GABBY BERNSTEIN: “SOBRIETY STARTED MY SPIRITUAL AWAKENING”

For Gabby Bernstein sobriety played an important role in her spiritual awakening. Ruby Warrington asks her, could we all benefit from a more sober life?

I received my copy of Gabby Bernstein’s new book, The Universe Has Your Back, right when I was in the middle of organizing our #TuneInPeaceOut initiative for World Peace Day. Translation: I had zero time to sit down and read it. But an interesting thing happened.

Flicking through the pages, every time I stopped Gabby was riffing on how her sobriety had played such an important part in her spiritual journey. And experimenting with a sober life myself right now (check out my Club SÖDA NYC project here) the message that this is exactly the right path for me came through loud and clear (thank you, Universe!)

It was also clear that for Gabby Bernstein sobriety had played an important part in her spiritual awakening. I decided to sit down with her, to talk about the link between sobriety and spirituality, and get her advice on living sober.

(And p.s. the day I’m running this post—October 02 2016—is her 11 years’ sober anniversary!)

Ruby Warrington: So the reason I’m trying to be sober is because the way I feel when there’s no alcohol in my system is like, “Fuck, this is who I AM.” And honestly, I no longer feel like I can show up and properly serve on my mission these days unless I’m 100% myself.

Gabrielle Bernstein: I love that, and I think you should be sober then. That’s part of the reason I’m sober. This is the only consciousness I want to have. Although of course sometimes I’m like, ‘bye bye, get me the hell out of here’!

RW: That’s the thing, sometimes that still sounds nice! Especially when, and I know you’ve had issues with this too because you’ve written about it, I end up replacing alcohol with work. I fucking love what I do, so that’s okay. But then, where’s the release, where’s the escape?

GB: I have had to find that in the last five or six months. I realized I had become severely addicted to work, because I’ve been running for so long from these fears that I didn’t want to see. In the beginning stages of healing from this, I would find myself going to my desk and sitting down and literally numbing out with work. I was like, “Oh my God, that’s how I’ve been hiding.”

RW: I do that too. There’s a sense of relief when I can say, “Oh good, I’ve got like three hours of solid emails now and I can’t think about anything else.”

GB: Exactly. So what I’ve done is freed up a lot of that space for meditation. I meditate a lot longer.

RW: More meditation than your two TM sessions?

GB: I’m doing this Doreen Virtue chord cutting meditation in the morning, and then a TM meditation in the afternoon. It’s super good, I’m going to send it to you. As a result, I’ve been feeling more connected than ever. It also has to do with not playing into the word addiction, and being willing to heal.

Carrot juice on our interview date

RW: So on the sobriety thing, one reason I created Club SÖDA NYC is because I don’t feel like I identify the word “alcoholic.” As somebody in recovery, do you believe there is a middle ground when it comes to alcohol addiction?

GB: Absolutely. And it’s so good that you’re doing that. There’s some people that don’t find their way to AA but they want to have a way to get out of alcohol.

RW: When do you remember first finding an escape with alcohol and drugs?

GB: I guess in college, when it was uppers that I liked. I didn’t really even like alcohol that much, it was more like the snorting things.

RW: You mean uppers like Adderall?

GB: Yeah that’s what I was in to. I never liked alcohol, I just needed it to balance myself out. But by the time I hit my rock bottom in 2005 I was doing drugs and drinking every day.

RW: Were you fully aware of that being a problem?

GB: Yeah everyday I’d be like, “Shouldn’t do that again.” And then do it again. It was probably only seven months that it was really bad. The really bad didn’t last that long.

RW: So how did you seek help?

GB: I went to an addiction specialist who helped me understand that I was an alcoholic, because at the time I thought that I was just a drug addict. He was like, “No, you have an alcohol problem.” And I was like, “what do you mean?” He’s like, “Well what do you do every time you have a drink?” I was like, “I do drugs.” He showed me how this meant I was drinking unmanageably.

RW: I recently read an amazing book on alcohol addiction called “This Naked Mind.” And based on the teachings of this, plus my personal observations, I feel like a lot more people than will ever admit—even to themselves—are in a similar situation with alcohol and drugs. Do you believe this to be the case?

GB: I think that people definitely struggle…but it’s hard for me to comment because most of my friends today are sober. Well not “sober,” they just don’t really drink because they’re really health conscious. So I don’t see that much abuse of substances in my day to day. A lot of people come up to me and say, “Oh I got sober because of Spirit Junkie.” I hear people’s sobriety stories, but I don’t see people in their addiction anymore. But overall, I think it’s an epidemic. I mean addiction is an epidemic.

RW: And actually alcohol still kills more people than all prescription and all illegal drugs put together…

GB: Even more heroin?

RW: Insane, right? And in tests it’s the only drug that falls into the “extreme risk” category for addiction. Yet it’s the one that’s pushed on you from every direction the minute you’re old enough.

GB: Right. And I do think that from a spiritual perspective, if you want to have a closer connection with God then you can’t be muddying your consciousness.

RW: Which leads me to my next question. Do you believe that anyone who identifies as being on a spiritual path or who is seeking in that way, would benefit from at least trying an extended period of sobriety?

GB: Absolutely. I don’t want to say that if you’re on a spiritual path, you have to be sober. There are plenty of people that I know that are fine with a glass of wine. They have it once a week and they’re fucking fine. But I do think that it will only benefit you spiritually to have a sober life.

RW: My experience of this has been feeling truly “whole.” I think this is because as much as alcohol is about numbing out from fear, it’s also about hiding the parts of yourself that you don’t necessarily understand. That you find it hard to love and accept.

GB: Yes, that you don’t want to admit to, and you don’t want to feel.

RW: Totally. So I think for me, that sense of wholeness has been about accepting that even if I don’t really like myself today, that’s still me. It’s all part of myself. You know? So what about the plant medicines that everybody’s doing now, like ayahuasca?

GB: Well, I think sober is sober, and that’s a mind altering substance. You know my spiritual teachers do it and I’m not going to judge anybody, but I would definitely say that’s a relapse if you think you’re sober. Most sober people wouldn’t even take NyQuil!

