MATERIAL GIRL, MYSTICAL WORLD: ELLA GRACE DENTON

Uber-blogger Ella Grace Denton uploaded her first YouTube video in 2011; five years later, she has become a compassionate Vegan with a mission to inspire us all to LIVE MORE. We got an invite into her mystical world…

THE NUMINOUS: What inspired the name for your blog – why do “we need to live more”? 
ELLA GRACE DENTON: We Need to Live More originally started as a kind of statement to our generation. The online world can be very overwhelming, face-paced and all consuming, and I believe it’s stopped us connecting to the natural world around us and each other in deep ways!

So much of the online world, Instagram and Twitter, for example, allows young people to get lost in the seemingly incredible lives of others and disconnect from their own passion, purpose and life. And so my blog truly started as an online space to inspire others to live more meaningfully, to follow their passions and dreams and to live for themselves, rather than to aimlessly follow and get lost in the material world.

TN: Your site is dedicated to womankind – which women are you most inspired by and why?
EGD:
Yes, in the last year my focus has shifted slightly and I’ve really found an interest in exploring womankind, the constraints and pressures we feel, why we compete with one another, and our power when we come together and learn to love ourselves again! I love nothing more than being with strong, free, natural, women.

Some women who inspire me:

Tavi Gevinson:  total babe, actress, and founder of Rookie Mag, an amazing online space for females to share and create collectively. Just an incredible advocate for womankind.

Elizabeth Gilbert: writer of the recently published Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. For me, she represents womankind in such a strong way. She actively creates ideas and pursues her dreams whilst empowering other women to do the same. 2000% living in her truth, and that’s inspiring.

Elle Luna: artist, designer and author of The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion –another must read. ALSO listen to her Do Lecture called ‘The Importance of Doing What You Love’, it made me cry!

TN: We know you love astrolgy, how do you work with the cosmos in your everyday life?
EGD: I’ve just come into astrology! I’m religiously watching and learning from Kay Pacha and his YouTube videos. I’ve also become fascinated by the different stages of our moon cycles as females and what that means for our bodies and energy.

TN: Which crystals are you working with currently and why?
This week I’ve been working with a beautiful white agate, a new amethyst and a golden spirit healer quartz:

– White Agate: for purifying and calming
– Amethyst: for grounding
– Golden Spirit Healer Quartz: for aligning and bringing me back to the sun energy in my solar plexus

TN: What does a truly well-lived life look like to you?
EGD: Being surrounded by a community of people who care about me, pursuing my dreams and ideas passionately and openly, and making positive change in the world.

Now a look into the mystical world of this material girl…

:: MATERIAL GIRL ::

My label
Anything second-hand

Vintage Chanel Jacket, Nasty Gal

My shoes
A pair of boots made of silver satin I found in Oxfam…

My fragrance
A mix of seabuckthorn, jojoba, rose otto, geranium, immortelle, neroli, lavender, palmarosa oils.

Lavender Essential Oil, Do Terra

My jewels
My YCL Jewels hand crafted crystal choker, a crystal necklace I was given for my 21st by my mum, an ‘E’ necklace from my dad and my great great grandmother’s ring

My pampering
A hot bath, with candles, incense, and essential oils

My home
The island of Ibiza

Es Vedra, Ibiza

My food
Mango!

Ella’s Beetroot and Mango Salad

:: MYSTICAL WORLD ::

My awakening
My awakening was always rumbling in my soul, it started in 2012 but came into full swing when I watched the documentary ‘Cowspiracy’ exactly a year ago (trailer below!)

My sign
Scorpio

Scorpio Necklace, Laura Lee Jewellery

My mantra
“I am exactly where I need to be”

My healer
Nature

My reading
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

My transformation
Going vegan – which means living compassionately, by killing and eating no other beings

My mission
To empower others to live openly from their hearts

To read more from Ella Grace Denton visit Weneedtolivemore.com 

WHY TOO MUCH SOCIAL MEDIA IS BAD FOR THE SOUL

We know, we know…too much social media can be a recipe for the dreaded “compare & despair”. Life coach Lucy Sheridan shares why it’s so easy to fall for the filter factor, and how we can all fight back.

