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Highest Self Podcast 228: How I Discovered My Dharma with Sahara Rose

This episode is an interview of me sharing my journey of discovering my dharma (soul purpose), what a dharma is, the common blocks towards finding ours and how you can discover yours now.

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Episode 228 – How I Discovered My Dharma with Sahara Rose

By Sahara Rose

Namaste. It’s Sahara Rose and welcome back to the “Highest Self” podcast, a place where we discuss what makes you your soul’s highest evolvement. Every couple months I love to play an interview of me on another podcast because sometimes on podcasts you can really get to know the other guests that the person brings on, but you don’t get to know the interviewer. And I’ve done episodes like this about my story, but you know, there are probably a handful out of all of these. I do motivational ones sometimes, but I thought it would be a good time for all of you who are new listening, or maybe have been listening to this podcast, but not fully understood my entire story of how I got here and why I teach about dharma, and created this podcast.

And the fears, and doubts, and struggles, and anxieties that I had on my journey because it’s really easy to look at someone who is embodying success and think that their life has always been perfect, or it’s been handed to them, or they were just an overnight success. And it’s only when you unwrap those layers and you see that that was a person just like me filled with self-doubt, guilt, shame, all of the things, and they were still able to overcome it too.

And what I most want to share with you in my story is that it wasn’t that long ago. Five years ago was when I really set foot on my spiritual journey, and now I’ve written four books on it, and have this podcast going for two and a half years, and have really found my purpose. But five years ago I had no idea what it was, and I was in a really tough place of having parental issues, losing all my friends, relationship, everything that I once had, and it was truly my personal training that I needed to get to the path that I’m on.

So I’m really excited to share this interview with you. This is an interview done by me of Ava, of the “Alchemized Life” podcast. So be sure to check out her podcast, she was such a sweet person who came over and that’s why we got so deep. I think there’s nothing like in-person connections, so thank you, Ava Johanna for interviewing me on your podcast. And I’m so excited to share it with the “Highest Self” podcast community. I hope it gives you a deeper view of my story and helps you see that we’re all not so different, and we all have those same fears and uncertainties, and it’s all meant for us to overcome them because that is the unique training that we need to finally fulfill our dharmas. So, without further ado, let’s welcome myself to the “Highest Self” podcast.

Are you interested in having a career focused on health and wellness? Well if so, then the universe is calling you to become a holistic health coach. I am offering this incredible deal, a discount of $1,500 off my alma mater, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the world’s largest nutrition school with guest teachers such as Deepak Chopra, Kris Carr, Dr. Hyman, and Dr. Andrew Weil, and so many others. It is split between six months of health coaching programs, teaching you hundreds of nutritional theories, including Ayurveda, as well as six months of business coaching.

And, as an additional bonus, I am offering a webinar where I will teach you how to use social media to create a thriving career as a health coach. On top of that, I have created a private Facebook community just for the “Highest Self” podcast listeners who are becoming health coaches to connect with each other, meet up with each other, and support one another on this journey. So if you’re interested, send an email over to sahara, S-A-H-A-R-A-, @eatfeelfresh.com with subject “IIN.” Again, [email protected] with subject “IIN.”  And I will personally send you back the email that will allow you to get a $1,500 off discount, as well as my business coaching webinar, and the private Facebook group. I’m so excited for you to begin your journey as a health coach.

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Ava: I am sitting here with Sahara Rose, and Sahara like I said, when I met you, you were part of the reason why I started this podcast, so thank you so much for coming on and all of the busy-ness. And I’m so grateful to be sitting here in your little African Bohemian-inspired home.

Sahara: Aw, thank you so much for coming here, and I’m so glad that my words were able to inspire you in any way.

Ava: Yeah, so I’m really excited, and I feel like we have a lot of similarities and like overlaps, especially within this past year. You know, both of us got married, you’re working on your book, you just launched—are you still in the process of launching Rose Gold Goddesses?

Sahara: So we’re just finishing it today.

Ava: Just finishing it today.

Sahara: Yeah.

Ava: So there’s so many different things that you’re working on, and I am like so multi-passionate, multi-hyphenated, and so when I—

Sahara: Vata!

Ava: Oh yeah, oh yeah. So when I hear you speak, I just feel like you’re like speaking to my soul. And, you know, I know that when you initially started on this journey of building your business, it was through Ayurveda, and I’m curious how it all evolved. You know, I now it all stems under spirituality, and wellness, and you know, living a life as your highest self. But how do you fulfill upon these ideas that you get? And I think you’ve spoke about this really beautifully about transitioning between doshas and dosha, so like how does that work for you? The whole evolution of you’re work I’m so curious.

Sahara: Yeah, so you know, I really believe overall we all have one major life purpose, which is our dharma, our soul’s essence, the big reason why we’re here. The vibration that only we can emit to the planet. However, this greater purpose can manifest in many different ways. It can take form of many different careers, passions, interests, hobbies. You have different iterations of yourself that are taking you to this greater dharma.

So, you know, my dharma is to raise consciousness and bring ancient wisdom through my throat chakra. So that started with me for Ayurveda. Why Ayurveda? Because I had health problems, and I had gone to so many different doctors, they kept prescribing me different medications, I had digestive issues, hormonal imbalance, I went through perimenopause, I like lost 30 pounds, lost all my hair, like couldn’t eat food without being in chronic pain. Like was prescribed everything you could imagine from anti-depressants, to IBS medication, birth control, anything.

And I intuitively knew that something was wrong with this, but I didn’t really know what the solution was. So I was studying international relations, I wanted to be an international human rights lawyer. I had no interest in health, but I had to become interested in it to help myself. So that’s why I really believe your mess is your message, your pain often becomes your passion. So in that process I started learning, okay, how can I heal myself the digestion? Oh my gosh, there’s this thing called Ayurveda, it’s the world’s oldest health system, it’s a sister science of yoga, it has like a personality quiz with all these food suggestions and it felt so like coming back to home for me, so I just became obsessed.

