In a noisy world, how do we connect with our truth? In this episode I sit with my dear friend Shannon to discuss following our intuition, creating social media boundaries, creating from a place of rest and cultivating offline community. This is a great conversation you’ll deeply enjoy!
Check out Shannon’s new book Truth Your Truth at trustyourtruthbook.com
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Episode 358: Trusting + Connecting To Your Truth with Shannon Algeo
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.
In a noisy world, how do we connect with our truth? It is such an eternal question; one that I have struggled with and I think every human has, especially when you’re on a spiritual growth journey. It can be hard for you to assess what is right for you; what is coming from intuition; what is coming from fear; or how do I know the difference? And in this conversation we really dive into this topic. And this is with a dear friend of mine, Shannon Algeo, who, you may have heard quite recently on the Podcast because he interviewed me on my book “Discover Your Dharma: A Vedic Guide to Finding Your Purpose”, which I actually released on the Podcast in January.
He was also on the Podcast 2-3 years ago, so he may be a familiar voice to you, or he may be new. He is just such a sweetheart who I deeply resonate; with his, just very grounded and practical and restful approach which is completely the vibe that I’m on right now. I feel like, collectively, we are so burnt out – this month in Rose Gold Goddesses is all about Hathor who is the Goddess of Sacred Receiving and what does it mean to receive, and practices like Yoga Nidra and just lying down and letting your energy feel received. I feel like we’re all in this combatitive mode and I feel like it’s been most of our lives because of the Internet and probably the whole Industrial Revolution has really been like this, but especially in the past year now, with Covid and the lockdowns and everything, we really, energetically, have felt very defensive. I’ve really felt like we need to keep our guard up and we need to be worried about our safety and security, and it can bring up a lot of root chakra stuff. And it can be hard in times like this and in times of insecurity to trust your truth, but I feel like one of the greatest lessons I have learned, and seening the collective learn this as well, is we’re okay; even in the uncertainty, we’re okay.
And I saw this funny Tik Tok and it was Match 2020 and we were on the phone, we’re freaking out, we’re stocking up, making sure we get enough toilet paper – all of our guards are up and then we see other people, maybe, reacting even more than we are so we feel like “Maybe I’m underprepared, maybe I’m not going to have enough food” and I was like that, we were all like that because it was an uncertainty, we didn’t know what was going to happen next. And now, March 2021, we’re just with our face mask on, cruising around our kitchen, it’s so not a scary thing for us. We’re still in uncertainty, we still are but we have learned to be okay with it.
And I think that that is one of the greatest collective lessons that we have learned in the past year, that we never know what tomorrow holds. That was before Covid – we never knew. And this pandemic also brought up the opportunity to look at every moment is given and nothing is guaranteed and how are we going to live in this unknown that every single moment can change your life. And that can feel like a really big responsibility but it can also feel like a great gift because that means you can change your life in any moment; that means your future is not set in front of you; that doesn’t mean “Oh, because I grew up in this small town and everyone does this one thing, that that’s what I’m going to do too”. The whole entire world can shift in one year, one month, one day; your life can shift in one year, one month, one day. So, are you going to choose to shift it? And that really comes from the practice of trusting, connecting to your truth, tuning into your Dharma, your soul’s purpose, the big reason why you are here.
And I really believe the more we can connect to what our intuitive voice sounds like, because it really sounds different for every single person. You know, I’ve been sharing this Podcast for the past 4 years now and I have interviewed so many intuitive people, and every single person, I ask them “What makes you your highest self” and the answer has never been the same. What makes each person their highest self is unique to them; what makes your intuition yours is unique to you.
So, it’s feeling “What does truth feel like for me? What is my home base? What is my North Node? What is my Dharma?” And the more that we can tune into that and feel what it is, the more we can find when we are not in alignment with that and make those shifts and make those changes to come back home.
So, in this conversation, we talk all about Connecting to Your Truth; your Intuition. We also talk about social media boundaries, which to me, has been a huge block of my intuition (I don’t think I’m the only one). So, Shannon actually shares his practice of what he does, which is a pretty radical approach and something that I’m not quite doing yet, but it really inspired me. So, you’ll hear what he does; it’s really interesting, I’ve never heard anyone do this before and I was like “What!?” And I was like “The fact that we can’t do this just shows how addicted we are!”
We also talk about creating from a place of rest. If you heard my Episode, my Solocast, last month, you know that right know I’m really focused on creating from a place of rest, a place of ease. And he also shares his practice of actually writing his book from that place and how he did that. And then we also talk about what our dreams are for the future, for the collective and what living in community can really look like.
So, this is an amazing conversation that you’ll deeply enjoy. I love Shannon so much and I know you will too.
So, without further ado, let’s welcome Shannon Algeo to The Highest Self Podcast.
And before we get started, I have an announcement for you.
Do you feel deep in your soul that you have a purpose but are overwhelmed and confused about where to start? Are you a multi-passionate person who needs a clear focus and direction so you can truly make progress and impact this year? Do you know deep down that your highest form of joy is your highest form of service but need clarity on how to make that your reality? Well, you’re not alone, our school system and society has not trained us to follow our intuition and honor our Dharmas. In fact, it can feel like totally foreign territory. But the thing is, discovering your Dharma is the most important work you can do and without discovering our Dharma we will never experience true happiness because happiness is the byproduct of living your purpose.
I was where you might be right now, confused and overwhelmed about my own Dharma, questioning if I even had one, my dreams just wishful thinking or if my obstacles had happened to me for a reason because it was my opportunity to share them. And through my journey of deconditioning and unraveling and getting true with myself for many, many years, I finally got the courage to write my first book, second book, third book, my newest book “Discover Your Dharma” and help thousands discover their Dharmas too.
