Highest Self Podcast 296: Diversity in the Wellness Space with Koya Webb

June 21, 2020

 

In this episode, I sit down with my dear friend Koya to discuss being an ally in today’s world. We discuss how to overcome your fear of talking about politics, the need for diversity, white privilege and guilt and the common questions people are having with how to overcome systemic racism today.

 

Tap into your spiritual activist this month with Goddess Sekhmet in this month’s Rose Gold Goddesses circle. Participate in my Awaken Your Powers Masterclass, Discover Your Dharma 10-Day Course, Healing + Embodiment Through Dance Workshop and so much more in Rose Gold Goddesses, the sacred sisterhood all about becoming your highest self. Join us today at rosegoldgoddesses.com

 

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TRANSCRIPTION

 

Episode 296: Diversity in the Wellness Space with Koya Webb

By Sahara Rose

 

Namaste. It’s Sahara Rose and welcome back to the Highest Self Podcast, a place where we discuss what makes you, your soul's highest evolvement.

If you are new here - welcome! 

 

What a beautiful time to enter this journey with us - the spiritual awakening as we continue to navigate the ups and downs, and the growth that comes along with all of it, of 2020.

 

You know, when I created this podcast 3 years ago, and began blogging 10 years ago - I was talking about the spiritual awakening, the new paradigm..and now, people are starting to see it. We are seeing that all Illusions have been swept from under our feet - whether it is the illusion that we’re never going to die; the illusion of separation; the systemic racism and oppression; and all of the systems that have existed in this country that are based off of injustice, and bringing all of that to surface to be transmuted into life - but that shit ain’t easy; it ain’t quick! It comes with suffering; with pain, because when you have been existing in a specific paradigm for so long, you think it is normal, you know. We think that a homeless person on the streets of every city is normal; we think that struggling to pay your rent every single month is normal; we think that not being able to do what you love for a living is normal; or never being happy in your relationship; being depressed; being on tons of prescription medications; drinking yourself until oblivion just to have fun; living your entire life in fear and the list goes on - we think is normal. I hate my job, I hate my life, I hate this, I hate that - that’s normal. But not anymore, because ‘normal’ does not mean healthy. It means it has been normalized. But a lot of unhealthy things had been normalized. And, we are the people who have chosen to incarnate at this time, because we are part of the clean-up crew. We are the volunteers who have come here to look at all of the systems of brutality and injustice and oppression and patriarchy and homophobia - that do not serve anyone. Look them in the eye and be like “Yo, you out! You out. And we’re coming for you!” 

 

So, Black Lives Matter it is a global movement at this point. And regardless of whatever conspiracy you want to put on it, the fact is, black people are hurting. They wouldn’t be so loud if they weren’t hurting. In fact, it is such spiritual bypass to pretend that “Oh, well, this is all just a plan of the deep state because, you know, they are just.. It is disrespectful to our black brothers and sisters to not honor the suffering that they are in and look at the systemic racism that most of us have played a part in - whether knowingly or unknowingly. Whether it was going to school, and there was a black kid and you just never really said anything to them because, you know, they weren’t cool or maybe you were ashamed of them; maybe you didn’t want to be around them; maybe it was every time you saw a black person - you clutch your bag; maybe it was thinking that black people are dangerous, angry - whatever the prejudice is. It’s not your fault. It’s part of the media, it’s part of our school system; we were never taught - that kings and queens that reigned from Africa were never taught the true history of what happened; were never taught about the massive genocide in the Congo. We weren’t taught these things. 

 

So, people are waking up right now to the white privilege that they inherently have, not saying that their lives are not difficult as well, but the fact that your skin is white - in this country especially - gives you a certain amount of safety, of privilege, of being able to be pulled over by a cop and not only not be afraid of your life, but even be pissed off at them. Black people, as Marco shared on the podcast last week, (I highly recommend listening to that - and all month we are interviewing our black brothers and sisters to highlight their voices) but he shared some really eye-opening stories that I, honestly had never even thought about, of just his experiences of being a black man.  

 

So, the oppression is real. People would not be so upset and going to the streets if there wasn’t a really big problem. So, we get to not bypass over it, we get to not think we’re more woke, we actually know the real cause, and this and that. Let’s listen. Let’ sit back and say “You know what, I don’t know the answers”, and the truth is - no one knows the answers right now. But what we can do - is open up our ears and listen. 

 

So, in this conversation, I brought along my dear friend Koya Webb. She is an author, a yoga instructor, a spiritual educator. And, I’ve known her for the past five years or so; and what I love about Koya is - she has been working in the yoga and wellness sphere, many of you guys probably follow her; she has beautiful yoga pictures on her Instagram and has been such a huge active voice in that yoga community; but what she has really been awakening into is - is the dire need for us to talk about politics, especially in the spiritual and wellness world. How, we try to say “Oh, I don’t want to talk about politics; I don’t do politics”, and it’s this like, you know, taboo thing that no one talks about. But your political views are how you see the world. And, if we don’t talk about it, especially as spiritual people, well, then the people who are gooing to go out and talk about it are often the ones who haven’t done as much self-inquiry and work that many of us have. The fact that you’re even listening to The Highest Self podcast shows that you are a person that really wants to dig deep and do the work. But maybe, you have been afraid of politics because in the past it has been divisive; it has been that topic on the Thanksgiving table that gets everyone arguing; or because you haven’t done your research and you don’t know, and you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. So the first thing that we get to do is admit. Admit where we are at; admit why we may have passed.

 

I, myself, growing up as an activist, you know, starting the first Amnesty International chapter; doing all of this NGO work. When I turned 23 and really went into my spiritual awakening, I started to spiritual bypass - 100%, and I will own up to that, because I was so overwhelmed by the problems of the world that I wasn’t even sure what I would be able to do about it. And I felt like I had all of this healing work I had to do within myself. So, I took a couple years off from being as hard-core as an activist as I was growing up.

 

So, all of us, I think before 2020, haven’t been fully playing as big as we could’ve. We can own up to that. And now that we can see everything coming to surface - from the injustices happening to the gay community right now, and whose rights are being taken away by this President, to the police brutality, to the children held in cages at the border with Mexico by ICE, and many injustices in between. We get to be loud; we get to support each other; we get to not only care about our causes, but also care about other causes and join together. And we could see how beautiful it has been with this Black Lives Matter Movement that we could all come together, whether we are black or not, and say “I see you and I support your cause.”  

 

And then we can, after we fix this issue, we can go to the next one, and go to the next one, and actually change everything in our society. But that’s going to require us being ok with everything that comes with that. With people not understanding us; people, maybe, angry at us; whatever it is. 

 

So, this is what we talk about today in this conversation with Koya Webb - How to feel more comfortable; Why are we so afraid of talking about politics; And then the issue is happening right now in the ally-ship conversation; How can we be strong allies to our black sisters and brothers; How can we look at our own privilege that we have, and use it in a way that can be constructive for all people because when one group of people in society suffers, we are all suffering. And right now, it is our black brothers and sisters, so, we get to use our voices; we get to speak up; we get to learn, and we get to listen.    

 

So, without further adieu, let’s welcome Koya Webb to The Highest Self podcast.

 

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Sahara:

Welcome Koya to The Highest Self podcast, it’s so great to have you here.

 

Koya:

Oh, it’s so great to be here Sahara. This is a very, very special time.

 

Sahara:

Mm-hmm…such a special time and so long overdue; and the perfect timing when everyone is just waking up to so much of the undercurrents of what has been happening in society, in humanity, and we are remembering why we incarnated right now.

 

So, I’m so excited to dive in with you today. And the first question I’d love to ask you is – What makes you your highest self? 

 

Koya:

Mm-hmm…such a juicy question – what makes me my highest self?

I would have to say Love – Love makes me my highest self, and a lot of people are asking “What is love?” Love is compassion. Love is understanding. Love is education right now. Love is all of those things that connects us and bring unity. And I feel like that’s, when I’m vibrating in that frequency of Love – I am my highest self. And I’m not always there, by the way.

 

Sahara:

Well you embody it so beautifully and I know when we did our IG live events, I was like “You guys are just glowing”. And you really do have that glow, and when we’re together we’re like glowing, but also like “Oh, shit, let’s tell it like it is.” And so, I’m so excited to have you on this episode.

