This week’s topic is: How to Help Our Kids Thrive Through Meditation with Emily Fletcher
I am so excited to have my very special guest, Emily Fletcher, who is a best-selling author, leading expert in mediation for performance and founder of Ziva Meditation. Listen in as Emily shares why our thoughts are not the enemy, how to heal the body through life’s transitions and ways to start your kiddos on the path of healing with their very own meditation practice.
- Moving through difficulties in your life and what to tell yourself…
- How to get to that place of stillness during meditation….
- Why thoughts are not the enemy and how to use meditations to give your body rest to heal…
- Meditation with our kiddos and the positive impact this has on them…
- Showing up with our practices even when going through difficult transitions…
- Emily shares her big wants for this year…
- Ziva Kids Meditation and how to help your kids thrive…
About Emily Fletcher
Emily Fletcher is the founder of Ziva Meditation and author of Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance. She just launched Ziva Kids Meditation as well.
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Emily Fletcher’s Interview
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Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Kimberly: 00:01 Hey Beauties. Welcome back for our Monday interview podcast, where I have a special guest for you today. Her name is Emily Fletcher and she is an author and the founder of Ziva Meditation, and also Ziva Kids’ Meditation. And today we’re going to be talking about how to trust life more and how to embrace what is coming at you in life, no matter what it may be.
Fan of the Week
Kimberly: 00:25 I am so excited for our show today, but before we dive into it, let’s give a little shout out to our fan of the week who is with us, dah, dah, dah, dah, her name is Jess@TransformYoga. And she writes, “I am such a grateful fan of yours, Kimberly. As a yoga studio owner and teacher, I’m so inspired by your topics that are so relatable. I love how you go beyond the surface of things like cravings and digestion, and really dig deep for the reasoning behind it and how to make manageable changes to live a more joyful and healthy life.” Thank you.
Kimberly: 01:03 Thank you, Jess@TransformYoga so much for being our fan of the week. I send you so much love, so much gratitude and prayers for your yoga studio, wherever it may be, whatever city it may be. We need those tribal spaces, those wonderful community spaces, which are so healthy for everybody. So, thank you for doing what you do and thank you so much for being on our community.
Leave a Review on iTunes
Kimberly: 01:27 And Beauties, for your chance to also be shouted out as the fan of the week, for me to read your beautiful words, please head over to iTunes and leave us a review, which is free and easy and just a wonderful way to support the show. While you’re over there, please be sure to subscribe to the show and that way you don’t miss out on any of these interview podcasts or our Thursday Q&A community show as well.
Kimberly: 01:48 All right. All that being said, let’s get into our interview today with Emily.
Interview with Emily Fletcher
Kimberly: 00:44 You know what, love, I really do love that image of Durga. I don’t know how much you connect to the goddesses, but we did a jewelry collab a couple years ago with… Do you know Satya?
Emily Fletcher: 00:54 I do, yes.
Kimberly: 00:56 We did it and it was based on Durga. And Satya said to me, “Oh, no one’s ever asked to do Durga before.” And I said, “When I went to India, she was my primary archetype that I associated with because she was just strong and she had the resourcefulness of eight arms.
We discuss Durga and how we connect to this protective mother of the universe
Emily Fletcher: 01:12 The thing I love about Durga is that I feel like that’s what’s happening collectively right now. It’s like mother nature is like, “Uh-uh, uh-uh. You all need to get it together.” And she’s giving us the stern, firm warning, but it’s like if we don’t listen, Kali’s going to come out. And then we would be wise to listen to Durga while she’s still in this maternal, protective, loving mode with the stern warning, because none of us want to see full-blown Kali.
Kimberly: 01:36 I mean, I do think it’s been a really beautiful period for re-evaluating for people to really get down to the layers of their lives and see what can dissolve and what we want to put more energy into. How has quarantine felt for you? First of all, where are you quarantining, love?
Quarantine during COVID and how this has changed relationships
Emily Fletcher: 01:54 Well, I’m in Brooklyn. I’m in an apartment and I would say that almost everything in my life is burning to the ground. All my friends are gone. New York City has transformed. My relationship is changing. My director of operations just quit. My studio is empty. It’s just like… I don’t know if you’ve read Untamed by Glennon Doyle, but there’s a chapter called Let It Burn. That’s what the phase that I feel like I’m in right now. It’s like when you’re in the chrysalis and the-
Kimberly: 02:25 [inaudible 00:02:25]. The burning is the space for the Phoenix to rise up.
Emily Fletcher: 02:29 Yes. Yes. I’ve had images of butterflies. I feel like I’m being accosted by butterflies, which is that winged emergence out of the… But the acid, it’s the actual acid that has to dissolve the caterpillar into goo. You have to dissolve everything to fully be able to emerge as the new thing. I’ve been pretty public about a lot of personal transitions that have been going on in addition to pandemic and everything else.
Emily Fletcher: 02:56 But I had a student reach out and they’re like, “Look, I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but I can feel that it’s big. And I can feel that you’re moving through it. It’s like you’re the gray wizard, Gandalf the gray wizard in Lord of the Rings.” He’s like, “You’re holding onto the edge of the cliff. Right now you’re letting go and you’re just facing your fears. And you’re going to emerge as the white wizard with more powers to be able to heal yourself and others.” I’m not a huge Lord of the Rings fan, but it felt accurate for this phase.
