Have you ever felt frazzled by all the opinions, voices and narratives out there on social media? This is because of your biological need to keep a pulse on what the community is saying so you can fit in and survive. In this episode, I share how this instinct won’t work in large-scale social media platforms and actually lead to nervous system overwhelm. I share how we can genuinely cultivate more community in a social world and the key to balancing discernment and trust.
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Intro + Outro Music: Silent Ganges by Maneesh de Moor
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Episode 411: How To Have More Community, Belonging + Discernment in a Social Media World 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.
And before we get started, I am soul excited to announce that doors are opening back up for Rose Gold Goddesses, my Divine Feminine Mystery School.
And before we get started, I am soul excited to announce that doors are opening back up for Rose Gold Goddesses, my Divine Feminine Mystery School.
This is beyond a Mystery School, but this is a community where we gather every single month to dive deep into different spiritual workshops, including some of your favorite Highest Self Podcast guests including Shaman Axel, Bebe, Cassandra Bodzak, Amber Valdez, and so many others, sharing their potent wisdom with you in a closed container that really transforms you from the Mind, Body and Spirit level.
And I’m beyond excited to announce that we are planning an in-person weekend retreat here in Miami exclusively for our Rose Gold Goddesses members.
So, if you love the Podcast and you wish you can connect with people who also listen to it and dive even deeper into the different wisdom and practices that you learned here and actually integrate them into your life? Well, if you’re feeling the call, then Rose Gold Goddesses is for you!
Head over to rosegoldgoddesses.com that link is in my show notes, to join our wait list for when doors open back up just for one week this January, and this is your only chance to join. So, make your New Year a year of ease, flow, joy, expression, intuition and creativity, and channel your highest self with a community of aligned queens in Rose Gold Goddesses. Again, head over to rosegoldgoddesses.com to join our wait-list and I’m soul excited to see you inside and hopefully meet you at our in-person retreat in Miami!
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I was thinking a lot yesterday about social media and our relationship with it. The fact that it makes us feel constantly wired, and really, that wired feeling is our biological need to be connected with community, and how social media has harnessed that biological need in a way.
And there are so many arguments to whether it’s being used against us or for us, by us, through us, and I think it’s all of the above on certain spectrums. But what I was really thinking about was how we’ve become very aware that on social media there is censorship happening.
However, what we sometimes don’t realize is the opposite of that – the constant pressure to share, to say something, anything, to feel like you need to be posting all of the things you’re doing on your story all the time, having an opinion on every single world subject that happens, and how this really is almost like the opposite of censorship, but also harms us in a different way, of knowing all of this information that, first of all, we didn’t need to know, second of all, hasn’t really been thought out. Would you say that you’ve thought out every single time you’ve shared something or reposted something or felt like you needed to make a statement on something? Chances are, no. So, it’s creating almost this overwhelm of constant opinions that our biology is hardwired to know.
And the reason why our biology is hardwired to know the opinions of everyone in our community, is because if you look back at the times that we all lived in villages, it was very important for us to know the opinions of everyone in our village because someone in our village may have had an opinion that was against us, that may have made us become unsafe. Maybe someone’s opinion was “I really don’t like this person, I don’t want her in my village anymore, we’re actually planning a vengeance to kick her out!”
So, this is why, biologically, we kind of need to know what everyone’s thinking, especially if it’s relevant to us. So, if it’s a conversation happening in our field, of course, if it’s an actual conversation happening about you, but we also feel the need to be part of the community’s dialogue.
So, let’s say the community, back in the times of the village, we were talking about whether we wanted to grow into this part of the forest or not, this was a community dialogue, everyone was a part of it, we had different opinions because your opinion mattered to whether we were going to move to this part of the forest or not.
Now, flash forward, thousands of years later, our community, or what we perceive to be our community, is comprised of millions of individuals whom we will never meet, who live in completely different parts of the world, whom we’re had no face-to-face interaction with, and will not, we don’t even know the names of, and there are millions of them.