RW: I hear you! So I’m kind of at this point where I’m experimenting with trying to experience each situation I would normally associate with drinking sober…

GB: You want to know how you quit drinking? You no longer give yourself permission. We all have permission giving thoughts—and, for example, I’ve been off sugar for three years now because I no longer give myself permission to have sugar. if you were like, “I’m no longer giving myself permission, any more, to have alcohol,” then interesting things could happen.

RW: Vacation are the really tough one for me…

GB: I feel like that’s okay! I think you can maybe not give yourself permission unless its a vacation. Except you have to be really strong, like, “When I come back I have to stop this.” Because even eating things on vacation that I wouldn’t normally eat, like cheese or bread. I come home and I want those things!

RW: Well I’m ready, because the more I commit to not drinking, the more I feel like this is a part of the consciousness shift that’s occurring right now. Like people are really invested in the idea that you can get high by tuning in, not numbing out. I think you’ve helped to spearhead this, and it’s actually been a really important part of your story, you know?

GB: There’s no doubt that getting sober was the catalyst for my spiritual awakening. I’ve had many, many more since that day, but that was the turning point for me. It was when I chose a life of deep connection rather than a life of numbing out. It was when I chose to wake up.

Gabrielle Bernstein’s new book, The Universe Has Your Back, is out now on Hay House. And we’re giving away one signed copy!

To win, tag your next Instagram post with #NumiUniverse. Make sure to follow and tag @The_Numinous and be sure to add the hashtag #NumiUniverse—otherwise we won’t see your post! Winners will be picked at random and notified via direct Instagram message.

Deadline for entries: 1 p.m. (EST) October 5, 2016.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: THE SCIENCE BEHIND MOON MAGIC

More evidence of real Moon magic, the argument for “oracle abuse,” and why there is no 13th zodiac sign…

 

:: MONDAY ::
Fittingly for Moon day (yes, Monday is named after the moon—which, in my opinion, is why/because Mondays are often so moody…nothing to do with the post-weekend blues) I found myself reading an article on new scientific research that showed how the phases of the Moon are linked to major earthquakes and tsunamis. This after Japanese scientists analyzed more than 10,000 earthquakes, and found they were more likely to occur during Full or New Moons.

It’s all linked to the tides, which are controlled by the Moon, since even the teeniest extra water pressure on the earth’s tectonic plates can be enough to trigger a major quake-causing shift. Which I read as yet another example of the scientific and the mystical coming (back) into alignment! Think about it. In astrology, the Moon is said to govern our emotions—which, in turn, are represented by the element of water. And if fluctuations in the ocean’s tides (as dictated by the Moon) are behind tectonic shifts in the natural world—then it is swings in our emotional states that often lead to the big evolutionary shifts in our lives.

Which is why I’m soooooo into Moon sign astrology. For me, our Moon sign is the one to pay attention to when it comes to connecting to our most deeply-rooted (like core-of-the-earth deep) human needs. Plus, if we want to surf the waves—opposed to being dragged down and under by emotions that can feel like a tsunami sometimes—here’s yet more (scientific!) evidence that it pays to pay attention to the phases of the Moon.

:: TUESDAY ::
Book launch for Gabrielle Bernstein’s The Universe Has Your Back, where Gabby shared how while writing it she had actually been feeling utterly disconnected from spirit. Her answer—spoken like a true #spiritjunkie—was to go deeper into her spiritual practice. Which got me thinking, since earlier today I also heard the term “oracle abuse” for the first time—meaning an over-reliance on messages from “the other side,” versus trusting our own voice and intuition.

It’s a subject Numi contributor Victoria Cox covered brilliantly in this article, and for me, there’s a fine line between tapping IN, and using spiritual tools to “escape” from what’s going on in the here and now of our human existence. And…you can read more from Gabby on the subject of tuning in vs. numbing out in an interview I’m running with her this Sunday—which also happens to be her 11-year sober anniversary…

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Since the whole world is freaking out about NASA and the 13th zodiac sign, I commissioned this excellent piece which explains the whole sitch perfectly. PLUS will make you lol HARD over just how accurate regular ol’ astrology really is!

:: THURSDAY ::
First ever vitamin drip at the Ash Center in Manhattan—an upscale functional wellness clinic that is emerging with a new-found optimism following the tragic passing of founder Dr. Richard Ash. What struck me as I sat with the IV feeding me a mega-dose of vitamins B and C, new MD-in-Chief Anthony Lyon’s little dog Champagne on my lap and sipping from a cup of green tea, was the family vibe of the place. It’s a huge testament to how loved Dr. Ash was that his former colleagues have banded together to continue in his name. And honestly, the atmosphere up here is a panacea in itself. As for the drip? I walked out SO. BUZZED. Favorite new healthy treat.

:: FRIDAY ::
Prepping for a ROAD TRIP!!! The Pisces (husband Simon) has wound up with a whole month off in between jobs, and so we’re heading South to tick a few Numinous must-see travel boxes. Here’s where we’re headed—please comment below with any sights, studios, esoteric stores, and mystics we should try to visit! And follow along on IG for adventures from on the road…

AUSTIN
MARFA
ROSWELL (for the aliens, lol)
SANTA FE
SEDONA
GRAND CANYON
JOSHUA TREE
LA
BIG SUR
SAN FRAN

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: 7 VIBRATIONS, AND A LESSON IN BEING A TEACHER

This week, I learned a new way to say grace, and got some Spirit Junkie teachings…

I created a rainbow blessing code. Last night I went to the official launch of my friend Raquel’s coaching program, 7 Vibrations. I was actually with Raquel the week she began testing the program on herself – and the methodology went something like this: We have all these amazing spiritual and wellbeing tools at our disposal. What would happen if we used all of them, at the same time, intensively and with intention, for a whole week?

As in do a juice cleanse (or similar), while you do daily affirmations + coaching + reading of spiritual texts, and you incorporate a daily mind-body-soul movement practice. The results create a state of what she calls “living vertically” – or being able to navigate life with “a Penthouse state of mind.”