So, I’m so excited to bring to you the first ever course, the 21-Day Dharma Discovery Journey. In this course, in just 21 days, in less than 10 minutes a day, I will be your Dharma Coach guiding you step-by-step on how to discover your Dharma.
So, if you’re interested in learning more, head over to iamsahararose.com/dharmadiscovery the link is in the show notes and I’m so excited to see you living your Dharma.
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Welcome Shannon, back, to The Highest Self Podcast, it’s so great to have you here.
Oh my gosh Sahara, thank you! Thank you for having me back, it’s so nice to be back on The Highest Self Podcast, and always, so nice to be talking to you, I’m so excited to be here with you today.
And the first question I’d love to ask you is what makes you your highest self?
You know, I was reflecting about the concept and the experience of highest self before we started talking today. That there is this opportunity to actually realize my highest self; that there is this kind of higher calling; this kind of ideal or fully-manifested, realized, beautiful, conscious version of myself, and that by just tuning towards that possibility, moves me more in that direction. So the question is “What makes me my highest self?” I think it’s my willingness to integrate and explore all of the messy, beautiful, complicated, gnarly, sexy, devastating aspects of Shannon, and that by having a willingness to dance with all of these colors of my humanity, I’m able to, then, rise into my true highest self. Not a highest self that’s (I know you’ve talked about this before) spiritually bypassing or forgetting certain parts of myself or leaving them behind because I judge them as bad, but instead, going and getting those parts of myself that I’ve judged as bad in the past and learning to love those parts of myself and give compassion to those parts of myself – that’s where I feel like I get my energy, is by kind of going to the shadow spaces and learning to bring the medicine of my highest self to those places too.
I love that so much! And yeah, really just sitting with all the archetypes of who we are and being able to play around with them. I feel like, so often, when we get into spirituality it’s like “I gotta go from point A to point B” and then you get to point B and you realize all of those things that made you, you, in point A, need to come with you for this point C which is the total embodiment of all of the sides of you.
Oh my gosh, totally, yeah. When we first start the spiritual path, there is this kind of dynamic of getting better; getting from this place where I am now, that might kind of feel like it sucks to this better place where I can be a better version of myself or my life can be better or my relationships can be better or my work can be more fulfilling, but then, you’re so right, what happens after you get to point B and you kind of lift yourself up and do the work to kind of get to that better place, is you realize that there is point C and it becomes more of a circle than a line. And I think that that’s where things get exciting in the spiritual journey.
And I know you and I both so resonate with bringing that playful aspect of ourselves when we were younger in our Entertainer archetypes, and Dancer archetypes, and Singer archetypes and these playful parts of ourselves that maybe – I know for myself, when I first got spiritual, I was like “Oh, there’s no place for that here, that’s a separate thing” but it’s not in my all-holy, light worker, new persona that I’ve developed here because I went to Bali you know. It’s like, no, actually the twerk is fully involved in it.
Yes, the spiritual twerk! You know our friend, I love our friend Sah D’Simone who talks about Zombie Zen, he says Zombie Zen is this idea that everyone’s so serious and tense, and the spiritual practice is discipline, committed, it’s kind of rigid and you’ve got to do it every day and he’s like “I’m not into Zombie Zen, honey”, he talks about incorporating all these aspects of ourselves. I know for myself, play is so important, especially as I grow into my adulthood, there’s so much responsibility, there’s bills, there’s money; if you’re an entrepreneur, there’s paying people, you’re not just taking care of yourself, you’re taking care of others, there’s just kind of, the weight of capitalism can feel so – it has so many aspects of toxic patriarchal, robotic, non-human culture built into it. And so, play, like twerking, is radical, is like “Fuck yeah, I’m just going to click on my camera and twerk for the Tik Tokers or the Instagrammers.
For my highest self!
Yeah! Have fun! And if it’s not fun, I think it’s missing something.
I agree. So, you just wrote this incredible book “Trust Your Truth”, I am obsessed, I got to read it early on and give you a little quotey-quote. And I was reading it I was just like “We are birds of the same feather”. I so resonate with everything that you are saying, and it’s a different vocabulary and different lifetime experiences that you have than I have, but really, the essence of it is the same.
So, can you share a little bit, for listeners, what does it even mean to trust your truth?
Yeah, I remember hearing from you right after you read through some of the book and you said we’re definitely connecting to the same source and I just loved the way you put that. And after reading your book, felt very much that I resonated with that.
And yeah, “Trust Your Truth” is about learning to listen to, remember and trust the wisdom that lives within your heart, your mind, your body, your cells – your tissues have wisdom in them and we are so often taught by society, even our parents, people who love us, teachers, the world conditions us to seek after something outside of us. And if I can just get that thing, if I can just do that thing, if I can be with just that type of person or make this type of money or have this kind of job or this person’s attention, then I will be enough, then I can feel enough, then I can rest at night. But that thing about that path is – and I talk about in the book, interviewing Deepak Chopra for the first time, when I first started ma podcast and how my ego was so engaged as I was waiting outside Deepak’s office in New York City at the Deepak home base because a part of my ego was like “Holy shit, you’re so cool, you’re interviewing Deepak Chopra!” And the other part of my ego, the part that wanted to play small was like “Who do you think you are interviewing Deepak Chopra? You’re not worthy of this. What the fuck do you think is happening right now?” And so, I just watched my ego ping-ponging and the thing is, neither of those were fully true. The truth was, is that, Deepak is a human being (and you know him), he’s a spiritual being, he’s tapped in (talk about tapped in to Source), he’s definitely tapped into a powerful Source, and so am I. And the thing that blew my mind (and I say that from a very humble place of course) but the thing that blew mind was after we released that episode on Soul Feed, with Deepak, I was hearing from so many people who were like “Oh, I’ve heard of him but I’ve never listened to him speak”, “I’ve always wanted to learn about Deepak”, “I always wanted to read one of his books” or “I didn’t know him”, some people were saying, and I was like “Oh, by us partnering together, we’re actually able to expand and widen the message”, that’s what the truth was. So, for me, getting to partner with Deepak in that way, helped me get over myself and helped me get into service. And that’s what the truth is.
