self-love

071 | Yoga, Believing in Yourself & Finding Your Authentic Voice with Kelly Smith

 
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Many of us can easily get lost in self-doubt and “what-if’s” when we take a step into unfamiliar territory. Kelly Smith was no different when she was faced with a decision to move from a progressive city to a small town in Missouri with her husband while he finished medical school. She knew she was faced a choice - either she could be a victim to her circumstances and let her inner critic voices get the best of her, or she could make something truly amazing from the experience she had been given. 

Kelly went on to start the first yoga studio in the small town where many thought yoga was against their religion. She was able to rise up in spite of adversity and create a thriving space for people to align their mind, bodies and hearts. And most importantly, along the way, she learned to believe in herself as a teacher.

In this episode Kelly shares how to move beyond fear and doubt to truly believe in yourself, your gifts and what it is you are here to share.

In this episode we discussed: 

  • Kelly’s story of starting her own yoga studio at 22 years old and her journey of learning to believe in herself as a leader and teacher 

  • How to get out of your own way and stop holding yourself back 

  • How to quiet your “inner mean girl” with meditation 

  • Finding your authentic voice as a teacher 

  • What to do if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and how to use meditation to help 

Stay in Touch with Kelly:


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Kelly Smith is the founder of Yoga For You yoga method and school and a master trainer. She is also a podcaster herself (she has a guided meditation podcast) and she started her first business when she was 23 years old. 

She works with empowering women and helping people become the best versions of themselves through yoga. She believes the mind is the most powerful thing you possess and there is nothing in this world holding you back except for you! After a life time of telling herself lies and believing that she wasn't good enough, smart enough, talented enough, special enough, thin enough, or just plain enough, she took a long hard look in the mirror and in her heart and decided it was time she connected with who she truly was, got out of her own way and started to finally live. Through yoga and meditation she got a glimpse of who she truly was, and it changed everything.

She has dedicated her life to teaching soul-searchers how to master their minds and connect with their true selves so they can live an abundant and authentic life. 


 

What Makes People Truly Happy?

 
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With only a few weeks left in the year I feel inspired to lead a new online masterclass for you.

The idea for this masterclass originated at a point in my life when I was in an abyss of despair and felt total emptiness.

It was about ten days after I had accomplished one of my wildest dreams, and the realization had settled on me: when we reach a goal, fulfill a desire or finally attain something outside of ourselves that we’ve been reaching for, often a feeling of emptiness follows.

The desire had been reached and I was left with this empty hole.

That emptiness was unbearable.

And i realized it was that unbearable feeling - the inability to hold myself in exactly what was -was what first led me to be a seeker.

Because as much as our ego would like us to think attaining what is outside of ourselves will bring us true happiness, ultimately it falls flat.

So as I remembered my first days becoming a seeker, I decided to meditate. The next day I meditated again, and the next day again. And soon that emptiness turned into something else.

I realized this abyss and emptiness was how I had experienced being in the unknown, and that had been one of the hardest places for me to be.

But one morning I found a great peace, and realized there are two ways I could view the unknown:

I could see it as the cause of great anxiety, or even depression.

OR I could see it as a space of ultimate potential.

The place where all creation manifests. The dark womb of the mother.

And it was as I opened to that space of ultimate potential, I found my true joy...

In the unmanifest...
In the mystery...
In the patience of not knowing...
In the cosmic space of infinite potential.

I realized true happiness was not in the materialization of my desires, but actually in the anticipation of realizing something I truly longed for. It was in the willingness to be with the mystery.

I finally saw there was a beauty in that anticipation. A seductiveness of the unknown.

And from that place, words began filling the page of my journal, and afterwards I looked down to see I had wrote:

6 Secrets to True Fulfillment

I’ll let you in on one of them: it’s making peace with this mystery.

This invites us to deeply embody the essence of the feminine. The receptive quality of being okay with everything as it is, while opening ourselves to the pure beauty and potential of what is to come.

But how do you do it? … Keep reading…

If you find yourself reading this today I imagine you are a person of depth and devotion.

You’re looking in your inbox for something more than the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

Your soul is seeking to express itself.

Your whole being is seeking true soul fulfillment.

So today I’m not here to sell you anything. Actually I want to give you this information for free.

Because there is something so much deeper your heart is longing to express.

Something so much more powerful you are being called forth by.

The world needs your leadership. Your courage. Your voice. Your dreams.

But something deeper than the material, something that will expand your heart to the size of the room and open you to the power of true fulfillment.

Are you ready to explore your highest potential for 2019?

Join me next Thursday, December 6th at 12 pm PST on the Sagittarius New Moon to connect with your highest hearts jntentions for the New Year…

Free Online Masterclass: 2019 Fulfilled

You’ll Learn:

  • Six Secrets to tap into fulfillment, peace and lasting joy

  • A step-by-step process to align with your intentions for the new year, and how to take tangible steps to manifest them

  • The most common forms of resistance and self-sabotage and how to avoid them

  • Secrets of the Queen archetype to harness your true potential

  • An Insider’s look into my upcoming program, The Sovereign Circle

Sign up right here.

When you sign up you’ll receive an email with the call details, and you’ll be sent the replay even if you can’t make it live.

With love,

Meredith

 

068 | Your Difference is Your Destiny with Renee Linnell

 
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Renee is one of those people I feel like I was destined to meet. We found each other through our publisher, She Writes Press after Renee signed to publish her book with them. We had an immediate connection and soon after I had the honor of being a coach and guide for Renee the year leading up to her book launch.

In The Burn Zone, Renee openly and honestly shares her story — of losing her father at a young age, growing up with an abusive and alcoholic mother, to creating a successful career as a model and dancer, only to join a spiritual group “cult” that led her to burn everything that reminded her of her past (clothes, photos, everything), learn computer programming, get an MBA and create a life that felt the opposite of authentic to her.

After years of having a toxic relationship with her spiritual teacher, a near-death experience in a snowboarding accident finally gave her the "Wake Up” she needed to leave and start her life anew.

After picking up the pieces and going through her own personal healing from anger to forgiveness, she decided to share her story in her new memoir, The Burn Zone.

This thrilling tale leaves us with a powerful message of how to own our differences and liberate ourselves from the shame we carry from our past.

In this episode we discussed:

  • What Renee learned on her first month-long book tour

  • All about Renee’s new book, The Burn Zone

  • Renee’s story of being brainwashed and joining a cult and how she found herself again on the other side

  • The pattern of repeated trauma with empaths and narcissists

  • The vulnerable journey of having people read her writing

  • The liberation that comes with “Letting our skeletons out of the closet”

  • How to release shame and hiding about our past

  • What’s on the horizon for Renee next

"Loving ourselves means stop making excuses for not giving ourselves the things we want in this life. Our life is so short."

Stay in Touch with Renee:


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About The Burn Zone:

After seven years of faithfully following her spiritual teacher, Renee Linnell finally realized she was in a cult and had been severely brainwashed. But how did that happen to someone like her? She had graduated magna cum laude with a double degree. She had traveled to nearly fifty countries alone before she turned thirty-five. She was a surf model and a professional Argentine tango dancer. She had started five different companies and had an MBA from NYU. How could someone like her end up brainwashed and in a cult? 

The Burn Zone is an exploration of how we give up our power―how what started out as a need to heal from the loss of her parents and to understand the big questions in life could leave a young woman fighting for her sanity and her sense of self. In the years following her departure from the cult, Linnell struggled to reclaim herself, to stand in her truth, and to rebuild her life. And eventually, after battling depression and isolation, she found a way to come out the other side stronger than ever. Part inspirational story, part cautionary tale, this is a memoir for spiritual seekers and those who feel lost in a world that makes them feel less than perfect.


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Renee Linnell graduated Magna Cum Laude with a double degree, traveled to nearly fifty countries before she turned 35, was a surf/bikini model and a professional Argentine Tango dancer, started 5 different companies, and got an MBA from New York University. She also spent close to seven years in a Buddhist cult and ended up severely brainwashed. In her new memoir, The Burn Zone, Renee discusses her journey into "deranged and damaged" and her awakening on the other side. Her key message is:  “Our difference is our destiny, and that when we stop trying to hide the parts of us that make us different, we will truly soar.!”

 

My Body, My Choice: What My Jaw is Teaching Me About Consent

 
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Image by Karen Prosen

I may be smiling in this picture but inside there is a little girl who is in pain. 

For as long as I can remember now - probably since I was 6 years old, then starting again when I was 13 (so consistently for the last 16 years) I have been clenching and grinding my teeth in my sleep. 

It happens every night, for the majority of the night and it has been terribly frustrating because it is subconscious. I am not aware of it, and when I wake up with pain around my head and in my upper back and shoulders each morning I feel at a loss of what to do. 

I have tried the night guards, osteopathy, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, massage, cranial sacral therapy and numerous other healing modalities, but it is still happening.

Yoga is the one practice that will clear the stuck energy and pain and bring me back into a state of peace. This is the main reason I continue to practice yoga every day. 

But lately I've really wanted to discover the root of the clenching, not just address the symptoms.  I've been asking myself: Why is my body feeling called to clench and protect in my sleep? I know the body is full with wisdom, and I believe it is trying to show me something.

So about six months ago I discovered Matrix Re-imprinting, a technique that evolved from EFT that connects people with their past traumas and core beliefs and elegantly enables them to transform them into supportive platforms for their lives.

In a matrix re-imprinting session with my mentor, we uncovered a memory of being 6 years old in the dentist’s chair. The fluorescent lights were blaring me in the face. I remember they gave me a pair of sunglasses to protect my eyes from the lights and cover my tears that were just pouring down my face behind them. 

I was getting cavities filled. There were needles to numb the pain, I had to hold my mouth open for what felt like hours, and I felt the pressure on my teeth as they were being filled. As a little girl, this was really intense for me.

As we were connecting with the little girl in this scene, my mentor asked me to ask the little girl how she felt.  

I almost did not want to say what her response was out loud because it was such a strong answer. I thought it was a little extreme for the situation, but I told my mentor that she said she was feeling “raped.”

We validated her feelings and ultimately brought healing back to this memory. It's amazing that when I think back on it now, I don’t even feel a charge recalling it. 

Flash forward six months when the #metoo posts started coming out:

I do not have particularly charged moments in my memory related to sexual abuse or harassment, so I didn’t make a post. However, I watched as woman after woman in my community stepped forward to share, and I bore witness with love. 

Right around this time I went to a sweat lodge ceremony and inside the dark, hot space representing the womb of Mother Earth, women around me began sharing their experiences of abuse.

My biggest prayer going into that lodge was to receive insight and healing for my jaw. I listened as these women around me shared about their experiences. As I listened, I began crying, quite loudly for these women, as many other people also cried in the complete darkness, the womb of the earth. I closed my eyes and began seeing memories of myself in the dentist’s chair and I had an insight, “No one ever asked my permission.” 

All the fillings I had at age 5 and 6, the palette spreader (a piece of metal used to spread apart the upper palette) in the roof of my mouth when I was 9, the doctor’s visits where I felt prodded and poked.

There was no consent. I do not have a memory of someone kindly sitting down to explain to me what was going to happen, why it was going to happen and to ask if that would be ok with me.

These things just happened. 

Now, I do not place blame on any of the adults who were concerned in these situations. They did not know to ask. They were never taught to ask. They were taught to help people and to do what they were trained to do.

I can’t say I wanted to keep going on with cavities in my teeth, and I am very grateful to have straight teeth and a beautiful smile today. These were routine procedures. And these people were trained to do them. I have great compassion and appreciation for all of these professionals.

But in that sweat lodge as I connected to that little girl who was never asked permission, I finally understood why she used that word, “rape” in describing the enormity of her pain.

As I connected with her, the tears just started flowing. I let out loud sobs. More memories came back.  

All the times this sweet little girl was not asked permission. Most of the memories were related to visits with licensed professionals - pediatricians,  dentists and orthodontists. 

She was holding an enormous amount of pain, her own and of the women in the space who had shared their stories. I held it all. I let myself feel it all. It was intense work. 

But by the end of that lodge I had new insights around places I needed to create boundaries with practitioners I see, and how I actually needed to ask my jaw for permission any time I put in a night guard or retainer in my mouth. I also saw how I could ask for permission with beings around me - friends, family, even my cat.

I also realized - when we explain to a child what is happening and why - I believe the child will be quite open to giving their permission if the procedure truly is in their highest good. But the insight I had was that it almost doesn’t matter what the answer is and what ends up happening -  the simple act of asking for permission IS the healing. 

I remember a few months ago when Nisha Moodley made a post about how she asks her son for permission before she picks him up. The post went viral. Her son is not yet of talking age, yet she waits for an energetic permission from him before picking him up. I love this. This doesn’t mean she wouldn’t pick him up if he was in harm’s way, but it is an act of honoring him as a sovereign being and a statement that his body is his. 

So while I was in the lodge feeling the enormity of that little girl’s pain - I realized that if I was holding that much trauma in my jaw from not receiving permission for a routine procedure in a doctor’s office, I could not imagine the enormity of the pain and trauma for others who never gave their permission in numerous other, more dangerous circumstances. My heart is with all of these people. I have tapped into the pain in that field and it is enormous. My heart is  especially with all the men and women who stepped forward to share their #metoo moments in the past few weeks (as well as all of those who did not feel ready to share).

I am also seeing how important it is for me and for all of us to acknowledge and validate our own pain, no matter how big or small it is. No, I was not sexually abused or assaulted by my doctor, but I did discover there was a little girl inside of me who was holding a great amount of pain  from experiences where she did not give consent.

Now I can’t say that feeling my pain led to instant healing of my jaw clenching. This is still a long and winding road of healing. But do I feel a little farther on the path? Yes. Absolutely. 

The truth is I am still waking up with pain and headaches quite often. I still feel frustrated a lot of the time. But something about having this insight about permission has been really healing for me. 

I now have a huge amount of insight into how I will raise my children, and how I will speak to them and ask for permission. 

Asking permission is the gateway to recognizing ourselves and others as sovereign beings.

If you are one of the many people also having jaw clenching or grinding in your sleep, my heart is with you. If you are one of the many who are holding a painful memory or experience where you did not consent, my heart is also with you.

The one piece of advice I offer you today is to pray. Pray for healing. Pray for insight. That is how this piece of wisdom came to me. Ask to be guided in your healing. 

Can you hold the moments in your life where you did not give permission with love? Can you hold that little girl or boy inside of you the way a mother would hold a child?

And how can you use your pain for greater good? Where could you ask for permission before taking action with those around you? 

Asking ourselves these kinds of questions is how we create change in the world. When we recognize, reconcile and heal our own traumas, we stop the pattern of abuse. We learn to act differently. 

That’s when we finally put a stop to the unconscious patterns passed down through our lineage.

The healing starts with you. 

With love,
Meredith

 

036 | Self-Worth, Money & Your Inner Psychic with Anastasia Holland

 
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After three years of making very little money in her business as a psychic,  Anastasia Holland got serious about learning business strategy and putting herself out there. 

She had an idea: to have conscious conversations with women about their relationship to money. She was genuinely curious about how these women she admired got to where they were. How did they make it all work?

 So she launched her  first summit, "Worthy" and within a few weeks her business catapulted. 

The clients started coming in more than ever before. She announced a mentorship program and watched her income skyrocket. 

But it wasn't all easy. There were upper limits to navigate, and burnout to recover from.  

I'm so grateful to share Anastasia's wisdom with you all today:

"My whole perspective of life has changed because as I gained success financially in my career and I finally had this total freedom that I craved for so long,  I realized that I didn't feel that different.

That has catapulted me into finding out what really gives me joy. What really gives me peace. What really gives me freedom. And love and connection.

I think if I didn't have that success I would always be chasing and never be able to face the part of myself that was still in a lot of pain and had all these desires other than money and career."

In this episode we discussed:

  • How Anastasia first discovered her psychic abilities (and how you can too)
  • Anastasia's story of selling everything she owned to start fresh and up-level her life and business
  • Doing business your own way and finding balance with feminine flow in business (aka avoiding burnout)
  • Anastasia's story of leading her first summit, Worthy. How it catapulted her business, brought her to new upper limits and what she learned about herself and how  she wants to do business along the way
  • Beyond money and success, what Anastasia learned brought her  true joy
  • The throat chakra - how Anastasia has honored her voice
  • Anastasia's growth edge and how she is showing up to face her fears
  • The self-worth demon Anastasia still works with and how she keeps showing up despite her fears

More links: 

Enjoy the episode :) 

With love, 
Meredith


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Anastasia Holland is a Psychic Strategist, Business Mentor, Writer And Self Worth Warrior For women. Through her 1:1 psychic sessions, mentorship programs, and workshops she reminds her clients of the work they are meant to do in the world and help them do it in a way that is strategic, effective, and most aligned based off of their unique blue print, purpose, desires, and path. She believes that self-compassion is magic, that we don’t need to be fixed, but instead nurtured, encouraged, and let loose. Her work is committed to reminding you of your power and that you can absolutely do business and life in whatever way you choose. 

To book a session with her, or find out more about her work head to her website www.anastasiaholland.com

 

How I Healed My Heart Through Mindfulness

 
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I've been reflecting on the power mindfulness and meditation have had on my life lately because I am getting ready to co-lead a mindfulness program in Sebastopol this Fall. (There's a free orientation tomorrow night, Tuesday, Sept. 5th if you'd like to join me, more details below.) 

As we collectively and personally move through hardships and challenges in this great time of awakening, I thought it would be relevant to share a few of the ways mindfulness has helped me through hard times:

1. Heartbreak

For those of you who finished reading my book, you learned about two powerful experiences of heartbreak that I've experienced in my life, and how I learned to respond to that pain completely differently from the beginning to the end of the book as I deepened my practices of yoga and meditation in India. 

When I reflect back on some of those more challenging moments in my life, particularly when my heart was hurting, I realize:

Meditation and mindfulness showed me how to witness my pain as pure sensation, and through that space of pure witnessing presence, my heart began to heal. 

I began to create more spaciousness for myself, I learned to surrender to my emotions and accept my emotions, without a need to fix or change them. It is in that space that I opened to love, compassion and forgiveness, and my heart opened to heal.

