sisterhood

022 | The Call of the Goddess with Achintya Devi

 

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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.

 

012 | Mantra, Sound & Motherhood with Noelani Love

 
noelani-love-hawaii-designer-mother

When I imagine a woman fully empowered in her voice, I think of Noelani Love.  

I first met Noelani in Hawaii when dear friend Erica Jago and I led a workshop at her studio.  Since then I've watched Noelani come more and more into her voice as a mantra singer, teacher and retreat leader. 

I've seen Noelani go for her dreams, speak up for her needs and stand for her beliefs.  When we reunited in Bali, Indonesia last May for the Rising Women Leaders Bali Retreat, I wasn't even surprised when she took the floor at Ecstatic Dance at the Yoga Barn to sing the closing song with her ukulele.  I watched in amazement as she gathered over a hundred of us to sing along with her that day.

On today's episode of the Rising Women Leaders Podcast, I asked Noelani if she would share about her experiences of finding her voice and how her unique experiences of motherhood and childbirth have shaped her into the woman she is today.

In this episode you'll discover:

  • Noelani's empowering experience of having a home birth 
  • How she found her voice as a singer
  • The vision she holds for new mamas and their babies
  • Practices for tapping into more pleasure through sound
  • Details about Noelani's upcoming album, Lakshmi Lullabies

Links in this episode:

What did you take away from today's show?  and How will you add more pleasure to your life with sound?  I'd love to hear in the comments below.

With love, 
Meredith


oahu-hawaii-goddess

A note from Noelani:

As a mother, designer and yogini, I create to inspire.  I believe in the healing power of our intentions along with the gifts of this earth. As a daughter of the Mother Earth, I realize that we all have the potential to teach, to heal and empower others through our offerings, as we navigate our way to fulfill our true purpose: LOVE.

Living in Hawaii, with a love for traditional Hawaiian 'oli (chanting) as well as Sanskrit mantra, I began my musical adventure by sharing my original ukulele compositions of mantras in my yoga classes.  I have many passions that allow me to share my light with others and empower them along the way:  jewelry design, teaching yoga, birth education, tantra, and inspiring self love.  I love surfing, singing, writing and spending time with my 'ohana on the North Shore of Oahu. 

We are all human beings that deserve to give and receive love. Share your medicine.

Learn more about my latest mantra album project on my Indiegogo campaign


Did you enjoy today's episode?  If so, let us know by leaving an iTunes Review for us right Here!

 

010 | Creativity & Sisterhood with Becca of The Dabblist

 
creativity-hands

SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES

I'm back with a new podcast episode this week with Becca Piastrelli of The Dabblist.

I was first introduced to Becca at a women's retreat in Sonoma, and soon after attended one of her Sisterhood Soiree events.  I was immediately drawn to her sense of humor and  genuine love, care, and encouragement for the women around her.  

In this episode Becca shares how she listened to her inner calling to rediscover her feminine nature as well as start a successful online business supporting women to reconnect to creativity and sisterhood. 

We also share about the shadow side of sisterhood and leadership, how to handle comparison in a world of growing women’s entrepreneurship and how to create structures of support in your life to rise above your biggest challenges.

"Sisterhood is the field to freedom." ~ Becca Piastrelli

In this episode we discuss:

  • The power of sisterhood and personal stories of how sisterhood supported us to take bigger leaps in our lives
  • How Becca developed the courage to leave a comfortable corporate job in San Francisco to start her business, The Dabblist
  • An easy trick to help cultivate more female friendships in your life 
  • What a "Passion Project" is and how to start one
  • How Becca handles one of the biggest barriers to sisterhood - jealousy and comparison
  • How to pick yourself up after receiving a negative response to your work 
  • How to push through "compare and despair" to stay focused on what you are truly called to do 

Links in this episode:

Becca Piastrelli is an online entrepreneur who is part Artemis, part Athena. Her Artemis comes out in her work on TheDabblist.com where she holds space for women to awaken their creativity, stop chasing perfect, and work with their hands again in a space of creative sisterhood. Her Athena comes out in her work with bloggers and online business owners, helping them authentically market and build their tribes online. A nature devotée and lover of plant wisdom, Becca likes to dabble in deeper understanding of the moon and it works its magic both within the feminine body and out in the world. You can find her extrovert-ing with fellow creative women while drinking entirely too much coffee and likely making overly animated facial expressions.


