ASK A SPIRITUAL CEO: 6 WAYS TO GET REAL ABOUT GROWING YOUR BUSINESS

Overwhelmed by the nuts and bolts? Maha Rose founder Lisa Levine shares 6 ways to get real about growing your business without losing your magic mind …

Photo: Kinga Cichewicz

QUESTION: I am super creative and intuitive but have major blocks when it comes to planning, structure, and managing the financial side of my business. That stuff literally makes me fall asleep! How much of this should I try to do myself, and what should I try to outsource? I also want to allow my business to build organically, and worry that too much planning will get in the way of this. What’s a good balance to strike?”

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LISA SAYS: 

#1 Let it grow organically. You can’t rush spirituality. You can dedicate yourself to building your business but there is still a natural evolution that you must flow with.

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#2 To partner or not to partner. When I had my jewelry business, I really wished I could have had a business partner so I could focus more on the creative side of things. But in the end, I never found that person. The same goes for Maha Rose. I have lots of amazing people I work with but at the end of the day, I am the end of the decision making chain.

But it all depends on how you work. I love working with people but I also like having the final say. Actually, God(dess) is making the decisions and I am putting them into action. If I had a business partner, what would happen if the message they were receiving was different from the guidance I was receiving? A business partnership is like a marriage, and I’m in one of those already! So I choose to work on my flexibility and compromise in my personal life instead of at work.

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#3 Get help! Definitely and no matter what. We can’t and don’t need to do it ALL alone. So think about what that help could look like. Try to get as organized as possible and really visualize where you need help so you can ask for exactly this. This is actually still a challenge for me. I know I need help and lots of it all the time, but because I do so many different things I’m not always sure where to ask for help first. Sometimes it seems like it may be more work to train someone else rather than just do it myself—but this is rarely the case. Help can also be someone who assists you in structuring it all. Every type of help exists.

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#4 Get MORE help! I have a few very talented healer and artist friends who operate so much from their right brain (the non-logical side) that it would be hard for them to really succeed on this earthly realm without help. If this is you, it’s good to recognize this without judgement, and to allow people help you in all areas requiring left-brain logic. So may differently-minded people are embracing spirituality now, you don’t have to be a one person show. Operating within a bigger structure means you can focus on the parts you are good at.

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#5 Engage with your community. This is another reason healing centers exist. In this day and age of social media and online connections, real life experiences are still so powerful. Sometimes when we are engaging in just the digital side of things it is hard to find inspiration and connection to the people who can help us grow the most.

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#6 Have fun and eat the frog! No matter what your business is, and even if you are choosing to focus on the creative side, there will still be a certain amount of “nuts and bolts” things that you have to do. Eat the frog, means … do the thing you are avoiding doing! Do it first thing in the morning to give you the feeling of having accomplished something big. Once you’ve done that one difficult thing, you can play in the magic for the rest of your day …

Got a question for Lisa’s monthly “Ask a Spiritual CEO” column? Email [email protected] with the subject line: “Spiritpreneur Questions.” 

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: STICKING MY NECK OUT AND FINDING MY VOICE

Meet one of healers who’s been integral to me finding my voice … a path so many of us are walking collectively.

Photo: Caitlin Mitchell

“Talk to it. Ask it why it hurts.”

I’m mid-Skype session with British healer Gail Love Schock, and I’ve just told her how my neck has gone out again. How I’ve finally put the puzzle pieces together, and realized this happens every time I launch a project, or put myself out in the world in a visible way. It had ocurred yet again as I unveiled the Four Bodies Wellness program I created for The James Hotels—waking up the morning of the launch with a stiffness in the left side of my neck, which progressed throughout the day leaving me unable to move my neck more than a few inches in any direction.

And now Gail is asking me to speak to the part of my body that keeps doing this.

The answer comes so fast and seems so obvious: “Because … you’re putting your neck on the line and you need to be careful.” Of course! Immediately, my mind adds another piece to the puzzle: “I wonder if there’s a past-life memory of a hanging or a guillotine …”

We’ve heard of muscle memory, but could this extend to past-life traumas? Gail doesn’t seem to think it’s so far-fetched. Having briefly lost her own ability to speak after a car accident in 2011, her work is focused mainly on voice retrieval. Also “being more human, less personality. Less pretense, more essence.” We began a series of sessions together last year as I was anticipating my book coming out—and facing the fear of being asked to do a lot more public speaking as a result (the #1 most common fear in America in case you’re wondering.)

Gail Love Schock photographed by Melodee Solomon

During each session, Gail let me in a guided meditation, asking me to visualize different versions of myself as a set of Russian dolls. To speak to these parts, and show them to their seat in my being, inviting the most mature self to the forefront. She passed on breathing techniques, ways to feel at home in my body. She advised me to chant, sing, massage my jaw and beat my chest before I speak, to free up the channel.

She also spoke to me of “sacred privacy,” knowing what to share and what to keep to myself, and the difference between the voice of the “controlling” and the “mature” feminine. One shrill and demanding, the other rock solid, forgiving and full of love. All ways to feel safe and secure in my truth, helping me speak without fear of being judged.

And all work that’s done its part in me feeling more comfortable speaking up—a path we’re also walking together as a collective. So many putting our necks on the line in the name of truth, justice and equality. Oh and by the way, three days before my book launch my lower back froze up so badly I could barely walk.

“Ask what you can do for your body,” Gail guides me, as we near the end of today’s session.

“Be aware, protect yourself, create good boundaries,” comes the answer. I think this one was for all of you, too.

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Gail Love Schock is a Spiritual Life Coach and Mentor, Meditation Teacher and InterFaith Minister. She teaches worldwide and is writing her first book. Discover more about Gail and her work and book a session HERE and follow her on Instagram.

HOLY F*CK: HEALING THE CORPORATE WORLD WITH MICHAEL VENTURA

Think you have to drop out of the mainstream to tap into soul-deep healing? “Real world” mystic Michael Ventura chats with Alexandra Roxo about infusing the corporate landscape with cosmic creativity …

“Yes, I’d have a hard time smudging the conference rooms of some of our clients without getting some serious side-eyes, but we can ‘smudge’ in different ways … ” – Michael Ventura  

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During the height of my Saturn Return at age 29, I felt like the world was caving in on me and I sought a LOT of healing assistance. Peyote. Ayuasca. Reiki. These were dark days for me, and served as my own initiation into the underworld, into becoming a healer myself, and as a woman.

When I stumbled upon Michael Ventura during this time, I had no idea what to expect. I went into this dark ad agency late at night, empty except for a treatment table and a tall bearded man.

In the years I worked with Michael, he helped heal my own relationship to masculine energy, and my grudge against the patriarchy and my own dad, in addition to giving me courage to see myself as a healer and step into that path.

Michael models something I preach about in Moon Club and aspire to myself- by day, he runs a creative agency in the “regular” world, and by night he does magical healing work on the top floor.

Through these double worlds, he’s helping to create a new world where instead of us all quitting our jobs to become healers and yoga teachers, we bring conscious healing work to all the industries that need it.

I sat down with Michael to chat empathy, healer archetypes, and changing the corporate world from the inside out …

Alexandra Roxo: You are the CEO of a creative agency that works with mega brands and you are also a healer! What are your thoughts on the different types of healer archetypes that are awakening within so many people as they bring those practices to a diversity of industries?

Michael Ventura: One of my teachers once told me, “We don’t need more monks in monasteries, we need monks in our cities.” I’ve always loved this notion and have hung onto it.

I wholeheartedly believe that as our own intuition and gifts are awakened, we have a great opportunity to help bring our full self to the communities we serve. For me, bringing myself to a board room is no different than a treatment room. I am the same person. I have the same tools in my toolbox.

Yes, I’d have a hard time smudging the conference rooms of some of our clients without getting some serious side-eyes, but we can “smudge” in different ways. With different tools. As we learn and increase our capacity to work with energy, to work with people, and to work with the elements, all of this becomes part of our daily expression of our self.

As the saying goes, “not all heroes wear capes,” and to the same effect, not all healers need candles and sandals to work their magic.

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AR: I always describe your work as energy work that combines Reiki, shamanism, and Chinese medicine. What kind of traditions and modalities did you study?  

MV: I often refer to my work as “indigenous medicine.” My practice has roots in both traditional Chinese medicine as well as the Mesoamerican shamanic traditions of the Nahuatl indians.

But what’s also true is that part of my work is derived from that which is most indigenous to my own spirit. As I have refined my work over the past decade, I have come to trust my oldest, innermost voice, and to use that trust to help expand the work I offer.

Whether we are in the mountains of Peru, the river lands of China, or simply in the depths of our own spirit, there is powerful medicine waiting to teach us. We don’t always need to travel around the globe to find ourselves. Sometimes, our true self is right here beside us, waiting to open up and teach us something new.

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AR: I used to be very private about my spiritual work while working in the commercial directing space, but now I’m more open. How do you bring your energy work into the advertising world?

MV: Interestingly, what’s happened a lot over the years is that a mutual friend of mine and the client’s will come and see me for a session and then share their experience with the client in casual conversation. I often then get an email or text that says something like “I’m with so and so and they told me you do energy work. I want some!”

To me, those are great moments where worlds collide. And that’s how it should be. We are all living in a real world and have real lives and are trying to not just get by, but to thrive. If I can be of service to someone in that way, I can sleep well at night knowing I did something right with this existence.

More practically, I also find that some of the work we do for clients allows us to bring a sense of integrity, wellness, mindfulness, or simply kindness into their brand. And while some organizations just aren’t ready, I encourage our team to use those projects to help put more fuel in our collective gas tank to do more with the communities we serve. In some long karmic loop kinda way, I have to believe that it’s all worth it in the end.

Michael’s Applied Empathy Card Deck

AR: Do you think everyone has an inner “healer” archetype that wants to come out? Or just some of us?

MV: Everyone is a healer. 1000%. I have no doubt. It is just that many of us lose touch with – or never explore that side of – ourselves.

The capacity to heal comes from YOU. I’m just a pair of old jumper cables helping you to get your car running smoothly again. I recently read a quote from a Chinese medicine practitioner who said that he calls everyone he treats his “student.” He said that every session is an opportunity for them to learn more about themselves, for them to learn how to heal themselves. I loved this idea and think it’s absolutely true.

