I have a three-year-old and it’s not yet bedtime for him, otherwise, I would have my wine with you, girl. I’m having a nice little cup of tea.
Thank you for that reflection. It does. I live a life of grace, I have to say, which is not to say it’s without challenge. I’ve got the challenges, but I do feel divinely led and something that has been really beautiful for me in my journey is establishing flexible boundaries. When we think about boundaries, we think really rigid like, “No. Absolutely not. Stop.” I imagine my boundaries more like an ocean’s wave. I let stuff roll in, but I’m also very clear about the things that can be pushed out.
There is juggling the work I know I’m called to do, and then also my child, also my own joy and pleasure. It really comes into all the things that I say no to and all the ways I don’t leak my energy. I have a lot of non-negotiables in my self-care and that’s what allows me, in the way that you reflected it, to come off with a layer of grace as I’m moving.
I think we’re all born with it. The thing is, we forget. We come to this earth and then circumstances, experiences, many of them we don’t ask for. They don’t receive our consent but they change the way we experience ourselves. We all arrive at earth whole, fully capable, radiating love in that receptive flow with God and then things unfold and the challenge of why we’re here begins to present itself. A lot of our work, especially as adults or as people that feel called to more, we begin a path of remembering what we already came here for. We’re not fixing ourselves, we’re not changing ourselves. We’re just settling into accepting ourselves and knowing that that’s enough.
I think, in an ethereal way, yes, I was born like this, I came to earth, but it’s a lifelong practice. I’m an only child raised by a single parent. The nature of that makes you really inward. There’s a lot of time with your own thoughts, a lot of time experiencing yourself. I’m a deeply, deeply, deeply curious person, especially about myself and how I work and what I’m made of. What is my energetic seasoning? So, I’m always in investigation.About 10 years ago, I just hit this burnout where I thought, “This can’t be my life. I have to have more joy. I have to have access to more pleasure, more peace.” So, I started meditating, and meditation was the shift that truly made everything else about my life possible. It’s now a balance of maintaining. My self-care is non-negotiable, my meditation practice is not negotiable, and I see the difference if I don’t do it.
You lead many of us in meditation, but for you personally, what is your meditation practice?
Thank you for asking me this question. I get really excited to talk about my practice because it’s changed so much, especially in the pandemic. This last wild year and a half really lent itself to the deepest refinement and chiseling, the deepest surrender that I think I’ve ever imagined. We were in a global pandemic. When I looked at the way I was being restricted, the way that the energy of this moment in time was presenting itself, I thought, “I’m not going to argue with God. I’m not going to try to fight it and be mad that life is what it is. I’m going to surrender and I’m going to see what’s in it for me.”
That meant redeveloping my whole practice. I used to have a beautiful spiritual practice but it was very rigid. I meditated twice a day for 25 minutes. In the morning, meditation, some body stretching, yoga, affirmations, and at nighttime, the same thing. With the pandemic, I thought, “Okay, I have no social life now. A lot of stuff has been taken off my calendar, so I have some juicy time to work with here.” I started leaning into having a really expansive, two-hour self-care ritual every night.
After I put my son to bed between 7 and 10 p.m., I gave up all television. I gave up all movies, radio. I stopped even reading at night. I didn’t want to program myself. I just put on a Google playlist, mostly of instrumentation, as my container of my self-care and then I would just let my body lead the way. So, it meant a lot of dance. It meant meditation. It meant prayer. It meant stretching my body, doing some facial massage and really listening to how I want and need to be nourished. Now that I’ve tapped into that self-care, there’s no turning back.
It’s so funny you used the word chiseled because I keep reading that word in a lot of my work about inner growth. For those who haven’t started that journey of meditating, how would you advise them to begin, lean in and get a little taste of what we’re talking about?
