physically?”

“Yes, physically.”

“Go to your heart,” he said. “Go to your heart. That’s where beauty lives. Focus on the feelings inside your heart and you will know you’re beautiful. Then your whole self responds.”

I love this. And, it is true. And when I talked to Venus, Venus told me: “You are all beautiful. You are all divine. You are all so much more radiant than you know.” Go to your heart. Find the beauty and resilience there. “Heart.” That’s got a nice vowel assortment too.

PS: This post marks my one-year anniversary of writing for the Numinous! From Spring to Spring, I am grateful for all of the gifts.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on the practice of receiving.

SELF-CARE: A RITUAL BATH FOR REIKI HEALERS

Healers and empaths – sometimes you gotta give yourself some TLC, as recommended by Deborah Hanekamp… Artwork: found on Pinterest

This bath is medicine for the empath, some healing for the healer, and a way to soak up the power and presence of your own energy.

Taking a ritual bath combined with the self-healing treatment of Reiki has been a gift for me over the past 15 years working as a Medicine Woman and Reiki Master. And my heart is fed by sharing it now, for it is essential for Reiki Practitioners to regularly balance our chakras, clear blockages and call in our abundance as light workers.

I believe that the more people there are practicing Reiki, the more peaceful the world will be. To effectively share the enduring magic of Reiki, we must strengthen our “Reiki muscles” – beginning with self-healing, self-care, and personal ritual.

:: INGREDIENTS ::

Fresh pink roses, rosemary, and basil, to cover the surface of the bath water

Baking Soda: 1 TBSP
Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 TBSP
Epsom Salt: 1 Cup
Crystals of: Peach Moonstone, Fluorite and Amethyst
Cedar Wood, Jasmine and Rosemary essential oils: A few drops each

Combine all ingredients in a tub of water as hot as you can stand

:: RITUAL ::

Clear your energy by smudging your body with sacred Palo Santo smoke, including the soles of your feet and back of your head

For practitioners of Reiki 2 and up draw Se Hey Ki over the tub water

Step into the bath and dunk your head under the water

Place the Peach Moonstone crystal on your solar plexus, the Fluorite on your heart chakra, and the Amethyst on your third eye

Begin a self-healing treatment, combined with deep, rhythmic Ujjayi breath

When your self-healing treatment is finished, dunk your head under the water again and chant the sounds of the seven chakras from root to crown; LAM, VAM, RAM, YAM, HAM, AUM (the crown chakra’s sound is silence).

AN EMPATH’S FASHION WEEK SURVIVAL GUIDE

Attending the international catwalk shows left former Garage Magazine fashion editor Chloe Kerman feeling utterly depleted. Here’s how she learned why – after leaving the industry behind… PLUS: Chloe shares her Fashion Week survival guide.

Chloe in her fashion editor days

I was a Fashion Editor for 10 years. I had a great job at Garage Magazine, produced beautiful shoots, working with incredible photographers such as Paolo Roversi, Ellen Von Unwerth, and many others. On paper, it was my dream job, but honestly during that time I was so unhappy. I felt like a hamster caught in a spinning wheel, running over the same old ground over and over again. I was very low, I had no passion, no drive, and felt like I was wasting my life.

Of course, my job also meant I attended the international catwalk events in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, and I saw almost all the shows. A dream come true for anybody who claims to love fashion. However, before the shows I would go into meltdown. I felt immense pressure to buy new clothes while the insecurities I felt about my body would be heightened at this time. My mood would be all over the place and I would dread the weeks ahead. By the end of the month, I was so emotional I would cry most days, which I put down to being over tired, suffering from stress and anxiety, and burning the candle at both ends!

Searching for some relief and some answers, I was still working for Garage Magazine at when I began studying Shamanism in October 2013. But on the last day of my course, Alberto Villoldo, my teacher and founder of The Four Winds Society, told me: “Don’t be surprised if your life changes when you go home.”

