Join Holly Zajur on How the Wise One Grows podcast as she interviews Katie Silcox, a renowned yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner, about her upcoming book, Glow Worthy: Practices for Awakening Your Inner Light and Loving Yourself as You Are—Broken, Beautiful, and Sacred. In this episode, they delve into the role of women in spirituality, the body as a gateway for spiritual connection, and the relationship between sexuality and spirituality.
Katie candidly shares her own journey of healing and self-discovery, from being on the cover of Yoga Journal to ending up in the ER, and how pain can serve as a portal for wholeness. The conversation dives deep into spirituality and wellness, providing insights and wisdom for personal growth.
If you're searching for an inspiring conversation on spirituality, personal growth, and wellness, don't miss How the Wise One Grows podcast, Episode 53, An Interview with the Author, Katie Silcox. Tune in and discover the transformative power of embracing your fullest self.
Episode 3: Exploring the Divine Feminine with Lynsie McKeown
Pre-order "Glow Worthy" today!
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00:00:00:02 - 00:00:23:21
I am so excited to share our guest with you today. We're going to be having a conversation with Katie Silcox. But before we get started, I want to take a moment for us to just land here together by taking three deep breaths. So just situate yourself wherever you are and take a moment to notice where your body touches the earth.
00:00:26:15 - 00:01:19:05
Feel your spine lengthen in your head, reach towards the sky slowly soft in your shoulders, down your back. Take a big breath and. And a big breath out again. Inhale. Fill your chest. Fill your belly with air. Exhale. Open your mouth. Let it out again. Inhale. Chest and belly. Expand and exhale. Let it all go. Return to the sensation of where your body rests on the earth.
00:01:21:00 - 00:01:53:17
And where the breath flows through the body. Then you can slowly open your eyes as we return to this space. So we are here today with Katie and Katie Silcox, and they is the New York Times best selling author of the book Healthy, Happy, Sexy Ayah Veda Wisdom for Modern Women, and the upcoming new book Glow Worthy, which I am so excited that I got to read an early copy of and we're going to talk about it today.
00:01:54:16 - 00:02:26:02
She is the founder of The Shocked School, a premiere online certification school for women centered holistic wellness. She holds a master's degree, and Iyer Vedic Medicine is a member of the National IHR Vedic Medicine Association and and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Jungian psychology. Her platform focuses on the convergence of ancient holistic medicine, modern science and heart centered spirituality in her former life.
00:02:26:11 - 00:02:54:20
She has been a researcher in artificial intelligence Super relevant right now, a cover model for a yoga journal magazine in Russia and owner of a beach bar in Spain. I love all of that so much. Thank you so much for being here today. Thank you. Thank you, Holly, for having me. Yeah. So I just finished reading your book Glow Worthy, which is absolutely amazing.
00:02:54:20 - 00:03:35:00
It blew me away. I read it so quickly and there's so much you speak to in that book that I think is so important for all people to hear, but really, particularly for female identifying people. So I'm really excited to dive into these things today, but I wanted to know. The book starts with you sharing a story about being in the E.R. at the same time period when you were also on the cover of Yoga Journal and you had a line around then saying like, one of my biggest lessons is, was that yoga and meditation alone couldn't heal all my problems.
00:03:35:08 - 00:04:17:13
Do you mind kind of sharing a bit about that time period and what shifts that made for you in your practices and your healing journey? Yeah, well, I mean, if we look at the bigger version of the word yoga. Mm hmm. Actually, it was the yoga itself that was leading me into those really uncomfortable ego humbling experiences, like really struggling with with anxiety and panic and yet being celebrated in the world as somewhat of a yoga celebrity.
00:04:17:19 - 00:04:54:16
Mm hmm. And the very painful juxtaposition of those two experi senses where I felt like I really needed to hide that the fact that the very disciplined two and three hour sessions of asana and mantra and breathwork and meditation that I had been just so ardently dedicated to and really with all my heart, believed in and believed that if I just did those practices enough, then I would be able to heal myself.
00:04:55:00 - 00:05:26:12
I had to kind of come to a moment where where I realized that I had to really broaden my definition of yoga. Yeah, to to include other things. But I was for s in a way to become interested in like the things that now everyone's really interested in for good reason. Like, you know, trauma informed yoga and working, the importance of working really closely one on one with another trusted mentor, which I was really lucky to find.
00:05:27:04 - 00:06:03:18
The relationship between myself and and a mentor became the new yoga for me. And, and I don't practice as much as in in these days. I don't really practice as much breathwork But I do think that they're really wonderful. And I think that you, Holly, and probably all of your listeners will resonate with the fact that many of us found yoga and kind of we're in a yoga honeymoon and then we're like, Wait, I'm still my horrible, rotten, awful, terrible, broken, fucked up, sorry self.
00:06:05:00 - 00:06:33:08
And and I use those words intentionally because I think that there's a part of us that will always be holding these little neurotic sides and little child sides and. And so now for me, the yoga is really about it's super hard, but it's like radical self honesty and learning how to hold and be compassionate to all of those parts of me that really are difficult to be with.
