MY MYSTICAL LIFE: 4 WAYS TO PRACTICE EMOTIONAL WELLNESS

How often do you tend to your emotional wellness? A new program I designed for The James Hotels puts the spotlight on emotional and spiritual wellbeing as part of a holistic approach to health … PLUS four ways to boost your emotional wellness today.

This week saw the launch of Four Bodies Wellness, a program I created for The James Hotel group here in NYC. The brand approached me when they realized how important the concept of wellness was to their guests; could I create a program that spoke to the needs of a busy, city traveler, who wanted to feel their best?

Around the time we began this conversation, I’d been diving deep into the philosophy and practice of shamanism, as research for my first book. And one conversation I’d had with modern shamanic practitioner Marika Messager had really resonated with me: “Shamanism is very holistic. It’s working on your physical body, your mental body, your emotional body, and your spiritual body,” she told me. The idea being that perfect health is the result of all four bodies being in alignment.

This spoke so hard to something I’d been preaching since I launched The Numinous—which is that the ancient human technologies for emotional and spiritual healing that I cover on this platform, are often the missing piece in the wellness puzzle. 

So many people come to “wellness” because something is off physically—they’re overweight, have digestive issues, or are fighting some other chronic illness. The next tier of entry is often mental stress and anxiety—what leads many people to meditation, for example. But it’s always been my belief (based on my intuition, my experience of “curing” my own disorders, and my extensive research into alternative healing practices), that the root cause of so many physical and mental issues is often an emotional and / or spiritual imbalance.

It’s a theory that’s been proven to me yet again as I dig into the research for my next book, Sober Curious, which is a look at ways to reframe our relationship to alcohol and other addictive substances and behaviors (out January 2019). How a deficit of emotional and spiritual care and understanding is at the root of the majority of addictions—now widely recognized as one, if not the, leading health crisis in the US.

This is conversation that obviously goes way deeper. Addiction, and the myriad health issues that spin off of it, are by no means reserved for those privileged enough to be staying in fancy hotels in a luxury city like New York. Addressing the lack of access to alternative, holistic options for the millions of low-income and working-class individuals in this country living with chronic disease is something I feel super passionate about—and if anything, I’m grateful to The James for giving me a platform to talk about this.

To bring the Four Bodies Wellness program to life, we partnered with fitness studio Aerospace NYC (Physical) to create an in-room workout that uses body-weight alone; meditation studio Inscape (Mental), who are offering all guests one-month’s free access to their app; and kundalini yoga leader Guru Jagat (Spiritual), who’s recorded three kundalini meditations to beat jet-lag and boost radiance for the in-room TVs.

My Four Bodies Wellness partners: Guru Jagat, Michael Olajide Jr of Aerospace, and Inscape founder Khajak Keledjian

And for the Emotional body? The Numinous has curated a special menu of “Readers on Room Service” for each property (The James NoMad, The James SoHo, and The James Chicago), which allows guests to book 1-2-1 sessions with some of our favorite holistic wellness practitioners: astrology readings with Bess Matassa; tarot with Alessandra Calderin; happiness coaching with Sah D’Simone; hypnosis with Shauna Cummins; sound healing with Gian Arjan Singh; and reiki with Sydney Wippman.

>>>

So how can you tend to your own emotional wellness today? Here are four of my favorite practices that don’t cost a thing:

1//Make friends with your feelings. We’re generally taught that “good” feelings are, well, good, and “bad” feelings are to be avoided at all costs. Worse, that feeling bad means there’s something wrong with us. This is what creates shame, often the fuel for numbing out with addictive behaviors, for example. But guess what: ALL your feelings are part of you, they are all equally valid and deserving of your love and respect, and they all have something valuable to tell you. It’s when we ignore or disavow the more difficult or painful feeling states that they “act out” to get our attention (perhaps manifesting as mental distress or even a physical ailment). How to befriend your feelings? How about literally talking to them? Like: “Hello again fear, what are you here to warn me about?” Or “Disappointment, it’s you! How could I have managed my expectations better?”

2//But don’t be ruled by them. Big feelings can feel super overwhelming and be quite bossy, making out like we have to act on them RIGHT AWAY and do everything they say. And while, yes, our feelings are literally the messengers of our soul, it is also in our power to digest the information they have for us, that then for their assistance, and choose the most empowered action for us in the moment. Talking it out with a true and trusted friend can be super helpful with this one.

3//Practice cognitive resonance. In psychology, the term “cognitive dissonance” is used to describe the mental anguish that comes from acting out of alignment with our belief systems—or you could say, “going against our nature.” And it’s amazing how many situations we actually compromise our beliefs in order to fit in, do the “right thing,” be liked, etc. Cognitive RESONANCE on the other hand, is when we align our thoughts, our words, and our actions, so that, ultimately we are living in truth and harmony with who we truly are.