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AR: You’ve created a beautiful deck that displays what you call the “archetypes of empathy.” How did you create these archetypes and how do we embody them?

MV: Over the span of about 6 months, myself and a group of colleagues here at Sub Rosa (my design firm) explored behaviors that allow us to understand each other. We looked at our own habits as well as those we worked with and admired.

We started to see a variety of themes emerge. Once we felt like we had found a strong group of seven behaviors, we utilized a spectrum of questioning called the “whole self” that’s based on the chakras, among other things. These archetypes explore the physical self, the emotional self, the aspirational self, and others.

Each archetype helps us see the world from a different vantage : 

The Sage: Be Present. Inhabit the here and now.
The Inquirer: Question. Interrogate assumed truths.
The Convener: Host. Anticipate the needs of others.
The Alchemist: Experiment. Test and learn at all costs.
The Confidant: Listen. Summon the ability to observe and absorb.
The Seeker: Dare. Be confident and fearless.
The Cultivator: Commit. Nurture and intentionally grow.

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AR: I’m feeling a personal move from the “alchemist” archetype (major curious human who will try anything) to something new. Do you think we move through different archetypes as we grow? 

MV: Actually, I believe that all of us embody all seven of these archetypes – just not in equal measure. Some we feel very comfortable with, but others are daunting. That’s the point. The cards and the questions within them are meant to help you “limber up” a bit and stretch your perspective in order to make you a more well-rounded empath. Your desire to shift to another archetype is totally normal. You are all of them. Keep trying different ones on and you’ll see how all of the perspectives start to emerge from within yourself over time.

AR: What’s the role of self-work in your healing practice? What does being devoted to your path mean to you? 

MV: In the past decade, I’ve observed that more and more people are realizing that the best service they can provide to others is to start with healing themselves. Years ago, many people would be mortified if others knew they were seeing a therapist or a Chinese doctor. People’s reactions would immediately go to “what’s wrong with them that they need someone like that.” That era is long gone and self-work is no longer taboo.

But the pendulum can also swing in the other direction. It’s not uncommon for me to hear about someone doing an ayahuasca ceremony, followed by a week of intensive Rolfing, then doing a 10-day cleanse of some kind, then this, then that. It’s important to walk the spiritual buffet line from time to time, see what’s on offer and what you’re called to, but it’s also important to commit and focus on the things that work. To go deep and not be tempted to just try the next thing that comes through the door.

For me, the balance of freedom and discipline in all of this self-work is where the real medicine resides.

Listen to Michael and I chat more on his podcast Applied Empathy, buy the cards for your next date or dinner party, and book a session with him in NYC here!

MOONERS & SHAKERS: WHAT IS A PHOTOGRAPHY HEALING SESSION?

With her Embrace The Light photography healing sessions, Moon Club member Tanya Alexis is helping others share the beauty of their energy with the world …

A photography healing session is …
The aura adventure begins at a location where feel you are your most authentic self: in your home, at the ocean, in the woods … anywhere you feel joy! We will find a quiet spot and you will spend 15 to 20 minutes receiving Reiki channeled through me.

After your healing session, we will spend the next 40 minutes photographing you at your most peaceful, at your most joyful—meditating, dancing, twirling, moving your body in any freeing manner that makes sense to you in that moment. During this time, I will shoot 36 frames of film.

Following the session, you and I will sit together while I rewind the film, holding an intention of authenticity and love. When the time is right, I will open the bottom of the camera to let the light in, to let your light in.

One to two weeks following our session, you will receive three to seven beautiful color photographs. A completely unique mixture of film, you, me, and light, they are not to be photoshopped. They will be yours to keep as a reminder of who you truly are, your vibrant spirit.

The inspiration for the idea …
My partner passed a few years ago, and on the anniversary of his death I went to the place we spread his ashes to pay my respects, to take photographs, and to grieve. The next day when I went to drop the film off at my lab, I opened the bottom of the camera thinking the film was rolled up. It wasn’t. I quickly closed the bottom, heartbroken that the images were going to be ruined. But they weren’t. Instead, I discovered something new to me, a way to create beautiful effects that expressed how I felt inside.

It would be another year before I used this technique intentionally. I was photographing a dear friend who happens to be a healer in Los Angeles. I felt compelled (as my intuition strongly suggested) to expose some of her film to light, to see if I could mix her energy visually onto the film. It created some incredibly powerful images, and I knew I wanted to create more work like this, perhaps find a way to incorporate photography into a healing session.

About nine months later, I photographed another incredibly powerful Los Angeles healer. This time, I wasn’t worried I was going to ruin the film. I just went for it, and after I saw her images—even thought my belly was filled with butterflies—I knew it was time for me to create a way to share this experience with others. It was time to encourage others to see their inner beauty, strength, and abilities, and to help them share these numinous aspects of themselves with others.

The work as a reflection of a personal healing journey …
When I received a phone call telling me my partner had been in an accident and had not survived, I was heartbroken. But even during the earliest days of grieving, I knew his passing was meant to break me open. The love we shared was palpable, and I chose to honor him, to honor us, by putting in the work to heal from losing him, and perhaps more importantly to heal all the aspects of myself.

I began meditating more. I wrote to him every day. I began having weekly energy work. I began being kinder to myself, making self-care a priority. During this process, I would take photographs to work through the various emotions that arose. I was just getting to a point where I thought everything would be okay, and then … my father passed. And my heart broke again, but it was different this time. I knew from the beginning of grieving his loss that it was in my power to heal myself.

Not long after my father passed, I took a Reiki 1 and 2 course, followed later by more advanced and Master Reiki training. I intended to use it solely as a way for me to continue to work through all that needed to be released and sifted through in me.

But the more I healed, the more I realized healing myself AND healing others was always meant to be a part of my path. And then, one day, I had lunch with an incredibly vivacious 91-year-old, and she asked me what I would want to do with my life, if I could do anything. I smiled, and in that moment, I accepted that this is my path.

The big mission …
Others judge us, we judge ourselves. If I can offer people a space to feel love and support for who they truly —solely from a place of love—and leave them with a reminder of how beautiful they are on the inside as well as the outside, my heart will be happy.

The Moon Club inspiration …
Moon Club is one of the reasons I feel so comfortable sharing my Embrace the Light project with the world. Knowing that like-minded souls are here to cheer me on and support me allows me to step outside my comfort zone with confidence. It’s invaluable to me as a creative, but also as a human. I am so grateful to know that I am not alone in my experience on this Earth!

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Tania Alexis is currently booking Embrace the Light sessions in Los Angeles, and building wait lists for sessions in NYC, London and everywhere. You can email here here and follow her on Instagram here and here. Sign up for Moon Club and join our tribe of cosmic change makers at Moonclub.co

TAROTSCOPES: DECEMBER 2016

Monthly Numinous Tarotscopes, cast by Lindsay Mack using The Starchild Tarot.

SAGITTARIUS :: SAGITTARIUS RISING
King of Cups

Are you ready to rise up, Sagittarius? Are you ready for the power and the activation that December will bring into your life? This month is a gateway to you fully and totally stepping up as the leader you are—holding space for the disenfranchised, standing on the front lines, being of service. If you are already a leader of service, again I say: get ready. If there is any doubt in your mind that you can help or make a difference in this world, it will be gone by the end of the year.King of Cups is lighting a flame in you that cannot be extinguished. The revolution and evolution of our collective will have an enormous amount to do with you, Sagittarius—yes, you!

The teacher, the archer, the sage. You are not without your flaws, of course, but this has to do with something much larger than ego and personal mastery. This is about transcendence, about transparency, about sharing your words and experiences so that others may be buoyed by you, healed by you, inspired by you. King of Cups has honored you with his invitation, and this card’s energy promises to transform and deepen you immeasurably. King of Cups is a leader for the lost, for the scared, for the one who is searching for a light in the dark. He is the one who can get people through crisis. He can hold his own experience, stormy, scared and raging as it might be, and be completely available to another, or multiple others. He has enough space within himself to hold both himself and others.

This is an energy that the deepest, most impactful healers are born with: the ability to hold two things at once without stuffing anything down. This is the stuff a leader of our times must be made of, and it is what you are being anointed into this month. You’ve always been able to do this, now you will really receive evidence of it. Watch closely around you for the service that is being asked of you. It might be with your social media tribe, with your clients or patients, with your child, with your ex, your friends, your family, or on the front lines, protesting. Wherever you are called, be prepared to answer. You are rising up, Sag, ready for a whole new way, a whole new level of service. You are ready.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

CAPRICORN :: CAPRICORN RISING
Akashic Records

You will be in some deliciously epic energy in December, all thanks to the medicine of the Akashic Records. This card is an extra Major Arcana card in the Starchild Tarot deck, one that the creator of the deck channeled. It is a very special card, very powerful, and truly indicative of the hard work you’ve been doing this year, Capricorn—getting a card this powerful to round out your year is most certainly deserved and bodes all things beautiful for your 2017.

So here’s the deal with this card. For those of you who do not know, The Akashic Records are a kind of universal filing cabinet, holding within them every thing that has ever been done, said, expressed or created since the dawn of time. Every being has access to this infinite knowledge and wisdom by virtue of their birthright: the key is accessing it. One of the clearest ways is to simply ask. One can get certified, one can read a book, but regardless of any official titles or experience, it is enough simply to remember that we were born with access to anything that is in our highest and best to know. This is where you come in, Capricorn. You are leveling up, evolving, and coming into the next phase of your life on this planet. This is a HUGE transition. It might not feel that way, but this card is bridging you into 2017, and it is not going to allow you to stay small and locked in old patterning. When we say “yes” to our soul’s path, we not only expand our intuitive abilities, opening us up to receive more clarity, but we actually start to heal our inherited family legacies, rewriting karmic law for ourselves and for them.