00:06:34:00 - 00:06:54:20
You know, one of my favorite podcasters, I think his name's Dan SIEGEL. I think that oh, yeah, it's in his this podcast called I think 10% Happier. I've been listening to it a lot and he's so brave and and I resonate with him. And that story of of being in the air thinking I was dying and just having a panic attack.
00:06:54:20 - 00:07:15:12
And the listeners don't know this, but essentially I was on the cover of Yoga Journal headlining in Russia, and I'd just come home from this really arduous trip and started not being able to sleep and had it was having some panic attacks. And I and I thought something was wrong with me. Like there's like I'm having a heart attack or I'm, you know, having hormones storm or like, something's wrong.
00:07:15:12 - 00:07:35:10
And, you know, I went to the E.R. and they did all the blood work and they, like, gave me some Lorazepam through an I.V., which I'd never have pharmaceutical drugs. And so I was like, Oh, my God, this is me. And he was like, Hey, young lady, you know, you're healthy as a horse, but you really might want to try yoga and meditation.
00:07:35:10 - 00:08:15:07
And it was just like, like, oh, like it's on the floor. It is getting mocked up. But one of the things that resonate so much with Dan SIEGEL is that he had panic attacks on the air. Wow. At like CNN News or CBS. I can't remember which organization. And he speaks super candidly and openly about that. And, you know, I could go on and on, but I think it's really important for people to know, and I think we're becoming more informed that a lot of the deep healing that we require requires a relational solution, not an isolated solution.
00:08:15:11 - 00:08:42:08
Mm hmm. I think and you can correct me if I'm wrong on this, but as I was reading Glow or the I kind of found that the way you were speaking of glow was how I find my definition of yoga to be is really just like that. Wholeness being with the dark parts, the light parts, the complex parts, and just that broader spectrum.
00:08:42:08 - 00:09:00:15
And I think what you touched on before is like, yeah, there's definitely that yoga honeymoon and this kind of facade people have in their mind like, Oh, like you practice yoga or you teach yoga, you must be so grounded and peaceful and all these things. But it's kind of like, No, no, no, like, I do this because I need this.
00:09:00:18 - 00:09:28:16
And it's a way of I. Similarly, my asana practice is much smaller than it used to be, but my meditation practice is much deeper. And I really love the way In the book you talked about how like working with a therapist, working with all these other type of practitioners and techniques and tools to build the toolkit that supports the whole, you know, as deeply as you can.
00:09:31:10 - 00:10:00:21
Yeah, And I think we have to be really awake to the way that it's subtle, right? Are we using our yoga practice or even our meditation practice as a way to alter our state? Mm hmm. Because we are prefer during a certain state over another. Right. I want to be in that yoga vibe. I want to be in that positive energy, that blissful feeling that all of us prefer.
00:10:00:21 - 00:10:50:13
It feels way better to have our heart open and our energy flowing in our body. It feels so much better to be open and to be closed down. And yet the great irony is that by avoiding these states that all of us experience and will to the day we die of fear and anger and sadness and insecurity and and all the things that by actually running away from those, we're missing the entry portal to the greatest yoga of our life because the actual freedom that we all claim to be seeking through a lot of our practices, not not exclusively yoga, that doorway is behind the thing that we're using our yoga and meditation at times,
00:10:50:13 - 00:11:14:11
right? You're not meet. Yeah. Do you know what I'm trying to say? I totally hear you. I was actually on my first meditation retreat this past weekend, and I was with my yoga teacher and she had done the same retreat in the fall and she was sharing like that retreat and experience was a very, like, peaceful, blissful grounding one.
00:11:14:18 - 00:11:49:00
And then here we are in the spring, and it was very hard, like a lot of stuff coming up, very challenging. She and it was really beautiful to hear her share. Like, I'm trying to not compare the two experiences and acknowledge that one isn't better than the other. Like I don't want to be state chasing. Like the point of this work is to be here equally for the moment that there is that grounding and peace and showing up just as much for those moments where you feel like your earth is shaking and like how can I possibly feel this thing right now?
00:11:49:00 - 00:12:17:10
How can I sit with this and be fully with this experience? And I think you're right. I think most of our suffering in life comes from that state tracing, from that aversion, from this discomfort, or for craving something else to be different than it is yoga 101. Yeah, right. Cravings, seductions and fears. Definitely. You spoke in the book.
00:12:17:10 - 00:12:44:00
You told this story about she who has never broken. Do you mind sharing a bit about that? Because I feel like it really relates kind of to what we're getting to now of how our brokenness has so much more and can be this portal for our deepest healing and spiritual connection. Yeah, it's funny how you picked out the really juicy parts of the book that are the ones that make me feel the most vulnerable.
00:12:44:00 - 00:13:21:00
And I and I think that's very telling, you know, like, Oh, this is interesting. So there are, there is a goddess. And in the Hindu tradition and her English translation is she who is never not broken or not broken. But you're right. Her sister is she who's never broken. And so these two things in us coexist. When I heard the name of that goddess, it really hit me hard in a good way of like, there she who is never not broken, speaks to the nature of our experience down here on Earth, right?
