Highest Self Podcast 316: How To Be Spiritually Sassy with Sah D’Simone
Spirituality doesn’t have to be ultra serious! In this episode I sit down with one of my besties Sah D’Simone to discuss why you can be your bold, freak, weird self AND still be spiritual! We discuss his experience of letting go of his sassiness to fit into the “spirital” mold and how he realized he lost the touch of who he is. We also talk about the Tantric vs the aesthetic path and key differences. We share how most spiritual teachers are CIS white men and the importance of diversity. We also dive into how to fight imposter syndrome, avoid labeling and step into your unique magic! This episode is as deep as it is fun and I know you’ll love him like I do! Order Sah’s book and connect with him at sahdsimone.com
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Episode 316: How To Be Spiritually Sassy with Sah D'Simone
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.
How are you feeling in this Shift? This is the time to take your Dharma seriously; to go out there and co-create your reality. This is the time to notice where the pings, these subtleties, these whispers are taking you, and take action towards that direction because the person that you are becoming right now is the person that you are meant to be in the New Paradigm.
I can’t express this enough, I’ve been it in Rose Gold Goddesses, in this month’s Ixchel Circle, but this is the rising of the Divine Feminine; this is the time that we are connecting to our internal Womb Wisdom and realizing that our house of intuition for the feminine body is in our wombs. This is our power house, and when we can connect to our womb magic and listen to the guidance that she is giving us then we become unstoppable. We are able to create things that we never would’ve imagined were possible, and this is all of our birth rights. So, I am feeling it; I am feeling so many changes; I am feeling so many new beginnings. I spent most of this month in August in Mexico, in Tulum, in the Yucatan Peninsula, it was so healing for my heart, I realized just how much time I was spending on social media, and my email, and working; and while that’s great for nurturing my masculine side (my business and all of the things) it caused me to ignore this other side of me that just wants to swim and play. I took this beautiful flower petal bath – I stayed at this incredible hotel called Banyan Tree Mayakoba, and you literally have your own villa there. Everyone has their own villa with a pool, Jacuzzi; we didn’t see anyone that entire week, so it’s super Covid safe – everything they deliver to the room, but one of the highlights for me was, I did this flower bath and I was playing with the flower petals like the same way I would play with my toys and my rubber ducks (when I was taking a bath as a child) and I stayed in there for hours and I came out with these flowers at my feet, and this came to me of living your life like there are flowers at your feet. What would your life look like if each step you took there were flowers at your feet, just the divinity, the sacredness of that, of living your life like an offering to the divine; living each day with purpose. It allows us to see everything with such greater intentionality, from – Why am I sending this email? Why am I listening to this Podcast? Why am I eating this meal? Why am I doing this? And setting an intention for it, it just creates such a beautiful energetic container and living your life like you are walking on flowers.
So, that has been something I have been really sitting with. And for myself and this transition, I am really stepping into my inner Dakini, my temple dancer, my Shakti – the part of me that just wants to dance and let my body be the Mudra; let my body be the work of art; and without any purpose for it, then the simple pleasure and offering of being.
So that is something that I am playing with right now and I invite you to step into whatever archetype that is coming forth, and also take that time off social media; off the news; off all of the externalities that are keeping us extremely in a fear-based state right now, and take that time for yourself, whether it’s an at home retreat or that you go to Mexico; whether you go camping or just hang out at home, and give yourself a full day, maybe do an Ayurvedic retreat for yourself at home. I have a whole ketri cleanse on how to do that but giving yourself the oil massages and making yourself delicious meals, so just treating yourself like you have flowers at your feet; living your life from that state. So that is my little offering for you.
And I am super-excited for today’s Episode because it’s one with one of my dearest friends Sah D’Simone, who I have known for four years now, although I feel like I’ve known him for many lifetimes (because I have) and you may have seen him on my Instagram, we’re always doing funny TikTok videos together and having so much fun. He’s like a soul brother of mine and I am super-excited because his new book “Spiritually Sassy” which I helped him name, just came out this week, and he really is an embodiment of someone who has deep awareness and study, on specifically tantric Buddhism. He’s been on this Podcast before; he’s an expert guest in Rose Gold Goddesses; and so aware of the human mind and the human condition; and why we have these thoughts and where do these shadow aspects such as depression, anxiety, sadness, where does that come from and looking at it from the mind. But also, he is extremely flamboyant and full of energy, and light, and love; and he is a gay man, and really lets that be a part of his identity. And in this Episode he shares how that was not always the case; how he actually came from a background of drug addiction and suicidal ideation, and complete loss of touch with his sense of purpose; and then coming into spirituality and then feeling like “Okay, I have to be really strict; I have to only wear white; I have to do this; I have to do that; that’s what being spiritual looks like” and losing his sassiness; losing his spunk; losing his zest of life, and then coming back and integrating it all together and realizing that he can be loud and fashionable, and dance, and just his bold Brazilian self; and be very spiritual, very disciplined in his meditation, and very knowledgeable.
So, he really just embodies being it all and that’s what we’re all about; that’s what the path of the Goddesses is all about – embodying the different aspects of ourselves. And that’s not just for women; that is for men; that is for non-gender people; that’s for everyone. We all have different aspects of ourselves, so when we let out, whether you call it spiritually sassy, or your highest self, or your Goddess; or your Divine Feminine; or whoever it is – let it come out and don’t stop shining your light because the world needs it.
So this Episode is going to spice up your life; it’s going to make you want to rock your diverse uniqueness, the things that make you stand out – it’s going to make you want to lead with them.
So, without further ado, let’s welcome Sah D’Simone to The Highest Self Podcast.
And before we get started, I have an announcement for you.
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Are you ready to reconnect with your Joy - That vibration of living in alignment with your heart where you are fueled with passion to fulfill your Dharma, your Soul’s purpose?
Well if so, then I invite you to join us in Rose Gold Goddesses because this month we are diving deep into the energy of Lemuria – The Ancient Civilization based off of living life in alignment with your true Joy.
In this 2 hour workshop we dive deep into what the Lemurian frequency is all about; connecting with the mermaid and dolphin energy; why we need community more than ever and plenty of practices, rituals, journal prompts and so much more, so you can finally make 2020 the year that you feel vibrant, radiant and full of passion to actually create what you were meant to do here on this Planet and live your Truth.
Well if this is resonating with you, come join us in Rose Gold Goddesses. You’re going to love this Lemuria circle, and the eleven other goddess circles we have done. You have access to all of them as soon as you join us in Rose Gold Goddesses.
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You can find more information at rosegoldgoddesses.com the link is in the show notes, and I can’t wait to meet you.
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Welcome Sah to The Highest Self Podcast, it’s so great to have you back.
Oh my Goodness! Hi! It’s so good to be back
Hi! Yes! So, the first question I’d love to ask you is what makes You Your Highest Self?
What makes me my highest self? Good question! Good way to land! A variety of things – dance, meditation, breathe, mantra, community, good food – and I think that nourishes the mind, that helps me to drop into the heart space; to the spiritual heart; to the awakened heart. And in the Buddhist philosophy called ‘The Buddha Nature’, the Highest Self would be (the translation would be the Buddha Nature). So anything that helps me to activate that part of me that’s already fully awakened.
I love that and agree with all the things. And, I consider you like my soul twin brother from a past life because we have so much in common and I have been so loving just witnessing the evolution of “Spiritually Sassy” into what it is today in this movement that is really being birthed. And I just so resonate with it.
So can you tell us what does it mean to be Spiritually Sassy?
Yes, thank you for that question.
So it’s two-fold. So, first, the movement in itself – it started with me being tired of having to drag my throne into all these tables, and I’m talking about these spiritual tables, where (in these communities – ashrams, monasteries, dharma centers, even high up in the Himalayas) and really dragging my throne to these tables and then feeling like I didn’t have room at that table, I wasn’t welcomed; I wasn’t accepted; celebrated; cared for.
