HOW TO DEAL WHEN YOU GET YOUR DREAM JOB … AND YOU HATE IT

What do you do when your “dream job” turns out to be a nightmare? Jamie Graber tells Ruby Warrington how she finally realized it was okay to just walk away …

When Jamie Graber launched Gingersnaps Organic, the NYC restaurant and juice bar that became a favorite of raw foodies, celebrities and media alike, it felt like her dharma. Born and raised in NY, she felt it was working for Rawvolution on the West Coast that had helped her heal from a collage eating disorder, and finally develop a healthy relationship with food. Now she was helping others learn about the healing joy of food, too.

As a venue for regular high-vibe events (like Jamie’s weekly salons on the teachings from A Course in Miracles), her business also became a place to curate a community of like-minded seekers, while a move to a chichi West Village location in 2015 sent the signal that business was booming. A book, Juice It, Blend It, Live It, published later that year, cemented Jamie’s position as a leading figurehead of New York’s healthy eating scene.

So when she made the snap decision to shut up shop this summer, friends and industry figures alike were left reeling. What business disaster or personal tragedy could be behind her sudden move?

In reality, it had been a long time coming—even if Jamie herself didn’t see it. On the surface, she had built a life and a career that looked like a dream come true. Behind the scenes however, the relentless daily grind of managing a restaurant business had left her strung out, back in her eating disorder, and feeling like a prisoner in her own life. And yet, “I never even entertained the idea that I could just walk away.”

Sitting down to chat about her transition to a full-time coaching business this fall, she told me how: “part of the problem was that Gingersnaps had become my identity. Closing it would mean starting over, on every level.” Because where do you go, when the career you thought was everything you wanted, turns out to be the opposite?

Outside Gingersnaps West Village location

I found myself asking this question before I left my “dream job” on the Sunday Times Style magazine in the UK. And I’ve also found myself asking it since creating The Numinous, at times when my passion project has begun to feel more like a ball and chain. My point being that co-creating (with the Universe) a career that truly lights you up is a constant work in progress. Not to mention a privilege that deserves your full commitment.

As our own lives and needs shift, so will the work we find inspiring. And as we grow and develop as individuals, so will what we have to offer. When it comes to our profession, this will likely require multiple course-corrections as we seek to stay true to our path—even if it means “giving up” things we feel we’ve worked so hard for.

For anybody facing a similar career-crisis, Jamie’s story brings up several key areas for some honest self-enquiry. Read on if you’re ready to quit hitting snooze on living the life of your dreams—you owe it to yourself and those you seek to serve …

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QUESTION: DOES MY WORK MAKE ME FEEL POWERFUL?
“Looking back, I can see how I created a business where I wasn’t feeling powerful, because I didn’t actually want to be making food. Could I make the food? Absolutely. But I am not a chef. I’m amazing at tonics, I’m amazing at smoothies. But what people wanted to order at my restaurant was not necessarily that. What Gingersnaps was known for was not really what I wanted to be doing.”

QUESTION: IS WORK STRESS HAVING A KNOCK-ON EFFECT ON MY HEALTH?
“And then the eating stuff came back. In 2016 I had a book out, and it was all juices and smoothies. Writing it meant I gave myself the excuse to go on all liquids, because I had to recipe test. That summer, that is all I had. I probably lost 20 lbs. Eating disorders are all about control, and I felt completely out of control at Gingersnaps. So I chose to control my diet instead.”

QUESTION: WHO IS YOUR ‘SEEING IS BELIEVING’?
“I met my coach, Lacy Phillips from Free and Native, at a lecture. She wasn’t all sparkles. She talked a little bit about the darkness, and I liked that. In our first session, she asked me, ‘Who is your seeing is believing?’ And I told her ‘No-one.’ She asked again, ‘So you don’t see anyone doing what you’re doing that you can aspire to be like? Amanda from Moon Juice? Marcus from Juice Press?’ Again, I told her, ‘No.’ I realized that what I was doing did not exist as my dream job.”

QUESTION: WHAT IS IT THAT TRULY LIGHTS ME UP?
“So I wrote a list. What is it that lights me up? What is it that makes me happy? And then I wrote another list of the things I was doing every day. And it became very, very clear to me, that these were two completely different lists. That even in my best-case scenario, even on my very best days at Gingersnaps, this was still was not it. When Lacy asked me, ‘so what if Gingersnaps is not it?’ I realized for the first time I could actually just walk away. It felt like a 50lb weight had been lifted from my chest.”

