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Blossom Your Awesome - Episode #5 - Isa Gucciardi and the Divine Feminine

by Sue Dhillon
February 22nd 2021

In Episode #5 I am talking to the one and only Isa Gucciardi - Buddhist Practitioner, author speaker, teacher. She is founding Director and primary teacher at the  - The Foundation Of The Sacred St... More

Hi there, thank you so much for being here. Welcome back to the blossom, your awesome podcast, episode number five. I am your host Sue Dylan have a very special show for you today. We have the lovely ISA grew Chardy. I am so honored and delighted to have her hair. She is the founding director of the Sacred Stream School for Consciousness in Berkeley Ihsa is a writer, author speaker, she is the creator of depth hypnosis, which is a groundbreaking therapeutic model for hypnotherapy and she has a new book coming out, Return to the great Mother. We are going to be talking to her about that among other things. So welcome, lisa, thank you so much for being here and so honored to have you here with me today. Thank you Sue. So now tell me, um I guess we can jump right into your new book, Can you talk to me about this and how this came about?

Oh, that is a long and winding road, think all ducks are a long and winding road, that is what I have found. But this um this book is a dishes of The return to the great mother which was published in 2013 and at the time, you know, I was, I was speaking at a lot of midwifery conferences and working with a lot of doulas and birth professionals and realized, you know, people have just not totally understood power and this was actually point of interest for me um and had been since the The late 70s and early 80s when I was living in a community that was modeling itself on the farm, in many ways within the farm is a community that was very radical in in the 70s. And it was established by Anna Mae Gaskin and it was a place where there was this reclamation of the power of the feminine, the birthing process and the and the advocacy of home birthing and moving away from the medicalization of birth that had become, it was becoming more and more the norm.

And at the time I was very radical and well, not that radical. I mean, we were just saying how about having a non medicalized birth if it's not necessary, you know, you know, how about considering having women birth in environments where they feel at home and comfortable and you know, and at the time that was radical, that has become much less radical now. And there was really a lot of pushback from the medical community and we did feel that we were, you know, put in a place where we I had to fight and I thought we had fought the good fight, you know, I thought that we had really, you know, you know, certainly I gave birth during those years and you know, we all um we helped each other give birth in an, an alternative ways and in hospitals, you know, and we, you know, we were, you know, reclaiming something and so in the, you know, the nineties Early 2000s, I have a bunch of students, a bunch of clients, a bunch of people who are coming to me for assistance in trying to understand the ways in which people were losing power in the birthing.

Can you? Mhm. You know people who have, you know, it's been, you know, they've been advocating for instance in the hospitals where they weren't for more natural birth and they had lost their jobs, that sort of thing. And trying, they were trying to deal with that. And I was really just amazed at how we had really not made the strides that I thought we had made. And so I decided to start teaching classes for birthing mothers and their and their partners and families and for doulas midwives, other birth professionals um to help them understand better the nature of the power of the great time. And so I started teaching classes two classes. One was called tracking spirit in the birth environment, which was about keeping the birthing environ clear of interference and power filled with the power other. And a second class called the initiations of the sacred feminine, which was about Understanding how the birth birthing process is just one of many important spiritual steps that our bodies, our biology actually leads us through.

And it is very important how we meet these important finish it Torrey moments and especially in terms of you know our own birth, our own puberty, our relationship to our menstruation are uh first encounter in our continuous encounters with sexuality because they all inform how well we can meet the initiation of birth. And this is you know I always talk about birth is sort of like mid term exam and there's menopause and death which is the final learn, you know what our biology to teach us. So I started teaching these two classes and then realized we need to have a book about this because I was be making honey copies of these birthing conferences of the this meditation called the encounter with the great Mother to help people. It's a hypno therapeutic process to help people connect with the power of the great mother.

And I was just passing them out trying to help all of these dueling what nurses and doctors try to empower the people they were working with. And so I created that first book almost, it was almost like a no, you know a glorified brochure that I saw people putting out and waiting gynecologist offices knows my great and and it was really not that it was, it was a great book and we've had a huge playing lots and lots of people have sent us lots and lots of messages about how much it has changed their lives. But I really always felt that I have a more robust book, you know things have been very busy here at the sacred Stream and I've just now gone back to re issuing this book with more information um with more um especially more information about the initiative reprocess. And also it has so uh exercises that people can do to try to understand where they are with their own particular biological initiation on their spiritual path.

