What’s worse, a broken healthcare system or the elitist wellness industry? One thing is clear—it’s time for a healthcare revolution, says Ruby Warrington …
Seeing these two articles next to each other in my news feed this week really struck a nerve. The wellness industry comes up for yet more criticism and ridicule in a lengthy article in New York magazine … while mainstream America continues to medicate itself to death over conditions that can very often be treated successfully with diet and lifestyle changes.
As reported by PBS Newshour, over 50% of opioid prescriptions go to people with depression and mood disorders—prescriptions which have contributed to the incidence of death from opioid overdose having quadrupled in the USA since 1999. Of the 33,000 who died from opioid overdose in 2015, nearly half involved an opioid prescription.
“We’re handing them out like candy,” says an MD in the PBS piece. Candy, or rather poor diet in general, being another leading contributor to chronic conditions in this country. Heart disease still kills more Americans than any other illness (1 in every 4 deaths). Worldwide, 350 million people now live with diabetes—with 1 in 10 healthcare dollars spent on managing the disease.
All particularly resonant RIGHT NOW, as this was also the week that the American Health Care Act was predicted to raise healthcare premiums for the most at risk populations—in the name of reducing taxes for the wealthiest few.
With this in mind, I can see why it still feels cool to take Amanda Chantal bacon to task for peddling extortionately-priced miracle wellness “dusts.” But beyond the OMG-she’s-peddling-snake-oil witch hunts, Amanda and wellness industry pioneers like her are actually the forerunners in what basically HAS to be a healthcare revolution.
After all, if those increased health insurance premiums are only going to cover yet more prescriptions, isn’t the real “solution” to work on providing alternative “wellness” options to America’s most vulnerable?
Yes, $65 is a lot of money for powdered mushrooms that may or may not make your hair shiner. The fact the Goop Summit in LA last month appeared to be attended exclusively by white women with expensive blonde highlights and time on their hands to get high on vitamin drips also leaves a nasty taste (kinda like Stevia).
These people are not necessarily “at risk” of developing the chronic conditions that keep millions of low-income Americans enslaved to a healthcare system that does not serve them. (Although, let’s also not forget that “depression and mood disorders” tend to be pretty indiscriminate when it comes to the size of your bank balance.)
But rather than waste more time, cynicism, and column inches decrying the “haves” for making choices that, frankly, a lot of us might make if we had the resources—the time is surely NOW to dedicate more of our precious life force energy to figuring out ways to make the conversation about wellness more accessible to all.
After all, if being “well” is all our birthright, then isn’t it also all our responsibility to contribute to the wellbeing of the collective? (Yes this includes you, cynical lifestyle editors.)
If you want to get inspired, check out what Numinous contributor Eddie Stern is doing bringing the tools of yoga and meditation to schools. Or my friend Jessica Murnane, on a one-woman mission to get America eating at least one plant-based meal a day.
And The David Lynch Foundation, who have taught transcendental meditation (proven to help with PTSD, for example) to hundreds of thousands of veterans, at risk kids, and women survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. (The part that gets overlooked when they’re “accused” of ripping off rich white people by charging those who can afford it for tuition.)
But you don’t have to be a celebrity or have a million-dollar fund-raising operation to do your part.
On a peer-to-peer level, one reason Alexandra Roxo and I started Moon Club was to make the sisterly emotional support and self-healing tools we had found at moon circles and workshops in NYC and LA available to everybody, regardless of location.
Meanwhile, a lot of our members are also awakening to their own innate desire to work as healers within their local communities, and are using the group to support them as they build their own businesses and side projects to bring this work to life. So beautiful to witness!
Bottom line? Taking responsibility for your own wellbeing, and modeling the positive effects of whatever choices this means you end up making to your own family, friends and colleagues is really where it’s at. To quote Rha Goddess from Monday’s post on spiritpreneurs: “To tip the world, it will take all of us.” Same goes for healing the world, too.
