Globe-trotting Rachel Hughes is the founder of New World Native, an online platform and global community of health and wellness professionals. Her current path has been very much fed by her ongoing personal quest to bring her mind, body and spirit into alignment.
Through years of exploration, open-mindedness and the desire to shift from a reactionary to preventative mindset, she discovered a variety of healers and modalities that would eventually become the impetus to create the New World Native network.
Read on to learn how this inspiring creative entrepreneur facilitates transformation, education and empowerment for the masses through steadfast commitment to her mission and the support of her tribe.
INSIDE/OUT: Introduce yourself.
RACHEL HUGHES: My name is Rachel Catherine Hughes. I am Australian born, a Los Angeles lover and based currently in New York. I am a purveyor of all things cosmic, I believe the reason I am here is to constantly transform and evolve as a human. My mission is to share my experience and assist others in accessing their tools for transformation. My tool of choice is healing.
What’s your genesis story?
There are pivotal points in my life that have helped place me on the trajectory that I am on today. My story began in Sydney, Australia where I was adopted at 6 weeks old. My creative and independent tendencies guided me gradually toward entrepreneurship. Like many holistic health practitioners and entrepreneurs, I first committed to personal healing through exploring a myriad of modalities and by remaining open to all possibilities, found resolve.
Cleansing and detoxing from years of pharmaceutical drugs taken as a child and reconnecting with my mind and body were key. With that, I was better able to not only follow, but commit to my curiosities – always a necessity when stepping into one’s true purpose. I have done my due diligence for several years, experiencing heightened awakenings and transformations in Bali and India; and with a healthy dose of challenges I ended up in Los Angeles 4 years ago. This move resulted in the birth of New World Native, the global network for the wellness community as it exists today. We are in 29 countries and 26 States in the USA, with recent milestones such as being accepted into WeWork Labs/incubator in New York, 2020 Startups Accelerator, produced content for Mercedes Benz at the meConvention, told my story on a panel at SXSW and will be speaking at the upcoming Wanderlust conference, Wellspring in October..
Tell us more about New World Native.
New World Native is an online platform and global community of people and brands that bring holistic health, alternative medicine and conscious lifestyle to the world. We are in the business of setting industry standards in the wellness sphere. We want to spread access and education on and about holistic health and alternative medicine globally so that it is the safe and secure option when customers are making choices in their healthcare journey. We are all about shifting mindsets from reactionary to preventative, and that not only flows through how we look after ourselves but also the planet around us.
And what are your dreams for the future?
Through the New World Natives global ecosystem we will have conscious communities and wellness hubs all over the world focused on ushering in the evolution of human consciousness through self healing. We are also focusing on preserving the ancient wisdoms of the indigenous people worldwide; the medicines, healing rituals and stories. We want these modalities to live on in their purest forms. We will create programs so that these practices are passed down to the younger generations with respect and integrity. I see retreat centers and huge gatherings; as much as we are building an online platform which promotes the convenience of connection, we always want to make sure we are still connecting in the real, tangible, world.
What are your thoughts on feminism and empowerment?
I believe that the future is the coming together of both the masculine and feminine powers within all of us. I think the problem is the fact that there is too much focus on the differences between men and women, instead of how insanely similar we all are, one pendulum swing to another is not the answer. More importantly than this though, I feel that the conversation needs to be around empowerment of humans as a whole, especially unpacking the horrific damage inequity, white privilege and racism that have caused to the humans of our world. Healing is not void of social justice; we need to address how we are helping and healing POC and empowering them, so that we can stand together in our humanity, before we focus on gender.
What does your community consist of?
My professional community is a beautiful group of yummy souls who are all committed to the mission of evolving humanity. I pull a lot of strength from my community when I need to and support them as much as I can, by creating this vehicle, NWN, in return.
Who or what helped you get where you are today?
I have incredible friends, there are five people in particular who have been my rocks in my darkest of days. They have seen the light and dragged me through when I have not been able to; they have become my family. I also have two incredible gurus who have been the guiding hand, pushing me in the right direction at insanely poignant times in my life. They even recently ended up in Bali with me completely by chance, to help usher in a new chapter. There have also been some great teachers that have come into my life in the form of partners, each lesson making my path clearer and solidifying my purpose. Each lesson highlighting what I already knew, but for different reasons, chose or forgot to listen to…. It’s always in essence, the same lesson: Listen to your gut, higher self, intuition, whatever you want to call it, because it is always in tune with what is best for you.
Overall, who takes care of you? Who or what makes you stronger?
Really recently I went through my own huge transformation and upgrade, which was the culmination of a huge burn out and near death experience on the back of a scooter whilst on the first real break I had taken in 3 years; in Bali on a detox retreat. The combination of the detox, the accident and the burn out sparked what felt like a kundalini awakening. It was very intense. The big lesson in this was self care and self work. I am so committed to my mission - to building a vehicle in the world that will affect great change - that I let it consume my entire being. There was no line where I ended and my company began, it was all blurred together. I am currently at the end of this entire process and redefining boundaries for myself and my business.