What this means for you, Capricorn, is that you HAVEs the chance to alter your legacy in some way—for the better. This is inexpressibly important, especially if you are carrying some big fears, insecurities, or resistance to your personal gifts, magic and abilities. Most likely, your parents did, too, and their parents before them. You will not only be committing more deeply to your true soul path than ever before, you are also shedding major blocks so that you can be free to expand past what your family did. Dive deep, tune in, open your eyes, reconnect into why you are here, and the legacy you are here to leave for the planet.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

AQUARIUS :: AQUARIUS RISING
Ace of Swords, reversed

This will be a very humbling and empowering month for you, Aquarius. Ace of Swords, the sacred lightning rod of the deck, is showing up reversed for you this month. That’s not a bad thing, but it will be something to acknowledge and pay attention to as December unfolds. In some way, there is a disconnect between what you are ready to create, to birth in your life, and the energetic means to do so. It will be important for you to clarify where this disconnect is, and bridge the gap. It will be deeply useful for you to buckle down and do some not so sexy work around this: talk to a therapist, create a business plan, work with a money manager, support your brain chemistry with meditation, food or medication, work on self sabotage—whatever you need, you will be energetically supported in undertaking.

It is really important that you disengage with any story that arises from this. Just breathe and take the first step toward self-support. As soon as you do this, everything you desire to manifest (and that desires to be manifested through you) will be able to flow into your life effortlessly. Ace of Swords is a divinely charged energy, a kind of lightning rod for the creative, mental process. It is a mini Magician card in many ways, connecting us to Divine so we are able and available to receive brilliance, new ideas, and inspiration from above. We rarely have to do anything to synch up to this frequency when Ace of Swords is right side up—it just happens, and we are always at the right place at the right time. When the card is reversed, as it is for you this month, Aquarius, it’s a gentle heads up that the Universal connection is turned on, but your volume is turned off in some way.

So, you may be feeling that you’re disconnected, when in fact, you just need some support to help you to turn up the volume on your channel of receiving. For some of you, this is in relationship to your career—for others, it relates to your personal life, specifically around love. If you invite in the right wisdom, so much abundance and clarity will be able to flow into you. Take the month to recalibrate, make a few adjustments, and watch what happens when the volume is turned up!

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

PISCES :: PISCES RISING
Knight of Crystals

Slow and gentle is the name of the game for you this month, Pisces. There is no rush, despite what your feelings and your brain might be telling you. Knight of Crystals, or Pentacles, is the slowest and gentlest of the Knights. He is the mover and the action taker most likely to pause and aim before an undertaking. When he takes off, however, he never misses. It looks like he has fallen behind, when in fact he has just taken longer to make sure his aim is true, getting everything organized and aligned before he hits the ground running.

This is the most important medicine for you in December, Pisces, to truly align yourself with the archer—aiming your arrow and taking your time before you release. This is related to career endeavors, decisions, moves, love—across the board, you are taking what might look like a breather to the ego, but is really a preparation, allowing you to be fully clear, available and aligned in your life choices. Trust and embrace this time. You still need a little more aim time before you fully plunge into your goals and plans for 2017. But don’t mistake for a moment that taking the time to get clear before moving and shaking is a waste—you are not going to be just hanging around this month. You are getting poised and ready for action. Avoid expend all your energy before it’s time to take the first step.

The Knights, again, are all action oriented, and as I mentioned above, you will still be moving and hustling in your life in a big way this month. Expect lots of awesome opportunities, perhaps even some surprise ones. Just focus your energy and attention on HOW you are moving, rather than the amount of stuff you can accomplish. You have great ambitions, Pisces—one of the less talked about qualities about your sign. This is a wonderful trait, and Knight of Crystals is helping you to get organized so that your visions can be supported. This month, ground your dreams and manifestations with lots of deep breaths, clear plans, and earthly support. Clear your space, cleanse your home, get your affairs in order; take care of business. The more you embrace the preparation, the clearer, sharper, faster and more swift your actions will be once you take flight. Slow and steady truly wins the race here.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

ARIES :: ARIES RISING
Starseed/The Fool

December is a time of rebirth for you, Aries. Pure and simple. The Fool, or Starseed, is here to invite you to leap into the unknown, kicking off a journey into the next great cycle of growth in your life. This is not necessarily a physical, earthly shift— although for some of you, it might be. If you’ve been manifesting a move, a break up, a commitment, or a pregnancy, this may very well be your month to receive that, if it is aligned for your individual path. But beyond the earthly realm, December is really about saying a HUGE yes to your soul. This is about evolution. It is a whole new level of commitment to your path, one that will transform your life if you bow over to it.

The main directive of The Fool’s energy this month, Aries, will be to help you to release fear around failure. You are moving through this specific mastery right now. You know instinctively that it is time to come out of the birth canal, out of the warm womb of “playing it safe” and into the dawn of the unknown; from hiding to being seen, from dark to light. This light is your birthright, Aries. This light is never something you can be rejected from, nor it from you. The light comes from you. And in this light, there can be no more hiding. There can be no more playing small; no more resistance, no more self sabotage. The world needs you, whether you feel ready or not. The Fool is here to help you leap before you believe you’re worthy or ready. As I often hear from Spirit with The Fool, Aries, you’re as ready as you’ll ever be in this moment. Failure is not possible for you.

You’ve been in a kind of grinding, quiet death cycle these last 6 months or so, with lots of old shadow, insecurity and contraction arising. Don’t think for a moment that it is because you’ve been going backwards. It has all been aligned, all of it so that you could move into this next phase of your life without the old stuff holding you back. The old stuff had to die so there could be room for the new. The new is here, and it is rebirthing you. Take a deep breath, bow to the fear, and jump into the heart of the light.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

TAURUS :: TAURUS RISING
The Hierophant

This is going to be an immensely powerful month for you, Taurus. The work of The Hierophant is multilayered, and this card will be working on your sign in both big and small ways, internally and externally. The Hierophant, at its deepest essence, is an invitation into belief inquiry. It asks us to consider what we we truly believe in. Are these beliefs are serving us? Is it time for us to upgrade them in some way to match a more aligned truth for ourselves? Do not forget, Taurus: beliefs are very, very charged. They feel so true! This is partially because they have an emotional undercurrent—far more more than thoughts or feelings.

Look at the fervor with which people regard religion, their politics, family and cultural traditions. Its tough to see reason within those places—or to be brave enough to admit that the beliefs we may be living through might not aligned for us. The Hierophant doesn’t come to scare us, or create fear in our lives—the deepest medicine that this card will offer you is for you to be your OWN teacher, your own guru, to look to your own school of thought, rather than outside of yourself. Have you ever questioned what was told to you by your teachers, mentors, parents, culture, religion, or school? Do you agree with them? If not, don’t toss the baby out with the bathwater. Just come back home to your own truth; rewrite the laws of your life so they serve your soul. The more you do this, the more your life will change—more spectacularly than you could ever imagine.

The more you allow outdated and false beliefs in your life to die away, the more space can be made to birth a life based on your own inner wisdom. In some area of your life, Taurus, it is time for you to step up as the master and leader that you are, if even just for yourself. Do not give your power away. The impact you have on other people around you is greater than you imagine, and our beliefs can mightily sway our interactions. Let the whole month be a deep inquiry of beliefs; if anything or anyone does not fully match the frequency of your soul, be willing to upgrade. You are your own teacher, Taurus. Claim it, own it, know it. Believe it.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

GEMINI :: GEMINI RISING
Knight of Swords

You are flying in the energy of Knight of Swords this month, Gemini! Expect a whirling, fast-paced month in which a phenomenal amount of accomplishment, manifestation and goal-setting will be possible for you, simply by the sheer force of your effort and will. December is a month of results, getting shit done in a way that will most likely baffle your friends and family, wondering how you are still standing. You will not only be standing, Gemini, but thriving in this energy—it is the frequency which you were born to flourish in. The key will be to use Knight of Swords to help propel you into all that you desire to achieve, do, and accomplish this month. In this card, nothing is impossible.

Knight of Swords, often shown as a man charging at full speed on a horse, is a double air card. He is all head, no body. This isn’t a bad thing in this context—there are times in life when it is appropriate for us to just DO, to move without too much pausing and reflecting. You have had lots of invitations over the last few months to do exactly the opposite. You’ve been asked to drop into the body, be kinder to yourself, take more breaks, and reflect more often. This has been crucial for you to undertake; many of you have needed to make dramatic shifts in your life in terms of upping your self care. Knight of Swords is the antithesis of this invitation, but in a wonderful way. The presence of this card truly means that you have done the work, taken those breaths, made those adjustments, and are now nourished and energetically available to manifest all that you want in your life.

Your eye is on the prize, and you have enough flowing into your personal well to fuel your journey to seize it. This card will ask you to work for what you want this month, to move and hustle in a way that will, again, most likely yield those who love you to implore you to take a break. Take the breaks when you need it, Gemini, but know that this month might not give you much of a chance to—and that this is totally aligned. Make a plan, set a course, and fling yourself into what you want to create and accomplish in your life. You will be amazed at the results.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

CANCER :: CANCER RISING
Eight of Pentacles

Do you know the phrase, “chop wood, carry water,” Cancer? This is your mantra for the month of December. If you can come back to the energy of that phrase over and over again, it will transform your life in ways that appear subtle at first. If you continue to follow the trail of the mantra, the subtle changes become huge, beautiful and overt; these little words have the power to change us, just as 8 of Pentacles has the power to change both us, and our lives. This is a very specific month for you, Cancer: you are going into a kind of transformation, moving from an apprenticeship to a mastery. The only way to cross this bridge is through conscious repetition, doing the same thing over and over again until we can execute it flawlessly.

This is the step in life that is most important for our expansion—it is also the step that many people often skip, or want to rush past, claiming to be masters when they haven’t done their work. Know that this process isn’t sexy. It’s not really Instagram ready. It isn’t something one can even easily express or explain verbally—it is a kind of evolution of the soul, of the spirit, but in a way that looks like nothing is happening. We are chopping wood and carrying water. Looks like nothing, yields something alchemically transformational. In some way, whether tangibly or energetically, you will be moving through a big shift this month, Cancer. It isn’t going to look like much at first—especially not while you’re going through it, but trust that that is EXACTLY how you want it! That is truly where all the good work gets done: quietly. It is done through the voluntary surrender into mastery, even through resistance.