2. Physical pain

Meditation and mindfulness helped me to relate to my pain in a completely new way. Not just emotional pain, but also physical. I've gone through periods of my life experiencing chronic pain on a daily basis: muscle aches, headaches, and jaw tension. For so long I tried to push it away and distract myself (going to sugar, alcohol, caffeine, anything to take me away from my body and out of the present moment) but I soon realized that only made the problem worse. 

It was only through really being with myself in the pain, opening to it, and breathing through it, did it begin to transform. But in releasing my need to change the outcome, I had a powerful tool of being able to love myself in those moments even when it didn't go away. 

3. Grief

arlier this year my grandmother passed away. I sat with her in her final days in meditation. If you've ever been with someone as they are passing, you know that it invites you to be in a state of total presence. I sat in full presence with her. I held her hand, I meditated, and I sang. In the days and months after she passed, I knew how to feel my grief and let it move through me. 

Now when I reflect back on my grandmother and all we shared, I no longer feel the weight of grief because I allowed myself to fully feel it. Now when I think of her I feel a profound joy and gratitude in my heart. 

4. A car accident

Two years ago I was in a car accident where my car was totaled. It was actually amazing to see what happened in the moment after impact when my airbag opened. I began practicing Vipassana meditation without even thinking. My awareness immediately began feeling my breath and my sensations from the top of my head down to the tips of my toes. I was fully grounded in the present moment. 

Instead of freaking out, I was able to act in the moment from a grounded state. I moved my car off the road, I called for help... I assessed if I had any injuries and I checked in with the person in the other car involved. Within minutes help arrived, and everyone was ok, but reflecting back I see I was able to move through such a hardship with grace because of my years of practice with meditation.

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Beyond moving through challenging times, mindfulness has brought a wealth of positivity to my life: 

1. Self-Worth - a sense of having enough, and being enough

I've learned to focus more on what I have, and who I am through a lens of wholeness rather than lack or scarcity. It has helped me come back to gratitude and an innate sense of worthiness.

2. My Relationship - more ease, love, and appreciation

Now when a difficult conversation or situation arises with my partner, I can almost see the situation from the outside. Rather than being so attached to my pain or fear, I can take a step back, breathe and move forward with love. 

3. Priorities - The ability to get crystal clear on what's really important to me

In being able to take a step back from life, I am no longer getting caught in the same habitual patterns or routines. I'm able to make choices from a broader perspective and take steps forward with intention based on what is truly most important to me.

4. Productivity - making a positive impact in my business and with my clients

Meditation has sharpened my mind and brought focus to my work. It's helped me to be fully present and compassionate with my clients and podcast guests. It's helped me tap into my intuition in a way that has been able to guide my business towards success. 

But the truth is, these results do not happen overnight, and it's not always easy to keep up a meditation practice. I have had to put in the time and attention to come to the place I am in today. 

The way I have been able to keep up my practice, is through community. That is why I am so excited about the community forming for the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program this Fall. 

Would you like to bring more mindfulness into your life? 

Join me Tuesday, September 5th, for the free orientation of MBSR at The dhyana Center in Sebastopol, co-led with Spencer Sherman of Abacus Wealth Partners. 

The details:

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) ~ an 8-week program created by Jon Kabat-Zinn of Spirit Rock, guided by Spencer Sherman and yoga guided by me 

Location: The dhyana Center, 186 N. Main Street, Sebastopol (upstairs)

Course Dates: Tuesday nights, 6:30 - 9 pm, Sept. 19 - Nov. 14th (no class 10/31, full-day class on Sunday, 11/5)

Free Orientation: Tuesday, September 5th, 6:30 - 9 pm ~ learn more about the program curriculum and practices, meet the teachers and fellow students and see if the program will be a good fit for you.

RSVP to the free orientation right here. 

With love, 
Meredith

P.S. if you aren't able to be with us in person, you may like to check out my guided meditations on the insight timer app ~ simply download and search for "Meredith Rom" in guided meditations

 

The Cover of My Book (+ Tips on Birthing Your Big Dream)

REAL TALK: it's taken me six years to publish my first book.

I remember the exact spot I was in India on Mount Arunachala, the holy mountain of stillness and light, in spring 2011 right after my friend told me he thought I would write a book one day.

I sat pondering, "What would I write a book about? What would I have to say?"

At first I brushed off the idea, feeling like it would all just be too hard, but soon I imagined opening pages of the book, and saw each chapter title as a mantra, where I shared stories from my travels in India.

I imagined the words speaking of love and breakups, and the journey I set out on to find love within rather than outside of myself.

I imagined the book would speak of the sages and saints I met on my path and would bring light to the spiritual teachings that have been life-changing for me.

Then I thought, "That's not such a bad idea! Maybe I should write a book..."

Fast forward six years and I am in the final three months before my book, Just Be: A Search for Self-Love in India is released to the world.

Many of you have been following me on this journey from the Kickstarter campaign to the title change (read more about that here), to the new cover design and beyond.

But I know for many of you, this may be the first time hearing about this project.

So today I wanted to share with you the final cover design.

It will be a complete 9-month journey from when I began work with my publisher last December to when my book is released at the end of August.

And in many ways it has felt like birthing a child.

I've had to do deep spiritual work in moving through fears and doubts, as well as releasing expectations and attachments to the final outcome.

There were many, many times I almost gave up. But somehow, I kept going.

I can imagine that if you have a big dream you have been wanting to birth into the world, you have been facing some of these doubts and challenges that naturally come up along the way.

I invite you to reconnect to your intention in birthing that dream - what do you hope to gain from it?

Throughout the whole book-birthing process I reminded myself of 3 simple intentions:

  • I desire to learn about how to write and publish a book

  • I long to honor this divinely guided idea (that felt like it chose me and asked me to birth it)

  • I hope to help even just 1 person through the stories and teachings that are shared in it

When I reconnected to these intentions again and again, it always felt so much easier to take the next step.

So, what dream are you holding in your heart that you are ready to birth into the world? If you feel called to share with us, let us know in the comments below.

And you know what? It's totally OKAY if it takes YEARS longer than you ever thought it would to birth your dream...

I am cheering you on from the sidelines because from my experience, I can tell you it feels pretty awesome when you finally get there. 

With love, 
Meredith

P.S. And I couldn't have done it without an amazing video and kickstarter strategy from StartMotionMEDIA.

028 | Luna Love on the Muse, Creative Entrepreneurship & Inner Marriage

 

Some of you may remember Luna Love from an episode where she interviewed me for her show - The Ladies Who Lead Podcast - where I shared my 4 Keys to Feminine Leadership. 

I invited Luna on RWL to share about creative entrepreneurship, how she uses the muse to go for her dreams and about the process of inner marriage - how she came into wholeness and attracted a loving partnership in her life.

One of the things I admire about this woman is her ability to accomplish so much, WHILE  nurturing a feminine way of being and living - one of the values I hold so dear in my own business. In this episode she shares some of her secrets to "getting it all done" while creating space for what matters most.

“Our capacity to receive as women is really not about other people giving us things but about our willingness to receive our unlimited potential and through the receptivity of that greatness lies the energy to create more and be of greater service…”
~ Luna Love

In this episode Luna shares about:

  • The “I can” vs. “I can’t” voice and how she came to be a women’s leadership mentor
  • How to decipher and tune into intuition
  • Tips on how we can find our purpose
  • Creativity and the muse - what it is and how to use it to go after your dreams
  • Luna’s secret to “getting it all done!”
  • Inner marriage, personal responsibility and the list you need to write if you want to call in and attract a loving partnership
  • The relationship tool Luna uses to use to cut through illusion and deepen connection
  • Luna’s take on when it’s time to “feel the fear and do it anyway” and how to go about it

Enjoy!

Love, 
Meredith

Luna is a Women’s Leadership Mentor, assisting those called to be change-makers in the world, in achieving clear vision for their lives by providing supportive, life-promoting experiences, practical tools and spiritual wisdom to align one’s divine essence, authentic expression and life-purpose. She creates transformative experiences for her clients through the power of self-awareness and self-love.

Luna facilitates online courses, group coaching, workshops, immersion programs and retreats to support her clients in devoting themselves to themselves, and serving the world from that place. Additionally she works as a counselor at a leading holistic drug and alcohol rehabilitation center and writes for numerous online publications. Most of all Luna is devoted to walking her path in the beauty way.

 

Are Your Desires Making You Miserable?

 


Lately I've been thinking a lot about the difference between desire and attachment...

When I was on a ten day silent meditation retreat over the holidays, I began to see how my mind would obsess over the same desires over and over again. (Mostly about achieving more, doing more, having more...)

It became crystal clear that those desires - that had once been born out of pure innocence - had become attachments and they were causing me suffering. 

In a moment of realization in meditation, on Christmas Day, when I had been feeling quite a lot of pain in my body, I broke down in tears, realizing I had been creating the cause of my own suffering by focusing so much on what I didn't have, and what was not in my present moment reality.

So I did what I could to clear those attachments away. I focused on what was happening in my body and breath and released the need for anything to be different than it already was.

An image flashed in my mind of myself being completely stripped down to simple clothes and a shaved head, meditating - settling into a state of stillness and total presence. 

From this state of complete patience, self-lessness and letting go, a ground zero of sorts, I asked myself what was really important to me - and the answer was so simple: time in beautiful natural environments with my beloved, singing and being a teacher and mentor, walks in the back field with my cat, Quan Yin, and going out to dinner with friends. That was it... 

From that day forward in the retreat, meditation became so much easier. Pain began to lift on my body, and in the times when it came back, my relationship to it was completely different. I had developed a patience that hadn't been there before. I allowed the sensations to be there, the thoughts to be there, witnessing, knowing at some point they would pass, and they always did. 

Carrying these insights into my life, I've found a state of more ease and gentleness.

But what about our desires? Isn't it good to have goals and ambitions? I think it is good to have desires, goals and ambitions, but when we find ourselves suffering from those desires, it's time to ask if we have become attached.

It has been a great relief for me to enjoy life (and all that I already have) from a place of nonattachment - allowing everything to just be as it is.

I can't say I've figured it all out, and sometimes those old attachments linger back into my mind, but that's when I come back to my meditation practice, noticing the sensations and breath, and remembering all that is real and perfect in this moment.

To hear more about this topic, listen to my latest podcast where I share the introduction of my book due to release this summer. If you missed my last email, you'll hear all about the new title, Just Be: A Search for Self-Love in India. And, if this message resonates with you, I'd love to hear in the comments.

With love, 
 Meredith

 

026 | Announcing a New Title for My Book + A Bonus Reading

 
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I wanted to share an update on what's happening with the book I wrote of my travels in India! After raising over ten thousand dollars in the Kickstarter campaign last Fall to publish it, I got right to work with my publishing team.  

Right now the manuscript is being copyedited, the official release date is August 22, 2017 and Kickstarter supporters should receive their early copy in July. 

After much contemplation, research, and discussion with my publishing team and kickstarter supporters, I have decided to change the title of my book from Synchronicity to Just Be: A Search for Self-love in India.

After my publisher approached me with the suggestion to find a title that was more direct, short, and to the point…something that would immediately speak to what the reader would be able to take away from reading this book, I began to tune into the total stillness and wisdom of my heart and asked the universe to send me a sign. (To hear the full story and hear the introduction of the book, listen to today's podcast episode)

When I was asked to "look at where my attachments lay" and make a decision that was best for the book I laughed to myself, because literally the last sentence I had written in my book was, "If I was able to release my attachments to the outcome, I knew everything would fall into place…"

Soon after, I found myself recording a podcast interview with Achintya Devi, an amazing woman in the world of women's spirituality and empowerment, and we began having technical difficulties - getting disconnected, coming on the line but using different links, about 15 - 20 minutes passed while we were just trying to begin the interview…

Frustrated, I found myself saying a new mantra over and over in my mind without realizing it, "Just be. Just be. Just be." Within a moment Achintya came on the line, and we recorded a powerful interview to close out the year.

Just Be happened to be one of the titles I was considering for the book, and in that moment, I knew this was the sign I was asking for.

Very little will actually change in the content of the book - I still share of synchronistic events and happenstance, but I’m seeing how synchronicity fits in as a natural side-effect when we tap into a space of “just being…”, releasing our attachments, and allowing the events of the universe to unfold magically around us…

I am feeling ever-more resonant with this new title and direction. After reading through the book last week, I saw how present the theme of “just being” is shared throughout. It just took having an outside perspective to point this out to me.

I believe the message of just being is so relevant and needed at this time - in a world so focused on achieving and doing…

This belief was affirmed to me a couple weeks ago when I received an email from one of my readers, Clare. She wrote in response to a newsletter I sent about letting go of goals and action plans for this year, and rather asking how we can bring more love, gentleness and service to every moment:

“When your email came in, I was initially afraid to open it, I was afraid that I was going to see yet another mention about New Year resolutions which would in turn make me feel shitty about the lack of my own. I had already seen plenty, and I was just about done feeling bad.

I opened your email, and it was the comforting hug that I needed, to remind me of that whisper in my heart that told me to spend more time nurturing myself, taking better care of myself.

After your email, I continued having similar signs pop up everywhere -- telling me that it's ok not to have everything figured out, and it's ok to take it slow. To JUST BE.”

I've been thinking more about what I want for the woman I wrote this book for…and I truly want her to experience what it is to just be...

...To fully accept herself as she is… And from that place of presence, self-love and acceptance… to follow her dreams and experience deep connection and synchronicity… but from a place of truly tuning in, and first finding stillness and silence, and listening to her heart.

After all of this I went into a 10-day silent meditation retreat, where I watched the busy-ness of my mind and found myself coming back again and again to this new mantra, "Just Be" and knew I was being guided to change the title.

My wish is for you to have an open heart and mind, and see how this mantra, “just be,” may come to play in your life…

This whole experience has really shown me the power of releasing my attachments. And how very often when we release those attachments, we end up with a solution that is even more in alignment. Who knew the process of publishing a book full with spiritual lessons would be so full of…spiritual lessons…? :)

What’s the latest update with the book now? We are putting final touches on a whole new cover - something that encompasses the magic and colors of India and the theme and message of just being…so stay tuned.

I’m so grateful for all of you. Thank you all for bearing witness to this journey. I hope you enjoy today's show.

With love, 

 Meredith

P.S. Congratulations to "Ksenia" and "Jokerofthenines" for winning the New Year Giveaway! I loved reading all of your podcast reviews and am so grateful for the time you took to share your stories. "Ksenia" and "Jokerofthenines" can email hello@meredithrom.com to schedule your free coaching session. If you'd still like to write a review for Rising Women Leaders please do so here.

 

022 | The Call of the Goddess with Achintya Devi

 

Subscribe on Itunes here

On the first day of 2016 I took off my clothes and jumped into a freezing cold body of water.

For so long I had avoided cold water, knowing that my body already runs on the cold side and I wanted to do everything I could to stay comfortable.  But on New Year's Day, when I was on a hike with a group of friends and we came upon a gorgeous pond, I just knew I had to do it.  

I felt amazing afterwards. 

But a week ago I went up to Orr Hotsprings with my partner and found myself avoiding the cold plunge at all costs.

I watched as my partner jumped in the icy cold pool on the first night and wondered how he could do it when it was already so cold outside.  Even though I knew I would feel amazing afterwards, I was still avoiding it.

Until one moment I just knew I needed to jump in. It was time to stop procrastinating and just go for it. 

So I did.

And what I noticed as I jumped out was that I could suddenly fully sustain being in the cold air outside.  My body was warming up more quickly from the inside.  

Suddenly I stood a little taller, spread my collarbones a little wider and walked with confidence upon the cool, hard Earth. 

So often in life, we do everything we can to avoid the "cold plunge."  Those things that scare us, those things that feel difficult or challenging.  We procrastinate and put them off...

But the thing is, as soon as we stop avoiding it, we feel bigger and stronger than ever before. 

This is what the past year has been like for me - continuously jumping into a cold pool of water.  It has not always been easy, and at times it has felt like too much...

But as I sat interviewing Achintya Devi for the Rising Women Leaders podcast and hearing her speak of finding the gifts in our challenges and difficulties in life, and how relieved and powerful we feel when we face them head on, I knew it has all been worth it.

Achintya spoke:

"It is the medicine of your pain or fear to walk towards it.  If we keep turning away from it, it's going to keep perpetuating in our lives...and when we can look that challenge in the mirror...and when it is fully felt through the body, something shifts, energetically, in our DNA in our brain structure, in our cells and in our hearts and we understand there is a deeper truth that lies underneath it. "

As we close out 2016, I knew this was the perfect episode to leave you with.

Achintya speaks so powerfully of what is happening in our world right now, how women are being called to embody their divine feminine sovereign power and how we can fully activate and align on our path.

For this episode especially, I urge you to listen all the way to the end.

About three quarters of the way through we touch on some deeply meaningful topics that I think you will want to hear. You may want to have a tissue on hand.

From Achintya:

"We really need you right now...

Every single one of us is completely unique.  There is a grand tapestry being woven right now and each and every one of us has a unique color and frequency... it is going to be incomplete without your thread...

I invite you to trust that your presence matters.  You chose to come to this earth for a reason.  You are holding a particular frequency that is medicine for someone or something..."

And we need you.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Achintya's recent visit with the spiritual teacher Amma
  • Rising above times of darkness and challenge - how to see the gifts in our difficulties
  • The call of the goddess and what is happening at this pivotal time
  • How Achintya left a relationship that was no longer serving her, followed the call of her heart to move to Maui and create her dream business and partnership
  • The advice Achintya has for YOU if you feel the calling of the feminine rising but ever find yourself held back by fear or self-doubt from fully stepping into your power
  • Moon Temple Offerings in 2017! More info here

Tomorrow I will be entering ten days of silence at a Vipassana meditation retreat with my friend Karen.  

I know there may be some challenge and difficulty that arises with meditating for ten hours a day, ten days straight, but I am willing to embrace it to invite a deeper state of peace and equanimity.

 I welcome any good thoughts coming my way (I will be in silence and away from all technology December 20 - 31).

Know that I am wishing you an empowered and loving end of 2016 and I deeply look forward to connecting and sharing more inspiring content with you in the New Year.

