[01:19] Hi, and welcome to a brand new episode of the Yoga Girl Podcast: Conversations From The Heart. I am currently sitting in my guest bedroom, alternately sweating my ass off and freezing with chills and shaking. I have a 39.5-degree fever, which in Fahrenheit is a 103! So, feeling pretty crappy at the moment right now. I’ve been kind of dreading sitting down to record this podcast all day. It’s been a very overwhelming week, to say the least. And then I found myself just now, I was sitting on the couch literally watching some very mindless Netflix show about nothing. We just completed our one-week trauma healing retreat. Today was the last day. And whenever I finish a big awakening, a big big big transformation with a group, my way to cleanse my energy a little bit is to do something that doesn’t engage me emotionally. So I’m kind of trying to sit with this cold and this big, heavy fever and chills and all of this stuff going on just on the couch, I’m watching a show about makeup. [laugh] That should be enough to tell you kind of where I am. No offense to makeup, I like makeup, I just can’t believe I’m watching an actual Netflix show about makeup. It’s the biggest contrast of all time, going from where I’ve just been this week.
[002:52] But I was sitting there just now. My dear, dear husband just went to go play soccer. He just put the baby down. And I had this big moment of just taking a breath, saying, you know, if not now, when? Why not take a moment to sit down with the mic and share? I’m in this very vulnerable place, obviously, feeling feverish. So I think it’s the first time ever recording a podcast with a really high fever, so we’ll see how this episode turns out. How about all of us, all of us, let’s take a moment to close the eyes. If you have space just to sit down, give yourself a little bit of time to tune in. The cool thing about illness, or about a cold or feeling sick is that we tune so deeply into the body, wow. You know? Suddenly the body is really at the forefront of everything. So, in a sense, it’s a beautiful invitation to drop in, you know, the moments when we’re not feeling well. I can really sense that now as I close my eyes, I feel my heart beating. I can feel, almost hear the blood coursing through my veins. I feel very present here, now. So, checking in for you, what does it feel like to be here? What does it feel like to sit here? To breathe here? To exist in this body, this one body you’ve been given. Right in this moment in time, and just feel. So we don’t have to do anything with that. You don’t have to change something or take that feeling or that sensation, do something with it. You can just watch what’s happening. And perhaps the moment you tap into that physical space of, “Ah, how am I feeling here now?” You immediately are able to open a little door to the center of your heart as well. So that feeling of, “How am I feeling in my body right now?” can automatically lead us to, “How am I doing? How am I really doing right now? How’s your day? How’s your life? What’s it like to be here in this life situation where you’re at listening to these words?” Such a profound practice, to step back, you know? Take a moment to not be so caught up in the day-to-day, and we’re moving so quickly, to just pause, just listen, just be.
[005:30] I hear my dogs right beside me affirming that statement with a little yawn. So noticing within you what it’s like to be right here. [deep breath] I feel very deep in this practice of being present with a heart right now. Of course I have had 14-hour days, seven days straight working with the heart. So of course I’m feeling the effects of that right now. Perhaps just by listening to these words, right? Maybe this was exactly what you needed here, now. To just give yourself a moment to be. We get so [laugh] there’s another agreement from my dog. We get so caught up in this idea that we have to be happy all the time, right? I think I personally have been very caught up with the idea that I had to feel good all the time in my body, resisting, not feeling well for a long time. So wherever you’re at, right? If you’re feeling great, high on life, excited, grateful, if you’re feeling low, sad, frustrated … perhaps you’re feeling confused, you’re conflicted between many different things. Maybe, and this could be the most challenging of all … maybe you feel numb, right? Sometimes we tap into that space of, “How am I doing?” And we don’t feel it. It’s like we have to check, like, “Hey, heart, hello. Anybody in there? Is my heart beating? Am I really here? Am I really present in my life? Or am I just floating aimlessly from one place to the next? Are you really really alive, present with whatever is unfolding within you and around you right now?” Just a little check in. Let’s take a deeper breath in through the nose. You can open the mouth and let some of that go. And if you want to flutter the eyes back open, go ahead.
[007:44] So, it’s funny, I’m sitting here with a big smile on my face just feeling very grateful that I get to sit here and talk. I don't know, it’s … it’s … it’s … [laugh] I really feel crazy grateful. I’m so grateful I’m just smiling, laughing right now. How did I get so lucky that I have this setup in my house where I can sit down and feel my feelings at any moment of the day? I don’t, you know, have to call up that therapist all the time, or my friends. Of course, you know, having another human being in front of you is very helpful. But I really find this medium of this podcast be something so sacred. Many oh man, so sacred. If you’re listening to these words you are part of something so sacred that I really feel has unfolded from my heart in the strangest and most marvelous of ways.