00:13:21:00 - 00:13:42:12
Or up here on earth, depending on your viewpoint and to just give permission in everyone. And, you know, this is really the seat of all Buddhist teaching is that so much of our suffering comes from this place of feeling like we're the only one and we enter into this. I do, right? This place of like I've got it harder than others.
00:13:42:12 - 00:14:08:07
And let me just list in my mind and if you want to know, I'll tell you to write of like all the ways that I've got it harder. And then we get even more contracted into this poor me place and a part of the poor me energy is that I'm different and I've got it somehow harder. And we do this comparison to the outer world where we can even enter into a deep state of ignorance where we think other people aren't struggling.
00:14:08:21 - 00:14:47:08
And so just to know this, she who is never not broken, is in everybody. Every body is struggling with some deep level of suffering, everybody. And to give room for that being a part of the way that the soul is actually learning who it is and who we really are. If I may be just so bold, it's not that it's beyond or transcendent of the parts of us that always are kind of contracted and working through something in a state of mass, knowing that it's able to actually hold and contain.
00:14:48:20 - 00:15:19:16
It's a spaciousness that can make room for the continual and perhaps eternal brokenness, and that our consciousness over time begins to know that just like when we go outside and there's clouds and we think that the sun isn't there, it is. And there's a part of us that it's two sides of the same coin. The she who is always in some way broken is a is a necessary polarity to the part of us that's never broken.
00:15:19:17 - 00:15:48:09
Mm hmm. And ironically, it often takes in a brutal and and very brave encounter with the brokenness, with a certain level of contact. This is really subtle and the listeners very important. A certain amount of contact with the part of you that's not broken. Because what we tend to do, and especially if we spend a lot of time on social media, we become totally identified with the brokenness.
00:15:48:10 - 00:16:21:03
Now I have a you know, now I have some sort of victim card that I can become identified with. Mm hmm. And I and I and I become merged into that. And now I put on the new cloak of identification. And so what the teachings help us with is can you compassionately hold the brokenness while not merging into it as the totality of who you are, in no way identifying with it, because that's what the ego really likes to do, but to expand your awareness to the part of you that isn't broken.
00:16:21:21 - 00:17:00:07
And that's really the tantric journey of being able to hold, as Carl Jung says, these opposites seemingly posing forces in your heart. It's very it's really brutal. Yeah, I really see it, too, is like one can't exist without the other. You can't have something that isn't broken without having something that is. And the more we can, you know, meet ourselves with that unconditional radical self-compassion exactly as we are from moment to moment.
00:17:01:03 - 00:17:33:09
I think you're exactly right about like, it creates this spaciousness instead of over identifying with it or getting caught up in the stories and what the ego wants to tell us when we take that step back and we can witness our pain and our suffering and meet it with that deep, deep. And you talk about a lot in the book the power of pure presence and love, when we can really sit and like steep it in that, that's when we can truly love the wholeness of who we are.
00:17:33:09 - 00:18:04:14
And again, I think that comes back to like the root of yoga for me, like being equally with the brokenness and the wholeness and the fluctuations between the two. Yeah, that's exactly it. And and I think sometimes the mind can go to this place of when we say the words radical compassion or self-love, it doesn't in any way take away from right action and even rectification.
00:18:05:08 - 00:18:32:10
One of the things I'm really exploring right now is making amends. And what does that look like? Because we've all harmed and we've all messed up. And a part of really loving myself is trusting that I can hold myself in love when I need to say that I've done something wrong and I need to rectify action. And so when we're in actual self-love, it doesn't mean, Oh, I love myself.
00:18:32:10 - 00:19:00:02
That was okay, that I did that or said that. And I'm not talking about some sort of platitude or feigned response to get a certain outcome. I'm talking about when you're really connected to the intention of your heart and from your own heart, an authentic experience has occurred where you feel like you need to make amends. The only way you can have the bravery to do that is when you do care about yourself, when you actually do love and trust yourself.
00:19:00:02 - 00:19:38:21
So self-love is not an excuse to just kind of be happy with everything you do and say, you know? And I think that's really important. It's not a cop out for the brutal work of being committed to to love. Yeah, true. Yeah, I think you're certainly right. It's not like this spiritual bypassing of yourself either. It's. Yeah, doing the hard work, giving yourself that tough love, and taking the aligned action to grow into the fullness of who you are and not being, like, stagnant and the parts that are broken.
00:19:39:15 - 00:19:58:01
MM Yeah, it reminds me of what you're saying was reminding me of there's this, I think it's the Institute for Compassion talks about the good mother messages and the good father messages that we may or may not have gotten from our real mom and dad. But we can learn. And the good mother messages are like, I love you, Holly, No matter what you do.
00:19:58:01 - 00:20:20:21
I'm mama. I'm always going to be here for you. You are my girl. Like, it's all this very unconditional love, Mom. It's going to be there and, you know, call it mother or father, whatever. Yin or yang. We all have this inside of us. But the good father messages is like, young lady up and I love you, but you need to go and rectify, right?