Supermodel selfies found on Harpers Bazaar

This NU digital age means it’s easy for us to take for granted the power at our fingertips and how technology can make our lives more streamlined, where before there might have been effort and chaos.

Increasingly though, the “power couple” that is technology and social media, presents an interesting and complex counter dynamic to the no-brainer benefits of the digital world.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I think social media is amazing. It’s one of the best ways to keep in the loop with people we know and love (and people we don’t for that matter – ex stalking, anyone?)

It feels like geography and time zones no longer matter. There’s the arrival of a baby in one feed, and a stack of amazing paleo pancakes in another. The significant and the small sit side by side as we consume the constant updates we allow to flood our lives.

We’re also more accessible than ever. I’ll bet you’ve been found by, and searched for, your school buddies from your distant past as well as that cool girl you sat next to at that workshop last weekend. These connections have evolved our networks and with this our feeds fill with more and more “news”.

The irony is that these increased connections can create a feeling of acute and uncomfortable separation. There’s a sense that there’s lots going on “over there”, and yet when we look at our own lives it’s crickets and tumbleweed.

Cue the “compare & despair” phenomenon that’s so aggressively on the rise.

We can’t all be Beyonce getting a private tour of the Louvre…

If you’re like me, you may have looked at your feeds and thought everyone is basically:

• Having loads of amazing sex
• Building businesses overnight
• Living more spiritually than Gabby B
• Raising beautiful, perfectly behaved vegan children
• Moving into a home from MTV Cribs (Google it kidz)
• Eating only the most delicious food in exclusive VIP restaurants
• Enjoying luxury as standard when it comes to going on vacay

I fell deep into a pit of compare & despair after a high school reunion a couple of years ago, when my online habits and perceived place in my digital world began to have serious effects on my offline life.

More and more I felt disconnected from other people and, more worryingly, from myself. And I was supposed to be the Zen “life coachy” one in my gang? Uh-oh #Fail and #FML.

In short, my ego had been having a field day fixating and obsessing over all the areas I appeared to be falling short.

According to my feeds I wasn’t thin enough, clever enough, entrepreneurial enough, interesting enough – basically, just not “enough”. How that ego magpie pecked away at my confidence.

But waking up to what I call the “filter factor” snapped me out of my downward spiral.

Miranda Kerr posts a selfie with her new diamond encrusted watch…

After sitting uncomfortably with my negative feelings, I realized I was as much a perpetrator as I was a victim. After all, if I was over-thinking the angle, tone and words to use in my posts, then surely others were too?

Starting to notice, hone in on and stare my insecurities in the face was a difficult but necessary process to free me from my distracted ego state and make friends with myself again.

For me, this meant tuning back into the things I’d found it all too easy to tune out – i.e. my spiritual practice, spoken conversations and daily non-events that actually kept me grounded and in tune with myself.

Real connection happens in the spaces between our online and offline lives. The moments with #nofilter, where the failures, the poor choices, and the average, regular days are. Where nothing that interesting happens, and yet you still smile at someone in the street, laugh at a joke you heard or move your bag to let someone sit down on the subway.

I may still apply ‘Amaro’ to all my Instagram pics to make my skin look awesome but, when I do, I know I’m consciously tinkering with what people will see on the surface…just like everyone else is.

Supermodel selfie found on Harpers Bazaar

Here are six things to think about when fighting the filter factor:

Life is not a zero sum game. That is, just because you see someone else winning or succeeding does not mean you’re missing out or failing. Trust that you’ll get back what you’re putting in, whether that’s your parenting style, yoga practice or the new blog you’ve started. Stay focused on your own goals and remember there’s more than enough success to go round!

You never know the full story. What we see posted on Facebook and other channels is a snapshot of a result and does not show the hard toil and ugly tears that are part of the process of success.

Fine is fine: Most of the time life is fine. Only fine – and that’s okay! I can’t remember the last time my Wednesday afternoons were particularly epic, amazing or unforgettable. They’re usually just…fine.

