Creative Impact Winter 2021

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Hibernation and celebrating success Has the Christmas spirit come to visit early? This year more than ever, we all have been waiting for some jolly festive vibes to help us bring closure to 2021. I am not saying that 2021 did not bring some big wins - yet, it was a pivotal moment of transition and change for most of us. Every week, I spend Mondays checking in with our members and setting goals together - and we seem all to be on the same boat. Most recently, we focused on reclaiming time and reflecting on growth, and how success comes in very different shapes and forms. How do you know if you had a successful year? Evaluating success in a world ruled by metrics and targets and revenues can be really hard at times. Far too often, we might get blinded by the idea that success has to tie with a specific monthly figure or a particular revenue goal. We forget that, especially when you run a growing and scaling business, revenue might not be the only way for you to evaluate your growth. You may see a lot of content online showing you to make XYZ per month. To put things in perceptive, striving for higher revenue does not necessarily need more money for yourself. As you scale (hire an assistant, invest in tools), you may incur higher expenses.

So how can we reframe success for ourselves, especially after a long, transformative year? Look at the lessons you have learned, and how they helped you shape who you are today. As our cover star Carly Rowena shared with us “one of my biggest downfalls was shaping myself by what everybody else wanted.”

FAB’S FAVES SCHOKOKUSS These German chocolate kisses are my husband’s favourites. The egg white foam encased in chocolate is to die for. ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS MUSIC The punk rock Christmas list on Spotify is a staple for extra yuletide. CHRISTMAS FOOD Christmas starts when I buy my first panettone! Mince pie and Netflix all weekend.

2021 allowed me to become more honest and in-tune about who I want to be and how I want to define success for myself, over what other people think. I also made more time to celebrate my wins every week, something we do as a collective with our members every Friday. It’s a life-changing experience. How about you? How can you celebrate more of your own wins? Focus on the growth and the connections you fostered. Opportunities can also be an excellent way for you to understand and see your growth, especially your idea of success. All in all, despite the divine storms and massive changes, 2021 got me where I am today. Still here, showing up to support you in your dreams. Still here to help you make an impact in the world. May 2022 be the year that brings you the focus, clarity and drive to create an impactful life and business.

FAB GIOVANET TI Editor in Chief

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EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief: Fab Giovanetti Contribution: Editor Amy Lanza Sponsorships: Chanelle Allen

CONTRIBUTORS Columnist: Joanna Konstantopoulou, Hannah Wallace Special thanks to: Ruby Raut, Melike Hussein, Sarah Howells, Jemima Mukunzi, Jameisha Prescod, Adesuwa Ajayi, Beth Coldrick, Etan Ilfeld, Yolanda


Barker, Vanessa Dietzel, Laura Watkins, Melissa Madara

BACK ISSUES Creative Impact is the ultimate tool and resource for creatives and conscious entrepreneurs. Current members of the Collective will be able to download each issue directly for free as well as back issues on the online platform. Website:

VISUALS & MORE Lead Designer: Michael Cavalli Junior Designer: Lucia Cavalli Stock photography: Pexels; Rawpixel; Unsplash Affiliate links: Amazon Associates

CREATIVE IMPACT MAG is part of Creative Impact group For inquiries or suggestions, contact us at: Website: Email: Advertising:

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03 Editor’s note

50 Bookshelf

05 Contents

52 Hannah Wallace column


06 Good news 11 Mission statement 12 Founder series


54 Reconnecting 56 360 sustainable lifestyle 58 The Synchronicity Oracle

24 Expert profile

20 Can you keep a secret?

60 Take a deep breath

36 Behind the content

26 Distorted view of illness

62 Stop burning out


28 Influencer pay gap

64 Psychologist Corner

33 Taking on beauty industry FOODIE CHRISTMAS

68 A Witch's Feast

40 Food & Drink

72 Love potions

42 Beauty & Lifestyle

74 Lentils and roasted roots

44 Sustainable clothing

76 Feast of Pisces

46 Home & stationery

78 Poppy seed cake

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As we are consuming news more than ever, we thought we’d bring you our very own round-up of happy news.



Meet your new favourite podcast, Radio Lento by Hugh Huddy and Madeleine Sugden, which offers ‘sound postcards from beautiful places’. This podcast features only the sounds of landscapes around the UK – no music or talking – is soon to hit 115,000 downloads, 18 months after launching during the first UK lockdown. As well as the rural chocolate box places there are urban interesting noises to discover the whole of the UK.

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A recent study published in the Nature journal, that explains the positive effects of meditation on the brain has confirmed what many who practise it have long suspected. Researchers at Binghamton University, New York, used brain scans to see how practising meditation for 10 minutes a day had and revealed: “The findings indicate the potential effects of meditation on enhancing the brain capability of fast switching between mind wandering and focused attention and maintaining attention once inattentive states,”.




More than half a century after it was declared “biologically dead”, the River Thames in London has seals, seahorses and even sharks living in it, a study revealed this week. A recent study compiled by the ZSL under The State of the Thames report noted a significant improvement in water quality since the 1960s. It also reported an increase in the presence of birds, mammals and fish, including tope, starry smoothhound and spurdog sharks.


Illustrator Justyna Green has created a portrait series celebrating the small pleasures that became a big deal during the pandemic. From the loved ones who have helped us through and soul-soothing time in nature, to the rituals that have grounded us on dark days, there has been much to be grateful for amid the pandemic. Her new 100 Days of Gratitude series was revealed in the London Design Festival following her drawing a portrait every day from 12 June to 21 September from London to LA and everywhere in between.

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Nature was the theme for the Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 and for good reason; its “unique ability to not only bring consolation in times of stress but also increase our creativity, empathy and a sense of wonder”. There are a few ways you can turn our garden into a winner oasis: including a bulb lasagne, painting your walls with plants, feeding the birds and more.

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For many people, the act of baking is a comforting, mindful, evocative ritual, that sparks all of our senses. It often evokes memories, feelings, nostalgia, excitement, you name it. The Journal of Positive Psychology carried out a study which saw young adults take part in creative activities – including baking – and found that they reported feeling happier and more creative in the days that followed. Baking, in fact, is a way to express yourself, to switch off – or to switch on.


The festive period and new year are really exciting, but stressful times. They can bring heightened anxiety, fear and a general sense of unease and problems start to build up. Happiful recently shared 5 of their best tips to show some selfcompassion and build resilience during this period and beyond. Learn how to "join the dots", "lower your expectations", "dial-up the self-care" and more.

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WHAT’S YOUR MISSION? We asked our collective members what’s their mission and how they are looking to make a positive impact on other people and the planet, and here’s what our founder Jemima had to say.

Jemima Mukunzi

Job title: Afro Hair, lifestyle content creator and aspiring influencer coach From: Sheffield, England

I originally started creating content to cope with the sudden loss of my father in 2016. I wanted to share my story, what I was learning while grieving, and connect with people. It was a much-needed distraction from everything I had going on at the time. Fast forward to 2017; I noticed a gap in the natural afro hair community where tightly coiled hair was less showcased and deemed unprofessional unless it was “tamed” or straightened. I decided to share more about my afro hair and how I was unapologetically navigating the corporate world with hair that looks different while inspiring other women

MY MISSION “Is to constantly learn, grow and flourish in everything I do whilst helping others do the same. to do the same. Shortly after, I started working with brands and realised how exploitative some of them were regarding paying fairly. One of the reasons they get away with this is because many influencers, especially those starting, do not know the worth of their work. That’s what inspired the inception of my upcoming coaching program @creativeandpaid to help budding influencers grow their following and work with brands in a mutually beneficial manner. I share creative hairstyle ideas on Instagram and YouTube to show the versatility of afro hair to

inspire other women to experiment and wear their afros out more with confidence. I also share hair care tips for those looking for ways to simplify their hair care routine. I share all the natural oils, butter, and Ayurveda herb mixtures I make from my kitchen for DIY lovers like myself. I share tips to help budding influencers attract and work with their favourite brands for my influencer coaching business. I am currently working on a digital course to help them grow an engaged audience and price their work. MORE INFORMATION Website: Instagram: @limitlessbloom (Afro hair & Lifestyle) Instagram: @creativeandpaid

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Company: WUKA Job title: CEO & Co-Founder Founded: 2017


ounded in 2017, WUKA is a female-led start-up, making the UK’s first-ever reusable and leakproof period wear. WUKA stands for Wake Up Kick Ass because we believe that nothing should hold you back on your period. We are on a mission to eradicate period shame, encourage inclusivity, body positivity and the conversation surrounding such taboo topics whilst facing the ongoing challenge of period poverty. We believe that periods should not cost the earth. Equality, social and environmental responsibility are at the heart of everything we do. My eureka moment When studying for my Environmental Science degree, I discovered that more than 200,000 tonnes of tampons and pads were sent to UK landfills every

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year, contributing to the mounting tide of plastic pollution. This was my ‘lightbulb moment’. I knew something had to change about the way we handled menstruation. Validating the idea There are lots of aspects of a business to validate on your journey as an entrepreneur. The fundamental ones are - does your product or service solve a real problem that others have? Will people pay for it? We made samples of the underwear, and I found women on Facebook willing to try them out, as well as my long term testing. This process helped us refine the fit and ensure they did the job of a tampon or pad. And we got to hear first-hand how they felt wearing them. Second, we launched on Kickstarter; no survey will prove that people will pay for them and being a crowdfunding platform, it’s a brilliant way to validate that people will pay for your product.

The failure I am glad I experienced Failure is a part of any entrepreneur’s journey. But it’s not so much ‘failure’ we experience, but lessons. Every day is an opportunity to learn and grow and to help elevate WUKA and help more people. That’s the primary purpose of WUKA - to help others. I’m glad I experienced how important it is to give yourself time to recalibrate and be mindful of how much work you are doing and whether you’re switching off or not! That, in return, will help your business, your team, and most importantly, yourself. Piece of industry advice you often hear that you disagree with and why You need to be “professional” and do





1 | THE SIMPLEST THING... … Just go for it! 2 | GET OUT THERE Go to as many events as you can online and in-person! Connect with people, learn and meet people from all walks of life! 3 | PREP THE PRESS If you’ve got a product, go and tell PR. Drum up the press before you’ve clicked the button to go live!

things properly, which will cost a lot of money. This barrier is the main one that entrepreneurs face and hear a lot in the early years. There is a belief that because you don’t have in my case - a marketing or logistics degree, you can’t achieve something without paying out a lot of money that most can’t afford. There are so many free ways to kick start your growth engine if you are prepared to hustle. We found twitter groups that give you access to Journalists for free press; we gifted samples for articles; we shared stalls in a market with others to make it cost-effective; we started shipping from our living room - kicked out the sofa and put shelf racking in!

The role of social media Social media has played a successful role for WUKA beautifully. It’s allowed us to create a safe space and platform for anyone who menstruates to be part of the community. Our mission is to make reusable period pants affordable and accessible, break down taboos, and open up a loving, safe environment to discuss sensitive topics openly. Social media has helped create that.