With love, 
Meredith


Achintya Devi is the Founder of Goddess Rising, a Global Sisterhood and School of Women’s Wisdom & Moon Mysteries, dedicated to activating and empowering the Wild Sacred Feminine within women worldwide through Moon Priestess Trainings and Leadership Certifications, Wild Sacred Women Retreats, a HerStory Rising Publication and an Online Global Moon Sisters Temple.

As a Women’s Wisdom Guide & Teacher, Ordained Priestess, Wholistic Health Practitioner, Acupressure Therapist and Kundalini Yoga & Meditation Teacher, she is especially passionate about women reclaiming and embodying the rhythm of their Womb Moon Wisdom and rising together in sisterhood to reawaken the collective Feminine Power for lasting transformation within and to serve as Sacred Feminine Leaders in this era of great Planetary Awakening.

Achintya is from British Colombia, teaches and travels internationally and is based on the island of Maui.

www.goddessrising.org

Read the Transcript:

Meredith Rom:

Welcome to the Rising Women Leaders Podcast. We are a sisterhood of women stepping into courage, self love and feminine leadership. I'm your host, Meredith Rom, and here I'll be sharing personal insights, as well as interviews, with inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs, so you can create more daily magic in your life and also grow your business without losing sight of spiritual values as a rising woman leader. If you like this podcast, use our hashtag, #risingwomenleaders. Follow me on Instagram, @MeredithRom, and sign up for email updates at RisingWomenLeaders.com. You'll receive all the new and inspiring content, including insights I only share on email. Now get cozy with a cup of tea, light a candle, and grab a journal to listen to this week's magical radio podcast.

 

Hi everyone, it's Meredith. I wanted to premise this episode by just letting you know that there are some really powerful insights and wisdom that come through about what's happening in the state of the world, and with women in particular and listening to the Call of the Goddess and coming into there rising. I just really want to encourage you to listen to this episode all the way to the end, especially around three quarters of the way in when Achintya starts speaking of some really powerful wisdom. She has a beautiful invitation for you as well, to take into your heart, as we end this year and begin again in 2017. I'm about to go into a 10 day Vipassana silent mediation retreat where I will be in meditation for up to 10 hours a day, leaving. You might even be listening to this while I'm there, so you can think good thoughts for me. I thought this was just the perfect episode to share with you, to close out this year, to come into your heart and your intentions for what is ahead. I am sending you all so much love.

 

I can't wait to share all the episodes that I have waiting for you in 2017. Have a beautiful day and enjoy the show. Namaste.

 

Hi everyone, I'm here today with Achintya Devi, who is the founder of Goddess Rising, a global sisterhood and school of women's wisdom and moon mysteries, dedicated to activating and empowering the wild sacred feminine within women worldwide. As a women's wisdom guide, and teacher, ordained priestess, holistic health practitioner, acupressure therapist, and kundalini yoga and meditation teacher. She is especially passionate about women reclaiming and embodying the rhythm of their womb moon wisdom and rising together in sisterhood to reawaken the collective feminine power for lasting transformation and to serve as sacred feminine leaders in this era of great planetary awakening. Thank you for being here Achintya.

 

Achintya Devi:

Thank you for having me, Meredith, and for everyone listening. I'm so honored to be with you in this space at this time.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. I know that. You live on the great island of Maui, right?

 

Achintya Devi:

Yes.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yes. You were just spending some time in California, where I live. I would love to just start off by hearing about your travels and what was happening for you there.

 

Achintya Devi:

I did used to live in Northern California as well, just further north of you. I lived there for a long time. I first moved to California to go to the Heartwood Institute, in 2000. That's up in Humboldt County. That was a gateway for me to really have a lot of years, a lot of chapters in my life, in Northern California. I'm really familiar with the landscape there and the energy there. That is another home for me. I'm in California at least twice a year with friends and reconnecting to the land and also for work, for hosting trainings and for Moon Temples, Red Tents, and for being with Alma, as well. As which we were just touching on before our recording here. Yeah, this past journey was a quick one. One of which I wasn't quite sure if it would lead me home to Maui or to North Dakota, at Standing Rock, which is still sort of up for the spirit, for the guidance, to be there.

 

It's a powerful time right now and just returning home, settling in, from really some deep feeling of my well, I feel, with Alma, who's been my spiritual teacher since I was 19 years old. It's part of that six month trajectory to always be with her and in her presence. That was a big part of my journey and spending time with my beloved, [inaudible 00:06:06], and him and I reconnecting with his family and some of our dear friends. Being with my dear sister, Amaya, who I co-teach Priestesses of the Moon with at our Wild Sacred Women Retreat. It was a full time being with nature, being with Alma, being with friends, being with family and in creation of some goodies that will come out in the new year as well.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. It's so good and so important to take those times of self reflection and retreat, especially as women who hold a lot of space. I find that it is really important for us to take that time for ourselves to, like you said, fill up your own well spring. I'd love to hear more about Alma. I feel like we've connected through the Instagram world a little bit, and then I had listened to an interview of you where you talked a bit about Alma, and I just felt my heart open. Anyone, I feel, that has a heart connection with Alma, there is just something special there for me, as she was a teacher that really helped me in a time when I was at the very beginning of my spiritual path and discovery and led me to travel to India and have a lot of openings. I'd love to hear about your time with her and also just how you came to find her.

 

Achintya Devi:

There is so much, I feel, I could share about my time being with Alma. For those of you that don't know, she is the form of the divine feminine incarnate, great mother, alive on the planet, who's truly here as the embodiment of love and is with us. Being in her presence truly, I can become speechless, and at the same time I feel like I can share a lot. My journey first began with her, as you were asking Meredith, when I was 19. My aunt and uncle, who had been with her previously, invited me to this meditation retreat. Little did I know that that weekend would for sure change the course of my life, or alter and enhance, the journey of my path. I had some of the most profound experiences in my meditations with her. It became very clear to me that she was for real and that I was meant to really continue to connect with her, even though I didn't fully understand it on a mental level at that time. My experiences of God or Goddess had really been through nature.

 

It did take a little bit of time for my mind to understand that, yes, this is happening through the form of a person as well. Which, after years and years, I feel really, truly, it still correlates to energy. Nature, being the momma goddess, Alma being the mother goddess in human form. Just that this is truly about connecting with the presence of unconditional love, which essentially is all of our nature. Yeah, really I feel like her presence has been a huge guiding force and light in my life, as I felt really inspired after a couple years of, "Being with her," or, "Having sense met her," where I felt the large pull to go to India.

 

I first went there, 2002, and have had about eight different journeys to India to go to her Ashram and be on her travels, on her tours, the North India Tours, the South India Tours where she is in full force giving blessings and her programs and her teachings in addition to all of the incredible humanitarian charities that happen through her. It's so amazing to me because really, she is such the icon for me of leadership, where she is sourcing herself from the infinite source, which she is completely connected to. She is offering this to the world. She's offering her presence, and suffering, is offering her work, too, and poverty, is giving of this infinite well to benefit others.

 

It's absolutely, to me, still after 21 years, absolutely, completely jaw dropping, inspiring, to see how she is with every individual with full presence and how she is utilizing every single breath of her life to enhance humanity and to shift the things that need to be shifted on the planet so that people are not suffering, so that we are truly walking as leaders in the world rooted from a place of spirit within, having spirituality be the force of which all of this has derived from. People ask her all the time, and I feel the same too, it's like, "What's your religion?" She shares, "Love and service." There's a little window.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. It's inspiring and that's beautiful to hear that this is one of your guiding lights, someone that you look to as an example in leadership.

 

Achintya Devi:

Yeah, it was really actually her that, through being with her, that Goddess Rising was birthed. I had an experience of being in her Ashram in 2012 where I really wanted to give forth a new years resolution workshop, because this was a big year, the Mayan calendar ending. I had this experience within that time, and it was just for women, that that's really where it all coalesced for me. I had a really strong experience of her presence coming through me where I had this, almost, revealing of the path in front of me, and that everything from this lifetime, and perhaps other, had come and arrived at this moment. Where, I knew clearly, without a doubt, that I was now meant to really serve women, to serve my sisters, to utilize all of my gifts in support of women rising together in remembrance of themselves, of their power of the goddess.

 

It was really through my experience with her, then, that she was like, "All right, you've done enough of serving in the Ashram and doing this certain work in your life. Now it's time to go do this." My time at her Ashram has been less and less and less, since then, because I feel as she does with so many of her children, is say, "Okay, now it's time to go and fulfill this mission. This is why you're here." In that way I feel like we're, as woman, I feel that are committed to awakening on the path and serving in leadership, that we are essentially all working for the Queen Bee, that Queen Bee of the goddess, of the mother. We're really all under her divine wings that are here for the same purpose and utilizing our gifts to serve that purpose, to walk our purpose.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. Our work can really reach new levels when we approach it from that place. Honestly, just really wanting to give and to serve and watch, to be of help to other people in their path. I can just think of that shift when I became a yoga teacher. It was that first big shift of, "Wow." At first I thought I was going to this training to do something for myself, and to learn. Then, suddenly it's like that shift into, "No, there are actually really a lot of people who need this right now, and if I can just be a vehicle of that."

 

Achintya Devi:

I love that. I really feel that it's this constant place of always being a student of life and serving and teaching and leading, that we really can't have that leadership without continually being a student, of having that attitude of humility and the welcoming in of the next level of what we can expand or what we can deepen into, what we can learn. We're human and we are constantly having the opportunity to come to another place of embodiment within our own selves to be able to share that with others. That's my experience, anyways.

 

Meredith Rom:

I agree. I'm curious what you were holding in your heart, in particular, this recent time being with Alma. Any wisdom or insights that came to you from just this past visit?

 

Achintya Devi:

This is something. I feel this Autumn has been a huge time of great impact, where there's so much uncertainty in the collective and there's a lot of celebration and there's a lot of empowerment and there's a lot to be grateful for, and simultaneously there is a great uncertainty in the unknown in the direction of our planet. Some of this was brought forth, I guess, for me and my heart, it was many things. One of them being in my commitment to serve and to serve out of love and to truly share teachings and wisdom and embodiment for women to rise in the empowerment of their selves, and really informed by the rhythms of the moon, the power that lies within the wisdom of the womb, and to really be connected to the earth and leading from this place.

 

I took it upon myself to really have one of my intentions to have some of this time be for me to fill up. I am holding deep space for a lot of women at this point in my journey and I know that for me it's really important to be able to just surrender to the goddess and be her daughter and to just be in her presence. That was, I was saying, part of filling up my well. Also, at the same time, is really this place from the perspective of being committed to this path for my own self, and being a priestess on this path of serving love and serving the goddess and walking in a way that I can be of best service. I have had the inquiries and the holding of the collective in my heart of feeling how, with the recent elections, and all that's happening at Standing Rock, as two of our most strong events that have taken place recently, that this place of the future and how do we move forward in this unknown and where there's a lot of collective fear.

 

One of the things that took place is that that was actually vocalized by a dear brother of mine in his questions. Alma's response was really profound. It really was so simplified by this story, which I think is just we can all relate to. I think that's what's so powerful about Alma is that she shares these stories in which we can all relate to to learn through them, where there was two boys in a pool and there was no lifeguard. One of them didn't know that he could swim. He started to drown, but he didn't have any fear. The other boy that was there said, "Aren't you scared? You're about to drown." He said, "No, I'm not scared because I know that my mother's here with me."

 

I felt like the whole room just had this sigh of understanding that even in these times where we feel like we're drowning or we feel despair for the collective, for our own selves, for what is out of our control, that when we have faith, when we have the great mother, when we have God, when we have Goddess, when we understand, or feel, more importantly, feel that we are actually being guided by spirit and that we aren't alone that the fear dissipates. For me, this isn't to say that we don't act. This isn't to say that we just give that responsibility over to the divine and we don't do anything. It's that it's informing how we act and how we serve, knowing that, at least for me I can say that I know that there is a grander purpose.

 

I believe that all that's happening right now on the planet is happening in divine order, even though I don't like a lot of what I'm seeing. I understand that it's a part of the shadows that have been hidden away that are now coming to such a great light for us to no longer hide them, but for us to really see them, so that we can take action for healing or for peace, or for justice. I'm seeing that. I'm seeing that with our collective coming together at Standing Rock and around the world, to make a difference and say, "No longer are we going to stand for our native peoples of this land and lands all around the world to be perpetrated in this way. No longer are we willing to allow for the pollution of our waters. No longer are we allowing for corporate greed." In this larger sphere, I see how this is the Kali Yuga. Kali, being the goddess that is taking out her sword to cut away the ego.

 

Part of that is for it to be exposed. We have this opportunity, I feel, to do this beautiful and often can be challenging, inquiry, of like, "Where have we perpetrated? Where have we been disrespectful to the earth? Where can we be accountable for our own selves and move forward from there?" The other piece being that, which I have felt for years and years, and I feel like it's finally there's more of us, I feel, who are seeing this and believing this too, or experiencing that, this trust in the government, speaking of apparent leadership. Yes, there are incredible things about the governments around the world, and there are ways in which clearly we can see that the way that they currently are in bed with larger corporations are truly destroying the earth because they have their bottom line of top dollar over the preservation of mother earth and all of her peoples.

 

It feels this incredible time right now where we're all rising and calling bullshit on the things that are the lies that we've been fed for so long. To say, "Nobody else is going to lead us out of this but ourselves," and truly that we are the ones we've been waiting for. There is no one here that we can just be our savior. It's like, "No, it's time to mobilize on mass, together, to make a shift." That's why I believe those that are listening right now and those that are our in our spheres of people that we connect with have a similar resonance with this. We recognize that we are all here to serve as change agents, as change makers, to truly catalyze this shift and be the solutions and to implement these in the world, from the inside out. Okay, that was lengthy, but there you go.

 

Meredith Rom:

Wow. It's so powerful and such, just potent wisdom that is really needed at this time. Wow. I'm just thinking about all this, and you holding this space. I'm curious, did you always feel this calling? Growing up and coming in to more of your power and holding that space, what did it look like for you? Was there a moment of awakening? Was it always a part of you? I'm curious around that aspect of your journey.

 

Achintya Devi:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, I feel like it's both. I feel like for us to have come into this world choosing the family that is on the spectrum, pretty much on the path of awakening and a really loving family, large family. Not necessarily like my nuclear family, but my greater family who I'm really close with. I feel like I have had great support from my family from a very young age, which has truly made a huge impact for me. Of course, we all have chosen our challenges to catalyze us through different rights of passages to bring forth our strength, for us to see ourselves, and in these times of great challenge to forge ahead. I've definitely had a few of those, for sure.

 

One of them being in my early twenties where I was experiencing severe menstrual cramping, which I relate to. This is sort of two-fold, which is really interesting to think about the earth right now, what we're speaking about of leadership and the earth's resources, and how our bodies are representations of the earth as well and how there's pollution to the earth and how there has been pollution to our bodies. I was preparing to go for a journey to Ecuador and Peru and I was on the fence about getting certain inoculations, which I ended up doing, and really was a poisoning of my body.

 

That effected me in great ways. I had severe menstrual cramping for years. Shortly after that, and also really intense acne. Those two things really were great teachers for me. I see this now, it's like how we take in the poison, that of the snake's poison, or being the medicine ... Wait, I'm going to reframe that. Having the medicine of the serpent, like taking poison and transmuting it into something else. Which, is gold. Transmuting it into gold, to a gift. This is definitely part of what I can see now that really assisted my journey into being in the leadership that I'm in now and the empowerment that I'm in now, from that. I had no idea at the time that those inoculations were vaccines. They were rabies shots, actually, among other things that were going to really alter my body in significant ways.

 

The cramping really was so intense for me that I had to journey deep, deep, within. It's like going into the deep underworld of pain and of apparent separation, and to the places where I then understood and felt the greater, global cramp, the cramping of how women are really manipulated into feeling disempowered by advertising, by the collective, by society. The ways in which we stuff ourselves away from feeling our pain and our anger and our emotions. All of these greater epidemics that I see on the planet of how women are challenged and are struggling, I experienced through this great physical pain in my early twenties. That really catalyzed me into the deepening of the blood mysteries and healing and my lineage and of both blood and the cosmic lineages, and always have felt this understanding of walking the path of the priestess that I felt since a very young age where I started to feel like this is the deepening of that. Sort of didn't understand at the time where it was going to lead.

 

It was sort of like following those bread crumbs of the great mystery. The second part being, having really intense acne at a young age, or not a young age. This is the thing is I had it later in life because of the rabies shots in my body completely reacting and trying to get this poison out of me. That was extremely challenging to have to then go into deep vow to myself to be completely authentic from my heart without judging or criticizing the way that I looked, that I didn't like the way that I looked. I think that that's truly another epidemic that's on this planet. I think most women on the planet, in some way, don't like something about them. They can easily say, "I don't like my thighs, I don't like my eyebrows, I don't like this." Depending on how deep that is or how ingrained that is, can be so detrimental to our precious hearts, to us as women and as human beings.

 

That really was a great catalyst for me to be able to have deep self love and compassion. Those are definitely a couple things that come to mind in relation to this greater conversation that were sort of my underworld journeys and to rise from that. This is something each and every one of us have. We each have something no matter how much grace and love is in our lives. We've chosen to have certain challenges to bring us into greater remembrance and reclamation of ourselves and what our dharma is in the world, how we are chosen or how we choose, to then serve. To take that poison and offer it now as gold.

 

I feel like I've come greatly full circle and risen from that to be able to really be in this space to catalyze.

 

Meredith Rom:

A lot of my work is around connecting that self love, to allow ourselves to just be exactly as we are and to go deeper into that self love. I'd love to hear just a little of how you began to connect to that self love. For anyone that may be listening that is going through a challenge or a hard time or a difficult relationship to their body, what do you have to offer for them? What wisdom do you have to share around that?

 

Achintya Devi:

Isn't that just like the whole journey of this life, right? That's a really powerful question. I really feel that everyone's deep journey with this is so unique and different. Yet, at the same time it's so interwoven because when we come down to our innate nature as human beings, spirit living inside this body, our nature is love. That is who we are. Whatever ways have come forth on each of our paths that have challenged us are, in a way, truly the the things that test us to still come home to the love within ourselves. I know that there are so many of us on the planet that have ... Everyone has experienced pain on some level. For some of us, it's been more traumatic than others. I feel it really is the pain and the joy or the pain and the love, or the fear and the love, are truly all just two sides of the same coin.

