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When the Perez sisters — Rosangel and Alex — first opened up their metaphysical boutique, Botanikal, they dreamed of creating a space for community, healing, and learning. Now, given today’s increasing political and social anxieties, Botanikal has become a popular and much-needed haven for New Yorkers, providing comfort and solace amidst chaos.
Located in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Botanikal offers a wide selection of crystals, jewelry, incense, pendulums, oracle cards, and more. Additionally, the Perez sisters provide healing ceremonies, blessings, and classes for individuals, homes, and workplaces alike. Their clients range from “energy healers, mediums, [and] psychics” to businesspeople and teachers looking for some grounding.
Work environments are often rife with tension, stress, and anxiety, but, in recent months as personal and political arenas have gotten more destabilized, many people are turning inward to try to cope with external stressors, both in their work lives and home lives.
In a Western context, it’s easy to lose track of spirituality. But the Perez sisters have discovered ways to get back in touch with this side of themselves. As a result, they now dedicate themselves to helping others on similar paths. “It began [with] a pull towards creating a conscious intention back to self,” the Perez sisters said.
For Rosangel and Alex, their spiritual journey all began with creating space and time to listen to themselves and drown out the external buzz. “Get to know your inner voice and guidance [and] learn to differentiate between the voices that come from society, religion, or culture and that which is your own,” they said.
After years of exploring spirituality, through classes and community, the Perez sisters realized how isolating spiritual journeys could be. “Community plays such an important role during times of exploration, healing, and awakenings,” the sisters said. This realization sparked an idea in them.
“One day we joked that we should open a shop [where] we would help connect people to crystal and plant friends,” the Perez sisters said. “[We wanted to] create a much-needed community [and] teach others to create sacred space starting with understanding that you are your very own sacred space.” A few months later, Botanikal was born.
In addition to carrying Indigenous art, crystals, aromatherapy and a wide variety of healing items, the Perez sisters also provide healing sessions, circles, and other types of spiritual and metaphysical classes.
The sisters regularly work with people in a variety of different context, and have discovered that many people struggle in their work environments. As such, the sisters provide a variety of remedies to work-related issues, such as shifting or clearing stressful and toxic energies at work, protecting oneself from toxic coworkers, using crystals and others spiritual tools at work without calling unwanted attention, and other strategies for easing stressful experiences at work.
The Perez sisters also work with workplaces wanting to create a more welcoming and positive environment for their employees and co-workers. These include crystal workshops, laughter yoga, meditation and movement classes, talking stick circles, and other types of readings and consultations.
For those who don’t feel comfortable accessing these services, or who work in environments where this type of energy work isn’t possible, there are other things that can help put you at ease. “Crystals and plants help to ‘love up’ our environments. They clean the air and protect the space, they add color to inspire, energize, or to calm,” the Perez sisters said, encouraging folks who feel stuck in a drab or low-energy office.
“[Plants and crystals] can add lightness and feel-good vibrations as well as be a grounding support during stressful times,” they continued, noting how important it is to shift our habits — both at home and at work — and widen our notions of self-care that can help improve the quality of our days.
The Perez sisters encourage checking in periodically by considering the following questions: “Are you beginning your day with gratitude and setting intentions for grounding, ease and a successful flow of your day? Are you drinking plenty of fresh water throughout the day? Are you making sure to stop to eat your meal(s)? Are you taking stretching and/or movement breaks? Are you having an overwhelming moment and pausing to do some mindful breathing?”
These days, it can feel like things are falling apart at the seams, and sometimes it’s hard to know which way is up. Still, though we may not always be in control of our external surroundings, that doesn't mean we can't work to take control of our internal selves. Just because you don’t have a religious or spiritual practice that you trust doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways to find grounding and comfort when you fall upon hard times.
“Spend time in nature, and let her help you attune and remember who you are. Express and show gratitude to yourself [and] to your loved ones and your ancestors,” the Perez sisters said. “Align yourself with like-minded communities [and] connect with people who can hold a space of listening, share perspectives, and witness your unraveling and expansion.”
The Perez sisters are currently raising money to support Hurricane and Earthquake Relief Efforts. Currently, Botanikal is accepting contributions to support Agriculture and Farming in Puerto Rico, which has been mostly wiped out.
In addition, the Perez sisters have a podcast Cafecito Break which goes live every Monday morning at 11am. They will also be hosting a series of monthly Gratitude Festivals in hopes of bringing community together and supporting local and small business vendors.
(Image by Ludmila Leiva. Photos courtesy of Botanikal.)