MY MYSTICAL LIFE: 5 REASONS WE ALL NEED STORY MEDICINE

#throatchakraproblems making it hard to share your truths? Here’s why Story Medicine is a way for us all to feel seen …

Photo: Caitlin Mitchell

When I first started regularly attending healing circles, I would always be holding my breath until after the “sharing” part. The part where, once everyone is seated and before you get into whatever teaching is about to happen, you’re invited to share with the group what brought you to the workshop, or some other detail from your life / healing journey.

Well, here’s an impression of me waiting for my turn—*sweaty palms, heart-racing, trying-to-work-out-what-I’m-going-to-say, if-I-can-get-it-out-past-the-lump-in-my-throat.* Sometimes, I would even fid myself choking back tears as I voiced whatever my “thing” was.

I know I am not alone with my #throatchakraproblems. When the importance of speaking up is not something you’ve ever been taught, if you haven’t been listened to when you do, or if you (or you mom or Grandma, for that matter) have ever experienced a period in your life where it hasn’t felt safe to use your voice, then there could be a serious blockage.

One that must be dissolved with love, become tears, before you can speak confidently from your heart again.

Which is what was actually happening in all those awkward moments. Why else would it feel so frightening to share my stories with these lovely humans, who had also just shared their stories with me? Each time I spoke, no matter how painful, I was chipping away at a lifetime (several lifetimes, actually) of the internalized belief that my voice, my story, did not count.

But the truth is, all our stories matter. They matter to us, because without the experiences we have lived we would not even be “us.” And they matter to others, because other people’s stories are how we fill in the gaps. Are a mirror in which to witness our reactions and judgements, and to become aware of our own blind spots.

And because of what I’ve learned about myself and others, about human nature, in those uncomfortable sharing circles, they’ve become my favorite thing. To the point I now co-lead workshops with Alexandra Roxo where the sharing part IS the workshop—where the stories are the medicine.

Our next Story Medicine circle will be in NYC on March 19. You can check out the details HERE.

Read on for five more reasons why we all need story medicine …

1 // All our stories need to be seen. We live in a world where certain people’s stories are deemed more important than others. Where some voices are louder, while others go unheard. But this does not create a full picture of our experience as one human family. Sharing our stories out loud, having our perspective, our suffering, our joy, be seen and heard by others, goes some way towards redressing the balance.

2 // Stories help us become whole. But not the social media kind of stories. We’ve learned that it’s good to be “vulnerable” and “real” online-but when you don’t know who’s listening and whether they are truly holding space for our highest good, it’s actually not 100 percent safe. As Brené Brown reminds us: “Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: ‘Who has earned the right to hear my story?'” We know this instinctively, and so we edit and hold back. At our ritualized Story Medicine circles, Alexandra and I create a conscious container for us to see and be seen in our wholeness. We banish judgment, and place the emphasis on deep, empathetic listening. This is where the medicine lives.

3 // Stories take away shame. It’s the stories we think make us “weird” that it feels least safe to share. In her work, Brené Brown teaches that this is because we’re terrified of being perceived as “other,” for fear of being cast out of our social groups. And yet when we practice Story Medicine, we begin to understand that nobody is weird, or other-because everybody is. We begin to understand that it’s our quirks and differences that make our human jigsaw puzzle so multi-faceted and beautiful.

4 // Stories help us heal ourselves. We all love the way movies paint a picture in our minds, transporting us to whole new worlds. But this isn’t just “escapism.” I recently learned from hypnotherapist Shauna Cummins that watching a movie puts our brain into the same trance state that shamans use. In this state, our “imagination” helps us access our own healing powers, in the form of messages from our subconscious. When we practice deep listening, allowing ourselves to sink deeply into the colors, textures, and emotion of other people’s stories, we go to the place in ourselves where self-healing happens.

5 // Our stories are our art. How we see the world is utterly unique to us. And like all the most moving works of art, Story Medicine allows us to see the world through the eyes of others. Broadens our perspective and helps us see into the shadows. But making art isn’t just for painters, and musicians! When we paint a picture with our words, our stories offer those listening a window in to our world, as we get to process the path we have walked and make our life into our art.

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Story Medicine is also the heart of mine and Alexandra’s teachings in Moon Club, and our Moon Ambassadors regularly host FREE Story Medicine meet-ups for members and their guests all over the world. Click HERE for more info and to join our growing tribe.

ARE BODY VIBES STICKERS THE NEW CRYSTALS?

Forget your middle-school collection of holograms. Body Vibes are grown-up, Now Age magic stickers designed to change your frequency for optimal health …

Body Vibes Sacred Six “Energy” stickers

What if you could tap into the mind/body connection with just one touch? 

When we first heard about the new sticker collection from Body Vibes, we could not have been more intrigued. The stickers have been designed to invite more self-love, soothe anxiety, or up your creative game. All you need to do is apply one of their super sexy stickers, emblazoned with unicorns, mermaids, third eyes, and more.