 

So, you are someone who is a spiritual educator; you are an author who really has dove in deep into your own fears and sharing them; holistic, wellness coach; sound healer; all of the things. And really, what you are stepping into and encouraging others to step into is more of their activist side and their political side.

 

So, a lot of us have had this, you know, things said to us, since we were kids – don’t talk about politics. The three things that you should never talk about are like: politics, religion, and, I don’t know, money, you know. So, as a community, we’ve doven into the money, the abundance - that stuff. We’ve doven into spirituality, religion, but politics is still something we’re so afraid of; we’re so afraid of the controversy that it creates; we don’t want to be taken as incorrect or wrong.

 

How can we as spiritual people bring politics into our conversation more, without, also, this fear of losing ourselves in the controversy?

 

Koya:

I think it’s fear. The reason we don’t want to get into it is fear. It’s fear that we don’t know enough; it’s fear that we might say the wrong thing; it’s fear that we might be on the wrong side. Well, what is the right side? The right side is a side, and it’s like we have to take this, this social responsibility and realize that we are a part of it. We’re a part of the love; we’re part of the fear; we’re part of all of it. And as soon as we try to step away from it, we step out of alignment with who we truly are – which is unity; which is oneness - we are all one. And, so, if we want to take a piece off, then that’s actually the piece that needs the most attention. That part that we try to separate from - is the part that we need to dive in. And for me, for so long, I was so scared, like “Oh, I don’t know and I’m not sure.”

 

Well, I had to educate myself, and when I educated myself I realized that “Oh, this is why it matters.” If you speak up, look at all these people that follow you and that listen to you, that get themselves educated because you told them to. And that is my social responsibility and living in alignment with love is to first, educate myself and then pass that education on to my family, my community, and anyone else in the world that is open to listen.

 

Sahara:

Mm-hmm…and I love that. You’ve nailed it, it’s our fear, you know. And, I think that when we bring up politics, it’s not just like a one-off passive comment; you’re not like “Oh, I believe in this”, and it’s like, gone. It’s like, it opens up a can of worms, because under our political views are our life experiences – what our parents taught us, what our society told us, what our media told us, what our friends circle are telling us. Who are we following – this all creates our political view and most people have this sentiment that if you change your mind, if you change your mind on a topic, then you’re a failure. So, people, even in a conversation, if there is a good comment being made, they’re just so wanting to prove whatever view point that they have; that they are not really listening.

 

So, how can we open up a conversation about politics? And guys, when we say ‘politics’, we’re talking about life, right? Like, our basic life; our ability to just be safe; to have access to education; clean water. Like, these are all our politics.

So, how can we open up this conversation, and also hold the energy that comes back to us of the fears, of the projections, of everything that people shoot at you back?

 

Koya:

Right. I think we have to release, release judgment on ourselves, and release the fear of being wrong. You know, I think that’s the biggest one. It’s like, you know, you might say something that is harmful to another, but just know, saying nothing is also harmful; it’s actually more harmful; because if you say something that is harmful and you get called out or someone says “Hey, this is very toxic” – then you’ve learned.

 

But if you say nothing, but you’re thinking that anyway, then you’re moving for it in a toxic pattern, but no one knows, and that’s the thing, you know, us talking about, you know, white supremacy – people are moving in these ways and they have no clue. You have no clue, because you’re not saying anything. And no one’s talking about, they’re not educated about it. But now, that we’re talking, they’re like “Oh, my goodness, this was wrong and I didn’t even know it.” Bingo! That’s what I’m so grateful for right now – is that, we’re talking about it, and people are saying “You know what – I did say this and I actually didn’t know that was offensive, and now, because I don’t want to offend anyone, I’m going to move differently; I’m going to put different policies in my company; I’m going to speak differently with my friends because awareness is there.

 

But, if you’re scared, first of all, if you’re scared to speak and say something – that’s one thing. And also, if you’re scared, the person being offended, because me – I was this scared person who was being offended but I didn’t want to rock the boat; I didn’t want to be looked at as being divisive – because when I did speak up, those were the things that came back up – you’re dividing the group; you’re playing the race card bla bla. I never wanted to; that wasn’t the point. It was like “No! This is really disrespectful.” And, so, now, that all of these things that are coming out, the people that I spoke to are coming back to me and say “Koya, I’m so sorry, I didn’t even realize this.”

 

And, I appreciate that because it’s so hard in this industry, especially as a black woman in mostly white spaces, the micro-aggressions that I experienced every single day is unbearable by most people. And I feel like, a lot of, you know, black people and people of color endure this on a regular basis so much, that it’s actually normalized. So, we stop being scared to say the wrong things, and if we are willing to be wrong, we can all heal together – the oppressed and the oppressor.

 

Sahara:

Mm-hmm…what I see happen a lot is just friend groups being, often times, people who look like each other, like groups of white friends, and even groups of black friends. And, you know, what I noticed is, sometimes, when you are a minority, you do want to be around people who look like you. There’s something refreshing to be around people of your color etc. But, what I feel like is really is missing, is really diverse spaces, where there is like, everyone and everything, and we’re all coming together.

 

How do you think we can have more diverse spaces, from yoga classes to retreats, to wellness events; so it’s not just ‘this is a black event; this is a white event’. This is an ‘everyone event’.

 

Koya:

I think, from experience, it’s an issue of safety. I think people have to feel safe. And I feel like, you know, as a black woman, if, you know, and especially as a black woman growing up in mostly white spaces, being from the South, I feel that, again, all these micro-aggressions, I didn’t even know anything else, like, it was very normalized in me that, “Ok, like, I might be here, but I’m not going to get invited to the party; I might be here but I might not be asked to speak; I might be here but I’m probably going to be last; I might be here but I’m going to get played less.” So, that stuff is something that – yeah, this is happening, but I’m moving through it and I’m upset by it but I just accepted it as, you know, I got to stick it out to make a way for myself and to make a way for people; to come and pave the way for people that come after me.

 

And I think, when I first started experiencing, you know,  all black spaces, through one of my love-night, through my yoga school, the ashupaz – the community black girl and Nome. I was like “Oh my goodness, I feel so held; I feel so nurtured; I can breather.” Like, oh my god, and it felt so good. So, I think there’s a, to feel safe that you can express and that you can be, and that you can even express even some of the micro-aggressions that you might have experienced in other spaces, is important, especially for black women, and woman of color, and I feel like that is so important.

 

And, I think, unfortunately, in the white spaces, that sometimes a black woman is a pray. So, that’s another safety thing issue that shouldn’t be like that, which is why people are getting educated on – why you should be scared of me for no reason. You know, but, I think it’s fear. At the end of the day, all comes down to fear and love.

 

And so, I think that, when we can start understanding each other, and learning each other and holding each other’s fears, and listening to one other, and saying “Ok, I have this fear and let’s talk about it”, and I think what we’re doing right now with the conversation is a way that we can dispel the fear and have people know that there is nothing to be afraid of.

 

And there are systems of oppression that are important for everyone to know about, and that’s what I’m hopeful about right now. Because, people are understanding there are systems of oppression that are happening on a regular basis and they have been taught to all of us, of all races. And unless we dismantle those systems, then black people are going to continue to be oppressed. And what I love is that people are educating themselves about those systems so we can change those systems so that I don’t have to live in fear just because the color of my skin; I’m going to be disrespected, disregarded and put down. Because, that is not right; and that is not fair; and that is what has happened my entire life, and I’m so sick of it.

 

Sahara:

Mm-hmm…I love that. A hundred percent I agree that there is this feeling of familiarity, safety, when you are around people who have had similar life experiences to you, and being black is a life experience in the United States. It comes with a set of traumas collectively, that specifically black people have experienced by being the most oppressed group in this country and I think that, a lot of times, white people don’t understand that. They don’t understand the history; they don’t understand how alienated a lot of black people have felt, so they are saying “Well, why are you complaining?” or “Why are you so angry?” or “Why are you making yourself a victim?” “Why are you pulling the victim card?” I’m sure you’ve heard all of these things.

 

What do you have to say, as someone who deeply understands spirituality, psychology, what playing the victim actually means in your life – when people say black people are playing the victim card right now; they’re talking about the past instead of thinking about the future. What do you have to say to that?

 

Koya:

I have a lot to say. I have a whole chapter in my book devoted to this subject. I am not a victim, I am a creator. And what I am creating right now is education for people to understand systems of oppression – read it up, do the homework, and make sure you’re not a part of the problem.