QUESTION: WHAT IF IT WASN’T ABOUT THE MONEY?
“When I told my landlord, he offered me a 50 per cent rent reduction for six months. For a restaurant in New York’s West Village, that is a substantial amount of money! I could have taken this as a sign to stay, but actually it meant nothing to me, because it wasn’t about the money. I realized I wasn’t doing it for the money—and that wasn’t even important to me. It was when it became a really solid no.”

QUESTION: ARE YOU IN IT FOR YOUR EGO?
“Part of the problem was, Gingersnaps had become my identity. Lots of celebrities were doing our cleanses, and as the owner of Gingersnaps I got invited to everything, you know? I was going to have to deal with the fact that I would have to start over, in a sense. I had to really wrap my head around the idea that I no longer had an answer to, ‘so, what do you do?’”

QUESTION: WHAT DO I LOVE ABOUT MY CURRENT JOB?
“One thing I did enjoy on list of daily tasks, was talking to the customers. It would wind up coaching them, and I loved seeing the change I could have on people. That I could get them to see things differently. Ironically, food was rarely part of those conversations. I think what I really wanted was a community, and a learning space. After all, I was a philosophy major at college. Clearly, this was where I was supposed to be going.”

QUESTION: WHAT WORK DOESN’T FEEL LIKE WORK TO ME?
“I actually have a lot of guilt now, because the work I do doesn’t feel like work. We live in this paradigm where work and play are separate, which reinforces the subconscious belief that we’re not supposed to ‘enjoy’ our work. My husband reminds me that the fact my work no longer feels like work is because I’ve finally aligned with what I’m supposed to be doing. And I think that’s so important. Really recognizing that our work can absolutely be something we truly love to do.”

A Certified Reiki Healer, Certified Yoga instructor, Gabrielle Bernstein Spirit Junkie Coach and Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) graduate, Jamie now works with clients on a one-to-one basis. Discover more about her and her work at Organicallyjamie.com.

A HIGH VIBE GUIDE TO LONDON

On the eve of Numinous Founder Ruby’s OFF THE RÖCKS event in her home town, Helen Morris shares a high vibe guide to London…Main image: Aslan Arzaghi

London town conjures images of high tea, royal weddings, and quaintly charming flowerbeds. Yet the energy of this surging, diverse metropolis is as invigorating and potentially draining as that of any world capital. And while London’s still playing catch up with conscious cities like New York, Sydney and L.A., the wellness revolution is alive and vibing—with a new crop of healing-focused events, communities, and spaces blossoming as naturally as English roses.

Below, Helen Morris shares her itinerary for a day of sober raves, crystal cleansing, soul soothing relaxation, and mind expansion—all infused with London’s distinctive “keep calm and carry on” vibrations.

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9AM :: Sober morning rave with Morning Gloryville
Pioneers of conscious clubbing, Morning Gloryville are on “a soul-shaking mission to expand hearts and minds by turning clubbing culture upside down.” In place of alcohol, you’ll find free hugs, yoga, cacao shots, smoothies, glitter, and guest DJs (FatBoy Slim among them). Their mission goes way beyond the dance floor with #thegloryvilleeffect raising funds to support refugee camps, divided communities, and poverty-stricken areas.

Morning Gloryville

11AM :: Brunch at The Detox Kitchen
Fuel up for the day ahead with some delicious, seasonal food at The Detox Kitchen’s deli off Carnaby Street, the place to be in the Swinging 60s. With changing daily specials, and a not-your-average salad bar complete with colorful ingredients and creative flavor combinations (think miso eggplant, and kale with apricot, tahini, and coriander), The Detox Kitchen shows that clean eating doesn’t have to be the least bit boring.

1PM ::  Vedic meditation at Will Williams Meditation
Fast becoming Europe’s biggest meditation hub, Vedic meditation teacher Will Williams and co-creator Jess Cook host regular introductory talks on Vedic meditation—a simple yet profound technique that’s rooted in the most ancient spiritual texts from India. Step into their gorgeous Soho HQ, grab yourself an herbal tea, and dive into discovering more about this perfect antidote to the stresses of 21st century living.

The Detox Kitchen

2PM :: Raw delights at Rawligion
Freshly opened in Central London, Rawligion provides tasty plant-based offerings that include Sweet Apple Cinnamon Chia, Liquid Gold Juice, and Chi Lime Pie. AND it has its own raw chocolate room.

3PM :: Inspirational speakers at Alternatives  
Sign-up for seminars and master classes from the world’s spiritual greats at this space in Piccadilly. Mixing healing giants Marianne Williamson and Eckhart Tolle with cutting-edge spiritual teachers, including Rebecca Campbell and Kyle Gray, Alternatives is the hub for transformative learning.