Kimberly: 03:25 Well, tell me, love, because I feel that it’s really hard for most all of us to fully let go before we get to the next phase. We want to cling to what feels familiar, what feels safe. Even though if there’s one thing this pandemic has showed us, is that safety and security really has to come from inside of us. But as a meditation teacher, as someone who really does promote the idea of mindfulness, in your personal life, what do you tell yourself? What are the ways, when you’re trying to grasp on, when it’s really scary, what are you telling yourself, or what are you doing?
Moving through difficulties in your life and what to tell yourself
Emily Fletcher: 04:01 Well, there’s a couple of things. On the surface level, I can look to my past and see that every time someone has quit, every time a relationship has ended, every time someone has died, it’s led to huge growth. It’s led to huge healing. It’s led to a massive uplevel. So it’s like, why would I expect the future to be wildly different from the past? If this pattern of destruction really does lead to creation, why would I fear that sopping now? And that brings me some comfort on the surface on intellectual level.
Emily Fletcher: 04:32 But on the deeper level, I would say that I think that fear, that holding on, wanting to be attached to the illusion of control is really not trusting ourselves and not trusting God or not trusting what I call the capital N, nature. And so, that seems to be my big work right now, is that I call myself a recovering codependent, meaning that I could please everybody else and want to put everyone else’s happiness before my own.
Emily Fletcher: 04:58 I historically would avoid conflict at all costs. And going through a lot of these challenges, I’m having to trust myself in a new way, not trust my coach, not trust my therapist, not trust my lawyers, but trust myself. That has been a massive challenge, to be honest. It’s bringing up all these little girl fears and all this trauma.
Emily Fletcher: 05:20 But, to me, it seems like this whole COVID thing, this whole pandemic is either an opportunity for us to really look at our trauma and our triggers and let it burn, let it dissolve, or if we don’t look at it, it’s going to add another layer to the catalyst.
Emily’s Ziva Meditations and how to get to that place of stillness during meditation
Kimberly: 05:36 How, love, when there’s so much going on in your life, and probably a lot of thoughts, when you say to meditate, how do you actually try to push the thoughts away or not follow them, I guess? The Zen, the monkey mind.
Emily Fletcher: 05:53 Well, that’s one of the things I think is so special about Ziva, is that in Ziva, thoughts are not the enemy, and you don’t have to push the thoughts away, and you can have a monkey mind. You can have all of those thoughts. One of the things that we use is just a tool to de-excite the nervous system, to actually give the body rest and slow everything down so that you can get to that place of stillness, so that your brain is actually producing dopamine and serotonin, which are bliss chemicals, so that you start to feel centered, you start to feel like you’re more connected with nature.
Emily Fletcher: 06:23 And then, the beautiful thing that happens is that you start to realize that all those thoughts during the meditation are actually stress leaving the body. That one reframe of like, “Oh, these thoughts are not the enemy of meditation. These thoughts are an indicator that my brain and body are healing from past stress,” can change your whole meditation practice. And so-
Kimberly: 06:42 I agree. What we resist persists. It’s an easy cliched line, but it’s true. I think the times or in the beginning when I would get mad when thoughts would come in… Or, for me, it was really hard to sit in Shavasana. When I would do a yoga class, I would look at the clock and say, “When is this over?” It’s the focus on the thoughts.
Why thoughts are not the enemy and how to use meditations to give your body rest to heal
Emily Fletcher: 07:08 Yes. I think because so many people are going around and saying like, “Just clear your mind, just clear your mind, just let the thoughts go.” Instead of educating people that, hey, meditation is actually a detoxification process. It’s a purification process because we all can access enlightenment right now. It’s just, are we purifying the mind? Are we purifying the body?
Emily Fletcher: 07:27 When you start to see that, Oh, meditation is actually here to detox my mind and body, and that these thoughts are an indicator that stress is leaving. You stop resisting them. When you stop resisting them, you actually stop resisting all the feelings that they’re pointing to and you just feel it. Like I find that meditation does not clear your mind, but you do feel more clean afterwards. I have a sex analogy here where it’s like, you wouldn’t go into a sex act and be like, “Okay, orgasm.” Orgasm is a result of-
Kimberly: 07:55 Well, sometimes my-
Emily Fletcher: 07:58 Sure, but we’re not dating those guys.
Kimberly: 07:59 Yeah, exactly. Those are not on our list of highly sought ought partners.
Emily Fletcher: 08:06 They have not been studying Tantra. But even for a man, you would need like a minute of actual sex before orgasm happens. So, to go into meditation and think, “Oh, the point is to clear the mind,” it’s like, “No, you might have a clear mind as a result of your meditation practice. But that doesn’t mean that the technique involves clearing the mind.” So, actually, with Ziva, it’s all about surrender. It’s all about letting go. It’s all about giving your body rest that is five times deeper than sleep.
Emily Fletcher: 08:35 When you give your body the rest that it needs, it knows how to heal itself. The cool thing here is that it’s healing itself, not only from stress from today, but all the stuff we’ve been accumulating for our whole lifetime and possibly even previous generations,
Kimberly: 08:49 Just resetting. Well, my guru, Emily, I don’t know if I shared this with you, is Paramahansa Yogananda. So I’ve been practicing Kriya now for over 13 years. What’s really helped me is my mind is very active, like a lot of us. The preliminary Kriya techniques use mantra and they use repetitions and breath work. So you’re giving the mind something to focus on. When I found I was able to latch on to that, it just helped me, like we were saying, instead of trying to push away, I just got absorbed into a different flow. So many different [crosstalk 00:09:23]-
Emily Fletcher: 09:23 Yeah. We also use mantras at Ziva, but I think they’re a bit different than how it is in Kriya yoga, meaning that it’s not… With these mantras that you’re not focusing or chanting, so it’s not quite as active. These mantras are called Bija mantras, which means seed mantras. So [inaudible 00:09:40] what you eat, you plant it, but then you let it take root. And after a while, it’s not even a seed anymore. It’s not even a mantra.
