Giving this Season

December 18, 2017

As I packed in preparation to evacuate, it was interesting to observe the things that I didn't need or even want to take with me. AND there were things that I couldn't possibly fit in our car that I knew I would be very sad to never see again if our house burned down. As we saw the flames coming over the mountain ridge, my body was saying 'it's better to be safe than sorry and minutes later told me it was time to go'. We packed the car, woke up our three year old daughter, picked up another family and left around 3.30 am as the fire was raging with zero percent containment just over the hill. Since then, my life has changed in many ways. We are deeply grateful that Ojai was highly protected, our home was untouched by the actual fire and we are safe. However, 140 people in this sacred valley lost their homes and I am friends with some of them. People are losing jobs because of this fire from the decrease in sales amongst businesses, restaurants, shops, etc. It is a very challenging time for many in Southern California during this holiday season. We've been displaced for 14 days now which feels like months. At this point, we've been in 4 cities and stayed at 4 places. On Saturday, we went to Ojai for the first time to check in, grab a few things before our travels for the holidays and tune into what was needed in town. We wore masks the entire time from the moment we hit Highway 33 into Ojai. One in every five people were wearing masks. It felt otherwordly. This is mandatory due to the air quality being 'unhealthy' by the EPA. When we stepped into our home, I could feel the love and the sacredness we've created there. Our Christmas tree was standing and more ornaments were waiting to be hung. I felt an inner knowing that Ojai was still our home. I am eager to get back there after the holidays once the air quality is safe for our family. I want to engage and serve as much as I can as the human comradery is the healing elixir in this experience. I felt such a deep connection to our home and to Ojai that was profound and divine. For now, we do what we can to support those in need. It's made me question every single thing I was planning to buy for my family. Instead of buying more stuff, I am buying items that hold sacred value. We are using additional resources to give back to those that have lost almost everything.

As you continue immersing into the holidays and shop for your loved ones, I still want to share a Gift Guide with you. Although, it's 2 weeks later than I planned, this can be for last minute gifting, gifts of service and for the part of you that wants to support a town that many people hold so near and dear in their hearts. As humans, it is crucial that we dig deep during these times and come together to lift each other up and give back. Please read on to see the complete list of ways to support and the list we originally wrote weeks ago that could support you with last minute items. 30% of ALL sales from our online shop will be divided amongst these four organizations.

Wishing you all a holiday season full of infinite love and blessings,
Jenny Emblom Castro
Founder + Creative Director, Living Wholly

Giving Back

You can directly donate money to relief funds:
This non-profit organization is a vital resource for the residents of the Ojai Valley. They are the only full time, basic needs provider in the area. They are directly supporting victims of the Thomas Fire.
A group of Upper Ojai residents who stayed home and fought the Thomas Fire. They are supporting those affected by the recent fires in Upper Ojai and surrounding areas.
Southern California Wildfire Relief to verified campaigns
The Humane Society of Ventura County
Protecting hundreds of animals displaced by the still raging Thomas Fire

"We are all just walking each other Home" Ram Dass

The Living Wholly Gift Guide

go to our online shop to view all of these items + more

*order by Tuesday, December 19th end of day to assure delivery by Friday, December 22nd

Biodynamic Zen + Bunni

July 17, 2017

"Activist activating earth one biodynamic chocolate bar at a time...let's do this together!!" Zen and Bunni from ZenBunni biodynamic chocolates

Feet on the ground surrounded by Nature and deeply connected to the Earth. Devoted to the biodynamic lifestyle and spreading the message of health on this planet, ZenBunni chocolates are simply the vehicle. I had the true pleasure of spending an afternoon with Zen, Bunni and their daughter, Alchemy, hearing more about their mission and journey with these chocolates. It moved me, inspired me and deeply resonated to the level that I know what they're sharing with this world is important and impactful. Read on as more is revealed...

Living Wholly: How did you two meet?

    Zen: We met in Los Angeles, California 18 years ago when I was a clothing designer in the 90s. I was designing a Hip hop clothing line called Charismatic in Hollywood. It was well known at the time. My friend started a magazine and wanted to do a photo shoot. He asked me to style it. The original photographer couldn’t come but their friend, Bunni, could come. The minute Bunni and I met, we loathed each other. There was a constant conflict of who was doing what. There was so much aggravation and our heads were butting. We both wanted to fire each other and just finish the job. For 3 days, we loathed each other and then it was done.

    Bunni: At that time, there was no digital. Zen had to edit the photos. I did not want to deal with him. I would not send the photos, thinking I would not get the contact sheets back. Someone had to come over to my office to review them. Zen came over. When he arrived and I answered the door, it was like a “Cosmic - Karmic bang” - my dog attacked Zen. He was not very happy. Then, he saw the photos and LOVED them. He began to realize how talented I was and we became friends. We were inseparable for years. One night after a long day together, we finally kissed and the journey of love continued forward.  

    Living Wholly: What is the history of Zenbunni?

      Zen: We’ve had Zenbunni since 2004. The original space was called Zenbunni Gallery. Pictured above.

      Bunni: Zen had intestinal issues. I noticed that David Wolfe was doing a talk at Erewhon. I knew if I told him about the talk, we would go raw. I don't cook. Zen is the cook. I went out of town for 3 days, came home and everything was cleared out and we were raw. During that time, there were no yummy desserts. All of the Café Gratitude’s were in San Francisco. Zen took a quick course with a friend that made raw desserts. Our friends loved the chocolates and encouraged us to sell them.

      Zen: Bunni is a trained photographer. “She’s so good,” says Alchemy. We rented a small studio in Topanga for her dark room. I suggested we use the other part of the space to show the art. We set up a gallery to put her photography. We added local friends' jewelry and our chocolates to the gallery. People would come in just for the chocolates.

      Bunni: Later, we opened a larger space in Santa Monica. I got pregnant and in the 5th month, I had no focus, was tired and not engaged in the gallery. We decided to quietly close the store. Zen would take care of me and our new baby, Alchemy. After that, we got all of these phone calls and emails asking for the chocolate. People were asking "where are the chocolates?"

      During that time, we met an Osteopath that was a biodynamic farmer. He invited us to his farm and encouraged us to eat anything we wanted. We ate lettuce and it tasted alive. Salty and juicy. I made the decision that the next time we would make the chocolate, it would be biodynamic. For 1.5 years, Zen researched how to create biodynamic chocolate. 

      Zen: We made the chocolates because there was nothing sweet that was good to eat. We had really great results with this way of living and thought, “I am just going to make chocolates myself.” Friends continued telling us to sell the chocolates and when we did, it turned into a thing. We continued to make chocolate for about 10 years while still selling our art, design, making things, etc. 

      We went raw/vegan for 2 years and felt great. Then, we felt terrible, prompting us to dig deeper into what the human body needs.We are now transformed conscious omnivores. The body is so complicated and there is so much information out there. Self-exploration can be dangerous. It is so important to have a great functional medicine doctor, doctor you trust, etc. Most people need meat, warm food; ancient ways of eating. The body needs a lot of other things. Everyone is on their own path. We are not into judging people for what they eat. The chocolates are the health tool as a way to integrate so much. It is a vehicle for sharing the message of Biodynamic and spread health and educate. It evolved into a much larger mission than simply eating and making chocolate.

      Living Wholly: What inspired you to create a business centered around biodynamic chocolates?

      Zen: Realizing how important it is to being grounded, earthing and not being so distracted by the madness that is out there. You have to literally jump through a million hoops to live a natural, non-toxic lifestyle. After having a child, we had a deeper desire to live naturally. Once we learned about the biodynamic lifestyle, we realized it is the most impactful and connects everything.

      We realized how important it is to share with others. This is one of the most important issues in the whole world. Organic has shifted the planet. Organic is sustainable. However, biodynamic is regenerative. We need to go much further than organic. Biodynamic is having relationships with animals, the ecosphere, the atmosphere and the level of consciousness this entails.

      Bunni: Biodynamic needs to be more accessible and this is a way to make the mission feasible. Chocolate transcends all ages and is so unassuming. People try the bar and then ask the question, "What is biodynamics, what is ashwagandha?" From there, we can begin to educate and support the shift. 

      Living Wholly: As a Family company, what keeps you devoted to this vision daily?

      Bunni: We are making change through education. We feel blessed to have this as the vehicle. We tried to stay away from superfoods in the beginning. We simply wanted to connect with people through organic chocolate. Slowly, with the traction of biodynamic, we got the taste profile we wanted and people enjoyed it. The chocolate has to taste good. Some medicinal chocolates don’t taste good. It has to be a healthy, enjoyable relationship with chocolate.

      Eventually, we will have our own line of every one of those herbs and will sell the single herbs. Then get into biodynamic everything. Currently there are 25 million coffee farmers. 4 are biodynamic. There are 6 million cacao and 6 are biodynamic. It is
      very rare. We want to procure these things and offer these staples to people. We are generating awareness. We also, encourage people to ask with every purchase - is this product helping or hurting the planet? If you question that every single time, the world can change quite quickly.