Eight of Pentacles is a transformation card. In any Eight in the Tarot, we go into the energy of the card one way, and we come out another way. The fire that sparks the alchemical transformation in any Eight is empowered choice. You must choose to be a master this month, Cancer. That decision involves a return to presence, to the minutia of the moment. So whether you are training to become a yoga teacher, working through something with your child, or changing your thought patterns, you have the power to deeply shift your life this month. Keep it simple, trust the process. Chop wood, carry water, transform your life.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

LEO :: LEO RISING
Page of Swords, reversed

Your invitation for the month of December is still very much aligned with last month, Leo. You have to get back to square one, to ground and center yourself. Many of you have been locked in a cycle of dead ends and surprise disappointments as of late. This isn’t because you’ve hit bad luck, or even that you’re off the mark in your life. Your ideas, concepts, and dreams are amazing and on point, but you still have not worked through the steps to bring them to life. That is the first helping hand that Page of Swords reversed is extending to you. To get clear on steps A B & C, rather than trying to jump immediately to X, Y & Z. If you don’t know what to do differently, consult with someone. A trusted friend, a business coach, a money manager, whatever feels the best for you at this time. Let the right counsel in, and you’ll be back in the zone in no time.

The second invitation of Page of Swords reversed is also helping you to heal and strengthen your confidence in yourself. The biggest and most tender wound that you are really mastering right now, Leo, is the disconnect between how amazing you know you are, and the feedback from the outside world in certain respects. Sometimes the feedback you receive is totally in alignment with what you know you are capable and deserving of. And then there are times when the results you were expecting are so disappointing, and you don’t know where you went wrong. Despair, comparison and doubt all begin to appear. It can truly seem like you are being left out, that you are not as spectacular as you believe yourselF to be.

You have been swirling around in this back and forth for several months now—December is when it finally shifts. Page of Swords reversed is here to help you KNOW your worth, that you cannot miss anything that is meant for you. If what you desire is not manifesting in your life, take heart: it is coming. It is coming at the perfect time, and you get to continue to refine yourself, and work through your insecurities as you wait. It is an energetic win win. Take this month to go back to square one—bring some trusted and helpful friends along with you for support and clarity.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

VIRGO :: VIRGO RISING
Ten of Swords

Rejoice, Virgo! Ten of Swords is truly here to transform your life. Ten of Swords is the most amazing card, full of so much promise and opportunity. It is not the horrific energy that most people believe it to be. It isn’t a nightmare, it isn’t necessarily painful, it doesn’t bode death, or breakdowns or even mental anguish—quite the contrary, actually. What it offers us is the opportunity for a profound shift of the mind, of the heart, of the body, of our lives. It is a mindfulness bell, chiming to let us know that our thoughts are causing us pain in some way, and that we need to become clear on this so we can change it.

It is important to deeply reflect on our mental cycles, how they are either serving us or keeping us locked in contraction. How are we relating to an aspect of our lives that we desperately want, but it’s not coming? How do we relate to the future? To our anxieties? To jealousy, comparison, or grief? To getting old, to our children, or our partners? Ten of Swords can crop up around any of these areas, flagging them for review and renewal. You get to profoundly alter the relationship to your thinking this month, Virgo, and only goodness will be born in it’s place.

Stay present, curious and light around this idea this month. Ten of Swords is, after all, a card of the mind, and we do tend to identify with our thinking. But thoughts do not equal truth; it will be important to remember that this month. There is nothing to fear. Ten of Swords is bringing some incredible gifts, but if we stay locked in fear or resistance, we will not be able to receive them and allow the full transformation to take place. Think of Ten of Swords as the wake up call. That’s the freedom it is offering you this month. From here on out, you are free to create a new life for yourself, one that must include a more gentle relationship to your thinking. It is the death of an old way of thinking, so that a new one may be cultivated. The old way is not serving you, now there must be an upgrade of the mind. The gift of this upgrade cannot be overemphasized.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram

LIBRA :: LIBRA RISING
Oppression/The Devil

You’re going to be working through some very powerful energies this month, Libra, especially around—what else!—your thoughts. That is, after all, what you are here to master in this incarnation with your Sun or Rising Sign: to be in perfect balance even during times of imbalance, letting nothing shake your walk of peace. Bearing that in mind, you get to do some beautiful work in this mastery this month. This card has come at a crucially important time, Libra—it has shown up for you as December’s energy because you are actually doing everything RIGHT. When we are expanding, upgrading, and getting ready to be hurtled into an amazing new time in our lives, we can also get tossed into The Devil card.

Why? Because the brain is programmed to keep us in energies that are comfortable and familiar—it’s main directive is to keep us alive. Soul evolution and growth are NOT comfortable and familiar for the nervous system. The brain will actually work to trip us up and keep us in known, low-frequency territory by reminding us of that ex that treated us like shit, by encouraging us to get drunk every time we sit down to write, by keeping us locked in obsession with social media, or with self-doubt, self-loathing or self-sabotage. If this is happening to you, it is actually a wonderful sign! If the brain is working so hard on getting you distracted and unsure of yourself, it is a clear sign that you’re headed in the right direction. The primal part of us will fight expansion—yet the soul craves it desperately. It is in that sweet spot that we flower open like wild roses.

The Devil is not a card to fear. It would never show up for you if you weren’t ready for it. The Devil, or Oppression, is simply a mirror, offering you the opportunity to cut the chain of an addictive pattern of thinking, declining the brain’s invitation into staying safe and small. No more judgement, no more story, no more getting swept up into cycles that keep us locked in the very thing we are swimming out of. Once we stop the judgement, we are free to actually heal the addictive cycle, to give ourselves what we truly need. You are doing everything right, Libra. Keep going, and don’t let the brain screw around with your expansion. It can tantrum all it likes—you keep soaring higher.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram

SCORPIO :: SCORPIO RISING
Four of Wands

December is inviting you to let go and shake your tail feather a bit this month, Scorpio—finally. It has been all work and no play for quite some time, whether it has looked like it or not. You are truly ending something huge this month, perfectly aligned with the closing of the year and this cycle in your life. Trust all that you have learned, created, released and moved into—now, celebrate. Honor the births, the labor, the effort, and soak deeply in the glow and results of your hard work. You deserve it immensely.

Four of Wands is a beautiful card, one that invites us to honor some kind of rite of passage in our lives. This invocation can be both amazing and challenging, the challenge being that our culture has a very finite collection of these transitions that we actively celebrate: marriages, births, etc. There is so much that goes unprocessed and unhonored in our collective culture: a girl’s first period, moon ceremonies, death ceremonies, divorces, the changing of the seasons, etc. Four of Wands is the heartbeat of the ancestral way, calling us back to this ceremonial acknowledgement of a transition in our lives, whether pleasant or heart wrenching. If we bow over to this card and her invitation to us, we come together, stop our work, rest in the moment and process all that has gone and all that is to come. We make ourselves ready to move into a new phase. Our ancestors lived this way, in tune with the larger waves that flowed through our lives, and through the seasons.

What does this have to do with you, Scorpio? Everything. It will be enormously important for you to honor the transition that this year has been for you. It has been one HELL of a 2016 for you—breakdowns, breakthroughs, huge labors of love, massive commitments, shifts and wakeups all around. Don’t just keep plowing through your life, half-acknowledging all that you’ve released and all you’ve birthed. Stop. Take a breath. Pause and sit with yourselves. Honor it all. Let the entire month of December be a ceremony of gratitude, of sharing, of grieving, of celebrating. This is a rejoicing! You did it, Scorpio. You made it through this year, whole and evolved. Remember to pause through December and remember all that you’ve expanded through, and all of the goodness that is to come.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram

HOW I FOUND A WAY TO BE OF SERVICE

Looking for a way to be of service? Look to your natural —and keep it simple, says Kerri Aab

In spiritual communities, it’s often believed that at your lowest point, to be of service to someone else can turn your entire situation around. That looking past our own suffering for ways to alleviate the suffering of someone else is a key to happiness and fulfillment.

No time like the present to test the theory, right?

And if the phrases “alleviate suffering” and “being of service” bring to mind images of volunteering for the Peace Corps or doing mission work in Africa, it’s worth keeping in mind that an act of service can include anything from smiling at a stranger, to complimenting a struggling mama at the grocery store, to baking some cookies for your neighbor.

Being of service doesn’t have to mean some grand act of self-sacrifice. It simply means reaching out. And sometimes the actions that have most impact are the simplest.

Case in point: late last year I was deeply depressed. Not un-common for me during the time of year we’re supposed to be making merry. I’m used to the holiday blues.

But last year was different. There was an ache and an emptiness that none of my go-to spiritual or healing practices seemed to be able to reach. I looked for guidance and sought all kinds of remedies to take the pain away—but the more I grasped, the worse things seemed.

I felt hopeless, helpless, and adrift.

Then, one morning during my daily self Reiki practice, I felt compelled to turn my Reiki hands not towards myself, but rather, to send the Reiki out. I did so and there I sat for the next hour with a vague intention of sending Reiki to “anyone in need.”

No, there were no unicorns swooping over the horizon, and no rainbows suddenly appeared— but I noticed how my sense of despair had lifted. Enough for me to send distance Reiki out again the next day. And the next.

Within a week, I’d decided to make a daily practice of sending out Reiki to others. Shortly after which, brief little messages of hope or inspiration would come through during my morning Reiki time, which I texted to a few friends. These messages began as subtle little thoughts that I attributed to my mind regurgitating information from years spent dedicated to learning about spirituality and energy medicine.

I quickly came to believe however, that these messages, which were growing in length and intensity, were the work of a much larger energy that I was somehow tapping into. God? The Universe (what I call “The Big U”)? Who knows. I’ve come to refer to the bearers of these messages as my “etheric pals” though, as I now palpably feel their energy in the room with me and they feel like friends.

Within a month I had a consistent daily practice that I was being guided to share further. So I sent out an email to friends and family, offering free distance daily Reiki, plus an optional inspirational email, to anyone who requested it.

