As the Weinstein scandal exposes deep-rooted sexism in the creative world, Moon Club member and electro pop maven Kaerhart is rocking the music industry with guts, intuition, and uncompromising vision … Photos by Jennica Mae.
Breaking up the “old boys club” to a brand new beat … The Harvey Weinstein scandal has dug up a lot for me personally. I almost quit music entirely after a very traumatic experience and it breaks my heart to think that any other woman could be subjected to this.
One of my artistic project’s main objectives is to bring together talented women so we can collaborate, support one another, and use our voices to create communities where we feel safe and heard. I see a lot of communities like this forming in LA right now and it is truly amazing. The more we are bringing each other up, the more we are able to overcome the obstacles that a male-dominated industry presents.
As women increasingly fill high level positions in the industry, we will start to break down the ‘good ol boys club’ mentality and give way to a safer space where sexism has no place.
Letting the pain spill into art … When I wrote my debut single, “Drain My Love,” I was in a really turbulent headspace. I had been suppressing my emotions, not wanting to face them, and pretending like everything was ok when it wasn’t.
With “Drain My Love,” I finally gave myself the permission to let go. I had felt emotionally ‘fucked up’ for so long and just needed to let it all spill out in order to heal the pain. My hope is that the song provokes others to do the same.
“Making it” means trusting your gut … I’m not sure if you ever really feel like you have “made it” as an artist. There’s always room to grow, other limits to push yourself towards, and new parts of yourself to explore and discover.
Everyone you meet, from producers, to A&Rs, to friends, and even your own parents, will have an opinion about the music you are making or the music they think you should be making. Your art and vision will be judged every which way regardless of what you create.
There have been times when I could have compromised who I was or my values in order to get ahead in the industry. But I always knew I had a purpose that was beyond just attaining success.
You have to listen to your own voice and go with your gut each and every time. As long as you can stand behind your work, regardless of what others think or say, that is ‘making it’ to me.
The Moon Club tribe … Moon Club has really helped me to find my tribe- not just online but in Los Angeles as well. I have met some of my best friends and biggest supporters through this community.
And beyond the community itself, coming back to the ancient wisdom of flowing with the Moon’s cycles has helped me to deepen my spiritual practice and feel more in touch with my intuition and Mother Earth.
What if you applied the life changing magic of Marie Kondo’s tidying methods to choosing the right friendships, asks Victoria Cox? Artwork: Found on Pinterest
Friendship is a constantly evolving thing. We have our inner circle of friends, our coven of trusted confidants. Then there is a secondary circle, comprising people we are friendly with but who are less likely to know our strange quirks and deepest desires; work colleagues, gym buddies or school friends.
Over time, lesser known friends move into the inner circle, whist others move out of the constellation entirely. The point being that our friendship circle is ever changing, as we mature and grow. It is not designed to be stagnant and fixed.
Some friendships gain strength year after year, reaching surprising levels of intimacy. Some fade away entirely either through neglect, distance or simply growing apart. Then there are others that come to an abrupt end, the flame of friendship extinguishing itself in a dramatic fashion.
I understand all of this. So why do I still find myself trying to maintain friendships that no longer serve me? The answer to this question can often be surmised in one word: obligation. After all, if we’ve spent years building up a friendship, investing our time and our hearts, it seems counter-intuitive to throw it all away.
But what if we could learn to accept that if things aren’t what they once were? Acknowledge that it’s time to move on, with no hard feelings?
After all, I’ve learned to do this is every other area of my life. I’ve walked away from dysfunctional relationships; shitty bosses and unfulfilling jobs without even looking back. Why not apply the same thought process to my friends?
And then I finally read Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and a light-bulb went on in my head.
Kondo, a Japanese organizing expert, touts the virtues of tidying by asking of everything you own: “Does this spark joy?” and if not, thanking it for its service and getting rid of it. But instead of pondering whether inanimate objects in my apartment sparked joy, what if I applied this method to choosing the right friendships?
Admittedly my first thought was to question whether or not I would qualify as a sociopath in comparing my friendships to my heavily stained shower curtain.
But really, what if we were to scroll through every friend listed in our phone contacts and ask ourselves: “Does this person spark joy in my life?” I would hazard a guess there’s probably a good thirty percent of people about whom we would either answer with a long “hmmm…”—or else blurt out a “Hell No!”
And when you really think about it, why would we choose to spend our valuable time with friends that no longer spark joy in our life? It simply doesn’t make any sense. Until you factor in that godawful G word. Guilt.