I want to anchor my response in saying that there is truly nothing more important you could be doing with your life than learning how to love yourself more. I want to start with that as a baseline. I know life is challenging and for some of us, the challenges can feel like this never-ending cycle; sometimes being trapped in grief or trapped in a challenge. The way to frame how to embrace yourself more fully is to know there is nothing better. There is no greater priority that could take place here on earth with you. To choose yourself is actually the whole point of our existence. The second we make that choice, we find that the universe actually shows up in such a powerful way to answer that call for us. We begin to create and tap into this energetic resonance where we are in flow. We are in co-creation with our lives. We’re not just experiencing our life happening to us. We are designing it.
I know that meditation sometimes can feel challenging because it’s so new and we are taught to be hyper-stimulated all the time. And so, even the idea of something that is simple and free like, “I’m sitting still, my eyes are closed, I’m being quiet,” can feel utterly terrifying at first. The more you do it, the more freedom you unlock, and the more that you notice questions of, “Why do I feel so uncomfortable just being by myself?” Without judgment, just think, “Wow, I’m curious about this. Why is it so hard to sit still? Why do I have a fear of turning my thoughts off? What do I think will come up?” That slow curiosity, that little inquisition is what changes your life. For those that are feeling called to this path and don’t fully know how to get there, start with your curiosity. Start with asking yourself questions about your feelings. And when you notice that something is challenging, when you feel like it’s hard to lock into a self-care practice, instead of being upset with yourself, instead of being mad at yourself, just ask, “Why does it feel this way? When was the first time that it started feeling this way?” Follow that curiosity and follow those thoughts. It’s a way of healing with gentleness and grace, because none of us need to be fixed. We’re not doing anything wrong. Anything that we’ve done so far has been perfect because it was the highest level of what we were capable of in that moment, and then we’re ready for more. So, start with curiosity.
This idea of radical self-love, what does that look like? You talked a little bit about how to get it, but what are we trying to get?
Radical self-love feels like the deepest freedom possible. It feels like liberation. It feels like self-sovereignty when you are in full command of yourself and in full peace with all of your facets. All of us, we’re just human, so, we have incredible qualities. We have perceived flaws, we have experiences. And it’s being in acceptance of all of that, the light and the shadow aspects of our lives, knowing that it’s all okay and it’s all by design. To be in deep acceptance of your life as it is, that’s the highest level of radical self-love. You are in flow, you’re in peace. When we can come into that acceptance with ourselves, absolutely nothing is off limits to us in this world.
To have radical self-love, you’re radically changing the flow of your life and you are creating and designing an entirely new version of your life than you’ve already lived. The thing that I want to stress is that this is not about a quick fix. This is not about being on trend with wellness or making your purpose Instagrammable. This is about truly the work of the soul and the work of the self. To be in the work of the soul, to be in co-creation, you have to come to a level of care for yourself where you’re willing to be consistent. Sometimes we get consumed with all of the outside experiences we’re having, what other people are doing, what they’re not doing. We need to notice how much power we actually hold to be there for ourselves, to show up for ourselves. If you know that an intention for your life is to feel, to be, to grow, to do, to become, then you have to show up for yourself and you have to be as consistent as you wish everyone else would be in your life. We can’t betray ourselves in all of those tiny ways.
We cannot have this expectation of the way that other people are supposed to love us, the way that other people are supposed to be consistent with us, the way that other people are supposed to show up for us if we are not able and willing to do that for ourselves. That piece has to come first. That’s what informs the ability to have radical self-love.
We exist in a world where there are a lot of atrocities. It’s easy to take on the heaviness and then our wellness and energy goes out the door. Any advice on how we can continue to stay present, grounded and continue to do the work when it’s not always a beautiful day?
I personally believe in embracing our shadows, because the kind of wellness that I’m interested in and that I work and share is not all love and light, it’s not all switching to the positive and being positive, it’s not all puppies and rainbows. That is not realistic, that’s not what this place is, earth. Earth is profoundly challenging, and it is going to continue to be in a multidimensional way for all of us for our entire existence. When we come into a space of acceptance, it’s really just accepting that this is what is. Certain things are, and it may not be our preference, and we can still actively and diligently work to change circumstances. But to fight it, to be in contempt of what is just happening, is where we add more suffering.