00:20:20:21 - 00:20:43:04
Or you need to feel the pain of guilt. Not so you can stew in it forever, but so that you can evolve into the woman that you're meant to become. And and I think it's really cool to have that that kind of duality of, yes, unconditional love, but also the action piece of the divine masculine inside of all of us urging us to be who are meant to become.
00:20:43:05 - 00:21:15:08
Yeah, I really love that. How we need that both that divine feminine love and that divine masculine love to go into growing into our fullness because again, we all hold both. We're not just one or the other. And I think that is a really good tie into one of these threads. I just was like so intrigued by throughout the whole book was this role of women in the Divine Feminine in spiritual Arti.
00:21:15:08 - 00:21:47:06
And for listeners, in episode three, we talked to Lyndsey McCowan about the Divine Feminine, so that would be a great one to check in and listen to. If this is interesting to you. But I, I guess the first thing that kind of really struck me is you spoke to a lot of spiritual practices and religions in the book and how the voices of women were kind of pulled out and removed from a lot of spiritual practices.
00:21:47:06 - 00:22:12:23
And the implications of that. Do you mind kind of speaking to some of the systems that the voices and the Divine Feminine was were removed from and kind of how that can impact our feelings and almost make some of these practices feel less whole and how we can call that voice back in and bring the divine feminine masculine back into these spiritual practices.
00:22:14:04 - 00:22:38:08
MM Yeah. I mean, and it's also important to, to touch into the moment that we're in right now and in the evolutionary experience of humanity where this is a personal opinion. I feel like all of us are being called into the healing and maturation. As one of my teachers says of the inner masculine and feminine within all beings.
00:22:38:08 - 00:23:16:12
And so currently I think it has less to do exactly with whether or not you're a woman and more to do, although there is a a realm of importance of that, but more to do with the way in which this loss of what we may call the feminine has affected everybody. And so man, woman, whatever you identify as, you know, whatever cultural background you're from, whether you be the CEO of a company or working in the streets, you know, as a trash guy, I think it has deep implications around the way in which we approach our own internal life.
00:23:16:23 - 00:23:44:06
And so historically and, you know, this is a really long lecture that I give to students in the Shakti school, and I say, we're going to try to do this in 3 hours. But really, it could be a whole university. And it is we're cities. But but the quick and dirty is that it's really hard to find codified and and and documented and written histories from female practitioners of spirituality.
00:23:45:08 - 00:24:18:18
It's really hard to find it in in some situations, although some systems are more held together than others, which is why we lean into our Veda and Daoism. Women had practices, but they were quite often oral based traditions and they were passed down in kitchens and rooms and birthing rooms and death room. So, you know, in the book, I think I joke about this like, we didn't write this down because women are too busy like we're doing, you know, we're doing everything to keep it together.
00:24:19:13 - 00:24:52:11
And what woman today doesn't feel like she's doing everything and, you know, and men feel that way, too. And so I think but it's important to know our history. We're whoever we are and a part of that history. If we look at women as healers, women have always been healers. And yet our particular remedies that were often associated with spirituality, with working with the five elements, with ritual, with prayer, with herbology, the birthing and dressing practices.
00:24:53:09 - 00:25:31:19
What we see historically is that women have always been on the forefront of being down in the trenches of those practices. And so there are many women from both. I study mostly Aya Veda and then some of the mystical Western traditions. But what you find is that we were of great physicians, great physicians, and there's a there's an Italian sort of well-known philosopher and doctor named TRO Tula, and she was one of the first in the Western culture to write down women and children's medical material.
00:25:32:07 - 00:25:58:04
And later on in the 18th and 19th century Western, they were male doctors were exploring some of her work and they said, Total, it must have been a man. This is so perfected and well documented, so brilliant and so intelligent, so they could infantrymen. It wasn't a woman. And so, I mean, this is one of what we're probably thousands of examples of women throughout.
00:25:58:18 - 00:26:21:09
One of the things I'm interested in is that convergence of spirituality and medicine, which guys, you should know this if you're listening for longer than not, humans did not have a mind body schism. We knew that the spirit and the matter were very important and connected. And so it's actually more normal that we would understand that our emotions affected outcomes, etc..
00:26:21:12 - 00:26:45:00
I think there's a UPS guy here we're going to ignore, and so on and on and on. And we find the same things with women's spiritual practices as well. And in the worst of situations and cases, our traditions were actually burned. And so obviously the the witch hunts of England and in Europe, but also the burning of the library in Alexandria.
00:26:45:00 - 00:27:10:14
I mean, these are many examples where women in that part of the world were held as great philosophers and spiritual leaders and thinkers. And so it and then let me end on this and then all the way down to current time, which for many of our listeners, we came from Judeo-Christian backgrounds. And even if we didn't, we can see these same threads throughout the entire global infrastructure around religious practices.