And I wanted to learn everything that there was to learn, which you know, I had already been traveling to India doing volunteer work. I was working in the slums teaching health and sanitation, but I said why don’t I sign up for Ayurveda school while I’m here? So I sign up for Ayurveda school, and I would find teachers, and I stayed in India for two years just studying Ayurveda, writing this book, just it wasn’t even effort though I was efforting, it was more like I’m on this soul mission for myself than to teach on my blog, I had a blog at the time, and then from there how can I get people to take me more seriously? I’ll become a health coach. Okay, and now I’ll actually become a nutritionist.

You know, you’re just following the breadcrumbs of your own passion, right? Which led to me getting the download that if Ayurveda is so hard for me to access, what about all of these other people out there who aren’t going to go through all of the turbulations that I am to discover this. And that’s what led to me wanting to write a book about it, which led to you know, so many roadblocks to writing the book, wrote “Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda,” wrote “Eat Feel Fresh,” you know, really focused on just Ayurveda for seven years, you know. And I think people are like, “Oh my God, suddenly you’re popping up everywhere.” It’s like they don’t see it’s like the tip of the iceberg.

Ava: Everything else.

Sahara: Everything like literally having no relationship with my family, being disowned by them, like letting go of every single thing in my life, like living in a hut with no money with rats on the ground, like that is what I went through to study Ayurveda.

And then, finally in doing that, and teaching that, and regaining my health, I realized well, you know, what else is there to this? You know, it’s like when you’re sick all you can think about is getting better, but once you get better, you’re like, “Well what do I do with this health now?”

Ava: Yeah, what’s next?

Sahara: And that’s what happened with me. Like I don’t really want to spend the rest of my life talking about digestive issues, and you know, I had worked with so many clients, and it was just like, “Over, and over, and over again,” and some people they really like to do one thing and just like for the rest of their lives they can repeat the same sentence forever, and that’s just not me. And cause I’m more vata, which is more creative, and eccentric, and think outside the box, and someone who’s maybe more kapha, which is more earthy, grounded, peaceful can deal with monotony better.

So I started to ask myself what is my purpose? Like before even “Eat Feel Fresh” and these books coming out, I’ like, “How am I going to make money doing this stuff,” you know. And that led to me, you know, learning so much about entrepreneurship, and we were just talking about online marketing, and all of these things. But how could I essentially create this career that I’ve never seen anyone else do and follow that? And that’s what led to me discovering more about dharma, and our purpose, and all of these things, and that’s when I realized that the two were connected.

That your dosha, your Ayurvedic mind-body type is not only used for health, but it’s also used for understanding your purpose, and your relationships, and your business, and everything else. And really, I gave myself permission to keep evolving because I knew that me staying in those health problems over, and over, and over again was just going to be me reliving them and not me using like the other 90% of my brain that wants to think and explore and learn about other things.  And I think a lot of people, they feel like, “Oh, well one side, you know, gotten a certificate in something, or been known for one thing, I have to stick to that thing forever.”

Ava: Right.

Sahara: And, you know, if you’re Coca Cola, sure, it could take 30 years to build a brand, but you’re a human. That’s the thing with a personal brand, you’re a person before the brand, and yeah, maybe it’s confusing for other people because you’re shifting, but what’s worse: other people not understanding you, or you not understanding yourself?

Ava: Mm, needn’t say anymore. Honestly, you know, and I think that there’s a lot of—obviously, there’s a lot of layers to your story, and what I’m curious about, because I think that so many of us go through this and why it stops so many people from actually pursuing their dharma, or even being questioning what it is, is the external influence, the should, the “Oh, my mom and my dad want me to do this,” or “I went to school for this, so this means that I’m always going to be in marketing, or I’m going to be an attorney.” And just the extreme societal and relational pressure that so many of us have when we are asking ourselves, “Well, like what is next? Why am I here?” So, for you, having gone through that in your own journey, what was it that helped get you through it, what was the light at the end of the tunnel?

Sahara: Yeah, so for me, the hardest thing was, you know, I realized without even knowing that my whole life I had lived to make my parents happy. And most children do, you know, you bring home a good grade, a gold star. “Oh, mom, look what I did, I did a cartwheel,” something, you know. It’s just as we are as kids, but in our society, we don’t have any rights of passage, which other countries do. There’s no point that it’s like you go to college, but are you really an adult?

Ava: Right.

Sahara: You know? So I realized that I hadn’t formally gone through that. You know, I wanted to live my own life, but I was still holding onto wanting to make my parents proud. Which is not a bad thing, but it’s also not going to help propel me, especially when what my parents want is not the same as what I want. So I came face-to-face with this when I was about 22 and graduating college, and they’re like, “So where are you going to work?” And I’m like, “Well, I think I’m going to move, and just I had already been going to India a lot.” They’re like, “You’re just going to stay in India this year?” And I’m like, “Yeah, I’m working on this book.” And they’re like, “You are crazy,” you know, “You think you’re going to make this book happen, you don’t know anything about the process, you being an author is like you becoming a starving artist. You’re just going to end up homeless.”

And at first I’m like, “Ha-ha, yeah, that’s not going to happen.” But then it would really start to get to me. You know, like maybe what they’re saying is right. I actually have no idea if this is going to work out at all. And the more and more I would try to make this book happen I would also realize like, wow, there are a lot—you have to get a literary agent, and then the publisher, and this, and that. Then I’m like, “Wow, it’s not as easy as…” You know, my naiveté at the beginning was great because I was like, “I’m just going to get it on the shelves at Barnes &Noble.”

And then when I started going through the process, the fear is… their shared fears with mine are like maybe I should just become a real estate agent, or work at a make-up company, or do something that’s safe. And maybe this Ayurveda thing is just something I’m going to do on the side. And can the thing that you love really be the thing that makes you money? It’s not just some bullshit they tell you when you’re a kid, or can that really happen?