Enjoy this Podcast?

Write an iTunes Review For Us Here!

Subscribing on iTunes and writing a review helps increase our visibility to reach more women who may need this inspiration.  To write a review:

  • Follow  this link
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How to Lead "The Feminine Way"

 
Image by Elisha Yarrington

Image by Elisha Yarrington

I see an awakening in women, especially in sweet, kind, soft, and nurturing women who are ready to stand up, express themselves, and share their voice. However, I know from personal experience that a lot can get in the way when stepping up to lead. 

I struggled with being a shy and sensitive person and wondered, "How I can I really stand out in a world with so many loud voices?"  I didn't quite know how to authentically express myself and take action.

Then I imagined the kind of world we would live in if there were loving, kind, and sensitive women in leadership roles. I imagined the kind of role models we would have for our children and the kind of healing that would take place on the global consciousness.

I knew I needed to make a shift.

When I imagined myself stepping up to lead in the way I really wanted to—teaching international retreats, empowering other women to find their voice, speaking in front of large crowds, and leading group programs—at first, I was terrified.

But then I realized this fear was telling me something about my future and my purpose: my fear was guiding me to the exact next step I needed to take in my life.

I believe our fears bring us closer to our purpose. 

I began taking action despite my fears and saw that tapping into my soft and sensitive side did not hold me back at all; instead, I found my feminine nature to be an asset in order to lead. 

As feminine beings, we do not need to change who we are to fit into the world around us. I have found we just need to be supported in facing our fears and listening to our intuition in order to make a bigger impact.

Here are the qualities I have found to be the most useful in tapping into my inner,  feminine leader:

Honor Intuition

Having access to my intuition has been one of my greatest assets to running my own business and stepping up as a leaderin my profession. When I take the time to go on a run or a dance class or sit down on my meditation seat first thing in the morning, I feel like I am continually gifted with amazing ideas. When I tap into my body's wisdom—my intuition—I know how and when to make decisions, and I can trust those decisions won't lead me astray.

Know When to Act and When to Be Patient

What I have found to be essential in facing my fears and taking action towards my dreams is the balance between the feminine and masculine within myself. Often, leaders step into their more "masculine" side when taking center stage and forget to honor the feminine qualities of intuition, patience, and self-love. 

It was important for me to take action, but it was also important to step back and acknowledge what I had done. I learned to find a balance by making time and space to vision and manifest while taking grounded action towards my dreams. When I created the space for my creative, feminine nature, I suddenly found myself more ready to take big stepsin my career.

Develop a Consistent Self-Care Routine

After I faced a fear, I discovered it was so important to rest into self-love and self-care. That was when I accepted and nurtured myself for exactly where I was. I gave myself permission not to have to change too fast. This has been key in avoiding potential "burnout." 

Now when I take a big step, I remember to honor myself by taking a bath, spending a weekend with my girlfriends, or knowing when to do nothing at all. It is this time off that recharges me and gets me ready for my next big step.

Find Support Through Sisterhood

For years, I have been going on runs down the road outside my house amidst rolling hills and vineyards. There is an uphill incline for the last stretch and still, every time, I am out of breath and unsure if I can make it.

One day, I had a friend over and invited her to join me on my weekly run. On that final stretch, I felt my breath get heavier and I felt like I needed to stop. As I slowed down, my friend passed me to cross the finish. In that moment, everything inside me wanted to give up. I lost hope and lost my stamina. I started walking.

Then something magical happened.

Before she crossed the finish line, she stopped, turned around and started cheering for me. “Woohoo! You can do it!” she yelled. I looked up and smiled to see her cheering me on. Suddenly, I had the energy to keep going. She continued to clap and cheer me on as I crossed the finish line. With a little encouragement, I stopped thinking about my exhaustion, my aches, and my pain. My energy was completely restored.

I realized it was so much easier to cross the finish line when there was a sister there cheering me on. When I actively brought more women into my life, and was willing to share my challenges and struggles, I found the support through other women kept me moving forward. It was in those vulnerable spaces with other women that I gained more strength and courage to step out as a leader.