So powerful is the G-word (evil twin of the that O-word again—obligation) that I recently found myself spending hours with a friend who I didn’t want to hang out with, doing things I had no interest in doing and wishing I was somewhere else. Talk about soul-destroying.
And so turned back to Kondo’s book, seeking more pearls of wisdom to apply to my friendship circle.
She also wisely counsels that nostalgia is not your friend when it comes to your closet—and it turns out it’s not much help when it comes to friends, either.
How many times had I continued to hang out with a friend based solely on memories of what fun we used to have together? As it turns out, way too many. Our conversations always took a detour back down memory lane, peppered with “Remember when’s?” rather than “I’m so excited for…”
Sadly, the past is the past and if the only connection is over what was instead of what will be, then it might be time to reassess what purpose that particular friendship is serving. Is this person invested in your future dreams? Do they relate to the person you are today, or only the person you used to be?
Friendships are unique. Unlike relationships with our family, we choose to enter into them. And unlike a marriage, there’s no piece of paper reminding us we’re obliged to try and make it work. We choose each other because the relationship means something to us, it brings us joy, makes us laugh, brings over pizza when we’re feeling down and out.
Whilst it may be incredibly sad to bid adieu to a friendship that just isn’t working for us in the same way—because we’ve changed, they’ve changed or it simply doesn’t jive the way it used to—it’s also freeing to remember that since we chose to get into it, we can also choose to get out.
Calling all spiritual truth seekers: it’s time we cut the judgement and accept all who don’t fit into our preconceived ideas about what spirituality looks likeChris Grosso…Artwork:Alessandra De Cristofaro
It’s not only racists, sexists, and homophobes who have closed minds. I find it very interesting to watch just how much some “spiritual” people get bent out of shape over other people who don’t fit their image of what spirituality is supposed to look like.
I have lots of tattoos. I honestly don’t care if you’re tattooed or not; I just happen to like them, and so I get them. As a result of said tattoos, however, I’ve heard comments like: “Anyone who desecrates their bodies couldn’t know the first thing about spirituality, compassion, loving-kindness, or well-being.”
I’m not singling anyone out here, because I’ve caught it from Christians, Buddhists, yogis, nondenominational spiritualists, and more.
But it’s not just those of us with tats who are on the receiving end of this. The stereotypes often carry over to include people whose lifestyle and appearance deviate from what’s traditionally considered “acceptable” as either a spiritual or cultural norm.
This can include dyed hair, piercings, nontraditional attire, and a plethora of other choices that “don’t fit the spiritual mold.” And, sadly, it pretty much goes without saying that to be “different” is to subject yourself to occasional mockery by those who fear the unfamiliar, which is never a good time.
But as happens with every generation, younger people immersed in counterculture are speaking out. Like those who came before us, the 1960s hippies for example, we know our hearts are dedicated to the revolution, to changing humanity for the better – no matter how we choose to present our physical form to the world.
And sure, some of us may look funny to others – but isn’t life’s diversity something to be celebrated rather than scoffed at, especially when the “funny”-looking people are also working hard at making this world a better place?
I’m grateful to no longer feel the need to judge others whose outsides don’t match mine – though it certainly wasn’t always like that for me. Relinquishing superficial judgments is something I’ve worked on diligently. Through years of practice, today I can honestly say that I’ve made sincere progress.
I don’t give a shit about your style of dress or haircut or whatever other external things seemingly make us different. I’m much more interested in what’s happening on the inside—what does your heart have to say?
When my first book, Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality, was published, I received criticism from some “spiritual” people, based solely on my outer appearance. What surprised me was that some of it occurred when two spiritual teachers I deeply respect, Ram Dass and Tara Brach were kind enough to share the endorsements they’d written for it on their Facebook pages, in support of the book’s release.
Both Ram Dass’s and Tara’s work have been extremely important in my life, so I was touched that they took the time to spread the word about mine. Their Facebook posts included a picture of me, clearly showing my heavily tattooed arms. In all fairness, the majority of the comments from people were very nice and supportive, but there were still those who felt the need to leave shitty remarks based on nothing more than my appearance.
An example from Tara’s page is: “I’m at a loss on how true wisdom can exist simultaneously with the obsession to tattoo your body. It would seem that seeing through the maya of social conditioning would include seeing the silliness of tattoos, especially many, many, many tattoos.”
If you truly consider yourself to be invested in spirituality for the betterment of all humanity, please take a moment to contemplate whether those who live differently from you or practice differently from you are affecting your life’s well-being – spiritual or otherwise. If they’re not, then why not continue to explore why you care?
