Author and entrepreneurial soul coach Rha Goddess joins the program to share her diversity story, including how a near-death experience led her to leave her corporate job and pursue her calling. She discusses her new book The Calling: 3 Fundamental Shifts to Stay True, Get Paid, and Do Good and reveals the false dichotomy between passion and profits. Discover how to be patient with yourself along the journey and the importance of building support along the way.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- Rha’s diversity story, and the beginning of her sense of calling (9:30)
- How a near-death experience led Rha to step out of the corporate world (15:00)
- The external and internal messages that prevent us from pursuing our calling (21:00)
- A false dichotomy between pursuing passion and profit (28:00)
- The importance of courageous listening (42:00)
- The role of community in pursuing our calling (47:00)
- Why we need to give ourselves permission to be on the journey (54:00)
- The importance of learning from adversity (56:00)
- How to get a copy of Rha’s new book (58:00)
Listen in now, or read on for the transcript of our conversation:
JENNIFER BROWN: Rha, welcome back to the Will To Change.
RHA GODDESS: Thank you so much, Jennifer. It’s my joy and privilege to be back with you again.
JENNIFER BROWN: I think you might be my first repeat guest. I mean, that’s special in two years.
RHA GODDESS: Wow, I feel honored.
JENNIFER BROWN: I’m so excited because you’re going to be a first-time author shortly, and I am so feeling your journey right now. With all the things that are happening, but it is so exciting, and if I had any advice, not that you’re asking me, but enjoy every moment, and you discover so much more love than you get even now, which I know is a lot because you put so much goodness in the world. But it will be to a whole different level, I think once your book is out there. It’s going to be very, very special. It’s called The Calling, for everybody who’s listening in, Three Fundamental Shifts to Stay True, Get Paid, and Do Good. So we’re going to be exploring that today. So good, so good. So, Rha, I would encourage people to go back and listen to our first conversation, which I loved.
Today, we’ll focus a bit more on the book but I think there’s so many depths that we could go to particularly for this Will To Change community which is changemakers, heart-centered leaders, aspiring allies and I would say accomplices. People who are being very brave every day to bring their voice to speak truth, to challenge the way we’ve done things, to make sure that other people aren’t deprived of the role models that we’ve all needed our whole lives. So I’m really excited for people to get to know you and your work because I don’t think that it intersects very much with the circles that I’m in, which tends to be that sort of corporate advocate place, the employee resource groups and yet the fit is so perfect.
So I’m hoping that, folks, that you put Rha on your radar screen, think about Rha as a potential speaker, et cetera and also a book club candidate as well for The Calling because I do anticipate it’s going to be one of those game-changing books. And so, Rha I do start with our diversity stories and you’ve been meditating on this for a moment. So what would you share with us to give us context about your own journey, your identity, the source of your inspiration and knowledge and spirituality on this topic?
RHA GODDESS: Yes. And this may intersect a little bit, Jennifer in terms of what we’ve spoken about before, but in terms of just my roots, change of life baby. My parents were born in the 1920s. Very active in the civil rights movement, so I grew up with this deep awareness of inequity and disparity, and a desire to sort of heal the divide, and all of the people from all perspectives and contexts that were actively working in that movement to help heal the divide. The usual suspects and the unusual suspects. And I say that because often, Jennifer when we speak about history, I think sometimes it’s often given to us in a context of black and white and you and I know that it’s very gray, and various, various shades of gray.
But I will say that my history and my journey in a lot of ways was about breaking boundaries and being the first or being the only… Particularly in the early days of coming into corporate America. I worked in the specialty chemicals industry at the time for a fortune 50 corporation, huge corporation at the time, and I think there was myself and one other woman of color at that time. Certainly a black woman in that industry. And the women you could count on one hand. And so having this long lineage of walking into rooms or in some cases being invited into rooms because there was a recognition of the fact that certain kinds of voices and certain kinds of perspectives were missing has been the story of my life in a lot of ways. And I would say that there are many of us out there whether our context is racial, whether our context is gender or whether our context is location. There are lots of different types of diversities. There are times when we’ve walked into rooms and we’ve been like, “Okay.”
JENNIFER BROWN: Here we go.
RHA GODDESS: Here we go, right? I guess it’s on my shoulders. I guess it’s on my shoulders. And at this stage of my life and my work, where I find myself still having those kinds of experiences is where I’m walking in the room and I’m carrying a commitment to liberation. Mental, spiritual, emotional, physical, financial liberation.