[008:35] I’ve been getting some interesting feedback around this podcast lately, and I’ve been sitting with that a little bit this week. I was sharing with some of the girls participating in this healing retreat we just closed today. They were asking me about comments on social media, and how I deal with negativity. And I shared I had had, over the past couple of weeks I think, I’ve had some negative feedback around this podcast from people thinking it’s too personal. And in the beginning when I read that I was kind of thrown off. Oh man, oh no! Oh, I’m too personal! Oh, I’m sharing too much. It’s not relevant to everybody anymore, that’s what I started thinking, like, “Oh, I have to make the podcast more relevant. I have to get out there and get those A-list celebrities. I have to get bigger names and more guests and structure the podcast better, plan my episodes really well. And I went into this little frenzy where I really took that feedback to heart of like, “Oh, shit, okay.” I had a couple of people, you know, four or five people, comments that had emailed or sent me a direct message that they didn’t like a podcast. And I went into that space, and I even was like, “Okay, let’s plan. The 2020 podcast plan of how I’m going to structure this podcast and make it better, make it grow, get bigger names for the show. And then, as I was just kind of in this week sitting with that, it just struck me how amazing it is that we all like different things. I think it’s something that we take for granted, actually. And I think I do that a lot when I get feedback that isn’t positive. I think, “Ugh, I have to bend over backwards now and change something so that I can also envelop these people in the community, so that they also will like it. Everyone has to like what I do!” It’s really hard to do that! There’s very, very few things, very few pieces of content, creations, art, whatever out there that everybody likes. Everybody agrees to it. I think that’s a really hard goal to have. And, actually, I reminded myself, just when I was sitting with that little question of how many times on this show over the past few weeks I’ve actually said on the show how happy I am about this podcast having tapped into this extra personal, extra vulnerable layer over these past couple of weeks. I’ve shared it in podcast episodes, “I feel so good sitting here talking. There’s no pressure, I feel flow.” Right? In this show … So it’s so interesting to me how I have this big affirmation from within myself, from within my heart of, “This is great! I love this show! It’s my show. It’s my show! It’s the Yoga Girl Podcast, I’m Yoga Girl, hello.” You know, it’s up to me to do what I want to do with this show. It’s amazing. And then how a tiny bit of negative feedback can just kind of throw us off completely, and we think we have to change this absolutely golden thing. And it’s funny how my mind works and takes those little nuggets of negativity so seriously all the time.
[011:49] I can sit here now and just share that smilingly, because I feel so good! [laugh] I feel so good having found this voice where I really can share personally. And knowing that it’s going to resonate with you if if it’s meant to resonate with you. And you’ll have a great takeaway from that, and we’ll continue this conversation From The Heart. But that’s the thing, it’s Conversations From The Heart. It’s not the most structured … you know, there are amazing people out there who do motivation so well, and I’m just in awe of them. With podcast episodes and Instagram posts and blogs and online courses with content of like, “10 Ways to Grow Your Business!” Or, “Five Things to Do This Morning to Feel More Inspired,” and it’s just … it’s just not how I do things. So I want to take a moment to honor and acknowledge you for listening, and to share that a big piece of my heart is feeling totally, totally alive, beating, right here, right now.
[012:55] So this week … you guys know, this year has been a hard year for me. And I’m kind of feeling this full circle thing right now, because I literally just finished the last retreat group of the year. It’s officially … what day is it? It’s December 11 today. Tonight is the full moon in Gemini. It’s the last full moon of this decade, which is crazy. And it’s peaking after midnight, 12:12 am, and it’s also December 12th then. So it’s 12:12, 12/12! There’s a lot of energy in the air. I can kind of … I’m hoping I’ll be able to see the moonrise just from exactly where I’m sitting right now. But this year, you know, it’d December. It’s the middle of December. We’re coming up to Christmas. There were moments at the beginning of this year, so literally almost a year ago where I looked out and looked ahead of my year. I looked at my schedule, I looked at the commitments I had for this year, some big, big, big things. You know, the many, many retreat weeks that I’ve had, too many to count. Many weeks of training that I had. So many teacher trainings. Tours for the book, the live podcasts, other engagements, kind of big classes and travels. And there was no space, right? There was literally no space for me in between all of these things. Especially end of summer leading up to now. No space. And normally that’s okay. I live my life that way all the time. Every opportunity that I think sounds exciting I’m like, “Yeah, let’s do it! Let’s book it.” And then I’ll have my assistant or someone say, “But hey, that’s only two days after that teacher training, you know?” And I sit there and I go, “Mm, that’s Future Rachel’s problem. She’ll figure that out.” [laugh] And I say yes to the thing. And then suddenly I find myself in that time having just completed a month-long yoga teacher training, feeling totally depleted and need to fill my cup, and then that same day I have to fly across the world to go do this thing that I said that I would do, you know? And I’m just sitting there like, “Who planned this?! Who approved this schedule? Who made this happen! Ugh, this is insane! I hate it, I hate it!” And then I have to go, “Oh yeah, I did. I planned this. I approved this schedule. I am the CEO, the boss of my own life. I did this.” And I just … I had that year.