 

There's such an opportunity to have this lens to integrate because when you're experiencing really deep pain or a continual chronic, negative, self talk and beliefs that are really pulling you towards fear and away from love, when there is at least some sort of recognition of this and the choice that we all need to make. I think this is the wisdom piece. Nobody can do this except for yourself. It's to say, "I'm going to choose something else." Then, when that is there, when there's that moment of really empowered choice, it's been my experience, and I've witnessed so many women as well, where there's this opening to go deeper into the pain. When we go deeper into the pain and fully feel it for what it is, then naturally it shifts. There is truly, I feel, it is the doorway to the things that we feel in our lives that are uncomfortable or that are painful or that are super challenging. We've been so conditioned to turn away from them that it's not pleasurable. It doesn't feel good.

 

It's really the medicine of that pain to actually walk towards it, or the fear, and walk towards it. If we keep turning away from it it's going to keep perpetuating in our lives and the same patterns are going to be repeating themselves and this endless cycle, like a hamster wheel, of some sort of level of dissatisfaction or continued chronic fear, or self doubt, and on and on, and on and on. When we really can look that challenge in the mirror, if it is anxiety or if that is feeling scared or beliefs of not being good enough, or whatever that is, it's truly that part of the pain when fully felt through the body, something shifts. Energetically, in our DNA, in our brain structure, in our cells, and truly in our hearts. Recognize, "There's actually a deeper truth that lies underneath this."

 

For every person, that's going to be slightly different. Yet, at the same time, it's, "Yes, I am love. I am the embodiment of love. I am not separate from God, Goddess. I am not separate from the spirit. I am not separate from my fellow human beings on this planet." There's such this incredible healing and opportunity that arises from this. It's my belief that it's so important for us to continually in our lives walk towards what feels uncomfortable because there's truly medicine that is there for each and every one of us. Deep insight and powerful revelation that can only be had when we do turn to face that.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yes. It's so true. This makes me think of two things. One is that I'm about to go into a 10 day Vipassana meditation course.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yes. 10 days of silence. 10 hours a day of meditation. I've done it once before a few years ago and it's potent medicine. Everything comes up from the pain in the body to some tense, past emotional pains. The practice is about becoming the witness to it all. Not being in a place of aversion or craving, but rather just watching it and letting it be, feeling it, going deeper into it and watching that it isn't permanent and there is something that it transforms into.

 

Achintya Devi:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Meredith Rom:

The other thing that reminded me, I just went to a hot springs and there is the cold plunge at this hot springs I went to. Orr Hot Springs? Maybe you've been there?

 

Achintya Devi:

Yes, many times. I used to live near there.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. Yeah. The whole time I was avoiding the cold plunge. At first I was like, "No way. No way. I'm not going near the cold water. Can we go in the hot water, get really cozy in here?" At the same time, every time I got out of the hot water I would just be so cold and it was really uncomfortable. As soon as I was like, "I'm going to go for the cold plunge." I just went for it. I got out and I felt invincible. I felt like my body [inaudible 00:40:54] myself up and suddenly I could stand in the cold air because I was willing to go deep into that cold water.

 

Achintya Devi:

Yes. Oh my gosh, I love that because what the cold does is it pushes the heat in you. In that same way, it's like, when I go into my resistances, as I go into my aversions, it actually pushes the truth and the love back into me. Yeah, that's powerful. I love that and I love Orr. I love that place.

 

Meredith Rom:

It is such good wisdom. I'd love to hear your insight and take on what is happening right now in the world and what is happening with women and coming into their power and this idea around Goddess Rising and what is happening with women right now.

 

Achintya Devi:

Right to the core. Here we go. Yeah, wow. The great Goddess Kali comes direct in this moment. For those of you that are listening, I know that you have either heard about Kali, this goddess, and if you haven't, definitely read up about her. We're embodying her right now. We're actually in, in the great cycles of time, and we have the cycles of the moon and the cycles of the sun and the cycle of the seasons and these greater cycles of time. We are in this great Kali Yuga. Kali is a goddess who is about destruction. She is here coming forth onto the planet in her essence, rising through us, as women, to destroy our egos, to destroy all that is keeping us from our power.

 

Kali is this goddess, when you look at her and how she's depicted with the skulls around her neck and she's slaying all these demos with her sword. She looks super fierce and scary from the outside, but from the inside she has the biggest heart and is the great mother in the form of this incredible compassion. She loves her children and us so much that she comes forth to strip away, to cut away, anything that is truly not serving to be on our path, that is not serving our upliftment, that is really here to destroy the beliefs that we carry, that we have been taught, that we've been conditioned, into that keep us in patriarchal subservience, that keep us from loving each other, that keep us from uniting as sisters, as brothers and sisters, as a family on this planet.

 

All of this destruction that we see that's taking place all around us in Aleppo right now, at Standing Rock, as the earth has been raped and is being raped, that is being pillaged out of greed and out of fear. This is where Kali comes to the earth and is like, "I am here to cut all of this fucking bullshit away to realize and recognize who you truly are and what is really important." All of that, which I see around, that's taking place on the planet, and all that can be challenging to look at, I believe does serve this greater picture and this greater dance that we're in that can be so hard for us, for women that are on this path right now of awakening to their power. It's like, "Okay, what is power?" When we look around and we see big corporations and the governments that claim to be of service and of power, that's actually not power. That's manipulation and control. This is where Kali comes to cut this away.

 

She's putting this all in our face so that we can make that choice and say, "I want to choose another way. I know there is another way." It's like, everything that's happening on the outside is truly what's happening on the inside of our global human consciousness that we're all connected with. The feelings that we may feel that are anger and sadness and despair and grief and maybe start crying out of nowhere, we, as women, we feel and we are true and we are intuitive, we are made of water. The same water that runs around the globe that is being polluted, and the pollution that's inside of us that's now getting extracted, it's like, we are tapping into, not only our own personal story and how that weaves with a larger collective, but we're tuning into the transpersonal, where sometimes it can get a little murky. We're like, "Is this mine or is this that of the collective?"

 

We're all connected, I think that that's another piece that we get to really refine ourselves and our own boundaries and say, "That's something else, but yet I'm feeling it." That's because we are midwives and we are midwifing. We're midwifing the [inaudible 00:47:43] the planet. I know that this is truly why we are gathering together as women, that we're not only just midwifing love back to the planet but we're midwifing the return of the divine feminine of the goddess to come and unite with the masculine and where the masculine is going through its own rebirth, in men and in women. The goddess, there is so many specific goddesses from countless cultures and places on this beautiful earth. In essence, the goddess, the divine feminine, has been repressed, has been shamed, has been hidden. At the same time, she's chosen to go underground for some time and now she's choosing because it is time to return. She doesn't return just outside of us, she's coming through us.

 

Kali is pushing out all that that is within us that is keeping us from truly being in freedom and being in our sovereignty and being in our divinity and being in our unity and this is the journey of the modern woman right now that no longer can ... We live our lives just for ourselves but that we're living this life in remembrance of truly what it means to be a human being to serve on the planet, to live our dreams and make the necessary steps to offer what we can and our gifts to work and to change the world for truly how we wish to live, for ourselves and for our future generations. This is no joke. This is why we're here.

 

I feel I could go on and on, and it truly feels like it's like this is why I do the work that I do. I feel that for so many other women, but just speaking for myself in this moment, it's like this is why I choose to get on the computer every day to show up, to be accountable, to act with integrity, to truly be the best that I can be in devotion to love and service, to midwife, Goddess Rising again on the planet, in her true, powerful, beautiful essence, that is really the nature of each and every woman on this planet and encompasses all beings.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah.

 

Achintya Devi:

Thanks for bringing that forth Meredith.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. I'm going to breathe that in. It makes me think about how, because Kali is wild and messy.

 

Achintya Devi:

Yeah.

 

Meredith Rom:

Transformational. It's not all always going to be easy. There are going to be some real things we have to face within ourselves and around fully stepping into power and our greatness and of being that high lights and beacons to be of service. I imagine for you, I imagine connecting deeply to this why and connecting to what it is that you are really here to do and why you're here to do it. It has helped you to work through fears and challenges and doubts that come up along the way. I wondered if you could speak directly to imagining there is a woman out there right now, and I know are many of them who are doubting themselves in stepping into their power, what you would say to her. What you would say to those women?

 

Achintya Devi:

That we really need you right now. That the gifts that you were born with, the gifts that you may have repressed or have said goodbye to a long time ago, that which has really given you great joy and pleasure as a young child, the talents that you have, the ways of being that truly are the essence of uniquely who you are, we need that right now. Every single one of us is like a snowflake that is completely unique. If we imagine in the same way that there's this grand tapestry that's being woven right now, and each and every one of us has a specific color or energy or frequency to creating that tapestry, it's going to be incomplete without your threat. I really invite you to trust and to open to the great potential and possibility that your presence matters, that your gifts do make a difference. These voices, like, "Who? Me? It's just this," and how we can put ourselves down in that way.

 

If you are feeling this right now, just really inviting that invitation that on a really deep level that you chose to come to this earth for a reason. You are holding a particular frequency that, yes, there actually is medicine for someone for something. It's so helpful sometimes to understand that or feel that because when we, as women, offer ourselves in service, there's a bigger draw where we have our purpose. I believe that this self doubt from this place of being scared to step into your power is also an invitation to really redefine what power is for you. Power isn't control and power isn't always leading in a particular way. Power is not domination. I know that in these feelings, like scared of being seen. Scared of being seen and feelings of rejection or what are people going to say because I don't want to feel what I felt before when I felt pain in this way.

 

At this time, it's like, there is no more time, in a way. It's like now is the time to make that choice of mustering that deep love, the essence that's really inside of you and trusting that and saying yes to that, because that is your power. That power is the thread that we need in this great tapestry. I ask of you to take a step in this next week, whenever you're listening to this. To take a step in this next week to do something that scares you, to do something that's going to challenge your courage and to take a baby step on that razor's edge. There's a lot of, I believe, that is coming for us on this planet, so much that maybe you really unexpected and it's already here. At the same time, we really need each other. We need each other's gifts and we need each other's support and we need to be fully present with each other.

 

It's my request to you, as a sister on this planet, for you to take that step and to take your place into this great orchestra and this great sisterhood that has been coming to the planet for however long and that we've been together for lifetimes. We're remembering each other once again. We need you. We need each other. That is my request, and knowing that you're totally supported and that you do have women around this globe that are walking this path with you alongside of you. Some in front of you, some behind you, to assist each other as we all really are here to catalyze remembrance with each other and to uplift one another and rise together. That is this other aspect of the goddess that's rising. She's rising through our sisterhood to truly remember what that is so that we can unite and move away from separation and competition and jealousy and come into celebration and come into collaboration and honoring of one another.

 

This is a place that I would love to meet you in.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yes. Yes. I wondered if you could share a fear that you have faced recently? Anything that you have overcome or worked through or been really loving to yourself with? What has that been like? What have you learned? How did you do it?

 

Achintya Devi:

That's a really good question. I can't think of something that's super recent, but I could say in this last chapter of my life, or I guess it feels like more chapters now. I think this is something that a lot of women can relate to also, you may have experienced. It was, I don't even know how many years ago now. I just feel like this is what's coming through. It was this fear or challenge of letting go of a relationship that lasted and lingered for quite some time. Actually, in hindsight, was my final saying no to that and saying yes to myself was truly what catapulted me forth into creating Goddess Rising Sisterhood and our Mystery School. That's a really powerful piece for me on my path. I would say that I really had challenge of saying goodbye. I'm like, "Okay," because I want to work through this  challenge or to truly be in this catalyzation of creating another way of being together.

 

After quite some time of these challenges of looking at my own fear of the future. Okay, what's this going to look like if I leave and everything coming up of full spectrum of leaving the home, not having anything, really detaching fully and listening. Really, through this, it's like listening to my deep intuition, listening to my voice. It's time to go. It's time to complete. I am cutting these chords. It's time to say goodbye. It's time to move forward, and doing that. When I did I had a transition time of actually being a hospice for my dear angel dog, spirit guide, passed him on to the other side. Then, I moved to Maui. It was this great call that I had received, truly from the goddess, very specifically to come to Maui. Everything really has, from that time, catalyzed into my deeper sense of purpose and my deeper path of service and as priestess and deeper alignment with relationship.

 

Now I am living with, and just bought a home with, truly the king of my dreams. He is freaking amazing. He is truly my beloved and my best friend. It's something that I have felt. I had desired and wanted since a very young age, knowing that there was someone that I really, truly, was meant to be in this life with in that way. It's happening now. That's happening from me having the courage to be like, "No. I am saying no to this and I'm saying yes to this." I'm really following my heart and I'm following the guidance that I'm receiving from within myself. I think that that is a continual test for all of us, as women. It's like, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of years ago when we were trained to really be exercising our intuition and our gifts in this way, it was a lot easier to navigate. We're dealing with so much in this modern world that challenges us to be in our heads all the time and not so much in our bodies and in our intuition.

 

We're constantly needing to tune into our truth and our intuition in this way, to really listen to what's there, because that is our compass. That is our guide. That is the goddess living inside of us. This is our soul guiding us inside. I think that that really comes down to this great learning and this opportunity to constantly be tuning within to listen and no seeking the answers outside of ourselves. When we do that, that we are truly guided and that we're guided into living our dreams. I was guided into being here and walking the sacred path, right now, in this particular way. Yeah, that's what comes up right now when I think about that and the importance really of saying yes to the voice and the feelings, the gut intuition that lies inside of us.

 

Meredith Rom:

Following your heart, and from that place you had to take the leap. You had to really trust in the universe that your next step was going to lead you into something even greater than you could have ever imagined.

 

Achintya Devi:

Yeah, absolutely. On an emotional level, on a financial level, on a spirit level, in every way. It's like, "Okay, here we go. Here come the wings as I leap." We each have to take that leap. That truly, it's called the leap of faith for a reason. We've got to change that. That's when the wings sprout.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yes. Such amazing work and wisdom that you've done and that you've shared. I wondered what you were excited about in your business, now? What is happening for you and if there is anything offerings, things that you're doing now, that you'd like to share with the women listening?

 

Achintya Devi:

I really, first and foremost, want to share that we welcome any woman here to come into this deeper recognition of her own power to the power of our body and the power of our cycles. There is a free moon charting map that I invite all women to have by their bedside table to be charting and to have this be a sacred ritual to do once a day or once every couple days besides your bed, to get to know your rhythms, get to know your body and the way that it connects with the moon phases and your emotions and your sexual cycles. It's truly, I feel, this 101 of the modern woman right now. It's coming home to, "What are my cycles?" How our power comes from that. It is cyclical. That's what I'm super passionate about is this cyclical power that we have as women.

 

You can download that for free on the website. We have free rituals for you to come to at the High Holy Days on the wheel of the year to celebrate your connection with the earth and sisterhood and your own journey of empowerment and awakening and healing. Those are just really heart offerings for any woman at any time. In terms of going deeper with the mystery school and things that require tuition, we are about to ... I think we're doing this in February, right? This is a February?

 

Meredith Rom:

I'm feeling pretty inspired to share it sooner.

 

Achintya Devi:

Okay. Whenever this is going out, just stay connected. There's two things for 2017. It's all timeless. We're beginning the next year of our Moon Sisters Temple. That is truly a global Moon Sisters Temple that's a membership for you to step into a quarter or step into as long as you want, leave whenever you want. It's truly a temple space of living by the moon. It's like your living guide to what is happening in the cosmos and bringing this down to earth and how this is impacting us. Really, it's an invitation to join in global moon rituals to truly be in a reawakening of and remembrance of and empowerment of your feminine wisdom for your life, for your love and for your leadership. 2017 is lunar power for us to recreate as the revolutionary, for us to join as the priestess and for us to step into the reawakening as the medicine woman. That's what's in store for the first quarter of January, or of 2017, which is January, February and March.

 

Then, in February, my dear, beloved, priestess sister, Joanne Ameya Cohen, her and I, are going to offer our fourth round of our Priestesses of the Moon initiation training and Goddess Rising Moon Temple facilitation training. This is really a next level deepening into the moon mysteries and the womanly arts and for all the women that wish to bring this power and wisdom of the moon into their communities to be a part of our Goddess Rising Moon Temple collective. Our next facilitation training is happening in 2017. Priestess of the Moon is the first step that's required before that training. It feels like a really big year. I'm excited because I can feel the momentum of us, as a sisterhood rising, and how when each and every woman who feels this call to deepen into her power, there is this innate connection to our hearts, to the moon, to nature, to rhythm, where we realize that we're really not separate from that.

 

Let's remember all of these cycles that live inside of us and how we get to, then, embody all of these different phases for our lives, to live our dreams for our own love and all of our relationships, and to truly rise in our leadership. That's what we're being asked to do as a global sisterhood. I see it. I see it all around me. I see it within you, Meredith. I see it within our mutual web of women entrepreneurs and sisters and I'm seeing it around the world. This is what I'm offering for 2017 and truly welcome you to jump on in because it is time for us to rise. It's time for us to shine and to do so from a place of being really nourished and feeling really howled and supported.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. I'd like to express my gratitude for you being here today and sharing with us. I wondered if you would do the honors of sharing a closing prayer?

 

Achintya Devi:

Thank you. I want to really honor you, Meredith. Thank you for holding this space and for guiding me into some potent questions to journey into, really in service for our sisters. Feeling the sacred space and the power and the seat that you're holding, I really appreciate you.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah.

 

Achintya Devi:

Yeah. Okay. Let us close all together. I would love to invite you to place a hand upon your own heart and a hand upon your womb space. To give yourself three deep breaths. As you feel this heart beat underneath your hand, this rise and fall of your womb space of your belly with your breath, for you to know and to feel in this moment that that is the beating of the one heart, the one pulse of life that is here holding and supporting you. That is the heartbeat of the goddess. That is the heartbeat of love. As you feel the rise and the fall of your womb space, your belly, that you offer into this belly, this womb, this portal of your creation, this true center of your creative power, for you to plant in a quality or a desire of how you wish to feel in these coming cycles that are changing into this new year. To plant in, maybe that's courage. Maybe that's self nourishment. Maybe it's connection.