JENNIFER BROWN: Excellent, excellent, excellent. And so you went from that corporate world to finding your calling. Was there a moment that it… I know it’s work and so I don’t mean to imply it clicks into place all of a sudden, but for some of us it is a… I’d say, “Oh my goodness. I’m doing completely the wrong thing and I’m not working from my greatest gifts and my deepest passions in my own need to be of service in the world.” And it’s so perfect that you’ve called your book The Calling. But when did that calling really click into place for you?
RHA GODDESS: Yeah. I reluctantly came to my purpose kicking and screaming. So I have a deep compassion for people who are, what we call are reluctant leaders, right Jennifer?
JENNIFER BROWN: Yes.
RHA GODDESS: I had deep compassion for people who are like, “Oh my god. You’re walking around, walking around it and meanwhile there’s this big neon sign on your chest like if this is mine.”
JENNIFER BROWN: Like it or not.
RHA GODDESS: Yes. And I’ve had several moments of reckoning in my life. I first tipped into these sort of big questions by going through what was called a Saturn’s Return when I was in my early 20s, my mid-20s and it began with my mother passing and then was followed by four other people who were very close to me passing in a space of five months. And there I believe there’s nothing like death to get you present to those big questions like what is my life about and what am I here for, and what is my purpose? Is what I’m doing now what I’m supposed to be doing? And all of those kinds of questions came up because I was trying to make sense of my reality.
And then in my 30s, my early 30s, so that was where the inklings began, and at the time I was hearing – in prayer and meditation – I was hearing that your work is about uplifting people, your work is about empowering people, your work is about helping people find their voice. And I didn’t know how to do that and pay the rent. We’re going to talk about it which is right in the middle of my proposition sprawl in the book and in life and in work. I was like, “That’s really great God, but people don’t write me checks to do that. So thank you for sharing kind of thing.
And then in my early 30s, I went through this other moment of reckoning and was like I need to shake it up. I knew I was playing it very, very safe. And doing good work, but not my work. In a relationship, a nice guy, but not really going anywhere. All of the things you are, and you become really, really comfortable in what was okay. Not bad, not horrible and I think a lot of us can relate to that but certainly not extraordinary. Certainly not game-changing. And I decided to do a cleansing fast and kind of vision quest body of work to sort of like, “Okay. What’s the next level for me? What’s the next chapter for me?” And this is where your spirit, life, wisdom, the universe came at gunpoint.
I was standing on my front step and was accosted by a gentleman with a gun and was shot at point-blank range. I saw the light flashing, I saw the smoke, I saw the bullet in the chamber. It does go in slow motion for people who… We talked about these near-death experiences in the way that life and reality slows down. I had had all of that and certainly know that he shot at me, but the bullet for whatever reason did not penetrate, and I had this sort of almost shield force, force field of energy stop, hold me in place.
He continued to fire and at some point the gun jammed and he wound up jumping on his bike and rolling down the street and of course all these messages and voices began flooding in. Basically at that point what the universe was saying to me was like, “Okay, either we’re going to do this work or I’m taking you out of here.”
JENNIFER BROWN: Uh-oh, those are some consequences.
RHA GODDESS: Like very real. And I began to get glimpses and flashes of seeing myself on stage, seeing myself writing books, seeing myself talking to people, working with groups and it was all within this context of uplifting people and helping people become more empowered in their life and in their work, helping people find their greatness. Over the years, it’s become refined and more specific around purpose and calling. But I will say that in each level and in every chapter, there has been some moment of reckoning and it hasn’t always been as extreme as that. But even in its subtlety, It’s still been just as powerful and just as profound. It’s been about this consistent realignment and way of coming into harmony with the truth of who I am, the truth of what it is that I’m here to offer and bring, and the truth of what it is that I’m here to impact and effect and move in the world.
JENNIFER BROWN: You mentioned permission when we were we’re preparing, and it feels probably like you’ve had to give yourself permission at increasing levels as you’ve gone on this journey to embody the role you needed to play to be of full service. And I’m sure that you’re still on that journey. It’s never a done deal. It’s evolving. And so was there any… Give us an example maybe of a permission giving moment for you perhaps recently or just maybe a really big one that shifted everything because I think the question underneath it is, “Who am I to serve in this way?”
RHA GODDESS: Yeah.
