MY MYSTICAL LIFE: 3 THINGS YOUR SPIRITUAL PASSION PROJECT NEEDS

Go slow, find your community, keep doing the work. Why these are my three top tips for pursuing your spiritual passion project …

Wearing my custom mala by Namaste Neetz. Photo: Caitlin Mitchell

I met Neetz at a book reading event I did at CAP Beauty in NYC’s West Village. She’d read my book, bought it for all her friends (thank you Neetz!), and was excited that I was doing a reading just a couple of streets away from her apartment. When we chatted, we worked out that I’d actually lived opposite her building when I first moved to the city back in 2012. Yo, serendipity!

We met up again as she wanted to tell me about a sideline she’d begun working on creating custom one-of-a-kind malas, in part inspired by Material Girl, Mystical World. The chapter on dharma, in particular, had struck a chord. Pondering her own life purpose, she’d decided to listen to her intuition for once, which had been steering her towards a store selling crystal beads that she passed on her way to work.

Before long, she was creating malas for herself, her husband, her family and friends. Then people at her local yoga studio. There had been beautiful stories of hope and healing. And now she was offering to make one for me.

I’ve never had a mala before. As I’m not a Hindu or a particularly dedicated yogi, I hadn’t thought they were necessarily “for me.” But Neetz described her creations as more like personal talismans, since each and every stone was selected with intention based on a personal, 1-2-1 consultation.

For my mala, she wound up using garnets (for creativity), phrenite (spiritual growth), and smoky quartz (grounding), with a large smoky quartz to anchor it. She even added a beautiful natural ruby! My namesake stone, said to bring passion and prosperity. I’ve worn it ever since, finding it brings me confidence and a feeling of home—especially comforting any time I’m out of my comfort zone.

And while my mala and its story are lovely, and I would definitely suggest you check out Neetz and her work, it’s part of a bigger narrative that’s been unfolding for me.

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When I wrote my book, I had a couple of goals. I saw it as a way to continue my mission of breaking the stigma around all things “woowoo,” and at the same time introduce a wider audience to the tools and practices that had been transforming my life—inside and out—since I launched The Numinous back in 2013.

Writing from the perspective of my personal experiences was the only way I knew how to do this. I also figured this would be a way to demonstrate how tools like astrology and tarot, for example, could not only merge seamlessly with “modern” life—but were perhaps also the VITAL MISSING PART OF THE PUZZLE for so many people who felt disillusioned with a patriarchal, capitalist system, that valued progress over people, and the accumulation of things over the pursuit of true fulfilment.

What I didn’t expect, but which I guess was my subconscious / real reason for writing it, was that so many people would read it and be inspired to embark on similar transformational journeys of their own. But already this year, I have been inundated with people sharing exactly this. Since the book came out in May 2017, I guess it’s taken 9 months or so (funny, that) for my early readers to heed the call, feel the fear, and get on with doing their dharma anyway!

The woman who’s started a spiritual platform for teenage girls. Another who quit her job as a lawyer and is going back to design school in her mid-fifties. The NYC PR maven moving out of fashion and into building the careers of mystics and healers. The readers who’ve been inspired to make similar changes, and who’ve joined Moon Club to feel supported in their missions.

Neetz with her malas

Neetz is one of a long list of Mystical Girls beginning to make moves on the Material World as we know it. Up the matriarchy! Somebody even called it the “Ruby ripple” effect—and if it means my book is in any way helping create a shift to a more emotional, intuitive, and healing-centered economy, then I’ll take it!

By the way, this post is NOT all like, “now you gotta go buy my book.” I’m just saying that if you, too, are feeling the call to pursue your (spiritually aligned) passion project, you’re so not alone. In fact, you are part of what is beginning to feel like a movement. Take comfort in this. We’re all in it together.

