Episode #112: Kimberly Snyder – You Are More Than You Think You Are
My guest is NY Times Best-selling author Kimberly Snyder. Kimberly is a nutritionist as well as a meditation and spiritual teacher. She has combined all of her learnings in a comprehensive book with just enough science and spirituality called: You Are More Than You Think You Are. It appeals to so many looking for practices to help with their everyday life.
Kimberly is a unique blend of fairy meets warrior and someone who is actively finding ways to go deeper into herself to find the meaning and the answers. A mom of two small kids and someone juggling like the rest of us, she is not doling out info from a cave playing monk-chanting music. She is both feet on the ground with her heart open. Enjoy!
Listen to the episode here:
- Getting Out of the Closet [00:02:28]
- Ego and True Self [00:11:39]
- True Beauty and Confidence [00:18:19]
- Stillness in Chaos [00:38:14]
- Abundance [00:42:45]
- Coming Back from Where You Went Wrong [00:53:20]
- The Science Behind the Philosophy [01:01:09]
- Going Under [01:17:43]
Kimberly Snyder – You Are More Than You Think You Are
My guest is New York Times bestselling author, Kimberly Snyder. She has a book out called You Are More Than You Think You Are. I am a good person to interview Kimberly because she has this fairy-like quality. At times, I am pretty practical. However, what you realize is that she and I believe in so many of the same things, it’s just different ways of arriving at it. Even in her book, there’s a ton of science. If you need hard information as to why a lot of this works, whether it’s meditating or communing with nature, these are real reminders but she’s organized it beautifully in the book.
There were two things that felt important, she said that we’re all becoming and that’s true. We are still all becoming and we need to let ourselves but we also have to participate in that. The other thing is could we have a practice in place where we knew how to listen to ourselves, put that into the world, participate that way, and experience the world from there versus always trying to keep up with what we think we’re supposed to do as the outside world defines us? What we’re supposed to want, what we’re supposed to look like, all of it. I appreciate Kimberly’s message, her thoughtfulness, and her book. I hope you enjoy the conversation.
Gabby, I want to share our first interaction. I don’t know if you remember this.
Was there a parking spot involved?
No. I was interviewing your lovely husband for my podcast and I was in a closet. In this experience I talked about in the book, I had left a relationship so I was a newly single mom. I had my eighteen-month-old there. I was in this in-between-house I was renting. It was super awkward. I was trying to figure out life. The only place that I could find a quiet space was in my closet, which was carpeted.
I remember I was trying to pretend it wasn’t my closet but you could see and Laird was like, “Are you in your closet?” You came in for a minute and you’re like, “She’s in the closet. I’ve done that before.” You said it non-judgmentally and with acceptance and love. I always knew who you were but my connection to you at that moment was like, “This woman is centered, loving, and amazing.” That was our first, in the closet.
I’ve been in the closet so many times. You have a ton of other books about the beauty within. You have other things you talk about like your book, You Are More Than You Think You Are. Oftentimes, when people are committed to this space the way you are, it’s because there’s a high level of sensitivity. I look at that and it’s different. Someone explained that I live very much from the neck up in a certain way. I have pretty strong instincts about people. I’m analytical.
When I see this, I’m always like, “The sensitive person is the one who can address these things.” We all have different versions. I have versions about needing balance, meditation, not comparing myself, and not worrying about what people think but to a different degree. I’m always interested in how you, in a way, pay for being this way. I also feel that a lot of times you’re working all through the work and then trying to help other people that go through this.
In my case, I’ve always written about what I’m seeking and how I’m healing myself. For me, I was an extremely anxious person before, insomnia, a lot of digestion issues, bloating, acne. I was a mess. Now it’s come full circle. I published my first book in 2012. It’s been six books in ten years.
Did you do the one with Deepak Chopra? What number book was that?
That was number four.
That was a big move.
A quick summary is that when I graduated from college, I didn’t know what I was going to do. At one point, I thought I was going to be a doctor and then I interned at a hospital. I had a partial science and math scholarship. When I was in the hospital, I thought, “This isn’t for me.” I saved some money, I worked, and then I traveled for what I thought was going to be a couple of weeks and it ended up going and going. I was doing it for a couple of dollars a day. I bought a car in Africa. I lived out of my car for seven months. I sold the car back and kept going.
Were you alone?
I was alone but I’d meet people along the way. It ended up being three years through over 50 countries. That was the point where I completely reframed my vision of the world. I broke these achievement-focused grades. Everything was external. I started to connect to myself for the first time. I wasn’t in the Western world. I was in a lot of these countries.
The place that had the biggest impact on me, philosophy-wise, was India. I went there for three months, came back, and spent more time. This is where I started to learn about yoga and meditation for the first time. I remember going into the ashram and someone looked right in my eyes and said, “There’s something wrong with your eyes.” I was like, “Oh.” He said, “You need to learn to meditate.” He could feel this restlessness inside of me.
I found these books by Paramahansa Yogananda. He’s the one that brought yoga from the east to the west. He came to America. I started reading his books and I felt this fire inside of me. The whole time I was traveling, I didn’t even know what I was seeking. I was trying to move this energy, this anxiety. Now I can name it. It was this discomfort with myself. I moved back to the East Coast because that’s where my family is from.
[bctt tweet=”Abundance is feeling the fullness of this moment right here, right now.”]
From world travels to the East Coast.
Here I am in New York City and I was broke.
That’s a tough place to be broke.
I didn’t know what I was going to do but I was starting to teach yoga. I was going back to nutrition school. I was starting to apply these teachings, which are about concentrating our energy from the senses into the spine, into the Sushumna Nadi, or what’s called the central energy channel. I was starting to work with my own energy. The amazing thing is I started to see patterns emerging. It was like I stepped into this river of flow. It’s not that there weren’t ups and downs. Instead of this pushing and constant achievement, it started to feel like things were unfolding.
I started a free WordPress blog and I spoke about it to my yoga students. I wouldn’t know of anything about SEO or marketing. It started to spread throughout New York City. My first celebrity found me. I wasn’t trying to get into that world. I then got into a film set and then I started working with all these other actors.
What happens on a film set? Why do they have you on a film set? Are you trying to keep everybody sane?
It’s wellness. It’s what I call my four cornerstones, which are food, body, yoga, asanas, emotional well-being, spiritual growth, meditation, all of it. It parley. The end of this long story that I’m telling you is that I started doing national television shows. I got my first book deal, which was with HarperCollins, my first publisher. Sarah was my first editor.
I remember I had a book proposal called Catching The Fire and it was a travel memoir with some of these teachings. She looked at my free blog at the time and she’s like, “The food and recipe stuff is starting to pick up. Why don’t we do a food book first and then this will be the second book?” The first book was The Beauty Detox Solution, which went to sell a million copies and it went on. The second book became a food book.
Why I’m excited is all the ways that I was able to create, to dig myself out from that anxious mess from being broke, from not knowing myself at all, from always being desperate in love. All these broken relationships were these teachings. Six books later, I’m able to finally share it. You asked about Deepak, that book was the beginning of a turning point. I was starting to speak more publicly about spiritual teachings, mental health, and emotional well-being but it was still a hybrid book. The last one was a hybrid book and this is the full playbook. This is what can help.