JENNIFER BROWN: I get asked that a lot. It holds so many brilliant hearts and minds back from being everything they can be in reaching that potential not just for themselves but the gift that they need to deliver. I mean, they are here to do a job. I’m convinced, and yet it’s that playing small. I think there’s a diversity dimension to it, I think as well sort of who am I when I’m not seeing anyone that looks like me doing this or saying this or playing this role or playing big. I think there’s additional challenges in terms of our self-perception and that permission giving is extra radical for some of us. But tell me about what that looked like for you?
RHA GODDESS: For sure. I mean, the first thing even coming out of that experience, the first thing I had to give myself was permission to look, because clarity comes from being willing to see, being willing to ask, being willing to listen for the answers, being willing to honor the answers. I really believe when people often say to me, “I’m confused.” That’s usually the first thing when people come in, “I’m confused. What is my calling?” And truthfully when we get to the heart of it, it is more about being afraid. It’s more about being afraid. And so resisting the clarity out of fear or out of concern because if I own what I see or I take responsibility for what I see, I got to make some changes. I got to do something differently.
I may need to step up where I want to step back. I may need to change my environment. I may need to switch up my way of doing things and as much as we may not be in love with our current reality or we may not be a super fan of our current existence, it’s comfortable. We know it. It’s familiar. Even when it’s painful, our pain.
JENNIFER BROWN: The devil we know.
RHA GODDESS: Listen. We’re not really always ready to make that trade or that change. And I will say that the extreme of that experience for me was absolutely about that. I was there in the periphery. I could see it up the corner of my eye, but I wasn’t ready to make those changes, and in that moment I had to give myself permission to step into a new level of seeing and owning what I was seeing, and it was about clarity. About clarity of who I am and about clarity of what I wanted, and what I was here to do. It’s interesting that you mentioned the societal layer, Jennifer, because I think it’s very real for us.
It’s not only the self-imposed, but for some of us it is the societally imposed conditioning that tells us we can or we can’t, or what we’re capable of and not capable of or what we’re, quote-unquote, “allowed to do” or not allowed to do. So we’re always looking for permission. We’re always in any context looking for permission because we know we’ve been conditioned to know that there are rules of engagement. And so when we get to this place of who am I and what am I really here to do, this is a permission that no one else can give us but us.
JENNIFER BROWN: So good. So, so good. And the permission to… So to take the risk, to take the leap, to honor the truth, to really look at the truth, and then live it, and then the “get paid” part of your focus, I’ve always appreciated about you that you put it right out there, and we talked about the presumption is if we’re doing all this good in the world that we’ve taken that risk. You sort of leap, and is there a net to catch you to make sure your Maslow hierarchy, that food, shelter, water piece is taken care of so that you can climb up that hierarchy and stay there. Not just once, but over and over and actually even make it your living, which is I think the dream that a lot of Will To Change listeners have and are maybe even living.
I mean, I think a lot of people who do diversity and inclusion work say it is the most meaningful thing of part of their lives. I mean, nothing can compare. And they have this sort of the love-hate. I hate to even say that. They have that ups and downs relationship with it because it’s such hard work, and yet it is so meaningful and it is directly sourced from our passion and our hearts. You would never be one of those people that would say I don’t know what I do and why it matters. I mean, it’s literally the opposite of that. But the getting paid piece is really interesting and I coach a lot of leaders in that transition of honoring, making that big decision to honor why am I really here, and what story do I really need to tell.
It’s vulnerable and it’s raw, and there’s no sort of economic model that you’ve at least experienced, whereby you could get paid in doing this work. And so I wondered permission I’m sure related to that as well. So I mean could you describe to us maybe something from your experience or certainly give advice about how do we need to look at that differently so that it is not a hindrance in terms of pursuing what we most need to pursue?
RHA GODDESS: Yeah. It comes back to the conditioning and the belief that we have to trade, and this is deeply ingrained in every facet of our culture and in also a lot of the messaging many of us got growing up. In other words success looks like these five things. You check these five boxes and this is what success looks like. And a lot of us are in jobs that, to quote my brother Wes Moore, that are not our work. And how do we make that distinction between what is our job and what is our working. Can we do our work within the institutions and the constructs that we currently find ourselves in and I think that that is the number one question that change agents are grappling with in corporations.