So, I think that we learn our truth by getting messy in life, getting in the sandbox, digging in the mud, getting hurt sometimes (even though that’s really hard) and learning. Learning “Oh, that’s not my truth, that is not my truth. I do not want to do that again, I do not want to feel that way, that is not for me”, but then those experiences guide us towards connection to “Oh, this is what I am supposed to do; this is what I’m called to do”, and the more that we can source our truth, based on our own internal relationship to who we are, and not based on what other people tell us who we should be and how we should be, the more we build an embodied sense of musculature, confidence and connection to “This is my truth, I know what is real to me and I’m going to build my life based on that knowing.”
I love that so much! And I think what gets tricky for people is how do you know if it’s coming from your truth or if it’s coming from your fears that are masking as the truth?
That is such a good question and I think it’s like, you don’t always know. And that’s why you have to be brave and take risks and be willing to make mistakes and screw it all up because that’s where the real learning happens, is when you take that sense of “Okay, I do feel called to go in this direction. I do feel called to take this job that’s technically going to pay me less but it feels like my heart is going to be so much more fulfilled”, “I do feel called to take a step away from this relationship because I do feel like it’s draining my energy but I don’t know what’s next for me, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to find someone else who loves me this much”. Whatever those conversations are, we have to be willing to be brave and lean in and explore what is it like to just take one step in the direction of what feels true right now, knowing that your truth isn’t a solid fixed thing. The truth is, I think of it breaths, it’s constantly changing like the ocean ebbing and flowing, it requires our presence because you can think that you have your finger on it, you can think like “Aaah, I know what my truth is”, but sweetheart, we wake up in the morning and we got to begin again and check in with ourselves and always be listening to that deeper wisdom within.
So, it’s like a corrective experience where, if you take a wrong turn, the GPS has the capacity to reroute you back home, to where you want to go. And perfectionism is a byproduct of white supremacist, capitalist, toxic, patriarchal culture, because perfectionism tells us that we have to be inhuman, that we have to be perfect, there’s no room for error, that it is fear, it’s life or death. And when we’re in that mode of perfectionism, we don’t give ourselves the space to be human and make mistakes. And I think we have to make mistakes in order to learn what our truth really is.
I love that so much! And I think perfectionism is a huge thing that some people identify with. I think a lot of people are even proud of themselves, like “Oh, I’m a perfectionist and that’s a great attribute of myself, I strive for excellence”, and while I do agree, it’s great to always do your best, in this capitalistic society, what does best mean, who is deciding best, what is the result of best? And I think it just ties us to this never-ending fishing rod, that the fish is always a couple feet in front of you and you think you’re almost there and you think you’re almost there and you think you’re almost there, so you’re tying your perfectionism to this ideal that you will never get to and then judging yourself when you will never get there. Do you ever feel that in your own process?
Yeah, I love that reflection because I think that trusting your truth is the essence of practicing; that you actually get to decide what’s best for you. And really being in a relationship with yourself in a way that; or you’re able to excavate – no, this actually, this goal that I have isn’t mine. This is something that’s been programmed into me, conditioned into me, I’ve digested it, it’s become a part of me. And the way that we know whether it’s true for us is – does this thing that we are proud of (maybe we’re proud of perfectionism). And I speak of perfectionism, or I speak about perfectionism because I struggled with it myself, so it’s like “Okay, well is this perfectionism actually holding me back from being my highest self; for bringing my truth to fruition, to my consciousness and to the consciousness of the world?” If something is getting in the way – a lot of people say “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good” or “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of done” – and because I’m in grad school right now and I have to write these papers; so many of the times I go to write a paper and I don’t want to start writing the paper because as soon as I start working on the paper, it’s going to have to be the perfect paper. And so, it’s easier to not do it than to know that I’m going to start to get into a messy process where there’s going to be multiple different drafts and there’s going to be errors and there’s going to be things that don’t come out right, but to weave in play, it’s like “Well, what is the point of all of this?” The reason I’m going to grad school is to get an education, to learn something new, to deepen my knowledge and my wisdom and my experience, to create new paths forward for my career. So this is my education, so why don’t I write a paper that I want to write, why don’t I write something that’s going to feel deep and rich and meaningful for me, and not be so obsessed about the grade that the teacher’s going to give me at the end. Maybe it would be better to write a paper based on my own interests and miss something on the syllabus that was supposed to be in there, than to write this perfectly executed paper that’s meeting all of the perfect points to get the perfect grade. And so, the question becomes who do we want to be? Who do you want to be? How do you want to play? How do you want to experience your life? And if perfectionism is keeping you from doing the thing; keeping you from writing the book; starting a podcast; writing the paper; applying to grad school, then the perfectionism is not working, it’s like a faulty thing in your database because supposedly, perfectionism is supposed to get you to be your highest self and be the best. So, if it’s actually creating a lot of suffering and judgment or even sabotage, and keeping you from even showing up, then I don’t think that’s perfectionism, I think that’s fear.