 

Maybe it's completion or boundaries. Whatever, right now, from this conversation, from this transmission, that you feel you could really need or that you could use or what would feel like medicine for you to plant that into your womb space. As we do this all together, no matter when you're listening, because animals of time are truly seamless, that we honor all that we're each planting in this sacred womb, this deep web, where we're all connected. Where we meet to celebrate, to witness, to affirm, and support all of the medicine in which we need. To know that it is in its own timing, coming forth, and for you to receive that as a blessing. To feel the love that's coming from your heart, breathing that in and giving that to your womb. To that intention, whatever medicine that is, that you need, that you water it with a deep breath of your love.

 

From the heart space that is generating this, for you to feel this flame of true connection here in this one heart, as well. The truth that lives here, that your voice matters, that your presence matters, that you are valued, that you are supported and you rest in to the rhythms of your body when you rest into the earth, when you rest into the goddess, that you are truly howled and supported. From this place of support, asking you to take your next steps to truly rise and the incredible woman that you are and the goddess within her. I would love to close, to seal this all up with a mantra that I know you know too, Meredith, if you want to sing it with me. The mantra of , and in this way, this ancient sand script prayer, that I first heard years and years ago from Alma, that we extend out our heart for all being and all the worlds to be happy and at peace. That our presence and our actions can attribute to this. We can do one ohm and chant it three times.

 

I'm inviting you, if you know this, to chant with us as we truly are connected to all of creation and offer this transmission and this conversation and this podcast to benefit all sentient beings. May this be support for that.

 

Inhaling. Exhaling. Inhale for the prayer to close.

 


 

 

Peace, peace, peace, within and all around. Where the reverberations and all of the soundings we offer this. Thank you for your listening sisters and joining us in this sacred time with your presence. I'm so honored to be here with you, Meredith. Thank you so much. I'm handing it back to you.

 

Meredith Rom:

Thank you Achintya. I'm going to just bring my hands to my heart and bow in gratitude. Namaste.

 

Achintya Devi:

Namaste.

 

Honoring 5 Years with 5 Tips to Thrive in Love & Relationships

 

Five years ago I reconnected with a man I once felt divine love with.  It was at Amma’s ashram in San Ramon, California.  It was just months after I returned from India and was finding my footing living in the Bay Area again.  I went to Amma’s that night, excited to re-immerse myself in the energy of India. 

I had spent the last year and a half in a deep inner transformation, becoming a yoga teacher, attending meditation retreats, visiting spiritual teachers across India, and learning powerful lessons from another experience of love in my life.  When my previous relationship ended, I realized I was okay, having found a deep love within and for myself through my spiritual inquiry.  

I showed up at Amma’s, to pay my respects for all I had learned and to pray for this new phase of my life.  I happened to walk up to the temple at just the exact moment Amma was about to arrive.  Everyone around me was dressed in white, praying and waiting in silence.  

In a moment, a white car pulled up and the door opened for Amma.  She walked through the entrance smiling and waving at people as she walked inside.  Just as she passed, I locked eyes with a familiar face on the other side of the aisle.  

It was a man I had met a year and a half before, before I went to India, before I had become a yoga teacher, before I had done this deep inner work.  His name was Michael.

I met him when I was first living in San Francisco when my housemate, a musician, invited me to join a music-walking tour he was a part of through the Marin Headlands and up to Point Reyes.  The musicians had planned an acoustic folk show for every night along the way and were going to hike on the Pacific Coast Trail and camp between shows.  All the musicians met at the Golden Gate Bridge, where I first met Michael.

But back to that moment at Amma’s, I immediately recognized him and remembered the love I had felt for him long before, standing above the Pacific ocean on the Golden Gate Bridge.  That moment of recognition quickly dissolved as Amma began to speak, guiding the group through a meditation.  Afterwards, I went over to Michael and gave him a hug. 

“You were the first person to tell me about Amma,” he said.  “I spontaneously said yes to an invitation to come here this evening…”

It’s been five years since that night and Michael and I are still together. This past year in particular has brought about huge transformation within myself and within my relationship, so I wanted to honor this milestone by sharing a few of the lessons I’ve learned over the past five years of falling deeper in love…

1. Be Honest and Transparent

Honesty establishes trust. 

I remember attempting to string together lies when I was younger, and it just never ever panned out the way I wanted it to.  I quickly learned honesty was the only answer, and that even if honesty was sometimes hard, I could always find a way to be honest at the same time as being compassionate and loving.

Honesty is about speaking the truth when you are asked, and transparency takes honesty a step further.  Transparency is when you speak the truth even when you are not asked.  Imagine something comes up that involves you and your partner, and you are holding on to feelings or emotions...

Transparency is when you speak up right away and get to the heart of the matter rather than holding it in and keeping it to yourself.

In order to be transparent we need to feel safe.  We need to create a space of non-judgement for our partner and ask that they hold that space for us as well.

An example where Michael and I have found ourselves to be more transparent in the last year, is if one of us feels attraction with someone else.  In the past it felt scary to speak of it, it felt like it needed to be some big secret we could never tell the other, but now, we just name it.  We allow there to be non-judgement.  We bring humor to it.  We remind each other we are human, and we are safe with each other and our experience is completely valid.  

We have even supported each other to explore those attractions, and spend time with the person we feel attraction with.  What I have found in those instances is that attraction does not necessarily need to go in a sexual direction.  Oftentimes there is an attraction when we have medicine and lessons to learn through spending time with that person.  Giving myself permission to explore those attractions has only deepened the love I have for my partner.

I realize now that there is nothing I could share with Michael that would cause me to lose love. 

Finding that sense of security and trust has been so healing.  Holding that space for him has deepened my ability to love unconditionally and provide a space of healing for him as well.

2. Communicate

You know how sometimes you can just tell your partner is upset about something but they are being all quiet about it?  You ask what’s going on, but they just shrug it off as nothing?  You then begin to feel distance, wondering if you did something wrong, unsure of how to re-establish a space of love and connection again?

I’m going to teach you the exercise that has literally saved my relationship, countless times in this exact situation.  It’s called Acknowledgment and Request.  I first learned about it in the book Kindred Spirit by Matthew and Terces Engelhart (some of you may know them as the founders of Cafe Gratitude).

Simply ask, “Is there anything you want to be acknowledged for?”  Allow your partner to speak, and do the best you can to be present and aware in your listening.  When he or she finishes ask, “Is there anything else?” 

Keep asking, “Is there anything else,” while intently listening and doing the best you can to remember each thing.  Now, it’s also important not to react or reply to what your partner is saying.  Simply give them the space to speak and have the floor.  When he or she is complete, lovingly repeat back each and every thing that was said, acknowledging him or her for it. 

When that is complete ask, “Do you have any requests?” Do the same thing - asking, if there is anything else after each request.  When the requests are complete, repeat back each one, sharing that you would like to honor those requests to your best ability.  

Sometimes it makes sense for both partners to have the floor to be acknowledged, and sometimes it makes sense for just one of us. 

Every time I have used this exercise, it has felt like we are starting fresh again with a clean slate.  it has allowed us to create a container of safety and honesty to let go of all the stories and illusions we may have been carrying and fully see each other with love again.  It has helped us to fully let go of and forgive, without the need to hold on to past upsets.  

To have a more in-depth, step by step guide of how this process it works, read my article here.

3. Create Layers of Support

A year ago I had a rude wake up call when my partner was away for two weeks and I realized how much I had been relying on him for support in my life.  

One of my friends Kevin shared, "If you're only relying on one person in your life, it's like you're standing on top of a flagpole.  That's a lot of pressure on one person, especially if his or her life is calling him or her to be elsewhere." 

I imagined myself standing on top of a flagpole, shaky and worried of falling.

He continued, "However, if you become like a spider, with many legs supporting you, it's okay if one of them takes a break.  You still have seven other legs to lean on." 

When you are supported in all directions, your weight is evenly distributed.  It is so much healthier.

I think it's really easy to get swept up in relying on just one person for our emotional, physical and mental needs. However, when we create more structures of support through friendships, therapy, coaching, healers, and especially in community, we can really thrive.

Over the past year, I brought awareness to becoming the spider and creating layers of support so my weight would always be easily distributed.  

This year, when my partner went away for the same retreat for two weeks, I felt infinitely supported. 

My days were full with connection and love.  I realized how much I had transformed over the past year, and how my ability to receive support created a deeper sense of freedom and independence within the relationship.

4. Find Intimacy Outside the Relationship

Are you finding intimacy with yourself?

Do you find intimacy in your friendships? 

Or do you wait to experience intimacy solely in one relationship?

It’s a lot of pressure to expect to receive all the love and intimacy we want in our lives through just one person.  This past year I’ve looked at where I am giving and receiving intimacy in my life and have experimented with deepening intimacy outside of my relationship.

The first place I looked was with myself.  I found when I could experience a deeper sense of intimacy with myself, it always improved the relationship.  This is where my practices of self-love came in - taking long bubble baths, massaging fine oils into my skin, repeating loving affirmations while I brush my teeth, keeping up with my yoga practice and making a delicious and healthy meals for myself, even if I’m eating alone… (For more self-love & self-care tips download my 4-day self-care reset here)

I also began to bring intimacy into my friendships.  I brought gifts.  I asked deeper and more intimate questions.  I shared loving touch, essential oils, sometimes brought flowers or chocolate.  

Finding intimacy outside of the relationship this past year for both of us has deepened the intimacy within our relationship.  

When I am feeling filled up, I am able to be so much more generous and offer that love to my partner.  However, if I show up depleted and expect my partner to give me that feeling of wholeness, it’s just not going to work.

Love is so much about generosity and our ability to give, and it takes us showing up as our best selves in the relationship, not just expecting the relationship to give that to us.

5. Share Appreciation, Everyday

After reading the book, Calling in the One by Katherine Woodward Thomas, I decided to try out one of her exercises of writing a letter to God, or the Universe.  

The idea goes that you write about all your challenges in a letter to God and sign it, “Sincerely, your name.”  Then turn the page and begin a new letter, this time from God to you.  

I tried out this exercise once when I was feeling some challenge in the area of relationship, and one of the things “God” or really, my higher self wrote back to me was to share what I appreciated about Michael with him every day.  

The task immediately took me out of a feeling of lack and brought light to all that was wonderful about this person in my life. 

I don’t think our minds are naturally looking for all the good in our lives and what we appreciate.  It just took a bit of awareness and training in order to switch my mindset around to see and appreciate the people in my life, and really, everything in my life.  

If you are looking to create or call in a thriving relationship, I highly recommend checking out Katherine's book, Calling in the One.

Bonus Tip:  Lead by Example

After speaking with my friend Luna Love about how she attracted the love of her life into her world, I felt inspired to add one more bonus tip for you all.  This is especially helpful for those of you ready to call in partnership in your life, but it also works if you are already in relationship.

Write a list of everything you want in your ideal partnership, and what you’d like your ideal partner to be like.  Then look at that list and ask yourself, “Am I embodying every one of these qualities?” 

Relationships are powerful mirrors, and often what we want to see more of in ourselves is what we say we want to see in our partners. 

However, we can take the pressure off our partner to be someone else by simply becoming that ideal partner we want to attract.  That is when we inspire change in those around us and call in the kind of people we want to be surrounded by.

People don’t change because someone wants them to. People change because they are inspired to...

For more on this topic, check out my other post, 6 Secrets to A Fulfilling Love Life.

 

021 | Shakti, Sensuality & Feminine Wisdom with Ashly Rose Wolf of Femme Rising

 

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Hello beautiful sisters,

I have a new podcast episode for you today with goddess Ashly Rose Wolf of Femme Rising.  I have been admiring Ashly's luscious images and designs on her instagram feed for some time now so was *over the moon* excited to sit down with her and ask my questions about shakti, cycle syncing, sensuality and feminine wisdom.  

"You're worth it.  You're so worth it.  We need you to do this work. We need you to show up. We need you to heal. We need you to be yourself. We need you to be authentic and expressive. We need you to share your magic. We need you to heal and save the planet. You're worth it.  You can do it.  We believe in you. And if you need help, we're here, please reach out." ~ Ashly Rose Wolf

Here's what you'll find in today's episode:

  • How to release shame around sexuality and let  go of the "numbing out" that is so prevalent in our culture

  • Tips to tap into your natural, sensual, feminine nature

  • How to access the magic that lives in your hips!  

  • Why sensuality + cycle syncing + shakti are key ingredients for self-love and living an empowered, confident, feminine life

  • Tips on what to eat and how to plan your lifestyle around your body's natural rhythms throughout the month

  • Tuning into the cycles of the moon and how to use that energy to feel empowered around your own natural cycles as a woman

I hope you enjoy today's episode!  If you're traveling you can listen to it on the iTunes podcast app on any iPhone for easy listening.  

Wishing you all lots of rest, self-care, self-love & time to tap into your sensual nature this long holiday weekend... <3 

With love, 
Meredith

MORE ABOUT ASHLEY...

Ashly Rose Wolf is a Women’s Health and Sensuality Coach who helps women reprogram their relationship with their bodies so they can live healthy, sexy, beautiful lives.

Using cycle syncing, sensuality practices, holistic nutrition and an ancient yogic science, Ashly helps women activate their sensual and cyclical wisdom to unlock their full feminine potential.

When she’s not leading the sensual revolution with Femme Rising, you can find her doing sensual yoga, playing outside with her little adventure dog Zuri Girl, soaking up Vitamin Sea and always, always, always stopping to smell the roses!

You can find her on instagram @femme.rising and on her website here.


Want to Know How You Can Support the Rising Women Leaders Podcast?

Write an iTunes Review For Us Here!

Subscribing on iTunes and writing a review helps increase our visibility to reach more women like you...

TOGETHER WE CAN INSPIRE MORE WOMEN TO LIVE, LOVE AND LEAD FROM THEIR HEART

To write a review:

  • Follow this link
  • Click the blue button on the side bar that says, "View in iTunes"
  • Click "Subscribe" under the Podcast Image then Click "Ratings and Reviews"
  • Click "Write a Review" where you can choose your rating, write your review and click "Submit"(you may be asked to login with your Apple ID)

Thank you!!

 

020 | Standing Rock & A Message of Hope with Lyla June Johnston

 
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"All Nations Rise" Music Video

When I first watched Lyla June Johnston's music video, "All Nations Rise," it gave me  chills and I felt an immediate calling  to interview her for the Rising Women Leaders podcast.  

Lyla's video  soon went viral on Facebook, with over 1.6 million views, providing a powerful platform for Lyla to share her message of compassion, peace and prayer during turbulent times. 

I spoke with Lyla just days after she returned from Standing Rock last month.   I left this interview feeling filled with so much hope, passion, and devotion to our Mother Earth as well as my own dreams and ambitions.  I hope you will find the same.

Please take the time this week to listen to the  full episode, and I encourage you to share it with your friends.   The time has come for us all  to rise together.

Love, 
Meredith

"What you may think of as failure is actually a success ...because you tried... Creator doesn't want you to be  perfect, Creator just wants you to try."

In this episode Lyla shares:

  • Her experience at Sacred Stone Camp at Standing Rock
  • Her powerful story of overcoming  dark times of drugs, numbing and sexual abuse to find her light and power to be of service in this life
  • About a prayer circle where she received clear messages from her guides
  • The message she has for women who believe they have something powerful to share and give in their lives
  • What we can do to cleanse ourselves of fear
  • The role prayer plays in moving through turbulent times
  • How the Purification Lodge Ceremony has affected her life
  • A closing prayer in her native language

Links in this episode:

Lyla is calling in assistance,  management and administrative support in organizing her performances and speaking opportunities.  If you feel called to learn more, please contact her here.

Lyla June Johnston was raised in Taos, New Mexico and is a descendent of Diné (Navajo) and Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) lineages. Her personal mission in life is to grow closer to Creator by learning how to love deeper. This prayer has taken her on many journeys and materializes in diverse ways.

She is a student of global cycles of violence that eventually gave rise to The Native American Holocaust and the destruction of many cyclic relationships between human beings and nature. This exploration birthed her passion for revitalizing spiritual relationships with Mother Earth and cultivating spaces for forgiveness and reconciliation to occur between cultural groups. She is a co-founder of The Taos Peace and Reconciliation Council, which works to heal intergenerational trauma and ethnic division in the northern New Mexico. She is a walker within the Nihigaal Bee Iiná Movement, a 1,000-mile prayer walk through Diné Tah (the Navajo homeland) that is exposing the exploitation of Diné land and people by uranium, coal, oil and gas industries. She is the lead organizer of the Black Hill Unity Concert which gathers native and nonnative musicians to pray for the return of guardianship of the Black Hills to the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota nations. She is the also the founder of Regeneration Festival, an annual celebration of children that occurs in 13 countries around the world every September.

In 2012, she graduated with honors from Stanford University with a degree in Environmental Anthropology. During her time there she wrote the award winning papers: Nature and the Supernatural: The Role of Culture and Spirituality in Sustaining Primate Populations in Manu National Park, Peru and Chonos Pom: Ethnic Endemism Among the Winnemem Wintu and the Cultural Impacts of Enlarging Shasta Reservoir. She is a musician, public speaker and internationally recognized performance poet. Lyla June ultimately attributes any achievements to Creator who gave her the tools and resources she uses to serve humanity.

She currently lives in Diné Tah, the Navajo ancestral homeland which spans what is now called New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona. She spends her free time learning her engendered mother tongue, planting corn, beans and squash and spending time with elders who retain traditional spiritual and ecological knowledge.

 

019 | The Power of Self-Love with Meredith Rom

 
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On Friday I made an instagram post for the women in my community who I knew were feeling the energies of what is happening at Standing Rock.

As sensitive beings, we can so easily pick up on the emotions in the air around what is happening to our Mother Earth as well as the anger and emotions from the tribes protecting their water.  

I wrote this message as a reminder that we are all doing our part to heal the collective...as I believe how we treat ourselves is a valid place to start in healing our world.   (Scroll to the bottom of this message to read the full post).

And today I have a new podcast for you, on the power of self-love. 