And I think it’s also something that corporations are going to have to learn how to grapple with as they are committing to really retaining incredible talent, because I do think that this conversation is sort of coming to a head for us. The hunger and the thirst for purpose and meaning is really high. It’s just too high at this point. There’s a way that we’ve awakened I think as humanity and everything to do with the nature of our times, but also the ways in which we now have access to realities that we did not have access to even just five years ago if we think about our sort of hyper exposed world. And I say all of that to say that this conversation of how will I eat is the number one reason why people often pull back from their calling and their purpose because if it doesn’t sort of fit in those neatly prescribed boxes that this was mine.
Oh my god. How am I going to figure this out? And I take you through this in the book, but part of what is crucial is to understand that there is a proposition that is aligned with our values and aligned with our talents and our skills that we are here to bring to the world that has value, inherent value, and our ability to understand what we’re offering in conjunction with understanding what the marketplace is needing and the specific entities or individuals are needing and our ability to reconcile and align those two ends, so to speak, is the place within which we then get to realize our greatest contribution and profit within the context of that contribution.
So the first thing that has to happen though is the willingness to give up the belief that we have to trade. That’s the first thing and then the second thing is to really understand what is the nature of our unique offering. And this is a place where I know, Jennifer, many people struggle because often we’ve been handed a definition of what the value is and what our value is quite frankly. And we haven’t a lot of space to really mine into and divine into the nature, the full nature, of our contribution. There are things that we bring to our entities and to our organizations that traditionally may not be valued, but they absolutely contribute to the bottom line.
And so our ability to even understand all of what we bring and understand the value of the contribution of all of what we bring, and have different conversations about what’s valued and the nature and the quality of the impact that we’re making, is part of our call, is part of our work to do. As we’re looking at it in an entrepreneurial context, it is about becoming profoundly connected to what people are looking for, what people are searching for and what the change and the transformation is that we most want to offer. And our work there is to get phenomenal at it, and our work there is to find those people.
JENNIFER BROWN: You’re reminding me that the sales has a really bad reputation for a lot of us that have our own companies and think about that it somehow is not pleasurable to do it, that it’s something to be avoided or stigmatized, or it’s somehow not true, not authentic. But I’ve always looked at finding that audience that you’re talking about as meeting a need that’s so profound, and the permission giving, I think some of us go through, is that I am the message and the messenger that’s needed. If I don’t do it, nobody else can do it. Perhaps somebody needs to hear it from a messenger like me. And I think we can get trapped in the whole… Other people are doing this or it’s been said before. We’re either trapped in that, or we’re trapped in the nobody’s doing this work and how would I even start? What would that even look like because I can’t envision it because I don’t see it.
So either way we block ourselves through these limiting beliefs and yet I think what you just articulated is so beautiful and simple which is like I want to meet a need that’s not being met right now and that maybe I’m the only person that can need it in my way and let me give that a shot and that permission to say if I can find that audience it allows us actually to find our calling through them, I think, is the other sensation I always have, which is they reinforce the need to be a service. When you are communing with an audience and you feel them pull forward towards you, and you have this awesome and holy responsibility to be truthful to yourself and also to guide at the same time, but you’re also in a process of self-discovery too because you become even more of you and your truths, I think, every time you present, every time you connect with an audience because the audience actually takes you further. I don’t know if that ever feels like that for you but it’s just such a great thing.
RHA GODDESS: They’re looking for you. I think when we come inside of the construct of sort of… And again, some of us feel a certain way about marketing and sales, and all of the things that you’re naming, and branding because that’s all in there as well. But if you come to a heart place. If we have this as a soul conversation, this is about people who are looking for you, are seeking the help that you have the ability to provide. And I believe, Jennifer, that contribution is a need. Every single one of us needs to give and contribute in a way that matters. And I would say this is one of the reasons why often when people are sort of grappling with institutions or organizations or structures of “Do I stay? Do I go? Or do my own thing or not do my own thing?
This calling, what lives at the center of this calling is that contribution that we need to make. We need to make it. And there’s somebody that needs to receive it. So when we think about it in that context, it’s a different opportunity because then it’s the question of, “Well, would you not help somebody who wanted your help?”
JENNIFER BROWN: Right. That doesn’t make sense.
RHA GODDESS: Would you not show… Like if you had the thing.
JENNIFER BROWN: Why would you withhold that?
