AN EMPATH’S FASHION WEEK SURVIVAL GUIDE

Attending the international catwalk shows left former Garage Magazine fashion editor Chloe Kerman feeling utterly depleted. Here’s how she learned why – after leaving the industry behind… PLUS: Chloe shares her Fashion Week survival guide.

Chloe in her fashion editor days

I was a Fashion Editor for 10 years. I had a great job at Garage Magazine, produced beautiful shoots, working with incredible photographers such as Paolo Roversi, Ellen Von Unwerth, and many others. On paper, it was my dream job, but honestly during that time I was so unhappy. I felt like a hamster caught in a spinning wheel, running over the same old ground over and over again. I was very low, I had no passion, no drive, and felt like I was wasting my life.

Of course, my job also meant I attended the international catwalk events in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, and I saw almost all the shows. A dream come true for anybody who claims to love fashion. However, before the shows I would go into meltdown. I felt immense pressure to buy new clothes while the insecurities I felt about my body would be heightened at this time. My mood would be all over the place and I would dread the weeks ahead. By the end of the month, I was so emotional I would cry most days, which I put down to being over tired, suffering from stress and anxiety, and burning the candle at both ends!

Searching for some relief and some answers, I was still working for Garage Magazine at when I began studying Shamanism in October 2013. But on the last day of my course, Alberto Villoldo, my teacher and founder of The Four Winds Society, told me: “Don’t be surprised if your life changes when you go home.”

His prediction came true. Just hours after arriving home, my boyfriend at the time ended our three-year relationship – and the following day I was fired from my Fashion Editor job! In the space of two days, I’d been completely stripped of my identity. But all of a sudden, I was given the opportunity and freedom to change my life.

It was definitely a very challenging and emotional time, however now I see these events as huge gifts, as I took the opportunity to leave London and begin a magical journey of deep transformation, growth, healing, and study.

I have spent the past two years traveling and studying in the East and West Coast of America, Peru, Chile, Thailand, and India. I have studied Shamanism and Crystalline Consciousness, I’m initiated in herbalism, I studied at the Oneness University, and I’m currently working with the Divine Feminine empowerment movement, creating workshops and offering private sessions.

Chloe’s new life

I live a very different life from my fashion industry days, which has enabled me to see how every experience is an opportunity to grow, leading me to approach life as a constant adventure. I have learned to understand exactly how I co-create my reality, which means whatever happens for me I take responsibility for manifesting it. And how exciting and empowering it feels to choose to take full ownership of my feelings and my daily experience.

When I started my shamanic training I also discovered that I am an “empath” – meaning someone who easily picks up on other people’s emotions, and who taps into the collective consciousness around them. That’s when the penny dropped as to why I had such a hard time during the shows – not only had I been dealing with my own feelings of insecurity, inadequacy and stress, but I was experiencing the strain of taking on a lot of other emotions that were swirling around me.

Being an empath is a beautiful gift – when you’re able to identify as one. However, until then life can seem very overwhelming, simply because we’re so sensitive. And when I worked in the industry, I knew nothing about how to prepare myself energetically for the shows. One very simple tool I’ve since learned, and which you can use anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed, is to ask yourself: are these feelings mine? If you get a no, they will automatically defuse.

Here, I’ve compiled a list of my top tips for staying centered, aligned, and starting my day in the most loving way possible for myself and those around me.

1. As soon as you wake up, invite all the things you are grateful for to come into your mind. Let this be spontaneous: I’m grateful for this comfortable bed, that I had a deep sleep, etc. When you start the day like this your frequency automatically bumps up in vibration.

2. Follow this with some kind of practice to connect to yourself. This can be meditation, yoga, a walk in nature, conscious breathing, focusing on your heart, etc. Even 10 minutes of this can really change the flow and mood of your day as it will connect you to your own center.

3. Choose to make every decision in love, with honor and respect for yourself and the people around you.

4. Dab a couple of drops of organic Bulgarian rose oil on each of your seven chakras – starting at the root, and moving up through the sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown. Bulgarian rose oil holds a very high vibration that maintains the integrity of the energy centers.