To my surprise and delight, almost every single person replied with a resounding “COUNT ME IN!” and the list has continued to grow ever since. People come, people go. But, no matter what, I sit down every morning, send Reiki, and write an email about the message I heard during the session.

Has my depression lifted, and I been living in Reiki bliss since then? Here’s where I disappoint you. This isn’t one of those “and then my whole life changed and everything is love and light” type stories.

But here’s what did happen. 

This simple act of using a gift I have been given, to help others, has confirmed for me the importance of being of service in the world.

My daily act of service has given me an anchor to hold onto on days when depression hits so hard that I don’t want to open my eyes. It does this by providing the focus and energy I need to get through to the other side.

My act of service has given my life a foundation of consistency. Rain or shine, I know that people are counting on me and looking to me for the support I pledged to give them. This is the best motivator for sticking to any practice.

My act of service has gifted me with humility and perspective. That people trust me with their stories and with a small aspect of their personal growth is humbling and something I take very seriously. These stories continually remind me of how freakin’ blessed I am when there’s so much suffering in the world.

And, during this very trying post-election week, showing up for the Reiki crew has, at times, felt like the only thing giving me a flicker of hope. When I have felt useless and truly despairing, sitting down to energetically uplift others has reminded me of why I’m on this planet. Which is to anchor the human experience in goodness. To help others find their inner power.

I am also so grateful for the replies I receive each day from people all over the world, about how a particular message changed them or inspired them to go out and spread some joy of their own. The benefits of service are contagious!

So, are you in?

We’ve all been given different gifts—and they are not ours to hoard or hide away. But to give away, inspiring others to do the same.

If you’re feeling plunged into darkness at this time, my advice is to simply give of yourself in whatever way you can. There are endless ways to be of service in the world, so find your gift and share it. Take action. If you want to make the world a better place, then go out and do it. When in doubt, look out.

Do you sing? Bring your voice to the elderly.
Make a mean lasagna? Cook for the hungry.
Love spending time with children? Babysit for a mama who needs a break.
Have a green thumb? Help start a community garden.

And if you think you can’t do this, I would like to gently remind you that you can. After all, a man was just elected to the highest office in the land with zero experience. And if he can believe in himself and his abilities, so can you.

So can you.

I was reminded the other day of a great quote from Jonathan Larson’s musical Rent: “The opposite of war isn’t peace. It’s creation.” 

It’s time to create the world in which we wish to live. It’s time for us to use our gifts to create beauty, peace, unity, love, acceptance and hope for all. One simple act of service at a time.

Kerri Aab, BFRP is a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner, a Reiki practitioner, quantum biofeedback practitioner, Kundalini yogi, dancer, singer and group fitness instructor. Click here to register for FREE DAILY DISTANCE REIKI with Kerri, and discover more about her healing work at Seedtoblossom.com.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: BURNING MAN PREP AND A COSMIC CONNECTION

Seem like everybody is deep in Burning Man prep? I’m getting ready for next week’s super intense Virgo New Moon Eclipse… Club SÖDA NYC images: Katrin Albert

Hosting Club SÖDA NYC with Biet Simkin and amazing Betsy LaFae

 

:: MONDAY ::
A reiki session with Jessica Brodkin—an energy healer I met recently who used to work for the CIA, and does stand-up comedy on the side. My kinda Material / Mystical gal! And as well laying like a TON of crystals on me (including a perfectly clear quartz Ganesh on my second chakra), what I loved about the way Jessica works is that she also provided a running commentary about what was going on. I really love the concept of reiki—a mystical healing energy that we can all learn how to channel? Yes please!—but since the effects are so subtle I can often leave a session wondering, did anything just happen?!

But as Jessica got my chakras spinning (fave takeaway: “I’m not sure how to describe this except to say your sacral chakra is now looking on fleek”), she also spoke highly intuitively about issues I’m currently facing, gave a cool book recommendation, suggested some crystals for me to work with, and helped me say a forgiveness prayer. Overall, I left feeling like I’d had a total energetic tune-up. Find out more about Jessica and book a session at Loveandlightservices.com

:: TUESDAY ::

Club SÖDA NYC! Biet Simkin and I had an amazing turn-out for our second big Soda event, which (of course) we had timed specifically to coincide with the Sun’s move into Virgo—sign of health, wellbeing, and service. This is the month to really connect to the concept of how a healthy body and mind allows us to most efficiently show up and do our dharma. And, as we head towards next Thursday’s Virgo New Moon, now is the perfect time to let any and all unhealthy habits (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual!) just fall way.

The 9/1 New Moon is also a solar eclipse AND Mercury will have just gone retrograde. Add in a formidable T-square (the Moon, Sun, Mercury and North Node in Virgo will square Mars and Saturn in Sag, and oppose Neptune in Pisces) we are talking some intensely karmic and unpredictable REBIRTH energy out there. I for one intend to be clean and clear and fully on my A-game!

More Club SÖDA NYC vibes: a.k.a. how it feels to get high on your own supply

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Some of my most mystical moments are found in the experience of deep, soul connection with my fellow humans. Doesn’t it feel like MAGIC when that chemistry happens? In love, at work, and in our most precious friendships. I took two hours out for lunch today with a friend who makes me feel that way—and time stopped, the cosmos aligned, and it fed me more than a thousand hours of reiki. Heaven on earth.

:: THURSDAY ::
OMG. Got news that Cara Delevigne and her sister Poppy have ordered two of our Vinyasa sweatshirts to take to Burning Man. That is all.

Vinyasa shirt, $69

:: FRIDAY ::
In fact, for all you Burners out there, may I point you in the direction of some Numinous reading for your journey to the Playa. See you there next year!

How To Survive Your First Time At Burning Man

Is Burning Man A Spiritual Game Changer?

26 Life Lessons My Burning Man Experience Taught Me

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: HOW TO USE THE RETROGRADES FOR HEALING

With Pluto, Saturn and Mars all retrograde, there’s rich opportunity now to transcend deep-seated patterns and re-vamp your sense of purpose. This week showed me how to use the retrogrades for healing…

Sub Rosa’s Michael Ventura

:: MONDAY (-WEDNESDAY) ::
A healing session with Michael Ventura, who also happens to be CEO of design and branding agency Sub Rosa, which also happens to be the venue for some of NYC’s most high-vibe happenings (including our Club SÖDA NYC event in April with Biet Simkin). This is what I love about New York—everybody has a side project that’s at least as interesting as their day job. In Michael’s case, 10 years spent studying everything from Traditional Chinese Medicine to Native American shamanic healing (with Yogi Bhajan’s personal healer, no less).

“These retrogrades have stirred up all kinds of funky stuff,” I told him. “You know, like ‘who am I?’ and ‘how can my voice have real impact in the world?'” (um, anybody else feeling the existential crunch right now?) My treatment was a combination of hands-on healing and pressure-point release, with some crystals and some burning herbs, after which I practically levitated off the table, leaving with the instructions to send an update by email after two sleeps. By which time I was actually experiencing a disquieting sense of wanting to completely re-evaluate my message and my mission, in line with my personal needs.

And since I know I’m not alone in this right now, I share with you here Michael’s beautiful response:

“We all too often think of our lives across two spectrums—positive and negative. However, there is a third and powerful force—neutrality—which can serve you well in these times of reflection and integration. You don’t need to have the plan. At the same time, you don’t need to get down on yourself for not having a plan. Simply un-attaching and not identifying with an outcome will let things happen at their own pace. A flower doesn’t bloom by trying to bloom. It simply allows.”

:: WEDNESDAY NIGHT ::
So I allowed the unease (WTF am I doing with my life? How is what I’m doing actually of service in the world?) to just be there. And now enter my third sleep of the week, during which I experienced the most incredible healing dream—facilitated (in my dream) by wonderful Alexandra Derby, who appeared in my mind’s eye and told me it was time to perform a ritual.

This involved an astral visitation with my ex—a man to whom I utterly subjugated my sense of self during my late teens and early twenties. Confronted with his same old, patronizing ways, I felt his words and gross, overbearing sexual energy bounce off me, like I’d developed a cosmic force-field. “You are an insect on the sole of my shoe, and I am more powerful than you will even know,” was basically the over-riding vibe. At which point I came semi-conscious to the sound of a series of “clicks” in my brain—as if a piece of code in my internal operating system had been re-written. By morning, I awoke feeling newly and fully empowered on my path. Existential crisis averted!

So…I’ve gone into way more detail here than I usually would in this column, but my this week has been an amazing opportunity to work with the current retrogrades for healing. Pluto and Saturn, in particular, are opening up deep karmic wounds, and since everywhere I look it seems people are experiencing a similar sense of having outgrown their own skin, or are having conflicting thoughts and feelings about where they’re “at” and what they really want, it felt appropriate to share.

And so, I believe this is a perfect time to:

– Seek assistance bringing any funky energy that’s being stirred up to the surface—ideally a session with a trusted energy worker (think reiki, acupuncture, sound healing—whatever works for you).
– Allow all the weird shit you might be thinking and feeling to just be there. Don’t over-analyse it—just allow it move through you. Trust that it will find its own way out—in a dream like mine, perhaps.
– Feel it to heal it. Which means resisting the temptation to numb out from it with drink, drugs, drama, shopping (*insert your preferred method of numbing here*).
– Journal. I actually wrote a poem the morning after my healing dream, my favorite new way to purge the numinous un-namables that are screeching to be let out. Try it—I bet you like it!

:: THURSDAY ::
Mainly processing the above. While also finally finishing my book manuscript (TF!)

:: FRIDAY ::
A beautiful astanga class with Makeesha Hill of the Urban Yogis—a grass roots initiative bringing the tools of yoga and meditation to NYCs inner city communities, that we’re supporting with sales of our Designer Yogis sweatshirt collection. A fitting end to this week of self-enquiry, as one of the things that’s coming through loud and clear for me right now is that if my work (like, this platform) isn’t actively in service of helping people be happier humans, in a healthier, more harmonious society…then really, what’s the point? As the Yogis themselves would say: #peaceisalifestyle!

