Lacy Phillips, Of Free + Native, Teaches Us How To Make Anything Happen
Lacy Phillips is a magical human. She's the heart, soul, and beauty behind Free + Native, the modern guide for holistic healing and curation of all things light-filled and spirit-healing. We've been eyeing Lacy's adaptogenic potions, herbal remedies, and natural living prowess for years, so when we found out she was going to be a few blocks away at The Bowery, we eagerly and politely squeezed ourselves into her busy schedule. When we finally arrived to meet her, she had just been relocated to a new room with a tub because she needed to take a serious epsom salt bath after days of eating out in NYC's salty restaurants. Lacy is our kind of girl. Yes, she travels with crystals, bitters, and palo santo to stay grounded, but she also knows what she wants and she has no hesitation in going after it -- with a carefully-created manifesting practice that has brought her everything from her dream apartment to her dream man no less. If there is one thing we learned from our afternoon with Lacy, it's that creating the life of your dreams is a whole lot more simple than we think.
How did Free + Native begin?
I grew up with a really spiritual grandmother and we had a home in Santa Cruz. There were always crystals. When I'd have a sunburn, there was always vitamin E oil. It was very holistic.
My grandmother was on a whole other wavelength. She was taking my grandfather -- who was the President of really refined banks -- to nudist hot springs retreats. At nighttime, I remember her having these crazy theta wave light visualization goggles and her always sunbathing nude for vitamin D and just being really connected. She was out there. If it could heal, she was doing it. She was so trippy and spiritual.
It's interesting, because my parents and everybody else, were like, ‘That’s out there, that’s crazy…’ but I've always really admired her. I grew up in the Central Valley, where there was no such thing as organic. That just didn’t exist. Organic was maybe picking citrus off of your own citrus tree. Now, it’s more available, but it was not even accessible back them. At 16, I remember hearing from my grandmother about organics, and knowing that I wanted to eat that way. And I get that from her — just being so drawn to that. She was so beautiful and inspiring.
I started acting and modeling at 17, which was all I ever knew until 25, and I had a moment while going to a pilot audition. I was like, ‘I don't see myself aging in this…I don't even think I like this anymore.’ That day, I fired all of my representation and went to France for a month with my partner at a time.
I came back and was a preschool teacher for a year. It just fell into my lap. It was so random, but it was the most toxic faculty work environment on the planet. It was two hours of traffic every day, being treated like shit every day. Then by the end of it, my adrenals were totally taxed and I had my appendix removed. My body shut down. When I left, I had a very direct conversation with the Universe. I was like, ‘Universe, I'll never work for somebody again in my life.’ I was like, 'Show me what to do. I have $2,000 in my bank account. Show me what I should be doing.'
Then somebody told me about My New Roots. I checked it out and I was like, ‘Oh my God, dude, I had a blog before, and I have so much wisdom to give to people and I already shoot half of these off in emails individually all the time anyway, I’ll start a blog!’ And I did that. The moment I started it, within two weeks, all of a sudden I was doing features here and there. I think somebody needed to fill the void of something that was modern, and not granola, but had the same information. I feel like I was one of the first people to fill that void. It’s been three years now.
Have you always been aware of your connection with the Universe, or has that changed over time?
Completely. I definitely have always been super aware of that presence. I was raised with zero religion. There was definitely a spirituality from my grandmother, but it wasn't really spoken in that way. She was always into psychics and mediums, things like that. So was my mother. We always had a family psychic, and I still have tapes from her when I was little and everything she would say was crazy. When I was 17, I picked up the book, The Game of Life and How to Play It. It’s a super small, super trippy book. It has a lot of God-talk, and it’s definitely about speaking to the Universe and manifesting. I started manifesting at a really young age. That was just how I lived my life. The more I jumped off of cliffs and trusted and was fearless — which is a muscle, I think — the stronger I got. The muscle gets stronger as you use it over time, and you really learn to trust it. It’s helped me accomplish so much, and has brought so much to me. It’s become really refined for me throughout the years. That’s definitely how I live my whole existence. It's what I use to navigate virtually everything that I do. The Universe has it. It's my guide. I mean, how much more magical is life when you can just make anything happen?
What exactly is your process in manifesting?