I’m offering you these questions from a sincere place, a place where we can attempt to find some reconciliation rather than create more separation.
Accepting one another for exactly who we are as we step foot onto the spiritual path is of paramount importance because—regardless of the differences in our personal tastes, styles, or beliefs—bettering ourselves through conscious, intentional living is always for the greater collective good, which includes all ofus.
Each moment any of us (and I mean any of us) sits in meditation, says a prayer, practices yoga, counts a mala or rosary bead, or takes a mindful breath while skateboarding, hiking, making love, or rocking out at a concert, we truly benefit all beings.
And if your spiritual practice doesn’t help you practice kindness, compassion, and acceptance, and include everyone, then what’s the point?
About the Author: Chris Grosso is a public speaker, writer, recovering addict, spiritual director, and author of Indie Spiritualist (Beyond Words, 2014) andEverything Mind (Sounds True, October 2015). He writes for ORIGIN, Mantra Yoga & Health Magazine, and The Huffington Post, and has spoken and performed at Wanderlust Festival, Yoga Journal Conference, Sedona World Wisdom Days, Kripalu, and more. A self-taught musician, Chris has been writing, recording, and touring since the mid-90s. Visit The Indie Spiritualist
Check out all the lightworkers moving to LA! Fern Olivia breaks down why life on the Left Coast is calling…Photography: Nicolas Jandrain
So what’s the real reason behind the mass exodus from cities like NYC to LA? You’ve noticed it, right? How the lightworker tribe are all feeling the call?
Well, it’s no coincidence that people are packing up their overpriced apartments, saying farewell to the brutal winters, and moving to the magical City of Angels. In fact, many of the Numinati made the move years ago, and now more of our tribe are arriving in waves.
When I heard the call of my soul to move to Los Angeles, I had no idea that I would be part of a major movement. I was not consciously aware that there was a deep reason for the work I was being called to do here, nor did I understand the energetic force by which it happened at this particular time in space.
It all makes sense to me now. If you, too, have been feeling a voice inside calling you West, what I’ve learned since my move may explain why – and in a radical way.
In April 2015, I was visiting my girlfriends in Malibu and I remember the precise moment, sitting on the beach, my soul clearly demanded: “Come home.” I had never lived in California, nor had I ever heard a voice inside as strong as this.
But I was not afraid. I listened.
The voice continued: “Move to Venice in the Fall.” So specific and commanding, right? I dared not question it, even though I had only been to Venice a few times for Kundalini classes at Ra Ma Institute with Guru Jagat, and for nourishment at Moon Juice and Cafe Gratitude.
But over the past several years, I have recognized my intuitive gifts and learned that in order to stay in alignment, I MUST TRUST this deep knowing.
And something inside me insisted that this was exactly where I needed to be. So I set about transitioning all my yoga classes and clients in New York, seamlessly found a friend to take over my lease, and effortlessly slipped out of my old life to plant myself in Venice Beach – the epicenter of the Now Age. And now that I’m here, I feel grounded and aligned.
So, back to why are we being called to LA, why should we trust the pull, and what’s next for us fearless souls who have listened to our spirit’s deepest longing.
Here are FOUR reasons that may help it all make it crystal clear.
1. We are being called to return to our Aphrodite – our pure, liberated Feminine.
New York City is literally on a grid – when you see the city from the air, the avenues and streets are angular and the buildings are close together. It’s tough to see the wide open sky unless you’re at the top of a skyscraper or in the middle of Central Park. We pound our feet on concrete and have little connection to the bare, soft, fertile earth. For most of the year, our feminine form is bundled in layers, and the sun has only a small window to kiss our bare skin.
Living in any city, we’re disconnected from the Earth, Air, Moon and tides – which in turn influence our moon cycles, our creativity, and manifestation capabilities.
When our creative expression is stifled, we become tight, rigid, stressed, and stagnation takes over our physical bodies. Living this way demands we’re dominated by our masculine energy – and it’s hard to keep up. Our adrenals burn out. We grow tired of being Wonder Woman – one of Dana James’ female archetypes – in the city that never sleeps. Rather, our hearts are longing to dance under the moonlight. We know we will rise in our true power when we feel grounded with the earth under our bare feet.
2. We got chewed up and spat out, and now our souls are strong enough to handle the work ahead.
Our souls brought us to cities like New York to do some major work on our karmic path. Our soul contracts had very specific lessons and experiences to learn in order to do the light work we were born in this incarnation to deliver.
