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Behind The Scenes

Lisa Levine Teaches Us How to Relax Already

Lisa assisting a handstand in her light-filled, hard-working space. Lisa Levine’s inimitable Greenpoint apartment-turned-studio-turned-relaxation haven could easily incite jealousy, but luckily, as a certified Reiki Master, Lisa has the training to extinguish any negative thinking you might be experiencing. When the NYC transplant isn’t busy hand-crafting her line of delicately earthy jewelry—Lisa often juxtaposes animal elements like feathers and quills with oxidized silver and gold-fill coins—she is guiding meditations, practicing inner-healing, and spending time with one of her many shrines to Amma (the hugging saint!). Take a peek inside her endlessly versatile loft and pick up a few tips for coming down. —lauren caruso “The space I live in is also home to a healing center, Maha Rose, and a yoga and meditation center, Kusala Yoga. I’ve lived there for eight and a half years, and it has evolved as much in that time as I have.” “My guru, Amma, is the hugging saint. In this culture, I think the idea of a guru is really foreign, but she’s all about the religion of love, and I subscribe to that. The world needs more love.” “What these hands were originally has changed in the context of this room. A lot of the healing work I do is with my hands, so it’s symbolic in that way.” “I’ve always liked oracle cards, so I thought I’d make my own! They’re not finished, but I like some of them without any color. It’s important to make the decision to turn today into the best day of your life. Sometimes, we can be lazy. The mind is on autopilot so often, so unless we are consciously driving the mind, it starts to drive us.” “This table’s kind of charged from all the work that’s been done on it. Just laying on it may make you feel relaxed, but a body scan—which involves starting at the feet most often and bringing your awareness to each part of the body, feeling the bones, the muscles the skin and allowing each part to feel heavy—is a great way of relaxing because really brings you into the body. Too often, we’re stuck within the mind.” “You can do a body scan on your own, or have someone guide you through it. Relax all the organs around the belly and allow them to take in the oxygen, allowing them to soften and be at ease. Invite all your organs to relax. Thank them for the life that they bring you, even when you’re not thinking about it—that they always do their job so perfectly. Thank all of your internal organs for taking such good care of you.” See what Lisa makes when she’s not healing: her chain-strewn earrings (exclusive to Of a Kind!) are so freaking cool.
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Lisa Levine Makes (Healing!) Earrings for Of a Kind

When Lisa Levine closed her Williamsburg store in 2008 to focus on the healing arts—like calming breathwork, Reiki, and massage—it seemed like her just-bohemian jewelry line may have been done for good. But now she’s is back in the game with this ethos in tow: “Beauty, creativity, and healing all go together.” See how she fused them in the chain-strung earrings that are made, as Lisa she says, “for the goddess in all of us.” —lauren caruso Score the shiny, jangly earrings Lisa made right over here. “I really believe in the power of sacred objects—that things we wear affect how we feel. Something you know is handmade has a different vibration than something that’s made as cheaply as possible, so the production is very important to me. This is very untechnical, but we would usually make a template, which is pretty much a piece of paper that has the length of each of the chains. You line up the type of chain and then cut to those lengths. It’s very organic and low-tech. Each earring may be a tiny bit different, but that’s the beauty of it.”  “The most tedious part is opening the squares of chain so that the hoop fits through, but metal can stretch a bit. Now that all ten chains are on, I make the latch—it’s just a little circle for the part that goes through your ear to go through.” “Hammering the molecules in the metal together—which is called work hardening—gives it more form and strength, and it actually gives it a faceted shine because it’s flattened.” “The final step is to file the tip so the part that goes through your ear isn’t sharp.” “And there she is! I’ve been really into gold lately, for the sun. The chains are super disco-y and modern, but the earring is assembled in an organic shape. That juxtaposition is really fun. They’re definitely summer earrings.”
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