So, the Spiritually Sassy Movement started with me saying “Fuck this! I’m going to create my own table!” And this table – everyone’s being told “You’re too much; you’re to queer; too flamboyant; too black; too brown; too too anything” This is your table. You’re not only “This is your table” here you’re celebrated; here you’re adored; here you are (literally) the path forward. And then, of course, the Spiritually Sassy table in community and movement that we’re creating, is not only for these people being called “Too; too; too; too much” but it’s for everybody who’s always wanted to be self-expressed. I had really loving parents, regardless that my parents didn’t accept my queerness, they always helped me to be expressed with creativity; with how I dress; with places I went; they were always supporting me to be my edge; learn something new.
So, the Spiritually Sassy Movement is a home for everybody who hasn’t had a home in a spiritual place. I trace back the story, many stories, in regards to this, being in a Dharma center in Bughdaya which the seat of where the historical Buddha became in lined, it’s the Bodhi trees there; and then bringing for a friend Suni to work with me (including my sister) to this teaching where the Dalai Lama was giving this initiation, this Manjushri initiation (it’s the wisdom archetype initiation) and just the way we were receiving, because two of us are out; expressed as queer people, and we are fashionable, and loud, and we’re just recognizing that the spiritual path is about play, is about light-heartedness, is about laughing more, playing more. So we were experiencing this really outwardly humiliation from people at this place. So that happened; that was a big one, it’s in the book.
And then another one, I have multiple experiences, being at a retreat center at a monastery with 250 people, and being one out of five people who were – I can count on my fingers the amount of brown, black or queer bodies there.
So the Spiritually Sassy Movement is a home for all those who never felt like they belong in the spiritual path, in the wellness spaces, that have been so prevalent white, and sis and hetero-normative. So this is a place where we’re saying if that’s what spirituality is all about, the spirituality is for everybody else. Also welcoming everybody – it’s a place for all people – but it really is a home for those who wore the fringe; who wore the misfits; and the weirdoes and the freaks – this is your home. When we are celebrating your freak nature and your fringeness, and your queerness, and your extraness, as a path to freedom, we’re using that for you to become free. We’re reflecting back to you that that is your super sauce; that is your secret sauce; that is your unique ‘mmh’ that will support you to go to the next level.
And it happened between living between India and Nepal, and then having these trips down to Bali, and then looking at some of the vows that I had to take while living at monasteries and ashrams. And one of the vows is ‘no dancing; no listening to music; no this; no that’ and I lived by them and it worked for a while, but then I noticed that (what Spiritually Sassy is) is an “F you” to this zombie Zen; to this forced seriousness that people have imposed on you saying that this is what spirituality looks like – ‘look like this, do this, walk like that, eat this, don’t do too much of that, don’t you do this girl, don’t you go there. And I said “You know what! If my intention is align with my heart; if my intention in align with my highest self; (in my language - in the Buddhist Nature; in the spiritual heart) then I am to dance; then I am to laugh; then I am to go to these places; then I am to be at a bamboo tree house at the yoga barn in Bali, dancing with another 200 strangers, and sweating, and turning ourselves in these beautiful sensual creatures where we are dancing for our freedom; where we are pouring our anger into the dance floor.
So the Spiritually Sassy Movement, it’s come from me having had this conditioned view that spirituality, being someone on a spiritual path, had to look like this, and then to reversing, going my way down to Bali and then coming back to India, and then finding new teachers, and then sitting with these high, high, high lamas, these big, big, radical awakened saints, and noticing the foundation of the talk – the baseline of the talk. If you stripped away the words, what was left was joy; what was left was a smile. It wasn’t a forced seriousness, it wasn’t this zombie Zen; it wasn’t this pushed down spirituality – it was like the field was equalized; it was like “We’re all like humor, and joy, and giggle, it is like a foundation that equalizes the playing field for us all to learn equally.” So that’s kind of like the direction of it – that Spiritually Sassy, as a Movement. And then being spiritually sassy is recognizing that we all have a unique way of conveying the Brahma-viharas – the Brahma-viharas are the four qualities that live in our heart (according to the historical Buddha) which is the Love, Compassion, Wisdom and Joy. And if you’re a spiritual nerd and you look it up at the Brahma-viharas, a feel of this words are little changed because (I’m not going to say equanimity, I’d rather call it wisdom; I’m not going to say sympathetic joy, I’m going to call it joy; I’m not going to say loving kindness, I’m going to say love; and I’m not going to say great compassion, I’m going to call it compassion), so that’s what the literature says. But essentially being a spiritual sass is that you recognize that you have these innate qualities (they’re not circumstantial, they’re unconditional) and then being spiritually sassy is you finding your unique way of conveying these four qualities into the world, in your own unique, creative way, which for me, and the same for you, is teaching; is guiding; is living these big concepts; this map to healing, through a sassy, relatable, playful way.
So everybody has their own way of what we are so conditioned to – look at how Sahara’s doing; look how Sah’s doing; look at how this person’s doing – an instead of looking at what we’re doing and thinking “Oh, they’re taking away from my path; they’re taking away from my potential” it’s not, we’re just reminding you what you already know that you can do. So being Spiritually Sassy is being “Oh, look at this pathway that they’re walking towards, the peak of Everest, but I don’t need to walk the same path; I can carve my own way, but the goal, the landing point will be the same” there will just be this joyful, playful experience where your purpose is awakening these four qualities, but it’s helping to support the awakening of others. Does that make sense?
Absolutely! And so resonant, I would definitely come and sit at that table. And I think that so many listeners resonate with – I think a lot of us, before we got into “spirituality” we were a bit more playful and expressed. It’s interesting how we come to spirituality to become more ourselves, but we often times, especially at the beginning, lose ourselves. Why were so many people attracted to go to the club, or going to the rave, or going somewhere? Because that was the place that you could be your most full self. However, maybe you were taking ecstasy pills to do it, or cocaine, or whatever else (I know you have your own story around all of that) but it was you looking for that same thing, but because you didn’t know how to directly access it in yourself you thought it requires a substance etc. and then everything gets misconstrued and it also requires me acting a certain way, being a certain way, but really it’s just looking for joy, it’s looking for embodiment, it’s looking for presence. And then when we become spiritual we’re like “Oh my God, I was so messed up those days. I would go out and out till the middle of the night. I would just laugh and eat pizza all night. What was wrong with me? I was so trashy, I was so stupid!” But there’s actually purity in that. There was purity in the release and the letting go and the play, however, if we can just take out all of the substances that didn’t need to be there, from the pizza to the drugs, to the alcohol, and leave that purity still there, that’s what spirituality is really about. I feel like that’s what “Spiritually Sassy” is bringing to the world. You don’t have to be so serious in our TikTok videos that are coming out soon and we’re definitely going to be talking about that.
So, what do you suggest for someone who’s maybe newer to spirituality and they’re trying to get out of their shadows; they’re trying to get out of their triggers; so they feel like if they’re still as flamboyant or going out, they’ll fall back into those old patterns. When can they get to the point where they can live that spiritually sassy life and not fall back into them?
That’s a good question. I think first thing’s first when you’re starting your spiritual path is to take a spiritual inventory – what are the habits you have that are developing your neurosis; what are the habits you have that develop your best qualities?
If you have the habit of dancing because you know that’s to develop your best qualities – now we have the habit of dancing while intoxicated, drunk and high, then you know that that habit could be pieced apart – you could keep the dance without the drugs and the alcohol (it goes back to what you’re saying).
So it really is about looking at every single thing; what are the things that – and looking at people, places and things; really treating your wanting to be free; your spiritual path; why you joined this spiritual path? Because we have to recognize us, as humans, we are addicted to suffering; and this addiction to suffering – why? It’s because we’re so familiar with negative emotions; with destructive emotions; with destructive thinking patterns. So the spiritually sassy path is to recognize that “Oh shit! I might be addicted to suffering!! I call it the ‘misery blanket’ and we under the misery blanket because it’s comfortable. And a lot of people are afraid of taking the leap to do something totally unknown – which is to be in their joy; is to be in their love; and to develop their wisdom; develop their compassion; and do things that will set them free.