The Urban Yogis: a.k.a. (l-r) Raheem Lewis, Tyrell Carter, Jaytaun McMillan, Makeesha Hill, and Juquille Johnston

TEMPLE OF VENUS: CRAFTS TO CONNECT TO YOUR INNER CHILD

Elyssa Jakim’s monthly Temple of Venus column returns with some crafting inspiration to connect to your inner child this Pisces season. PLUS: a bonus video featuring a love potion!

 

It’s Spring! Well, almost. And I don’t know about you, but with the current swell of deep Pisces feelings I’m ready for creative play – and all I want to do is craft.

Over the last year, I have crafted more than since I was a scrap-booking sixteen-year-old. Teaching at Fairy School (an after school program for connecting children to their magic), I found myself making magic wands, fairy houses, bird-feeders, magic necklaces, and it was wondrous. Even cuter was how many of the parents exhibited a desire to craft too. “I want to go to Fairy School!” they’d say.

This is a perfect illustration of how crafting helps you connect to your inner child; to a sense of play and wonder. Crafting slows us down, asking us to consider just how sparkly that bead is, just how cuddlesome this fabric feels. It’s a meditative mindful practice that’s also easy and fun. Crafting invites us to re-enter our childhood mindset and to view each moment through innocent eyes.

This summer, Numinous founder Ruby Warrington and I created the Temple of Venus, a space that created room to explore the feminine. An essential component of this space was craft. We held flower crown and silk dying workshops that were full of giggles, music, sharing, and sisterhood. These events filled up, and I saw the women who attended leave with a sense of vigor and playfulness.

Healer Camilla Blossom Bishop pointed out to me that when we do craft projects, we nurture a deep feminine part of ourselves – our womb space, which is the seat of creativity in the body. Venus loves this approach to connecting to the unadulterated feminine essence, but it’s wonderful for men too, because we all hold feminine and masculine polarities inside of us. Even better, crafting is also a great way to get to know others, because you bond on a deep and innate level.

With that said, here are some easy-peasy, aesthetically pleasing, joyful and invigorating craft projects for you to try at home!

:: MAGIC WANDS ::

You will need:

  • Sticks (small pieces of driftwood are nice)
  • Glitter
  • Wood glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Thick paper such as cardstock

The magic wand is a Fairy School staple. This technique was invented by Maha Rose founder and Fairy School Teacher Lisa Levine and these wands will have you connected to your inner elemental in no time (the photo below is of the beautiful wands she makes).

Put the wood glue in an easy-access container like a glass jar (this way you can save and reuse it easily). Brush glue onto your stick in a stripe around the wood, starting at one end of the stick. Fold your cardstock in half and hold it underneath the stick you as a glitter catcher. Pick a color of glitter and sprinkle the glitter on the glued portion. Pick up your folded paper, gathering up the glitter that has fallen onto it, and siphon it back into the container. This saves a lot of glitter and keeps the colors from mixing. Repeat with another stripe. Repeat. Repeat. If you’d rather go off the grid and not do stripes, you certainly may. You can get extra creative and add strands of beads, feathers, flower petals, or anything else you fancy to your wand.

Note: stray glitter often abounds, so it’s a nice idea to do this craft on a tablecloth or newspaper and to follow up with a vacuum.

:: VISION BOARD ::

You will need:

  • Stack of magazines
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Poster board

Vision boarding is the ultimate girl time activity and a powerful manifestation exercise that gets you in touch with your desires – especially following a New Moon! But whenever I do it, I’m surprised by what my board reveals to me, and I exclaim (inwardly or outwardly): “Oh wow, that’s what I’m desiring right now.” For the vision board is a visual representation of your dreams — the things you want to achieve, obtain, and experience. It’s great to do this with a group of pals and let the love flow.

Start by flipping through the magazines and pulling images you feel drawn to. Then cut these into pleasing shapes and glue them down to your poster board. As I learned from Sara Goff who runs a group called Vision Board Soiree, there are two ways to do this:

1. Pull intuitively whatever images make you feel really good.
2. Know what you want on your board and look for those images.

Most people will find themselves tending toward 1 or 2 (1 Is more Ying, 2 Is more Yang). Make a conscious effort to mix up these two techniques and see what happens. You can also announce to your friends what you’re looking for – “I want a yacht!” – and have them help find it (this asks you to speak your desires aloud). You can also suggest an image to someone if you feel like it’s for them. This way, everyone interacts with each other’s boards.

If you get an image that’s almost right but you’re not sure, dump it. You gotta LOVE it like those perfect jeans. When your boards are completed, share them with one another, discussing your experiences and discoveries. I once did this with a bunch of art students and it was like a mini art history critique, but the most positive, supportive crit in history!

A Vision Board Elyssa made last year

:: MERMAID RATTLE ::

You will need:

  • Small glass container with lid
  • Little bells
  • Yarn
  • Beads, shells, crystals, glitter, and any other things that you find pretty

Nature spirits (mermaids, unicorns, angels, fairies, dragons, gnomes) love when we sing to them, and this rattle will give your song an extra dose of magic. I just made one of these babies last week in a water healing gathering held by Camilla Blossom Bishop. Ours were mermaid themed, but you can use them for any element or elemental.

You can get creative with your container. Light blue and clear are nice, but even a salt shaker will do. Open the container you chose. Put beautiful tiny objects like beads, shells, crystals, glitter, feathers, and any other pretty things inside, but leave some space for them to move around. Shake as you go to assess the sound it creates, and adjust to your liking. Now close the lid tight. Tie a piece of yarn around the shaker at lid level and tie bells onto the ends. Send a loving intention to connect with nature spirits into your shaker. Behold, you are ready to rattle and roll!

:: MORE CRAFTY RESOURCES ::

If you’re looking to make a professional Flower Crown, check out my girl Rawan Rihani, founder of Aurora Botanica. She led a workshop at the Temple of Venus, teaching us that nothing feels more luxurious than a bed of fresh flowers in your hair—and it smells so good too! Okay I’m gushing.

Cara Marie Piazza is a genius of silk and dye-ing materials, and her workshop at the Temple of Venus knocked our socks off too. Silk and flowers together spell sensual feminine paradise and Cara’s joy for the art is infectious. Plus, the things she creates and teaches us to make are unspeakably beautiful.

And for something even more delicious, Alexandra Roxo and I give you two very simple recipes for love with this Valentines Video: featuring a love potion and raw chocolates.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on a Meditation for Manifesting True Love.

PSYCHIC AWAKENING: FROM FASHIONISTA TO SHAMANISTA

Fashion stylist Colleen McCann knew something had to give when people started shouting “witch!” at her in the street. Here’s how she went from fashionista to shamanista, and found a way to merge both her worlds…

Shit got real when I heard my first “voice” in the Bodega on South 4th Street and Bedford Avenue over a fight about bananas – and I haven’t looked back. Okay, let me rewind a bit first.

My name is Colleen McCann and up until six years ago I was a typical Brooklyn girl. I lived in Williamsburg, I rode the J-train to the city every day. I brunched at Five Leaves, I threw elbows at sample sales and I had a successful 15-year career in the fashion industry as a designer, stylist, brand consultant and serial entrepreneur.

So what happens when you add “hearing voices” to your repertoire? Well, you start hearing more voices and rubbing elbows with the spiritual renegades that roam the streets of the city.

During the next fashion week, a gypsy woman approached me and wanted to further examine my vibrant green aura at her psychic salon. I darted away and she kept calling “Wait, this is really important come back!”

Quickly followed by my encounter with Joe of the Marcy Street subway platform, who came up to me and said: “Don’t worry about him” and proceeded to read every single thought I had on my mind about my then recent breakup with my boyfriend. I said to Joe “Wait, what did you say you did for a living?” He was a mattress salesman. We enter a long pause together, and he then says: “But I’m really into Astrology.” He winked at me and got off at the next stop.

The real icing on the cake came when this crazy lady on 33rd Street started screaming violently: “witch, witch, witch!” I turned around to see who crazy pants was aiming her opinions at, and unfortunately it was me. Run! I thought…but was I running from the eccentric pupu platter of NYC street weirdos, or was I running from my newly found freakish self?

Colleen’s old life involved a lot of shoes

Okay Universe, I hear you loud and clear. Time to get a second opinion – and maybe not at the psych ward.

So where do you turn in a situation like this? I was scared, embarrassed, uneducated on all subjects of mystical matters. Also, just plain fucking freaked out. But as luck would have it a random girl, now one of my best friends, came up to me in the hallway at my client’s office in midtown and randomly (or not so randomly) asked if I believe in psychics.

“Ummmm, I guess so?” I said, thinking: “Oh god she knows! She sees something is happening to me!” She proceeded to direct me to a psychic who had his mystical lair in the back of a 2nd floor botanical emporium in the flower district.

Following my nose, I soon found myself walking up a set of rickety, shabby chic stairs and swatting cherry blossoms and orchids out of my face to get to the unmarked door of my future destiny. I felt like I was headed for the latest speakeasy – one that was not yet reviewed on Yelp.

Walking in, I was greeted by a man I don’t even think remembered my name. But his black eyes locked with mine and he ran over and grabbed my hands and said: “Oh, honey you’re not crazy, you’re psychic! Sit down and let’s discuss.”

I stood, frozen, and as if watching a movie montage I flashed back through all the “WTF” moments I actually experienced since childhood. Do you remember those grade school contests where you had to guess the number of jelly beans in the jar? Well, I would guess the exact amount every time.

There was the time my little sister was playing tea party with her two imaginary friends, Dan and Carl, and I sat in silence thinking: but I see them, what’s she talking about?

Well – I may have been a weirdo, but at least I now knew what kind of weirdo I was, and I embarked on a mission to figure it all out. Which meant I did what any brazen New York girl would have done…I traded my high-heels for hiking boots and decided to get educated on all things mystical.

Shamanista boot camp…

I attended Shaman school in the wilds of the Chilean outback and against the desert back drop of Joshua Tree. As part of my training, I traveling the unpaved paths of Mount Shasta, Hudson Valley, Big Sur, Kauai, and any other energetically charged hot spot I could get to between days on set.

