“Conscious City Guide” Co-Creator Mel Nahas is Leading a Spiritual Revolution

The ”Conscious City Guide” co-creator is shaking up how people interact with spirituality by making the practice far more accessible

For Mel Nahas, co-founder of the Conscious City Guide, together with Kiki Falconer, the concept of consciousness came to her after she’d made a spontaneous decision in the midst of a period in life that many know all too well—a devastating breakup.

Back in 2010, a friend booked her what was meant to be only a one-off session with a Reiki healer. After weeks of breakdowns and days filled with tears, she figured it couldn’t hurt to give the Japanese form of energy healing a try. Nahas says that she walked out of that appointment an entirely new person and with a “huge weight lifted off” her chest. The disruption that her separation from her partner had brought into her life had essentially disappeared.

“I went home and slept really well for the first time that night, woke up the next day, and didn’t feel like crying,” Nahas told LAMag. “I went and booked another session… it was actually that second session which catapulted me more into exploring other modalities of how I could get that same feeling of presence, calmness, and groundedness—without needing her.

“At the end of the day, I’ve learned that we are our own healers… the more that we can empower ourselves, the better,” she added.

Now, as the co-creator of the Conscious City Guide, she’s shaking up how people interact with spirituality by making the practice far more accessible. Whether readers want to practice consciousness—be it via healing, tea ceremonies, yoga, meditation, or other spiritual practices—alone or with a group, the guide provides listings for a multitude of events across the country.

In its essence, consciousness is an awareness of one’s internal and external being; by being more in touch with one’s self, one can be in touch with their thoughts, memories, feelings, sensations, and the environment they find themselves in throughout their everyday lives. The end result is meant to give oneself more control over one’s actions, acknowledgment of one’s thoughts, and control over the reactions to one’s emotions.

(L-R) Founders Mel Nahas & Kiki Falconer (Photo by Leia Marasovich)

Back when Nahas first started the guide in 2010, she was working in the music industry and content in her career—her foray into the world of consciousness was purely a passion project. It still is—but now the guide has become her entire career. This all came together when she applied everything she’s learned, experienced, and produced within the music business to an entirely new culture with the goal of making the experiences of consciousness more collective. The mechanisms of the music industry revolve around a collective experience, so by taking this to the consciousness community, she’s been able to bring its adherents together on a large scale.

And in 2019, Live Nation—the herculean entertainment company—came knocking. It ended up investing in the guide and helped launch it to an entirely new level of popularity. In the end, Nahas said she always saw her two “muses”—music and consciousness—coming together in this way.

“I always had an inkling that a partner and investor like Live Nation would totally make sense and I’m so grateful that they saw what we were doing as well,” Nahas said. “I would say that that the conscious community really embraced [Conscious City Guide]. They, too, wanted a platform to be able to promote what they were doing.”

Nahas and Falconer’s careers and projects hit a new peak when they were approached to curate a series of panels with Paramore’s Hayley Williams for Bonnaroo, under the banner “Sanctuary of Self Love”. During the panel, several celebrities spoke to an audience in the thousands who were there to learn more about the consciousness movement; notable speakers included Hayley Williams of Paramore, pop star Charli XCX, and legendary filmmaker and transcendental meditation champion David Lynch. Nahas described the moment as “thrilling.”

As her guide gains popularity, Nahas says she aims to stick to her core mission of bringing spirituality and self-empowerment back to their roots while still bolstering the movement. This aspect is deeply personal for her, she indicated, as it reflects her own personal work toward self-discovery—which she does not shy away from sharing widely.

“I did an Instagram post a while ago about how I didn’t come into my own Asian-ness…[until] the last five or seven years,” Nahas said. “It’s been a huge internalized racism journey for me. And I’m still on that journey.”

Such a journey of self-reflection is one that everyone should get to experience—and by all indications, Nahas is highly ambitious about getting people on board.

“I do hope that Conscious City Guide is opening [consciousness] up and making it more accessible to everyone,” she said. “Because we believe that what conscious culture stands for is community, self, and planet. And until all of those things are treated as one, there’s a lot of work to do.”

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