[015:17] And it was particularly challenging because it was last year, October, that I started feeling really really really burnt out, and I got really sick, and all of these things happened, and I had this kind of idea that I’m slowing down. And what I realized is my life has been a freight train. It’s been one of those ginormous, heavy, heavy trains that just take forever to speed up, and then to slow down. It’s like you need miles and miles and miles of space to slow down. You can’t just press the off button and everything goes away. I have been actively pulling the breaks now, as much as I can, since October last year. And today marks the day of my final thing for this year! I have made the commitment, and this is crazy to say, I have made the commitment to not do any retreats, groups, teacher trainings, big classes, tours, any big things for an entire year, beginning after my very last retreat for a long time, and my only retreat for 2020, which is Envision Festival in February in Costa Rica. So, end of February I have an amazing retreat happening in the jungle right there, and after that? Nothing.
[018:00] It’s so fascinating to me, because of the anxiety that I’ve had this year, because of the feeling of total burnout that I’ve had this year, especially around the book tours that I did, and all of that travel, and then coming home, and then a teacher training, and then another retreat and then another retreat. It’s just so stuck together, everything. No space to really breathe in between. And I had those moments, particularly in October, end of September, where I looked at the rest of the year and I had a panic attack. I just couldn’t stop crying. Hyperventilating, feeling this pressure on my chest of just how am I going to make it through all of these things feeling the way I’m feeling? Because of course if I was feeling this normal level of energy, yeah, I can do anything. But feeling the way I’ve felt, how on earth? It’s not possible, it’s not possible. And I was just like, “It’s not possible. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.” And I even had moments where I had to sit down and kind of do this big unfolding within me of, “Okay, if I really feel horrible, I feel awful, I’m on my deathbed, if I actually get to a place of like, “I can’t. I can’t do it.” Because there is such a thing too, right? It’s not really part of my regular vocabulary, the idea of I can’t. You know, I don't know if you’ve had that feeling ever. You have a commitment, and then things are moving against you. You’re not feeling well or you’re sick, or you get to a place of like, “I don’t want to do it.” For me there’s never been that window of just not doing it, right? It’s just you push through. You do what you’ve gotta do, no matter what.
[019:40] And then now I was sitting with that, of just, “Okay, what’s the worst case scenario? Okay, worst case scenario, I collapse on this book tour and I can’t do it. Okay, and what does that mean? I can’t teach this yoga class. Okay. So, you know, 650 people are coming to this class, they have paid for this class, it’s going to the promoter, they have plans, there’s a huge venue rented.” And then I had to go through all of these steps, you know? And what’s the biggest fear? What’s the biggest, biggest, most awful feeling? The thing that I just can’t really accept, right? The thing that makes me push through, even when I feel really like I’m going to die. And it’s that I don’t want to let anybody down. And I had to sit with that, with the possibility of that, of, “Okay, say I can’t teach, say I can’t go. Say I have an actual collapse.” There were moments where I felt that way. There’s been so many moments this year when I’ve felt that way. And I have soldiered on. I mean, of course I’m sitting here now not having canceled a single gig or a single thing, I’ve done it all. But I had those moments of, okay, worst case scenario I let all these people down. Will they not understand? No. And I also knew that thanks to this very intimate community that we have, that of course I would be able to explain that. And at the end of the day, it’s not like the world would be ending. It’s not like I’m starting a world war. It’s not like someone’s going to die, right? But these things in my head, they felt so big and so final. And that was part of that anxiety that I felt. I felt like I couldn’t let myself express the anxiety. I couldn’t hold space for the anxiety, because it would make me have to cancel.