Have you been avoiding any of your innate feminine qualities?  If so, I invite you to try listening to your intuition, being patient, resting into self-care, and joining with other women to see just what kind of magic will happen in your life.

 

Lessons on alone-ness and community

 
comfort zone-self love-sisterhood

My natural tendency in life is to retreat.  To be by myself.  This has always felt most safe for me.  I savor time alone and find much comfort in it. However, this past month has really asked me to step outside of my comfort zone.  

I chose to spend a lot of time on my own earlier this month and soon learned it wasn't serving me, especially when I had some difficult emotions come up.

When that happens, I often turn to my yoga and meditation practice.  But sometimes yoga and meditation just isn't enough.  

Sometimes I need to be held in community, in friendship, and especially in sisterhood.

I sat on my couch a couple weeks ago with two dear friends and told them about how it was for me having so much time alone while my partner was away for two weeks.

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.

So this is what I'm working on in my life right now:  becoming the spider.  Creating those levels of support around me so my weight can always be easily distributed.

It hasn't always been easy.  I see it takes being vulnerable.  It takes reaching out even when my tendency is to retreat.  It takes stepping outside of my comfort zone and sharing all of myself. 

Through it all though, I see I need to do this for myself to uphold my vision for Rising Women Leaders.  I am creating layers of support for women to live at their highest potential.  To heal, lead, teach and rise up as their highest selves.  I am creating a safe space for women to lean on each other and feel safe in sharing who they really are. 

Have you ever found yourself swept up and leaning mostly on one person?  Did a time ever come where that person couldn't physically or emotionally be there for you?

What could you do to more evenly distribute support in your life? I'd love to hear in the comments.

There's only one more day to apply for early pricing in the Rising Women Leaders Bali Retreat.  The retreat is more than half full with an amazing group of women joining together for 7 days of yoga, self-love, sisterhood and leadership.

I will honor the $200 off pricing for all applications received before midnight today, December 1.

If you are seeking this kind of support and community in your life, I invite you to apply here. 

With love, Meredith

 

 

Lessons Learned From a Week in the Desert

 
Burning Man 2015
Burning Man 2015

I just came back from 8 days in the desert at Burning Man festival where 70,000 people joined together from around the world to try on new personalities, dress up in fun ways, learn from experts on consciousness, and practice living in community.

So much happened while I was there, and I'm now taking time to integrate all the lessons.  When I arrived home, I wrote in my journal.  I realized that underneath all the crazy costumes and non-stop dance music, there were some deep spiritual insights I took away from the experience.  I wanted to share them with you here.

Relationship to Water

When you enter a space with a finite amount of resources, it completely changes your relationship to them.  This is what happened to me with water.  I arrived with 12 gallons of water and knew that was all I had for the week.  As the week went on, I saw how little water I really needed to brush my teeth, shower and wash my dishes.  I realized when we have unlimited access to clean water, we don't value it in the same way.  I now find myself turning off the faucet between washing dishes and putting soap on my hands.  Every time I am using water now, I find myself feeling so grateful for it.

Unlimited clean water is such a gift.How could you treat water with more mindfulness?

Burning Man 2015
Burning Man 2015

Relationship to Money

As soon as I arrived, my wallet was tucked away in the pocket of my car and I didn't look at it again. My thoughts were no longer concerned about the numbers in my bank account.  It was liberating.

I was given crystals, sunglasses, and numerous other gifts from strangers on the playa.  When I was riding my bike far away from camp and ran out of water and lip balm, it was provided for me when I needed it most.

An old mindset of scarcity began to drop away.  I found myself being more generous with my resources, trusting that they would come back to me when I needed them again.

One night I was talking to my camp-mate about what I was learning about abundance and generosity.  He shared that in Native American traditions you are encouraged to give away your most valuable items. I thought of my most prized items waiting for me at home and wondered if I would be able to give them away...

Burning Man is a practice in non-attachment. It is a space to experiment giving items away to strangers and see how it makes you feel.

However, you don't have to go to Burning Man to try this experiment.  I've come back with a different relationship to material things.  I plan to continue the experiment by giving away some of my most valuable items and see how it affects my well-being.  I invite you to join me in this experiment.

