Tami Simon: You’re listening to Insights at the Edge. Today my guests are Anodea Judith and Lion Goodman. Anodea holds a doctorate in mind-body health and a master’s in clinical psychology. She’s also one of the world’s leading authorities on the chakra system, the energetic system that runs through the core of the body and contains seven primary centers or spinning wheels of energy that are located from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Anodea is the author of the chakra classics Wheels of Life and Eastern Body, Western Mind. She is also a psychotherapist and yoga teacher.
Lion Goodman is a co-founder of Luminary Leadership Institute, which guides business and organizational leaders to manifest their life purpose and fulfill their destiny. With Sounds True, Anodea and Lion have co-authored a new book called Creating On Purpose: The Spiritual Technology of Manifesting Through the Chakras, where they present a comprehensive, systematic method for realizing your highest aspirations through a rich study of the inner self, the outer world, and how to connect the two to bring into reality your true dreams.
In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Lion and Anodea and I spoke about how our beliefs are held in our subconscious and how they can be released through a process Lion has pioneered called the “Belief Closet Process.” We also talked about the most common energetic blockages in the chakra system that impede the manifestation process. We also talked about the key difference between successful and unsuccessful people, and how you can find a vision for your life when you’re not clear on what your vision is. Here’s my conversation with Anodea Judith and Lion Goodman.
To begin with, I’d love to know how the two of you started working and teaching together and how you came together to “create on purpose?”
Anodea Judith: Hmmm. Well, I had been teaching about the chakras for many years when I met Lion. Lion had been working with beliefs, and I invited him to one of my manifestation workshops saying, “Well, why don’t you do a little piece on your belief work?” And it was fabulous. So the next year when that was coming up again, we just decided to plan the workshop from the start. We completely overhauled it with his input and we taught it together for many years.
TS: Uh huh. And I’m curious if the two of you have a sense of partnership and manifestation, and the role of partnership and how two beings come together—and even what that coming together might look like through the chakras in order for two people to work together and create?
Lion Goodman: One of the original titles that we had for the book was “Co-Creating Heaven On Earth,” and one of the important concepts is that all creation is co-creation—that even if you are an artist, you’re buying materials made by someone else; there’s always someone else involved in any creation. So an important aspect of the creative process is to find out who you’re in relationship with and how you’re going to work with them. We use many analogies in the book, but the real important fact is that is that all creation is co-creation.
AJ: And we really did do this as a partnership, and when Sounds True first came to me about doing this book, because I had been teaching it with Lion, and the workbook that we had created that we used to use before this was created by both of us, and I said, “I can’t really write without Lion. It would be a whole different book. I mean, half of this material is his.” So it’s been a partnership from the beginning.
TS: Now, I’d love to go in and talk some about the chakras and the creative process, and part of the map that you lay out in the beginning of the book Creating On Purpose is the idea that every human being has an ascending and descending current of energy in the body. And I know often when people are introduced to the chakra system, they’re introduced to an ascending current, starting from the bottom and working the way up through the chakras in the body. So talk a little bit about this descending current and help our listeners understand how we each have both.
AJ: Well, as vertical beings that stand up on our hind legs, the chakras do run in a vertical column, and I often speak of the chakras as the rainbow bridge between heaven and earth, but any bridge has traffic going in two directions—you know, it could be northbound and southbound. In this case, it’s up and down.
So the question, as we have spent our lives trying to get to higher consciousness and following spiritual teachings and all that people are about these days, is, as we approach that higher consciousness— and I don’t think there’s one place where you get there, I think it’s a constant ongoing process— what then? And that we are really being asked at this time in evolution to turn around and make a difference on the planet, which involves coming back down to earth and taking the fruits of our higher consciousness out through our chakras, if you will, to actually manifesting, changing, creating in the world outside.
The ancient texts actually do talk about this downward current, they call it bhukti, which is a Sanskrit word for enjoyment. It’s how consciousness densifies to the different planes so that we can actually enjoy the process of life, we can enjoy what we see and hear and touch and taste.
LG: This really is a combination of the more spiritual, you know, “elevate yourself into higher states” history and also the “Law of Attraction/manifest whatever you want” history. So we’ve got the more Western, create what you want, go out and build something, create something, manifest something [type of viewpoint] but we need both. We need both elements of the rising current and the descending current to be balanced. Tantra, which means “loom,” means you have threads going both ways. You can only build a fabric by integrating both/and, not either/or.
TS: Now Lion, I just want to understand when you mentioned the Law of Attraction, of course, you know that a kind of buzzword and gets people’s hackles up in all kinds of ways. What do you mean? What is your understanding of that?