4//Listen to your dreams. Speaking of shamanism, Marika Messager also reminded me how: “(in shamanism) there is no doubt that there are many realities, and that the reality we live in is equally as valid as the dream reality.” Our dreams (also the state we access when we go into a trance, with hypnosis or deep meditation, for example) is literally where our subconscious mind speaks to us. Meaning our emotional and spiritual self. Keeping a dream diary and noting the FEELINGS attached to different images etc., can give deep insight into situations you feel confused or overwhelmed by in your waking life.

>>>

To celebrate the launch of Four Bodies Wellness, Numinous readers can also get up to 20% off rooms at any James Hotel! Just use the promo code “COMMUNITY” when booking. Click HERE to discover more.

THE MANY FACES OF THE FEMININE

The Earth needs empowered feminine energy like never before in 2017. How will you connect to the many faces of the feminine essence?

 

2016 was a wildly challenging ride through womanhood. As we enter the New Year, we sat down with Sarah Durham Wilson and Jessica Sevapreet Hesser to explore how you can activate all of the faces of your feminine in 2017—from awakening your creative force to making friends with death.

***

DECIDE HOW YOU WANT TO SHOW UP AS A WOMAN IN THE WORLD

To show up as a woman in the world, you have to understand that first and foremost you are WOMAN. Imagine what it would be like to feel worthy, beautiful, loved, and important without needing to change or maintain anything. What if no matter what you did, no matter how you looked, no matter what happened to you, you understood that these essential things were always yours?

Activation: Grace of God Meditation

Mantra: Bhand Jammee-ai

Crystals: Chrysocolla, Ruby, Larimar, Rose Quartz

***

FIND YOUR GODDESS

I didn’t really find the Goddess, she found me. Many years ago I had an experience of my god dying. It really came out of the blue, and this idea of a Christian male godhead started to disintegrate within me. At first I really grieved this loss, but then things started to move in a different way—Jessica

Activation: Finding the goddess is really just about connecting with the parts of you that feel beautiful and graceful. A perfect way to do this is through dancing. Put on music and just let it move you. Raise the vibration even higher by wearing something silky or adorning yourself with jewelry. Start with this Goddess Playlist.

Mantra: Adi Shakti

Crystals: Moonstone, Mother of Pearl, Sapphire

***

MAKE FRIENDS WITH DEATH

Women hold the death energy because we are always changing, like the Moon and like the seasons. When we remove ourselves from death and darkness it leaves us very incomplete and disempowered. In working with the Faces of Feminine we can come back into integrity with the beautiful wholeness, which is our birthright and the source of our power—Jessica

Making friends with death is about inviting back all the parts of ourselves we have exiled. It’s an invitation back into integrity and into wholeness. Explorations into this dark space can start by just allowing yourself to really be in the unknown.

Activation: Sit in silent meditation, unmoving, with your eyes closed for 20 minutes per day. See what comes up with curiosity, rather than fear.

Mantra: Kal Akal

Crystals: Black Tourmaline, Obsidian, Black Fluorite

Sarah Durham Wilson

DISCOVER THE “FOUR NIGHTS”

Once a woman understands the cycles of the earth and phases of the Moon, she can understand herself better. She doesn’t feel so alone because she is one with the Mother, which is where we feel best; it’s where we feel most natural, most feminine, most alive, most nurtured, abundant, and empowered—Sarah

Activations:

Dark of the Moon—Let yourself be emptied. Have a day of silence. Turn off your phone, computer, and TV and just experience being only with yourself, alone and quiet.

Waxing Moon—Make a list of all the new things you want to do for the next year and then go do one! Go on an adventure. Explore. Listen to music that enlivens your spirit.

Full Moon—Get creative. Paint, draw, or cook a fabulous meal.

Waning Moon—Self care. Take a bath. Get a massage. Do some slow yoga. Let yourself eat in a way that really feels nourishing.

***

ALIGN WITH YOUR FEMININE AND MASCULINE ENERGIES

When I reside in the unhealthy masculine, I’m chasing, not receiving. I’m pushy, rushed, and faithless. When I lose touch with feminine energy, I lose touch with the best parts of myself. Re-finding the balance between the two serves not just me but everyone around —Sarah

We all have feminine and masculine energy. The key is to know when each is useful. Masculine energy is essential in order to manifest your creativity and turn your feminine force into action and form. But too much masculinity can show up as disconnection, rigidity, aggression, or irritation. Too much femininity arises through overly-emotional reactions, indecisiveness, confusion, or an inability to take action. If you’re experiencing either of these, it’s time to call your neglected side back to the table.

FEMININE ACTIVATION: Try reading or writing poetry, dancing, or singing. Focus on receiving. Do a few minutes of left nostril breathing.

