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EP57 - Exploring the Darkness: Shadows as Transformative Teachers with Maja Grythe

Updated: 2 days ago

Understanding and integrating our shadows is crucial for achieving wholeness and authenticity. Our today's guest, Maja Grythe, underscores this vital aspect as she shares her journey of self-discovery through yoga, meditation, and breathwork. 

These practices hold the power to shift our shadow consciousness and transmute patterns and traumas into a vision of a larger truth.

In today’s informative podcast episode,  Maja Grythe takes us through:

-How yoga, meditation, and breathwork led her toward profound self-discovery and healing.

-Importance of shadow work: facing all aspects of oneself, including the darker and more challenging parts. 

-Addressing both external events and internal responses and experiences to achieve healing and growth.

-Importance of having effective tools, somatic healing practices, and a strong support system to navigate the complexities of shadow work.

-The significance of effective tools, somatic healing practices, and a strong support system.

-Acknowledging and confronting survival strategies developed in childhood for self-awareness and transformation.

-The profound impact of shadow work in reshaping one's inner landscape for personal evolution and healing.

-Her passion for guiding others on what spirituality truly is and what being human is really about.

And so much more!

Maja is an intuitive, a shadow worker, and a healer. Through the power of astrology, shadow work, and her intuitive abilities, she guides people on their journeys toward authenticity, transformation, and healing. Through Astrology and Shadow work, she helps people connect to their true purpose and reclaim their personal power and magic.

Maja is also a yoga- and meditation teacher and has studied, practiced, and taught embodiment and somatic healing for over a decade. In addition, she has delved into the subject of trauma healing over the past five years and believes that true healing can only happen when we find the link between the body, the psyche, and the spiritual.

Her teaching and coaching are both intuitive as well as trauma-informed.

“The human being is a powerful being, much more so than we usually give ourselves credit for. If we dare to look beneath the surface of our personalities, there is so much potential, magic, and power to be found. We just need to be willing and curious and add a little bit of courage.”—Maja Grythe.

The quote I mentioned in the episode: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek” - Joseph Campbell

Maja offers readings and coaching. You can find her information here:

Instagram: @itsmagicbymaja @majagrythe


A: Every day there is a forgetting and every moment there is the possibility of remembering. Remembering who you truly are, awakening to your body, to the inner world and experience of being alive. Here is where you find the beauty, the joy. Here is where you free your Soma. 

A: Hello everyone, welcome to Free Your Soma. Stories of somatic awakening and how to live from the inside out. I have a special guest with me today. She is a friend of mine from the past that I met when I lived in Norway, and I'm so excited to share her journey and her work today. 

Her name is Maya Grythe. She is an embodiment coach, a shadow worker and a yoga teacher. She is passionate about guiding others on what spirituality truly is and on what being human is really about. Her work centers around understanding shadows and helping others integrate and become whole. She found yoga, meditation, and breath work, and it saved her life. I can totally relate to that. 

But now, her practices center around shifting her shadow consciousness and transmuting patterns and traumas into a vision of a larger truth, which is what we're going to talk about today. We're going to talk about a larger truth of what being human really is that encapsulates the things that we sometimes don't want to look at, that we don't want to talk about, that are uncomfortable or even maybe boring or that we don't really want to go near. 

We often are very adapted to trying to go always towards the light and always towards what feels good, but that can become its own trap. So I'm so excited to share this conversation with you today and hear a little deeper about all these subjects that are so exciting. Thank you for being here. 

M: Thank you so much for having me. I'm super excited to be here. 

A: Wonderful. Yes. And for our listeners who maybe some of them are familiar with shadow work, some of them are maybe not so familiar, can you give us your background as it relates to the things that came up in your life to be faced? 

M: Yes. So as you were saying, and thank you for that beautiful introduction, by the way. As you were saying, I found yoga when I was pretty young. I was 19, 20. I had chronic anxiety, but I didn't really know it at the time. I thought that was the state of being that was normal. 

So I didn't really have any grownups, I say that in like “air quotes” around me or anyone to help me understand my experience of the world. I'm an intuitive, I'm extremely sensitive. I didn't know any of that stuff at that time. I didn't understand that I kept picking up on other people's feelings and energies all the time constantly. I had no way of like protecting my own energy field at all. So I thought that all of that chaos was just me. That was just my world. 

But I found yoga and I started doing it mainly to stretch my body. That was my kind of ticket in because I was in ballet school at the time and I wanted to do something to stretch. And then I remember very well my first experience in a yoga class. This was in a Shtanga yoga class and it was the breath. It was the breath that just opened up some space inside of me. And I remember I started crying. I didn't know why, but I cried basically for the whole class. It was like one and a half hour class. 

The teacher, she was so compassionate, but also kind of strict, you know, when people are strict in that compassionate way and she came over to me and she just sat next to my mat and she was like, just keep going. Just keep going. Do everything I say. Just keep going. Let the tears come. So I did. And after that experience, I remember afterwards I felt like just lighter. My chest felt lighter. Everything in my body felt different. And I was like, okay, I'm going to keep doing this. 

I don't know what this was, but this is it somehow. And then that's how basically my yoga journey started. And then I got introduced to more breath work and also meditation. And I started doing that. So that's why I say that yoga saved my life because otherwise I would have gone into some, you know, journey on medication probably at some point I would have noticed that, okay, I have anxiety and I'm very happy that I didn't have to go down that road. 

And yeah, I did yoga for, or I still, I still do yoga. Like that's just an integrated part of my life now. But I actually made a career out of it. I became a yoga teacher and then I joined as a business partner in a yoga studio in Oslo, which is where you and I met actually. And I did that for years. 

I took over as a owner eventually and I ran that for years. And what started to happen is that, you know, how yoga and a lot of new age spirituality, and when I say yoga, I mean the way that yoga is presented mostly in the Western world today. And you mentioned it, this focus on following the light, love and light, you know, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

We have to integrate and connect to the light. Absolutely. But for me personally, what I noticed is that I kept doing this practice. I kept meditating. I kept doing all the things, but I was still moving in the same patterns. I was still having the same limiting beliefs. I was still making the same kind of bad choices for myself. 