LG: Well first of all, we’ve studied all of the laws of metaphysics and the Law of Attraction is one of about 50 of them that we’ve identified. And it’s been taken out of context to point to this idea that if you focus and think about something, you will attract it into your life. Well, it has some truth, but there [are] as many other laws to think about as that one.
One of the things that I like to say is that nobody ever had a bag of money fall on their head while meditating or saying affirmations. So, action is needed to create things in the social world. And there’s a lot of people who are frustrated and their hackles raised exactly because there’s a bit of foolishness along that line of thinking. So our process uses the entire world—everything from thought down to physical matter—in order to manifest. It’s not just a simplistic view of “think it and it will show up.”
TS: Now Anodea, you mentioned the descending current as a current of enjoyment, bhukti, and you know I think for a lot of people [who are] creating, manifesting—you know, yes, it can be enjoyable but it can also be a lot of gosh-darn, gritty work, hard work, you know, pushing-a-boulder work. So help me make sense of this idea of this descending current as enjoyment.
AJ: Well, the idea in the old texts was that consciousness condenses as it comes down into matter and it goes from pure thought to light, to light to sound, from sound to air, to fire, to water, and to earth. And so it’s a step-by-step process of condensation, and through that, we get sort of the manifestation of the 10,000 things, if you will, that we get to see and enjoy and actually be in our senses and be in our body and enjoy.
I have called this the current of manifestation instead of just the current of enjoyment, because it takes it all the way down to the root chakra, and so this is where things crystallize or concretize from the thought plane. So it’s through the things that are created that we enjoy life.
Now, it’s interesting that you say is manifestation can be hard work because one of our names for the workshop we taught for so many years was “Creation is Ecstasy,” and then the subtitle was “it’s the blocks that are a pain.” When you get the blocks out of the way, creation really is ecstasy, like playing a song on the piano that you know well and letting the music come through you, being in a play, dancing, singing. These are creative pursuits that are really ecstatic once we get the blockages out of the way. So, a lot of the book is about removing those obstacles with different techniques to unblock the chakras so that the creative process is ecstatic.
TS: Now, I want to just see if I can understand a little better—when you were talking about how energy moves from thought to light, and then you went through the elements, and as you were going through the elements, I actually got a little confused about how does a thought move through those stages of the elements?
AJ: Oh, well this reflects our manifestation principles that we have in the book that we start with consciousness creates. And so you start with an idea—and Lion you can pipe in on this too—then we visualize it. First it’s just an abstract idea, “I want to build a house.” But then I start looking at houses, and I start looking at architectural magazines, and I make pictures in my mind. So, we say “Vision vitalizes.”
Then we take it to somebody and we talk to them about it. We talk to an architect or a city planner, or something and then we are in the conversation. “Conversation catalyzes.” And with each step it get a little more clarified, a little more specific, a little more detailed. Then we bring it down into relationship and we say, “Love enlivens.” And then there’s things we have to do. We say, “Power produces.” Second chakra is “Pleasure pleases” and “Matter matters.” These are different manifestation principles that if you follow those, each one enhances the manifestation process.
TS: And those are connected to the elements that you mentioned, to earth and water and fire?
TS: Can you explain that part?
AJ: Those are connected to the elements associated with the chakras.
TS: So it sounds to me really that the leverage point of change, if you will, is understanding the blocks that are in the seven different energy centers of the body, that are in the chakras. And I’m wondering if you could go through the seven chakras and [tell us] what the most common blocks are to the free flow of manifestation through us, what you’ve found in your work with people.
AJ: Uh huh. Lion?
LG: Yes, I’ll begin. In the realm of consciousness, the biggest blocks come in the form of beliefs. I teach a whole practice of changing beliefs, how to change beliefs at the core of the psyche, but we know that belief create our reality. So if you have a belief, for example, that “I can’t create,” or “I can’t change,” or “It will always be the same,” that’s going to block whatever you want to create. These beliefs can operate at every and any level. So at the level of the third chakra, of will, “I can’t do it” is a belief that would prevent you from acting on your own behalf.
If you have a block at the fourth chakra in the heart, the belief might be “I’m all alone.” So beliefs are the biggest block, in my way of thinking, to the manifestation process. And it’s important to understand what beliefs you have [and] how they’re affecting you, and then engage in a process of changing those beliefs so that you can remove the block and thereby move forward.
TS: So Lion let’s just take that a little further. How do you change beliefs at their roots, not just at the surface? So instead of saying, “I can’t do it,” I’m going to say “I can do it.” How do you get deeper into the “I can’t do it” belief and how it’s been constructed inside?