She’s since refined the program a whole lot, and also created 7 Vibrations yoga, which is essentially a vinyasa practice that also incorporates affirmations, breath work, some kundalini kryas, and which is also customized for each and every client. Wowzer.

One fun takeaway from the night, which I will share with you here, was also the idea of creating a “blessing code” for the food you eat, to raise the vibration of everything you eat. A bit like saying grace, but WAY COOLER.

– First, think about all the parts of the process the food went through before it got to your plate. The people who produced it, the way it was transported, stored, and perhaps prepared. Some of this was likely pretty low vibe.
– So okay, now you want to spend a bit of time blessing every step of that process. Raquel suggests writing it down so you don’t miss anything.
– Next, because you’re not exactly going to wanna go through this every time you grab a quick bite at Sweetgreen, choose a symbol that represents, or becomes a sort of shorthand, for this extended blessing.
– Raquel gave the example of a star – and this then becomes your blessing code, to energetically be “placed” on your food every time you eat!

Love, love, LOVE IT. And since I’m still boarder line obsessed with them, I’m making mine a rainbow 🙂

Raquel’s intensive 7-day 7 Vibrations coaching program, including a custom high-vibe diet plat, custom yoga practice and daily coaching, usually costs $1350 – but she’s offering Numinous readers a friends and family rate of $995 if you sign up before September 24th 2015. Contact [email protected] and just quote “NUMINOUS”

I asked what it takes to teach. So a lot of people I know have been doing my friend and spirit sister Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie Masterclass – a course on how to become a leader, a teacher like Gabby, and set up your own spiritual business. Just like Raquel’s done with 7 Vibrations!

You can get a taste of the teachings from the Masterclass in this free video, in which Gabby explains what she considers the three essential elements that helped her launch her business.

And the message in the vid has really got me thinking – what does it mean to be a teacher in the Now Age? Well for starters, we can’t all be Gabby Bernstein. We don’t all – myself especially! – have what it takes to stand up on stage in front of hundreds of people and, well, preach. That’s Gabby’s gift, and she uses it to beautiful effect.

We can’t all express ourselves authentically, and with meaning in the written word (which is what I hope I am able to do); we can’t all guide others to elevate their yoga practice to another level; we can’t all heal using sound, or food, or the wisdom of our spirit guides.

But what we can all do is teach by example, right? It’s what I’ve heard Gabby call “being the light.” And to me this means working on ourselves to get clear of all the c*** and all the conditioning that’s stopping us from identifying our own unique and inspirational gifts. I’d love to know your take on this conversation – can we all be a teacher in the Now Age? Watch Gabby’s video and comment below, or connect with me and share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

my mystical life september 18

WISHES FULFILLED: HOW TO MAKE A PRAYER FLAG

Looking for an alternative New Moon manifestation ritual? Artist Monica Ruiz makes prayer flags for herself and her friends as a way of reppin’ her love for the life she gets to live. Main image: Larry Louie

Home made prayer flags – Numi style

When I think of prayer flags, fabric panels ranging in sizes and colors with spiritual images, hanging and swaying in a breeze in a secret garden or a cute storefront, I always see and feel peace, wishes fulfilled, Universal love and freedom.

I had given to friends and also received the mini-squares from Tibet that represent light and all the elements, thus bringing health and harmony to all. After the panels naturally fade away due to the elements, it is believed that the mindful loving intentions within the flag fade into the Universe, contributing to an ongoing cycle of the flag’s blessings.

I wanted to re-create my own using images I had already saved from magazines, old books and stamps, and even just cool paper that felt special to my heart. After I made a quick one just to see if my vision was as easy as it seemed (it is!) I kinda went prayer-flag crazy. I made them for everyone around me, including many for myself.

The two that hang in my studio today represent the surfing elements for my Pisces ocean-loving soul-surfer boyfriend, along with some “Marie Antoinette/ French masquerade” vibes pour moi!

And then I have one hanging up in my vanity room / lounge reppin’ my love of books, writing, and my job at the library that supports my life and allows me to live out my daydreams. While I’m putting on my mascara in the a.m. I can glance up and give thanks with a smile.

My flags are small pieces of art that I feel serve as sacred reminders of the simple things that make us smile and lift our spirit. While I like to hang ours on our year-round blue fairy lights in our bedroom, doorways and windows are fun too. I have also hung them up on bulletin boards on my desk at work and on a huge collage at home. There was even one point they were nicknamed “Purr Flags,” by a friend who felt all warm and fuzzy on receiving hers.

“It felt good to give away something beautiful that I loved”

Having got such a great reaction gifting them to people I know, I decided to make a special one as a birthday gift for my spiritual teacher Gabrielle Bernstein a couple of years ago. I’ve written about my gratitude for her before, as she’s kinda been the vessel for many hardcore lessons I’ve needed to start receiving, and for learning more about forgiveness, love and how to listen to my heart and angels.

I felt compelled to make a prayer flag a la Gabby, with images that included her love of street art, the cosmos, her recent engagement in Paris, sacred Buddha statues, mystical silhouettes, powerful words, vibrant energy and of course just lots of LOVE.

Only Love is Real is Gabby’s motto, and I felt like I wanted this flag to have my love and appreciation for Gabby literally bursting through because of the gifts she has shared with me. It took all day, but it was so enjoyable and groovy to create. I was also happy and excited to put many of the images I’d save for future flags of my own on my guru’s flag, because I actually felt the transfer of love: it felt good to give away something beautiful that I loved. It was a true gift of appreciation from the heart.

Because of Hurricane Sandy that year, Gabby didn’t actually receive my flag until May 2013, while her birthday was November 1st! Regardless, my birthday/gratitude gift cosmically made it to her six months later. The morning I woke up and saw it unexpectedly on her Instagram feed, I felt like I was lucid-dreaming. She had it hanging up already and was allowing the magic and love from my home into hers. She loved my gift and I loved making it for her, and the prayer flag looks so cool in Gabby’s “zen den”.