And then just let the sub-harmonic signals do the rest …

Wait … WTF?! 

Uh yeah, we needed to get the full low down on how these babies work, too! So here’s what we learned when we sat down to chat with the babes behind Body Vibes …

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Science meets magic: Because you’re electric, baby 
Just like all of nature, every part of our bodies exists in a state of vibration. When we’re healthy, the body broadcasts overall harmonic health. But when an unhealthy frequency sets up shop in our body, it creates a disharmony we call “disease.”

Similar to crystal healing and Reiki, Body Vibes “Sacred Six” Smart Stickers are designed to bring us back into optimal frequency, based on the basic belief that we are electrical and energetic beings, and that it’s possible to move blocked energy.

How? The stickers have been programmed by scientists with actual frequency signatures taken from organic and living botanicals in a form that our body’s own electricity can read and mimic.

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The actual science part
Bio engineers capture frequencies found in nature. These are then condensed into the same unit of frequency found in the human body, and imprinted into special Mylar material that can hold an energetic flux for two years.

Each sticker is then embedded with up to 33 distinctive vibration patterns, including one of the “Solfeggio” frequencies. With roots in the Gregorian chants of the early Middle Ages, Solfeggio frequencies come from the pure tonal notes that made up the ancient musical scale, and are said to have harmonizing effects on the body as they unite us with Divine.

Oh yeah … science + magic= energetic nutrition for your cells

The Sacred Six “Beauty” Sticker

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The back story
Body Vibes founder Leslie Kritzer was first introduced to the technology when her husband’s naturopathic doctor gave him a bio-energy disc to help manage his arthritic pain. After his pain was dramatically reduced with no apparent side effects, she immediately started to utilize them to manage her own chronic anxiety.

After a month, she became aware of the little things—less road rage, more patience, more relaxation and ease. The big “aha” moment came when she decided to quit for a few days. By day 3 of sticker-free life, she was feeling much more anxious again and able to identify her “OCD” thinking in a brand new way.

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How do I tell if they’re working for me? 
Since all of our bodies are different, the technology can affect everyone differently. For example, the more energizing blends may leave you feeling immediately stimulated, while others may not notice the change until after they remove their sticker and realize how productive and energetic they felt. The same goes for the calming frequencies—the effect for most people is immediate and for others, becomes apparent after the sticker has been removed.

*Read Numinous Founder Ruby’s Body Vibes verdict at the end of the post!

The Sacred Six At the Beach Sticker

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The Sacred Six: Stick to how you want to feel  
Leslie and her partner Madison DeClercq (who also own hip LA skincare line Skin Worship) designed the different Body Vibes stickers based on the chakra system.

Each of our chakras vibrates at a different frequency—from the lowest, deepest, slowest at the root to the highest and fastest at the crown.

So, how do you want to feel? Pick it and stick it! 

Less Anxious (Root Chakra): Stick this lightening-bolt-emblazoned Anti-Anxiety hummingbird on to liberate guilt and fear, and reduce feelings of nervousness.

Empowered (Sacral Chakra): Create lasting change with the endurance and empowerment of the open-palmed Energy sticker

Loved (Solar Plexus Chakra): Transform your self-care practice and summon miracles with this gilded heart Self-Love sticker.

Connected to others (Heart Chakra): Heal conflict and harmonize relationships with a lounging mermaid At the Beach blend.

Focused (Throat Chakra): A golden pyramid and third eye imprint on the Focus sticker increase productivity, and enhances expression, creativity, and problem-solving.

Gorgeous (Third Eye): Unicorn power restores spiritual order, and reflects light, beauty, peace, and strength in the Beauty sticker.

 

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MY WEEK GETTING HIGH ON (BODY) VIBES by Ruby Warrington

Obviously, we had to put Body Vibes stickers to the test—and so I decided to wear a different one for each day this week. Read on for the verdict!

Photo: Caitlin Mitchell for A Wild Dove

MONDAY
Mondays have been coming around WAY too fast lately (anybody??) and I kind of wanna carry on the weekend vibes, so I go straight for the new Flower Power stickers—designed to promote “relaxation, coping skills, and muscle relaxation” (and emblazoned with a cannabis leaf). My afternoon is pretty chill, and that evening I find myself giggling all the way thought Mindhunter. Huh? I also have to eat an extra piece of avo toast before bed. #Munchies?!

TUESDAY
A busy day of meetings means time to up the ante with the Energy sticker. Notably, my usual afternoon dip doesn’t happen and I’m able to stay super chatty and … energized … for two back-to-back podcast interviews. That night I wake at 4.30am and can’t go back to sleep, and find myself peeling the sticker off in an attempt to stop my mind whirring with tomorrow’s to-do list.