I have studied Peruvian Shamanism with the Four Winds Society where I learned how to do hands on healing with the chakra system and how to connect with my spirit guides. I also learned the art of channeling in the Nordic and Celtic traditions and regularly attend sessions with a group of Curanderas where I learn about plant medicine and tinctures.

In my free time? You can generally find me in a crystal shop in the back woods of Chinatown, where I learn about gems, mediation, astrology, auras, Feng Shui and medicinal teas from a group of women I affectionately call “The Chinese Crystal Mafia”.

I really put myself through the mystical wringer in an effort to work with my inner freak, but in the process I found I had manifested a whole new calling out of this adventure to reclaim my sanity. So now what?

As I continued my trip down the crystal-laden rabbit hole I started feeling a lot of internal moral conflict, not to mention external physical exhaustion, with the double life I was living. Arriving on set, it would be impossible to ignore the toxic side of the fashion industry: greed, vanity, ego, drug addiction, workaholism, alongside a whopping dose of eating disorders. Did I really want to subject myself to this any longer?

Being a fashion stylist is back breaking work. The hours are long and the work very physical. There are always a plethora of personalities to juggle in the room, and not to mention the constant jet-lag. So what’s a girl to do? I had been maneuvering this double life for six years straight, and I needed to make a shift. So instead of turning my back on the industry that had embraced me for so long, I decided to take my lemonade…and make a lemonade stand!

It was simple: my fashion clients have become my healing clients. These days, I address the underlying issues in my well-dressed community, as who better than me to truly understand the unique brand of pressure and stress they experience day-to-day.

Truth be told I was a little nervous to start telling my crew what I had been up to in my free time. Would I be socially ostracized? Would I lose my clients? As I started confessing my weekend whereabouts, people would stare in silence for a minute and then say something: “Ohhhhh, that explains a few things. When can I get a session?!”

Eureka! There was room in my life for my passions to coexist. I did however have to make a few changes to accommodate my morals, schedule, energy level and a budding new business.

Since coming out of the Shamanic closet, I started a business called Style Rituals. I use my fashionista roots AND my spiritual know-how to realign the energetic body with the physical body. I may still clean out someone’s closet, but we are removing low vibrational clothing, along with a hands on healing, manifestation techniques, altar building and a discussion with their spirit guides.

And while the majority of my work now is healing-based, I also made a conscious decision to do fashion projects with people I enjoy being around, or who’s projects are doing good in our society.

Next up? I’ll be taking my place as resident Shaman with LA-based Daily Bliss Yoga Retreats when we head to Thailand in March. And I’m creating an online webinar to help women who are spiritually blasting wide open and have no idea what’s happening to them work out the, ummm, “kinks” shall we say.

Having been there and done that, I’m honored to be able to help others that are going through exactly what I did. To help them remember who they really are, and re-gain their sovereignty – while navigating modern life in the modern world.

Find out more about Colleen and her work at Stylerituals.com

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: LOVING OUR LOUNIVERSE, AND TALKING TM ON TV!

A very special crystal, calling in my taxi angels…and I how I found myself talking about TM on national TV

Just a little bit excited to be talking TM on national TV on Friday…

 

 

:: MONDAY ::
WOW. We miss her too, and we felt so much love for our Louniverse (Tarotscopes queen Louise Androlia) when everybody was asking where her weekly video went this week! The official word is that beautiful Lou is taking a mind, body, spirit healing break (i.e. taking some of her own magical advice) and so will be on haitus from Tarot duties for the month of March. In the meantime, we’ve lined up a super talented guest contributor to fill in – who’s first video will be up Monday, with the monthly reading for March. Sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss them – and please send Lou all LIGHT & LOVE as she navigates this portal in her healing journey <3 <3 <3

We love you Louniverse!

:: TUESDAY ::
So innovation + inspiration planet Uranus has been transiting Aries (my sun sign) since March 2011 (uuuum right about the time I had the idea for the Numinous) – a transit that lights a fire, opens doors…and then shoves you through them. LOVING EVERY MINUTE. And now is when things get super juiced, since today it hit 18 degrees of Aries – and will be RIGHT ON my natal sun until March 13. I’m buckling up for a wild ride – and also planning to hand in my book manuscript, launch our e-commerce platform, and start coaching with incredible Cherie Healey during this exact window. Gulp. And p.s. How do I know exactly where Uranus at? Thanks to my favorite new toy – Planetwatcher.com – which allows you to track the moves of the celestial bodies day-by-day. You’re welcome.

 

:: WEDNESDAY ::
When I love my job the most is when I get to meet incredible healers like Kallisa Augustine, who I saw today for her signature Crystal Bed Therapy session. Kallisa had been recommended me by three of my favorite women (independently, in the space of three weeks) so obviously I was super intrigued – and with everything that’s going on right now (see “Tuesday”, and then there’s all the internal behind-the-scenes stuff too lol) the timing felt perfect. The session itself fused sound and energy healing, a badass Marcel Vogel crystal (see below – and read about these very special babies at the link) – as well as the crystal bed itself. Most of all I fell in love with magical Kallisa herself, who I could have talked all things spirit with for hours. Which I know we will, so expect more from her on here for sure.

:: THURSDAY ::
Last week (that crazy Friday when I got about five texts asking wtf was up with the astrology?) I missed a flight for the first time ever. And I’d even got to the airport early. And today…it almost happened again! First the car I booked didn’t show up (but told me 25 minutes after they were scheduled to arrive), and then it was nose-to-tail all the way to JFK. So as I was running into the street / RAIN to find a yellow cab (anybody who’s tried this in the rain in rush hour in Brooklyn knows my state of mind) I decided to ask my taxi angels for some help. Within SECONDS they’d sent me Michael Chan…amazing Michael Chan, who’s been driving a yellow cab in NYC for 30 years, knows ALL the shortcuts, and got me to my gate literally as they were calling final boarding #thankyouangels

:: FRIDAY ::
As you know I recently learned TM (transcendental meditation) – and today I got to go on national TV and talk about my experience on The Doctors! One of the hosts Jennifer Ashton also studied with Bob Roth of the David Lynch Foundation, and has had such a positive experience she wanted to get the message out. So me and Bob (my new most favorite person and the BEST advertisement for what 47 years of regular meditation can do for a person’s attitude) hopped over to LA to get our preach on. The segment with us talking about TM will air in April – keep reading for updates!

SIT WITH IT: A NEW WAY TO WORK WITH DEPRESSION

Depression can be a signal of deep discontent from your soul. As tough as it is, try diving into those feelings through meditation and self-reflection to clear your psyche, says Erin Telford

 

“Winter is a great time for depression,” I joked at a Breathwork group last month. I was met with some very nervous giggles. As with most things, it’s only funny because it’s uncomfortably true.

All humor aside, I got really depressed last winter.

It wasn’t an unfamiliar feeling. The first time I remember feeling depressed was when I was about 14 years old. It felt like being trapped in a glass, banging on the walls with no one listening, fatigue and a vague sense of loss and hazy unmet needs.

When I started to sink down and enter that deep gray landscape, I just felt tired and defeated. You again? After all this work?

I was involved in a group-coaching program at the time. I was honest with everyone about the despair I was feeling. They came full force with the positivity. You got this! You just need a spa day! Self-care! Find your gratitude!

“Seriously?” I thought. I was surprised by how fiercely irritated I was with their advice. And it hit me. I did not want to be cheerled out of this. I wanted to go down into the dungeon of my psyche and find some f*cking answers.

My response to feeling depressed in the past was to wait until it was over. Back pedal out of the icky feelings. Utilize the usual anesthetics. Self-medication. Self-isolation. Online shopping. Staying busy. Hitting the crack pipe rabbit hole of social media.

This time needed to be different. I’m not a confused teenage girl anymore. I’ve been waking up for a long time and I have an arsenal of tools in my bag, perfect for this emotional renovation. So I made a commitment to going down and in – and not coming back out until I found what I was looking for.

So what did that look like in real life? I turned my phone off. I sat in my favorite spot in my apartment, this little nook with a bunch of plants, great light, and a big window, and I checked in. I sat with myself. I did some writing. I asked many times and in as many ways as I could, “what is underneath all of this pain?”

I was really gentle with myself. This line of inquiry did not involve self-criticism, curse words, belittling myself or my process or any feeling of needing to hurry up and get back to “normal” life. I did not take time off but I did give myself all of the time that I had and needed.

What I found was a deep well of sweetness for myself.

The supposed truth that had taken me down to these depths was uncovered as just another clever way that I had fooled myself into believing that I was separate, that I was unloved, that I was unsupported. I discovered that I had the power inside to be able to break a life long pattern by looking at my wounds with tender curiosity rather than frustration or disdain.

***

Depression is often framed as something that just happens to us like getting a cold or a bummer draw of a genetic card. While environment, brain chemistry, and family lineage can be part of long-standing major depression; many of us experience it simply as a response to what’s going on in our lives.

We sell ourselves short by saying, “I’m just depressed.” As if it has nothing to do with the emotional pain that we’ve endured, the unattended wounds, the countless hours spent confused and alone or in groups of people who fail to see or help our hurt. The real life existential crisis that is: “I was told this would make me happy and I’m not. That must mean something is wrong with me. “

Very few of us have been taught any kind of practical way to channel and work with emotional pain. Most likely the instruction we covertly receive is to tuck away the unlovable, messy parts of ourselves. Shove them way, way, way into the back of the closet so we never have to look at the shame or hurt or confusion we feel. Or, let anyone else see it!

There is a single seed of discontent within you that is begging to be acknowledged.

It could be linked to:

Wrong job
Wrong friends
Wrong city
Wrong relationship
Wrong environment
Wrong…paradigm

Only you know, and facing it down is what I call Constructive Depression. It will require your participation. It will require fierce internal responsibility. And it is your job and your job alone, since no-one else can connect to your deepest parts but you.

The longer you’ve been feeling this way, the more wildly uncomfortable you may be with the truth that is banging on the door of your heart, begging for bread and water. How honest are you willing to be with yourself when your wellbeing is on the line?

So how to you do this?

You can think of Constructive Depression as a soul expedition. So what do you need for an internal journey? Nutritious snacks, great music, paints, journals, talismans, crystals, instruments, quiet, something to burn away the energy. Gather all of your supportive resources.