Of course, there’s billions of people in the world, but millions of people probably who work in your Business Coaching Community or Ayurveda Community or Life Coaching Community or Spiritual Community. And we talk about this as a community, the Spiritual Community, but really, it’s millions of people with completely different lives, who we’ll never interact.
Now, there’s a beauty in that, there’s a beauty that, of course, spirituality is growing and sharing, and we could have these conversations with different people, and I love that, and speaking to the biological need to know what everyone is feeling, it’s impossible. It’s impossible to know how millions of people, with completely different lives, backgrounds, experiences, desires, so many different factors happening to them, to feel.
So, we enter into a conversation with strangers that we do not know and we feel like we need to get at the bottom of it in order for us to feel safe, but we never will because the conversation is never-ending. And then, this creates that nervous system burn out of “I can’t even cope with this, they’re going to make a decision without me and I’m going to die”, that’s the way that our nervous system goes. Our nervous system is always looking at survival and it takes something that, mentally, we know “I’m not going to die if I don’t know what this conversation is. I’m not going to die if I log off social media”, but biologically, until we stop operating with this system of survivalhood based off of knowing what is happening in the “community”, we’re going to have that response.
So, really, what is needed in the new paradigm, more than anything, is discernment. Discernment of “What conversations are for me and what are not?”. Discernment of “When do I feel inspired to actually share something that’s of substance, that’s of value, that’s really going to enhance the livelihoods of other people that I’m putting it into the social media vortex where it will have a life of its own and millions of people will be giving their time to interpret it?” And when is it not, the discernment to not speak? Because that’s also needed, in a conversation, you can’t always be speaking, you also have to stop and listen.
So, we’re not really in a conversation when it’s a million people on microphones talking and no one listening. The discernment to step away, the discernment to say, which has been my favorite mantra this year “It’s not my problem. It’s not my problem.” Maybe you’re going into some rabbit hole about some celebrity drama or gossip, that’s not my problem.
And I think what happens, like, using the Kardashians as an example, is, people like that become a shared common fixture that everyone in the community knows, so it’s easy for us to all have these collective conversations and use these people as an example because it’s people that we mutually “know”, even though 99.99% of us will never meet them.
So, really, what’s happening right now is, we’re letting our biology run from its shadow rather than from its light. There is a very deep beauty in that fact that we want to be connected to community, but this community, it needs to be an actual community where we are known, where we know others, where there is face-to-face contact, even if it’s on Zoom. But a community is also essential to have private conversations. A community is not a constant public forum, because that is, again, going back to the village, they may have met in council and had this public forum, but then they split off and had private conversations, and that’s where ideas incubated, that’s where people could really share their truth.
Like, you know, if you’ve ever been in a group conversation about something, or a team meeting about something, and then the team meeting is over, but you have a side conversation with someone and that’s when you really share your truth or you really get to know how someone else felt. And we’re not doing that in society, it’s, we think we’re being connected because we’re throwing into this hodge-podge of Instagram or social culture, but really, we’re missing that private connection, which is where deep listening, which is different than hearing – listening is when you actually take in, with true awareness, what that person is saying.
So, I think, right now, we might be reading each other’s comments, we might be “hearing” each other, but we’re not listening to each other.
So, discernment is needed right now. And discernment even goes beyond this, but discernment of “What practices are for me and what’s not?” Maybe someone is sharing how Ayahuasca was the thing that changed their life and it was so profound for them and they wouldn’t be who they are, and they’ve surrounded themselves by people also on a plant medicine journey, and they’ve devoted their lives to Ayahuasca, and this is it for them. So, you may read that and think “Oh, well, if I’m not on the Ayahuasca journey, then I must not be spiritual, I must not fit in, I should do it because that’s what someone else said that they did and it worked for them, therefore it should work for me.” And this is how we go on to not honor ourselves and what’s showing up for us in our path.
