MY MYSTICAL LIFE: MANIFESTING ABUNDANCE IN 2018

Some spell-crafting and cosmic intervention sure—but manifesting abundance in 2018 for me mainly means getting real, says Ruby Warrington

Photo: Caitlin Mitchell

Like a lot of us, I have high hopes for 2018—meaning it can’t be any worse than 2017. Mind you, I also had high expectations last year: it was the year my book came out, after all. And while that has opened all kinds of doors and bought a ton of blessings, it was also the hardest, most vulnerable, and most humbling experience of my life.

Add a backdrop of total political fuckery, a raging tech / iPhone addiction, family health issues, and a steady stream of natural disasters in the news, and I ended last year with a nervous system that felt shot to pieces. Um, anyone?

2017 was the first year I naturally lost weight due to stress (having taken matters into my own hands and starved myself during my traumatic teens). It was the first year I got fillers, as it felt like I began aging on fast forward. It was the year I made my first actual enemies (one of them a celebrity, who got so mad about something I didn’t even do, she sent me emails threatening to ruin my career).

There was plenty more, too, but this post isn’t about how shit last year was—because two weeks in to 2018, and I’m already feeling a MASSIVE shift. Maybe it’s because Saturn has gotten the fuck off my ascendant (moving from Sagittarius into Capricorn in December last year), or that all the all the planets are currently in direct motion (!!!), but things have just been … going my way.

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Projects are popping, my Numinous and Moon Club communities feel supportive and vibrant (I love you guys!), and I’m about to begin work on book #2. My nervous system feels healed, my actions calm, directed, and SOLID. So why the rapid turnaround?

Cosmic omens aside, here are three ways I’ve been actively manifesting a killer 2018:

// I DID A WISHCRAFT SESSION
At the end of last year, amazing hypnotherapist Shauna Cummins suggested I try her Wishcraft experience—which is kind of like a witchy, uber-directed intention-setting ceremony.

During the session, Shauna had myself and Numi assistant editor Bess (SUCH a great exercise to do with a colleague or friend) write out 10 things we love about ourselves / life in general, to get us in the mindset of abundance. Then 10 things we wanted for ourselves in 2018. Then five things we love about The Numinous, and five things we wanted for this platform.

We then did a guided hypnosis where we journeyed to the END of 2018, and envisioned ourselves celebrating the year just gone. The purpose of this was to trick our subconscious minds into believing these things had already come to pass—increasing the chance of them actually happening.

Using these ideal future outcomes, we identified three words or concepts to summarize our core desires for the year ahead. We infused these into candles to be lit again each day over the holidays, to plant our intentions deeper. Two weeks into the year, I’m already seeing results. Shaunacummins.com

// I’M MAKING SPACE FOR WHAT’S “MINE”
Meaning I am literally removing anything from my diary, my work, and my personal life, that is not 100% aligned with my intentions for my Self and my mission. This was something that came up a lot with me and various members of the Numi crew last year—how the more things we said “no” to, the faster the things that were a big “yes” for us showed up.

Which is easier said than done. Already I can hear you going “what about my resonsibilities to my family / friends / job?” Or, “How is doing less going to pay my credit card debt?”

But it was spending a week with no WiFi or cell reception over the holidays, that I was able to really see how being available and in “respond” mode all the time—thanks to email, text, DM, FB messenger, ETC.—leaves very little space for manifesting abundance when it comes to what YOU want and need.

In my book, I talk about how to cultivate healthy “higher selfishness”—something that is counter to everything we’ve been taught about how things work. We’ve learned: push / work hard to get what you want. Give to others before you serve yourself. Be accommodating if you want to be accepted. Ugh, the GUILT of putting ourselves first!

But the fact is, our bodies, brains and consciousness weren’t designed for the sheer volume of “other people’s needs” (family, friends, boss, AND refugees, disaster victims, etc.) that we interact with daily in the Now Age. It’s on us to be discerning about who and what truly deserve our time and energy, and to get okay with closing the door on the rest.

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//I’M GETTING REAL
A large part of why 2017 felt so harsh for so many of us, is that the veil was well and truly lifted. On a personal, a political and a global level, situations stacked up to remind us that NO, everything will not turn out okay if we just keep preaching “love and light!” That it’s on us to pro-actively co-create our desired reality with literally every choice we make and every word we speak.

In 2018, with Saturn coming home to its own sign of Capricorn, it’s like we’re experiencing a collective “Saturn Return”—a.k.a. the mother of all reality checks. Which means no more blind eyes and heads in the sand. Unsettling? Maybe. But this is also our moment to “grow up”, take responsibility, and face the facts head on.