Do you face any particular challenges or obstacles?
I think the biggest obstacle I face is taking the time to be kind to myself and remembering to save some energy for my own self care. As a facilitator it is crazy how many of us end up being the last to receive the much needed work, even though we can not be in our full power without it! I now reaffirm this to myself everyday, that I deserve love, remind myself I am strong and deserve kindness and this makes me stronger, but its daily, it HAS to be daily. So I guess with this, the biggest obstacle is getting out of my own way, because at the end of the day, I am the creator of my universe. Remembering the power is in my hands is what makes me feel strong.
Photos by Grayson Gilbert
What particular challenges do you find women are facing? How can this be improved?
Definitely in the start-up world, women and POC find it alot harder to raise funding. This is an extremely well known fact. There are certain groups that make an effort to be inclusive but there just aren’t enough of them to make a difference in the industry yet.
Our wellness community faces problems around access and education, there is either no information, misinformation or too much information and a lot of clients have a terrible time cutting through the bullshit. We aim to alleviate these pain points with our platform so both sides of the community can find each other. The best thing we can do for each other is work with integrity, help wherever we can and never give up. Persistence is key.
Whatever your dream is, just don’t give up. That will make the difference between who makes it and who doesn’t. Perseverance and persistence.
Community. Cosmic. Clarity.
Tell us about your rituals.
My daily non-negotiables are: meditate, gym and steam. I also fast until about 1pm which really helps my brain switch on. I’ve been traveling a lot between huge cities and without the daily reset I find it hard to cut through and be productive. I am really strict with this daily routine because everything else in life can be a complete mixed bag so I need that stability. I also take high quality Chinese medicinal herbs, I don’t drink, I don’t eat meat and I take a really strong probiotic because gut health is so important, it dictates a lot of how I feel in the rest of my body. I find if I look after my gut I have a clearer head.
Do you ever ‘fall off the wellness wagon’? If so, what does this mean to you? If not, how do you avoid temptation?
Traveling definitely provides its challenges when staying on the ‘wellness wagon’ when you aren’t familiar with the location you are in, finding healthy food can be such a pain and also staying fit. I’ve become accustomed to finding a gym, sauna and a vegetarian food cafe as soon as I land to try and ground and balance out. I’m getting much better at never letting it slip too far these days. Can’t afford the lost time from not feeling my best anymore. I have a world to change!
What resources would you recommend to our community?
Podcast - How I Built This on NPR
Books - Pranic Energy: Mystic Power Of The Ancients and Be Here Now by Ram Dass
Music - How To Disappear Completely - Mer de Revs II (Full Album, 2017)
What would you recommend for people without the means or geographical access to prestigious materials, products and practitioners?
Food. Food is the foundation to all health; healing your gut can transform your energy levels, happiness, productivity and creativity! This was my gateway to holistic health. I picked up the Tao of Detox and learned how to heal myself with the foods that I ate. It’s a cheap and impactful transformation anyone can access.
What role does travel play in your life? Where have you been and what’s next?
Travel provides an accelerated platform for transformation. I have been traveling a lot recently with NWN events around the world and I always end up learning so much about myself. Traveling is a fast track to expansion and transformation. I have recently been in Lisbon, Amsterdam, Bali, Los Angeles, Austin, Madrid, Egypt and India. It’ll be home to Australia next and then China and Sri Lanka.
What role does music play in your life?
Music is everything. I used to be a disco Dj in my previous life so I LOVE to be transported to different dimensions by my music. Anything disco, 80s synth or ambient. I find music can be so visceral, there are certain songs that can transport me to an old memory, or open up a portal to a new experience. Here is a link to a playlist I made for Inside/Out.
What do you do when something makes you unhappy?
These days I have been learning to sit in the emotion instead of doing things to distract myself or squash the feeling. It’s been quite an interesting process and I have managed to shed a lot of programming and feel lighter in my day to day as a result. I never used to give myself the time or permission to feel sad or unhappy, but it’s a very important emotion to feel, label and process, because if you don’t, it will compound and eventually explode in other ways, like burn out or a break down. Life is a series of dualities, ying yang. You can’t have the light without the dark, we have to welcome both the table. It is when you deny one or the other that you create suffering.
What inspires you more than anything else?
Creating an amazing life for myself, my friends and my community. I have such a deep desire to facilitate and create happiness and I know that the power is in my hands. The fact that I know I can access and create everything that I want, it is the challenge of working out how to harness your own power, get out of your own way. I like to look at life like we are onions, either adding or taking away a layer of programming. The whole purpose of why we are here, the human experience. This inspires me to get out of bed every day and keep going. Because everything and anything is possible. You are the creator.