Plus a moment of swap-shop glory and a meeting with the mind behind Shaktibarre…Numinous founder Ruby Warrington shares her Mystical Week
:: MONDAY :: Still buzzing from yesterday’s beautiful Blessing Way ceremony for my dear Victoria Keen. We gathered, we ritualled (yes I’m making this a word), we created an altar, we shared memories and we set intentions. My favorite part of ALL? When we took an actual bone-fide cauldron (purchased by our host at a Brooklyn junk yard) filled with fears and sage, out into the street to be burned away. As Victoria lit her fire, we stood around her in a circle of sisterhood, playing drums, shaking rattles, and singing. At the height of the Williamsburg brunching-hour. YES we got a lot of stares, and YES it felt so right to be bringing this kind of s*it out from behind closed coven doors!
:: TUESDAY :: A l’il psychic moment in my favorite clothing swap-shop the Buffalo Exchange (first introduced to me by Goddess Gala Darling). I’ve been taking my cast-offs there for the past two years or so and have racked up a serious amount of store credit, so I stop by whenever I’m in the area for some guilt-free retail therapy. Today, as I’m browsing the racks, this little voice goes; “some Isabel Marant shoes would be nice, right?” I’m like, “yeah, higher self, sure would!” And YEP, found these beauties (below)—boots not sandals, BUT, my size, UN-WORN, and FREE (cos of my store credit).
What a beautiful lesson in the all-abundant nature of our Universe! Namely: when we just listen to our intuition, everything we desire is right in front of us; when we give freely of ourselves (or our old clothes), not necessarily expecting financial pay-back, we will get it back 10-fold; and when we don’t attach to the details, is when we grant the cosmos permission to surprise us in all kinds of magical ways.
:: WEDNESDAY :: A lesson in boundaries. My first reaction when a friend in need texts to say: “I may need somewhere to stay the next few nights, can I have your sofa?” is to reply with a straight up “no.” Some things are a non-negotiable, and my sacred morning alone time is one—as such, I usually only have family stay over in my home. Sorry-not-sorry, but I’m also a believer in strong boundaries as a marker of self-respect.
But THEN I’m like: woah, here I am preaching (check out my IG account etc.) about how we need to create a world that looks after our most vulnerable first, and how the current political climate change is giving me a new depth of compassion for the displaced people in the world…like my friend who’s being kicked out of her apartment! And the first time I’m asked to walk the talk, I stumble.
Humbled, I text her back—”shit, of course, mi sofa es tu sofa, ANY TIME.” By which time she’s found somewhere, and actually goes on to tell me how MY strong boundaries are a lesson for her in cultivating the same in her life. HOWEVER, it was a moment of pause for me in terms of what it means to be a good Now Age hippie global citizen. #bethechangeyouwanttosee
:: THURSDAY :: A meeting with incredible, inspiring Corinne Wainer, founder of the new Shaktibarre studio that’s coming to Williamsburg in August. Reasons I love this woman No.1: She’s all about the shaktivism (spirituality + activism), and so her studio has sliding scale pricing to make classes + workshops accessible to ALL, with the underlying mission of uniting women in the fight against body fascism in the yoga community. No.2: She’s a total no-smalltalk zone. No time + no interest = no holding back. No.3: She guessed that my spirit animal is a black stallion (which he is, I write about how I met him here). So suffice to say, watch this space for some Shakti-Numi collabs coming your way later this year.
:: FRIDAY :: Regular readers will know all about my path to raise my overall vibe with sobriety—which has meant totally re-framing my relationship with alcohol. Which basically means treating like it’s as powerful a mind-and-heart expander as, say Ayahuasca, and thus only imbibing with extreme reverence and caution. And then along comes a big fat trigger like JULY 4 WEEKEND.
And you know, I likely will have a couple of cocktails Sunday, since I booked tickets to this super high vibe event (flyer below)—high vibe as in, it’s outside, it starts at 2pm, it’s on the West side so there will be a sunset situation, and it’s alllll my favorite DJs so I can be guaranteed an afternoon of truly emotionally resonant tunes.