Mantra: Adi Shakti

Crystals: Moonstone, Pearl, Rose Quartz

MASCULINE ACTIVATION: Get physical — go for a run, take a kickboxing class or do a few minutes of Sat Kriya or right nostril breathing.

Mantra: Har

Crystals: Black Lava or Tiger’s Eye

***

TRANSITION FROM MAIDEN TO MOTHER

Woman is always the creative essence, whether through giving birth to children, ideas, businesses, art, words, or any other form you put into the world. The Maiden energy is full of vitality and energy. But when we stay there too long, the opposite actually happens: we are drained of our energy and we are stripped of our power. The Maiden doesn’t quite yet know what being woman is, but the Mother embodies it completely—Jessica

MAIDEN ACTIVATION: The gift of the maiden is innocence. If you feel a loss of vitality in life or are lacking passion and enthusiasm, you may need to connect to your maiden energy. Engage in something new—go on a road trip, check out a class you’ve always wanted to take, have an adventure day.

Mantra: Ardas Bahee

Crystals: Aura Quartz, Citrine, Spirit Quartz

MOTHER ACTIVATION: The gift of the mother is grace. If you find yourself really concerned with what other people think of you or are wrapped up in appearances, you could do with a good dose of Mother energy. Connect with Mother Earth. Go outside, walk barefoot, lay in the grass, pick wildflowers. Try the Maaa Meditation.

Mantra: Beautiful, Bountiful and Blissful

Crystals: Mother of Pearl, Celestine, Aquamarine

Jessica Sevapreet Hesser

WORK WITH OTHER WOMEN

I know that the Goddess is the missing piece in so many women living in a patriarchal culture—these are tools I wish my mother had had, the self love and intuition and feminine alignment of cycles and seasons in our lives. When I had a feminine awakening, it literally saved my life and I wanted to share the gifts I’d been shown with every woman I possibly could. I didn’t just want to, it felt like a mission that Goddess had handed me—Sarah

The first step to working with other women is to be willing to get over yourself! Allow yourself to really enjoy the things that other women bring to the table without needing to compete or compare. Every woman has her own gifts and when we join forces our power is exponential.

Activation: Explore lunar wisdom by joining the Moon Club or The Faces of the Feminine.

Mantra: Me Within Me is the Purity. Me Within Me is the Reality. Me Within Me is the Grace. I Am the Master of the Space.

Crystals: Blue Lace Agate, Blue Chalcedony, Turquoise

***

BECOME A SACRED ACTIVIST

2017 will be the year of the woman. There is a huge awakening in response to a call felt deep in the heart of every woman, a call put out by a planet which is suffering. Women are rising up, ready to be sacred activists, ready to be protectors of the earth and its people, ready to be the saviors we have been waiting for—Jessica

Becoming a sacred activist means first coming into integrity and alignment with your own values. Take a look at the things you find yourself impassioned about. How much energy do you use that you don’t need to? What do you “make war on,”attack, or hate in your own life or in yourself? Where do you sell yourself as a woman—where do you abdicate your power? After you dig into questions like these, the work you can offer the world shows up really clearly.

Activation: Find an activist group near you or online. Practice the Meditation to Invoke Your Inner Light.

Mantra: Magnificent Mantra

Crystals: Vanadinite, Jasper, Carnelian, Pyrite, Amazonite

 

Join Sarah Durham Wilson of DOTIGIRL and Jessica Sevapreet Hesser for FACES OF THE FEMININE, a four-weeks online women’s study course, with guidance, virtual circles, rituals and Kundalini Yoga starting January 8th. Find out more and register here.

CITY TOUR: A GUIDE TO SPIRITUAL CHICAGO

Forget everything you know about the Windy City—there are plenty of high-vibe happenings in Spiritual Chicago, says Andrea Kasprzak

 

The Windy City may be better known for the Cubs than the cosmic, but it’s not all deep dish pizza and boozy baseball fans. When it comes to tapping spiritual Chicago, you just have to know where to look. Here’s our itinerary for a day of crystals, yoga, and high vibrational cuisine.

9AM :: Kundalini Yoga at Sat Nam Yoga
The second you step into this cozy, sanctuary-within-the-city you’ll want to curl up on a white sheepskin rug and never leave. Take a kundalini class in the sun drenched front room, shop for sage and crystals in the store, or book a treatment with some of the area’s most sought after healers. Not to be missed: lunar tune-ups in the outdoor courtyard during monthly new and full moon rituals and cosmic vinyasa (yoga and symphonic gong immersion under the projection of the stars).