RHA GODDESS: And would you not share it? It’s just a knee-jerk reaction. We don’t have to think hard about that. Of course, we would. So there’s something about our ability to recognize, one, that we are designed to give. We are designed to contribute. We are called like our soul aspires to deliver on that contribution, and that if we block it, our own fulfillment, our own joy, our own happiness is at risk. And what I want to assert in this conversation as well as in the book is that I actually believe our greatest success, including financial, lives in our willingness to align around that. A willingness to align around our highest contribution, and to understand and discover and lean into the growth, the evolution and the clarification of our highest contribution.
And that only comes to your point by being on the court and giving because the more that you give from that place, the more you see yourself, and you start to recognize yourself. And that’s where that resonance gets deeper and that impulse gets stronger, and that path becomes clearer. When you continue to say yes and you continue to lean in, there becomes a moment where you don’t think about it. You can’t imagine yourself not doing it, and it’s about giving ourselves permission to start. It’s about giving ourselves permission first to be convicted about it. I said number one, be clear. Number two, get convicted about it like this is what’s important. This is what matters to me and really only what matters to us. And then three, giving ourselves the permission to pursue that conviction, which is the heart and center of our work. What it is that we’re here to do, and our willingness to allow ourselves to actually pursue that, to go after that, to meet that.
JENNIFER BROWN: There’s so much courage. There’s such a need for you just like there is a need for every single one of us, and there’s an audience that needs to hear exactly you know your journey. I’m sure there’s an unfinished-ness about it too that is an evolution that I can feel happening even in myself as I dance with the audience that needs to hear the message and my own message is evolving and I can feel myself getting a lot stronger, a lot more I guess edgy, truthful, brave and realizing I have so much runway that I could still push myself and the conversation towards. And it’s a neat feeling to feel that it’s giving way to your message and your being actually told.
You’re not just pushing, but something starts to pull you towards it and it’s interesting. That’s when you really realize, “Oh, gosh. I don’t really have a choice right now.” I know you’re feeling that pull and it’s a beautiful thing. It’s so validating and like you said, you can see yourself for the first time. And that happens rather late in life, if ever, for a lot of us. I don’t know if that makes you sad to think about. I know for me it just took me so long and so many years of wandering and wondering what I was meant to be doing.
And I remember those years, and knowing that I could do so much more but really not able to find my way and my voice. Anyway, I think about it and I wonder what would have been possible if I could have accelerated that process. And I think that that’s what your book lays out that it’s actually a way to take concrete… This is not just a mystery. There’s literally concrete steps to move yourself along this path to accelerate yourself, to do the permission giving, to do the audience analysis and thinking about the message and the messenger and all the… How will you get paid? It will happen if you honor all those other things. So I guess for anyone listening, I guess what would you… What’s your biggest hope for them?
RHA GODDESS: I want to speak to this thing about is it too late.
JENNIFER BROWN: Oh gosh.
RHA GODDESS: I think that is one that can come up for people.
JENNIFER BROWN: To be honest, I hear that a lot.
RHA GODDESS: Where you find it later in life or you see it later in life, and I think that it could be potentially easy to be tempted to have a whole lot of regret or easy to be tempted to be resigned and just say, “I’m done. I’m too old.” Or “I’m too tired. I’m too broken.”
JENNIFER BROWN: Right totally.
RHA GODDESS: Whatever the conversation is. And the truth of the matter is, is that you come to it when you come to it and it actually is divine and perfect when you come because what you’ll see for those of us who are in this later in life conversation is that you’ve actually been living out some aspect of your purpose even when you weren’t aware of it, because the impulse is so true and the impulse is so clear. All of a sudden you’re able to find those moments. I take people through a milestone exercise, Jennifer where they look at the pivotal moments in their lives and invariably when they go back, they can see glimpses, even if they’re just glimpses or just moments, they can see the pathway and there was a way that maybe to be affirmed in the fact like, “Oh, I’ve always been passionate about this. It just showed up in this way or that way or that vehicle or this instance or that circumstance.”
And so I say that because I also want to say that for those of you who feel like, “Okay. I’m arriving in the eighth inning or the ninth inning”, you got a whole lot to bring now. You’ve got a lot of wisdom. You’ve got a lot of resources. You’ve got a lot more capacity. You’ve got a stronger rolodex. Let’s tell the truth now.
JENNIFER BROWN: All the time, yeah. You know how the game works.
