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A Moment With Mindful Models

Kristina Block promotes purpose beyond physical beauty.

Once upon a time, as a model, she struggled with the fashion industry’s sometimes toxic and insidious lifestyle, losing sight of the creative, artistic joy involved. After she took a moment to regain confidence, thanks in part to a strong meditation practice, she realized that she wanted to support and educate other models, as they navigate that tricky world. Ultimately, she founded Mindful Models, an organization that strives to spark a sense of purpose and confidence in models through holistic, mindful, self-care events and experiences.

Here, Block explains how inner evolution can encourage positive revolution in the world:

Live The Process: What was your life path before starting Mindful Models?

Kristina Block: I was born in South East Siberia in Russia. When I was 17 years old, I moved to Moscow to get a higher education in linguistics. That’s why I speak English fluently—with a bit of an accent.

After I got my degree, I worked as a personal assistant, as a brand manager of a fashion line and as an events coordinator. By then, my organizational skills were top notch, but ultimately the corporate world was not my thing. I’ve always been creative—dancing, painting, making clothes and modeling here and there.

At 27, I went on a trip to South East Asia and never came back to Moscow. I went on a journey to redefine my life and find my true purpose. Bali became my home for two and a half years. There, I rediscovered modeling and got back into dance performance art. I felt inspired again! I was surrounded by beauty, creativity and amazing community. Leaving everything behind and stepping into the unknown was the best decision of my life!

LTP: How and when were you inspired to start Mindful Models? Was there an inciting incident? What exactly does the organization do?

KB: I enjoyed modeling a lot: embodying different characters, changing my style, working with amazing photographers and designers, shooting in exotic locations. But there was a dark side to it: I wrestled with money issues, experienced sexual harassment, struggled with drug abuse and felt very insecure, constantly comparing myself with other girls. Eventually, I had to step out of it and find my strength again. Luckily, at that time, I had a pretty strong meditation practice which brought me back to myself. I started working with a personal coach and dedicated one year to clarifying my vision and mission. That’s how Mindful Models was born!

Mindful Models is a social movement on a mission to bring mindfulness and heart into the fashion, modeling, entertainment and beauty industries through a holistic approach to well-being. We believe that by celebrating diversity, cultivating mindfulness and catalyzing leadership, models can impact society in a truly meaningful way. We provide personal development programs, workshops and retreats to help models navigate the industry in a more healthy way and to find what inspires them outside that world. Everything starts within ourselves. By doing the inner work, we can transform our outer world.

We also organize transformational events where people can experience a deep connection by being their authentic selves, feeling loved, seen and cared for. On these occasions, we take a holistic approach by bringing in different elements such as embodiment and meditation practices, nutrition, sound healing, conscious sustainable brands and engaging conversations on various themes, including authentic beauty, activism, nutrition, mindfulness, sustainability, women’s empowerment, human rights etc.

LTP: How do you hope to impact young models and the industry as a whole?

KB: First of all, I want them to know the reality of this field—to be aware of both sides. There are great opportunities to become a famous model, artist and/or actress and travel the world, but I want them to be aware of what comes up with it: long hours on set and during fashion shows, lack of sleep, stress, underpayment, tones of castings, rejection, competition, sexual harassment, body shaming, abuse of power. It’s not that I want to scare models and say bad things are going to happen to them, so they don’t pursue their careers. I’m just saying that they have to really take care of themselves, be mindful of their choices and people with whom they work. Always speak their truth. Surround themselves with people who really see them for who they are, not just that they are physically beautiful. Cultivate qualities such as kindness, compassion, curiosity and a positive attitude. I want to inspire models to stand for something in their lives and become role models the society desperately needs. It’s not only about how beautiful they look in a selfie or what big brand they shot for; it’s about how they can contribute and make an impact, using their inner and outer beauty to make a real difference in the world! 

I hope the industry will become a fair, safe environment and creative place, where every skin color, gender, shape and age is welcomed and celebrated. I want to see the industry promoting transparency, authentic beauty and sustainability.  

LTP: What are some current wellness obsessions and/or rituals that keep you feeling balanced and healthy?

KB: Dance is my medicine! It keeps me alive and joyful. I either dance by myself at home, go to ecstatic dance or facilitate a conscious movement practice, which is my new obsession. It's called “Authentic Embodiment,” and it awakens my child-like wonder so easily.

LTP: What does happiness look like to you?

KB: Happiness to me is to live in alignment with my mind, body and soul. Feeling an ocean breeze on my skin. Waking up next to my husband. Making art. Dancing all night long. Eating delicious mango. Being surrounded by loving friends and family.

LTP: What does it mean to you to Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?

KB: Life doesn’t happen to us. Life happens through us. Living the process is allowing life to flow through me. And it could be anything. Letting go of control and trusting that the universe always has my back. It really does. Meditation is a great way to stay present, grounded and open to life’s adventures.

To “Live the Process” is to follow my heart and do what brings me joy the most!