Lara May (El May) is a musician & artist residing in LA and we were introduced through Australian musician Appleonia. Lara has performed and/or recorded with rock and roll acts like Ben Lee, Crooked Fingers, Luscious Jackson, Luna, Britta and Dean, Nada Surf, and Sneeze.
She was the Musical Director for the Cannes ‘Best Original Music’ Gold Lion Award winner for Match.com in 2010, and won the 2005 ‘Best Cover Art’ ARIA Award for the Ben Lee album ‘Awake is The New Sleep’. Lara's creative spirit gently intertwines with her spirituality in the most inspiring way.
Take us through a usual kind of week for you Lara?
I love kundalini yoga with my teacher Tej Kahlsa and do that a few times during the week, some times every day
I love dance classes at the Sweat Spot (though doing that less this year due to a knee injury)
I have a jungian therapist and a life coach that I meet with once a week the therapist is in the palisades which is a total pain, but I listen to podcasts on the way there and back
I write down or record my dreams every time I remember them, most days. Dreams and symbols are a huge part of my life !
I make juice a couple times a week. and almond milk. I like food to be clean and easy.
I'm not a big gourmet chef but I really like just being at home to eat, not out.
I'm kind of an introvert, I really love being at home.
I have still not ever made a regular schedule ever day, though I really wish I had.
I have to write in a journal most days to stay positive and sane
I wake up so hungry but sit right up and set a timer to meditate for 15 or 20 mins then I go to an altar and do a little chanting ritual that is really short but so so good for just shifting into a feeling that I'm cradled and loved by a higher intelligence and that I don't have to work everything out with my brain
that I don't have to solve my anxiety, that I don't have to be scared, that life is happening for me and not to me, and all that.
And that all I have to do is use some tools to strive to be a reliable container for my feelings when they happen, and not freak out.
How do you keep positive in your life?
I really love having faith. For a few weeks about 5 years ago I felt like 'fuck it, there is no god' and it was the worst time of my life. So I decided that I cannot live and function on earth without faith and it just really makes everything so so much better. I am a better friend, better human, better everything for it.
I tend to be kind of dark and have to do a lot of things to stay conscious and positive
I write gratitude lists and lists about the things I'm doing right and like about myself.
Kundalini yoga has come up a few times on our site before - tell us why it works for you?
I sort of used to not like it, it's definitely seemed kooky at first. But it definitely made my life go better, so I kept going.
Now I actually really like it. And I love listening to Tej, my teacher talk. She is somehow so tapped in and merged with the heavens, but also really current and hilarious and authentic.
How do you decipher what is real and what is fake in terms of spirituality in the city?
I love how spiritually inclined people are here, but there is also so much fake spirituality in California. It's gross and scary. Anyway, Tej inspires me towards authenticity and goodness.
I have such a good, small community of incredible friends, we feel like family. They help orient me sometimes, help me locate myself when the path of trying to get more conscious is completely confusing.
Is there anything in particular you listen to when you do your paintings?
While I paint I listen to science podcasts, I love the 'Strangers' podcast on KCRW app, radio lab, TED talks, and I listen to my favorites on HayHouse radio - life coaches, doctors, and medical intuitives etc
For some reason I cannot listen to music - I haven't for ages, since I started making my record, which I'm nearly done with. This might seem strange, but I've heard of it from other musicians and bands before. When I make music for a commercial I have to listen to music obviously, but generally not.
And what is happening musically for you right now?
For my musician / composer work, I have a home studio. I sing a lot for people and make music for movies and commercials.
I'm nearly finished my record ( it's being mixed ) so I have a lot of bits to do around that too. It's coming out next April or May.
Your paintings seem to have a quality about them that jumps off the page and envokes the spirit of the crystals you are painting - is there anything special you do to them?
The water I use to paint with the water colours is infused with the crystals that I'm painting. I let them soak in the water in the sun for a few days. I use water colours that are made from mineral pigments. They are regular tubes of water colours, but they are made with genuine pigments. I can use things like amethyst, sodalite, turquoise, hematite and bloodstone, and I like the idea that the metaphysical qualities of these gems are infused in the work, and compliment, or strengthen the qualities of crystal or gem I'm painting.
“The water I use to paint with the water colours is infused with the crystals that i'm painting ”