And here’s another reason to maybe raise a glass (but really, how about just one?) this weekend. It’s America’s birthday—and America could really use some truly intentional toasting rn, and some reminding that far from broken, she’s just going through a rough patch. As a Cancer country, I think this weekend’s reading from Strong Eye Astrology resonates for the good old US of A pretty darned hard:
Cancer :: Cancer Rising Taking a horse over jumps. You are sitting in the driver’s seat. But where do you want to go? We can so easily get caught in an image of ourselves. But who do you want to be? This is a fresh start. Now is the time to visualize about who you are becoming. Get very, very specific in your intentions.
*NB: read the weekend forecast for your sign here!
Why this was the week I had to read Russell Brand’s birth chart, and I’m counting down to a big London launch…
I read Russell Brand’s birth chart. I kind of can’t get enough of him, and after watching the new documentary Brand: A Second Coming, which follows his personal evolution from addict to anti-establishment political commentator, I could no longer contain my curiosity about what kind of crazy-ass astrology the dude’s got going on.
And it’s all just SO there. With both his Sun and Mercury in Gemini, expressing himself with words is like breathing to Rus, and whether you agree with what he’s got to say or not, couldn’t you just listen all day long? Then, there’s his Moon, Mars, and Jupiter all in Aries. Oh man! This guy is massively passionate about ALL the things that turn him on. But yes, he needs sex, and lots of it, as well as total autonomy over his life.
Which doesn’t exactly peg him as marriage material – no surprises there – especially so when you also consider that both his Venus and Saturn are in Cancer. Yes, Russell loves (Venus) women (Cancer). Especially his mum (also Cancer), as the new documentary highlights. But perhaps his biggest karmic lesson (Saturn) is learning to express this in a way that works for both parties. With Uranus in Libra, he no doubt makes for a confusingly attentive/distant partner, and any long-term relationship will certainly be unconventional!
But most interesting to me, is Russell’s South-North Node journey, which falls on the Gemini-Sagittarius axis. Charting the path of Russell’s past life karma and cosmic destiny in this lifetime, the overarching theme is of a pure intellectual being. Russell’s Gemini South Node (past life karma) suggests somebody easily distracted with superficial things, spreading his many talents too thinly for them to have any impact. The Sagittarius North Node meanwhile (destiny point), is about finding a meaningful focus for his agile brain and unparalleled capacity for learning.
Since reading his book Revolution earlier this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about – well – “revolution” (which in turn, got me wanting to bust out this rad Isabel Marant sweatshirt from last year*). The standard dictionary definition is: “a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system,” which is a lot of what he talks about. But it strikes me that Russell’s focus on the concept of external revolution, is a reflection of the internal revolution he’s experienced in overcoming his ego-led addictions – to drugs, sex, and fame.
I see Russell’s journey this way, because since stepping onto my Numinous journey I’ve experienced a similar revolution inside myself. Different addictions, similar shift in worldview to incorporate a life that’s less about taking and accumulating, and more about sharing and being of service. Russell, thank you, you passionate, strange, addictive creature, for helping get the message to the masses.
*Yes, it it possible to live a more mindful life, and still get excited about fashion.
I’m counting down the days. Until the launch of a majorly exciting project I’ve been working on with Selfridges department store in the UK! For Christmas 2015 the team have created a mystical concept store the Astrolounge, featuring all kinds of cosmic gifting goodness. The Numinous has been on hand to help curate the product offer, as well as a super fun Shop by Star Sign selection for Selfridges.com.
It all goes live October 22 – which is also the date we’ll be launching THE coolest Numinous collaboration with on-demand t-shirt printing company YRStore. Keep watching our Instagram account for more teasers over the following week. You will NOT want to miss this!
Don’t know what to wear? Make your own fashion energy oracle deck for some divine style guidance, says says collage artist Monica Ruiz…Images featured are a selection of cards from Monica’s handmade deck
We were sitting on our friends lanai one evening last summer, listening to a single gal pal say what she was looking for in a partner, including good “fashion-energy…”. To which I replied, “omg yes! I am such a believer in fashion energy!”…to which she replied; “Oh, I said passion-and-energy…”
But what is “fashion energy?” I believe fashion goes beyond how an outfit or accessory can make you look, and taps into how we want to feel. Why do we gravitate towards a certain color (black), material (modal, denim) or print (snow leopard, moon-phase)? I believe it’s because we emit different energetic vibrations with what we choose to dress up in.