WEDNESDAY
A bad night’s sleep is not gonna help me ace the first promo push for our New Year, Nu You retreat, followed by a 2-hour in-depth business call, another podcast interview, and cooking dinner for a friend this eve. What I need is some Focus! I slap the sticker featuring a pyramid with an evil eye right above my heart. WOW. Not only do I power through all the above, I also create a super-detailed 20-story IG promo for the retreat, and manage to fit in a yoga session before dinner. That night … I wake up, mind racing, at 3.30am! I feel like I spent the day downing espresso.

THURSDAY
Chatting with Numinous assistant editor Bess about our Body Vibes post, she tells me that the “strong coffee” effect is apparently a common way some of the stickers are described—and on the pack, “sensitive types” ARE advised to wear the stickers further away from the heart. That must be me. Feeling exhausted from two nights with no sleep, I opt for the Anti-Anxiety sticker today. Perfect for back-to-back meetings with three of my favorite women. I find myself focusing 100% on enjoying the moment with them, and barely thinking about the emails I know are stacking up in my inbox.

FRIDAY
I still didn’t sleep great last night, and woke up with a stiff neck—so it’s back to Flower Power for me (which I place on my left shoulder right where it hurts). It is Friday, after all!

THE VERDICT
Some of it could be psychosomatic, sure, but I have definitely noticed subtle shifts in my energy using the stickers this week. And that word is always key when it comes to energy work: subtle. We live in a world of such sensory overload, it can be hard to hear the gentle messages we’re receiving from our energetic body day-in-day-out, and it’s like wearing these stickers helped remind me to tune in. Plus the energy surge I felt using the Focus was undeniable! I’ll definitely be using them again …

Discover more about Body Vibes stickers and shop the collection at Shopbodyvibes.com

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***How to stick ’em 
Place the stickers on the left side of your chest, close to your heart—or on the left side of your arm, back, or shoulder. For those who are more sensitive to changes in their homeostasis, place on the lower inner arm above the wrist, or on the right side

And for magic multiplied, you can also create your own “cocktail” with more than just one. The Third Eye and Solar Plexus stickers are particularly good for adding an additional positive well-being frequency to any other vibe.

*Please be advised that once the sticker is removed, it loses its adhesive property and a new one will need to be used. 

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: GETTING READY TO #TUNEINPEACEOUT

A week that’s been all about finding and using my voice, as we get ready to #tuneinpeaceout...

The message, always!

:: MONDAY ::
OMFG finally did the Mayers Briggs personality test. OMFG mind totally blown. (And not just cos my personality “type”—Advocate—also includes MLK, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Theresa, lol. #TuneInPeaceOut)

:: TUESDAY ::
A Skype session with amazing Gail Schock, who’s work I’d been aware of, but had not connected with until we met in Croatia earlier this summer. Gail teaches Voice Freedom, and I need way more words than I have today to describe the serendipity of us finally getting to work together now, this week, with all that’s been stirred up for me during this particular Eclipse-season-Mercury-retrograde-999-portal.

Let’s just say, some karmic shiz been going down—much of it connected to all the ways I have not felt or allowed myself to be truly heard. Following some intuitive coaching, Gail took me into a Quantum Meditation, which she said would work to heal the memories keeping me stuck, quite literally, in my throat chakra, at a cellular level. And since we’re planning a couple more sessions, I’ll leave it there for now. To be continued…Read more about Gail and her work at: Gailschock.love

:: WEDNESDAY ::
And another angel floats into my life in the form of Carey Davidson, founder of Manhattan’s Tournesol Wellness. Again, there’s too much to write about this meeting of hearts, minds, and souls in this post, suffice to say (for now) that it seems this week for me is ALL about being heard, using our voice, and, yes, advocacy. Which makes a lot of sense since Friday’s Full Moon Lunar Eclipse is in my Pisces-ruled (healing/compassion) third house (communication). Having run several wellness-focussed non-profits, Carey has tasked herself with the not exactly humble pursuit of taking on the entire US healthcare system, to make alternative healing practices available to all. What can I say? I’m SO IN. Read more about Carey and her mission at: Tournesolwellness.com

:: THURSDAY ::
Published this amazing piece on how to heal your throat chakra by Emma Whitehair. Obviously.

:: FRIDAY ::
And would you just look at the line-up of events that’s coming together for next week’s #TuneInPeaceOut initiative for World Peace Day! You guys ROCK. And there’s still plenty of time to plan something—which could be as simple as a pot-luck dinner and gathering with friends to discuss ways to bring more peace to your family, community or workplace today. If you DO feel called to plan something larger then send details to [email protected] and we will share as many events as possible!

