In this episode, I get vulnerable with you and share my realization from embarking on a Tantric meditation journey. I am afraid of the pause. And you may be too. In this episode, I discuss how society has conditioned us to be afraid of falling behind, causing us to constantly be in hustle mode, even when it’s not fully serving us.
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Episode 241 – I Am Afraid of the Pause with Sahara Rose
By Sahara Rose
Namaste. I’m Sahara Rose and welcome back to the “Highest Self” podcast. A place where we discuss what makes you your soul’s highest evolvement.
What’s your dosha? Well if you want to find out, I invite you to take my quick little quiz over on iamsahararose.com, and in a couple questions, I will let you know the exact percentages of the doshas in your mind and in your body and email you a free three-day mini course on how to include Ayurveda into your modern lifestyle. So head over to my website, iamsahararose.com, to discover your dosha today.
I am afraid of the pause. Just going to start this episode by telling you that I am afraid of the pause, and you might be too. So the past month-ish I have been on a meditating journey. And I’ve meditated before on and off for many years, but I never really got into it. To be honest, I always felt like yoga was more my thing, dance, pulling cards, journaling, walking outside, talking to a friend. I felt like I had so many different practices that to me were meditative and allowed me to tap into source. And when I would sit and meditate, I honestly just felt more restless, more tired, more agitated, reminding myself of things on my to-do list that I haven’t done. And people talk about how so restorative and replenishing, and I just never would feel that.
So I’m like, “Well, why do I want to like waste like 20 minutes of my day twice a day doing something where I could work out and feel good, or write in my journal, or garden, or something else?” So I just deemed that as, you know, seated meditation is just not my journey. And I realized that my resistance to it, like I was more resistant to sitting down and meditating than like doing a launch, creating my membership program, writing four books. Like these things, I’m like sure, let me just try it.
But siting down and doing nothing and meditating, like that feels like a waste of time. And I know, it’s so cliché, they say if you don’t have time to meditate then you need it more. But I was like I feel like I’m spiritual, I feel like I don’t need it, and I would get reaffirmation from other friends that I had who were definitely spiritual, but they don’t have a meditation practice, so I was like this is not for me. And you’ve heard me talk about that seated meditation has just not been my practice.
So I realized that it is just this one forefront that I really need to dive into. You know, being a spiritual teacher, meditation is such a huge part of it, and there’s a reason why in yoga, true yoga is not asana practice, it’s to sit and meditate to yolk, to become one with brahma, universal source consciousness.
And when I first moved to India, and I was huge into ashtanga yoga, and I was looking for the great yoga teachers, and they had me sit in a hut, and this big guy would come, and be like, “Okay, y’all, time to do yoga.” And we would sit, and breathe, and I was like, “What is this? This isn’t the kind of yoga I want to do. I want to flow, I want to learn new postures, I want to do inversions.” Like I was still coming to it with this like really rajasic quality.
And rajas is the quality in Ayurveda that is movement, it is like that pitta energy, it’s very driven, it’s always like going to the next thing. And our society is very rajasic, and rajas, this quality of movement, of fire, of getting things done, of activation, it can serve us in a lot of ways. My desire of movement has helped me build this career by the time I’m 28 years old. I’ve written, you know, four books, done tons of speaking at Google, and all of these different places.
It has served me, I could find every reason to show me how it has served me. And at the same time, it has hindered me. It has hindered me because your life is not determined by how many accomplishments that you have. And it’s this fine balance which I’ve been talking about on this podcast for the past two years of doing and being. And truly when we’re in alignment with our dharma, we are flooded with this rush of energy that makes us want to continue to create. You know, so many of the things that I’ve created I’ve never set a plant to do, I just had one thought that led to another, led to another. I didn’t even know I was going to make Rose Gold Goddesses, I just wanted to do monthly goddess circles, and then I wanted people to talk to each other, and then one thing led to the next, it became a full-fledged 2,000-person membership.
So it’s come with flow, it’s come not out of pushing and striving. So I wouldn’t say that I’m coming from it with this like burnt out perspective, which I definitely have been in the past, but this stage in my life I wasn’t burnt out. I have really been in flow, and I have also been taking action pretty much constantly. And that action might look like literally, you know, working on my business, emails, that kind of stuff. It might be any spare moment, “Okay, I need to write my book,” writing the book. It could be any spare moment, “I need to do something else to self-improve. You know, I need to work out. I need to stretch. I need to journal.” Even self-care activities.
