MY MYSTICAL LIFE THE NOW AGE IS…NOW

A manifesto for change; a new Moon Club cycle; self-care for the soul; Club SÖDA NYC; and what will you donate to Standing Rock?

With Biet Simkin, Fern Olivia and Valerie Oula at our OFF THE RÖCKS event. 

:: MONDAY ::
Finished reading an advance copy of maverick philosopher Daniel Pinchbeck’s new book, How Soon is Now: From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation. Part memoir, part manifesto, Pinchbeck basically lays it on the line—either we actively choose to participate in facilitating a radical global consciousness shift, or we’re headed for social, political, and environmental armageddon. Which, as he tells it, is not nearly as scary / daunting as it sounds!

I defy anybody not to feel super inspired by Pinchbeck’s vision for a new Earth, and one which truly is within our reach. IF we all get on board—and fast. Reading this against a backdrop of the 2016 Presidential election / Standing Rock, two inter-related situations which, for me, represent the two sides of the current doomsday we find ourselves facing, there’s only one answer to the question he poses in the title: the time for action is NOW. Which is why I call it the Now Age!

The book is out Feb 21—please pre-order your copy NOW, since I just decided we’ll be reading it together for the very first Numinous book club. Click here to get yours.

:: TUESDAY ::
Sagittarius New Moon…which means the first official Moon Club cycle begins! All our members received their Moon Mission PDF for this moon cycle (11/29—Dec 29) today, with an overview of the cosmic climate, what this actually means for us as human beings, weekly coaching exercises for each moon phase, and a reading for each moon sign. But it’s actually totally fine to sign up at any time during the month—as all new members receive a link to the current Moon Mission, and there’s some kind of scheduled activity every week.

For example, for next Tuesday’s first quarter moon in Pisces, Moon Club members will be invited to a LIVE interactive webinar with Thinx founder Miki Agrawal. One of our favorite entrepreneur activists, Miki is all about starting the kind of conversations that are an essential part of Daniel Pinchbeck’s utopian vision for the future. You can learn more about Moon Club and check out a sample Moon Mission PDF here.

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Favorite, favorite new pampering / self-care treat: the Crystal Ritual Cleanse from colorist-stylist duo Lauren & Vanessa. Which is essentially a wash + blow-dry…with added reiki, crystals and essential oils! Designed to balance and activate the upper chakras (heart, throat, third eye, and crown), the treatment begins with me laying back at a hair washing station and Lauren asking me to select the essential oil I want her to work with. She then places crystals in each of my hands, and proceeds with a reiki treatment and head massage—working the oil into my crown chakra…with more crystals!

The treatment ends with a blowout from Vanessa, and I leave feeling deeply revitalized. And something has obviously worked on a “material girl” level too—literally every person I encounter during the rest of the evening tells me how great I’m looking.

Which, if I’m honest, feels kind of frivolous to even mention against the backdrop of the election / Standing Rock. I’m getting a crystal head massage, while people are (literally) freezing on the front lines? But I think meditation artist Biet Simkin made a great point in a FB post today also: “I almost feel like there is a shame now to post anything that isn’t completely depressing. But if you kill our spirit, how will we stand against these dangers!? For what will we stand!? We must remember light! We must remember the spirit inside us!”

As well as time with loved-ones, nurturing our bodies with delicious food, and feeding our minds with inspiring words, it’s self-care and pleasure rituals like the above that help keep us connected to our sense of spirit. To what we are fighting for. Yes, the time for stepping into our roles as global change-makers is now. And can’t we also feel really great while we do it? Click here to read more and book a treatment with Lauren & Vanessa.

:: THURSDAY ::

Club SÖDA NYC. Another amazing turn-out and crowd for mine and Biet’s “sober curious” event—which also made Well+Good’s list of top wellness trends for 2017! Top tip from our panel on sober party pre-gaming? Write a gratitude list. I also had the realization during Biet’s meditation, that what we’re really craving in alcohol is a shift, an “escape,” into the right side of the brain—the intuitive, feeling, feminine side, versus the logical, linear left brain. We live in such a left-brain world (deadline-driven, progress-focussed), we’ve been left with a collective yearning for transcendence  that can often manifest in substance mis-use.

And yes, this shift to a more balanced brain state—where left and right, masculine and feminine, thinking and feeling—work in tandem, is also part of Pinchbeck’s Now Age vision. The challenge: investigate ways to get there that are also physically restorative, mentally enlivening, emotionally supportive, and spiritually fulfilling.

:: FRIDAY ::
Making plans to head to The Deep End Club community gathering tomorrow, and donate a bunch of Numinous sweatshirts to Standing Rock. They’re super cozy, after all. What have you got to give?

EMBODY YOUR POWER: A MESSAGE FOR AMERICA

Welcome to a collective wake-up call for us to embody true power. As the dust begins to settle on the 2016 presidential election, Molly Burkett has a message for America…Portrait: Najva Sol 

 

Election night I’ll admit, I checked the coverage with feigned interest. As the daughter of a Marxist and a Neo-Pagan, I’ve grown up removed from any type of rousing faith in our political system. Beyond what Bernie represented. When he spoke in Washington Square Park in New York, I cried. (And I’ve never been moved to tears by a man in a suit, with the exception of Don Draper).

Nonetheless, of course I assumed Hilary would win, and that would be that. I went to sleep.

I was shocked, along with the rest of you, to wake up and see how things had unfolded. The following essay immediately began coming through. So I started typing, and I share it with you here to offer comfort in this time of grief, confusion, and fear, and to offer my perspective to the question we’re all asking: “Is this a joke?”

:: A MESSAGE FOR AMERICA ::

The process of spiritual awakening, often referred to as “healing,” is actually a great clearing—as all that is NOT love is released from the body. This is cathartic yet painful, like venom being drawn from a snake bite. All your fear and selfishness is often revealed to you in dramatic ways. Emotional trauma held in cellular memory begins to come up to be dissolved. Painful personal histories flash before your eyes like it happened yesterday. Anxiety, panic, anger, inflammation and PTSD-like symptoms are common as part of this process.

Sensitivity grows both psychically and physically. You are more attuned to the needs, feelings and wants of others, because you are coming to the realization that you are not separate, that serving them serves you. You also become less numb to the effects of toxins in food, drink, conversations, movies and TV, and are forced to update your lifestyle accordingly. The catalyst for awakening as individuals is often a great tragedy or sudden injury that humbles us and forces us to reevaluate our lives and commit to making changes. No wonder we call it a “wake-up call.” I believe Trump is a collective wake-up call for us to change our ways as a nation.

Deepak Chopra says Donald Trump is an example of someone who holds so much trauma within him it has kept him infantilized, forever remaining in the lower chakras: reactive, survival-based, and deeply, deeply afraid. He rests in narcissism, never evolving to the higher consciousness where compassion is awakened and our interdependence is felt, known, and acted upon. It is from this injured place of fear and illusion that all violence stems. All violence towards others is ultimately a form of self-hatred and self-destruction, an attempt to mend a hurt in a way that regrettably, only causes more pain for ourselves.

So where do we go from here? I see a pathway.

Trump is a wounded child with a loaded gun. He will mirror to us in America our own wounds: our fears, our hatreds, our prejudices. His presence will draw out the darkest elements of the American collective being, and force us to bear witness to the ways we too have justified violent behavior, violent speech or violent thoughts in our lives.