His prediction came true. Just hours after arriving home, my boyfriend at the time ended our three-year relationship – and the following day I was fired from my Fashion Editor job! In the space of two days, I’d been completely stripped of my identity. But all of a sudden, I was given the opportunity and freedom to change my life.

It was definitely a very challenging and emotional time, however now I see these events as huge gifts, as I took the opportunity to leave London and begin a magical journey of deep transformation, growth, healing, and study.

I have spent the past two years traveling and studying in the East and West Coast of America, Peru, Chile, Thailand, and India. I have studied Shamanism and Crystalline Consciousness, I’m initiated in herbalism, I studied at the Oneness University, and I’m currently working with the Divine Feminine empowerment movement, creating workshops and offering private sessions.

Chloe’s new life

I live a very different life from my fashion industry days, which has enabled me to see how every experience is an opportunity to grow, leading me to approach life as a constant adventure. I have learned to understand exactly how I co-create my reality, which means whatever happens for me I take responsibility for manifesting it. And how exciting and empowering it feels to choose to take full ownership of my feelings and my daily experience.

When I started my shamanic training I also discovered that I am an “empath” – meaning someone who easily picks up on other people’s emotions, and who taps into the collective consciousness around them. That’s when the penny dropped as to why I had such a hard time during the shows – not only had I been dealing with my own feelings of insecurity, inadequacy and stress, but I was experiencing the strain of taking on a lot of other emotions that were swirling around me.

Being an empath is a beautiful gift – when you’re able to identify as one. However, until then life can seem very overwhelming, simply because we’re so sensitive. And when I worked in the industry, I knew nothing about how to prepare myself energetically for the shows. One very simple tool I’ve since learned, and which you can use anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed, is to ask yourself: are these feelings mine? If you get a no, they will automatically defuse.

Here, I’ve compiled a list of my top tips for staying centered, aligned, and starting my day in the most loving way possible for myself and those around me.

1. As soon as you wake up, invite all the things you are grateful for to come into your mind. Let this be spontaneous: I’m grateful for this comfortable bed, that I had a deep sleep, etc. When you start the day like this your frequency automatically bumps up in vibration.

2. Follow this with some kind of practice to connect to yourself. This can be meditation, yoga, a walk in nature, conscious breathing, focusing on your heart, etc. Even 10 minutes of this can really change the flow and mood of your day as it will connect you to your own center.

3. Choose to make every decision in love, with honor and respect for yourself and the people around you.

4. Dab a couple of drops of organic Bulgarian rose oil on each of your seven chakras – starting at the root, and moving up through the sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown. Bulgarian rose oil holds a very high vibration that maintains the integrity of the energy centers.

5. Wear a clear quartz crystal at your heart or solar plexus.

6. Do a chakra clearing daily, either morning or evening or both if you have time. I love Chakra Dyana.

7. Eat the most nourishing food you have access too – proteins and good fats are great for energy levels, and root veg for grounding. Avoid the foods and drinks that you know yo-yo your emotions i.e. caffeine and sugar (a hard one when you’re racing between shows!)

8. Movement. Anytime you feel stuck or low in energy its time to move, either physically or choosing a different thought pattern. This circulates energy and keeps us in flow and open to new opportunities.

9. Create an act of kindness for someone else daily, plugging into the energy of unconditional giving.

10. Book in with an energy healer after the shows to rebalance, nurture and refuel your system.

And, remember that anytime you feel stressed or overwhelmed, you can use this as an opportunity to practice coming back to your center – which means simply taking a moment to focus on your heart and on your breath, practicing compassion for yourself and the experience that you are having, and inviting gratitude into your awareness again.

I say practice because staying present is a choice we have to make consciously throughout the day, with all the adventures that come our way. With this said, I invite you also to consciously decide to ENGAGE and ENJOY the fashion week craziness!

To find out more about Chloe’s work and book a session contact: [email protected]

AM I AN EMPATH? THE STORY OF HER

Have you ever asked the question “Am I an empath?” Lisa Barner shares an insight into what it means to be that girl…Images: Via Animhut.com

This is the story of a girl-and the woman she’s embraced becoming.