So it was a back and forth. It wasn’t like instantly I was like, “Screw you, parents, I’m going to lie my dharma.” Like there were times that I was so angry at them. Like you raised me to live a lie, you told me to follow my dreams, and here I am doing it, and you’re giving me so much shit and making me feel so guilty about being who I am. And other times being like, oh my god, my mom was a refugee who came to this country with a fucking Kit Kat bar, and here I am trying to, I don’t know, live this Boho life when she literally could’ve died for me to be here, like who do I think I am, I’m so selfish.

So it was the back and forth of both of those things, and it’s like, who’s right? Both sides make sense, and as much as you can respect your parents, I had to learn that you can respect and love them without listening to everything that they say, even if that makes them really upset. And that’s what I had to really break through and the pivotal moment of that was after living in India for two years I had to leave because my relationship with my family was so bad. Like constant fighting on like texts because I couldn’t even answer the phone. But every time I would look at my text it was like a novel of like, “You’ve let us down so much. Like we’re so sad. We’re scared for you every day,” and I would just feel so guilty that I came back.

But then the moment I came back it’s like, “Why aren’t you becoming a real estate agent? Like why aren’t you making any money? So-and-so’s daughter’s a dentist and what are you doing?” And I’m like, “I literally can’t be around you guys.”

Ava: Yeah.

Sahara: And one day my dad was yelling at me, and I left, and then he was yelling at my mom like, “You raised a complete loser. She’s a failure.” Cause it’s kind of funny how parents often when they’re fighting it’s like, “You did this.”

Ava: Yeah. Not on me.

Sahara: Yeah. And he’s like, “She’s never going to make it, she’s the scum of the earth,” literally. And I was hearing this, and I just went downstairs to the playroom that I used to play in when I was a kid looking at these toys, and just crying, like on my knees, just that kind of deep heavy cry that you’re like I don’t even think I can cry anymore. And then I looked around at these toys, and I was like, “Yup, my entire life, them telling me I could do whatever I want was a lie.” But you know what? I’m unfuck-with-able now. Nothing—if I’m dead to them, so be it, now I’m going to live life on my own.

And something within me that moment just came, this like shield, this like layer of protection that was like, “Their words really can’t hurt me. Like am I going to let them down or let myself down?” Like the only responsibility I have on this planet is to me. And if I think my life’s purpose is to make my parents happy, which I’m never even going to do even if I become the real estate agent or dentist, then I’m an idiot. You know, and then I actually am the things that he said if I listen to this right now.

So after that I was like, “You know what, guys? I’m going to Ecuador, I’m becoming a shaman.” That was actually what I was planning to do next, but I didn’t have any money to go to Ecuador. So I was like, “I really want to go to shaman school,” but what I did have money for was to move to my grandma’s apartment, and that’s what I did. So I went, took a one-way flight to L.A., and I lived with my grandparents, and I was taking care of them, vending at music festivals, selling these pants made out of recycle saris, and then that’s how I began living in L.A. and creating my career and never became a shaman, unfortunately, though my apartment looks like I could be one.

Ava: Just get a little bit of [inaudible][18:22] and you’ll be good.

Sahara: Yes.

Ava: I think that that story’s really beautiful, and honestly, there’s so many—again, just so many elements of it. I remember growing up when I was a teenager, late teens, just the constant friction between my parents and my dad blaming my mom for me being manipulative, and all of these different things. And just like now, where I’m at, realizing how much damage all of that did to like how I believed in myself, you know. So what has the work been for you? I know you said you had that kind if pivotal moment where you had that quantum shift in your mindset that what other work have you done to kind of unravel their own fears from your head space?

Sahara: Honestly, the best thing I did was separation. I think that, you know, a plant can’t grow in toxic soil. And it’s not to say that your family is toxic, but the situation can be toxic.

Ava: For sure.

Sahara: And if you remove yourself, and work on yourself, it may change.

Ava: Yeah.

Sahara: I still don’t go there that often. I still keep my boundaries. But I’m able to have a relationship with them, and in fact them be proud of me now. They try to take credit, like, “Oh, we told her all along to go for Ayurveda.” I’m like, “Sure, sure,” let them feel that way. But so I think if you’re in that situation, get out of there. Like whatever you can, if you have a grandparent, an aunt, like a random person you can like work for, like get out of there. And I mean I went to Bali, like that changed my life, but it sounds really cliché, I went to Bali before Bali was like, you know, every Instagram…

Ava: It was before “Eat, Pray, Love,” guys.

Sahara: I didn’t even have Instagram back then, but I didn’t go there to have a vacation, I went there and I lived with a local family that I was working for, too, and just had that time, and space to think.

Ava: Yeah.

Sahara: And like in that space I didn’t take ayahuasca, I didn’t do anything, I just thought like, “What beliefs are actually mine and which are the ones I picked up on?” Like for example, you know, growing up Persian it’s really in the culture, like if a man wants you, you have to be really hard to get, and keep saying no, and if he chases you enough, then he’s worth it. You know, which we even see in American culture.

And I was like, “Like what kind of belief is that? Like if you like a guy, ignore him, pay him no attention if he talks to you, pretend you don’t care about him,” like what kind of men am I really going to attract if I’m doing that?

Ava: Yeah.

Sahara: So like all of these things I started to think about and think about, and I think also seeing people who are living their dharma, you know, in Bali and in many conscious communities, you see people who are like, “I’m a full-time ecstatic dance DJ, and I’m a full-time yoga nidra teacher, and hormonal balance shaman,” and like you know, all these random things. That I was like, “Do your parents know you’re here?” Like you know, like the whole time I’m like, “What do they say about what you do?” Like, to me, I was like, “Holy crap, like all these…” And some, a lot of them were like, “I don’t have a good relationship with my parents,” and other ones are like, “My mom’s right here.”

Ava: Yeah.

Sahara: And I just saw like, wow, like not everyone has this like story that I do, and I also became familiar that it was a story. I remember someone telling me the work of Byron Katie, and like are you familiar that you’re telling yourself this constant narrative. And then that even became more interesting to me because I was able to look further outside of the box. I took psychedelic mushrooms for the first time there, which was also super helpful for me to look at my life from this like outside perspective and be like, “Okay, relationship with my mom, like how can I find compassion here?” Or just these things that I was holding onto that I wasn’t even aware of.