LG: Well, this is my favorite topic so, thank you for asking! I created a process called the Belief Closet Process in order to do just that. If you think about affirmations, this actually dates back into the 30’s that somehow you can affirm or declare a new reality, it’s sort of like beating on a weed to make it go away. The weed is offended, but it just keeps regrowing.
So in order to remove a belief from the subconscious mind, you have to engage the subconscious mind itself, in the process. So in the Belief Closet Process, we use a visualization that enables you to actually invite the subconscious out to play, and it understands what you’re doing. Essentially, you move into the state of consciousness of creator of your beliefs, rather than victim of them. Even though our beliefs have been indoctrinated into us in large part, or that we took them on when were young as a conclusion, the Belief Closet Process enables you to reach down and pull the weed up by the roots so that it doesn’t grow back.
Once you do that, you have cleared ground. It’s like if you’re going to plant a garden, you want to clear the ground before you plant new food. Once you have clear ground, then when you implant a new belief, it grows without interference, without resistance. So that’s my work.
TS: Say a little bit more about—I’d just be curious to hear a little more about what you mean when you say, in this Belief Closet Process, the subconscious “comes out to play.” It comes out to play and it just spontaneously releases this deeply held negative belief—I mean, how does that work?
LG: Well, in the process, we take our clients through a visualization that enables them to create in the imaginal realm a closet in which they can try on beliefs, feel what they feel like, and choose whether they want to keep them or let go of them. And so through that process, a person can find out what belief they have, what impact it has had on their life, recognize the point at which they took it on as a belief, and then choose to get rid of it. So it is a visualization process—it’s guided by a Belief Closet practitioner and in the process, you’re engaged with the subconscious mind.
Most of our early beliefs were taken on before we had words. So in order to get to that deep level of the belief, you have to be able to talk to the subconscious mind in images, in sounds, and feelings because that’s the language that it speaks. Just like it speaks in our night dreams with images and points of view and very creative changes—that’s the level that this process works in.
TS: That’s very helpful.
AJ: So it’s both visualization and feeling it in your body. So, you might put on an outfit that represents the feeling, “I’m not good enough,” or “There’s something wrong with me,” and so the outfit might be a very rough cloth or full of holes or miss[ing] buttons or something, and then you feel in your body, what is it like to wear this outfit? What is it like to wear this belief? And you can actually get sensations in your body. And that’s a way of getting it down to the subconscious level.
People find that the sensations in their body change radically when they imagine taking off that belief, getting rid of it completely, trying on something else that’s a completely different belief, and feeling what that feels like. So it’s engaging the intellect, the visualization, and the sensation at the same time.
TS: That’s very helpful, and that helps me answer this question of one of the most common blocks that you’re identifying here in the seventh chakra at the level of consciousness: our beliefs. What are the other blocks in the other chakras that you see people most encountering in your work?
AJ: Well, in the sixth chakra, I see blocks in the imagination. People can’t think outside the box. They have trouble thinking about something that they haven’t already seen somewhere, that hasn’t been pre-approved. And so really to fire up the imagination and open up the powers of visualization, and so we have an exercise in the book that we take from Alice in Wonderland: think of six impossible things before breakfast, which is something that Alice said she did in Wonderland. And it’s just to, you know, the idea of thinking of something impossible is just to free up your mind from its usual constrictions so you get your creative process going.
In the imagination realm, we can think of anything. There are no limits. There are limits when you come down to actually manifesting it, but I can imagine flying to the moon and having a party there. It doesn’t mean that I can actually do it. But just to begin to embellish that opens up the imaginative, creative process in the brain.
In the fifth chakra, a lot of the blocks are internal voices. Those voices that we hear saying, “You’re not doing it right, you’re not good enough, you don’t have what it takes, everybody else is smarter than you are.” Those hang out above your computer when you’re trying to write. They hang out on the telephone receiver when you’re making cold calls. They plague everybody to some degree or another. So we have some techniques for kind of routing out those voices. Lion, do you want to take the next couple?
LG: Sure. In the heart chakra, in relationships, people have a lot of blocks in terms of how to be with other people. A lot of these come from our early childhood bonding—how we related to our parents, how they related to us. And so the blocks are often in the form of “I can’t ask for what I need,” or “I don’t even know what I need from other people,” or “If I’ll ask, I’ll be rejected.”
So in the book we have exercises for breaking through this and actually finding out that you can ask for what you need and get it, if you give feedback. It’s a wonderful exercise that allows people to find out that in their relationship, they can ask for and get what they need. And that’s so important in the manifestation process, is just being to ask. Anodea?