Micro-violence in the form of gossip, complaining, judging, assuming, insulting and demeaning each other are among the seeds of large-scale violence in the form of systemic racism, misogyny and sexual assault, and abuse of natural resources. There will be a proliferation of this violence and it will be painful. There will be more terrible, vitriolic hate speech. There will be lives sacrificed. But there will also be redemption. There will be resistance, and activism. For women, for minorities, for immigrants, for the LGBTQ community, for the rights of all people to live a healthy and happy life. For nature, to heal and to be honored and ultimately be recognized as the source of all life and healing.

I believe in the power and potential of the American people, starting with you. I suggest you use this as an opportunity to embody the character traits that you wish you were seeing in the American president. What is your image of power that is also power for the people, and power for Mother Nature? What is your image of a divine protector or a sacred warrior who will protect our food, our water, our children, and lead us all to greater cooperation and peace?

Practice all the qualities of a great leader today in your own life. Envision good triumphing over evil. Do not embrace defeat. Love does not necessarily prevail in the space and time and the form that you expect, want or understand, but it does indeed prevail. Love is the first and the last word. This is the trajectory we are on, our shared destiny, and it cannot be un-written.

Witness the horror and shock of this moment from a place of deep knowing within yourself. Keep yourself attuned to the fundamental truth that beyond the dramas of the past and projections of the future, all is well now. The sun rose today and it will set this evening. The air gives us oxygen, and with every exhale we encourage the flowers to bloom.

NUMINOUS x SLC LONDON: HALLOWEEN HAPPENINGS AT TOPSHOP

Join The Numinous and She’s Lost Control for some spooky Halloween Happenings at Topshop in NY and LA…

Let’s get spooked! We’ve teamed up with She’s Lost Control to curate a program of mystical Halloween Happenings at Topshop in NYC and Los Angeles over the weekend of October 29 and 30 2016.

Numinous Founder Ruby Warrington has curated a program featuring some of our favorite modern mystics. So stop by for a Halloween-themed workshop or oracle reading, and to say hi to our Numinous reps on site.

Here’s the line-up…

TOPSHOP NYC, 478 Broadway, New York, NY 10013.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 29

  • Spooky Flower Crowns with Stems Brooklyn
    Join the floral goddesses of Stems Brooklyn to create your very own custom floral crown for Halloween. Flower Crowns aren’t just for your summer music festival, let’s make them spooky! Our team will show you the ropes with tutorial on how to DIY your own crown. All supplies, florals and accessories included. Come with an open mind and spooky inspirations! Workshops are subject to availability and first come first served at 12pm 2pm 4pm and 6pm

Discover Stems Brooklyn on Instagram.

  • Oracle Readings with Rebecca Conran
    Oracle cards are an ancient and reliable way to receive spiritual guidance and to gather detailed insight into your innermost questions. Through psychic intuition Rebecca helps you to understand where you are currently in your life, where you are going, and what you can do to support yourself holistically. Readings are first come first served and subject to availability. Allow for 15-20 minutes.

Discover Rebecca Conran on Instagram.

SUNDAY OCTOBER 30

  • Potion Making with Elyssa Jakim
    Join the ethereal Elyssa Jakim for an autumnal afternoon of witchery that will teach you not only how to make delicate elixirs of crystal and flower essence but how to tap into your power as an alchemist. Each session will include a group meditation and will center on its own theme and energetic master. You will leave with your very own potion for bathing, imbibing, and body anointing.

Potion Menu
1. St. Germain’s Alchemical Elixir: Prosperity, luck, and good cheer
2. Venus’s Potion for inner beauty: Pearls, mermaids, lilies, pine

Workshops are subject to availability and first come first served at 12pm 2pm 4pm and 6pm

Discover Elyssa Jakim on Instagram.

  • Soul Tarot Readings with Lindsay Mack
    Lindsay Mack is an intuitive healer, holistic counselor, tarot reader and teacher; she is also the founder of Wild Soul Healing, based in Brooklyn, NY. She offers and facilitates Soul Tarot Readings™, which are gentle and grounded intuitive channeling experiences with the Tarot for transformation and evolution. Readings are first come first served and subject to availability. Allow for 15-20 minutes.

Discover Lindsay Mack on Instagram.

***

TOPSHOP LOS ANGELES, The Grove, 189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 29

  • Spooky Flower Crowns with Thistle & Seed
    Amp up your Halloween costume by creating your own gorgeous flower crown in this witchy workshop. Adorn yourself in fresh florals for the dark Hallows night. All supplies, florals and accessories included. Come with an open mind and spooky inspirations! Workshops are subject to availability and first come first served at 12pm 2pm 4pm and 6pm

Discover Thistle & Seed on Instagram.

  • Tarot Readings with Natalia Benson
    Natalia Benson is a modern mystic, esoteric enthusiast and the resident Astrologer for WhoWhatWear.com. Natalia takes an empowering and holistic approach when reading the cards, recognizing Tarot as a mirror of your current state and a means to empower and enrich your life. Readings are first come first served and subject to availability. Allow for 15-20 minutes.

Discover Natalia Benson on Instagram.

SUNDAY OCTOBER 30

  • The Love Spell Potionarium with Eyewalker Elements
    Activating your sensory experience with the ancient technology of plant based wisdom and essential oils, you will have the opportunity to create your own custom love potion. Taylor Eyewalker will guide you through a process of self inquiry, brief but deep meditative practices and breath to develop your own personal intention behind your custom perfume. In this workshop you will be given the tools to create and leave with something activated, potent and personal to continue creating the life of your dreams. Workshops are subject to availability and first come first served at 12pm 2pm 4pm and 6pm

Discover Taylor Eyewalker on Instagram.

  • Halloween Horoscopes with Danielle Paige
    As the veils thin for Halloween, things can get pretty scary…but it’s definitely NOT scary to understand more about your soul contract and your birth chart. In these mini readings astrologer Danielle Paige will dive deep into one key aspect of your chart to help you navigate Scorpio season as your most powerfully magnetic self. Readings are first come first served and subject to availability. Allow for 15-20 minutes.

Discover Danielle Paige on Instagram.

AN EMPATH’S FASHION WEEK SURVIVAL GUIDE

Attending the international catwalk shows left former Garage Magazine fashion editor Chloe Kerman feeling utterly depleted. Here’s how she learned why – after leaving the industry behind… PLUS: Chloe shares her Fashion Week survival guide.

Chloe in her fashion editor days

I was a Fashion Editor for 10 years. I had a great job at Garage Magazine, produced beautiful shoots, working with incredible photographers such as Paolo Roversi, Ellen Von Unwerth, and many others. On paper, it was my dream job, but honestly during that time I was so unhappy. I felt like a hamster caught in a spinning wheel, running over the same old ground over and over again. I was very low, I had no passion, no drive, and felt like I was wasting my life.

Of course, my job also meant I attended the international catwalk events in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, and I saw almost all the shows. A dream come true for anybody who claims to love fashion. However, before the shows I would go into meltdown. I felt immense pressure to buy new clothes while the insecurities I felt about my body would be heightened at this time. My mood would be all over the place and I would dread the weeks ahead. By the end of the month, I was so emotional I would cry most days, which I put down to being over tired, suffering from stress and anxiety, and burning the candle at both ends!