New Vision

When I arrived at the playa, I turned my phone off.  There were no computers around.  It was a complete technology detox for eight days.

I think it is generally  difficult to be connected to inner guidance and radical creativity when we are constantly receiving information from computers and phones.  In the days following Burning Man, I received so many creative ideas and inspiration about my business that I don't know would have been there if I was constantly looking at my phone.

Have you ever gone on a camping trip or vacation where you totally unplugged for a set amount of time?  I find that's when I can clearly make important decisions and receive insight and guidance on my next steps without distractions from the outside world.

If you are feeling uninspired, or have trouble connecting to your intuition, try doing a digital detox. 

Burning Man 2015
Burning Man 2015

Manifestation and the Mirror 

Manifestation and synchronicity happened more quickly on the playa.  I found myself standing next to a woman I met in Thailand two years ago, receiving an important message from a woman who attended my workshop and meeting people that I felt like I just knew without ever having met them before.

In times where my mind was getting negative, the results would show up in my environment immediately.  When I was feeling more connected and willing to step outside my comfort zone, again, I would be immediately met with an exciting opportunity.

This was my second time at the festival, and I could clearly notice what a different state of mind I was in this time as opposed to when I went five years ago.  When you do the work to let go of limiting beliefs and shift your thoughts, it really does manifest in your physical environment.  

What negative thoughts or limiting beliefs still repeat in your mind?  How do they show up in your environment?  If you're having trouble shifting your thoughts, try one of my yoga or meditation videos here. If you're ready to create a new reality, shift your awareness from the inside, it will help you reflect a new environment on the outside.

Burning Man 2015
Burning Man 2015

Leave No Trace

Black Rock City has a "leave no trace" policy which simply means whatever you take in, you take out.  This includes all of your trash, recycling, compost, and grey water (the leftover water from washing dishes, showering and brushing your teeth).  When we were consciously making space to take home all of our waste, I became highly aware of how much waste I was really making.

In addition to taking home our waste, we also searched the ground for any signs of "moop" - anything that was not the dust of the playa.  When we left, I found myself picking up trash even if it wasn't mine in other environments because my awareness was more focused on the greater whole and the natural setting rather than on myself.

The Beauty Way

In our camp, we used a practice from Native American traditions called, "The Beauty Way."  Our friends Rachel and Ben taught us how to practice it - leave a space more beautiful than you found it.  I watched myself let go of blame for others and rather took responsibility when I saw a space less than tidy.  As we all practiced the Beauty Way, I saw how it affected our relationship to each other.

I left feeling passionate about this practice, knowing if we can all begin this, the world will quickly become a more beautiful place.

Burning Man 2015
Burning Man 2015
Burning Man 2015
Burning Man 2015

Sisterhood

I was camping with an amazing group of women over the week.  I was with the ups and downs of my mind, noticing thoughts of comparison or jealousy and consciously releasing them.   Living in such close proximity with other women was both humbling and enlightening.  I saw as we were able to let down our guards and connect to each other with vulnerability and openness.

I left the week feeling refreshed with more authenticity in these relationships.

Are you craving a deeper connection to your sisters?  Maybe you can go on retreat together, or plan a women's vacation to connect and unplug with each other.

Burning Man 2015
Burning Man 2015
Burning Man 2015
Burning Man 2015
Burning Man 2015
Burning Man 2015

More than anything else, the whole experience at Burning Man reinforced my own belief that:

"It takes moving outside your comfort zone in order to grow." tweet it

Sometimes it takes getting dusty in order to see how strong you really are...

With love, Meredith

Burning Man 2015
Burning Man 2015
 

My most vulnerable text message

 
women laughing-courage-sisterhood-personal growth

I just got back from a ten day trip in Puerto Rico.  It was beautiful, and great to connect with my partner's family while on vacation there, but it also had it's challenges. I got sick in the last few days, and arrived back home recovering from a cold.  Luckily my voice and body was strong for our beautiful Spring Equinox Retreat, but the next day, I lost my voice.

I struggled with losing my voice, feeling uncomfortable in my body, and trying to catch up on work from being away.