To me, self-love is about knowing how to show up for ourselves when challenges and difficulties arise.  When we create that foundation of self-love, that's when we can live beyond our fears and fully share our gifts with the world, knowing that no matter what happens, we will be okay. 

In many ways, it's much easier to do acts of self-care like yoga practice, meditation, and healthy eating when everything is going smoothly...

But if you can call upon these acts in times of challenge?  That is where the real work comes in.

What I share in the podcast, is a talk I wrote under the guidance of KC Baker this summer as part of her speechwriting course.  (If you are planning to join me for my Celebration event, Yin Yoga, Tea & Book Reading, you may like to wait to hear it in person there.)

I share the story of one of my greatest challenges, where the world felt like it was falling apart, and instead of becoming a victim to my circumstances, I chose love, awareness and forgiveness.  I also write about this experience in detail in my book, Synchronicity.

That single choice made in a moment of complete distress, went on to dramatically alter the course of my life. 

Learning how to hold myself with unconditional love allowed me to find a deep forgiveness and truly love others without conditions. 

Choosing to love and forgive is not always easy, I know.  But I believe it is a true path to miracles.  I hope my story will inspire you in your own path of self-love and forgiveness.

There are only 4 days left to pre-order your early copy of Synchronicity and donate to the Kickstarter campaign (special thanks for how StartMotionMEDIA produced my video.  We are so close to reaching the goal!  Check out all the latest stats and make a contribution right here.

With love, 
Meredith

P.S. In the podcast I reference one of my past podcasts, "Fall in Love with Yourself" that includes all my favorite self-care tips.  You can find that right here.

Thank you  @theessenceoracle &nbsp;For this beautiful image, via  @daniellebertoia

Thank you @theessenceoracle For this beautiful image, via @daniellebertoia

Sister, I want you to know you are doing your part. 

By healing your own psyche, you are altering the collective consciousness. 
By loving yourself, you are healing the collective consciousness. 
I believe how we as a whole, are treating the world is a direct reflection of how we as a whole, are treating ourselves. 
Tearing up the Earth, using up our resources solely for financial gains, polluting the airs, polluting the waters...How many people do you see in the world today treating their own bodies this way? 
As we heal ourselves, we naturally heal the collective. 
Sister, every time you shift a thought of self-hate to self-love, you are doing your part.
Every time you show up to your yoga mat, you are doing your part. 
Every time you nourish your body, every time you meditate, every time you pray, even every time you do something that brings you joy, you are doing your part. 
I believe when we AS A WHOLE, collectively love, nurture and cherish ourselves, it will be directly reflected in how we love, nurture and cherish our Mother Earth. 


Let's rise together. 
In our prayers. 
In our devotion.
And in our ability to take small steps toward healing ourselves, healing all beings and healing the great mother who holds us all. 


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015 | Heartbreak, Visions, & My First Big Leap: A Book Reading with Meredith Rom

 
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I believe we all have the power to transform our greatest moments of pain and suffering into our greatest moments of awakening.

But I know from personal experience it is so hard to see the light when it feels like the world is crumbling beneath our feet.

Today I want to share with you one of my more difficult moments in the first reading of my book, Synchronicity, on the Rising Women Leaders podcast.

I take you back to over six years ago where I found myself sobbing on the floor after going through  total heartbreak (something that I know so many of us are familiar with).

I share about the challenges and hardships I faced that eventually led me into my greatest moments of awakening...the moments where I began to live beyond my fears and follow my intuition first across the country and then to the other side of the world to India.

This book is a story of finding forgiveness, of transformation, of healing and ultimately of finding love within.

I  look back and see my hardships as profound gifts.  It was these moments that prompted my greatest awakening, and I hold them in my heart with gratitude.

But today I wanted to share with you where I was and what my life was like before I found the inner peace I speak of now.

If you feel called to hold the book in your hands and read the whole story of transformation, I invite you to  watch the kickstarter video and contribute to the campaign.  

Supporters have a chance to receive an early signed copy of the book, coaching sessions for women on a heroine's quest, a self-care gift box, and 40 day meditation practice, among many other rewards.  Check them all out right here!

I hope you enjoy this  podcast and opportunity to learn more about my story. 

Stay tuned for more podcast episodes and sneak previews of the book coming soon...

With love, 
Meredith

 

24 Hours of **Magic**

Click the image to watch the video!

Click the image to watch the video!

Over the last month I've ridden the waves of fear and trust as I prepared to start the publishing process to share my book with the world.

...And since launching a campaign yesterday, I am humbled and AMAZED by the outpouring of love and support this project has received...

Check out the latest stats to see how far we've come in only 24 hours.

This book was written to help you take bigger leaps to stand up and share your gifts with the world...

If there's anything I've learned in the last day, it's that we're all in this together.  
You can now watch the project video and be one of the first to join the community ready to experience my new book, Synchroncity.

Thank you to all of you who have helped me cross this threshold.

With immense love & gratitude, 
Meredith

P.S. Your help makes all the difference!
Please like, comment, and share this post on facebook to continue spreading the word.  In your post please include the project short link http://kck.st/2dTEZpS so people know where to go to view the project!

Yoga, Kirtan & Book Readings!

11/4 ~ Yin Yoga, Tea, Book Reading & Celebration! in honor of finishing my book, 'Synchronicity' 6:30 pm at The dhyana Center

10/27
Kirtan! 6:30 pm at Alive Yoga in Sebastopol

10/24 ~ 
Kirtan & Book Reading at the Dhamma Pad 8 pm in Berkeley, CA


Please contact me if you'd like to invite me for a book reading, kirtan or yoga event during the campaign :)

What an Elephant Taught me About my Fear

 

In the weeks before I left for my trip to India I met a man in San Francisco named Josh. 

We immediately connected over our passion for music, tea, yoga, and astrology.  We spent long mornings chatting together in the three days I had in the city, and in the weeks that followed, we continued our conversation through letters and emails. 

I knew I could have had a promising romance in the States if I stayed, but I chose to follow my dreams, bought my ticket to India and left for Amma’s ashram in Kerala.

To my surprise, two weeks after my arrival, I found a message waiting from Josh in my inbox:

“I bought a flight to visit you!!  I’ll be arriving in just a few weeks.”

I was flattered, but also shocked — “You’re traveling halfway around the world to see me??” 

I had enjoyed our romantic emails in the weeks before I left, but I knew in my heart I was making the trip to India for myself and no one else.  I had so much to discover there and part of me knew I needed to do it on my own.

But then I thought of leaving the safety of the ashram premises (where I had been safely meditating). I hadn’t been outside of the ashram yet and I had no idea how I would feel navigating the trains and buses around the country by myself.  “Wouldn’t it be nice to have this man with you for a sense of security?”

I knew it was safer, more secure, and I was scared of the unknown. 

So I replied, “I’m excited you’re coming!”  Over the days that followed we talked about riding an elephant into the sunset together and watching the full moon rise over the beach on his birthday...

A week before Josh arrived, I felt a strong desire to go out exploring on my own.  I took a train to a nearby beach town and every step of the way surprised myself at how at home I felt making all the decisions by myself.

On the beach a huge elephant walked by on a nearby path.  I went closer to admire it when a man leading it asked, “Do you want to go for a ride on Ganesha?”

“A ride? Me, by myself? Up there?” I thought. I remembered my dreams of riding an elephant with Josh tightly holding my hand as we watched the sunset.

Then for a moment I imagined myself up there on the elephant all by myself, with the breeze on my face, looking down at the world around me. It felt liberating. 

Josh probably wouldn’t mind if I did it on my own, I thought. “Yes, please!” 

I ran closer and waited while one of the Indian men moved his hand over the side of Ganesha’s face and whispered a few words in his ear. He patted Ganesha’s front leg and the elephant bent down. The Indian man advised me to step on his hoof so he could hoist me up. 

I followed his directions and found myself belly down on top of the elephant trying to swing my leg over to the other side. The little hairs on his enormous body brushed against my face.

When I successfully swung my leg to the other side, I sat up slowly, finding my balance. The Indian men were laughing and clapping as I looked around, a little shocked by the new perspective.

The ground was a good ten feet away. I ran my hands over his grey, wrinkly skin. As I found my composure, the shakiness I felt at first began to dissipate.

I sat with poise and confidence like an Indian queen greeting the villagers of her kingdom. 

Then I thought, "I don’t actually need Josh to be here with me to feel safe." I realized a big part of the reason I had initially been so happy to have Josh come visit me was because I had been afraid of being on my own.

The prospect of having a man with me while I traveled to a new country felt safer. But now that I had found my own way from the ashram to this town, I felt fine.

I felt more than fine—I felt confident in myself.

I didn’t need Josh to be there with me to feel safe. I didn’t need him there to ride the elephant, and I didn’t necessarily need him there to travel with me around India.

I still felt excited to see him, but an old, limiting belief had been lifted. I no longer felt a need to depend on a man outside of myself. 

The more steps the elephant took, the more I realized I wasn’t carrying any fear at all, just excitement.

I felt awake, present, and invincible.

I realized that doing the things that scared me brought me fully into the present moment. Once I was doing it, there didn’t seem to be any more fear.

Even more than that, I realized in doing the things that scared me, I walked away with more confidence. I reminded myself, The only way to get rid of my fears, is to simply go out and do what I'm afraid of. 

I had spent so much of my life in fear. I was afraid to speak up in class, afraid to travel on my own, I was even afraid of driving on highways. I always wondered, "How do I gain more confidence?"

I was so busy avoiding the things that scared me that I had never learned the pathway to more confidence was simply doing what scared me.

When I did that, the fear became more familiar, and less scary. Each fear I faced gave me more confidence to face another. 

Deep within myself, I knew if I were to travel on my own for the rest of my time in India, I’d be okay. I needed to ride the elephant by myself to discover that. 

I lowered down closer to the elephant’s ear and whispered, “Thank you Ganesha for clearing this path for me. Thank you for this new wisdom.” 

To find out what happened next you’ll have to keep reading in my book.  Stay tuned to find out how you can receive an early copy...

In the meantime, I’m curious, what fears or limiting beliefs have you been holding?  And what action could you take to live more fully beyond your fears? I'd love to hear in the comments below.

With love,
Meredith

 

Why I Cut Off My Hair When I was 22

 

When I was 22 years old I cut off most of my hair.  

It was in a salon, just hours before my flight to India.  I didn't know how long I would be gone or when I would be coming back. 

I remember staring at my long, golden locks in the mirror thinking about how much I had identified myself with my hair.  Men often complimented me on it.  It made me feel beautiful. 

But it was also a place where I would hide.  I remember when my skin broke out in cystic acne and all the products and creams I used stopped working all together.  To feel comfortable going outside, I put on layers of makeup and let my hair cover most of my face.

I remember hiding behind my hair in class, hoping the teacher wouldn't call on me, terrified that my voice would shake if I was asked to speak...

But in the moments before boarding my plane to India, I knew I was done with hiding.  

I stood looking in the mirror and thought, "What if I cut it all off?"

It was like standing on the edge of a cliff. I felt tingles from my toes run up my shins. 

It took courage to take the leap I was about to take, to travel half-way around the world without an end date or a plan...

I would be entering a place where no one knew me.  I realized, I could be anyone I wanted to be.  

And I was ready to stop hiding. 

So I walked into the closest salon and told her to cut my hair to a boy-short length.

I watched as the golden locks hit the floor, wondering how men would look at me now, and how I would feel about myself when I looked in the mirror.  I wondered if I had made a mistake.

But then I realized how brave I was in making a conscious choice to leave my insecurities about my appearance behind. 

"I am doing this for myself and no one else.  I am doing this to see my own inner radiance," I told myself. 

I took these before and after pictures in the salon mirror...

Before and after pics of my haircut in the salon bathroom

Before and after pics of my haircut in the salon bathroom

Walking out, I ran my fingers through my new short cut, tied a scarf around my head and hours later, boarded my flight into the unknown.

More photos from my first week in India at Amma's ashram in Kerala, 2011:

Photos of me during my first week in Kerala, India

Photos of me during my first week in Kerala, India

As self-conscious as I was in my first weeks with short hair, it was also incredibly liberating.  It helped me drop the identity of the person I had been up to that point, and helped me stop trying to put on an appearance for the outside world. 

It helped me reconnect to a love within myself and for myself, that had nothing to do with my appearance.

I share this with you today to remind you of your own inner radiance. 

Where have you been relying too much on your outer appearance?

I don't think we all need to go as extreme as cutting off all our hair - but what if you chose not to wear makeup for a day? Or wore your hair pulled back, away from your face? 

A simple act like that is for you and no one else.  May it help you remember that at your core and your essence, you are pure radiance. 

With love, 
Meredith

P.S. This story is also a scene from my upcoming book about my travels in India.  Stay tuned for more stories like this coming out this month...<3

 

013 | Uninhibited Leadership & the Queen Archetype with Ashley Burnett

 

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Last week I sat down with another Rising Woman Leader,  Ashley Burnett, to talk about her journey to uninhibited leadership.  

One of the things I love about Ashley is that she can have a fierce get-stuff-done attitude at the same time as embracing everyone around her with so much love. 

I've been honored to get to know her over the past few months since she moved from SF to the countryside in Petaluma, CA and I can't wait for you to get to know her through today's show!

"Dance is my lifeline."

Here's what you'll find in today's episode:

  • How Ashley healed a Gallbladder disease through diet change and embracing her emotional landscape
  • How to release our attachments when manifesting new visionary ideas and desires
  • How dance and movement has informed Ashley's life and work
  • What is uninhibited leadership? How to fully embrace yourself and your ideas.
  • The meditation Ashley uses on a daily basis
  • The archetype of the Queen - what it is and how you can use it to build more self-confidence and self-love
  • Unleashing your voice 
  • Ashley's upcoming UNLEASH retreat happening in Sonoma County September 21 - 25, 2016.  It looks absolutely AMAZING...so be sure to check it out.

I would LOVE to hear what insights you gained from the episode and how you will use the archetype of the QUEEN to live and love more fully in your life. Let me know in the comments below...

With love, 
Meredith

Women’s leadership coach, professional dancer, speaker, retreat facilitator and creative muse, Ashley Burnett is dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs heighten their visibility, embody their missions, deepen their facilitation & leadership skills, and speak up for their life's work with confidence. She's been teaching and leading groups for over 15 years and running her own business for 13. Ashley has facilitated hundreds of classes, workshops, events and retreats, and has led thousands of women from over 60 different countries in building their businesses and expanding their leadership. She lives in San Francisco Bay Area Wine Country with her husband David, and has the pleasure of running her retreats and workshops at her workshop space on 22 acres of expansive land. Visit www.strongbodylove.com to learn more about her work.

 

Read the Transcript:

Meredith Rom:

Welcome to the Rising Women Leaders Podcast. We are a sisterhood of women stepping into courage, self-love, and feminine leadership. I'm your host, Meredith Rom, and here I'll be sharing personal insights as well as interviews with inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs, so you can create more daily magic in your life and also grow your business without losing sight of spiritual values as a rising woman leader.

 

If you like this podcast, use our hashtag #RisingWomenLeaders, follow me on Instagram @meredithrom, and sign up for email updates at risingwomenleaders.com. You'll receive all the new and inspiring content, including insights I only share on email. Now get cozy with a cup of tea, light a candle, and grab a journal to listen to this week's magical radio podcast.

 

Hey, everyone. I have an awesome podcast to share with you today from Ashley Burnett. This episode is full with wisdom about being a visionary person, the archetype of the Queen, and how you can use that in your life, as well as how to let go of inhibitions that may be holding you back from showing up as your fullest self in the world.

 

I have a couple of announcements before we dive in. The first is that I'm really proud to share that I have recently completed writing a book. It's all about synchronicity, self-love, and my travels through India. This whole project began about five years ago, when a very influential man in my life handed me this beautiful, hand-woven notebook when I was in India. He said, "Meredith, you're going to write a book one day. I got this for you to start."

 

At first I didn't believe him, and I thought the idea was impossible, but then the more and more that I traveled and I met spiritual teachers and I learned how to really listen to my intuition then I started having these magical situations and occurrences where I just was showing up at the right place at the right time. The more it became clear to me that even if it felt impossible, I just needed to start writing down these stories and ideas.

 

I began writing, but there actually came a time a couple years ago when it just felt too hard and I stopped altogether. I needed to put my energy into finding a stable home, starting my career. I just put the whole project aside. It sat on my desktop for almost three years. It wasn't until I had this dream one night, when in the dream I opened this drawer and inside there is this book. I'm flipping through the pages of the book. There's a beautiful image on the cover, and I realized it was a story of a woman's travels. I thought, "Oh, my God. This was the book that I was supposed to write. I gave that up."

 

When I woke up the next morning, I knew that I needed to complete that project. I had no idea how it was going to happen. I didn't know, but I just sat down and I prayed. I said a really clear intention. I just said to the universe, "I don't know how this is going to happen, but I promised to show up for my part and to at least sit down at the computer and give it my best and see what happens."

 

Two months later, I met a woman who was just finishing her book. She had been working with an editor and a writing coach. She was like, "Oh, yeah. It's helpful to just have support through the process." I was like, "I'm ready for that." She connected me with that woman, and we started working together. For about 13 months, I wrote 5,000 words every two weeks. That's about 20 double-spaced pages. It really helped to have that accountability, that support along the way to actually complete this project. Just a few months ago, I've completed the manuscript.

 

I tell this to you because I want to invite you to think about any places in your life, any dreams that maybe you have pushed aside, felt like, "Oh, my God. That's impossible. How could I ever do that?" and to really think about, yes, you can do that if you set a really clear intention and if you're willing to trust in the universe that the very next step will be shown to you.

 

I'm now at the phase of having a couple other people read it and making more edits, but next month I'll be starting the process of publishing it. I'm really excited to share it with you. I have some awesome opportunities for you to get involved in the process, including an opportunity to actually pre-order an early copy of the book. I'd love to share just what's happening behind the scenes as they go through this process. You can go to my website, meredithrom.com. There you'll be prompted where you can sign up to stay involved and to get to hear all about the details of the release of this book that I wrote.

 

I'm so grateful to have you here listening to the podcast. If you've been enjoying the show, I'd love to hear. You can leave us a review on iTunes. Without further ado, I hope you enjoy today's episode.