I mean I did so much kind of healing you could ever imagine when I was there, but overall what it was, was having the courage to live life on my own, and then coming back here a couple months later and taking massive action, which I’ve been taking every single day since. Cause a lot of people go on the retreat, and then they come back and they don’t do anything.

Ava: Yeah.

Sahara: So I had that space to like rewire, but then I came back and every single day was—I don’t call it working in the way that we consider, but like following my dharma, and doing it, and it’s not sitting on the sidelines of my life anymore.

Ava: I love that so much. And, you know, it kind of just reminds me cause I teach meditation and mindfulness, within your meditation and mindfulness practice you’re creating the space to witness and observe the thoughts, the patterns, the stories. So very much like creating physical space between whatever it is that is a toxic environment it’s going to allow you to observe it from this kind of 10,000 foot view, rather than be in the thick of it, reactive, and attached to the emotions of it, which I think is really, really powerful.

Sahara: Yeah, and that’s really going into the kapha, which is the earth, and the only way you can come up with the best idea is if you go there, and most of us are like, “I don’t have time for that. I could never do that.” Like, all of us in our society could keep going, and going, and going forever. You have to create that time, and that time takes a lot of boundary-setting, and a lot of, you know, passing up potential opportunities, or letting people down, et cetera, but it’s the only way you’re going to come up with the higher idea.

Ava: Mm. So for somebody that’s like in the beginning stages of discovering their dharma, and let’s say they have like—I’m going to be speaking metaphorically—like a very clouded windshield. And so, like you said, like opportunities coming in, so how can someone start to discern dharma from distraction?

Sahara: Sure. Yeah. Well, this is what my whole book is about. So first, you have to believe that you have a dharma, and most people don’t. Most people are like, “Yeah, I want to find my purpose,” but they don’t actually believe in it. It’s like, you know, trying to find Santa when you don’t believe in Santa. Like he only shows up for the people who believe in him, guys.

Ava: Do you think that most people are not meant to experience their dharma in this lifetime?

Sahara: No, every single person is meant to. Every single person is born to. There’s no other reason why you would be born. There’s no coincidences on earth; none. They’re never like, “You know what? We’re gonna actually do winter after spring this year, we’re just going to change things up a little bit. I don’t know, just going to be random.”

Ava: Well, climate change, so.

Sahara: Yeah, and that’s us.

Ava: Besides that.

Sahara: That’s us destroying it. But even the cycle of the seasons is still the same, we definitely have natural catastrophes thrown in there now, but if you look at the cycles of the seasons, if you look at the times of the day, if you look at a snowflake, if you look at the waves, it’s like there are cycles, there’s perfection to nature, nothing is coincidental, and we are part of nature, therefore we are not coincidental. No soul’s going to come on this planet for no reason, just for shits and giggles, and to pay some taxes, and lose some weight, and die, like that’s not why you’re here.

So we have to first believe that we truly have a purpose, which can feel like believing in the tooth fairy, and feel really, really weird because we’re kind of conditioned since we were like in middle school to just do what our teacher said, not do what we want. And school has been a massive reason why we’ve forgotten our dharmas.

So we were born knowing our dharmas. From a vedic perspective we chose our dharmas before we incarnated on this planet when we were still souls. You know, a soul can have many different human experiences and non-human experiences. We chose what it is that we want to do on this planet. Your vibration, doesn’t mean I came here to become a lawyer, but it could mean like I’m here to become an advocate for the weak, or I’m here to bring beauty in the places that it’s necessary, or I’m here to be a calming and healing voice, whatever it is.

So you were born here with that soul mission, but you agreed to forget, and that is part of being on this planet, you have to forget, and you have to be born into the microcosm that you are going to solve. So your family is the exact issue that you came here to overcome. So why would you be born into the very thing that you’re supposed to, you know, fix? Well, because you know the ins and outs of it, you lived in it, you were in it for the first 18 years—or plus—of your life.

So from that experience embodying your dharma is the journey of coming back to it. So the exact journey that you needed to go through—maybe it was a health problem like me, maybe it was a divorce, maybe it was social anxiety, maybe it was this, that—that journey is your training to go back to your dharma. And for some people, it’s very overt, like you can’t miss it. And that has to do with their karma, that has to do with what they came in here from their past life.

For some people, especially children being born now more and more rainbow children, they don’t have these big issues, they don’t have to solve these massive problems as much—some still do—because of the level of karma that’s already been done, so they’re just kind of born, and they’re like that Greta environmentalist girl. She’s like, “I’m just gonna save the planet,” and she’s just doing it, and she doesn’t have to like go to therapy for ten years on it. She’s just doing it, and it’s like yes, thank you. Like that’s going to be the new normal, but we the generation before, which are considered indigo children, had to undergone the issue ourselves. So I would be an indigo child, my child would be a rainbow child.

Ava: Okay, I want to hear all about where do these rainbow and indigo come from? Is it from vedic philosophy or…

Sahara: No, this is more of like a… more of a newer age concept.

A; Okay.

Sahara: So, for me, I’m not strict vedic at all, I take whatever resonates with my soul. But, essentially, I think in about 1960s they realized that there was a different vibration to the people being born at this time, a different vibration meaning energetic essence to the people who are being born prior.

So, you know, prior if we think about like the ‘50s, right, it’s like your ‘50s mom, dad, nuclear family. I mean even think of the word nuclear, it’s toxic, it doesn’t work, it’s explosive, and it’s going to last for the rest of your life, and we’re like living the nuclear family.

Ava: Sick.

Sahara: Yeah. So if you think about that, I mean it’s like why did it come to be? Well, those type of people after war—World War I, World War II—it’s like we need grounding, we just need routine, and structure, and like everyone knew exactly what they’re doing, and that made sense. That’s what we needed as a whole.