[021:22] And for me, canceling, just that hasn’t been ever, ever an option for something in my life. So, at the end of the day I did it all. And not just I did it all as in I half-assed it, or I pushed myself through stuff without wanting to be there. No, like, everything, when it was time to actually do the thing, I was able to tap into a state of flow and just flow, and teach that class and enjoy it, hug everyone and really feel them, lead that teacher training and really be there, really feel everything and be super present and give it my all and do that. And then I have these moments in between, and then I have a little collapse. [laugh] You know? And then to the next and then to the next. And it’s almost been lie this year has been one long holding of my breath, anticipating the next big thing I know I have to do.
[022:20] Even saying that makes me have to take a big breath, because it’s been such a heavy weight just not feeling like I have the energy, right? And now, today, December 11, I closed my final retreat of the year. And it was amazing. It was … a highlight of this year that I’ll remember for a long time to come. Especially this being a trauma healing retreat, we are contemplating finding ways to continue with the trauma healing retreats at Island Yoga through the Yoga Girl Community also for the year I’m taking off, but without me being a part of the retreat. So, if you’re feeling in your heart, “Oh, I want to do something, I have this heavy weight on my heart, this sense that I’m stuck in life and this feels like something for me,” I won’t be a part of it, but we might add something for next year. Together with my teacher, one of my dearest friends, my sister Shuba who is just … I have written about her. She’s part of To Love and Let Go. If you’ve read the book you know all about her. She was my teacher, my facilitator for Path of Love, completely helped change my life. And now we do these trauma healing retreats together. We’ve found such deep, deep friendship which I’m so grateful for.
[023:41] And this retreat being so intensely personal and so so so so so powerful, so not your regular of course, you know, yoga twice a day, drinking green juice, meditating on something, kind of retreat but a retreat deeply focused on healing past trauma. So, as you can imagine, a very very very emotional week with … it’s like we’ve been riding this wave, right? I’ve been at the studio like 6 am ‘til late at night every single day. I’ve been so with it this week that just I’ve gone home and gone to bed and then woken up, and then been there in it all day, and then gone home and gone to bed, and haven’t even really had space to talk to Dennis or to process. It’s just been really really like I’ve surfed this wave of this super healing group. And sometimes it happens in a group where it really feels as if something opens up from the sky. We’re just graced with grace! You know, where we have to surrender a little bit of the trying, right? Also as a facilitator, or leading a group like this, not trying to guide people but just letting go and letting … almost letting ourselves be a channel for what’s supposed to unfold. So it’s just the magic of the group and the timing. We had 46 amazingly amazingly brave, courageous women with stories like you can’t imagine. And each of them looked into the fire at some point in this week with something massive something that felt too big to overcome, you know? And moved through it anyway, right? And took that next step anyway. There was not one person in the group that didn’t have a major, major transformation. And at the end of it I just … Yeah. I’m just … I can’t even explain it. I can’t put it into words.
[025:40] And a lot of the work that we do in weeks like this, it’s very somatic. It’s a lot of experiencing and releasing stuck energy and old emotions through the body in different ways. For anyone who is working through any kind of trauma, I highly, highly recommend adding that piece of the puzzle. Having that somatic experience of it too, and not just … it’s almost like a piece of the puzzle is missing. We can go to therapy and see psychologists and do this kind of work, which of course we all should, and it’s super important that we do that. But the body holds everything. So if we forget how important the body is to this equation, and we don’t give ourselves those tools to release through the body … because the body remembers, right? Even when the mind doesn’t remember, even when we don’t know, the body remembers. The body remembers everything.
[026:28] And it’s been such a … I’ve just been in the shala with goose bumps all week, just witnessing this healing in action. It’s been a wild, wild, wild ride. But, of course, I can kind of sense, after the year I’ve had, this was of course ending it with a bang. And the moment we had our closing circle, cried like crazy and I started feeling already yesterday like, “Oh, I’m not feeling super great, but I’m powering through.” Came home and bang, immediately high high high fever. It almost feels like something is moving through me. That’s the feeling. It’s the energetic shift of something being released, kind of? And I can see and remember how one year ago I was sitting with, yeah, feeling super shitty and colds and flus and things that never went away, and now it’s a year later and I’ve completed what feels like the final piece of this break I had to pull. And I look out at the rest of this year … Okay, granted, not a lot of time left for this year. But I look out at this year and into next year and there’s just space there. I find it totally weird! Totally weird! There’s just space there. I don’t … end of February we have one retreat, that’s it! Yeah, if you want to practice yoga with me any time before somewhere 2021, and who knows, I might find some major epiphany and, you know, I don't know. But the plan is to go back to retreats and trainings in 2021. But I don't know. Who knows? That’s a long ways ahead, right? So if you want to practice yoga with me before that, join me in Costa Rica at Envision Festival. We have a retreat before the festival in the jungle there, super super super special.