I have a few questions. This is an overview question because sometimes there are small ways to do this in our everyday life. There’s anxiety, discomfort with ourselves, the inner voice, the negativity, whatever the thing is when we’re hard on ourselves when we feel uncomfortable. When you were traveling, that opportunity to be whoever you are, did that liberate you from some of those ills by getting out of the friends that know you, the environment you grew up in? Also, your parents that know you, your family members? Everything’s defined already. If there were ways to pull out of that identity in everyday practices, meditation is probably a good way to do that. You see how much that outside definition can make us torture ourselves.
It’s all the labels and all the identifications. To answer your question, yes. It was like, “I don’t have to worry about my grades.” I was super obsessed with being the top student.
Was that from you or your family? Where’d that come from?
Looking back on it now, there’s no blame. Everybody’s doing their best. Every parent is doing their best. A lot of this is passed on intergenerationally. I did adopt a belief system that achievement equals love and validation. I had to earn love to an extent. In the beginning, when I was traveling, it was like, “I’m free of this.” You cannot escape yourself. A couple of months in, it started to come back, the oppression, the self-doubt, and all of that.
With the practices that I talk about in this book, I wanted to use the word practical. Sometimes I read these teachings and I love Eckhart Tolle and some of the stuff but it’s like, “What do I do with this?” It’s the practices that help us keep coming back. The biggest takeaway that I want to share about these teachings is that the reason we struggle so much and the reason we feel not enough, the reason we’re always looking out and we’re always feeling competitive is because we over-identify with the ego. The yogis teach us that the ego, Wayne Dyer says, “This 2% or less, this shell of who we are is what we put our full worth in, what we look like, what we do, our to-do list, everything out here.”
The reason this book is called You Are More Than You Think You Are is we are not that. The true self is who we are and it’s this formless energy inside of us. You can call it spirit individualized, the soul. It’s this unique energy we have. It’s the stable part of us. It’s the voice of intuition. It’s the energy of our hearts. It’s when we go past the doubting thoughts and we’re feeling and we’re letting that guide us. That can be honed with practices, especially balancing being out here all the time and having practices that take us inside, meditation, more stillness, journaling, batching social media times. Also, specific things we do like watching the gaps in between breaths, which I have a chapter about. There are practices that seem small and accessible but they add up in big ways.
I look at where I was and my whole world was external, “Do people think I’m cool enough? Do you guys think I’m pretty? Am I going to be invited? What’s the number on the scale? Where do I rank in the class?” It’s endless. In yoga, we talk about the ego is using the five senses. Everything’s out here. Gabby, I’m looking at you with my two physical eyes. My hands are touching this table. As we go deeper into the Sushumna Nadi, to the central energy channel, we start to learn about a different vision, which is your third eye. The yogis teach that when you focus on this spot, you’re activating a part of your brain, which is called the medulla oblongata. It’s the brainstem between the brain and your spine.
When you do that, you have a different vision. You can see beyond what your physical eyes can see. This is the vision, the feeling of instinct, intuition, and heart. You start to be what I describe being in a flow. I wasn’t pushing as I used to. It wasn’t like, “I have to get all this stuff done.” You feel like you’re in a different flow state and you are in a sense because even your brain is going from fast beta brainwaves into those slower alpha waves, which is where peak creativity and performance come from. Even if you don’t use that language, “Gabby is an athlete,” when you’re in the volleyball, you’re getting into those states. That is a skill you can learn. It’s not that some people are born with it more than others.
It’s not necessarily more work but it’s a shift of focus. You need to do the practices even if it’s seven minutes in the morning. Practical enlightenment meditations are about seven minutes each. It’s important to start the day in that centered place to get into your body before you go on Instagram or before you start making food choices. You get triggered and you have all these reactions pulling you outside because we’re not in the true self-connection, we’re still in the ego.
You have 2 boys and I have 3 girls. These are formed humans. For whatever reason, it’s the way I grew up. There was not a conversation around performance or expectation. No one I knew was overly fancy. I grew up on an island.
Saint Thomas. If you said, “I have a yellow diamond.” I’d be like, “I don’t understand.” Those things never caught me. When you talk about ego, the entire world tells us all the time that those are valuable things. This comes from practice. Also, when you have a young person who has it all lined up pretty good for them as far as their EQ, their IQ, they have a pretty good sense of self. The stillness or ability to trust how you feel and your worth is based on your definition is unsexy, uncelebrated, and quiet.
It’s an interesting thing to try to bestow to get into the younger person sooner. You can model it. My best shot is to try to model it. I don’t rag on things. I don’t criticize, “Why does that person need that? What’s the outfit? They’re going to the market. Why are they wearing a full face of makeup to go to the gym and go to spin class?” I’m at a place where I want to get rid of that. I might observe it and be like, “That’s interesting.” How do we get people to connect with the wonder that is personal and quiet?
There are two things. Number one is there’s a chapter in the book about confidence. If we are trying to derive our confidence from anything external, we’re always going to be in that struggle, we’re always going to be not quite there, or it’s up and down. If you’re an actor, it’s like, “This movie did well but the second one tanked.” It’s like riding these waves of choppy waters. The source of confidence when you start to peel away the layers of the onion, the core, the steadiness of confidence comes from one thing and one thing alone in a deep authentic sense.
I quote scriptures from all around the world because there’s this oneness that you start to see that’s unifying. This goes back to when Moses asked the Almighty. Moses is the name of my second son. Moses asked the Almighty, “What are you? What is this?” He said one sentence, “I am.” The core of confidence is, “I am a unique creation of spirit. I’m alive. I’m breathing. I’m here.” That’s it. We’re here, we’re alive, and we’re breathing. We should be confident in that.
Most of us are not taught that. In Western society, we try to paint things on all the time, “I’m wearing the glittery makeup already in pageants by the time I’m 8,” or, “I’m the best one on the soccer team.” In my case, “I’m number one in my class.” It’s all of that. At any point in our life, whether we’re 80 years old or 5 years old, we can come back. We can start to reframe things when we start to have more of that awareness of our true selves. This is a resource that’s always available to me versus over-identifying.
With children and teenagers, this may not seem as sexy and bright but you said it’s quiet. It’s a powerful experience that’s felt beyond the mind. It’s felt right here. When you look someone in the eyes and you can be with them and say, “I love you for you. You don’t need to do anything. We don’t need anything but this moment.” This moment I’m having with you, Gabby, this is it. There’s a chapter on beauty, which is an interesting subject for me because I never felt beautiful. I grew up in a Caucasian town. I’m half Asian and people always were like, “What are you?” That was a question and not, “What ethnicity are you?”
It’s not like, “Where’s your family from?” It’s like, “What are you?”
It’s like I’m an alien. I grew up feeling the other. I’m half Filipino. I have Spanish blood. It was always like, “Are you Native American? Are you Japanese?” Back to where we started our conversation, where we need healing. I always felt ugly and strange looking. Four of my previous book titles have the word beauty, including the book idea with Deepak called Radical Beauty. Now I feel strong in my definition of beauty.
You hit that one pretty well.
Now it’s very clear. We are all unique. By definition, we are all beautiful in our own way. Here’s the big but, it is the degree to which someone is connected to their true self that you feel that beauty radiate even if they don’t use that language. What I mean is when someone is comfortable with themselves and they’re natural, it’s an energy that you experience, it goes beyond thoughts.