AJ: And then in the third chakra, the main block is the blocks to our will. Our will, staying focused on the task. And especially in today’s complicated world, I mean I know for me, I sit at my desk and the emails come rolling in, hundreds a day, and the phone rings and I need to do this, and this and this, and this, and you know, maybe I’m trying to write. Maybe I’m trying to get something done on the website. It’s so easy to get distracted. And many people in the manifestation process again, you know, with this Law of Attraction, “Oh, I’m just going to think about it and it’s going to happen.” And they go, “Oh you mean I have to do something? I actually have to get up in the morning and actually go to this dream job I had?” For me, there’s some things I don’t like about my work. I love teaching. And I don’t like getting up at three in the morning to go catch a plane. You know? But there are things you have to do.
So how do you keep your will on track in the face of all of these distractions? You know, the will has different agendas. I will to stay on a diet, but oh, that piece of chocolate cake looks so good. How do we keep it on track? That’s the block in the third chakra. Really owning our will, and igniting our will.
TS: Let’s keep going! Let’s go down to the second and first chakra! Lion?
LG: Sure. In chakra two our principle is “Pleasure pleases.” Because of our Western culture’s attitude toward pleasure, a lot of people walk around with guilt and shame about experiencing pleasure. And since pleasure if one of our main drivers, we have to be able to align pleasure and reward with the things that we want to create, including the hard work—as you were saying, the pushing the rock up the hill. You can actually feel really good after a hard day’s work, a hard day’s labor. So finding and removing the guilt blockages is really important in the second chakra. So it’s ok to feel good. It feels good to feel good. We wouldn’t have been given pleasure if God wanted us to suffer all the time. So removing guilt is one of the most important parts of chakra two.
Passion is also another part of chakra two—just that desire, the deep desire to make a difference in the world. So much of our culture focuses on our selfish aggrandizement, that when you recognize that what you’re doing really has a benefit for the world, for others as well, then that can also get past that guilty feeling of “I just want for me, me, me, me, me, me,” and actually recognize that what you’re doing will have a positive impact on others as well.
AJ: I might add here that when you talk about the Law of Attraction, we actually feel that the Law of Attraction is what attracts people to what you’re doing, you know? If someone wants to manifest a business, they want to attract customers. If they want to manifest a healing practice, they want to attract clients. If somebody’s looking for love, they want to attract a mate. If you’ve got a business, you might want to attract investors so that in every process, you actually have to attract things. So the Law of Attraction says that people are attracted to what they think is going to bring them pleasure or a positive experience.
You wouldn’t go to a movie if I said, “Oh you gotta go see this movie it’s terrible.” I’d say, “You gotta go to this movie, it’s gonna be really beautiful scenery,” or “t’s gonna make you laugh. It’s gonna make you jump off your seat.” Then you go, “Yeah, yeah, that sounds like I’ll have a good experience.” So the Law of Attraction is attracting people into pleasure, and that every manifestation we have to make it fun, we have to make it enjoyable, or we won’t even stick with it. So that kind of balances the hard work of chakra three.
TS: Uh huh.
AJ: And then in chakra one, it is about completion. A lot of people don’t complete things. They do it almost the way to the end. For instance, if we turned our book into Sounds True and said, “Oh yeah, we did all but we left out chapter four,” you wouldn’t want to publish it. You’d say “Well, that’s not a complete manuscript.” So things have to be completed all the way through. If you complete each step, eventually, you will get your manifestation.
So it’s putting things in the concrete, in the planning, “Yes, I will do that on Wednesday at 1:00 and we have a deadline, and so we were going to get into you by a certain date.” So we do this all the time: we say, “I’ll be at an appointment by 9:00 in the morning,” and we move our reality to get there. So [the] first chakra is getting into the real nuts and bolts of specifics: making a plan, committing to it, keeping that commitment through to completion.
LG: One of the reasons business has been so successful in the world and drives the economy is that businesspeople know how to get things done. They know how to make appointments, they know how to make plans, they know how to take step-by-step actions that move a project forward. And so that’s a big part of this chapter and chakra one in the manifestation is knowing how to make a plan, take the step-by-step movements that carry you forward, and then getting the rewards of each step—feeling really good and celebrating, which is the final step, each step of the way. So we had a celebration when our book came out! Celebrating actually follows up on the first chakra. It’s the final step when you get to go, “Ahhhh, it’s done!” You actually get to receive the pleasure of it happening. So chakra one leads to the final completion of that action.
TS: Now as you were both describing the activity in the chakras and what the blocks might be and you were taking us all the way from consciousness, the seventh chakra, down to the first chakra, completion. I could track right with you and I could actually identify with most of the blocks that you were talking about, at least at some point in my life to some level. But the thing that I don’t really understand, and I think this reveals my lack of understanding about the chakras—but I’m going to keep going here because I’m going to presume that some of our listeners may be in a similar situation. What does it mean to say that the block is in the chakra? Like, what does that mean?