Searching for some relief and some answers, I was still working for Garage Magazine at when I began studying Shamanism in October 2013. But on the last day of my course, Alberto Villoldo, my teacher and founder of The Four Winds Society, told me: “Don’t be surprised if your life changes when you go home.”

His prediction came true. Just hours after arriving home, my boyfriend at the time ended our three-year relationship – and the following day I was fired from my Fashion Editor job! In the space of two days, I’d been completely stripped of my identity. But all of a sudden, I was given the opportunity and freedom to change my life.

It was definitely a very challenging and emotional time, however now I see these events as huge gifts, as I took the opportunity to leave London and begin a magical journey of deep transformation, growth, healing, and study.

I have spent the past two years traveling and studying in the East and West Coast of America, Peru, Chile, Thailand, and India. I have studied Shamanism and Crystalline Consciousness, I’m initiated in herbalism, I studied at the Oneness University, and I’m currently working with the Divine Feminine empowerment movement, creating workshops and offering private sessions.

Chloe’s new life

I live a very different life from my fashion industry days, which has enabled me to see how every experience is an opportunity to grow, leading me to approach life as a constant adventure. I have learned to understand exactly how I co-create my reality, which means whatever happens for me I take responsibility for manifesting it. And how exciting and empowering it feels to choose to take full ownership of my feelings and my daily experience.

When I started my shamanic training I also discovered that I am an “empath” – meaning someone who easily picks up on other people’s emotions, and who taps into the collective consciousness around them. That’s when the penny dropped as to why I had such a hard time during the shows – not only had I been dealing with my own feelings of insecurity, inadequacy and stress, but I was experiencing the strain of taking on a lot of other emotions that were swirling around me.

Being an empath is a beautiful gift – when you’re able to identify as one. However, until then life can seem very overwhelming, simply because we’re so sensitive. And when I worked in the industry, I knew nothing about how to prepare myself energetically for the shows. One very simple tool I’ve since learned, and which you can use anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed, is to ask yourself: are these feelings mine? If you get a no, they will automatically defuse.

Here, I’ve compiled a list of my top tips for staying centered, aligned, and starting my day in the most loving way possible for myself and those around me.

1. As soon as you wake up, invite all the things you are grateful for to come into your mind. Let this be spontaneous: I’m grateful for this comfortable bed, that I had a deep sleep, etc. When you start the day like this your frequency automatically bumps up in vibration.

2. Follow this with some kind of practice to connect to yourself. This can be meditation, yoga, a walk in nature, conscious breathing, focusing on your heart, etc. Even 10 minutes of this can really change the flow and mood of your day as it will connect you to your own center.

3. Choose to make every decision in love, with honor and respect for yourself and the people around you.

4. Dab a couple of drops of organic Bulgarian rose oil on each of your seven chakras – starting at the root, and moving up through the sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown. Bulgarian rose oil holds a very high vibration that maintains the integrity of the energy centers.

5. Wear a clear quartz crystal at your heart or solar plexus.

6. Do a chakra clearing daily, either morning or evening or both if you have time. I love Chakra Dyana.

7. Eat the most nourishing food you have access too – proteins and good fats are great for energy levels, and root veg for grounding. Avoid the foods and drinks that you know yo-yo your emotions i.e. caffeine and sugar (a hard one when you’re racing between shows!)

8. Movement. Anytime you feel stuck or low in energy its time to move, either physically or choosing a different thought pattern. This circulates energy and keeps us in flow and open to new opportunities.

9. Create an act of kindness for someone else daily, plugging into the energy of unconditional giving.

10. Book in with an energy healer after the shows to rebalance, nurture and refuel your system.

And, remember that anytime you feel stressed or overwhelmed, you can use this as an opportunity to practice coming back to your center – which means simply taking a moment to focus on your heart and on your breath, practicing compassion for yourself and the experience that you are having, and inviting gratitude into your awareness again.

I say practice because staying present is a choice we have to make consciously throughout the day, with all the adventures that come our way. With this said, I invite you also to consciously decide to ENGAGE and ENJOY the fashion week craziness!

To find out more about Chloe’s work and book a session contact: [email protected]

COMFORTABLY NUMB: WHY ARE WE ALL AFRAID TO FEEL?

Dry January opened my eyes to how I’ve been comfortably numb, so this year I’m committing to feeling it and healing it, says Kate Atkinson.

‘Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me.” Ringing an opiate bell in your psyche? If you’re a borderline millennial like me, you’re shamefully more likely to recall the Scissor Sisters version before the much more pleasant, sedate and, well, numbing, Pink Floyd original of the track “Comfortably Numb.”

But this song bears a special significance in my world right now. Having completed my first ever dry January I, like I suspect many Instagramming, Malbec-drinking, Bumble-ing, Happn-ing global citizens, have realized to what extent I’ve been moving through my life in a similarly cozy but numbed-out state.

The Oxford Dictionary defines “numb” as depriving us of the power of sensation. So to do so in any capacity means more or less living and feeling at a fraction of our capabilities. Or in Numi speak: “vibing at a lower frequency.” By CHOICE. How depressing is that?

And it’s not just the booze. NYC might be a cultural smorgasbord, but it also offers ready access to all the compulsions that can take you down a rabbit hole of distraction and, eventually, longing.

Rather than dealing with our shit, we drink. Opposed to being alone, we over engage on social media (no wonder “Digital Addiction” has become an actual “thing”). Others get high on the rush of success and pepped on promotion. There’s addiction to substances, of course – legal medications, essential oils, cocaine. Addiction to online dating.  Addiction to people. Addiction to pizza. Addiction to tattoos. Addiction to solitude. Addiction to sex.

The list is endless, and the more you get to thinking about it, the more it feels like anything can become an obsession when you’d rather numb-out than feel…and deal. Then there’s the replacement of one addiction with another. Partying for yoga. Work for a relationship…and so it goes.

Without booze to cloud this revelation, I’ve only become more aware of back-to-back evenings of time wasting on Facebook; the getting obliterated after a bad day at work; the 18 nights a month I eat pizza. And many more obsessions I don’t care to list in a public forum.

And I’ve decided this is no way to live. Along with this newfound awareness, I’ve realized how sick I am of the “terrifying Tuesdays,” the hours spent staring at my phone, of saying I’ll do things I never do, and spending my precious hours on mind numbing, opposed to mind-expanding activities.

So what’s the alternative? Bottom line is it’s tough to to feel the full spectrum of your emotions. It is hard to stay at home and sit with your loneliness, when grappling with an overwhelming desire to put it all behind you, just for one night.

Personally, that social itch and need to be surrounded by others is a compulsive distraction, and when I obey it and ignore my calmer (and undoubtedly more vulnerable) intuition, generally the more disasters head my way. The thing with numbing is it becomes a cycle. Drink too much. Make bad dating decisions. Attack your liver again with Advil. Waste $40 on breakfast. And so it goes.

With this in mind, I’m accepting you have to “feel it to heal it” – which means, for now at least, I am committing to a time of being UN-NUMB. And what this will entail exactly I don’t know, since I’ve been living comfortably numb for well over a decade.

Nonetheless, I want to commit to it this year. I have no idea what I’m doing – and already I’m finding myself interested in activities I would have laughed at this time last year. So welcome to my blank canvas of withdrawal…which right now seems to be manifesting into this column.