 

So, I’m not a victim, but I will talk about how I’ve been victimized. Because, just because someone’s been victimized, does not mean they’re playing the victim. I’m a creator; I’m creating a life for myself; I’ve created a business for myself; I’ve created a company of community. So, I am a creator, but I have been a victim of white supremacy, systematic oppression and racism, and all of the things; all the –isms, colorism, sexism, all of them, right. It’s so, it’s just conversation, again, it’s not a judgment. I’m not judging anyone, look, every person that I talk to, I don’t have any less love for someone, it’s just like, it’s a gift. It’s holding space so we can have a conversation. Now, if you don’t want to have a conversation; you want to run away and be silent, then, we don’t have anything to talk about. And don’t talk about me or doing something for your company, don’t tell me about being on a podcast because if you don’t want to have a conversation about the elephant in the room; if you don’t want to have a conversation about what’s wrong with the systems – then we are not really having a holistic conversation and I don’t want to waste time if you’re going to tiptoe around what the world is talking about. And I have so many friends that reach out to me and they’re like “Hey, let’s do this, let’s do that” and I’m like “Wait a minute, are you aware of what’s going on right now?”

 

And this is something that I want to talk about, and if my friends aren’t willing to talk about it, then I’m in a point in my life that I’m not going to tolerate the spiritual bypassing. I know, you’ve been talking a lot about recently. I’m not going to tolerate spiritual bypassing; I’m not going to tolerate you wanting to be my friend but not talking about what’s been causing me pain.

 

And the last, you know, three decades of my life; and I just don’t have space for it anymore. I’ve tolerated it for much too long and it’s like this is the pain that I’m uncovering right now; this is what I’m educating; this is how I’m being a creator, so, if you would like me to create with you, I would also like you to create with me. Create a more just world; create a more fair world and we don’t want to create together – that’s fine too; no love lost. But, I’m not going to waste energy with you bypassing my pain so that I can promote you and do what it is you want me to do.

 

Sahara:

Mm-hmm…definitely. And let’s talk more about spiritual bypass because we see it a lot happening, and we know that – yes, we are all one, that is true from the highest level and absolute truth. Yes, we are all one; yes, all of our souls have no color, etc. But, a lot people are using this as this like card to not get involved, to not do the work, to not listen to people that are in pain. I mean, if a lot of people weren’t in pain, there wouldn’t be all of these people, you know, coming forth with their stories. And another spiritual bypass that I see is to try and put like, a conspiracy theory around it. Again, not saying that all conspiracy theories are false, a lot of them are true – but it’s another way for people to just not listen to the pain that black people or people of color are in right now and just put this spiritual cloak around it.

So, can you share with me what you see around the topic of spiritual bypass?

 

Koya:

Absolutely. I just feel that people are scared and they don’t want to face themselves, they don’t want to face the dark, and I face my dark and I feel like we all have to take responsibility for facing the dark or facing places where we’re ignorant. Like, you’re ignorant until you know. So, I have places where I’m learning too. Like, I’m not just telling everybody to read “Me and White Supremacy”, I’m reading it too, and I’m reading it with you so I know:

1. How to become aware of what is happening to me and the community – I’m reading about politics; I’m studying up on the different things that I’m talking about. And, so, I feel like, once you take that responsibility, not just to say “This doesn’t apply to me”, you know, and I think that a lot of times, especially when it comes to politics, like we were talking about earlier, what I’m going to stay in LA; I’m going to do my business and my yoga and my wellness; I’m going to let politics do politics – well that would be great if we weren’t affected by the politics, and again, we’re all one and we are all affected by it.

 

And Oneness is not just about – we all believe in the same blood. Oneness is about, if one person is hurting anywhere, we are all hurting everywhere. And we have to cause the least amount of harm in the world, and in doing that, we then become concerned about equality.

 

So, you’re not really practicing yoga and unity anyway if you’re spiritually bypassing the pain in the world. So, to me, yoga is not just asana, meditation is not just closing your eyes and going for a ‘hmmm’, it is really addressing the darkness within – so that we can address the darkness in the world. And if you’re not willing to look at your own darkness, you’re probably not going to be willing to look at the darkness in the world and that is spiritual bypassing.

 

Sahara:

Mm-hmm…so good, and I think a lot of people learn about law of attraction in this very basic way, and they think “Well, if I think about something, it’s going to show up in my life, so if I don’t think about the darkness, then I won’t have any darkness in my life.” And they’re using it as a form of spiritual bypass, you know. Because Marianne Williamson was on the podcast, and she was like, “So, if my next door neighbor was beating up their kid, and I knew about it, but I decided, I’m not going to pay attention to it. Does that make my neighbor stop beating up their kid?” And, it’s just, I think a lot of us don’t want to take the responsibility, you know. The responsibility that if there’s something wrong, then I, if I am the Universe, then I am one of the people that has to be involved in solving these issues, you know. I think people think that “Well, the Universe is going to take care of it”, that’s you; that’s you Boo!

 

So, we’re waiting for politics to handle it. Whoever, who is a politician – a human being, like me and you, and we are the people that get to create that change. But, I think people run away of how heavy it makes them feel and how bombarding they feel.

 

So, what do you recommend for someone who, they want to dive into shadow-work but they’re like, “I don’t even know where to start?”

 

 

Koya:

Hmm…I like the quote “If you know better, do better.” You know, and, just know, when you dive in that shadow-work, you’re not just doing it for yourself; you’re becoming an ancestor and you’re doing it for your lineage; you’re doing it for your community; you’re doing it for the world.

 

I had to dive into my shadow because I was having PTSD because three cops dropped my brother when I was eight years old and like, I started having, seeing my brother and George Floyd like, changing places and I was just like having a really hard time and I was crying, and I was like, seeing very, I don’t even want to repeat it, but I was having very, very dark thoughts. And I was like, “Ok, this needs to be addressed.” Any fear, any anger, any depressions, any visions, PTSD, things like that – it is a sign that you have reached your level of toxicity and unwellness that needs to be addressed. And I can talk about other people all the time, but I think if can talk more about ourselves, and bring it home, and take personal responsibility to our own shadows, darkness and traumas, then we will be able to hold space for others when it’s scary for them to do the same. So, for me, I knew I had to do breath work, meditation, free-riding, water-therapy, like, I swear, I took every ritual that I share with people in my book, and I did it. And after, I felt so much stronger; because at first I couldn’t even say the story without crying, so I know I’ve processed the pain. I’ve been holding onto that pain since I was eight years old. It’s been affecting my relationships – eight years old.

 

So, we all have things like that. We have traumas, and it’s like, if we don’t talk about that, they’re still within us; they’re still in our DNA; they’re still affecting society. It doesn’t just depend on if you want to address it or not. Someone’s going to address it. If you don’t address it now, then your children are going to address it; then your children’s children are going to address it. So, you might as well do the best you can to unpack your pain and live in alignment with love. And that’s what living in alignment with love is about. It’s about unpacking your pain and realizing it’s going to be messy and it’s going to hurt; and shadow-work is the deepest, darkest, because you’ve got to let yourself go there, you’ve got to write down what you feel, what you want to say but you don’t want anyone to hear; no one will ever hear you say these things. You’ve got to get it out of your system because it’s in you, and it’s in you because it has to come out. It might be in you because of trauma; it might be in you because of what someone said; but don’t feel like you’re a bad person and don’t attach to those thoughts, don’t attach to them; maybe you’re angry because all this stuff is going on and you said something or felt something in your heart that was really dark; and just sit with them and be like “Ok, that is not me, you don’t have to attach to it; that is not me but I need to process this pain; I need to process this guilt and this shame; I need to process this fear.”

 

And, I feel like if we own the fact that we are not, we are not our feelings and thoughts and emotions – we are love; we are all divine love; even though people are not well and people are functioning in toxicity. I truly believe that we all have the capacity to operate up a little frequency, but the more we pout toxic emotion on top of trauma, that’s what we see playing out. All of this we’re seeing is a co-creation, and we are a part of it, you and I; and every person listening. When we take responsibility to do our own shadow-work and start unpacking that pain for our own work, we’re affecting those around us, because they’re going to see us do the work; maybe they’re going to do the work too; maybe we’re posting about it; maybe other people are doing the work…and guess what - we all start to heal collectively. Now, we’re breaking our systems of oppression – why? Because, everyone’s doing the work and they’re posting about it; and they’re sharing it and it’s catching on; and love is just as contagious as fear. But we have to be willing to go deep. We have to be willing to dig deep.