 

Welcome back. This is Meredith Rom. I'm so grateful to have my friend, Ashley Burnett, on the podcast today. Ashley is a women's leadership coach, a professional dancer, a speaker, retreat facilitator, and creative muse. She's dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs heighten their visibility, embody their missions, deepen their facilitation and leadership skills, and speak up for their life's work with confidence.

 

I had been hearing about Ashley from a few other entrepreneurial women friends for probably a few months before she actually came into my field and we got to meet. I was lucky enough that she moved from San Francisco to Petaluma, where I live. We got to have dinner together and, since then, just been having some really sweet visits in each other's homes, and really glad to have her here and just to talk about uninhibited leadership and a lot of other great topics. Thanks, Ashley.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yay! I'm so excited to be here, Meredith. I'm just stoked to have this conversation with you and all the women that are listening today.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. I would love to just dive in and talk a little bit about how you came to be doing this work. I know that you had studied dance for a long time in your life and you had been a professional dancer. I'm curiously particular about that transition of how dance evolved into what you believe in now and how you're serving women in leadership.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yes, I grew up in a fairly small town in Illinois, Quincy, Illinois in the Midwest. My mom was my dance teacher and my dad was my theater director. I was born into the arts. My mother ran a dance studio for years, and her mother was also an entrepreneur as well. In terms of entrepreneurship, that has just been embedded in my blood for lifelines, I think, for a long time.

 

In terms of dancing, I ended up majoring in dance in college at the University of Illinois. I went on to dance professionally for about 10 years after graduating and was running a massage therapy practice at the time also. I think there was a moment of just not feeling that my body could physically sustain those two careers for a long, long time.

 

Hence, a few years ago, when I was also getting into health and wellness and really wanting to heal my body, because I was also, when I was 28, diagnosed with hereditary gallbladder disease, which also was in that long lineage of women entrepreneurs. There was that gallbladder disease. My mom and her mom and her mom and my aunt and everyone had been diagnosed with that.

 

I was actually on the table at San Francisco General Hospital to get it taken out. I had a change of heart at the last minute, jumped up off the table, said, "I can't do this. I want to heal it naturally with diet and lifestyle shifts." I haven't had a gallbladder attack in nearly eight years now.

 

That was the catalyst for me to go back to school to become a health coach, which got me into the coaching industry. Once I got into the wellness industry and the health industry and started health coaching, pretty soon thereafter, people started coming to me to ask me how did I build this business, "How did you do this? How are you getting out there so quickly and doing your work?" It started to organically shift into this business in leadership coaching work.

 

I was really understanding that because of my long lineage of entrepreneurship that this was really where I was being called to be. However, to come back to the dance piece, I let go of that. I think there was a correlation between the gallbladder. Part of my healing was to slow down and to go inward. So much of my dancing was always an external process with performance and things like that. There was a lot of inner processing as well in the studio, but there was part of me that felt like I had to step away from that for a little bit to heal, at least to heal the way that I was dancing at the time.

 

Then, in addition to that, there was also this piece of I really need to focus on one thing for a little bit because, for so long, I had been doing massage, creating a jewelry line, dancing professionally and creating dances and producing shows, and I had a company and also is dancing for other people, and starting a coaching business. There was this moment where it was like I've got to just yank everything out and just focus on this coaching business.

 

It was something I needed to do for a while, but about two to three years into that sabbatical, I was really understanding that that wasn't an option for me, that dance is one of my most strongest lifelines. I have been blessed with this ability to express myself through movement, and I need to honor that. I don't feel like myself when I'm not doing that.

 

Not only in this year of moving to Petaluma, where now I have this really beautiful thousand-square-foot workshop studio space attached to the house that we're living on, where I get to share my retreats and workshops and things like that, but I'm healing myself side that workshop and out on this sacred land, channeling movement here again. That feels really important. I'm channeling that work, that movement into the work that I do.

 

Teaching always, when I start a retreat, which is something that I ... I just love retreats. They're like my jam. Always starting that retreat after a meditation and intention setting always with movement. I really believe that the body is the shortcut to moving through fear and self-doubt and limiting beliefs and for us to get into our intuitive state. When we're disconnected to the body, we can't get out there, channel the information that we need to get out there in a flowing way. That's the way that I always start my work and start my days really.

 

Once we get into that then with my clients, I also weave in a lot of leadership embodiment work that helps to boost confidence. The body is a huge integral part of the work that I do with all of this leadership work. It feels good now to be able to put all these pieces together and to be able to teach these yoga dance fusion classes, as well as then as I'm teaching curriculum to then, in between, get them up, teach them these leadership embodiment practices which still draw on the body to help them to step into larger visibility platforms with confidence, and get out there and hold space for groups and speak onstage and all the things that people that are in leadership roles are wanting to do either on a small scale or a large scale, but being able to do that with a sense of trust in one's self.

 

Meredith Rom:

I agree that the body is the ... It's really the vehicle to connect to our intuition to know what steps to take next in our life. It sounds like this gallbladder disease that came at that time, it was like you had been really outward and giving of yourself in dance and massage therapy. It sounds like that was a time your body was asking you to tune inward and to be a little bit more there for yourself and that healing. Then again the dance came back in later.

 

I'm curious just a little more about the gallbladder disease that came up. I'm curious about what emotions do you think it was related to and what really did catapult that healing at that time for you?

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah. Obviously, I have a little frog in my throat, so I apologize. To be completely honest, I think what really was going on, and I'm so glad that you asked this question because I want to stress that while I am so passionate about leadership and business, work for entrepreneurs, a huge part of the work that I do is all based on fiercely prioritizing self-care and really paying attention to the signals of the body.

 

At the time, I was about 28. My parents got divorced in my very early 20s. I had been super close with my family and attached to that unit. When that broke off later in life, not early childhood, the rug was pulled from underneath me and I fell on my face. I didn't have any of the tools really at that time to deal with my anger around that.

 

Right after that happened, I graduated college, I moved to Chicago. In Chicago, I was there from 20 to 25. I was really angry. I was really. really angry and sad and frustrated. I didn't really process it and I don't think that until I moved to San Francisco, I spent a few years learning massage therapy and continuing to self-teach myself on health and holistic healing and all of that, that really I think what happened was that it was manifesting as anger in the body. It ended up residing in that gallbladder area because the liver and those areas are really representative of anger.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah, I know that, too, in my practice of yin yoga, which brings in the Chinese medicine system, that the liver, gallbladder can ... It's where we hold unexpressed anger, emotions like that.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah. There was that piece and the energetic piece. Then there was just a dietary piece that was definitely there. I, at the time also, was going to a little more extremes, drinking a little bit more coffee a couple of times a day, a bar of dark chocolate a day, just things that I, at the time, was like, "Oh, yeah. This is totally fine," but it was overkill.

 

When I decided to jump off of that table and heal this thing naturally, there was the process of going on a fairly strict gallbladder diet for a year. If anyone that's listening to this interview has had gallbladder stuff, gallbladderattack.com was the site that was like my Bible. It helped me so much in terms of diet, but the reality is that now I can eat all of those things, I just do so really in moderation. Most importantly, I've gone inward and I've expressed ... I've deeply worked on my issues around my parents' divorce and other things that were coming up that I think were really energetically causing the gallbladder to spasm out.

 

Meredith Rom:

Right. I have a question that came to my mind, which you've partly answered, but you've gained so many tools since that time. If you were to look back on that woman, just finding out this disease and feeling out of balance, what would be some of the first things you would tell her, where to start, and how to begin that healing process?

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah, it's such a good question. It's really letting her know that it's okay, that starting to understand that people's existence, that you're not responsible for other people's existence, coming to be in process around understanding that life isn't permanent and moving through our attachments and releasing those.

 

I think that I would have potentially told her to start going to Spirit Rock and meditating a lot sooner than she had, really dropping inward. I think I was reaching, I think I was grasping a lot at that time. I was also going through my Saturn returns. It was very intense emotionally. I had also met my now husband, who was living in Omaha at the time and I was living in San Francisco. We were having this two-year, long-distance romance, which was also a very grasping time. There was always this wanting of wanting to see someone.

 

I think if I could tell her anything, it would be to just really try to practice presence. That's something that's coming up for me really strongly right now of just trying our best to be in the present moment to really see the buds on the trees, to really smell, use our senses of where we're at right now. We've gone so far away from this with technology. I think it's really important for us to just come back to really being where we are in that moment and being okay with ourselves.

 

I probably would have done myself healing work earlier, too, but now that I'm saying that, it's like I was always doing self-healing, but the thing was I wasn't getting support. If I could also tell her anything, it would be go get some support. You don't have to do everything yourself. You don't have to read self-help books and read nutrition books, and that's the only thing that you do and try to hold the space for yourself all the time. It's okay to be held by other people.

 

That's coming in very strongly also right now, and I'm sure you feel this as also a leadership coach and holding space for others quite frequently, that, as people in roles of leadership, we've got to learn how to have the space held for us. We cannot be giving, giving, giving and holding the space for others all the time and then not having that space be held for ourselves and giving back to ourselves. Long-winded answer to your question, that's probably what I would talk to her about now.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. I love all of those. Those are so integral to just how I live my life and how I've been teaching others. That piece about support, a blog post that I wrote a few months ago was about this idea of even if we are just leaning on one person for support, that's usually not enough. We need layers of support around us.

 

I had my friend, Kevin. He was visiting me for a few days while Michael, my boyfriend, was away. I have been going through a challenging time. I was feeling like, "Wow! My partner, who I rely so much on, he's away for two weeks." I was telling him about that challenge. He was like, "Yeah. If you're just relying on one person for most of your needs, it's like standing on top of a flagpole."

 

Ashley Burnett:

Totally.

 

Meredith Rom:

It can get pretty shaky up there if that person just moves a little bit to the right or to the left. He says, "Instead, if you can think of becoming a spider and having eight legs holding you up and you have your friends and you maybe have a coach or a massage therapist or a therapist, and just like lots of people that are there supporting you." That was a huge light bulb moment for me. I immediately went into just cultivating that support around myself so deeply.

 

Ashley Burnett:

I love that. Yeah, community is key, what I like to call your support power posse. It's like having that and determining who is that. Yeah, exactly. If you're just looking for your partner to fill that space or just one coach or something like that, I feel like it is. It can be completely overwhelming. We've got to create other built-in support networks for ourselves. Yeah, I love the spider analogy, too. It's great.

 

Meredith Rom:

Definitely. I had a couple other questions come up when you were speaking earlier. One was around ... I know that you're a very visionary person, I'm a very visionary person, and sometimes I get these huge ideas or downloads and I'm like, "Oh, my God. Everything needs to change right now. I need everything to be different."

 

Part of the practice of being with these big ideas that sometimes come in that I want to take action on is that non-attachment and that, okay, coming back to the present moment, being gratitude. I'm curious how you handle this, what you do for yourself to be in that practice of non-attachment? I think it'd be useful for me in particular, but anyone listening who has a visionary mind.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah. I mean when you're in a leadership role and you're a visionary and/or an entrepreneur, I mean it's the entrepreneurial mind to have all of these ideas that come up, and we want to take action on them and we want them to happen overnight. There's an impatient nature that happens.

 

There's also this grasping of, "If I don't get it out now, someone else is going to take that idea and run with it. I won't be able to do it." There is this idea of, "Yeah, it's already going to be done. I need to do it right now." This brings me into the idea of uninhibited leadership, if you're interested in going there.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah.

 

Ashley Burnett:

This is the idea of understanding that even if you have an idea that comes up and you sit with that for a while, and then you see someone else do something similar to that idea and get it out there, the reality is that no one else on the face of the planet can execute and deliver an idea the same way that you can.

 

Your thoughts, philosophies, and ideas don't have to be the same. They can be the same as someone else, but the way that you are going to actually deliver those is what makes it unique. When you can really drop into that idea, that's when you can relax, we can relax, and just completely owned who we are, which is my really definition of an uninhibited leadership. It's like allowing yourself to completely be yourself in your leadership and to, what I like to say, let your freak flag fly.

 

You can get out there and be your wild, crazy self in a way that still has dignity and integrity and ground, but that's the idea. It's really about understanding and owning that no one else on the face of the planet is you or is going to deliver anything else like you. You can have very similar thoughts, philosophies, and ideas and visionary programs or anything else, but that person is going to deliver it in a completely different way than the other person is. It's going to resonate with certain people. That's how we can get out of that compare and despair syndrome, too.

 

The other piece is that it's not a sprint. Life is not a sprint and neither is your journey of entrepreneurship or whatever kind of leadership you're in. It's not a sprint to the finish line. This is a marathon. This is a lifelong marathon, and your ideas do not have to happen and they're not going to happen overnight.

 

I think a lot of people that identify themselves as light workers and visionaries, there's this idea of like, "But we've got to do this now. We've got to do this now because the world needs us and we need to do it." I get that. I really get that desire.

 

The fast-paced franticness of that is not going to help anything. We have so much of this fast-paced, frantic energy going around us, swirling at all times, the technology and, "I've got to change my printing ink," and "I've got to check that email," and "I've got to write that blog post," "I need to ... " I mean it's out of control. "I've got to do this Instagram thing. I've got to write on Twitter. I've got to ... " Then it's like, "Oh, I need to actually be present and look at a flower for a second, an actual living thing that has a higher vibration."

 

I think there's this level of actually when we release that attachment to have to having something done really quickly or doing it now that we give the opportunity space to flow. We give ourselves space to flow. I've learned how to stop pushing so hard. I'm not perfect with this all the time. In fact, just a few months ago, I did a huge conference that I felt like I was pushing again. I was like, "I don't like how this feels."

 

I think it's really important in this process to ask yourself, "How is this feeling to me right now? Do I want to feel like this? Do I want to feel in this frantic push, push, push, push place, or do I want this to feel more spacious? Do I want this to feel like there's more pleasure involved and more flow and connection and trusting that this process is going to unravel itself because I'm holding this intention, I'm starting to take maybe some action towards it, but I'm letting it to unravel itself instead of me forcing it to happen?"

 

Meredith Rom:

I had an insight recently. I was doing this exercise I learned from a book around I'm writing a letter to God, spirit, universe, just getting out any challenges you're facing, and then to end the letter with, "Please, right through my pen, guide me." I was writing, just connecting to that intuitive state of what would this greater presence say to me.

 

One of the things that was said was, "Meredith, sometimes the best thing about having a desire is it's just having that thing to look forward to and having something that is in the anticipation phase of having it," so learning to enjoy that. I wanted to touch on what you said before this piece around if you have an idea that is similar to what someone else has already done in the world, that you should go right ahead and do it because no one will receive it the way that you're going to share it.

 

That reminds me of something that ... I've been listening a lot to KC Baker, as you know, this woman who share so much about your messaging and your speaking. She had this idea around it's okay to not be original as long as you're authentic. That was very freeing for me to hear, like, "Oh, okay. Yes, my ideas may be similar to what other people are sharing, but I have my own stories to add to them. If it's really true for me then, yes, I should go ahead and share it, of course."

 

Ashley Burnett:

Totally, yeah. I couldn't agree more.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. One other thought around that timeline of I recently watched Tony Robbins' film, I'm Not Your Guru. Have you seen that?

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah. I just saw it, yeah.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. Something that he says is like we usually overestimate what we can get done in a year, but we greatly underestimate what we can get done in 10 years. It's like that idea of what you said at the marathon. Let's look at our life in the bigger picture here and find the ease in that process.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Right, yeah. I think he's right, where it's like then we think it's too hard. It's like an extreme. It's either one thing or the other, where we might think it's too hard and then we just don't go ahead and move forward with that dream at all. A lot of dreams are just released because they tried for a few months and it was hard. Then it felt like it was too hard, so, "I quit. I'm done. I'm done. I'm not going to try to become an entrepreneur anymore," or whatever it is. "I'm not going to try to build that app," or whatever it is.

 

Again, yeah, it takes time. The process doesn't happen overnight. If I could say anything to anyone, it would be stop trying to be Oprah when you're first starting out, or just stop trying to be Oprah all together. It's like just be yourself. Trust this process. Understand it takes time get support. It's going to happen.

 

Meredith Rom:

When it starts feeling hard, unconsciously it's usually when we are trying to be something else or we saw something and, "Oh, I want to try and be like that." Then it gets hard and sticky, and it doesn't feel good. Always coming back.

 

I'm curious about ... You mentioned Spirit Rock before. I know that you recently wrote a blog post about going there. What have you been learning there? What has that been like for you?

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah. I mean I've just, in the last ... Again, as someone who is constantly producing new things as an entrepreneur and visionary, that I was really feeling this calling in the last few months to start really going inward a little bit more than I normally do. I talk a lot about self-care even in the midst of launches.

 

I know it's hard, and I don't even have a kid yet. I have a primary relationship, I have tons of friendships that I'm navigating, and a big, big business where I'm holding space for my clients. Then also when I was launching that conference, we had gathered 1500 people together from all over the world for that. That was a lot of space to hold for people. I tried my best to take care of myself and take [babs 40:43] and meditate here and there, morning and night, and do my movement. It was clear it was still too much and not enough focus on going inward and rebalancing and being supported and being held.

 

I really was being called the Spirit Rock because I felt like this space could hold me. There's that piece. I have meditated myself for years and years and years, but I've never been formally trained. It's been cool to be taking real time out and learning more about the process of non-attachment and releasing that ... I think desire is good in a lot of ways, but I think there's a lot of unhealthy ways that it comes in and takes us away from the present moment.

 

It's really one of my favorite practices I just learned, and I had been doing it myself without knowing that's what I was doing for a while, but is the love and kindness meditation. Some of you probably know it and others of you maybe have never done this before, but it's really sitting, finding a place, finding a comfortable seat, closing your eyes, and then starting with yourself, repeating the mantras, "May I be safe, may I be healthy, may I be happy, may I be able to support myself with ease," and you can change these words up. It could be, "May I be filled with love and kindness, may I be filled with peace," starting with yourself and repeating each mantra a few times until it really sinks in to your being.

 

Then moving on to the next one silently to yourself. Then moving it towards someone else that you care about, that you want to hold in that space, and then moving it outward even further to maybe your greater community, or eventually you can get it to where you're holding that space for the whole world or that intention for the whole world.