Emily Fletcher: 09:46 As you know, mantra means mind vehicle, so it’s not about the vehicle. It’s about the fact that it started to de-excite the nervous system and induce this deep healing rest. And then, to go back to the earlier point we were making, is that when you give your body rest, it knows how to heal itself. And then the stress starts to come out in the form of thoughts. So instead of being like, “Oh no, I’m a bad meditator.” You’re like, “Oh yes, thank you and goodbye. Thank you and goodbye,” which allows more surrender, more ease, less effort.
Kimberly: 10:18 Well, one thing I think, Emily, that’s interesting about the way some people talk about meditation today, I was at a talk with my only coauthor, Deepak Chopra, and he talks about going to India with his teacher Ramana Maharshi. No, not Ramana Maharshi.
Emily Fletcher: 10:35 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Kimberly: 10:37 Thank you. I love Ramana Maharshi. My friend was just… Not to go on a tangent, but he just went to his ashram in India as well. Separate guru. But anyways, he said there was this conference on meditation and for 12 hours, people were talking about all the stress-reducing effects. And then, at one point, Deepak’s teacher tapped him on the back and said, “What is this stress? What are they talking about?”
Kimberly: 11:04 So it’s true. When you look at the ancient masters, meditation was about oneness. It was about unity. It was about connecting in, and you become… Because stress is really just a perspective about events. It’s not the events themselves. They weren’t doing it to reduce stress. It’s not mentioned in the scriptures anywhere, but now that becomes such a primary focus, I find, when people talk about meditation, is it helps with stress, whereas, for me, I think that’s more of a after effect. And the focus is really centering and unity and going into that oneness.
Emily Fletcher: 11:38 Yeah. I mean, I think this is so beautiful and I thousand percent agree with you. I think the only difference here is who you’re talking to. Like your audience is likely more interested in oneness and unity and really opening up their heart and being connected to the divine, which is amazing. And that’s ultimately where we’re heading all of us. My audience tends to be skeptical, pragmatic high achievers that are just like, “Will this make me more money? Will this get me laid?” And so, it’s just like I’m just speaking to people where they are. I’m like their [inaudible 00:12:09] drug.
Kimberly: 12:10 Well, I think it’s like yoga. And yoga in the asanas sense. When I used to teach asanas, it’s like if people want to come and they want to have great abs, great. They’re still showing up and they’re coming, and maybe they’ll open up to something else. But if people are coming to do the asanas to merge, then, you know what, we’re all going the same place anyway.
Emily Fletcher: 12:28 That’s right. Like it’s not like you’re going to feel worse after you meditate. It’s not like you’re going to be more selfish after you meditate. You’re not going to feel worse after a yoga class. So I really don’t care why people start meditating. I just care that they do it.
Kimberly: 12:40 It’s just interesting because there is such that focus, and you’re right. Our mindset in the modern world is so much like, “Eliminate stress. I want to do all this anti-aging stuff versus merging.” Whereas, for me, I found the more I focus on the merging, the other stuff just takes care of itself. But people are where they are.
Emily Fletcher: 12:59 I philosophically totally agree. It’s like what you put your attention on grows, and you want to water the flowers, not the weeds. So if you’re moving towards unity, if you’re moving towards heart open expansion, increasing your state of consciousness, the stress is going to take care of itself. Right?
Kimberly: 13:15 Totally.
Emily Fletcher: 13:16 It just will.
Kimberly: 13:17 You’re right. I love that idea about meeting people where they are. I think that’s really important because all or nothing, whether we’re talking about food or meditation, turns people away. It’s one of the reasons I never really use the word vegan. I’ll say, “Eat more vegetables or eat plant-based,” because even the word vegan can really polarize people as well.
Emily Fletcher: 13:35 Yeah. And even the word meditation. I feel like I’ve built my whole career on wrapping the very powerful medicine that is meditation inside of this candy coating of like, “Hey, you’re actually going to be more productive, less stressed, have better sex. So I think for your audience, I would be like for their really skeptical cousin, for their boss that’s like, “No way would I do meditation,” or soon, hopefully, for their kids because we’re about to launch, as I messaged you a little while ago, we’re about to launch the Ziva Kids.
Emily Fletcher: 14:05 Even with the kids’ training, I find that I’m, I’m using a similar approach in that I’m framing this as a tool, like, “Hey, if you love soccer, this thing is going to help you be better at soccer. If you lift dance, great. This is a tool to help you be better at dance.” I’m not necessarily framing it with kids of like, “Oh, you’re going to union with the divine,” which is awesome. But they’re already union with the divine.
Emily Fletcher: 14:26 They already are in this beautiful flow state and present moment awareness and sense of wonder. And so, for them, it’s not about stress. I definitely don’t want kids to think like, “Oh, there’s something wrong with me. I need to meditate to fix my anxiety.” It’s like, “No, no, whatever you’re into-
Kimberly: 14:41 It’s so natural. It’s amazing how the baby’s eyes keep rolling back. I watch it with Moses now who’s just a couple of years old. I took him into the monks at the self-realization fellowship, and with my older too. And they said their consciousness is still turned up at the third. How old is your son, Emily?