NYCPeace in The City with The Numinous + Urban Yogis NYC

ALBANY, NYTune In Peace Out with Shauntay SoulFlower Brandon

RHINEBECK, NY (the Omega Institute)—A Meditation For Peace with Sah D’Simone

NEW HAMPSHIRE—White Mountains Peace-Up with Jessica Fish of Shaktivism

ASHVILLE, NCKundalini Class for Peace with Ra Ma Kaur

SEATTLETune In Peace Out with The Hoodwitch + Holy F*ck

SAN DIEGOPeace Circle with TRIBE de MAMA (click here for more #TuneInPeaceOut events with TRIBE de MAMA globally)

LONDONA Guided Meditation to Radiate Love and Peace, with Chloe Isadora

WALESA Ritual to Create Sacred Space with The Wisdom Gathering

PARISPeace Out Paris with Alison Beckner and Melanie Moser

GLOBALFacebook Livestream from Sedona with Guru Jagat

DOWNLOAD#TuneInPeaceOut meditation from Wolf Sister

LISTENA Prayer For Peace from Elyssa Jakim

You can also sign up for a LIVE webinar + guided meditation for peace with Ruby Warrington and Alexandra Roxo of The Numinous, Bri Luna of The Hoodwitch, and Dori Varga of TRIBE de MAMA on 9/21. The broadcast will be at 12 noon PST /  3pm EST / 8pm GMT—and if the time doesn’t work for you, ALL those who register will receive a recording of the session. Click here to sign up!

10 WAYS TO CLEAR YOUR THROAT CHAKRA

Heal the instrument of your voice to not only speak but also live in your truth, says Emma Whitehair… Artwork: Dr Steve Hinkey 

The throat is a physical bridge between our body and mind, while its chakra governs our communication and search for truth. It’s the most powerful but also the most vulnerable of all seven chakras, and with so many of us struggling express our true needs, a blocked throat chakra is more common than a cold these days (even if the “symptoms” could feel the same).

If this chakra does not have a healthy flow, not only will your relationships with others be difficult but you will not be receiving clear guidance from your intuition. On the other hand, however, once beautifully balanced, negative experiences are transformed into wisdom and ultimately you are open to a higher level of consciousness.

My business is PR and writing, and no one who knows me would think I had any blocks in the area of communication. However, what can’t be seen is that I’ve had a pretty much permanent, choked up feeling for, I don’t know, months, years…lifetimes! It’s hard to tell as I only properly noticed it early this year, when I started to really get tuned in to Self.

At its most intense, it’s an energetic constriction like a noose around my neck, but mostly it’s a lump in my throat, like I’m on the brink of tears—even when there’s no apparent reason for it.

After googling ‘throat cancer’ and ‘thyroid problems’ then giving myself the all-clear (with a deep sense of relief!), I found myself drawn to a chakra workshop with James French advertised at the Yoga Loft in London—I was ready to find out if this throat funk was a spiritual malady.

On this two-day course, I discovered that Vishuddha (the Sanskrit name for the throat chakra) has a developmental age of 7 to12. Probably no coincidence that this was when my parents divorced and I was packed off to a strange boarding school. I also learnt that the corresponding sense of this fifth chakra is hearing, giving me the excuse I was looking for to connect with sound healing practitioner, Ashera Hart, who I had met a few days before.

Ashera had hosted an incredibly powerful sonic breath + gong bath event, that had been listed by The Numinous, which had helped open my throat and started to stir things up in that area. Wondering if my unbalanced Vishuddha could be realigned further with the power of sound, I made the most of the opportunity to have a one-to-one session with Ashera in my home, while she was in London (rather than her usual base of Bali).

After this session, I met up with my healer, psychotherapist Fiona Arrigo to help me process what my body had shown me. She explained that traumas to the throat chakra are often connected to early childhood issues; when, if we experience emotional pain, we encounter separation. She commented that my adult vocal personality—which “on the surface is ballsy, clear and wise” is in juxtaposition to the inner child—who swallowed down her tears, and never expressed how she felt.

I asked by subconscious to say out loud the stories I may have been holding onto, and one resonated deeply: “no one is taking care of me…I’m alone.” And with that tears of relief fell down my cheeks. It all suddenly made sense—that part of me, the child, who had swallowed her sadness, was physically manifested like a bitter pill, stuck in my throat for over 30 years.

Fiona reminded me “to meet the understanding that we ARE alone in this life.” She also explained that the feeling I encountered during the sound healing, of being held, was the Universal holding, and in that moment, I had flipped my scratched record. Rather than archived pain, I had experienced something way more profound—a spiritual embrace so meaningful it had helped heal that source fracture.

My journey with this continues. Read on for 10 STEPS I’ve investigated to help with starting to CLEAR YOUR THROAT CHAKRA.

:: STEP BACK IN TIME ::
What unexpressed emotion or story are you holding on to? Once that’s understood, then it’s important to try and change the record, in order to free yourself. Byron Katie’s The Work might do it for you. Alternatively, perhaps you story is more complex—could it be from a pre-verbal era, or another life?