Sat Nam Yoga

11 AM :: Soak at Float Sixty
Whether you consider sensory deprivation tanks a spiritual experience or a just a slightly trippy way to spend an hour, you’ll never regret the experience. Head to this River North haven to soak in style. The industrial cool space features tons of tubs, a meditation room to hang out in post-soak, and a grooming area. Try the Samadhi Tank for a super cool intergalactic womb-like vibe.

1PM :: Juice and Crystals at Infiniteus
Kill two birds with one (high energy) stone at this Wicker Park rocks and juice shop. First, hydrate with a cold-pressed juice or purified alkaline water amidst massive amethysts and orange calcite covered tables in the cafe. Then, hit up the back room to shop for gems and crystals. Owner Alex Drummond is super knowledgable and on hand to help. Bonus: they’ll even deliver your gems and juices to your door.

2PM :: Gong Therapy with Mason Pain
Transportive, elevating, and a little bit other-worldly, getting gonged by sound therapist Mason Pain offers deep release on a higher level. Surrender to the healing vibrations of three gongs, as well as singing bowls and chimes. Sessions begin with Yoga Nidra to open you up to maximum receptivity.

Maison Pain

3PM :: Nut Milk at Owen + Alchemy
Think you’re over juice after too many cleanses? This gothic cool Logan Square juice bar from Anne Owen and Jared Van Camp may change your mind. Try the nut milks. We suggest the dessert-y 54 (raw hazelnut, cacao, cinnamon, vanilla bean, raw local honey) or the fresh and creamy 59 (young raw coconut juice and young raw coconut meat).

4PM :: Tarot Reading with Laura Gonzalez
Laura, a self-described Mexican witch, has felt a true connection and psychic insights since childhood. Tarot card reading is her passion and it shows. Sessions are meant to offer guidance and clarity. Go deeper by asking specific questions. Laura’s hyper presence makes it easier to digest tough truths.

5PM :: Reiki with Jerry Mikutis
Clear energy blocks and connect with a like-minded sensi soul during a session with Reiki healer and yoga instructor Jerry Mikutis. Her warm personality and magic touch puts clients at instant ease.

6PM :: Vegetarian Dinner at Green Zebra
Bar and ballpark snacks may get first bill, but there’s still plenty of high vibe, creative and veggie-centric places to grab a bite. Case in point: Green Zebra. Fresh, local, and elevated, the West Town restaurant is a standout not to be missed. Small plate dishes like the Hen of the Woods mushroom pate and fermented beet tartare with borscht yogurt, candied pistachios, and dill pickles are plated to impress.

Green Zebra

8PM :: Crystallsage Massage at Ruby Room
Cap off the night with a Crystallsage Massage at this Wicker Park healing hybrid space. Sessions start with a flower and gem essence spray and reading. Move into a treatment room for an intense 90-minute massage featuring Himalayan salt crystals for serious grounding. After, shop for crystals and spend the night in one of the upstairs rooms.

SAT NAM FEST: 5 FEMALE KUNDALINI SINGERS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Check out Alexandra Roxo’s recommendations for some high vibrational sound currents whether you want to drop into a deep meditative state or throw a dance party…

Workin’ that post kundalini glow in Joshua Tree.

I think spiritual music can sometimes get a bad rap. (No I don’t mean spiritual rap. Though that’s also a thing apparently.) I mean more on the kirtan/chill vibes spiritual music. Like when you wanna open your heart and commune kinda music. I usually keep this for my solo time and don’t go around town asking friends: “Did you hear the latest Ong Namo?”

I mean how often do you put on a little “Om Kali” at a dinner party? I save that for when I’m journaling or getting ready to meditate. Or with one or two besties. But I got to thinking… Why not put that on at a dinner too?

I’ve been listening to Krishna Das for years. And Bhagavan Das. Probably while reading Ram Das. Basically got the Das’s on lock. I’ve gone to their concerts, sat on the floor and chanted “Om Namah Shiva” at the top of my lungs with the best of them (including my Mom). I also re-fell in love with Tom Kenyon recently. His tone can throw you into a meditative state immediately where you feel like you’ve ascended into Lemuria and are literally a star. Sigh. For deep and soulful man vibes these dudes have got us covered. But where my ladies at?

I hadn’t heard many female voices until I came across Snatam Kaur, one of the most well-known chantresses in the scene. And she was the gateway drug for me into the world of angelic-women-dressed-in-white-singing-Kundalini-mantras-long-hair-flowing-in-the-breeze artists. Maybe long dress flowing in the breeze rather than hair, since most of these ladies wear turbans.

So I went to Sat Nam Fest in Joshua Tree to check out some of the best ladies in the Spiritual Music scene! I’m not really a festival kinda gal. (YET!)  Big groups and pack-mentality freak me out, and as far as turbans go, well I had a turban phase at age 19 when I was first “waking” up but haven’t worn one since.  Turban or no turban Sat Nam Fest was really great.  I bought the most amazing raw chocolates from a glowing 13-year-old boy and bought some white linen cause, well, linen is classic. (Kundalini wear by morning/Goddess garb by night!)  After that I listened to some amazing music. 