Emily Fletcher: 15:01 He’s two and a half.
Kimberly: 15:02 Oh.
Emily Fletcher: 15:03 He’s going on like 12. It’s shocking. I mean, I know I’m biased, but I just think he’s so advanced, but it’s so awesome.
Kimberly: 15:12 How are you guys dealing, being in Brooklyn? The parks must be closed? There’s germs everywhere. Like what do you guys do?
Emily Fletcher: 15:19 Parks are open. Parks are open. Playgrounds are open. We go outside to the park every day. Thankfully, our apartment’s big so he can run. We actually can play Chase, which has an open space. And so-
Kimberly: 15:32 It’s cold there now, isn’t it?
Emily Fletcher: 15:33 It’s cold, but we just have a snowsuit. We’ve got a Patagonia snowsuit, hat, mittens, and we go outside and run as much as possible. The other blessing of this for me is that Jasper is not… All he wants to do is hang out with mom and dad. He doesn’t really care that much about friends right now. Pretty soon that’s going to start to change. And so, I’m just counting my blessings that he was not in school and that right now, really, he just wants mom and dad. So it’s been a very… There’s been a lot of blessings.
Kimberly: 16:04 I think it depends on the child, Emily, because my son is four and a half and he still just wants Momma all the time.
Emily Fletcher: 16:11 Yeah, it is.
Meditation with our kiddos and the positive impact this has on them
Kimberly: 16:11 We have a little pod here, so we have friends around. I mean, I think children are all different. They’re different natured. My son is so… We’ve always been so physical and we’ve had a lot of contact. So he craves that still, which is really good.
Emily Fletcher: 16:28 I know you said you’ve been meditating with both your kids since they were born. Can you tell me about that and how you have them sit with you? Because I’m just so fascinated as we launched Ziva Kids, to give people tips and you’re a professional.
Kimberly: 16:42 I mean, I think that just the way that we naturally are, I think kids love to read because we read to them and they see us read. So I have been meditating around them. They’ve watched me. They’ve done it with me since, I mean, you could say since conception, since I’ve been pregnant with both of them, and I used to teach Sunday School actually at the SRF Center, the Self-Realization Fellowship Center in New York.
Kimberly: 17:06 So I had some great teachers teach me, with the little ones, just even for a minute or two, like what your third eye is and how to just relax and how to breathe. So it’s very, very basic. But even with both of them, while I’m nursing, I’ll go into those states and I’ll do the breathing with them. And then, Bobby, since he’s little, he’s been fascinated. We do have a lot of deities around the house, pictures of the gurus.
Kimberly: 17:30 Ever since he’s little, he knows Shiva. He knows Buddha. He knows everybody. And he’s just interested in the stories of India. So I tell him a lot of stories as well. He knows the story about Ram and Sita and demon Ravana. He knows the story of Hanuman. Moses’s middle name is Hanuman. I think that just explaining to them, there’s a storytelling aspect, which makes them understand the context, and then just how good it feels.
Kimberly: 18:00 I teach about how it feels really good to just sit and breathe, the way it feels good to eat healthy food. I think just doing it together, it’s another activity that we do as a family. And they do want to do things with the family all the time. So-
Emily Fletcher: 18:14 Yeah. Actually, I do find that, let’s say, you want a longer practice, 20 or 30 minutes or something, would you just say like, “Hey, mommy’s going to meditate. You can join if you want,” or would you give them activities or?
Kimberly: 18:23 Oh yeah. No, my practice is separate to when I meditate with them, usually like in the evening after bed or in the morning. If I set E up with some toys and I’m nursing or something with Moses, my medications are usually at least 20 to 30 minutes. But then when I sit with them and I’m focusing on them, unless I’m nursing, usually Bobby can meditate for five minutes.
Emily Fletcher: 18:46 That’s amazing. That’s so great. So great.
Kimberly: 18:50 Yeah. Then I think, how you speak about mindfulness too, it’s also just a way of life. I talk to them about the animals and about nature. I mean, we’re lucky we live here in Topanga. Do you know Topanga, Emily? Have you been-
Emily Fletcher: 19:03 A little bit. I mean, I think actually when you and I met at dinner at Jeff’s place in Topanga.
Kimberly: 19:07 Yes.
Emily Fletcher: 19:07 And that was one of the-
Kimberly: 19:09 Yes.
Emily Fletcher: 19:09 Yeah. It’s also how many times I’ve been there. Yeah.
Kimberly: 19:12 So that’s like 10 minutes up the road, but we live with oak trees and redwoods, and just this very nature place. And so we talk a lot about the connection of everything. We sit outside and we listen to the different birds. We talk about how it’s important for the environment. That’s one of the reasons we don’t eat animals. Just all these different things. We talk about just being mindful.
Kimberly: 19:34 One day they will choose, of course, if they want to be plant-based or not, how they want to live their life. But I want to give them this consciousness of really knowing what they’re eating, really knowing what they’re doing, like really questioning things so that they can choose for themselves when they’re older.
Emily Fletcher: 19:51 So beautiful. One of the things we keep beating the drum on Ziva Kids is that our kids are going to do what we do, not what we say. And so, they’re watching our example. They’re watching our state of business, they’re watching our energy. And so, I love that you are, I mean, obviously so committed to your own wellness and your own energy. So you’re modeling that, but then also aware of the fact that they’ll have to choose for themselves, that you can teach them and share with them and open their eyes to things and send them an invitation.