      Living Wholly: Where do you source the ingredients for Zenbunni?

        Zen: The cane sugar is from India. There are only 2 biodynamic farmers in the world. It took 1.5 years to get a sample. Otherwise, the other ingredients are organic and wildcrafted herbs until more are biodynamic and it is more accessible.  

        We want to get to the level of empowering farmers to go biodynamic. The goal is to be big enough to fund a farmer to become biodynamic.

        Living Wholly: Where do you make the products?

          Bunni: A factory on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

          Living Wholly: What has been the most challenging experience in your life that turned out to be the most meaningful opportunity to your life's path?

            Zen: Optimum health because I was sick all the time. I had surgeries and was on medications. Once I realized Western medicine was only one small way, it opened up so much for me - herbs and other ways of healing. When I saw the results of eating naturally, it made sense to me. I’d rather try to eat something that’s being grown naturally than take something that is made in a lab.

            I knew that we had to frontier this. Everything we do always has to be Mother Nature focused. Even if it were art, it has to be some sort of ode to that.


            Living Wholly: In your words, how are you serving the world and contributing your gifts?

              Zen: Being a living example and having a green business. What is the point of having a brand if it’s not green? We encourage people to take a serious audit and ask what am I doing, who do I work for and what do I stand for? It is time to question everything. We promote this and live it which is a way to support the shift. We don’t want it to be so rare and weird. Our chocolates just open the door and spark that beginning. 

              Living Wholly: What does living wholly mean to you?

              Bunni: Ultimately, living in your full truth. Whatever path you choose to take, knowing it comes from your truth and your truth is your heart. Knowing that you are leading from that place.

              Living Wholly: What are your top tips for living a healthy, fulfilling life?

              Bunni + Zen:

                1. Spend time in Nature – even if it is 15 - 20 minutes a day unattached, no phone.
                2. If you have a place you can stare into the infinite. Stare into the ocean to remind yourself that we are infinite. It is such a healthy practice. 
                3. Eating healthy and being conscious of your decisions. Eat very clean. Don’t watch the news or engage in the media. If you do, there could be boundaries you can set for yourself versus leaving it up to them and getting into it. Reduce it.
                4. Drink clean water. It is core to drink clean water. Otherwise, you are calcifying the pineal. Water is the easiest, cheapest way.
                5. Words are so powerful. Taking time to understand what you’re saying.

                You can find ZenBunni chocolates and much more on our website. Take a look at the offering and indulge as you experience the pure taste of their biodynamic creations.


                We are taking away multiple nuggets of wisdom after connecting more deeply with Beth Mobilian. She truly meets you, loves you and brings you into greater levels of freedom with her work. She is highly accessible in a way that anyone will feel seen by her and supported through transformation. Beth Mobilian is a Coach, Counselor and Workshop Facilitator. She is so much more. Read more in the full interview. It is a must.


                Living Wholly: In your words, what is your life’s work?

                Beth Mobilian: My life’s work is to support people in identifying and releasing what gets in the way of them living the most joyful, fulfilling, fun and meaningful life. I support my clients to release that which gets in the way of their loving and knowing that they are love. From that place, whatever one chooses to do in life becomes a vehicle to express the loving that he/she already is. From there, the opportunity to express that loving is easier to access. The vehicle is used to express who you are. To me, this is a redefining of purpose. This doesn’t mean we don’t have preferences. Of course, we do. However, people confuse purpose with what they do. I love supporting clients being less attached to the doing/the career and finding the joy in everything they are doing.

                Living Wholly: What inspired you to do this work with others?

                Beth Mobilian: There was something inside of me that called me towards books and teachers in personal growth and transformation, which led me to share this with others. Ultimately, I was inspired to do this work after talking with a friend who was on her way to a divorce mediation. She had a 45-minute drive and called me on the way. She was ready to go in guns blazing. I was such a seeker at that time and was very new at this work. In that conversation, something shifted for her. We spoke about collaboration versus againstness and loving versus fear. We explored the possibility of both people winning and coming together on the settlement. Hours after the court, the judge reached out to her to say that it was the quickest, most effective and peaceful mediation he’d ever done. My friend called me and said “you have to do this”. At that point, it became apparent this could be a vehicle to express the things that turned me on and to share my loving in the world.

                Living Wholly: What do you consider one of your most unique gifts to the world?

                Beth Mobilian: I get so excited knowing what is available on the opposite side of this work with my clients. I am a little kid when a client shows up. I let them know how fun this will be. I see them the way I can’t wait for them to see themselves. A gift of mine is that I truly see what my clients are holding as difficult or painful and we use that in service to tapping into their vibrancy, joy and worthiness. I hold the vision for them. I see them the way Spirit sees them. I don’t see them as wrong, wounded or needing to be fixed. I can’t wait to hold their hand and guide them through their journey. I think they can feel that and the vision I have for them. They sense there is truth to it because I am energetically exuding it.

                Living Wholly: What has been the most challenging experience in your life that turned out to be the most meaningful opportunity to your life's path?

                Beth Mobilian: Awakening and looking around and going, “Oh God, what have I done?” It is almost funny. It is almost like I want to go back in that place where it was my mother’s fault, the weather’s fault, my husband’s fault and the list goes on. I am living and holding myself to my intention to live consciously. To experience the moments when I am not and having the wisdom to know when I am not. It is challenging and an opportunity to live what I am teaching. There is nothing that I am not living. Relatability with my clients is important to me. I think of my channel as ways of being. I am right there in the trenches. I now have access to take care of myself and not need anything outside of myself to feel better. I think of myself as someone that is grounded. I curse. I am loving, but no bullshit. I am holding in the spiritual context and meeting my clients where they are. 

                Living Wholly: What teachers have you worked with and/or currently work with to inspire and support your evolution in consciousness?

                Beth Mobilian: I always go to Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick from the University of Santa Monica. They changed my life. No doubt. Early on, I was awakened by “A Course in Miracles” and Marianne Williamson. I also, love Esther and Jerry Hicks, Byron Katie, Mama Gena, Gabrielle Bernstein, Glennon Doyle Melton and Brene Brown. I totally relate to Brene Brown. She is no bullshit and a regular lady. I can’t get enough of her.

                Truly my greatest teachers are my kids. Without a doubt, they were sent here to teach me. It wasn’t until they came into my life that I really understood how important it was to stay present and to commit to higher levels of consciousness. They are such a reflection of when I am awake and when I am not. When I go to sleep and the patterns are activated, I see how they respond to me. There is no greater motivation to get back into my center and into alignment than my children.

                In addition, my teachers are the women I work with, clients, University of Santa Monica friends and my everyday interactions. I would give up all the teachers and books, for the lessons that I am privileged to have in everyday life. Observation and awareness are such a part of life and so important to who I am.


                Living Wholly: What does living wholly mean to you?

                Beth Mobilian: All of life is in service to our growth and evolution of consciousness. It is so wonderful to do this by exploring, eating healthy and exercising. This creates great balance in life. But, what’s also, important is messing up. Eating gluten on Sunday, having a glass of wine, drinking tequila - everything is welcome. I don’t judge it. Even the gray hairs and fat rolls. I support people in embracing and not beating themselves up. I embrace it all – the fear, the pain and the grieving. It all has a place at the table.

                Living Wholly: What is your favorite quote that supports you?

                Beth Mobilian:Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.” By Rumi

                It offers the message I am referring to. We can all hang out there. All are welcome.

                Living Wholly: How do you take care of your Self as a coach in order to be a clear vessel and centered in your Loving as a human?

                Beth Mobilian: Physically I stay active. It is important to move and get the blood flowing. I enjoy the outdoors and engage by biking, skiing and hiking. To me, it is about connecting to nature. There are deep breaths available in Nature.

                I love being quiet and reading. I also, enjoy hearing authors speak and listening to a book. There is always a jewel that I can use or offer someone. Looking for those nuggets are fun for me. I am also, incredibly blessed to have my trio partners that support me with deeper processing. We meet on a regular basis and we process together.

                A coach needs a coach. I don’t ask anything of my clients that I don’t ask of myself. I get coached. It is so important to expand and stay in the work. I liken this work to anything. It is much like other things. One doesn’t just do one yoga class or go for one run. This is a lifetime practice to stay healthy.

                Living Wholly: What are 3 tips you suggest for living an aligned and fulfilling life?

                Beth Mobilian:

                1. Being of service. Even if it is tiny, commit to some level of service in the world.
                2. Staying in the work. Constantly find ways to connect with the deeper opportunities. Read books, be in groups and stay contemplative. Stay in the work of evolving your consciousness. This will support one in the willingness to be vulnerable and courageous.
                3. You’ve got to have fun! Crazy, sexy fun!!!