I spoke to Sue Minns, who’s book ‘Bodies & Souls’ touches on the throat chakra (as well as the others) and she explained the following to me:

“Chakras are like micro-chips of soul information that are links to our past experiences on earth, and connection to where we came from. The throat chakra, if holding negative memories, will become a bottleneck, a block to our true Self expression. Many of us (especially as women) have had gruesome deaths as a result of speaking out, spreading the word, saying the spells.

The throat is the chakra of secrets and lies, whispers and screams—and of speaking your truth without fear. A historical ‘block’ will obstruct cosmic, divine energy coming through the Crown and Third Eye to reach the Heart. It will short circuit at the throat if it cannot pass through. The central column (Sushumna) needs to be an open conduit between heaven and earth so that we can remember both our source and our purpose on this earth.”

:: SOUL MANTRA ::
“The 1st Law of Healing—all disease is inhibited Soul Life. The job of the healer is to lift the downcast eyes upward unto the Soul, and the Soul does the work” – Dr Steve Hinkey

So how do we allow the soul to work its magic? Mantras should allow the soul to take position naturally and Steve gave me these to use to unblock the throat chakra:

Because ‘I am…’ is so powerful, and soul infusion the ultimate achievement: “I am the soul infused throat”.

To use if starting to experience, or resist tension in the throat: “I am wanting to know my soul’s process, as it expresses itself through my throat chakra”

As no-one evolves without loving what they have, including dis-ease, this as a good all-rounder:

“I love myself as I am”

:: SOUND HEALING ::
Ashera Hart hosts The Frequency Shift solfeggio journeys, which encourage a Theta brainwave state, through healing vibrations, helping you access intuition, transform limiting beliefs and most especially—clear energy blockages.

I attended one of her ‘Sonic Immersion’ events (at Kind Yoga in London) which was a blissfully relaxing 90-minute experience. With the Zobet (solfeggio) healing frequencies along with sounds of the ocean, the cosmos and nature, Ashera accompanied this with an ethereal vocal invocation, tuning forks, chimes, shamanic drum and percussion.

We were told we may have dreams that night, that might reveal what is unresolved and one of mine was quite interesting. The throat chakra’s traumas can include alcoholism and yelling—both themes which were visited while in an abstract and gentle dream featuring my much loved childhood pet dog…

:: CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATION ::
Which means honoring your feelings, understanding your needs and kindly requesting that they are met. With authentic expression however, comes responsibility. There’s also a delicate balance between being honest and tactful, and on some occasions silence is golden.

Voicing irritations and raising one’s voice, for example, can pollute the throat chakra, as can gossiping, blaming, criticizing, or any other type of negative communication. If you start thinking in these terms, try to raise the vibration before saying anything. Also use this checklist:

  1. Is what you are about to say true?
  2. If so, is it necessary to be said, and does it need to be said by you?
  3. If the answer is yes, ask yourself if what you are about to say is kind/compassionate/loving.

Hearing is the fifth chakra’s sense and therefore listening is one of its most important realms of communication. That means listening to both your inner voice, and the voice of others. I think I may have an overactive Vishuddha, as I speak super fast (often with no filter) and sometimes feel impatient while listening.

With this in mind, I have made a conscious effort to start listening more intently, giving the other person my full undivided attention, putting away any devices and waiting (patiently!) to hear the them out completely before jumping in. This helps me to read between the lines and decipher others’ real needs, in order to respond in the right way.

:: THE AH MANTRA ::
To cleanse and purify any impure energy of speech, let the “AH” sound fill your throat for a few minutes.

One of the most powerful mantras on the planet, this sound is found in the name of most deities: Tara, Buddha, Krishna, Yah, Yeheshua, Saraswati, Wakantanka, Quan Yin, etc., along with many of the sacred words (Amen, Alleluia, AUM).

‘AH’ is also a sound related to the throat chakra, so it’s no coincidence that ‘AH HEM’—is the sound unconsciously made when a person clears his/her throat. While on a more conscious level, the Buddhist mantra ‘OM AH HUM’ is explained by my yoga guru Cat as “translating to body, speech and mind—speech being an integral part of having a harmonious co-existence with all living beings and speaking up for those who may lack a ‘voice’.”

:: USE YOUR VOICE ::
As long as the intention is pure, ANY way that you use your voice will help draw fresh energy through your throat chakra. I touch on the benefits of singing in this story and you can also hum, whistle, groan, sigh—ask your body what sounds need to be released, and just go for it, dialing up the volume if need be.

:: TEAR JERKERS ::
The throat is where I store my tears, and those that came with discovering my stuck story were beautifully cathartic. And as I know there are more to come, as part of my healing I chose my moments to indulge in deliberately triggering a little cry, with film.

When we watch weepies, it releases not only emotion, but also oxytocin, aka the love or cuddle hormone, which also regulates crying. A boost of oxytocin gives feelings of bonding, empathy, trust and maternal behavior, and it can’t differentiate between actual human beings and flickering images of them. If, like me, you have stuck emotion to release, this 10-minute supercut of tear jerking movie moments should have you sobbing in no time, letting those loving feelings wash over you. You’re welcome!