The ladies of kundalini are all an instant mood lifter.  Angel/Fairy vibes abound. They are all love and light.  When you’ve stored a day’s amount of anxiety in your chest and you need some light and love vibes call upon these women.

Here are some of my faves…

Ashana

:: Ashana ::

Pure angel. Her rendition of Ave Maria blew me away, and when my yoga teacher plays her song “Into My Arms” I immediately go into child’s pose for a cry searching for some arms to leap into. And I fell asleep watching this video recently which seems like a stoner moment but it was just a trippy amazing life moment to dream with this in my face.

Aykanna

:: Aykanna ::

Okay watch this and skip to 00:53 in. YES PLEASE. This couple and their baby and their whole vibe is well, amazing. Imma put them on my “Sacred Partnership” vision board ASAP. Swoon.

Snatam Kaur

:: Snatam Kaur ::

The most famous lady Kundalini singer, mentioned above, and her rendition of May the Long Time Sun has gotten me through many a tough time. Like deep hard times. She and Ashana have your back.

Simrit

:: Simrit Kaur ::

I had never heard of her ‘til Sat Nam Fest and her voice is gentle with a little folk in it. Plus her videos are really beautiful, and she does these cute Youtube videos called The Simrit Sessions – and I love this one on the power of cold showers!

Ajeet Kaur
 
:: Ajeet Kaur ::
She may be the youngest of these ladies but her voice is quite powerful.  I’m not sure if a fan made this video or what but it has some of my fave things in it:  merkabas, Ganesha, octopi, matrix light fields…Psychedelic meets kundalini is an instant yes for me!
I was quite inspired by the way these ladies work with their beloveds. Ashana’s husband was on stage with her and he played the bowls with her and I watched them.  Simrit and Jai Dev slay with their joint devotion.  Spiritual J and Bey vibes all around. I’m not saying we should all start bands with our lovers, but these ladies are onto something.Beyond the beautiful music, all these artists are major healers. Tune in any time you’re going through a transition. A breakup. Want to dip into the heart space. While in a bath. In traffic. Or at a dinner party with your most cynical, non-spiritual friends. Look, anytime. It’s medicine.

CHAKRA HEALING FOR THE HOME

You know how important it is to keep your chakras balanced for optimal health – but have you thought about chakra healing for your home, asks Jennifer Stevens? Artwork: Paul Oparin

Whether you’ve studied Buddhism, meditation or Kundalini yoga, you’ve probably come across the concept of chakras before. But how do they relate to your home?

But before we get started, let’s first define exactly what we mean by the word “chakra.”

Chakras are energetic centers within the etheric (subtle) body. The word chakra itself originally meant “wheel” but they are thought to function more like vortexes: either open and spinning correctly, open and spinning backward, or closed entirely.

Healthy chakras are an essential part of mind, body and spirit living in alignment. A closed chakra is the result of an energetic blockage – typically an emotional or spiritual issue – and just one blocked chakra will affect the rest of your system, causing it to go into overdrive to compensate. This ultimately results in feeling lethargic, scattered or burnt-out. Leaving your chakras out of balance for too long can eventually lead to physical illness.

So how do the chakras relate to interior design?

Chakras are ultimately driven by our own energies; and since our home is an extension of our self, they are also accurately represented within our space. And just like in our bodies, it’s important for the chakras in our homes to stay happy and healthy. There’s no need to redecorate from scratch; the idea is simply to show each chakra zone the proper care and respect.

It’s always best for you to interpret the chakras in your own home in a way that works best for you. So go with your own intuition on this, but here are a few examples of home chakra healing to get you thinking…

:: Muladhara – Root Chakra – Kitchen, Toilet, Basement, Crawl Spaces::

The Root Chakra represents stability, balance and physical survival; it is also our connection to our ancestors. An under-active Root Chakra is characterized by excessive worries about money, paranoia and feeling disconnected.

The Root Chakra is about survival and sustenance; and since we literally sustain ourselves with food, the kitchen is the perfect representation of this. This chakra is also where any energy is eliminated from our body, so the toilet and basement can represent this aspect.

Take a look at your kitchen: is it neat, tidy and ready-to-use, or is it a cluttered and dirty mess? Is it bright and filled with fresh food or dark with barren shelves? Excessive clutter or general messiness indicate that it’s time to put more effort into the self-care of this chakra.

It’s also important when working with the Muladhara Chakra to be mindful of plumbing issues or leaking pipes and especially any issues that concern the toilet (such as broken handles or a constantly running toilet.). Schedule a time right now for any necessary repairs.

