As hard as it is, sometimes you’ll just need to drown out the noise and keep your eyes on your own paper. Now that I’m nearly a year into business, my focus has shifted inward. I’m no longer looking around to see what everyone else is doing and, instead, I’m prioritizing what feels good to me. As you’re building your business, make sure you’re simultaneously building a relationship with your own self-trust. Tuning into your intuition and gut instincts will get you farther than someone else’s “quick fix” plan ever could. Keep building, keep trusting and watch what magic can unfold.
The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.
As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Graciela Rasor.
Graciela Rasor is a spiritual guide with a sense of humor. An intuitive, energy healer and Human Design reader, she believes that all people — not just the yogis and the raw vegans — are entitled to a life that makes their soul happy. Graciela supports her clients in growing their authenticity, spirituality and purpose so they can cut out the conditioning that weighs them down and start living in a way that lights them up.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I grew up in Northern California, where wellness and spirituality were already deeply ingrained in the culture by the 1990s. My parents were both vegetarians and, by the time I was born, had quite the collection of spiritual art, books and practices. I’m biracial — my mom is Mexican and my dad white — and that’s been a big part of my identity, and something that I carry with me into my work today.
All that said, as I got older, I started to push spirituality to the back of my life. It wasn’t part of the mainstream conversation like it is today, and I certainly couldn’t imagine building a successful career out of it.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“A genius is the one most like himself.” — Thelonious Monk
One of the greatest challenges of my life was the abandonment of self that I experienced through college and my early twenties. We live in a culture that encourages homogeneity and doing things in a “certain way” to be liked, rather than celebrating individuality and new thinking.
The second half of my twenties has been a journey of coming home to myself — the self that’s sensitive, intuitive, inquisitive and definitely NOT a cool kid. The work I do with clients is centered in the same goal. We’re born as our highest, most vibrant selves so, contrary to popular belief, we don’t actually need to reach towards external sources to find that. Instead, our work lies in unlearning. That’s when we can return to our true selves.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
It’s entirely possible that I wouldn’t have the career I have today without the Almost 30 podcast from Krista Williams and Lindsey Simcik! I started listening to the podcast in 2018 when I was waking back up to my own inherent nature and stumbled upon an episode about this strange modality of self-discovery called Human Design — like astrology, but more personalized. Fast-forward to November 2019 and I was training in it to become a reader, my current full-time job. Krista and Lindsey also introduced me to the concept of energy work and my teacher in it, something that’s been a true gamechanger, not just for my business but for my overall wellbeing.
If you’re looking to develop a deeper connection to yourself, I highly recommend checking out the podcast, regardless of if you’re almost 30 or not!
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?
Despite my background, I entered into the corporate world after college, landing at a few different large PR firms. While my six years of full-time PR work introduced me to skills I still use every day and plenty of great people, I knew that the environment wasn’t right for me long-term. In the summer of 2019, I shifted to a freelance role with one of the firms, which freed up time to explore my passions. So many of us are focused on uncovering our passions and unique callings, and, yet, I find that most of us don’t actually have the space to do this work. So I made the space.
I knew that shifting back into creativity and expression would be key for pursuing my own fulfilling personal path, so I tried on a few different hats: graphic designer, copywriter, social media expert, etc. But something was still missing for me. I knew what it was, and my desires scared me a little (like all things worth pursuing often do!).
When I admitted it to myself, I wanted to go back to my roots and explore spirituality, not just as a hobby but as a career. My first stop? Learning to read Human Design charts.
By January 2020, I was ready to introduce this side of myself to the world and launched my Human Design Instagram page, offering readings via Zoom. But my experience was the total opposite of an “if you build it, they will come” moment. By the end of February, I still didn’t have any paying clients and I continued to freelance in PR, hoping that my moment was on the horizon.
What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?
By the time the first week of March rolled around, I was starting to get nervous.
“Do people even want this from me?,” I worried. And with a pandemic gaining steam and a dicey economic forecast, I wondered if anyone would be willing to spend their hard-earned money on a non-essential service, no matter how transformational it had the power to be.