:: MUSIC ::
As sound is Vishuddha’s sense, music can also be a powerful activator. Partly down to some of the lyrics, melody, story or my personal associations, these tracks seem to resonate with the emotions stored within my throat chakra, allowing me to feel and heal.

What would be on on your Vishuddha playlist?

:: YOGA ::
Correcting one’s posture is key when re-aligning chakra’s, and these two yoga asanas, should help open up and/or activate the throat:

Fish (Matsyasana): Not only does this stretch the neck, it also strengthens the neck muscles needed to balance and stimulate the throat chakra.

Shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana): considered the Queen of all yoga poses, because of its amazing healing abilities. Doing shoulder stands regularly is an excellent way to keep your thyroid healthy and helps sufferers of asthma (like me).

Two Pranayama exercises that also bring heat and stimulate the throat chakra are the Ujjayi and lion’s breath.

:: HEALING ROCKS ::
You can re-balance Vishuddha by stimulating its reflex points in the feet and hands: the connection point of the big toe with the feet, and halfway down the thumb. I’m taking this a step further by wearing a memento mori, which I had made by Zoe & Morgan, that hits this point of my left thumb. A gold ring depicting a skull with diamond eyes on angel wings. A little reminder of both my mortal and immortal self—to help me be more conscious and stop sweating the small stuff!

Zoe & Morgan have also created this beautiful throat chakra ring. Featuring Aquamarine, the stone of the sea, which helps the throat chakra to open, and communication to flow like water.

Other stones that are good for rebalancing the throat chakra include: lapis lazuli, blue topaz, turquoise, chrysocolla, sodalite and my favourite—sapphires, which I wear on a necklace and ring. Try wearing these stones so they sit on your throat chakra for the full healing benefit.

:: TRUE BLUE BABY I LOVE YOU ::
Considered a hue for health, blue’s calming effect helps restore balance to the throat chakra, and for me, my blue healing comes from connecting with the ocean. My happy is getting out under blue skies (ether—the throat’s element) whenever I can, and in the sea at least every few months. However, when that’s not possible a pool also does the trick. So treat yourself to a spa day, and the immersion in water as a kind of soul soothing, spiritual cleansing.

CHAKRA HEALING FOR THE HOME

You know how important it is to keep your chakras balanced for optimal health – but have you thought about chakra healing for your home, asks Jennifer Stevens? Artwork: Paul Oparin

Whether you’ve studied Buddhism, meditation or Kundalini yoga, you’ve probably come across the concept of chakras before. But how do they relate to your home?

But before we get started, let’s first define exactly what we mean by the word “chakra.”

Chakras are energetic centers within the etheric (subtle) body. The word chakra itself originally meant “wheel” but they are thought to function more like vortexes: either open and spinning correctly, open and spinning backward, or closed entirely.

Healthy chakras are an essential part of mind, body and spirit living in alignment. A closed chakra is the result of an energetic blockage – typically an emotional or spiritual issue – and just one blocked chakra will affect the rest of your system, causing it to go into overdrive to compensate. This ultimately results in feeling lethargic, scattered or burnt-out. Leaving your chakras out of balance for too long can eventually lead to physical illness.

So how do the chakras relate to interior design?

Chakras are ultimately driven by our own energies; and since our home is an extension of our self, they are also accurately represented within our space. And just like in our bodies, it’s important for the chakras in our homes to stay happy and healthy. There’s no need to redecorate from scratch; the idea is simply to show each chakra zone the proper care and respect.

It’s always best for you to interpret the chakras in your own home in a way that works best for you. So go with your own intuition on this, but here are a few examples of home chakra healing to get you thinking…

:: Muladhara – Root Chakra – Kitchen, Toilet, Basement, Crawl Spaces::

The Root Chakra represents stability, balance and physical survival; it is also our connection to our ancestors. An under-active Root Chakra is characterized by excessive worries about money, paranoia and feeling disconnected.

The Root Chakra is about survival and sustenance; and since we literally sustain ourselves with food, the kitchen is the perfect representation of this. This chakra is also where any energy is eliminated from our body, so the toilet and basement can represent this aspect.

Take a look at your kitchen: is it neat, tidy and ready-to-use, or is it a cluttered and dirty mess? Is it bright and filled with fresh food or dark with barren shelves? Excessive clutter or general messiness indicate that it’s time to put more effort into the self-care of this chakra.

It’s also important when working with the Muladhara Chakra to be mindful of plumbing issues or leaking pipes and especially any issues that concern the toilet (such as broken handles or a constantly running toilet.). Schedule a time right now for any necessary repairs.