Emily Fletcher: 20:19 But at the end of the day, it’s still, they have to want it. They have to have that worthy inquiry and it’s their choice. Whereas I think a lot of parents, they come to me, they’re like, “Well, how do I get my kids to meditate?” And then you become the meditation police. And it’s like, “Well, really, step one is clean your own house,” because if you’re stressed, then your kids are going to feel stressed.
Emily Fletcher: 20:37 But a beautiful by-product I’ve seen is that as adults start to take responsibility for their own mental and physical wellbeing, Kate, there’s a beautiful surprise benefit of this. One, it feels better for the kids because they are inherently narcissistic, meaning that they think that the whole world revolves around them because they have to, for protection. So if Mommy’s angry, it’s very hard to not take that personally, “Oh, well, I must have made Mommy angry. Daddy’s sad. That must be my fault.” That’s just the way we’re wired as children.
Emily Fletcher: 21:07 What I’ve seen is that when parents start a daily meditation practice, the kids start to see, “Well, oh, Mommy didn’t meditate today, and so she’s a little cranky. But that’s not my fault. Oh, daddy didn’t meditate today. He must be angry because of that. Not because of me.” And then our kids actually become our gatekeepers. Like, “Hey mommy, why don’t you meditate, because you’re a lot nicer after you do that thing.” I just love the kids policing us as adults versus us policing the kids on like, “You have to meditate today,” because then it’s… Nobody wants to be told what to do when to do and why to do it.
Showing up with our practices even when going through difficult transitions
Kimberly: 21:40 Well, Emily, going back to what we spoke about earlier about this flow connecting life, real life, for me, one of the greatest challenges of my life, it was a period of time when Bobby was not even a year old, my mom passed away really suddenly.
Emily Fletcher: 21:58 I’m so sorry.
Kimberly: 21:58 And then, a short time later, I broke up with Bobby’s father, so I became a single mom. And that was the time where I really had to root into my practice and also being authentic, but also being strong. So I didn’t want to hide feelings. If he saw me cry, I would say, “Momma misses Lola,” which is the Filipino word for mother. I didn’t want him to see me make a fake face, and I wanted him to feel my authenticity. So, can you share a little bit, I know you were going through it, as much, as little as you want to share, Emily.
Kimberly: 22:37 But I know you going through some life transitions. So can you share how you’re able to show up to take your practice into life, to be there with your son, but to be authentic to your own feelings and to yourself?
Emily Fletcher: 22:52 Yeah. Thank you so much for asking that, and thank you for leading by example because I think sometimes we get into a misperception that being strong for our kids means lying, “Well, they just have to be happy all the time.”
Kimberly: 23:04 Yes.
Emily Fletcher: 23:05 Everything’s good all the time, and that’s a lie. Kids are way more energetically sensitive than I think we even realize. And certainly more energetically sensitive than we are, again, because they have to be for survival. And so, something I’ve learned through like the RIE parenting method, R-I-E, [inaudible 00:23:19] parenting. Yes, you’re being respectful to your child, but you’re also being respectful to yourself, which means that if Mommy needs some space, then that’s okay.
Emily Fletcher: 23:28 You can say, “I’m going to take a few minutes for myself. You know what? That hurt my feelings. I’m going to take a moment.” Obviously, anything can go to extremes. It’s interesting because my default mode is just placate and make everybody else happy and don’t worry about myself. It’ll all be fine. And so, it’s taken a lot of courage and I’ve had to give myself a lot of permission to feel what I’m feeling and to be honest about what I’m feeling.
Emily Fletcher: 23:56 And because everything is changing so much, it’s really put a spotlight on present moment awareness, that like right now, I have so much time with my son. Right now I have my beautiful apartment. Right now I have all these things that I’m afraid of losing at some point in the future. So it’s like, “Savor them, savor them. Enjoy each passing moment because it’s all fleeting.” So I think in these times of huge transition, you could either spend your entire time worrying about what may or may not happen in the future, which is just that old control muscle. Or you can choose to be here now. I mean, just hyper presence. Each smile [crosstalk 00:24:40]-
Kimberly: 24:40 It’s the real training the mind, isn’t it?
Emily Fletcher: 24:42 Yes. Each bite of food, each new discovery, each new verb that he conjugates, where it’s just everything becomes a present moment celebration. And that’s the one I’m choosing. I have been very proud of the fact that I feel like my energy’s been very clean around him, and it’s not fake. It’s that I’m genuinely thrilled for every second that I get to spend with him.
Kimberly: 25:02 Wow. Yeah. I think that is a real training because, like you said, Emily, we’re used to thinking about, “Oh my gosh, what if this changes in a couple months or next week?” The fear muscle, as you said, control and fear are the way that a lot of us have been trained to be in the world and to look at things.
Emily Fletcher: 25:22 Yeah, or even to think that it’s responsible. Well, I’m responsible because I’m worrying about these things that are stressful. It’s like, “What?” Why are we being prematurely sad and scared about something that hasn’t happened yet? Yes, strategize. Yes, check in with your gut. Yes, make decisions based on information, but don’t wish away the now. Don’t worry away the now.
Kimberly: 25:44 Well, one thing too, Emily, when I was going through especially the grief with my mom, it would be in waves. It would feel like a huge tsunami would come over me. And back to that idea of not resisting, I would really feel it and it was such pain. I felt like my heart was being squeezed. Sometimes it felt like I couldn’t breathe. Sometimes I would sob hysterically.