And all of the same challenges, you know, kept popping up and I was like, why, what is it that I'm not doing? And that's when, you know how the universe has a tendency to like when somehow you go through something and you, it's almost like an initiation and then all of a sudden you're ready for some new information. And it felt like that. It felt like the universe was like, okay, you just asked the right question. 

Here you go. And then I got introduced to shadow work, this whole concept. And so what shadow work is to, that was a long explanation, but to answer your question, the way that I see it is shadow work is kind of an umbrella. There's many, just like yoga or spirituality, there's many tools and many paths to choose. 

Shadow work is basically the ability to face ourselves truthfully and to look at not just the light, not just the parts of us that we like, but to the ability to face every part of us and to look at the parts of us that we may not like, the things that scare us and to integrate it. It's all about understanding and integration because this is how we become whole. And this is also how we, you know, if we're looking to create change in our lives, 95% of who we are is run by the subconscious mind. 

So it doesn't really matter how consciously clear we are about what we want and where we want to go. If we have no idea what's running the show from behind the scenes kind of. So shadow work and within that there's also trauma work. It's a huge part of it and a very important part of it. It is to start to understand what is actually operating in your subconscious mind to get access to that because it's the only place from where we can actually start to create real change. 

A: Wow! Yeah. I mean, so much of what you've described I can relate to and, you know, the interesting thing is, you know, also around the age of 19, I discovered yoga and it also saved my life. And I've talked about it on other, you know, previous podcasts and stuff. But it's funny because we both went through this kind of coming of age into yoga and had a very, it sounds like we both had very cathartic, very deeply somatic personal experiences in our yoga practice, although we didn't have language for it back then, right? 

We just this mysterious, bizarre, why am I crying during this yoga class, right? This must mean that I have found the thing that's going to heal me, right? And, you know, at the time that you and I met, I think we were still both pretty uncomfortable in those shadowy spaces. That we didn't talk about this. 

We didn't realize that both of us were carrying this similar story about our relationship to yoga because we were both still kind of in it, you know, in our patterns with it. And it just goes to show that, like, no matter how much you look outside yourself and think that other people, like, have it made or have it figured out, we have all been through something. 

We are all carrying shadows. We are all carrying darkness that most of us don't really know how to face, just like you and I didn't really know that there were practical, effective ways to face these things. We're just kind of swimming around in it. Like you said, it feels like this must just be what it is to, like, be alive, right? Because we don't have an alternative. 

And going back to that, you know, what you said before, I thought about this a lot recently. Growing up and being a child, we have no context for life. We have zero context to go on. We just have, like, this direct experience of whatever it is that we're experiencing that's coming in through our family lineage, through our culture, through all these different channels that we're being exposed to what it means to be a person, you know? And a lot of times, you know, our parents are just trying to get by themselves. And so there's a lot of suppression, conscious or unconscious, that we face as children with no context for that suppression. 

We don't even know why we're turning away from ourselves or turning away from our feelings, you know? And then there's this process that you described so beautifully of kind of realizing that you had unconsciously been turning away from yourself. And when you start to turn towards yourself, it's like this opening. As you said, I think right before we started recording, the scariest place, maybe I'll let you take off from here, where's the scariest place on this journey? 

M: I got goosebumps when you were talking. I was like, yes, yes, this is it, you know? Yeah, I like to say, and I talk about this with my clients as well when I do coaching, when I do readings, I do astrology. I use astrology and my own intuitive gifts as a tool when I do readings and coaching as well. So the scariest place to be is at the threshold. When the door has opened, you realize that, oh, okay, there's more that I need to do, or there's something I need to face. And when you're on the threshold, you still have that choice that you can back out or you can choose not to walk through that door. 

And what's beyond that door, that's the unknown and that's why it's scary. So the scariest place to be is at the threshold before you make the decision to take that first step. The first step, I know it's a cliche to say, but the first step is absolutely the hardest one. And then from like after that, beyond that, it's all about having good tools and talking about somatic healing or somatic movement or, you know, we're energetic beings, so learning how to work with energy and what that actually means, moving energy through the body, through movement, and also having a support system. 

It doesn't have to be a village, it can be a person or maybe two people. Those things are important when we start to walk this journey. And I will say, you said something that gave me goosebumps all over when we start to turn towards ourselves. That's what it's about because it's exactly this that creates our survival strategies and our survival. 

Now I'm talking about a little trauma therapy here or trauma theory, because I think we have this picture of what a trauma is. It has to be very extreme situations, you know, like war or rape. And those are definitely trauma or can create trauma. But trauma is not about what happened. It's about what happened inside of you when something happened. And for example, you were talking about parents. 

If there's a pattern that repeats over and over again, for example, that a parent is not able to support you in your experience of life and help you make sense of it, that's a trauma because that creates a survival strategy. My experience of the world is obviously wrong because no one can confirm it. Therefore, I turn away from myself because I have to. Because I have to do that to survive. 

As a child, we have to do these things to survive and to still be accepted by our parents. It's very primal still in these processes. So our survival strategies are actually extremely intelligent. And they had to be there at a certain point in life. But then when we grow up and become adults, those strategies are not necessary anymore. And they become destructive in our lives. And that's when we need, when we start to recognize that that's happening. And that's all these patterns and these things we keep doing and we don't understand, like, why does this keep happening to me or why can't I change this thing or whatever that is? That's when we need to start to turn towards ourselves. And yeah, that's the shadow work. 

A: Yes, yes. And I mean, I was so blessed in the last year to have a shadow work guide that I did some of this stuff with. And so I really respect what you're up to because it's a powerful thing to allow someone to guide you in these processes. It takes a lot of kind of trust because the stuff that you go back and find, it seems some of it's really painful and then some of it seems like sort of mundane and it's almost confusing. 