Signing off until next time, with one of my favorite quotes from Anais Ninn:

“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book…or you take a trip…and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating.

The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death.

Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: A NEW WORKING WARDROBE, AND THE REALITY OF TRUTH

Elevated living in my PJs, The Reality of Truth, and getting some supplies in for my Moon time…

PJs + Wild Child lipstick by Ila = my new working wardrobe

:: MONDAY ::
Still vibing off our Numinous Presents: Lead Your Own Moon Ceremony workshop, which was led by Deborah Hanekamp in NYC last Saturday. Having my moon in Cancer (the moon’s home sign) I’ve always felt especially attuned to her movements, which is one reason I’m always posting about what sign she’s moving through in our Instagram #moonscopes. But Deborah’s teachings brought a whole other level of awareness to how to use each Moon phase, PLUS all the proper protocols for hosting my own moon ceremony (for myself or others). Essential info – which is why we’re planning to bring the course to LA next month. Watch this space!

LA date in Feb 2016…TBD!

:: TUESDAY ::
Since I’ve mainly spent this month working towards my March 1 BOOK DEADLINE (out spring 2017 #savethedate), I’ve also been mainly spending all day every day in my PJs. And doing a bit of research for the chapter on beauty, I remembered this post on The Art of Sacred Adornment by Kitty Cavelier. She writes how: “When you rouge your lips, be aware that you are bringing red, the color of passion and power, to every word you speak. As you paint your fingernails, remember that every stroke of the polish is a prayer of adornment for all the magic your hands create every day.” So the PJs can stay, but I’ll be adding some lipstick and polish from here on in (see main pic!)

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Dinner with my friends Ian and Drita, who recently moved down to Costa Rica to help open a high-end shamanic healing retreat called Rythmia. Needless to say I’ll be heading down to check it out later this year, and in the meantime I’ll be watching The Reality of Truth – a documentary exploring how people, groups and entire cultures tap into an alternative, “true reality” through spirituality, meditation, and psychedelics. Featuring ALL the great Now Age speakers, you can win a $10,000 retreat at Rythmia when you buy a copy.

:: THURSDAY ::
Ah, the magic of manifestation. While we were trying to engineer a move from London to NYC, I’d been making my husband (a.k.a. The Pisces) a morning cup of tea in an “I <3 NY” mug every day for like 18 months. Once the Universe heard and gifted him with a transfer to the Manhattan office of his firm, we told our friends Catherine and James about this, who were like: “oh we’d quite like to live in New York too.” So we gave them the mug for them to try their luck…and they’re only only moving to NY next month!! They’re here looking at apartments this week. As for the Pisces and I? We’ve moved on to an “I <3 LA” mug…

:: FRIDAY ::
Placed an order with Kerrilynn at CAP Beauty for some Moon Juice snacks, which they began stocking this month. The thing about getting to know my personal moon cycles better (i.e. properly tracking and working to regulate my period) is that I know when I’ll be PMS’ing. And with the book deadline not exactly going anywhere, I figured a supply of my fave Chocolate Chaga Donuts and Rose Geranium bars might come in handy in the days to come. Except they’d only sold out!! I’ll have to make do with the Mulberry Cacao Crunchers instead #sigh #fristworldmaterialgirlproblems…

Moon Juice Chocolate Chaga Donuts, $8

BEAUTIFUL, MYSTICAL, MOVING: PLAIN INDIANS EXHIBIT AT THE MET

When Gabriela Herstik happened upon the Plain Indians exhibit at the MET, it was a fashionable reminder of her own awakening to  MYSTICAL spirituality. Main image: Karolina Daria Flora

I’m all about synchronicity and the wonderful way our life stories seem to loop together over time. My most recent “moment” came together last week, when for the first time in 10 years I found myself back in the Big Apple. A mandatory trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art was made, and as I was walking up the beautifully grand stairs to the entrance I saw it – the sign that read; “The Plain Indians; Artists of Earth and Sky.”

I first learned about the Navajo and Iroquois tribes in elementary school a decade ago, after my family had moved to Buffalo, NY, from San Diego. Looking back, I can pinpoint learning about the different Indian nations as the entry point to my interest in shamanism and mysticism – a journey that has connected to me to an understanding of whatever it is that truly lies beyond. By learning how the different tribes incorporated a belief in something bigger than them in nearly every facet of their lives, I was inspired to do the same – a way of being that’s seeped into my own life day-to-day.

The exhibition turned out to be an incredibly curated collection of Plain Indian art, displaying both the wonderful spirit of the tribes and the incredible talent of artisans across the nations. There were pipes carved with animal spirit guides and helpers; there were painted animal hides recounting tales of battles; there were exquisite war bonnets and, a favorite, an incredible shield embellished with a Buffalo spirit guide.

A large part of the exhibition, however, was dedicated to the absolutely exquisite and divine (in the truest sense of the word) clothing. There were hand-beaded jackets in dusty blues and vibrant reds; leggings with horsehair fringe and rich, dark blue beadwork; there was an absolutely breathtaking pair of completely beaded brogues with a matching bag from 1901…there was EVERYTHING a girl for whom fashion – self-adornment – and spirituality will be forever entwined. And all very Etro SS2015…

Etro SS15

There were also paintings and photographs of the Plains, with the exhibition designed to chronicle the art of the tribes from the 19th century to the present day – a visual account of the experiences of these tribal nations, ending with different artists’ personal interpretations of what the future of the tribes may look like. A touching spiritual and artistic experience, the Plain Indians exhibit at the MET was beautiful and mystic and moving.

The Plain Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC until May 10 2015

HOLY C**P! How I achieved the perfect poop

Don’t get grossed out! The perfect poop (PP) is a sign that mind and body are working in perfect harmony. Ayurvedic practitioner Wolf Medicine says finding hers meant leaving New York City…

Image: Oh…by Edward Edwards via Behance.net

Forgive the crude title, but the Ayurvedic practitioner in me can’t help but get real about bowel movements. After all, a good gut is the key to good health and lately I’ve become obsessed with poop because I know it’s about more than just taking a dump. When shit ‘ain’t right down there, it’s a sign that shit ‘ain’t right in the mind – and in the name of addressing both, I find myself on a quest to figure some stuff out in my life.

Essentially, my ultimate goal in Ayurveda school was to experience the Perfect Poop (PP) – which is what all the doctors and practitioners who taught me actually referred to it as. The PP occurs first thing in the morning upon waking. A friend of mine says the urge to poop is what wakes her up in the morning. It should be shaped like a banana or a coiled up snake (yes this is truly possible), and yellowish brown in color.

If you aren’t gagging or disgusted by now, congrats! You are an emotionally mature person. If this is grossing you out then you’d better read on, because once you realize how important it is to have the PP daily, you will be looking in that toilet and jumping up and down with glee and admiration when it finally does occur.

For me, achieving the PP is epic, a sign that I am truly taking care of my body. The thing is, it only ever happens when I leave New York (my home) for vacation, or if I take a day or two off work. Seriously, I once went to visit my mom in Texas and was pooping perfect poops for days. And recently, after being constipated for three days, I had a morning off and experienced a moment of PP glory that brought such a sense of calm and happiness I almost took a picture to show to my friends.