You’re talking about your daughters. It’s not as sexy and exciting. When you are in the presence of someone comfortable, loving, and not judgy because they’re not judgy with themselves, you gravitate towards that. This is how you gain that real self-connection. It’s available to all of us. It takes some practices, it takes some shifts, but it’s always there and then you’re connected. It’s not about features. It’s not about getting more work, more makeup, more clothes, or more fashion. That stuff is fun but don’t ever mistake that for true beauty. True beauty is our connection to the true self.
It’s important to note that you can have the practice and you can feel that feeling most of the time and you can still sometimes look in the mirror and think, “It’s not my favorite day,” or, “I look tired.” It’s important to remind people that we don’t arrive. When it’s driving the ship more times throughout your day, you also have the practice to reinforce. We’re human and it’s messy and we’re insecure.
Going back to young people, it’s reinforcing that because the world will always tell you something different. It’s easy to sell. We’ve got boatloads of things that we want you to buy. It keeps everybody in need. It’s always important that we can identify that and not beat ourselves up. I always say don’t look at the car rearview mirror because you think, “Is that how it is today?”
The other thing that is interesting and I’d love to get your thing on it is, don’t keep perpetuating that. I wouldn’t feel that way and then go down and see Laird and be like, “I look tired today,” and then go and work out with my girlfriend and be like, “Don’t I look like crap today?” You also get control of recognizing your feeling and holding the feeling. It’s a little bit like gossip, let it die. Don’t be the perpetuator of this thought.
There are two things. Number one is the funny duality within the oneness if you will is that we’re becoming the human part of us. At the same time, we’re here. The true self is this whole perfect part of us and this is our real identity. At the same time, we’re having an embodied human experience. We’re all stumbling along.
When you see the book, I’m honest about my struggles and hard times in my life. I’m not there. There’s no there for enlightenment. It’s more about getting on the path and having the practice to come back in. We’re in and out. We’re in our humaneness and then we’re in our divine true self. The more we realize, “This isn’t all who I am.” The ego part, we don’t take it seriously.
The second part of what you said is thought. I talk about this in the chapter You Are Whole where we need to get clear about thoughts and feelings. The body has incredible wisdom to share with us. If we start to tune into our body, we will become aware of our nervous system reactions, triggers, things that hit on old wounds. We will feel actual sensations in the body.
For instance, a trigger of mine is not being seen. If someone talks over me or they interrupt me, it triggers that and I feel it in a specific place in my upper abdomen. It’s a sensation that I catch myself because I have trained myself to know this sensation. The work of Dr. David Hawkins who is an amazing psychologist who wrote the book Letting Go says is if you stay with a feeling and a sensation, it usually lasts at most ten minutes.
Emotions are energy in motion. That sensation in your physical body can pass through like a wave. When those things happen, you will look in the mirror and you’re like, “I’m feeling a tightening in my lungs or my chest.” You sit with that feeling. You are there. We can self soothe ourselves or the inner resource to sit with Gabby and say, “I’m going to breathe through this sensation.”
What we do not do is entertain the thoughts. This is the mind trick and ego. There are millions and millions of thoughts, “I didn’t sleep enough last night. My eyes are puffy. I wonder if my husband is going to make a comment.” Forget the thought and let the energy pass through. What we do is distract. When you talk more, when you give the thought to keep it alive, it doesn’t pass through. It’s almost like when we don’t digest food and we get bloated and it stays in your GI tract, the gases start to come and make you wider. The starches start to ferment prematurely and the proteins are putrefied. There is stagnation. That’s what happens when we keep talking about the negative thought, we keep it alive.
In contrast, what we need to learn and the practices I teach is you go into that feeling and that sensation, which is not something we’re taught in the west. We’re taught to turn on YouTube, turn on Netflix, call a friend. We have the power to learn this skill of letting it pass through and then we come back to the center, ideally, only then do we speak.
I talk quite a bit but I don’t talk immediately about them. It isn’t three weeks later, it’s later after, later in the day, especially if it’s serious. In my house, I’ve learned to clear the decks always. Laird is the most clear-the-decks person I’ve ever met. Try living with it, you’ll love it. It’s like, “Let me hold on to this for a minute.” “What’s up?” He goes right in all the time.
Sometimes even if it’s an ugly feeling, I tend to lean into things with aggression. If somebody hurts me or threatens my ego, I go the other way, which has its own set of real fear because that’s compensation for, “I’m uncomfortable and fearful.” I’ll say, “Can I confess? I had some ugly thoughts today.”
With my partnership, it’ll be a scenario in the business where if somebody didn’t do their job and I’ve been watching it and now I’m frustrated and it makes me feel aggressive, I’ll hold back a little and say, “What’s the best strategy? How can I proceed succinctly but still in love?” Not in a vindictive spirit. You have to be tough.
The ability to pull back is strength.
Still, I feel there’s been something helpful. Also, once you felt it all the way through, it’s the offloading of the observation of yourself. It’s saying, “I have this ugly thought.” It’s not done in a way to perpetuate. It’s in a way to almost fully feel it, give birth to it, and it’s gone forever. If you’re trying hard to stay in and of love, which doesn’t mean weakness, which doesn’t mean not direct communication, which doesn’t mean not setting boundaries. I’m not talking about that.
You owe it to yourself to also allow all of it to come through because you know you’re going to try to have the discipline to go back to try and handle it the right way. Sometimes I want to say, “I wanted to choke their neck today.” I want to get into the practice because I’m a full believer that we can have all the knowledge. If we have no practice, we have nothing.
It’s almost like looking at the case at the pastry place and allowing yourself to be like, “I’m fully going to look at every single pastry and wonder what it tastes like. I know I’m not going to eat it because I know I don’t want it. I know it’s not going to make me feel good. I know it’s not going to serve the greater good. I’m going to fully look at it, enjoy, smell, and even ponder what it would taste like.”
I sometimes feel that way about negative emotions, whether about another person or myself. Usually, the self ones I say for one safe friend, the one that knows where I’m coming from. We’re not going to go on and on but it’s a safe place, like a box I can dump my crap. They go, “I’ve been there.” I’ll be like, “Today, I’m aware of time moving.” They go, “I had one of those last week and it’s over.” It’s more constructive but it’s still the allowance of the messiness of the thing and it’s like, “I’m finally going to fully get rid of it.”
There’s a balance. It’s beautiful to have a community and have these shared experiences and safe spaces. If you have those friends that you know are going to be supportive and not judgy, you know who you’re sharing with.
There’s one. We all have one. It’s also a practical friend. I don’t want to tell somebody who’s going to throw gas on it. This isn’t every time I have the experience. This is when it’s big enough for me that I do need to fully get rid of it.
For me, I had someone that I would go to all the time, my best friend. He was like my anchor. He’s still my best friend. Going deeper into these practices, I found more and more thatI am my own anchor and I never knew that years ago. I feel that a lot of our triggers and the reasons we feel certain ways is a safety issue, safety on taking things personally. I’ve come to realize that real safety and security can’t come from outside of us. Look at what happened with COVID.
It can’t come from other people loving us exactly the way we want or saying those things because people are unpredictable and people have their own journeys. What’s helped me is to use the word healthy boundaries and realize I validate myself, I validate my own feelings, I soothe myself, I show up for myself. You’re talking about putting it in a box and helping it pass through.
Going back to the work of Dr. David Hawkins, he talks about these patterns of energies. You can get to the bottom of the well. I use whatever energies we keep coming up for us, frustration, anger, and resentment. Nervousness is a big one for me. If we keep processing it, there is a place where we get more stability.