So it requires you to take inventory, recognize that we’re addicted to suffering – that’s just a baseline because negative emotions are as seductive and as intoxicating as alcohol, as drugs, as a cigarette. So we always have to take this stance, say “I’m going go on a spiritually sassy journey! I’m just going to go on a spiritual journey.” You have to take inventory of what are the people, places and things that are supporting your rules; that are supporting your addiction to suffering – you have to take a step back. The only time you ever hear me say the word ‘protection’ is at the very beginning of your journey. And you do need to take a step back – and it was me living in India; it was you living in India; it’s us removing ourselves from the place that we had a sort of co-created trauma, and regurgitated our traumas over and against; taken ourselves out of there. And the protection comes just from the very, very beginning where you’re just rebuilding yourself, and then everything else outside of there, if you’re trying to protest yourself, once you’ve already taken inventory, and once you ready to start your spiritual journey, then you are spiritually bypassing the transformation.
So, I want to talk more about that because protection is such a big word everyone’s talking about energetic protection; psychic protection; “I’m an Empath; I hold onto things to protect myself!” Spill the tea!
Oh my God! Look, I feel like, when people say “I’m an Empath”, it’s when we say “I’m half of a human. I’m only half whole.” It’s big for people to hear that because ‘Empath’, it’s only taking one step towards compassion; and so it’s only like you walk half way to Heaven because the other half “It’s too scary; it’s not for me; I’m not capable.” But the end goal of being an Empath is for you to have genuine compassion. So if you’re being empathetic but not compassionate, you’ve missed the plot of the spiritual path. So if you’re just going around saying “I’m an Empath. I can’t go to these places. I can’t hang out with these people” you’re using this word ‘protection’ and you’re using this word ‘Empath’ to bypass your growth to spiritually bypass your potential. Does that make sense?
So it’s you saying “I’m an Empath” it’s you, and I know this is very edgy to hear for a lot of people, but I stand full force with that because at the end of the day being hyper-sensitive – it’s only that we’re using our sensitivity to what? to awaken our best qualities. We’re not using our sensitivities to stay closed off and stay in contraction; and stay in protection – No! We have to use our ability to be hyper-sensitive to be able to support our freedom and the freedom of others. And then there’s another side to that too which is even more edgy- It’s like if you are picking up on somebody else’s thoughts, feelings and emotions (how an Empath would) and it lingers – if there’s a psychological residue after you’ve picked up on somebody, then that lingering; that residue – it means that you have stuff to work out. Don’t you go saying “That’s Kevin’s stuff! That’s their stuff!” Stop putting the blame out there; turn all blame into one; look inside. If you go into a room or a place, and you’ve picked up on a negative energy and that’s kind of lingering around for you, it’s because you have guilt to work out; it’s because you have shame to work out; it’s because you have all the textures of suffering to work out – and that’s okay, but stop putting your blame out there, look inside. So, don’t use the label ‘Empath’ because you’re limiting. If you’re saying “I’m an Empath” you’re saying “My essence is limited!” And that’s difficult for people to hear. Does that make sense though?
Absolutely! And I think when people call themselves an Empath, what they’re realizing is how interconnected we all are. They’re realizing for the first time that when I do go to this bar, I feel heavy after. When I do meet with this friend I don’t feel super lit up after the conversation, which is great to become more cognoscente of how subtleties affect you, however, it’s not the friend and it’s not the bar. First of all it's the fact that you keep going back there – that’s the first thing to look at. And then how do I build up my own energetic body to be able to handle these different environments and these different places because the goal is not so https://soundcloud.com/highestselfpodcastyou’re in a box; you’re in a vacuum (as you say in your book) by yourself, the goal is to be so immersed in you that you can be in any condition, any situation.
People ask me all the time “How do you go to these music festivals with Steven; so low energy; the people are on drugs; How do you do it?” And I’m not on any drug, I drink green juice, and I’m like “I love it because we’re all singing and dancing, it doesn’t matter to me what they’re on” because I’m doing it too and I’m in mine, and there’s no trigger of “Oh my God, should I take drugs because they’re taking them?” because that’s completely not there for me. However, if maybe I was the beginning when I would still drink or something and there was temptation if you’re an alcoholic or something like that, then that’s when that protection is needed. So, I think it’s a beautiful phrase to hold onto for a moment in time, and then you grow past it.
Exactly! And that growth past it is the most important thing. If anything is sticking around, it’s you have work to do. Because the awakened mind, the awakened heart, it’s the mind that becomes non-sticky, it slides by (you know what I mean?) and what arises, if you are working towards your spiritual development, when you pick up on somebody else’s; when you see somebody else suffering and you feel their suffering, instead of you dwelling on their suffering, closing off, being in a state of confusion; what arises is wisdom; what arises is compassion; what arises is the perfect antidote. But we are so often, so unaware of how crumbling and crunching we are inside that someone else‘s suffering we turn our blind eye on – I don’t want to be around that person; I don’t want this thing because it’s going to trigger your confusion; it’s going to trigger your anger. But guess what Boo! It’s all your stuff that you’ve got to work on, honey! So, that’s at the end of the day, it comes out to that, but you notice that you are awakening once you can be with somebody else’s pain and suffering, and then what arises in you is a deep sense of suffering and pain with their experience, but the very next breath – it’s the antidote, you know exactly how to support them. It might just be with presence; it might be the perfect words; it might be the perfect gesture – you just know, it’s that knowing that arises. So when you are progressing on that path and in the “Spiritually Sassy” book - nothing’s linear on the spiritual path but in the “Spiritually Sassy” (my new book) there’s 8 steps, they’re going to guide you through this journey where you’re going to release these fixed identities that you have for yourself; that you’re going to let go of these limited beliefs; that you’re going to recognize that every time you overly identify with the label, you’re limiting your essence; every time you say “I’m depressed; I am anxious; I am angry; I am this; I am that” you’re limiting your ability to recognize that your essence is unlimited; that your Buddha nature is – we’re talking about something that has no words for.
So, I want to talk to you about mental health because I know that is a big issue you talk about but it’s a different philosophy and it’s a different way of seeing the world – very different than tantric Buddhism.
So, what we’re seeing happening a lot with this rise of awareness of mental health is this awareness – what is anxiety; what is depression; what is this; what is that; but also the labeling – “I’m an anxious person; I’m a depressed person; I’ve had this trauma” and not realizing that depression, anxiety and trauma exist in every single person, we all have it to some level.
So how do we, especially with you deep studying of psychology and that more clinical path, but also your deep spiritual awareness – How do we address these things without then labeling ourselves as “I’m a depressed person; I’m an anxious person; I’m a person with trauma?”
Incredible question and such a necessary question, thank you for that. I think it’s, and I say this often, awareness is only the first step. If you’re aware that you’re crunchy, that’s great. If you’re aware that your mental tendencies are to be more depressed, more anxious, more this, more that, awareness is only the first step, but what you do with it? And often times we have to pay attention, if we’re just talking to our support system, and is this support system – it could be a variety of things, it could be your best friend, it could be your monk, it could be your therapist, it could be your spiritual teacher, whatever. If the sounding board that you’re working with – are they just showing you what you already know? I am in pain; I am depressed; I am crunchy; I am anxious – if they’re just helping you to see what you already innately know, intuitively know, then find somebody else honey, because what they have to help you do is help you see what you already know and then they have to help you out of that place in a variety of different practices. I work with a small group of private students, these people have come to me, who have had multiple suicidal attempts; who have been on multiple different kinds of medication for depression and anxiety (a variety of different things) and during our work together (sometimes it takes a year and a half, sometimes it takes six months) but if you’re relying on somebody else to unlock your healing, you’ve missed the plot. So when we’re working with the sounding board, when you’re working with the support system, they have to say “Honey, you know what the key looks like, and the key lives inside of you. Now unlock it, I can only point you in the direction of that.”