RHA GODDESS: Yes. You understand. There are some things you understand differently when you’re in a different season and all of that gets to serve you. And it isn’t my place or anybody else’s place to determine how fast or slow you need to go or you should go. The opportunity is can you put your feet on the path and then can you stay on the path. If life wants to pull you to the left or pull you to the right, it’s like the pendulum swing in meditation where your mind is quiet and then it’s all these thoughts. And it’s like, “Oh no. You just bring yourself back through the breath.” It’s the same thing. Life is that meditation and the opportunity is to continue to realign and realign, and realign, and realign, and the more aware you become, the quicker you’re able to do it.
The more you practice, the more skilled you’ll be able to become at getting back on the path. But we need you. So for those of you who think everybody else out there has done it or said it, or taught it, or lived it, our world still looks the way it looks, which says to me we still got plenty of work to do. And there are still plenty of people who need to be served. So bigger than the marketing and branding conversation of scarcity, that’s often driven by how we evaluate whether or not we’re worthy or whether or not we have something to contribute, I want to encourage people to look at the state of our world and if you look out the window and don’t see the kind of world you want to see, then know that there is more work to be done and that some of that work for sure has your name on it.
JENNIFER BROWN: Whenever you get to it, whenever you’re ready. When I do that exercise you were talking about, I always think the stages of my career, each one had gifts in it that I was intended to be given for the journey ahead that there was nothing that was wasted. And at the time, I remember being very impatient and feeling like why is this taking so long? Because I’ve got places to go, and not yet knowing where those places were. I guess I needed to incubate and sit where I was and learn what I was learning because it would be useful later, I just didn’t know how. And so what I hear that’s really so comforting for many of us that are wondering what am I doing here? What am I adding to my toolkit?
There’s always things being added to your toolkit. Who knew that I would be an opera singer turned keynoter on the topic I specialized on, but so much of the performer skill set, so much of that resilience and creativity and ability to connect with audiences and include audiences and really see into hearts and share art equips me today to do what I do, and yet the first question I always get in interviews is like, “So how did you make this change from that to that?” And to me it makes so much sense, but to most of the world it doesn’t. So I guess I say that for our listeners and our beloved’s to look at where you are and know you’re getting really good stuff.
And maybe, Rha you would say your job right now wherever you are is to be fully present, present to it and the stage and whatever purpose it’s serving for you, and then perhaps knowing when to move or when to change those circumstances I think that the most we can do I guess is pay attention and really listen. We get signals. They’re there and they become progressively louder until they become impossible to deny, like the story you shared earlier. Wow, that was literally you being pulled to the edge and forcing your eyes open. And so we have those moments, but then we have those more subtle ones that are easy to miss and I hope that we can increase our sensitivity to those messages that are probably all around us, but what changes over our lives is our discernment of them, and then our ability to not just notice, but actually act on. And that’s the piece where it’s like, “Okay. I’m hearing the message and it’s getting louder, and I know I need to do something and I’m getting ready to do something.”
RHA GODDESS: Yeah. It’s the courageous listening and the courageous aligned acting, and that is a muscle that needs to be built. So to your point Jennifer, there’s a sweet spot there because some of us stay too long.
JENNIFER BROWN: That’s what I was thinking.
RHA GODDESS: Right?
JENNIFER BROWN: Right.
RHA GODDESS: Some of us took long, and so part of what I want to say is that it’s really important to be fully present, really important to be completely full-on engaged wherever you are and to bring courageous listening, which is about carving time and space to hear yourself, and carving time and space to be in communion and deep conversation with yourself and with source, however, you define it, but this ability to tell the truth to you and you, and this ability to act on what is really important, and what really matters is the muscle that we’re inviting you in this conversation to start to build, and that happens with the practice that’s I said the step might be small, but you’re taking it every single day.
One thing that you’re doing in honor of where you know you’re being invited to move or in honor of what really matters to you, what’s really important to you when you think about your life and you think about your life’s work.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah. It occurs to me there’s an element of this we do alone and then there are these angels and helpers along the way who hold that space for us to either shorten these cycles of realization and truth to hear something we don’t want to hear or that we think maybe we’re not ready to hear and who pushed us I think further than we might be able to push ourselves at these moments. I know those folks tend to drop into place at these moments. We call it serendipity. We call it a lot of things. And I hope your book will do this for people, sort of land in their world, and it will be an impetus.
