What time is it & where are you?
It’s 4:44pm (!!) and I’m in a big comfy chair overlooking the ocean. My life is not usually that glamorous lol but I’m visiting my partner’s family beach house for the afternoon.
What’s your favorite part of living in the city and/or neighborhood you’re in?
The proximity to the ocean and the trees. Santa Cruz has been an adjustment for me culturally and socially but being near nature is why we moved so every time I get the chance to take in those elements I feel so grounded and so grateful.
What’s the title of the chapter of your life right now?
Stepping into purpose
When I dance I look like…?
A sexy worm
What’s your favorite psychedelic?
Favorite psychedelic activity?
Honestly just chatting the day away, sharing ideas and dreams with people who are on my wavelength.
What was the last revelation or thought that blew your mind while on psychedelics?
On a trip a few weeks ago, I received a download from my precious calico kitty, Potato. I was staring at her sitting in her favorite chair like a throne and I could really feel her transmitting a message to me that I needed to step into my Queendom like she had. It also made me realize that pets and children and all the beings we think of as “lesser” have so much to teach us if we stop letting our egos get in the way.
Currently, America (rightfully so) is being heavily criticized by our generation. Are there things about American culture that you identify with? What about cultural influences of your ethnic backgrounds?
I don’t identify with American values at all, really. I believe we’ve all been gaslit since birth to think America is the greatest nation and we should feel so blessed to be born here. Don’t get me wrong – I think we obviously have a tremendous amount of human rights compared to other,even more oppressed countries. However, I think the idea that we have no right to complain – especially for BIPOC folx – is absurd and so harmful.
As far as identifying with cultural influences of my ethnic background, that’s also tricky. I’m Black to the world and I also often refer to myself as biracial because my life experiences are unique to being light-skinned and straddling two races, two worlds. I think there are certain truths about myself and my experiences that are unique to my ethnic heritage, but, honestly, I wouldn’t say I identify with them. Who I am is so much more than my experiences, my skin, my heritage – I am spirit, first and foremost. Identifying with any part of my physical self feels unnatural to me.
How would you explain energy to a 5 year old? What about intuition?
Energy is the feeling something gives you. Everything has an energy. Like that tree over there – stand next to it and see how it makes you feel. The feeling you feel is the tree’s energy!
Intuition is the part of you that feels the energy! So, when you feel the tree’s energy, it’s your intuition that tells you if you like it or you don’t.
When did you learn that personal development & energetic work was the direction for your career?
Part of me wants to say when I was born and part of me wants to say last week lol. I am always coming to the realization of what I’m meant to do in new ways so it’s hard for me to put an exact date on it. But, ever since I was a child, I’ve been attuned to the spirit world (I got ghost stories y’all!!) and been giving people advice that seemingly came out of nowhere. I have a gift of being able to see right through people and understand on a very visceral level what their internal struggles are and how to weed through them. Just last week, my personal intuitive told me that I have the type of energy that would have made me the town healer back in the olden times where people would have come miles to be blessed by me. Not trying to toot my own horn here, but I really do believe I was just put on earth to do this work, point blank period.
Outer Work manifested out of necessity & was not something you ever planned. With over 600 members, do you ever feel pressure leading this collective change? What are the biggest challenges? What are the biggest rewards?
10000% pressure 10000% challenged every damn day. Outer Work has been the wildest ride of all time and, as with all things, the biggest challenge is getting out of my own way. I take my role as facilitator of the space super seriously and I want to make sure people feel held but challenged by being in the group. I also really struggle with connecting my own beliefs that this work should be compassionate, slow-paced, and sustainable with the activism’s notoriously fast-paced, aggressive, burn-out culture. The most rewarding part is watching people learn and seeing their worldview shift before my very eyes. If I can show a single person with each of my contributions to Outer Work exactly how their actions are reflecting – and therefore promoting – a culture of toxic individualism rather than a culture of community care that centers marginalized needs, then I’m doing my job well.
Inner Play is a year-long summer camp that helps its members access more joy through various healing modalities, events & community. For the members, it’s all fun & games. We just have to show up. As a founder, what are the less fun or glamorous parts about running camp? What are the best parts?
Again, the hardest part is dealing with my own fears and energetic blocks to my highest self. That mostly manifests in Inner Play as getting too caught up in trying to craft the perfect brand or the perfect strategy and losing that crystal clear focus on spreading my message. That’s what I’m currently dealing with: How do I make it clear to people why they should care about Inner Play and how it can help them without drowning myself in over-thinking about it? How can I make it crystal clear what the Inner Play method is all about and then totally place my trust in the universe to deliver that message to whoever needs to receive it?
The best parts are those moments when I do get to share my message with members and educate them on the practices or ideas that I’ve downloaded. Watching the resonance in their faces as I explain an energetic block they may be facing and then the relief when they try a practice I’ve “prescribed” to unblock it – nothing beats that.
Your work plays a direct role in transforming people’s energies & thus the world around them. Describe your dreams for a new world & collective change. What does it look/feel like, how might our societal structures differ from as they are now?
Woww my favorite topic. My dream for a new world is that we all are committed to daily, joyful practices for both our personal care and for the care of our communities. I dream of a world where we not only work, but we also take dedicated time to live and to love (and to laugh – I had to lmaooo).
But for real, what this looks like is actually quite simple: First, we all need to practice good energetic hygiene – this means balancing creativity, spirituality, play, nourishment, joyful movement, and time in community as needed – so that our energy remains vibrating on the level of joy. Then, we need to spread that joy to our communities, focusing primarily on communities who are underserved by joy – AKA communities made up of those who have been historically oppressed.
We truly can’t have one without the other if we want to thrive – or even survive – as a species let alone as individuals. We have to balance the Inner Play and the Outer Work.
As an educator, you value being a student of the universe. What are practices or tools do you use to optimize your learning experience, particularly for complex or new ideas?
The tools I use to learn are the same ones I teach: Deep Listening, Creativity, and Play. Deep Listening means reflecting upon what you’re taking in or experiencing in a way that centers listening to your intuition rather than just thinking about what’s in front of you. Thinking gets you in trouble! Listening connects you to the universe.
Creativity allows you to tackle “problems” with a blank slate mindset that also connects you to the universe. Our ideas don’t come from us, but through us, after all.
And Play helps us center joy as we learn new things. It encourages us to remember that nothing is that serious and that, as long as we trust the universe, we are held and we are permitted to be fully ourselves.
We guarantee your feed will be filled with more joy, honesty & shit that matters. Follow Lenéa, Inner Play & Outer Work on Instagram. Consider becoming a member at Inner Play & Outer Work. Let’s get this work in & have fun along the way.