But then the ‘60s came around, and that’s when we’re like questioning everything, and you know, the incredible movement of the ‘60s, and Woodstock, and the Beatles getting into meditation, and all of these things, and the essence was different. The children being born were indigo, so indigo has—you know, if you look at the color indigo, it’s the color of the third eye chakra, so the third eye is awakening, and people are essentially activating and remembering. So that’s why there is this massive movement happening.

It kind of went down again, like in the ‘80s especially, we sort of stopped—‘80s, ‘90s, 2000s, first generation, it kind of went back into the clouds again. It became more about money, capitalism, technology, et cetera. But then in 2012 we shifted into this age of Aquarian, which was like a massive shift back, and it became more of the rainbow children.

So it’s not like strict order like, “In 2012 we became rainbow,” it’s not like that at all, but there are definitely rainbow children who were being born, but the rainbow children were born and they didn’t have to overcome the hardships themselves, they could just be exactly who they are. So that’s why so many kids these days are finding their dharmas so much younger.

Ava: Which is awesome.

Sahara: Which is super awesome, and I definitely see there are some older people that have experienced that too. It’s just different life experiences. Indigo children need to experience the hardship firsthand, and rainbow children, they can tap into what the collective needs, and it doesn’t need to be what they experienced.

Ava: Right. Well, and I think that because I have these conversations so many times with the women that I work with, the times in which they are experiencing massive hardships and just reminding them, you know, this is your fuel, this is your story, this is where you are going to gather all of your inspiration, all of the knowledge and the wisdom so you can serve.

Sahara: Right.

Ava: And you can lead from a place of really knowing, and empathizing, and be of service.

Sahara: And a lot of people don’t have those. A lot of people I’ve met are saying, “Well, I don’t have like a massive crisis. I wasn’t like homeless or something, and I overcame that, so do I even have a dharma?” And they actually often feel guilty about sharing and speaking because they feel like they don’t have any hardships that they’ve overcome.

And it’s not true, in fact, you kind of have a running start to everyone else because you didn’t have to overcome all of that stuff, and you get to—you still were born with a dharma, but it can be, “I want to stop sex trafficking. I want to stop this.” It doesn’t have to be specifically about you.

Ava: Right, and well also like who says that you can’t pursue something that you’re passionate about?

Sahara: Right.

Ava: Like who says that just because you weren’t homeless you can’t advocate for the homeless, you know? I think that you’re absolutely right, just like the guilt that so many of us feel because we feel like an imposter when, but again, coming from a place of service, you know, I don’t feel as if you can do any wrong if your heart’s there.

Sahara: Yeah, and that’s why I’m so like—ugh, everyone’s like privilege, privilege, but it’s like there is privilege, but instead of feeling sorry about the privilege, use that privilege to help others. Be like, “Yeah, I’m privileged, I’m here listening to a podcast, that means I’m more privileged than like 90% of the earth.” So instead of me just like beating myself up about it, just you know, the vedic perspective would be like, “This is the soul and body that you chose so be of service.”

I think like we are in such a politicized time right now that we’re focusing way too much on like, “You said this and that,” and like color, and like divide, and it’s like we’re all—as a woman of color—like we’re all here on the same soul mission, so let’s focus on the greater picture of how we’re going to raise humanity and consciousness for everyone.

Ava: I love that so much, and I full-heartedly agree. So for somebody then who is like, “Ugh, okay, I have this nugget of inspiration that this is my dharma,” where do they begin? How do they gain the courage to take the first step?

Sahara: Yeah, so I like to work backwards. So let’s say you have the goal of writing a book, right? So you want to have a book in bookstores. Well what would have to happen before that? Well, there would need to be a publisher involved, right? How do you get a publisher? Well, there would need to be a literary agent involved. How would you find the literary agent? Well, you would have to pitch yourself to one, or meet one. Okay, what’s before that? Well, I would need a book proposal. Okay, how do I write a book proposal? I could just Google that, you know?

So it’s like taking something as big as writing a book and just starting with the proposal. I see so many people, “I have this idea for a book.” It’s like let’s see it, and they don’t have it. You know, before I got the book deal for “Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda,” I wrote the whole book—400 pages that I had got paid personally to edit, and graphic design, and everything because I knew that I can’t just sit around and wait, I had to just take this action myself. So work backwards and think what is the first step I could do right now?

Ava: I like that a lot, and it actually goes back to one of the things that I wanted to talk to you about, which was overwhelm, and just how easily we can be defeated when we see something as “write a book,” and then be like, “I don’t know how to do it. Like I’m just gonna walk away from this.”

Sahara: 100%, yeah.

Ava: And I loved what you said about like when you are kind of in flow how your mind will try and make you smaller, and like distract you by doing something, so can you speak a little bit to that because I thought that that was so fascinating. I’m like, “Oh my god, I do that all the time, too.”

Sahara: Yeah, I mean I just noticed it because I do it myself, too, but oftentimes when you are like on the brink of having a breakthrough—whether you’re, you know, writing, it tends to be things that we do on our own. So let’s say you’re writing your website copy, or your screenplay, or whatever it is that you’re doing, and you’re on the brink of a really good idea, but it’s almost like your energetic body can’t handle it. So it’s like, “I need a snack. Or I need to check my phone. Or uh…I need to go to the bathroom,” or like something else to take you out of that moment because you’re energetically expanding so much at the time that your body and your mind just can’t handle it.

So I think for a lot of us it’s eating, that becomes a thing that we just want to do, and the reason why is because our hunger receptors that we’re getting from are in our brains, not in our stomachs. So we’re not actually hungry, but our brains know if they trigger and tell us that we’re hungry we’ll go stop. If my brain is like, “Oh, I want to like,” I don’t know, “do some yoga I’m not going to really stop in the middle of writing and do yoga,” as much as that would be great, but if it says eat, I will go do that.” You know, because it’s quick, it’s easy, it’s gratifying, it’s something I can do in five minutes, and will make me feel kind of calm and restored in a way, but not actually cause I’m eating when I’m not really hungry.