Maybe you’re not on an Ayahuasca path, maybe that’s not even in the cards for you in this lifetime, there’s a completely different path for you. But again, it’s that person’s free right to share what has worked for them, and it’s also your discernment to choose whether you feel inspired and energized by that, and that maybe does become the path and it inspires you, or, if it’s coming from “Well, everyone else is doing it, so I should do it too.”
Discernment, when it comes to your Human Design and your Astrology. I see so many people, they learn about these systems and tools, which I love, I’m constantly referring to in my own life as well, and I know I’m not just that, I know that I can also learn from the Generator’s strategy, and often times I feel like I’m actually more of a Manifestor than I am a Projector, so I don’t hold onto it too tightly because that is how it becomes constricting.
It’s the difference between putting on a beautiful piece of jewelry which is like “Oh wow, I learned this beautiful new system and there’s all these new things about it, it’s making me think about my life in a different way. I’m going to wear this jewelry and try it on and see how it flows this day” versus “Everything I knew was wrong because this system says I’m actually supposed to be this, so I need to go back to the drawing board and rethink everything, and now I can’t do this and I can’t be that and my life is going to suck and these things are going to be hard for me and I can’t be around these people”, that’s taking that same piece of jewelry and strangling yourself. And that’s not what jewelry is for. Jewelry is not for “How tight can I wear it?” It’s for “How beautifully can it adorn my body?”
So, dive into your Human Design, learn “Oh, wow, I’m a Projector! The strategy is to wait for the invitation of “Hmm, let me try that on and see how it fits. But does that mean I stop initiating anything in my life?” No! I see people do that and frankly, for myself, I’m a Projector, I have initiated many things in my life, and I’m so grateful that I just went for it because it felt authentic and true for me, and truthfully, that’s why I’m living this experience right now, is because, I’m always the person, whether it’s initiating an art party with my friends, I’m the person who will come up with it; or initiating walking up to Deepak Chopra at a conference. I felt, in my intuition, that that’s what I needed to do, and I’m so grateful that I didn’t get into my head and think “Oh, well, my authority and my strategy is this, so I should be doing this so let me not walk up to Deepak Chopra, the one chance I have in my life”, and then I would’ve never met him and he would’ve never written the Forwards of my book, we would’ve never worked together.
So, I share this with you because, often times, we go from one doctrine to the next, we go from “In my school system, I was told by the teacher what to do”, and the beauty, and I’ll share the beauty of this other side too, is the openness; the beauty of “Someone told me this is the way, so I’m going to trust them and believe it.” And I think there’s a beauty in being in that openness because there’s also the shadow of almost too much discernment, and the word wouldn’t even be discernment at that point, it would be closed off.
So, there’s the beauty in “Let me learn about this new system. I will be completely open to receiving it and learning about it without judgment and feeling into it”, putting on the dress rather than stopping at the store and being like “This dress isn’t for me. I’ll try on the dress, if the dress is, at first, looking good for me”, there may be some dresses at the store, maybe some systems and tools that you’re just like “This is not for me, I’m not trying that dress on!” Maybe there are some you’re like “Okay, I’m curious about this breathwork dress, let me try it on”, and then maybe you try it and you’re like “You know what, I learned that I actually really do like the dress, but it’s just not the right fit for me. It’s not the right color for me. I really like breathwork but it’s not to the holotropic breathwork, but now I’m open to learning more about breathwork.” Or “I really liked working with, for example, the other day, for the first time, in like 8 years, I hired a personal trainer, I normally work out by myself. I worked out with that personal trainer and it reminded me how nice is it to have a trainer, but that trainer was not right for me, so it opened me up to seeing I’m open to having a trainer even though it wouldn’t be that specific person.”