New Yorkers have grit. New Yorkers are tough. We had to be, to get through the brutal winters, hurricanes, floods, terrorism, city noise, and commutes. And our souls had to practice becoming strong enough to do the major work that we are about to do in LA – influencing some of the brightest, most powerful, creative, receptive people in the world to step up to change the future of our planet.
So what is this work? Our world is suffering from the bankruptcy of love – we are living in a time of immense poverty, suffering, terrorism, abuse, and fear. It is our work to bring light to this planet through our creative leadership. We must be strong and clear in our own bodies otherwise, this difficult work can leave us feeling hopeless and depleted.
But first, we need some time to play. To retreat. To rest, rejuvenate, and restore. Once we have brought ourselves back into balance, we will have the clarity and vitality to do some major work as the next generation of visionaries on this planet.
3. We’re feeling the pull of the 33rd parallel (Allow me to explain…)
In heeding the call to LA, lightworkers are being called to congregate around the 33rd parallel – an energy vortex which happens to run through Venice Beach. You may know that in numerology, 33 is considered a Master Number and symbolizes the Christ Consciousness. The 33rd degree is highest publicly known degree for Freemasonry, and some say it signifies illumination and freedom from religious dogma. In Hinduism, Yoga Sutra 3:33 states: “Through keenly developed intuition, everything can be known.” And the Tibetan Book of the Dead speaks of the thirty-three heavens ruled over by Indra, and the thirty-three ruled over by Mara.
Furthermore, the latitude of the 33rd degree is shared with the ancient city of Babylon and by modern day Baghdad. The longest continually inhabited city in the world, Damascus, in Syria, is also on this line. The site of the first atomic bombing during WWII, in Nagasaki, Japan, also resides on the 33 parallel, and coincidently, so does the White Sands Testing Range in New Mexico, where the atom bomb was first tested. This geo-latitudinal line also passes through what is known as the “Bermuda Triangle” in the Atlantic Ocean.
So, clearly, there is something very powerful about the energy vortex around the 33rd parallel! And in essence, the quality of the 33rd parallel is that it shifts our energy more effectively and quickly. But looking at the history, it’s also clear that this has been utilized by some pretty dark forces – and now the lightworkers are moving to readdress the balance.
4. Our soul family is waiting for us.
To do the work we were born to, we need the support of our tribe. I’ve found there’s nothing more influential than a community of brilliant, grounded, strong, connected souls – our “soul clusters” as my dear friend Aimee Follette, chef and founder of Sun in Bloom, so perfectly calls it.
You know that feeling when you meet someone for the first time, but something inside you remembers them, as if you’ve known each other before? That feeling is real. Our souls have contracts with other souls – and we have these soul contracts with all the people we walk with, our parents, friends, business partners, lovers, and children.
The soul contracts of my New York life, including a controlling six-year relationship, showed me the work I needed to do: to heal deep-rooted karmic patterns of insecurity, self-doubt, and the inability to speak my truth. Many of us in New York experienced a similar struggle, freeing ourselves from lineages of insecurity, scarcity mindset, and fear of abandonment.
And having learned the lessons of city life, a tribe of stronger, fierce, liberated souls are reuniting together in Los Angeles.
Not feeling the call to move? That’s okay!
As explained by my teacher Harmonjot Kaur at Ra Ma Institute in Venice, it is important to understand that YOUR soul family will be found wherever you open your soul. “We are moving into a time where we stop looking outside for answers. Moving to LA to find one’s soul family simply because one identifies as a “lightworker” is a recipe for heartbreak I feel. Because wherever one is, that is where the soul family will show itself. And when we make expensive moves looking to satisfy from the outside what can only be satisfied from the inside, we really set ourselves up for great disappointment.”
There’s also a critical need for lightworkers to remain in New York City – since NYC is on an energetic grid that’s very powerful, meaning there’s an opportunity to amplify light work in the city.
And the truth is, we’re all designed to be more energized by different locations, explains Light Maker Cassandra Bodzak. “There are people whose energy field is actually more primed for NYC than LA, or vice versa, or for a different location such as Austin, Miami, or Boulder. You can even get a special astrology chart reading to determine which places on the earth will optimize your energy or deplete you.”
Another disclaimer from Harmonjot: The move to LA alone does not equal automatic self-discovery! “I’m reticent about encouraging people to move to Los Angeles because it’s touted as some kind of promised land. But many people have the illusion that their problems will be solved by coming out here. They likely won’t. Deep spiritual practice is what allows one to find the next step and the next place.”