I had been eating Ayurvedic meals of root veggies, ghee, Kitchari, and all that good stuff, and drinking warm water in the morning and Triphala tea at night for several days in addition to taking ‘moments of silence’ (my phrase for meditation) each morning. Then, it happened: not just a nice, long, snake-like poo in the toilet, but proof that my body was responding to my good intentions. A sign that mind and body were working in perfect harmony!

Getting all the waste out of the body, not only physical but mental waste as well, is how we stay healthy. Put good food and thoughts in, and the kidneys, liver and colon will get the ‘bad’ stuff out. What happens if it stays in? Well, cancer for one thing. And migraines. And skin rashes and acne and a host of other ailments and diseases. If the crap isn’t coming out via the rectum, then it’s coming out in the skin, or festering in the colon, liver or blood, or wherever else the body decides to store it. Then it gets rotten and toxic, and then you got problems.

Which brings me to 2009. Back then I was in my late twenties and drank one to two bottles of wine a day. After months of my skin breaking out in either acne or eczema, I decided to change my ways for good. I didn’t really pay attention to poop then. I knew constipation was bad because I’d read it somewhere and that was about it. I was pretty regular but relied heavily on coffee to help me ‘go,’ which, I later learned, was also contributing to all the skin issues.

Image: Headcase Designs

So I quit drinking coffee and alcohol (and ‘til this day I feel like if I can accomplish both those things, then I can do anything in this lifetime. ANYTHING). I cut out gluten, and later, much later, processed sugar (another REALLY difficult journey that’s a whole different conversation).

I also started reading about Ayurveda, and even went to an Ayurvedic doctor who put me on a diet of no onions, garlic, tomatoes, shell fish, cashews, peanuts, yogurt, fermented food, coffee or alcohol, along with having me take a bunch of Indian herbs and immune boosting vitamins. Meat was also off the menu, but I decided I needed at least one thing in my life that I could still enjoy. Was this hard for me to stick to? Hell no! I actually found I thrive off this kind of shit.

I love a challenge, and I’m so vain that if it keeps my skin clear, I will do it. For the next eight or so months I pretty much stayed away from partying and instead ate really well and read books at home. I actually don’t remember if I was having regular bowel movements at that time but I assume my digestion was better.

The bad news is, I was still getting eczema outbreaks every so often despite my saint-like diet. About two years into my new Ayurvedic life, a friend suggested I try meditation. I felt my body stiffen and my mind shut down (but not in the good, meditative way) as soon as she suggested it. Sit still? Not think? Quitting coffee is one thing…but for somebody whose made restlessness an art form, that shit is impossible.

You think checking your Facebook or Instagram non-stop in a problem? Well I laugh, ‘cause that is child’s play people. Try not committing to ANYTHING, ever, as your life’s work. Routine, consistency, commitment, stillness…all of it is like kryptonite to me. I’m amazed I’m still with my current girlfriend (it’s been nine months which is like nine years for me).

I have yet to join a club, organization or class, and stick with it for more than a month. I have also managed to avoid a permanent place of employment throughout my twenties and into my mid-thirties. The list of careers I have either attempted so far include, but are not limited to: joining the peace corps, working on a boat, becoming an ordained minister, being a massage therapist, homeopath, acupuncturist, psychiatrist, naturopath, bike mechanic, addiction counselor, hermit, herb farmer, stripper, dominatrix, queer porn actor, houseboy, dancer, choreographer, yoga teacher (that is still something I’m looking into) and many more.

I’ve also made several attempts at figuring out how to make a living hanging out in the desert or the beaches of Hawaii and Australia (I’m actually still looking into those). All of this is to say my passions and interests vary, and rarely stick. So if I can’t even choose a life path then how in the hell am I going to meditate even three minutes a day (my goal each morning when I wake up)?

People often blame New York, saying it breeds this sort of behavior in folks. I hear over and over that there is so much variety here – so many paths to choose – that people take on too much. I’ve come to believe it isn’t New York that makes people this way – rather, it’s a mecca for people who already have this monkey-mind-I-love-to-be-busy-and-do-as-much-as-possible quality in them. New York is where busy people come to get off on being busy.

How does this relate back to the PP? My digestion got really fucked up when I lost a long-term freelance job, around the same time my friend suggested mediation to me. And what I’ve learned about pooping, or lack thereof, is that if your mind isn’t settled, calm and in harmony with your body, then the rest of your body will not function properly.

This is an illustration of the direct link between mind and body. If your mind is scattered and frantic, then your digestion will be scattered and frantic and too – thus, constipation (and lots of other symptoms that come under the umbrella term IBS).
In Ayurveda this is called a ‘vata’ imbalance. Vata is ether and air. It is a quality within each of us that is light, cold, rough, dry and constantly moving. It is located in the mind and pelvis. You can’t always see ether and air but they are there.

So how to address this imbalance? I have learned to find a calm, grounded place for my mind through meditation and yoga. For me, sticking to routine as much as possible also helps. Any divergent from my morning or evening routine means no PP for me. I seriously need two hours each morning of quiet time – no talking, no rushing to get ready, no looking at lots of crap on the internet – in order to properly evacuate my bowels.

My girlfriend and I recently made an agreement to block Facebook from our lives and to have silence in the morning to either sip warm water or do pranayama, and that has helped a lot. When I still get eczema every now and then, I know the feedback my body is giving me is that a time of retreat will do me some good – in addition to upping my dosage of probiotics and blood cleansing herbs.

As for finally settling on a career as an Ayurvedic practitioner? Using the practice to heal myself and my poop has shown me that it’s my dharma to share Ayurveda with others. Oh wait. Or is my path simply to become a yogi, practicing svadhyaya in the mountains of northern India? For now I commit to listen to my body and follow its guidance.

Have you found a way to do the PP too? We’re all yogis here, so come share your stories on Twitter, Instagram (maybe not your photos tho) and Facebook

Find out more about Wolf Medicine here.

MATERIAL GIRL, MYSTICAL WORLD: SATYA JEWELRY

Satya Jewelry is the ultimate high vibe jewelry line; it’s founder, Satya Scainetti, is the ultimate inspiration when it comes to working with your dharma…

Satya Scainetti at home in Manhattan

“The idea of stepping away from life to find all the answers…like Jesus and Buddha found enlightenment when they quit? There’s a lot to that…”

Satya Scainetti, a born-and-bred New Yorker, was gifted her spiritual name on graduating a 30-day yoga teacher training in 2000. Disillusioned with her career in social work, she found herself at a crossroads; gifted with a talent for reiki, “I was like, okay God, if this is what you want from me I’m good to go, but I’ve also got to make money…”

And so, perhaps the yoga training would lead to a bone fide practise as a healer. But on that same graduation night she also had a prophetic dream. In it, she learned that it was her dharma to create a line of spiritual jewelry also named Satya, meaning “all truth,” so she could then “donate money to children all around the world.” Within weeks, Satya Jewelry was born, and over the past decade has given over $1 million to countless children’s charities.

I first encountered Satya’s line at NYC’s Golden Bridge yoga studio (she was one of the original investors in the kunadlini institution), and was pretty much blown away by the downright numinosity of it all! Super chic pieces that wouldn’t look out of place in the pages of Vogue, but that also carried a deeply spiritual message.

The Mandala necklace: “a reminder of the sacred place we can always go”

“My whole intention is for people to find a piece that speaks to them – be it a symbol, or a healing stone they intuitively know they need. Which is mind-blowing, because we do know…I encourage my customers to trust that intuition, that knowingness. If you’re drawn to something, there’s a reason.”