So, again, that’s that balance of the openness of “I’ll try this on and see how it fits” or “Maybe something didn’t work for me in the past but in this stage of my life, it might work for me, so let me try it again. Maybe my first time I did breathwork, I didn’t have a great experience, but here I am, in a new circumstance, with a new teacher, so let me try it again, that openness”, and then the discernment to “You know what, this isn’t for me” or “It would be a different style, a different way, a different color, a different length”, and that’s the beauty in being able to choose because we can’t stop the world from sharing, we can’t stop people from sharing their gifts.
I see people go the complete opposite side too, of like “Everyone on social media is just sharing how they feel and they’re sharing their business and they’re sharing all this stuff and I can’t handle it, so I need to just completely get off it forever, I’m done with social!” And again, that’s your free will, that may be the highest decision for you at this time. However, we can’t enter into a field and then try to mitigate exactly how we want it to be. You can’t stop people from sharing in a forum that is for people sharing, but what we can change is “How much time do I want to spend there? Am I going to take everything that everyone is saying at face value? Am I going to ring my own…”, it’s the different between sitting back on your throne and letting the people perform and like “Oh, I see this, I like that” versus you on the edge of your seat of like “What’s the next thing I need to dive into, the next thing that’s going to fix me, save me, heal me?” And when you’re going into it with that energy, of course you’re going to continually feel disappointed in people.
I see so many people “I’m so disappointed, I signed up for this course that said I was going to learn how to build my business and I still don’t have a business! And then I signed up for this other course that said I’m going to learn how to market, I still don’t know how to market!” Was it the course that was the problem or was it your follow-through?
So, again, that’s the example of someone who’s too much in the hyper-open, the edge of their seat that they’re giving up their power, they’re not sitting in their throne, and then they’re getting angry at other people of “Why didn’t you fix me, heal me, save me?” rather than sitting in your throne, accepting that people are going to share their gifts and they’re going to give offers, and that’s their right, and that’s also your right too, but it doesn’t mean you have to jump at every single thing.
And, some, you may dance with for one song; some you may dance with for ten songs; some you might dance for years, they may become your new Salsa partner. But we can’t expect anyone else to, one, change your lives; two, act in the way that we want them to act; and three, fit exactly what we need at any time.
You know, someone on social, might share a piece of advice that is not right for you at this time, that doesn’t mean the advice is wrong, because you could read through the comments and see it was exactly what someone else needed to hear.
Think about the stages of grief or going through a breakup, or even starting a business, there are so many different stages in that; living your Dharma.
So, one piece of advice may say “You know what, if a guy is not putting effort into your relationship, it’s done, you just need to cut him off, you need to move on, you need to choose yourself”, that could be the best advice for someone at some stage. And then another social post could be “The reason why women can’t truly relax into their feminine is because they’re unable to surrender to a man”, that might be the perfect advice for someone else. But if you’re in that breakup or you’re with a man who’s dishonoring you and then you read that post saying “You need to surrender to a man”, you’re going to be like “Wait! What? You are wrong! This is some bullshit! I’m not surrendering to a man, this man doesn’t even honor me!” that post wasn’t for you. So, again, we need that discernment.
Even in my book “Discover You Dharma” you can feel the different energy and different parts of the book because it’s speaking to different parts of your journey, of living your soul’s purpose. There’s the times where you need to think big and just, first of all, believe that you have a purpose. And my writing is really getting you see that you were born with a divine gift and you’re here to share your wisdom with the world and you play an important role in the jigsaw puzzle of the universe and your voice matters.
And that’s the advice that someone needs, who doesn’t believe that they have a Dharma. But then when you go towards Chapter 8, which is more towards the end of the book, it’s like “Okay, you need to take action, you need to go through your biggest fears, it’s time to be courageous, stop trying to figure everything out, you need to take one thing and go for it because action is the only way you’re going to get feedback. And feedback does not failure, feedback means you’re gaining more awareness to see what works and what doesn’t.
So, get out of your head, into your body and start taking action.