How do we not feel isolated that we are alone doing this work? I wonder what the community’s role is and how we should think about inviting those voices, those space holders, those big vision people into our lives that might see more for ourselves than we’re capable of seeing quite yet because I know that was one of my big limitations, is I was scared to dream as big as I think on some level I knew I wanted to. And so I needed a lot of encouragement and I needed somebody to paint a picture for me before I could really step into that picture and embody it.
And now it’s all coming true. So I know it was all there for a reason and that’s my piece around wishing I could have sort of condensed that journey a bit because then that would mean more time for me to make the difference that I want to make. Who are the people that need to help us? How do we know we need that help? How do we invite that into our sphere so that we can be more directed in our journey?
RHA GODDESS: It’s so great because it turns me towards permission to be supported. I think the first thing is our willingness and openness to receiving support because again for a lot of us you know the model has been go-it alone or maverick, and so this isolation is very, very real, Jennifer, what you speak of. I will say to you all that guides are all around you, whether they’re people you know or people you don’t know and our access to media in its best form. There are thought leaders, there are books, there are podcasts, there are like this. There are videos, there are things that we can watch that provide that kind of inspiration. There are voices all around us. So the first thing I’m going to say is to look at what is consuming your time. Are you reading? Listen, I know every once in a while it’s great to binge watch Orange is The New Black or whatever your-
JENNIFER BROWN: Guilty as charged.
RHA GODDESS: Listen, it happens. Sometimes you need that. I get it. But there’s that other time that could be filled with those kinds of resources and your opportunity to listen to… I remember for me being willing to get from like, “Okay, I have a calling – to your point Jennifer – I have a calling I have a purpose.” And actually on the court, I have lots of people who were operating as guides for me. Dr. Wayne Dyer was a guide for me at that time. Louise Hay, a guide for me. Michael Gerber, a guide for me.
So there are so many voices that are out there and so our opportunity to also sort of pay attention to the landscape and to put ourselves in the proximity of those kinds of messages and then also to look at where are those communities whether they’re online or they’re in our vicinity, where are those communities? Those events that somehow mysteriously wind up on our radar or in our inbox. And we think, “I don’t know why this says…”
JENNIFER BROWN: Oh, yes.
RHA GODDESS: The serendipity that’s also wanting to find us to help us get out of our box or out of that circle or to come out of that place of isolation. And so there’s our opportunity to be paying attention to that as well as people who do the work that you do and the work that I do where there are people who are willing to hold space for you as you walk along this journey, coaches, mentors, trainers, educators, teachers people who are willing to create those spaces and invite you into those spaces to help, to your point, shorten that learning curve or to soften some of the bumps and the lumps that you might take along the way, that those guides do exist.
And so this opportunity to see and listen and pay attention to and even seek out those kinds of resources become really important especially when you know I need that extra hand, or I need that structure of accountability, or I need that consistent reminder. It’s so important to be able to be open to and willing to seek out and listen for that kind of support.
JENNIFER BROWN: That’s so beautiful I think a prayer to invite guides, guides to show themselves, guides to come to us inviting them. You just said the proximity to messages. When you really start to notice what’s being given to you on a day-to-day basis and maybe you’re choosing to see it, and maybe you’re not, but life becomes full of serendipity when you start to be on this wavelength. It’s almost like you need to change your frequency because our world is not about this. I don’t think that this is the way a capital society functions.
It is a shift in your gears, it’s a shift in your thinking. It’s in the way you listen and the way you notice, and then finding a community where you can talk about this journey, and find those guides, but also just share the bumps, the lumps, the serendipitous moments and you can process what it all means, which I think for me is such an important part of connecting the dots to say, “Why did I see this? And why did that happen?” And sometimes it’s also, like you said that thing lands in your inbox and you don’t know why so much of life is showing up.
That was such good advice. I don’t even know where I got it. But half of life is showing up. It’s showing up to the opportunity that seems random that is not. The connection requests to someone who may become that next guide for you. And so many of us, I think whether we’re scared of it or we don’t pay attention to it or we don’t give it any import, I always remember I did sense that I would need help on the journey and I always followed up with every offer that I got to support to connect to please just go and meet this person.
And I didn’t even really need to know why, I just followed it. I think that’s another piece those of us who are really rational and really logical and need to know this leads to this and this leads to this, and it’s very linear. I think a lot of this is not very linear and you got to let somebody else take on the autopilot and follow a bit. And it’s a powerful question to say to yourself like there are guides in my midst right now like who are they and what are they? And seeing our reality that might seem mundane through one lens but magical through another.