                Living Wholly: Is there something you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

                Beth Mobilian: I am in the process of developing collaborations with everyone in the valley that are working towards wellness and wellbeing. I seem to be in the right place at the right time. A lot is coming at me in different directions. This keeps me fresh, keeps me learning and keeps me expanding. 




                Meet Jeff Patterson. Deeply connected and gifted to work with people on fulfilling their 'Big Thing', their vision that contributes radical impact into the world. His intention is to serve humanity in everything he does. Moved to tears throughout this interview. Experience Jeff's vulnerability, awareness and inspiring journey. Jeff is a Success Coach, Author and Professional Speaker.

                Living Wholly: What inspired you to be a Success Coach?

                Jeff Patterson:

                • In any career I’ve been in, you could always find me in a conversation with someone, asking them what “Big Thing” they desired to create. I would immediately see and sense things that were in the way for them (internally) and I could also see how they could get there- quickly.
                • I remember in 1997, during my 20-year career as a professional Actor in Hollywood, people were calling me almost daily to coach them. Some were actors while others were producers, musicians, athletes and execs. There were days I was on the phone for more than six hours.
                • I loved it and did it because I had always done it- since I was a young boy… I would listen and share what I saw and ask questions that resulted in these individuals becoming unstoppable and creating Big things.
                • I didn’t consider it a career because it wasn’t something I was endeavoring to do. I wasn’t trying to coach them. It was just me being me. To me, coaching wasn’t a career- it was a part of me. It was an expression of who I was (and am.) It didn’t take long for some of the people I coached to hit high levels of success and when I saw how valuable our conversations were to them, I began seeing how this could really be a GameChanger for people and the world.

                Living Wholly: What is your zone of genius with your clients?

                Jeff Patterson: My zone of genius is coaching GameChangers to radically increase their impact. I help highly impactful leaders who want to change the world to make the necessary shifts to step into that reality and leave their greatest mark on the planet.

                Living Wholly: What do you hold as one of your most unique gifts to the world?

                Jeff Patterson:

                • When I speak with someone, I can very quickly feel, sense and experience what is occurring in them. I also have the ability to help my client see and create a much bigger vision than they had previously been holding for themselves. The result is a 10x factor that has people going farther than they previously thought possible.
                • I remember coaching a young man who wanted to be a “working actor.” I challenged him to be more specific and then to expand that vision even more. Through our coaching, he realized that he wanted to become a leading man on a network TV Series. We then began the real work of creating the shifts that would naturally result in that outcome. In less than a year he booked the lead role as Nick Burkhardt on the NBC series Grimm. If you have watched the show, you may know this actor as Dave Giuntoli. Both Dave and the show have gone on to win many awards and it’s been a very successful show for NBC.

                 Living Wholly: What has been the most challenging experience in your life that turned out to be the most meaningful opportunity to your life's path?

                Jeff Patterson:

                • As a young boy, I struggled to understand my parents divorcing when I was two years old. It broke my heart that I couldn’t see my father but one weekend a month. Compound this with my Mom’s struggle with alcoholism- I felt very alone and it seemed no one cared about what I was going through.
                • I remember being eight years old and walking through the pastures of our Nebraska farm. Crying and feeling sorry for myself, I pleaded to God. “Why do I have to feel this way? What is wrong with me? Please take my life and do something good with it.” Moments later I was filled with the presence of warmth and total peace. It was like someone poured warm energy into my being from head to toe.
                • Tears and feelings of intense inadequacy gave way to a warmth and sensation of total peace. I felt one with the corn plants, the cattle and the fence posts. Everything I looked at made sense. I felt the most incredible feeling of wholeness and being connected to all of life. There was no worry.
                • I just stood there with tears, attempting to drink in this heavenly feeling. Moments later, I could no longer stand still (because I felt so good.) A volcano of motivation erupted out of me. I started preaching to the corn. “You can grow. You can do it. You can be knee high by the fourth of July!”
                • This became a regular experience where I would walk through the fields questioning and crying… and then I would be filled by this presence. And, like the first time, I would be so inspired and filled with joy that I began “preaching to the corn.”
                • One day I was preaching to the corn and felt something behind me. I turned around and saw nothing. I walked further while speaking, and again sensed I was being followed. This time I turned around and saw thousands of people behind me. It was like looking at a holograph and when I looked at this crowd they just stared, waiting for me to continue. It was in this moment that I knew that my life was about delivering this message to many people. 

                Living Wholly: What teachers have you worked with and/or currently work with to inspire and support your evolution in consciousness?

                Jeff Patterson:

                • I have been fortunate enough to work with many great teachers such as Michael Bernard Beckwith in Los Angeles, Ron and Mary Hulnick at the University of Santa Monica, Byron Katie and Tony Robbins. I have several coaches I’m working with currently and believe that great coaches have coaches. Stephen McGhee was my business coach for many years and he’s one of a kind.
                • All that being said, my greatest coach has been my Father, Al Patterson. He coached me through some of the most challenging times of my life growing up and his creative and bold encouragement is a big part of who I am today.

                photograph: Jeff and Stephen McGhee climbing Mt. Aconcagua

                Living Wholly: In your words, how are you serving the world?

                Jeff Patterson:

                • I am serving the world by using everything I do to serve humanity. In any activity, I ask myself, how could I utilize this activity to make the world a better place. This is my intention, even though I may fall short.
                • I remember when I was an actor in Hollywood, I would take one day each week and I would get in my car and go where I was intuitively led. I might end up on a street corner in downtown LA, or find myself at a bookstore in Beverly Hills. Invariably I would end up in a conversation and coach the person I was drawn to.
                • At that time, I believed that as long as I used my gifts for the good of the world, that I would find my way and prosper. So, you could say that I serve the world by using my gifts to their greatest use in service to humanity. In this way we can each be a GameChanger.

                Living Wholly: What does living wholly mean to you?

                Jeff Patterson:

                • My first thought is that the word “wholly” is very similar to “Holy.” To me, Wholly living means that I treat this life as a sacred endeavor. I don’t mean religious necessarily. I mean that I approach my life much like author Gary Zukoff describes as, “A Spiritual being having a human experience.” Living wholly means owning that I am Spirit, mind, body and emotion. I choose to live fully on all fronts of my existence and continually grow into my “greater yet to be. “

                 photograph: Jeff and his Wife, Lindsay

                Living Wholly: How do you determine which clients to work with?

                Jeff Patterson:

                • I’m very selective about the individuals that I choose to work with one on one. Because we spend a lot of time together, I want to be sure the person I’m coaching is a quality person who is sincere in their motivations. I also want to know that what they are creating is going to add value in the world.
                • I’m passionate about leaders who have a big vision and who know they are on this planet to make a difference- GameChangers. This includes people who are already making a huge impact in the world. It also includes those who are committed to having a significant impact but may not be at that level yet.
                • All that being said, I choose to work with people that I enjoy. Sincerity, character and a desire to make a difference are big factors for me. It’s also paramount that the people I work with be willing to make their mission of great importance. This is the only way Big Things can truly be accomplished in the world.
                • Some clients come to me because they are facing a challenge, while others find me because they know I can help them hit higher levels of performance and impact- no matter how successful they’ve already been.

                Living Wholly: If you could share a mantra from your journey thus far, what would that be?

                Jeff Patterson:

                • “Temper on your steel.” As a boy, I could only see my Dad (due to parents divorce) once a month for a weekend. One night when I was five years old and in tears, I told my Dad that it hurt too much and that I didn’t think I could take it anymore. He told me something that changed my life forever. He said, “As tough as this is, this experience is building you toward something special in the future. It is Temper On Your Steel.” No matter what I’ve faced in life, I’ve always chosen to believe that every challenge is a gift and that it’s temper on my steel.

                Living Wholly: What are your top 3 suggestions for living a purposeful and fulfilling life?

                Jeff Patterson:

                1. Have fun right where you are. If you can’t have fun now, what makes you think that you’ll have fun when you have exactly what you think you need? If I find myself in a situation where I'm not enjoying myself - I ask this question, “What could I do to bring more fun into this?” I listen for my intuitive answer. For example, early in my coaching career I was having many conversations with perspective clients over the phone. I was on the phone from 9am till 5pm. I wanted to have more fun because I noticed I was getting all serious. I asked the question, “what could I do to have more fun?” My answer was, “Sing to every person you get on a call with.” I about freaked out when I heard this. “You want me to do what?!”   So, I did. It was very uncomfortable but something miraculous happened. First of all, I had great fun. Secondly, many of the people I spoke to were touched by the vulnerability and courage I was demonstrating in singing to them. some of them had breakthroughs just because of that alone.
                1. Do what you want to do. If you want to lead people, then find some way to lead. If you want to be a surfer, then surf. So many of us are waiting to be given permission to do and be    what we truly want to do and be. Do it now. Be it now. Who say’s you have to make money at it (in the beginning, if at all?)
                2. Define your “Big Thing” and go for it. Many of us know what we want to do, but we hide and wait for permission or a guarantee that we can have it. But that day never comes (unless your vision is small.) The people that are most alive are   creating something. The greater the endeavor we commit to, the greater the energy and Spirit we summon from within us. Small goals summon small energy. Want to be radically alive? Have a Big Thing and go for it.

                 photograph: Jeff, his Wife, Lindsay and daughter Emory

                Living Wholly: How do you take care of your Self as a coach in order to be a clear vessel and centered in your Loving?