So when we’re looking at mental health and spirituality, and how these two fields are one of the same. Looking at mental health and psychology, it’s like awareness, but then what? What do I do next? And you have to have a support team who’s supporting you, telling you to take more water, to dance more, to laugh more, because they’re asking you when was the last time you were dancing; the last time you were laughing; the last time you read a novel; the last time you meditated? Or guiding you on these concentration practices where you’re not overly identifying with the pain and suffering, that’s passing your internal life and your external life, and guiding you towards the path of freedom. So that’s one way of looking at it – holistic healing towards mental health is one thing to talk about.
Second, the other side of that which is super important, is the overly identification. I’m seeing a lot of young people posting on their Bio’s saying “I’m depressed, anxious, this and this” and I’m like “My love, honey! Wow girl, take a breath baby! That’s a passing wave; that’s a part of you.” So one thing I speak to in the book is instead of you saying “I am” then say “A part of me is depressed; A part of me is anxious; A part of me is experiencing this guilt or this remorse, or this rejection; A part of me is this not the whole of who I am.” Does that answer your question?
Yes, and I’ sure a lot of people listening are like “I don’t have that person to go to who’s my reflection. I don’t have someone.” They might have a friend but I see what often happens is – let’s say you’re in a depressive or anxious state, maybe you’re not able to hold space for other people so it’s very hard for you to have a friendship. Because we’ve all had friends, friends that maybe felt like you were their coach and it didn’t feel like an equal friendship, and then eventually that person who’s playing the more space-holder role, if it’s like that forever, that’s no longer a friendship anymore. So, I’m seeing what is hard for these people is because they’re often not in a space to be able to offer that support to someone else, they’re not able to maintain the friendships. And now when it comes to hiring a coach, I’m seeing a lot of scarcity stuff around “I can’t hire someone or I can’t pay for a membership; I can’t do this.”
So let’s say you are in that place like “I feel like I have no one, nothing, who do I go to for support?
Your breath, your breath. The breath is your pathway to freedom; the breath is your pathway to the present moment. The present moment is the only place that you are able to make peace with your past and not catastrophize the future. It’s the only place where you’re going to be able to notice the depression creeping in; and you notice the anxiety say “Hey girl!” and it’s only in the now that you’re going to be able to greet these extremes with ease, with harmony, without the stickiness, without the tight grip.
So, re-learning how to breathe is your way forward. If you don’t have the financial support to hire somebody, start by re-learning how to breathe. Every single chapter in this new book there is a breathing technique for a reason because re-learning how to breathe was how I healed my suicidal ideation. The suicidal ideation was visiting me – literally every few thoughts was like “What’s the point? Just go do this; just jump!” The texture of it was so, oh my God, just feeling into it, it’s a terrible feeling. It was breath work. It’s intentional breathing. And a simple thing that you can do is take a deep breath in and then have a super long exhale (deep, really long exhale) that’s the foundation of you. An ordinary person was breathing an anxious breath or depressed breath, it’s clavicular, it’s shallow, it’s very much up here. So what we’re doing with this healing breath is guiding people to turn on depressive, pathetic division of the nervous system (the self-healing mechanisms). So the breath is your way out – then go dance! Literally, put on some music, put on a sexy look (something that makes you feel sexy) and dance; sit down to meditate – after you breathe; after you dance, don’t just sit down to meditate. I’m telling you as someone who teaches this all over the world. Don’t you sit down to meditate when you are in a state of depression; when you’re in a completely anxious place – move your body, breathe the body, then concentrate the mind. So, breathe, dance, activate the fire, the sweat, and then you sit down to concentrate the mind. Rest all the image of the mind on a mantra – and the mantra might be in “Here and the now I’m safe, here and the now I am safe” breathing in - “here and the now” – out “I am safe.” You can just attach a mantra to the rhythm of the breath (whatever the variation to that). Or just rest the mind on the feeling of the breath itself. And then your job is to just notice if your attention has been pulled away into a far, far waste or is it the future or the past, and then just come back to the mantra. And every time you come back to the breath or the mantra, or variation of that, or one or the other preferably, you are miracle of taking places; you’re decreasing the parts of the brain that are stimulating you to react to stress, instead to respond to stress. So stuff like that.
And then stop eating crack sugar. I can’t say this enough, you know this, you speak to this, you’ve been a guiding force to me to learn how to eat in a way that’s healing. So turn your relationship to food as a spiritual practice. There’s no difference; there’s no mundane world or professional world or personal world, and the spiritual world – it’s not, everything is spiritual.
So if you spiritualize your relationship to your body, to the way you eat – look at your friends and look at everything you’re ingesting. If you’re watching movies, constantly horror movies, or people are killing each other and this terrible – what do you think your mind is being built on, honey? If you’re listening to really shitty music all day every day – what do you think your mind is being built on? We take things for granted. We believe that the mind is not documenting everything – sorry Boo, the mind is documenting everything, nothing goes unseen. So, stuff like that.
So true! Because I see so many people right now who are in such a fear-base place with all these theories that we like to talk about and joke about, but then it’s like how does that affect you in your day to day life and your decisions; it takes you away from your Dharma; it takes you away from your joy; it takes you away from your breath. I noticed in myself of trying to keep up with all these theories and the news of what’s true, what’s not; my breath was going crazy and I was like “This feels like a panic attack about to happen”, and I am in my home, I am completely safe but my mind thinks I’m not because it’s in other people’s projections. So that’s why I think that getting off social media sometimes is just the best thing that you can do because it’s like we have enough of our own stuff to heal but then on social media – if you’re not in that place, you’re going to be exposed to everyone else’s because when someone is scared they have this feeling that they need to tell everyone – “There might be a werewolf over there!” so you start screaming. So it’s a lot of ‘the man who cried wolf’ and then if you’re in this place of a little bit of unease, and then you pick up on “Oh my God, there might be a wolf!” – That’s just social media in 2020 right now.
All of a sudden there’s a shadow, and the shadow has become a wolf.
Literally, our mind, under fear, catastrophizes and sees the worse, when it’s just like a little young kid playing in the corner and their shadow has shown you a werewolf. It’s really bizarre how far out we fabricate when we create our own nightmares.
For everyone listening, always remember these few things about your thoughts. Thoughts can’t hurt you. Thoughts think themselves without any help from you, and stop giving a reaction to every fucking thought. If you keep these three things as foundational truths for you to hear your relationship to your mind – honey, you’re good! You’re going to recognize that one of those depressive thoughts creep in, hugger, wanting to take over your mind – you’re able to take a deep breath in and recognize that thoughts can’t hurt me. Honey, I don’t need to give a reaction to those thoughts. Not every single thought requires a reaction, and these thoughts think themselves without any help from you. If you’re able to approach with this awareness; and all the things we’re doing with the spiritual work, and all the things we’re doing, it really is helping us to step out of the theatre into the beautiful casa rousi hereon. And when we’re looking at (what I call in the book) the reactivity circus – we’re looking at. Buddhist psychology says that feelings arise first and then thoughts populate the feeling, claim the feeling, give the feeling a solid nature, an essential nature, and then we react. When we are doing these spiritual practices, we’re stepping out of the play and we’re looking at all this feeling, this buzzing feeling in my stomach “Ooo, it doesn’t mean that it’s this kind of thought and that kind of thought requires this kind of reaction” – No! Witness it for what it is – it’s a thought; it’s a feeling. Okay! Stop attaching solid meaning to every single thing! It’s this essentialist’s view that we have. The only thing that has an essential nature is your heart; it’s your heart itself; it’s the God that lives within you, honey. Everything else is a projection of your mind. Stop attaching meaning to things that don’t require any meaning! It’s just a transient, empty in nature. And it’s far out for people to recognize this but scientific research also shows what the mystics have been talking about for thousands of years – emotions (good or bad) last in the body for 90 seconds. Everything outside of that, past the 90 seconds, is the story that you’re telling yourself – either to hold on to that feeling or to run away from it. All this stuff only lives where we can be – you can be intellectualizing everything we’re telling you – but it’s only going to make sense once you’re applying the work and you’re actualizing this into the heart field.