Kimberly: 26:05 But then it would pass, and then it would keep happening in waves. I would let myself feel instead of saying, “No, no, no, come back to calmness.” So there is a time and a place for feeling big feelings too.
Emily Fletcher: 26:18 Yes. I think that if that wave comes in front of your kids, I think it’s okay to honor it. But it’s also probably a good idea to say like, “Hey, you are safe, I’m safe. This is not your fault. This is just Mommy missing Lola. This is Mommy sad about whatever you’re sad about.” But I think that it really can be a two-way street of teaching. In Ziva Kids, we created this puppet. His name is Z Bunny and he’s training to be a superhero.
Emily Fletcher: 26:44 We created him with some folks from Sesame Street. But everyday, as he’s training to become the superhero, some things come up, challenges come up. He gets scared. He gets angry. He gets sad. And so, these we represented, just like you said, of like storm clouds. We call them the stormies, and there’s the sad stormy, the angry stormy, the scared stormy. The analogy that we use is that just like on a cloudy day, the sun is always shining.
Emily Fletcher: 27:07 Same thing. When those big feelings come, your stillness, your security, your joy, your bliss is always there inside of you. And so, just like our kids are learning from us, Mommy can feel these big emotions and move through them, I think we can learn from them in the way that we speak to them, the way that we teach them. Like when my son has emotions, he feels them fully. When he has temper tantrums, he rages. When he’s sad, he cries. And then one minute later, he’s playing-
Kimberly: 27:37 I know. Isn’t it amazing?
Emily Fletcher: 27:39 Yeah.
Kimberly: 27:40 It is really amazing how… And then, Emerson will just move on as if nothing happened.
Emily Fletcher: 27:46 Yeah. And it’s like, “Well, how much of our lives as adults are we spending being like, “I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine.” And we’re just wasting so much energy repressing our emotions, versus to your point, if you just feel the wave of grief when it comes, then probably seven to 15 minutes later have a really good, ugly cry, you’re probably going to feel a lot better.
Emily Fletcher: 28:06 And so, it’s so funny because I just sent an email out today about these exact things. I was with a friend over at New Year’s, and she’s a bit of a witch, like just very big energy, has done decades of work on herself. Has the capacity to really see all of me and hold all of me. Just being in her presence, just feeling held by her, just feeling safe around her, gave me the permission and safety that I needed to have a massive catharsis, just a big old ugly cry.
Emily Fletcher: 28:33 Because I knew that she had made me… That she wasn’t scared of my fear, I really let myself go there, and I just felt it, and felt it, and felt it, and felt it. She just kept encouraging me, like, “Feel it, feel all of it, and then see if you can meet it with love that is even greater.” I thought that that, just that one sentence gave me full permission to have the catharsis that my body was creating. And then to know that there was access, that I have access to love that is bigger than any fear, any rage, or any sadness. And that felt like a really powerful, both intellectual learning, and visceral healing.
Kimberly: 29:11 Yeah. The love is much more powerful than trying to control, which keep things small. I found that these waves would come… When I was with Emerson, when I was with my son, I was so focused on him. But it was the quiet moments. It was the nights, a lot of times, for me, when I put him down to bed and then there was stillness, and then it would start to creep up.
Kimberly: 29:34 I never had these big, huge sobs in front of him. I don’t know. I wouldn’t want to scare him with that, but there were times where I would get sad and do a little cry and then he would know that’s Lola, that has nothing to do with me. So anyways, it’s organic for all of us, but I think healing from my mom’s passing… And I never say she died because that’s another conversation. We feel her, we’ve seen her all around, is more about you really teaching me, it just cracked me open because I am someone that has appeared strong, has appeared to have it together, will repress a lot.
Emily shares her big wants for this year
Kimberly: 30:13 I think one of the root causes of my years and years of constipation was really just holding in. So it was very healing in that way.
Emily Fletcher: 30:22 Good for you. It’s to rewire those things, which usually come from some sort of childhood trauma, I mean, this is the work. This is why we’re here. I think if we see the global transition as an opportunity to really look at what code needs to be rewritten, like what traumas are here, that we had to create survival mechanisms to get through. But maybe those tools that got us through the trauma aren’t serving us anymore as adults, or perhaps even inhibiting our expansion and connection with the divine.
Emily Fletcher: 30:52 That, to me, is the whole name of the game. Like that’s the human syllabus. Like, “What tools to get you here?” But you might have to put those tools down and get some new tools. I just want to applaud and recognize your bravery for giving yourself permission to surrender, and to release, and to trust.
Kimberly: 31:10 Thank you, my love. I’m interested, this year, coming up, Emily, professional goals aside, personally, what are some of the things that… I don’t like resolutions, even the word goals, but what are some of the things that you’re putting energy to or attention in your life, whether it’s creating more of that unity, or more peace, or more resilience? What are some of the things that Emily wants this year?
Emily Fletcher: 31:34 Yeah. My big one is trust, and I feel like I’m in a masterclass right now on trust. When I said I’m being accosted by butterflies, that, to me, is what it represents. Yes, this rebirth, yes, this emergence, but they’re just antennas and wings that are listening to God and flying, listening to God and flying, and bringing joy everywhere they go. And so, I feel like my antenna to other people is very strong. Was, again, a survival mechanism.