Looking to the future For growth and expansion! We are so excited to be able to reach more people, show them an alternative to disposable plastic period products and learn about WUKA. MORE INFORMATION Website: Instagram: @wukawear

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Breaking the mold


Lessons from reinventing yourself with Carly Rowena

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Carly Rowena is the definition of a multi-faceted entrepreneur. She is the founder of LetsSweat workouts, an online community of incredible people from all over the world. She also hosts retreats to conquer Kilimanjaro, the Inca trail and more. Carly has worked with fantastic brands from Nike and Sweaty Betty to Lonely Planet and Virgin Holidays. Carly recently launched her own activewear line and released her first-ever children’s book ‘My Beautiful Body’. “I started my social media accounts because there was no one around who felt like my kind of person. The retreats, and coaching and everything all came about because I couldn’t find my group of people that were the ones I wanted to intertwine with and connect with.” The beginning of this journey has been about Carly finding her group of people and making them aware that there are others like them. Carly encourages her online followers to find a movement practice they enjoy, not what they think they ‘should’ be doing, based on the changes she’d like to see in the online space. “I feel like I’ve got a community of people that just support each other. Making an impact, for me, was really all about finding that connection with other people, which is what I hope to do across my channels.”


Wearing different hats

When she first started social media, she turned to YouTube because she was working in marketing for BMW. She began to film videos to figure out her calling. “It had nothing to do with anyone else. Yet, my followers made me realise that I was really good at fitness. I love fitness.” Then as life progressed, she became a coach, and by doing so, she realised that fitness can be quite draining when everybody wants instant results. Everyone just wanted weight loss. That’s not fun. “As a coach, that becomes an unfortunate place to be when everyone just wants to shrink themselves.”

we go and climb Kilimanjaro. People break up with their partners, quit their jobs. I love seeing that.” A few years later, she had Jax, her daughter. She was so adamant that she was not going to become a mommy blogger. “I was not going to become a mum online. How foolish of me! I share myself completely, so mommy Carly was going to be online. That was what happened”.

Fitness was essential to her, but what really mattered was the mental benefits and transformation fitness could bring to her community, so she started running retreats. “Now you got Carly, who runs retreats around the world where you come away with me, and

We’re moving back on to life after the pandemic, and we are all trying to keep happy during this transition while also being kind to ourselves, which means you just get so many different hats, especially as a creator. None of these were planned. It all

"Making an impact, for me, was really all about finding that connection with other people, which is what I hope to do across my channels."

accidentally happened, “I somehow fell, and face planted into becoming me and discovered new aspects of where this business goes. In realistic terms, all I do is listen to the engagement and see whether people are enjoying this or not. I then make sure it feels organic and real to me. And if it doesn’t, then I don’t do it.” It’s crucial to know what your audience wants from you, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it. “One of my biggest downfalls was shaping myself by what everybody else wanted.” Especially when you are trying to fit into a very narrow box, Carly explains. You can’t hide from the other stuff that’s happening in your life. You can, but it becomes very disconnected and isn’t a pleasant place to be. “I have clear pillars I come back to, like mommy, retreats, fitness, mental health and wellbeing. I will flip through pillars, but depending on where I’m at in that

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"I couldn't do this job if I had to fight with myself every day to be something else for everyone." day or week, my content will be more catered to one or the other.” Carly was told to stick to a niche from the very beginning because that’s how you grow. Yet, this is not the way she has set out to show up online. “I couldn’t do this job if I had to fight with myself every day to be something else for everyone.” There is a widespread popular belief that if you don’t have a niche, people follow you and are equally happy to unfollow you because you’re not always talking about the one thing they want. As Carly points out, at the same time, that if you share more of yourself, people feel like they know you more. You create a stronger connection. That presented itself as a choice: do I have faster growth but less connection with my followers? Or do I have the pillars and have the connection and a little bit less growth? “For me, it is always connection first.”

Creating boundaries

Carly’s content is honest and multifaceted. She encourages her community to see her as an older sister they can confide in. This can often be mistaken with lack of boundaries, yet they are at

the foundation of the core of showing up online. “When I’m sharing my personal life, you probably get 20% of my personal life. I am very in tune with my gut feeling.” Questions like: “Does this need sharing? How is this going to help someone? Does that bring anything to anyone?” help her shape her content daily. The same goes with acknowledging the boundaries for the people around her. “When I first had Jax, I thought I’d never film without her - she’s attached to my hip all day long.” Until she said, mommy, I don’t want to be filmed. “Now she doesn’t want to be filmed, and that is her right. I moved away from that. It’s the gut feeling, it is all you can go by. That’s what I’ve been listening to”. Being a mum to Jax taught her a lot of things, including the importance of being present. Children don’t think about the past, and they don’t think about the future. They have no concept of time. “My daughter honestly wakes up from a nap, and she thinks it’s still the same day. She’s like, Oh, I was swimming this morning. And I’m like, “No, that was five weeks ago!”

My Beautiful Body

My mission for this book is for families to call their bodies beautiful, for your child to understand that their body is more than just a home and for you to realise that the labels you’ve given your body over time have no truth. I can’t wait for you to hear your little one shout loudly ‘ my beautiful body!’

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CR x Halo is designed to boost your mood, be mixed and matched, the perfect go-to for the school run, post-workout catch-ups or even an afternoon of self-care at home.

Kids don’t need anything particular. They just want you. They are so focused on whatever they’re doing, and they’re getting pure enjoyment from it. Carly admits that she never truly realised how much she was either in the past or consciously thinking about the future in business. Many of us can resonate with the feeling of pushing for what’s next, not taking the time to celebrate the wins. “Jax has taught me just the power of being present. Enjoying the moment. Maybe I haven’t got my whole To-Do List done today. Jax would be so proud of doing all those things in a day. The power of presence is amazing.” MORE INFORMATION YouTube: @carlyrowena Instagram: @carlyrowena Workout cards:

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Exploring vulnerability and confessions with Tova Leigh

ave you ever wondered what other people get up to when they think no one’s looking? Whatever secret lie hidden in your past, don’t worry: Tova Leigh is here to reassure you that you’re by no means alone. “The way I selected the confessions in the book was that each of them really represents a whole array of very similar confessions. Anybody who reads the book will think, ‘Oh God, I do that’, or ‘I’ve had that experience.’” The confessions in ‘You Did What’ have all been curated by bestselling author and digital creator Tova Leigh. The book was born to give her audience a safe space to express themselves. The book is liberation in that you can tell your secret and show your vulnerability.

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“It does give people comfort knowing that they are not alone. So it makes people feel normal. Maybe something embarrassing doesn’t sound so bad after all - because things sound so much worse in our heads.” A big centrepiece of the book is the idea of empowering us to use our voice. Women, in general, are excellent communicators, which is also why the sense of community is also vital. “When you share those secrets with other people, you do feel like more part of a community. When I started sharing the things that I was feeling when I turned 42 - the ones that were very new to me, no one was talking about it. I started sharing them with my closest friends, and they said to me, ‘Oh, my God, like, I’m feeling that way’”. It was like lighting, a little spark, something that shaped her content to this day. Since then, Tova has created numerous

Photos: Steve Ullathorne


viral videos about feminism and women’s rights. She is dedicated to promoting gender equality and championing women through her work. “For women, it’s so important to take that first leap of faith, with your girlfriends, with the other women who are in your life, and see what happens.

“People appreciate vulnerability, as it’s such a rare quality.” Honestly, from my experience, I’ve never been let down. There’s always that one girlfriend that gets me. And you just and then immediately you just feel so much better.” “Sometimes, I will say stuff online or in my personal

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“If you have something nice to say or something important to say, then say it because you never know who’s listening.”


life to friends that are a bit out of the box. I don’t know how this is gonna go down. What are they going to think? Are they going to judge me? It’s always met with acceptance because people appreciate vulnerability, as it’s rare.”

There are parenting confessions, workplace confessions, sex confessions, revenge confessions ... not forgetting the all-important bodily fluids confessions. A lot of those.

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Bodily Fluids Photos: Ste

People appreciate when they see someone human, which is why she hopes that people will take away from the book that we should stop being ashamed of our secrets and laugh a lot because the book is hilarious and relatable.

There’s so much humour in the book because our perceptive changes when we look back at them, even if as they happened, they were the most mortifying things that we’ve ever experienced.

after motherhood and beyond the norms society forces upon women, encouraging them to break free and just be themselves.

I like to start conversations about things, yet I do believe there isn’t just one way of doing things.“ Yet, asking questions and being willing to break the mould.

“That book was very much about a real turning point in my life. I had a real midlife crisis. And one of the key elements of that crisis was breaking down those walls and that I had put myself in, in a sense that I didn’t ask questions. Why am I living like this? Like, does this work for me? You know, did I choose this? And I think most of us don’t do that.”

In March 2019, Tova released her first book, ‘F*cked at 40: Life Beyond Suburbia, Monogamy and Stretch Marks’. Tova takes the reader on her journey of rediscovering who she is

Young people today are probably very different from the previous generations. They are willing to ask transformative questions: “People are changing careers, and that is good.

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W o r k p la c e “I accidentally sent the paediatrician a picture of my boobs when I was trying to send him a picture of my son's rash.”

“After the divorce, I signed up on Tinder. After a few dates I was thinking why do I give it for free, when men will pay for it? So l became an escort...”

Re v e n ge

Sex and Relationships What suits you at 20 might not suit you at 40 - most likely will not suit you at 40.”

needs to hear what you have to say. “Some of my videos go very far, and they reach a lot of people. I think, ‘Oh, that had a big impact because I see the numbers’. Sometimes I’ll post something, and it doesn’t do so well. But then again, I’ll get one single message from a person. And it tells me how what I said, or what I wrote, really impacted them. And that’s impact.”

People are more open to that idea of evolving, changing, and maybe you know, in all aspects of life, something Tova realised was not a given for her generation. “When I present things online, it’s from the idea of asking a question. You might go away and think, ‘no, I’m happy with this. This still suits me like I’m good’. But at least you ask the question.” To inspire change and conversion, Tova reminds us, you must not be afraid to speak up. “It’s about using the voice that you have to sort of raise awareness and talk about things that you are passionate about and that you want to improve or to highlight.” It’s not always easy to do. Sometimes you may think: what difference can I make? Anytime you vocalize, anytime you highlight something, even if you don’t have a big platform, you are reaching someone who

YOU DID WHAT? Secrets, Confessions and Outrageous Stories from Real Life Tova Leigh’s book is a collection of funny and outrageous confessions from everyday people worldwide, and was released in September. Get your copy now.