Next time you have a negative emotion arising in your body, be with the feeling, drop the story, be with the feeling. Laser-focus your attention on what the feeling lives in the body and do your best effort to disassociate with the story. Because often times we have certain kinds of feeling that we hard wired stories attached to them – so drop the story, be with the feeling, with the gentle breath in and out, you’re going to be able to hold that feeling, and slowly, slowly it’s going to move out of your system – Boom! You’re free! What happened?! Oh shit! Okay! Ahh! That is where it lives, stuff like that.
So beautiful! And I think that where we get caught – I know for myself is, when you go into negative or anxious thoughts, you think “Well if I don’t think this through, there could be a potential threat, so I need to think it through to find the solution to prevent myself from getting hurt.”
So, do you recommend having a time or a place to go into, like this worst-case scenario that you’re thinking of to have your potential way through it, or just not even entertaining it at all?
In the book I speak about Four Tracks of Karma. You have to recognize that if you’re (and the Four Tracks of Karma, I’ll share them later) but if you’re one of the tracks; one of the ways that the consequences of your past actions manifest as who you are right now – if your over-arching mental tendencies is to always go to worst-case scenarios, then you know that that’s not your pathway; and you know that you’re just repeating the old patterns of catastrophizing, then that’s not your way out. And another way to think about this is, if you think that there is only one way of doing something – that’s when you’ve lost the plot. Because we have visionary tendencies; we have a creative genius at the base of our being. Creative genius, what is that? It’s looking at life, looking at problems, looking at challenges, not as bad but as an opportunity to exercise our best qualities. And for you to exercise your best qualities – you have this holistic view of everything, it’s a bird’s eye view of your challenges, you’re not immediately front facing “Oh this challenge is bad” because it’s bad, it’s this and that, - you have to notice your tendencies. If your mental tendency is to go to that place – pause – breathe – that’s not where solutions live. So that’s one way to think about it.
I am a firm believer that this ‘thinking through’ things is never the way. I think that connecting to the breath and being in the now – because when you’re engaging with the thinking mind, often times it will guide you, unless your mind is very, already complete: unless you’ve cultivated a lot of merit, a lot of good deeds with your body, speech and mind (it’s a little bit of Buddhist jargon here so stay with me for a second) – unless you’ve cultivated enough good deeds; unless you’ve done enough good deeds in your life, your mind will naturally go to the negative because we have this negativity bias. Science shows that we have this wired to seek threats; wired to seek out negativity – so unless you’ve done a lot of work to retrain your mind – if you’re going a direction, you’re thinking to think your way out of your problems, that’s not the way out. And I say this (and I’m about to post a video later today) – a lot of people are replaying the past in their mind hoping to find a different outcome – Boo! Stop! Stop playing the future in your mind hoping for you thinking your way through this is going to happen – it’s not that. If you want to call in what you want, you need an intentional practice writing or a conceptual meditation where first you connect to the present moment then you dream up the best case scenario.
We’ll take a quick break so I can give a quick shout out to our sponsors.
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[50:36] End of Advertisement:
Like, for example in therapy, modern-day therapy, you talk about this, this trauma happened in my life and you keep going back to it, and you do have a different understanding of it, but what you’re saying is that you’re not going to have that different understanding when your body, when your energetic self is the same because you’re just going to keep coming back to the same conclusions, the same blame, and the same thing, you have to change the fabric of who you are, and then when you go back to it, you’re coming to it with this higher lens of perspective.
That’s right! I’m so glad you brought this up because this is iconic and legendary, and such a necessary topic because a lot of people are working on their trauma, on that specific pin point with this way – they’re laser-focused on that one specific thing – yes, do that, and if you’re not treating the woman at the supermarket with compassion, with kindness and with tenderness; if you’re not treating your Uber driver with compassion, tenderness and care; if you’re not treating your partner, your mother, your friend, your doorman, the person who’s cleaning your house, whoever, every single person who’s in the tapestry of your life – if you’re not treating them with tenderness, and care, and sweetness, and you’re not exercising your best qualities, in every single aspect of your life, but you’re being super tender and careful, and sweet and kind when you’re on the therapy session or only your partner gets the kindness, everybody else gets the residue of that pain, the overspill of that pain, does that make sense? So, unless you are completely recognizing that we are connected to this big tapestry that your states of mind matter to you, that your words matter, your actions matter, your relationship to that pain always be limited because of how limiting you are in developing your best qualities, in every area of your life. I hope this lands for you because the only way for you to transform your internal world is by – there’s a saying, and this is in the more Zen tradition – “The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.”
And for me, how I got into the spiritual path is because I had no idea how to forgive. The lack of forgiveness led me into the low lows of depression; led me into addiction; led me into the highs of anxiety; and led me to contemplate suicide. So, I’m not saying I’ve mastered forgiveness (by no means) but I’ve mastered a way of being kinder to myself; a way of being kinder to other people. Even when I am flared up and my system’s crunchy and I want to punch a motherfucker in the face, or punch myself, (stuff like that), there is the natural next thing that arises is this like kindness – breathe. It’s the antidote arising in my mind fully now because I’m applying; I was actively bringing forgiveness to every area of my life.
So if you are struggling with your inability to forgive this one person, think about all the other people in your life that you’re still holding grudges; think about you doing the mini work of all the mini grudges, and think about all the mini work and how it’s going to support that.
So you have to think that everything is interdependent, nothing is one thing on its own, that if you are wanting to get rid of trauma, bring tender and care to this other person, to the strangers, to the homeless person. Often times you see people running over a homeless person on the street because they’re trying to get to their yoga class, it’s like “Boo, you’ve missed the plot!” The purpose of the yoga class is that you can be a better human to that person on the street.
So, it’s just the spiritually sassy path, it will feel uncomfortable sometimes because I’m asking you to walk on the edge; because I know of your potential; because I know of what lives at the base of our being. It’s everyone listening – “Honey, you have incredible potential!” So thinking about it like that, like working in this direction towards your trauma, towards your healing and that one specific thing, but think about how every other area of your life, how are you; who are you; what are you doing? And the key word is to always hold; always hold in the forefront of your mind – This person experiences suffering, just like I do. This person has a potential to be free of suffering and to be happy, just like I do. Wow! That will help you enter the world as a completely new person.
And everyone in the spiritual path – stop being intoxicated with your self-care practices. If you’re being intoxicated with your self-care practices, you’re not showing up as a better human out in the world with your eyes open, then you’ve missed the plot; then you’ve just found another addiction. Sorry honey, that’s the truth! The purpose of the spiritual path is that we’re better global citizens – Boom! It’s that simple! Being spiritually sassy is being a better global citizen while looking amazing; while smelling amazing; while doing amazing things; serving in the most fabulous way. I always think of that, often times, it’s like Naomi Campbell where’s she’s doing work and she’s doing community service but she’s showing up in this silver gown, high heels and she’s cleaning the streets. It’s not literally, but metaphorically, I want you to think like that. I want you to think of yourself as “How could I match my internal awakening with my external? How I feel match how I look. And how could that be how I show up in the world?” Does that make sense?
Absolutely! I know for myself, when I was 18, 19, I would dress up and wear the heels, and all of these things, and then I got spiritual and it became the baggy pants and a braid for years. And I typically still don’t really wear make-up but it was just a very staunch difference and now I do notice, energetically, even before you came over I was just wearing my very at home thing, I’m like “I’m going to put on a little black dress instead” because I just knew, you always show up in such a beautiful embodied way – a walking piece of art – and it’s inspiring for me to be around, and I’m sure it’s inspiring for you to embody. But you are also speaking about such deep subject matters and I think that we’ve never really held that duality in our minds of being able to be both; being able to look good and be of service. And I think, also, we’re so in fear of judgment of others that people won’t take me seriously; people won’t think I really care if I show up trying to look good. And then the other thing with that…
Such bullshit! And then the other thing with that, on the topic of haters too - I know a lot of people are feeling fearful of showing up fully embodied, spiritually sassy, saying what they really want to say because they’re so nervous about people saying “You’re doing it wrong, you’re not following tradition, this is not the way that it’s supposed to be done.” How can we move past that?