Like, why is this memory, this specific moment, you know, in my childhood coming up and why is it related to this surreal experience that I'm having in my body, this intense grief or this intense, you know, pain or shame or fear, right? From this, this some sort of minuscule experience that like, why is it so heavily charged? And I think it really does come from the way that we experience things as children with our whole bodies. It's part of that direct experience, full body experience of something. 

So, you know, that explains why, you know, children are afraid of the dark and you don't meet a lot of adults that are afraid of the dark because we have a context for the dark. We know that it's going to be light again. We've seen that over and over. We know that there's probably really nothing behind the curtain over there because we've seen confirmed over and over throughout our lives that the room is empty unless you let somebody into it. It's all these things, right? 

That we are, you know, or even if you are, you know, tapping into the other worlds, even there are adults that are very comfortable with the dark because they know how to protect their energy, right? They know how to be comfortable with darkness. But as children, we don't really have ways to operate unless, as you said, we come up with coping patterns. 

And I love what you said. These coping patterns, these survival mechanisms are incredibly intelligent and they're there for our benefit. Even if they feel kind of twisted and yucky sometimes, there is something that our body intelligence, right? That our spirit, our body intelligence is doing to benefit us, to protect us, to help us survive, to keep us out of harm's way, right? To help us get through to the next moment. Can you say a little bit about that? Like some of the ways that our shadows help us? 

M: Yes, definitely. So it's what I just said, regarding to trauma. It's definitely our, so our bodies, our brains, our whole system is so intelligent. It's this whole system that operates, like I said, behind the scenes. We don't really do that consciously. And I think, you know, it's almost like, so from a spiritual point of view, your soul chooses to come in. And nothing is, there's nothing that is, and I know that this can be triggering for people just a little, yeah, disclaimer on that. But everything is kind of designed perfectly for you to be on your journey and have the soul evolution. 

That is actually the highest evolution and potential for you. I think of to be a human being is a huge privilege. It's such a blessing to be here from a soul perspective. It doesn't always feel like it from a human perspective, right? I like to look at Earth, this whole experience here, it's a school, and it's full of polarity, right? 

And that's the whole point is for us to understand polarity, to experience polarity, and also in our own very personal, intimate lives. You know, so all the trauma, all the shout out, all of these things is actually an opportunity to expand massively and to evolve massively, not just on a soul level, but in your own human experience in this life. So there's this quote by Joseph Campbell, that's one of my favorite quotes. And it goes, the cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. 

For me, this sums up shadow work and trauma work, because the personal power, the freedom, the liberation, the clarity, the centeredness, the groundedness, and the ability to be, I know what I want. I know what my boundaries are. I know how to create the life that I want. 

I trust myself. I feel good in my body. All of these things that we are longing for all the time. That's the treasure that is hidden in this work, in this work that is really about getting to know ourselves. That's what it's really about, you know, know thyself. If we don't know where our triggers come from, if we don't understand why we get triggered by certain things, if we don't understand and know our own limiting beliefs, we have no way of changing it. 

There's no room for change to happen, right? So that's kind of how I see that the shadows can help us, you know? Yeah, well, I think... Yeah, just if everything was just handed to us on a silver plate, just imagine it for a moment that you came into this life and everything was just perfect. It's something about the magic that happens when you find that key that fits the lock, you know? We wouldn't be able to have those experiences of like, wow, potential possibilities, expansion, if it wasn't for how it's all designed in a way, you know? 

A: Yes, and trusting what's happening even within our own body can be a difficult thing, especially when we don't have a lot of confidence. And, you know, if we're coming from a place where we don't have a lot of confidence in our bodies and their ability to heal, you know, I think that yoga is a place that a lot of people start when they're exploring, you know, alternative ways of healing. And, you know, what yoga does in so many ways, it helps you get in touch with that part of your body that is self-healing, that is self-restoring. 

And it can be a beautiful foundation. But what you're talking about here in terms of working with the patterns and the shadows that begin to emerge when you start listening, right? If yoga is the beginning of the conversation where you actually start hearing and noticing what's happening in your body, well, then how do you respond? Like, how do you respond to what your body's saying? 

And a lot of it is through, like you said, shadow work and bringing what is unconscious to the surface and then handling it skillfully. And in that, we can begin to develop a foundation for which our lives can actually be our lives and not just a series of stress patterns acting themselves out over and over again, where we actually feel some sense of volition or control over where our lives are going. And it's a tricky place because the truth is when you kind of keep unwinding, you realize there's not that much control that we really have, right? 

But we do have just a small space of presence that's available in each moment that we can operate from more and more as we become more and more present. And that has a lot to do with being able to be our whole selves and not just be one part of ourselves. So we talked about this a little before, but maybe you can just, because I'm sure that people are hearing this and maybe they're still a little bit in their toxic positivity framework where they're like, really, is it really a good idea to go there? Because it's so much more comfortable for me to just be like in my happy zone all the time. 

So maybe you can share a little bit about your journey with kind of the way that we chase the light so hard in yoga communities or in spiritual communities. Yes. 

M: I mean, and I understand that fear or skepticism and the question of is this really a good idea? I'm not here to tell people you have to do it because it has to be a genuine authentic choice. And I think that's so important because as you start walking down that path, trying to go back is, you know, there's something that happens when we face the truth. The way I say it, love is truth. Truth is love. 

And when we see truth, we can't really turn away from it. It's almost impossible. And so the only choice is to keep going. I like to say it's like trying to get the toothpaste back in the toothpaste. Little toothpaste thing. So I think I think it's healthy actually to take a moment and stop and say, OK, do I want it? Do I want the truth? Because that's what this is. That's what this is about. 

It's about facing the truth of who you really are. Earlier you were saying something about searching outside of ourselves for the answers. I did that for so long and simultaneously because usually when we're searching for the answers outside of ourselves, that means that we're at the same time running away from ourselves. 

Right? It's just like that's what happens because we don't think that we can go inside to find the answers because every time, maybe every time we try to go inside, there's just so much noise. It's overwhelming to be there inside ourselves because there's just so much going on. So we start to search for that answer, that key outside of ourselves. And I kept doing that for so long and it's such an energy drain. We spend so much energy running away from ourselves. 