I believe that there is so much suffering all around us. I don’t try to add more by getting caught up in things, trying to create this system of control or a system of judgment about the world—which is not to say I’m not actively trying to make it a better place. What I really work to do is nourish myself. I treat the people I encounter and work with really well. I go out of my way to really see, hear and support people, to be in love and to radiate that out. Every time I have the opportunity to do something more substantial that brings forward change, I say yes. In my day-to-day, I don’t sit and hash over all of the new opinions and all of the new data and all of these things coming out. I don’t want to make the world’s suffering my identity, but I do want to work to actively help change it for the better.
[Audience Q/A – Jamie]
I work in retail, so I’m curious, how can I interact with people whose energy is vastly different than my own?
I love this question. I think the greatest work of the journey is understanding that even as we heal ourselves, we are entering a world where so many people are wounded. To really answer the call of our lives, we might be the 1 percent of a 7 billion population that is able to do that, and so I think that’s where even more grace comes in, Jamie. Something I started doing some years back was every time someone would frustrate me, I would close my eyes and I would imagine them as a three-year-old. I would see the three-year-old that maybe wasn’t feeling fully seen or fully heard that has manifested as an adult, that is creating this kind of energy. I also make it very clear that I’m not available to receive that energy. So you can give it but I don’t have to take any of it on personally. I can maintain my peace and I can come into a space of compassion and boundary with someone who is acting out in that way, because it’s really an unmet need that started far before they encountered you. It can be as simple as a, “No, thank you. I don’t receive that.”
[Audience Q/A – Molly]
What are your thoughts about plant medicine? There’s a lot of judgments and stereotypes around it. I’m wondering if it’s been part of your journey?
I am a massive advocate of plant medicine. I use plant medicine regularly. It has changed my life in very powerful ways. I’m excited about the way that the psychedelic industry is opening up and the advancements they’re making in positioning to make this more accessible to people of all backgrounds. I have done many a plant medicine, and the way that it has helped inform my healing has been absolutely profound, just so powerful.
A big part of this conversation also has to revolve around all of the incarcerated men and women that need to be free, who were put in jail for marijuana, who were put in jail for psychedelics, and all the systems of oppression that made that possible. Because one thing that I find to be very troubling is that now that marijuana is on trend; I live in L.A., there are boutiques on every corner. I can get it as a bath bomb. I can get it in a crystal wand. I can get all these things, and men and women have lost their lives because of this, before it became on-trend, before the government figured out how to monetize it. As we work with the medicines in our own lives, as we share them in our communities, we also have to fight for reform and for justice, for people that have lost theirs.
[Audience Q/A – Kelly]
Can you recommend one of your favorite books?
There are two books that I’m really loving right now. I think everyone in their arsenal should have Deepak Chopra’s “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.” Short book. It’s something you can read every single day as part of your spiritual practice. That book absolutely changed my life. I’ve been reading it for over a decade and I still read it every day. Every time I read it, even though I know it by heart, I get new gems dropped in my brain. I also love Deepak’s latest book, which is called “Metahuman.” It’s such a powerful book for retooling how you want to experience yourself. We really limit what we’re capable of because we don’t think big enough. We can’t even fathom the fullness of what our lives could be, the depth of what our healing can be. Books like that, especially Deepak’s books, put into such beautiful language how to make big concepts applicable for your daily life.
You recently celebrated a birthday, what is your greatest wish for yourself in this next year of your life?
There is this phrasing I’ve been using for myself and it’s what I want the flow of my life to be. I want to maximize the energetic potential of every moment. I want to be awake and aware enough and inside of myself, to be able to greet all of the destiny that makes its way to me. To greet it with open arms, to greet it with grace, to be able to stand in my power and in my truth in all moments.