I’m also a nutritionist. Thinking about things in terms of digestion was helpful. I realized that I was never taught to digest these energies. It is a real skill in those moments. Your coworker says something or someone on my team. I stop. I do not email. I do not speak. I go right into my body. The thing is our mind, the ego will tell us stories. On top of the fact, “This person offended me. I’m slighted.” All these things cause even more drama and reactions. The body has so much wisdom to tell us.
I didn’t use the body as a tool. The body will help us reframe things. We have to learn to cut off the triggered brain, go into the body, locate the sensation, and breathe into the sensation with some of the breathing practices that I use. We’re re-centering our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. We activate different parts of our brain. We’re not just in the amygdala. We’re turning on the prefrontal cortex and all these other parts. It then passes through in a healthy way. We have digested what has happened. Sometimes we need support, we can share with a friend, or whatever it is. I was oversharing. I was overrelying. Most of the time, I can cope.
[bctt tweet=”True beauty is our connection to the true self.”]
Once a month, I have an offload even if it’s personal or professional because a lot of things are always happening at work or what have you. What I’m saying is, as somebody who is measured, I have found that it is occasionally nice to have an outlet. Believe me, I don’t want to be the person that when you see my name on your phone, you think there’s a barrage of like, “What’s happening now?” My first question is going to be, “How are you? What’s going on with you?”
I barely will need anyone. I don’t even need to engage about what’s going on with me. When people ask me, usually, it doesn’t matter. It’s like, “I’m good.” I tend to be more like that. You said it’s like digestion, sometimes you have to let it out and be like, “This situation…” It’s after you’ve figured it out and you have confronted yourself. There’s something to be said going to that one safe person and being like, “I was crazy today. Let me tell you what my reaction was. It worked it out.” There’s something about that.
I want to ask you personally before we get into your book. You talk about how to become your true self and how to uncover that, which we’re all always wondering who that is because we’re here with our special purpose and our unique selves. When we can get to that, that makes a lot of other things easier. Also, how to be more fearless, lean into your intuition, and find your creative power. Creative is an interesting word and I want to get into that because a lot of people don’t think they’re creative. Also, your potential.
You were in a situation where you had a small child and you were getting out of a relationship. You were armed with some information by then. What did you learn about yourself and about the dynamic out of that situation? Also, do you know how you are in certain situations and you’re like, “If that was me now, I wouldn’t even be in that relationship.” Do you know how you have those?
You studied. You had tools. You were meditating. You were doing stuff. What did you learn from that and how are you different?
That was years ago. It was the rock bottom part of my life because what kicked it off was suddenly my mom passed away. This is a story I described in the love chapter. We found out she had cancer on Valentine’s Day and then she was gone in six weeks. She was with us at Christmas. She was completely energetic. She was herself. It happened very fast. My older son was not yet a year old. It was this period where I lost my mom and I was a new mom. I sat in this like, “What is life?”
Grief, life, and reframing things. It was a few months later that I decided to leave on my own. I also became a single mom in the mix of it. I was like, “This is not how my life is turning out in any sense.” I had been living these teachings to an extent. When you go through a tough time, that’s when you know if you are believing the teachings and living them. That’s when I relied on them. I met with a monk at the Self-Realization Fellowship, which is Yogananda’s organization for meditation, and Kriya Yoga who later was the monk that married my husband and me. I met with a monk and he said, “Treat your home like an ashram for five months.” I took that advice.
What would that look like?
What that meant was I was taking care of my son and I was doing my work but I was spending all of their time in stillness and meditation. I was reading the scriptures and I was reading the Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana.
After this period, is that why you split? Is this after you split?
No. We split and then in resettling myself, I went into stillness. Out of that stillness, I started to develop real trust for the first time, trust in myself, and real confidence in myself. I then said, “If I can get through this, I can get through anything.” During that period, especially when my mom was passing, I was the one holding it together. My dad, God bless him, I love him but he could not handle it. I was talking to the doctors. I had Emerson in the carrier and I was managing everything. He had to check out because it was too much for him. I was going through that and then I became a single mom. I was like, “This is not what my life was supposed to be.”
Out of that, I went deep into this self-reliance. Out of that came my brand, Solluna, which is the four cornerstones. It’s food, body, supplements, but then emotional well-being and spiritual growth. We have something called The Solluna Circle, which is this women’s circle of support. We have all these online courses. It completely changed my work. This book came out of it. Out of it, I’m okay as me. I tell this story in the book as well. Some months after that, I wasn’t looking but I happen to be at a random dinner party with twelve people in Venice with someone who came on my podcast that I barely knew. He invited me to this dinner party and I knew nobody, and in walks John.
Look at your little face, you’re like, “Here comes John.”
This story is hilarious. I was in my thinking brain and I’m like, “He’s not my type.”
Why were you even thinking about him as a possibility anyway?
I wasn’t even thinking. I was there and then I tuned into this heart energy. He wasn’t looking either and we vibed off each other. Within fifteen minutes, he said he knew I was going to be his wife. It didn’t feel rushed but we vibed. To answer your question, I went deep into these teachings and I realized that some of the choices I made before are still because of my safety issues. It’s like, “Love but don’t love too much because then you’re vulnerable.”
Love is scary.
It’s still a controlled life. I’m talking about food mostly because that’s safe. After that happened, I was like, “Eff this. I’m going to gonna live from here. I’m going to talk about what I think is going to help people the most. I’m going to go with my instincts and my intuition.” I look back at my life years ago to today, that in-between period that I thought I was in shambles. Now I look at my life and it’s not perfect by any means but now I live where I want to live. I’m in nature. I’m in the mountains. I have two beautiful sons. This relationship isn’t perfect. We challenge each other. The love and connection between my husband and me is not even something I thought was possible in this lifetime.
I’m passionate about what I’m writing about. The first chapter of the book is fearlessness. There are 26 soul qualities that a human being must develop to reach their fullest potential. The number one quality is fearlessness. If we don’t get past the fear and the blocks, we can’t go anywhere. The book is structured in three parts. The first part is getting past the biggest blocks. We can’t even touch our true selves, fear of being one of them, the whole being one of them. When we attach our behaviors to who we are, we create shame. That’s such heavy emotion.
The second part of the book is stepping more into the embodiment of your true self. That’s where we talk about intuition, confidence, and peace. The third part is abundance, the creator. That’s where you learn you’re connected. You take this form, you take your unique gifts, and then you channel them into actual creations and manifestations on this earth. It’s powerful when you create from the inside out instead of what people want from the outside in.
Also, the extension of abundance, the deeper real meaning, which is creativity, purpose, and contribution. Sometimes people have been taught that abundance is the actual backup of the money truck and here it comes. Sometimes we’re looking for abundance in these specific ways instead of recognizing it in all the ways that it shows up.
What abundance is this present moment, feeling the fullness of this moment. This moment right here and right now, I’m looking at these beautiful green eyes and feeling goosebumps. This is full, real, and authentic. We’re having this beautiful conversation. We’re breathing. There’s this incredible, pulsing vibration right here. I don’t want to be anywhere else right now. I don’t need anything at this moment.
This moment is abundant. The more we tune into abundance and the here and now, it’s a repeated vibration from the inside out. In the outside world, it will start to create opportunities, more prosperity, more money, more love, or friendships that matter and are meaningful. It starts to create form. It’s a vibration of fullness that’s right here.