But coming from this like, “Okay, I have a moment of time, what is this next thing that I need to do?” And one thing that I really don’t do is just sit and do nothing. Like that is something I don’t do. And I can find again every reason of why I feel like that’s a waste of time, and I’m on this mission. But when I truly look at it for what it is from the highest perspective I can see that it comes from fear. And I will be the first person to admit it because a lot of you guys might look up to me, and I want to share with you that I also have the same fear of pausing, of slowing down, of doing nothing.
And really when I look at this fear it comes from childhood. You know, it comes from being a kid and you’re signed up to school, and school keeps awarding you the more that you get a gold star, and then it turns into grades. I remember being so excited when I was starting middle school because now we were going to find letter grades and I really wanted that feedback. Because I was already conditioned by the time I was ten years old to think that my worth comes from someone else, and I was, you know, just a child of the public school system.
And I also had a dad who was very into grades, always talking about how smart he was, how accomplished he was, so I always felt like to be loved and to be seen and to be respected I had to also have good grades. So this led to me, as a child, being on this journey of achievement, this journey of what is the next thing I can do so, you know, it looks good on my resume, so it looks good when I get into college, so it looks good to get what it is next. And then, you know, that led me to blogging, and building the blog, so again, a lot of good has come from it too, but it comes down to really at the truth not loving yourself just as you are.
Because when you don’t love yourself as you are, like even if I did nothing important in my life, I’m still worthy of all of the love that I am now. If I’m no truly embodying that, then I’m going to constantly be setting myself up for what is the next thing that I need to do because I feel like that is only how I can love myself. I can only love myself when I go to sleep at night knowing that I got the most amount of accomplishments that I could that day. And when you’re doing that, it creates this level of a fear and restlessness inside of you. Because if you’re constantly striving and doing and looking for the next best thing, you’re essentially saying me as I am is insufficient. And if I’m insufficient I have to fill myself up or go get something outside of me so I can become sufficient, worthy enough.
And I do believe that action can come from a place of love, and inspiration, and all of my work are things that I want to do, I’m not forced to do anything. I set myself up for this, so again, it’s coming from a different perspective of being in a job where you’re doing things that you don’t want to do. You can even fall into this trap doing what you do love to do. You can even fall into this trap doing your dharma, but sometimes we sacrifice our quality of life for our dharma. And this is something that no one really talks about. I feel like a huge part of the conversation is just how do you get to that dharma, how do you get there? And just someone who’s there, who’s 100% living my life in alignment, every day I’m truly honoring my gifts and serving the world, and I don’t respect myself enough to give myself a break.
And it’s important for us to recognize that this can happen to you at any point of your life and any point of your journey. Because it just reminds you that it’s not about getting there, there’s no place that you get to. “Oh, if only I can find my dharma, if only I can make money doing it, if only I can get fame doing it, or have accomplishments of a book, or whatever it is, then everything will be set.” And it’s not true, it really we always are going in cycles, we’re always going in waves. You know, you figure out one area of your life, and then you realize there’s this whole other pocket of your life that you might have been neglecting.
So that’s why, you know, in the episode I just did scheduling your days with the doshas, you’re also scheduling like seasons of your life with the doshas. And some seasons of your life are more pitta, they are more get shit done, they require more of you to really show up and being the action. Like I couldn’t have had this mindset, this conversation, this podcast, or even space for this realization when I was on my book tour, or when I had this deadline that was impeding because there wasn’t the space for it yet.
However, when you go through that pitta, when you get that thing done, what most of us do is then we go looking for the next thing. You know, I realized I finished writing “Discover Your Dharma,” the first draft, edits weren’t even done, and I’m like, “Okay, what’s my next book gonna be about?” I’m stressing myself out over, “Okay, am I going to go this direction, that direction, what’s it gonna look like?” I’m like starting to write it, I’m like, “Okay, I need to cancel plans with my friends this weekend because I need to write the next book.”
And it’s like, okay, like this is a bit insane, and then I had to really look at where is that thought coming from, and it’s coming from there are people out there who need me. Or, you know, look at other people, they’re writing, coming up with a new book every year, two books a year. If they’re doing it, why can’t I do it? And both of those things, though they could be true, though people could need me, though there are people writing two books and publishing them a year, that’s still coming from outside of me.