In my daily life, this already looks like picking up the phone more often to check the facts, versus trying to read between the lines. It means being a lot less “nice”, and knowing it’s okay if not everybody likes me. It means telling people what’s really going on for me (the people who actually need to know, anyway). And it means asking for what I’m worth, and not settling for less because I’m scared it’s all I’ll get.

None of it comfortable or easy. But if 2017 taught me anything, it’s that comfort and ease are earned by our willingness to get real, confront our demons, and actually ASK for the support we need.

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“My Mystical Life” is returning as a weekly column, after I had to take a time-out to deal with the overall overwhelm of 2017. It’s good to be back. Here’s to manifesting abundance in 2018 and beyond!

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: LIFE LESSONS FROM THE ROAD

From Austin, TX, to the West Coast…it’s been a week of life lessons from the road.

:: MONDAY—WEDNESDAY::
Anybody who follows my Instagram feed will know the Pisces and I have been on a road-trip the past two weeks. Schedule: Austin—Marfa—Santa Fe—Sedona—Grand Canyon—Vegas—Palm Springs—Joshua Tree—LA. And it has been a TRIP—meaning the daily checking off of bucket list items, AND the deep and thorough examination of the contents of my head / current situation.

As I’m back in NY for a few days this week (yep there’s more to come!), I wanted to take the opportunity to record a few spiritual lessons from the road. Here goes:

Even your soul project / true calling / dharma work can become a ball and chain if you let it. In fact, there’s perhaps an even stronger likelihood of it taking over your entire life than a “regular” job where you clock in and out every day, since it’s what you were “born to do.” Like breathing. And so it feels natural to do it ALL THE TIME. Getting away from my desk and onto the open road gave me some invaluable perspective on how, with so many projects bubbling (book, sweatshirt line, live events, Club SÖDA NYC, etc!) I have allowed The Numinous to become my everything this year, to the point that there was no space in my life for…ME. Let alone for it to still feel like fun. This realization hit has I found myself trying to get a WiFi signal hiking somewhere in the Sedona red rocks, and suffering extreme bouts of anxiety at the number of unread emails that were building up while I “wasted time” checking out the Grand Canyon. I mean WT actual F?

A road trip is the perfect crucible from some honest self-reflection. Since your driving buddy essentially acts as a giant mirror for all your shit—kind of like your higher self observes your ego mind running rings around itself in meditation. In my case, the Pisces was the voice of my higher self—my fretting over where to do the conference call I had scheduled in TWO DAYS TIME, my fearful monkey mind trying to stay in “control” as my external environment shifted on an hourly basis. “You don’t have to do any of it if you don’t want to,” he reminded me. “You chose all this.” And what a fucking privilege too! The key insight being, that if I chose this work, then it is absolutely in my power to un-choose any bits that are no longer working for me. Like responding to every email I get within the hour. And same goes for all of us, in ANY situation, actually. YOU get to chose where your energy goes.

I do not need any more crystals, animal totems, oracle decks, or bunches of sage. A.k.a. all the trappings of “spiritual materialism”—a term that’s come up a few times lately, and so obviously was asking to be pondered. Not to mention my go-to on every stop of our trip being to seek out the best esoteric book store in town—which began to feel a bit like bypassing the art and going straight to the museum shop. As you can imagine, my house is FULL of spiritual paraphernalia—a Ganesh here, a clutch of crystals there. And it’s all very pretty. But I can’t honestly say I feel a true connection to most of it. And what become so clear on my trip was that all that “stuff,” for me, is simply a collection of talismans for the real spiritual work (the “art,” if you like) that’s happening on the inside. What I would define as the honest self-inquiry into WHO I AM and WHAT I NEED be the most fully me—as in, the truest expression of my spiritual self. Example: a healer I worked with recently told me a could use some Malachite in my life. But as I found myself returning lump after lump of the pretty green rock to its shelf in various esoteric stores along our route, I was also coming to the realization that what I truly need to develop spiritually is less time responding to emails, and more discernment on where I’m placing my energy (see points no. 1 & 2).