AJ: Well, the chakra—the way I describe it is that we are born divine beings. We don’t know much about the world; we come in as these helpless little creatures that then grow a body and learn how to talk and walk and deal with the world. And as we do, we start to defend this precious divine energy inside. And we protect it either from toxic energy outside that we don’t want to have get in, or maybe we’re taught by our parents that there’s something toxic inside, like our anger or our tears, that isn’t supposed to get out. So we actually create blocks in the chakras to block the outside from getting in, and the inside from getting out.
Then we grow up through life with these blocks, and we don’t know, “Why is the light not really coming in?” Or, “Why is what I’m trying to say, not getting across?” Or, “Why is my love not meeting a match?” Or, “Why are my efforts to do something not being successful in what I’m trying to do?” It could be in any chakra. And it’s these blocks in the chakras. In the manifestation process, it is really largely what is inside us that we’re trying to manifest that gets blocked in its expression, on any chakra level. But we also need help from the universe, from other people, from other conversations, from spirit itself—and if we’re blocked in letting that in, then we’re only getting a portion of the help that we could actually get. So we need to clear that block so that we can actually receive support, receive guidance, and blocks into our expression and our will and our passion and our power.
LG: The chakras are physical, or they can be identified as physical plexes of nerves or hormonal elements. For example, the third eye is well-known to be the pineal gland in the brain. The heart and the solar plexus are nerve plexes, very complex systems of nerves in the body. So you can’t point to physical locations of these chakras that are seen by some people as energy swirls or vortexes. Chakra actually means “wheel,” a spinning wheel of energy—but they’re also useful as metaphors. And so we use them both ways. We both point to the energetic centers in the bodies and also the metaphors of what they represent.
So when we say that you have a block in your chakra, we may be talking about a physical block that slows down the energy, but we also may be talking about a metaphorical block that is preventing you from communicating, for example, in the throat chakra.
TS: And of these seven different chakras and the blocks that you’ve identified, what do you see as the most difficult for people to work with?
AJ: I actually see that it’s the first chakra in many ways, that people are very disembodied. They’re very out of their bodies in a sense. And you might say, “What? What does that mean? How can you be out of your body, where are you gonna be?” But we have jobs that keep us at computers and we live up in our head, and we have been taught to suppress our feelings, which is a little more second chakra, but feelings are very connected with sensations in the body. And so we live lives that are not fully connected with the body.
And in this first chakra blockage, of really bringing things all the way down to our roots, collectively that shows up in massive first chakra crises. We have environmental crises, we have health care crisis. We have an economic crisis. Those are all first chakra issues that are in the collective. So I think that one of the major blocks—that people don’t know how to properly ground and root into the organic nature of the earth and their bodies.
LG: Of course, I’m at the other end, I see the most common blocks at the level of the seventh chakra in consciousness, in the belief field. So I have seen in all my clients that it’s beliefs that are blocking action, blocking communication, blocking relationship, blocking feelings. And by getting to the source of those blocks, which I see as a belief issue, clearing the belief allows the energy to move again and allows people to break through whatever issue they are stuck on.
TS: Now, there’s an interesting quote from the book, Creating on Purpose, that I’d like to read and then have you both comment on. And in the book you write, ’The difference between successful people and those who aren’t successful is how they deal with resistance.’
AJ: Yes, I’ll start by speaking about resistance itself. In the chakra system, as we go from pure consciousness—which basically has no limi
TS: you can think of anything, it doesn’t take up time or space. When you bring it into light, it gets a little denser, sound is denser, air is denser, fire, water, earth. You reach a level of resistance as you come down into the next plane. In the same way that a meteor [or] comet coming through the sky hits the atmosphere, it has more resistance than in interstellar space. Then it goes through the atmosphere and it hits the ocean, and that’s more dense so it has more resistance. And then it goes through the water and hits the bottom of the ocean and has more resistance.
As people bring their ideas down into visualization, or into conversation, or into relationship, or into action, they meet resistance at each level because it gets a little more difficult. You have a little more entanglement. I can think of anything I want in my own head. It’s not anybody else’s business, but if I start telling you about what I want, you say, “Well, wait a minute, that’s not what I want. That’s not going to be possible.” Then I start manifesting it in the world, and people say, “Well, you have to certain amount of money to do that.” So resistance is not only internal: resistance is there as we come into the complexity of the world. It’s there no matter who you are and no matter what you do.