00:27:10:22 - 00:27:38:03
The feminine was systematically removed. And so I think currently we're seeing that at least in the United States. And I think the trend is developing in Europe as well. People are less likely to go to an organized religious center than ever. People identify more as spiritual than religious. If you talk to the common guy out in the street, man and woman, many people will say, I'm I'm just not doing the organize.
00:27:38:03 - 00:28:03:22
I feel like I need to move into a more spiritual aspect. And I think that really speaks to this longing to come back to some of these feminine form elements. Which begs the question, what is it? Right? And so the feminine can't be defined. She hates when we define her she boxes. But if you know. So I want to humbly just bow before the fact that everyone has to go on that journey of finding what it is for you.
00:28:04:08 - 00:28:34:19
But what if we wanted to kind of give it a little bit of room? You know, in the iron Vedic tradition, it's different than in the Daoist tradition, but we can think of it as this ground and spaciousness of being that allows things to be and has an open hearted curiosity for the great mystery of life, whereas the masculine is more interested, interested in passing that in and being logical and problem solving and being action oriented.
00:28:35:03 - 00:29:03:06
The feminine spaciousness that allows for that mystery that occurs between me and you. And so if we're thinking about that, whether it be a spiritual practice or if you are with someone who's on their deathbed, how do I help someone that's dying? The feminine answer is I don't know, but let's go in there and be together. You What occurs in that mysterious place of that present moments, Magic.
00:29:03:14 - 00:29:34:01
And yeah, put a cool compress on the head. Or here are some prayers that help people when they're scared and they're about to die. And we can bring in these tools and techniques. But it's always nested within this greater context of deep humility before the mystery. This burns down all codes. All rules, all laws, right? And so we can therefore understand how that might have been challenging to put into a book or codify into America Materia Right.
00:29:34:06 - 00:30:03:15
And so I can talk about this for a long time, but I think that's a good place to start. Yeah, there are so many things and that I want to land with. I find it really interesting that you brought up the deathbed element because not long before reading your book, I was actually beside my grandmother at her deathbed for her last few days and just kind of holding that space of how can we care for you?
00:30:03:15 - 00:30:40:04
How can we be here for you? And she was probably one of the greatest spiritual teachers I've had in my life. And right after she died, I read this book. It was her favorite book she had shared with me called She Who Remembers. And it was about this Native American woman in this lineage of passing on the wisdom of women, of this like way of communicating with the spirits around us and finding that within us, these things we've always known that we forget kind of what you were saying, how we kind of have forgotten that mind body connection.
00:30:40:14 - 00:31:16:11
But it's been with us longer than it's been forgotten. So just kind of this thread of, I think remembering is so important that the a lot of these spiritual teachings, again, aren't like teaching us anything that's so much new, but more helping us remember these core things that are within us. And as we're talking about the I guess I guess I'm I have the question of like, why do we think I hear what you're saying and some of these things can't be defined.
00:31:16:11 - 00:31:41:12
So they couldn't be written down in a part of these spiritual systems so much. But then I also have the feeling that a lot of them weren't included or were removed almost because of fear that people have of the mystery and the unseen and unknown. And I think like a lot of the witch hunts related to this, like wisdom women had with plants in spirit and way things move.
00:31:42:05 - 00:32:20:05
So I guess I would be curious as to your perspective on the removal of the Divine Feminine from systems like do you think it was fear based as an element as well, or more that undefined in ability to be written? Both yeah. P f f Power, prestige, fame and fortune played a part in these things, you know? So if you can help someone with their IBS because you grew cement out in your backyard, that's not great for a company that makes really expensive pills.
00:32:20:17 - 00:32:42:17
Right? And so you see that even in the modern era. And it's not to demonize all of the pharmaceutical industry, but certainly PPF is a great little acronym Power, prestige, fame and fortune tends to drive a lot of our behavior, and I include myself in that. It's not like, Oh, I'm I'm perfect. And we spiritual yoga girls are so great.
00:32:42:17 - 00:33:03:07
No, it's everywhere, right? We're really checking in on that is important. But I think also you hit the nail on the head. I mean, fear is at the root of a lot. And look, there are endless opportunities every day for us to sit in the parts of ourselves that if we follow the emotion back far enough, it takes us straight to that door of death.
00:33:03:07 - 00:33:38:05
And it is super scary. What the yoga teachings say is that a lot of our unconscious, by the way, operatives are coming from a secret, hidden, unconscious place of being scared of death. And so being willing to sit with your grandmother to just be fully there in every key emotion that arises in you and in the interaction between the two of you is an initiation into the lineage of what we could call the feminine.
00:33:41:20 - 00:34:07:01
How many people would not have sat there with her because it's just too painful. Hmm. You know, I remember when my grandmother died, my I was there with my uncle and I was probably 22 or 23 really young, and he was in his forties. And I remember being so surprised because he was this very successful, very wealthy, very he looks just like Kenny Rogers.
00:34:07:01 - 00:34:31:05
He sort of all the women are like, Oh God, he's so he's handsome. I mean, he's every white. I mean, he's everything Our culture in that moment was would call powerful. I remember seeing him at the funeral and I don't think he'll be sharing this, but I remember him being so frozen. Holly and I just felt so warm.