So, my dears, wherever you feel the call, trust it. Trust your soul. Your soul family. Just as your future self is trusting YOU to heed the call. When you are living in alignment with your soul, you’ll feel home wherever you are. You’ll be in harmony with your body, and from this space of feeling healthy and in the flow, you will be your most creative self, and able to fully show up to do the work you were born to do.
London-based Jody Shield has gained a reputation as the healers’ healer, and signed as a Lululemon meditation ambassador. She shares her journey with Ruby Warrington
“Quit your job.” It was back in 2013 that Jody Shield heard the voice, subtle and yet insistent. “The sensation that came with it was one of, ‘it’s fine, you’ll be supported, don’t worry, trust’,” she remembers. “But still I was like, ‘no, no…what’s going on?’ And it just kept repeating, ‘quit your job, quit your job, quit your job’…”
Until this moment it had been a regular day in the office at the London ad agency where Jody had worked since 2005, rising through the ranks to become Business Director. Sure, she’d suffered a degree of burn-out in the role, had taken a sabbatical to Peru to “find myself.”
Since her return, she’d been dabbling in alternative therapies, and quietly working to develop what she felt were her natural healing abilities. But she’d found a happy medium, or so she thought. Her newfound skills were simply tools to help her navigate the demands of her own life in the “real world.” But now it seemed as though Spirit had other plans.
“I realized I couldn’t ignore what I was hearing, and almost as if some external force was pushing me to my feet I found myself walking into my boss’s office to tell him I needed to talk. I resigned on the spot,” she remembers.
Within three months, “I had a business as a healer. People had actually already been contacting me about sessions, and I’d been seeing family and friends at weekends. Once I made the decision to focus on it fully, people just kept coming back, and I was like, ‘okay!’”
In the two years since, Jody has become one of the most sought after alternative therapists in London, also gaining a reputation as “the healers’ healer.” This fall, she was signed by Lululemon as their first ever European meditation ambassador, and with a busy public speaking schedule to boot she’s become a leading voice in the Now Age movement. For anybody seeking a similar transition to a career in healing, her journey is a lesson in surrendering to your calling.
Born in the North of England, “growing up, I always had a sense that there was something bigger out there and that I was going to be a part of it. I used to look at celebrities and think, ‘they’re no different to anybody else, they’ve just got big energy’. And I felt that way about myself, too,” she says.
As far as connecting to Spirit, “I had a sense of the different energies in our house, and would get goose bumps when I walked into certain rooms. I’d drag the dog in with me for ‘protection’,” she laughs. But like so many psychically-developed young women, “I shut it all down when I hit my teens and began to discover boys…”
The first indication that she would one day be asked to use her gifts blew into her life on the winds of tragedy – after an ex-boyfriend was brutally murdered. “I woke up in bed one night not long after it happened, and there was an outline of him next to me on the matress. I realized his soul wasn’t able to pass to the other side, and I so I just told him, ‘it’s okay, be at peace now. You don’t need to worry about anything.’ And he just left.”
Back in real life Jody was focused on climbing the corporate ladder – even if the incident with her ex had left its mark. “I was emotionally burned out, and self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to the point I had to take time off work due to ‘stress’,” she says. Eventually, she set off for South America for what she thought was some much needed R & R. Instead, she found herself on an intensive plant medicine retreat.
“Nobody was talking about Ayahuasca back then, so when I heard about it in Peru I really had no idea to expect. Even on the boat to the retreat center, I remember wondering what on Earth I was doing there, and thinking I would probably just be an observer,” she says. In the event, her 12-day shamanic immersion would prove absolutely pivotal in her journey to becoming a full-time healer herself.
Not least because she was immediately confronted with a truth she’d been hiding for years, even from herself – that she was living in the grips of bulimia. “When we arrived we were asked to drink something to make us vomit and purge the toxins from our system. The potion didn’t work on me, and the facilitator told me to stick my fingers down my throat. My immediate reaction was, ‘but you can’t do that in public!’ I’d kept my eating disorder a secret for a decade.”
In ceremony, having drunk the Ayahuasca itself, “it felt like being cradled in the arms of the Mother, looking down on me and loving me, but going; ‘you’ve got something to confess, and you have to bring it up so I can help you with it.’ When I shared about this afterwards, it was the first time I’d spoken about my eating disorder to anyone.”
Jody took part in seven ceremonies over 12 days, sharing her little jungle hut with giant cockroaches and spiders, and emerging with an unshakable sense that her bulimia was behind her. “It was as if my brain had been re-wired and I couldn’t even remember the physical process of the illness. I had also made a contract with the plant to never eat meat or take drugs again.”