When you manage to touch someone in a way that was so significant to them, you are using your voice for good. With her book, her online work, her performances and beyond, Tova Leigh is here to remind you that if you have something important to say, then say it because you never know who’s listening. MORE INFORMATION Website: Instagram: @tova_leigh Book:

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Melike Hussein

Job title: Certified Mindfulness Teacher and Conscious Breathing Coach Founder: BreathZone Career journey: My holistic health expertise combined with my medical background as a Qualified Nurse – so having extensive training in both fields is unique. Your expertise in one word: Mindfulness and breathwork

I am passionate about empowering my clients with medically safe, sciencebacked and a practical toolkit, fit in with their daily lives and work environments. I work with my clients in a range of subjects pertinent to our modern life and careers. What is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to your field? That breathwork is only suitable when they are faced with a specific issue such as chronic stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, and it is sufficient to practice a handful of techniques to address these. Teaching my clients how to ‘breathe correctly’ is an important focus of my work and it is a ‘must-learn’ for everyone, even healthy individuals. As practitioners, we should all teach this to our clients. If we breathe in unhealthy or

dysfunctional patterns such as shallow breathing, breath holding, chest breathing, not only we activate ‘fight or flight’ mode of the nervous system, but also deprive the body from optimum intake of precious oxygen and cleanse of metabolic waste products. How can people feel confident about improving their breathing? I advise continuous training and

TOP TIPS 1 | FIND A MENTOR Find an experienced mentor you can freely ask questions, share your experiences and seek support. This is such a critical component of selfgrowth in our field.

2 | SELF-PRACTICE Provide guidance and practical resources to support your client’s self-practice. This is critical for clients to embed their learning and integrate these into their daily lives.

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3 | YOUR INTUITION During the session we may discover new things coming up. Trust and give yourself permission to explore these. Your clients will sense your confidence and respond positively.

learning, which is super important. Every individual is unique. I serve my clients with bespoke tools that best suit them drawing on my extensive training. Breathwork practitioners, please keep training in as many disciplines as possible and expand your skill-set. After all, as practitioners, are on our breathwork journey of discovery and growth. What is your favourite thing about Creative Impact? The vast range of information and resources provided to smaller businesses. There is absolutely something for everyone. This level of support is truly priceless! MORE INFORMATION Website: Instagram: @Breathzonelondon


THE DISTORTED VIEW OF ILLNESS How society influences the way an illness is experienced and why we need to rethink productivity Written by Jameisha Prescod


iving with an illness is an individual experience. You’re the only person that is ever going to inhabit the body you call home. At the same time, living with a chronic condition is very social. The way society perceives the idea of chronic illness will impact the way you live as a disabled person, whether it’s work, relationships or how you view yourself. WE’RE OBSESSED WITH PRODUCTIVITY I feel as if there is a massive focus on productivity in society. People place a lot of value on how much they can get done within employment. When you have a disability or a chronic illness, society often views you as unproductive and therefore not worth as much as other people. This issue is frustrating on multiple levels. Firstly, society itself places so many barriers for disabled people to thrive in the workplace when employers are unable to create a more accessible environment for us. However, perhaps the more important issue is that productivity should not measure someone’s value in the first place. When there is so much stress on productivity, disabled people can often internalise this idea. This internalisation can push you to exhaustion or accept a false idea that your life isn’t worth as much as a non-disabled person. This needs to change. NOT ALL ILLNESSES HAVE A CURE If you’re currently living with a chronic illness, then you’ll surely have heard the phrase “have you tried…?” These questions usually come from well-meaning people, but the problem is that many conditions do not have cures. Also, this phrase implies that people living with long-term conditions are just not trying hard enough.

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ABOUT JAMEISHA Jameisha Prescod is a Londonbased filmmaker, journalist and artist. After being diagnosed with lupus, they founded You Look Okay to Me, the online space for chronic illness. Through their work, Jameisha uses creative visual storytelling to unpack how culture and identity impact how illness and disability are experienced. In 2021, Jameisha was awarded the Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Entrepreneurs and was announced as an essayist in a republishing of Virginia Woolf’s “On Being Ill.” Other recent collaborations include Huffington Post, gal-dem x Adidas and Scope Charity.

I think this idea comes about because many non-disabled people have the experience of being ill, taking a short course of medication and feeling back to their old selves in no time. I wish this were the case for me, but it isn’t. Illnesses are strange. Illnesses are diverse. Something that would help all of us is to expand our idea of what being ill looks like. It’s not one size fits all. DOUBT SURROUNDING INVISIBLE ILLNESSES If you don’t know me very well, you may see my disability as invisible. I remember having a flare-up on the way home from work. I managed to conjure up the courage to ask for a seat, and unfortunately, I was completely ignored. This experience contrasts with what happened after my hip surgery. I was on crutches and didn’t even have to open my mouth before strangers were ready to carry my bags and help me sit down. I don’t think this makes the general public fundamentally flawed, but I think we need to reframe this idea that disabilities are always visible. It makes those of us with conditions that are harder to see, scared of being called out when sitting in priority seats or terrified of parking in the disabled bays. It’s already hard to deal with a lifelong condition. More belief and more compassion are needed for us to live our lives in the best way possible. It’s already challenging to accept that you may spend the rest of your life managing a disease. It can cause a lot of internal conflicts that take time, patience and self-compassion to get through. But along with this, it’s essential to hope for social change to allow disabled chronic illnesses folk the best environment to come to terms with the fact that life can be beautiful and is still worth living while managing one’s illness. MORE INFORMATION Instagram: @youlookokaytome TikTok: JamPrescod

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I am a British Indian with 3.5k followers on Instagram with a focus on beauty and fashion. A skincare brand with 90k followers on Instagram got in touch to discuss a collaboration where they wanted: X3 in feed posts X9 story posts And exclusive rights to all images. I went in at £500 for everything and finally negotiated to £350. Not sure how much I should have charged though?

Hi there I have a question about some advertising on my YouTube video. I have a YouTube video which is gaining between 50-100K views per day and want to try my hand at advertising/promoting. I can’t monestise my channel yet so it would be links in the comment section to their page/product etc. I don’t know how much I should charge or how to really approach people with this offer, any help is appreciated!

White female 300k followers

offered me $80 for 2 reels and a picture post.

Hi, I was wondering how companies normally pay youtubers? Right now I’m a small YouTuber so all of my payments are small. Companies are paying me through PayPal but there’s a fee. It doesn’t matter too much right now since the fee is quite small. but I was wondering for bigger payments, how are payments made?

I was hired as an influencer at 23k, 5% grid engagement, 20% story engagement for 6 stories and 1 reel at $1.5k. I sent over screenshots of how the stories and reel performed. They are now asking me to hook up to a third party platform for analytics, which wasn’t in the contract and makes me uncomfortable. How do I politely turn them down on this?

Wanted to share this one. Bakery asked for an in-feed post, stories and lifetime commercialrights to use my content in all their marketing, in exchange for... some bread!


Bridging the

influencer pay

How transparency, regulation and community will shape the future of the influencer marketing industry Written by Adesuwa Ajayi


y name is Adesuwa Ajayi, a 29-year-old black creative from London, UK, former brand and partnerships and talent manager, and I run Influencer Pay Gap. Influencer Pay Gap is a platform I set up to address the disparities in pay between black and non-black influencers, creators and creatives. Given my time in the space managing and working with creative talent across several verticals over the years, I felt very strongly that the creative industry as we knew it was broken and had been broken for a long while. Ironically, the industry was ever full of potential and rapidly growing, there was still a strong sense amongst fellow minorities in the space that it wasn’t a level playing field, with an overarching sense that so many people had succumbed to the idea that “it is what it is” after all that’s how it’s always been right? At the time, I was working at the agency AGM Talent, run by my good friend Daniel Ayim, and I was working with the black talent on our roster. I felt that with everything going on around that time, it would be an excellent opportunity to spotlight the issues faced by black creators/black creatives and help bridge the gaps in knowledge/access to information. After a conversation with Dan and a few others, Influencer Pay Gap was born, starting off as a space for

I felt that the information publicly and readily available didn’t always account for the variety of demographics, experiences and niches in the space. So, I set out to ask people to anonymously submit their highest-paid gig rates alongside information such as race, gender, niche and more to help a little with benchmarking.

ABOUT ADESUWA Adesuwa Ajayi is the founder of Influencer Pay Gap and multidisciplinary creative with over 10 years experience across the creative industry. Recognised by Business Insider on the 2020’s Doer’s list, Adesuwa has worked across an array of niches, editorial, events, entertainment, influencer management and more.

those who didn’t necessarily have the luxury of a network of other creatives who were willing to speak openly and honestly about rates to see what others were earning across the space. At the time, I would find that many creators would utilise outdated online calculators which failed to consider the intricacies and the variety of deliverables/ possible partnerships out there.

In just a few days, the page blew up! What was once a small page starting at 0 has now turned into an amazing community of over 60,000 creators, industry professionals, and creatives. We speak about everything from rates, reviews, industry perspectives, and more. Despite taking a hiatus, the page has gone from strength to strength, growing by the thousands, with entries still coming through to this day. The roadblocks to fair influencer marketing To me, the issue is undoubtedly multifaceted and takes on different forms depending on where you are and what you’re talking about. However, there are common themes across the board that do come to light time and time again. One major issue at the time, which is slowly beginning to change, is the lack of transparency across the industry on both sides. Companies haven’t always done a great job at facilitating a workable pipeline for creators to feedback experiences and feel heard,

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and as a result, many creators believe being vocal may cost them future or current work; effectively being scared of being blackballed, where you have fear you have slow progress. Data also felt one-sided; some of the core information creators needed to understand in detail the value they bring to partnering brands wasn’t always readily accessible. Racism, biases whatever way people wish to spin it, definitely plays a role; the constant erasure and unwillingness to advance black creative talent beyond a certain point remain an issue. Black creatives often feel as if they do not belong or are worth less than their white counterparts, despite their continuous contribution to the arts, social media and social trends. Another area was benchmarking; there is little regulation that protects creators. The perception of this space as anything other than a viable career path leaves many creators vulnerable to industry-wide abuses. On the flip side, you have the issue of who has access to the core information that will help creators on their journeys; objectively, that kind of information has

