Spiritualist Emma Mildon is a passionate promoter of the rocks, discovers Fiona Ralph
Emma Mildon is a new-age jetsetter. The Auckland writer and self-titled “spiritual personal assistant” is accustomed to travelling, whether to promote her book or share knowledge at wellness retreats and trendy mindful festivals such as Wanderlust.
In her downtime, she teaches online dream-decoding courses for mindbodygreen.com, offers “soul readings” and is penning her second book. Her first, The Soul Searcher’s Handbook: The Modern Girl’s Guide to the New Age World has sold more than 2 million copies. On top of all this, Mildon holds down a regular job (creating online content for gym chain Les Mills) and finds time to centre herself through yoga, surfing and, you guessed it, crystal healing.
Scientific types may find Mildon’s social media feed – full of candles, sunsets, yoga poses, inspirational quotes and crystals – a little cheesy, or, as she puts it, “woo-woo or witchy” but after watching one of her videos, it’s hard not to be charmed. If you still happen to be doubting the power of crystals, or any other spiritual elements for that matter, Mildon has this to offer: “If we can find things that help us relax and live better, then why the hell wouldn’t we want to try them?”
She says crystals have helped her through illnesses and relationship break-ups – and even daily snack attacks. When the chocolate or coffee cravings hit, she turns to smoky quartz, the crystal for cleansing, which she believes helps with addiction.
Using crystals is more about a “focus of attention” she says, and tapping into your own energy, rather than the crystal itself. “They do have subtle energies behind them. They’re not scientifically proven to change lives, whether they heal you, that’s the question mark.”
Mildon’s non-mystical, humorous approach appeals to those seeking spirituality advice, often for the first time. As she explains, her readers expect “practical, down-to-earth information that’s not head in the clouds”. She describes her approach as “no rules, no preach” and aims to offer people “tools to live well – take what works for you and leave the rest”. This non-intimidating approach speaks to realists.
“There’s a lot of that token guru rock star type that wants to be famous. I really am the girl next door. I will tell people I ripped my pants in yoga class and all about my failures. And I think they relate to that. I’m a real person, I’m not a levitating guru. I still drink coffee and wine, I have meltdowns and eat chocolate and tap out of meditation two minutes in because I decide to write a shopping list,” she laughs.
Mildon used to work in PR and on superyachts and it was while flitting between the Caribbean and Europe on boats that she looked into spirituality. “The people who were successful and good lived this holistic lifestyle. They weren’t necessarily spiritual but they would talk about spiritual elements.”
The yachting work gave her the “funding and freedom” to pursue a career in the mindful realm, she explains. Rather than crediting structured courses for her learnings, she points to spiritual teachers she met on her travels, such as yogis, reiki healers, life coaches, medicine men and palm readers.
As many people eschew traditional religions, the area of “bespoke spirituality” as Mildon calls it, is growing. She says it’s all part of living well and, just as we’ve seen yoga become mainstream, so too the likes of crystals and aromatherapy will take off.
Emma’s top tips for the spiritually curious
Stay open: Usually, people have had opportunities to explore holistic or spiritual living. That might be an invitation to join a friend at a yoga class or a meditation app or blog that might show up in your newsfeed. Do yourself a favour and try whatever comes up. You don’t have to buy into it, but you’d be surprised what you might get out of it.
Don’t judge: It’s really easy when people get on to the path of enlightenment – or on this spiritual hipster new age boho buzz – to think it’s a competition. It’s so not, it’s a personal thing. Bossy spiritualists and know-it-all spiritualists are the worst. Stick to your own journey, stay open to everyone else – listen, observe and be aware.
Be kind: It’s all about kindness and compliments and being a good person. As long as your motive is to live well and add to the environment around you and be your best self, then that should be the driving force.