Ruby Warrington talks to stylist Anna Trevelyan about alien abduction, Trump as a catalyst for change, and being vegan in the fashion industry …
I first encountered stylist of the moment Anna Trevelyan at our mutual friend Sah D’Simone’s Happiness Equation workshop. She was the girl with the green hair and the quick, curious mind (a Gemini, of course), dressed in a kind of Manga-meets-Atlantis mash-up that would be more at home in the streets of Tokyo than Brooklyn’s Maha Rose Center for The Healing Arts.
But then as she puts it in her IG profile, Anna is: “A bit fashion. A bit cosmic.”
Having come up through the fashion ranks assisting Gaga’s former creative director Nicola Formichetti, Anna followed her childhood love of fantasy into the industry. In her own words, “I’m just not into reality stuff. I have a crazy and borderline confusing imagination!” Growing up in the heart in England, this meant: “I always died my hair and made my own clothes. But I had no concept that something like fashion even existed.”
Fast-forward to 2017, and fashion totally knows Anna exists, and her work is all over the top mags and ad campaigns. Like this one for Cara Delevingne’s Do You collection for Puma.
But what I love most about Anna (as well as the mermaid hair), is that she’s one of few voices in the mainstream fashion arena to be super vocal about being vegan, and the environmental impact of animal agriculture. She’s also majorly pro-diversity, casting models of every color, shape, size and gender in her long-standing catwalk collaborations with Brit designer Ashish.
Then there’s her lifelong fascination with alien abduction, and the crystals she keeps like pets in her Brooklyn apartment. Curiouser, and curiouser …
Ruby Warrington: So Anna, how long have you been into the more spiritual, numinous side of life? Anna Trevelyan: Since birth, I guess. When I was little, I was into aliens, UFO sightings, crop circles. I was such a nerd. I had all these UFO sighting maps on my wall and stuff. I was kind of obsessed with alien abduction, the history of the Earth and evolution. Like, what else is out there and where do we come from?
RW: All the deep questions! But then you pursued a career in fashion, which can be very superficial. What are your practices to bridge the gap or how do you find meaning within the fashion industry? AT: Well firstly, a lot of people in fashion genuinely have a love for art and creativity and inclusion. It’s not all about consumerism. Personally, I don’t want to do anything that doesn’t have meaning to me—especially this last year, with so much crazy stuff going on. So I always try to spread a message of positivity and what I believe in. For example, I work with this designer called Ashish and this season we did all these slogans like, Love Sees No Colour, and Be More Tender.
But then there is the consumerist part of the industry and the environmental part, that I personally have a really difficult time with. And the issues about racial inclusion on catwalks an in ad campaigns. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done.
RW: You’re also very vocal on your social media about veganism. Why is that so important to you? AT: I’ve been vegetarian for 20 years, and vegan on and off—unfortunately I love cheese! But this is super important to me, as the beef industry is one of the most damaging things to the environment at the moment. It also really hurts me to see people eating meat. You’re essentially killing, and then eating that trauma. I just don’t understand why you would do that. And before, I never really expressed my feelings about it, but now I’m just like, “You know what? Fuck it … “ I don’t want animals to be traumatized just so they can be slaughtered. And I don’t want people to be consuming trauma.
RW: The fashion industry also loves fur. Do you feel as passionately about that? AT: I never wear fur, and I never shoot fur anymore. I have done it in the past and I felt horrible about it. But I love shoes, I collect shoes like crazy, and so I do still wear leather. That’s something I need to look into, you know? I think of fur as this evil thing, so why do I think leather is okay? So I need to check myself and do a bit more research on that for sure. I would love to make a vegan shoe line, something super sexy!
RW: I think it’s amazing that you’re actually putting yourself out there and saying these things, because so many people are like, “These are my beliefs … until the next big money job comes in.” But having that integrity, I think, is part of leading a spiritual life. Like if your actions are aligning with your beliefs, you’re living your spiritual truth. AT: Exactly. One massive publication asked me to do a fur shoot for them. It would have been great for my career, but I couldn’t do it. I was like, “let me do a faux fur story instead?” They didn’t reply. But then faux fur is actually the 8th worst fabric for the environment. So I need to start thinking about all these things.