 

Sahara:

Hmm…I love that. So, meditation, journaling - what’s the water-therapy that you’re doing?

 

Koya:

So, water is one of my most healing elements. I think it’s one of the most healing elements for any person. And, so, water, like when we are born, we are born in this sack right, and it has a very purifying quality.

 

Like, everything in the world is energy, and nature has the vibration to heal us because it’s at this natural, vibrational state of love, right. And, so, when we doss our self in water or we can be purified by Earth, as well, - Water is my favorite element, and so, when I do that, I’m releasing some of that trauma, some of that acidity that lives in my body by submerging myself in alkalize by drinking a lot of water which alkalizes myself from the inside, and I take a bath with ebsom salts. I actually have a paddleboard, so I actually went out to the ocean and bathed myself in the sun, in that good old vitamin D, and I just waited in the middle of the ocean. Luckily, I had that, but that was very healing for me.

 

And so, whenever we get into nature, it can balance our energies, and because I watch way too many videos and I took in way too much toxicity, and I started recounting this pain that wanted to come out; I then had to balance it out with what positive quana – is what we say in yoga, and the negative quana is all the videos, all the police brutality, all of this, the hate speech, and stuff, and seeing all that it’s like bringing it up. And, it’s ok to bring it up, and then cleansing it out. And, so, that’s what I did, and just writing out my feelings because, again, we are love-beings, but just because we are love-beings doesn’t mean we can’t hold pain. And once we start practicing holding pain and bringing it in, we can actually help our communities and others process it.

So, now, I’m helping other people. Ok, let’s educate and when the pain comes up, let’s do our meditation, let’s do the breath work. Because when you see toxic death, and anger, and violence – it produces acid in the body. And I’m always talking to people about keeping the body alkalined.

 

So, we see all of that. You get in arguments with your friends; you get in arguments with your family – acid in the body. You’re getting a headache; you’re breaking your immune system down – well, you have to eat fruits, vegetables, SNC’s – alkalize the body, get in some water – alkalize the body; drink water – alkalize the body. And when you do that, you start to balance it out. So, it’s not like you have to be so alkalined all the time and nothing can touch you, because then, you’re not addressing the pain in the world again. You know, so, a little bit of understanding and absorbing some of the pain that is happening on a world level, will actually help you deal with it, and help other people deal with it. So, it’s not about being in this airy-fairy high all the time state. It’s about actually tipping in and saying, you know, “Why are these children being put in cages at the border; why is this happening here”, and getting and not caring enough that you do something about it. And if you don’t acknowledge the pain that’s going on outside around you, then it’s going to hard to say “Ok, I want world peace”. How can you want world peace if you’re not willing to look at the pain?

 

Sahara:

Mm-hmm…And not willing to take the steps to get there, you know. It’s so easy for us to be like “I want peace” – what are you doing to make the peace? I think it’s another way that we deflect our responsibility. “I don’t want to get involved in politics” – Peace. Well, where is the peace going to come from? The war is there because of politics; So, the peace can only be there if we change the laws; if we change who’s in power.

Like, I think a lot of people, just, are so overwhelmed by the system and the corruption of the system – I get it, I feel like that all the time too. But, we can’t be in our bubbles and be like “I believe in peace”, and let the world fight. Because what’s going to happen are the people who don’t have the best of intentions; who aren’t doing this kind of work; who are for sure not doing water-therapy in their free time; are going to be the ones who are going to be like “Hey, you know what, maybe I’ll run for Office; Hey, you know what, maybe I’ll create this movement.” And they’re the ones who have never looked within themselves.

So, you know, the only example of a spiritual person I’ve really seen completely step into politics is Marianne Williamson.

 

Koya:

Oh yeah, she’s stepping in there and it’s not easy, like, you’ve seen how it’s taken a toll on her, and honestly, I feel like she just needs more support, because, know that, if you are a spiritual person, you are dipping in that pain, and it has to be a balance. And so, you need support and I honestly, I love her; I adore her; and you know, I recently reached out to her because I see her, but she definitely needs way more support, especially from the spiritual community, because, again, just like when I went on my toxic journey and my shadow-work, I had to have enough support to get me out. So, when someone is going into Office, and they’re battling with all those politics and all those fools, you need a lot of spiritual support; you need community; you need resources; she needs Hillars on deck.

 

No one can go in there just like “Oh, I’m going to run for Office”, and honestly, I’m going to be like, she needs way more support. And I’m down for helping her get the support she needs. I know you would be down for that, but I feel like, that if someone is spiritual, because you already know how it feels to be high and have and be in this vibration of spirituality, it’s going to be easy to want to stay there, but there you have to keep dipping into the pain, because that’s how we’re going to heal humanity. But if you have a support system that are dipping in, and helping you, and healing with you and providing you comfort and resources; and we’re in this together – you’ll stand a chance, but without that – it’s hard sis, it’s hard.

 

Sahara:

Mm-hmm.....So well said! Well, we know that we will definitely support her, and what she even said was, when she was running, a lot of people were not willing to post about her, you know, other spiritual people, etc. because they didn’t want to divide their audience; they didn’t want to get their Republican friends pissed off because she was running as a Democrat.

 

So, I think a lot of people still have this fear of “Well, if I support a candidate and then the people who don’t support this candidate and people do, do this, “I’m unfollowing you”, you know. Because we want to get into this echo-chamber that for some reason we only want to learn from people who think exactly like we do. Fireworks are shooting right as I’m saying this.

 

So, what do you think we can do if you’re someone, let’s say you’re a small business owner; you’re a coach, etc., and you are like “I really want to post about issues I believe in, but I am afraid that people won’t want to business with me anymore?”

 

Koya:

I mean, you know what, I’ve had that fear, and at the end of the day – that doesn’t make the world go round, you know. At the end of the day, like, Oneness is not saying like “I don’t see color; I don’t think differently”, it’s actually seeing color; seeing our cultural differences;  differences in colors, and honoring them; seeing our differences in politics and honoring them, and coming together and say “Well, what do you think, what’s going to be the best for all of us?” So, it’s really about us coming together and sharing ideas – and they’re not all going to be the same. But if we don’t have respect for each other and if we’re scared to speak up and speak out, because if we’re afraid of what we’re going to lose, then we can never win. We have to listen to our brothers and sisters that speak differently, that look differently, that have different practices all over the world, because until we start to respect and see one another, we’re not going to be able to become one and have this unity because we’re not acknowledging our differences, and we’re not acknowledging the beauty in our differences.

 

You know, we acknowledge the sky; we acknowledge the trees – we don’t try to make the sky the tree, or the tree the sky – they don’t try to be the same thing. Nothing in nature is trying to be like something else. But we as people, we’re all trying to have this one look. We all want to be the superior, right; and it’s like – that’s never going to work because we’re meant to be beautifully different; and layered; and complex; and respected. And, once we start respecting our own uniqueness and not being afraid, and I have to combat this fear, and look this fear in the face every single day, the more that I embrace my own fear, the more that I am able to embrace fears in others; the more that I embrace my own uniqueness, my own unique way to love, the more I can respect others’ unique way to love. But, we’re all born into this box; we’re all trying to fit into this box and be loved, and get all the likes and be perfect – and I know, because I’ve tried to fit in that box, and now I’m like “Forget that box; get that box out of the way; I hate that box; I don’t want the box; I’ve been living inside the box way too long; I’m over the box, get rid of the box.” So, we need to kick the box to the curb; we need to celebrate our uniqueness; and we need to celebrate the uniqueness of others; and we need to stop living in fear and realize we’re going to say the wrong thing sometimes; we’re going to offend people sometimes, and not be afraid to apologize – not be afraid to say “I’m sorry”, not be afraid to say that “I was wrong”; not be afraid to learn.

 

Like, who in the world knows it all? All these politicians use staff around all the time – half time on purpose, you know. So, it’s like, what are we afraid of, you know? And, we’re going to mess up. And so, I think there’s this illusion of perfection, like we’ve got be perfect, - this is a journey, this is a process. And we stop trying to be perfect and just realize that ‘realness’ is being authentically you being vulnerable; saying what you feel, even when it’s messy; getting in there and doing the work. And if more of us, especially spiritual and wellness people, are willing to be messy and get into the politics and support who you believe in; support who has helped you get the lives out, Marianne Williamson helped you live your lives out – support her; she helped you get the life you’re living right now. You know, and, so, I think we just need to kind of do that on personal work and see within ourselves “Where are we holding back’ Where are we, afraid to be, authentically, ourselves”, and once we do that personal work, that personal digging – it’s going to have a ripple-effect in our family, in our community, in our world.