It takes a lot of energy because your system is actually also intelligent enough to try to get you to see the things that are important to see. And that's also why these events keep happening again and again and these patterns keep repeating. And you know when the universe is trying to poke you on the shoulder and say, hey, look at this, look at this. And that's not from malice. That's from kindness. That's from love. You know, the universe is loving. It wants us to look at these things and understand and then we keep running away because it's uncomfortable. 

And I kept doing that as well. So the moment, I can actually, I remember the moment. It was a moment. 

And I can tell the story. It was back in 2019. And I had been in a very serious relationship for years and we were talking about taking the next step in the relationship, you know, buying a house, maybe thinking about a baby. And that's, that's like mentally where I was at. 

And then still to this day, I don't honestly don't really know what happened, but he broke up with me anyway. And it was like, you know, I don't know if you know, tarot, but it was this tower moment. It was the lightning hitting the tower and I was free falling and I was like, what just happened? I felt like all the security, everything that I knew was just ripped away from under my feet. 

And in that moment, I remember it well. I was sitting in the living room in my parents' apartment, which is like on the top floor looking out of the city. I was sitting there in this big chair with a glass of red wine that I had been drinking every day to numb my feelings, which is, that was a pattern for me. I reached for alcohol to numb myself very often. 

And in that moment, I was like, okay, usually in these situations, what I do is I drink and I'm myself. And then I also don't really talk about my feelings to people. I don't really let anyone in. I just handle it on my own. And in that moment, I was like, you know what? I'm not going to do that this time because I'm tired. I'm so tired and I don't think I can. 

I don't think I can do this on my own this time. And I closed my eyes and I remember the vision that I had is it was like, you know, you're swimming on the surface of the ocean and it's just waves and waves and waves and you're trying to survive. And you've just been doing that for so long. And then it's this moment of surrender where you just relax and you let yourself drop. And that's what I did in that moment. And it was so painful because I allowed myself to sink into all of those feelings and emotions that were there. And those weren't just about him and that relationship. That was all of the stuff that I hadn't really handled. 

What happened in that moment though? And I think this is the first time I had a connection with God. Like I can't imagine that God would feel this is what God is, you know, like there was all this pain, but then something because I surrender to it, something else also appeared there. Like this huge container and I felt so safe and I felt so held. 

And I was just like, okay, I'm just going to really let go into this, you know, and that I think that was my first experience of God. I didn't grow up in a religious home at all. I never had a relationship to that at all. So love or that's the closest thing I can, or way I can explain it as it felt like love, like unconditional universal unconditional love. Everything had a place there. And that's where my shadow work journey started because I was like, okay, if that love is there, if that container can be there, then I can face anything. And that's also something that is very important. When you start walking down this journey of radical self honesty is very important. And in order to face our truth, we have to practice self love. 

We have to simultaneously, you know, work on that container. Because the way I see it is like universal unconditional love. It does not judge. There is no judgment there. It's a container and it's strong and powerful and it can hold anything. So I do believe that that's extremely important as well. Yeah. 

A: That's such a beautiful story. And I can just imagine that surrender and the way that just instead of all the things that are usually in the way of receiving that love, surrendering and just letting go of that. I need to control how this experience happens and instead just allowing for a larger. 

That's a beautiful way you put it a larger container to hold me in this. And what you pointed to as well is that once we have experienced that, we can actually start to go there consciously. We can start to actually use certain tools and modalities to continue to build that spaciousness inside ourselves. Because our consciousness really isn't an I. It's actually more of a we. 

Our spirit is not singular. It's actually kind of an entourage if you kind of know what I mean, like where you actually and you know, people refer to it as guides, right? Sometimes when I've gotten really into like, you know, geeking out on like microbiology and like just how 1% of our bodies is like, you know, human DNA and so much of us, you know, our bodies are microbes. It's like maybe these little, you know, microbes that are constantly shifting and changing and interacting with our nervous system and all of this stuff. 

Perhaps they are part of what's holding me. They're part of the literal fabric of my body that's holding me and my consciousness together and that if I can allow them to support my life and not think that I have to just do it all from my head and figure it out, right? But I can actually be in my whole body. 

Because I think a lot of us, we spend our lives, the first part of our lives really, you know, in our head or like in our heart or in some, you know, combination. But our entire system has wisdom. You know, we talk now about like, there's people talking about womb wisdom. There's people talking about your gut, you know, your gut wisdom. I mean, I think like our toes and our fingers and our bones, they all contain wisdom. 

They all contain life force energy. And that's the larger container that it sounds like you were actually able to tap into in that moment and know that even though it felt like it at times, you're never really alone. And when you recognize that, then it opens for other people to actually support you too. 

Because you're like, I am supported. Let me reach out and call that person and share what's going on. You know, can you say a little bit about what kind of mentors or relationship you had with like teachers and mentorship and how that kind of shifted after this experience in 2019? What kind of teachers and leaders were you looking for at that point? 

M: Yeah, definitely. I think in to begin with, I was exploring a lot of this on my own. So in 2019, I was like, okay, I just the concept of shadow work was presented to me. 

I started listening to different types of podcasts for anyone who knows anything about astrology, I'm a Scorpio. So I'm like, if I get obsessed with something, I need to get to the bottom of it, you know? So I researched a lot and I also looked into like, how can I practice this? Because there wasn't a lot of information on how. 

So I found a lot of information on what shadow work is, but not how to actually do it. What I did and I got introduced to what you just mentioned, which is healing. Because after this breakup, I actually felt that I need to get a let's physically away from the space I was in. 

I was in Oslo and I was like, I need to physically get away. So I went to Bali and I signed up for this women's retreat. That was also all about women healing. And this woman, she was amazing. She was a priestess, goddess, I don't know which she was an incredible older lady. 