                Jeff Patterson:

                • This is a vast question because I do many things to take care of my Self. I love spending time in the garden with my wife Lindsay and our Daughter Emory. I especially enjoy the outdoors, fly-fishing, meditation and performing improv comedy. Having fun and creating time or rejuvenation is essential for anybody- especially in this line of work. There is often a lot of intensity because many of the clients I coach are in high stakes environments. Making sure I’m fresh is very important.
                • I also love challenging myself by working with coaches and experts in their fields to expand my expertise and transformation as a leader. But nothing substitutes for my time of Spiritual Renewal. I am constantly reinventing what this looks like and it’s the cornerstone of my life.

                Living Wholly: Is there something you’re currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

                Jeff Patterson:

                • That’s so kind of you to ask! Yes. I’m writing my first book, GameChangers: Change the World, Change Your Life. It’s been a blast writing and also very challenging. It’s an exciting thing to distill many of the principles and ideas that have shaped my nearly 20 year career coaching GameChangers. I also get to share great stories of some of the amazing people I’ve been fortunate enough to coach. 

                 photograph: Jeff, his Wife, Lindsay and daughter Emory


                Imagine two herbalists, a garden, and a devoted focus on creating a purely plant-based 100% natural skincare line, free of toxins or synthetic compounds. Meet Earth Tu Face, founded by Sarah Buscho and Marina Storm in their California kitchen and herbal garden.

                We had the special opportunity to connect with Sarah and learn more about their journey of creating the best of the best products. ALL made from organic, high quality, and food-grade ingredients sourced by them with the best natural compounds the earth has to offer. Read on to learn more about this unique beauty brand. Find the full line in our online shop. Enjoy!

                LW: What inspired your deeper connection with plants, being in the garden and becoming an herbalist?

                SB: I grew up with plants and a dad with a very green thumb. I grew up in the Bay area playing in the back yard while learning about plants and seeds. My childhood games revolved around the garden. My favorite game was making presents from the garden. We would make leaves full of berries. I was drawn to being outside versus playing with dolls. It’s part of who I am. I don’t remember ever having a time where Nature wasn’t key in my life.

                LW: What exactly is an herbalist and does that require certification?

                SB: An Herbalist is a healer using plants as medicine. This person uses items from the natural world to support people to remedy conditions. Marina and I studied in a 3 Year program with one year of clinical at Berkeley Ohlone. It was a wonderful program. Went in 2007 and graduated in 2010.

                LW: What was the defining moment that supported your vision with Earth Tu Face and creating a skincare line?

                SB: It wasn’t a conscious decision. During the 2nd year of school, I got into making products on a bigger scale for others versus only myself. At one point, I was making products for myself to alleviate sensitive skin. It was a blessing in disguise yet annoying. But then, it became the catalyst for clean eating and beauty. I started making larger batches and my God brother made the labels as a graphic designer. It was under a different name and I was following the wave of creativity. A store wanted to buy all of the products. At that point, I decided to keep moving forward with it. At that point, I decided to pass on Nursing school. Things were moving and I was following the energy.

                LW: How did you meet your business partner, Marina, and why did you decide to take this journey together?

                SB: We met at Herbalist school. It kind of just happened. I’ve loved working with her as a sister and a friend.

                LW: In your own words, how would you describe Earth Tu Face?

                SB: Earth Tu Face is a line of skincare and body care. Lean, mean and green. The most environmentally sustainable we could get it. Every decision is made in a super conscious way. The philosophy we have behind the products is that we are all environmentalists. We all have a huge impact on this earth. While I am here, I am focused on this. I want to create a sustainable future. We got into it because of the phenomenal products that are creating awareness around single use plastics while being environmental and humanly conscious. Making the decisions for the planet is the only way. We are committed to generating awareness on ways to stay committed to the Earth. The price point is higher because of the quality. ALL products are food grade with organic ingredients and biodegradeable.

                For example: Skin Stick in the cardboard versus plastic or tin. Other brands caught on and began to rethink their packaging.

                LW: What keeps you devoted to minimal waste packaging regardless of cost?

                SB: Being able to sleep at night while having a relationship with my Higher Self and the Outdoors. I am devoted, knowing that I am contributing in a meaningful way. In my conscience, I feel good about my commitment to the environment. Otherwise, I couldn’t live with myself. We have been tempted when the products are being wasted from glass breaking. However, we figured out ways to do it and we cannot sacrifice our ethics. Humans want to evolve.


                LW: Where do you source your ingredients?

                SB: We still grow organically in the Bay area. We source the roses and calendula lavender ourselves. Other ingredients are sourced from co-op in Australia. Every ingredient has a story about why we use it in our products. Our packaging is sourced from the US in a healthy way. We get it here.

                Example: Sea Salt – skin soluble from the sea.

                LW: Do you believe that plant based products are as long lasting and effective without the stabilizers and ingredients that support anti-aging?

                SB: Essential oils are very anti-oxidant in nature and preserve things. Vitamin E and honey are extremely stabilizing. Anti – Aging – essential oils are extremely anti-aging. This is different than a beauty counter that makes things in a lab to target a certain ailment. We are not sacrificing anything by using all natural products.

                LW: What are your top 3 favorite products in the collection?


                1. Face Wash - there is nothing like it on the market. It is a burst of plants on your face.
                2. Skin stick – all in one best seller.
                3. Face balm – I actually love all of the moisturizers because I enjoy having a skin care wardrobe based on various levels of hydration needed from time to time and season to season.

                LW: What makes Earth Tu Face unique and standout in the beauty and skincare world?

                SB: We are making the best possible products without a business degree and focusing on the bottom line. We fit into the luxury sector since the product looks great on the shelf, performs and includes high quality ingredients.

                LW: In your words, how are you serving the world and contributing your gifts?

                SB: Actually a few things::::

                • I am writing more about the philosophy of Earth Tu Face and sharing our commitment to the environment. The business has taken so much energy over the past 7-8 years. It has creative sides that are very important for me. I am working with Nature to make products.
                • I am currently moving into a place where I can shine through to be a catalyst for change with other companies while talking about doing social change through business. I am talking about how businesses are built and consumers are creating boundaries.
                • I’ve done deeper work with activism through beauty and Venusian way. I am educating people on what’s in the products and giving money to the things we want to exist.
                • I am moving into more realms of health and healing.

                LW: What are 3 things that keep you inspired and living a healthy, fulfilling life?


                1. Being in Nature often. I enjoy hiking with my dog, fiancé and friends. It inspires me with its complex ecosystem. There is no waste and it is sustainable.
                2. I am a Mushroom hunter. I met my fiancé this way. Mushrooms can do so much for the environment. It is truly a kingdom. The largest and oldest organism is the mycelium. Truly fascinating.
                3. Flowers, essential oils and dirt will always inspire me.

                Meet the radiant Fern Olivia - speaker, writer, brand ambassador, yoga and lifestyle influencer. She is the Founder of Thyroid Yoga® and Ajai Alchemy. Fern's joy is infectious and her devotion to this work is unwavering. Read on to learn more about her journey. 

                She is passionate, innovative and internationally recognized on the power of integrative medicine, yoga, and holistic lifestyle practices. Combining her education in Biomedical Engineering with her studies in yoga and integrative nutrition, Fern Olivia has created Thyroid Yoga®, a unique approach to supporting thyroid health that has changed the lives of thousands of women and men around the world.

                LW: In your words, how are you serving the world and contributing your gifts?

                FO: During my spiritual awakening, I realized my purpose is to help people embody their most vibrant, healthy, radiant selves so that they may serve the world with confidence! My own journey in healing from a Hashimoto’s hypothyroid condition has been my initiation into being inspired to serve others and contribute my own wisdom to elevate the collective.

                I’m a big believer that what you hold back from life; life will hold back from you. So if you’re not speaking up, sharing your talents with the world, and honoring your truth… most likely your life will be a reflection of that. In fact, it’s likely that you’ll be kept small by certain situations, relationships and scenarios. Perhaps you’re being paralyzed by doubts and ‘what-if’ thoughts, or maybe your health isn’t good, and your body is rebelling, and you’re struggling to get through each day. It may feel that things are crashing down all around you… Don’t worry! Everything is fine. Remember that out of that crash, the phoenix rises up from the ashes.

                Each of us has our own unique gifts to give to the world, and in turn, the world will reciprocate back and gift us with a life that loves us back. In terms of health; we’ll have a body that loves us back, and serves as a finely-tuned vehicle from which we can use as a resource to serve the world and others.  

