HOLY F*CK: A CALL TO EMBRACE OUR HUMANITY

It’s time to stop using spirituality as an escape—and embrace our humanity, says Alexandra Roxo

In times likes these—where we have somehow managed to elect a president with terrifying beliefs and judgements, where Native people are still fighting to protect the Earth while most everyone else walks around trying to protect money—I feel like it’s so obvious. As a culture and a people we need to get out of our heads and into our feet. Into our wombs, our pussies, and THE EARTH.

We’ve become so focused on “success,” making money, how we climb and grow. All masculine principles. All in the mind. Goal oriented. We barely notice when animals become endangered. We forget to talk about climate change.

It’s not our fault, it’s what we were born into: a consumerist, capitalist culture. When I ask my clients about how much time they spend focusing on their sexual energy or creative energy or with their feet on the ground, it PALES in comparison to how much time is spent in the realm of the computer. Money. Capital. Thought. Even meditation. It’s all up, up, up, into the Cloud.

But the way I see it, we need to go down, down, down! Get back into our bodies. And it turns out spirituality, just like work or booze, can become an escape from the pains and earthy work of being human.

Speaking as somebody who can be a spirituality abuser myself, I think it’s time we stop using it as such. Let me tell you a story about why.

***

When I was 13 I had a bad year. 1: I got held down by a bunch of boys and sprayed with red super soaker guns in 30 degree weather while calling me names. I punched one of them and everyone hated me. 2: My bestie’s parents called us out for being gay after she told them we had innocently experimented sexually together and forbade us to be friends anymore. I was DEVASTATED.

So what did I do? I went to church to get SAVED. This was my first bout of checking out of human life by saying: “God I can’t take it down here! Beam me up!” I spoke in tongues, got saved like 100 times. And even wore Abercormbie. (No offense.) My New-Age-psychic-seeing-Angel-lovin-Enya-listening Mom got worried.

Eventually I went back to feeling like I could manage down here. I did theatre, volunteer work/built homes for homeless, wore 4-inch cork wedges to school, flirted with boys, and learned all the dance moves to “Bye Bye Bye.” But my spirituality abuser didn’t go away. I always found some new practice to dive into. Some psychic to look to for the answers.

By age 19 I found myself sitting on a spiritual pedestal feeling like I was “special” and that others “weren’t awake.” While doing an acting exercise in college my teacher called me out in front of the class: “You are using spirituality a mask. It’s keeping you from feeling things and being here. Go back to your seat and come back when you want to be real.” DAMN. I was crushed. But I took her words wisely and went home, cried for about three days, painted, wrote love letters, laughed with friends and gently got down off my spiritual high horse.

It happened again though. Only two years later, after a trauma abroad, I was ready to sign up to be a monastic in a commune in Italy where I had been meditating in caves, sitting on cold stone floors, and wearing communal Cosby sweaters. I renounced sex, alcohol, or anything “of the flesh!” Mom got worried again.

I found my way back to humanity again. But my spiritual extremist rears her head every so often. I see her spending more time reading horoscopes than DOING things that can help. Talking more to other realms than folks in Trader Joe’s. Diving into days of plant medicine ceremonies and shamanic journeys. And avoiding the harsh pains of reality. Any of this sounding familiar?

As wonderful as it it to wake at 6am and meditate every day, to read all the articles and check the horoscopes and pull a card from all the decks, I am trying to refrain. In the name of balance.

My aim is to cultivate as much of an EARTH practice as I have a SPIRITUAL one. Which means for every meditation or journey to the spirit realms, I better be doing something here here on Earth. CAUSE I WAS BORN A HUMAN. And the Earth needs me. Head out of phone. Feeling my toes in the dirt. Pussy alive with energy and life force. Does ALL LIFE originate in my brain? NAH, IT’S IN THE PUSS.

***

I don’t think it’s enough to just pray and send love and light to Trump, or anyone for that matter. Pray for peace, yes. For love, yes. But I think we also need to get dirt under our nails and be humble and immerse ourselves in what’s happening out on the streets.

And so I urge you, like I urge ME, to embrace your humanity!

