Mara Andres didn’t always have tarot decks, or practice mindfulness. There was a time in her life when her world revolved around the media industry–where creativity was abundant but so were the trials of competition, hushed scandals, and the crippling anxiety of “making it” in the Philippine cinema landscape. Now, she is worlds away from this period of her life.
We sat down and had a chat with the multi-hyphenate on growing beyond the confines of her previous profession. As a mindfulness consultant, yoga teacher/therapist, aerialist and movement artist, running Movement and Myriads is a means to create and hold space for Reiki healing, Intuitive Readings, and Meditation as alternative holistic healing that’s straightforward and within reach.
BALBO: Can you explain to us what tarot card reading is? What about “Reiki” healing?
Mara: An Intuitive Reading is a mindfulness method that uses Tarot and or Oracle cards to navigate around and within your life. By tapping into our intuition, the cards before us come to life and give us a deeper understanding of our emotions, thoughts, ideas, health and so much more. With the help of Tarot and Oracle cards, we get to take a step back and be observers of our own journey. They provide clarity towards certain realizations, and prompts that can help us keep moving forward. It helps with mindfulness, empowerment, healing and connecting with everything bigger than us, among many other things.
Reiki Healing is an energy healing method that involves the realignment and recalibration of your Chakras. Energy flows through various paths inside your body and intersects in the major chakras. These internal highways connect your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energies. Reiki, being the intelligent Life Force that comes from the Divine Source (my mentor actually said “it’s like The Force in Star Wars), works on realigning and recalibrating your chakras to attain harmonious energetic flow.
BALBO: How did you begin tarot card reading?
Mara: It was around 2017. It was a very dark phase of my life. My anxiety was at its peak. I was looking around for some guidance and help. A friend of mine suggested I get an intuitive reading. Of course at first, I was very skeptical. My friend did say however that the approach of his reader was focused on mindfulness. It was more than just predicting the future or answering yes and no questions. So I went for it. During one of my sessions, my reader guided me to read my own cards because she believed that it’s actually something I can do on my own, not just for myself but also other people. She took me under her wing, and the rest was history.
BALBO: Can you paint us a picture of how your life was like before tarot cards and reiki healing? What are the changes from then and now?
Mara: Life before cards and Reiki just looked like a black painting with angry, directionless streaks of grey, red, white and orange. There was so much self-resentment and thoughts of not being good enough. Self-blame and dwelling on regrets was a default response to unfortunate circumstances. I felt like I needed to be more to deserve happiness and love. It was when I started going into mindfulness practices that I recognized that being in the dark was not something I should judge myself for. It made me realize that I had a choice to also face that darkness and start moving forward. Intuitive Readings and Reiki Healing also made me realize how small I have made myself all this time. Since then, I’ve learned how to give myself more love, kindness and compassion especially on the tough days. It also helped ease and deal with my anxiety.
BALBO: Tell us more about Movement and Myriads.
Mara: Movement and Myriads is actually my professional name. I had been reading professionally for about a year under my own name. My mentor suggested to make it official by coming up with a name for my services. Because a lot of the work I do involves life navigation, and in life, we face a lot of roads, Movement and Myriads was born. Plus, I’m a movement artist so I knew I needed to include the word “movement” into the business name. Movement and Myriads equips you with tools of mindfulness, healing and movement (Reiki, Intuitive Readings, Meditation, Yoga). I hold regular mindfulness sessions and have also been offering programs that can help you with your own mindfulness journey.
BALBO: What were your personal struggles this pandemic? How did you cope?
Mara: The pandemic started off pretty rough. As much as I had regular clients in Manila, a lot of the work I did for Movement and Myriads took place in La Union. For a good month, I figured out what my strategy should be. The place where I used to work closed down, we couldn’t teach yoga and aerial classes anymore. I had no income here in Manila. I felt like I had no place. That month of strategizing was also spent revisiting myself as a Mindfulness Professional. Something in me made me decide “you know what, I’m going to this full time.” I needed to build a steady client base again and to be able to do that, I had to revamp my social media page. I had to show up and be more present. I jumped in scared but the readings just started coming in. Of course it was a struggle at first because I had prioritized quantity. I needed to build a client base. I ended up using so much energy that I was constantly tired. I didn’t have time for myself. So I took a break and recalibrated.
I’ve recalibrated Movement and Myriads twice or thrice since the pandemic and I realized that it was okay to keep changing because we’re changing. I took more classes not just in mindfulness work but also on social media and content creation. I took workshops and certifications. After a quick break, I came back and finally figured out my identity as a Mindfulness professional.
BALBO: How do tarot cards and reiki healing play into people’s lives, especially this pandemic?
The common trends amongst my clients, especially during the first part of the pandemic, was the search for direction and getting used to the stillness. The readings and the Reiki healing sessions have helped my clients figure out who they really are and what they really want in life. More often than not, those who experience these types of mindfulness modalities, need someone to re-affirm everything that they’ve been thinking. They also need someone to talk to and process what they’re going through with. These mindfulness modalities served as a source of comfort and assurance for a lot of people. With the distance between us, it’s nice how these modalities have helped us become more expressive of our truths.
BALBO: Tell us about a powerful and memorable experience that you encountered with either tarot card or reiki healing.
Mara: There are so many powerful and memorable ones and most of them involve seeing all of us growing more into ourselves and embracing our personal power. Every time I have clients share their stories of courage and love, amazing things happen to them. All they needed was an extra nudge. But if there was a specific experience, it would be the first time I held my first big meditation class. The class was composed of a mix of people I know, clients I’ve worked with and newbies. That evening will always be close to my heart because everyone felt so connected to each other despite coming from different walks of life. It was such a magical night and also so full of love.
BALBO: Lastly, pull out a card for this moment. What is it and what is it telling you?
Mara: I got the Two of Swords and the card “No Coincidences”. I’ve always been the type of person who needed signs in order to move forward. The Two of Swords is reminding me that if I open myself up more, both emotionally and intellectually, I will be recognizing more signs. This card is also reminding me that signs don’t always tell you where you need to go. Signs are also there to remind you that you’ve been doing great so far so keep going. Just last week, I’ve been manifesting more collaborations. Since then, I’ve landed 2 collaborations and this interview. There are no coincidences after all.