Further, “I had been recognized by the indigenous tribe as one of them. After one ceremony, they all made a bee-line for me, calling me “doctor, doctor, doctor.”
It’s testament to the grounded nature that makes Jody so approachable as a healer that she was able to pack this experience away with her guide books and resume her “normal” life back in London. Albeit with a desire to discover more about the healing arts, and her own abilities in this area.
It began with the study of EFT, or tapping, but it was discovering the work of Damien Wynne that tapped Jody fully into her gifts. Having developed a system for karmic, emotional and energetic “clearing” called Light Grids Therapy, “for me Damien was the whole package – a very expansive spiritual channel, yet very, very grounded in his human experience,” says Jody. She decided to travel to Germany to train with him; “My mum insisted on coming with me though, to check I wasn’t being indoctrinated into some cult,” she laughs.
“I connected to the work instantly, which centers on the mantra ‘I am that I am,’ and is essentially about allowing you to fully claim your ancestral seat in this lifetime. After five days of working intensively on healing and opening up my own emotional body, noticed quantum shifts in my perspective on my own life and purpose,” she claims.
“But I was afraid. I was like, ‘if this IS my path, how do I bring this to London, and how on Earth do I explain this to people?!” she says, echoing what must have been the thought process of so many great healers before her. But it was shortly after this that she heard The Voice, while experiencing the sensation of being fully supported by the Universe on her journey.
The rest, as they say, is history. And with with London’s creative and business leaders lining up to work with Jody, there’s a sense of her childhood awareness that “something bigger” was out there waiting for her having been fulfilled.
To find out more about Jody Shield and her work and to book a session visit Jodyshield.co.uk
Have you ever asked the question “Am I an empath?” Lisa Barner shares an insight into what it means to be that girl…Images: Via Animhut.com
This is the story of a girl-and the woman she’s embraced becoming.
In her earliest memories, with films to prove it, they shook their heads at her. They’d say “Where could she have possibly gotten that from?” She told stories of places she didn’t know and things beyond her scope of cognizance. It wasn’t just a child’s imagination nor a dose of adult television, she was an old soulthey’d say. She spoke with conviction. Her eyes were bigger and more penetrating than most – they took you by surprise and held you there. They invited you in, made it so that you were fully seen and offered great love.
She was adamant about things that mattered to her-to which she held close. She was the one others confided in and looked to for advice and nurturing. Whether or not by her choosing she often became the rock – the steadfast, grounded, reliable one, on which others could visit for their own replenishment. They came because she witnessed them fully. She allowed them to be stripped of any masks or concerned with judgments – she provided space for them to be. She spoke to their souls, sometimes with words and other times simply by being present. She was their remedy.
Extremely sensitive in nature, often sporting her heart on her sleeve, she always gave without thinking twice. And only now, with the awareness of the strength it takes to do so-does she recognize how brave the gift of giving is. For now that she understands fully who she is, it is a choice she must carefully consider – for her own wellbeing.
She’s a lightworker, an empath, earth angel and healer. She’s hyper sensitive to her surroundings – colors, textures, scents, physical conditions, energies. She feels emotions on a deeper level and a wider spectrum than most can relate to, and has given up trying to explain why or how she experiences this. She just knows its okay – no matter how trying some of the patterns are. It’s how she knows she’s not only alive but awakened.
She may not vividly remember choosing this course of life but when presented with it in gentle nudges, intuitive callings, serendipity and synchronicity, somewhere along the way she recommitted. She agrees to the purpose of her life, the value and power to influence this world for good. She embraces her gifts without fully knowing how they “work”.
She needs time alone. As a magnet for people’s physical energy, she literally can feel the worries, anxieties and concerns of others. She doesn’t always elect to hold them – especially not at the market, the gym, or at the end of her day. Nonetheless they find her. She has rituals to center herself. She sees nature as a sacred place and connects to the elements as a life source. She considers her word the clearest contract and expects that others treat is with the same sanctity. It is here she has been let down.
She knows of her divinity. She finds way to practice and celebrate it within or without traditional religious sanctions. She is always aware of its presence around and through her. You’ve heard it too- that you were created in the image and likeness of God, or the Divine. But that kind of duality of being, the power of an omnipresent force and the eradication of fear and limitations, isn’t for everyone. She though knows, deeply within, that she is infinite. She is brave enough to hand over her struggles, to surrender her doubts and to trust blindly the truth to unfold before her.