RW: Don’t you think that eventually, if public opinions start to change significantly, then brands are going to have to follow suit? In the same way it’s happening with with organic food … AT: Yes. It has to start somewhere. It’s the same with mass produced clothing—like yeah, it’s great that you can get a bunch of stuff for cheap, but what conditions are people working in? I don’t even really know how to begin with that.
RW: How about taking more direct action? AT: Well after Trump’s immigration ban, I did this meditation, and I was imagining all of the souls of the world together, happy and warm, and just free to move wherever they want to move and experience what they want to experience. It was such an intense meditation and afterwards I saw light coming out my hands. Crazy! So I got all my influential girlfriends together and hosted a Girl’s Fight Club to raise money for the UNHCR, which is the UN refugee support.
It was also a statement about how I hate females being convinced we have to compete, when we are so much stronger together. That amazing goddess energy! That raised, not loads, but like 500, 600 dollars. I have a sort of theory that Trump is this kind of higher power, doing all this crazy shit to bring us all together. Either that or he’s reptilian.
RW: I swing between the two myself! So you meditate, how about any other spiritual practices? Your work means you have this crazy travel schedule and you’re very out there. How do you take care of your inner world? AT: Last year I started doing yoga, which I never did before because I’m not like a super athletic person or anything. And you know those people that do yoga, and all they talk about is doing yoga? Now all I talk about is yoga! That has really helped me to settle down and focus and be strong and feel good. I love Bikram yoga, Kundalini yoga, Vinyasa. They’re all great.
My house is also full of crystals and plants, and the energy I get from them is amazing. I feel more grounded just looking at them, and I even kiss them and speak to them. I take my crystals around with me too. Like I choose a few and just take them when I travel and stuff. I also use them in my yoga and meditation.
RW: Spoken like a true Material Girl, balancing it out in the Mystical World. Finally, what’s the most otherworldly experience you’ve encountered in your life? AT: The first time I did past life regression, when I was like 15 or 16. In it, I walked down a tunnel and there was a doorway, which was the door to the past life. I was shaking, physically shaking, and I as walked through the door it shut behind me. I immediately felt so calm. And then in my past life I experienced my own death, and it was amazing. I died, and my soul felt so light, as if being human, having this body, was the heaviest burden. From then on, I’ve had no fear of death. I’m actually excited for it, now that I know how it feels.
:: MATERIAL GIRL ::
My label: My favorite brands at the moment are Ashish (always a glitter protest), Hyein Seo (‘Final Boss’ collection for bad girls), and Gucci (of course).
My shoes: Pretty much always sky high stilettos and platforms—Marc Jacobs is killing me at the moment—and then Nike’s for when it’s sadly necessary to be practical.
My fragrance: I wear something different all the time! At the moment I have Marc Jacobs’ Daisy. I like young summery perfume …
My jewels: $1 big silver hoops, every day.
My pampering: My hair, nails and eyelashes are super regular and necessary upkeep takes a lot of time tbh.
My food: Vegan deliciousness—I wish they had Cafe Gratitude everywhere!
My home: Lots of windows and sunshine, plants, and I collect robots.
:: MYSTICAL WORLD ::
My awakening: Say thank you each day to the Universe and be grateful.
My sign: Gemini through and through. But I have Cancer rising and my Moon in Taurus. I think the Cancer brings me back and the Taurus grounds me and helps me feel more balanced.
My mantra: I don’t have a mantra.
My healer: I have practiced with several energy healers, and I have one psychic in London and one in California. And they’re both good at different things. But the greatest healer is your self, and self realization.
My mission: Bring light, be genuine, be kind, speak from the heart, be unafraid, show love, make people aware of the importance of vegetarianism for themselves and for the world, work for humanity and Mother Earth, take no shit.