Stones to include here: Garnet, Jasper, Onyx or Rubies

:: Svadhisthana – Sacral Chakra – Creative Centers ::

The Sacral Chakra represents our relationship with ourselves, but this extends well beyond us since we project this onto our perception of the world around us. The big lesson here is simple: you cannot love anyone else until you love yourself. It is also the chakra of sensuality and sexuality.

Potential signs of an imbalance in the Sacral Chakra include boredom (with life or your relationship) and inhibition.

In our homes, the Sacral Chakra is represented by any center of creativity. You might have a thriving business running out of the spare bedroom, a blog run from the computer in your home office, or maybe you just really love spending your weekend afternoons creating treats for a dinner party. Choose the zone that best represents your own version of creativity and take a careful look around. If clutter or improper storage is impeding your ability to create, then get to work at finding some solutions.

If you don’t have a creative center in your home, then how is a great time to create one! What classes have you been meaning to take or interests have you been waiting to explore? How can you express this energy in your home? Your creative energy is an integral piece of your soul, so devote some time to honoring it.

Stones to include here: Carnelian, Moonstone or Hematite

:: Manipurna – Solar Plexus Chakra – Bathrooms, Laundry room, Living Room or Family Room ::

The Solar Plexus Chakra represents our personal power. It governs both self-esteem and self-discipline. An activated Solar Plexus Chakra results in being confident, reliable and responsible. Those with a Solar Plexus that is not in balance will be prone to emotional outbursts and stress (excess chakra activity) or passivity (blocked or slow).

Since this chakra represents multiple parts of our lives, it can also be represented by a number of ways in the home. Areas associated with water are highly associated with emotional energies; so your bathroom or laundry room are a great place to examine for signs of distress (think: faulty plumbing, faucets, lighting or messiness).

Another choice could be your living room – since it’s where we go when we’re entertaining friends or curling up with some vegan ice cream and Netflix.

Cast a constructive eye toward your living areas. Is there adequate seating and lighting? Can you comfortably hang out there with a few friends? If your living room is too messy for guests, it’s likely an accurate reflection of your own self-confidence and esteem.

Stones to Include Here: Topaz, Tiger’s Eye, Amber or Citrine

:: Anahata – Heart Chakra – Dining Areas, Hallways ::

The Heart Chakra represents love as well as the consciousness of Divine Love. Problems with the Heart Chakra are characterized by troubled relationships, being overly critical or being stuck in the past.

Sharing food with others (whether family or friends) is an act of Divine Love; on a fundamental level you are nurturing them and contributing towards their survival. We are naturally inclined to eat with those who we value the most, so the act of sharing food is very symbolic of this type of love.

Choose your dining room (or kitchen table) as your representation of the Heart Chakra only if you actually use it for eating (whether alone or with others). Make sure that everything is in working order and that you have enough supplies to make the overall experience comfortable.

But if you mostly eat take-out and never entertain, the dining area might not be the best choice for you. Hallways are similar to the veins in our body; the heart is the pump that creates circulation. In your home, a hallway is the way for you (and for Chi) to get from one room to the next. All but the tiniest of apartments will have some sort of hallway; if you don’t, choose a major footpath in your home (for example: from the sofa to the kitchen or the bedroom to the bathroom). So always make sure that this hallway or path is clear of clutter and obstructions.

Stones to Include: Fluorite, Malachite or Rose Quartz

:: Vishuddha – Throat Chakra – Study or Home Office ::

The Throat Chakra governs clear and concise communications. An open Throat Chakra allows you to find and express your authentic voice. If you are experiencing problems with expressing your feelings, finding your true voice or understanding what those around you are saying, then this might be a key zone for you to take a closer look at.

In the home, the Throat Chakra is best represented by your computer zone. Computers are now our main communication channel; whether you are Skyping, emailing or vlogging you are doing it through a computer (or similar device). Finding your zone is super simple if you have a desktop computer – but if you use a laptop, think about where you use it the most. On the sofa? At the kitchen table? Find the zone that is the best representation for you and make sure that it’s clean and de-cluttered.

It’s also great time to pause and look at the device itself. Are your files in order or is your desktop a mess? Are the screen and keyboard clean? Taking even a few minutes to restore order will put you on the path to a more open and balanced Throat Chakra.

Stones to include here: Aquamarine, Turquoise or Angel Aura Quartz

:: Ajna – Third Eye Chakra – Spiritual Center, Library, Home Office ::

The Third Eye Chakra is the master chakra; all other chakras must be open and balanced before this chakra can fully activate. It is the chakra of wisdom, spiritual devotion and intuition. An imbalanced Third Eye Chakra is coupled with insomnia, nightmares and indecision.