“I’ve used my access, knowledge or network to support, amplify and assist in the progression of creatives, influencers and creators” either been in-house or spread via word of mouth. But if you don’t have the luxury of reliable sources, then you’re pretty much winging it. Usually, there is a presumption is that only microinfluencers, new creators/creatives struggle, but that’s not always the case. Unfortunately, people of all levels of influence or expertise face setbacks in the space, and it can often be multi-layered. How to deal with a difficult deal If you believe you have done all you can to professionally communicate the value of your platform, time and offering, then make peace with saying no. Often times free opportunities invite more free opportunities When it comes to paying on time, there’s a recent rise in tech-enabled invoicing platforms solving this problem as of late. It would be worth searching for platforms both locally and internationally that speed up the

payment process and offer immediate compensation, some free, some taking a low percentage. Despite that, if that isn’t accessible to you, refer to the guidelines in your country. But as a rule of thumb, flag it up professionally through the appropriate channels, usually email, state that payment is overdue, including all relevant documentation. If your country-specific guidelines or regulations permit, as it does differ depending on where you are, then you may be allowed to charge a late fee. In future, always read your contracts and ensure there are stipulations for lateness; contracts aren’t only there to protect the company, they’re there to protect you. Three things we can do to campaign for a more transparent industry I believe my work towards further transparency in the industry didn’t start when I created the page. Having been in the creative industry for over ten years and witnessing first-hand its problems, it’s evident to me that everyone has a role to play, although having said that, others can do a lot more with the privileges or access they are afforded. One of the ways I’ve worked towards that goal over the years has been through the consistent ways I’ve used my access, knowledge or network to support, amplify and assist in the progression of creatives, influencers and creators, advocating for them any chance I get. I’ve always been vocal about the plight of creatives and the changes needed in the industry. Beyond the page, I’d say the efforts towards transparency and change that occur behind the scenes are most


transparency is to cut through the crap. We’re in a time where many people who could do a lot more hide behind the words “let’s have the conversation”, almost as a way not actually to do anything. People will say that to you to death and still do nothing tangible; I’m always readily available to nip that right in the bud, haha.

precious to me. The wins that come from seeing a black creator get their first major deal or seeing them work through their anxiety to finally feel emboldened and encouraged to keep walking in their purpose means a lot to me. The ripple effect that comes from seeing creators empower one another by paying it forward is also a by-product of the time spent engaging and reeducating where necessary. Working with organisations to foster further opportunities for creatives worldwide, amplifying others in the space who

are working towards the same goal and opening doors for creators who otherwise wouldn’t have access are all things we can work towards. I’ve had industry professionals reach out to me, saying my platform has inspired them to create a council or committee in their country, which blows my mind. On the flip-side, seeing the endless messages from creators thankful that a platform like mine exists lets me know that I’m helping in some way. Another thing I do to encourage

The future of the influencer marketing industry If 2020 taught us anything, anything can happen, but my answer would be individual sustainability for creators. Creators want to know how they can thrive independent of the traditional channels or partnership, not to eliminate existing options but to foster more financially stable opportunities that afford them better capacity to monetise their influence. We will see further advancements in technology to help them do just that, as we’re seeing the millions being invested into the creator economy as we speak. MORE INFORMATION Instagram: @influencerpaygap

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Email marketing for online creators

Free landing pages for your next idea bit ly FreeLanding .



TAKING THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY BY STORM with BAO skincare From humble beginnings to big dreams, we look at what it takes to build a beauty brand with a big mission. Written by Beth Coldrick

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“Having funded my brand all by myself (because I can't secure any elsewhere) encourages me to be more careful with how and what I spend money on. It's allowed the business to grow naturally rather than being forced."


y name is Beth, and I’m the founder of BAO Making Skin Happy. BAO stands for Beth’s Aromatherapy Organic. I launched BAO in 2018 after being in the natural beauty industry for over 15-years while suffering from sensitive skin brought on through years of taking awful medications for my Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The entire BAO collection was created for sensitive skin, so each product helps to soothe, nourish and calm skin. There are seven face products and seven body products in the collection. All are certified organic and natural by cosmos soil association and registered vegan and cruelty-free by the Vegan Society. I originally started in the beauty industry because I have loved natural skincare since I was young. After being a facialist for over ten years, I decided I wanted to become a skincare formulator. Then I could also create products to help heal my own sensitive skin. Through becoming a formulator, I found it much easier and more natural to create my own products rather than getting them made in a factory by someone else. Also, becoming certified as a formulator built more trust with my customers.

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Having funded my brand all by myself (because I can’t secure any elsewhere) encourages me to be more careful with how and what I spend money on. It’s allowed the business to grow naturally rather than being forced.


There is this misconception that you need to have loads of products and skincare steps to make your skin better.


1 | Start a business in something you actually care about, love and feel passionate about. 2 | Be prepared to work 100 hour weeks to start with. 3 | Don't compare yourself to others; follow your path.

I believe in keeping it simple, and less is more. BAO is all about providing customers with good quality, effective skincare that works rather than selling them loads of products they don’t actually need. Social media has been an incredibly positive influence on my skincare brand. It has allowed me to connect with so many incredible people and stockists. 2022 is going to be an exciting year. I am excited to be formulating and launching new products, including a baby and mum-to-be collection! MORE INFORMATION Website:

Instagram: @baoskincare

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@GFBLOGGER aka Sarah Howells Job title: Blogger/Influencer Followers: 39,000+


arah, otherwise known as The Gluten Free Blogger! I was diagnosed with coeliac disease way back in 2002 and decided to launch a blog ( as a hobby when I was in uni to connect with other gluten free people. Little did I know this would turn into my full-time career! Now it’s my mission to help people live a positive gluten free life – I’m determined to show everyone that going gluten free should be a foodie adventure rather than just missing out. It’s my aim to make people

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feel they’re not alone when they’re first diagnosed with coeliac disease. Behind the content I’ll be completely honest, I feel like I’ve been winging it this whole time! Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I managed to get this far with a complete lack of organisation, but it does help me be super reactive. I like my social media to reflect what I’ve done or experienced that day. Most of the inspiration for my comical Reels or text posts either come from over-caffeinating or during 2am epiphanies when I get out of bed to write it down! My recipes are usually inspired by trips around the supermarkets spotting products I wish I could eat – so I decide to make my own version instead.

On making a bigger impact I really hope that I can show people struggling with a gluten free diet that it doesn’t have to be difficult! I don’t want people thinking, ‘oh no, I have to give up so much’ – because in reality a lot of it is easy to recreate. Often the homemade versions are better. Any time I get a message from someone saying my posts have helped them it makes me feel like all the late nights and failed recipe attempts have been worth it. All I want to do is put a smile on people’s faces. The mistake I was glad I experienced I think when I first started blogging I vastly under-estimated the potential reach I could have. It took me a very


“I hope my content puts a smile on people’s faces!”

long time to build up the confidence that I could do this and I like to think if I had been bolder I could have made it my career a lot sooner. That being said, I did end up having a brilliant eight-year stint as a local journalist which taught me a lot of the skills, writing experience and contacts that helped me to get my blog where it is today.


When I’m not baking I’m out exploring the coastline on my stand-up paddleboard. I may be a bit wobbly still but it’s the most peaceful way to spend an afternoon!

Lessons and achievements Aside from winning the Creative Impact award!? The biggest achievement was the day I finally handed my notice in at my job to take my blog full-time in 2019. I’d been battling with the decision for over a year. I knew I had to make major changes to improve my happiness and even though the prospect of leaving secure employment was terrifying, I felt free once I did it. It taught me to take risks and to listen to my gut. Once I quit, I never looked back. Nuggets of gratitude So many people have helped me along my journey. My partner Steve has always been the one who pushed me

and told me I could do it. The freefrom blogging community is filled with wonderful people and there have been some people who have become great friends. It’s so important to work together – there’s no point competing when you’re trying to help others. We have a much stronger voice together. What about being an award winner? Creative Impact is a lovely community to connect with others and learn new skills. I’ve found it helpful to just know that a support network is there. MORE INFORMATION Website: Instagram: @GFBlogger

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CHRISTMAS DID YOU KNOW? "Jingle Bells" was the first song played in space on December 16th, 1965.

GIFT GUIDE All of these gifts are from brands and businesses we love, and some of these are sponsored. We vetted all of these businesses and products ourselves, so you are in good hands.



FOOD & DRINK Nothing says Christmas quite like a festive selection of food! Once again,, we're championing a more sustainable holiday season with eco-friendly finds and delicious stocking fillers. We all know that the Creative Impact team loves food. Here is your go-to Christmas list of sustainable gifts for food lovers everywhere.

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1. Whitakers Chocolate Vegan Tin-Tations - £24.99, 2. Cake or Death Sea Salt + Peant Butter + Biscoff Vegan Brownies - £19, 3. KindaCo Vegan Cheeseboard - From £5.99, 4. Grind Coffee Pods - £9.95 for 20 pods and tin, 5. Beans Coffe Club Coffee Subscription - From £11.99, 6. Pasta Evangelists Pasta Subscription Box - £34, 7. Heinz Beans Personalised Tin of Beans - £5.49

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BEAUTY & LIFESTYLE This is a gift round up for the beauty self-care lovers in your life - because we all need to make more time for TLC after a very long year. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to support small businesses and choose sustainable beauty gifts.

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5 1. Made By Coopers Room and Pillow Mist - £9.99, 2. Cult Beauty Space Masks - £15, 3. The Ives Sleep Magnesium Gift set - £20.99, 4. indie. Starter Duo - £25, 5. BeMine Natural Skincare BeMine Natural bundles - From £19.99, 6. object Plastic Free Starter Set - £40, 7. BLOMMA Beauty Husk & Seed Skincare Restore Discovery Box - £30,

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SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING Are you looking for that special gift for the fashion lover in your life? This year we have been able to find some incredible fashion brands and products that are eco friendly and stylish at the same time! From recycled shoes all the way to organic jumpers, your Winter has never looked more fashion-forward.


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1. TALA Puffer jacket - £119, 2. Know the Origin Modelo 89’ Recycled Vegan - £125, 3. Tom Àdam Batch N.2 Unisex Pyjama - Salmon Pink €195, 4. Know the Origin Sona Organic Cotton Heavy Knit Jumper Grey Melange - £85, 5. To Be Adorned Raffia Earrings - £16.95

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We are bringing you some gift ideas for the home and lifestyle enthusiasts. Over the past few years, we spent more time than ever at home turning our dining rooms into offices, spare rooms into meeting rooms. From festive candles and silk gifts to unkillable house plants, give the gift of of a wonderful (and eco-friendly) home.



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1. Gunia project Tiger-shaped soy candle - £47, 2. Peace With The Wild Eco Living Kitchen Kit - £22.80, 3. Mille Saisons Joyeux Reusable Silk Christmas Cracker-Joy - £30, 4. Betterday Studio 2022 Planner - £27, 5. Neom Christmas Wish Scented Candle - £32

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WELLBEING FUN FACT When you lock eyes with your partner, your heart rates are syncing up, according to research from the University of California.




FROM THE AWARDS With the Winter weather setting in, it’s time to cosy on down with your new favourite book, grab a blanket and a cup of something warm. For this edition of the Creative Impact Book Club Corner, we are showcasing our CI Award 2021 shortlisted books as they are inspiring, moving, funny and hard to put down.