So there's a big long answer for you. No, that was great. That was really, I mean that actually really breaks it down now. You know, my question for you like as a woman who you know, is at any stage in life beyond giving birth kind of approaching menopause. I mean how help me just kind of share that with women who may feel lost and kind of tapping into like the divinity of the great mother. What is a way to kind of think of that or um you know, just spiritually. You mean outside of the account? Yeah, just like that. Other, even outside of the Yeah, yeah. Even outside of that, just as women, you know, like for all the different stages, just if we're this is foreign to us. Yeah, I forget that foreign concept because it's so much a part spiky and that is so disgusting to me, You know, to hear that this is concept for people and of course I know this, but um to have that brought home again makes me want to write another book.

So, you know, what is what is the advice for women who feel lost? Well, probably the first bit of return that one can have is the return show Relationship with 1's own body. And I think that one of the reasons why so many people feel lost because they have lost contact with the great general processes body engaging every day. And I think a lot of gotten lost in the cultural messaging around this is the way your body should look this. This is what your body should do. And hardly anyone, you know, has a barbie body. I mean, I know we're in first century, but I think there's still a lot in spite of all of olive movements, in spite of all of work with transgender, transgender rights. You know, the, you know, body positive movements, all of these things.

People still find something wrong with their body because they're looking media and being told that it should be looking at it in a certain way and they turn on their bodies and they they, I know so many women who were actually at war with their bodies because they are not doing what they're supposed to do in terms of the cultural norms. And so I think returning to your body is really important moment to really examine your relationship with your body and to recognize that your body is actually a teacher and that your body is bringing you through important moments of realization and you have the patience and the education to even know that this is possible. Then you can really become a student of your body and you can see tell your body is leading you actually through life.

And I think that most of us, you know, we have especially as women, you know, we have this whole thing that happens around our period and then of course moving into menopause. Um most people reject their periods, they reject the pain of their periods. And most women I know who are in that age group that you talked about, you know, just going into menopause or looking at menopause really afraid of and they don't understand the power that the menopausal initiation past and they don't understand the power that their bodies are trying to bring forward to them with each menstruation um, to give them the opportunity to look at issues which may involve pain, but that need to be looked at in order to become her and and to integrate experience, which may be difficult to integrate in the rushing pace of everyday life.

And so that that would be my first, my first, you know, advice is to return to your ability to begin to recognize what your body is and to begin to make peace with your body, wow. Um that's really beautiful. I've never kind of heard it. Um you know, it's kind of so simple, I think it's part of what we just do in general in life were always kind of resisting. So it's kind of that just acceptance and allowing it to kind of just things to happen and welcoming them essentially is what you're saying, exactly becoming a student. Yes, wow, that was beautiful. Um now, you know, I have a question for you, I'm so interested in your path and how you've just had this really remarkable life. You speak your, you know, polyglot, I think you speak five languages, right?

And you've lived all over the world, you set up this, you know, the foundation of the Sacred Stream, you founded that you direct that. And um so my question for you is is like, was there a moment where, you know, at some stage in life where it was like you had some kind of epiphany or is, you know, what is it like? Is it just divine guidance um for you to be kind of on this just beautiful, light filled trajectory and wanting to share these insights and wisdoms and being so eloquent and insightful. Where does that come from? You know, interestingly, you know, I actually come from a very you've read the introduction to my book Coming to peace, which is another written, I talk a little bit about my childhood, which was very fraud. It was very filled with a lot danger and violence.

Um, and you know, it's interesting that it was in that crucible that I really became very aware of the beauty of the Earth hawaii when I was young in my formative years and of course the power of the beauty, Land, Flowers and the sea and the wind, The mountains was just so present because things in the human realm were a bit dicey. I was always taking refuge in nature. I spent most of my time outside on the beach or you know in the gardens, you know any garden I could find that would you know go and find a mango tree sitting in its roots and in that ghost sounds like and and you know it was there very clearly the power you know present talk to me and you know, it was really in my effort to stay close to that power and that I felt in that solace and that peace that I felt being in the in the bosom of nature that really led me.