And she guided us through every day through breathwork and womb healing. And this is the first time I was introduced to the concept of the womb and the, you know, for women, the intelligence that is there. So the womb is, it's the void in a way, right? It's the first original thing that exists. It's the darkness, but it's also where life is created and where creation happens, you know? And if we can, as women, if we can sink down into our room and ask for guidance and ask for truth and ask for, you know, information, we will receive. So I've definitely gotten a lot more in touch with, like you said, different parts of my body after I started doing shadow work. 

What happened then a few years later, I actually started going into trauma therapy because I started reading a lot of books. Gabor Matei is amazing. I don't know if you know him. Yeah, because, you know, trauma kept popping up into my sphere and also as a yoga teacher, because when I noticed it, I started to teach differently as a yoga teacher because I was practicing differently. 

My students starting to have it, started to have different experiences and things were starting to come up for them in my classes. This is what happens when we do somatic healing because we can do healing through the body as well. Just physically moving in a special way and you hit that special spot. Like it happened for me the first time when I started crying. Because trauma and all of these things, they're physically in the body. 

So if we hit the right spot, all of a sudden that can release and it comes up. And that started happening in my yoga classes and I was like, okay, I'm not equipped to handle this. I don't know what to do when people are having their trauma surface in my class. I need to educate myself. So I started educating myself on trauma theory because I wanted to do that for the other people, for my students. And then the more I read, the more I started realizing that this is also about me. Because I started seeing myself in so many things that I was reading. And that's when I decided to go into actual trauma therapy. And I found just an amazing, wonderful therapist and I'm still in contact with her. 

She's amazing. And this is a form of therapy. It's called IOPT. I can send it to you so you can put it in the show notes. It's a system that works directly with our subconscious mind. So with traditional talk therapy, you try to get to the root cause of things by going through the mind. 

A: The story and the mental work. 

M: The story and the ego. And that's why usually talk therapy can be amazing for certain purposes. But when it's about reprogramming yourself and getting to the root cause of something, for me personally, talk therapy has never ever done that for me. 

And I don't know anyone who's gotten there through traditional talk therapy. So this method, it goes the other way. It kind of bypasses the ego and the story completely. And you work in a way that goes directly into the different parts of you. The survival parts of you, the traumatized parts of you, the feelings, the emotions. And it's really about having a sit down with yourself. 

It's very powerful and very beautiful. So that also kind of propelled me further on this journey for sure because that put things more into context. It was like a puzzle, you know, like a huge puzzle. 

That one piece at a time, it just fell into place. And, you know, from what we were saying before, the scariest place to be is on the threshold before you take the first step. And then it may be scary for a little while, but I can say, I can testify to where I am now. This is like a treasure hunt because you get to observe how you change. You get to observe how your life changed when you start to peel off all of the layers that are not actually you. And you start to get closer and closer to the authentic you. Things change. And I mean that in a very positive way. Oh yeah. 

So now it's like, I'm excited, you know, I'm like, OK, what else? What else? You know, all the pain and all the... This is the funny thing when you face your trauma or you face your shadows. There's a moment of pain for sure. 

I'm not going to sugarcoat anything. And there's a moment of release. But there's also this massive satisfaction that comes from finally understanding why things are the way they are. Finally understanding yourself, finally seeing things in just with clarity, you know. There's nothing more satisfying. And I would say this is what real personal freedom is. 

Yeah. Just being free, feeling free inside yourself and feeling whole and, you know, mastering self-acceptance because this work will do that for you. You know, if you do it the right way, you will get to the point where you're like, oh my God, I actually love myself and I feel like myself and I feel, yeah. 

A: Well, and we get to feel then comfortable in the presence of others because we can see the humanness and, you know, we can see the pain, but we can also see the wholeness. 

You can see the function within the pain. We can see the way that this person in front of us who maybe we were threatened by or intimidated by or maybe, you know, we were triggered by by some way in the past. We see them differently now that we're not so loaded ourselves. We see them with so much more ease and compassion and acceptance for who they are. 

And then we get to be more comfortable in their presence. We get to be able to look someone in the eye and just be ourselves and not try to hide something or obscure something or hide something in them, avoid something in them. There's a certain kind of honesty that we get to experience as a community with other people when we do this work, which is really powerful. 

M: Can I ask you, please go ahead. Because what you're saying is so important. And I have experienced this. The way we are able to hold space for ourselves, that gets directly reflected in how we treat other people, you know, so the more space and acceptance I can hold for myself, the more accepting I become for other people. And also, in addition to that, the more authentic I am, the more me, just me, I am, the more authentic relationships I will be able to build in my life. 

Oh, hell yeah. Because a relationship is just a mirror. It shows you how you treat yourself, basically, you know, and if I'm authentic in who I am, then I will meet people who are and we will be able to together build something that's authentic and beautiful and also accepting of everyone. The goal is not that we should be the same. Right? Each of us can be our whole unique, quirky human and come together and then create magic, you know? 

A: Yeah, yeah. And the mirror that you're describing, the way that our relationships are showing us, that is in its own way, its form of shadow work. It's like, whatever's showing up in our relationship is a reflection of what we are or are not dealing with in ourselves. And it's kind of like how, you know, we can tend to focus outward at first, but it always comes back to what we're doing with ourselves because it's kind of like when you were trying to focus on how do I learn about trauma for the sake of my students, because this is coming up in my classes and I need to learn something for the sake of them. It started as this externalized thing that you were doing for others and then as you got into it, you're like, oh, this is for me too. 

And what you begin to realize is that that's always how it is. Like the student and the teacher are one. You know, if there's something that you're working on in your own life, in your practice, is there something you're working with inside of you, you're going to be able to bestow that just naturally to others, that acceptance, that level of awareness, right? In the same way as when you're working, you know, externally, trying to focus on helping other people, you're going to find things that are going to reflect back the work that needs to be done inside of you. 

M: 100%. And this is so important because I've always had this, ever since I was a little kid, I was like, I am supposed to be of service to people somehow. And I, I mean, I think I was to a certain extent also as a yoga teacher, but I am recognizing now that I tried to help people before I had helped myself. And that's just, that's what kept coming up, you know, for me as a block or a blockage, or why can't I do this? Because I had to do that work for myself. 