Our choice of outfit can cause us to feel nostalgic, sexy, modern, rebellious…We might wake up in the same body every day, but we become a different being through the way we spend our time, the moods we encounter – and the clothing choices we make.
On my “lazy” days I’ll put on a cropped tank, some high-waisted denim cut-off shorts and my converse, with my hair in a top bun and my Numinous Chakra sweatshirt tied around my waist.
Other times, I’ll wear my Urban Outfitters Kurt Cobain t-shirt as a dress, with black shorts underneath and my old Costume National moto boots. Last week I wore an old flannel from the ‘90s with my Isabel Marant sneakers. I had to be at work at 5am and was too tired to think – but I knew my Marant’s would make me feel like less of a slob.
The key is to get familiar with how different aspects of fashion make you and your spirit tick. Stay inspired by trying new things of course, but staying true to your personal fashion energy means always looking and feeling your best.
There are definitely certain brands out there that I legit salivate over. Rodarte, Balmain, Liberated Heart. The sleeveless tops by the Wild Unknown, and the quartz crystal jewelry from aletheia & phos. But in the last year I have become entranced with Free People, to the point that I even started re-purposing my older FP catalogs to fashion my own “fashion-oracle” deck!
Inspired by a friend’s yoga workshop, these soul-cards help me tap back into my unique fashion energy whenever I’m having a nothing-to-wear moment – when this happens, I simply pick a card to help guide me through my closet or dresser drawers.
Feeling blah? When I look at my NATURAL or FREE card, this may simply translate as a no makeup or jewelry day, and instead I’ll my two favorite crystals in my pocket and wear cherry-flavored Chapstick along with my high-top leopard print wedge Vans sneakers.
My WILD AT HEART card reminds me to keep having fun in the concrete jungle, while my WILD ONES card reminds me of my sacred sisterhood, and the magic of long summer days feeling some tie-dyed bandeau vibes!
Over a Skype session, I recently pulled the I AM A TRAVELER card for a friend traveling through Europe for the summer. She’s also a believer in fashion energy, and this card reminded her that she is able to re-create herself through different fashion cultures and tap into another side of herself.
Now it’s time to make your own fashion energy deck – here’s what you’ll need:
A selection of fashion and travel magazines, and catalogs Exacto knife (key item) Glue stick or rubber cement Cardstock Scissors
1) Search the magazine and catalogues for images (clothes, background images and words / phrases) that resonate with your personal “fashion energy.” 2) Use your exacto knife to cut out your image as perfectly as possible. Breathe and stay zen for best results, cutting along the edges of the image as closely as possible. When you put your figure against your backdrop, it will/should look surreal! 3) Measure out the cardstock to the size and shape you desire for your deck, and cut into equal-sized pieces. 4) After cutting your cards, choose a background image for each and glue them onto one side of each card. 5) Now glue your main model / fashion image onto the background. 5) Finally, find a space on each card to glue an inspiring phrase or word. The only rule when combining background / image / words is to not over-think this process. This is about YOUR energy and celebrating all the elements of fashion YOU love.
You are now ready to start using and sharing your cards as your very own fashion oracle – have fun with it!
Total lifestyle envy alert! Just wait until you read about Rochelle Schieck’s Mystical World…PLUS shamans and Liquid Sunshine in the round-up of Ruby’s Mystical Week.
Almost everyone I’ve spoken to this week has been experiencing the change of seasons like a wall of water to be waded through, or a heavy cloak of fog obscuring all hope and light – myself included. Hibernation season incoming! As a spring baby, I always find this downshift into darkness pretty hard to handle, which can only mean one thing – time to ramp up the self care and dive into my spiritual practise…
It’s also the week I’ve been sunshine dreaming about a January trip to Costa Rica :: drinking Liquid Sunshine from the Montauk Juice Factory :: talking chakras and conspiracy theories with my shaman, Manex Ibar (yes I have a shaman now, full report coming soon) :: mixing Meditation & Margarita’s at Danielle Mercurio’s mystical monthly NYC meet-up :: interviewing the gorgeous Felicity Jones, star of Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything :: and thanking the all-seeing creator for my new Isabel Marant Etoile flight jacket (seriously, TF for Isabel Marant)
So I first met this week’s Material Girl on the Astro Twins’ Become Your Own Astrologer retreat in Tulum last year. As creator of sensual movement class Qoya, it was Rochelle’s job to get us out of out astro-addicted minds and back into our bodies – which loosely translates as: “host an awesome dance party every night.”