The notion of dharma, life purpose that comes from a desire to be of service, is emerging all around as the resounding theme for 2015, and Satya’s story embodies this message.

“The awakening I had when this business took off was that that you can have everything – just make sure the intention is for the good of all. Then the Universe will open every door needed to make your dreams come true!” The key, then, is to think big. “We limit ourselves all the time. We say, ‘THIS is my goal, if I get THERE it will be enough,’ but we need to be open to what the Universe actually has in store for us.”

Satya, you are an inspiration among women! Read on for how this Material Girl totally rocks her Mystical World…

:: MA T E R I A L G I R L ::

MY LABEL
I’m a clothes fiend. I love Club Monaco, BCBG, and I’m a big Zara fan. I have a tonne of DVF’s dresses. Max Mara. I love Donna Karan. Handbags? Marc Jacobs, hands down.

Donna Karan Summer 2015

MY SHOES
You put a pair of heels on, everything changes – I love what it does to my body, and it gives me confidence! My favorites are Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin. I actually met him in Paris. I was there with a friend who went to school with him, and bought my first pair in the store on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. They were orgasmically beautiful. That same night we end up bumping into him and going for tea! I was like, do we get the friends and family discount now?

Christian Louboutin python “So Kate” pumps

MY FRAGRANCE
Florabotanica by Balenciaga. We did a trunk sale at Bloomies and this woman had a bunch of samples. It’s musky but light.

Florabotanica by Balenciaga

MY JEWELRY
I’m a mala fiend because I believe in the power of the mala. I was wearing my black onyx mala around the time my kids were born, twin boys. Black onyx is the stone of endurance, and I was so drawn to it! It’s all I wore for two years. Starting the business I wore all green – which is the heart chakra – because it was all coming from there. I also buy a lot of ornate Indian jewelry, but it’s all at home in my box.

Mala by Satya Jewelry

 

MY PAMPERING
I’m a Lumiere girl, I spend more money on that cream than I want to but I’m addicted! I must have a pedicure, even in the winter, every ten days, and I get a massage every week from David at Think Pink Nails in the West Village. I call him my Sumo wrestler. He does the energy work, the stones, and he’s so strong that one hour just puts it all back into place.

MY FOOD
I’m a vegetarian…but I’m also Italian, so I love pasta! Yoga has helped me eat more mindfully, so I know when to stop – but at the same time I’ll totally binge on something like pizza when I want it. Italians are brought up that food is love, and I’m always telling my kids; ‘I put a little extra love and kisses in your dinner tonight, do you taste it?’

MY HOME
My home is beautiful. Everything is very zen, I have an amazing garden with Buddhas and a sun-room with a beautiful canopy bed. I’m into cosy homes, I’ve got one of those couches that puts people to sleep. For me, home is where I can take a breath and feel relaxed, where I can really not be ‘on’ – because I’m on a lot.

Golden Buddha snow globe from ABC Carpet & Home

:: M Y S T I C A L W O R L D ::

MY AWAKENING
Everybody sleeps in my bed right now, the dogs, the kids…it’s a king, thank god, but it’s very crowded because they’re getting big! And before we get out of bed we start the day with gratitude, and name two things we’re grateful for – it’s so important to start the day that way, because from that place everything just gets better.

Gratitude Journal from Catchingfireflies.com

MY SIGN
I’m a Capricorn – strong, and one of the most devoted friends you’ll ever have. Truly, if you have me as a friend, you are blessed. I am very good at business, but I’m also ruled by the heart. I see astrology as a guide. I don’t have a therapist, but I do have an astrologer – when you’re aware of what’s happening in your chart, you can start being directed with where you put your energy. I have a great guy called David, who helped with the launch of this company. It was plotted down to the day.

Capricorn pendent by Satya Jewelry

MY MANTRA
I have so many! But for right now? I feel like I’m at an exciting point of change, so it’s simple: ‘help me be open to what’s next.’

MY HEALER
God! He’s it. I’m a believer.

MY READING
I’m a big fan of Thich Nhat Hanh. His teachings are so user friendly for the real world, and simply show how to incorporate more happiness in your life. His book on relationships, Teachings on Love, lays out such a beautiful way to live your life, and if I could pick one book to start you on a new journey that would be it.

MY MISSION
Right now it’s to build my brand to a place where I can really make a huge difference in the world. The $1m-plus we’ve given already is a drop in the ocean of what I want to do, so the next 13 years I’ll be amping up the work I do with my foundation, keeping the focus on helping children. The next generations will be the ones to make a difference in the world, and I’m going to help them do that.

MY TRANSFORMATION
My transformation is through my practise of meditation and yoga, and using it to really tap into God. Whatever you want to call it, I mean that knowingness that’s inside all of us.

www.satyajewelry.com

@satyajewelry

A STORY OF ASTROLOGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Is Astrology helping tell the story of human responses to climate change? With Saturn in Sagittarius and a scary new deadline to cut fossil fuel emissions, it’s time to pick each pilgrimage wisely, says Ruby Warrington. Images: Mariano Peccinetti

So this was going to be a post about how to use astrocartography to plan your vacations and retreats in 2015. Astrocartography is the practise of placing your birth chart over a map of the world, to see where the different planets hold the most influence for you – which is obviously completely fascinating, and I urge you to download your map here STAT!

But then I started reading Naomi Klein’s climate change manifesto This Changes Everything – and it’s become a story about how air miles feel like my most guilty pleasure.

Scanning my mind for my very favorite, most life defining memories, so many of them were made following the burning of a shit-tonne of fossil fuels – like the time I travelled to Greece as a moody adolescent, and got to experience another culture first hand for the first time. Or to Ibiza as a happy-go-lucky rave babe in my twenties, and to Miami to marry my husband, just the two of us, nervous and giggling like teenagers in the garden at the Delano hotel.

These are the memoires that exist in 3D Technicolor for me, aromas, emotions and all, and I had been fully intending to create many, many more in 2015. I’ve already booked a trip down to the Bahamas to swim with dolphins in February, which, considering I have a life-long phobia of snorkelling (I am a human, last time I checked I am not equipped for breathing underwater) I’m anticipating will be a game-changer for me.

Then there’s Lauren and Joe’s wedding in London in March (my biggest matchmaking success story), and the big ol’ Santa-Fe-to-Big-Sur road-trip I’ve been loosely fantasizing about.

But since This Changes Everything, I’m beginning to relate to the part of my mind that continues to think it’s totally okay to jump on a plane somewhere every other month like that creepy, morally corrupt dude Mr. Burns from The Simpsons. There is shame, and there is a degree of disgust.

In her book, Klein says it’s our collective “climate change denial” (i.e. continuing to jump on planes places every other month) that means we’re currently facing a situation where, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA): “If we do not get our emissions under control by 2017 our fossil fuel economy will ‘lock in’ extremely dangerous warming.”

By “lock in,” they mean seal the deal on irreversible changes to our global climate, which could trigger completely devastating environmental disasters on an as yet unimaginable scale – the trailer for which disaster movie has already begun playing on a loop.