I began leaning on my partner a lot without realizing it - he was doing all the dishes, cooking, making teas and tinctures for me to get better, and providing emotional support as my body healed.

Then, last night he left the house to see a friend. Standing alone in my kitchen, I began to cry.  I was upset about how long my body was taking to heal and that I was suddenly all alone in my struggle.  My partner was doing what he could to help, but I realized I was putting a lot of my needs all on one person.

I then grabbed my phone and wrote one of the most vulnerable texts I had ever sent. It was to three of my local girlfriends, I wrote, "Hey sisters, I could use some support tonight, if you're available please come visit me, I'm struggling with being sick and feeling isolated."

At first, I heard no response, and I started to feel so vulnerable.  I worried, "Am I being too direct?  Am I being an inconvenience?  I hope they don't think I'm a burden."

Then I realized, it didn't matter if they came or not, but it actually felt so good just to reach out.  Just in my reaching out, I was giving them permission to reach out and do the same when they are in need.

Every time we reach out to a sister when we're in need, we give her permission to do the same.  tweet it

It turned out none of them were available to come over and help me, but I felt their presence and lots of love flooded in to me in the form of words and pictures as they held space for me.  They wrote things like, "I'm so glad you know you can reach out like this."  "I can come over first thing in the morning..." and "I made an altar for you and am sending love..." It was beautiful.  I wasn't an inconvenience at all.

I was inspired to reach out because other women have felt safe reaching out to me.  And in my sharing, I hope to inspire you to feel safe in doing the same.

A Course in Miracles teaches us to make our friendships more romantic, and our romances more friendly.  When we even the field of our relationships like this, we take the pressure off just having only one person to lean on in our life, making all of our relationships healthier.

Now, what about you:  Do you have any relationships in your life you may be leaning on too much?

How could you lighten the load and create more of a support structure around you in your life?

I'd love to hear in the comments below.

With love, Meredith

 

How I handle jealousy and comparison

 
group of people-relationships-sisterhood-self love

I've found myself in a place of jealousy a few times in the last week.  It's not easy to be in that place of comparing yourself to another person. I was looking at other women's websites asking, "Why didn't I figure that out yet?"  or "She's doing this so much better than me!"

I began to see the negative self-talk and stopped myself in my tracks.  I remembered:

Jealousy is the biggest barrier to sisterhood.  It keeps us small.  It prevents us from seeing our own power.  And, it prevents us from focusing on the work that needs to be done.

So how do you release it?  I intuitively turned to my journal in those times, and I came up with a few steps that allowed me to release the feeling and turn it into empowerment.

Here's what to do:

1. Write out a list of everything you're jealous of about that person

Get it all out on the paper.  Be honest with yourself and purge.

2.  Turn the list into statements of affirmation

For example, turn, "She has lots of awesome girlfriends" into "I am making lots of awesome girlfriends."  Sit with it.  So often, when we are jealous or stuck in comparison, it is because that person has or is doing something we want to do.

When we feel jealousy, it is an opportunity to OWN our desires.  

3. Ask, "What would it feel like to already have it?"

When you read your new list of affirmations, ask yourself, "How does that make me feel?"  Expansive?  Powerful?  Bold? Write it down.  Then feel it in your body.

4.  Ask, "What am I grateful for?"

This is when you can step back and look at all you have done and all you do have in your life.  Then let yourself feel good about it.  

5.  Practice Metta (loving kindness) for yourself and the person you're jealous of

Metta is a meditation practice of loving kindness.  It is simply accessing the feeling of love and peace, sending it to every cell of your body and then sending it out to the person you are comparing yourself to.

6.  Use the sutra, "Tat T'vam Asi"

It means: I see myself in the other.  I see the other in myself. 

The other is just a reflection of your own infinite potential.

This sutra reminds us of what is possible.  It reminds us that all the people who trigger us are a beautiful mirror for what we need to see in ourselves. 

Jealousy can show us what is possible for our own lives.

That shift in perspective can empower us instead of making us feel small.  Jealousy shows us what is possible and pushes us to step into the next level of our purpose and our calling.

So next time those feelings of comparison, judgment, or jealousy arise, try out these steps and see if you're able to dissolve it.

With love, Meredith