I’ve since come to realize (main via her brilliant Facebook posts) that this is pretty much what Rochelle’s life looks like. Based mainly in Venice, CA, she seems to spend most of her time tripping from retreat to delicious retreat, all in the name of spreading the girl-empowering message that: “our essence is wise, wild and free.”
Rochelle Schieck, we want your life! Here’s what makes her Mystical World go ’round…
:: MATERIAL GIRL ::
My Look I led a Qoya workshop in Woodstock, NY last weekend, and as I was walking through the forest, smelling the fresh air and seeing all the leaves changing colors and gracefully falling to the ground, I felt a thrill noticing the temperature had dropped low enough to pull out my favorite piece of clothing – my Pendelton poncho! I wear it religiously as if my soul is expressed through its fabric and design, which honors all of our indigenous roots. I wear the poncho with black leggings and heels to dress it up, or, to keep the shaman chic vibe going, with my Minnetonka Moccasin booties.
My Fragrance I live in Venice, CA, most of the time, but after my time in Woodstock last week I went to stay with a friend in NYC. She laughed, commenting that whenever I come to visit, my scent of rose and sandalwood fills up the whole apartment. It’s Amma Rose Oil and it is intoxicating. I like to put it on my wrists and neck, but since I’m 5’2, I also put a small amount on the top of my head as a gift to all those I hug that day.
My Pampering I couldn’t go to NYC without making a pilgrimage to Spa Castle in Queens. Four floors. There’s a gold sauna, a salt sauna, a jade sauna, an infrared sauna…even an igloo!! The quintessential Korean spa treatment is to get a scrub and massage that feels on the verge of too aggressive, but leave you feeling like polished gold for the next 72 hours. Rumors are there is a new location opening in Midtown Manhattan in the fall!
My Jewels My best friend since college, Becca Kannapell, started Pound Jewelry with her mom and sister, and they make my favorite pieces on the planet. Right now I’m really into their pendulum pendants – which are completely gorgeous, and double as a divination tool. I even wrote a piece on how to swing a pendulum inspired by my love their jewelry!
My Food Whenever I’m in NYC I end up traveling around the city seeking different variations of a macrobiotic bowl that has rice, steamed kale and vegetables, seaweed and a large amount of Tahini sauce. My go-to’s this mission are Souen (for their Macro Bowl), Jivamuktea Cafe (Yogi’s choice) and Anjelica Kitchen (Dragon Bowl).
My Gift to Me I recently booked a Boudoir photo session with Lori Berkowitz, who specializes in capturing the beauty of a woman in her sensual essence. Sensual energy is life force energy. The stronger one is, the stronger the other. But this doesn’t have to be translated into the framework of sexual relationships with others – it can also mean reclaiming the physical sensation of the divine in your body, and honoring that sensation and the body itself as sacred, whole and holy.
:: MYSTICAL WORLD ::
My Morning Ritual On wakening, I immediately roll over into child’s pose to count on my fingers ten things I am grateful for. Then I slide into half pigeon and feel something I want to celebrate about my life on each leg before laying back into Vajrasana (hero’s pose) and imagining what I’d like to co-create with the divine today. Here’s a free video on YouTube I made for anyone to follow along Bed Yoga
My Sign I AM a Gemini. Gemini Sun. Gemini Moon. Gemini Venus. Gemini! Also Taurus rising, which explains my passion for the body and the sacred work I do in the world focusing on embodying the soul through a movement system I created called Qoya.
My Mantra In a sentence (and a hashtag): “#dancemakeseverythingbetter”
My Healer My favorite healing has always been collapsing or resting into the embrace of Mother Earth. Every jump in the ocean restores me. Every moment of relaxation while sitting next to a tree, softens my body into trusting the cycle of things. Every breath of fresh air in the mountains calms my thoughts and invites me to remember all I have to do is be here now. Every dance around a fire helps me feel the pulse of my own heartbeat and recognize it as the same heartbeat that dances through us all.