Stones to include here: Garnet, Jasper, Onyx or Rubies

:: Svadhisthana – Sacral Chakra – Creative Centers ::

The Sacral Chakra represents our relationship with ourselves, but this extends well beyond us since we project this onto our perception of the world around us. The big lesson here is simple: you cannot love anyone else until you love yourself. It is also the chakra of sensuality and sexuality.

Potential signs of an imbalance in the Sacral Chakra include boredom (with life or your relationship) and inhibition.

In our homes, the Sacral Chakra is represented by any center of creativity. You might have a thriving business running out of the spare bedroom, a blog run from the computer in your home office, or maybe you just really love spending your weekend afternoons creating treats for a dinner party. Choose the zone that best represents your own version of creativity and take a careful look around. If clutter or improper storage is impeding your ability to create, then get to work at finding some solutions.

If you don’t have a creative center in your home, then how is a great time to create one! What classes have you been meaning to take or interests have you been waiting to explore? How can you express this energy in your home? Your creative energy is an integral piece of your soul, so devote some time to honoring it.

Stones to include here: Carnelian, Moonstone or Hematite

:: Manipurna – Solar Plexus Chakra – Bathrooms, Laundry room, Living Room or Family Room ::

The Solar Plexus Chakra represents our personal power. It governs both self-esteem and self-discipline. An activated Solar Plexus Chakra results in being confident, reliable and responsible. Those with a Solar Plexus that is not in balance will be prone to emotional outbursts and stress (excess chakra activity) or passivity (blocked or slow).

Since this chakra represents multiple parts of our lives, it can also be represented by a number of ways in the home. Areas associated with water are highly associated with emotional energies; so your bathroom or laundry room are a great place to examine for signs of distress (think: faulty plumbing, faucets, lighting or messiness).

Another choice could be your living room – since it’s where we go when we’re entertaining friends or curling up with some vegan ice cream and Netflix.

Cast a constructive eye toward your living areas. Is there adequate seating and lighting? Can you comfortably hang out there with a few friends? If your living room is too messy for guests, it’s likely an accurate reflection of your own self-confidence and esteem.

Stones to Include Here: Topaz, Tiger’s Eye, Amber or Citrine

:: Anahata – Heart Chakra – Dining Areas, Hallways ::

The Heart Chakra represents love as well as the consciousness of Divine Love. Problems with the Heart Chakra are characterized by troubled relationships, being overly critical or being stuck in the past.

Sharing food with others (whether family or friends) is an act of Divine Love; on a fundamental level you are nurturing them and contributing towards their survival. We are naturally inclined to eat with those who we value the most, so the act of sharing food is very symbolic of this type of love.

Choose your dining room (or kitchen table) as your representation of the Heart Chakra only if you actually use it for eating (whether alone or with others). Make sure that everything is in working order and that you have enough supplies to make the overall experience comfortable.

But if you mostly eat take-out and never entertain, the dining area might not be the best choice for you. Hallways are similar to the veins in our body; the heart is the pump that creates circulation. In your home, a hallway is the way for you (and for Chi) to get from one room to the next. All but the tiniest of apartments will have some sort of hallway; if you don’t, choose a major footpath in your home (for example: from the sofa to the kitchen or the bedroom to the bathroom). So always make sure that this hallway or path is clear of clutter and obstructions.

Stones to Include: Fluorite, Malachite or Rose Quartz

:: Vishuddha – Throat Chakra – Study or Home Office ::

The Throat Chakra governs clear and concise communications. An open Throat Chakra allows you to find and express your authentic voice. If you are experiencing problems with expressing your feelings, finding your true voice or understanding what those around you are saying, then this might be a key zone for you to take a closer look at.

In the home, the Throat Chakra is best represented by your computer zone. Computers are now our main communication channel; whether you are Skyping, emailing or vlogging you are doing it through a computer (or similar device). Finding your zone is super simple if you have a desktop computer – but if you use a laptop, think about where you use it the most. On the sofa? At the kitchen table? Find the zone that is the best representation for you and make sure that it’s clean and de-cluttered.

It’s also great time to pause and look at the device itself. Are your files in order or is your desktop a mess? Are the screen and keyboard clean? Taking even a few minutes to restore order will put you on the path to a more open and balanced Throat Chakra.

Stones to include here: Aquamarine, Turquoise or Angel Aura Quartz

:: Ajna – Third Eye Chakra – Spiritual Center, Library, Home Office ::

The Third Eye Chakra is the master chakra; all other chakras must be open and balanced before this chakra can fully activate. It is the chakra of wisdom, spiritual devotion and intuition. An imbalanced Third Eye Chakra is coupled with insomnia, nightmares and indecision.

Any spiritual space in your home is an obvious choice to represent this energy center. That could mean many different things: a meditation corner, small altar or even (lucky you!) yoga practice room.

A home office or library is another excellent representation (even if it falls on the logical side of the brain). But it is where your business, bills or schedule are maintained and therefore represents knowledge and control over your life in general. Libraries literally contain knowledge, but since owning a real library is probably unlikely, a large bookshelf is another ideal choice.

