We had the good fortune of connecting with Allison Epstein and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Allison, how do you think about risk?
Risk to me involves following an intuitive feeling that pulls you out of your comfort zone and urges you to embrace the fear that comes with uncertainty.  I believe risk is all about these leveling-up moments designed to propel you towards personal and professional growth. Although taking a chance can be frightening and you may encounter potential hardships along the way, you ultimately feel on a deep soul level that this choice will lead to a change that is for your highest good.

When COVID hit, I had to make a choice and both involved risks. In early May 2020, the phone rang and it was my manager. “You’ve run out of time,” she said. “You need to report back to work or else we will consider your lack of attendance job abandonment.” I had been working the daily 9-5 grind as a medical speech therapist at a rehab hospital up until then. There was no work from home option, as I was considered an essential worker, but I also had a young daughter at home now because of school closures. In that moment, I had to decide if I should stay at my secure job, or leave for good and risk financial instability? Intuitively, I felt it was the opening I had been dreaming of – I could finally have autonomy over my schedule, spend more time with my daughter, and have the ability to invest 100% of my energy into my newly established Reiki healing business “Soul Advocate.”
I remember taking a deep breath on the phone when I told her I had to leave. In that moment, I could feel an inner conflict between what I knew was in my own best interest, and a tug of panic that I had no solid plan. I decided to lean into the fear, take the leap and embrace the uncertainty of entrepreneurship.

What should our readers know about your business?
I launched my Reiki practice Soul Advocate over a year ago with the intention to empower others on their own path towards healing.  On the quest to heal myself after my divorce, I discovered Reiki or as I like to say “Reiki found me.” Like so many of you, I was feeling burnt out, emotionally and physically drained and lost. Reiki enabled me to move past feeling “stuck” by my past and connect to my intuition and higher soul’s path.  Reiki became the gateway to my personal healing, and I felt called to provide this life-changing work for others. 

In my customized healing sessions, I incorporate Reiki with other tools such as breathwork, sound healing, chakra balancing, aromatherapy, crystals and essential oils to promote my clients’ well-being. Reiki is a non-invasive energy healing practice from Japan that restores balance in the mind, body and spirit while promoting the body’s self-healing ability. Reiki aligns one’s life force energy so there is harmony within. Breathwork is a specific guided breathing technique that serves to quiet the mind and promote the flow of energy by releasing energetic blockages.

What sets me apart from other healers is my foundation in healthcare. I have treated many patients who have had traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and diseases such as Cancer, and I noticed the profound effects I had when I incorporated Reiki into our sessions. My clients reported decreased pain, less anxiety/depression, improved sleep, and an overall sense of calm, peace and renewed hope after receiving a Reiki treatment. It became a personal mission to start educating doctors and hospital administrators on the measurable benefits of Reiki. My intention became to bridge the divide between Western medicine and Eastern healing practices.

It has definitely been a challenge to grow a business and switch careers during a pandemic while also home-schooling my daughter. I have had to be very resourceful. When lockdown prevented indoor treatment sessions, I transitioned my practice to include outdoor and virtual sessions. Living in LA with our ideal weather, I am able to accommodate outdoor sessions year round as my Reiki studio has a beautiful private garden space. Fortunately, energy work is not limited by space or time, and I have conducted many healing sessions over Zoom with clients from as far away as Singapore. I definitely had to adapt and utilize a lot of creativity during this extraordinary time. Especially now with a rise in mental health issues as a result of the social isolation due to the pandemic, it is my intention to get the word out that Reiki is for everyone who has the desire to heal and feel better, and while it is not in anyway a substitute for traditional therapeutic and medical intervention, it has a legitimate place alongside of them.  