So we have to notice when this is happening to us. Why am I trying to take myself out of this moment right now? What would happen if I really sit in it? And what you’ll notice is your capacity for holding the energy is going to increase. That the moment that you start having good ideas you’re not going to get so overwhelmed that you run away from it, but you’re going to be able to sit with it and let it move through you, and that’s how you expand, and expand your energetic aura, essentially. So then when your ideas are coming through, you’re just sitting there channeling them instead of running away from them.

Ava: Yeah, and I think that that’s such a like important point, too, is that you kind of do need to get yourself into that flow state. Or else if you’re not giving yourself the spaciousness and the time to get there…

Sahara: But even that, you know, what I’ve been noticing is like I had a lot of stories about what I need to get into the flow state. But as someone who’s a professional author, but also an entrepreneur, it’s two very different hats. You know, an author is very vata, creative, and pitta is—entrepreneur is very pitta, it’s very organized, diligent, C.E.O., that type of energy. So I used to tell myself, “Well, I can’t be doing both. Like I need to just like, I don’t know, outsource, find the manager, find someone to like do my business stuff cause I can’t do it,” but you know, no one’s going to be able to do it for you.

So as my life would get busier, well I would still want to write these books, and I realize I don’t even have a full day to write anymore. I have every single day I have fires that I have to put out, that’s just the truth about being an entrepreneur. So I started to realize that a lot of the stories I was telling myself, like “I need a full day to write, or I need to take a walk by the beach to write, or I need candles, I need crystals, I need this,” it’s bullshit.

Like I’ve done a lot of my best writing in a motel room I was staying at because—or house—like all this issues happened with our house, in airports, in random coffee shops. When I’ve had ten minutes between things so it’s like really dropping the story of what you think you need and realizing that your creativity is always there. These things can help, for sure, but it’s not a prerequisite. I mean I see, you know, Deepak Chopra, who I’ve been working with now for the past couple years, and see his schedule. And the guy’s traveling every single day, but he’ll just go into his hotel room, in between big talks, and just start writing.

You know, so it’s like letting go of the story that my life needs to be perfect, my apartment needs to look good, I need to have this money in the bank, all these things I need before I get creative and realizing you can just do it at any time. And once you start doing it you’ll realize like, “I was just making this shit up the whole time.”

Ava: Yeah, I mean I’ve experienced that firsthand for so long. I… cause I’m all over the place. And I would write, but I wouldn’t like writing when I would time block my calendar. I’d be like, “Oh, no, I can’t just be imposed to write at Tuesday at 9:00 AM, like that’s not how my creativity works.”

And then, finally over the past, I think like three weeks now, cause I’m just like something’s gotta give, like I need to be more organized, and like I need to get this shit done, and I have a lot of goals that I want to get done, and it’s not happening because I’m too fluid.

And finally, I was able to just develop a time blocking schedule for myself that works for me that is dynamic enough where it’s not every Tuesday at 9:00 AM, but at least every week I’m getting in X amount of time in writing, or X amount of time of recording. And having the diligence to actually sit down and be like, “Okay, I’m doing this right now,” has allowed me to just get there so much faster. And once I get there I’m like, “Okay, I’m not going to have my phone near me, I’m not going to have any food near me either because I will grab for a Perfect bar.” Like that, and just hone in on it, and be able to access like what we would call the flow state that much faster because I’m like actually carving out the space to be strict with myself, which I think is so important as entrepreneurs.

Sahara: 100%, yeah, I mean that’s all it is, it’s taking away your distractions, your tools that you use to get you out of the moment. And when you don’t have them, there’s nothing else left there but you, so you might as well do it. I think the issue is we all have access to the internet all the time, we all have refrigerators, we all have these things, so it takes a lot of self-discipline. You know, that’s why people are like, “I need to go on a yoga retreat,” or something, and really all they need is someone to just like take their phones away from them.

Ava: Seriously.

Sahara: And that’s it, you could just do it at your house. Or do you have the discipline enough to actually keep your phone on airplane mode in the other room? So it’s a battle, but I also think that we all chose to incarnate here for a reason at this time, and I think the internet is bringing a lot more good than it is bad in general. So I think if we can just remember our goals and set those boundaries, we can still use the internet or whatever you want to do, watch TV, et cetera. You don’t need to be a monk, but having those boundaries with it.

Ava: Yeah, and I think that self-discipline is like such an important topic and something that can be really challenging for a lot of people, especially when they’re first starting out. I know, for me, it was really hard, so do you have any stories, or like did you struggle with self-discipline? Because I feel like you, like you know, you edited your podcast for so long, you wear so many hats. I heard you saying that you write your emails and your sales pages and everything. So having so many different things to do the self-discipline has to be there. Have you gone through your own personal journeys and struggles with it?

Sahara: Honestly, I believe when you’re in your dharma, it doesn’t even feel like discipline. Like I’m never like, “Oh god, I got to sit down and write that email.” It’s like I don’t even really have a schedule for it at this point, I’m just like, “Oh, I have this idea, I’m going to email it. Or I haven’t emailed for a while, I’m going to email about it.”

So I think like removing those contingencies, for me personally, has helped because then it doesn’t feel like this like overwhelming chore, and I’m just showing up out of inspiration, and I’m staying inspired so I keep showing up. So I think that helps, certain people might need that diligent like, Mondays at 9:00 AM, but that’s just not how it works for me.

I think that, again, living in alignment, being inspired, like I’m not doing this for anyone else, like it’s not like I’m doing it to make my boss happy, I’m the only one that’s really going to benefit from all of this, plus like everyone that I help, so why wouldn’t I do it? You know, and I think a lot of people, they try to like outsource things way too soon. Like I was telling you how I edited my first like year of my podcast, and it’s like well, I feel like people think the moment they do one thing like, “Oh, I can’t write my weekly email newsletter.” It’s like people don’t even know your voice. You don’t even know your voice.

Ava: Yeah.