 

Sahara:

Yes. Yes. Yes. So well said. We get to throw that box the hell away. I was just imagining Kali Ma – the Goddess of destruction and creation – and that’s what we’re embodying right now; the Goddess Sekhmet – the lioness; all of the Dark Goddesses, you know. And like, even re-framing what darkness means. It’s not a negative thing, like “The dark is the bad and the light is the good”, but the darkness is actually the place of like, pure potential where everything arises from; it is the cosmic womb.

 

So, let’s step into that darkness and rip off all of the shadows. And when you were saying how holding yourself back, I was imagining if you were going on a date and you were holding back core aspects of who you are – your beliefs; what you stand for; your, like, life-mission statement – to be liked by this other person. Well, your relationship is going to fail because that person is only with you without really knowing you, and I think that, right now, we get to deepen our relationship with our friends; with our social media; with whoever it is – “Hey, you thought you know me; I have this whole other side to me – hear my beliefs; hear my experiences. And, if they don’t match with you, if doesn’t mean that we can’t drive on this level. We might agree here, and we might not agree here” – I think what people are so quick to do is, when we’re not like 10/10 agreement on everything, they’re like “Fuck you, bye.”

 

So, and, maybe we’re doing that with other people too, but to see that we might agree on everything, and maybe it’s like, pro-choice; or something that we have a disagreement on – instead of letting that be a total deal-breaker – we can understand that person’s perspective and not make it trigger our own, and really look at, also, the people-pleaser in all of us, especially as women. That was really what was coming up for me, and I think you’re feeling it too. It’s like, “We want to please everyone; we want to make everyone around us happy”, and if we share that – I have this belief in police brutality or whatever it is that you might not agree with and people being triggered by it, were so afraid of triggering one person – that we are not ready to step up into our full truth.

 

Koya:

Right. And I feel like, once we release that fear, we realize that it was nothing to be afraid of. And until we release that fear, it’s going to harbor inside of us. It’s going to fester inside of us; and it’s again, growing that toxic emotion until it all bubbles up to the surface. So, what we’re seeing now is a bubbling up of a problem that’s just been covered up for way too long. And, so now, it’s bubbled up to the surface within all of us and we’re addressing it, and I’m so grateful and I’m hopeful because I feel like a lot of people are addressing this issue and some people might say “Oh, it’s just all a hoax and getting people riled up.” I see massive change, so if it is a part of some bigger scheme – I don’t care! All I care about is massive change, you know. And, if there’s an underlying agenda behind it, well, I do think the highest agenda is love.

 

And, so that’s what I’m pushing for. And I have faith that if I go forward in that direction, uncovering the dark – not afraid of the pain, that’s going to lead me, personally, in the right direction. That is what I have faith in. So, no matter, because people will come with you, like you said “Because of all the conspiracy theories and all this and that”. But at the end of the day, whatever theory, my theory is love consciousness; my theory is how can we get back to that and not love consciousness without unpacking the pain and unpacking the fear. But, let’s look at it; let’s see, because you can give theories all the day, but at the end of the day I’m going to say what’s happening in front of me; what am I seeing; what am I feeling; what is my personal experience, and I feel like, if we all go with that – then we’re going to be guided in the right direction.

 

Because, everyone has their purpose on the planet right now, and every single purpose is different. So, who am I to know where you’re going to be in your journey; what you’re doing - that’s not my responsibility. My responsibility it to live my life in ‘love consciousness’ -  to address my own personal fears and share that with others. If someone receives it – great; if they don’t - that’s fine. I don’t know, maybe they’ll come back next week and receive it, you know. But, I can’t worry about if someone is receiving it or not – we just have to keep giving it, and I feel like if we all take the responsibility to do our own personal work, and keep sharing that work with whoever wants to be a part of it – we are going to make massive change, and we are going to see massive change in the world.  

 

Sahara:

Hmm…So well said. And we just get to keep moving forward. And the same thing with these different theories - we can’t negate the fact that we’re having conversations like this; that positive laws are being passed; that companies, are for the first time diversifying; that a lot of people try to make it – “Oh, the protesters – they’re all rioters; it’s all violence.”

Well, if you look historically, whenever an actual movement happened – whether it was the Civil Rights, whether it was the Civil War; all of these different things – we had to kind of shake shit up to get people to realize – and yes, I am a peace activist, right. I believe in love; I believe in all of these things – but also we get to realize that – you know, that football player – he kneeled on one knee about Black Lives Matter – I didn’t see any laws being changed; I didn’t see conferences and all of these things; I didn’t see conversations like this happen. They’ve done how many rap songs – Childish Gambino; Kendrick Lamar – they did how many hashtags; they did how many smaller protests; how many of these things – and the changes weren’t made.   

 

So, sometimes it needs to be a gigantic movement, even though it feels chaotic, for us to finally listen. And I think a lot of people are trying to make black people wrong in being angry; and black people wrong in protesting, even though a positive change is being made because of it.

 

Koya:

Yeah, and the beautiful thing is, it’s not just black people. The beautiful thing is – it’s like, a lot of people getting out there, protesting, because if it was just black people – it wouldn’t be as massive as it is. You know, even at the time of Dr. Martin Luther King, it was more than just black people out there. It’s going to take black people; Asian people; white people; like, everyone pushing for systematic change. And I think that’s what we’re seeing and that’s what makes this time beautiful, because like, Paulie Capernet said, like, “There is a problem and we need to address it”. So, he was a catalyst for change. Like, everyone has this catalyst right, but like you said “Sometimes you have to get loud”, like I, I’m definitely a Martin Luther King girl, but I respect Malcolm X; I respect his fierceness; I respect people that went to war – I’m not happy with the guns; I want to ban all the guns, but you better believe that I’m grateful that my grandfather fought in World War II, you know what I’m saying. It’s like, I have to respect those who laid down their lives so that I can breather; so that I can eat; so that I can live, you know. And, so, we can’t ever shame someone for the way they choose to stand up for what they believe in, because a lot of us wouldn’t even be here if some people didn’t lay down their lives; if some people didn’t fight.

 

I mean, we’ve had wars – years and years of wars. So, you know, who am I, just because I’m a peace-maker, who am I to shame someone who is going to war; when I know going to war is the only reason I have any taste of freedom. That is ridiculous, to shame anyone – ever – for going to war for they believe in. It is a slap in the face to my life.

 

Sahara:

Yes, I think it’s like, we all want peace; we all want things to happen really easily. But when the systems are so firmly held, and they don’t want to change because they’ve been this way for so long, it takes a mass-awakening to happen for finally, the last straw on the camel’s back to be broken. And I think people are trying to deflect the conversation – “Oh, well, George Floyd wasn’t a great guy; or this or that.” It’s not about any individual, it’s about the fact that the moment this happened, so many people took the streets, which means that so many people were feeling this.

 

So, let’s look at this undercurrent that people have been feeling oppressed of all colors, and have been seeing that their injustices happening. This isn’t made-up; no one’s forcing everyone to do this. The fact that, we are now having this conversation, even though it feels dark, is a movement towards the light.

 

Koya:

One hundred percent. And again, this is just like, when people want to like, take one piece of the puzzle and just focus on someone's character, it’s like – it’s not about just one person’s character like you say; it’s about the movement – and people are sick because police brutality keeps happening, and these police are here to protect, you know; and it’s like, they want to burn the black on black crime. And all of a sudden it’s like, there is crime all over the world happening all the time and when your government, first of all, wants to brutally manipulate and harm – that’s a problem. When police, the people who you are supposed to be trusting, want to brutally harm someone for no reason – that it a scary place because you do expect your government, police, teachers, to have some form of dignity that they wouldn’t be racist; that they wouldn’t be oppressive; that they wouldn’t be toxic. You know, and it’s just like, that’s why you go through training, that’s why you go through, you know, saying an oath that you will treat people fairly and equally. And, so, what is happening time and time and time again – people are sick of it. And I am so happy. And I am so sick of it.