                Through my Thyroid Yoga® programme - which has been birthed as a result of years of my own personal experiments, research and intimate journey - I have created a structure through which thousands of women and men have been able to tap into their own self-healing by adapting holistic rituals to support their vitality, and becoming their own intuitive healers.

                LW: What was the defining moment that led you to your vision with Ajai?

                FO: When I started to become attuned to the incredible healing potential of nature's medicine cabinet, I became intrigued. I started experimenting with essential oils and was astounded by how effectively they brought me back into balance and cleared up the symptoms I had been struggling with for so long. Every morning, I began applying essential oils to my thyroid (base of neck) and adrenals (lower back) as well as the thyroid and adrenal reflexology points on my feet. In the evenings, I began applying the oils to the bottoms of my feet, massaging my feet with essential oils and coconut oil on the thyroid and parathyroid points. The changes in how I was feeling was colossal!

                The simple self-care ritual of rolling a seductive fragrance on my throat and heart chakra every day while repeating affirmations has radically changed my life and I knew I had to share this with the world. Inspired by my own practice, I first created Grace Alchemy, a rose and patchouli blend that makes all men within a 10-foot radius swoon. It’s true, you have to try it!


                LW: How would you describe Ajai in your own words?

                FO: Ajai Alchemy is an all organic, therapeutic apothecary line based around the healing power of essential oils. Each product is alchemized with a specific intention behind them and created both from an intuitive, playful approach, whilst being determined by and cemented in the science and healing properties of each ingredient.

                Essential oils are potent beings! They can be utilized to enhance each and every moment, and are a direct way to regulate our stress or calming responses. Within a minute our skin absorbs whatever we put on it directly into the bloodstream, and thus, all the healing wisdom of the plants and botanicals from which the essential oils are derived from, are acclimated by our bodies on all levels. 

                LW: What makes Ajai unique and standout in the beauty + wellness space?

                FO: The intention. Ajai is about being our own alchemist… because we know exactly what we need.

                I love to ‘play’ with essential oils; reaching out for whichever ones spark my interest in that particular moment - and this is what I want to encourage every Ajai customer to do - yet we live busy lives and so I have put together the most enticing and synergistic blends for easy on-the-go use.

                Essential oils have powerful healing properties even via a quick sniff out of the bottle; their scent molecules travel up into the brain. I love picking and choosing whichever ones may call out to me. Our bodies are magnificent, intelligent beings and those essential oils you are reaching for, will have the perfect healing properties for your bodies needs.

                Our bodies are not ignorant or deceitful. Nor are they devious and purposely trying to slow us down with their cries. All they need is a pause… and some love, and simply listening to its needs. Tuning in to that frequency is an incredible act of love. Ajai is built around ritual. I start every yoga practice by applying Grace Alchemy to my thyroid gland, tracing the infinity sign horizontally and massaging my lymph nodes - it serves as a luxurious reminder that treating ourselves with love is important.

                LW: Where do you source your essential oils?

                FO: I source my essential oils from a Certified Master Aromatherapist and Herbalist based in California. She embraces sustainable, organic farming practices that honor farms and their communities, sourcing from the finest oil distilleries and select farms from all over the world. I use all certified organic, sustainably harvested, therapeutic-grade essential oils - and it was important for me to source them from an ethical supplier. I wanted to know exactly what people would be putting on their bodies, and that it was harvested in a sustainable, eco-friendly way. Using sustainably sourced oils means using plants that have been patiently harvested at the perfect moment to be mindful of our precious eco-system.

                Essential oils are also 50 – 75% more powerful than the herb or plant itself, so a little goes a long way. However that also means that any nasties, (ie. pesticides and insecticides from non-organic sources) will also be rapidly absorbed into your body in concentrated amounts - so choosing organic and/or wild is essential.

                LW: What has been the most challenging experience in your life that turned out to be the most meaningful opportunity to your life's path?

                FO: That has to be getting sick for sure! For nearly a decade, I battled against my body and the horrible discomfort of chronic congestion, puffiness, brain fog, constipation, food allergies, and severe stomach irritability. After I graduated from college, I thought I was living the American Dream when I landed a swanky desk job at a prestigious investment bank in New York City. However, the 14-hour days felt like anything but that. I often experienced vertigo when staring at my computer and starting getting daily migraines that I took excedrin for regularly. I’d also pop a Zyrtec with my Synthroid before my cereal and soy milk each morning to clear my stuffy nose. I still felt awful. Little did I know at the time, I was doing it all wrong.

                I knew the corporate banking world wasn’t my path, but I didn’t know that there was any alternative. I was making money but spending it all on my health because I was so sick. I felt miserable in my body, but worst than that; powerless, because I didn’t know how to heal.

                I spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars traveling from doctor to doctor. I felt like a lost patient, completely disconnected from my body and wanting so badly a magical solution to it all. I was told I had hypothyroidism, and that’s why I was having all the uncomfortable feelings in my body, and then given every type of thyroid medication in the book to mask the symptoms I was experiencing – rather than getting down and dirty with why I was feeling so awfully rotten in the first place. At one point I was on 125 mcg of synthroid and 5 mcg of cytomel and still felt like a zombie. The worst part - I was told that I would always have these symptoms and would just have to “deal with them.” Finally, at the age of 22, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism. By that time, however, I had enough. I thought to myself; “I studied biomechanics and neuroscience, with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Why can’t I figure this out?” Turns out, I could… but in an unexpected place.

                All of this led to radical changes in my life - and it first started with finding yoga.

                Yoga found me on a lunch break in between stressful meetings and staring at databases in Excel. I began noticing the correlations of how I ate and treated myself, how I was spending my day, and how this related to how I felt on my yoga mat. It fascinated me - and got me really excited about what this all meant. I realized that yoga allowed me to connect with myself in a way that I hadn’t been able to elsewhere. Through this newfound connection to my body, for the first time in my life I was able to really start tuning into what served me, and quite simply, what didn’t - and what an utterly life-changing experience that was! This led to a complete over haul of my life - from my diet, to my thoughts, my career, to my relationship, and shortly thereafter - relocating to the other side of the country, in Los Angeles. Through my own journey, however, I found immense strength and resolved to empower women and men to live their most vibrant, healthy, fulfilled lives, too.

                LW: What are 3 things that keep you inspired and living a healthy, fulfilling life?

                FO: When I feel connected, that is when I feel most inspired, and my life is healthy and fulfilling. The three things that help me feel truly connected are self-care, friends/community, and nature.

                Self-care helps me to connect with my body, and I really think that self-care is exponential - a gift that keeps on giving. The more you take the time to show yourself and your body some love, the more your body will show you love back. A thank you. Connecting back into my body through rituals is what helps me tap into my body’s intuition, so I can listen to the whispers, before they turn into yelps.

                Spending time with friends is never something to be overlooked! Nothing can beat a good giggle with a friend, or a real heart-felt, truth-tellling, laying it all out session with a soul sibling.

                And then nature! I feel so blessed to live so close to some of the most beautiful hikes and scenery in the world. LA may be a busy hub of a cosmopolitan city - but it is also on the doorstep of striking views, rolling hills, deserts, magical forests and hot springs - we really are blessed with the plethora of nature in California - and nothing helps me gain perspective more than spending time in nature, taking in some deep breaths, feeling the earth and absorbing the vitamin N (Nature.)

                LW: What teachers have you worked with and/or currently work with to elevate your consciousness?

                FO: Elena Brower - Elena an amazing yoga teacher, mamma, healer and dear friend. She does it all, and she’s so classy, calm and poised. She manages so much and stays true to herself and her students. She’s a blessing in my life, and I am very grateful to have studied with her extensively in New York.

                Taryn Toomey - Taryn is the badass of the fitness world. She’s created something called The Class, which is a spiritual somatic experience. There’s nothing like it - you’ve got to try it. I love that she is just fearlessly herself and has dedicated her life to empowering women to fearlessly be themselves, too.

                Harmanjot Kaur - Harmanjot is a Kundalini yoga teacher maestro and I love taking her classes at RA MA Institute in Venice, California. Her classes are fresh, sink deep and they pull from her personal relationship with the teachings. You can tell she puts everything into them and for that, she’s an inspiration to me. It’s clear how the teachings have changed and touched her life, which inspires me to keep going with my practices - and to not only keep going, but to go deep with them.

                Normandie Keith - Normandie is a beautiful Kundalini yoga teacher and fellow lover of all things radiant beauty. Her classes at Golden Bridge have ignited a strong community of women and she is passionate for helping women to radiate their inner light and divine grace. I love being in her presence and she now is a mentor and dear friend. She no longer leaves home without Ajai - especially Radiance!

                LW: What are you reading right now?

                FO: At the moment I'm reading Invincible Living by Guru Jagat. Guru Jagat is another one of my inspirational ‘movers and shakers’. She’s the founder of RA MA Institute, a Kundalini yoga studio in Venice - which has now become an epic global community via the outlet of RA MA TV - and she’s uncensored. I love that about her; she really wants her students and the world to be aware and awakened to what’s really going on.