The latest book by the popular digital creator and bestselling author Tova Leigh is a fantastic collection of funny, moving and outrageous confessions from people from all walks of life that Tova has chosen and introduced. She explains just why we should stop being ashamed of our secrets, and instead have the courage to make ourselves vulnerable, speak out and connect. In this ultimate page-turner, there are parenting confessions, sex confessions, workplace confessions, revenge confessions ... not forgetting the all-important bodily fluids confessions! You need never feel embarrassed by your own slip-ups and misdemeanours again. Find out more about Tova, with our dedicated feature on P20

JOIN OUR EXCITING COLLECTIVE BOOK CLUB Read along with fellow members, explore our top pick for the coming fortnight and meet the author in our Book Club, available via the Creative Impact collective

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Click on the books to get sales link




Nicky’s new book asks us: ‘What if the one you have been searching for all this time is already within you?’ Alongside a deep, thought-provoking inquiry with practical journaling exercises, you will learn how to powerfully transform your life to step into your authentic truth and create a vibrant, joyful life for yourself. Nicky promises us that the book “Will help you dive deeper into the roots of your consciousness to uncover what is causing the repeated patterns and disempowering cycles in your life so you can finally shift who you are being, to who you were Born To Be.” AFRO VEGAN ZOE ALAKIJA (HOXTON MINI PRESS) Zoe Alakija is a British-Nigerian cookery writer and art director, and she is the author of the brand new cookbook Afro Vegan: Family recipes from a British-Nigerian kitchen. As co-founder of Roundtable Journal: an annual print magazine and community for women, she is passionate about sharing authentic and diverse cuisines with a global audience and draws heavily on her heritage and upbringing. Her latest cookbook shares some of her family favourites, made vegan, as well as sharing her most-loved traditional ingredients and cooking memories.


Richie Norton is an ex-professional rugby player turned yoga and breathwork practitioner. When an injury ended his sports career, he discovered the transformative power of yoga and breathwork and shares his expertise to help you unlock and develop your full physical and mental potential in the new book. Whether it’s a one-minute triangle breath exercise, a five-minute wake-up flow, or a delicious 30-minute recipe, this guide contains accessible practices that anyone can build into their day to create new, healthier habits. Richie’s advice is guaranteed to help you achieve a fitter body, lower stress levels, a clearer head space, increased energy and a better quality of sleep.



Bella Younger is a writer, comedian, speaker and social media sensation best known as her alter ego, Deliciously Stella. Within weeks, she’d gone viral and begun her very own #influencerlife. Shoot. Post. Repeat. As Bella’s carefree presence flourished online, her health began to spiral offline, culminating in a stint at The Priory for social media addiction. Funny, frank and fearless, The Accidental Influencer is a relatable story of the precarious balancing act between our online and offline selves – and the truth behind the staged shots, spon-con, and the coveted but ever-elusive blue tick.

DID YOU KNOW Did you get the latest book from Creative Impact founder Fab Giovanetti? Reclaim your time off offers practical steps to help with remote and flexible working, so you don’t ‘burnout’. ORDER TODAY

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Embracing your inner Winter with the equinox Hannah explores ways for you to create a clear foundation for the new year


s we come to the calendar year’s end and move into 2022, it is vital to release the year that has been and take time to reflect and make peace with it. Often the festive season is hectic and hosts so many emotions leading up to the high of the new year before being thrown into the “new year, new me” mindset, and we start to push for big goals. In reality, people have barely caught their breath with the year that has been and need to ease themselves slowly into the new year ahead. I always say January is an integration month to find your feet and ease into the year ahead. While I’m all for being organised and having positive intentions

“Reflection is a powerful thing to do as we transition into a new year ahead.” for the year ahead, I believe this should include reflection, gratitude, self-care and time to pause. The importance of releasing and making peace with all that came from the year that passed is vital to move forward with your load lightened. During the festive season, we have the magical “Winter Solstice” in the northern hemisphere, which in the wheel of the year is a time of deep reflection, a time to release things, go within and bury your intentions deep into the earth, ready for spring. It’s a great thing to observe to help you cross over into the new year and bring some peace to your festive season.

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I suggest setting aside a small amount of time to reflect and to think about the following things: What do I need to let go of? How has my year been? How has the year felt? What can I be grateful for? What do I need to make peace with? The need to make peace with difficult times, emotions and things is a powerful thing to do. It allows us to fully process items to go forward and find inner peace and acceptance. Sometimes life doesn’t always go our way. Meet all of this difficulty, wherever you are at, and bring peace into this space in order to let it go. There’s no right or wrong way with this process; the aim is to regain and re-find peace and clarity. It creates space and a clear foundation which is perfect for the new year ahead. As for the new year ahead, it’s essential to find your own rhythm with it and ease into it. Don’t rush if that doesn’t feel good. It can be easy to get caught up in the new year buzz, do what feels right for you. Listen to your intuition and do what feels good in yourself and your body. The body is always talking to us; remember this. In the wheel of the year, nature isn’t waking up till Imbolc on the 2nd of February, so it may be a case of letting your goals and intentions take their time to come alive. Happy New year and 2022. May you make peace with the one that’s been and welcome a fruitful peaceful one in the year ahead. @thehannahwallace



“I am grateful for the lessons from this past year”


Find out more about Hannah, writer, blogger, and podcaster at @thehannahwallace or head to Hannah’s website to download her free meditation.



Reconnecting with our


with Alex Holmes Interview with Amy Lanza

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e are losing our minds because we have disconnected from our hearts.” We are so concerned about our thoughts, that we don’t know exactly what’s happening with our emotional lives. We are so consumed with anxiety, and comparison that we don’t even know what is true for us. What makes us...Human. My name is Alex Holmes, and I am a writer, podcaster, and existential mental health coach. I am a trainee psychotherapist and am passionate about helping people develop the power to make their own decisions and navigate anxiety and depression to have a healthy and fulfilled life.

“We are all deserving of love, we all have a right to belong. Connection is what we are all searching for.” I ended up here after I had a series of emotional and mental breakdowns while I was working as a journalist, and realised that I needed to do something to help people who were going through the same things but don’t have the space to talk about what is going on. My mission is to help people connect to their inner worlds and their deepest and truest selves. I am passionate about people learning how to show up for themselves for the purpose of finding a sense of love, belonging, and connection. MORE INFORMATION Instagram: @byalexholmes Book:

THREE DAILY PRACTICES I SWEAR BY These are the three tenets of the book, and what my deep core values are. Love, belonging and connection, and that we all have a right to these things in order for us to live whole and fulfilled lives. Get more tip and advice from Alex's PODCAST 1 | GRATITUDE LISTS Write what you are grateful for each morning and review it each evening.

2 | JOURNALLING Having a journal to articulate your thoughts and feelings are important

3 | DAILY WALKS Set some time a side to get out and stretch your legs. They are great for the body and the mind.

TIME TO TALK How Men Think About Love, Belonging and Connection The book came about after my third breakdown. I was given the opportunity to write about what it means to be a man, and then the book became a love-letter to all the men who could have loved had they been given the chance to express who they were feeling as boys. It’s a manifesto for compassion. It was a deep, emotional journey writing. It was hard. It was one of the most exploratory things I had ever experienced, but it was so necessary. Three key take-homes from the book These are the three tenets of the book, and what my deep core values are. Love, belonging and connection, and that we all have a right to these things in order for us to live whole and fulfilled lives. • We are all deserving of love • We all have a right to belong • Connection is what we are all searching for

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Embracing a 360 sustainable lifestyle

Marta Canga In conversation with Amy Lanza


arta is an award-winning Spanish vegan, cruelty-free and sustainable lifestyle blogger living in London. Having begun blogging about sustainability over 4 years ago, Marta is a hugely respected voice in her global community. Her audience is very interested in sustainable fashion and living, plant-based food, cruelty-free beauty and living an ethical lifestyle. She has worked with hundreds of brands, including big names such as Lush, Waitrose and The Body Shop.

I looked into having a full vegan diet and lifestyle, and the more I looked into clothing, the more I discovered ethical fashion and sustainability. Since, it’s been a journey of learning (and unlearning!) that I took upon my socials. Using social media presence to make an impact I love posting informative yet fun content for my audience to learn about brands that are changing the game. Most of my audience are already quite aware of the need to change our behaviour to have a positive impact on the planet - they just don’t quite know where to begin. So sharing recipe ideas, cool eco-friendly brands, tips, engaging with them etc is my way of doing social media!

Meet Marta Hi! Or should I say hola! I’m actually Spanish but I was born and raised in Brussels, Belgium. So I grew up speaking Spanish and French actually. I’m 28 years old and I came to London in 2014 to study for a Master’s degree. I ended up staying here as I really felt like having a new adventure in a new country and just really loved the London vibe. I can’t believe how far I’ve come when I look back at my pictures. I started back in

2012 on Flickr, so it’s been 9 years of photo-sharing! I started at university and whilst I would never wear the stuff I used to wear again, I am glad I started somewhere and now do this job I love fulltime. I took a deep dive into veganism back in 2015 and that really changed everything.

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Embracing the sustainable lifestyle I wasn’t the type of kid who really cared about the planet growing up. Like most kids I suppose, I grew up learning about climate change but that was about it. I think things started to click in my head the moment I learned about veganism and how a plant-based diet was key to slowing down the climate crisis. It just made sense to me. 6 years later, I now understand veganism isn’t for everyone and it’s not the answer to everything. But that’s how it started for me! I think I’m mostly known in the sustainable fashion space more than anything. However, I used to work as a cook at a Japanese restaurant a few years ago and cooking is one of my greatest hobbies! I have shared a few recipes on my channel too and that makes me very happy - I prefer



great information and also lots of misinformation. Some people might feel overwhelmed, but we all have to start somewhere.

cooking to eating believe it or not! Finally, I think however skincare is my latest obsession. I opened a skincare dedicated account at @martacangaskin this time last year during the lockdown and it’s been an absolute joy. I love talking to dermatologists and health professionals all about skin and I think that if I wasn’t an influencer, I would most likely be a derm as well! Collaborations and features I do love working with each and every brand that reaches out to me, to be honest. I would say I have a bit of an extended family with the team at Minuit Sur Terre, which is a French ethical fashion brand that is doing incredibly well. Everything is vegan, they make super stylish vegan shoes and now clothing, and I’ve had the incredible opportunity to model and travel with them. A true gem of a client and a really

outstanding brand in my opinion. I am also featured in Eating Our Way To Extinction is the new film starring incredible talents like Kate Winslet. They selected a small clip of me eating vegan food from one of my YouTube videos which got featured in the movie. So exciting! We live in an eco bubble of “living consciously” and it’s almost as if we struggled to reach a wider audience with the eco-friendly message. I do think these documentaries are really important though. Seeing veganism in the mainstream media (such as Freya Cox with the current GBBO), normalises the existence of a plant-based diet that is better for the environment, human lives, and animals. Social media can be a doubleedged sword in my opinion, with really

Three things can we all do today to live more sustainably • Switch or consider a plant-based diet. • Vote for people who actually care about the climate. • Switch to an ethical bank to avoid investing in fossil fuels . thical in 2022 and beyond E I think vegan eggs and vegan fish alternatives are slowly creeping up to the “newest” trends in food for sure. I saw Stella McCartney use mushroom leather for the first time ever in a fashion week in Paris, which should be hitting the shelves soon. Times are definitely changing! Every year I see an increase of interest in sustainability (which a lot of brands use as a greenwashing mechanism) so I don’t think any of it is going to slow down any time soon. MORE INFORMATION Website: Instagram: @martacanga

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WHAT IS SYNCHRONICITY AND HOW CAN WE WORK WITH IT? Life is full of coincidences. In fact, it would be a coincidence if there were no coincidences, as that in itself is an unlikely repeat occurrence. When those coincidences “describe circumstances that appear meaningfully related yet lack a causal connection”, as synchronicity is defined by Carl Jung, we can utilize it as a tool for exploration, creativity, contemplation and flow. Have you ever had days when the traffic lights you approached always seemed green, and you then noticed other wonderful coincidences? Well, that’s exactly the aim of this deck: to enrich your life with synchronicity, meaning and awareness – and more green lights.

