What person comes to mind when you hear words like reiki, shaman, crystals, chakras, and sage?
For a long time, I immediately cringed at the thought of tie-dye shirts, dreadlocks, and—gasp!—hairy armpits. To each their own, but I'd rather keep my "hippie" wellness hacks a secret than be associated with descriptors like those.
Words like manicures and brunch, well, they just felt more comfortable—even if they didn't really mesh with my morning Palo Santo–burning ritual or my daily chakra-clearing sessions. It was OK. No one needed to know about those habits. I was happy in my secret life of hippie.
That was, of course, until I wasn't.
I slowly came to realize that while I loved going into boardrooms and whipping out my spreadsheets to work with facts, I was also 123 percent more productive, happy, and healthy when I went to weekly energy-healing sessions. If colleagues asked what kept me calm, well, my lips were sealed on that one. It felt like I was stuck in an identity tug of war.
I was too embarrassed to talk about how BodyTalk had changed my life—would others think I was losing the plot? Being a young woman in a male-dominated corporate office could be hard enough; I didn't need another reason to not be taken seriously. On the flip side, I was ashamed to let my healers see how ambitious I was and as much as they helped me, I always maintained a healthy dose of skepticism.
My two identities came to head one night when I was out with a group of friends and someone at the table started asking about crystals and shamans. Without hesitation, I piped up.
"Oh yeah, I've been using that stuff for years. It's sooooo gooooood."
Cue the silence. Yep, jaws dropped. Of all the people at the dinner, I was the last one anyone expected to be into anything "woo-woo." But I was in for a lovely surprise: After collecting themselves, my friends responded not with judgment or incredulity but with curiosity. Blissful, supportive curiosity.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has struggled with balancing logic and rationale with energy and spirituality. So what's my advice for resolving the conflict between the different parts of your life? Well, you embrace that the world isn't black and white. It's about 3,472,198 shades of gray, and you get to pick the perfect one for you.
Yep, you can become a part-time hippie and own it.
Can it be terrifying to step into who you really are? Heck yes! It certainly wasn't easy for me to go from a super-corporate job to running Hidden Hippie, a business based on healing crystals. But was it worth it? Wooooow man, YES.
The moment I stepped into owning what felt right for me is the moment the magic really started to happen. Resistance floated away; doors I didn't even know existed opened up; life started to flow. Inbound press inquiries? Sure. Collaborations with big names? Uh-huh. Invitations to speak at exclusive events? Yes. And most importantly, my stress levels plummeted, my health improved, and I felt a sense of calm I hadn't experienced in years. Is it all a piece of cake? No, but being my authentic self makes it easier to navigate.
In short, it's OK to change. The person you were five years ago likely isn't the same person you are today. Nor will you be the same person in 10 years. And that's a good thing because it means you've grown. If someone had told me even 12 months ago that I'd be hiding crystals in bras and ponytails, I'd have laughed and seriously questioned their sanity. But now, I wouldn't change it for the world.