If you want to find a spiritual guide, you could turn to Google…and risk ending up a few hundred dollars poorer and no more enlightened. Or, you could befriend Los Angeles sister act Mary and Lucy Firestone, who have made it their business to seek out the healers who actually get results, and share them with the world via a blog and, most recently, a live retreat series.
Their getaways have been attracting Hollywood tastemakers since 2013, when the duo invited their digital followers for four days of personal growth (and poolside cocktails) at a luxury hotel in Palm Springs.
“We realized we were always designing itineraries for our friends and family,” says Lucy, a former production company VP. She adds that this obsession, combined with their long history of working with alternative healers, made retreats a natural next step.
“It’s more than the travel—it’s about what happens when you remove yourself from everyday life and [challenge] yourself,” says Mary, an ex-actress with a master’s degree in psychology. “That’s when catharsis happens.” (And they’ve got proof—past retreat attendees have met their partners, gotten pregnant, found new jobs, and experienced other life-changing events soon after arriving home.)
Since that first foray, the sisters have hosted escapes in Aspen, CO, and Ojai, CA, and they’ve launched a quarterly program of one-day spiritual workshops in Los Angeles. A couple weeks back, they touched down at the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort in Santa Barbara wine country, where a group of mothers, execs, and entrepreneurs joined two of the Firestones’ go-to intuitives—acupuncturist Gianna de La Torre and energy healer Naada Guerra—for a fall harvest retreat that encompassed meditation, creative visualization, yoga, and journaling (along with wine tasting, grape stomping, and horseback riding).
“In the fall, the days are shorter and nothing’s growing anymore, so our natural clocks are also slowing down,” explains Mary of the impetus behind the latest retreat. “It’s a time for turning inward.”
Missed out on this month’s main event? Not to worry—here, the sisters reveal some of the fall rituals they’ve learned from their “village” of gurus along the way, many of which you can practice with your own tribe. —Erin Magner
1. Make a date with yourself. Don’t feel like hitting up happy hour? ‘Tis the season. “Fall is a time when a lot of us feel like turning down social invitations,” says Mary. “I personally love having evenings to myself where I do a little journaling, make myself a good dinner, and do some meditation.” Both sisters also swear by detoxifying hot baths with Epsom salts and super-soothing lavender oil.
2. Create an altar. Lucy’s master manifestation trick: Pinpoint three things you want, pick objects that symbolize them (like a seashell from the beach you want to lay on this New Year’s Day), and find a place where you can reflect on them daily. “I’ve been doing a 10-minute meditation [in front of my altar] about the feeling of already having accomplished my desires, and it’s really been inspiring for me,” she says.
3. Hang with nature. When the temperatures start dropping, it’s tempting to hole up indoors for days on end, but Lucy says that’s a surefire introspection killer. “Once a week, I’ll take a hike by myself, stop for a second, and really appreciate that quiet,” she says. (Walking outside for a few minutes has a similar effect for those who don’t live near a mountain.)
4. Clean your closet. “As we’re shifting our summer wardrobe into winter, it’s a great time to purge,” says Lucy. “It’s like, ‘What do I not want anymore?’ ‘If I look at this, does it make me happy?’ No? Give it away.” And if you can’t bring yourself to part with that tie-dyed caftan, pick up a copy of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, immediately.
5. Eat grounding foods. Contrary to how you may feel after a summer of BBQ and margaritas, now is not the time to embark upon a week-long juice fast. “We’re supposed to be eating things that are ready for this time—it’s all about root vegetables and warming foods,” says Mary. “It’s not a time to cleanse and starve.” But red wine, thankfully, is totally acceptable.
For more information, visit firestonesisters.com
(Photos: Facebook/firestonesisters, Instagram/firestonesisters)