To answer your question about creativity, people think creativity has to do with, “I’m an artist,” or, “I’m a singer.” No. The birthright we have is creative power. Creative power means I’m inhaling and taking in the energy of spirit and I’m exhaling my individual expression. That could be in creating this new business or this way of communication or this Instagram post where I’m sharing my love or a new recipe or children. It’s this creative power that gets channeled in infinite ways.
We can start to tap into our highest creative potential when we are tuned into here, into the source, into the true self. Most people wonder, “Why can’t I create? Why do my businesses always fail? Why can’t I get this thing off the ground? Why can’t my social media take off?” It’s because we’re not tapped in. We’re still in the limited power of the ego.
This is available to everybody. With these specific practices, there’s this dormant power in me. When I start to unleash that, this energy runs through everything that I start to create and put energy into it. It’s in me and then it comes out of me and it’s powerful. I get excited talking about this because it’s free. I’m not trying to sell it like this crazy, big retreat or one thing you have to do with me. It’s in you. Yogis have taught this for centuries. Each and every one of us access that uniqueness. We never need to feel competitive. We can all then enhance each other with that creativity and that power.
The other thing I want to say is in the world we live in, we value so much of the new trends like biohacking and the new stuff. That’s fun and exciting. Here’s the big but, there’s so much value in old stuff. I’m talking about really old stuff, these ancient teachings. When I was in that period, that’s where this book came from, those five months in my self-imposed isolation period before COVID. I went through thousands of pages of teachings and scriptures in the Vedas, which are the oldest texts in the world, the Mahabharata and the Upanishads.
This book is me synthesizing all these old useful teachings for modern life in an accessible way. I truly believe everyone should have access to these teachings and they benefit all of us. It’s the key to unlocking real joy, real peace, real confidence. Most people aren’t going to find them because they’re so obsessed with the new studies and what’s on YouTube and then the new cycle. I didn’t want that to go by people.
The news is not the news. If you want to learn something, I don’t know that through the news is the way to go. I appreciate the simplification of that. If someone is a truck driver or a school teacher or a crazy, busy, starting out of college slave for hire at some giant law firm or something, how do we get books like yours to make sense for people that are scrambling? Life’s a scramble.
Maybe someone’s got to take the bus or train to work. It’s a hard thing. What I’m saying is what of the practices could be implemented regardless of who you are? There are people who may be further exposed to this language but what if we were talking to somebody who’s like, “What do you mean? Isn’t life hard and I’m supposed to deal with it?”
I cannot wait for that person to read this book. I will say that one of my gifts is taking complex subject matter and making it accessible. I did that with my first book. I took all the information about digestion and I put it into easy-to-understand analogies, like, “We want the body which is mostly water to be like a waterfall of flow versus a stagnant pond where you’re not adequately digesting your food and their stagnation. This and this.”
The reason my books have been successful is that I take these philosophies that seem so complex and I make them digestible. I’ve done that with this book. It’s the teachings with stories and supportive science. Anybody can relate to these stories. I tell the story about my friend, we’ll call her Alyssa, who slipped up. She messed up. She cheated on her husband. Her husband acted in retaliation and emailed their entire wedding list of 270 people including the grandmothers. She went to her rock bottom place of everybody excommunicating her. She had to get off social media.
Maybe that’s why she cheated because any human who isolates a person instead of also trying to work it out with the person even if it’s to agree like, “We can’t be together.” If someone’s not capable of that time of forgiving somebody, somebody that would go out.
It’s horrible. This is someone acting in pain. She caused the pain. She was doing the pain because she was in pain. We keep this pain perpetuating. This is in the chapter You Are Whole. I bring this up because we’ve all messed up. I talk about my rock bottom moment. I’m like, “It wasn’t part of my life plan to be a single mom.” My mom is from the Philippines where divorce is still illegal. It’s a big deal. I say this because of these teachings. You feel so hard. I know what it’s like to be broke. I talked about that story, too.
When I was in New York City, when I was starting, I would buy three oranges for $1. I read a study saying oranges were the fruit that would keep you fullest the longest. I’m speaking from personal experience and not someone that’s like, “I sit in a mountain all day and meditate.” I know what it’s like to be broke. I know what it’s like to feel nothing.
Shame and guilt are the hardest. You’ve blown it. You’ve made a mistake. There’s nothing worse than making a mistake than wronging somebody. It’s the worst. I’d rather be wrong all day long than wronged somebody. You have the power to forgive. You have the power to move away from a situation when someone does something against you. There’s no problem. When you’ve blown it, nothing feels crappier than that. Where do you go from there?
Number one, you have to come back to realizing that your behavior is not you. The true self, the ego is acting out here, acting in pain and trigger. What we do is we reflect, we clean up the mess, we apologize, we mourn, we do whatever we need to do. We take the lessons and we say, “I realized I’m reactive to this,” or, “This came from this pain.” We have to introspect and learn and then we have to move on. Shame is saying, “I’m bad.”
There’s a practice in the book and it’s a little bit more complex so I’ll summarize it but it’s called The Sun and Moon practice. The name of my brand is Solluna that came out of this darkness, which is the sun and moon. What does that mean? It means our wholeness. It means we’re not just this bright, cheerful, sunny part but we have the shadow side.
Carl Jung talks about the shadow, the unintegrated parts of ourselves, the parts that we don’t always want to talk about, the parts we don’t always want to advertise. There’s a practice of writing out sun qualities and moon qualities right next to each other, “I’m a good friend. I’m a good listener. I’m thoughtful.” Being honest and making the space to look at these qualities that you sometimes exhibit. Sometimes I’m judgy, I’m mean, I’m impatient.
[bctt tweet=”That deep self-connection starts to create more compassion for yourself.”]
The practice is when you put the qualities next to each other and you create a safe space, you breathe in, and you start to embody your wholeness and realize, “The surface me is changing. I am these things. I’m all of these things. At the same time, I’m more than that. I’m the true self.” There’s a specific practice that I worked with Alyssa on and that I’ve worked with myself. I work within the women’s circles. It’s powerful because it means we take our power back, like, “I feel good but I’m not confident because I know I can be mean and gossipy. I don’t feel good as myself.”
I own that I am all these things. I stop having shame about it because it’s part of my shadow. I’m doing my work. I’m working on myself. I’m not pretending it’s not there. At the same time, I’m connected to something deeper than my personality, my behaviors. That deep self-connection starts to create more compassion for yourself.
We then go into the preliminary breathing practices of, “At this moment, find stillness.” Where is the most basic place of stillness at this moment? Do you know where it is, Gabby? It’s in between your inhales and exhales. Take a breath right now and you exhale. Without trying, you’ll start to observe that there is a micro pause in between the inhale when you’re full.
Between the exhale and inhale, there’s a micro pause and that’s a special place that Yogananda talked about. That is pure stillness. We pay attention to that gap of pure stillness where we’re not thinking, our bodies aren’t doing anything, we’re not even inhaling and exhaling. We start to feel and we start to understand the experience of what real stillness is and then that starts to grow in our life with these practices and these tools.