Emily Fletcher: 32:01 But my antenna to God, my antenna to myself could be strengthened. And so, yes, you can take other people’s opinions. Yes, you can take other people’s guidance. But at the end of the day, we’ve got to drop down and listen to ourselves. I have to listen to myself. So that’s my big thing. I’m moving into trust myself, trust God, trust myself. And community is really big. To be honest, it was very sad, very devastating, to like 24 of my friends in my core group all left New York last year. And it’s like-
Kimberly: 32:31 Did you think about going as well or no?
Emily Fletcher: 32:34 Well, I’m open to it, but there’s some circumstances around that, so I have to-
Kimberly: 32:40 Sure.
Emily Fletcher: 32:40 There are some factors, but on the spiritual plane, we can move mountains. I’m open to another location. We’ll see. But either creating community here in New York or going to a place where I can really have strong community is very important to me. I’d also really love to have another kid, which feels really exciting. I can see her, feel her. I know her name. I barely-
Kimberly: 33:07 Oh, you feel a girl’s going to come in next.
Emily Fletcher: 33:09 Yeah, I think so. I can feel her very strong. I rarely get visions. I’m very intuitive and I can feel yes or no, but I don’t normally see visions. But I can see her and feel her and I know her name. It’s very fascinating to see how that’s going to play out. Yeah, and joy. It’s so simple and it sounds almost cliche, but you don’t have to wait until you’re done suffering in order to have joy. I think we’ve got to remember this through this pandemic. We don’t know how long we’re in this for. And to be like, “Oh, when the pandemic’s over, then I’ll be happy. When the pandemic’s over-
Kimberly: 33:48 Or when I get married, or when I have a kid, or when I lose 10 pounds.
Emily Fletcher: 33:52 I make a million dollars or have a million followers on Instagram. It’s like that day… Then you’re just going to want two million. So it’s joy now, joy even through the transition, joy even through the pain. And so, there’s that duality is something I’m living into this year.
Kimberly: 34:12 I love that. That is one of the most powerful lessons, that it doesn’t have to be all perfect and neat. Some of the things that we strive for as a society, the fame and the money, and when people get there, they still have the same issues. They still don’t have the peace or the joy. So whatever looks shiny and pretty from the outside, it’s still really about our inner state. No matter if we are struggling with some very real issues or our life looks so-called perfect on the outside, it’s really about the inner state.
Emily Fletcher: 34:45 The more we’re cultivating that, the more we trust ourselves, like the more you can access your bliss and fulfillment internally, which obviously meditation and diet and movement, these things are up to us. These things remind us that my fulfillment is here now. You do become less attached to how the outside world shows up and looks.
Emily Fletcher: 35:04 You become a little bit less ready to control it all because you realize that, well, this can change. And still, fulfillment is here. This can change and still joy is here. And so, I’m certainly not perfect at it. I still love my illusion of control. But it’s waning every day. I’m surrendering and trusting more and more every day.
Kimberly: 35:25 That’s beautiful. For all the mommas out there, and I know this must have been inspired by… Sorry, what is your son’s name?
Emily Fletcher: 35:32 Jasper.
Kimberly: 35:33 Jasper. I have met Jasper once. He must have been like eight months or something.
Emily Fletcher: 35:39 Yeah, he was about eight months. You’re right.
Kimberly: 35:41 Or maybe 10 months. When you start walking?
Emily Fletcher: 35:44 At about a year, but he was just about to walk then, right? Or was he walking? I can’t remember.
Kimberly: 35:49 I can’t remember. I thought he was kind of walking, but maybe… I don’t know.
Emily Fletcher: 35:53 I think I was there for the LA book launch, which would have been in like March. So he would have been like eight, eight or 10 months. I don’t know. But I do remember he was wearing a bow tie and maybe a little like fedora.
Ziva Kids Meditation and how to help your kids thrive
Kimberly: 36:04 I do remember meeting your son. That was beautiful. My son was already in that mode of bedtime. He must have been two. I don’t know, whatever. I’m very bad with [inaudible 00:36:17]. Anyways. The point is you’ve started the Ziva Kids meditation program, which is amazing. How do we find out about it?
Emily Fletcher: 36:52 What Ziva Kids is, it’s meditation to help your kids thrive. It’s for ages four to 14. So there’s actually two different trainings. One is called Play, and that’s for kids four to eight.
Emily Fletcher: 37:14 One is called Grow, and that’s nine to 14-year-olds. It’s very much like a TV show, meaning that we made it really entertaining. So we worked from folks with Sesame Street and Harvard child psychologists. We want kids to come back to it if they want to, but it’s also designed to make them self-sufficient. So after they move through the seven days of training, they’re going to have mindfulness, meditation and manifesting to take with them for life. So it’s not like you have to go log into an app or be on technology every day.
Emily Fletcher: 37:42 Yes, we use technology to get it in their hands, but then after that, it’s tech free, which is awesome. So people who want to find out about it, they just go to zivameditation.com/kids.
Personal tips surrounding the Four Cornerstones
Kimberly: 38:09 Interesting. Well, we’ll link to that in the show notes as well. Thank you so much for creating an amazing tool for kids. To wrap up here, Emily, I’m going to ask you a few questions that I ask all my guests. First is, at Solluna, we have our Four Cornerstone philosophy for true beauty and wellness, we call it, which is food, body, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual growth. I’m going to throw the cornerstones at you one by one, and if you could say one thing, one tip maybe that’s helped you, or one thing you’re working on, or one thing you want to share about each of the cornerstones with all of our beauties. First one is food.
