It’s time for another Wandering Woman feature! This time we’ll get a glimpse into the life of soul architect, Nicole Adriana Casanova. She calls the East Coast of the United States home, but has lots of wisdom when it comes to mindful living on the go.
T: So Nicole, you’re one of those women who comes across just as radiant within as she is without. First tell me and the readers how you stay grounded when traveling?
N: Thank you, and likewise. I’ve been wanderlusting through your Instagram feed on the daily for months now. And thank you, I love to see so many more women rising up to meet their shine and wearing it so well. Grateful to be part of this radiant sisterhood in all of the unique ways that our radiance expresses into the world. When I travel I make it a point to connect to the land- literally, the ground. It seems rather facile, but I assure you it has a profound and far reaching effect… it’s like going into someone’s home for the first time or the millionth, it is an honor to be invited in, so I like to observe- which is in general my nature, and say thank you for receiving me. So, grounding into the environment, are we at the beach, in the desert, on a mountain, a forest? What kind of plants are there? Trees, herbs, flowers? Who are the animals? What are all of their attributes and how do they live here together- wherever here is? This process to me is Yoga, which actually means yoking, it is an active and intentional meditation to ground myself to the present moment.
T: Give us some of your tips on maintaining conscious about what you’re putting in your body on the road. Do you opt for self catered accommodations and cook often, or do you seek out restaurants that promote clean eating, maybe something else entirely?
N: My body is my temple. I like to keep it clean no matter where I am. When we work as healers or helpers or Wholers for others, it is of utmost important that we try and maintain equilibrium within ourselves and all of the parts of our being. Obviously food has a powerful influence on this, but so does music, the company you keep, and whatever thoughts you give your energy to. So I typically approach what I consume from this place of awareness regardless of where I am.. I also prepare, I research where the clean food places are- I consider what supplement to bring if the pickings are slim, and I look into how people use food there… which of the local foods is good for digestion, purification, grounding, hydration, etc. And that’s not to say that I don’t partake in local customs or dining either- I think that is part of being humble to your hosts and allowing yourself to be absorbed into the environment. But if I am traveling to teach a workshop, host a retreat, or conduct healing work, then the work begins weeks beforehand by either completely cleaning my system or keeping my system completely clean going into what’s to come. Maybe some people have a different way, but this is what works for me and feels most truthful and aligned, especially when people are opening their hearts, minds, physical and energy bodies to me- I feel responsible and want them to know that I am honored and that they’re safe, so I take it seriously.
T: What is one of the most important lessons you have taken away from your practices as you teach/do/share a lot of human movement (Reiki Riojo and Meditation)?
N: Wow. What a question. The most important lessons are to be clear with myself and others. Having clear boundaries is a building block for Self Love. And this is important as you watch the energy in a room during a class, workshop, over the course of a retreat… people will want to pull things in very strange directions and I believe there is a way of lovingly redirecting the focus without alienating anyone.I have gotten emails from people I’d worked with years ago saying, I had no idea what you were doing in the moment or why you said what you did until now- now I get it, thank you… and that is a lovely and gentle reward even when it is never acknowledged with words because ultimately recognition is not the point… happy, healthy people are. Having clear boundaries around the work and the way it’s received by a group of people is also a way of loving and having reverence for my teachers and the teachings that have been passed to me. In this way it is also about self love because it honors what I have chosen to focus my time and energy on in this life. They also create a safe container for those who are ready and willing to fully be in the room with the transformation taking place… I have certainly had those moments in my learning as well, where my ego is terrified by the transmission taking place and so it tries to pull me outward. So even if people ask the “wrong” question, I try and find a way to answer the “right” question and bring them back to the present moment. It’s a way of loving and having reverence for myself and the work or teachings being shared which have been passed to me. And also of loving and holding the container for those who are ready and willing to be in the room with the transformation taking place…
T: Tulum seems like a special site that you’ve returned to many times, can you articulate what draws you back there?
N: Tulum is a very very special place. In addition to the sheer and utter beauty of it with pink quartz sand and turquoise water, it is a vortex and many geologists believe that it is the region where the meteors hit in the last ice age. It’s also surrounded by and home to many pyramid and pyramid complexes, including the Tulum Ruins. So there is a certain electromagnetic current that is very palpable even on a subconscious level, and this energy has a softening effect on ones being.On a more personal level, I resonate deeply with the Mayan Teachings… I spent about 5 years immersed in the Celtic Teachings and they ultimately brought me back to Mexico and Chichen Itza and some supremely otherworldly experiences in the days before the 2012 Summer Solstice. I remember the first time I landed in Mexico I heard my soul speak, “I’m home,” it said. And as the plane was landing I realized that there were tears rolling down my cheeks.
T: Are there any places that you’d like to take some of your wisdom to share? Or, to flip the script a little, are there any that you feel could deeply impact you and your clients in terms of beautiful landscapes, unique flora and fauna, or even specialty foods for example?
N: Ha, yes actually. That’s why I created my company, Sky Teachings. Sky Teachings is my brainchild, or more accurately put, my heart and mind child. After all, that is what brought me to Soul Architecture. I could no longer call the work I was doing Reiki after the first 6 months of practicing- it just wasn’t true. And like the sessions, the retreat experiences are a product of a lot of study and exploration in many different modalities and traditions… so there’s room to grow and focus. It is a way for me to share what I have learned and to lift others in the way I know how, but also to call upon and work with people whose passion has elevated my life and opened my understanding, in addition to those whose work and traditions I deeply respect and wish to experience. So far Tulum is Chapter 1, I am looking at Curacao for Chapter 2 And there is Iona, New Mexico, Bali, and Hawaii in the pipeline for 2017-2018 as well.
*Photography credit to Nicole Adriana Casanova (top image), Sadek Bazaraa (second image), and Elizabeth Chubbuck (bottom image).