Well I think the question is multifold. In regards to tradition, I have to be honest with everyone listening, in writing this book and being published by my dream publisher was a big fucking deal because some of my teachers that I went out, to be like “Hey, I internalized this concept in this way, what do you think about that? I think it’s very applicable to the modern world. Oh no, you have to follow tradition. It has to be X, Y, Z!” I was like “No, that doesn’t fit the world that I’m living in.”
So, following tradition to a degree; following tradition; paying homage to the radical Saints, of the Mahasidas (the radical Saints who have become before us), paying homage to them, constantly; and actualizing the wisdom in the world that we live in today. So it’s important to think about it like that.
In regards to haters, honey, somebody else’s hate is a complete reflection of their mind, and that’s just what it is. Someone’s mind is built on their past actions. So if someone has hate it is because they’ve done hateful things (they’ve experienced hate or they’ve done hateful things). It’s kind of that black and white! If someone’s spilling out really hateful things on to you, it really has to do with the quality of their own mind. That doesn’t mean that you can’t receive criticism; that doesn’t mean that you can’t be reflective of how you’re showing up in the world. Your presence communicates louder than words!
Remember that scientific research shows that our presence, that communication is 90% non-verbal. So, can your presence communicate beauty? Can your presence communicate beauty, compassion, ease, relaxation? The most important thing of all, can your presence communicate safety? You always communicate safety to me. That’s why every time I come over, every time we’re talking, we can always go from “Hey girl” and we’re immediately there. There’s never this fluff between you and I because you communicate safety – the way you look at me, literally, non-verbally, it’s just like “Hey girl, you’re safe! Immediately” And that’s what you bring, that’s how I bring.
So think about the quality of your presence and everyone who’s working on becoming mental health, activists, anyone in the mental health field. People ask me all the time “What should I bring to my patients, to my clients?” – Your presence; your presence! You can help them intellectualize their healing but you you’re going to help them actualize their healing with the quality of your presence. So it’s a very radical thing to think about. And then, on the other side of it, it’s like when you are an embodied safety zone; when you are an embodied creative zone; what happens is when you are walking down the street, you are a permission slip for everybody else; you’re literally walking around sliding permission slips to everyone’s mind, beautifully, just by how you walk. There’s a dream, it’s so contradicting and funny in a way because we’re doing everything we can to wake up, but once you’re awake and the way you carry yourself in the world, there’s a dreamlike quality to you. So “Spiritually Sassy” is going to guide you into becoming an embodied permission slip where you are walking to anywhere, and everybody feels safe to let their hair down; to be who they are, really at the base of their being. Does that make sense?
Yes! And it’s having that ‘it’ factor to you, right? That the energy is felt and you walk into the room and that person’s presence, it doesn’t mean that they are overbearing, it doesn’t mean that they are the loudest, or even the best dresser or anything like that, but it’s a subtle presence. And I think that that’s what a lot of people are struggling to find within themselves. They might listen “Oh Sah, you’re so special! You just have this energy to you, I wasn’t born with that thing.”
So what do you recommend for someone who feels like there’s nothing special, or unique, or different about them?
First thing’s first, what you see in me or in Sahara, the joy, the inspiration, whatever, what you’re able to see is because you have in you.
First thing’s first – “Oh Sah, you’re so inspiring; you’re so happy, oh my God!” Guess what my love! What you see in me is the seeds of inspiration, of creativity, of happiness that lives at the base of your being. I am only a little bit of a fertilizer; I’m just a little bit of sunlight; a little bit of water to the seed that is at the base of your being. But what you do need to become is a spiritual gardener; a master spiritual gardener of your own mind. It goes back to what I said at the beginning of the Podcast – What are you doing every day to develop your best qualities? What are you doing every day to get rid of your neurosis? What are you doing every day to free yourself from our relationship to pain? What are you doing every single day that’s putting you on that path? And then recognizing that the whole purpose of the game, honey, in my view, is for you to recognize that we have these four qualities at the base of our being and then recognizing “What is my own unique way of conveying love, passion, wisdom and joy back into the world? It doesn’t need to be as loud as me. It doesn’t need to be as powerfully twerking Sahara version of it. You have your own secret sauce, it’s about you doing a practice of self-reflection and figuring out what it is for you – Where does your joy live and what brings you joy; and what brings you joy that helps other people? Once you’ve figured these two things out, that is where the communication between where your joy lives and where that joy helps other people – that thread is what’s going to point you in the direction of your purpose; that thread is going to point you in the direction of your super-powers; that is what’s going to point you in the direction of your secret sauce. It’s not going to look as loud and flamboyant like me or twerking epic, ceremonial queen goddess like Sahara, it’s going to look different, and it might be (as I said it before and I say in the book) you might be making food, you might be making jewelry, you might be making Excel sheets, you might be whatever, it’s just if you’re doing from that place of that awakeful nature when you’re doing from your higher self (to use your language) and you’re doing from that place that’s connected to that depth that lives at the base of your being. Whatever you do from that place, it will help other people. Whoever is seeing that is going to be like “Oh shit! Boom!” Does that make sense?
Absolutely! And I know what some people are thinking like “What if I want mine to be more louder, flamboyant, whatever? What if I want mine to be Goddess twerkelicious, whatever else?” And it’s like even that desire to want it means that it’s in you. Because you don’t want something that’s outside of you otherwise it wouldn’t have called to you. It’s just like a race car driver; it’s like that’s so great that they are race car drivers – no part of me wants to do that. But if there was a part of me “Oh I wish I was born with that Dharma” then it is a part of my Dharma because that desire is there. So I think it’s that we spend so much time (we talked about on our last Podcast) we often think that spirituality or especially Buddhism is about not listening to your desires; not having your desires; detaching yourself from your desires, but we’re inviting you to look at your desires as bread crumbs that are taking you towards your Dharma; taking you towards your truth, and the fact that even the desire to be happier, to be more creative, expressed, bold; the fact that that desire is there, that’s that first step. And then once you keep following that it guides itself.
And the other thing that I wanted to share is – for someone like me, who my whole life was about being of service; I would take anything and be like “How can I be of service? Okay, I’ll go and do that!” And I wasn’t really asking myself the joy, it was about the service. And now, even the way that I’m of service is in such a way that is not even in my periphery because I see it as such joy, even like dance. I would probably, I’ve always liked to dance but I saw that as a very ‘self’ thing – but it’s like when you are on a dance floor and you see someone breaking it down, they are not even actively being of service, they’re not teaching you a direct teaching at that moment, but in a way you are because you’re seeing them in their joy and that is service.
Boom! Say it! Loud for the people in the back, honey!
Yes! So it’s like how it can help others doesn’t have to be in such a direct way. Picasso wasn’t waking up in the morning like “How can I help the most number of people?” but in a way he actually did help the most number of people that he could’ve by focusing on his joy.
That’s right. It really comes down to that, it’s like – I love that you brought this up because the way we all serve the world doesn’t need to be the same way. It’s the most important thing
For a way of suffering.
I used to think “Oh if I suffer the most, then that’s me being the most of service” because I would read Mother Theresa and Gandhi – “Oh they died for it?! Oh that’s the ultimate of being of service!”
That’s right; we’re living in a very different world. There are so many ways that people are so wrapped up in suffering mindsets and states of mind that are so deteriorating and so destructive, that you showing up in a supermarket like a vision, in full presence, deeply present, you’re already impacting the tapestry that we’re all connected to.
