In the distance, I could hear the singing bowls with their hypnotic ring, but at the same time, I was clearing any negative energy around me with Vaastu Cleanser, a combination of essential oils like Basil, Frankincense, and Rosemary. In a few minutes, I would head off to a lecture on how to turn one’s passion into a business. The New Life Expo was in town, and once again providing “holistic enlightenment and conscious living” throughout the conference rooms of the Wyndham Hotel/New Yorker.
This three-day event, now in its 29th year, is full of lectures on mindfulness, nutrition, as well as clearing chakras, channeling intuition, and understanding dreams. It’s kind of like a more civilized Woodstock – no mud, no camping. Attendees are peaceful, gentle and inquisitive. For those who are already students of new age thinking, there are higher levels of teachings going on, and for the novice, there’s plenty of guides to get you started.
The Expos have been a yearly event, held throughout the country, since the 1990’s. They were created by Mark Becker, who in the mid-70’s opened Serenity, Manhattan’s first yoga and holistic center. His mission is to “educate people on how they should take responsibility for their life and their health.” After contacting professionals in the fields of herbal nutrition and homeopathic remedies from all around the world, he invited them to teach at his center. From these experiences, he began the New Life Expo. The first one featured Richie Havens, Deepak Chopra, and Steven Halpern, a Grammy-nominated musician and considered one of the founding fathers of New Age music. For this 2019 event, there were at least 75 or so vendors on hand, and the same number of lecturers. As Becker writes in his welcoming note, “So whatever your flavor, come to the New Life Expo and open your mind to all possibilities….one thing I can guarantee is that your life will never be the same.”
Take the lecture by Leah Guy entitled, Chakras: The Power to Heal Now, who explained the seven main chakras or “energy systems” throughout the body. As she explores further in her book, The Fearless Path, these can be defined as“centers within the body where spiritual power and energy flow.” Consider these energy systems as the headquarters for our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balances. When we suppress our emotions, there can be a physical result. For example, the “solar plexus chakra,” is located just below the ribs, at the top of the belly. It’s where our self-perception lies, and if we have experienced shame in our lives, a belief can emerge that we aren’t good enough. Physical symptoms can include ulcers, diabetes, eating or digestive disorders, or illnesses associated with that chakra area; emotional symptoms may include additions, self-criticism, eating disorders, and OCD.
The seven chakras are, in order from the bottom to the top, the root chakra located at the base of the spine, the sacral chakra located between pubic bone and navel, the solar plexus chakra located at the ribs, the heart chakra located in the center of the chest, the throat chakra, the third eye located between the eye brows, and the crown chakra. The notion of chakras originated in India about the 500 BC, and the theory is that when these energy centers are aligned, we feel balanced, energized, and have a sense of well-being.
Guy has been a lecturer at the Expo for the past five or six years sharing her knowledge of the chakra system from years of research after being assaulted as a young adult. When traditional methods of healing were causing more pain, she looked to spiritual and body-mind therapies like the chakras, breath work, organic nutrition, and meditation. While there are many routes to healing, she says, “we must explore all the different options out there to discover what makes us trust again and feel more like ourselves.”
Society, she says, has become more mindful than it was a few decades ago. “My clients are more in tune with their mind and body and understand that it’s all connected. They understand that they may be carrying around baggage from previous relationships, or even from their childhood which can be addressed through the mind-body connection.” In her 45-minute Expo session, she explained the chakras in detail, how our body tells us what chakra is out of balance, and therapies to consider. For instance, to balance the solar plexus chakra and the associated physical symptoms, apply empowering accessories into our day, like wearing the color yellow; keeping gemstones like citrine, tiger’s eye, and topaz at our desk; and applying essential oils like cinnamon, lavender, or geranium to the wrist.
Guy has come through the turbulent times in her life and there is no longer an “internal war trying to disconnect me from my pain.” That is exactly what Becker’s message is by organizing the Expo, and each year, he says, attendance continues to increase as people want to open their minds to new possibilities not only in health, but in metaphysics. “More and more people realize that they can’t rely on the government or the media to tell them the truth,” he says, “everything is energy, and energy blockages cause stress and disease.”
Leah Guy photo by Barry Morenstein
Book Cover photo provided by Leah Guy
All other photos by MJ Hanley-Goff including the
Top photo: New Life Expo program
To learn more about the 2020 New Life Expo, visit newlifeexpo.com.
To learn more about Leah Guy, her book Chakras: The Power to Heal Now, or her March 2020 Chakra Reset Retreat, visit leahguy.com.