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There are also a few key pieces of advice I’ve been dishing out to wannabe matri-preneurs (?!), those busy transitioning passion-led side-hustles into game-changing main-hustles. Based again on my own findings and experience, here are my top 3:

1 // Treat your business like your baby. Meaning, DO NOT make it have to pay your rent right off the bat. Think about it: would you expect your child to start paying their way before you’d nurtured them, educated them, and were confident they were gonna be able to fend for themselves?! A project that’s born of your passion and intuition is a part of you. Allow it to grow and develop in its own time—and think about ways the skills and experience from your old life can support you as you build your new one.

2 // Find your community. This may be a women’s circle, conscious entrepreneurs club, an official coach or mentor, or even just a few close friends who “get it.” But when you’re in the business of breaking old paradigms (personal and societal) you WILL find yourself suffering regular bouts of imposter syndrome / self-doubt, and you WILL need loving cheerleaders and shoulders to cry on. This is one of the reasons Alexandra Roxo and I created Moon Club—which is also a community that give US the support we need.

3 // Keep working on you. The more you align with your purpose, the more conditioning and “other people’s stories” about you and what you “should” be doing with your life, you will likely be confronted with daily. The tools in my book are essentially ALL in service of a) becoming aware this conditioning even exists (its influence can be so subtle!), and b) discovering your personal truths. Truths that are ROCKET FUEL for your passion projects. It might feel like a “luxury” to invest in readings, energy work, and other healing modalities (like getting a custom mala!), especially while you’re in a career transition. But you can always ask friends to do an exchange (see tip #2), and the clearer your channel, the faster you’ll manifest your mission!

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Discover more about Neetz and her malas HERE, get your copy of Material Girl, Mystical World HERE, and learn more about our Moon Club community HERE. Because I love you!

NUMINOUS WEEKLY TAROTSCOPE: JANUARY 27—FEBRUARY 2

The Knight of Cups, reversed, is asking us to speak less and enquire more—before we jump to any conclusions, says Lindsay Mack…

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.

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON INTERVIEW: RECLAIMING THE POWER OF THE FEMININE

“Women ourselves have bought into this idea of ‘feminine’ as meaning ‘weaker’…” Jo Becker‘s Marianne Williamson interview speaks to what it means to be woman and a spiritual activist.

 

Marianne Williamson is a powerhouse. The fierce voice of modern spirituality shares her love-driven ideas on how to heal America far and wide: she’s written four New York Times #1 bestsellers, chats with Oprah on the regular, and even ran for Congress in 2013. To me, she embodies the future of feminine leadership and spiritual activism.

I’m inspired by her eloquent commitment to heart-centered change. Years before I read her books, I heard her life-changing statement from A Return to Love, the quotation she is now famous for:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I caught up with her at an Institute of Noetic Sciences conference. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell founded IONS back in 1973 after experiencing samadhi during the flight back to earth. Since then, IONS has been devoted to bringing together science and spirituality. I see Marianne Williamson as similarly groundbreaking in her work: she joyfully and relentlessly marries political activism with spiritual awareness.

The Dalai Lama said, “The world does not need more successful people. The world desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of all kinds.” Personally, I think the world needs successful peacemakers, healers, and lovers; and numinous women like Marianne Williamson are shining examples.

A lot of people think that “spiritual activism” is a contradiction. What would you say to them?
Spiritual activism is a change in thinking: from a mental filter of fear to a mental filter of love. Given that thought is the causal level of all experience, active thought and change of thought is the most powerful force in the Universe.

Earlier today, a scientist was talking about how information, as in data, is only 10% of what causes people to actually change their behavior. And we have the data. We know what climate change is doing, we know how dangerous nuclear power is. We have the data on what violence on television and video games is doing to young people’s brains, we have the data on the carcinogens that are in the air…So why is it that “knowing the data” isn’t enough to make us change?

What makes us change comes from a deeper place, and that’s what spiritual activism is. It’s when something of the spirit, of the heart, becomes active in our thinking, and our thinking gets lit up. Because the mind itself can be used for purposes of love or purposes of fear, so spiritual activism is when we seek to do whatever it is we do from a place of love and with the intention of love.