Klein’s manifesto makes for scary but what feels like essential reading. Relating to the 28% of fossil fuel consumption attributed to the transportation industry, it’s also got me thinking about Saturn, planet of harsh life lessons, restriction and karma, recently having stationed in globe-trotting, happy-go-lucky Sagittarius. Where it will remain until – you guessed it – December 19 2017, a.k.a. pretty much D-day on potential environmental Armageddon. Which suggests that the next three years are about a stern approach to re-thinking our attitudes to why, when and how we travel.

Wow, it sucks being stuck in this materialistic human suit sometimes. At the center of my being, my soul intelligence can be finally waking up to the fact that it’s time for some RADICAL FREAKING CHANGES, but still my physical body will argue; “not quite yet though, yeah? Swimming with those dolphins is seriously gonna rock your world…”

The hard-core environmentalists will argue that there is no room, or time, for compromise. But the Titanic won’t turn on a dime. Which is an interesting metaphor in itself, considering it’s also been predicted that a rise in sea levels resulting from the disintegration of the West antarctic ice sheet (due to global warming) could wipe out coastal metropolis’ like New York, LA and London by 2100.

And I know, I KNOW. But how about, for now (really though, NOW), we commit to only travel for true pilgrimage. It’s an idea that’s also in keeping with Saturn in Sag, the notion that our journeys must have real purpose, and if it meant we all took just one trip a year instead of five, wouldn’t that be going some way towards meeting the IEA’s 2017 targets? As for all those business trips, the jaunts across continents for meetings that really need to take place face-to-face…um, isn’t that why we invented Skype?

As always, writing and thinking about environmental issues makes me feel like a total hypocrite and also extremely naive (you too, I know, which is why it feels so much nicer to just keep looking the other way), because of course I’ll be going to that wedding. Obviously a trip to Berlin to meet my new nephew this summer counts as a pilgrimage too, right? And actually, isn’t this all just too little, too late?

But as a mere human, a microscopic particle in the organism of our collective Earthly consciousness, I have no real choice but to believe that even the one, or two, or three trips I choose not to take this year will make a difference. A theory that only really works if I’m not the only one making those choices.

So then how to choose the journeys that are really worth waiting for? A while ago I had my astrocartography chart read by a British astrologer called Zoe Hind. It’s all way too complicated for me to explain in detail here, but below is a map of my chart to give you an idea.

The different colored lines represent the planets, and the labels at the top and bottom – “MC, IC, AS, DS” – show their highest and lowest points, as well as where they are ascending and descending. The idea being that a planet ascending over a certain country means it’s influence will be strengthened there. The reverse if it’s descending. So where there are lots of lines, shows where in the world there is the most cosmic potential for you.

Thinking in terms of my personal and spiritual growth (i.e. “pilgrimage”), this looks a lot like Hawaii, South America, Africa, Scandinavia, and Russia / Tibet. None of which have factored in my travels to date. But with cosmic healer Chiron strong over the Pacific, Hawaii could be the ideal location for a solo retreat, says Zoe – opposed to a group trip, as Uranus, planet of group activity, is also at it lowest there.

South America, the Amazon in particular, is where my Sun, Venus, Mercury and Chiron, all in my fourth house of family roots, are “going to sleep.” The interpretation? “If you were going to have an; ‘I want to get away from myself, change my mind and challenge my core beliefs in a group scenario’ sort of trip, then obviously South America is looking very strong. Because the planets in your 11th house of groups (Uranus, North Node) are also lit up.” Which sounds about right for the ayahuasca experience in Peru I’ve got scheduled for somewhere around age 50.

As for putting my money where my mouth is for now though, and simply staying put? When I moved to New York from London in 2012, I had a visceral sense of destiny itself kicking me out of my comfort zone and into a new life across the Atlantic.

And wouldn’t you know, my Sun, the essence of my being, and Moon, representing my instincts and subconscious mind, meet high up in the sky, directly above this dirty, dramatic, endangered city. It’s my three-year anniversary next month, and the internal pilgrimage I’ve been on here has created some of my most momentous life milestones of all. So this year I commit to making lots more of those, RIGHT HERE.

Discover more about Zoe Hind’s astrology at AstroZo.com

Read more about This Changes Everything

HERBAL BEAUTY: LOVE THE SKIN YOU’RE IN

Calling all New York Numis! This coming Wednesday March 26, Victoria Keen will host green witch Robin Rose Bennett in a special Urban Wellness Workshop on herbs to lift your spirit and enhance your natural beauty. And why not let vanity be your gateway into the magical world of healing herbs?

Ahead of the event, we caught up with Robin for a crash course in herbal enhancements…

WHAT WAS YOUR INTRODUCTION TO WORKING WITH HERBS?
I was looking for answers to my own health challenges that no doctor or dentist could solve for me and thus my deepest, most frustrating and painful physical challenges led me to my path and purpose and greatest joy. I always think it’s worth pointing that out. It can help us to focus on the expansions that naturally follow contractions when we’re going through difficult times, and help us to trust life more. And in fact, this is the best beauty treatment there is!

WHICH ARE THE HARDEST WORKING HERBS IN NATURE’S BEAUTY CABINET?
Roses. Both the flowers and the berries are rich in skin-healing compounds that increase the circulation in our skin and also smooth out wrinkles. The same is true of elder blossoms. The bio-flavanoids in these flowers are beautifying as they nourish the skin, just as you nourish your body when you are hungry. I believe we should think of our skin as another mouth – and only put onto the skin things we would put in our mouths.

Oats are another favorite, both used externally as smoothing scrubs and internally to build the health and vitality of our skin, hair, nails and bones, not to mention our nervous systems through an abundant array of vital minerals and vitamins. Calmness shows up as glowing vitality, a natural beauty, and so your constitution, whether you run hot or cold, lethargic or have too much energy, will influence the herbs, both internal and external, that will be the best ones for you.

Roses: increase the circulation in our skin and smooth out wrinkles

WHY DO OUR EMOTIONAL AILMENTS WREAK SUCH HAVOC ON OUR SKIN?
Well, this is a great question that we’ll explore more deeply in the workshop, but one way I look at it is that our skin is the natural “boundary” between us and everything outside of us. When stressed, that boundary often feels violated which will show up on the skin through inflammation that occurs as rashes, pimples and the like.

WHAT ARE THE OTHER ROOT CAUSES OF MOST WOMEN’S SKIN PROBLEMS?
Challenges in the body’s other natural filtration systems are the root causes of most skin problems. When the kidneys, liver, or lungs are in need of more support to work optimally, our skin will often do its best to filter out what our body can’t use. So skin challenges are a call to investigate what other systems deeper inside the body and psyche are in need of more nourishment.

Of course, when you put the right substances into the body, you don’t need to be so worried about what to remove. Having said that, sometimes certain foods trigger skin reactions. Also, hormonal system nourishment, particularly through aiding the liver which performs over 500 known tasks for us on a regular basis, will often help clear up and beautify skin and hair.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OWN HERBAL BEAUTY REGIME?
Well, I’d like to quote musician-artist Joni Mitchell. When she was getting older and her mother was challenging her lifestyle choices, she replied; “Mom, happiness is the best face-lift!”

Joni Mitchell: Happy

So, it starts with attending to my happiness, which means getting enough physical movement and time outdoors with my feet on the earth, barefoot as often as possible, taking in the plants through my skin, and when that’s not possible, taking in the plants through putting my hands on the trunks of trees. Making time for myself and what feeds me is something I’m learning how to do more than ever before.