5. Wear a clear quartz crystal at your heart or solar plexus.

6. Do a chakra clearing daily, either morning or evening or both if you have time. I love Chakra Dyana.

7. Eat the most nourishing food you have access too – proteins and good fats are great for energy levels, and root veg for grounding. Avoid the foods and drinks that you know yo-yo your emotions i.e. caffeine and sugar (a hard one when you’re racing between shows!)

8. Movement. Anytime you feel stuck or low in energy its time to move, either physically or choosing a different thought pattern. This circulates energy and keeps us in flow and open to new opportunities.

9. Create an act of kindness for someone else daily, plugging into the energy of unconditional giving.

10. Book in with an energy healer after the shows to rebalance, nurture and refuel your system.

And, remember that anytime you feel stressed or overwhelmed, you can use this as an opportunity to practice coming back to your center – which means simply taking a moment to focus on your heart and on your breath, practicing compassion for yourself and the experience that you are having, and inviting gratitude into your awareness again.

I say practice because staying present is a choice we have to make consciously throughout the day, with all the adventures that come our way. With this said, I invite you also to consciously decide to ENGAGE and ENJOY the fashion week craziness!

To find out more about Chloe’s work and book a session contact: [email protected]

MOVE, SIT, WRITE: 10 REASONS TO WRITE AND MEDITATE EVERY DAY

As she prepares for her Move, Sit, Write tour of the US, Tatum Fjerstad explains how learning to write and meditate every day is about sparking a conversation with your higher self. Artwork: Brian Lynch

Call it an exercise in trading comfort for terrifying uncertainty (she does, in this brilliant blog post), but when something broke in Tatum Fjerstad in December last year, the only option was to pretty much quit what she’d been doing and start again. Which looks a lot like setting off across America to teach her twin (okay triplet) passions of yoga, meditation and writing – a.k.a. her Move, Sit, Write tour, which will take place in 15 studios in seven states, beginning March 3 in Portland, Oregon.

Up until this point, Tatum had been making her life / career decisions a lot like: If I do this, people will think it’s cool. If people think it’s cool, then I’m cool. If I’m cool, people will like me and then I don’t have to work so hard to like myself because everyone else will be doing it for me.” And if you too suspect, on any level, you might also be living this life: “Get out now,” she advises. “It will bring you to a very dark place where you will feel so very disconnected with your own wants and desires that you’ll start to have bleak feelings about how we’re all just atoms bumping into each other and everything is meaningless so what’s the point.” Our point, in general, precisely.

It’s been through her own move, sit, write practice that Tatum has learned to re-connect to and value her sense of self – and since it’s often our own wounds that lead us down the path to our dharma, who better to guide others to do the same. Here, she shares 10 reasons to write and meditate every day…

For more details of Tatum’s Move, Sit, Write tour check out her Go Fund Me page  or book tickets at Tatumfjerstad.com

1. Take An Inventory: When you create the space to listen to your patterns by meditating on and writing down whatever is bouncing around in your head, you (and only you) can decide what you want to keep and what you want to release. This doesn’t happen after one go at it. You have to do it every day.

2. Own Your Shit: When things are rough, this practice can help you get super clear on your hand in the matter. All of us are walking around with a LOT of baggage, no matter who you are, and we can’t unpack it by ignoring it.

3. Sleep Harder: I started meditating twice a day everyday and journaling once in the mornings almost a year ago. Since then, I have had some of the best naps, dreams, and deep sleeps. When you give yourself the time to slow down during the day, your body settles much easier when it’s time to do so.

4. Deeper Connections: When you become a better listener to yourself, you become a better listener to others. It’s a lot easier to put your phone down during a conversation and make eye contact with another person if you know how good that feels when you do it for yourself.

5. Forgive Freely: This soft quiet practice initiates the nurturing of your inner teacher, who happens to be pretty benevolent, empathetic and compassionate. You’ll start to be more lenient on yourself and that will trickle down to others because you’ll realize that we’re all doing the best we can with the tools we have.

6. Treat Yourself: So many of the people I teach think this sort of work is too indulgent or they say they don’t have time. If you have time to scroll through your Instagram feed in bed in the morning, or wash your hair every day, you have enough time to get up a little earlier and do yourself this favor.

7. Increase creativity: When you sit and watch your thoughts and freely write them down you are sitting at the seat of creativity. You can’t force that shit. It has to come on its own with space and sweetness. What better space than writing and meditation?