Get in the pub and talk to old Latino men and share food and drink with them.

Instead of reading another self-help book (like me!) go to the rally. Sign up to volunteer. Watch documentaries and educate yourself. Go to open mics and comedy clubs in areas that are new to you and mingle with people who aren’t like you.

Let’s look at how much we’re spending on “spiritual” paraphernalia, and re-balance the books! How about a pole dancing class instead? Donations to planned parenthood? Community gardening?

Let’s admit that we don’t know the answers. It’s not fair to all the other folks who have been working tirelessly for years if we pretend we know how to save the world with our ascension ideas. (I mean would you say that to an 85-year-old Native woman? Nah, probs not.)

And remember. If and when we need a strict practice to get us through a hard time, it will ALWAYS be there. You won’t lose it. Because it’s in you! “Spirit” won’t get angry and turn its back on you. I promise.

But for now the world needs YOU and your humanity. Out there. Off the mountain and in the streets.

I love you.

Moon Club co-founder Alexandra Roxo is a filmmaker and intuitive coach living in LA. Read more about her work at www.alexandraroxo.com and follow her love and sex and life woes and victories 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 WEEK: EMAIL APNOEA, THE FLEXI FOOD, AND MY FAVORITE NEW THING

Another week without WiFi, and have I been suffering email apnoea too?

I heard the term “email apnoea.” If “sleep apnoea” occurs when the airflow becomes obstructed during the night, email apnoea is when your inbox makes you so tense, you forget to breathe. I was catching up with my friend Fran at Soho House in London, and she was telling me she’d been feeling so close to burn out, she was concerned it was affecting her health (duh, yeah) – triggered by the realization that her email apnoea was getting out of hand. Something I’d been experiencing myself, having spent the past two weeks living in a house with no WiFi. I mean Jeez, can you imagine?! My email sessions – a check-in at Starbucks here, an hour in an internet café there – have felt like an adrenalin-fuelled race against time.

Fran and I were actually at a talk by naturopath Dr Nigma Talib on how to eat for burn out. Top take-aways: no sugar, protect your sleep like it knows where the bodies are burried, eat regular meals, take B vitamins, Magnesium, and Rhodiola (Nigma’s favorite herb for fighting fatigue). Not exactly stuff we haven’t heard before, and actually I prefer Fran’s solution – a temporary move to Berlin! My brother lives in the German city, and I’ve seen first hand how the slower pace of life and more HUMAN approach to work (i.e. unlike our iPhones, there’s literally only so much our brains can process in a day), means people (how radical) actually have time to breathe.

I met the Flexi Foodie. A.k.a. Julie Montagu, the yogi and plant-based food author (whose book, Superfoods, will be out in the US next month), and star of that Bravo show Ladies of London – about American expats infiltrating the British socialite set. Based on the latter, I’m ashamed to say I had a few judgements about Julie before we met. After all, anyone who goes the reality TV route is a wannabe Kim Kardashian, right? Uhhh, SO wrong.

Julie might have married into the British aristocracy, but her story is one of throat-choking triumph over tragedy (plus she’d come straight from teaching a hot yoga class and ordered a white wine spritzer to re-hydrate, love it.) Julie got into yoga when her husband Luke suffered severe withdrawal coming off mis-prescribed anti-depressants – symptoms of which he still experiences daily, SEVEN YEARS LATER. You can read the full story when I write it up for November’s issue of Red Magazine, but, hello Numis, yet ANOTHER message to meditate before you medicate.

I bought the raddest sweatshirt. When I first heard about the label Aries Arise, obviously I was obsessed. I even interviewed the designers for the site – and then, I didn’t hear much about them. Until I swung by Liberty department store and found this baby! Emblazoned with yin-yang symbol, a little sequinned alien face, an awakened evil eye…and basically made by Aries, for an Aries like me.

New. Favorite. Thing to wear 24-7.

Aries Arise sweatshirt, £111, Goodhood

AM I AN EMPATH? THE STORY OF HER

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A wide eyed dreamer, brave believer.

I am her.

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

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