My email / work addiction is way worse than my alcohol addiction. As I explained when I wrote out my sober curious story a couple of weeks ago, my path to a more sober life over the past few years has meant a lot of sober firsts. And besides a few beers at the Austin City Limits festival on the first night of our trip, this has been my first ever (well, since the age of 15 or so I guess) sober vacation. “Holiday drinking” had always been my sobriety hall-pass (“I’ll only drink on holiday”), and so stepping outside of this has allowed for plenty of opportunity to witness my alcohol cravings and where they come from. And—ta-da!—the majority of the time I find myself fantasizing about a cocktail, it’s to flick the switch from work to play mode. Or rather, numb out the constant desire to…numb out with work and email! Being off my laptop has meant being fully present with my (not always exactly carefree, vacay-ready) self—showing me the extent to which I use work / being productive and busy, as a way to NOT just be with me. Which is what vacations are all about…which is why I now see I always held booze (believing it to be the most effective off-switch from work) as a vacay staple.

Hugging trees is the best. The hippies knew it, and every time I remember to do it I’m reminded how good and grounding, how calm, regenerative, and holy it feels to put your arms around a tree and really squeeze. Cut to Joshua Tree, where I found myself doing some filming with my boo Alexandra Roxo for a VERY EXCITING PROJECT (yes, another one!!) we’re launching on your asses next month. At one point, Roxo whips off her shirt and grabs the nearest trunk—the naked part not so natural for me, but my own tree-hug just as heartfelt. Our mutual friend Madeline has got into it lately too, “and she says it’s like doing a drug deal,” Alexandra joked. “In the city, you have to look in all directions and then go for it while you’re sure no-body’s watching.” Well, I say screw that! Who cares if they see? Tree-hugger and proud. A part of me I’ve been happy to re-connect with on the road.

Scenes from The Softer Image. Behind me, there was wild dancing and kava shots…

:: THURSDAY ::
I have to make some space here for beautiful Luke Simon’s nightlife experiment The Softer Image, a substance-free “high-vibe lounge” that debuted in NYC tonight. So happy I was back in town for this!! Said vibey “highs” were supplied by the equally divine Sah D’Simone‘s alchemical elixirs and tonics, a group trance to kick the evening off by talented hypnotherapist Shauna Cummins, and THE BEST old school housey soundtrack from DJ Bryce Hackford. There were hugs, wild dancing, impromptu reiki sessions, and my clock read 11.11pm before I knew it. Held in a Chinatown loft, maybe it was the kava shots, but the feel I kept getting was 4am-loved-up-after-party—only it all ended by midnight and everybody was completely sober. Thank you, Universe (and Luke), for hearing my pleas—and delivering a new way to switch off from work and have FUN. No alcohol required!

:: FRIDAY ::
I hate the rain. But today I love the rain. Since I’m my own boss, I shall be choosing to mainly work from underneath my duvet. Which will mostly mean reading the early proofs of Guru Jagat’s new book Invincible Living, ahead of my live Q&A with her at tomorrow’s Numinous Presents event in Brooklyn. I bet she has a thing or two to say about email addiction…since Kundalini yoga was developed by Yogi Bhajan as an antidote to what he saw (way back in the sixties) as the onset of “technology sickness.” Intrigued? There a still a few spots left—click here to discover more and sign up. 

 

COSMIC CALLING: ASTROLOGY FOR ENTREPRENEURS

When it comes to astrology for entrepreneurs, it’s about knowing your cosmic career signature—and following a few hard and fast rules, says Rebecca Gordon

Found on Pinterest

I grew up learning astrology with my step-mother, and I simply could not get enough. As soon as I opened my first book on the subject, I knew that this was going to change my life in a profound way. Here was a timeless and symbolic language that seemed to describe all the happenings in our lives.

Astrology occupies such a sacred space, the space where the cosmos meets the soul and inner-psyche. I simply could not think of anything better to do with my life than to decode the wonderfully poetic language of our skies and use it to help others align with their own life-path.

Since launching my subsequent career as an astrologer, I have consulted many people on astrology for entrepreneurs—and my strategy has always been to simply apply what I know about astrology to running a business.

This could be as simple as scheduling meetings at the most ideal cosmic alignments, and using lunar cycles, planetary returns and so much more to inform business practices. But on a deeper level, it’s about letting the clues in somebody’s birth chart to help unearth their “calling.”

For when you are aligned with your natal chart, your own path, and the natural cycles, a feeling of great support and synchronicity pervades. We all have a specific role here on earth and something unique that we are here to share, and life is as much about the journey to discover this. Your path to your calling is truly what makes you who you are. Value each “misstep” as nothing but a teaching, all of which are vital parts of your unique journey.

:: DISCOVERING YOUR COSMIC CAREER SIGNATURE ::
How can we know the type of career best suited to us? The first indicator I look for is temperament, as seen through the balance of elements in the chart: fire, earth, air and water. Each element rules a different kind of function in work and life, and each unique combination of elements and signs has its most ideal work habitat and daily practice.