Aha. And the topic of perfection is so interesting because every single person’s medicine is going to be different with it, right? I feel like for someone who is a chronic over-achiever, the perfectionism gives them a sense of validation. Probably from the time they were kids they got a pat on the head from dad when they brought home good grades or love from the teacher or whatever else it is, so they’re always striving for this thing, for external validation. And then, on the other hand, I see this feeling of like “Okay, well I’m just going to do the bare minimum, put in the least amount of effort” that maybe, not striving for perfectionism but striving for you know, “Is this the final result that you would want to give people?”
You know, in the process of writing a book, for example, I could’ve been “Screw this, I don’t care about my spelling”, that level to attention and detail is necessary for something like a book. But when I’m writing social media posts, I have typos in there all the time because it doesn’t matter, if you can understand what I’m saying, I got the point across. So, it’s like choosing when it matters and also taking with more energy towards my actions be helping me with who I want to be or am I putting so much into it that it’s preventing me from being who I want to be?
I love that! I love that you’re naming the different medicines are going to be required for different people, based on what their relationship with perfectionism is and how it’s showing up in their behavior. For me, I constantly have to be “Shannon, it’s good enough, it’s good enough” because otherwise I can be like “Bzzz”, hone in on every little letter of every sentence, every word. And so, for me, it’s medicinal to be like “Baby, step away, let the mistakes sit there, let someone else see them, you don’t have to find them all”.
And so, I love Ann Lemont, the writer, says to write your shitty first draft, “Write your shitty first draft”, and there’s something about the permission, to, yeah, you can go back and edit it, you can go back, you can re-read it. This is one of the biggest things I learned about writing this book, is don’t edit while you’re creating; don’t edit your writing while you’re writing. Turn on the flow, turn on the faucet and just write. And as I would write, I would first do my Yoga Nidra practice lying down and then I would come out of it and my computer would be right there, and I would’ve hiked before, meditated, done all my morning routine and I would just start flowing through the chapter and just letting the chapter pour out of me and not let my inner critic, not let the judge say “Shannon, don’t tell that story” or “This is stupid” or “This doesn’t make sense, what are you talking about?” I would literally be like “No, no, no, you can show up later, we’ll with you later, but right now the faucet is on and when the faucet is on, the water comes out.” And that for me actually made the writing process of this book incredibly easy – I know that’s not everyone’s experience but that was the experience for me. The editing process, as you can imagine, based on what I’ve shared, that was harder, that was where my perfectionist came in, the final manuscript, the final chance to edit, that’s where I was like “Ahh”. But giving myself the space to just create, from a space of freedom and play, and trusting that I do have this connection to a higher source and it can come right through me, I’m so grateful that I let myself do that because I know that this book, while it may not be the perfect book, it’s a book from my heart, my soul, my depth and my highest self.
So beautifully expressed! And I actually found out that, on your computer, I think it’s on Microsoft word, there’s an Ernest Hemingway mode where you can’t press the delete button, because so many people, as they’re writing, they start deleting and editing what they’re going to say, so it’s this mode, which is what Hemingway used to do as well, of just letting yourself write and not go back and delete anything, which is – I’m sure if you google it, you’ll figure out how to do it but that’s a really good thing if you are someone that’s always editing what they’re going to say. But for myself, too, it’s always stream of consciousness, download, I’m just typing so fast that the words aren’t even making sense, they’re not even real sentences but I’m just like, that faucet, that connection is turned on so I ride that wave and then I can kind of feel when it’s starting to shut off and it starts trickling and it’s a little bit less. And then trusting that, honoring that, “Okay, thank you, received, get myself rested”. And then, for me as well, when I’m in that stream of consciousness mode, then it just allows me to just get whatever source is seeking to express through me and that purest channel without my ego trying to now dictate it or see where it’s going because it’s a different part of your brain. It’s a helpful one, there’s a time and space for that too but you’re not going to be channeling from source and like “Hey, that comma was not in the right place” at the same time.
Totally! And that’s where that – it’s so freeing to let yourself have the experience of flow and of creativity and of non-judgment and of riding that wave like you said. There’s something exhilarating about that and I really hope that everyone, whether it’s writing or some other way of creating, I hope everyone has that experience, where you let yourself, it does feel like a choice to be like “I’m putting my joy and my creativity and my flow first, and we’ll clear it up later”.
For my husband it’s when he’s making his music. So now, he’s doing his morning pages practice and getting himself into that flow-like state, but his biggest kryptonite was exactly that, as he was making the music he would be like “This sucks” or “The top one is wrong” or whatever the music terminology is, that’s it’s in that modality it still shows up. That same inner critic perfectionist will show up in – maybe you’re doing pottery or even coaching with someone and you’re like “Did I say the right thing? Oh shit, I shouldn’t have said that thing”, and here you are, no longer being present with your client because you’re over-analyzing. And here’s the thing about perfectionism, I feel like in a way it’s like an obsession with self because it’s this obsession of “I care so much about what you think about me”. And at the end of the day, no one’s sitting around and thinking about – like you, for the most part, I’m not sitting around “Oh my God, I can’t believe Shannon did not use the apostrophe, the right way for pluralization, didn’t he know there was not supposed to be an apostrophe for that s. No one sitting around thinking about that but in a way, perfectionism is our own sense of self-importance, the whole world cares about me. That often times, as a teenager, we’re like – you know, as a teenager you walk down the hallway and think everyone’s just staring at you and only thinking and talking shit about you, and it’s like, the truth is, most people are just in their own story and they’re not even thinking about it.