Reality can have bite. Sometimes I make a point of posting stuff about the little things that make a day extra fine. A chalk drawing on the pavement in a not-very-cool-part-of town, a feather landing at my feet or finding the EXACT change for the parking meter in my pocket. Those little wins are the ones the prove the Universe has your back, boo! You don’t need to dress them up – they’re beautiful in any light and happen much more regularly than you realize. Be brave and post those every day miracles on your social media.

The power of an actual digital detox. This doesn’t mean deleting your Facebook STAT. How about just turning down your exposure to what’s distracting you, and reframing how you use your time. For example, if you’re rocking up to a job you hate day after day, instead of just scrolling Twitter on your way, perhaps use your commute to search job sites or tweak your CV. Or even stare out the window and be present, giving yourself the gift of a peaceful moment to help you decide what you really want.

Go back to basics. A “like” here and a retweet there can make us feel present and included in the lives of those we love. In fact it’s easy to forget that feelings of real connection are created and nurtured face to face. Taking the time out to really connect with those you love – whether it’s a meet up planned nine months in advance or a Skype call at the weekend – you’ll not only get the big news first hand and in detail, but you’ll feel the love of supporting your friends on their journey and vice versa.

Lucy Sheridan is a Life Coach hell bent on helping Gen Y girls overcome the comparison caused by social media and get what they want OFF-line.  Find out more at www.proofcoaching.com

Facebook.com/ProofCoaching

Twitter & Insta: @lucysheridan

M.I.A. MATANGI: “BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU THINK”

“We all tweet incessantly the way parrots in the jungle do; we never consider how far the smallest idea can travel and how it can affect the people it reaches.” M.I.A. (a.k.a. Matangi)

Music with a message has always been M.I.A.’s MO. As global consciousness expands, her latest release, Matangi, is like a missive from another realm on the the power of our thoughts. If there has been a theme to 2013, our first year on post-Mayan planet Earth, then isn’t that exactly it? We are what we think.

With this understanding comes an awesome responsibility – because, oh s***, now the ball is in our court. For M.I.A. Matangi is here to remind us all that we better beware of our thoughts, and that we better back that up by speaking (not to mention tweeting) our truth.

Everybody’s favorite rap-tivist explains the story behind it all.

WHO IS MATANGI?
Matangi is a 5000-year-old concept of a Goddess who fought to keep thought and information pure. She sits on a gem-studded throne with a sitar. In Hinduism, the Goddesses have different life roles, and when Matangi is in a tranquil, meditative state, she plays the sitar.  Her instrument symbolises each part of the human experience…the consciousness, the breath, the heart, the body…and she plays to keep the universe and the people in harmony.

WHAT’S THE MESSAGE IN HER MUSIC?
She’s here to remind us that information needs to be spoken from the heart. If it’s not it’s false, and she defends that and fights for that. She fights the pollution of frequencies – which is all to do with words and how they come out, the articulation of inner thought to outward expression – which can happen through music, or any of the 64 ways to express your inner thoughts.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU KNOW ABOUT HER?
She’s the ninth of the ten Goddesses that Shiva’s wife splits into when he’s at work – because when she’s not being Shiva’s wife, she’s got s*** to do! His wife is called Parvati – and Wikipedia says she’s also the Goddess of power, because if Shiva is the god of destruction, you can’t destroy without power. In Hinduism it’s all about couples – and while the men are alright they’re not the main thing, which is really cool.

WHY DOES MATANGI’S STORY RESONATE WITH YOU?
I found about about her because my birth name is Mathangi, and how funny that her mantra is “aim” – which is M.I.A. backwards. But right now you can apply her myth to what’s happening in the world. Matangi also carries a parrot – she’s got her sitar and she has a sword in one hand and a parrot in the other, which represents the nature of humans.

WHAT PART OF HUMAN NATURE?
It’s an intelligent bird because it can repeat words, but it doesn’t have the consciousness to understand what it’s saying – and how funny, today we have a thing called “Twitter” – where we tweet, and then we re-tweet! And we’re judged on how many re-tweets we get. Not by the one intelligent thing we said that no-body re-tweeted, but because we said something stupid like; “I’m having a cheeseburger” and 1000 people re-tweeted it. Hinduism works in symbols, and the parrot means nothing in itself. It’s there to remind us to be conscious of what we say.

Matangi by M.I.A. is out now.
@MIAuniverse