[028:19] But after that? [laugh] If you listen to the podcast that I did last week together with my dear friend and astrologer Debra Silverman, she was … first of all, how amazing is she? We had such amazing feedback on that episode. She’s amazing. She’s also the new Resident Astrologer on YogaGirl.com, so if you want to learn more about the elements and your signs and astrology, you can go check those videos out over there. But she’s been telling me … because I was saying, you know, “Okay, well I’m taking the space to give myself time.” And in our astrological charts, you know, we have these things where we relate depending on how and when we were born. We have different elements in our charts, and each one of us is missing or lacking a little more of one of them. And I don’t have any water. I have a lot of fire! Of course, fire is combustible. Eventually, if we’re not careful, we can burn out. And I was telling Debra, “Well it’s okay, it’s okay. I’m … end of February and then I’m taking a year! I’m taking a whole year off.” And everyone else I’ve said that too has been like, “Oh my god, that’s so great! A year off? That’s amazing! You so need that, man. You work all the time …” Everyone has been so positive. And Debra was like, “What?? A year off? Have you defined that? What does that mean?” And she sounded all questioning. And I said, “Well, I don't know!” And she says, “Well what you mean is you’re not going to have groups, but you’re still going to work, right?” And I said, “Actually, I haven’t defined it. I’ve just said I’m taking a year off.” I’m super blessed and privileged that I can even speak those words out loud. Most people, the idea of having a year off, or working less in a year, it’s super special, and I don’t take that for granted. And she said, “Well if you really sit with that, right? Say you would make a commitment, like lift your palm up and say, you know, ‘I commit no work for one year.’ How does that feel?” And I sat there, and I could just sense this tightening in the back of my throat, just stress creeping up inside of me, and I just started feeling so anxious. And I said, “Well … not great. The idea of committing to a year off, not super super great.” And she goes, “Uh, well, you’re not really built to not work at all, and that might just make you go a little nuts. If you box yourself into that commitment of, ‘I’m not allowed to work,’ it might feel very rigid and very boxed in. How about, just as a suggestion, see how you feel about this. Just commit to an easy year. Just easy year! If it’s fun, if it feels like it’s easy, of course! What’s holding you back? But if it feels heavy or hard or challenging, or it’s something you don’t really want to do, but you’re … you know, then of course it’s a no. But how about an easy year?” And immediately I could sense my shoulders just drop, like, “Yeah, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.” So that is my commitment is an easy year beginning at the end of February.
[032:46] I’ve been thinking about that. So what would that look like? And then I see this version of myself where, you know, I’m just at home? What am I doing at home? Am I going to become a housewife? Should I redecorate some rooms somewhere? Should I redecorate the house? Should I start to garden? It’s like I have to pick up a major hobby if I’m going to not work for a year, like how is that going to work? But what makes me feel really good is that feeling of no pressure, the feeling of nothing relies on me. I’m thinking that … I think it’s the case for many of us, but that feeling of, “Everything hangs on me. Everything is on my shoulders, I have to get this done or no one is going to do it. I have to steer this ship or it’s just going to go to shit. It’s going to sink. I have to drive this car this way or it’s not…” It’s like we feel so intensely pressured that we’re the only ones who can do it. No one can do it better than we can. And we’re the only ones! There’s no other option. I think especially women, you know, we’re all taking on so much. And also kind of taught by society that we’re supposed to take on so much, and we’re supposed to be great wives and great mothers and have a career and cook and take care of the house and do special things for our kids, and we’re supposed to practice self-care and do the yoga. It’s like ugh! It’s too much.
[034:07] And I had this really beautiful experience that I want to share. I get goose bumps just thinking about it now. We do a very special kind of meditation in this healing the heart retreat that we do. I’m not going to go into specifics because it’s very, very sacred and kind of hard to explain, but it’s basically embodying prayer. And when I say prayer, I don’t mean in any way, you know, anything relating to religion, or any dogmas, or any you know like it’s something Christian or Muslim or Hindu or anything like that. Prayer, meaning a longing that we’re speaking from our hearts. And it’s this moment that we’re all inevitably, we’re going to find ourselves in this place where we can’t do it alone. And it’s not just asking for help from the people around us, but it’s handing something over to something bigger than us, knowing that, you know, for me the best way I can explain that is I can hold my daughter’s hand every day as we cross the street. I can tell her to be careful of the stove because it’s hot. I can keep her safe when she’s swimming in the pool. I can hold her hand when we’re walking across the street, but I don’t decide who lives or dies, right? That, ultimately, is not up to me. There’s a big, huge factor of the unknown there. It’s too many factors of the unknown! Actually, when we really think about it, there’s not much that we actually can control. Right? We don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring. There is natural disasters, people die, people get sick. Crazy things happen all the time. People leave us, people change their minds. We can’t control what other people do, we can’t control what life brings us. But at some point, especially with the things that we struggle with so much, at some point it’s like … when I leave my daughter at daycare in the mornings, it’s like I’m not just handing her over to the people who work there who are taking care of her, I have to also hand her safety over to something bigger than me, you know? I’m not going to be there every moment of every day, regardless of how much I’m trying to or how much I want to. There is something greater than us out there. Whatever it is we’re looking to find, prayer, to me, is the connection to that. It’s that surrender, it’s that longing in each of us that comes from the heart.