Oh my God, I love that! And it’s like, figuring out where you’re at on the spectrum, because sometimes it’s helpful to think “My words matter and what I’m going to say is going to have an impact”. And I want to be mindful and conscious and awake and aware and connected to how important it is that I show up and share. But if you go too far into that or you stay there for too long, then you might need the other quality which is what you were just talking about, like “Sweetheart, nobody cares, everyone’s in their own world, let it go, get over yourself and just vomit it out, go play, make a mess!” And so, yeah, I don’t think it’s a one-size fits all, and it’s not even a one-size fits me, I need those different relationships with myself. And I think that is, what I’m hoping, what people are exploring when they’re exploring trusting their truth. Whether it’s reading a book “Trust Your Truth” or whether it’s just exploring, this is that “What I need right now is going to be different than what I needed yesterday, perhaps, or what I needed last year”, and that we aren’t robots, we are beings and so we need to be in a relationship with ourselves as we grow and evolve, and continue to take care of where we’re at on an embodied level, on a spiritual level, not just on a mind level of like “Well, I worked out! And last week when I worked out, I felt great, why do I feel like shit right now? Because maybe I needed to go on a walk that day or maybe I needed to go a little bit slower and I kind of forced myself to work out”, you know, so there’s different things that are required in different moments of our lives.
And I think that this is such an important conversation, especially in spirituality, because we can take these universal truths and apply them to every single thing in our lives without the relative truth that every single situation at every single moment of time is going to be different. So, we could’ve done this whole podcast on “Don’t be a perfectionist, just get your stuff out there”, but then it couldn’t have been the message of the person who was just kind of half-assing their whole life, so it’s just, again, trusting your truth, knowing what works for you and having that sovereignty of “Life is like a buffet and advice is like a buffet” and you don’t have to take it all, or maybe you put the jello on the side of your plate and then maybe when it’s time for the jello, you have the jello but you don’t need to force yourself to have it now because it’s on your plate, you know.
J-E-L-L-O, it’s life!
Yes, throw it back!
We’ll take a quick break so I can give a shout-out to our sponsors.
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So, in your book, you talk about trusting your gut, tuning into your gut’s intuition. How can we practice that in real life?
Yeah! So, go with your gut or trust your gut is something that I had heard so many times and it could put it on a bumper sticker, put it on an Instagram post. Whenever I would see it, I’d be like “Yes, yes please, trust your gut, go with your gut!” Of course, duh! But I didn’t really learn this lesson in an embodied, ‘oh, my gut’ kind of way. Really, truly, my body has a felt sense of sensory communications that it’s communicating to me, and if I listen to my gut, I can actually be aware of when I’m giving power away vs. when I’m holding my power or my sovereignty, being a force field of that power and containing it.
And for me, what happened is, I was in a relationship for, it was almost 3 years, and the last year of the relationship I had this feeling in my gut, didn’t make sense in my mind at all, but my body told me this guy doesn’t want monogamy, he might be cheating on you, I think he’s into this other guy who we’re kind of friends with; my body felt it. And all the things I just said were kind of stories that my mind kind of tried to grab onto based on my body’s feeling. And what happened too, or what happened to me was, I would go to him and I would say to him “I feel like this is happening” and I told myself I was trusting my truth, I told myself “I feel this thing, can we talk about it”, “I feel this thing, can you let me know whether it’s true or not?” The problem was, is because of his own experiences and his life and his trauma and his fears and his stuff, he lied to me and he deflected, he often got angry, and every time I would bring it up it would get worse, we’d have a bigger fight. And I believed him, or I wanted to, my mind wanted to. And so, what happened was, is that I started to think I was crazy, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I trust people? Must have been my parent’s relationship, wow, that really fucked me up. Why do I have these trust issues?” I started to really internalize his anger and deflection, and what I realized, in the end, as things came to light and as he got honest with me, was that my gut, my body, was right every single time over the course of a year, on many different occasions. Every one of those feelings was correlated to an actual event that happened. And when he told me that that was true, that all of that was true, I felt my body becoming super-charged with energy. I felt like a superhero, I felt alive, I felt the clouds part, like I could actually see my life again, the delusion was starting to fade. And I felt both devastated, because this truth coming to light meant a whole array of messiness for my actual physical life – we had just moved from New York to LA, there were cars involved, apartment leases, furniture and dishes, families, and it was complicated. So that part of me was very devastated, but another part of me, my body, was like “Thank God, this is what I knew”. And I’ll just never be able to forget that lesson and at this point I’m so grateful to him for that lesson. As painful as it was and as fucked up as it was, I have so much love and gratitude because Shannon needed that lesson; Shannon needed to know that your body knows. And no matter what truth you go seeking on the outside of yourself to make yourself feel better, to keep your life in this kind of structure, that I had made it into in this relationship, the body keeps the score as Bessel van der Kolk says (he has the book “The Body Keeps The Score”). And so, if you’re wondering how to build this relationship with your gut intuition, I really invite you to look at times where you just knew but you didn’t want to know because the truth can be incredibly inconvenient to our egos and the structures of life that we have built, and yet, paradoxically, the truth sets us free, it sets our spirits free. And so, I think by investigating, and maybe you haven’t had an intense experience yet or maybe you’re like “Oh my God, I knew that too, I had that feeling too”, but I would invite people, practically, to look at “What don’t I want to see or know? What am I opposed to being true that my body is telling me – You need to pay attention to something here.”