I had to do that work inside of myself before I could start to do that work with and for other people. That's so true. I mean, it's just, that's it. That's what creates healers. You know, it's like healers didn't just wake up one day and we're like, oh, I'm a healer, true healers, they healed themselves. And then that's where that healing power comes from, to be able to help others do that. 

A: Oh yeah, absolutely. And, you know, that I was thinking about some shadows that specifically used to come up for me when I was teaching yoga in a still highly traumatized state, which it was unconscious. I didn't know that I was still in this highly traumatized state and, you know, was teaching yoga. And absolutely, I was helping people. I was being of service. There were people who loved my yoga classes. But when I would have someone come up to me and, you know, bestow me or like offer me this praise and say, thank you so much. What a wonderful class. 

Oh, you're so amazing. I would like, there was like a blocker, like I couldn't receive that love. I felt like it wasn't true. I had all these voices in my head that, like, denied that I was doing anything valuable that immediately had like a come back to tell me that I really wasn't that great. 

Right? Like, I could not receive that kind of validation because I didn't feel like it was coming from this place of authenticity in me, my teaching. You know, it was coming from a place of desire to help others. It was coming from a genuine place of love, but it didn't come from a place inside of me that felt whole. 

There was this wound that was still going on all the time that basically blocked any of that love from actually entering. And it's such a different experience now. And maybe you relate to this because when people offer me that praise and that love, I know that what I have given them, you know, in a session has come from that place of having truly been with all of those same scary dark feelings or pain that they experienced, right? 

And moving through it. And so I can receive that. I can receive that praise and I can receive that validation and I can let it feel good that I did something very helpful. Because I know now, I know that it was actually helpful. Whereas before I'm like, I think this is helpful. I'm not experiencing being fully helped by this, but I guess you are, right? 

M: Yes, I relate so much to what you're saying. And I think there's rejection of praise or love. It's also a rejection of ourselves. Again, it's a mirror. You know, are we able to receive love from ourselves? And it's also about authenticity because when you, like you say, like you have, you've turned towards yourself, you've found your authentic self. You and everything you bring from that place is authentic, right? 

So if we're bringing something to the world that is like, maybe it's coming from, it's coming from a good place, good intentions, but it may be coming from a place where we're trying to fulfill some sort of outside expectation or something we think, like this is how I should do it or this is what I should do. It's never going to feel authentic to us. And then that praise is not going to feel authentic, right? So, and that's also as we start to heal ourselves and our, you know, our shadows, our trauma becomes so much more intimate with ourselves as well. You know, we're able to give ourselves praise and we're able to know in our being what we're worth. And so when someone else mirrors that to us, it's easy to receive. 

A: Yeah, yeah. And that self validation is, I think, most of the time what we're actually seeking when we're looking for it outside, you know, we're looking for confirmation that our experience is real and it matters. And the only person who can actually give that to us is ourselves. You know, granted, it's wonderful and beautiful to have, you know, a coach or a teacher or someone be there with you in the process of reflecting that to the point that you can actually feel it in yourself, right? 

And kind of going back to that, you know, the reason that I think talk therapy has its limitations is because being somatically aware in our bodies is like having certain pathways developed for actually receiving information from our system about what's happening and where we are and what it's like to be right now. And if we don't have those pathways developed and we're just trying to use the ones that we do have that are all about the story and are all about avoiding discomfort and are all about, you know, figuring it out versus allowing the process to move through, right, which is a totally different thing than figuring something out, right? 

Absolutely. Figuring things out, there's like this beginning, middle and end, and you're trying to get through the middle so you can get to the outcome versus being with the process is just allowing something that's natural to move through the motions until there's a natural conclusion and we don't exactly know when that conclusion is going to occur, right? It's more nonlinear and it's really more healing happens. 

It's more how healing actually works than this linear thing. And when we're doing talk therapy and we don't have those pathways developed, it's just limiting. But with what you described the therapy that you went through that actually got you into the feelings and into the physical experience of what was going on in that story. Maybe the story was where you started and then you drop into the experience of what it's like being right now. You start building those pathways and as you said before, there's no turning back. 

We cannot put the toothpaste back in that tube. You have built pathways, you have opened these doors and now you're going to be receiving this information, you know, a big part of what I do now in my somatic work is building those pathways like literally into different parts of people's bodies so they can get all that feedback. 

And what I tell people and you probably have experienced this too, is that now even if you went into a talk therapy session, it would not be the same because you, a somatic human being who is self aware and connected to your internal experience going through that story and you, your nervous system would do the somatic work required to move you through your natural process in that talk therapy session, which is maybe why talk therapy can be more effective for some people and much, much less effective for other people depending on what you're walking in with, depending on what kind of pathways and connection you already have, right? 

M: Definitely. I so agree with everything you're saying and you said something about the story and there's, I have so many examples for my own life when I thought I knew why something was the way it was or I thought I knew the story. I had the story and then doing this work, everything we're talking about and everything is connected, right? 

It's the mind, it's the energy body, it's the physical body, you can't really separate any of those. You have to work on different levels, you know, together. But when I started doing this work, I've had, you know, it's almost like all your illusions start to crumble because you thought you knew, but you actually didn't know. So the story changes, that's the thing and also the stories in and of it, some stories become very important and you realize that other stories are actually not important. It's not the story that is important. It's not the figuring it out, as you say, because as long as we're trying to figure it out, we're stuck in the mind and it's very limited what we can do from just the mind. 

And I do also think I agree with you that it's almost like the talk therapy is next level in a way, because if you have those pathways open and you have done work to reprogram yourself and you are self-aware, then maybe talk therapy can actually help you more. 

A: Right. I think it could. I think that, you know, because the truth is that what, you know, what we are talking about here today is becoming a whole integrated human. And when you start to build those pathways to actually experience being a whole integrated person, you realize that so much of the processes that you go through don't really need that much outside assistance. 