[036:37] So it’s this meditation, this Sufi meditation that we do, it’s so special, so beautiful. And it’s basically you repeat these movements seven times, and then seven times, again and again. It’s taking something, you know, from the sky or from something out there, something bigger, whatever comes, and then handing it to the ground, to the earth, like you’re planting the seed, like you’re offering yourself. You’re just giving yourself up completely. And then you don’t know what comes, right? It could be anything that comes. There’s no pre-decided, “Oh, okay, I’m working on this.” It’s just completely very, very spiritual experience. And I as there, in it, feeling it, feeling it, feeling it; and the first thing that came to me, it’s so strong, it’s really my … it’s the biggest thing I work with in life. It’s my biggest challenge, my biggest fear, and it’s the thought of something happening to my daughter. I live with that kind of presently in my mind, every day, all the time, checking and thinking and worrying.
[037:38] So the first thing that came to me was, “Please, please, please, dear god!” You know? You can replace that word god with universe, spirit, love, whatever you feel connected to. But for me, in this moment, it was god. Just, “Dear god, please, please, please keep her safe. Keep her safe, keep her safe in all of the moments when I can’t. Please keep her safe.” And I just felt tears were just pouring down my face. Just, “Please, keep her safe.” And then I surrendered to that. And then my next round, again, I felt this big feeling, this longing for safety, wanting to feel safe, wanting to feel held knowing that we’re okay. And for my next round it was just, “Please keep my family safe. Dennis safe, keep my little Luna safe, keep us safe.” And I held that for such a long time. And then in the next round I felt it for myself. I have this innate fear, all the time it’s there. I’ve seen a lot of death, experienced a lot of loss, a lot of abandonment in my life. Fundamentally it’s hard for me to trust that people are here to stay, right? I know that things can be taken away so quickly, right? And then my next round was just, “Please keep me safe.” And then the next one … then I continued like that, like round after round. And then I felt one, just … the whole world. It just struck me, and I’m just standing there on my knees, of course surrounded by 50 other women in a room lit with candles, and it’s just so special. But it just struck me of every woman in this room, “Please, dear god, please please please keep them safe.” And then I could sense that expanding from our room, just out into the whole world, right? So many things happening. So much to be scared of in this world! There’s so many things that we don’t know. And I just felt this overwhelming heart longing for the whole wide world to be safe, for every person who walks this earth to be okay. And I surrendered that to the earth.
[039:48] And then the next time I came up, I was kind of … was still in that space of the whole world, right? And then also remember just how many people aren’t safe. Atrocities and terrible things that happen all of the time. And then feeling that, just the longing that I have. And it’s a real one, a longing for the whole entire world to be safe, for everyone to be cared for, it started feeling heavy. It started feeling heavy. And I could feel it on my shoulders. I was there with my arms up and it was almost like I was holding the earth, you know? It’s just like I’m there like some Greek goddess that you see in Greek mythology. Who is it? Is it Atlas who is the god who holds the earth? I can’t remember. One of the gods who holds the earth in his hands, right? And I felt like that. Just like it’s on me, everything is on me, it’s just all of this pressure.
[040:39] And then in that moment, and I’m crying of course, I’m crying the whole time, just crying, crying, crying, crying. And in that moment, it was literally like being hit by a jolt. Like, in my third eye, in my head, just whacked in the head with this massive realization. And it wasn’t a thought, it didn’t come from my mind, this thought. It was just a knowing, a realization, total, filled my whole body. And it was: I am not in charge. And it just filled me up completely. I am not in charge. I am not in charge. I am not in charge. And I just felt that almost pulsating inside of me, this knowing of, “Ah, at the end of it all, I am not in charge. I can sit with that longing for everyone to be safe, the whole world, everyone I don’t know, everyone I do know, my husband, myself, my family, my daughter. I can feel that longing, I can pray for that safety, but ultimately I’m not charge. And it felt like complete surrendering, just complete … and I fell to the ground just with this big breath of … man. Man, oh man.