 

Then, lastly, the most difficult for a lot of people ... I'll say the most difficult for some people would be doing it towards yourself. In fact, when we were holding that practice at Spirit Rock, one of the people was expressing that they were like ... Or actually the teacher was, when he first started doing this 30 years ago or however long, he was fine with doing it for other people, but then as soon as it came to himself, he hit a wall.

 

Also, it could be very difficult for people to do it towards people who have really triggered you in the past or are very challenging for you, or even with the state of the world that we're in right now, people who actually cause harm and suffering to others and actually trying to hold them in that light. That's been pretty profound to me. I've been doing that morning and night every day, or if I'm laying in, getting acupuncture, I'll do the love and kindness meditation, or if I'm taking a bath or something like that, I've been doing it. It really helps me to get out of my head and just really drop into myself and just understand there is nothing else but this present moment.

 

That's the other thing that I really ... I talk about presence, but, having gone to Spirit Rock a few times now, really honing in on they talk so much about the present moment that there's nothing else but this moment right here. If we're somewhere else, we're in the future or the past, we're never actually getting the present moment. We're never experiencing it. It's huge. It's really huge. That's where I'm focusing my energy right now.

 

It's tough when you are a visionary because we're always looking forward towards the next thing, but I think it's really important as visionaries. This whole past month of August, I've been super internal, not trying to produce other things. I've got a retreat coming up at the end of next month that I'm looking forward to, but I'm not creating that curriculum yet. I have the intention for it, but this month of August has really been about just letting it be, giving myself a break from producing anything new.

 

The other thing I want to say about that is I took a ritual training program a few years ago, and I teach ritual in my work also. There's this idea of never really being able to relish in the harvest. If we are constantly looking to the next thing ... It's like this idea my coach, Joanna Lindenbaum, who originally taught me this idea, was if we're constantly climbing up the mountain and we get to the top of the mountain, then we get up there and then we just see this other peak and we're like, "Okay, we've got to climb that mountain now." We never take in the view. We never actually relish in the harvest of what it is that we've just accomplished.

 

I think for a lot of entrepreneurs and visionaries, it's like an illness. We just keep going to the next thing and we never actually get to soak in and celebrate what we've really accomplished.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah, that's so important. I think that's a lot of what can be hard or challenging in our culture is there is so much just people achieving and what's next?

 

Ashley Burnett:

Right.

 

Meredith Rom:

It's hard work. It's the piece about slowing down, looking at what we have done, feeling grateful for that.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Totally.

 

Meredith Rom:

Love and kindness, too. It's been a big piece. I really like how when I first learned sending that love into every cell of your body first, and then from that place, sending it out, really nourishing.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah, because really you can't show up in the way that you need to as a leader or partner or mother or father if you don't start with loving yourself first. I really strongly believe that they're going to feel that energy. Your clients, your kids, your colleagues, they're going to feel that energy of you not really being connected to yourself. That will affect everything. I think it's imperative that we begin with ourselves and move outward from there so that we can give in just a much more fully aligned way.

 

Meredith Rom:

That's so true. This actually I think relates to the archetype of the Queen. I know that you've been bringing that into your work, and the Queen being someone who can hold space for that and really be of service, but I'm wondering if you could share more about the Queen and how that's been coming to play in your life and work.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah, I'd love to. It's been interesting, this journey with the Queen. Back at that ritual training, we looked at different archetypes. Mostly at those, we were just looking at Maiden, Mother, Queen, and Crone. I don't know, it was this interesting thing where the women who identified with the Queen stage of their life were asked to stand up.

 

I don't know what it was, but I just broke down in tears. It was so powerful to have these women stand up. I didn't stand up because I don't identify with being in that stage of my life right now necessarily. I definitely resonate with the Mother stage, but, I don't know, it just struck me that here's this idea of someone really, really knowing themselves and really owning who they are and being comfortable in their own skin. There was that that happened, and then I don't know exactly what else happened, but recently I led a retreat where we focused ... I'm not exactly sure where the inspiration came from other than that, to start working with the Queen. It really organically came in.

 

Then I started going back and watching old dance videos that I had created six, seven years ago. I was realizing, "Oh, my God. I was working with this Queen energy back there and I didn't even know it." I was doing very esoteric modern dance and having this one character like come forward and pins this banana peel to her head and she just claimed all the space. I was like, "Oh, my God. I'm watching this. I was working with the Queen energy back then and I didn't know it."

 

It's interesting. I've been playing with it for a while. Now it's really an integral part of the work that I'm doing. The reason being is that if there's one major piece that I could say that my clients walk away with, it's that it's not that they get to a place of never having fear or doubt or any of that again, but they are so much more self-confident in themselves, much more self-loving, have so much more trust in themselves after they get out of a program. I really feel that working with this Queen energy is helping them to truly embody that.

 

The idea of working with the Queen is ... And it's not this idea of this big Queen presence that is full of ego. It's not about that, it's about the Queen who fully owns her value and embraces all of her unique skills and her life experiences and her talents and her challenges and everything that really makes up who she is, and that she's not afraid to weave her uniqueness and her unique qualities into the work that she's doing to help shift the world for the better.

 

It's this idea of the Queen who can sit on her throne and take up space without questioning her right to take up that space, because one of the things that I've seen a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with and a lot of visionaries struggle with is they have these ideas, they want to do this work, and then they're so engulfed by fear and self-doubt that they don't do it. They don't end up holding space for people, they don't end up having that women's circle or doing that retreat because they're scared that they're going to look stupid or they're not going to know enough, or they haven't had enough training to do that, or they aren't going to fill it and no one's going to come to their party, so they just don't do it, or they don't do it because they feel like they're going to take up space from someone else.

 

The Queen doesn't question our right to take up space because she knows that when she does, she actually won't be taking anything away from you or anyone else. In fact, the contrary actually happens. She is giving you permission to step into your confidence and shine and do your great work.

 

The Queen also knows she's not perfect. She has released this idea and the myth of perfectionism, and she owns her mistakes and she cultivates the courage to voice those mistakes humbly and learn from them. I can't tell you how many mistakes I have done and created and made over this journey of 15 years of entrepreneurship, but I do voice when I make a mistake to my clients, to my communities, to my people and apologize for that and try to learn from it.

 

Meredith Rom:

That's so beautiful. That's so freeing. It's so freeing to know that on an entrepreneurial path, or really any path, mistakes, we all make them, and it's okay. We can learn from them and to think of that as part of the Queen, something that maybe many of us look up to, is very freeing.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah, this idea of there is really no such thing as failure, only feedback and that when we make a mistake, it's another opportunity for ourselves to learn and grow. We can't grow the way that we really want to if we don't make mistakes. We just stay in this little comfortable place.

 

A couple other pieces of the Queen that I really work with and the work that I do is talking about, again, self-care. It's like the Queen, the archetype of the Queen. We're not necessarily talking about actual Queens right now, we're talking about the idea and the archetype of the Queen, but she loves herself and she really cares for herself just as much she cares for and loves others. She really values her self-care, she really practices it diligently, and she works on loving all of the parts of who she is, even the dark shadowy parts that bug the shit out of her, excuse me, for lack of better words right now, but that trigger her.

 

There's so many pieces of myself that trigger me, too. I have to learn how to embrace that's part of myself. I can work on this. It's not perfect. I will continue to work on this, but I have to have compassion for that part of myself that triggers me.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. There's the meditation piece coming back in, going to give love to myself even in those times that trigger, even those parts I don't want to accept on the surface. That's true. True work, inner work.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah, and it's hard. It's hard to look at the parts of ourselves that we don't like. They're dead in the eye, and then tell them, "It's okay. I understand you've been trying to keep me safe. You have a positive intention for me," and then working with it and seeing how we can start to shift it.

 

Also, one of the ideas of the Queen that I like to do to embody, especially in the leadership embodiment work that I talked about, is leading with a combination of warmth and compassion and ground and strength. Some of the best leaders are really people who emulate these two and really embody these two qualities. It's learning how to lead with that ground and that fierceness and that strength, but with compassion and love and warmth always at the forefront. Some of the best, best leaders that have been out there, Gandhi and Maya Angelou, Mother Theresa, people who have really just done huge work in their lives, they lead with that combination.

 

The idea of the Queen, it's leading with that idea of warmth and compassion and ground and strength, and then leading without ego, not letting her fear, shame, guilt, doubt define her and/or slow her down from actually putting herself out there because the mission is stronger than that fear and doubt and shame and guilt. The mission of why they're doing what they're doing, why we're doing what we're doing, it takes precedence over that fear. The Queen is not afraid to speak the truth and vulnerably use her voice to create positive social change for the greater good of humanity through the work that she does.

 

Those are really the elements that I like to work with. I think once we start to work with these and embody it through a ritual that people begin to really feel that Queen energy in themselves. Then they can draw on that experience when they do go out and hold space for groups or retreats or giving a talk on stage or doing events or workshops, or holding space for even just one client. I'm going to be working a lot with this in my upcoming retreat late September, but I think throughout all the work that I do now, it's really working with this archetype.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yes. I have a couple more questions for you. One thing you just mentioned was the voice and the Queen using her voice and speaking up in the world. I'm curious if you could touch for a minute just what that journey's been like for you and if you have any advice for women that are on the brink of wanting to share their voice. Maybe they're feeling the fear or the self-doubt come up, anything you would say to them.

 

Ashley Burnett:

It was interesting. I started out again in dance and theatre and performance and was on all these stages from a very young age. I mean I did my first musical at age five. By the time I had gone to college, I had already done, I don't know, probably ... I can't even ... performed on a hundred different stages.

 

Performance was my life. I was always using my voice, whether that'd be dancing or actually speaking, doing a play in that way. I had that upbringing. That's part of ... In a way I wasn't as scared of the stage because of that, but then I went to the opposite extreme and started this massage therapy practice when I lived in San Francisco, and have that running for 10 years. It was quite an interesting thing to just get quiet and go inward and basically communicate with someone through touch and through the body.

 

About halfway into that experience, I was really realizing like, "Wow! I have something to say here, and I want to say it on a larger scale and on a larger platform and it's not just behind a massage table." There was this feeling of hiding at one point that was happening.

 

I think I needed it. Also, there was healing, and I just needed to go inward in that way, but then I just felt like there was a bigger message that I needed to share.

 

Really, it was interesting because when I started coaching, I was just doing one-on-one coaching mostly. I had started to lead some online group programming, but where I flourish and where my passion is is in-person with people, holding events and retreats and workshops and creating experiences for people that they can viscerally feel and experience in-person.

 

I started to lead experiential day retreats in the city. That was when I really felt like I could start to really speak my truth. I had done some telecalls, but there was still this idea of hiding behind the computer, and so I started to get out and really create the vision for those retreats. Now it's like that's what we're doing here and that's what this upcoming retreat that I have at the end of September is really focused on helping people to do.

 

I think in terms of what I would say now, again, it's these elements of perfectionism doesn't exist. We have to release the myth of perfectionism. Stephen Hawking, the great scientist, said that after the Big Bang, if the particles would have not gone in odd directions and everything would have just expanded perfectly, we wouldn't be here. Matter would never have been created and we wouldn't be here.

 

Perfectionism does not exist in our universe. We can't continue to buy into that myth anymore. It doesn't mean just like throw something together absent-mindedly and then try to put it out there. That's not what it means. It just means that it's not going to be perfect and we need to start getting our work out there because the world needs it.

 

The biggest thing is to continue to connect to your why, continue to connect to the bigger mission of why you're doing what you're doing if you really have the desire to help people get healthy or help people live a more peaceful life through meditation or to help someone to feel more confident in their style, if you're a personal stylist. I've worked with stylists before. If you're someone who wants to help someone to dance again and get back into their body in that way, if you're someone who wants to help them to move forward into their leadership and get over their fear of public speaking, that your fears that come up around doing that work and putting it out there, those are what's holding you back from actually getting the people that need your message the help that they need.

 

If we can start to really connect into that why and really think about our community that we want to serve and really connecting with that, that can help us to release this idea of perfectionism and help us to actually get the good work out there, and the work with the body and learning different strategies on how to build more confidence in the body through simple movements that actually help to diminish cortisol levels and boost testosterone and oxytocin which slashes those cortisol levels, which is a lot of the work that I teach in the experiential retreats that I do, that can actually help us to feel more in our strength and in our power even before our mind feels that way. It's like we want to play with boosting the oxytocin and testosterone in the bodies that we can slash out those cortisol levels, which we can do through movement technique.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. I like what you said. I've thought that before. On the other side of your fear is someone who genuinely needs your help, and if you can continue to come back to that. It really helps to be with whatever intensity of sensation that might be there.

 

I'm curious, I'd love to hear a little bit more about ... You have a retreat coming up the end of September. Tell us more about what that's going to be about and how people can find that.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah. I'm super excited about it. It is called the Unleash Retreat. You can find out more about it at unleashretreat.splashthat.com. Unleashretreat.splashthat.com. Really, it's for any woman who identifies as a leader of some sort or an entrepreneur who feels like they're ready to expand their leadership and their business and their visibility and to scale their good work through strengthening their facilitation skills, as they lead classes and workshops and events and retreats.

 

We're going to focus on group programming. This can also be online or offline, because I've done such an array of both work, and the skills that we're going to be learning or things that you can apply if you're creating an online virtual circle or group program, or if you're doing something in-person with people, or a combination of both, but we're going to focus on developing advanced skills to create safe containers to really build trust with your attendees and your clients as soon as they come into your radar and walk in the door, and help build a really sacred container for that work to be done in.

 

Then to weave powerful ritual. We're going to look at some different rituals that you can do to really help embody the work that you're doing, help your clients really embody the work that you're doing. We're going to start looking at that.

 

We're going to talk about confidence skills, like how to start building that confidence while facilitating, because I know a lot of times people just won't even ... They can't even think about leading a group because of that fear. For other people, it's like they feel very confident holding space for groups, but they just want to take this work to the next level and they want to learn some new skills and advance their facilitation skills.

 

Really, it's for both people who are maybe beginning an entrepreneurship, as well as people who have been in it for a while and just want to take their skills to the next level, as well as people who actually aren't entrepreneurs. I have a couple of people coming who are in higher up positions at corporations who are leading teams and things like that that are coming as well.

 

We're also going to talk about, for those that are in entrepreneurial roles or are holding events and things like that, how to create lasting transformation for the clients, how to bring more income flow into the business from those retreats and events, and actually how to fill those retreats and events, too.

 

That's some of the main focus, but we're also going to be working a lot with that Queen archetypal energy to help just boost confidence in ourselves in general as well as while we're facilitating and really drop into the body and healing the body through movement, self-care, nature, ritual, and coming together in sisterhood. I think it's so important to be able to come together in community and, again, like we talked about at the beginning of this conversation, allow ourselves to be held and not always have to be in that facilitator role and to be able to really be held by a safe and sacred circle of women who are like-minded and who are getting out there and doing great work in the world and holding space for others.

 

It's going to be super awesome. The first night is on the autumn equinox on September 22nd. It's the 22nd through the 25th. We're holding a powerful autumn equinox ritual to help restore balance and ground and strength as leaders, because if we don't have that balance, we can't get out there and give. It's going to be a really beautiful opportunity to restore balance in ourselves before we even get into the work of learning new skills and things like that.

 

I live out here in Petaluma, California on 22 acres of beautiful, sacred Native American land. We'll be gathering here during the days, and folks will stay in the charming town of Petaluma at night. It's just going to be a really beautiful opportunity to grow and expand and really get centered before we dive into fall and winter. I am really, really excited about it.

 

If people have questions, they can find me personally at ashley@strongbodylove.com, or at strongbodylove.com, on Instagram or Facebook. You can also, again, go to unleashretreat.splashthat.com to learn more.

 

I'm happy just for your community, Meredith, because I love you and I love this community that you're gathering together to offer a really beautiful discount to your community for this retreat, too. If people want to ...

 

Meredith Rom:

Yay!

 

Ashley Burnett:

... learn more, the best way is to just shoot me an email and we can hop on the phone together and chat about it.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yay! Oh, my God. It sounds incredible. I have a big smile on my face as you're sharing because I can feel so deeply your passion about this work. It is really needed. It is going to help so many people. I'm very excited for you. I will-

 

Ashley Burnett:

Yeah. The last thing I'll say about it is my friend, my dearest friend, one of my dear, dear friends, Monica Lucero, who you know, will be acting as retreat doula a.k.a really holding the space throughout the entire retreat and clearing the energy and making sure that when things come up, because when we're doing this deep work, it's really intense, but that we acknowledge when stuff comes up that we can look at it, explore it, clear it so that we can continue to move forward and do the great work that we need to do.

 

Moni also clears my energy and she clears the space energetically beforehand, so it really feels like a safe and sacred container for us. She'll be part of that as well. Then I'm going to have a couple of other guests that will come weaving in and out of it, too. It's going to be awesome. I'm super excited.

 

Meredith Rom:

Wow! That's so wonderful. I will include, too, the links in the blog post and the show notes so people can take a look at everything that's there.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Thank you. I appreciate that so much.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah. So much of what we shared today I feel like was what I needed to hear. I know that it's going to really resonate out in all the people who got to listen to this. I would love to just close this call today with so much gratitude. Thank you, Ashley, for being here. Do you have any closing words before I say a little prayer for the call?

 

Ashley Burnett:

Mostly to just thank you so much for having me on the show. I love you and I love the work that you're doing and the energy that you bring to everything. It's been just so great to get to know you over the last year. I look forward to more.

 

I want to thank everyone who has listened to this interview and just for your presence and being here. I hope to get to connect in with you personally at some point. I'm sending you all just so much love. Just remember presence, presence, presence and trust and slow down. Those are the three biggest pieces that are coming to me right now.

 

Meredith Rom:

Yeah, that's so key. Let's ground back into our breath, just reflecting on all that has been shared. For those of you listening, you can tune into the space of your heart to see what comes to your mind, what you're going to take into your life, all this information that was shared today, and the action steps you might want to take, any insights that you're going to carry, maybe share with someone you know. Just hold that gem in your hearts. I'm going to bring my hands to my heart center and bow. Thank You, Ashley. Thank you. Thank you to everyone listening. Namaste.

 

Ashley Burnett:

Thank you.