Any spiritual space in your home is an obvious choice to represent this energy center. That could mean many different things: a meditation corner, small altar or even (lucky you!) yoga practice room.

A home office or library is another excellent representation (even if it falls on the logical side of the brain). But it is where your business, bills or schedule are maintained and therefore represents knowledge and control over your life in general. Libraries literally contain knowledge, but since owning a real library is probably unlikely, a large bookshelf is another ideal choice.

But whichever space best corresponds to this chakra for you, take a look around for any hot button issues (like clutter) or ways for the functionality to be improved.

Stones to Include Here: Sapphire, Lapis, Azurite or Amethyst

:: Sahasrara – Crown Chakra – Bedroom, Front Door ::

The Crown Chakra is our link to unity, oneness and group consciousness. It’s where the finite (body/ego) and the infinite (universe/soul) meet. This is the chakra that represents spirituality and enlightenment; signs of an imbalanced Crown Chakra are depression and anxiety.

Since we are the most open to receiving messages (whether from our own soul or from a higher power) while we are sleeping, the bedroom is a natural choice for this chakra. This is one of the most intimate rooms in the home and also one that we spend a lot of time in. It’s where we retreat to not only when we are tired, but also when we are feeling sick or sad. The bedroom is home to our deepest emotional centers.

Take a look around your bedroom for any key issues. Is your bed an inviting place for you to retreat to every night? Do you typically get a full nights sleep in it? Make sure your bed is neat, comfortable and nice to look at.

The Crown Chakra can also be represented by the front door to our home. How open are you to receiving new visitors—or new knowledge?

Assess the state of your front door and entry. Again, look for any obvious problems: locks that are sticky or squeaky hinges. Maybe the door mat needs to be replaced or the door itself needs a cleaning. If your front door is blocked by clutter (or furniture), it’s time to make some changes and welcome some new energy into your home (and life).

Stones to Include Here: Amethyst (clusters are great!), Lepidolite or Clear Quartz

***

Even if there’s one particular chakra that’s of particular interest to you, make sure that you take a look at every chakra as it is represented in your space. Just as in your body, one area that’s out of whack can create bigger problems for the entire system. As such, a healthy home represents a healthy human, with a fully balanced, flowing chakra system.

A FLORAL TAPPING RITUAL FOR GROUNDING

Just in time for Eclipse Season, Valerie Oula brings the healing power of flowers to a tapping ritual for grounding… Artwork: Karolina Daria Flora

There’s a new kid on the holistic healing scene: floral tapping.

During sadhana a few months back, I received the “download” to work with flower essences topically. It’s not often that I get such clear cut, specific instructions from The Universe. And so when this happens, despite any resistance, it feels like I’d better follow through at some point.

And so I’ve been using the flowers in both my private sessions and workshops, and while people aren’t quite sure what’s happening, what they do know is that they feel different. A shift is happening.

Flower essences are the energetic imprint of the flower/tree captured in water. Subtle energy medicine. They do not have a scent and are mixed with grain alcohol or brandy as a preservative. The essences are vibrational remedies that work on the emotional energy body. When we use flower essences, we get attuned to the healing frequency of the flowers – which is essentially about raising our own vibration.

Since this is subtle energy work, it can take some time to recognize the shift that is taking place. It’s not like popping a pill for instant relief – although in this Aquarian age, as more and more of us are waking up and tuning in through energy work and practices like Kundalini Yoga, we may feel the effects faster.

As for floral tapping? It’s a technique that combines these vibrational essences with various tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) modalities. In fact, think of it as EFT – super-charged. By delivering the vibrational essences along several acupuncture points around the ear as we tap, we are loading up on energetic goodness.

And with the swirling energy of Eclipse Season on the way, here’s a grounding floral tapping ritual for extra vibrational support.

What You’ll Need

  • A grounding flower essence such as Walnut – which is excellent for grounding and protection, to help with change and transition. Also to be used as a shield during an epic sample sale, or the subway at rush hour. Bach flower essences are available in most health food stores as well as at Whole Foods.
  • A small cup/bowl of spring water or filtered tap water. To prepare, hold the bottle and tap the bottom into the palm of your opposite hand eight times to activate, holding your intention for your ritual in your mind. Add two drops of the essence to water.

Floral Tapping :: The Flower Power Tap – Right Side Only

  • Prepare a short, simple grounding affirmation expressed in the positive. Some examples you might use: “I am grounded and calm” / “I am grounded and sovereign of my energy / “I embody my truth” / “Sat Nam” (which means “truth is my identity”)
  • Now bring the fingertips of the right hand together, bunched loosely. Dip your fingers in the activated flower essence water.
  • Begin solidly tapping with the fingers, starting at the right temple by the opening of the ear. Continue to tap, circling the right ear, while saying the affirmation. Take a deep breath in and out. Tune into the rooted, grounding energy.
  • Do this three-five rounds at least five times a day, and at least 30 minutes apart.