They actually are an internal process that goes on in you and then in many ways, like you are always your own self-healer, even when you're in the presence of a wise, you know, teacher or a powerful leader of some kind or someone who's incredibly inspirational. It's still always you doing whatever you're doing with that information. Right. And so the more that you become this kind of self-contained human, then whatever kind of work you do is going to be more deeply impactful. 

Right. I mean, I think about like the way that I practice yoga now with the sense of, you know, awareness in my body that I simply didn't have before, you know, awareness of like where my limits are and where my edges are. And in some ways I had to learn by pushing past them over and over. That was part of the learning. 

Right. That's how we figure out where our boundaries are is by crossing them and having them crossed, you know, and then at a certain point we learn where it is that we begin and others end. And that again is a process that involves, as you mentioned before, this shadow work, this actually digging into what is it that keeps me from knowing where I end. 

Yeah. Can you speak a little bit as someone, you know, you described yourself, I don't know if you connect connect with this word, but empathic or sensitive, someone who feels into other people's feelings that maybe feels into collective energy. How has being more connected to your body through shadow work helped you as someone who's highly sensitive? Oh, immensely. 

M: I can say, I think, I think I was born psychic. I was a very intuitive child. I was back to what you were saying before. I was extremely afraid of the dark. And because as soon as it was dark, I started to see things and experience things. And I, I think I understood very early on that I experienced the world differently than other people. Obviously, I see and feel things that other people don't because no one is talking about it. 

No one is confirming it. And so slowly I started to shut that off. I worked very hard to shut it off because it was so uncomfortable. And I was so afraid all the time because I kept having these experiences, right, which is something I'm also very passionate about to help people to start to open these channels again, because I believe that we usually talk about psychic gifts or intuitive gifts as exactly that gifts, like, as if some people are gifted and others are not. That's not the truth of it. Everyone has the ability to develop these gifts. And when we know how to use them, they truly are gifts. 

But when we don't know how to use them or handle them, it becomes extremely chaotic as it was for me when I was younger. So, you know, when people talk about, for example, channeling, you can have a channeler and they're channeling information. We tend to think about that as something going from the head and up out here. I used to think about it that way as well. 

But the channel, if we're going to talk about the channel, that's here, or people can't see me, but that's from your crown all the way through your spine or the center of your body down to your root, is through your energetic system. That's your channel. That's actually where you have to be in order to develop your intuition, develop any sort of gifts. You have to be grounded and fully present in your body. 

That's where it happens. That's where it happens because your body, the way you experience it, as physical and dense, that's just a tiny part of the story. Your body is much more than that. Your body is energetic. So, for me, when I started to ground down into myself, and let me just say this, if you haven't done any work to clear out trauma and shadow, it's going to be very difficult for you to be present in your body. 

That's the thing you're going to face first. So, you have to kind of release that and work through that. And then it becomes much, much more easy to be present and to be grounded and to be centered in your body. So, that's actually when I started to learn how to protect my energy field and how to do that. It happens from my channel, from my body. And that's also when my gifts started to come back online. Because, again, the body and our whole system is so intelligent. It does everything it can. And the ego is also included into that. The ego is also there to protect you. 

And everything is there to protect you. So, when I started to connect to this and I started to clear some trauma and I started to become grounded in my body, that's when it was safe for me and my body, my system, to start to open up these channels again and start to receive that information again that I did as a child. But I had no, I, you know, I couldn't handle it. 

I couldn't handle that back then. So, that's been an amazing experience of like, oh my god, I'm safe. Okay, that's great. Yes, and actually you said before, a lot of children are afraid of the dark. And as we grow up, we're not afraid of the dark anymore. 

I am one of those people. I've always been so afraid of the dark ever since I was a kid. And when I started doing this work, I'm not afraid of the dark anymore at all. So, it's, I almost like to see that as, what you call it, an analogy or like, analogy for I was afraid of my own dark and then I faced it and I integrated everything and now I'm not afraid of the dark anymore. 

A: Yeah, and it's interesting because you describe, you know, the channel and you're basically pointing when, you know, in so many ways to our central nervous system, you know, and our central nervous system is branching out into our peripheral nervous system and going into all of our fingers and toes. But it's not just like these funny little tubes, they're full of energy and fluid and life force and beingness, you know, neural connectivity. And so it's very much an alive process. 

And so think about it, if you are disconnected from different parts of your body and you're simply living in your head or living in, you know, your head and maybe sometimes visiting your heart and maybe occasionally visiting your genitals, like you're just like occasionally visiting these other areas, but you're not connected, your proprioceptive awareness of your body is limited, right? Of course, you're going to be afraid of the dark. 

You don't know where anything is. If you start feeling your way around, there's going to be a lack of, you know, knowing where the end of your body is and where things are around you, you know, but that comfort in being in the darkness comes from like knowing where you are, right? 

Knowing where you are. And that is a physical experience. It is, you know, it is physical and energetic, right? And we start to, you're, you know, describing this intuitive nature that is available to all of us when we start to connect with it again, when we start to cultivate it. And it does give you this like sixth sense of like knowing right, you can feel the energy shift in a room. You can, and what you're feeling is collective energy. 

You're feeling other people's nervous systems shifting, you know, maybe you're even picking up on mental patterns or emotional patterns that are going on with people. And you feel it in your body, right? Because that's how we feel things. We feel things through our body. Maybe you feel it in your fingers or your toes or you feel it, you know, in your throat. And it's this, this is the right time to speak. 

All of that information starts to come in when we are clear, when we're not clogged up with everything that ever happened, right? And so I just, I love this conversation. I'm so inspired by where you're at right now and what you're up to. 

And I can feel your passion about all of this work. How do you work with people? Do you mostly work with people one on one? Or are you designing different kinds of offerings? 

M: Yeah, so right now I'm doing readings for people. So that, like I said before, I use my own, you know, intuition and astrology in my readings. So this is astrology is a beautiful tool. The kind of astrology I use is what is called evolutionary astrology. So it's not as some traditional astrology wants to put you in a box kind of a little bit. This is how you are, you know? 