Any manifestor will encounter blockage when they say, “I want to go do something.” What we’re saying is that successful manifestation is people that don’t get stopped by that resistance and they say, “Well, this is just an obstacle to handle. This doesn’t mean that I’m not supposed to do it. It’s just something I have to deal with.”
LG: There’s a little-known rule of mind, which is really important to know, and we teach this in our class and in the book, that whenever you create something new—whether it’s an idea, a declaration, an affirmation, a thought—what happens inside the mind is that all the previous beliefs that are in contrast to that new belief or new creation, jump up and reassert themselves. So if you say, “I’m going to make five phone calls today to new potential clients,” what happens is, all old beliefs and the old voices pop up and say, “Well, they’re busy, you don’t want to call them. Besides, who wants to hear from you? Wouldn’t it be better to go eat a piece of cake right now?”
So what stops people, more often than anything, are these old beliefs and old voices that come up, that are really coming up automatically, like machinery. So we teach people that these responses— these counter-currents, we call them, cross-currents—are automatic. They are natural, and you simply need ways of dealing with them. And that way they don’t stop you; they don’t prevent you from moving forward.
TS: And what is it that you recommend people do when they experience these cross-currents?
AJ: One exercise we do though is to actually exaggerate their cross-currents because they are there in consciousness, that part of you that says “Oh, you’re not smart enough to do that, or you don’t have what it takes, or you’re too old,” or whatever. They exist, but they exist just under the radar, and if people actually almost act them out and exaggerate them and express them out loud, what we find is they lose their energy. And then someone will turn around and say, “Wow! I don’t even feel that anymore.” Because they actually got a chance to express it and release it, and in a sense, make a cartoon of it, make fun of it a little bit.
TS: Now I’d be curious to know on a more personal level for both of you, both of you who are people who have manifested a lot in your life and currently manifesting a lot, what were some breakthrough moments for you in discovering your own obstacles to manifestation and then how to release those obstacles?
AJ: That’s a great question! [Laughs] I have to think about that for a moment. What were some obstacles? Well, certainly beliefs. You know, I was fortunate in that I have an older brother who made good. He was a Hollywood comedian, movie star, whatever, and when I grew up, I thought, “Oh gosh, people you see on TV, those are people you never meet.” But that was actually my own flesh and blood. And what that gave me was the belief that if I was of the same flesh and blood as he was—same parentage, same gene pool—then I had just as much ability to make something of my life as he did. Now whether flesh and blood has anything to do with it or it’s just sheer determination, the belief was instilled in me by when I was like in high school, and I carried that belief that I could do more than the average. And I think that belief has really propelled me through.
TS: That’s interesting, Anodea, because that’s an example of something where this positive belief helped to propel you through, but what I’m curious about is the discovery of something that was really an obstacle, something that was really keeping you from your fullness, and then somehow you worked through it and discovered that.
AJ: Well, I can speak to that, and I actually work through it every day, is that I have a very debilitating case of Lyme disease. And I was an up-and-coming international yoga teacher flying around the country, you know, putting my body into corkscrew shapes, and it hit everything having to do with any of that—it hit my ability to think and balance and be strong and be flexible. I have to work through that —I mean, it’s still in my body, so I have to work through it every day. What I do is I give more energy to what I want to do, and I take very good care of myself, and I keep it under wraps if I do. And I notice that when I’m doing something I really enjoy, I have less symptoms than when I’m not. So I actually use it as a barometer to give me guidance, and I honor it as a way to bring me deeper into my body, and practice more self-care. So I honor it as an ally in a way, but I don’t put the energy in that. I put the energy in what I want to do.
TS: Uh huh. Lion?
LG: I’ve been a student of consciousness since I was a teenager. In fact, my degree is in consciousness studies, back in 1975, and so I’ve studied and studied and studied with teachers and organizations and institutes and schools forever. And that drove me for a long time, and I finally realized that I was doing all of that studying and inner work because I had the belief, at a very deep level, “There’s something wrong with me. I’m broken and I need to be fixed.” It went along with another belief, which is “I don’t know enough.”
So I was like a hungry ghost when it came to knowledge and studies, and spirituality and psychology, and everything I could get my hands on. When I realized that I was operating on those very deep beliefs, I changed the beliefs using the process that I now teach, and I realized I’m not broken. I’m a being in process. I’m a learning being. And I actually do know enough to share my knowledge. Those shifts allowed me to start being a teacher and a coach and a therapist and help other people, even though I’m not perfect. I’m as perfect as I am, and that’s OK. So it allows me to keep going and now give my gifts instead of hold them back.
TS: Now there’s one other quote from the book that I’d like to read and have you both comment on. Here it is: “If we could only make one recommendation that would improve your life,”—this is a big statement—“it would be to hone and improve your integrity, that is, your willingness to make and keep commitments to yourself and others.”