So I share this with you because no one is immune to this, no one is perfect, no one is fucking enlightened, okay? If you’re here, you’re not enlightened. If you were enlightened you would not be in a human body. You would have no reason to be here. We’re only here to learn lessons, that’s it. This plane is an earthly school, you only came here and incarnated on this earthy plane to learn out some karmic lessons that your soul needs to fulfill, and then once you learn those lessons and you’re totally clear, then you can go back to being in the spirit realm. So if you’re fucking here, even if you’re the Dalai Lama, you have some lessons to learn. That’s just the truth of how it is.
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So when we can talk openly about these lessons we alchemize them, and we allow other people to see that we’re all still here learning. So I’m learning that—and I’m battling with it too. I can’t tell you, I haven’t learned this, so this isn’t like me talking one year from now where I’m like, “This lesson’s in the bag. I got it.” Like I’m in it, I’m in this half of me saying, “Okay, just meditate during the day, and take a pause, and you know, like totally step away from your work, and just like focus on dancing. And you know, like love, and exploration, and just like totally go into your soul.” So that’s one half of me that’s saying that.
And then the other half of me is like, “Why the fuck would you do that? You’re on a roll. There’s so much in you. If you have all of this in you, why would you suppress it? If you were forcing it that would be one thing, but it’s literally spitting out of your mouth, so just go and do it, just keep going with the flow.” And both of them make sense, they both do, because we’re a combination of all the goddesses, we’re all the doshas. You know, my Durga is like, “Let’s go. We’ve got lives to save. We’ve got battles to fight. Like we’re in it, you know, we’re in the middle of the work out. We don’t want to stop.”
And then my Lakshmi is like, “You’re already abundant. You know, you can just relax. Like why don’t you enjoy everything you’ve created? Why don’t you just like take that pause? Something so much deeper will come out of you if you take that pause. Like have you ever even taken a pause in the past like ten years?” And I’m like, “Hm, that makes sense too.” And then I have my Saraswati who’s saying, “Oh, why don’t you just write poems and mark art and create and get really crafty, and really let that inner artist come out? Like remember when you used to do that?” I’m like, “Yeah, you’re right.” And then my Lalita Sundari is like, “You have all of this sexual and tantric energy moving through you. Why don’t you explore that and go down that rabbit hole, and go deep into jade egg practice?” I’m like, “You’re right, I want to do that too.”
And it’s like we have all of these goddesses on our shoulders that are whispering to us different things. And it’s hard because we live on this plane where there’s time. You know, like in the spiritual world there’s no time, so you can do everything, you can have your morning practice where you’re like working out Durga style, and you’re meditating Paravati style, and you’re making art, and writing pages Saraswati style, and you’re doing your affirmations Lakshmi. You can do it all, but this practice in the physical realm would take me like four hours a day, you know?
So this is what I’ve been battling with, and this is something that I’ve been learning a lot from, and it’s been deepening my understanding of who I am, and how I want to use my energy, and how much choice we really have. How one decision you can make can really pivot your whole sense of awareness. And it’s not one spiral, sometimes we become aware of one aspect of our lives, and then we ride that rabbit hole down, and then we become aware of another.
And I really believe that especially right now during this winter time we do need to honor that rest, and that kapha, and that hibernation that so many of us are afraid of. You know, I’ve been pulling cards a lot every single day from my new deck, “A Yogic Path,” which you can get on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, it’s honestly my favorite deck ever, even if I hadn’t written it because it’s the only deck out there with all of the vedas, goddesses, yoga sutras, Ayurveda, chakras, koshas. Like all the things we talk about on the podcast from dharma, karma, kriya, all the goddesses I just mentioned, they’re all characters in this deck, as well as many of the guests you’ve heard on this podcast. Like Shaman Durek, and Alyson Charles, they’re also characters in the deck.
So I’ve been working with my deck every day, and the card that has been coming up for me a lot recently is tamas. So tamas, to be honest, is my least favorite card in the deck. Because tamas means inertia, it means like dullness, it means like lethargy, tiredness. So honestly, I was like, “Do I even want this card in the deck?” But it’s one of the three gunas, one of the three qualities in Ayurveda. I’m like, “Okay, I can’t take out one of the qualities because I don’t like it. Like the three qualities either all have to be there or none of them have to be there.”