The Synchronicity Oracle helps stimulate direct dialogue with the unconscious mind through 57 powerful visual symbols designed to inspire meaningful insights. Discovering synchronicities in your daily life can make you more mindful and appreciative of the world, such as Taoism and the oracle of the I-Ching, synchronicity is a surprisingly modern term. Jung believed that it is healthy for the human mind to look for synchronicities in order to bring the unconscious mind to our attention. Our inner world is incredibly rich, but too often we are not in touch with the vastness of our unconscious, which is constantly working behind the scenes and trying to communicate with us through our dreams, imagination and creativity. In Julia Cameron’s best selling book, The Artist’s Way, she describes how writing three pages in a stream of consciousness as soon as we wake up brings our hidden thoughts to the forefront and increases awareness and synchronicity throughout the day. This isn’t surprising, as Jungian analysts believe that in the first 45 minutes after waking we are most in tune with our unconscious mind because our ego hasn’t fully raised its defences yet. By harnessing synchronicities, we can cultivate our dialogue with the unconscious and bring our thoughts to the surface, develop our intuition and become more attuned to the world around us. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Etan Ilfeld is the author of Duchamp Versus Einstein and Beyond Contemporary Art. He holds a physics degree from Stanford University and is a US chess master and the inventor of Diving Chess. He is also the owner of Watkins Books. MORE INFORMATION Website:

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ABOUT THE DECK AND GUIDEBOOK Inspired by the children’s game Dobble, The Synchronicity Oracle employs an ingenious combinatorics algorithm developed in 1976 by Jacques Cottereau, which guarantees that only one symbol will match between any two cards. This synchronicity manifests in a symbol that is sure to stimulate your creative unconscious. The Synchronicity Oracle has 57 hexagonally shaped cards and 57 unique symbols, ranging from the ancient and mystical, such as the Kabbalah Tree of Life, Yin Yang and a Dreamcatcher, to the modern such as an Extraterrestrial, Glasses and a Mushroom Cloud. The symbols in The Synchronicity Oracle are inspired by a multitude of symbols found in cultures from both the East and the West, and from ancient to modern times. Freud and Jung realized that all symbols are expressions of humanity’s creative unconscious and the way in which we view the world. Symbols draw upon the language of dreams and the imagination, which means that by examining them we can become more attuned to their hidden meanings. They are great at conveying ideas and stimulating our creative unconscious. The symbols in this deck are designed to be easy to relate to. You can interpret them yourself intuitively or dig deeper by reading the accompanying guidebook, which offers a reflection and a meditation for each symbol. Any two cards will have only one synchronicity, which is their matching symbol. Follow your intuition during the process and do what feels right for you. Ultimately, there are no rules and you can play and interact with The Synchronicity Oracle however you like.

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breath Take a deep

Yolanda Barker teaches you to become more aware of your breathing and bring about big shifts in the way you think, feel and even behave.

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nd breathe out one-two-three-four...” I said to my yoga students. They stayed almost motionless: hands on the floor, heads lowered, sweat dripping onto their mats as they waited for the magic word that would release them from this slow torture. “…and five,” I said, smiling. “Rest in child’s pose.” A sigh of relief rose from 20 tired bodies in front of me. That was back in 2015: before I had a revelation that would change my life. I taught and practiced yoga as many, many others do: I treated it like a sophisticated system of exercise that focused the mind, and stretched and strengthened the body. I knew that ‘yoga’ meant ‘union’, and was intended to ‘unify’ the body, mind and breath, so of course, I told people to breathe. But I didn’t know what that really meant. Which sounds weird, doesn’t it? I mean, breathing is innate. How could I not understand it? What’s there not to understand?! During a particularly bad encounter with my chronic anxiety and depression, I found out. After a thunderbolt moment, I understood there was a relationship between my mental health and the way I breathed. I didn’t know what it was, but I could feel it. Through years of research, I discovered the secret: the way we breathe can influence the body’s stress response. Breathing inefficiently can impact how we process stress, and can even make us feel more stressed. This can affect our sleep, health, and wellbeing. Breathing properly, on the other hand, can make us feel more grounded, more present and, in my experience, can help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. I wanted to share this information with others and, fortunately, the Universe conspired to help me. I developed a seven day programme of breathing exercises and, with the help of a wonderful publishing company (Bloomsbury), a book was born. It guides you to observe the most important ‘aspects’ of your breath. Do you breathe quickly or slowly; rhythmically or erratically, through the nose or mouth; using the chest or belly; and is your breath

THE BREATHING REVOLUTION Train yourself to breathe properly to banish anxiety and find your inner calm Published by Green Tree (a part of Bloomsbury Publishing )and is out now.

stressed or relaxed? Once you see how you breathe, you can notice how it affects you. From there, I teach you techniques that can gradually eradicate bad breathing habits.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Yolanda is a writer, yoga teacher and award winning documentary filmmaker. Yolanda discovered yoga and meditation in 2004, during her battle with chronic anxiety and depression. She’s become an outspoken supporter of people with mental health issues, and advocates an approach to healing that’s rooted in science and nourished with compassion.

My top tip, for example, is to simply lengthen your exhale. Doing that immediately slows down your MORE INFORMATION breathing rate, which then lowers your heart Website: rate and puts the nervous system into a more relaxed state. The result is that you’ll feel calmer. When you’re particularly stressed, another tip is to exhale slowly through the mouth. This can really calm you down, a technique commonly used in panic attacks. My final tip for today is to hum! Humming is an amazing technique that’s been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and promote a sense of wellbeing. If you struggle with your physical fitness or your yoga practice, and it seems that no matter how much you do you never progress, then it’s time to look at the way you breathe. It can be a game changer. If you suffer with anxiety, depression and feel like you’ve tried everything, try doing what I did. Come back to the most simple, basic unit of life: the breath, and trying to change that. It worked for me, and I wrote ‘The Breathing Revolution’ in the hope that it might work for you too.

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GET RESULTS WITHOUT BURNING OUT Written by Vanessa Dietzel and Laura Watkins


ost people know that consistently pushing themselves too hard diminishes their effectiveness and well-being over time. We have both fallen into this trap. So what does it take to kick some bad-ass goals without burning out – and have your effectiveness and well-being work in a virtuous cycle, rather than competing against each other? We call this being on the performance curve, which is the title of our book. At its core, The Performance Curve is about a life well lived: in which people and organisations thrive as well as help each other reach their potential. It’s a vision close to our hearts and why we wanted to consolidate in this book our experience in business, neuroscience, adult development psychology as well as more practical knowledge from breath and bodybased traditions and therapies. The key is to look beyond practical tips, such as productivity ‘hacks’, which usually just give us a temporary boost or help us spin our hamster wheel ever faster. Instead, the book lays out a systematic way for sustainably building our effectiveness every day: by developing our inner operating system. Our inner operating system is the deep wiring that automatically drives us, including our ways of thinking (often called mindsets), our emotional

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responses and our habits. The more we can become aware of this deep wiring, the more we can take charge of it to better deal with challenges, change and complexity. For example, if we are feeling overloaded, we will better understand why and how to manage it (or avoid it in the future). In our experience, the most important aspect of this wiring is our deep needs and fears, which we call ‘hidden drivers’, because they drive a lot of the choices we make day-to-day, mostly without realising it. Continuing the example above of feeling overloaded, perhaps we struggle to set boundaries, stemming from a need to be liked and a fear of feeling rejected if we say ‘no’. Or we may need to feel valuable, which drives our tendency to say ‘yes’, even when we are busy.

Our hidden drivers exert a powerful force in our brains: in particular, they can steer us into what we call ‘protect mode’, the fight-flight-or-freeze survival response. In “protect mode”, we react quickly and automatically, rather than taking time to make deliberate, proactive choices about the best response in a given situation. It is like an autopilot with a limited range of emergency functions. This mode keeps us safe when facing immediate physical danger, like a tiger in the jungle, but it decreases activity in many parts of the executive centre of the brain, located in the prefrontal cortex. This reduces our ability to regulate our emotions, bring our best thinking to problems, and relate skilfully with others. It caps our effectiveness and limits what we can achieve when faced with the often complex challenges of modern life. And, if “protect mode” becomes our habitual way of operating instead of an occasional emergency response, we increasingly erode the wellbeing and functioning of our bodies and minds. So, if we want to build a virtuous cycle of effectiveness




THE PERFORMANCE CURVE Maximize your potential at work while strengthening your well-being Exclusive discount for readers, go to and use the promo code PerformanceCurve25 for the hardback

FLOW STATE A mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus.

BURNOUT Burnout happens when you’re overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to keep up with life’s tasks and needs.

and well-being, one essential piece of the puzzle is to be able to spot when we are in protect mode and build habits that shift our brain into explore mode. In explore mode, our brain is firing on all cylinders to pursue opportunities and rewards. We can do the complex work of manipulating information in our heads, creating options, exploring perspectives, empathizing, and thinking through decisions. We can bring more creativity and intuition to tackle difficult issues and collaborate better with others, all of which also increase our well-being. How do we access explore mode? One such habit is being able to spot our hidden drivers and direct the energy contained in them towards our goals. For example, when we are tempted to say ‘yes’ to something despite feeling overloaded, we might ask ourselves ‘How can I say no in a way that strengthens our relationship?’ or ‘How can I be valuable here without overloading myself?’. By answering

those questions, we can meet our deepest needs, and boost both our effectiveness and our well-being. If you’d like to explore these ideas (and a wide range of other methods for working with your inner operating system to increase your effectiveness and well-being), take a look at The Performance Curve. In putting the book together, we researched hundreds of scientific references and interviewed some remarkable characters, such as virtuoso cellist Yo-Yo Ma, CEO of Krug Champagne Maggie Henriquez, and international development and humanitarian leader Lorina McAdam. We hope you take inspiration from them as much as we have, to make your life truly well lived. We look forward to hearing what you think. MORE INFORMATION Website: Twitter: @BloomsburyBiz

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Laura Watkins and Vanessa Dietzel are a powerful duo combining expertise in leadership development, business performance, neuroscience and holistic well-being. Laura has co founded and runs two leadership businesses, following on from her career at McKinsey, where she co-founded its European leadership practice. She has a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from Cambridge University. Vanessa brings unique insight from her blend of corporate experience, coaching, and teaching breathwork and yoga. She started her career with Boston Consulting Group and, for the past twenty years, has been working with leaders all over the world on their individual and organisational performance.

