Visionary #13: Exploring life and death with Luna Love Leadership

I was born in South Louisiana, and my mum and I moved to Long Island, New York when I was 3 and lived in a 4-generation Sicilian household. I grew up as an only child, always drawing, in love with writing stories on my typewriter, and was highly influenced culturally by my grandparent’s love of art, music, theatre and entertainment.

As a cultural orphan, as most of us are, who come from colonialism and immigration, home feels a bit abstract for me. I’ve never really felt settled, travel is a love of mine but the pull to root is always there as well. As cliché as it sounds, I have to say home is where the heart is. I also feel most at home in the Ocean, in the forest, lost on a mountain trusting my feet to guide me.

How did you get into mentoring?

I was always mature and bossy/leadership-driven as a child, and over time I’ve refined my ways of being. We used the Enneagram as a template for self-awareness in my High School. I’m an 8, meaning I’m project-orientated and taking charge, leadership and guiding people is ingrained in who I am and have always been. When I was in my early 20’s I’d go to a bar with a group of friends and I’d end up sitting with the “old man” who wanted to share their life story. I’d listen, give reflection and we’d connect in a way that I wasn’t finding in many interpersonal engagements at that time. My practice as a business started about 6 years ago when I focused on Yoga and Shamanic Healing, and leading workshops and has evolved with me each step of the way as I meet my own journey.

My current focus in very much in social justice, intersectional feminism and studying death as a way to learn how to live better. For me ‘Leadership’ is how we walk in the world, it’s how we lead our own lives, the thoughts, the words, and actions we choose in each moment… it’s conscious living, being an example and empowering others.

What is the basis of your work and process as a mentor?

I don’t take standing in this role lightly, I find it quite the honour to hold that space in people’s lives and to witness and help shape their path of growth and remembrance. As a mentor all I do is support them in remembering who they truly are, and not just believing it, but embodying that in the world. My role is to support mentees in trusting themselves more, building confidence in their ability to meet life’s challenges, big or small, as they come. It’s not to give them the answers.

What have been your careers highlights to date?

I think I’d have to say it’s a tie between my first 3-day live event, Rise and Uplift Women’s Leadership Conference and the prison work I feel blessed to continue to show up and do. A little while back I became involved with a non-profit called Freedom to Choose, and it’s changed my life. Serving the incarcerated population is a blessing, but I like it for selfish reasons. I go there because these men and women help me love more, help me connect more, and they’re willing to go deep with me in a way that feeds my soul, in a way that feels hard to find in our busyness of the Free World. I go to help them and myself remember the worthiness of all beings to feel, receive, and be love.

Tell us about your Ladies Who Lead podcast

I’m all about leadership as a way of life, and I believe story-telling is a lost art that connects humans on the deep level of shared emotions, though our stories are different. I wanted to feature today’s female leaders and their journeys of becoming to support those listening to get over that “I can’t” voice in their heads and do the thing they know they came here to do. The women on the show endlessly inspire me, and I feel honoured to feature their stories. Now it’s more about featuring women whose voices have been oppressed for far too long, because we need the wisdom of the elders, the indigenous, and our wise and unshakable women of colour who are holding us all up at this time.

How do you stay connected to Mother Earth?

Getting out in the sunshine, walking barefoot on the Earth, and just connecting regularly to allow myself to rest and be held by her. When I take the time to pause and just surrender to her love, I see all that lack of receptivity melt away. I stay connected through my food, listening to the birds, and feeling small.

What do the words self care mean to you?

Self care means love, acknowledgement, connection and tending to. It is more than an act, it is a way of being and it is never indulgent. It’s the difference between preventative medicine and treatment. I look at self care as lifestyle choices that support balance and wellbeing, not something to implement when I’m burnt out and maligned. Self care is not getting my nails done, it’s tending to my emotional landscape so I can show up in the world in a good way. I think a lot of what we call self love is really a distraction from doing the deeper tending.

What are your personal ritual to connect and unwind?

I read, make love, take baths, talk to sisters, take tea ceremony, go outside and write. Simply it can be in a moment of choice to reconnect to the Sacred. I am constantly minimising computer time. I love making thoughtful meals for myself and loved ones. Giving and being generous with my time in extension to others feels like it’s a way of looking after myself.

What is your routine with skincare and hair?

Skincare is on point! Hair… it’s a challenging relationship. I have all homemade products that I use daily to love my skin. I massage my skin and guasha with oils, honey + salt scrubs, Korean scrub gloves to exfoliate. I don’t use soap. I scrub with food-grade products and moisturize daily without washing my skin with soap and removing the micro-biome and natural bacteria that support my skins immunity. For my hair I try to have a ritual, brushing, exfoliating my scalp, honey + shea butter hair masks, making my own shampoo and conditioner with baking soda, apple cider vinegar and essential oils, but honestly I have a hard time keeping up with the wildness of my hair and I kind of just let it do it’s thing.

What about your relationship with food?

My diet is based on how I feel in the moment and what my body wants. I’m not a snacker. I eat full meals. I eat a grain-free paleo based diet and feel nourished. I LOVE Capello’s pizza crusts and it’s my favourite right-now meal to get a bready-fix.

What new experiences are you looking forward to in the future?

Life, having kids, messing up, starting new projects, caring for loved ones as they die, meeting challenges, making new friends, meeting teachers, getting sick and healing, discovering parts of myself and those I love that I didn’t know were there, and hopefully witnessing humanity wake up to the destruction we caused and choosing something different. We’ll see what happens. I’m just looking forward to waking up tomorrow if that’s on the cards, I’ll get to the rest when I get there.

Learn more about Luna Love’s work on her website, follow her journey on Instagram, listen to the Ladies Who Lead podcast here and support the platform via Patreon.