Sahara: Like how are you going to have someone else do it? And how do you think that you’re going to create a movement around your voice when you’re not even willing to share your voice? You know, it’s like look at people like, again, like Tony Robbins, and Oprah, and even Gary V, like they’re showing up multiple times a day. And for some reason, we’ve wanted to just like outsource everything, and it’s like especially when it’s around you, people who are listening, who want to build it around your brand, like no one else can be you.

And also who you are is changing, so even if you hired someone to speak exactly how you did last January, it’s not how you’re going to be speaking today. So I think it’s like be grateful that you’re creating these emails, be grateful that you’re doing all of this. And when it’s coming from that place of like, “Fuck yeah, I get to do this,” it doesn’t feel like an overwhelming doom anymore.

Ava: Yeah, I think that that’s so great, and even like the little shift of, “I get to do this,” versus, “Oh, I have to do this” is super powerful. You know, I hear myself often be like, “Ugh, I got to go write that email, or I have to write this blog post,” and I’m like, “Wait, no, I get to.”

Sahara: And just not overthinking it. Like it’s not the end of the day if you have a type, you know? It’s like just write it, it’s like messy action is always going to be better than you—like I hear some people, they’re like, “I spent a whole day on one email.” I’m like you weren’t writing the email then, you’re just going through your own process, you know?

Ava: Yeah, yeah, for sure.

Sahara: And do you prepare to have a conversation with your friend? No. You writing a sales page is akin to having a conversation with your friend. You’re being like, “Oh my god, I have this incredible new offer, Rose Gold Goddesses, we’re going to be having sister circles around the world.” Like however you would speak it just write it. Like it doesn’t need to be Shakespeare here, like no one even wants that. So I think it’s just like we’re overthinking it, we’re thinking that we’re writing for like academia when we’re not.

Ava: Well, thank goodness for school for preparing us with all that APA.

Sahara: Yes.

Ava: So I’m curious, how do you stay inspired day-to-day? Like what is your daily routine and rituals look like?

Sahara: Yeah, so for me, you know, movement is super important. I exercise every single day whether it’s yoga, or barre, or like doing something at the gym. I need to start my day with movement because I’ll feel so mentally stuck if I’m physically stuck. So like that for me is way more than just like sitting and meditating. If I’m moving and I’m sweating it’s like a cathartic release.

I always start my day with movement, before that, I say my intention for that day, I’ll say an affirmation of how I want to feel that day, I’ll turn to my husband and ask him his intention. I’ve been trying cacao recently, so I will start my day with like a ceremonial cacao, and I’ll add, you know, herbs like ashwagandha, mucuna, blue lotus tea sometimes. I pull cards from my deck, the Yogic Path, which are these beautiful cards that have wisdom from Ayurveda, yoga sutras, chakras, all of the things. So I pull cards and I allow my intuition to respond instead of just the cards. So for me, I pull a card really differently than how most people do, and I share it in a Yogic Path.

But essentially, I’ll shuffle the cards and lay them out, and then I ask whatever the question is. So typically my questions are more open-ended. Like, “What message do my guides have for me? Or how can I best serve? Or how can I share my wisdom? Or what do I need to focus on?” So I’ll ask that question, and tune in, and kind of like energetically scan the cards with my hand until I feel like a kind of hot spot. And then I choose that card, and then I put it between my hands in Namaste position, and then I intuitively, you know, guess what does this card have to say to me?

And I think a lot of us, we just like flip the card, and it’s like, “Oh, it’s this,” and it’s like that’s not using your intuition. It’s not even… the whole point of the cards is for you to become better, not for the cards to tell you something, it’s the cards aren’t the psychic here, it’s you. So I intuitively will ask, like, what do I think is coming through and allow my thoughts. And I think a lot of people think like you’re supposed to hear another voice in your head or something, but it’s going to be your own thoughts, it’s going to be your own inner voice that’s telling you.

Then from there I’ll finally flip over the card, and then I’ll look at the imagery. So the imagery designed these cards—my illustrator is Starchild Tarot, who many of you guys may know, she does epic decks. But we sourced all of the statues and the paintings et cetera from the ancient vedic times. So these are the actual 2,000 to 5,000 year old statues and paintings.

Ava: Wow, cool.

Sahara: Surrounded by all of this super like psychedelic and highly meaningful collage art. So hidden within them are a lot of subliminal signals and messages that take you to deeper dimensions of what that card means. So I’ll really look at that card, and then allow my intuition to further guide me of what is this card telling me, you know?

And then from there, if I even feel called, then I’ll open up the guidebook. But by then I already know what the answer is—well also I wrote the guidebook—but even still then I will pull the guidebook. And how I did it in Yogic Path is it’s upright and reverse, and there’s two different meanings, which they do a lot of tarot decks, but I hadn’t seen it done in oracle decks. And I really like this because life’s not always in the light, sometimes it’s in the shadows, and that’s not a bad thing, that just means that’s just where the work is.

So if you can see that your guides are essentially giving you signs, like we talked about, you’re always getting signs, you’re always being led to your dharma. So the more and more you use these cards, and the more you become intuitive, the more these cards become an opportunity for your guides, your highest self, your intuition to deliver messages to you.

So if it’s upright, it may mean one thing, reverse, it may mean something else. And one thing that was really my intention when I created a Yogic Path was a lot of us we want to learn about Ayurveda, goddesses, et cetera, but it’s kind of old school at this point to like sit and read a book. You know, like most of us don’t do it, honestly. And how can we in this new age be able to receive this ancient wisdom? And that’s through interactiveness, that’s through using your intuition. So you’re actually learning so much about these goddesses, these sutras, et cetera, all of the vedic wisdom in such an interactive way that it doesn’t feel like you’re studying for a book.

So, you know, there’s 54 cards, flipped over 108 meanings, 108 is a very auspicious number in the vedic times. And all of this wisdom is just like given to you in such a gentle way that you’ll start to notice like, “Okay, right now I need more drona, more concentration. Or oh, I’m feeling very sattvic, pure.” Like you’re going to just start noticing these words become part of your vocabulary, and that’s just your vibration enhancing through them without even trying.

