MY MYSTICAL LIFE: A YOGIC IMMERSION, AND A POET WHO DIDN’T KNOW IT

An Immersion with my yoga preachers, an animal spirit out of balance, and an epic journey of self-discovery…

New pals! @welltodomag @thevoguetrip and @mind_body_bowl

:: MONDAY & TUESDAY ::
I’m dedicating some extra space today to THE most incredible weekend with my friends at lululemon. “The Immersion” was a four-day experience in Austin, TX, hosted by lulu ambassadors Gabrielle Bernstein and Baron Baptiste—creator of mega transformational practice, Baptiste Yoga. And it came at the perfect time for me, since 2016 has been the year I’ve finally found a dedicated yoga routine, but have found myself yearning for ways to tap the spiritual side of the practice. As in, use it as a way to commune with the Universal oneness, y’all!

Well of course this is Gabby’s whole jam with her Kundalini practice, which she described to us (50 of the most switched-on, diverse and interesting disrupter-entrepreneur types I’ve had the privilege of spending some dedicated hang-time with—and what an HONOR to be numbered among them!) as bringing “physicality to my spiritual practice.” A long-time meditator, “I was always like, ‘how do I get my body involved?'” And I may not be the most dedicated K-head (“K” as in Kundalini, obvs), but every time I do practice I can be guaranteed some pretty out-there downloads from the energy I call “spirit.”

Gabs getting her Kundalini on

And then there was Baron, a prime example of a breed I’ve named the “yoga preachers.” Not in the sense that he’s preaching a certain way to be or dogma to believe. If anything, his philosophy centers around the concept of “santosha”—sanskrit for something like: “satisfaction with the status quo…tinged with curiosity for where this could go.” But he’s one of those teachers with a sixth sense about precisely the right words to deliver at precisely the right moment in the practice to unlock the door to the divine. That is, to an understanding of your Self as a limitless being of pure light consciousness. Hallelujah!

Baron Baptiste: the preacher man himself

:: WEDNESDAY ::
A also brought along my new Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck, a.k.a. my favorite new toy. The card I pulled for guidance about my time at The Immersion? The Firefly—a flighty, creative energy that burns super-bright, but can easily burn out. Which sounds exactly like me—a major introvert—in full-on retreat mode. The suggestion to bring this energy into balance? “Write a poem.” Which I’ve actually never done before, but which has rapidly become my favorite thing! Kim Krans’s practical tips are one of the best things about the deck. Have you been using yours yet? I’d love to hear what you think.

:: THURSDAY ::
So Ellen Degeneres is a secret Numi. Um, going through the research for a recent interview I did with her uncovered the following evidence: she came out after a trip to spiritual development center Esalen, where, “What came up was: ‘would they still love me if I was gay?’ It made me feel ashamed that I was pretending to be something else, just to make people like me”; she’s a long-time advocate of Transcendental Meditation – “when your computer goes crazy, you just shut it down and when you turn it on, it’s okay again. That’s what meditation is for me”; AND in 2010 she founded a record company called eleveneleven. #materialgirlmysticalworld

…oh and she’s 99% #vegan

:: FRIDAY ::
You guys—I’m so so close to handing in the final manuscript for my book! And writing it has been the most epic journey of self-discovery, something I was reminded of today when I re-worked the intro I wrote as part of my original proposal waaaay back in early 2015. From the overall tone, to my knowledge and understanding of all things numinous, the process crystalized exactly how much I’ve grown in the past 18 months—not least as a result of me literally living what I’ve been writing about. Which bodes well for the impact the finished result could have on YOUR lives, dear potential readers! Safe to say I’m fully psyched to share my baby with y’all next year.

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