AJ: I feel that if someone did everything in the book, but they did not keep their commitments to themselves or they did not bring integrity into what they were doing, that the value of what they were doing would not last. You know, it’s like if you build a house and you build it with integrity, it’s built to last. If you build it with rotten lumber or you just throw it together, it’s not going to hold up. That integrity is really the foundation of everything we do. And in building a new world, integrity has to be the foundation of what our new world is built on. And that is agreements with each other, and honesty. Integrity brings wholeness.
LG: In fact, integrity means “whole.” To be integral means [to be] whole and connected. And when you are able to make a promise and keep it, and you know that you will keep it, then you trust yourself. And when someone else makes a promise to you, and you know that they will keep it, you trust them. That doesn’t mean that stuff doesn’t happen. You know, you make an appointment with someone and they call and say, “Gee I can’t make it. Something occurred.” That’s OK. But at least they’re communicating about the breakdown. If you can’t trust someone, you can’t rely on them. You can’t lean on them. You can’t know that it will be taken care of.
And the same is true about yourself. If you can’t trust yourself, you can’t be sure that you’ll get things done and do what you say you’re going to do. So, integrity is the honing process, and it’s never done; we’re always sharpening that edge of being able to know what you promised, to keep track of what you promised, keep your promises, and move things forward.
That’s how the world gets moved. So that is the single most important process in the book and in life, because when you are a person who is trustworthy, other people trust you, you get more responsibility, you’re able to handle larger and larger projects and things and groups of people, and it is crucial to creating in the world.
TS: I’m curious what you both think about this: The word “manifestation,” and the word “manifesting.” I noticed that post- the whole Law of Attraction popularity, that I’ve developed a type of allergy to the word “manifesting” or “manifestation.” And yet, here you are, you’re both using it—and I’ll use the word—with a lot of integrity, and I wonder how do you think we can reclaim the word “manifesting.”
AJ: Ahhh. I know I had the same resistance. It’s like “Oooh, the Law of Attraction and how to get more money and a bigger house, and very selfish kind of dreams—that’s not what I wanted to be in support of.” It’s not that I’m against people doing that, but that’s not the main thrust of what of what we’re doing here on this planet. So we looked for another word, and there really isn’t one, because manifestation is actually bringing something into being, all the way down to where you have something that exists that didn’t exist before.
The way I counter this rather cheap way of looking at it, is that if we come top-down in the chakras, then we actually begin with highest consciousness. We begin with opening to spirit, opening to guidance, opening to the wonders of the infinite universe, and working down from the top, you get to “What’s my contribution to the world,” before you even get to what you do.
There’s a quote that we have in the book that says, “Vision without action is nothing but a daydream. But action without vision is a nightmare.” And when you put them together, you have vision and the action to uphold it, but you start with a vision. You don’t go into your action before you have a vision. So by turning it around and we begin in higher consciousness, I think it brings a higher level to everything that we’re manifesting. Whereas in the world, just, “Get more money and do more, see more, be more,” on that sort of lower-chakra level—if it doesn’t have the higher chakras incorporated into it, it’s rather flat and can lack integrity.
TS: Uh huh.
LG: If you think about business, everything that you see around you in your environment that is man-made was made by somebody, and it was sold by somebody and bought by somebody, and it was thought up by somebody. And so, you can look around and say well, the world itself, everything that is human-made, was manifesting. And now you could use another word like “manufactured,” but that doesn’t quite capture the whole process. So we do use the word “created,” “creating,” on purpose, in our title, because we are creating the world.
Stewart Brand, who started the Whole Earth catalog, said, “We are as gods. So we might as well get good at it.” We are god-like in a sense that we can create our reality. We can create the life we want. And it’s not magic; it’s simply the process that works to take an idea and move it all the way through to a reality—whether it’s a product idea, a service idea, or a big project like saving the world, or ending hunger.
TS: You know, we’ve talked a lot about the obstacles to manifestation, and I’m curious as we come to the conclusion of our conversation, if you think of the greatest manifestors you know, and the people who have just really excelled in your workshops, and you’re like, “OK that person’s kicking it! They’re really going to create a lot in the world!” What are the qualities that they have?
LG: They actually have all of the virtues that a person has to create good in the world. So we have them in different quantities, but think of any of the virtues that we’ve just mentioned, and align them with the chakras, and you have essentially a good person whose doing good in the world. They’re not just selfish, they’re not just out for themselves. They’re out for something greater. They’re connected to something larger than themselves, whether that’s spirit or God or higher powers. The virtues themselves are a form of higher power.