Ava: Hm, that’s what I love about all of the work that you do is that it is so accessible, like it is this ancient wisdom that you’re distilling for people in a way that we can really integrate it into our lives in like this modern world. Because I think that there is so much stuff that’s very dated, but the wisdom and the knowledge there is ever-lasting, and is needed more now than ever before. And so to be able to learn it and integrate it into our lives in a way that is engaging, and fun, and easy, and interesting, and something that we crave is really special to bring onto this planet, for sure.

Sahara: Mm, thank you so much, I appreciate that, and it has to be fun. I think one of the biggest issues we have as a spiritual community as we make it all so damn serious. And it doesn’t have to be, it’s actually not supposed to be. You know, like if you’re taking yourself so seriously or you’re saying, “I can only, you know, take action when I’ve done all the healing.” It’s like, guess what, you’re always going to have another past life to heal, another ancestral wound to heal, another childhood thing to heal.

Like we’re never going to be totally healed, we do not come on this planet to be totally healed. We came here to live our optimal human experiences and fulfilling our dharma. And that happens best when you’re having fun, and you’re in a state of joy, and you’re you know, in motion, in kriya, in flow. But it also happens when you tie it to being of service, and both things are necessary. We also need to make it bigger than ourselves because sometimes your dharma is going to be tough, and sometimes it’s going to require parts of yourself that you didn’t even know that you had.

But when you can tie that anchor to something so much greater than yourself, which is your mission here on this planet, you’re fueled by an endless source of energy. I mean I look at Marianne Williamson running for president right now. And I’ve known her for a couple of years, like going to her talks, et cetera, and I’ve always very much looked up to her. But wow, running for president, you’re waking up at 4:00 in the morning to get on like the 5:00 news, and hit three states in like one day, and it’s so much like work, and showing up. Like I was just at her talk a couple days ago, she greeted and had a conversation with every single person there, over 500 people.

Ava: Wow.

Sahara: And took a picture with them and asked them, “What do you think we need in this country,” and like fully listened to them. I’m like, holy crap, I do one book signing I’m like, “That was a lot.” And I’m like, do you know what, because she’s being so… she’s so fueled to dharma, and she’s completely in a state of service that she’s getting her energy from something so much greater. If we’re feeling exhausted we’re not getting our energy from earth. And when we’re tapped into earth, our energy is limitless.

You know, Marianne can keep showing up and doing it because it’s not her energy, it’s this greater source of energy that’s moving through her, and that is the same energy I’m tapping into when I’m writing these books, and these podcasts, and creating. And it’s something that we all have access to, it’s just going to be in different ways. Whether it’s running for president, or playing the sitar, or planting a garden, or helping children, or whatever it is that puts you in that state that energy feels limitless because that’s who you truly are. Your soul is limitless, it’s just your human body that’s making you stop. And we’re not supposed to go all the time, but when we’re tapped into our dharma it feels like we can.

Ava: Yeah, absolutely. Well, and I love what you said about shifting from kapha, to pitta, to vata depending on where you are needing it to when you are in your dharma. Because there are times when we need those big ideas, there are times when we need to execute, and there are times when we need to replenish ourselves and to find the balance between each of those is key in this modern age.

Sahara: For sure, absolutely. Yes, we have to take the vata idea into pitta execution and kapha re-evaluation. And from that state of re-evaluation resting, recharging, we naturally come up with the idea again. So it goes through these beautiful cycles like the seasons, like everything else. And if you’re ever confused, just follow the next dosha. If you’re coming up with all of these ideas you don’t know what to do, just take action. Take action on something, send an email, go to a networking event, make a phone call, just take action.

Ava: Yeah.

Sahara: And then if you’re just been taking so much action, you’re just burnt out and you’re like, “I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be doing next, I’m just always working.” Take that breath, like meditate, go take a walk, maybe take a hiatus. You need to create that space, then from that space maybe you’ve been in a lot of space recently, you haven’t been in the workforce for a while, or you just haven’t been feeling yourself. Come up with the idea, what would your dream life look like? You know, what could you create? Think big. And from that natural state of inspiration, again, you will take action.

Ava: Mm, I love that so much. And it just highlights that like everything comes in seasons, you know. It’s okay if you are in the recharging state, in the re-evaluating state. And it’s also okay if you just have all these amazing ideas right now too. But as long as you continue to fulfill upon the idea, take the time to step back and witness the idea and go within those different seasons and those cycles. You know, as long as you’re fueled, then you’re on the path, which I think is so powerful. So, Sahara, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. How can we support you, what’s coming up next for you, and where can people find you?

Sahara: Yeah, well, you can get your hands on my deck, A Yogic Path, it’s available on Amazon, wherever you get your books. And if you want to learn more about your dosha, your Ayurvedic mind-body type, you can head over to my website: iamsahararose.com, you will find a quiz. I also have an incredible sisterhood collective called Rose Gold Goddesses. By the time this is out I think doors might be closed, but you can go on rosegoldgoddesses.com so you can join the waitlist, we’re going to be doing a free five-day challenge again in the new year, and be opening doors.

And it’s this incredible community with our very own app, and women from like everywhere like meeting up, and having events, and talking about our past lives. And like you know, just your spiritual soul mates, and that was the thing that I so needed the most when I was on my journey, I was just so totally alone. And I was like, “If there is one thing that could have changed things, it was community,” and that’s what I created with this. So yeah, that’s at rosegoldgoddesses.com, you can find all of that if you go on my Instagram: @iamsahararose, sahara like the desert.

Ava: Thank you for coming on.

Sahara: Thank you.

Mm, I hope you enjoyed that conversation I had with Ava. It felt really lovely to share my journey with her, and with all of you. And I hope that you can see whatever situation you’re in, if you’re in the mess, if you’re in the pain, if you’re in the hard moment, that mess could become your message, and that pain can become your passion. And you can transmute anything you’re going through and utilize it as training for becoming your highest self.

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 228 – How I Discovered My Dharma with Sahara Rose

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