I don't like that. I like to look at potential and I like to look at shadow. So that's what I'm doing in my readings. I use it as a tool in the readings and really astrology is a really good starting point for anyone looking for to understand themselves better. And then from there I also take coaching and that's where we work, you know, with the shadow and do shadow work and actually go into, get into the how to do it. 

So astrology for understanding your blueprint basically and your makeup and your potential and your, I don't like the word block because I don't think we're ever blocked, but it can feel like that anyway, you know, like stuff we're bumping up against that we can't really make sense of and then coaching to work from there. 

Yeah. And I'm also actually currently, so I've been studying digital marketing over to something completely different, but I've, I'm currently very passionate because I've always thought that what if business savvy people, all the business savvy people, the successful people were into spirituality and yoga and you know, the world would be a much better place. 

I've run my own business previously and now I'm into to digital marketing because I want to help people with conscious businesses, people who have spiritual practices, people who do these like wholesome, health focused practices and have these offerings. I want to help them have a reach and to be seen because I believe that that's going to make the world a better place. So I want to help all the spiritual people like me to do this, you know, to actually create that business and be successful and know how to bring that knowledge and all that experience out to the people who need it. 

Because I remember when I wanted to do this on my own after I had my yoga studio, I had my brick and mortar business, I wanted to create my own online business and I felt like I have so much knowledge and so much wisdom that I want to share, but I had no idea how to do that. Right. So I'm kind of right now working on tying everything together so that I can do both. And yeah, that's that's also something I'm very passionate about at the moment. So there's going to be more offerings as well like group coaching things. Awesome. Yeah. Great. 

A: Well, I mean, I love that. I think that there's a lot of people out there that are, you know, wanting to do entrepreneurship because they realize that they can make an impact in a way that they may not be able to working for somebody else, not only an impact in their own lives, but that they get to actually attract the client who really wants to work with them, you know, and I think that you'll be very successful at blending these things together. 

And yeah, and I'm excited to support you on this new venture and this new journey because you're right. The more that we can have like action and this goes, you know, not just, I mean, obviously men too, but, but women, spiritual entrepreneur women who are killing it and making money, we share with other people and we improve the world through having access to influence and money. I truly believe that. 

I mean, I've seen it with my own eyes and I know that as I've been building my business and rising and what I'm doing, I am more than happy to support other people like through this podcast is one way that I do that, but also through different collaborations, you know, as I am able to build my wealth more, I'm excited about the point where I get to make, you know, a nice big donation to a cause or, you know, help finance someone's dream. Those are things I really want to do. 

And I think I'm not the only one out there. And that is incredibly refreshing because that's not what the world of money has looked like for the last, you know, couple hundred years. And it's just now burgeoning. It's just now starting to look different. And I'm excited for that. 

M: I'm so excited for that. And I totally agree with you. And I believe that, you know, we're made to believe that it's so hard. It's so difficult. You have to have all these skills. You'd need some skills, but it's actually pretty simple when you understand how it works. 

And we have so many possibilities now with social media and everything that goes within digital marketing. It's just about, again, to find that key to unlock how you actually do it. And I want to simplify it and streamline it so that more people can learn how to do this and be successful, like you say, because we need more people, especially women. I'm very passionate about that as well. 

Entrepreneurs who have that exact mindset that you have. We want to share and we've, you know, we want to be part of something that's bigger than us. And we want to be of service. And we need, and I think that's part of how we change the world for the better. Oh, absolutely. Very excited that that's happening now. And yeah, to be able to be part of that, you know, everything. Yeah. 

A: Oh, that's so great. So tell our listeners where they can find you, where they can find more information, where they can follow you, and keep a lookout for all of these beautiful offerings. 

M: Yes. So my main account on Instagram, that's where I do most of my things. That's my ". So we can, we can write that in, in the show notes. I know it's a difficult name to pronounce. And I am also working on, I just opened an account for specifically my readings and my coaching. So you can find me there. That one is called It's Magic by Maya. So that's completely new, but very exciting to do that. And then yeah, that's basically where people can find me and just see me and follow and follow along on the journey. 

A: Well, definitely check out what Maya has to offer. I'm so happy and thrilled to see just this clarity in your eyes. And honestly, you're such a compelling speaker. And I don't think that I ever really witnessed you that way before, because you were, you know, kind of locked up a little bit. 

I mean, I was at the time too, for sure. But I can really hear just how much flow you're experiencing in the way that you express and speak. It's, it's very inspiring. It's a very wonderful ticket to see that evolution of your, your spirit. 

M: Thank you so much. And I could say exactly the same thing to you. Cause yeah, I feel the same way. And yeah, that's, that's what happens, you know, when we free ourselves and we were able to just be ourselves. So beautiful. And I'm so happy that we get to got to reconnect like this. That's so exciting. I feel like we've walked similar paths with, we've had similar experiences and it's so cool to reconnect like this so many years after. Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for having me. I, this has been such a beautiful conversation. 

A: Absolutely loved it. Loved every moment of it. And I can't wait to chat more and maybe have you on the show later on when you've got some, you know, further developments in your project and just hear how things are going. 

M: I would love to. 

A: Thank you so much. 

M: Thank you. 

A: You've been listening to the Free Your Soma podcast. To find out more information about today's guest, check the show notes. And to find out more information about me, Amee Takaya and the radiance program, visit www.freeyoursoma .com. 

A: Hey there, Truthseeker, freedom lover, consciousness expander. You've been listening to the Free Your Soma podcast. I'm Aimee Takaya and I'd like to invite you on the somatic exploration of a lifetime. Join me for Revive, a nine-week somatic movement adventure. You and an intrepid group of heartlet leaders will learn how to release muscular stress, tension and pain, and how to come back to ease and flow in your body. What's more, this tension you've been holding in your back, your neck, your shoulders, this represents your untapped somatic potential. When these muscles lengthen out and relax, you will get to experience deeper body intelligence and wisdom throughout your life. Learn more about Revive at www.freeyoursoma .com. 

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