00:34:32:00 - 00:35:02:13
And I walked up to him and I grabbed his arm and I said, Uncle Kent, let's go over there to the casket and be with Grandma. And he couldn't move. And I remember thinking, he's so he's frozen, scared, this big, powerful man that I'd always been intimidated by. And I felt myself initiate myself into this lineage of being able to walk a man to the gateway of the death of the person that he loved the most.
00:35:03:05 - 00:35:33:02
It came really natural for me. You know, if you asked me to go hang out in a sports bar, I'll have a panic attack. But I feel like it was someone dying. And that comes a little easier for me. That is the feminine. Mhm. So it's in men and it is in women, but women have always been the fire keepers of this real relationship with what it is, is reality and reality is brutal is also beautiful.
00:35:33:21 - 00:36:06:00
And so you have to have both. And you know my uncle just saw him yesterday actually and he said you're, you're my favorite because you helped me when my mother died. You know, And I think there was this sense of recognition of this piece that for a lot of people and it's not just men, we have not been given permission to be with, because I think there is a memory in us of how taboo it's been, whether it be religion or medicine.
00:36:06:10 - 00:36:28:22
I mean, we even have it now, right? How many of us feel afraid to speak about herbs in a world where curb COVID happened and suddenly anyone that had any kind of alternative idea was deemed the sort of crazy conspiracy theorist. So we still have it now where there is this deep fear of the unknown and certainly death.
00:36:28:22 - 00:36:58:04
And I think of course within that there is women's power as well. Mhm. Yeah. I think so much of that lands and especially the power that, that I think that power dynamic definitely comes in between the feminine and the masculine and kind of this desire to protect that power. So you can't invite the power of the other in and a lot of that ego being a part of it.
00:36:58:04 - 00:37:27:20
But that's not, if we go back to the wholeness it's like that's not true. We need those both to exist to provide the the fullest space for healing, that wholeness that that can that lives within all of us. I really loved a lot in the book. There's so much body work that was referenced and we're talking about like the body as a gateway for spiritual connection.
00:37:29:02 - 00:38:01:01
And I think there was one point in the in the book, there is a practice you did where you were talking about most of us spend our energy from like the chest up, like giving out, going out, and it can be almost unsettling. But when we are feeling in that like flighty, airy headspace, if we can focus from the bottom third down, like reconnecting to the earth, rooting down and grounding ourselves, that can also help to deepen our spiritual connection.
00:38:03:06 - 00:38:46:17
So I was wondering if you could talk a bit about that and the way that we can be in our bodies as a way to connect to holding our own energy and also connecting to this spirit as well? Yeah, really, we need to be an all of the body from the top bottom, right. And so if people read the book, one of the main practices that I do for myself now has has a lot of it comes from my relationship with a woman named Crystal Mortenson, who's my mentor, and in one of her many mentors was Rosalind Brewer, who's sort of this famed energy worker.
00:38:47:11 - 00:39:12:08
And Rosalind has been quoted as saying that many of us live from the heart up, and that's not bad. I mean, when you and I talk, it's the heart that enables me to feel in the head what you're feeling. We have these things in our brain called mirror neurons, and of course, the brain in the heart is very, very connected.
00:39:12:08 - 00:39:41:00
And so when I'm tuned to you and you're tuned to me, we can have less chance of killing one another, right? More chance of getting along and kind of finding common ground. And and so there's nothing inherently wrong with that. But what Rosalind says is that you actually don't know what you feel about a situation unless you're fully inhabiting the totality of your body, which is for many of us, the belly and the legs are like completely left out of the situation.
00:39:41:00 - 00:40:14:21
And so in the book we talk about a grounding practice where you actually move your awareness down the back of the body, and that can be really helpful for people where the internal experience of sensation in the body, the emotions, the feelings, the images, the mental body that's there as well can be overwhelming. Right? And so it's not to suggest we should all immediately take our attention to every part of our body, but for most people doing this bath body grounding practice enables us to actually feel what we feel about a situation.
00:40:15:12 - 00:40:38:11
And when we're able to do that, what we've realized is that a lot some, but a lot of fear, anger, sadness is not even ours. In in the sense of it is ours because our feelings are always ours, but in the sense that we're actually bouncing our mind off the external reality. So helping ourselves grow into our roots is really important.
00:40:38:20 - 00:41:08:01
And then it being grounded doesn't just mean going down. It also means bringing energy from the earth up. And there's the yoga right up in the down the shiva and the shock to the masculine and feminine polarity energies. And so at the end of the day, we're depleted because we aren't actually being given the nutrition from the source of energy, which there are two or two core sources of energy always available for us.
00:41:08:07 - 00:41:39:03
One is the Earth, and two is spiritual energy from above. And so this is just basic tantra 1 to 1, but you are actively working to ground yourself so that you can plug into the earth while also bringing energy up, while also bringing energy down. I mean, this is a little esoteric, so people have to just, you know, it's not like I'm trying to sell books, but it is gone over in more detail in the book of how to how to practice that.