The flags Monica made for Gabby hanging in her guru’s zen-den

Are you inspired to make one now? Let’s do this…

Here’s how to make a prayer flag for a sweet soul in five simple steps.

Supplies needed:

  • Paper images (magazines cut-outs, computer graphics, old books, saved stamps, cards, clip-art, etc)
  • Scissors
  • Double-stick tape
  • Glue stick
  • Twine (pre-cut to the length you want your flag)
  • Card stock or construction paper
  • Paper clips (optional)
  1. Think about how many panels you’d like to work with. I’d start small at first with either three or five (odd numbers work best and the traditional flags come in sets of five, but remember there are no rules!) However many you choose you will need enough images to cover both sides.
  2. You can either pre-cut your card-stock and then alter your images after or cut your card-stock around the image leaving about an inch as a border. Remember, this is not about being “perfect” or having exact straight lines – you’r e creating something from the heart to bring joy into your heart and home!
  3. Glue one image to each panel’s center, one side of the panel only.
  4. Grab your double-stick tape and twine. Lay the panels down in a row, with the image just glued on face down with a little space in between each panel. Now along the top, lay the twine across about one inch below the top edge and place a piece of double-stick tape in the center of the twine on each panel.
  5. Glue the remaining images in the center of each panel, on top of double-stick tape/twine combo.

Voila! Your flags are ready to be shared and invoke feelings of peace, spirit, strength and magic.

Sacred and simple, have fun bringing the tradition of prayer flags into your home. Tie some little loops at the end and use a couple of twisted paperclips if needed and they can be draped wherever you like. Enjoy the process of making each panel personal but keep the process simple.

Whether you make a prayer flag for yourself or for someone special, just remember to use images that make you feel good, because whatever is made with your heart is your art. And don’t forget they are reversible! Switch ’em up depending on your mood or needed inspiration. Sometimes I will do an opposite theme on each side, like maybe sweet dreams contrasted with powerful sun energy. Use your intuition and just pick art and pictures you like! Be whimsical.

When I commented on the prayer flag I made for Gabby the last time I saw it on IG, she sweetly replied; “I look at them every day and I love them!” Wishes-fulfilled and blessings received, Amen.

Island dweller Monica Ruiz is a collage artist, hardcore daydreamer, HayHouse book reviewer, bloggess, burrito lover, cat enthusiast, librarian assistant and wanderluster who is obsessed with good hip-hop beats, Lana Del Rey and Paris, France. She owns way too many black clothes, swoons over Sofia Coppola films and loves the concept of protecting your magic with an open heart.

www.lechat808.com

@LeChat808

CALLING IT IN: DESIGN A RITUAL TO RECEIVE

From a regular yoga or meditation practise to the way you like your morning latte, we all have our daily rituals. But what happens when design one that’s just for you? You become a vacuum to receive, that’s what. Ruby Warrington shares her experience of creating the custom ritual that helped call in The Numinous. Video: Shine Creative.

Last month, the Numinous hosted a guided meditation to meet your Spirit Animal, with the Modern Shamanic Practitioner Marika Messager. The event took place on a balmy early summer evening in London, at spiritual concept store Celestine Eleven, and attracted an elegant crowd – including jeweller Gina Melosi, illustrator Erin Petson, a talent booker, some girls from Elle magazine, and the fashion designer Henry Holland. The atmosphere was one hundred percent high vibe, and after the meditation, when people shared about their experience meeting their animals, they were like five-year-olds on a sugar high. In short, they were amped to have participated in this ancient Shamanic ritual.

And how funny, it took place almost six months to the day after I enacted a custom ritual, designed, in part, to ensure that when people experienced the Numinous they’d feel; “a sense of discovery, more joy and happiness and a way to connect to their true life purpose.” These were my exact words to “receptivity expert” Emily Tepper, the woman who helped me design my ritual, which eventually took place as a day-long series of events. The manifestation of which I could expect to see, yes, six months down the line.

Let me back track a little. I met Emily at one of Gabrielle Bernstein’s lectures in New York City, towards the tail end of last summer. The Numinous had only recently launched, and when she told me she designed custom rituals for people, to assist in calling in their deepest desires, I was obviously intrigued. The Numinous was a new born at the time, with so much potential ahead of it, and like a proud mamma I wondered if a ritualistic or ceremonial baptism would help set my project on the right path from the get-go. But actually, working with Emily turned out to be so much more than that.

We met on a grey day a month or so later at the Ruben Museum in Chelsea, where sombre gong music in the deserted cafeteria created a fitting backdrop for the initial ritual design session. With a background in dance, Emily, an empathetic and mystical yet earthy Piscean, described “a yearning for other people to experience their body as an agent for change, like I had from a very early age” as one of things that led her to this line of work. Studying for a degree in Experiential Design then helped her create a modality in which “everything we touch becomes the props we use to facilitate relationships, exchanges, transitions and personal growth.” And so her company, Receive Everything, was born.

Emily’s ritual design clients receive a “Receive” necklace as part of the process

Because we’re pretty well versed in the concept of manifesting these days (like attracts like, act “as if,” yada yada) – but what happens if the conditions in our body, and our life, aren’t set up to receive? What if there are “energetic cysts”, as Emily put it, stored in our tissues that need to be removed before it’s safe for our manifestations to land? This is where ritual, physical acts designed to empower our intentions, weed out doubt and link us directly to our creative, or feminine, energy comes in. It could be described as literally “going through the motions” to hardwire your body to receive. If, “your nervous system is like a riverbed, and the water is used to flowing one way,” Emily’s ritual – “a piece of performance art for your life” – would be about “taking the flow slightly outside the well-worn groove. It’s a quantum physics service!” she joked. Kind of.

Emily’s ritual process is divided into three parts – Design, Do and Download – with the design part acting like an opportunity to really get clear on what you’re calling in, as well as any impediments (negative beliefs and crazy talk) in its way. In this sense, it also rapidly becomes a bit of a therapy session. “Why is it so important to you that people feel a sense of self-ownership and freedom to choose their own life when they connect with the Numinous?” asked Emily when these emerged as key words and phrases around crystalizing the essence of my project.