9. Inspire Others: The longer you do this, the more your friends will want in. They will see your softness emerge and they will ask for your secrets. Share them.

10. Get it Out: Omg, it feels so good to write a bunch of shit about someone who is pissing you off. It feels WAY better than telling them this stuff and then immediately regretting it. I’ve solved entire friendship dramas without speaking a word to them and having the conversation with myself until I was done with it. Sometimes that takes a few days, sometimes much longer.

11. Be Your Own Best Friend: You know that feeling when it’s whatever-night-of-the-week and you don’t have any plans and everyone is doing cool shit and you feel like a big loser full of FOMO? That goes away because you’ll start to really love those cuddly moments with yourself when it’s just you, a good book and some great music.

MY MYSTICAL WEEK: THE ROAD TO HAPPINESS, RAINBOW WARRIORS, AND A NIGHT AT YOHO HOUSE

This week, Numi founder Ruby Warrington witnessed the birth of two very special (Leo!) projects and learned all about the Rainbow Warriors…

I went out on the road (to happiness). I was in LA most of this week for the launch of a project I’ve been working on for Buick – the 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive. And seriously, how progressive of a major corporation like them to focus on wellbeing as one of their core values going forward, the “red thread” that will run through their communications going forward. My role was to help them create content for the campaign – namely this podcast on how happiness is a choice from Harvard happiness researcher Shawn Achor; a custom, mood-elevating in-car scent blended by Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon; a 10-minute pre or post-drive guided meditation by Jeff Kober; a pressure point massage technique to ease tension behind the wheel by Dr. Dot (one of the most amazing women I’ve ever met btw); and even an in-car yoga sequence by Maroon 5 and One Direction’s on-tour instructor, Chad Dennis.

We’re talking serious high vibes! And besides this being kind of a groundbreaking concept for the motoring industry (right?!), how amazing to get the opportunity to put these potentially life-changing tools into the hands of mainstream drivers all over America. And my feeling that this was actually some lightwork in action was confirmed 100 per cent at the launch event. Themed around colour therapy, the ACE Museum in Hollywood was transformed into a factual RAINBOW of mood elevating hues for the night (see entrance below), and if you’ve been following our Instagram account, you might have noticed how I’ve been feeling about rainbows recently. If not, read on ‘cos you’re gonna love this…

I learned more about the Rainbow Warriors. A month or so ago, I began seeing rainbows EVERYWHERE. Like everywhere. In the shower, on my yoga mat, while I was doing the dishes. On billboards, and hey, all over Facebook, as everybody rainbow’ed up their profile picture to celebrate #LOVEWINS! When I mentioned this to my friend Aly, she told me about the Rainbow Warriors, a prophecy from Native American tradition that a generation of children would one day be born whose destiny it was to bring in light and love for the healing of planet Earth.

Um, WOW. You can read more about the Rainbow Warrior prophecy here, but as I was chatting to Amanda from Moon Juice about this at the Buick event, we simultaneously broke out in goosebumps over the fact that here was a car company channelling the rainbow message loud and strong. Because you could say, OMG, cars = pollution = BAD. But let’s just get real for a second. Cars are a FACT OF MODERN LIFE, and if you ever drive, use Uber, or even hitch rides places, please climb down from your high horse. (Plus, the motoring industry is not NEARLY as big a polluter as the commercial meat production industry. Something else to think about.) As Amanda and I both agree, real progress always begins with LOVE. And in my eyes, with their happiness campaign Buick are showing some serious love for their drivers, and therefore our planet.

I party-hopped over to Yoho House. A.K.A. the brand, spanking new Wanderlust center in Hollywood. And wow, serious WOW! Housed in the site of the old Golden Bridge, we’re talking four-floors of pimped-to-perfection yogic bliss, from the 200-person studio space, shaded patio and farm-to-table restaurant on the ground floor, up to a custom pine-clad roof terrace, via cosy library hangout, intimate, candlelit workshop spaces…it’s enough to make you wanna move to LA. (Oh, wait, I’m kind of manifesting that one anyway…if you’re listening, Universe.)

The center opens to the public this weekend, and you can find out all about how to become a member at Wanderlusthollywood.com/membership

(More rainbows on the wristband to get into the party too…! #rainbowwarriors)