My experience wasn’t a pivot, so much as a decision to continue on the path in the face of hardship and uncertainty. To double down on myself and my dreams, and create even MORE content that inspired people to live authentically and give them permission to celebrate their unique gifts.
It paid off. I had my first paying client the week we went into lockdown in New York. And then my next five the following month. Then I was asked to speak to a group of 250 people, and things continued to pick up momentum from there. What I hadn’t counted on was that the pandemic would force so many people to confront themselves with the same questions I’d asked myself last year: What’s my purpose? How can I bring more meaning into my life? What makes me special?
And that I’d be there to lovingly provide the solutions.
Everyone knows that in business, timing is everything. But sometimes the perfect timing for you is something you couldn’t have imagined in your wildest dreams.
Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?
Here’s one thing that I didn’t mention about the summer of 2019: I lost my dad after his five-year battle with cancer. His passing truly helped me understand the phrase “Life is short” and start to embody it every day.
I won’t go so far as to say that “everything happens for a reason” when death is involved. But I will say that my dad is one of my biggest inspirations and one of my fiercest spiritual protectors, and that our connection is far from lost.
How are things going with this new initiative?
By July of this year, I was able to begin winding down my freelance PR work while continuing to ramp up my spiritual business. I also introduced integrative energy work into my toolkit, a combination of reiki, breathwork and intuition, all done virtually to promote a sense of calm and relaxation.
I’m so grateful to be doing work that lifts people up during a really challenging time. My services still aren’t “essential,” but our wellbeing, our passions, our sense of self, our hopes and dreams — those all very much are, and my facilitation of that self-discovery and healing in other humans (and in myself) isn’t something I take lightly.
This is a year of immense challenges, but I’m inspired by how I’ve seen people across all walks of life use it to get back to themselves and change their lives in ways that make them feel good.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I started this year without any friends, mentors or connections in the wellness space, and now I’m lucky to have a network of people that I trust and admire — so it’s hard to pick just one person!
My energy work mentor Millana Snow is a huge source of inspiration for me. If you’ve ever had energy work done, you know how powerful it can be. Millana is one of the most authentically spiritual people I’ve ever met — not only does she walk the walk, she does it with immense kindness. Her integrative energy work training was something that truly changed my life and I honestly can’t believe that I get to offer this work to others. It’s a huge honor.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
One of the core tenets of running an authentically spiritual business has been learning to trust my intuition wholeheartedly — even when it doesn’t necessarily make sense.
During my energy work training, my intuition gave me the nudge to completely block off my schedule in August. At first, I resisted. “This is my new business! I literally just stopped freelancing! What if I lose all of my momentum??” My ego had a million different reasons for me not to listen.
When you help people strengthen their relationship to intuition for a living, though, you’re not really allowed to ignore your own. And so, I did it. I blocked all of August off, took time to recharge and integrate my energy work.
When you listen to your intuition, the universe smiles on you. I came back in September to my biggest month ever, with more clients, more press and more partnership opportunities than I’d ever had before.
We’ve been taught to ignore our intuition in favor of logic and reason — two things I love! — but it’s there to serve us and help us live a life full of ease. If we let it…
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- “Doing it scared” is overrated. There’s a lot of rhetoric going around right now that says new business owners need to push themselves to do things before they’re ready. Raise your prices even if no one’s buying what you’re selling yet! Sell a course even if you’re still learning what you’re teaching! Start a group even though you’re not totally comfortable talking to people one-on-one! With so much pressure to join the conversation or be the first, a lot of new entrepreneurs are being forced into positions they’re not ready to be in just because they’re afraid of getting left behind. Don’t buy into that hype; you have plenty of time to build your business and doing it with integrity will serve you well in the long term.