Of course, it came back to a time in my life, between ages 16 and 22, when I’d been a very controlling relationship with an older guy, who imposed his tyrannical worldview to the extent that I lost all my self-confidence and developed an eating disorder. It was like I’d been brainwashed by a cult made for two. If I’d had access to the kind of tools I’ve discovered through the Numinous then – tools designed to empower us to trust our intuition and truly know ourselves and our life purpose – who knows how differently things might have gone.

From there, it was a question of coming up with visual symbols to represent the different elements of my manifestation – which would then be transformed into the elements of my actual ritual. “When you think of the Numinous, what do you see, feel and taste?” asked Emily. If the Numinous was about “enlightenment and beauty, a playful experimentation with ideas – fashionable, stylish, the zeitgeist,” what were the visual metaphors for this? In my mind’s eye, these words immediately conjured an image of white sails billowing in the breeze against a clear blue sky at high noon. Emily jotted that down.

Thinking about my former relationship, my nostrils filled with the cloying scent of skunkweed. My ex was a dedicated smoker, and I believe being stoned myself for the majority of our relationship was one of the key reasons I felt so powerless to leave him. And when Emily asked; “what would it look like if the Numinous could really change the world?” I saw a tribe of Numis taking to the streets for a party/ protest to celebrate our connection to the Universe and the freedom to chose our own belief systems. And on and on her questions went, until we had the bones of what would become my custom ritual.

In the end, we devised a day of interconnected events, beginning with me using some of my Numinous tools (smudging my space with sage, meditating with my chakra totem), before taking in a trip to the center of the Brooklyn bridge to fly a white flag at noon (see above). Then we’d travel to Emily’s studio in Bushwick, where I would bestow Numinous gifts on my friends, and stage the ceremonial burning of a time capsule representing my ex (would anybody notice the burning joint inside, I wondered?) Finally, we’d all take to the streets in celebration of our collective freedom and empowerment. My friends at Shine Creative would capture the whole thing on film, as Emily highly recommends creating a visual record of the ritual. And I now had two weeks to produce it.

The day itself, November 22, was cold and bright and went by in a happy, emotional blur. I felt like the star of my own reality show, or a bride on her big day. I was happy I’d involved my friends, as so much of creating the Numinous was about wanting to collaborate creatively with my soul tribe, and being followed by a film crew made the whole thing feel somehow more real.

And if that was “Do,” then the final part of the ritual process was to “Download,” which meant a bodywork session with Emily, who is also a certified Pilates instructor and craniosacral therapist, to ground the teachings and intention of the ritual into my tissues two weeks later. When I arrived at her studio, she asked me to write down some key phrases that summed up how I’d been feeling since. I came up with; “No more apologies,” “Trusting myself,” “Stepping up to the next level,” “Who cares what people think?” A process she described as “crystalizing my new energetic signature.”

And a little over six months later, I can feel myself stepping into all of this as I prepare to host two Numinous Live talks for Lululemon at this weekend’s Wanderlust yoga festival. The first? I’ve invited Emily to join me in introducing The Art of Ritual, what she calls a “lost social technology.” And something that, for me, has been a powerful tool in showing the Universe that I’m ready to receive the gifts I know it’s sending my way.

Numinous Live will present two talks at the Wanderlust yoga festival in Vermont. Both talks are fully booked, but clink the links below to be added to the wait lists.

June 21: The Art of Ritual with Emily Tepper
June 22: Your Yoga, Your Intuition with Betsy Cohen

MIRACLES NOW: SELF-HELP FOR THE NOW AGE

Who says you have to go meditate in a cave for days to find your true life purpose? Not Numi fave Gabrielle Bernstein, who’s new book Miracles Now offers 108 almost instantaneous tools for bringing less stress and more flow into your life. But do they really work, asks Ruby Warrington? Images: Chloe Crespi.

Gabby B isn’t exactly the kind of girl to sit around waiting for s*** to happen. A New Yorker through-and-through, when it comes to crossing off her to-do list yesterday is never soon enough. Same goes for attaining enlightenment – and her die hard fans are of the same mindset.

“I was finding a lot of people in my workshops would say, ‘but what can I do right NOW, I want to fix this today’. I think that the next generation of spiritual seekers want immediate change right now,” she says, over a lunch of salmon and cauliflower rice in her light-filled East Village apartment. And so she set about compiling a volume of all the tools she uses herself to bring peace, stability and a sense of inner knowing to her own fast-paced, inner city existence.

“A lot of it came through just living,” she  explains. “Something would come up for me and I’d be like; ‘I have to put that in the book’. It’s all self-prescribed. Like I’ve had to practise saying “no” a lot lately – which was the inspiration for an exercise called #Sometimes NO is The Most Loving Response.”

A certified Kundalini yoga teacher, getting deep into this spiritual “technology” no doubt opened her eyes to the speed with which breath work in particular can create a shift in our internal (and therefore external) environment. She nods; “I included a lot of what I learned during kundalini teacher training – a lot of pretty ‘do-them-now’ meditations, but which all address pretty specific things we’re all faced with. Like the #Meditation to Prevent Freaking Out!”

But isn’t it kind of “spirituality lite”? How can repeating a two-minute mantra, or whatever, take the place of the deeper work that we’re often called to do to elevate our lives beyond the confines of our current situation? Her eyes widen; “Oh I am by no means suggesting bypassing the steps to look at deeper issues – I wrote three other books on that. But what I love about Kundalini in particular is that the small things that come up always have their root in bigger issues. It’s an invitation to go deeper.”

Which sounds like my invitation to put the theory to the test. Here’s how a week’s worth of Miracles Now played out for me.

Day one: #Value Yourself and the World Will Value You

I’m en route to London, on a work trip that represents a new challenge for me. Am I up to the job? This exercise, borrowed from spiritual money guru Kate Northrup, suggests writing down three things I value about myself so that the world can reflect that back to me. Mid-way across the Atlantic I fire up my iPhone notes app. “I have strong willpower which I use to keep healthy and direct my life the way I want.” “I have the ability to remain calm and positive in a stressful situation.” “My friendships are real and deeply felt.” YES – I can do this!