However, if my access to nature is limited, my team of healers includes several astrologers, body workers, shamans, intuitives and the occasional impulse call to Californiapsychics.com. I recently had my world rocked (again) by checking in on my favorite Shamanic Astrologer Sao. He is a passionate man put on this earth to assist with the awakening of the divine feminine and the way he gives a reading, it goes into the center of your soul. For daily inspiration, weekly and monthly horoscopes and yearly readings, I love to check in with the AstroTwins who help make everything make sense in the most intuitive and simultaneously scientific interpretation of my chart. And for chart readings assisted by akashic guides, I am grateful for Virginia Rosenberg and Heavenly Bodies.
My Reading With all the Gemini in me I read a lot, and many books at the same time. The novel that soul stirred me recently is Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak, about the true story of Rumi and his soulmate happening concurrently to a modern day 40-year-old woman on her journey to learn the forty rules of love.
I also just finished an advance copy of my friend Betsy Blankenbaker’s first novel, Autobiography of an Orgasm. A nod to Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, it’s the most honest account I’ve ever read of a woman’s sexual journey, dealing with childhood abuse, confusion as a young woman, marriage, giving birth to four children, and then the unexpected turn of events that led to her turning fifty and exploring the connection between the sensual and sacred by researching her relationship to orgasm. It’s part erotica, part informational “how to” and completely compelling.
My Mission The intention behind Qoya, the movement system I created (or rather, is creating me), is to share the idea that through movement, we remember that our essence is wise, wild and free, and to follow the feeling of truth when we experience it in our body. Through my Qoya classes, workshops, retreats and teacher training, we remember that the body is a portal to those sacred moments that can rarely be explained, but must be felt and experienced. To the Numinous!
To find out more about Rochelle’s work and experience some Qoya for yourself, sign up for her free 10 Days to Love Qoya and receive a short video embodiment exercise.
Regular new post alert! Every Friday we’ll be featuring a different Material Girl, and the things in her Mystical World. To kick things off, it’s me! Your Chief Numi Ruby Warrington. Plus a round-up of what’s been rocking my Universe this week. Portrait: Thomas Giddings
Has this been the weirdest week or what? On Monday I posted about how I like to use Mercury retrograde to revise and re-evaluate key areas of my life. But man, it’s been like scheduling spaghetti out there – for pretty much everyone I know. Head-spin!
I’m gonna blame my inability to concentrate on anything useful for the fact I had a total retail therapy moment on Matches Fashion. New Isabel Marant jacket, check. New Marant sheepskin-lined booties to match, check check (see below). I don’t shop that often since I found a more spiritual path to fulfilment, but when I do, I do it properly 🙂
So what have you tried distracting yourself with while Mercury does it’s thing? I actually do wanna know, so Tweet me or connect on Facebook!
So here it is – all the things that make me a MATERIAL GIRL, living in a MYSTICAL WORLD…
:: MATERIAL GIRL ::
My Look When I went to get a hug from Amma with Gabby Bernstein, I wore Lululemon yoga pants, a vintage rock-chick tee, biker boots and a Marc Jacobs bag. Gabby described my look as “rock ‘n’ roll yogi” – and I’ll take that, thanks. So lots of yoga pants from brands like Teeki, Vie Active and Vimea, and lots of fashiony, grungy tops. And I love a good Helmut Lang blazer.
My Shoes Isabel Marant shoes (specifically boots, actually) consistently make me feel pretty special. My friend Psychic Betsy has this meditation where you meet your highest self, and you’re meant to visualize “the best version of yourself”. That’s how I feel in my Marant boots – sexy, cool and powerful.
My Fragrance My ego hates the fact it’s not “cooler”, but the one that gets me the most comments is Sensuous by Estee Lauder – I think it just mixes well with my pheromones. I also love stealing a squirt of my husband’s Patchouli 24 by Le Labo.
My Jewels I always wear the Numinous necklace my husband got me, and this summer I also acquired a pretty special ‘Lemurian’ crystal from Vega Jewelry. Buying myself my first pair of diamond studs (they’re about a millionth of a carat, but still) at ABC Home last year was also a pretty special moment for me.