 

I remember I was driving to Malibu and I was sleepy because I worked all day and I was seeing my last client of the day, and I guess I swerved a little bit because I was sleepy. A cop pulled me over – “What are you doing out here?” Not “where am I going, am I ok?” – “What are you doing out here?” I’m like “I’m going to a client’s house”; Officer: “Let me see your driver’s license; get out of the car.” This man put me in the back of his police car for being sleepy! “Have you been drinking?” – “No” – Didn’t give a breath-tester, and he put me in the back of his car. I was mortified. I was like, “What is happening?” Went through my trunk; went through my car; went through everything; and it was the most, just, like, ridiculous thing that ever happened to me in my life. And I’m like “What is this this?” And he gave me a ticket for reckless..- I’m in tears; I’m bawling my heart – I’m like “What is this? This is crazy. What is he doing; what is happening?” And he gives me a ticket for reckless driving and drives off. And I’m like “He didn’t even care” – if you were really caring about me being sleepy, you probably should have made sure I got to where I was going. If I was such a reckless driver, you just slapped me with a reckless driving ticket, after tossing my car upside down, and I was just devastated.

 

And, so, when you experience things like that, and you realize people have this hatred towards you just because you – it’s inside of me. And it’s like, “How could I even go this long and not share that story?” Because it was so hurtful and I want to pretend like, I wanted it to go away, but guess what - it's not going to go away. Because if that cop did it to you, that’s cop is going to do it to someone else. And if that cop killed this person and we saw it on video, guess how many cops are killing people that we’re not seeing on video. So, if we don’t say something about all of these toxic things that are happening in the world; these gruesomes; these disgusting things that our community, that our government, that our elective officials are doing, it’s just going to get worse, and worse and worse until we address the problem and do something about it. Not just on a government level, but on a personal level – and our communities, and our homes, and our schools, and our healthcare – disgusting, disgusting, disgusting things are happening; oppressive, oppressive, oppressive things are happening; and we have to address them; we have to acknowledge them; and we have to eradicate them. Period!

 

Sahara:

Mm-hmm. Thank you for sharing that, and for the people listening, like, “Oh, well, who knows, maybe the cop was just doing their job?” Go, YouTube the videos of cops with some crazy-ass white people who are like, punching them; like, running away from. I’m sure you’ve seen these videos Koya. These people are ape-shit; so disrespectful to the cops and the cops are putting up with them. I mean, even, it is crazy, but when people; kids have done school-shootings who happen to be white, most of the time, the way that the cops even get to those kids is in such a different way. They’re never assaulting them; they’re never super-aggressive; but then a black person does the most simple thing, and the way that they respond… I was just seeing this protest. There was this black and white woman both sitting on the floor, right next to each other – same position, same spot, same police officers. The white woman – they picked her up and had her step away. The black woman – they kicked her, they took her away and they arrested her.

  

The same thing I saw, I don’t know if you’ve seen this picture, it’s this young black boy and a young white boy. They are the same age; they’ve committed the same crime on the same day with the same judge. Ok, now all variables are taken; the only difference, the same exact crime, and I’m not saying crime is right at all, people should not commit crimes. But, let’s just see how the judge reacted, right. So, the white boy gets two years in prison, which you know, one day will become maybe a story for him, I have spent two years in prison – I turned my life around – maybe he won’t even spend the two years in prison. The black boy gets twenty-six years, that’s his life – his life has been taken away from him, not only his life, but the life of his mother; the life of his siblings; the life of anyone that has ever known him or loved him, has just been taken away. And if we think about generational trauma, – you know, what does that create? So, when we say “Oh, you shouldn’t be committing crimes” – look at how those crimes are treated when the only variable is color.

 

Koya:

Right, and people have to watch 13th, it’s a free documentary on YouTube and understand, you know. Even the police system was set up to specifically target black men and that’s why it’s so much of a, just ridiculous system, because you know, you have, as you were saying, the same white people doing the same crime at a high level and just chilling, you know, out in Malibu somewhere and so, yeah, it’s ridiculous; it’s absurd and things just need to change. You can look up “The Prison Pipeline” you can just research. I think people just need to educate themselves at this time; not even just listen to us, but really educate yourself; look at the videos; read “Me and White Supremacy”.

 

Understand what’s going on. Don’t just let this blow by; don’t even just listen to this podcast, but start doing research. I’m educating myself; I’m, you know, following my girl Rachel Cargle and Layla Saad. And, I’m just, like, educating myself in every way that I can because I have a very mixed community, and I want to educate my community so that we can all heal together.

And so, I just think it’s about us taking personal responsibility, just like I did with that cop. I went to my client’s house, I told them what happened and they just comforted me, I couldn’t stop crying and I ended up going to court and fighting the ticket and getting it let up. But I could’ve sued him. That’s defamation of character. Like, I’m out there and that’s where my clients are and if they see me in the back of a police car – it’s very one-row PCH, everyone’s driving by – you know, that’s disrespectful. So, yeah, I ended up getting out of it, but still, the trauma, the trauma lasts, you know. Anytime I go out like, I’m scared. I remember I was with a friend and a cop car was close and they turned the sirens on and I jumped. It just like, you know. You don’t understand, like, the life-long pain that happens.

 

This one guy went to prison and he was there I think twenty-six years before he got out; and when he got out he ended up committing suicide a month later because the trauma you experience when you’re in some place like that is so bad. And it showed him getting in fights and it showed him going through all this stuff and then he got out. Sometimes people get out to realize, the world is still as toxic on the outside. And now you have this stem of being incarcerated, and it’s not easy to even live a normal life. So, it’s not like, you know, these traumas just wash away. This is ruining people’s lives and their children’s lives, and like you said their family’s lives, so we cannot just turn a blind eye when people are suffering – life-long sufferings, you know, and it’s not going away. And, so, I’m happy that we’re having this conversation; I’m happy we’re addressing the issues, because until we address and acknowledge them, we can’t change them. They’re not just going to go away on their own.

 

Sahara:

Mm-hmm. Thank you so much for sharing that. So, how can we be allies as non-black people and really support our black sisters that are moving through this right now?

 

Koya:

Well, I mean, I think that’s a great question, because I think that a lot of my friends are scared and I think, again, the point is to acknowledge and affirm. You know, just to acknowledge, like “This is really bad.” Like, what’s happening is not right, just acknowledge instead of just saying “How are you?” Like, I mean, really! I’m not well. I can say I’m ok, but like, it’s a lot we’re unpacking right now. So, just acknowledge like, “I know there’s a lot going on. How can I support?” And specifically, support for everyone, the way I would like support might be different than how someone else might like support. So, I think just asking your friends as an ally; asking the black women in your community “How can I support you at this time?” And just acknowledging their greatness and amplifying their voices. I think a lot of people are amplifying black voices online, realizing that “Wow, there is a lot of black women in the yoga space, in the wellness space, in the spiritual place I didn’t even know about because I didn’t even look; I’m just looking for people who look like me”, and so, now, we present “Wow, there is this woman and that one”, and they’re really discovering a wealth of women out there, women of color, black women, that they didn’t even know about before, and so, I think, you know, that’s been very helpful.

And just also, posting about it; protesting, getting out in the streets. Again, holding space, holding hands and asking those around you “How can I support you; How do you need to be supported right now?” And then, just giving them the space to answer and also saying “You don’t even have to answer right now, I’m here for you – whenever you’re ready to talk; whenever you need something - I’m here for you.” I think that’s the best an ally can do.

 

And also, donate to different causes. We’re in the middle of a pandemic so, if you have a surplus of funds, giving to those that are in need is really, really crucial right now, because, again, we’re still going through this, you know, recession. And on top of the brutality; on top of the trauma that comes up when we’re actually addressing systematic racism, and also, people are seeing, as black people, they are seeing people take sides. People that they thought had their best interest – they are either seeing them spiritually bypass or they’re seeing them get on – either way it’s traumatizing.  

 

So, even though we’re uncovering, it’s like when you take a band aid off a wound, it still hurts, you know. And sometimes it hurts more than leaving it on. So, some people getting that band aid ripped off, and it’s just like, “Ouch, I didn’t know you didn’t care” and it’s hurtful when some of the people you’re closer to, and you realize they’re like, you know what “Nah, this ain’t for me.” And, so, you know, you have to not take it personally but it still doesn’t take away the pain.