The other thing it’s important to note are the modes which are: cardinal, fixed and mutable. These tell me your strengths and weaknesses as an entrepreneur and your most ideal platform on any team. It’s really about knowing ourselves and finding a way to express what we do best.

Some people have a balance of all of these elements and modes, though most of us do not. So I am a firm believer in hiring out in the places where you are lacking. For example, if you have no air, you may need to hire a big picture strategist or consult with.

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:: THE CAREER HOUSES ::
There are three houses (sectors of your birth chart) that deal with ideas around work. These are the “Earth houses,” which deal with the practicalities of life, and are sectors two, six, and ten. Each of these houses deals with a different aspect of your work day; cash flow, daily practices, and your vocational calling.

Each of the 3 houses speaks to another aspect of career. The 2nd house is synonymous with the concept of “your farmland—your crops.” It represents the inherited skills, attributes, talents and also the attitudes around them and the ways which we may derive self-worth.

Your 2nd house will reveal attitudes around money as well as inherited and karmic wealth stories. If any entrepreneur wants to integrate astrology into their business plan, the first thing is to understand your own 2nd house and how it works.

The other house that deals with running a business is the 6th house. This house deals more with what sort of business atmosphere and work-flow suites you best. The 6th house also relates to the style in which you will deliver your service and what kind of service this may be.

The 10th house, in my opinion, is the most important because this deals with the concept of your ‘true calling’ or your ‘vocation’. Not everyone has their 2nd house (income) aligned with 10th house (vocation) though they can be congruent.

The 10th speaks about where you will find your dignity in the world and this is a key to happiness at work. I feel the 10th house must be awoken somehow for anyone to feel like they are on their true path. Think of the base of the chart (the IC) as your root system and ancestral stories and the top of the chart (the 10th house) as the fruit you bear—what you may emerge into when you follow your calling.

:: THE CAREER PLANETS ::
There is not one planet that rules career. Though I often look at the ruler of the 10thhouse, as well as the “conversations” that planet is in (how I refer to the different aspects it is making) and where it is positioned. Also, and planets in the 10th house speak volumes about your career interests. This and the ruler of the 10th will usually tell me a pretty in-depth story about your calling.

:: CHOOSING A TIME TO LAUNCH ::
Choosing a launch date for a business, product or service can be make or break, and it’s something I put a great deal of time and energy into. First there are a series of questions I ask because the chart of your business (calculated using the time, date and location of the launch) must speak to the mission statement and goals of the business.

What is a stellar chart for an online coaching business may not work at all for someone opening a restaurant! I also consider the entrepreneur’s natal chart, to make sure the timing also works for them.

There are also a couple of hard and fast rules when it comes to astrology for entrepreneurs:

– Stay away from Mercury Retrograde for your launch.
– Try to also have Mars, Jupiter and Saturn direct, if possible.
– Friendly aspects to Saturn show stability so I like to have some of those
– Jupiter and Pluto alignments with the luminaries (sun and moon) can bring wealth and abundance
– I try to make sure the important planets for your business type are in a sign they function highly in.
– Launch on a friendly New Moon, ideally one that’s near the top of the chart.
– Stay away from launching on Full Moons and especially not on a Lunar Eclipse. Full Moons and Lunar Eclipses are times of endings and culminations, not beginnings.
– I look for the Moon to be applying to a positive aspect, for example a conjunction to Jupiter or trine to Venus.

I have seen my clients launch under all kinds of personal transits, though Saturn and Jupiter are the two main ‘business planets’—as Saturn rules consolidation and stability, and Jupiter expansion. Both equally important.

Sometimes a Saturn transit gives someone the discipline they need to actually concretize something. Another person may need a Jupiter transit to give them the vision and confidence to let go of all of the preparation and studying and finally set sail.

BEST ASPECTS FOR CAREER TRANSITIONS…
I have also seen people change career paths suddenly under a Uranus transit or transform their life direction under a Pluto transit. One client I had a years ago had Pluto crossing her 10th house, and she left the cosmetic counter at MAC and went to study Chinese medicine. Now she’s a full time doctor and loves it. Pluto rules over medicine and research, so we used astrology to successfully time her transition.

BEST ASPECTS FOR LAUNCHING A WEB-BASED BUSINESS…
For launching a website or online business, I look for a strong Mercury because “communication” is the main focus here. Also I may emphasize the 3rd and 9th houses (axis of communication), although the details of the chart will depend on what sort of website it is.