We could take that stillness and the ability to go beyond judgment when we do the sun and moon practice. We start to create for the first time real self-acceptance. That was the process of rebuilding Alyssa’s life of like, “I screwed up. I did this. I cleaned up the mess.” She apologized and she had to go back to people. She said, “I can’t take it back. This is what it’s done but I have cleaned this up. I love myself. I know I was in pain. My behavior is in me. I’ve learned my lessons. Now I go forward with more self-acceptance.” It took her a good two years to get past that one. That’s a big one.
Those are tough.
All of us beat ourselves up.
All the time. I think about that, too. I think about somebody who’s an alcoholic or had a drug addiction if there’s a loss of trust or people don’t take you at your word any longer. Going through that and rebuilding that is one of the most courageous things anyone could do. In a way, that’s why it’s daunting. In a way, many people don’t do it because it almost seems like too much of a daunting undertaking. It’s like, “I’ll stay with what everyone thinks and believes about me,” versus, “I got to clean it up. I got to take a look at it.”
I get excited when you’re talking about that because there’s a chapter at the beginning of the book. This chapter reminds me of you, it’s the chapter You Are A Warrior. We always think of ourselves as warriors. Here come the goosebumps again. When I read the Bhagavad Gita, which is an allegory for life, it’s how we go through the battle of life. We’re all fighting this battle every day. It’s the battle of the senses and the ego versus the true self.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna gets the choice of the greatest army in the world, the biggest army in the world, or the Council of Krishna. He chooses the Council of Krishna. Krishna represents the voice of the true self. They’re going through these battles, the Pandavas and the Kurus. It’s all this allegory. Anyone that’s like, “I’m struggling. I don’t know if I can do this.” Read that chapter and awaken that warrior in you.
We’re here because each of us has a purpose. You may not be able to figure the whole thing out. Maybe you still are in addiction or whatever it is. From moment to moment, you find that one stillness and you do one practice for five minutes a day and it starts to build a different energy field. You’re creating a deeper self-connection. You can reconnect. You can rebuild from the inside out. You may have to repair relationships and maybe some are gone. With love and peace, you say, “I’m sorry. I’ll create new relationships.” You can rebuild your life. We have to bring out that warrior quality, which is the teachings of yoga. We have to be warriors.
There’s something interesting I want to remind people of. There are going to be people who’ll read this that speak this language. They’re all about it and they’re like, “I feel you.” There are people who arrive at these languages from a different point of view. It’s interesting because even if we examined your practices in your book scientifically, you are also creating a different physical environment that would allow these responses to be different. It’s important that it’s not woo-woo and all these things. You have breathing and you have certain things. You’re also impacting physiology.
I was talking to my friend, Dr. Andy Galpin, and we were talking about this interesting notion of how we are chemistry that’s supposed to house the spirits, the being. If the chemistry is wonky, it’s hard for the spirit to be able to do its thing freely. Sometimes there’s an interesting way that people have to realize that, yes, there’s spirituality or a philosophical approach to what you’re talking about. You discuss food. You talk about meditation and breathing. All of these things also have a physiological impact, which is if people need it, it’s scientific.
There is quite a bit of science in the book as well. Every chapter has studies as in my prior books. The discerning mind can be stronger and certain people needs that. For instance, scientists have measured things like mirror neurons. When we’re talking about vibration like being in high vibration and the emotion of unconditional love versus resentment, this contraction is measured. For instance, Steven Strogatz wrote a book about the synchronicity that arises out of the chaos of nature. It’s about matching vibrations. There’s a magnetism chapter where fireflies in a certain environment start firing off at the same time. There’s this energy that’s being sensed in nature.
There’s a lot of science in the book not because I don’t think the teachings need it. As humans living with a mind, it helps the mind calm down and say, “I can trust this.” We’re learning so much about meditation. There was a study that Deepak was involved with The Chopra Center, Scripps, and Duke that found a blood marker that showed if you’re a meditator or not. It’s showing that it’s not just mind is in the brain but it goes throughout the entire body, the vibration of what we’re talking about.
To your point about meditation, now they’re measuring what happens to the medulla oblongata. This is what’s happening to your nervous system, which in turn affects your endocrine system and your immune system. There’s a real organ effect. What I’m talking about here isn’t, “Believe me.” There’s science. The more science progresses, the more this is backed up. It’s incredible.
You talk about going back to go forward and that’s true. People were wise and they understood these things and had practices in place. Now science is catching up to that. In a way, you’re like a fairy. I’m also rooting this in because I’m a big believer in all of this stuff. I want to remind people that it’s an important combination of things. Even when you’re talking about the breath, they say the same thing about the heartbeat. They measure the pause between the beats and that says a lot about what’s going on with us. It’s everywhere. I want to ask you because now you’re in practice. You talked about six pillars in some of your other books, right?
Four pillars are the only things I teach now.
Let’s reinforce what those pillars are.
One quick thing I wanted to say about what you were saying, Gabby, is one of the reasons that I was drawn to Yogananda’s work like this Kriya Yoga, which is the only type of yoga. People think yoga is the poses but it’s not. It’s this Dharana, Dhyana, Pratyahara leads. It’s withdrawing the energy out here and bringing it in. The reason I was drawn to this practice, which is the only type of yoga mentioned in the Yoga Sutras is that he always said, “You test it for yourself.” I encourage this in the book too. I’m not telling you to believe me.
You do these practices and you notice how differently you feel. You want to meditate in the morning in this way because you notice you have a different morning. You want to do this breathwork or this moon-sun practice I was talking about. There are a million practices in the book. You do this and you see how you feel. Your experience, your truth will dictate if you want to keep going or whether you accept it or not. When he came to America, he was talking about yoga and he was like, “This is not blind dogma. You test it.” It was powerful. This was in the 1920s. It went all the way up. He met with Calvin Coolidge, the President of the United States.
Even to this day, Autobiography of a Yogi, which is one of his core books was the only book on Steve Jobs’ iPad. Steve Jobs read the book every year because it helped him tune into his creative power. He was a big believer in Yogananda’s work. I wanted to say to anyone reading this, I’m not asking you to blindly believe me. There is science but it is important to test the practices and read it and feel in your own intuition the truth.
Also, what you’ve done is you’ve made it simple. That’s a service to be able to take all the information, disseminate it, and break it down. Let’s reinforce the four pillars and then we’re going to talk about you as a mom.
This is practical. My first book came out years ago. Back then, wellness was starting and people were like, “What is wellness?” It’s still confusing. People are like, “Am I fair? Is my diet good?” We are well when we nourish our wholeness because we are whole beings and our wholeness is our power. The four cornerstones of true wellness nourish us on all levels.
One cornerstone is food because we all need to eat every day. The food that you eat influences your energy. Also, the body is everything other than food. It’s how we exercise the supplements we take, our sleep, how we take care of our skin, so on and so forth. Emotional well-being/slash mental health. The energies and motion that are going on here, which we know, directly impact.
There is no mind-body connection. I do not use that term because connection implies two separate things that are joined at different junctures versus this continual feedback loop of influencing everything from our hormones, our rate of aging, our joy, our fulfillment in life, everything. We need to take care of that part. The fourth cornerstone is spiritual growth, which is that connection to the true self. The more we develop that connection, it plays out in our world and we create from that place. What I teach is a lifestyle that hits on all of that.
