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5 things I learned from a professional mind cleanse

Hypnosiscrystal healingmeditation, the study of auras and chakras—these are just a few methods of emotional healing involving invisible energetic forces that fascinate the world, myself and celebrities included. It makes sense: Who wouldn’t want to experience something otherworldly and powerful, with the ability to change your life for the better?

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While some of these fields have a magical, mystical vibe, others—like meditation and therapy—fall squarely outside the realm of woo-woo and within the actionable lines of real life, and I’ve experienced their transformative effects. So when I was invited to meet with international psychotherapist and intuitive healer named Fiona Arrigo, whose 90-minute Mind Cleanse promised to “deliver a powerful life-changing fix in less than a day” by eliminating blocks, healing past traumas, and encouraging “deep, transformational, and lasting change,” I jumped.

My conversation with Arrigo, which happened over Skype because she’s based in the U.K., felt like a wonderful heart-to-heart with a wise aunt or godmother. There was no small talk; we cut to the chase, and I felt comfortable opening up to her. She asked me about my goals in life, relationships, and career; any challenges I was experiencing achieving them; and about my emotional rhythms. Then she delivered advice about being a woman, and a human, at this particular moment in history, which felt both universal and specific to me—lofty and inspiring, but also earth-bound and helpful.

While I’m not sure I felt that my mind was cleansed, per se, at the end of the conversation, I was definitely inspired, and would recommend using Arrigo’s tips to help you start 2017 off on the right note. If you’re interested, Arrigo will be stateside, hosting in-person consultations in New York City from February 13 through 19—otherwise, you can get my main takeaways from our session below.

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Starting your day right matters

Rely on more than just a hot shower and coffee to kick you into gear in the morning, says Arrigo. By getting into a positive mindset, you set your day up for success, rather than negativity. “Start the day by centering yourself and setting your focus,” she says. “You may want to create an altar of sorts in your home—a place where you keep a candle, a special photo, or a meditation cushion that represents peace and inspiration for you.” Here, you can meditate, journal, or say affirmations (more on those below) to help improve your vibration and get your day off on the right foot.

A Lot Can Change in a Day

Since setting big goals, ideas, and thinking about long-term changes can be overwhelming, Arrigo suggests picking one word a day and using it as your focus. “Whether it’s love, empathy, or forgiveness, meditate on that word as a spiritual practice,” she says. “Cultivate that quality as much as you can during the day.” The idea of forgiving a friend or family member for a major betrayal forever might be daunting—but can you try it on and see how it feels for 24 hours? It seems a lot more doable.

Daydreams Are Powerful

If you’re type-A and don’t allow yourself much time to zone out, listen to music, or just imagine the future, you’re doing yourself a disservice. “Women have lost the capacity to know we’re the dreamers who co-create the world,” says Arrigo. “You must dare to dream your dreams—it’s never been more important.” In other words, visualizing and fantasizing about the things you want can actually help manifest them—and it can never hurt.

Rituals and Affirmations are Useful Tools

In order to breed the qualities in yourself and your life that you want and feel reflect your best self, you can use the aforementioned altar as well as certain positive phrases in order to reinforce your vision. A few that Arrigo suggests: I humbly accept that I can direct and move energy. I trust the strength and power of the evolution of my being. I trust that I’m doing the work that I’ve come here to do. And, first thing in the morning, a question to help you focus and reflect: How can I bring the most of my being into the world; how can I activate what I’m yearning to see in the world today?

Self-Compassion is Key

It’s natural to get frustrated when life doesn’t progress in the way you want it to, whether it’s that promotion you’ve been working towards forever or a relationship that just isn’t shaping up as you’d hoped. It’s also natural to want to blame yourself, getting mired in negativity and self-loathing for things not going right. But having patience with yourself—and everyone around you—is one of the key traits of an evolved, emotionally healthy person, says Arrigo. “Even if you’re not living as spiritually well as you’d like to be, have love and forgiveness towards yourself,” she says. “We’re just coming out of hundreds of years of being ‘asleep’—as in not aware or mindful of our energetic impact on the world—so when you get frustrated with yourself, try and melt those sharp edges into compassion.”

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