And this leads me to another thing, when I was talking about helping with healing trauma, mental health, anything – stop multi-tasking, stop it! I know you may be listening to this Podcast while you’re eating your food, or taking a shower, or driving – try to, for once, listen to those Podcasts while you’re sitting or you’re laying down, doing one thing only. Or if everything else that you are doing in your life is with presence - you’re brushing your teeth; you’re cooking; you’re cleaning; you’re doing all these things with complete intentionality and complete grace, (and then you are driving to work and listening to this Podcast) but multi-tasking in itself is creating imbalance in the mind and disease in the body. So, what happens is you’re retriggering a sense of not being safe, and when you don’t feel safe, what comes climbing into your mind? - All of the past worries; all the fearful thoughts; all of the fears about the future. So focus on feeling safe; focus on doing things that are going to bring you safety, internal safety, not external safety, because the work of the spiritual path is for you to feel safe in the face of danger; in the face of chaos, it’s the radical shift that happens where problems are no longer bad – that’s when you know that you’re progressing. So, it’s that, stop multi-tasking! Multi-tasking is creating this wobbly crunchiness inside of you and this wobbly crunchiness is retriggering your traumas; it is painting more layers of trauma on top of the trauma. So landing in this place of safety within you requires presence. And I’m speaking about this is because a lot of people go grocery shopping, and I’m guilty of that too, of going grocery shopping, face-timing somebody or listening to a phone call – try to as many things in your life with this fierce attention, and then maybe you do need to be cooking a meal while looking over your kids; maybe you do need to be eating a sandwich while you’re on a work call; whatever, but try to do as much in your life of one thing with complete intentionality and grace. Does that make sense?
Absolutely! And I think of lot people then have that fear of “Well then I won’t be able to do what I want to do.”
That’s such a big fluff you know. I can say this to you and you’ve said this to me already as soon as I came in “You have such a big work ethic” and I say this back to you honey – the reason why people are like “How do you accomplish so much?” It’s because of the quality of my presence, it’s not because I’m multi-tasking. You may think that I’m working 40, 50, 60 hours a week, but I’m not. It’s those glimpses of really deep, focus, a few hours every single day that most people would accomplish what I’m doing in a few hours in a week, it’s really what it is. It’s because the quality of my mind, the quality of my concentration, the quality of my presence is helping me to do what a lot of people are going to be doing in much longer periods of time because they are self-destructive; they’re going in circles; they’re going to the TikTok; they’re going Snap-chatting; they’re talking to this person; they’re eating; they’re smoking – it’s like “Girl, that’s why you’re not getting anything done!” But focus attention is the most luxurious thing honey!
I one hundred percent agree and I’m always talking to Steven (my husband) about this and I’m like, sometimes I just go into this 1h/2h thing and I come up with all of these solutions and all of these things and I’m like “How do I duplicate myself?” And it’s because there’s just such presence there and I think a lot of people, they just don’t show up to life that way; they are kind of just half in-half out everything and then they wonder “Why am I not happy? Why don’t I know my Dharma? Why am I not getting the same results?” Because you’re never fully in it! It’s like if you want to burn the most amount of calories in your workout, you can’t also be face-timing your friend or checking your email while also doing it, you’ve just got to be in it, and it all might take 20 minutes, it might not take the 2 hours that you’re using right now, but are you fully being in it?
And I want to talk to you actually about TikTok and social media, because you got me on TikTok and I love it, but what I notice is it deeply affects the quality of my mind because I’m seeing so many short little clips, one after the other, 8 seconds, 10 seconds, all these sounds, repeating the same sounds over and over, then I get off and my mind is – especially when I first started – it was chaotic, I couldn’t even sleep, it was like “I’m a savage!” and all of the songs just playing and playing. And I’m almost a 30-year old person and I can’t imagine being 14 years old when I’m still formulating my mind on this App though (I’m sure they said that about us because we were on MySpace or whatever) and you are very present on social media, and on TikTok specifically.
So how do we balance being on social media and any practices you recommend when you get of social media to come back to clarity of mind?
It’s the same thing I say, it’s like you brush your teeth every day (that’s your oral hygiene) but what is your mental health hygiene; what’s in your tool kit? In the book I call it ‘The Spiritual Fanny Pack’ – what’s in your spiritual fanny pack? Is it dance? Is it running? Is it cooking? Is it meditating? Is just lying down on this beautiful rug? Is it just looking at the stars? What do you do that’s what we say, all the things that help you to be comfortable with the silence? Listening to the silence within! What are the things that you’re doing that are supporting you to realign mind, body, heart? What are you doing? The biggest problem that I see is we’re going from one thing to the next, and a lot of people are just not taking time to process things in a skillful way. It’s from sitting down to dinner with your partner or your friends, to TikTok and then to Netflix, and then to the bathroom, while you’re on the toilet you’re still scrolling, and then you go take a shower, you brush your teeth and then you’re in bed and you’re still scrolling – if you time have time for mental health hygiene weaved into every single thing, and that, the only way for you to know about mental health hygiene is for you to have mindfulness of your internal world.
I talk about this in the book so much. If you don’t know what’s happening inside of you, you’re never going to be able to catch a glimpse of how you can be of service of your Dharma (of anything) because if you don’t have understanding of the internal world; if you know what’s flaring you up and what’s making you wobbly or crunchy, or lighting you up and creating internal silence – if you don’t have this ability to look inside - and it’s observation without evaluation; it’s look without the added layers – “What’s going on inside? Oh it’s unpleasant! Okay, breathing, breathing!” So that’s what it takes, it’s looking how it’s impacting you. Does that make sense?
And the biggest problem is the moment we feel a little bit of a flare inside, we go for the ice-cream; we go for the drugs; we go for the alcohol; we call a friend and we put on Netflix. We’re doing everything we can to distract ourselves from our internal world – that should be a priority. I think a big problem that we have (and I speak to this in the last chapter which is ‘The Fear of Being Amazing’ and the chapter before ‘Being Your Own Guru’) it’s like prioritize of getting to know and developing your internal world.
Imagine if you put as much effort into accumulation of external things; imagine of you put all that effort or as much as into developing your internal world; into developing your best qualities – what would happen; what would happen? Ligit! It would be insane!
I think it’s just that we don’t see the immediate reward from doing that, right? We do know, mentally “Oh, of course, the more aligned you are with your spiritual soul self, the better your life will be” but what does that look like in practice? Well, that might look like not checking your emails right now, which might look like falling behind in work which is taking you to the opposite outcome that you want, so, instead, you’re constantly glued to your emails. Or for me, I stay on social media because I have this desire to understand what’s happening in culture, so I’m like “I want to know what’s happening in culture; I want to know what the generation Z is saying; I want to know what’s happening politically; I want to know what’s happening this” but my desire to know is detracting me from actually being of service if all I’m doing is being so plugged into and spiraling with it, it’s like you can’t solve the knot by being in the knot, it takes you being away from it. But then what I see happens is that people just say “I’m off social media for good! I’m off thins thing, it’s distorted, it’s polluted” and then just looking at the negative of it and then missing out on all of the gems and how beautiful it is that we’re in this globalized world where we’re spreading information, and spreading knowledge. It’s like finding your own stance in the storm and then (like you said) maybe you get off TikTok – for me, sometimes I’ll lie down or I’ll go for a walk and I think where we get stuck is we just never really get off.
That’s the biggest thing! It’s like looking at what’s spiking these few good neurochemicals constantly? What is it that’s hiking up all the few good neurochemicals that requires something outside of yourself? Thinking about it like that, that will help you to ease off your hook and your addiction.
And is becoming okay with the fact that you’ll never know, you’ll never know everything. There’s always going to be someone else’s opinion you’re not going to be aware of, or another trend, another movement, another political thing, another spiritual thing, another thing that you’re not going to know about. You could devote your entire life to trying to figure it all out, and you never will. So why don’t you just decide “I’ll let what comes to me come to me and that will be what I need to know?” I know for you, you’re just never checking the news and you’re like “Sahara, you’re my source, whatever you tell me is I know that’s what I need to know” – so in a way, how beautiful! Even now, I’m not even checking in anymore because I’m like “If I need to know about something, it will find its way to me” and trusting that.