For instance, in my morning practice, you drink hot water with lemon to start stroking your digestion. You make the glowing green smoothie, which is a simple smoothie I’ve taught for years. It’s lots of fiber, lots of antioxidants, so on and so forth. You take SBO probiotics that we have at Solluna, which are great for getting past your stomach acid, the clinically researched formula that gets into your gut. I recommend a couple of minutes of introspection or journaling and then you always meditate. We’re starting the day nourishing all aspects of ourselves. We go on to the day fortified.
What I found is that people have an issue with one cornerstone. Let’s be honest, I’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds of clients and celebrities over the years. People struggle with food or they struggle with their bodies. Imagine these four cornerstones, it’s always not going deeper into this. People come to me and it’s like, “Their diets are good. What about the riboflavin? Maybe there are hidden sugars?”
We go wider. You are not nourishing the opposite cornerstone. Most of the case with food, it’s because your emotional well-being isn’t being adequately nurtured. They’re not processing stress, their feelings, this obsession with the body, how the body looks, the external form, the spiritual growth. Get in touch with a part beyond the body.
First of all, I’m putting language to it now but from the beginning, you’ll see some of my long-term amazing clients. Drew Barrymore, I’ve worked with her for over ten years. This was why I was different because it wasn’t like, “Here’s your diet. Report back to me these numbers.” It was this holistic way and it was deep and nourishing. People were getting these amazing results and not just feeling great but looking amazing.
I know that when we treat ourselves as a whole, we nourish all the levels. Even the stuff we don’t understand but we’re meditating, suddenly I have fewer food cravings and suddenly there’s a better flow in my body. It’s because there is a higher intelligence connecting everything. There are a lot of things we don’t understand. A lot of neuroscientists come on my podcast too and they’ll say the same thing, “We don’t know how the brain works.” There’s a lot more going on beyond what we understand. What we know is that we’re whole so when we nourish that instead of fragmenting ourselves and obsessing about food or fitness or body, the results get better.
It does bring that consciousness. I feel like that’s half the battle. Even if you’re not taking that moment, you’re at least aware that you’re not taking the moment.
You’re not in it. You don’t even know you’re not taking the moment.
At least you’re like, “I know today got away from me. Maybe I need to have a little more quiet time tomorrow,” or, “The day got away from me and I didn’t even get to move my body.” Even having that overall awareness is big.
Years ago, I wouldn’t have said, “I have triggers and patterns because of unprocessed emotions in me. I’ll be like, “I don’t like that person. That person annoys me.” It’s still out here projecting versus understanding everything’s a mirror and everything that’s bothering me is an unprocessed wound in me. That awareness has completely transformed my life as well and that’s what that whole chapter is about too.
I was thinking about this where you are your whole self. I’d love to know what you think about this. Sometimes it makes you more isolated. I love my family. I love my husband. I love my children. It’s effortless as far as it’s primal and there are so many levels to it. I fail all the time but I try my best to rely on myself or be enough for myself. At times, you don’t feel needy. It’s an interesting dynamic when you’re in friendships and you’re in interpersonal relationships and you go, “I love you.” It’s not that I don’t need anything. I certainly want things from Laird. I affection, attention, and conversation but there is an interesting balance for my children too. My happiness doesn’t rely on my children.
That is powerful.
It’s an interesting dance sometimes because you’re like, “Am I being loving enough? Do they know that I have this deep tenderness and yearning for them yet still be completely independent from them?”
You’re describing the needing. It puts a lot of pressure on relationships. It’s like, “I need it to be this way. I need love from you,” into sharing. Instead of, “I need this,” it is this blossoming of the heart energy of this unconditional love that grows more and more. We become so much more loving. It’s not that I need my husband but I like sharing life with him. I like having shared experiences. I like cuddling at night and going through the day.
It takes away the pressure that we put on our kids, our spouses, and our friends, like, “You need to show up for me in this way,” or, “This needs to be a certain way.” It makes life lighter. It’s not so serious. We’re sharing this. What I have found is it doesn’t isolate, it brings together more. When you drop all the neediness, there’s more pureness. It’s more like, “We’re all having a laugh and we’re sharing.” If I get triggered, it’s on me to soothe myself. I don’t need you to show up this way. It takes away the pressure.
For a lot of “girlfriends,” it’s going to take a special friend that gets that about you. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like sharing, it feels like an obligation. They’re always throwing things on calendars. They’re always trying to do girl things. I’m not saying some of it isn’t sharing. It’s an interesting dance. I want to encourage someone if they’re at a place where they feel pretty good in a still place, you might have fewer friends that can understand that.
That’s okay. You’re like me, Gabby. I’m out doing stuff but I’m an introvert. I like a lot of stillness. I’m with my family a lot. If I’m not, I want to read, write, or be by myself. For me, it’s that self-awareness and self-understanding. I don’t feel bad saying no. I have healthy boundaries. If I choose to do something with friends, first of all, I try to make it a group thing so I see more people. It’s intentional. I’m doing a women’s circle because it’s a connection. We go around and we check in.
Some of the shopping trips and stuff, I’m like, “Sorry, I don’t have time for that.” We know our boundaries. I know that’s going to feel depleting. It’s going to feel like an obligation. The guilt goes away when we’re connected and we can hold those healthy boundaries with firmness but love. I’m not there right now. I don’t have any guilt. If you don’t have guilt and they don’t feel weird, that comes from the connection.
I have a friend and we always say it’s clear communication. We all get under it. With family life, there’s a repetition to it. It can kick your ass in a real way. You can feel behind it, under it. Sometimes it’s chaos. You joked about my house being clear and clean because this is how I navigate a busy life. I want to reinforce that it was more chaotic when my kids were younger.
Do they all live here?
Two live here. One is only at home, one is at a tennis academy, and one is grown out in the world. This house is pretty active. Justin can attest to it. There are a lot of humans coming and going with quite a lot of energy. You know. You have answers or cards. You have information. You’ve written books. You understand it. It’s also even intuitive to you at this point.
When you’re there in the under, what do you tell yourself? What do you do? You don’t have time to meditate because you got one hanging on you and one going, “Look over here.” Where do you go? Your husband is looking at you like, “Do you have time for me?” It’s like, “Are you thinking about sex right now? Are you crazy?” What do you do? How do you support yourself? What do you tell yourself? Do you go, “I’m in the crap show,” and have fun with it and you’ll get back to it?
Especially as women, this goes back to the healthy boundaries and setting up systems. Sometimes we take and take and we absorb and absorb and then we get depleted and broken down. We then lose our sense of self. Over time, I’ve strengthened this real clarity. I can have two jobs, I cannot have three. I’m with my kids. I drop them off and pick them up. I schedule my podcast during nap time. I’m hands-on. I have my business. I have Solluna, the Feel Good Podcast, and I have my book. I have a full work life and my kids. Those are my two things. I know my limits. I’m grateful that we’re at this point where I outsource that.
I almost had a laugh. You outsource sex time with your husband. I was like, “Amazing.” I’m kidding.
We have this amazing housekeeper. She helps my life.
That’s why you have a business.
She cooks and cleans. She’ll do the food shopping and stuff. I can’t take on everything. The things that I can, it’s systematic. I give it away. I know what I can do. My team knows that I am a mom first. To be honest, some people have 5, 6 months ahead on their podcast. I’m never that far ahead because I’m a mom. I know my limits. I don’t know how I wrote this book during COVID. This book was different though. This book came through when Moses was 32 weeks. The idea came through it and it came out in an organic way.