Day two: #Energize When You’re Short on Sleep

Ugh, jetlag. Gabby suggests doing a 15-minute shoulder stand – “which (Kundalini guru) Yogi Bhajan taught can equal two hours sleep because it relaxes you so deeply.” Unfortunately I didn’t bring my yoga mat, and getting into position on the hard wood floor of the apartment I’m staying in equals a major ouch. I stay up there for 60 seconds max – fail. (NB. should have noted option two, “simply lean your legs against the wall.”)

Day three: #Honor Your Commitments

This is a random one – Gabby suggests letting the book just fall open some days and seeing what “comes up for you,” and, fittingly, I get this on a day where I’m tempted to back out of a team bonding workout session with my London crew. I don’t have time to do the actual exercise – “make a list of the ways you may flake…the write a list of how this behavior affects others” – but I get the message loud and clear. I go workout, we bond, I feel great.

Day four: #Rest, Relax, Restore

Back in NYC, I’m feeling too amped from my trip (it was a success!) to sleep but I need to be on my A-game tomorrow. In this exercise Gabby introduces the “Yoga Nidra”, a deep relaxation technique that involves lying on your back and focusing on relaxing each body part individually, and then your body as a whole. “Do your best to stay awake,” she advises. But I’m asleep before I’ve even got as far as my left earlobe.

Day five: #A Meditation for Healing Addiction

I like to party, oh yes I do, and with some of my more cocktail-loving friends coming over for dinner I am bracing myself for a hard drinking evening – but with a full work schedule for the weekend, I have zero space in my diary for a hangover. Can this meditation help keep the white wine monster at bay? I am instructed to press my thumbs into my temples and repeat the mantra “Saa-Taa-Naa-Maa” for five minutes, while clenching  my molars rhythmically together. Two beers into the evening, I open the Sauvingon Blanc (white wine monster: “screw the hangover, this is fun!”). But what’s this? No-body else is drinking that much. Could it be the meditation worked on them instead of me? I go to bed relatively sober, so success…sort of?

Day six: #Be More Childlike

Another random, and oh-so-fitting with that weekend workload staring me down. “It may seem counterintuitive, but one key to feeling more productive and satisfied is to step away from your responsibilities from time to time,” Gabby writes. Being more curious, more present and allowing yourself to daydream are ways she suggests to bring a more creative, childlike quality to the task in hand. I find myself adding “dance break” on my to-do list. Er, yay.

Miracles Now is out now on Hay House, and Gabby is giving away a free half-day workshop to anyone who the book via her website: Gabbyb.tv

@GabbyBernstein

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: MEGGAN WATTERSON

A self-anointed “spiritual firebrand,” author Meggan Watterson is a sensual voice for the Divine Feminine and a passionate advocate for women’s soul F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Oh and she’s a triple Scorpio, surprise…

DO YOU HAVE ANY RECURRING DREAMS AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY MEAN?
I often dream that I’m a mermaid. I think mostly it’s because I’m a triple Scorpio so there’s an ocean’s worth of water in my chart. But also, I think the mermaid represents the way I have always felt – half of this human world and half of another mystical realm that’s beneath the surface of it all. I’m a creature of both worlds.

WHAT IS YOUR MORNING AWAKENING RITUAL?
I light a geranium scented candle beneath a portrait I have of Mary Magdalene and I write a poem to the Divine. A hot, love poem that is 😉

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FEELGOOD BREAKFAST AND WHY?
I love eggs. My first name even has an egg in it. It’s just my “meant to be” breakfast. And I have two cups of Yerba Mate green tea, known in Paraguay as “the nectar of the gods.”

WHAT MATRA DO YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE WITH IN THE MORNING?
“Only love is real”

WHAT’S YOUR LUCKY CHARM?
A necklace I often wear of the Cross of the Carmargue or The Sailor’s Cross. It comes from the south of France, from this tiny little seaside village called Stes. Maries-de-la-mer. That’s where Mary Magdalene supposedly came ashore after fleeing from the Romans in the wake of the crucifixion. It represents the passage from 1 Cor 13 about “Faith, Hope, and Love.”

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU MOST EMBODY THE TRAITS OF YOUR SIGN?
I do all things with great passion.

WHAT OTHER ELEMENTS OF YOUR CHART DO YOU RELATE TO THE MOST?
I don’t have a lick of earth in my chart, and that just makes too much sense. I am always interested in attaining is more grounded, concrete, earthly attributes. But I have spirit in spades.

WHO IS YOUR GO-TO GURU, AND WHY DOES THEIR WORK RESONATE WITH YOU?
My own soul-voice! No other voice outside me will ever compete with the truth and clarity I find within.

AND THE HEALER YOU HAVE ON SPEED-DIAL?
My ladyloves are really my healers. Gabrielle Bernstein, Danielle LaPorte, Kate Northrup, Alisa Vitti, Latham Thomas, Donna Freitas…all of these ladies have a spiritual superpower that somehow feeds, heals or nourishes me right when I need it most.

WHAT’S THE ONE UNIVERSAL MESSAGE YOU WISH WOMEN COULD GET THEIR HEADS AROUND?
You are sacred simply because you are female. Loving yourself fiercely will change the world. The most important work you can do in this life is to cultivate your capacity to love.

AND HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS?
I bombard them with an inner barrage of kisses. Then they morph into something lighter and leave. Smile.

RETAIL THERAPY IS…?
Divine!

WHAT’S YOUR POWER OUTFIT?
Tight red pants and a sexy black top. Totally my sacred uniform.

AND WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL BEAUTIFUL, WHY?
A hot shower, because it’s just so delicious.

YOUR LAST CONVERSATION WITH THE UNIVERSE WENT SOMETHING LIKE…?
“What do I do with all these sexual energies?”

“Isis, baby. Isis.”

AND WITH YOUR PSYCHIC GUIDE?
Ditto.