And I’m talking about the love with which the mother lion protects her cubs. The love with which the adult female [and some males] of any species that survives and thrives exhibits fierce behavior when she senses that her cubs are threatened. So the marginalization of spirituality, the minimization of love as force, is just part of the ego mind’s propaganda.

Do you resonate with what the Dalai Lama said: “the Western woman will save the world?”
Of course I resonate with it, but with all due respect to the Dalai Lama, I don’t think we need any man’s verification. I have a bit of a problem with the fact that we’re quoting a man to affirm our own power. I have the same great respect and reverence for His Holiness as anyone, but come on girls! I think what’s most important is that you say it. And I say it. Because we are affirming what we are doing: that this world is changing because we say so. Because we say so.

You’re doing a lot of work right now with balancing masculine and feminine energies in women. Why is this important to you?
It’s such a significant issue. I am a product of the 1970’s wave of feminism—obviously the women’s movement is a wonderful thing, obviously I consider myself a feminist. But there is what I think of as a flawed strain of feminism, through which we actually suppressed the feminine in the name of feminism. And we embodied in many cases the archetype of Athena. She goes out there, she goes into the world, she manifests, she makes things happen.

But we get to embody as many energies, i.e. goddesses, as we choose, and Aphrodite is important as well. She embodies romance and beauty and pleasure, and I think many women, myself included have had a lot of psychic scars from buying into the belief that cultivating the masculine side of ourselves was actually more important than cultivating the feminine side.

I also think a lot of women have come to a very confusing point in their lives, realizing ‘I made this happen’ or ‘I made that happen.’ ‘I had these professional goals—some of which I’ve manifested, some of which I haven’t.’ But when are the other areas of my life, which are just as important to me, going to occur? Old wise women don’t get pregnant.

I’ve seen a lot of young women particularly deeply saddened, even traumatized, by the fact that while they feel they’re on some track professionally, their relationships, and child-bearing and deeper issues of cultivation of the family and romance have become…it’s like women are standing there saying, ‘How did I become clueless in this area?’ And then not only ‘How did I become clueless?’ but ‘What are the clues?’ They’ve become lost.

Inviting in the Aphrodite energy of love, pleasure, beauty – what does that look like in a woman?
The integration of the Aphrodite and the Athena in my own life has been so important. I think obviously we’re all masculine, we’re all feminine, but women are here to major in feminine. It’s part of honoring our incarnation not to sideline something so fundamental to our being. And women ourselves have bought into this idea of ‘feminine’ as meaning ‘weaker’ without knowing it. Not women as weaker, but feminine attributes as weaker. I think many of us are seeking to reclaim lost pieces of ourselves, scattered pieces of ourselves.

What advice do you have for young women?
I think my biggest advice to young women would be, ‘enjoy it while you got it.’

And not try to be the ‘wise woman’ before your time?
The decades of life are like different rooms in the house. I have a daughter, early childhood, junior high, tween, high school college, now she’s a woman on her own. None of those phases is more or less magnificent than any other. And being in your 20s is fantastic, so be in your 20s when you’re in your 20s. Being in your 50s is fantastic; being in your 60s is fantastic. With every phase you lose something and you gain something. Be where you are when you’re there.

Having said that, I think something good is happening among American women. We’re starting to catch up, and we need to. We’ve not been the most mature group compared to women in other societies. And we’ve acted like we’re clueless regarding the suffering of women around the world, particularly at the hands of our own government in too many cases. We decry the policies towards women of a place like Saudi Arabia and for good reason, but when we invade countries that didn’t do anything to hurt us, a lot of the people who are dying in such invasion are women and their children.

So this is not a time for women of any age to be ditzy. This is a time to be deep. But I see many women of all ages seeking greater depth and it’s inspiring.