So I put tamas in, if you see the card, it’s this beautiful white tiger who’s like lying down and sleeping, and I keep pulling this card, and I’m like, “Ugh, tamas, like I don’t know, I have an off day, maybe I didn’t like clear the cards.” I’m giving myself excuses, and it’s like nope, that card is continually showing up for me for a reason. And the reason is because I have suppressed that part of me. I have suppressed that part of me that’s like, “Sure, I’ll just sit and meditate 30 minutes twice a day even though I have stuff happening in my life.” Or, “Sure, I’ll just put my phone on airplane mode and do my entire morning routine without looking at my email, and responding to my texts, and potentially leaving people looking for me.” Or, “Sure, I’ll just, you know, spend this weekend not writing, or doing my errands, and meeting with friends, and all the things that I need to do and just like literally just like shit and chill.”
Like that part of me has been so dormant because we live in a society, again, that’s like, “How can I be the most productive and get the most done?” And there are so many things that we want to create and we do have this realization that time is limited, but tamas keeps showing up, and I do know from the core of my being that it is a calling for me to go deeper into stillness.
So really sitting and meditating, not meditative activities, which many of us, you know, we could say, “Ah, dance is my meditation. Walking is my meditation.” So what I’m speaking about is sadhna. So sadhna is literally like the practice to sit in stillness in a state of no thought. So that is the actual definition of meditation, but now as my meditation teacher Chandresh has said, meditation has become a romanticized word, so we use it for a lot of things that are meditative, but it’s not the same as meditation, so we can call it sadhana.
I have been really practicing to sit in that sadhana and not scan through my chakras, not imagine myself in this beautiful place, not listen to the guided meditation that it’s all done for me, but to actually just sit in stillness. Like maybe turn on the timer, maybe not, ultimately not, and to just notice my breath, and notice how I feel, and then move past that.
And finally, I’ve been able to go to that place of truly no mind. Honestly, the first couple times I did it, I was like, “Oh my God, is this meditating? Am I meditating right now? Like whoa, is this happening?” Like I was like a virgin here. And that was totally taking me out of the meditation, but it’s this like sense of almost feeling like you’re dead. Like it’s almost feeling like your body does not want to move, there’s nothing happening, like you almost like don’t even need to breathe.
And though you know you’re aware, though you know you’re meditating, though you could wake yourself up, you don’t want to. Because you’re in such a state of stillness, heaviness, just feeling nothing—which we don’t do, we live in these human bodies that feel a lot. And I do think a lot of our path here is to feel, and to move, and to experience, and to feel pleasure. And I think another part of our path here is to let go of all of that.
So I’ve been really good at that move pleasure part, and I have not been good at that totally letting go. And my thoughts against it have been, “Well, this is not the path of the feminine. Like the path of the feminine is to be, you know, in the village, and dancing, and with the woman, and sitting in circle, and moving.” And it’s true, but we’re also masculine, you know, we’re masculine and feminine.
So to hold that shiva consciousness of being in that state of awareness is very challenging for someone who has a lot of Shakti energy moving through them. And this practice has allowed me to have this like sense of stillness and less thinking than I ever have before. And again, I don’t know if it’s going to serve me with my highest goals in terms of productivity, but it is serving me in terms of awareness.
Because, yes, if you want to just get the most shit done, it serves you to have a million thoughts and a million tabs open on your computer. But it really doesn’t at the highest level because then you’re just constantly playing ping pong with the world. Okay, it threw me that email, so let me ping pong it back, and you’re just constantly like imagining yourself with a ping pong racket thing, and you’re just like boom, boom, boom. And like that’s how most of us live, we’re just putting out one fire after the next, we’re just responding to what the world throws at us.
But when you recognize that there is so much happening, you’re in the middle of the sphere, like to really—even if you’re somewhere loud, like I was meditating, and I visited Ama, the hugging saint, and the room was so loud. And I just sat in there and meditated, and I just like really like listened. I would like tune into different conversations happening, and then like listen to the overall sound, and then like tune out of it. And you realize that you have the capacity, like as a conductor, to tune into different frequencies, and different energies.