So the people who are manifesting well are creating a better life for themselves and for other people. They have a vision of a world they want to live in—heaven on earth is what we were calling it—and they’re willing to put their life on the line. People in the past worked hard for their families and their children. Our life is as good as it is because of our grandparents and great-grandparents who worked their butts off in order to make a better life. And we have the same obligation to our children, and our children’s children, and the world as whole.
TS: Now this mention of the term, “heaven on earth,” what would say to somebody who says “Oh come on guys, heaven on earth? That’s never going to happen. Look around us. Look what kind of situation we’re in. I mean, doesn’t that seem a little exaggerated to think that we could actually work together to create heaven on earth?”
AJ: I believe heaven on earth is possible—that we were give a planet, that is, if you go into the wilderness and you see how beautiful everything is and how perfect it is, and how perfect nature balances everything out, that we really have been given a heaven. In so many spiritual traditions, the earth and the lower planes have been denigrated—you know, the body has been denigrated, the earth has been denigrated. It’s all about, “Oh, we need to get out of this material stuff and go up to spirit.” And I think that has created disassociation that has given us the problems that we have today.
By correcting that, and saying, “No, the earth and the lower planes are just as spiritual as the upper planes, that spirit is infused at every level, they’re just different forms of levels of manifestation, different forms of density,” then we can actually bring some of the principles, the spiritual principles that operate behind everything into our day-to-day workings and we can start to create heaven on earth. A simple example is bringing beauty into your workplace. Put flowers on your desk. Bring in beautiful art. Dress beautifully so you’re pleasing to people that see you. It just creates everything a little nicer.
How do we treat our partner? How do we treat our friends? Our co-workers? If we treat them well, we make their day a little bit more toward heaven and little bit less hellish. In that way, everything that we create for the good, takes the world into a heavenly direction.
LG: The old saying was, “Think globally, act locally.” So Martin Luther King had a vision, a dream, and he stated it and led a movement toward freedom, and toward a society in which children could enjoy each other and feel safe with each other. So every great movement starts with a dream. Our dream is called heaven on earth. And I agree that the world is a mess. There’s no question about that. The question is, “What can I do, what can the little person do?” as Buckminster Fuller said.
So we have to look around at our life and say, “Where can I make improvements? Where can I improve my life, the life of those around me? And what can I do for future generations?”
TS: Now let’s say somebody’s listening and they’re like, “OK, the manifestation process begins with vision, begins with this receiving of a vision—but I don’t have a vision. And it’s just not clear, it’s not in focus. I don’t really have a vision for my life.” What could you say to help that person?
AJ: Actually, we say that vision would the second step, because it’s the sixth chakra and it would start in the seventh chakra. What I would say to that person is spend time in emptiness. Spend time in the sacred. That could be a daily meditation, where you’re quiet. It could be a half a day’s vow of silence every two weeks. It could be going to a temple or a sacred place in the woods, or their church. It could be anything they do in their life to just take some time out of their routine to empty out, to be quiet, to listen, and to go into some experience for them that would be sacred as a way of inviting inspiration, and cultivating that as a practice. And though I can’t guarantee it, I’ve seen it happen enough times that if somebody starts doing that, they start to get a vision, because they make room for it. Actually, the trouble is most people have too many visions, and they can’t sort out which one to do.
LG: And I would say that good preparation for that action is to focus on your own pain. Where are you in pain? Where are you feeling bad about your life or about the world? Then look at the world and see what the world needs, because in my way of thinking, our own wounds are given to us in preparation for our greatest purpose, for living out our life purpose. And so, our purpose, which is connected to the soul, is something that our soul concocted way back before we came into a body and said, “Gee, what wounds do I need to develop the strength and ability and wisdom so that I can fulfill my purpose?”
So to me, whatever the wounds we got were—whatever psychological or spiritual wounds we inherited, and lived with—really point to where our purpose is headed. So we can find our purpose by looking backwards into our pain, by looking into the world to see where the world’s pain is, and then to say, “I want to contribute to make it a better world. Now how do I do that? Where’s my best leverage?” And then go into the silence and ask for help, ask for a vision, ask for illumination.
TS: Wonderful. I’ve been speaking with Anodea Judith and Lion Goodman, and they are beautiful dance partners, as you can hear in the way that they speak and teach together. They have co-written a book called Creating on Purpose: The Spiritual Technology of Manifesting Through the Chakras. Thank you both so much for being with us on Insights at the Edge.
AJ: Thank you, Tami.
LG: It’s been a great pleasure, thanks.
TS: Thank you Anodea and Lion. SoundsTrue.com. Many voices. One journey.