To answer your question, I know what works for me. If you’re reading and you’re like, “I’m not there.” I’ve been meditating for over twelve years. Even though Moses wakes up at 5:30, I want to get up at 5:00 or sometimes earlier because I need to meditate so I feel better. It’s for me. I meditate before they’re awake. That’s the one thing that I don’t scrimp on. I’ll make a smoothie instead of making a healthy meal sometimes because I don’t have time. I’ll do things like that but I do have my core practices that are my non-negotiables. If John woke up earlier, I’m going to go in my spot and I’m going to meditate for twenty minutes and I’ll be back. The family knows that’s a priority.
Emerson, my older son, will be like, “Mama is in her basement pod. Don’t go down there. Mom is meditating.” Now I meditate with him at night, too. I bring it in. It’s important that we know our systems. We outsource and we call for help. We have carpooling, you do a nanny share, or you do whatever works within your community. It’s important not to take everything on.
What if you get into a hassle with John? You’re in COVID. You’re all trapped together with young children. If someone like me looks at someone like you and thinks, “There’s a softness there.” Do you bring that softness? Weirdly, I have toughness and I’m softer with my husband than probably people would expect. First of all, that’s the strategy that works well with his personality. If you want to work it out quickly with him, you can inspire Larid with love. I’m wondering. We all push you over each other’s boundaries. It happens. It’s usually not intentional. When John steps over the boundaries, is it, “I want to talk to you.” Do you ever have a freakout? What is it?
First of all, it’s funny that you describe yourself as tough because that’s the shell. I’ve been looking at you this whole time and all I see is this soft, beautiful, expansive soul. I would not describe you as tough.
I try to be appropriate. I’ve invited you here to talk to me. First of all, I’m always wanting to be from a loving place. Even if I’m in a business meeting, I’m trying to be a loving person, a human.
That comes through.
I want to lead with that. I’m working on my triggers, which is anytime I feel unsafe or fearful, I move to aggression because that’s an overcompensation. I’m always moving. Having my physical size has given me a real luxury. I’ve met a lot of tough people and they’re all the least tough acting. They align from the book Natural Born Heroes. To be a true warrior, which is what I’m interested in, one must be compassionate. For me, I am interested in being tough.
It’s the energy of Durga. If you know any of the Hindu goddesses, which are all aspects of the one divine, she has eight arms and each arm has a weapon. One arm has a sword. It’s not like we’re always supposed to be nice. That sword cuts through BS. One arm is a bow and arrow, this ability to focus. One arm has a book. Sometimes you bring knowledge. One arm has a lotus leaf. Sometimes you bring peace. One arm is for silence, nothing. It’s this resourcefulness in the warrior that is the real strength. Sometimes you need to bring that toughness as you’re describing. Sometimes it’s that softer energy.
Your husband is a big guy.
He is a big dude. I described in the book, he’s a cross between a teddy bear and an MMA fighter. His body except for his neck, at this point, is completely covered in tattoos. He has a little spot on his leg but he’s completely tattooed. Now it’s gotten into his hands.
Are you going to take care of his liver later? You have to process a lot through the skin.
It’s been over years and years. There’s a gold grill in his teeth. Now he’s in a dreadlocks stage. He has this tough image. I find that some of the top shells are the biggest softies. We’ve learned to navigate each other. I’m Aquarius like the fairy energy you’re talking about. I’m Vata. I am independent. He’s a Cancer sign. He needs connection and real closeness. At night, sometimes I want to go to the corner and meditate and read. He’s like, “No. This is our time.” I’m like, “I’m tired.”
First of all, it’s self-work. We both work on ourselves. we’ve both come to understand the shadows he’s brought up in me and the shadows I brought up in him that were never there before. He’s like, “I didn’t know this was there.” It’s real soulmate love that I never had before, that type of deep, penetrating love. A soulmate isn’t just happy and peaceful, it’s bringing up stuff so you heal. We do a lot of work on ourselves. We are good communicators. Sometimes we say, “We need a break.” We’re going to take space.
Do you ever yell?
I’m not a yeller. I’m more like a clam. I’ll close up. He is more like a storm. We have different dynamics. When the triggers come, we come back a lot faster now and mostly peaceful.
I’m always curious. Honestly, when I see people like you, I’m like, “I wonder what that’s like.” That energy is unique. You have a podcast, the Feel Good Podcast. What date of the week do you release new podcasts?
Monday are our interviews. On Thursday, we do a Q&A. That comes from questions from the community. It’s twice a week.
Did you do an Audible on this book?
We did an Audible. It’s not going to be released for some time after the book. The hard copies are what I encourage because of the practices. There’s something solid about having a tangible book versus a Kindle. There’s a certain weight to these teachings. The hard copy is probably what I recommend.
It’s You Are More Than You Think You Are and people can find it everywhere like Amazon and they can go online.
They can go on Amazon and they can go to my website, MySolluna.com. There are different bonuses. For instance, if you get two copies, you can get our Beyond Fear course, which I teach with hubby for the first time.
I saw that. That will be fun. You’ll be like, “That’s not the way we do it. Come on, John.”
This strong, divine feminine energy I have and his strong, masculine energy plays well for the course. You can get it wherever books are sold.
What did I miss? What would be something that feels important or you’d want to invite people if, in fact, I didn’t cover it?
One thing I want to mention is that we do have this amazing, deep community space called The Solluna Circle. We do a live Zoom every month where everybody shares. We are live and we are together. There are daily chats. There’s a theme. For now, it’s living a life of gratitude where there are meditations that come out that I create, elixirs, recipes, and all the four cornerstones to support you going deeper. The transformations of the women I’ve seen are amazing. People have been quitting jobs and getting new ones, leaving toxic relationships, getting pregnant for the first time. If anyone’s looking for that beautiful community space, I invite them into The Solluna Circle. The information is on the website too.
Kimberly, before we go, remind people exactly all the places and a condensed place where they can find you.
You’re smart. You had learned on first from your closet. I love that. We all have to go in the closet sometimes. That’s the way life is. I appreciate your time. I appreciate this work a lot. Bringing awareness and practical applications to ideas that are bigger and more spiritual is always important but it feels like it’s more important more than ever. Thank you.
Thank you so much, Gabby. this has been so much fun.
Thanks so much for reading. If you’d like, rate, subscribe, and leave us a review. All of my music was graciously done by Frank Zummo and Tom Thacker. If you want to see some of the behind-the-scenes actions, follow me, @GabbyReece. Remember, don’t miss new episodes every Monday.
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- Kimberly Snyder
- You Are More Than You Think You Are
- The Beauty Detox Solution
- Radical Beauty
- Letting Go
- Self-Realization Fellowship
- The Solluna Circle
- Autobiography of a Yogi
- Feel Good Podcast
- Natural Born Heroes
About Kimberly Snyder
Kimberly Snyder is a spiritual guide, meditation teacher, nutritionist, and holistic wellness expert. She is a 3-time New York Times bestselling author including Radical Beauty, which she co-authored with Deepak Chopra. Her highly anticipated 6th book, “You Are More Than You Think You Are: Practical Enlightenment for Everyday Life,” (Hay House) launches on January 25th, 2022. She is also the founder of Solluna®, a holistic lifestyle brand, Practical Enlightenment Meditation,™ Solluna Circle and the host of her top-rated Feel Good Podcast. She has been featured by numerous national media outlets, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Kimberly resides in Los Angeles and Hawaii with her husband and her sons.