My Pampering I have one of those bodies that “needs” a monthly massage, and I go to Lorraine at Greenhouse Holistic in Williamsburg. She does the best deep tissue and barely speaks a word the whole time. I’m also deeply into my Theraputic Balancing Oil by Vered Organic Botalicals right now, which feels super special and nurturing.
My Movie Anything that makes me cry. Most recently that Electric Daisy Carnival docu (seriously, WTF…)
My Food I could eat salmon and avocado, prepared every which way, for days. Ditto the Montana salad at the Jivamukea café in Union Square. And a scoop of vegan peanut butter ice cream from Lula’s in the East Village for dessert.
:: MYSTICAL WORLD ::
My Awakening I wake up with my cat’s meow at about 6.30 or 7 am, make myself a HUGE mug of hot water with lemon and then “try” to meditate for ten minutes. After that I get right onto my machine to write, while my brain is still clean of email static.
My Sign Aries Sun and Sag rising with a Cancer Moon thrown in to cool things down a little. I read it this way: Sun = mind (self-directed and impulsive), rising = body (outgoing and active) and Moon = soul (super sensitive and security oriented). #confusing.com
My Mantra “You’ll never know unless you ask.” And most days, at some point: “I forgive myself.”
My Healer Acupuncture with the amazing Lisa Levine at Maha Rose in Greenpoint, custom flower remedies from very special Kerri Aab, and, recently, breathwork with Numi contributor Erin Telford. But some of my greatest healings have happened on my yoga mat, if you subscribe to the belief (as I pretty much do) that all healing begins at a spirit / emotional level.
My Reading I wish I could say there was one book that really shifted my perspective, but maybe I just haven’t found it yet. I read every night before I go to sleep though, preferably fiction. It helps my mind shift gears from the material to the mystical realm (where sleep happens).
My Transformation The second half of 2014 has been ALL ABOUT transformation. Beginning July on a retreat with Taryn Toomey in Martha’s Vinyeyard, I then hit up Burning Man for the first time, did the Landmark Forum and also just completed Gala Darling’s Blogcademy. Each of these experiences has made me stronger and more resilient, more certain of myself and my place in the world, more comfortable expressing myself and more confident about my goals.
My Home Is wherever my husband Simon is, something I became aware of from the moment we first met. Past life connection for sure…
Spirit Junkie Gabrielle Bernstein is as famous for her fabulous outfits as her modern girl philosophy on living a miraculous life. She talks wedding dresses, turbans and shopping from an abundance mindset with Ruby Warrington. Portraits by Annie Powers.
So did you always dress like the fashionista babe we know and love from your Instagram feed Gabby? No – I used to dress like Mariah Carey, I’m not even kidding. Horrifying! It was like the tighter the better because I used to work out so much, I was like I may as well wear tight clothes. Also when I was building my business really wasn’t into spending money on clothes.
So that wasn’t something you ever used to of make you feel good about yourself? That’s a trap a lot of people fall into… No! I wanted to always look good, but I didn’t need it to be a designer brand, or some major fashion statement. But that changed when I met my fiance Zach. He has very, very strong interest in fashion, and he would take me to McQueen and Barney’s, and places like Costume National and Comme des Garcons – for me it was like going to a museum.
Was there a turning point when you got into high fashion yourself? I think that happened when I bought my first pair of Isabel Marant sneakers, which coincided with me starting to be in the mindset of like; ‘oh I can afford to buy them’, you know? And that was kind of like a big deal for me.
I remember those first experiences too – spending real money on clothes and feeling like ‘this isn’t going to completely bankrupt me’. It’s like getting into an ‘abundance’ mindset… Yeah! It was amazing. But really if you always shop within your price range you can always feel abundant – buying on credit automatically creates a feeling of lack. And if you’ve saved up for something special the energy is clean. I’ve also got to a place where spending $300 on one special piece makes me feel way more special that walking out of H&M with ten bags of cheap plastic stuff.
We’ve spoken about this before, but tell me about detoxing your closet from all the ‘plastic’… I was addicted to hi-lo shopping, and I had to recognize that it was an addiction based on my old belief system. My parents weren’t wealthy, so my experience of gifts and shopping growing up was all about quantity over quality – that was normal, but not right. When I was able to witness that I put myself on 90 days of no hi-lo shopping. And I’ve remained abstinent!