She struggles with the human stuff. She has trouble connecting to money, to sitting under florescent lighting in a cubicle. She doesn’t date well either because she sees love so differently. Though like others she desires connectedness and intimacy, she knows rather that she IS LOVE. That only a partner who is willing to meet her on all these levels can be a true match. She is patient because she has much else to keep her days busy and her heart beating with joy.
She struggles to remain relatable to her peers and her family – conscious of how different she feels yet how deeply she yearns for their acceptance. There may be times she disconnects from her spiritual self in order to appear“normal” – but in those times she is lost to herself. She retreats and is sad, knowing her authenticity is being compromised. She isn’t of much use to anyone in that place. Only when she reawakens to her reality can she thrive. She bravely chooses her higher self.
When she is with her tribe she can rest.They know what she’s carrying and silently give her permission. Their eyes are the same safe place. There she dances and plays, creates and sings from the depths of her soul. She laughs wholeheartedly from her toes up. She is protected with them, she is wiser because of their influence and deepened in her own knowing. She can stand in her power unapologetically. It is with them she is home. She is them and they are she.
A wide eyed dreamer, brave believer.
I am her.
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This week, I’ve been mainly bonding with my baby nephew Henry – prompting some way deep realizations about reincarnation…
The epiphany officially occurred six weeks ago at Erin Telford’s Cancer New Moon breathwork circle. It was one of those psychedelic experiences that’s hard to convey in words – but lemme have a go! Fittingly, with the moon in family-orientated Cancer, towards the end of the breathing section of the workshop, which is designed to bring deep seated emotions, memories and fears to the surface to be healed, I experienced a full mind-body-soul understanding that not only am I linked to my family by my DNA – I actually am them.
I just GOT, on a numinous level, the fact that since our physical being is formed of our parents’ cells (and therefore of their parents’, and their parents’, and so on), our ancestors literally LIVE ON through us. Since new strands of DNA are constantly being added to the mix, the bigger realization was that ALL HUMANITY is connected in this way! And all this accompanied by a beautiful visual of atomic rainbows of particles, swirling together to form image resembling my mother, then my brother, and his brand new baby boy. Not bad for a stone, cold sober Friday night in Greenpoint, I think you’ll agree.
It got me thinking a lot about reincarnation, obvs, especially when we fast-forward to this week which I have mainly spent bonding with my new nephew Henry in London. I decided at about age five that I didn’t want kids of my own, and as much as I’m 100% happy with my choice, my recent revelation had left me feeling like perhaps this life is the end of the line for my soul (whoa, deep). And then along comes Henry, who looks so much like me as a baby there’s just no denying that a part of me will live on in HIM.
Reincarnation is the belief that the soul itself leaves the physical body at the end of biological life, to begin a new life in a new body. But my experiences lately have given me a new appreciation of the soul contracts we share with our families – karmic lessons we have for each other, which we continuously reincarnate together in this dimension in order to learn or heal. Clear this karma, the theory goes, and your soul will ascend to a new level of enlightenment when you reincarnate the next time around.
It’s a belief system I’ve chosen to subscribe to, not least because it’s meant making a commitment to nurturing and healing my family relationships NOW – which, in my experience, has been the truest way to find fulfilment, and an authentic, stable, sense of self. in other words, to find happiness – a theory that’s actually backed up by the findings of Shawn Achor, the happiness expert I worked with on my recent project for Buick.
In Shawn’s research, the breadth, depth and meaning of our relationships – beginning with our families – was the biggest predictor of long-term happiness, and can have as much impact on our overall health and longevity as smoking, high blood pressure or obesity. In my (mystical) book, this is all a wake-up call to dig deep into what the soul contracts with YOUR tribe might be – and to prioritise working them out in this life, so that we can all ascend together.
When Michelle Goldblum was asked to create a summer camp for grown-ups, it forced her to confront age-old feelings of sadness and un-belonging. But it was also the catalyst for the next stage in her personal growth. Images: Karolina Daria Flora
As an adult, I’ve always looked back on my summers spent at camp as some of the best times of my life. And when I met Ali, having found each other in the wellness world (I own a branding and marketing agency for thought leaders in this field and she’s a body confidence coach), and we realized we were both Camp Towanda kids, every time we got together it was like we were back, cheering on the way to the soccer field. The energy of those times lived on in our relationship, which was always very childlike and fun, and like nothing I’ve experienced with anybody else.