I also love oil baths with homemade oils such as pine needle oil, herbal infusion baths with oatstraw and facial masks with homemade herbal honeys infused with roses and violets (see recipe below).

A fresh clay masks is another one of my favorites. I harvest clay from a natural clay bed upstate once every couple of years and keep it covered in a jar with fresh water and it keeps wonderfully well. When you don’t have fresh, mixing dried green clay with water or aloe gel is a good second choice.

Finally, I use olive oil and coconut oil on both my hair and skin.

An herbal beauty regime is another form of nourishment. And nourishing ourselves translates to healing ourselves and healing ourselves translates to owning our gifts and our power, so that we then have vitality and energy to use in service of our Earth family, including all of nature, which, as we all know, is imperative.

The below recipe is from Robin Rose Bennett’s newest book, The Gift of Healing Herbs. With its aphrodisiac zing, she suggests it as the perfect “remedy” for spring fever!

ROSE VANILLA BEAN HONEY

Fresh rose blossoms or buds of any fragrant species – unsprayed
1 dried vanilla bean, as fresh as possible
1 jar wildflower, linden or clover honey

Cut off the ends of the vanilla bean, open it up lengthwise and scrape out the insides. Then cut the pod into small pieces and place every part of thr bean into a pint jar. Fill the rest of the jar with the fresh rose blossoms or buds. (If you are using dried roses use about 1 cup to fill the jar half full). Cover the herbs with honey and stir gently, poking here and there with a chopstick to make sure the honey saturates the herbs completely, and continue filling the jar to the top. Cap it, and wait six weeks or more before decanting. When you’re ready, decant the herbs by gently heating the honey until it pours like water, through a strainer into a fresh bottle.

Meet Robin Rose Bennett in person and get a lesson in creating your own herbal infusions for the skin and the spirit on Wednesday March 26 as part of Victoria Keen’s Urban Wellness Lecture Series. Tickets are $40 and available thought this link.

 

 

TO THE FUTURE: A MYSTICAL JOURNEY WITH JULES KIM

New York jewelry designer Jules Kim views the world through a unique lens, where pixie queens and pop divas wear her creations like they’re living, breathing creatures. She talks self-expression, sweating it out and the beauty of imperfection with Ruby Warrington. Photos: Annie Powers. Styling: Raquel Griffin. Hair: Sayo Takegami. Makeup: Deanna Melluso

Cut-out t-shirt, Raquel Allegra; Rings, Bijules.

The latest collection is a re-birthing of your signature pieces – when was the last time you felt re-born? Why?
It was just a few days ago in Paris. I walked from the showroom I was based in in Palais Royal to Rue de Rivoli, where I saw my pieces on display in the Louvre’s retail boutique…none of my contemporaries were there to share this moment with me – none of my family, none of my friends – it was just for me…It was an overwhelming and humble feeling to allow a success such as this radiate through me…

How did that feel, physically?
I had been running from appointment to rendezvous, so exasperated, and my heart stilled and stopped racing when I stood in front of the glass jewelry case with the Bijules pieces shining beneath it. Like little emblems of hope, I was so proud.

You must feel very connected to your creations…
Bijules has been a passion project and always will be, and I believe that to have had developed something so heart-driven means it will grow into exactly what I intend it to be.

It strikes me that you see things with different eyes to other people. How do you maintain your unique worldview?
It has something to do with being an open and honest human being with a great compassion for others, almost to a fault…

How so?
I often find myself leading others to finding something they love, be it a person, a place, or even a job. But sometimes I can give too much and not ask for anything in return, and karma is not a single player game!  As an artist, I search for and absorb beauty 24 hours a day, any place I am…and I believe humility will always enrich my view of the world and allow for my original ideas to take shape.

Blouse, YSL.

Where did you ‘learn’ this – were you the same as a kid?
I’d like to hope so. My mom showed my sister and I how real beauty is natural and cannot be preconceived. I am half Korean and not one of my childhood friends could understand that, so most of my childhood I was searching for different looking things. Knowing they were different made them akin to me.

What is perfect about imperfection to you?
Classic…I say that alllll the time! I find perfection completely unattainable, just as success is always subjective. But it is the pursuit of perfection that gives me satisfaction. Even if the end goal is constantly evolving to suit the actuality of the pursuit.

Somebody told me that in New York, no-body will take you seriously until you’ve tried and failed at something. Because real strength of character comes from picking yourself up and trying again. What have been the most useful mistakes you’ve made?
There have been a combination of repeat offences when I’ve tried to work overnight miracles for celebrities. I guess I’ve learned that unwavering honesty and real originality are what lay the groundwork for true success.

What other major life lessons have you experienced?
I was raised by a single mother who struggled to find her own happiness and I saw very clearly that life is more complicated than one might ever assume. I feel gifted and blessed to have the capacity to love and expand my own experiences into a tangible product. In that way, Bijules is actually a platform for expression and altruism.

Necklace, Bijules.

Do you have a daily spiritual practice or touchstone?
There’s no definitive deity to whom I pray, but I look deep into myself to provide as much stability and reflection as I am capable of. It is my environment and those who I choose to populate that environment who provide the most support. I also hit the gym, Russian spas and saunas for a good sweat three times a week. I’m an extreme kinda girl! (Read Jules’s report on her Icelandic sweat lodge experience here).

And what about any sacred rituals you bring to the design process?
I am a storyteller, and I use both metals and marketing to weave these faceted tales of life, love, failure, success, and happiness. But my creative process relies heavily on exchanges with my staff, production team, and clients.

But do you meditate or do anything else to bring about your best creative ideas or state of being?
I have to sketch and physically record my creative sessions. The paper trail then serves as a relic to refer to as the ideas evolve. I draw when I’m in the air, on planes. Being disconnected is true bliss.

You’ve used your own body in your designs, is this so your clients are literally wearing a piece of you?
It is. Some might perceive this as an ego driven thing but in fact, it is the exact opposite for me. My body is just a human body. We all have one. So the idea is to celebrate that by making jewelry for each and every one!

Illustration: Sian Jordan.

You design for hipsters, celebrities and…elves?
Haha, cute! Yes, when I made my gold ear tip, I decided to sell it with a little bag of gold dust. I imagined a hot ass elf chick walking into a club before exiting to the bathroom to apply her party. She opens her black box of pixie magic and inside is a golden elf ear with a bag of 3 pennyweights (jeweller’s unit of measurement) of gold fairy dust. She dips her Bijules ear tip into the gold mess and as she slips it over her own. The dust falls around her shoulders and into her hair. Now she is ready to get a drink…

So which alternate realm are you incarnated from?
I’m not sure, but I do feel like an old soul whose ideas seem to be way ahead of the curve – and I thoroughly enjoy being first.

Il futuro is….?
Il futuro is Italian for ‘the future’….and mine is paved in gemstones, semi-opaque black diamonds flipped upside down and lots of crazy pieces, made for a few good people.

www.bijulesnyc.com
@bijules

AMMA SPEAKS! IN CONVERSATION WITH THE HUGGING SAINT

A hug from Amma, “the hugging saint,” is a surreal experience. You go, you wait on line for hours, you finally find yourself enveloped in the same warm, nurturing embrace that over 32 million people globally have now experienced, and you come away feeling…like you’re on some kind of love drug, with an apple and a Hershey’s Kiss pressed into your hand in case you find yourself feeling light-headed.
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