This is not an intellectual exercise. This is a reckoning. You with you.

This is a slow immersive dip into your soul. A psychic cleansing. Mental decongestion. Moving toward rather than away. Your resistance to this idea is equal to your commitment that all of this is due to the outside rather than inside forces. You ARE up to the task.

We experience the full range of human emotions for a reason. We feel sad because something is breaking our heart. We feel angry because something isn’t right and it needs to change. We feel fear because we are threatened or being asked to expand.

Depression is an opportunity for internal exploration. You are not depressed because you are a bad person or you skipped too many days of yoga or gratitude journaling.

You are depressed because something is not working for you. There is a yearning. An emotional chasm. Something that is crying out to be witnessed and seen like it’s never been seen before. Our wounds are rarely greeted with the exact kind of care and response that we are craving. When we accumulate a lifetime of hurts that have gone unnoticed or unattended to by others, the responsibility falls back to us to determine what we need.

So meet yourself with all of the tenderness, all of the sweetness, the hugs, the love, and the acceptance that you hold within you. Go inside, find your golden nugget of truth, and only come back out when you are ready – holding your treasure high.

*Mental health can be very tenuous. If you feel like this is something you can safely undertake, please do. If it feels like too much, please seek professional support for this internal exploration.

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]

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: S&M ACUPUNCTURE AND THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA

Yes…the perfect cup of tea! And plenty of other high-vibness, like Shopping for Syria and the period pants that went viral

:: MONDAY ::
As part of my ongoing research into “our periods as secret Goddess code” (both for myself personally, and for you as a chapter in MY BOOK – which will be out spring ’17 y’all!) I met Thinx founder Miki Agrawal – the kick-ass entrepreneur taking the taboo out of periods with her leak-proof period panties. Most lately with her kick-ass ad campaign that’s currently plastered all over the Bedford St L stop in Brooklyn. For part of the campaign (which went viral btw, after the MTA refused to run ads with the word “period” in them, WTF), Miki asked her customers to complete the phrase: “Thinx is…” One of my faves is in the picture below. Right on, sisters!

:: TUESDAY ::
I think I had the perfect cup of tea with my friends at CAP Beauty, the West Village high-vibe beauty boutique. As in, not only are the products they stock all natural and chemical free, they contain ingredients that actually contribute to your overall radiance – to which Cindy and Kerriynn, who I met while they were in the planning phases for the store, are the living, glowing testament. Anyway, this is the recipe for the tea they gave me: 1 x Lamill chai tea bag, 1/2 x tspn Sun Potion’s He Shou Wu, 1 x tspn coconut oil. Mix, or even better, blend. Life-changing.

Sun Potion He Shou Wu, $66, CAP Beauty

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Shout to my friend Kate for launching her Shop For Syria online auction – a frankly mind-blowing selection of donated gifts, profits from the sale of which will go to. Seriously, how many times when thinking about the holidays does the notion of actual “goodwill to all (wo)men” cross your mind. Yeah, thought so. So whatever Christmas shopping you had in mind, seriously check this out first: Shopforsyria.tumblr.com You can even bid for a personalized VM message from SIA!

:: THURSDAY ::
When your acupuncturist begins your session by asking if you’re familiar with the spiritual roots of S&M…you’re supposed to jump off the table, right? Or not. If you’re me, you pay close attention as she describes how allowing your body to just surrender to whatever sensations it’s experiencing, is actually the path to the most profound relaxation known to human tissue. And since my human tissue seriously needs to relax, I gave her the green flag to go deep. Yes it “hurt” (what’s in a label!) – but floated home in the kind of daze I get after a deep tissue massage. With an added acupuncture buzz. Surrender forever.

:: FRIDAY ::
So I spent a large part of last night texting with my friend about what practitioners and alternative therapies I thought she should try to tackle an issue she’s being faced with right now – and it really got me thinking about how much experience I’ve had in this area. At one point I even texted: “Lol – I’m like Google for healers!” I honestly love nothing better than coming up with this kind of high-vibe “prescription” – I once had a friend who put herself on what she called “Ruby’s Regime” when she wanted to sort her life out…and it totally worked! So what I wanna know it, could I help you in this way too? Answers below, as it’s a string I’m considering adding to my bow…

LIGHT WORKER: THE HEALING JOURNEY OF JODY SHIELD

London-based Jody Shield has gained a reputation as the healers’ healer, and signed as a Lululemon meditation ambassador. She shares her journey with Ruby Warrington

“Quit your job.” It was back in 2013 that Jody Shield heard the voice, subtle and yet insistent. “The sensation that came with it was one of, ‘it’s fine, you’ll be supported, don’t worry, trust’,” she remembers. “But still I was like, ‘no, no…what’s going on?’ And it just kept repeating, ‘quit your job, quit your job, quit your job’…”

Until this moment it had been a regular day in the office at the London ad agency where Jody had worked since 2005, rising through the ranks to become Business Director. Sure, she’d suffered a degree of burn-out in the role, had taken a sabbatical to Peru to “find myself.”

Since her return, she’d been dabbling in alternative therapies, and quietly working to develop what she felt were her natural healing abilities. But she’d found a happy medium, or so she thought. Her newfound skills were simply tools to help her navigate the demands of her own life in the “real world.” But now it seemed as though Spirit had other plans.

“I realized I couldn’t ignore what I was hearing, and almost as if some external force was pushing me to my feet I found myself walking into my boss’s office to tell him I needed to talk. I resigned on the spot,” she remembers.

Within three months, “I had a business as a healer. People had actually already been contacting me about sessions, and I’d been seeing family and friends at weekends. Once I made the decision to focus on it fully, people just kept coming back, and I was like, ‘okay!’”

In the two years since, Jody has become one of the most sought after alternative therapists in London, also gaining a reputation as “the healers’ healer.” This fall, she was signed by Lululemon as their first ever European meditation ambassador, and with a busy public speaking schedule to boot she’s become a leading voice in the Now Age movement. For anybody seeking a similar transition to a career in healing, her journey is a lesson in surrendering to your calling.

Born in the North of England, “growing up, I always had a sense that there was something bigger out there and that I was going to be a part of it. I used to look at celebrities and think, ‘they’re no different to anybody else, they’ve just got big energy’. And I felt that way about myself, too,” she says.

As far as connecting to Spirit, “I had a sense of the different energies in our house, and would get goose bumps when I walked into certain rooms. I’d drag the dog in with me for ‘protection’,” she laughs. But like so many psychically-developed young women, “I shut it all down when I hit my teens and began to discover boys…”

The first indication that she would one day be asked to use her gifts blew into her life on the winds of tragedy – after an ex-boyfriend was brutally murdered. “I woke up in bed one night not long after it happened, and there was an outline of him next to me on the matress. I realized his soul wasn’t able to pass to the other side, and I so I just told him, ‘it’s okay, be at peace now. You don’t need to worry about anything.’ And he just left.”

Back in real life Jody was focused on climbing the corporate ladder – even if the incident with her ex had left its mark. “I was emotionally burned out, and self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to the point I had to take time off work due to ‘stress’,” she says. Eventually, she set off for South America for what she thought was some much needed R & R. Instead, she found herself on an intensive plant medicine retreat.

“Nobody was talking about Ayahuasca back then, so when I heard about it in Peru I really had no idea to expect. Even on the boat to the retreat center, I remember wondering what on Earth I was doing there, and thinking I would probably just be an observer,” she says. In the event, her 12-day shamanic immersion would prove absolutely pivotal in her journey to becoming a full-time healer herself.

Not least because she was immediately confronted with a truth she’d been hiding for years, even from herself – that she was living in the grips of bulimia. “When we arrived we were asked to drink something to make us vomit and purge the toxins from our system. The potion didn’t work on me, and the facilitator told me to stick my fingers down my throat. My immediate reaction was, ‘but you can’t do that in public!’ I’d kept my eating disorder a secret for a decade.”

In ceremony, having drunk the Ayahuasca itself, “it felt like being cradled in the arms of the Mother, looking down on me and loving me, but going; ‘you’ve got something to confess, and you have to bring it up so I can help you with it.’ When I shared about this afterwards, it was the first time I’d spoken about my eating disorder to anyone.”

Jody took part in seven ceremonies over 12 days, sharing her little jungle hut with giant cockroaches and spiders, and emerging with an unshakable sense that her bulimia was behind her. “It was as if my brain had been re-wired and I couldn’t even remember the physical process of the illness. I had also made a contract with the plant to never eat meat or take drugs again.”

Further, “I had been recognized by the indigenous tribe as one of them. After one ceremony, they all made a bee-line for me, calling me “doctor, doctor, doctor.”

It’s testament to the grounded nature that makes Jody so approachable as a healer that she was able to pack this experience away with her guide books and resume her “normal” life back in London. Albeit with a desire to discover more about the healing arts, and her own abilities in this area.

It began with the study of EFT, or tapping, but it was discovering the work of Damien Wynne that tapped Jody fully into her gifts. Having developed a system for karmic, emotional and energetic “clearing” called Light Grids Therapy, “for me Damien was the whole package – a very expansive spiritual channel, yet very, very grounded in his human experience,” says Jody. She decided to travel to Germany to train with him; “My mum insisted on coming with me though, to check I wasn’t being indoctrinated into some cult,” she laughs.

“I connected to the work instantly, which centers on the mantra ‘I am that I am,’ and is essentially about allowing you to fully claim your ancestral seat in this lifetime. After five days of working intensively on healing and opening up my own emotional body, noticed quantum shifts in my perspective on my own life and purpose,” she claims.

“But I was afraid. I was like, ‘if this IS my path, how do I bring this to London, and how on Earth do I explain this to people?!” she says, echoing what must have been the thought process of so many great healers before her. But it was shortly after this that she heard The Voice, while experiencing the sensation of being fully supported by the Universe on her journey.

The rest, as they say, is history. And with with London’s creative and business leaders lining up to work with Jody, there’s a sense of her childhood awareness that “something bigger” was out there waiting for her having been fulfilled.

To find out more about Jody Shield and her work and to book a session visit Jodyshield.co.uk