As it turns out, our camp director follows both of us on Facebook, and in October last year, he reached out to us to ask; “would you like to bring a mind, body, spirit retreat to Camp Towanda?” Of course, as soon as Ali and I got together, it was obvious that our soul mission (maybe it was even the reason we met?) was to accept, and in doing so bring back what we both remembered as “The Magic of Camp.”
But when we went back to Towanda, which is located in Wayne County, PA, for our first site visit, walking around the familiar grounds, the memories that now began flooding back for me were far from happy. How could it be? Instead of joy, I was overwhelmed with a long-forgotten sensation of feeling completely isolated, and I realized how alone I actually felt at camp as a kid and how I so longed to be accepted.
I remembered having to find things to do during free time, when everyone huddled together in their packs. I remembered going from group to group, trying to find where I belonged, with an intense feeling that something must be wrong with me. I felt a familiar sensation in my neck, my chest and my gut, the same overwhelming feeling of sadness I realized I experienced back then.
I even had a flashback to the camp counsellor giving me a bookmark, which said something like; “it’s not how many friends you have but the quality of friendship that’s important.” At the time, I was so offended. But she’d obviously seen the pain my ten-year-old self had thought I was hiding so well.
Camp is supposed to be where you learn how to have relationships. It’s where people get their first boyfriends, and have their first kisses. Going back to Towanda, I realized how much of that I missed out on. Was it because I was fat? As a child, I realized I felt like; “I am different because I’m bigger. That’s why I’m not going out on the raid, that is why I’m not part of the crew.”
Or maybe it was because didn’t have the Kate Spade bag that all the other girls had. But even when I got the bag and all the other “stuff” I thought I needed to fit in, I still experienced the same feelings of separateness. My way of coping? By my last year at Towanda, aged 15, I was Camper Captain. On the outside, I knew everyone, and everyone knew me. But inside, there was this feeling of; “oh wow – I slipped under the radar there.” And guess what? It turns out Ali, a couple of years younger than me, was experiencing the same thing.
This was all new to me. I was shocked that my memory could play such tricks on me, casting my experience of camp in such a rose-tinted glow. And it’s only more recently I’ve been able to join the dots – how hiding the feelings of inadequacy that camp instilled in me became part of my adult identity, manifesting in an eating disorder I kept secret for years, an addiction to Adderall when I found myself working in big pharma post-college, and a co-dependent relationship that left me needy, isolated and without too much of a social life.
The best part though, is that this realization has also been a catalyst and a turning point in the next stage in my personal growth.
Asking around, it seemed like Ali and I weren’t lone “camp loners,” either. People would tell us; “I had a horrible experience at camp, I never want to go back.” They shared painful memories of sitting alone at the dining hall and not being included in activities, and it was based on this feedback that we began to come up with the concept for Soul Camp.
Sitting in our dorm during that first site visit, we shared exactly what was going on for each other. That night we decided that our souls had signed an agreement, and that it was our job to process and heal all the pent up feelings that were rushing to the surface so that we’d be equipped to hold the space for other people to return to camp and confront their hurtful, shameful, hidden memories as well.
And I feel like we’ve created the ultimate alternative camp for all the people who felt weird, or different, and like they didn’t belong. And maybe that’s everybody, on some level. From the bonfire and “fear burning” ritual on the opening night, to yoga by the beautiful lake, empowering intenSati classes with one of my personal teachers, Patricia Moreno, and incredible, nourishing food prepared with love, we’ve designed Soul Camp to create new memories. Joyful memories. Memories of meeting like-minded, welcoming friends; of exploring new activities and learning new techniques; of coming together, connecting inward, and feeling a-part-of.
Of course it’s also fine to just find your spot at the waterfront and write in your journal all weekend, but the most important piece for me is that we’ll all be there together. Reliving our childhood experience, but in a way that feels completely supportive and safe. You feel “different”? So do I. And guess what – that makes us all the same.
Now that I remember camp properly, I know there were some beautiful moments too. I had one counsellor, Mindy Karp, who is my friend to this day, and when we were nine or 10 she’d put us to bed playing Joni Mitchell and leading us in a deep relaxation meditation. Not that we understood it as that then, she’d just tell us; “feel your toes, now relax your toes…” She was the inspiration for our own “bunk leaders,” who we’ve equipped with tools to facilitate community, openness and togetherness in each bunk. And thank God for people like her.
Soul Camp at Camp Towanda takes place September 4-7. For details of the full line-up and to purchase tickets visit Soulcamp2014.com. PLUS enter the code “NUMI” at checkout for a $100 discount!