00:41:39:03 - 00:42:04:06
And yeah, I think I really resonated that with that, particularly because I think a lot of people listening can relate to this as well. But I tend to find myself and this was something that like I really pulled out of the silent retreat I was at this weekend was I was like, wow, by not by practicing silence and not having the space to, like, ask someone what they need or what they want to do.
00:42:04:06 - 00:42:26:20
I was able to really listen to my body and what I wanted and needed and could be more in tune with it. And I think, you know, as a lot of people who take the role of like a caretaker or a nurturer, we're so in tune to what those other people are feeling and we want to care for them and nurture them and be there for them.
00:42:27:05 - 00:42:56:19
And that can really deplete the what is it that we feel and need? And I think again, it becomes this balance of those two opposing forces. How can I tend to my body, be in my body, connect to this energy of source and move it through and give it back and forth with you as well? Just kind of finding that balance of how can I be here for you and here for me, but not lose my gravity And that.
00:43:00:12 - 00:43:35:13
Yeah, that's it. Yeah. I feel like I can't talk to you without bringing this up, but I you talk about in the book and I think definitely this gets thrown out as a stereotype of tantra that isn't the wholeness of tantra at all, but the role of sexuality in spirituality and honoring that, I think for for women particularly as well, to not have all this shame built up around it.
00:43:35:16 - 00:44:14:08
Do you mind kind of speaking to how we can honor sexuality and how it can be a healing in spiritual all experience? Yeah, just that little question. Just that little bit. Yeah. I mean, I have to honestly be honest and just say these are all things that I'm learning and I come from the same whacked out culture. Most of your listeners and you probably come from I come from my own family lineage where these things weren't always understood or there wasn't consciousness around.
00:44:14:08 - 00:44:40:22
I come from being a 1980s girl in Tennessee growing up, you know, in the South and having these these sort of downloads. But also I'm coming from my own karma, right? And so I don't claim to have all the answers. I just am super curious about what the ancients had to say about certain topics and how we can remove suffering and be happier.
00:44:41:02 - 00:45:11:13
Yeah, and in that deep inquiry and work with a mentor, especially work with a mentor, what I found was that there's a delicate balancing act between honoring sexuality, not having it be a taboo, that we have shame around. So many of us come from a real Protestant background where there's so much pain, right? I was grew up Southern Baptist, where in the book I talk about this, where you sign a chastity card.
00:45:11:20 - 00:45:42:23
You know, I definitely really know the pain of having my body and my sexual ability is something especially for young girls, right, to be ashamed of if it's not taught in the right way. So how do we do that while also not throwing the baby out with the bathwater, which is what our current culture has done, where it's like everything goes, everything all the time.
00:45:43:01 - 00:46:12:05
In any situation, it's all good. And and, you know, hashtag sex, positivity, right? And so really and then, you know, we have unconsciousness around that and it might lead to suffering. And so how do we learn from our ancestors who many of them had really good ideas about sexuality as your life force, energy and life force. And so we all know this experientially.
00:46:12:05 - 00:46:42:22
I'm sure most people resonate with the fact that, you know, whether you like men or women, is inconsequential when you start to snuggle it up with somebody, kiss somebody, have sex with somebody, you start to change, you start to feel differently. The relationship changes, right? You go from in many cases being this sort of insulated, individual, confident being to being a sobbing mess on the floor because you're afraid they won't call you back or you don't want to call them back or whatever story.
00:46:42:22 - 00:47:22:01
We know that sex is nuclear energy. And so our sexual energy in particular, because it's nuclear energy, when we activate it, it activates everything in us, both our deep capacity for what? Creativity, having baby or creating magic or spiritual magic or that same creative energy can turn and become what destructive? And we all know the experience of who do we have the most powerfully intense arguments with the people sleeping with?
00:47:22:01 - 00:47:50:22
It's just true, right? And and so in the book we talk a little bit about that. But but more importantly is just to understand, it's neither good nor bad. It's nuclear energy. And so the more we can take care of it, the better. The more we can honor it as sacred, the better. And the more we can tune to the energy of the heart and the intuitive heart, the more we can ask.
00:47:51:03 - 00:48:12:18
And this is a personal journey. That's why there really are no rules. But we can say to ourselves, okay, what would be the highest and best use of this sexual energy? Will this exchange sexually bring more joy and more unity and more creativity into the world, or is it going to depleted and destroy it? And I talk about in the book going against my intuition.
00:48:13:02 - 00:48:42:11
So many times, but particularly one time, and how it really backfired on me. And yet a great lesson in really honoring that energy. When you meditate enough, what you realize is that sexual energy is just energy. And so of course, in the ancient traditions, especially for male practitioners, that energy was was utilized and and transmuted and transfigured to go up the body and come back down.
00:48:42:11 - 00:49:05:20
And then it was used for spiritual practice. For women, it's a little bit different and I don't think we really need to talk about that in a podcast. But you know, don't join my school because it's very complicated and complex. And, and so for those of you listening, I think the really quick, simple practice around it is just before you.