You must get loaned a lot of stuff these days too? I was introduced to one of my favorite designers, Camilla, through my friend Annie Ladino, a really great stylist in New York. She put me in touch Camilla’s publicist Denise, and then they just started loaning me a ton of stuff – amazing. Now I own so many of her kaftans it’s insane. It’s become a go-to look for me because it kind of works anywhere anytime, even though it’s more beachy and summery.
And it’s also so the opposite of the whole ‘Maraiah Carey’, in your face sexy thing. Exactly, yeah. And you know, I used to dress like super hippie at college too.
Really? Like what kind of stuff? Oh my god like, corduroy pants and Birkenstocks and all of that shit! Ripped t-shirts…
Sounds rad… Do you still have any clothes from that period? Do you get sentimental about keeping old clothes, or do you prefer to keep the energy in your closet nice and clean of memories? The only things I have from back then are like, the things I stole from my college room mate…she had great style, but maybe don’t put her name in this story! But in general I’m not sentimental about material things, I don’t get attached. You’re setting yourself up for failure that way, because at some point it will be lost, or break, and if it’s become so special there’ll be a sense of loss.
I think you’ve always been inspired by the way your friends dress too – right? Yeah, like my friend Elisa has become a sort of fashion guide for me. I just really like the way she puts herself together, so I started to buy what she was getting, you know. But it’s less about copying than enjoying and appreciating how somebody looks.
Some women can get territorial about their ‘look’ – what’s that all about do you think? That comes from a place of comparison and attachment to being uniquely ‘you’ – it’s a way for your ego to enhance your ‘specialness,’ as if only you can have that look. I say, when people want to dress like you see it as a compliment.
Do you feel like you do that with people, in the same way that you’ve had lots of different guides, teachers and gurus in your life as well? Yeah. I think in every area of your life you can definitely pick up different things from people you find inspiring and make them your own…even Zach has been a great teacher to me when it comes to fashion. But again, it’s about taking those ideas and making things your own – constantly bringing it back to what is real to you, and not getting too into the comparison thing of thinking ‘I have to be like you’.
You’ve told me how you like to gift yourself also. Why is that important? When you buy something as a gift to yourself, the energy behind it is coming from a place of gratitude, as opposed to neediness. That’s when it becomes a gift, not an indulgence. A celebration of yourself.
So when do you gift yourself? Well around the time that I sold my fourth book I kind of had a little shopping party for a few weeks…
Oh, good! Yeah…but I have to be careful, because I can still find myself doing these weird, sporadic shops when I just end up with stuff I don’t need. I think a lot of women have this problem. So, I try to stick to only going out shopping with an intention, you know? You also said something once that really hit home for me – when you’re contemplating a purchase, ask ‘is there something else that will do the same thing?’
So what’s on your spirit junkie shopping list right now? Well since I got into Kundalini yoga I’m trying to buy more whites. Like yesterday I bought some white jeans and a turban online. The turban was from Venuis Turbans in LA, I basically just googled it!
Love it. I also got Zach some mala beads, which are for meditating with – it’s a necklace with 108 beads, which you count through your fingers as you chant a mantra. Usually when I’m teaching I’ll have a mala in my hand too, or if you’re like having a bad day you can just carry them with you.
Cool. I want you to talk to more about turbans, and why they’re important too… So, you when practicing Kundalini, you want to keep the energy you create in your body, that’s why you cover your head. From a personal perspective I also feel like I want to respect the sacred tradition – I feel like if I’m a teacher I’ve got to play by the rules. And I also do feel the difference. As you open your chakras, you can feel pain in your crown chakra. Like you can get headaches, or you can feel like, almost bruised on the top of your head – and when you wear the turban it feels better.
Almost like a little bandage? Why is that, that you feel sore? Because the energy is soaring through the top of your crown!
Okay wow. So back to the “whites.” Why? It’s about reflecting positive energy out into the world, whereas dark colors, and particularly black, can soak up negativity. So in general I have found myself clearing a lot of black out of my wardrobe. I just don’t feel that good when I’m wearing it anymore.