 

Sahara:

Mm-hmm. Well, thank you so much for sharing that. I know a lot of people are looking to how to be the best allies. They don’t want to bombard their black friends right now with messages, and they definitely don’t want to be asking questions. But I think that this episode will really help them, you know, answer some of the questions that they’ve had in their mind; the invitations for you to keep educating themselves; 13th documentary – amazing to understand the history of this; your Instagram: your posting things all the time. So, follow Koya; check out what she’s up to.

 

When are you going to be running for President?

 

Koya:

This. I’m going to be supporting, as much as I can support, and you never know. Like, I have surrendered my life to the divine; nothing is off the table; all I know is that I’m about supporting love and love consciousness; so, wherever that leads me – I surrender to the call. I’m surrendering to a lot right now; I’m stepping into my power right now. So, I don’t know what’s going to happen with that, but I know that I’m fully surrendered to that, and so, wherever that takes me – it is what it is, you know. And I think, also, for allies to also realize that, you know, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

 

I had a friend that was like “Well, if I post something, it feels like opportunist, but if I don’t post something it’s racist.” Like – which one would you prefer? So, I want to thank you, our opportunist…

 

Sahara:

Yeah. You can’t win. You really can’t win.

 

Koya:

Right, so that person was choosing not to post, but it’s like, that’s not showing solidarity; that’s not showing that you care, and so, I definitely wouldn’t choose that one, you know, because me as a person – I don’t feel supported.

 

Like, if I, or a company or a friend, I had a friend reach out to me today, he was just like – “Oh, can you promote this?” – I’m like, “Ok, at a time when we’re amplifying black voices, you’re asking me to promote a podcast with you and another person that is not a person of color or a black person?” “Are you missing the narrative that the entire world is talking about or do you just not care?”

 

I was bothered, and that’s what they told me, like “Well, I feel like I don’t want to be an opportunist and I just want to keep doing what I’m doing.” And I’m like “Well, it is not like business as usual right now.” If you hadn’t noticed – it is not business as usual.

 

So, this is a time to show that you care about people that are in pain. Do not miss this moment. It’s like seeing someone on the side of the road – are you going to just drive by? That’s not my problem. You’re seeing someone bloody out in the middle of the road – are you just going to drive by or are you going to help? Oh, you’re going to be considered a good Samaritan – so, are you an opportunist? Take the opportunity. Help the person. Be a good Samaritan. Do the work. Hold the space.

 

Sahara:

Hmm. I love that and I think we’re going to keep messing up because we’re learning. And guys, by the way, there’s no one black opinion, there’s 50 million black people in the United States, so different people will want different things, you know. They’re like “I’m confused because this one black person said be silent and this one says post; and I don’t want to be a white savior and I don’t want to be a white silencer.” And I think people are overwhelmed by different narratives right now. What do you have to say..?

 

Koya;

Well, I want to speak to that because it’s not that black and white. So, silence is a choice. And silence and posting self-serving things are two different things. So, people that are choosing silence to amplify black voices, or to educate themselves, or to understand; and they’re acknowledging like, “Ok, we’re going in a heavy time”, again, it’s acknowledgment is what I think most people in the world, black and white, are looking for – acknowledgement – “Ok, we’re going through a hard time right now.”

   

But, if you’re silent about the problem but you’re still going on as business as usual – it’s like you’re driving the car. You might not be the one that helped, but at least you stopped your car because there’s a problem right here; maybe you’re the one to call 911, you see what I’m saying. So, it’s not like you have to have the right thing, but if you’re not acknowledging the problem and you’re like going on business as usual when the world is in a crisis and pandemic – that is where I think some people are getting angry because it’s like, “Wait, you’re like going on business as usual; like nothing’s going on”, and I think that’s very different from muting and being silent.

 

Sahara:

Yes. And I even think the people who didn't say something, like, at the beginning, people were like “So, do you not care about the movement?” And I know a lot of people are kind of getting a bit of controversy for not speaking soon enough. And in this social media world we don't get to have a week to think about our press release; we don’t have all of this time; it’s not like back in the day that you’re going to sit and think about it. And I think, for some people, who like to like gather a lot of information before they make a decision, that's difficult but when something like this happens, you kind of, immediately have to respond. And your response, you know, a lot of us did that black picture, and that ended up being not the right thing, but at least we’re like, trying.

 

So, I think it’s letting yourself try and mess up, and be corrected, and when someone corrects you, don’t take it super-personally either; it’s like, we’re all learning here. And also, I think that keeping in mind, that different people are going to want you to show up in different ways, and you’re going to have to choose what feels right for you. You know, like, someone might say “I only want black people to be speaking right now”, like, everyone should mute themselves.

 

Some people have more of that opinion; some people say “White people; use your voices.

Stand up, get on video; we want to hear you talking about it.”

 

So, those kind of feel like two contradicting things. So, feel like what feels like for you. If you don’t have anything really valuable to add to the table, don’t get on video and cry and say “I don’t know what to do”, that’s not.. So, this is where I think it takes some discernment. I think a lot of people are like “I don’t know what to do!” It’s like - take discernment, what feels good for you; what feels in alignment for you – is it amplifying black voices; is it adding in – maybe you’re doing interviews with people. Like, what feels like your gift; your dharma that you can share and bring to the picture and if you have nothing to say – that’s fine; just pass it along to people who do have something to say.

 

Koya:

Absolutely, it’s like you see somebody injured and you drive by, you’re like, “Err, I don’t know, maybe I’m scared; maybe I won’t help”, but then you double back and maybe they’re already being helped, but the fact that you turned around shows consciousness.

 

So, yeah, maybe you waited a long time to speak, but like you said, do something. And you know, we all make mistakes, and we all don’t. And I even admitted that I didn’t say stuff when I should have – like, I’m part of the problem. But, now I’m speaking, so, am I going to beat myself up for all the time I didn’t speak? – No! I’m going to acknowledge my fear; I’m going to acknowledge so that we can acknowledge, and again, that’s the conversation – acknowledge your fear; acknowledge your hesitation, acknowledge, acknowledge, acknowledge! And then we can start processing the pain together. And I like to take people through the five steps of my inflames.

1. The first step is to acknowledge,

2. The second step is to forgive,

3. The third step is just process the pain,

4. The fourth step is set an intention, and

5. The fifth step is be the change.

 

And so, when you take yourself and do those five steps, you can really unpack your pain in a healthy way, and you can do it any time you feel afraid; any time you feel scared; any time you have to make a decision, because none of us are perfect; and we’re all going to do things sometime or another, that is fear-based; that is trauma-based; that is judgment-based. And if we get used to acknowledging it, and forgiving it, and processing it, and setting an intention to be better and then being better (taking action and being better), then we’re part of the solution. But if we don’t do that, we’re a part of the problem.

 

Sahara:

Mmmm… Thank you so much. I love those five steps. And I think it’s like remembering the intention; like, sometimes we’re even fighting at each other and our intention is the same – we both want a better world, right? But our different experiences are going to make this come at that situation in a different way, but when we can acknowledge like “Hey, you and I both care about the same thing. We want the same results. We’re just speaking a bit of a different language right now.” Then it drops the defensiveness; it drops the ‘I’m right-you’re wrong’ and it’s more like “Hey, I understand why, maybe, you think, that Trump is the way to do it; or this is the way to do it; or that is the way to do it. I acknowledge what you really want is a better world.” And that just like, allows you to just come at it with such a higher vibration, and not get so triggered.

 

And the last thing I really want to ask you, which I have seen showing up for a lot of white people right now, is feeling like a lot of the educators on this are angry, right. And they feel triggered by the anger; they feel like, it’s making them wrong and it’s kind of preventing them from totally opening up to the message.

 

So, what do you have to say if, you know, there’s a Rachel Cargle, or someone who’s speaking really passionately, and it can feel like she’s angry at me and everything I do is wrong. How can we move through that and actually listen to the message that she’s saying?

 

Koya:

I adore Rachel, and I think her message needs to be amplified to the mountains and the hill-tops and back. And I believe that, when people, and even myself included, when you’re triggered by anger, and you’re triggered by rage – you need to embrace the anger and rage in yourself.

 

Sahara:

Yes.

 

Koya:

So, imagine something happening to your child. Let’s see you just sit there and not say anything and do anything. You know, mothers will lift a freaking car off a child – there’s been studies shown. You will take a car and toss it, if it runs over your child. So, you’ve really got to feel the rage in yourself; because, unless you acknowledge your own rage, you’re always going to be triggered by someone else’s anger and rage, and all of us should be angry at what’s happening in society. We should all feel that - I felt it; I processed it, but I felt it. You know, I don’t know how anyone who cares about people, look at some of those toxic, traumatic videos and not feel it. Unless we’ve been desensitized, which we have been, because it’s in all of our movies; all this killing; all the video games – we’re almost desensitized to death and brutality, because it’s like, we’re normalizing it, right.