BEST ASPECTS FOR A MARKETING CAMPAIGN…
If the marketing campaign is oriented to bring in revenue or sell items, I’d arrange the chart to have a healthy 2nd or 8th house depending on the revenue stream. Maybe both. Also I would like strong aspects to the 11th if there will be affiliate partners.

BEST ASPECTS FOR HIRING STAFF…
Hiring is definitely something to avoid in Mercury Retrograde as the agreed terms would change down the road anyhow. Hire when planets are occupying Earth and Air signs so judgment does not get too clouded by emotions and there will be clear communications about the role and expectations. Also hire when you are not under a Neptune transit or any challenging influence for that matter because whoever enters your life while you’re under that transit, will likely be another manifestation of the lesson it brings.

BEST ASPECTS FOR HOSTING AN EVENT…
You will get a much better turn out on a Full Moon then a New Moon, generally speaking, as a Full Moon has a more celebratory feel, making people want to go play in the magic and connect to others.

If you’d like to learn more about Astrology For Entrepreneurs, click here for more info. 

 You can also find Rebecca at rebeccagordonastrology.com

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: HOW TO USE THE RETROGRADES FOR HEALING

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

Sub Rosa’s Michael Ventura

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: AN ACTUAL DATE WITH RUSSELL BRAND (KINDA)

Tending to my zen-den, a modern day witch hunt, and a Skype date with Russell Brand…

:: MONDAY ::
So I spent the past two weeks on vacation in Hawaii, where I had planned to switch off completely and mend my broken mind after pretty much a year of #nodaysoff. Which, for various reasons, is not how things panned out – but OH WOW, what valuable lessons and insights the Universe had in store for me instead! Why do I bring this up? Because rarely does life give us what we think we want – the Universe prefers to serve us what it knows we NEED. Basically the number one thing to keep in mind as we head into this Mercury (+ Mars + Pluto + Jupiter + Saturn!!) retro phase. So be open, be vigilant, and just watch in grace and wonder as it all unfolds.

:: TUESDAY ::
Mega congrats to my beautiful friend and collaborator Kirsty, who launched the most fabulous service today – an online subscription service for high-end, hard-to-find scented candles named Scent. When you set up an account, you’ll be asked to create a “scent profile” so all the candles you receive can be tailored to your tastes. Your zen-den never smelled better – and just in time for Mother’s Day too! Discover more at Scentfrom.us

Loving the beautiful imagery on Scent…

:: WEDNESDAY ::
And speaking of zen-dens – can we just officially acknowledge that ritual baths are currently officially a thing? Like is anybody out there not soaking with a bunch of salts, crystals, and activated herbs? Which is timely, actually, since with all those planets currently in retrograde, the big memo from the Cosmos is to slow things TF down. So check out this ritual bath recipe from Deborah Hanekamp, or stock on House of Intuition’s genius “bath bags” (like a tea bag but for your bath, see below) – and soak it up!

Clarity Bath Bags, $8, House of Intuition

:: THURSDAY ::
An interview with Jessica Knoll, who’s runaway best-seller Luckiest Girl Alive is – hello – an absolute feminist classic. Do not be put off by the breezy comparisons to Gone Girl etc, this is a straight-up Medieval witch-hunt at its most gory. And in the Now Age? Girl comes out alive and kicking. It’s not giving anything away to reveal that Jessica recently came out about the rape scenes depicted in the book as being based on her own teenage experiences – in other words, took one giant leap for female kind in re-writing history from the perspective of herstory. Read it and weep (tears of  fully empowered female joy).

:: FRIDAY ::
Got so SO close to making an actual dream come true today, when I got to speak at an event hosted by the David Lynch Foundation with none other than…Russell Brand! Only Rus ended up being Skyped in – so near, yet so far. The topic? Meditation as a tool for addiction recovery and substance abuse, and of course Russell nailed it. I’ll share a link to the whole panel discussion when it’s posted online, but one classic RB take-away to take you into your week-end: “I used substances to access a alternate state of consciousness. Now I have meditation for that.” Amen.

TIME FOR CHANGE: 10 SIGNS I WAS LIVING A LIE

As Mercury goes retrograde, the coming three weeks are the perfect time for some life laundry. For Victoria Cox, this meant asking: “am I living a lie?” Artwork: Aneta Ivanova via Behance.net

It’s an unsettling feeling to look back on the last decade of your life, only to discover that you’ve been living a lie. No, I haven’t recently been arrested for identity theft nor do I want to be the next Caitlyn Jenner. What I mean by living a lie is this: upon looking back at the arc of my burgeoning adulthood, I was astounded to discover that the career choices I had made, had never, in fact, been the choices I wanted to make.