Emily Fletcher: 38:46 Yes. Food, for me, has been adding in a lot of raw fats. So coconut oil and raw honey, can be very grounding.
Kimberly: 39:19 I do a lot of coconut milk, a lot of coconut oil.
Emily Fletcher: 39:33 Got it. Okay. What was the next one?
Kimberly: 39:53 Next one is body, which is sleep, exercise, how you move your body.
Emily Fletcher: 39:59 I’ve actually just started working out with a trainer. I’ve never had a physical trainer. I used to be on Broadway for 10 years, so I used to dance and sing for a living. So [inaudible 00:40:07] been very in my body, used my body as an instrument. But I’ve never had a physical trainer, and I’ve built a lot more muscle than I’ve had historically. And that has been interesting. It’s changing my consciousness a bit in that I feel like the more muscle I have, the more courageous I’m becoming.
Emily Fletcher: 40:22 That is really exciting, because I feel like my tendency because of that butter is to go into fear, to go in that fight or flight, and having more muscle’s awakening a bit of Pitta, a little bit of warrior, where I can bravely move into confrontation, which is a challenge for me.
Kimberly: 40:40 I love that. And then emotional wellbeing/mental health, which could be… We talk about journaling. We talk about community.
Emily Fletcher: 40:49 Well, for me right now that is catharsis, like creating support structures and time and space for friends that I feel like, like I mentioned with my friend, that have the capacity to hold me to a place where I feel safe enough to purge. I’m just in a phase of life right now where there’s a lot that needs to come up and out. And so, that, for me, is the emotional healing is, do I have a container that’s safe enough?
Emily Fletcher: 41:12 Sometimes that’s a journal, sometimes that’s a therapist. Sometimes it’s a friend. But just knowing what you need to make you feel safe enough to let that stuff come up and out. Just like a kid at the end of the day, you hug your child and they’re like, “Mom, this happened,” it’s not your mom that’s making you cry, it’s that the kid feels safe enough in his mother’s arms to release. I think that we, even as adults, need to our people, find our support systems that allow us to feel safe enough to cry.
Kimberly: 41:38 100%. The last one, love, which we’d spoken about extensively is spiritual growth. So meditation, stillness, you obviously have a meditation practice.
Emily Fletcher: 41:48 Yeah. I mean, the meditation part is huge, but the thing that the meditation is leading to is connection to the divine, and therefore trusting the divine.
Kimberly: 41:58 Yes. And the trust is a big, big word for you.
Emily Fletcher: 42:01 Yeah, bae. It is my year for 2021. Trust, trust, trust.
Beauty and what it means to Emily
Kimberly: 42:05 And then, last question, my love, we talk a lot about true beauty here in our community. Beauty has been in three out of my five book titles. So I’ve explored this concept a lot. And what I’ve come to find is that true beauty is really about our connection with divine, with ourselves, that shines out of us. It’s not about features. Tell us your perspective of beauty.
Emily Fletcher: 42:29 Well, it’s so interesting of what you just said. Like, if you are connected to the divine and connected to yourself, that changes the lens through which you see everything.
Kimberly: 42:38 Totally.
Emily Fletcher: 42:39 And so, like, I can tell my students sometimes that like, “Well, I don’t want you to follow me on social media,” or, “I don’t want to be friends on social media,” because I can tell if they’re meditating or not, because a meditator is like, “Look at the reflection on this hair clip. It’s so beautiful.” And versus if they’re not meditating, they’re like, “This morning a bus got mud on my jacket, and then my coffee spilled, and [inaudible 00:43:02]. Aren’t Tuesdays terrible?”
Emily Fletcher: 43:03 I’ll be like, “Hey, how’s the meditation going?” And you can just see whether or not they’re seeing the beauty in everything or if they’re constantly feeling in frustration. That to me is 100% indicative of your state of consciousness. So to me, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But really what that means is what lens are you seeing the world through? Are you seeing the world through a lens of stress? Are you seeing the world through a lens of bliss? If you see it through a lens of bliss, then you really do see that God is in everyone and everything.
Kimberly: 43:36 It’s so true. I feel like it starts out with this very surface idea of beauty and appearance. But then the longer you go and the deeper you go, it really becomes about energy and you start to just feel, and you could see people’s light and everything does change. So thank you. That is a beautiful way to phrase it. It’s been wonderful having you on here, Emily. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. We will link beauties to all of Emily’s information over in the show notes. Sending you so much love, Emily, to cozy. Keep cozy in New York, across the way. Stay nice and warm and sending you so much love.
Emily Fletcher: 44:11 Thank you so much for everything you’ve created, for having me. My whole team was so excited about this. They love you. They love your work. But just know that your impact is well received and very appreciated, and it’s an honor to be here with you.
Kimberly: 44:24 Thank you so much, my love.
Kimberly: 01:55 All right, Beauties. Well, I hope you enjoyed my interview today with Emily, as much as I enjoyed doing it. Be sure to head over to the show notes over at mysolluna.com to get further information, as well as links to other podcasts I think that you might enjoy. And be sure as well to check out our Solluna app, our brand new app that I’m super passionate about, which you can get right in the app store for both Androids and iPhones and you’ll get more information about our Tribal Solluna Circle, which is ramping up. I’m so excited about it. I’ll see you back here Thursday for our next Q&A community show. Until then, sending you a huge virtual hug. So much gratitude, so much love. And see you back here soon.