 

How do you think we can start to wake up to the suffering of others without dismissing it as ‘other people’s karma’?
Oh please! What a brilliant ego device that is. It might be that person’s karma to be starving, but it is my karma to give them food. Their karmic challenge might be that challenge; my karmic challenge is to help those who suffer that way. The ego is brilliant at coming up with excuses for not helping. There is no serious spiritual path, and there never has been, that gives any of us a pass at addressing the suffering of other sentient beings.

Now, get sucked in by it? Absolutely not. But there’s a difference between denial and transcendence. If you don’t even look at it, you’re not in transcendence. You’re in denial. But if you look at it and practice positive denial, which is: I deny the power of this phenomenon to continue. Why? Because I said so. Because I’m gonna do something about it. Because I know other people are gonna do something about it and we’re gonna make sure this ends. That’s positive denial.

Do you have a daily spiritual practice?
I am a student of A Course in Miracles. The course is 365 days of lessons; mine today is, ‘I will be still an instant and go home.’ Yesterday was, ‘I trust my brothers who are one with me.’ It’s a specific curriculum for dismantling a thought system based on fear, and accepting instead a thought system based on love. So spiritual exercise becomes like physical exercise. You are rebuilding your body, but with spiritual exercise you are honing your attitudinal musculature, just like in yoga. You want the correct position in your attitude, just like in your body. With physical exercise, you are developing your physical muscles so you can be strong and run. In spiritual exercise you are developing your capacity to be still. Your capacity for impulse control.

What practical applications does this have? It means there is a greatly diminished probability that you will send the frickin’ text that you will regret for six months. It diminishes the possibility you will say or do something or push the send button that will so sabotage a relationship or work situation or whatever. It diminishes the possibility that you will be so distracted by the meaningless chaos of the world that you will not be able to show up fully as a fully actualized human. We wake up in the morning and we take a shower because we want yesterday’s dirt to be cleansed off our bodies, but if you don’t meditate or pray, you might not be cleaning yesterday’s dirt from your mind. So internal purification is as important as external purification.

Marianne Williamson’s The Aphrodite Training began October 23 2015 and will continue to be available via live stream through October 25 2015. Get all the details and sign up here.

11 WAYS TO MEET YOUR SOULMATE

Ready to meet your soulmate? Then leave your inhibitions at the door, and arm yourself with some of these spiritual ice-breakers, says Gabriela Herstik. Image: Kazel Lim via Behance.net

We’re totally for that cosmic connection you feel between other members of the Numinati. You know, that sweet vibration you get in your heart chakra when you meet someone else who just gets it. Yet the way in which we meet our soul sisters (or brothers) can be pretty funny. Read on and let us know – do any of these soulmate chat up lines sound familiar to you?

“Oh my god, your dogs a Scorpio? Mines a Cancer. Let’s plan a play date.”
It all takes a turn for the better when you astrologically analyze your pets.

“You have a really strong heart chakra. I can feel it.”
That moment two girls in the Trader Joe’s checkout become besties.

“That’s selenite, right? Aww, and you’re wearing it near your heart to raise your consciousness to a higher level.”
How did she know?

“I don’t mean to interrupt, but I’m getting a vibe like I knew you in a past life.”
And you thought it was just another lunchtime wait in line at Sweetgreen.

“Has anyone ever told you what a beautiful energy you have about you?”
No, but I’ve heard that about my aura.

“Did I just hear you say your spirit animal is a raven? Mine’s a crow!”
Welcome to the tribe.

“Girl, is your lucky number 13? Because you’ve killed me and shown me a new way to live…”
Death card pick-up lines are too cute.

“My third eye feels especially open when I look at you.”
I know, I’ve been working on clearing my psychic energy field

“Let me guess – you take your coffee black, iced, and bitter. Like your soul before your last past life regression.”
When your barista just gets you.

“Is the energy of this coffee shop just off to you too?”
Well, now that you mention it…

“You totally look like the kind of chick I need in my coven.”
It’s a summer goth thing, isn’t it.