That is a really big thing! I am getting, because one of my teachers, she spent six years in retreat and she’s one of the people that I check in regularly – she told me to receive a newsletter that gives me ‘five things you need to know’ kind of thing; and outside of her, it’s you feeding me in stuff and these important things – but it’s trusting; having faith that we all have our own unique way of helping the world. Someone asked me the other day “How come you never talk about the movement that’s happening? How come you’re never talking about stuff like that?” I’m like “My love, because everyone has a piece for the puzzle.” I’m not telling people to go, and this is a little bit of a pivot but I think it’s important to talk about, the spiritually sassy people, creating the movement in the movement, living embodiments of truth and embodiments of radical authenticity. It’s like there are people who are telling you to go sign petitions, to go vote, to go protest, and all those things are beautiful and necessary; and my work is to tell you to go inside. I’m a tour guide of the internal world, that’s really what I’m here to do. I’m just here to “Go inside honey, look at your homophobic tendencies; look at your racist thoughts; look at the ways you’re limiting yourself and you’re limiting other people; look in your mind! Use your mind to get to know your mind, and then pierce all the way through when you reach that most awakened state.” In your case it will be the higher self, in my case the Buddha nature or the awakened heart. And that is the path – look inside. If you’re having homophobic thoughts; if you’re having racist thoughts, you’re a part of the problem honey. You could be protesting but you’re still seeing black or brown bodies around you, there’s a glimpse of it in the back of your mind that they are not as worthy of you; that they can’t be as successful as you – you’re a part of the problem, stuff like that. If you see a queer body walking by you at the supermarket, and there is a layer of judgment that plays out in your mind, you perhaps are not reacting from it; you’re not wearing out that dress and you’re not speaking to it – metaphorically speaking, the old dress is the homophobic thought perhaps (don’t get caught up in the metaphor) but just think about it – when a thought passes in your mind, do you react to it? If you’re not applying the antidote right away, and if you’re not exercising your best qualities in that very moment, then you’re being a part of the problem. You’ve got to look inside!
And I would say that that’s where the most work is needed because the rest of it doesn’t mean anything if the thought; if the trigger; if the belief system is still there because guess what? You can destroy the system but another one will be created to repeat that, because that’s all we’re doing. Thoughts create actions - create our reality, and if we don’t get to the base root of that; and that base root of that is the hardest place to go because there hasn’t been support; there hasn’t been access. We have the most of it, that has been for the past couple thousands of years, right now, and already most people feel unsupported. Imagine this was like a 100 years ago, no one’s talking about this in the mainstream world, 50 years ago, 20 years ago, so we can imagine that if this is so radical today, of course your parents aren’t going to understand; of course your grandparents, it wasn’t in their vocabulary, but we right now, get to stand bold ‘enough, in that this is enough! This is enough for me to do.’ And when more and more of us can see the worthiness of that, that “Oh my Gosh, thank you for your work in healing; thank you for your work in counseling, in plant medicine”, in whatever it is that you’re doing – and then they feel safe to continue doing that. Then we can have equal amounts of people in all different schools, but I feel right now, actually, especially so many people listening to this – if you’re feeling called to help people with their thoughts, their healing, their inner work, and you feel like it’s not enough, and you feel like you’re not really helping people – this is the work that’s actually needed more than ever right now.
I agree, you can have these incredible laws but if the people that are living with these institutional changes; if their minds are sick, literally, it will erupt all over again; it will play out all over again. And then you’re going to have this – and remember, the quality of your presence is communicating, so if you’re not tending to your mind; if you’re not weeding out these racist, these homophobic thoughts from your mind; if you’re not weeding them out as they arise, then you are, again, creating, planting that field for more of this to happen in your external life. We have to think about it like that.
Yeah, fear of the other will just keep translating to another other. Is it gay people? Is it black people? Is it Middle-Eastern people? Is it Hispanic people? You’ll keep finding something else you’re afraid of until you undergo what that fear is. So this is why we need to be doing this work right now, and then also being living embodiments of it too. Like someone beings friends with somebody who triggers a former belief system of them that was maybe in institutionalized racism etc. that person just being, you know. We talk about Rupal all the time – it’s him just being him is so radical and transformatory, and in a way is like the ultimate act of activism because he’s saying “Here I am as a black, cross-dressing man who’s creating this movement around drag and what it means in our culture today.” You could say “Oh, he’s selfish!” But in fact, he’s actually creating more change than most people ever will.
That’s right! Such a good way to say it; such a good way to put it. Thank you for that! Beautiful!
So much good stuff! So, I would love any final words that you have for someone right now who’s maybe struggling with imposter syndrome of feeling like “Who am I to really go out there and live this sassy, embodied life?” What words do you have for them?
Stop being selfish! Here’s why honey, and if you’re first sort of taken by it when I give this teaching, it’s you holding back from stepping to your purpose, living out your Dharma because you got caught up in imposter syndrome; you got caught up in your fears; you got caught up in your insecurities, you are doing yourself at the service, you are doing the service to the world, because we need your gifts, we need you to live your Dharma. The more people living their Dharma, what’s happening is – the more light is shining in the world.
Imagine a room that’s dark, one person walks into it with a candle; another person walks in with a candle. Imagine you have this big auditorium and only five people walk in with a candle, how are you going to light up this fucking auditorium? If the auditorium fits 15 thousand people, you need all 15 thousand people to have a fucking candle on. It’s a metaphor to just think about it, but when you’re living your Dharma, your light is lit, honey! And you know how to stoke that fire, you know how to keep that fire going, but you, not living out your Dharma, it’s you keeping the light to yourself. It’s you saying “No honey, this light is for me! I’m keeping this to myself. I’m not bringing it out to the world” so imposter syndrome is utterly, extremely, selfish. I know it’s edgy to hear but it’s please, if you’re listening to this, recognize that you are valued and your dreams matter, and your voice is needed, and you can obstacle your story and turn it into your fierce Dharma.
I love that so much! It just reminds me of “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine” and it’s so beautiful. And I love that analogy of the auditorium, and also what came to mind is the more and more people light their candles, the more flame there is to share. And then the more of those people who haven’t lit their candle, there’s probably someone next to them who can light it for them, whereas if there’s only 3 out of 1500 it’s going to be very hard to find that person or to even get access, all these people “Oh my God, how did you get the light? How did you get the light?” or people trying to put down the light “Oh my God, you’re not allowed to have light here! This is a light-free room!” But the more you ignite that light in someone else, then they become their own lighthouse, and they become their own lighthouse, and they become, and it’s unstoppable.
Unstoppable! Literally unstoppable! And I love that! Yes, honey! Unstoppable!
So, where can listeners connect with you, get your book and learn more from you?
“Spiritually Sassy” is on Amazon and everywhere books are sold, but we are in a pandemic right now so I don’t know if you’re going to get to your bookstore. But supported independent bookstores or go to Amazon, buy the book. Leave a review.
And you can join the “Spiritually Sassy” membership or you can connect with me on Instagram or TikTok at @sahd’simone.
Thank you so much for being here Boo!
Oh honey, always, so fun!
So cracked out!
This is that good, good crack honey!
Good, good! Love you!
Love you too, thank you!
[1:27:05] End of Interview:
I hope you are feeling spiritually sassy, your highest, fullest, most embodied self! Let it out, let the world feel you, let the world see you, let the world celebrate you because you were born with gifts that you were meant to share on this planet! So don’t lock them up in the attic of your mind! Let the world see them because that is why you are here and that is how you will be your happiest, most ecstatic self. It is when you share them with the world!
So, if you loved this Episode, come join us in Rose Gold Goddesses because Sah is an expert guest in Rose Gold Goddesses. He led an incredible circle on stepping into our green tara energy and what is the difference between white tara and green tara, and looking at the Goddess from a tantric, Buddhist perspective. So be sure to check him out there, and of course, get his new book “Spiritually Sassy.”
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 “Eat Feel Fresh“. 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’ve got to 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 316: How To Be Spiritually Sassy with Sah D'Simone
By Sahara Rose