00:49:05:20 - 00:49:32:12
I mean, it can be something as simple as this before you send someone a text that you're, you know, sending sexual energy to because that's flirtation, right. Oz, What is your intention before you sleep with someone? What is your intention when you're going on a date? It might be your husband of 40 years, but what is your intention when you make love with someone?
00:49:32:21 - 00:49:54:07
What is your intention? And you wouldn't even have to tell them. Some of you may be able to do that, but some of you may not. We can create these intentions in the heart and the effect will be dramatically different than when we enter into a relationship with sexual energy from a place of being unconscious us, which is all of us.
00:49:54:18 - 00:50:18:05
The last thing I want to say around that is that I've had to learn this and still am learning this. Many of us unconsciously have been taught how to use that energy to get things. And this is where in my school where we work with women, we have a little giggle because it's very easy to blame everything on men.
00:50:19:07 - 00:50:48:02
And yet and certainly there's some major unconscious, especially around women's sexuality. Right. But what are the ways in which I've been manipulative? Use my sexual energy to get what I want and need? Oh, man. Everybody's like, Oh my God, it's so true. Like, yeah, So some of us have used it to get like a Fendi handbag, but others of us who are like, Oh no, I would never do that.
00:50:48:02 - 00:51:24:23
I'm so spiritual. Yeah, but did you use that energy to get the love from your father that you never had? MM So it's that level of deep radical self honesty, which is, you know, one of the reasons I've been celibate for the past few years, it's like I really have wanted to clear a lot of that unconsciousness so that I could, if one day that's appropriate, embark into that type of relationship with as much wisdom, which is your podcast name, you know, light and as much wisdom as possible, knowing that there will always be ignorance.
00:51:25:07 - 00:51:56:11
Yeah. And I really think that ties a lot back to kind of how we started this conversation to like acknowledging the parts of ourselves that like maybe need a little of that, like magnifying glass, tough love, like, okay, like we could admit our imperfections here and how can we grow into the more powerful potential that there can be when we address the ways in which this energy hasn't been honored and the right way?
00:51:57:07 - 00:52:28:07
And I really love what you were saying about like, what is your intention before doing engaging with that energy? But I really think that can be applied for everything, like kind of taking that pause and just like, what is my intention for going on this walk around my neighborhood or for this meal that I'm eating right now or this conversation that I'm having, I think that's a really powerful way we can drop in and be more present as we're moving through this life.
00:52:29:15 - 00:52:57:10
I mean that you just define tantra. That's what it is, that everything in our life becomes a possibility for sacred ritual. MM Yeah, I think there's a verse in the yoga sutras that says, like, stop and consecrate everything, like make everything sacred. There's. Yeah. And often we're on autopilot. Yeah. So often. And then we miss it. We miss and our motives are so selfish and so self-centered.
00:52:57:10 - 00:53:35:21
It's like, humbling. Yeah. Yeah. And when we see the sacred and everything, we also can see the connection and how far it extends beyond ourselves as well. There is one quote I just want to leave listeners with from the book that summed up a lot of I think my intention for this podcast and what I hope listeners gain from these conversations and you just said it so beautifully, Thank you were speaking about intuition and wisdom and you said I felt accompanied by something gentle and wise.
00:53:36:12 - 00:54:07:02
It was bigger than me and simultaneously it was me. The wound of loneliness had taken me to the gift of pure presence. So for those listening, I cannot recommend getting the book globe worthy enough. Katie, do you mind sharing, like how we can support you, how we can preorder the book when it comes out and just other ways people can continue to deepen their inner wisdom with you.
00:54:08:03 - 00:54:25:17
Yeah. Thank you, Holly. It's been really delightful to be with you and, you know, I do a lot of these kind of things, and I can really feel your practice in you when you speak and in just your presence. And so I just want to say thank you for your practice. And it's just been delightful to be with you.
00:54:27:12 - 00:54:46:17
I have a website, specialty school Ecom. I think the book may be up on Amazon. We haven't done an official presale launch yet, but if you guys go to the Shakti school dot com, we have a ton of free meditations, get on our newsletter lists, will let you be part of the first wave of people that get to know the book.
00:54:46:17 - 00:55:04:01
And we're offering a book club through my subscription program where we're going to go through each of the 12 or the 15 chapters and kind of really practice and embody what's in the book. So if people want to do that, that would be a great way of really deepening into the book for those of you that are interested.
00:55:04:01 - 00:55:21:14
And then we have a yearlong program called Our Way to School where we learn our Veda. But really it is I call it Lady Life School. We really do go into some of these deep energetic practices for women in particular, and and they can find all of that at the Shakti school dot com and on our Instagram. Awesome.
00:55:21:14 - 00:55:43:01
And all of those links will be in the show notes. So be sure to look there to stay in touch with Katie. And I just want to acknowledge to, to thank you for being one of my teachers and someone who has helped inform me and my practices in this life. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to how the wise one grows today.
00:55:44:06 - 00:56:05:17
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00:56:27:11 - 00:56:36:03
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