Why this was the week I had to read Russell Brand’s birth chart, and I’m counting down to a big London launch…
I read Russell Brand’s birth chart. I kind of can’t get enough of him, and after watching the new documentary Brand: A Second Coming, which follows his personal evolution from addict to anti-establishment political commentator, I could no longer contain my curiosity about what kind of crazy-ass astrology the dude’s got going on.
And it’s all just SO there. With both his Sun and Mercury in Gemini, expressing himself with words is like breathing to Rus, and whether you agree with what he’s got to say or not, couldn’t you just listen all day long? Then, there’s his Moon, Mars, and Jupiter all in Aries. Oh man! This guy is massively passionate about ALL the things that turn him on. But yes, he needs sex, and lots of it, as well as total autonomy over his life.
Which doesn’t exactly peg him as marriage material – no surprises there – especially so when you also consider that both his Venus and Saturn are in Cancer. Yes, Russell loves (Venus) women (Cancer). Especially his mum (also Cancer), as the new documentary highlights. But perhaps his biggest karmic lesson (Saturn) is learning to express this in a way that works for both parties. With Uranus in Libra, he no doubt makes for a confusingly attentive/distant partner, and any long-term relationship will certainly be unconventional!
But most interesting to me, is Russell’s South-North Node journey, which falls on the Gemini-Sagittarius axis. Charting the path of Russell’s past life karma and cosmic destiny in this lifetime, the overarching theme is of a pure intellectual being. Russell’s Gemini South Node (past life karma) suggests somebody easily distracted with superficial things, spreading his many talents too thinly for them to have any impact. The Sagittarius North Node meanwhile (destiny point), is about finding a meaningful focus for his agile brain and unparalleled capacity for learning.
Since reading his book Revolution earlier this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about – well – “revolution” (which in turn, got me wanting to bust out this rad Isabel Marant sweatshirt from last year*). The standard dictionary definition is: “a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system,” which is a lot of what he talks about. But it strikes me that Russell’s focus on the concept of external revolution, is a reflection of the internal revolution he’s experienced in overcoming his ego-led addictions – to drugs, sex, and fame.
I see Russell’s journey this way, because since stepping onto my Numinous journey I’ve experienced a similar revolution inside myself. Different addictions, similar shift in worldview to incorporate a life that’s less about taking and accumulating, and more about sharing and being of service. Russell, thank you, you passionate, strange, addictive creature, for helping get the message to the masses.
*Yes, it it possible to live a more mindful life, and still get excited about fashion.
I’m counting down the days. Until the launch of a majorly exciting project I’ve been working on with Selfridges department store in the UK! For Christmas 2015 the team have created a mystical concept store the Astrolounge, featuring all kinds of cosmic gifting goodness. The Numinous has been on hand to help curate the product offer, as well as a super fun Shop by Star Sign selection for Selfridges.com.
It all goes live October 22 – which is also the date we’ll be launching THE coolest Numinous collaboration with on-demand t-shirt printing company YRStore. Keep watching our Instagram account for more teasers over the following week. You will NOT want to miss this!
Feed your mind, and the rest will follow…The 16 books in this Numinous reading list are guaranteed to rock your worldview, heal your life, and feed your soul.
:: Ruby Warrington ::
“As soon as I heard about Russell Brand’s Revolution, I knew I had to read it. I’m a bit obsessed with how Russell has reinvented himself, and gone from ridiculous if charismatic addict and Hollywood wannabe, to bone fide Now Age guru – it reeks of a genuine spiritual awakening. His experience of this, told through the filter of his pop culture background, his intelligence, and with his entertaining way with words, is positioning him as one of the voices with the potential to really cause a shift in consciousness at a very mainstream level. The book is every bit as brilliant as I’d hoped, as entertaining as it is profound and agitating.”
:: Erin Telford ::
“Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing by Caroline Myss was the first game changer for me. I read it in high school. I grew up in a total hippie household and we would get crystal therapy when we were sick and my parents had a guru, so this lifestyle was very comfortable to me but it wasn’t something that I had consciously chosen. It was just what I knew from my family. When I read Anatomy of the Spirit it was my first personal connection to the idea that we could heal our own bodies and that the Western medical system wasn’t the only model…was in fact a very poor and deficient model for healing. The concept of “dis-ease” blew my mind wide open because it just made so much sense. It opened me up to the vastness of what we could do as individuals to self heal.”