How did the convo go when you met your last Numi soulmate? Give us some lolz when you share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and tag it #shitnuminousgirlssay…

INDIA TRIPPIN: DRESSING THE INTERNATIONAL GYPSET

Naz Onderoglu of Williamsburg’s new global style hub Soot & Tusk gets the spiritual scoop on Ilgin Utin’s India Trippin’ collection. Because it’s always about the journey…

If an open door beckons to you, please stumble in. On a recent stroll through Williamsburg, BK, we did exactly that, and soon found ourselves in fashion heaven – aka Soot & Tusk, a new boutique bursting with cool creations from independent designers across the globe. Founders Naz, Noyan and Veranika are as international a line-up as the clothes that lines the racks, and leads come from everywhere; “we travel, ask our friends or search all over the internet to find like-minded labels. So spread word, we’re looking for new designers all the time!” says Naz.

Designers like Ilgin Utin, whose incredible India Trippin’ collection is featured in this post. Erm, obsessed much? We asked Naz to reach out to Ilgin (modelling her own designs here) to get the inside scoop…

When were you last ‘India Trippin’?
“I spent four months in India this winter, searching for what money can’t buy and finding my lost spirit, which it’s easy to forget about in my Western life. I had come to a point where I’d lost all interest in material life and my career goals had become meaningless. I realised I had been living in future, not in the moment, and my India trip helped me reconnect with the ‘now’, as well as my creativity.”

How does the country inspire you as an artist?
“Initially it helped me remember the artsy mood of my childhood, but I also found a spiritual connection there which made everything meaningful again and I came to a conclusion that I had to integrate my spirit with my material work. In India, the colourful, fancy and extravagant material expressions are reflections of inner beauty, infused with this ancient, immortal culture of imagination. Seeing real people applying this creativity in their lives, I also figured out that you don’t need to do any research on the internet to be able to understand everything.”

What’s the most mystical experience you had there?
“I had this foresight that I’d find a guru who will lead me on a mystical tour to unknown places and states of minds. But it wasn’t about this. There was no big mystery, I simply felt more grounded and connected to nature, as well as the consciousness that we are all a part of.

Really, no stories?
“Well okay. I was traveling alone in Coorg following my passion for spices and herbs, and I ended up staying on a mountain homestay with a local family. When I met the guy he told me I was the only Muslim traveller that had ever come there, so he was so excited to introduce me his family. I went their 100-year-old house on the mountains, where there were no neighbours, only nature. On meeting his amazing family, I ended up stayed there for a whole week as they insisted.

“I quickly fell into remote village life, speaking Hindu with the mother, being a sister to his son. At nights we had deep conversations about life, and he would tell stories which were basic and pure, but also so illuminating. Of course, he didn’t know I was in a search of guru, but he told me ‘you can stay here as long as you want, we don’t expect anything in return you, but take me as your guru!’ This made me understand that everybody is a guru, from whom I could learn self-realization.”

Describe the woman you are designing for – who is your muse?
“A woman with lots of confidence, with no hesitations and who doesn’t want to hide in the crowd. She likes to be noticed, but she shows up as her inner self, her child spirit. She is very much optimistic, colorful and enjoying life. I don’t have muses, but imaginary characters that I design for. She’s the woman that I want to be.”

What’s your astrological sign, and how does it help define your aesthetic?
“I’m an Aquarius, and I think defines my personality, my lifestyle and my mentality. I believe I am really creative, free spirited, independent, reliable, outgoing, sophisticated and individual because of my sign. I know I born this way. My aesthetic is something I’ve developed by visiting and experiencing so many different cultures, and I’m always in progress and expanding my vision.”

Getting dressed in the morning, what’s your ‘fashion mantra’?
“I never prepare my clothes the day before. So my mantra is; ‘put on your mood!’”

For more information about when Ilgin Utin’s India Trippin’ collection will be available contact [email protected]

@ilginutin