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How to survive Christmas Survive the Christmas season with our resident psychologist


hristmas is often said to be the most wonderful time of the year - but for many of us, the twinkling lights and wrapping paper can also come with stressful and upsetting elements that make the festive season difficult to cope with. Here, we will look at how you can survive the Christmas season and perhaps even enjoy it, even if it is a difficult time for you. Be aware of food issues One of the main components of the season is food. However, in a season of indulgence and plenty, any pre-existing food issues may flare up. Be aware of your own boundaries with food, and try to enjoy your Christmas break with no guilt. Remember that even if you usually follow a regimen, it is okay to take a break. On the other hand, if you struggle to be around copious amounts of food, discuss this with your loved ones to see if you can meet in the middle. Set boundaries with your loved ones Speaking of your loved ones, family conflicts often come to a head around the festive season. These issues often arise because of the financial strain of the holiday and because you are often spending more time with your family than usual. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries. For example, if you travel and stay with your parents for the week, instead gently suggest booking your own accommodation. It can be challenging to have these delicate conversations, but setting your boundaries ahead of time is a good way for everyone to have realistic expectations.

ASK A QUESTION Ask our resident experts questions and each issue

Engage in some self-care Even if you do find yourself in a less than desirable situation over the Christmas season, you can still assuage some of your anxiety by setting up selfcare practices for yourself ahead of time. Whether this means staying in a different location than your family, going for walks alone, or just taking some quiet time out in a separate room - these small measures of assertiveness can help you to retain a sense of normality during a trying time. Be careful with alcohol Eat, drink, and be merry - that’s what everyone wants to hear through the month of December! Yet, it is important to note that alcohol is not some magic cure-all. It might make you feel more relaxed, but depending on it to get you through a day or more is not good for your mental or physical health. If you feel as though you are using alcohol to survive Christmas, then cutting back or out might be a good idea. In most cases, alcohol will only serve to exacerbate pre-existing issues and lower inhibitions, causing more conflict, not less. Know that you’re not alone The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. With Christmas music and wholesome movies playing on repeat, it can be difficult to see that this is a stressful time for many people. You never know how other people are experiencing the season, and there are plenty of online groups (including the Creative Impact collective) that you can reach out to discuss this. You aren’t unusual for finding Christmas difficult - just do your best and take care of yourself. We hope that these tips help you to survive Christmas a little more easily. No matter how tough it is, a new year is just around the corner!

we'll answer one for the Creative Impact magazine. Go to and submit your question

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Spellbound DID YOU KNOW? Artichokes were thought to have medicinal powers. We can find mention of artichokes as far back as Greek mythology.


Melissa Madara

The Witch’s Feast


Exploring decadent dishes and sumptuous banquets inspired by magic

an food be magical? We believe it can - and we are not alone. Witch, herbalist and chef Melissa Jayne Madara explores five facets of the occult through food: traditional recipes, the wheel of the zodiac, devotional meals to the planets, seasonal feasts to celebrate solstices and equinoxes, and practical spellwork. Melissa, can you please tell us a bit about yourself? What is your background and where did your interest in witchcraft and recipes come from? I’m a native New Yorker, living and working in the city I grew up in. I’m also a partner at Catland Books, Brooklyn’s little witch shop, where I edit and design our in-house magazine, Venefca Mag, and curate our private courtyard garden. My current research is mostly into botanical folklore, mythology, ritual magic, and historical formularies for food & fragrance. My interest in cooking and magic began early in my childhood, borne of a shared desire to explore the world around me beyond its apparent manifestation. To me, both disciplines probe a hidden world- in cooking, the mercurial world of chemical fux, and in magic, the occulted world of

spirit and symbolic meaning. Both also share an embodied, somatic engagement with the world- sensing and creating through flavours, textures, aromas, and the subtle senses of the body. I recently visited my mother, and we uncovered a box of my childhood journals, full of scribblings about witches and dreams, constellations and sigils, plants and gods, and childhood prophecies. So while I can speculate what may have set me down this path, the interest has undoubtedly been there from the beginning.

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We hear that your mum was a tarot card reader, what influence did this have on your life path? My mother’s influence on my current career was pretty significant. I describe her often as a “level 100 Pisces”mystical, open, creative, and daydreamy. In NYC’s newatheist landscape in the early 90s, my mom was an outlier, and she always informed my approach to the world with her deeply spiritual way of thinking about things. I encountered magic, and new-age felt through her for the first time. It was extending beyond her occasional tarot reading for friends and family into manifestation magic, dreamwork, psychic senses, ghosts, past lives- the whole gamut of the strange and unusual. Today our beliefs and practices within that sphere may be very dissimilar, but when I think of where my interest and study with magic began, it starts with mom. Have you seen the interest in the occult world increase recently? What is the general perception of witchcraft and the supernatural? In the past decade, I’ve seen a resurgence of interest in witchcraft and magic like I could never have predicted. While the occult never truly fades into total obscurity, our current “Witch Wave” (as Pam Grossman puts it) rivals, if not dwarfs, the magic craze of The Craft-era ‘90s. The opportunities provided by social media to share information and ideas far and wide in a way that has never before been possible has helped. With this information comes the demystification of that which has traditionally been obscure. While this fills the market with inauthentic, “fuff” occult books and teachers, as with any widespread phenomena, I think the

resurgence of scholarly research and writing on the occult has been a fascinating trend to witness. Here in the USA, where political and religious tensions are at a boiling point, the reemergence of the witch’s identity is also a tool for many to access personal empowerment, disavow the status quo, and contextualize their lives in a culture that demonizes their existence. There is occasionally resistance to these ideas (my shop has certainly been picketed before!), but the occult craze is far from over, and I can’t wait to see where it goes! How does your passion for food link with your supernatural abilities? “Supernatural abilities” might be a stretch- in my practice, magic is a tool like any other, which opens up unique, creative possibilities when one learns how to wield it effectively. It is not reserved for those with the deep, hidden secrets of the universe or special psychic abilities- witchcraft is a way of thinking about, moving through, and utilizing the world that is open to anyone with the patience to study their craft deeply. To me, cooking also has this accessible, creative nature and is similarly born from a sensual, poetic engagement with the world. Aside from my ideas, magic and cooking have never been too far apart historically. The first chapter of my book features several recipe spells from history, illustrating that wherever witches and magicians are practising their work, you will find their spells and charms embedded deeply into even the most mundane aspects of their lives. As cooking and magic are two of my deepest passions, it’s no surprise that they inform one another constantly, leading to an experimental, playful approach to both disciplines.

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What was the idea behind The Witch’s Feast? I have to admit, I’m a nerd at heart. When I find a subject I love, I desperately want to read more and go deeper to satisfy my hunger for knowledge. But when it came to kitchen witchcraft, there was a surprising blankness in available research, and what little information I could find was difficult to substantiate historically. I was surprised by the lack of writing on this, and never found a book that offered the visual appeal of a well-styled cookbook (my weakness!) along with quality writing and solid research. In short, this is the book I wish I had as a young witch! Tell us how the book is divided up and the intention behind each of the feasts I wanted to create a book that was accessible for witches and non-witches alike, which provided a practical primer to magic in general, and which actually delved into the history of magical cooking. Naturally, Chapter 1 begins in the far ancient past, and traces the historical lineage of magical feasts, religious bakes, and culinary recipes from the Medieval grimoires. After this, the book gets a bit more playful, and maps out two courses for each of the twelve zodiac signs in Chapter 2- a bit of a riff on popular astrology memes. Chapter 3 outlines an approachable, non-religious approach to astrological magic, along with recipes and feasts for each of the planetary spheres and lunar phases. Chapter 4 presents four sumptuous, four-course feasts for the solstices and equinoxes of the year, featuring seasonal flavours and ingredients along the way. Finally, Chapter 5 sinks its teeth into practical spellwork, and lays out a selection of recipespells for a modern kitchen witchcraft tradition. For witches seeking to expand their craft into the kitchen, the book presents plenty of new tools and frameworks for culinary

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ON THE NEXT PAGE... Recipes straight from Melissa’s book The Witch’s Feast, including love potions, cakes and Winter banquets.

spellcrafting and ritual magic. For folks approaching the witch world for the first time, the luscious photography and detailed instructions give a step-by-step introduction to magical cooking. There are recipes for vegans and vegetarians, gluten-free options, DIY incense formulas, endless charts and reference tables- truly something for everyone!


ABOUT MELISSA Melissa Madara is a witch, herbalist, storyteller and chef. They are a co-owner at Catland Books, editrix at Venefica Magazine, and the curator of Catland’s private courtyard garden, where they grow a variety of medicinal, magical and poisonous plants. Melissa’s work as a chef has been experimental, running the gamut from traditional French pastry to molecular gastronomy to health-focused meal planning. Their magical practice is similarly eclectic, inspired by the praxis of chaos magic, with most of their research focused on ancient religions, traditional witchcraft and plant folklore. Melissa has been featured in The New York Times, Vogue, and many other media outlets. Their writing has been published in Venefica Magazine, Susie Magazine, and Fiddler’s Green. Their work on kitchen witchcraft has been featured in Vice.

extreme everydayness. What I’ve tried to do with The Witch’s Feast is trace the few threads of historical culinary magic that I can find, and using the technology of these dinner spells, map out a concept for what a true kitchen witchcraft tradition could be. It’s playful, experimental, and perfect for a modern world re-approaching the old tools of magic and witchcraft again. I dream of seeing this work continued and expanded and to see kitchen witchcraft illuminated in the modern eye so that these tools can be better utilized and understood.