When I meet with individual clients, the equation for manifesting is so simple. It's about being fearless and faithful. It's about getting out of your own way. Everybody obviously has that compass inside of them. When I meet with people, it’s kind of like meeting with a therapist. We really get down to the root of what blocks are standing in their way, and keeping them from believing that they’re worthy of what they want. It’s about trusting, and getting rid of fear. Everybody is a little bit different because we all have our own old programming.
The way that I help people manifest is different. It’s not a vision board. I use lists. I think lists are really powerful, because it’s a direct conversation of asking for what you want, whereas with vision boards, you have a picture of somebody else in the photo, maybe holding somebody else’s hand at a beach you don’t even know and don’t even want to go to. I think lists are really powerful ways to be specific about what you want. It’s just about learning your lessons, getting out of your own way and then being in the faith of receiving.
And really, that's all there is to it. But, how do you stay in that? There are things, like The Secret, that say if you stay in the vortex, or if you stay really positive, it’s all going to work out. And that’s really fucking great, but how do we do that every single day? There are little skills that you can harness and tools you can make: dissolve the old programming, get the fears out of your body, and completely get into a space of knowing. It’s not rocket science, it’s just about, ‘How do we, as really intelligent humans, step out of our conscious world and get into our subconscious and believe?'
Do you remember the first time you manifested?
One of the bigger ones when I was like ‘Okay I’m never going to doubt this ever again,’ was when I was living in a loft in downtown LA. I was paying obscene amounts of money for it. I was super poor. I was still acting. All my money was going to this stupid apartment and stupid things. I was dating a guy at the time that was in a band and he was touring. They were in Vegas, and I noticed that all his band mates lived at home, or they had a really great deal. They were just economically smart. They weren’t throwing away their cash.
When I was driving back from Vegas, I was driving through the Mojave Desert on a Sunday, and I said, ‘Universe, that’s it. Tomorrow, we are finding a new apartment.’ I called out the most obscene things, like, ‘It’s going to be under $500 a month, in the hills, in LA — it can be Laurel Canyon or Echo Park. It has to have hardwood floors or Spanish tiles.’ It was obscene. Things that just don’t even exist in the world of LA. And I was so knowing at that point, I feel like I was pretty defined with my work in manifestation.
I woke up Monday morning and I drove all around Laurel and the Santa Monica Mountains and everywhere. I said to the Universe, ‘We have to find it today! It’s happening.’ Then, I remembered a guy that I knew very briefly a long time ago. He had this crazy guest house in Echo Park. I texted him and was like, ‘If you ever move, I’m really interested in taking that over.’ He was like, ‘I’m leaving in two weeks, here’s the landlord’s number.’ It was $325 a month.
And I’ve had so many of those. Not all obscene things. Like in my heart at this moment, I don’t want to be a millionaire. Yes, of course that sounds really lovely, but in my mind, I don’t know how to even wrap my head around that kind of stuff, so I could never manifest it. When I do know exactly what I want, it just happens.
What are some different tools for getting rid of blocks?
One of the top ones that I make clients do, is to detoxify their life. You would be so astounded by how many people have a really toxic parent, but don't know how to make boundaries and get them out. I'm ruthless. If you aren't helping me get further in my connection, if you’re bringing me down, if you don’t have my best interest, or if you’re really negative, you’re out (snaps) that quickly. It’s done. I do that with everything in your environment — with feng shui. If that art piece or your wardrobe isn’t inspiring you, that’s huge. Detoxify.
Also do that on a physical level. I don’t preach that as much, because I think that that’s somebody else’s journey, but that helps how you feel about yourself energetically. That’s a huge one. And dissolving old programming. Becoming aware of your old programming. My biggest one that I dealt with for a long time was lack. I grew up with young parents who I remember were constantly like, ‘This is a hot check, we can’t afford this, you can’t get that,’ or whatever. Just nonstop. I had a lot of deep, deep, deep old programming with that, so really recognizing what those things are for you, and getting to the root of it.
What's your food philosophy?
My food philosophy has shifted so much through the years. There was a point where I was vegan, then I was raw vegan, then I was macrobiotic…I think I've done everything, just to see what agreed most with my body, and also to be able to — as an herbalist and a holistic chef — guide people on what would work for them. I have to take tools from each thing for people. I believe in an array of them. I think every constitution is so different.