And so so it was always like star for me, you know, it's always the thing that I sought out. The thing that I understand. You know, I became an herbalist very young. I wanted to understand you know this the medicinal qualities of these plants, how how traditional peoples have worked with them. And you know the interesting thing is I did travel around a lot as a child and interestingly we wound up in cultures where there were still indigenous people living side by side with modern people and I was always the one who was heading out, you know climbing over the wall going out. It's I know it's it's Saudi Arabia where I live. Um you know there was all of these expat communities where people would go and had movies and things like that. And I was like, I want to go out into the desert, you know Right. I think there's a story. I don't know if I tell it in the coming to peace introduction.

I don't think I do. But it was insane. We lived in the middle of the desert. This is before Reon became the city that it is. There was it was there airport. And there was one paved road which led into Riyadh which was a series of souks or bazaars, that was it. So we had this big kind of huge house in the middle of nowhere that had a lawn, uh huh swimming pool. It was wild. It was so surreal. And we had a yard person who would cut the yard, cut the, cut the grass and then throw it over the raw. And I waited every week for him to do that. Because when he would do that, the Bedouins who lived in the desert around us, they all had tents all around us. But they, you know, they go by plants and their camels, they they brought their goats to eat the grass. So I was the minute he dumped that grass, I was out of the wall and I was waiting for them to come because I wanted to meet them and talk to them and you know, and they would show me how they work, how the, you know, the kind would invite me and the girls would invite me and we would, you know, they would show me the different plants that they had found in the desert.

You know, you know, they would show me this incense that they would burn and how they would purify, you know, their their robes with it. You know, it was, it was just like the most fun ever. You know, and so and that it was like that in other cultures where I lived as well, you know, lots of stories about different cultures where I had this exposure. Two cultures who were still close to the earth and the way that they thought about things where they still consider that the natural processes were life giving and important too. Not something that was to be dominated or or overrun, wow. So that's where it um kind of, it sounds like where it all started, but just um the opening really write this gateway for infinite possibilities. Yeah. You just defined nature, wow well, and you just, it seems, you know, it's kind of like it's so fortunate and not by chance.

I don't really believe in coincidences, right? I think everything happens for a reason. It's like for you to have had that upbringing that just exposed you to so many different things. Yeah. I mean, I feel, I feel, I feel like it's uh yeah, I agree with you. I don't think anything is an accident. And I think that, you know, I think that if I had not had the difficulties that I had had and within my family, I would not have sought elsewhere for or understanding and I'm really grateful for that because I really feel that, you know, you know, I I teach classes in shamanism and applied shamanism and of course shamanism is the study of the unseen power of the earth and that is something that I have been in connection with since a very and I also teach classes in yeah, buddhist psychology and of course and death hypnosis, which is, you know, a combination of those two wisdom systems kind of made into a process for modern people to be able to heal the trauma of being separated from their authentic nature and from nature in general.

Um, you know, those two wisdom systems when combined the way that they are in depth diagnosis provide a pathway back two people, you know, people find their way home, you know, you know, my whole quest, my whole life was to play it my way home, right? You know? And so, and I feel like I found my way home and I, you know, I mean, I still have further to go, obviously, I, you know, I don't think that's ever something that you can never take for granted there's always more layers to understand, but I think, but in that process i out how to help other people find their way home in their own way on their own terms through their own experience, which is to that, wow now, you know, on this topic the depth hypnosis, your I know it's a very unique, it's kind of your own process and like you said, you've integrated the shamanism into it and um you know, I was watching you speaking online in an interview where you were saying people kind of innately have a deep knowing within themselves.

Right? So can you kind of talk a little bit about that? I can't talk about that? Okay, that's the right question. Okay, well, you know, in buddhism, there's this concept called buddha nature and um this isn't this is the concept which is quite foreign to many westerners because um buddha nature is it states that at the heart of all the is this wisdom, this compassion, this connection to to happiness to bliss too, to love and kindness to to ah a sense of equanimity that is unassailable, that it doesn't matter what kind of environment or what kind of experience you have, this part of yourself cannot be damaged.