WHEN DID YOU LAST WITNESS MAGIC IN ACTION?
After having that dialogue with my soul-voice about needing to check out Isis, a woman from the retreat I led at Kripalu last weekend sent me energy meditations called the Alchemies of Horus and the Sex Magic of Isis. It’s based on the channeled text called The Magdalen Manuscript. Boom. Doesn’t get more magic than that.

WHAT’S ON YOUR VISION BOARD RIGHT NOW?
The words LOVE, TRUST, and SURRENDER.

YOUR MISSION IN YOUR CURRENT EARTHLING INCARNATION IS…?
To be divine love incarnate.

Meggan Watterson is the author of ‘Reveal’ and will be speaking at Ignite! An Urban Retreat for Your Mind, Body & Spirit in London on 8th March. Tickets available at: www.i-can-do-it-ignite.co.uk 

@megganwatterson

GABBY BERNSTEIN: FASHION JUNKIE

Spirit Junkie Gabrielle Bernstein is as famous for her fabulous outfits as her modern girl philosophy on living a miraculous life. She talks wedding dresses, turbans and shopping from an abundance mindset with Ruby Warrington. Portraits by Annie Powers.

So did you always dress like the fashionista babe we know and love from your Instagram feed Gabby?
No – I used to dress like Mariah Carey, I’m not even kidding. Horrifying! It was like the tighter the better because I used to work out so much, I was like I may as well wear tight clothes. Also when I was building my business really wasn’t into spending money on clothes.

So that wasn’t something you ever used to of make you feel good about yourself? That’s a trap a lot of people fall into…
No! I wanted to always look good, but I didn’t need it to be a designer brand, or some major fashion statement. But that changed when I met my fiance Zach. He has very, very strong interest in fashion, and he would take me to McQueen and Barney’s, and places like Costume National and Comme des Garcons  – for me it was like going to a museum.

Was there a turning point when you got into high fashion yourself?
I think that happened when I bought my first pair of Isabel Marant sneakers, which coincided with me starting to be in the mindset of like; ‘oh I can afford to buy them’, you know? And that was kind of like a big deal for me.

“My new pink wallet. #abundance”
“Got distracted in the #surflodgemtk boutique…”

I remember those first experiences too – spending real money on clothes and feeling like ‘this isn’t going to completely bankrupt me’. It’s like getting into an ‘abundance’ mindset…
Yeah! It was amazing. But really if you always shop within your price range you can always feel abundant – buying on credit automatically creates a feeling of lack. And if you’ve saved up for something special the energy is clean. I’ve also got to a place where spending $300 on one special piece makes me feel way more special that walking out of H&M with ten bags of cheap plastic stuff.

We’ve spoken about this before, but tell me about detoxing your closet from all the ‘plastic’…
I was addicted to hi-lo shopping, and I had to recognize that it was an addiction based on my old belief system. My parents weren’t wealthy, so my experience of gifts and shopping growing up was all about quantity over quality – that was normal, but not right. When I was able to witness that I put myself on 90 days of no hi-lo shopping. And I’ve remained abstinent!

You must get loaned a lot of stuff these days too?
I was introduced to one of my favorite designers, Camilla, through my friend Annie Ladino, a really great stylist in New York. She put me in touch Camilla’s publicist Denise, and then they just started loaning me a ton of stuff – amazing. Now I own so many of her kaftans it’s insane. It’s become a go-to look for me because it kind of works anywhere anytime, even though it’s more beachy and summery.

“Doing a meditation for prosperity on the beach”
“It’s a good day when…@camillawithlove”

And it’s also so the opposite of the whole ‘Maraiah Carey’, in your face sexy thing.
Exactly, yeah. And you know, I used to dress like super hippie at college too.

Really? Like what kind of stuff?
Oh my god like, corduroy pants and Birkenstocks and all of that shit! Ripped t-shirts…

Sounds rad… Do you still have any clothes from that period? Do you get sentimental about keeping old clothes, or do you prefer to keep the energy in your closet nice and clean of memories?
The only things I have from back then are like, the things I stole from my college room mate…she had great style, but maybe don’t put her name in this story!  But in general I’m not sentimental about material things, I don’t get attached. You’re setting yourself up for failure that way, because at some point it will be lost, or break, and if it’s become so special there’ll be a sense of loss.

The wings she wore on her first book cover; “a statement about being a spiritual girl in the material world”
Black Milk galaxy dress. Oh yeah I went there”

I think you’ve always been inspired by the way your friends dress too – right?
Yeah, like my friend Elisa has become a sort of fashion guide for me. I just really like the way she puts herself together, so I started to buy what she was getting, you know. But it’s less about copying than enjoying and appreciating how somebody looks.

Some women can get territorial about their ‘look’ – what’s that all about do you think?
That comes from a place of comparison and attachment to being uniquely ‘you’ – it’s a way for your ego to enhance your ‘specialness,’ as if only you can have that look. I say, when people want to dress like you see it as a compliment.

Do you feel like you do that with people, in the same way that you’ve had lots of different guides, teachers and gurus in your life as well?
Yeah. I think in every area of your life you can definitely pick up different things from people you find inspiring and make them your own…even Zach has been a great teacher to me when it comes to fashion. But again, it’s about taking those ideas and making things your own – constantly bringing it back to what is real to you, and not getting too into the comparison thing of thinking ‘I have to be like you’.

Gabby’s portrait of kundalini guru Yogi Bhajan: “being well dressed was a sign of self-respect for him”
“Wooden prayer beads obviously”

You’ve told me how you like to gift yourself also. Why is that important?
When you buy something as a gift to yourself, the energy behind it is coming from a place of gratitude, as opposed to neediness. That’s when it becomes a gift, not an indulgence. A celebration of yourself.

So when do you gift yourself?
Well around the time that I sold my fourth book I kind of had a little shopping party for a few weeks…

Oh, good!
Yeah…but I have to be careful, because I can still find myself doing these weird, sporadic shops when I just end up with stuff I don’t need. I think a lot of women have this problem. So, I try to stick to only going out shopping with an intention, you know? You also said something once that really hit home for me – when you’re contemplating a purchase, ask ‘is there something else that will do the same thing?’