[042:11] And it’s funny how I think so many of us, especially if you resonate with this idea of being a provider, a nurturer, a rescuer, a carer, how we identify with this idea that we’re the ones in charge, right? How we sort of affirm that to ourselves all the time. I do, all the time. All the time. And I feel so in charge of everything. It’s like I’m in charge of this group, right? Their healing, it’s like it’s in my hands. I’m in charge of my team, I have to make sure that they have what they need, that they feel well. I’m in charge of the studio, I’m in charge of this company, I’m in charge of this platform, this community, I’m in charge of this podcast, my kid. It’s just I’m in charge of so much! And I sit with that all day, all the time. And we all have those things, right? And just that fundamental realization of I’m not in charge. Yeah? Maybe on surface, like day-to-day stuff, like … you know, what decision do we make here? What are we going to have for dinner? Like those things. I can control minute things in my day-to-day, but ultimately in this big, big, big, complex, beautiful thing we call life, we’re not in charge! We’re all just … floating. We try to pretend, that we know what’s next, we know what’s tomorrow, we know what we’re doing, we know how to do it. And if I just do this exactly the way I have it planned out, then everything is going to be okay. Then everyone will be safe. That is not the case.
[043:47] And I think, at least for me personally, all I do with that sort of mindset is I create a very structured, rigid energy in my life where I have to hold my arms up, to hold the whole world all the time. It feels like that. And it was just such a beautiful embodiment of prayer. I had this feeling afterwards like, “Man, I’m going to tattoo this shit. I’m going to tattoo this shit. ‘I’m not in charge,’ I’m going to tattoo it somewhere. And then I thought, “Oh man, ten years from now that will be a funny tattoo to have.” Because of course we also have moments in our lives, especially if we’ve had a betrayal of some sort, if we’ve had our trust taken away, if we’ve been abused, if something horrible has come our way, it’s like asserting ourselves of, “Yeah, I’m in charge of my own body. I’m in charge of my own life, I’m in charge of my own decisions.” So of course asserting that kind of control, that we are in charge of certain areas of our lives, super important, especially if you’ve had that violated ever. But for me it was this big, big, BIG spiritual sense of just … in the whole scheme of life, I can’t pretend I’m in charge. Man. I lost my best friend. She was 24 years old. She was supposed to be the bridesmaid at my wedding. She was supposed to be there when I walked down the aisle. We’re supposed to have kids together. We had this whole life planned out, like totally. Holding hands together through life. And then, like, I blink and she died. You know, I’m not in charge. I’m not in charge. And it’s a relief to share that, I don't know.
[045:29] I’ve had … I feel emotional just talking about her now. But I’ve had this feeling of her, of my friend, of her being very present this week. We had so man women in the group who reminded me of her in different ways, or had qualities that reminded me of her in different ways. And then most of all my friend Shuba, who is the trauma healer, psychologist extraordinaire, super human goddess Brazilian megastar [laugh], who I have been co-facilitating this retreat with. It was so crazy. If you read my book you know about her. I’m thinking I’m going to have her on the podcast so we can have a podcast episode specifically around healing trauma, because I know there are so many people who wan to learn more about that and find some tools and avenues for where to go. So maybe next week she’ll be on the show. Because she’s still here in Aruba, now, with me.