For instance, I have a lot of endocrine disruption. With my adrenals, I can't be vegan. It's impossible for my body. I prefer being vegan, I prefer not eating the meat, but it just doesn't work. The only thing that stabilizes my blood sugar is animal protein, which really is kind of a bummer.
But if somebody doesn't have that, and they have a really hot constitution, if they're really fiery and they live in a very warm, tropical climate, raw food is amazing for them. Whereas, if you have what I have and you live in a cold climate and you're a woman, especially (we don't have as much circulation) you need a lot of warming foods. You do need that blood sugar stability.
What I follow, personally, is very balanced. I’ve done so many things now, and just learned my body so well that I know right away when I need to go get something and put it into my body, or else I’m going to crash. I don’t have sugar, and for sure no gluten. When you have endocrine disruption, just stay away from them.
How did you get to know your body so well?
It's just through listening — really listening. People don't tune in enough, I talk about this a lot. When you're tuned in, you just know what's causing it. I really love Alisa Vitti — she is literally one of my favorite people on the planet, especially for what I have going on. She’s insanely good. I can now listen to my body, where I know when estrogen is really kicking up, like if I’m getting bloated or have a breakout, or whatever else is going on. I’m really in tune with it. I think that’s come just through education and watching and listening.
When you eat a certain type of food and you get bloated, it doesn't work well for you. Period. It’s not jiving with your microbiome right now. Maybe when that shifts a little down the road, you can try again. But just really watch and listen. Above all, I think it’s just about listening and educating yourself. For example, I know that eating out in New York doesn’t go well for me, because I feel hungover and swollen. Find a holistic balance between what’s researched and what’s scientifically proven, and then what’s holistically proven in how it’s connected to your body. That’s my theory.
Can you talk a little bit about herbs and your background as an herbalist?
When I first started the blog, I was like, 'What am I interested in contributing?' There are so many health coaches and schools and things like that. There is just so much out there. For herbs, I heard about Michael and Lesley Tierra’s program out of Santa Cruz. It’s an herbal school called East West that teaches Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western modalities. I knew I wanted to navigate herbs to start, because the plants have always been the most interesting thing for me. I don’t know why, but inside my heart as well, I’ve always been into herbalism. Since I was little, I’ve always been curious about them. So that was my first step. From there, I self-educated a ton.
Even when I do work with people on a spiritual level with manifestation, I’m always like, ‘You’re too depressed, use a little ashwagandha to pull you up a bit and sleep better at night, because all of that’s affecting your positivity and staying in alignment.’ I definitely do bring that in and consult with that.
I also believe that when you live in certain climates, the adaptogens in that climate are just much more energetically suitable for your healing. For instance, in LA, aloe is a wonderful version of an adaptogen for you. Whereas, we’re all buying these other herbs from around the world that have maybe lost their potency, unless they’ve been extracted really well. When I’m in Palm Springs, I’ll always pull up an aloe plant and I’ll make a shot out of it, because it’s super hydrating and it’s internally beautifying, as well as an adaptogen. I think that the foraging aspect has always interested me too. Like when NY has elderberries in bloom, I can just pull them off and make a syrup out of that for friends and family, and nobody gets sick.
What is your body and movement philosophy?
I think I’ve done everything under the moon. For exercise, I've tried it all. I know what’s most important when it comes to energy and body movement. For me, that’s definitely intense training. It’s my form of Zoloft or whatever. It definitely gets my brain chemistry rolling and my cortisol flushing. It’s helping the inflammation I feel. I do high intensity training in the form of weights and really quick spurts of exercises for 28 minutes.
I also do a similar thing with cardio. One day I’ll do weights, one day I’ll do cardio, one day I’ll weights, one day I’ll do cardio, and so on. Then, I also think it’s really important to jump on the trampoline for three minutes after for my lymphatic system. And when I need to, I’ll hop in the sauna. I definitely make it a full experience of what I need for my body at the time, and also to feel toned and feel strong.
Yoga definitely isn’t my thing anymore. I try to pop into classes and I'm like, ‘Fuck, 90 minutes? I don't have time for that anymore!’ That's not my thing. Meditation is my version of that for sure — of doing that work. I mean, obviously, yoga is scientifically good for you, but sweating, even just in a bath, is what gets it out of me.
What’s a typical day like for you?