                She’s been a catalyst for me to step into my power here in LA, and I admire everything she’s creating with RA MA around the world.

                LW: What is your favorite quote?

                FO: “Even after all this time,

                The sun never says to the earth,

                ‘You owe me.’

                Look what happens with a love like that.

                It lights up the whole sky.” - Hafiz

                LW: What does living wholly mean to you?

                FO: To me, Living Wholly means living a life which embodies our most truest, authentic self. Although often those are terms which are thrown around, and what does that really break down to? I believe it means living a life which feels nourishing to yourself, and you feel fulfilled by it. And by that fulfillment, you literally perspire radiance, you become a magnet for beauty and opportunity by the fragrance of your being. Your life becomes a mirror of everything you nourish yourself with. Your work, your relationships, and your own personal rituals become a holistic retreat that you crave to come home to, again and again.

                LW: How can we connect with you?

                FO: I’m on instagram @fernolivia and Facebook, and I love making new connections and sharing stories. Ajai is curated in Living Wholly's e-commerce collection. Peruse our line of alchemy and experience the beauty of essential oils. You can learn more about me at and see me at the gorgeous WMN Space for personal yoga, meditation and reiki sessions.

                Last Minute Gift Guide

                January 01, 2017

                Happy Holidays to you! Tis' the season to be jolly and indulge in all of it's magic. As the countdown to Christmas + Hanukkah is quickly unfolding, we felt called to offer you a last minute GIFT GUIDE. It has become very clear within us, that it is more important to give a loved one something that will have long term meaning in their life + a gift that honors Mother Earth. As we all know, there are many options out there and lots of them are quirky and fun. By all means, enjoy gift giving and receiving! AND when you are shopping for any last minute gifts, please take a second to consider the impact this gift will have on another's life now and for generations to come.  Are the ingredients clean and safe? Does this touch their life in an uplifting way? 

                Without further ado, please enjoy our top 10 list of thoughtfully sourced brands with a unique + inspiring mission. There will be many of these under our tree this year! May your week of holiday shopping and preparation be full of love and lots of fun!

                Living Wholly's TOP 10 for holiday shopping:::
                (all are equally awesome!)
                1. Ajai Alchemy - loving the Grace
                2. Zenbunni - check out all of their Chocolates, Coco + the Holy Smoke
                3. Moonjuice - love all the Moon Dusts + the Moon Pantry
                4. Agnes Baddoo - the handbags are gorgeous!
                5. Conrad Men's - gift a chic meditation pillow + Men's bags
                6. The Sattva Collection - the Sri Yantra necklace is powerful
                7. Beyond Yoga - Love their mission + all of their yoga apparel
                8. Parsley Health - MDs + Health Coaches offering accessible options for optimum health
                9. Kit + Ace - love their cashmere shawls, scarves + Men's collection
                10. Rishi Tea - their Matcha, teas + teaware are excellent

                Blessings of light to the completion of 2016!

                Living Wholly

                Stephen McGhee is at the forefront of mind-opening new directions in leadership. For the past 25 years, he has guided business executives and influential leaders across the globe, to go beyond self-imposed limitations to new levels of leadership. Stephen is an international keynote speaker and author of three books on leadership, he has transformed accomplished individuals around the country and initiated cultural change with major corporations such as Microsoft, Merck, Georgia Pacific and Firestone. He recently completed his first film, Climb For Freedom, a documentary about the transformation of seven men summiting one of the world’s highest peaks and the profound impact of that journey on their lives and relationships. 

                With a graduate degree in Spiritual Psychology and a background of working in both investment banking and as an ecumenical minister, he brings an engaging, diverse perspective to life and leadership.

                photo by Seth Beckton


                LW: At what point did you consciously commit to the path of awakening?

                SM: I was five years young, when I first felt attuned to the path of awakening. I remember hearing my parents arguing and I asked for God to help them and my siblings. At that age, I didn’t have the wit to commit to my awakening. I do remember an experience of equanimity and peace as I talked to God. Since then, there were many times I stepped away from the path of awakening, and this was the moment I remember committing to the path.

                LW: Did you find that comforting?

                SM: Yes, it was incredibly comforting. I felt that these prayers would go straight into the heart of God.

                There was a Grace that came forward at these times. I learned later, that Grace can be defined as “unmerited favor”. At this time in my life, when I send a prayer up, I ask for ease and Grace no matter what is going on.

                LW: What was the defining experience that supported you in believing the unbelievable was possible?

                SM: It was a somewhat painful experience. In 1994, I decided to leave a very prosperous position as an investment banker. In theory, I had it all. However, for me the work I was doing was not integral. Our business practices were out of alignment. I left banking to pursue the entelechy of my Soul. I let my insurance lapse and found myself in the emergency room, from a weight training accident. They gave me a strong medication to remove a blood clot and I can remember leaving my body. I spent the next 8 days in intensive care. This was a great gift to me, because I had time to ruminate on my life.

                This experience was clarifying for me and I feel as if I received information on leadership that I have been teaching ever since. It was a pivotal time for me, as I left the finance world and came away with a sense that anything is possible.

                LW: Were you scared?

                SM: There was tremendous fear and freedom in the same breath. Have you heard the phrase? “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose” by Janis Joplin.

                A big part of my former identity was lifted. The question then became, how am I going to be in the world without that identity? I was a newborn. Then, I began to see the freedom in what had happened. It was as if, Spirit gave me a clean slate. And the truth is, we all have a blank slate each and every day and I simply wasn’t seeing it at the time.

                I do remember listening to a man in the bed next to me, with his labored breathing. I could hear him struggling to live. I heard him take his last breath. The blessing he gave me was the experience of how deeply precious each breath is. Moreover, the great gift of experiencing this life as a “spiritual being having a human experience”. By Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

                LW: What has been the most challenging experience in your life that turned out to be the most meaningful opportunity to your life's path?

                SM: I went through a divorce in 2014. I was hanging on tight to my own ideal scenes of relationship, marriage and family. I am in my fifties and getting a divorce. I was embarrassed. I felt so vulnerable that I could not make the marriage work. It was a push and pull experience of wanting out and at the same time, feeling that I needed to stay. It took me to my knees and this was another life experience of going deeper, becoming more vulnerable and opening my heart more.

                LW: What inspired you to become a Leadership Coach?

                SM: I was on the succession plan at the bank. Because of that, I received world-class training on leadership. The problem was that I felt the business practices at the Company were not in alignment with the principles I was learning.

                From there, I became a real student of leadership. After over 20 years, I am just now feeling that I am integrating all that happened in that hospital bed in 1994. Either, I am a slow learner or the planet is just now ready for a more progressive model of Soul Centered Leaders?

                LW: What guided you to specifically support and coach High Level Executives + Leaders?

                SM: I can relate to that type of person. I understand the drive and ambition for material wellbeing, while having a desire for Soul Level fulfillment. This combination, helps to create an extraordinary life.

                LW: How do you inwardly prepare to work with your clients each day?

                SM: The way that I choose to live my life, is the greatest preparation I have for my clients each day. And that includes the mistakes that I make and how I deal with them. Every step I take is a progression.

                LW: What are the practices you are committed to?

                SM: Spiritual exercises, Yoga, healthy food, having fun, participating in the lives of those I love.

                Before a session, I clear my mind. I let go of anything that no longer serves me. I ask for the Light to fill me, surround me and protect me. I ask that I might get out of the way and allow the Spirit of God to work through me for the highest good of whom I am serving. I pray to Lead with Love and be filled with Living Love.

                LW: What teachers have you worked with and/or currently work with to inspire and support your evolution in consciousness?

                SM: The greatest teacher of my life is a man named John-Roger. He transitioned on October 22nd two years ago. I don’t miss him though, because his teachings live on inside me.

                Dr’s Ron and Mary Hulnick of the University of Santa Monica have been an amazing demonstration to me of what is possible, when leaders work together, toward a higher mission. The work they do is of the highest caliber on the planet, in terms of developing people. I graduated from the University in 2002, with a Masters in Spiritual Psychology and went back in 2016 to add an emphasis in Consciousness Health and Healing. And after all of that, I am now on the faculty co-leading a program on Soul Centered Professional Coaching at the University. It’s an amazing experience for me.

                And I would be remiss to not mention the petty tyrants in my life. Those individuals that brought “material” for me to see myself more clearly have been great teachers in my life. These are the ones that I was angry at, or judging them. I have learned a great deal from all those that have come into my life on any level.

                I’ve also learned from the strangest teachers. For example, a shoe shine man in Atlanta. The way he shined shoes could bring me to tears. It was an art to him. He was creating something special with every pair of shoes he shined. There was a line of customers waiting and he didn’t care, because all he could see was the person and the shoes that were in front of him. He demonstrates excellence.

                Teachers are everywhere all day long! For me, that is a great lens to see the world through.