[046:26] But this whole week, you know, because she’s been such a big influence in my life and helped me so much, it’s almost like she’s my greatest teacher for this place in my life, in my career, where I’m growing toward, everything I’m learning, it’s like, man, I have a teacher who is also like a teacher. Who gets that? That’s crazy. That’s crazy! It’s like … she’s like the best friend ever. How is that possible? And this whole week I’ve been feeling Andrea’s presence because the most beautiful thing about Andrea, about my friend who died, was she made you feel like … she gave you permission to shine. It’s really hard to put into words. But whenever I was with her, I felt like I grew a little taller, like I was … I felt more beautiful, I felt more at peace, I felt dazzling, feminine. It’s just she was shining so brightly and all the time, and never apologized for her shine. She just was. She had this childlike just amazing quality of just everyone who saw her just loved her. Just by being herself, and so intensely herself, it’s like she gave me permission to do the same. And this whole week I’ve had it in the back of my mind of like … I feel a similar quality when I’m with Shuba. That not through talking or getting advice or anything like that, but just by being with her. It’s like I feel like I’m shining a little brighter, just because she does that so effortlessly, right? And there are people like that all over the world who just are themselves so deeply that it’s like … you know when we’re around people who are pretending? People who are holding things in, people who aren’t feeling their feelings, people who have a big façade up, things that aren’t real, they’re fake, and then suddenly we start to feel super insecure, right? I don't know if you know what I’m talking about, but I feel this very intensely in different groups and scenarios and situations. I can sense it at like celebrity events or media and press things that I’ve had to do in my life where everyone is showing up really made up and done up, so much makeup, and this idea that like I’m this special person. You know? Just areas and places where I’ve felt some inauthenticity. Which is a really big contrast to the work that I do which is all around authenticity. But whenever I find myself in those weird situations, whatever it is, I start to pick myself apart immediately. I look at myself in the mirror and I’m like, “Oh my god, my makeup isn’t good. I feel fat in this dress, I should have worn another dress, and just ugh everything is terrible.” Just because we put ourselves in that energy of other people who are also insecure, but putting on a really good show of not being that.
[049:16] We’re so sensitive, we have these antennas that are just picking up everything, everything, everything. And then with Shu and with my friend Andrea, it was like the total opposite. Just people who are so themselves that I’ve always felt like I can be myself, totally. And I didn’t share this, I’ve just had it in the back of my mind, this little presence of that. And then today in our closing circle, and Shuba was the last person to talk, and we’re all crying, and it’s so emotional. And then she turns to me and she goes, “And I have to thank you so much because I feel so beautiful when I’m around you, and I feel so … I feel like I can really shine. And because you are shining so brightly and you are so yourself, and you’re so beautiful and big and letting yourself be all of these things that just by being next to you I can shine so brightly too!” And she literally said the exact words that I’ve had in my mind the whole week, like how I feel about her. And she says that she feels that way about me! And it’s just … ugh, I cried and cried and cried and cried and cried.
[050:25] And it’s just so beautiful when we get to cross paths with people who are really meant to be in our lives, right? And if you don’t have that … Here’s the thing, if you don’t have that, pray for it! Really pray for it. And not just that kind of, you know, religious idea of prayer, like if you don’t do this then that will happen, or some idea of guilt or any other of the challenging pieces that sometimes, not always of course, but sometimes comes with religion, that rigidity. But pray for it. Put your heart’s longing out into the universe. Go out there, stand under the light of the full moon and speak your longing out loud. Like, “Man, I want real friends! I want people who see me for the way I am. Just the person I already am. I want to be accepted. I want to feel like I belong. I want to feel good in my own skin. I don’t want to second guess myself. I want to feel powerful. I want to feel strong. I want to manifest everything I dream of. I want a family. I want … what do you want? All of those things, they’re not silly. I grew up kind of being told that dreaming of those things, or having big dreams or big ideas was not the priority, not what we should be focusing on, or that it’s silly or stupid. It’s not! If it’s what your heart wants, it’s what your heart wants. Speak that shit out loud! The universe listens to everything you say, and to everything you don’t say. The universe listens to everything you do and everything you don’t do. Cultivate that energy inside of yourself for what you’re looking to meet. It’s like you have to put yourself in the way of that vibration. And sometimes we have to really speak that longing out loud, especially if it’s a longing that touches you, right? You think about it, you feel it in your heart, and it makes you cry. Man, that’s real, that’s real.
[052:26] And I feel just so good being able to share myself authentically with you. I feel like I’m shining, and I feel like it’s okay for me to say that, which is rare for me, to give myself a little bit of space to, yeah, to be a little bigger. I don't know. Maybe listening you think like, “Oh, that’s crazy.” You know, I do all of these things all the time and it comes across easy. It’s not. It’s not easy for me. None of this is easy for me. There’s so much work, when it comes to personal development, when it comes to healing my past traumas. Day-to-day work of doing the things that actually lift me up and bring me balance, right, it’s constant, the work. But there’s no other option, right? I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want to be here all the way. I want to be alive. I want to look back at my life and know that I was there, right? I’m not a zombie going from place to place. I’m here, now. And I get the feeling that you’re listening to these words right now because you want that too. So get out there and do what you gotta do to bring yourself a little closer to that place of aliveness every single day.
[053:53] I want to thank you from my heart for listening to this podcast. For bearing with me in this fever. And for letting me speak from the heart every week. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope you have a beautiful week, that you enjoy these days leading up to the holidays and that you take really good care of yourself. I’ll be back next week.
[End of Episode]