Image Source: Kyle Gray
Alchemy has been chatting to an angel! Well, an angel expert, but we’re still excited! Bestselling author and motivational speaker Kyle Gray empowers people to face their fears and use spiritual practice to find the light within. His books have been published internationally (he has 53 international publishing deals, in fact), and he has spoken at the Mind Body Spirit festival, and I CAN DO IT Conferences. What’s amazing, is he is also incredibly down-to-earth (no pun intended): when you hear him speak, he’s still very much connected to his Glasgow roots, and emphasises the importance of looking after yourself (did we mention he’s also a yoga instructor and Lululemon ambassador?).
How did you first get into spirituality?
First of all – Thank you, Alchemy for having me, it’s a pleasure to be here. I first got into spirituality when I was 13. I had been interested in crystals from an early age and after watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer religiously I decided to begin reading books on magic and spells – I was soon introduced to energy healing and then the idea of Guardian Angels and I was hooked instantly. I remember reading that everyone had an angel no matter their beliefs, race or religion – I loved this and began to study them through history, religion and also new age books. The one thing that’s always fascinated me about spirituality is the importance of having your own experience and developing your own practice – it feels authentic knowing you can do it your way.
You’ve been working since you were 16 and were once known as the youngest professional psychic in the UK, did you find it difficult to get people to take you seriously? Have you found the way you work has changed as you’ve grown up?
I was the weird kid at school who would practice reading angel cards and tarot on the teachers. Some of the people I went to school were interested but most of them thought I was strange – but it didn’t stop me. I was so excited and blessed to be given a business grant when I was 18 to help me establish my own spiritual business and although there were ups and downs along the way (and jobs on the side to make ends meet) I knew that I would be able to carve my own path for myself and I am grateful I stuck with that vision.
Although I was once a ‘psychic’ I decided to stop doing readings a few years ago because I didn’t want to be people’s guide – I wanted to show them how to be their own. What I have found is that we all have intuition and we all have the capacity to tap into guidance – I like to help others feel that.
Our ethos is influenced by the ancient Ayurvedic practice of hair oiling, and modern Western style sensibilities, and we love the range of philosophies referenced in your Angel Prayers Oracle card deck. Where do you mostly look for spiritual inspiration?
I love that – I actually went on a 1-month retreat to India that followed a strict satvic / ayurvedic diet with cleanses. I really believe in the power of ayurvedic principles. For me my spiritual inspiration comes mostly from a direct experience. For the last 14 years I’ve studied a system called ‘A Course in Miracles’ and although it’s a huge spiritual text and workbook – daily we are encouraged to delve deep not into the words but the essence behind them. So my inspiration comes from my practice and my experiences within meditation, yoga and working with audiences and clients.
We believe that relaxing rituals (like hair oiling) are important parts of self-care. What rituals do you have to relax?
I love a bath with Himalayan sea salt and I love covering myself in coconut oil and lavender before going into the bath. I often coconut pull too – it’s a great practice and highly recommend it. Every night when I’m preparing for bed I have a cup of peppermint tea and slather myself in an essential oil to wind down reading whatever book I am reading at the time. Right now it’s ‘What Happened’ by Hillary Clinton.
We love that even though you’re so involved in the spiritual realm, you still take time to look after your body: what made you interested in yoga?
I was following what I call ‘the psychic diet’ and eventually I was obese. I would be out late doing readings or up late because I was so sensitively charged and I would eat heavy, fatty, bready things to help me switch off and sleep – it wasn’t a good pattern.
When I hit an all-time low physically I wanted to start exercising in a way that would honour my spiritual practice and so I decided to try yoga and after going for a few months I finally fell in love with it and dived right in. I went to a local class in a church hall for 2 years and then decided to sign up for teacher training – what I didn’t realise was I signed up for Ashtanga Yoga Teacher training and it’s one of the most energetic and physically demanding types of yoga. I wasn’t ready but I didn’t give up and before I knew it, I was doing the splits and headstands like everyone else.
We can’t get enough of our beard oils! What are some of your favourite grooming products? Do you tend to go for natural ingredients?
My mum is big time into organic brands and always told me to stay clear of parabens, so I’m pretty conscious in my grooming choices. I use lots of coconut oil and essential oils on my body. My favourites are rose, lavender, rosemary and patchouli. I also use lots of Aesop – their rosemary day cream and my deodorant is Aromaco from Lush. Everyone also always asks me what scent I am wearing and it’s always Rose 31 by Le Labo – I use their massage oil as body oil and it smells incredible.
Spirituality has seen a recent boost as part of wider focus on wellness: how has this affected what you do, and what are your plans next?
I feel like I’ve been lucky to be in the rise of spirituality since I was exposed to it from such a young age. I am so grateful that more and more people are choosing meditation, yoga, positive thinking, shifting their diets and their choices about the Earth – for me this is all spirituality too.
If it’s affected me – things have just got bigger and busier – more and more opportunities have risen and especially within the online world. But there’s one thing I love the most and that’s connecting and helping people – doing smaller quaint and grassroots stuff is often what lights me up the most.
My plans next are simple: continue doing whatever life brings to be and helping my angel tribe grow so that others can learn to become their own angel guides!