I so resonate with that story and I feel like when we don’t listen to that, it gets louder and louder and louder, and then it becomes this smack in your face, so there are cars and leases and all of these things involved, whereas, a year before that it was a whisper, it could’ve been less complicated, but it just took getting to that point for you to make the change.
Yeah. And that kind of goes back to – that was a big, beautiful, sacred, holy mistake. Thank God for the 3-year car lease, thank God for the cell phone plan, that ugly, sectional, navy blue sofa, thank God for the dishes that are still in my kitchen, thank God that it got me to LA. And you don’t need to rush, it’s like Shawn Corn says “You can’t get to the bless you until you’ve got through the fuck you” and I believe she quotes her mentor Mona Miller when she says that. And, so, don’t try and rush to the gratitude. I had to go through months of crying and anger and rage and all this stuff, but that makes the gratitude even richer because now I see, it’s like Steve Jobs says, in his famous Stanford commencement speech, that you can’t connect the dots looking ahead, but you’ll always be able to connect the dots as you look back on your life. And so, yeah, just letting yourself go through the process, can be so hard, so much easier said than done, but that’s where the highest self comes in – is that, there is this self-correcting force that is supporting you in getting you to where you need to go. If we can stay open to that path, I believe it will be revealed to us.
I love that so much! And then you can just feel when things are off and it’s like this little slight nudge. So, for you, what are maybe the practices that you’ve developed now to be able to feel when something is off, or could become a bigger issue before it has?
Yeah! This experience deepened my relationship with my spiritual practice, which for me, my spiritual practice is a practice of humbling myself, humbling my ego, so that I can connect to my higher self, so that I can connect to that voice of truth that just knows the truth. To look at all of the resistances I have, to seeing the truth – what in yoga we call Satya (truthfulness). What are the conditionings, the limiting beliefs, the attachments that I have to not dealing with what’s true. Because, that’s the thing, you mention the whisper, the whisper’s there and sometimes the whisper says “Write the paper today”, sometimes the whisper says “Record the podcast today”, sometimes the whisper says “Go on a hike”, sometimes the whisper says “Shannon, stop working”, and I listen to that stuff now, I’m not as regimented with my life as I used to be. I grew up in catholic school, and Syracuse University, and musical theater, and academia, really like, got to meet the deadline, got to do it perfectly, got to get it done, and I let myself have a more, what you might call a feminine, spacious, creative, non-linear experience. And I don’t beat myself up when I don’t get as much done as I think that I should’ve gotten done. So, practically, I’d be like “What’s your relationship to listening to the truth? Are you willing to really look at what’s happening in your life and see it; see it for what it is? Are you willing to be in these practices, in these spiritual practices of humbling yourself?” For me, I lie on the ground and do yoga Nidra, or right before this conversation I just laid in my hammock and I looked up at the blue sky and I just felt some of the intensity that I was feeling earlier, doing some life things, some important life things that just needed to get done and I was like “I just want to rest and prepare to talk to Sahara and not be busying myself on my phone.” Get off your phone!
Mic drop! Get off your phone!
When I was working on the proposal for “Trust Your Truth” I would turn off my phone for 36 hours. From Saturday night to Monday morning, I would turn off my phone, and I would put it in a draw and I would tell everyone I’m gone. And I was in Hudson, New York, alone, didn’t know anyone in the city, and there was something so holy about what was happening as I was noticing the colors of the windows and the paint on houses in Hudson, and making eye contact and seeing someone’s eyes, I never would’ve seen any of this stuff because I would just be on my phone. So, so much of connecting to your truth and listening to your gut is a removal of the noise that keeps us from hearing.
You know, the phone, I think is the greatest thing that’s preventing us from trusting our truth and it’s something so simple and something so innocent. And I’m not against social media by any means, I think there’s a lot of beauty. Podcasts are sort of a form of social media, so you guys are even listening to a form of it right now, but I noticed in myself too, the whole time I was writing the book, every time I was on the brink of something amazing that was really pushing me – I would just grab for my phone. It was like my energy body couldn’t handle it and I just needed an escape. Or if I’m doing something that’s just hard and difficult, I just keep stopping, between scrolls, looking at my phone and I just catch myself, I’m like “Why am I doing this right now?” And it’s just this little, like, drug, it’s like a lottery machine that we have. And when you share about having your phone off – in my earlier 20s I was in Bali for 4 months without a phone and just like “Yeah, it’s okay, I’ll just go to an internet café and reach out to people”, but now I’m like “Oh my God, 36 hours without your phone!” I feel like, right now, because I’m on my phone so much, I’m like “That might make me anxious”. So, how would you suggest for someone who feels like “If I just turned off my phone – What if my mom is trying to reach me or what if I get hurt or what if get into a car accident, I don’t have my phone on me?” What about feelings like that? I feel like we’re so dependent on our phone for our safety.
Oh, my goodness, yes! And I went through this because I used to do it almost every weekend, for a period of time, and the first step was to observe all of the thoughts that come in that say “You can’t do that!” And what I would do is, I would write down, because there’s some very practical concerns like you just named, like what if your mom needs you, what if someone needs you? And if you are a parent or you take care of others, it becomes even more complicated, but it doesn’t become more impossible, you can still do it. I’d say the first step is to write out all of the practical reasons why you believe that you can’t. And then remember that it was only about 30 years ago (less, like 20 years ago), and less (when you think about social media) that we’ve had these things.
We grew up prank calling people on landlines y’all! “Hey, is so and so home?” “Shh, shh, it’s his mom, it’s his mom!”
“Hi, is Mickey there?”