 

But, no, I think that when you feel and when you are triggered by someone else’s anger and rage, you need to look within yourself and what would make you rage; what would make you angry? And when you think about that, you need to feel it; you need to let it come up and then process it. And then, when you see someone else in anger and rage, you’ll be like – you can understand.

 

Sahara:

Hmm. So beautifully said. That is exactly it. We get triggered by anger when we haven’t met the anger inside of ourselves. And, she has been speaking about this subject matter for so long, you know, it’s like when you’ve been repeating yourself, and repeating yourself, and repeating yourself, you get frustrated.

 

Koya:

Well, she knows her stuff, and she knows it’s triggering, and that’s the thing. It needs to be triggering in order for people to address it; because if it’s not triggering then people don’t have anything to work on. And that’s the thing. And I think that, we all have a place, right, and I think like she is a 100% in her dharma. She is 100% living in her purpose and so, she is not responsible for the people getting triggered; but someone like you or me, we can go and say “Hey, you’re a trigger because of your own pain and anger that you need to address”, you know, and so, maybe we go in and it helps us, but she is 100% clear about her purpose and how she wants to say it, and what is going to bring up. And, she warns people – this is going to be triggering. So, I think she’s doing a fabulous job of speaking her truth and being in her power and letting it bubble up for people, and she’s helped millions of people around the world as – in her voice; in her dialect; in her – who she is; she’s helped, like, millions of people get it; get the white supremacy; get the systematic oppression; get what needs to be got.

 

So, I love her; I adore her; we actually did a breath-work and spoken verse session together. It was so powerful. So, I think we need more women like her who are not afraid to offend; who are not afraid to be angry; who are not afraid to come up in a certain way, like, not be all perfect and say what you want to hear. Like, that’s me; sometimes, I’m always like censoring myself, right.

 

I was just thinking about a post; I just want to make a post; I’m an angry black woman, you know, and I just wanted to call it out, like I’m angry; I’m so frustrated and disgusted and angry, and someone was like “Aww, I liked your peaceful presentation.” I was like “I’m not peaceful, I’m angry.” I mean my anger might not come out like everyone else, but you better believe it – I am actually angry; I’m disgusted; I’m not happy with what’s going on; and I want to be the change. And so, hats off to people who use their anger and rage and turn it into education and positivity. So, hats off to Rachel Cargle – I adore her.

 

Sahara:

Mmmm. I love that and thank you so much for sharing because I think a lot of spiritual people, think that being spiritual is like “You’re only peaceful; you never react to anything; you never have anger; you’re always loving everyone.” And, kike, yes, that definitely a part of it, but it’s also, like you said, that fear smothered, at Durdga energy that’s like “Yo, let’s slaughter some demons right now; let’s defeat all evil in the world.” And that’s also a part of the Goddess. And one thing that I loved that Rachel Cargle posted was ‘White privilege is getting to go to someone else and asking them to explain it to you nicer’. You know, and it’s like, all the people, “You’re too angry; can you, nicer person, tell me what that means?” And that in itself is a privilege. The fact that, you can monitor how you want people to speak to you, when black people have not. We haven’t been able to monitor how the police, how the judge, how the housing, how all of these things have been; speaking to you; showing up for you. So, I think that people get to take that anger as medicine that it is, doesn’t mean that you have to, you know, shatter yourself and be in this white guilt. No one wants you to be guilty. No one wants you to be in this place that you’re not taking action, but also be like “Ok, that’s some anger; I see that; I feel that; that’s triggering me”, and it’s a call forth.

 

Koya:

Right. I always say, you know, I talk about it in my book – fear is feedback; fear is feedback to places within yourself that needs more love. So, triggering that anger is feedback to places in yourself that you need to address your own anger and your rage; or maybe you need to get some anger and rage about what’s going on in the world. So, it’s just feedback to places we need more love; we need more compassion for humanity; more compassion for what’s going on – and it will show up. If that’s meant to come up for you, it will show up. If you can’t seem to find anything that makes you angry or makes you want to rage, then, eventually, I think we all experience all of the emotions. I think it’s a part of the human experience.

 

Sahara:

Mmm. I love that, and it’s like that thing that makes you the most angry is what you’re meant to solve. You know, like, is it, as a black woman of course, black rights, woman’s rights too, you know, we all have that in common, all women. Is it animals? Is it immigration? Is it the environment? Is it the plastics? What is it? What is that thing that you’re so angry about? Because that anger is meant to be used; it’s meant to be channeled. In fact, the reason why we become depressed is because we stop solving problems, you know. So, let yourself see this incredibly, huge problem that you’re like “I have no idea how we’re going to unpack all of racism; all of pollution; all of patriarchy.” But let that problem, like, give your energy and creation to solving that problem because that’s what actually fuels you and makes you feel alive.

 

Koya:

Absolutely. I know how we’re going to solve it – one day at a time; one breath at a time. We just have to keep doing the best we can each day, you know, don’t take on too much. I feel like we all just need to pace ourselves and do a little bit each day to move in the right direction. And then, we’ll see change.

 

Sahara:

Mmmm. I love that so much. Thank you so much for sharing. So, where can listeners connect with you; join your yoga-teacher training; get your book; all of the things that you offer?

 

Koya:

You can find me at koyawebb.com, and also on Instagram at koyawebb; and also get loved up on Instagram; I’m on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube, and I also have my own podcast called The Get-Loved Up podcast.

 

And I also want to offer everyone a free digital copy of my book. So, if you go to my Instagram Bio and click there, you will see how you can get the free book; and you’ll also see a lot of anti-racism resources; you’ll find links to books and videos, and podcasts, and all of these things if you want to do the work and be the change you wish to see in the world. You can find it all that on my website and all my social media channels.

 

Sahara:

Mmmm. Well thank you so much Koya for showing up, for shining your light, for educating us again and again, and really making this world and especially this yoga and wellness space, a more diverse and loving place. We so appreciate you.

 

Koya:

Thank you so much Sahara. I appreciate you and your Sisterhood; and your love and amplifying my voice right now. I just, it’s something to be said about people like yourself who are often take in and vulnerable and really just diving all into different sides of themselves and not afraid to be who you are, and I just appreciate you for that and thanks for being an inspiration to me.

 

Sahara:

Hmmm. How amazing is Koya! I just love listening to her speak; I love her voice; I love how grounded she is; but also how she is not afraid to speak up; to channel her anger in a way that is constructive; in a way that will create change. And it really is inspiring for all of us to step into our sacred anger – that thing that maybe we have been sitting on the sidelines for, because we want to appear to be the nice girl. Let’s bring it out; let’s channel it.

 

So, if you are curious to tap into this side of yourself – this month in Rose Gold Goddesses, my membership community, we are working with Sekhmet, the lioness Goddess; working with our sacred anger; our spiritual activism – how to not be afraid to use our voices. We also have incredible workshops coming in from a poetry night; Indian fusion belly dancing; my healing and embodiment workshop, and so much more.

 

So, come, join the community of two thousand plus spiritual soul sisters at rosegoldgoddesses.com - The link is in the show notes.

 

Thank you soul much for listening.

 

And, if you loved this episode, I would love to send you a free gift which is the first half of my unreleased book Eat Right for Your Mind Body Type. This is a different book than EatFeelFresh. My first book ever which is not released anywhere, and I am gifting it exclusively to those who leave a review of my podcast in the itunes store. So, all you gotta do is head over to itunes where you’re maybe listening to this podcast and leave a review, take a screenshot that you’ve left it and email it over to me at sahara@eatfeelfresh.com and I will send you back the first half of my unreleased book Eat Right for Your Mind Body Type, which goes all into Ayurveda, Doshas, plant-based nutrition, body types - all of the things in a really fun and engaging way. So this is my gift to you for free, for supporting the podcast. Every single review I personally read. It really helps the podcast be listened to by more people so we can raise the vibration of the planet together, and I am soul grateful to have you on this journey.

 

Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you on the next episode. Namaste.

 

Episode 296: Diversity in the Wellness Space with Koya Webb

By Sahara Rose

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