Another thing I’ve been doing is just like tuning into the feeling in different parts of my body. Like noticing what it feels like to have hands. Like whoa, okay, there’s these bones that are in these like long fingers, and they have all of these like fine movements. Like wow, that’s cool, there’s a lot of possibilities I can do here with my hands. And then like noticing like my feet, and how they feel, and how they feel like far away, and a little bit less controlled. And then noticing like my womb, and how I can literally like turn myself on, and bring forth sexual energy without even moving, or touching myself, or even thinking a sexual thought just by bringing my awareness there.
And then noticing my heart, and noticing how I could literally like feel love, like feel butterflies. Again, without a person there, without a thought of a person just by tuning into the frequency of my heart. So we have the capacity to bring awareness to different parts of our bodies, and when we can bring that subtle sense of awareness they activate. And then you realize that you don’t need the world around you to be activated. You don’t need a partner to be turned on. You don’t need love to feel love. You don’t need to be doing an art project to feel creative. Like you can just tap into those frequencies inside of you and it gives you the ultimate sense of control.
And that’s really what yoga is, it’s about controlling the senses. It’s about tuning into wow, we are these conductors of energy so how do I want to conduct mine? And the only way I can have the power of conducting is to get out of it. I’m not going to feel the subtle energy in my body when I’m like thoroughly engrossed in the world. When I’m thoroughly engrossed in the world, I need to be receptive to the energies that are happening outside of me because I am responding to them. I need to be aware of, okay, how is that person reacting? What’s going on in the space? How can I show up? What is the time?
Like these are things that I need and I think also a lot of spiritual people don’t tap into that side of themselves too. We also need the rajas here in society. We need the pitta, we need the action. But for a lot of us, myself speaking, have spent a lot more time in the action than we have the re-evaluation.
So I am taking December to be as kapha as possible and it’s gonna be really fucking hard. It’s gonna be hard because I’m gonna be around all my triggers, which are my laptop, my phone, you know, my thoughts. And to be in those triggers and realize that I don’t have to react to everything, I don’t have to respond to everything, I don’t have to fill up every little bit of space that I have. And I think a lot of us we set like our new year’s resolution. Like this year I’m going to have so much more spaciousness in my schedule. And then when you look back on the year, you don’t recognize the spaciousness. We forget about the spaciousness and we also fill it up with different things when it arises.
So what I’m going to be playing with this year is how can I continue to create and grow at a bigger level than ever before? Impacting more lives than ever before. You know, I want to hos this event, like a big event in L.A. with like hundreds of you guys, and speakers. Like which is a huge thing, and it’s like I planned a wedding last year and that was stressful enough, and a part of me is like why do you keep doing this to yourself? But I love to create, I love to build, I love to create alchemy. It’s like I feel like a magician when I make something out of nothing.
And how can I do it from a place of spaciousness, from a place of rest, from a place of kapha. And I know I’m probably not going to be very kapha when that event is happening, or you know, the couple months right before it. But I can cultivate that sense of stillness and awareness with me right now and kind of fill up my camel hump. And then when I have that just that grounding within myself, then from that place I can take action, and it’s like I filled up my tank, I’m not running on empty.
So let me know if you like episodes like this where I share what I’m working with. Like I know it’s totally different because I’m supposed to be like the spiritual teacher here and have all the answers, but I don’t. I’m learning, and I’m remembering, and I think it’s helpful for all of us to share what we’re learning, and remembering, and forgetting along the way because we are all just humans here on this physical plane just like kind of figuring it out, right?
And it’s also important to not take it so seriously either. Because, at the end of the day, it’s just your human life, you’ve had others, you’re probably going to have more, so just enjoy it, and learn, and experiment, and know that you can create whatever you want, and that doesn’t also mean you have to create everything. So I hope you enjoyed this episode.
If you loved this episode, I would love if you could leave me a review in the iTunes store, and as a free gift, I will share with you the first half of my unreleased book “Eat Right For Your Mind Body Type.” Simply email a screenshot of your review over to [email protected] Again, sahara, S-A-H-A-R-A, @eatfeelfresh.com and I will send you over the first half of my unreleased book, “Eat Right For Your Mind Body Type.” Thank you and Namaste.
Episode 241 – I Am Afraid of the Pause with Sahara Rose