“Do you like Shannon?” “I won’t tell her, tell me, tell me!”
Oh my God! I used to spend hours on the phone! This is why people love Club House, it’s like spending hours on the phone, which is like, I used to do that with my friends.
But, write out all these practical reasons because you’re going to have to deal with each of them in order for you to feel safe to let go, that’s my experience – it’s that you’re going to have to reckon with each reason. And so, one of my reasons was “What if my family tries to get in touch with me? What I feel lonely? I feel like I’m going to feel lonely and my phone fills up so much of my loneliness?” And so, for the thing my family, it was actually quite easy, I just enrolled with them what I was doing, I was like “I’m going to take 36 hours off my phone”. I talked to them on Saturday, I Face Timed with them, I made it kind of into a thing “Okay, I’m going out; I’m out!” And so, knowing, and I did a post on social media “I’m away for 36 hours”, I kind of took care of all of the things that I felt like would be wondering “Where the fuck is Shannon” if I just disappeared. And then that gave me a sense of preparation and it also gave me a sense of people are psychically holding that space with me, like my mom, my sister, my dad, my brother, my friends, my social media followers – everyone knows what I’m up to, so the space feels even more held. And then, I find, for my nervous system, because I’m super-addicted too, but for me, I find that when I turn the phone off, I slide the off button and I put it in the draw faced down, there really is almost like a cold turkey kind of thing, I’m just like “I’m done. I’m done!” And there’s a bit of a relief that happens; there’s a deeper level of relief that I don’t think you can actually know until you experience it, and you can’t even imagine it when you’re getting all of the drug benefits from the phone. The part of us that get the drug hit from the phone cannot conceive of how good it feels to be away from it. And then, for me, what I love about the experience, of being off of it for so many hours, is that I get to be with my loneliness, and instead of reaching for this thing that kind of just makes it go away but doesn’t really make it go away, it just kind of makes it seem like it’s gone away, I might write a poem or I might masturbate, do something that I wouldn’t otherwise do, that I would not otherwise do. And then, I start to get really curious because I’m like “What am I not doing with my life” because I keep kind of going back to the phone as kind of a connection point towards my truth; as something to guide me.
And then, the last thing I’ll say about this is, I feel in my body, several hours in, or when I close it off Saturday night, I feel like a freedom on Sunday, and then when I go to bed Sunday night, I’m like “Holy shit, I feel so connected to myself. I am in a relationship with myself. I’m in my actual, physical life and not tuning out”. And there’s something so empowering about that, and the nervous system feels like it’s really unwound. And so, yeah, I think it’s huge, this digital detox thing. And you don’t have to do it for 36 hours, you could do it for 4 – and starting with less is actually a great way to kind of build towards more.
It’s so amazing how not having our cell phones for 36 hours, which is basically a full day, is like this revolutionary act that we need to prepare ourselves so much and then within the first night where our nervous system is totally unwound is – it’s like if we know this, why do we keep going back? And it’s like, a lot of us, including ourselves, our businesses do rely on social media, and that’s the thing, so many people are like “I want to be an influencer”, I’m like “Do you really? I can’t get off this App!” And I think too, what’s so challenging about social media and these phones is the amount of incoming messages coming in – first of all it’s never-ending, second of all, it’s not natural. In life, I can only really be having a conversation with one person at a time, maybe I’m in a group of five people, but I’m really only listening to one person speaking at a time, whereas on social media, you have all of these people who are in your DMs and then a whole other group of other people who are in your comments and people in your emails, and people in your texts and people in your WhatsApp and people who send you voice notes. Even today, I got to listen to your voice note that you sent to me a couple days ago, I feel like sometimes my walks to reground myself are just spent listening to the voice notes and responding to the texts, it’s like keeping in communication with people has become a part-time job and the thing is what’s the alternative of not doing it. I do want to remain in conversation with people and I just don’t think that long-term, the way that conversations work, is a 30-seconds here, when I have the time and a 30-seconds respond when you have the time without the dialogue that we’re having right now that there’s so much more. And even though we’re on Zoom, there’s body language and nuance and listening and holding space. And even just us, millennials, I get weirded out when people call me, I’m like “Why are you calling me, send me a text or email”, like “Why is she calling?”
God! Who does she think she is?!
Exactly! So, I think it’s one of our – I think we’re going to realize this in the next 10 years, it’s one of our greatest withholders’ from being able to trust our truth.
Yeah, this technology and the social media age have shadow and light. I notice for myself, when I get off my phone and I start to be in my world, how quickly I forget things, because my it’s like brain is pinging around as if I’m on my phone, “Oh, I should do the dishes”, “Oh, you should put your socks away”, “Oh, you should do this”, and then I’ll get back like “Wait, why didn’t I do that? I was so committed to doing that, why didn’t I put my socks away?” It’s such a little thing but in the moment, I was like “I’m going to put my socks away” and I’m like “Wait, why aren’t they away?”
Oh, all the time! And then I end up in the closet and I’m doing something else and I’m like “I went to the closet to put this thing from the kitchen and now I’m doing a closet project. But we’re rewiring our brains to act like a phone.
Yes! And I do feel that connection and it incentivizes me. And there’s something about the pandemic that has slowed us down where I really do value this conversation with you Sahara, so much more than some of the more frivolous aspects of social media, this is so much more deep and meaningful than a voice note. And a voice note might be more meaningful than a like on a post or a comment. So, it’s like, the meaning, were here to be alive and to have rich, quality, deep, meaningful, connected experiences with one another, that is how humanity has worked for thousands, and thousands, and thousands of years, and this phone is not natural, and I think it does a lot for us, I don’t want to make it wrong or bad, I think it does some amazing things about connecting us to some of the patterns, global patterns and connections with people around the world and like-minded and like-hearted people all over the world, but it does also do a disservice to our local communities and our grounded – especially now with the pandemic that we can’t technically really be with our local communities the way we were before.