But what can happen is uh that you can have many experiences which block your awareness of that uh innate sense um in shamanism, there's this understanding that at the heart of all natural phenomenon is this order and this beauty and this power and you know, this is often called a core power and again, you know, there's much that can happen in the affairs of humans that can take people away from that understanding. And and so I do believe that, you know, in depth hypnosis, we start with the idea that everyone has this essence and in depth hypnosis, we call it the part of yourself that has only your highest good as its sole intent and what we try to do at the very beginning, the process is we help people establish a relationship with that part through a hypno therapeutic process.

And then the rest of the work that we do to help people heal from all of the different types of traumas that they've had, that have led them away from that part of themselves. Um it then we that part that has only the highest good as it's so intent guides that person through all of the different experiences of that have taken them away and helps them heal and helps them reconfigure themselves so that they can create space within themselves and vision within themselves to become aware of this part of themselves all the time. And this actually is what heals is this connection with, you know, the greater ever greater ever deepening experience. And I emphasize the word experience. This is not a belief system. It's an experience system where you begin to understand that yes, I do have this support within myself and yes, I can begin to truly trust it if I just allow myself to go into all of the different traumas and difficulties I've had that have taken me away from them and changed my relationship to them, so that the beauty of this part of myself can shine through, wow, that is beautiful.

Um now, do you find that people who are, have had more trauma or um more kind of app to the philosophy more, you know, up to receive it, or or is it just human nature to be more closed off, more guarded out of fear? Well, I think that I think that one of the things that really encourages people to look for this is the pain that they're in, you know, unfortunately at work, you know, interestingly, um the when people are just really in a lot of pain, they are willing to try things that they might not have tried before and um and you know, that that pain can take a lot of different manifestations, like, you know, a lot of people who will find themselves caught in addiction, they often don't look for help until the, until the addiction has become greater than they right? And so it's that same idea, It's, you know, people are really trying to understand, you know, why they feel as badly as they do, you know, why do I feel so depressed?

What, where is this depression coming from? How did this become part of my life, you know, like, so that you begin to make that inquiry, you know, how did this start happening? And then that is the that that, you know, when you're in enough pain, no matter how much fear you have, you're willing to put your foot in a new kind of cool to see if the water might actually not be as cold as you thought it was right? Yeah, wow, that is so beautiful. Now, you know, last question for you here, um, coming to peace for people, we all have conflict and I know you, you know, kind of share that. It's um, it's a teacher to kind of, you know, help us realize come into balance and uh find like peace and joy. So for someone who's at this point in life, what would just be some kind of insights to kind of get them moving into peace?

Well, you know, one of the key concepts um in the coming to peace process is which is a conflict resolution process that is adapted again from buddhist philosophy and indigenous wisdom systems to help create an environment where people can speak their truth when they find themselves in conflict, where they can connect with their inner wisdom to help them guide them through the resolution discussion in the discussions of the conflict with others, where people can learn what it means to be patient and tolerant and allow other people's experience to be as equal as their own. You know, these are the tenants of coming to peace and so, you know, it offers the actual process, it's quite simple, but it offers a container for anyone who's experiencing conflict with a community member, a family member, anyone in their in their world.

And there is another aspect to coming to peace which is very important that anyone can engage in even without the participation of people that they may be in conflict with, because this is the issue with conflict, you may want to bring someone to the table to talk through something, but they may not want to do that and then your left sort of like what do I do? I caught in this conflict, you know, and then you have all of this internal experience that keeps you in turmoil. And so inter coming to peace addresses that it shows you the ways in which your own internal experience may be driving the external conflict that you are engaged in with others. And it provides you with a method of resolving that internal conflict so that you can step out of the dynamic of the conflict that you have with the person externally without even having to have them participate.