                LW: In your words, how are you serving the world and contributing your gifts?

                SM: I see myself as a Minister to Leaders. I combine the beauty and the Grace of spiritual context with the details of the business day. I feel that this is the gift that God gave me. I assist men and women in finding the inspiration inside of themselves to contribute at the highest possible level, while being true to Self. I believe in exponential growth on both the Soul Line and the Goal Line of life.

                LW: As an Entrepreneur, what words of wisdom would you offer so many of us that are passionate about sharing our gifts and contributing greatness on the planet?

                SM: I would say to them that being an entrepreneur is a journey of Self growth. You cannot hide from your Self as an entrepreneur. One of the great gifts is that you are learning about who you are and what’s possible as a human being. There is great wealth in that and some people miss that.

                Entrepreneurship offers tremendous freedom. I know many entrepreneurs that project fear into the future. Some good questions to ask yourself, as you’re building your business would be:

                1. Do I have shelter?
                2. Do I have food?
                3. Do I have people that love me?
                4. Am I breathing in and out?
                5. What is my greatest priority for my business in this moment?
                6. Do that thing.
                7. Rinse and repeat.

                “Be as steady as the North star and as flexible as the wind.” by John-Roger

                LW: When you climbed Mt. Aconcagua, what was the most significant learning you experienced while you were there?

                SM: The mountain was in charge, not me. It’s a 23,000 foot climb, so there is plenty of room for learning on the ascent and descent. The great guide, Augusto Ortega, says “Mountains aren’t scary, it is the people that climb them that are scary”.

                I had conversations with the mountain and asked her: Will you allow me to climb you? Those that don’t respect the mountain seem to have more challenges in climbing them.

                LW: What does living wholly mean to you?

                SM: Living Wholly means embracing all of life. Embracing the shadows and the light, the sadness and the joy. It means putting myself forward spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally as I learn and grow. It includes trying new things constantly and consistently. Freedom and discipline are integral elements of this path. All of that connects back to the beauty and grace of life.

                LW: What are your top 3 suggestions for living an extraordinary life?


                1. Have some form of a Spiritual practice.
                2. Be a part of a community that you love.
                3. Don’t wait to be great! You are already great, perfect and whole as you are. You don’t need any more permission. Choose yourself.

                LW: What is your daily Spiritual practice?

                SM: Breathing is good! I use all the tools I have learned, including daily intentions, Spiritual Exercises, forgiving myself for my judgments of Self and others. And daily gratitude is a very important part of my day.

                The greatest practice is in life. How am I approaching my life as caring and loving for Self and others? Am I going to send an email that came from a place of reaction or pause and respond when I am residing more fully in my heart?

                LW: What are you reading right now?

                SM: “How to Live a Good Life” by Jonathan Fields

                LW: If you could share a mantra from your journey thus far, what would that be?

                SM: Trust Self.

                LW: Is there something you’re currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

                SM: Yes, I am working on a program to encourage women to Lead. We are at a critical time on the planet and I want to encourage the natural elements in the feminine to stand forward and lead. It’s time for greater balance in this area. I am going to take the subtle areas of leadership that I have experienced for 20 years and apply them with a team of women leaders. I am planning on launching this program in early 2017.

                Dr. Mary R. Hulnick, Ph.D., is a pioneer and innovator in the field of Spiritual Psychology. She is Chief Creative Officer at the University of Santa Monica. Together with her husband, University President Dr. H. Ronald Hulnick, she has served as USM’s Founding Faculty and Co-Director, designing the curriculum in service to Awakening the human spirit inherent in each student. Mary and Ron have co-authored the book, Loyalty to Your SoulThe Heart of Spiritual Psychology and several online courses. Their latest book, Remembering the Light Within: A Course in Soul-Centered Living, is set to be published by Hay House in February 2017. A Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California, Mary is described by all who know her as unconditionally loving, deeply compassionate, and highly supportive to the evolution in human consciousness.

                LW: At what point did you consciously commit to the path of Awakening?

                MH: I knew there was something more from the time I was a tiny child. I was aware of a deeper meaning and purpose—opportunity for a deeper conversation. Awakening for me has been a life long process. Experiences and events occurred; opportunities were presented that were catalysts for Awakening. It has truly been a natural unfoldment. Nonetheless, there has been a guiding presence assisting me in recognizing the opportunities and resources being presented to me.

                LW: What subject matter sparked your interest when you started your studies in college?

                MH: During my undergraduate at the end of my sophomore year, I needed one more credit to achieve junior standing. I decided to take an independent study in existential psychology. This included reading the works of Abraham Maslow, Viktor Frankl, Rollo May, and others. I was reading amazing books with life changing ideas. I loved the information and the experience that was happening within me. The requirement for completing the course involved writing a 30-page paper. My professors told me that my paper was beyond undergraduate psychology work. They strongly encouraged me to keep going. 

                I also had a great love of English Literature. I ended up with a double major in English Literature and Psychology. I loved English literature because of the character development, the deep insight into psyches, and my love of mystical poets like Blake and Wordsworth. These two majors were compatible for me as I was always interested in people and consciousness. As a young child, I would find myself in situations where adults would spontaneously talk with me about their challenges. From a very early age, I was attuned to empathy and compassion and was good at listening.

                Through choosing to pursue graduate work in psychology, I knew I would be relating with people in ways that were deeply meaningful and purposeful. Pursuing graduate work in English Literature, seemed like a more isolative kind of life that didn’t appeal to me at the time. Though in retrospect, it would likely have led to a mystical life focused around poetry and spirituality.

                When I completed my Master’s Degree in psychology, my professor asked me if I had thought of getting a doctorate. After sitting with it for a couple of days, I decided that I would do it. Again, there was the natural unfoldment.

                LW: What teachers have you worked with and/or currently work with to inspire and support your evolution in consciousness?

                MH: John-Roger is the only spiritual teacher in the physical form that I’ve worked with. I’ve read books or heard talks by other teachers, but J-R is my teacher. I experienced inner recognition and knowing when I met him. J-R is an incredible embodiment of love, and freely shared the inner wealth of spiritual wisdom and knowledge to which he had access. He was a conduit. My experience with J-R was the constancy of his loving. Two years ago on October 22, he passed. His spirit is more present than ever. He is still my teacher.

                And, of course, life is for learning, and I have learned so much through the many people I have known and loved.

                LW: How did you transition from the study of traditional psychology to Spiritual Psychology?

                MH: It was a natural consequence of my own spiritual Awakening. I realized that loving is truly the healing agent and that as human beings our essential nature is loving. Much of the mental anguish and emotional suffering that people experience is due to spiritual amnesia - forgetting who we are and why we’re here. The shift was a natural progression through waking up myself.

                In addition, my teacher, John-Roger was extraordinary. I witnessed him working with people for more than 35 years before he passed. He worked within the context of spiritual reality and I witnessed miracles of healing Grace. I experienced people letting go of difficult patterns they had carried all of their lives. I realized it was truly possible to assist my self and others in Awakening into the Spiritual Context and the Love, Joy, Aliveness, Creativity, Wisdom, and Freedom of their Essential Nature.

                In my experience, the more you do the work to dissolve the barriers that block you from the awareness of your own Essential Loving Nature, the more you become an instrument of Divine Love.

                LW: What is your definition of Spiritual Psychology?

                MH: To distill it all down, it is the study and practice of conscious Awakening.

                LW: When did you meet your husband, Ron, and at what point did you realize he was your life partner?

                MH: We met in New Mexico in the fall of 1974. I had just moved to New Mexico six weeks earlier to begin a faculty position at New Mexico State University. One evening he came to my classroom door and introduced himself as a doctoral student who would be entering the Program during the next quarter. He wanted to sit in on my class. I recognized him immediately. Based on that brief encounter, I knew he was going to be important in my life, but I didn’t know how. He enrolled in one of my classes a few months later. Over time it became very clear that we had similar interests and orientation. One thing led to another; five years later we were married.

                LW: What has been the most challenging experience in your life that turned out to be the most meaningful opportunity to your life's path?

                MH: It happened within a few months of marrying my husband, Ron. Ron and I were now both on the faculty in the same department. The Universe began to move—big changes began to occur. At that time, the University wanted to develop women in leadership. I was being groomed to become the Department Chair, Dean of the College and perhaps eventually Academic Vice President. There were policies regarding nepotism, so if I were promoted, it would not work for Ron to be in the department where I was Department Chair.

                Ron was offered positions in other departments, but none of them really had heart for him. Our dream and intention was to work together. He declined the positions and to everyone’s dismay, I resigned. We then embarked upon a yearlong honeymoon. We were married, in love, and had no idea what our next steps were going to be professionally. That year gave us time to deepen in our relationship and we had time to catch up inwardly. The unknowing was unfamiliar and uncomfortable, yet it was a beautiful and precious time. And there was always the lingering question of “what now?”

                LW: How did the clarity for your next steps come to you?