Did you wear a lot of black in your PR days? That’s the classic image of a New York City PR girl… Yeah, I think I’ve always worn a lot of black! And I love my black leather Acne jacket, it’s one of my most treasured items, but it can feel kind of like I’m wearing a dark hole, you know? It feels heavy. I’m actually thinking my new staple is going to be white jeans.
Good idea. What are your favorite denim brands? I like Citizens of Humanity and I actually don’t own a pair of Mother jeans yet but I love the way they look on people. I also really like Isabel Marant’s jeans, of course!
Now I’m interested to hear how else the contents of your wardrobe has shifted since you’ve began following a more spiritual path. Well apart from the white, I feel like I want to dress more beautifully, if that makes sense. I’m inspired by people like my Kundalini teacher Gurmukh, who always wears her turban and her whites, but might have a color she’s representing that day in her beads that is also reflected in a gem on her turban. She’s very artful about the way she adorns herself, almost like she’s dressing herself like a priestess.
Actually Gurmukh’s turban is really amazing. It’s outrageous. She hasn’t actually cut her hair for 45 years, and when she doesn’t wear her turban you just see this like huge bun on top of her head. It’s not dreadlocks, she washes it, but it’s probably down to her butt, you know?
Amazing. Are you going to stop cutting your hair as well? Absolutely not! But in terms of how I want to dress, in Kundalini in particular, it’s almost like a sign of respect for yourself and the class to show up really well dressed. I remember during my teacher training I was doing like a praktikum and I wasn’t wearing all white that day, and my teacher…
Sorry, what’s a praktikum? It’s where you take a fake class to practice. So I was teaching in front of my ‘class’ and I was being graded on it. And I didn’t wear all white that day and my teacher told me off! Even if you’re wearing wrinkled clothes, they’re like, ‘go iron your outfit!’ But it all comes from an emphasis on self-care. Yogi Bhajan was also really into jewelry and gemstones.
It’s interesting, in ‘The Doors of Perception’ Aldous Huxley talks a lot about how in visionary experience the world often reveals itself in this kind of glowing, jewel-like state. He thinks that that’s one of the reasons jewels have been so revered throughout history and why precious stones became precious. Because in some way they reflect to us the way the world was really made. That’s neat, that makes sense to me. And there’s also the energy and the healing properties of the stones. Gurmukh has told me I really need to get an emerald for my pinkie, because it’s the finger that represents the voice, the speaker, and the emerald amplifies the voice.
Nice. And I know we’ve spoken as well about the whole thing of living in your yoga clothes. Does that still happen? Yep! By day I’m in my yoga clothes which means by night I’m ready to get dressed up and go out.
Which is probably the reverse to how a lot of women dress! Exactly, but I love to get dressed up for my evening lectures for example. For that my outfits can really vary. I mean I’ve worn anything from a really wild Camilla caftan, to like my Isabel Marant fringe boots with like tight black pants and a top. Then other times I’ll wear something more conservative, like a Helmut Lang blazer and jeans. It really depends on the crowd and the overall vibe.
Totally. And what about how an outfit makes you feel? I feel really empowered wearing nice clothes. It wasn’t always like that, I didn’t always care, but I’ve realized that fashion can literally make me feel like a different person. Whether I’m teaching or lecturing, wearing something that will expand my presence is important.
Absolutely. But do you ever have those days when nothing you put on makes you feel right? Like the hours are counting down to your lecture and you’re like ‘no, no, no.’ Have you got a go-to that always works? A good jumper is always a go-to. I have long ones, short ones, and actually if I were to buy anything new right now it would be more rompers because I like the way I can put it on and then I’m done. And I mean, even I had to go to a black tie wedding I think I’d wear like this Catherine Malandrino jumper I have.
Well speaking of weddings, how did you chose what to wear to marry Zach? This is like, the most important public speaking gig of your life. I take it you are doing a speech?! I’m wearing the second dress I bought…which it typical of the bad habits in my shopping style, like, get the first thing you see then go back and get it right! I wanted to wear something that was a real wedding dress, so I could feel like a bride. For anybody who wants to see it, we’ll be doing a #spiritjunkiewedding hash tag on Instagram. See you there!
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