And um and I think this is something that is very freeing because so many people for instance are caught in a situation where they feel maybe they have wronged someone, that person won't forgive them or maybe someone has wronged them. It won't take responsibility and then people are left in these internal knots and that those are exactly the kinds of situations that the inner coming to peace process um can help with by you, basically what you do is you break down the points of conflict within the cells and two, an understanding that these are actually parts of the self that had a relationship to one another. And then you can do the conflict mediation process with those parts and it's simple, yet profound. And um so if someone finds themselves in a conflict that they just can't resolve, I recommend they can read the book coming to peace and and work with some of the methods that are presented there to help resolve their internal conflicts.

That was beautiful. Now I I know I said last question, but a question which is like, so what is next for you? Do you you know when you come up with these, you have these amazing transformative books and this body of work and everything that you're teaching in your own methods and um does this just come to you? Do you have like stuff on the calendar? Like, okay, this is gonna be next? Or is it just kind of, it unfolds organically, Is there something we should be looking out for? Like is there a next new big thing you're working on? Well, you know, I, you know, my problem is that I have everything happening all at once and then I have to kind of get it into linear time, but there is so much happening. You just cannot imagine. Like we have um we have had this amazing blossoming in our teaching um with Covid, you know, strangely enough because we've had to move all of our classes online, which is something that I had actually been resisting doing because I was concerned about the quality of the transmission of the material.

But as it turns out the quality of the transmission, we have to do certain things to maintain that quality, but it is maintained online. And so we have so many students coming in to our programs that are interesting learning more about applied shamanism more. You know, they want to actually become depth hypnosis practitioners become applied shamanic practitioners. They want to understand buddhist psychology from a new point of view. And of course energy medicine is at the heart of all of our work. We haven't talked about that too much, but it is something that very, very important right now to understand. And a lot of people are being drawn into that mainly because of their encounters with plant medicine. And of course, we, we have a whole program on a certificate in plant medicine to help people understand their own experience and to help other people understand their experience. So, we have all of this online. We just like, I mean, it's like we just watched the registrations come in.

It's like it's it's I'm so glad that we have the amazing team that we have, we just have the most wonderful people working here at the Sacred Stream that works so hard and so diligently and have really been challenged in the last year to keep up with all the changes. So we've had to put in lots of changes and new structures, but in terms and so that's happening. And I've had to revamp all of every single class them taken apart and put back together to be online. And that's about 40 classes. So that's a rock. Um, and, but but the big thing that I really, I mean, I'm excited about it all, but I do have three more books that I really want to have published and they are written and I just have to wait for the editors to finish editing them and you know, they have to go through that public that linear publication process. You know, that, you know, that thing that makes things actually manifest. So, I have a book on death diagnosis coming out, hopefully by the end of the year, it's a sort of encyclopedic volume about the nature of death diagnosis.

And then I have another another encyclopedic volume on applied shamanism. And then I have a less encyclopedic book on Tara who is the uh goddess of compassion in action. Um, and you know, she has many different facets in in buddhist philosophy, but it's really bringing forward the power of the great famine um, from buddhist philosophy and applying it um, in in such a way as to help modern people begin to align themselves with buddhist principles but in a modern kind of way and in a way that helps them apply those principles to their everyday lives in a non dogmatic way. So that's what we have coming up. You know, that's just that's for tomorrow.

That is amazing. Now. I just yeah, I am just again, I'm so honored to have had your time and um I look forward, I may even be taking a class or two at some point. It all just sounds so amazing and I cannot thank you enough for the work you're doing and the insights and the light. Um you are oh well thank you so much and thank you for doing this wonderful podcast. This is just such a, you know, it's so nice for people to be able to find out. I was very fascinated with the people that were we've talked about and it's so nice to get to know them and to learn more about what everyone is doing. I think you know, you're making such a wonderful contribution and and helping highlight all of the positive activities that other people are doing and you know, that becomes your own service and your own contribution to the world. So thank you so much. Thank you so much. You have been so wonderful. I cannot thank you enough.

Thank you. Okay, awesome, thank you. Mhm mm hmm

Blossom Your Awesome - Episode #5 - Isa Gucciardi and the Divine Feminine
Blossom Your Awesome - Episode #5 - Isa Gucciardi and the Divine Feminine
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