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love this question! I’m a rare native Angelino and pride myself on showing all my out-of-town guests the best of what LA has to offer – both on and off the beaten path. First Up – West Hollywood/Los Feliz. We’d start our morning with breakfast at Republique for the best pastries. A few blocks up the street is one of my favorite stores American Rag Cie that has both vintage and new fashion. Next, we’d hit 3rd street, Melrose Place and Beverly Blvd. for great clothing at Raquel Allegra, Annie Bing, and Parliament. Coop LA has the best curated home decor and small goodies perfect for gift giving. No trip to LA is complete without sushi. My favorite go-to spot is Izakaya – don’t miss the infamous crispy rice and spicy tuna. After lunch, hit Magnolia for their awesome banana pudding. Bring a change of clothes and hike at Griffith Park – my favorite trail is near the Greek Theater entrance. Be sure to visit the old zoo with abandoned cages that make great photo ops and before the sun sets, head to the Observatory for great city vistas. Grab dinner after at AOC at their romantic garden patio. Day 2 – Venice/Santa Monica. Start the morning with a beach bike ride near where Ocean Park Blvd hits the sand. Check out the Venice street performers and stalls at the boardwalk. Grab coffee at Groundworks. Hit Abbott Kinney and Main Street for some great shopping – Burro for home goods, gifts, clothing and decor, Urbanic for great cards and paper products and House of Intuition for spiritual gifts such as candles, incense and crystals. For lunch Gjusta is an amazing spot with a great back patio or Tartine in Santa Monica with picnic style tables in an outdoor garden setting. For a some relaxation (pre-COVID, ) the One Spa at shutters is fantastic – their oxygen facial is great. End the night with dinner at Plant Food Wine – my favorite vegan restaurant – which also has a magical patio. Day 3 – Arts District /Downtown Begin the day with brunch at Manuela. Check out a new photography exhibit at Hauser and Wirth gallery. While you’re in the area, see some amazing street art murals displayed vividly on many building walls. For an afternoon sugar fix, stop at Pie Hole for awesome pies or treat yourself to some ice cream at Salt N Straw. Next up, learn all about LA’s storied past and Art Deco architecture with the LA Conservatory’s walking tour of Downtown. My favorite spot in the Arts District for dinner is Bavel – great atmosphere and food. Finish the night by grabbing a drink at the ACE Hotel rooftop bar. Day 4 – Pacific Palisades/Malibu Wake up and hike Temescal Canyon. Then check out the Palisades Village for shopping – Elyse Walker – for a mix of high-end and ready-to wear clothing and a great shoe department, Carbon 36 for edgy active wear and Alfred’s for coffee. Drive North on PCH to Malibu with the windows down and sunroof open of course. Grab brunch at Malibu Farm at the Malibu Pier – the cauliflower pizza is worth the wait, or if your’e more in the mood for seafood – have a lobster roll at Broad Street Oyster Company at the Malibu Country Mart. While there we’d be sure to hit Malibu Shaman for all things metaphysical. Next we’d head to El Matador Beach- truly my favorite in all of LA. It’s accessed by a steep staircase so it’s secluded and has the best rock formations and caves. Close the evening with a sunset rooftop dinner overlooking the ocean at Elephante – their whipped eggplant and fresh baked bread is heavenly. Day 5- Silver Lake/Echo Park Get some exercise in by climbing the many sets of painted Silverlake Stairs. After working up an appetite, grab brunch at Ladybird Cafe where you can now sit outside in your own mini greenhouse COVID style. Next up, head to Echo Park where you can float around in a swan paddle boat and admire the views of Downtown buildings and lotus flowers. Make your way towards Angelino Heights and take a self-guided tour of the Victorian homes there – especially on Carroll Avenue. Get an afternoon coffee fix at my favorite coffee place – La Colombe, and pre-COVID finish the day with a great Thai massage at Pho Siam and Thai food from Night and Market Song.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My 11-year-old daughter is my biggest cheerleader and champion. She has believed in my healing gifts and entrepreneurial skills long before me. She is the reason I choose to live a life of purpose and authenticity so that I make her proud everyday.

Website: https://www.allisonmepstein.com
Instagram: @souladvocate
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asouladvocate
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/soul-advocate-reiki-los-angeles?osq=Soul+Advocate+Reiki

Image Credits
Kim Butan

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