So what’s on your spirit junkie shopping list right now?
Well since I got into Kundalini yoga I’m trying to buy more whites. Like yesterday I bought some white jeans and a turban online. The turban was from Venuis Turbans in LA, I basically just googled it!

Love it.
I also got Zach some mala beads, which are for meditating with – it’s a necklace with 108 beads, which you count through your fingers as you chant a mantra. Usually when I’m teaching I’ll have a mala in my hand too, or if you’re like having a bad day you can just carry them with you.

Cool. I want you to talk to more about turbans, and why they’re important too…
So, you when practicing Kundalini, you want to keep the energy you create in your body, that’s why you cover your head. From a personal perspective I also feel like I want to respect the sacred tradition – I feel like if I’m a teacher I’ve got to play by the rules. And I also do feel the difference. As you open your chakras, you can feel pain in your crown chakra. Like you can get headaches, or you can feel like, almost bruised on the top of your head – and when you wear the turban it feels better.

Almost like a little bandage? Why is that, that you feel sore?
Because the energy is soaring through the top of your crown!

“OMG my new whites”
“Rocking my new @v_keen pants”

Okay wow. So back to the “whites.” Why?
It’s about reflecting positive energy out into the world, whereas dark colors, and particularly black, can soak up negativity. So in general I have found myself clearing a lot of black out of my wardrobe. I just don’t feel that good when I’m wearing it anymore.

Did you wear a lot of black in your PR days? That’s the classic image of a New York City PR girl…
Yeah, I think I’ve always worn a lot of black! And I love my black leather Acne jacket, it’s one of my most treasured items, but it can feel kind of like I’m wearing a dark hole, you know? It feels heavy. I’m actually thinking my new staple is going to be white jeans.

Good idea. What are your favorite denim brands?
I like Citizens of Humanity and I actually don’t own a pair of Mother jeans yet but I love the way they look on people. I also really like Isabel Marant’s jeans, of course!

Now I’m interested to hear how else the contents of your wardrobe has shifted since you’ve began following a more spiritual path.
Well apart from the white, I feel like I want to dress more beautifully, if that makes sense. I’m inspired by people like my Kundalini teacher Gurmukh, who always wears her turban and her whites, but might have a color she’s representing that day in her beads that is also reflected in a gem on her turban. She’s very artful about the way she adorns herself, almost like she’s dressing herself like a priestess.

Displaying necklaces in her wardrobe space at home: “I don’t wear them but I love how they look”
“Love my new #kundalini snake tee”

 

Actually Gurmukh’s turban is really amazing.
It’s outrageous. She hasn’t actually cut her hair for 45 years, and when she doesn’t wear her turban you just see this like huge bun on top of her head. It’s not dreadlocks, she washes it, but it’s probably down to her butt, you know?

Amazing. Are you going to stop cutting your hair as well?
Absolutely not! But in terms of how I want to dress, in Kundalini in particular, it’s almost like a sign of respect for yourself and the class to show up really well dressed. I remember during my teacher training I was doing like a praktikum and I wasn’t wearing all white that day, and my teacher…

Sorry, what’s a praktikum?
It’s where you take a fake class to practice. So I was teaching in front of my ‘class’ and I was being graded on it. And I didn’t wear all white that day and my teacher told me off! Even if you’re wearing wrinkled clothes, they’re like, ‘go iron your outfit!’ But it all comes from an emphasis on self-care. Yogi Bhajan was also really into jewelry and gemstones.

A dreamcatcher from Colorado above her writing desk; “I just dig it – a good thing to have around”
Crystals on her alter; “they all have a different energy – I just have to remember to clean them!”

It’s interesting, in ‘The Doors of Perception’ Aldous Huxley talks a lot about how in visionary experience the world often reveals itself in this kind of glowing, jewel-like state. He thinks that that’s one of the reasons jewels have been so revered throughout history and why precious stones became precious. Because in some way they reflect to us the way the world was really made.
That’s neat, that makes sense to me. And there’s also the energy and the healing properties of the stones. Gurmukh has told me I really need to get an emerald for my pinkie, because it’s the finger that represents the voice, the speaker, and the emerald amplifies the voice.

Nice. And I know we’ve spoken as well about the whole thing of living in your yoga clothes. Does that still happen?
Yep! By day I’m in my yoga clothes which means by night I’m ready to get dressed up and go out.

“Biker jacket and #yoga pants. Always a good look”
“Sat Nam folks!”

 

Which is probably the reverse to how a lot of women dress!
Exactly, but I love to get dressed up for my evening lectures for example. For that my outfits can really vary. I mean I’ve worn anything from a really wild Camilla caftan, to like my Isabel Marant fringe boots with like tight black pants and a top. Then other times I’ll wear something more conservative, like a Helmut Lang blazer and jeans. It really depends on the crowd and the overall vibe.

Totally. And what about how an outfit makes you feel?
I feel really empowered wearing nice clothes. It wasn’t always like that, I didn’t always care, but I’ve realized that fashion can literally make me feel like a different person. Whether I’m teaching or lecturing, wearing something that will expand my presence is important.

Absolutely. But do you ever have those days when nothing you put on makes you feel right? Like the hours are counting down to your lecture and you’re like ‘no, no, no.’ Have you got a go-to that always works?
A good jumper is always a go-to. I have long ones, short ones, and actually if I were to buy anything new right now it would be more rompers because I like the way I can put it on and then I’m done. And I mean, even I had to go to a black tie wedding I think I’d wear like this Catherine Malandrino jumper I have.

Well speaking of weddings, how did you chose what to wear to marry Zach? This is like, the most important public speaking gig of your life. I take it you are doing a speech?!
I’m wearing the second dress I bought…which it typical of the bad habits in my shopping style, like, get the first thing you see then go back and get it right! I wanted to wear something that was a real wedding dress, so I could feel like a bride. For anybody who wants to see it, we’ll be doing a #spiritjunkiewedding hash tag on Instagram. See you there!

www.gabbyb.tv
@gabriellebernstein