Now, again, that advice is not the advice for someone who’s never even thought about their purpose. Just blindly taking action from a place of lack of awareness is not going to be helpful. But that piece of advice is perfect for someone who has been pondering and journaling and have this beautiful idea and they know they want to do this thing but they’re scared, they’re afraid of the imposter syndrome, they’re afraid they might fail, that’s the piece of advice for them.
So, the reason why I share all of this is because for us to move ahead as human species, as humanity, we need to have this unique balance of discernment and openness. The openness to receive new ideas and not immediately be closed off, to try on new pieces of clothing, if they look exciting and alluring to us; and also, the discernment to know when something is not for us or how we might need it served on a different platter or in a different point in our lives, and to also honor and see that as great advice for someone else; great advice for a different part of my journey, potentially. And that doesn’t make it wrong, and that doesn’t mean you’ve got to comment “I don’t believe in this, bla bla”, because, again, that’s that shadow aspect of, we want to have a conversation with someone, but it’s going into this void of social where there is no connection there, there’s not trust, there’s no rapport built, so then, people are just putting out their content and then hearing back from someone, who it’s not a fit for, and then it creates just more anger, animosity.
I mean, most people I know, when it comes to social, they’re on edge, including myself, because it’s like, you’re sharing your heart and your wisdom, then someone else, who it’s not for, is like “You’re wrong, this didn’t work for me”, and then, most of the people who it did fit for, they don’t really say anything, they might like it and move on. So, then it puts in content creator’s heads of “No one likes what I have to say. I must be off. Every time I share, I get a hate message, therefore, what I say must not be worthy.”
So, do you see how multi-layered that that is? Then that makes that person shrink and it makes them stop sharing their gifts and it makes everyone more on edge? But really, it was just the fact that we’re not in an actual, genuine conversation; it’s just the fact that we’re not in a genuine community where there’s rapport built, and there’s trust established, that we’re just throwing things into a mix where it’s not being received.
So, again, I love social media, I’m so grateful for it, and I don’t use it as a place to have the most important discussions of my life. I don’t use it as a place to go when I’m lost and confused and I need a stranger to guide me. I use it as a place of inspiration, creativity, learning about new topics and conversations, and not making anyone wrong for feeling a different way than I feel.
There are so many different flavors, interpretations, personalities, and really, there always have been. The difference is, with social media, you hear what they have to say, whereas, if I went to a big event with a bunch of people, I physically can’t have a conversation with every single person, and especially not at the same time. So, I’m seeing all of the different genres of people out there but I’m choosing which ones I have a conversation with. And even if it’s someone who’s not, maybe, of my same demographic, because there’s that human connection there, we’ve established trust and whatever they say, even if it’s not the advice for me – for example, I’m sure you’ve had an Uber driver before, or someone who’s maybe like “I need to give you a piece of advice” and it’s totally not relevant for you, but you’re like “Thank you for that! I receive”, because, again, it takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to even open up to someone. But that same vulnerability and courage is also needed for social but it’s just not being held and received the same way because there isn’t that human on the other side who’s feeling into how vulnerable it was for you to share that.
With your Uber driver, if they shared “You know what, a piece of advice for you”, and it wasn’t relevant, you wouldn’t be like “Actually, that was some bullshit, I hate this! You’re the worst advice-giver, you should just never give advice again”, you would never say that because it’s a human.
But on social, I hope it’s none of you, but people say that kind of stuff, because, again, they’re just seeing pictures, pictures of someone that looks happier than they do. And they’re angry with their lives, they’re angry that they’ve taken advice from people who don’t know them and it didn’t work. And because of that, they think that this advice must be broken because it’s easier to point the blame at other people rather than thinking “Well, maybe my interpretation is broken, the fact that I’m taking everything that everyone says at face value, with no context, no rapport, no trust, and then angry why it’s not working for me.”