                Some months after completing our employment at the University, J-R came to our city to offer a seminar. One afternoon we had a meeting with him and he told us about a school he had founded. We listened and talked mostly about other things we were thinking of doing. Nothing really moved inside us at that time. We shared with him we would be going to California soon for a month to participate in some his seminars. J-R told us that things would become clearer when we returned home after the month in California.

                Shortly after returning home from our month in California, I woke up one morning at 5 am and went outside to reflect on a powerful dream I had just experienced, which indicated we were to run the school J-R had mentioned. Soon, Ron came outside and asked what I was doing. We went back inside, had tea, and talked. In the past, I have experienced dreams of inner knowing numerous times in my life that had guided my direction and choices.

                Later that morning, we called J-R’s office to arrange to meet with him about the school. The next day we were driving to El Paso, Texas, to catch a flight to Los Angeles for that meeting. On our way, there was a beautiful double rainbow in the sky—which to us was an incredible sign of Spiritual Promise. We met with J-R, agreed to become the founding faculty of the school, and moved to California a few months later. The rest is history.

                LW: What was the defining moment that led you and Ron to be significantly involved with the University of Santa Monica?

                MH: My dream that provided the deep inner knowing that we were to breathe life into the school. Since that time and for the past 35 years, we moved forward creating Programs assisting students in Awakening Spiritually while also living lives of greater meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. 

                The school was named Koh-e-Nor, meaning Mountain of Light. It was a nonprofit that J-R had founded in 1976 that was waiting to have life breathed into it. The name was later changed to the University of Santa Monica, and we offered Master’s Degree Programs in Spiritual Psychology for the past 35 years.

                LW: In your words, how are you serving the world and contributing your gifts?

                MH: Through two primary intentions---

                1. Awakening into my Loving nature.
                2. Sharing of my gifts in service to the greater Awakening that is taking place on this planet at this time. The expressions that support this are:
                • Through the University of Santa Monica’s current offerings including the Soul-Centered Living I Program.
                • Co-authoring our latest book: Remembering the Light Within being published by Hay House that will be released on February 21, 2017.
                • Serving the USM Community of graduates through weekend workshops, coaching, and counseling.
                • And through simply bringing forward the Strength of my Heart and sharing it with others.

                LW: How can people work with you privately?

                MH: It is very rare that I work with someone that hasn’t gone to USM. USM’s 10-Month Program in Soul-Centered Living is a beautiful way to learn the Principles and Practices of Spiritual Psychology. The result is a transformed consciousness and a transformed life.

                LW: What is your daily spiritual practice?

                MH: In the morning, I begin with a prayer. I call myself into the Light and place the day ahead in the Light along with people and situations on various Light Lists. I read Discourses, which are foundational teachings of John-Roger. I listen to J-R seminars and meditations. I practice a form of meditation daily known as Spiritual Exercises that has to do with silently chanting and listening to the Sound Current.

                At this stage, perhaps the most ordinary, outward Spiritual Practice is my intention to live my life as the Presence of Love whether I’m working with people or spending time in my garden.

                LW: Do you have a daily affirmation that currently supports your evolution?

                MH: I am accepting and expressing the Loving heart that I am remembering that I am the Presence of Love.

                LW: What does living wholly mean to you?

                MH: Living Wholeheartedly. Living all in with reverence and respect for the sacredness of life. Serving Spirit.

                LW: If you could share a mantra that supports you, what would that be?

                MH: Father, Mother God, I surrender unto Love. This life is for you.

                Bristol Baughan deeply inspires with her brilliance, soulfulness and vulnerability. She is an Executive Producer of Emmy-winning and Oscar-Nominated films, Author, and Private Coach. 

                She has gone on pilgrimage with Tibetan monks in India, studied Tantric & Hatha Yoga in Thailand, and experimented with both ancient and modern healing modalities around the world. She reports from the front lines of inner space for Poppy + Seed and also facilitates vulnerability workshops for TED.  Bristol spent over ten years in the film and media business making relevant stories entertaining through film at GOOD for HBO, Paramount, Showtime, and Dreamworks. She is a TED Fellow and served as a delegate for the State Department Documentary Showcase in China. Bristol holds a B.A. in International Studies from the American University School of International Service and an M.A. in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. She founded Inner Astronauts to support people in becoming fully alive in service to the world.



                LW: As a child, what did you think you were going to be ‘when you grew up’?

                BB: I remember being around 7 or 8 and writing in my journal that I wanted to be a human rights lawyer, like Martin Luther King Jr., because that’s what I thought he was. I would dream of fighting for justice.

                LW: What was the defining moment that guided you to filmmaking and storytelling?

                BB: Growing up, my family and I watched movies. That was kind of like our church and experiencing the world from where I lived in San Diego and New Hampshire. When I would go to the theater and watch the trailers before a film, I would have moments of being in my soul resonance, an experience of feeling energy moving through my body and the feeling of being really alive. The story would transport me into a new experience. It was these feelings of aliveness that made me follow my resonance into film making and story making.

                LW: At what point, did you make the clear decision to shift from filmmaker to private coach, writer and facilitator of workshops? Was that a leap of faith? Was it challenging, scary and was there a process of grieving?

                BB: It was a terrifying leap of faith, when I knew that the old way of working and doing was no longer possible, like my body and spirit couldn’t play that game anymore, what I call “the old game.” I had no idea how I would make money or what I would do, but I knew it wasn’t the old way. I knew I wanted to write, but I didn’t know how I would live. It was scary and a total leap of faith. It was very humbling having to ask support from friends and family. From there, things started to open up. People started to call and ask to talk and then it was continuous. I said to myself, I think this is a thing. I had a friend that was a coach and she taught me so much. The experience was graceful but there were definitely moments that were unknown and terrifying.

                  LW: What led you to doing the deep, inner work and your devotion to transformation?’

                    Burnout on addiction to external validation and achievement as my primary way of being. Really healing from that which led me to the ground and having no energy. I had to get on my knees and discover the underlying assumptions for what I was doing here, what being alive meant to me.

                      LW: What has been the most challenging experience in your life that turned out to be the most meaningful opportunity to your life's path?


                        1. Death of my father
                        2. Heartbreak of Soul mate in love
                        The death of a dream or the idea of finding one’s Soul mate and it isn’t the one, burns off the illusion of control and ego power. It destroys your whole construct so you’re forced to be vulnerable and permeable in new ways. It expands us beyond where we are.
                          LW: What teachers have you worked with and/or currently work with to inspire and support your evolution in consciousness?

                            BB: Alyssa Nobriga was my first coach, Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick, and Gangaji

                              LW: To you, what does it mean to be vulnerable?

                                BB: It means to tell the truth in every moment about what I desire, what I want, what I am afraid of, what is real in the moment, and to be willing to keep my heart open no matter what. It means admitting the truth that we’re human and underneath all the armor, we are all vulnerable and innocent little creatures.

                                  LW: In your words, what is Inner Astronauts?

                                    BB: It’s constantly evolving. Right now, it is a coaching company for those seeking personal and professional mastery in service of the world.

                                      LW: How did the name Inner Astronauts come forward?
                                        BB: I was writing and I had the thought, buy the domain for So I did, then I forgot about it. Later, I realized it was fitting. It was a total surrender experiment.

                                          LW: How are you serving the world and contributing your gifts?

                                          BB: I am living all in, telling stories and offering opportunities for others to do the same. I have a one woman play called “Judge-a-holic.” It is a way that I serve by getting super vulnerable and sharing my story. I do workshops and offer people the opportunity to see what stands between them and their vulnerability. I just wrote a guidebook around harnessing heartbreak.

                                            LW: What does living wholly mean to you?

                                              BB: Living wholly to me means to honor both the light and dark as love. It is to embrace all parts of ourselves as part of this mystery that no one can fully explain and to play with all of it.

                                                LW: What are your top 3 tips for living a healthy, fulfilling life?


                                                  1. Inquire within, whatever way that works for you. Whether it is writing poetry or working with a coach or therapist. Discover the beliefs you’re carrying and if you don’t like your reality then rewrite it.
                                                  2. Take care of yourself. Put on your oxygen mask first kind of idea. Feed your soul. Find ways to do this and prioritize it.
                                                  3. Get into your body and move your body. The only way you experience health and fulfillment is by feeling through body not mind. Connect to the body in movement, yoga or orgasmic meditation --- whatever serves you.
                                                    LW: What are you reading right now?

                                                      BB: I am reading "Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion" by Jeffery Kripal. and a lot of Rumi.

                                                        LW: Is there something you’re currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

                                                        BB: I am working on "Harnessing Heartbreak". This is my book that just launched. It is inspired by my experience of healing from a Soul mate that wasn’t meant to be my life partner. It is a 23-day guidebook/companion guide for someone healing from heartbreak.

                                                          LW: If you could share a mantra from your inner wisdom, what would that be?

                                                          BB: My value is inherent and consistent regardless of anything external.






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