In the midst of our busy lives in our glorious urban jungles, tap into the essence of the flowers to ground you back to earth. Vibrational medicine works to support us, to allow us to live our life in the full technicolor sensory system of our very human being.

MATERIAL GIRL, MYSTICAL WORLD: NATALIA BENSON

Jewelry designer, DJ and tarot maven, Natalia Benson is on a mission to create, express and inspire beauty. Discover her mystical world… Portraits: Justin Jordan

You woke up now age spirituality when you moved to LA: what triggered this in you?
This journey actually started around age 19,while I was still living in San Diego. I felt really disillusioned, confused and alone in my discrepancy with mass culture and the economic system. Frankly, my soul was exhausted and I had lost hope in life and I suppose that was when the Universe decided to intervene! Various books opened my consciousness and my heart, and I finally felt like I was getting in touch with what Truth actually felt like, and I had been yearning for that in a deep way. When I moved to LA around 21, I remember my first date with this tattooed Pisces dream boat was at a meditation in an old art gallery with a Japanese Sensei. I thought…“Wow, welcome to LA!!”

And why does the tarot resonate so strongly with you?
I became fascinated with the Tarot not long after moving to Los Angeles. Something about the imagery, colors and symbolism just fits with my psyche and my worldview. I remember when I was really little, I loved to draw and paint with every color I could get my little hands on. The Tarot is an extension of my fascination with beautiful visual aesthetics married with my other love, the esoteric.

What have been the most profound teachings of the tarot for you?
The Tarot has taught me that there is a deeper, more beautiful, more loving and way bigger Truth that lies beyond my fears, programming and ideas around how I think things “should” be. The Tarot has ignited a path for me around trusting my intuition and believing in the perfect imperfection of the life journey! To trust my internal guide and not take myself so seriously, that life is a game.

How did you wind up as The Nine of Crystals in The Starchild Tarot Deck, and what’s your reading of this card?
Danielle (of the Starchild Tarot) had been following each other on Instagram for a while and were always sending one another little love bombs via the comment sections. When she asked if I’d like to photograph for her next version of the deck, I was floored! One of my favorite photographers and dear friend, Tiffanie Byron, photographed me in the majestic Angeles Mountains just 20 minutes outside of the city. My reading of the Nine of Crystals is that in order to change the external, we must change the internal first. The way I appear on the card definitely denotes a trust in the magic of understanding and loving the power of the Self.

You also practice astrology. What do you think will be the astro theme of 2016?
For me the theme of 2016 is self-awareness, self-love, and taking action when we hear the call. Not delaying. If it calls to your heart, go for it! No more denying the soul’s voice. I think the Cosmos is ever asking us to become aware of who we are in a deep way, in a soul way, to take responsibility for our own self-work and internal transformation, and not to place blame on anyone outside of us.

:: MATERIAL GIRL ::

My label
Anything from Principessa in Venice Beach

My shoes
Jeffrey Campbell and a good pair of Vans high tops

Cromwell Boots, $175, Jeffrey Campbell

My fragrance
Santal 33 from Le Labo and doTerra Frankincense oil

Santal 33, $160, Le Labo

My jewels
My Grandpa and Grandma’s Native American heirlooms

My pampering
A gel manicure and a foot massage, please!

My home
Candles, candles, candles, I love beautiful smells! And white Christmas lights, plants, and crystals.

Rose Quartz Pyramid, $22, The Hoodwitch

My food
Erewhon is my home away from home kitchen and I love anything from Gjelina and Laurel Hardware (farm to table cooking is everywhere in LA!)

Cherry tomato, quash blossom + burrata pizza at Gjelina

:: MYSTICAL WORLD :: 

My awakening
Morning visualizations on goals and visions, and Kundalini Meditations

My sign
Aries Sun, Capricorn Rising, Sagittarius Moon

Aries pendant, £255, Laura Lee

My mantra
“I am love, I am beauty, I am power” AND “I am so happy and grateful now that money comes to me in increasing quantities, through multiple sources on a continuous basis”

My healer
Listening to Bashar and Yogi Bhajan on YouTube. Tarot readings with Clarissa Dolphin.

My reading
Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller – Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Napoleon Hill & Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives by Michael Newton

My transformation
Learning to love/accept myself and “others.” Respecting that I don’t have to be perfect to be loved. Trusting the Universe that my path will always be illuminated.

My mission

To remind us that deep beauty and connection does exist in the world.

:: :: ::

Check out our upcoming LA event with Natalia Benson: The Numinous Presents: An Introduction to the Tarot. To register email: [email protected]