So, social media is an increasingly active aspect of our lives. For me, personally, when it comes to the metaverse, it’s not something I’m excited for, because I think that a lot of these situations are going to become extremified when it comes to living in a VR reality. I think what we need more is more human connection. That being said, I don’t know the ways that these metaverses will be used, I’m hoping that they can be used in more conscious ways and it’s not going to be that we’re like living in a social media world, and I’m open to new interpretations, I’m open to learning, and I’m open to hopefully being wrong. Maybe it’s the best thing ever, but in my heart, I don’t think living in a virtual world could be the best thing ever because what we need more of is touch, humanness, face-to-face, heart-to-heart, because without that, contexts just get lost in the web.
And yes, there are so many beautiful conversations that I’m also a part of in social media. I learn so many new things about people, but nothing, I don’t believe, nothing, will ever replace human connection.
And that’s why this year, I know for 2022, for so many of us, in-person is the thing that we want. I know I’m planning an in-person retreat for Rose Gold Goddesses and we’re planning to, hopefully, have a Dharma Coaching Institute-related event. And yeah, just to really be able to see who is on the other ends of these screens, it’s so important.
And even just having that touch point at one point, or even being in a community that’s targeted around a specific interest, there’s already so much more trust and rapport that’s built versus on Instagram, where there are one billion people, because at least, if I join a community where I know, for example, in Rose Gold Goddesses, I know everyone here listens to The Highest Self Podcast, resonates with my work, so they probably have a more grounded and fun, divine feminine, purpose-driven, joy-filled interpretation of spirituality. That’s a lot of context for us to already share in common.
There aren’t infinite number of people, there’s like 1000 people, which is still a big number, but even within that, there are targeted groups, regional groups where you can meet with the ten or so people who live in your city, and conversations around various specific topics that we’re all here to share about (herbs or motherhood or astrology, or whatever else), and there are guidelines of, we always speak with respect and openness, and this isn’t group therapy and all of those things create such a level of safety, that, even though were online, there is such a deeper level of trust and community and support, just from these shifts that we make that simply cannot exist on Instagram or TikTok or Facebook, or any of these free platforms where, first of all, a massive corporation that doesn’t have our highest intentions in mind, owns it, and the business basis is advertising, and we can’t create micro communities off of it. We can follow each other and try, but it’s really an open space. And there’s a beauty in that too, it’s a market place, we can learn about new people and stop at the different vendors at the bazar, but the next step, and if you haven’t stepped into any, step into the stores that you like, step into those communities, get to know the people in there. Take it a step further where there is a little bit more of a tight-knit environment because that is what is going to allow you to feel more safe, to feel more seen, to see others and to create that sense of belonging in community that we really want.
So, I hope this resonated for you, I hope this opened up your eyes of new ways of interacting with social. Share this on social if it resonated because more people knowing this will create such a more positive social space that will make it so much more open and beautiful for us to be a part of when we’re not constantly living on edge.
So, thank you so much for tuning in! Rose Gold Goddesses, my community, is going to be opening our doors again at the end of January.
So, if you’re wanting to join our in-person retreat, which is exclusively for Rose Gold Goddesses members, and be a part of the Divine Feminine Mystery School, where every single month, we’re diving into a new spiritual topic from – this year we did Human Design, Shamanic Rituals, Activating your Inner Wild Woman; we have coming up: Energetic Love Making and Tantra, Herbology and Lucid Dreaming, different activations and rituals, orgasmic oracles, so much more.
So, this really is a community of like-minded people, people who listen to the Podcast, people who care about this stuff, people who believe the spiritual journey is fun and joyful and playful and honor the womb and the divine feminine, and embodiment and expression.
So, if I’m speaking your language right now and you would love to meet more people who are on this similar journey, and then also be a part of our in-person retreat, then head over to rosegoldgoddesses.com. That link is in my show notes (rosegoldgoddesses.com) and you’ll be the first to know when doors open up, end of January.
I’m so excited to meet you all and grateful for you to be here! Namaste
Episode 411: How To Have More Community, Belonging + Discernment in a Social Media
World with Sahara Rose
By Sahara Rose