6PM :: Crystals at She’s Lost Control
Filled to the brim with mystical potions, crystals, distinctive candles (check out Mama Moon), clothes, books, and trinkets, this Hackney boutique is a veritable treasure trove of spiritual gemstones. SLC also hosts regular workshops and circles with some of London’s best healers, including Wolf Sister and Chloe Isidora.

RevaYoga

7PM :: RevaYoga
This little piece of India finds its home among the independent bookshops, grocers, and restaurants of Broadway Market’s canal-side locale. Influenced by owner Nina Deely’s far-Eastern travels and ashram life, RevaYoga is a true sanctuary in the city that holds regular yoga and Pilates classes, workshops, sound ceremonies, and visiting teachers from around the world, including The Numinous’ very own Madeleine Giles.

8:30 PM :: Nightcap at Wild Food Cafe
Tucked into color-saturated, holistically-focused, Neal’s Yard alley, this innovative wellbeing oasis is a welcome reprieve from the bustle of Theatreland. Sample organic wines and beers, or go alcohol free with their salted caramel mylkshake, kombucha, or medicinal mushroom hot chocolate- all served up by a super-friendly staff.

View of London from Primrose Hill

9:30 PM :: Stargazing on Primrose Hill  
Finish off your evening with a romantic jaunt to picturesque Primrose Hill. This leafy urban village is home to many a celebrity, and offers one of the most beautiful views of London’s skyline. If it’s a clear night, you’ll also catch a stunning glimpse of the moon—a magically mystical end to a day fit for a high-vibe queen!

Helen Morris is a London-based writer, yoga teacher, and marketing consultant for conscious brands. You can find her on Instagram and on her blog, Follow Your Bliss.

MATERIAL GIRL, MYSTICAL WORLD: AMANDA MOON JUICE

Her juices have a cult following on the West Coast…and she’s basically a total babe. This week’s Material Girl is Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon, here’s a peek into her Mystical and super stylish World…

Amanda Chantal Bacon shot by Tasya van Ree

What was your entry point into healthy food and juicing?
Healthy and body specific eating began around age five with a divine intervention by an ayruvedic doctor. The gateway to serious juice drinking was an apple lemon ginger green juice.

What’s been the most transformational part of your own foodie journey to date?
It really dates back to that doctor, who pulled me aside and had me stop eating sugar, wheat and cow’s milk when I was five years old. It turned out to be life defining. This has all been enhanced by working as a fine dining chef, traveling the world’s farmers markets, and experiencing peasant traditions.

How does this tie into your path as a spiritual being?
My meditative practice and life experiences are directly affected by the foods I eat. When I’m juicing and eating light sattvic foods, I can tune in and slip out to other dimensions within seconds. I don’t drink any more for this reason, but even eating heavier, cooked foods and meat just adds some time and pranic work to getting the cosmic high. I would have to say that there was a real shift in my spiritual perception when I made a deep commitment to clean eating and drinking.

What’s in your fantasy juice?
Love this question…It would be white peaches pressed into fig leaves drunk on a dock in the summertime on Lake Como.

:: M A T E R I A L   G I R L ::

My label
Black Crane

Black Crane AW14

My shoes
Celine

Celine SS15

My fragrance
Rose oil from India

Roll on fragrance oil by Jurlique

My jewels
Pink opals

Pink Opal ring, $115 by Max and Chloe

My pampering
Colonics

My food
Raw chocolate

Fine & Raw chocolate truffles, $28

My home

Earthy mid century modern

:: M Y S T I C A L   W O R L D ::

My awakening 
Breath of Fire

My sign
Aries sun, Aquarius moon, Scorpio rising

My mantra
Sat Nam

My healer
My son, Rohan

My reading
Pema Chodron is who I turn to when I need some grounded advice and a good strong shoulder

The wisdom of Pema Chodron…

My mission
Bringing love and beauty to us all with plants

My transformation
Is a daily process, and I’m on a particularly ripe and juicy part of the ride…

Shop the full selection of juices and cosmic provisions at Moonjuiceshop.com, and follow Amanda @moonjuiceshop

MATERIAL GIRL, MYSTICAL WORLD: RAW VEGAN BLONDE

Amber Locke, a.k.a. @rawveganblonde has gained a cut following for her beautiful and unique farmers’ market art. We meet the woman behind the phenomenon, and ask her…what vegetable would you be?