There was no gun being held to my head. I made these decisions entirely voluntarily. Succumbing to my own burning desire to please others, I began to emulate a path that would impress my father. Abandoning my creative desires, I launched headfirst into a career in law.

Essentially, I took on what had been one of his ambitions and pursued his goal for myself. All, I can see now, in the hope that he would love me just a little bit more. Of course I didn’t realize what I was up to until much later in life, that’s the power of the subconscious mind. But there were signs along the way, tiny whispers asking if this was truly what I wanted.

Ultimately, it was finally paying attention to these signs that opened my eyes to the fact I’d been faking it all along.

SADNESS: The first sign was the persistent, heavy sadness that was my constant companion. I spent so long convincing myself that I was doing the right thing that I simply chose to ignore it. I knew it wasn’t normal to feel this way, but it took me years to confront my sadness and ask myself that terrible question. The one you don’t want to ask because you already know you don’t want to hear the answer. “Why are you really doing this?”

FEAR: Then there was the fear – fear of making any changes to my life. So, cushioned by my regular paycheck, I chose to play it safe. I convinced myself that it was the fear of losing my job that kept me awake at night, when actually I was afraid of something completely different. I was afraid I was missing out on living MY life.

RESISTANCE: I had always wanted to be a writer, yet I never wrote. Instead of putting pen to paper and creating a story, I created a litany of excuses. I was too busy, too stressed and this was killing off any creative inspiration. What I was really doing was a classic case of self-sabotage; I was refusing to get out of my own way.

DISTRACTION: I would do anything to avoid facing up to the truth of my situation. Cue night after night when, instead of turning on my laptop to write, I poured myself a glass of wine and checked in to see what The Real Housewives were up to. Anything to divert myself from… myself.

EMOTIONAL GUIDANCE: Sensing my malaise, a friend suggested I try a meditation class. Once my monkey mind finally settled I discovered a sense of peace I hadn’t felt in years. Meditation began to show me the true purpose of emotions and how they can actually provide valuable guidance. Quieting my mind had highlighted the fact that anxiety and fear were my sole companions while I was at work. In stark contrast, I discovered that the only time I felt any semblance of joy was in a creative environment.

BOREDOM: Another sign that showed me I was living an inauthentic life was a constant sense of boredom. I was bored by my work and bored with life. I would plan vacation after vacation in the hopes of brushing up against some kind of enjoyment, but nothing excited me anymore. The world seemed to have become one, long, monotonous…nothing.

ILLNESS: Being stressed and unhappy takes its toll on the mind, and on the body. My body decided to give me a sign of its own making, a physical wake-up call. My skin reverted to its teenage years and broke out constantly. I had severe insomnia and my adrenals were burnt out. My body was essentially screaming at me to get my attention the only way it knew how, through sickness.

IDENTITY LOSS: Despite the fact that I was desperate to change my career I hid behind my profession. I used my identity as a lawyer to impress people, because I was too afraid to show them who I really was. Ironically I spent so long holding up this mask as a “successful lawyer” that it was no longer a mask. I had morphed into somebody that I didn’t want to be.

SELF-LOATHING: I was disgusted by the realization that I had let fear hold me back from pursuing my creative dreams. In an attempt to remove these loathsome thoughts circling around my mind, I began journaling every evening. A torrent of hateful words poured forth providing another sign I desperately needed before I could move forward. I now needed to forgive myself.

PERSPECTIVE: The act of writing out my deepest fears in my journal showed me that I was stuck in a victim mentality. Instead of throwing a 24-hour pity party, what I needed was a change in perspective. Why was I choosing to hide this experience in the Life Mistakes folder, when I could file it under Life Lessons instead? Looking at my situation from a fresh perspective showed me that my experience had actually created a swath of writing material. What if I chose to write about my story so that it could help others who were in the same boat?

I’m still a long way off from the writing career of my dreams but that’s the not the point. The point is that each step of my journey has shown me I was living life out of duty rather than desire; acting always to please others rather than pleasing myself.

I hid behind my fears because I didn’t want to face up to the fact that in order to follow my writing dreams, I had to let go of those parts of my life that no longer served me. Yet the very act of finally facing these fears gave me the permission I had been desperately seeking; the permission to pull off the mask of inauthenticity and show my real self to the world.