I think we should all move off the grid. Move off the grid, live in community, grow our own food, play board games because it’s what really matters. Why are we ping-ponging in communication, this and that? Because we’re valuing our output more than our connections.
Yeah. I don’t know if it’s like, because I’m 34 now and I feel my values shifting. Writing the book was big for me because it was a 3-year process; now I’m in grad school, which is going to be another 3-year process, so just thinking about what’s the longing here, what’s the sustainable impact, what really matters to me? Because at the end of the day it’s like, yeah, you can get all the followers everywhere, but if you want the hug, if you want the birthday celebration with your close friends, if you want the meaning and the shared – you know, I got to go over and hang out with Sah and his sister Moon, in Venice, a couple months ago and we just sat around for hours, eating, and they were making food, and it was just like “Oh my God, this, this is what we’re supposed to be doing”. And of course, the pandemic has made that more complicated but we were already wrapped up in social media before all this happened. And so, yeah, what does it look like for us to reimagine? Because there is going to be another side of this pandemic and there is going to be a renaissance of human connection, and I hope for all of us, that we reimagine how much more important that connection is than these kind of fleeting moments and posts. Not to minimize the impact of a social media post, because of course, it can have a huge impact, but I don’t think it can replace human connection.
I think we’re on to something, my wheels are spinning with this community living idea. Buy some land, just eat some avocados and mangos. And I was just in Costa Rica and a number of people who are there are doing that. They each have their own acre of land but it’s in this shared community, they grow their own food in this regenerative farm, and it’s happening. And I think the other end of this pandemic will be that. I mean, I think there will be both realities – the people further and further detach themselves and basically live in the matrix and have no human contact, and the flip, opposite end, which is deeper connection to Earth. So, I’m actually excited to see where it takes us because we’re all feeling it and just how much we do truly need each other.
We do. I’ll come and live on the farm with you!
Okay, let’s do it! So, many goodies! I always just love conversation with you, it feels so natural. We were definitely brother and sister in a past life and I’m so grateful for you!
Yes, we were, oh my God, so grateful!
And where can listeners get you new book “Trust Your Truth” and connect with you further?
Yeah, thank you, thank you! First of all, Sahara, just thank you for you; thank you for the space you hold; the questions you ask; how fun and playful and dynamic it is to be in conversation with you and just explore what comes together through our consciousness’ merging.
And yeah, I would love everyone, if you’re listening and you feel called to go on this journey with me and explore more of what it means to trust your truth, the book is available worldwide, everywhere books are sold. You can go to trustyourtruthbook.com and there’s a bunch of bonuses, there’s a meditation album, there’s a meditation for each chapter, and the chapters are in alignment with the chakras, so there’s that. There’s also 2 Yoga Nidra practices for deep relaxation, one that goes with the beginning of the book and one that goes towards the end. And then there’s also a Movement Medicine Practice which is going to involve some high-intensity blood-pumping with some yoga and twerking, which I am excited about.
I can’t wait to experience that!
Yes! So, come get the bonuses and thank you for grabbing your copy of the book. If you listen to this Podcast and you get a copy of “Trust Your Truth” make sure you also have your copy of “Discover Your Dharma”, take a picture of one or both books and tag me and Sahara and I will be really excited to share it on social media.
Yes! Tag us! We’ll do a giveaway with the book! So, tag us if you listen to this Episode, share your Top 3 Takeaways from listening to this, give us a taggy-tag and you may win our books!
Yay! Well, thank you so much for sharing your truth with us, we’re so grateful!
Thank you so much Sahara, thank you.
[1:02:22] End of Interview
Are you feeling inspired? I always am after I have a really great conversation. It just allows me to see the world in a new way and I feel like we really need that; we really need conversations that cause us to question and really anchor into a deeper meaning of life that we often don’t search for when we’re just in our routines. So, I love that this conversation provided me the opportunity, and I hope it I provided you with the opportunity to dive deeper as well. I’m going to assume it has if you’re here till the end.
So, thank you for tuning in and be sure to check out his new book “Trust Your Truth”!
So, if you’d like to journey with me for 21 days in discovering your Dharma, your soul’s purpose, come join me in the Dharma Discovery Journey, you can find that link in the show notes and you can also find it on my website iamsahararose.com/dharmadiscovery
And if you loved this Episode, I would love to send you a free gift which is the first half of my unreleased book “Eat Right for Your Mind-Body Type“. This is a different book than “Eat Feel Fresh“. My first book ever which is not released anywhere, and I am gifting it exclusively to those who leave a review of my Podcast in the iTunes store. So all you’ve got to do is head over to iTunes where you’re maybe listening to this podcast and leave a review, take a screenshot that you’ve left it and email it over to me at [email protected] and I will send you back the first half of my unreleased book “Eat Right for Your Mind-Body Type“, which goes all into Ayurveda, Doshas, Plant-Based Nutrition, Body Types – all of the things in a really fun and engaging way. So, this is my gift to you for free for supporting the Podcast. Every single review I personally read. It really helps the Podcast be listened to by more people so we can raise the vibration of the planet together, and I am soul grateful to have you on this journey.
Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you on the next Episode. Namaste.
Episode 358: Trusting + Connecting To Your Truth with Shannon Algeo
By Sahara Rose