- And yet, you’ll still need to push yourself out of your comfort zone. The flip side is that even if you’re extremely prepared, you’ve done all the courses and you know your stuff, you’ll probably never feel “ready.” Putting yourself out there as a new entrepreneur is scary! You’re stepping into a new identity — and that requires stepping out of your comfort zone. When I first started my business, I couldn’t imagine talking on video. But I knew I had to and so I had to lovingly push myself into that new version of me who showed up on video and trusted that people were interested in what I was sharing. Not even two months later, I was speaking to large groups. I know it’s a cliché, but it really does start with showing up.
- Being an entrepreneur can be a little lonely, so find your community. I’m an introvert by nature, but even I struggled with how lonely working as a solopreneur was in the beginning. If you’re like me, most of the people you know are still working in the corporate world and have an entirely different set of challenges than you do. Find your people early — start putting yourself out there in Facebook groups or networking through trainings or online events. It’s helpful to have another person to connect with who’s in a similar stage of business so you can bounce ideas off of each other, support each other’s projects, celebrate milestones or even just commiserate about the little entrepreneurship things that drive you crazy.
- Similarly, even though you’re building a solo brand, you don’t have to do it alone. When I thought about all the things I needed to build for my new business — a blog! a website! a payment platform! booking links! — I was pretty overwhelmed. Worse, I felt like I would have to do it all alone. Then I took a step back and realized that I had plenty of incredible people in my network who I could rely on for help. One of my best investments to date was in my business coach Natalie Levy, who worked with me for 90 days to strategize, keep me on task and help with all of those moving pieces. If you have the privilege of being able to bring in some outside reinforcements, it’ll save you lots of time and help accelerate your work. You can also potentially trade for services, so don’t write off help just because you don’t have the additional funds.
- As hard as it is, sometimes you’ll just need to drown out the noise and keep your eyes on your own paper. Now that I’m nearly a year into business, my focus has shifted inward. I’m no longer looking around to see what everyone else is doing and, instead, I’m prioritizing what feels good to me. As you’re building your business, make sure you’re simultaneously building a relationship with your own self-trust. Tuning into your intuition and gut instincts will get you farther than someone else’s “quick fix” plan ever could. Keep building, keep trusting and watch what magic can unfold.
So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?
I happen to be in the unique position of my spiritual and emotional wellness being directly tied to my work, so prioritizing it is non-negotiable. When I feel better, I know I can help my clients feel better too.
Even if your job is miles away from the wellness industry, though, I’d encourage you to take that same approach towards taking care of yourself. Your wellness has a ripple effect, so stop thinking it’s “selfish” to take time for your wellbeing.
My favorite practices for keeping your energy up right now include breathwork (try searching “Wim Hoff” on YouTube if you’re new to the practice), plenty of feel-good TV marathons, seeking out energy work if you’re able to, moving your body in ways that feel good (dancing, shaking, hip circles, even sliding around in socks), volunteering and spending time in whatever nature you have access to.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Thank you for that! Everything I’m building in the world, every Instagram post, email and session, is done with the goal of encouraging each person I touch to not only be their most authentic self, but to celebrate that self. Meeting life from a place of authenticity would open up a dialogue of truth, individuality and acceptance in the world. Men would be able to admit when they’re scared or feeling sad, instead of keeping it all in and letting toxic masculinity hurt all of us. People of color would be able to show up in the full expression of themselves every single minute of the day, rather than assimilating to the standards of whiteness that we’ve asked everyone to uphold. Artists would paint instead of becoming accountants because it’s “safe.” People would really let their bosses know when they need a mental health day — and I’m not talking about disguising it as a sick day.
I’ve seen more people than ever questioning if the path they’re on is really the right one for them, or if they just got on it because they were “supposed to.” I’m excited to see what change comes from this time and how people start showing up in their truth.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I’d love to have lunch with Roxane Gay. She inspires me with her raw, honest and insightful writing that captures the experience of modern womanhood. While writing isn’t the main focus of my business, it’s a communication vehicle that weaves its way through most of what I do. Taking high-level spiritual concepts and breaking them down into digestible terms that make an impact on the audience is one of my specialties, and that’s something I admire about Roxane’s observations on feminism and culture (although she is endlessly more talented than me in doing so!).
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!