The artist at work…

How long have you been a Raw Vegan Blonde, and what drew you to the lifestyle?
I’ve always been blonde, but only discovered the concept of raw food about 18 months ago! I first read about it on the blog of Ralph Lauren model Valentina Zelyaeva and decided to try it out as an experiment, but I was so blown away with how amazing it made me feel after just a few days, I carried on.

Eating raw gives me incredible energy, improved mental clarity and a general feeling of calmness, harmony and well-being. I’ve become far more in tune with my body and very aware of how what I eat can dramatically affect how I feel both emotionally and physically.

What makes you so passionate about vegetables?
For me it’s the fact that fruit and veg not only taste amazing, they’re visually fascinating and have the power to nourish and heal our bodies too. They really are super foods.

Zucchini Shadows print, £180 from Ambaliving.com

And why do you think they’re so beautiful to you?
I love the beauty of natural elements, and I’m constantly amazed and delighted by their different shapes, colours, textures, and character. So my designs aim to showcase their unique qualities and reflect the changing seasons of the year, as well as being a celebration of living a healthy lifestyle.

If you were a fruit or a vegetable, which would you be and why?
I think I’d probably be a candy beetroot. They look pretty much like a normal beetroot on the outside, but when you slice them, they reveal their amazing pink and white striped flesh and it never ceases to make me smile.

What’s the most out there plant-based experience you’ve had to date?
I’m not sure I’ve had an ‘out there’ experience…but I always get a sense of something greater at work when I’m composing my designs. I sometimes stand back and wonder how I did it.

:: M A T E R I A L  G I R L ::

My label
I love Hermes and although I only own a few pieces (mainly leather goods and scarves) they all have special memories and are so exquisitely made they will last a lifetime.

Hermes Zebra Pegasus scarf, $1175

My shoes
I’m addicted to Belstaff boots as they’re so comfy, look great and fit my narrow shins well! I have several pairs and wear them almost all year round.

My fragrance
I’ve worn ‘Un Jardin Sur Le Nil’ by Hermes for years. I think the top notes are green mango but I love it as the smell reminds me of tomato leaves which are one on my favourite fragrances along with orange blossom. I’m still pursuing my quest to find the perfect orange blossom perfume and the closest I’ve come across so far is by Jo Malone and I wear this sometimes in the Summer.

Un Jardin Sur Le Nil by Hermes, $131

My jewels
I don’t wear much jewellery apart from my boyfriend’s old Breitling watch which I love as it’s so big and chunky on my wrist, and an antique silver fob chain given to me by my Mother which I wear as a charm bracelet.

My pampering
A trip to the hairdressers! I recently took the plunge and had 10” chopped off by the brilliant team at Richard Ward Salon in London, their colourist David Viner is a legend too!

My home
I live in a quirky house in a small countryside village. Its part Tudor, part Georgian, part Victorian and part Medieval so it’s a real mix of architectural styles.

My food
I love to eat a mainly raw diet so my kitchen is always full of fresh fruit and vegetables and I eat this way at least 90% of the week. I love green smoothies, as well as my beloved high-speed ‘Blendtec’ blender makes them super smooth, rich and creamy.

Blendtec blender, $649.95

:: M Y S T I C A L  W O R L D ::

My awakening
I have a very simple morning ritual; I drink a large glass of water (warm water and lemon if I have time) then take a walk with my dog before making a big green juice for my boyfriend and I. We’re really into stronger flavoured spicy juices now the weather has turned colder so I use a lot of ginger, lemongrass, whole lemons and sometimes a bit of green chilli for an extra kick.

My sign
I’m a Capricorn

My mantra
I don’t really have a mantra as such but I love the line in the Baz Luhrmann song ‘Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)’ which goes: ‘Enjoy your body… it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own’. I think so many people live unhappily with their body but if you can learn to love it and feed, nourish and exercise it properly the rewards of such team work can be incredible.

My healer
I think a balanced diet of fresh, natural food can be a great healer – physically, medicinally and emotionally.

Hermes-esque print, £180, Ambaliving.com

My reading
I’m fascinated by food so for me it’s any book related to the subject (I have hundreds!) and I really love searching out vintage cookbooks and out of print titles.

My transformation
Trying out a raw food diet was a big transformation for me as I had no idea eating this way had the ability to make you feel so good. I think it should be renamed the ‘Happiness Diet’ as it’s almost like nature’s happy pill.

My mission
I love to share my passion for fruit and vegetables (through my designs and recipes) and if that encourages or inspires others to eat more of them then that makes me very happy!

Purchase one of Amber’s limited edition prints at Ambaliving.com, and follow her on Instagram @rawveganblonde