But whichever space best corresponds to this chakra for you, take a look around for any hot button issues (like clutter) or ways for the functionality to be improved.

Stones to Include Here: Sapphire, Lapis, Azurite or Amethyst

:: Sahasrara – Crown Chakra – Bedroom, Front Door ::

The Crown Chakra is our link to unity, oneness and group consciousness. It’s where the finite (body/ego) and the infinite (universe/soul) meet. This is the chakra that represents spirituality and enlightenment; signs of an imbalanced Crown Chakra are depression and anxiety.

Since we are the most open to receiving messages (whether from our own soul or from a higher power) while we are sleeping, the bedroom is a natural choice for this chakra. This is one of the most intimate rooms in the home and also one that we spend a lot of time in. It’s where we retreat to not only when we are tired, but also when we are feeling sick or sad. The bedroom is home to our deepest emotional centers.

Take a look around your bedroom for any key issues. Is your bed an inviting place for you to retreat to every night? Do you typically get a full nights sleep in it? Make sure your bed is neat, comfortable and nice to look at.

The Crown Chakra can also be represented by the front door to our home. How open are you to receiving new visitors—or new knowledge?

Assess the state of your front door and entry. Again, look for any obvious problems: locks that are sticky or squeaky hinges. Maybe the door mat needs to be replaced or the door itself needs a cleaning. If your front door is blocked by clutter (or furniture), it’s time to make some changes and welcome some new energy into your home (and life).

Stones to Include Here: Amethyst (clusters are great!), Lepidolite or Clear Quartz

***

Even if there’s one particular chakra that’s of particular interest to you, make sure that you take a look at every chakra as it is represented in your space. Just as in your body, one area that’s out of whack can create bigger problems for the entire system. As such, a healthy home represents a healthy human, with a fully balanced, flowing chakra system.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: SHAMANIC SKINCARE, AND ALOHA TO HAWAII

Plus: healing my throat chakra, refining my elevator pitch, and conversation with the sober curious…

:: MONDAY ::
Skype chats about possible future collabs with beautiful Fern Olivia turned into a mini coaching session for me, after I shared how nervous I was feeling about hosting our Club SÖDA NY event this week (see below!) Public speaking is NOT my thing you guys. So Fern gives me a beautiful meditation to do beforehand to help open my throat chakra: lying down, place a crystal (either something blue, or a Rose Quartz) on my throat, and slowly chant “haaam,” feeling the vibrations resonate through my throat. This while visualizing a ball of blue light spinning and expanding there, until it fills up my whole body – and beyond. Which I share with YOU in case, y’know, public speaking isn’t your favorite thing either.

:: TUESDAY ::
My 11-year-old nephew (visiting from the UK): “What’s your book about Ruby?”
Me: “Well, it’s about how I used to work in fashion, but it was really unfulfilling, and so I decided to use astrology, and things, to bring more meaning to my life…”
Nephew: (looks non-plussed)
THE NEXT DAY…
Me: “You know what I said my book was about? (nephew nods) Well it’s really about how to be happy, by always making choices that are right for you.”
Nephew: “Sounds great!”
*way to work out your elevator pitch*

:: WEDNESDAY ::
A delivery from shamanic skincare line Trimaran Botanicals – as in, it’s skincare made and blessed by a shaman! Made in Vancouver, products are not only vegan, toxin-free and filler-free, but are also blessed with spirit messages from the plant and crystal realms, and imprinted with transformational mantras and vibrational potencies. I’m trying out a serum, which smells heavenly and feels like magic as I anoint my (almost 40-year-old) face with it. Self-care doesn’t come much more high vibe.

Facial Serums, $128 CAD, Trimaran Botanicals

:: THURSDAY ::
Blown away by the beautiful souls who came out for my Club SÖDA NYC event with Biet Simkin (see main pics). The discussion was on learning to trust your body to make you feel fantastic, your life to get you inspired, the people you love to feel connected, and your SELF to stay true to a life of high integrity that supports your highest purpose. And to quit outsourcing any and all of the above to the quick fix of alcohol. We pitched the event as a social experiment for the sober curious – and our findings were that this is a conversation that’s only just getting started… Join the Club SÖDA NYC Facebook group to connect and find out about our next events!

:: FRIDAY ::
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!! And what a moment in time astrologically to be stepping into my FIFTH decade. Not only did yesterday’s Aries New Moon (potent intention-planting potential) conjunct my natal Sun to the very degree, Uranus (planet of breakthrough transformation) has passed over the exact SAME degree these past two weeks. Talk about the stars aligning for me to step into my future self with a whole fresh perspective on life, the Numiverse, and everything – which I’ll be shaping during a two week vacation in Hawaii. Which is a long way of saying, no Mystical Week column now until April 29. See you on the other side!