It used to be really insane — I used to indulge in stuff a lot, but I got really busy. I think when you do get busy, you do what you have to do. I wake up around 6. Then I have a lemon water, like everybody on the planet, I guess (laughs). I’ll warm if if it's cold out and then just room temperature if it's not. I've been really into kitchari for breakfast, so I'll do that sometimes. I've been doing a lot of kitchari cleanses in between travel. They're so healing. It helps my skin, my digestion, everything…it’s so crazy. So for breakfast I’ll do that with an egg and some ferments and cilantro on it.
Then I’ll head right to the gym, and that's when I do whatever workout for the day. I'm usually wrapped from all of that around 10, and that's when I'll get into a deep meditation. I do a 45 minute crazy meditation every day, that tunes me in to meet with clients so I can be hyper grounded. I call in their guides to come through me and tell them whatever they need to hear. I just get into a very centered, rooted place. Because I'm an Aquarius, I’m very in the air. That's the one way that I can ground and have my roots into the ground and be present. I'll do that for 45 minutes, and then it's just work all day. I work until 6 or 7. Clients, blog, just everything.
It’s very rare that I do a lot of raw food. Raw food for my constitution is not the greatest thing on the planet. Juices I can’t really do anymore either because of my blood sugar. Obviously, in the depths of summer, especially here, it can be great. But I’m like an old Irish chick — I’m like, ‘Where’s the stew?’. For dinner, Mushy beans and rice or something are totally my thing. Then at night, I'll finish with meditation to clear all the energy out. Like yesterday, I did an event that just drained my energy. I couldn’t be present with my parter afterwards. I had to do abhyanga and a really long shower just to wash that off. I slept for 12 hours afterward, and I don’t do that ever!
Typically at night, I’ll have a bowl of bone broth. I feel like it’s very centering and warming. It’s calming and anti-inflammatory. My favorite thing in the world to do is just indulge in alone time. I love to be in my thoughts. As an Aquarius, all I ever want to do is just be alone and think. I close off the world and I do a lot of binaural beats. They’re amazing. I’ll do that and a sound bowl and just meditate and think. I feel like that’s when the best ideas come in. It's really mellow. I'm super old now, in a sense, I'm 60 in my heart. I go to bed at 10. I don't drink anymore at all. I can't handle it. My endocrine system is so messed up afterwards. My sleep is so affected. I just can’t. I’m also such a workaholic. It’s all I do, which I love! I feel self-satisfied.
How do you stay balanced when you're wanting to travel every weekend?
That is tricky. For me, the only thing that gets really messed up are things like my normal detoxification routines. Digestion always gets messed up, so I always bring bitters with me, no matter where I go. It's usually Urban Moonshine — they’re one of my favorite companies. I carry them with me always. I mediate no matter where I go. I'll have a few crystals or selenite. I'll always have something burning. I really am into copal right now, or palo santo just to ground. Those tools really pull me down and ground me. I do the work that I suggest to clients. It's a lot of manifestation meditation. That's a huge grounding force.
When I get somewhere new, I always pick up lemons so I can have lemon water throughout the day and just keep cleaning my liver. That definitely feels good. We try to have a bath — we have a medical intuitive that just prescribed my partner these insane baths. It’s one bath every day for two months. One bath has four pounds of Epsom salt, two quarts of hydrogen peroxide, one box of Borax, and two cups of cornstarch. At first, I was like, ’Is that even good for us? That sounds insane. That's wild.’ But for the heavy metal toxicity that he was exposed to, it’s really good. What made us do it, was that his mom was a photographer for years and she would develop with no gloves, so she had insane amounts of heavy metals in her body. Then she found this woman. This woman prescribed her ongoing for four months, plus a prescription of all sorts of herbs. When she went back to her MD, everything as completely gone. She tested for no heavy metals.
What’s your idea of legacy?
One day, I would really like to have — which I don't see being very far away — a series of books or whatever that may be. I really want to leave behind this technique of manifestation, because I do believe that it will affect a lot of people. I do believe that it will, more than anything I've ever encountered, set a formula of manifesting. I think this is actually very grounded and it's incredibly approachable. Every single person can do this stuff every day to really reach their goal. It's less likely to be snake oil, or where you're buying into these other products that are like, ‘Just be positive!’ But no, we don't live in that society. We have to have people really look at and see what their issues were when they were younger.