:: Alexandra Roxo ::
“The book Be Here Now changed my life greatly at age 19. I saw that this world was merely a TV screen, a matrix of lights, all a constructed illusion, and how everything works together. I learned about food, karma, God…and something clicked. The knowledge Ram Dass spoke touched my soul and awakened existing wisdom within my heart. It was the first major awakening I had, and I remember thinking: “YES. Finally.” In 2014 I decided to listen to all of his talks on my iPhone and was re-inspired,10 years later.”
:: Dani Katz ::
“Right Use of Will: Healing and Evolving the Emotional Body. Hands down. No question. Right Use of Will came into my life several years ago, when I was heavily into ayahuasca, and tons of shamanic endeavors. It’s a channelled book – supposedly straight from the mouth of God – that lays out right and aligned third chakra relating. I take all channelled material with a grain of salt, but this book vibes high and true, and resonates on way too many levels for me to NOT take it to heart. It’s all about power – personal power, relational power, cultural power – what constitutes a distortion, and what serves the individual and the collective together. Since reading it, I move through life with a very clear certainty about how to exercise my own personal power with others and the world at large, while also being clear as to when others are out of line in how they are wielding their power with me/the world. It has since smoothed out my every human relationship, because I am clear as to what is right relating, as regards to will, and what isn’t. Armed with this knowledge, I know immediately when others are overcompensating for an underdeveloped third chakra, and can thus engage them in ways that support their empowerment.”
:: Betsy Cohen ::
The book I feel every women should read is Make Every Man Want You by Marie Forleo. Marie is a huge hearted genius. Not many people know that this book exists, and when I read it I thought: “This is everything that I’ve been channelling through readings (in my work as a professional psychic medium) for the past four years about relationships all in one place!” I always tell people I hate the title but LOVE the book.”
:: Jennifer Kass ::
“A Course In Miracles. I always tell my clients it’s the template for reality. After knowing the basic spiritual truth that only love is real and fear is an illusion, we can drop everything we hear, think, learn into that template and know what’s real and what’s false, what will best serve us and what will not. Discovering the truth of reality freed me from fear and activated my own ancient love and knowledge within and allowed me to step into my divine life mission and become who I really am.”
:: Victoria Keen ::
“It would have to be…The Holographic Universe: The Revolutionary Theory of Reality. I discovered it a couple years ago in my studies about Sound and the nature of reality, and it is a thorough and fascinating investigation into the gaping blind spots in modern science. It brings to light, in a very succinct and easily comprehensible way, a scientific paradigm for truly understanding our connectivity and the power our thoughts have on shaping ‘physical reality’. This books lays the ground work for all energetic medicine, and I am so grateful it exists!”
:: Raquel Griffin ::
“HANDS DOWN, Marianne Williamson’s The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles. I discovered it a little over a year ago and it totally changed my life…..it’s the definition of a GAME-CHANGER. This book completely redefined how I thought about money, work – and miracles for that matter. Marianne clearly illuminates the spiritual aspect of money (i.e. that money and spirit are linked), which is absolutely key to understanding and ultimately breaking the lack cycle. I honestly believe if every human lived by the concepts she elucidates in this book, our world would be a VERY different place.”
:: Sophie Teakle ::
“Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. I have listened to this more than once as a recording, and find new meanings every time. I’m also in the process of rereading The Kybalion which has such astounding depth and profundity I know it will be at my side for a life time, its meanings changing as I too grow and evolve.”
:: Laurie Di Biagio ::
“The Alchemist. 18 months ago, this book opened my eyes to my own purpose – the fact that I too was on my own personal pilgrimage to the pyramids. That life is lived through the heart, not the head. And that what the heart tells you…you must follow. It came to be at the exact time it was meant to, as weeks later I embarked on a life of entrepreneurship.”