What are your dreams for the cookbook? How do you hope to influence readers? In my research, I came to discover a puzzling fact. Despite kitchen witchcraft featuring so heavily in post-1970’s occulture, there is almost no historical tradition of kitchen witchcraft to pull from. In history, culinary arts have often been relegated to the mundane sphere. They do not usually receive historical research and scholarly analysis of other subjects due to their

How do you see the future of the occult world? One of the positively beautiful things about our current occult renaissance is how new ideas and concepts have changed the meaning of magic. I may be a history nerd, but I’m certainly not a traditionalist- I think it’s natural to see occult ideas becoming modernized for a contemporary audience. In the last few years, we’ve seen just that. Today, you can integrate magic with technology, social media, and large-scale social movements- applications of witchcraft that were but a fantasy of generations past. Even for longexisting traditions, our current capacity to access research, writing, and source documents leads to new understandings of these traditions and the magical past. Sometimes, I feel as if the occult world is on the precipice of a large-scale overhaul, similar to the ceremonial magic craze of the early 20th century. To be alive and witnessing these changes is moving and inspiring, and this experimental stage of modern occultism is helping to create a brave, new, magical world. MORE INFORMATION Instagram: @saint.jayne

Instagram: @nourishbooks

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Love potions

One to secure a new love; One to strengthen an old love MAKES 1 potion | PREP TIME 15 mins, plus cooling | COOK TIME 1 hr

The love potions from the Feast of Spells are two takes on an old charm. It’s no secret that alcohol is a useful aphrodisiac, and this selection features a recipe to secure a new love and a recipe to strengthen an existing romance. For the former, we see herbs of attraction and seduction- rose, myrtle, cherries, and apple blossoms- and for the latter, herbs from traditional marriage and fidelity rites – rosemary, fennel, deer’s tongue, and citrus. While love potions of the middle ages and the ancient world were often grotesque, featuring the blood of songbirds or powdered poisons, these recipes seek to update the tradition of love potion magic in a way that is accessible, non-toxic, and I imagine, much more delicious.

INGREDIENTS For the potion to secure a new love • 450ml fresh cherry juice • 3 myrtle leaves • 1 fresh rose • 2 fresh apple or cherry blossoms • 1 sprig fresh lemon balm • 6 hazelnuts • 1 tbsp raw honey (optional) For the potion to strengthen an old love • 450ml (16fl oz/2 cups) orange juice • 1 sprig fresh rosemary • 3 bay leaves • 1 tbsp deer’s tongue • 1 tbsp poppy seeds • 1 tbsp raspberry leaf • 1 sprig fennel fronds • 1 tbsp raw honey (optional)

DIRECTIONS 1 | To prepare either potion, begin on a Friday at the hour of Venus, at a time when the moon is waxing or full and when Venus has no strong negative aspects. Do everything in your power to immerse yourself in the nature of the work – play happy music that makes you think of love, get dressed up to cook in an outfit that makes you feel worthy of love, or even scrub down your cooking tools in an infusion of rose petals and myrtle leaves – a true Venusian brew. 2 | When ready to begin, add the fruit juice to your saucepan and set over a

medium flame. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to 120ml – about 1 hour. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the rest of your botanicals together, releasing their fragrance and relishing the variety of perfumes that arise. 3 | When the juice is done, place your ground herbs in a 180ml (6oz) preserving jar along with the raw honey. Pour the hot reduction over the herbs and allow to steep until cooled to room temperature. Consecrate as you wish. Strain the potion and serve as a cocktail mixed with wine, gin, Champagne or your spirit of choice.

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Lentils and roasted roots

with walnut sauce and cheesy celeriac mash SERVES 4 | PREP TIME 2 hrs | COOK TIME 70-80 mins

The lentils and roasted roots with walnut sauce and cheesy celeriac mash are both featured in the Feast of the Winter Solstice, intended to be served as a comfort during the darkest, coldest part of the year.

INGREDIENTS For the roots with walnut sauce • 6 small beetroots (beets), peeled and halved • 8 small carrots, peeled and halved • 175g baby (pearl) onions, peeled and halved • 1 small fennel bulb, cored and cut into 1cm slices • 4 tbsp olive oil • ½ tbsp ground cinnamon • 60g chopped toasted walnuts • 4 tbsp stone-ground mustard • 2 tbsp maple syrup • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar • Salt and pepper

TOP TIP Celeriac has a nutty, celerylike flavour. When mashed, celeriac goes light and fluffy with great texture.

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For the lentils • 2 bay leaves • 280g dried French green lentils • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 small leek, halved, rinsed and sliced • 2 cloves garlic, sliced • Juice and zest of 1 lemon • 1 tsp ground sumac • A handful of torn mint leaves • 3 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds • 4 tbsp fresh thyme leaves For the celeriac mash • One whole celeriac (celery root), peeled and cut into 2.5cm cubes • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm cubes • 4 tbsp butter • 140g Gruyère cheese, grated • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg • 185ml milk, warm

DIRECTIONS 1 | Prepare your root vegetables by tossing your peeled and cut beetroot, carrots, pearl onions and fennel with the olive oil and cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper, then lay the vegetables onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 (alongside your gingerbread) for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. 2 | While the vegetables roast, prepare your lentils. Put 950ml (32fl oz/4 cups) water in a large pan, add your bay leaves and lentils and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pot, lower the heat and leave to simmer for 20–30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but not mushy. Strain and set aside.


3 | Make the walnut sauce by combining your toasted walnuts and mustard in a blender. Pulse until finely ground, then stream in your maple syrup and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. 4 | To finish off your lentils, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Add your leek and garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant. The leeks should be just starting to brown. Add your strained lentils to the pan and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and stir in your lemon juice and zest, sumac, mint, pumpkin seeds and thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper. 5 | Finally, prepare your celeriac mash by bringing 2 litres

of salted water to a boil. Add your celeriac and potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain the vegetables and add them to a large mixing bowl with the butter, cheese and nutmeg, tossing until they begin to melt. Mash your vegetables with a potato masher or a hand mixer until smooth, mixing until all the butter and cheese are fully incorporated. Stir in your warm milk and season to taste. 6 | At dusk on serving night, burn frankincense, evergreens, birch and warm spices as incense. Light white or red candles and scatter caraway seeds on your serving table. Toss your roasted vegetables in the walnut sauce and serve atop your spiced lentils in a large serving tray. Serve alongside your mashed celeriac.

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Feast of Pisces

Roasted cauliflower with miso and yogurt; Elderflower pâte de fruit SERVES 4 | PREP TIME 3 hrs | COOK TIME 40 mins

The roasted cauliflower and elderflower pate-de-fruit are for the sign of Pisces in Feast of the Stars, chosen because they fit with the Piscean flavour palette of light, fresh, salty flavours with aromatic and herbaceous notes. In particular, the pate de fruit is a nod to a chef I trained under at the start of my culinary career, Sarah Sutherland, who taught me so much of what I know and shared her love of the fruity, delicate gummy candies with me.

INGREDIENTS For the cauliflower • 4 tbsp olive oil • 2 tbsp white miso • 2 tbsp tahini • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar • 2 tbsp honey • A head of cauliflower, cut into 2.5cm thick “steaks” • 175g plain Greek yogurt • 4 tbsp chopped fresh mint • 4 tbsp chopped fresh dill • 1 clove garlic, chopped • Juice of 1 lemon • 1 tbsp sesame seeds • Salt and pepper For the pâte de fruit • 750ml elderflower liqueur • 2 Williams (Bartlett) pears, peeled, cored and cut into rough chunks • Non-stick cooking spray, for greasing • 500g granulated sugar, plus extra for coating • 23g (about 2 tbsp) apple pectin powder • 90g (6 tbsp) light corn syrup or liquid glucose • 1 rounded tsp (about 7g) citric acid

DIRECTIONS 1 | Begin with your pâte de fruit. In a medium saucepan, combine your elderflower liqueur and pears. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat so it is simmering. Reduce the liquid by half, cooking slowly to ensure as much alcohol is cooked off from the liqueur as possible. When finished, transfer the mixture to a blender and purée your pears and syrup together. Strain the purée and return to the saucepan once more. You should have 450ml of finished purée – if there is slightly less, you may add a small quantity of water to compensate. 2 | Line a 46 x 33cm sheet tray with a silicone baking mat and grease thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray. (Ordinarily, wiping down the surface of your tray with vegetable oil would suffice, but here an even, thorough coating of fat is essential and so cooking spray is preferable.) 3 | Bring the purée to a simmer over medium heat. In a separate small bowl, stir together 50g of your sugar and the apple pectin, then slowly add the sugar mixture into your bubbling purée, whisking continuously to ensure there are no lumps. Whisk in your remaining sugar, the corn syrup and citric acid, and bring the mixture to 107°C/225°F. Continue to hold the mixture at this temperature for 2 minutes, carefully monitoring your heat, then pour the mixture onto your prepared sheet tray to firm up at room temperature. When the pâte has cooled, slice neatly into cubes and toss with sugar to coat. Lay the sweets (candies) in a single layer on

baking parchment and store in a cool, dry place at room temperature for up to 3 days. 4 | To prepare your cauliflower steaks, preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of your olive oil with the miso, tahini, vinegar, honey and 1 tablespoon water. Lay your cauliflower steaks down on the prepared baking sheet and use a brush to liberally coat both sides of the steaks with the miso sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender when pierced through the stem with a fork. I recommend flipping the steaks halfway through baking to ensure they are crispy and toasted all over. 5 | While the cauliflower bakes, prepare the yogurt sauce. In a blender, combine your remaining olive oil with your yogurt, mint, dill and chopped garlic. Blend on high until combined, then stream in your lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. 6 | When your cauliflower steaks are done, serve immediately with a drizzling of your mint yogurt sauce and a garnish of sesame seeds. After dinner, offer your guests the pâte de fruit as a palette cleanser. These candies keep for up to 3 days, especially when stored in a cool dry place and tossed with granulated sugar. These also make a great take-home party favour for guests!

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Chocolate poppy seed cake SERVES 12 | PREP TIME 60-80 mins | EQUIPMENT Blender

The chocolate poppy seed cake from Feast of the Heavens is the sweet ending to the feast of the New Moon- a three-course meal with dark colours and an earthy, less-than-sweet flavour profile. This cake, in particular, features a rich chocolate shortcrust and a sticky, Polish-style filing of softened poppy seeds, baked with condensed milk and polenta. It’s a unique bake, but when it emerges from the oven, the deep blacktop looks just like the dark moon itself.

INGREDIENTS • 300g poppy seeds • 180ml sweetened condensed milk • 170g butter, cold • 40g semolina flour • Zest of 1 lemon • 6 tbsp granulated sugar • 1 egg • 200g plain (all-purpose) flour • 25g Dutch process cocoa powder • ½ tsp salt • Icing (confectioner’s) sugar, for dusting

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DIRECTIONS 1 | Begin with your cake. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease and flour a 25cm springform pan or a 23 x 33cm baking dish. 2 | In a medium saucepan, combine your poppy seeds and 700ml water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then strain the poppy seeds with a fine mesh sieve. Place the poppy seeds in a blender, add the condensed milk and 45g (3 tbsp) of your butter, and blend until the seeds are partially ground. Transfer the seed mixture to a medium bowl and stir in your semolina flour and lemon zest. Set aside.

3 | In another bowl, cream together your sugar and the remaining butter. Beat in the egg. In a separate bowl, mix together your flour, cocoa powder and salt. Stir this into the butter mixture and combine into a smooth ball. 4 | Spread your chocolate mixture into the bottom of the pan and spoon the poppy seeds over the top, flattening with the back of a spoon. Bake for 25–35 minutes, or until the top is dry and set. Allow to cool fully in the pan before removing and dusting with icing sugar.