In her earliest memories, with films to prove it, they shook their heads at her. They’d say “Where could she have possibly gotten that from?” She told stories of places she didn’t know and things beyond her scope of cognizance. It wasn’t just a child’s imagination nor a dose of adult television, she was an old soul they’d say. She spoke with conviction. Her eyes were bigger and more penetrating than most – they took you by surprise and held you there. They invited you in, made it so that you were fully seen and offered great love.

She was adamant about things that mattered to her-to which she held close. She was the one others confided in and looked to for advice and nurturing. Whether or not by her choosing she often became the rock – the steadfast, grounded, reliable one, on which others could visit for their own replenishment. They came because she witnessed them fully. She allowed them to be stripped of any masks or concerned with judgments – she provided space for them to be. She spoke to their souls, sometimes with words and other times simply by being present. She was their remedy.

Extremely sensitive in nature, often sporting her heart on her sleeve, she always gave without thinking twice. And only now, with the awareness of the strength it takes to do so-does she recognize how brave the gift of giving is. For now that she understands fully who she is, it is a choice she must carefully consider – for her own wellbeing.

 

She’s a lightworker, an empath, earth angel and healer. She’s hyper sensitive to her surroundings – colors, textures, scents, physical conditions, energies. She feels emotions on a deeper level and a wider spectrum than most can relate to, and has given up trying to explain why or how she experiences this. She just knows its okay – no matter how trying some of the patterns are. It’s how she knows she’s not only alive but awakened 

She may not vividly remember choosing this course of life but when presented with it in gentle nudges, intuitive callings, serendipity and synchronicity, somewhere along the way she recommitted. She agrees to the purpose of her life, the value and power to influence this world for good. She embraces her gifts without fully knowing how they “work”.

She needs time alone. As a magnet for people’s physical energy, she literally can feel the worries, anxieties and concerns of others. She doesn’t always elect to hold them – especially not at the market, the gym, or at the end of her day. Nonetheless they find her. She has rituals to center herself. She sees nature as a sacred place and connects to the elements as a life source. She considers her word the clearest contract and expects that others treat is with the same sanctity. It is here she has been let down.

She knows of her divinity. She finds way to practice and celebrate it within or without traditional religious sanctions. She is always aware of its presence around and through her. You’ve heard it too- that you were created in the image and likeness of God, or the Divine. But that kind of duality of being, the power of an omnipresent force and the eradication of fear and limitations, isn’t for everyone. She though knows, deeply within, that she is infinite. She is brave enough to hand over her struggles, to surrender her doubts and to trust blindly the truth to unfold before her.

She struggles with the human stuff. She has trouble connecting to money, to sitting under florescent lighting in a cubicle. She doesn’t date well either because she sees love so differently. Though like others she desires connectedness and intimacy, she knows rather that she IS LOVE. That only a partner who is willing to meet her on all these levels can be a true match. She is patient because she has much else to keep her days busy and her heart beating with joy.

She struggles to remain relatable to her peers and her family – conscious of how different she feels yet how deeply she yearns for their acceptance. There may be times she disconnects from her spiritual self in order to appear“normal” – but in those times she is lost to herself. She retreats and is sad, knowing her authenticity is being compromised. She isn’t of much use to anyone in that place. Only when she reawakens to her reality can she thrive. She bravely chooses her higher self.

When she is with her tribe she can rest.They know what she’s carrying and silently give her permission. Their eyes are the same safe place. There she dances and plays, creates and sings from the depths of her soul. She laughs wholeheartedly from her toes up. She is protected with them, she is wiser because of their influence and deepened in her own knowing. She can stand in her power unapologetically. It is with them she is home. She is them and they are she.

A wide eyed dreamer, brave believer.

I am her.

Do you recognise yourself in this story? Connect with the Numi tribe on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and share how you bring your light to the world

Find out more about Lisa Barner and her work at Souspeaklife.com