RHA GODDESS: Yeah, and dancing with that unknown. So this is permission to be on the journey, which is some things you’re going to see, some things you’re going to know, some things you’re not going to know. Sometimes it’s going to be messy. It’s not going to look all buttoned up and perfect.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah. Oh my.
RHA GODDESS: You’re being moved in a direction to your point where you don’t know why you’re being moved in that direction, but you just know that you’re being moved in that direction. And it is about being willing to be on the court and in the dance, and to allow that magic and that mystery to work, to go to work on your behalf as you are saying yes to whatever it is that is calling you and trusting. You may not know now. You may not even know at the end of the lunch, but three weeks later. You know what I mean?
JENNIFER BROWN: That’s right.
RHA GODDESS: It becomes clear to you. And that you can trust that, that you can trust that.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah. And things appear over time. It’s really true. And I think too teachers and guides may come in really problematic packages. I just feel like I have to say that. There’s been a bunch in my life that always show up in the same form. I won’t go too deeply into that. Someday I will tell that story, but problematic, potentially unhealthy, but a very, very mixed bag. And I think too there’s always a learning. Everything is a teacher, even the painful stuff, even the person that betrays your trust. So that’s been to me really formative as well.
I choose to now with hindsight look at those. Those were placed on my journey as well, intentionally. And not to have so many feelings about it, but to…. I think you just said it in a beautiful and neutral way to sort of say this is here in my path and there’s something I’m needing to learn and there is a service here that needs to be exchanged, and there’s a piece I need to get from a journey ahead. We need to take care of ourselves, but I do think your point about not having the journey look perfect and in a society where we feel if we make one false move it’s judged unfairly and overly transparently. I wish that weren’t true because sometimes we really do… We need to have these difficult moments in private, and I wish that too for some of this journey. It doesn’t need to be or nor should it be very public.
RHA GODDESS: Yeah.
JENNIFER BROWN: But this is just wonderful, Rha. I want to mention the release date for the book again, it’s January 21st of 2020, and we will get this message out I hope at the end of January so that we can jump on all the excitement and make sure that our audience knows about you. Is there anything else from a resource perspective you want to draw our attention to? I mean how can we support getting this book out because we know that this is such an integral part to all of our advocacy?
RHA GODDESS: I so appreciate this. So the first thing I want to say is that the book is available to you on all of the major retail outlets, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. Shout out to St. Martin’s Press, our publisher who’s been phenomenal throughout this journey, just phenomenal. And Jennifer, you and I both know it doesn’t always wind up that way.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah, that’s why I really love that you mentioned them. I love my publisher too, Berrett-Koehler. They’re just fabulous and we are very lucky. We are very lucky.
RHA GODDESS: Very lucky, very lucky. But it’s everywhere including on Audible so the audiobook is available for those of you who you got to get it in when you’re dropping off the kids or whatever the reality is for you. And then to know that both within the book, and I’m going to give it to you here, that all of the resources that are shared within the context of the book are also available to you and you can come onto our site. It will be movethecrowd.me\thecalling. And you’ll go into that site and there will be a resources tab where you’ll be able to download all the worksheets and all of the graphics that give you the designs.
And so if you really want to nerd out or you just want to scribble on paper, and you don’t want to write in your book like all of that is available to you and will be available to you. And then I also just want to say to you all that if you were moved in this conversation and if you’ve been having conversations with others, share the opportunity to share the book. In other words, if you get value from this conversation, you get value from even the first couple of pages that you would share the book.
For me, more than anything it’s the change and the transformation that I’m most interested in. It’s what gets me up every morning is the opportunity to make the difference. And so book sales are great and all of that and we understand how it all works, but deeper than that for me is the transformation of the impact. That’s what I’m driven by. That’s what I live for. And so if you get value from this conversation, value from the book in any way, the conversation around the book that you would share it with those you love, and that you would be in conversation with each other because sometimes the very person sitting next to you is in the same conversation, and you have no idea. So your willingness to talk about it and share about it in spaces that feel safe and welcoming is the other thing that I want to encourage you to do.
JENNIFER BROWN: Rha, thank you so much for this and for your voice in the world. We’re so, so fortunate that you found your calling. So thank you for joining me.
RHA GODDESS: Thank you so much, Jennifer for having me and thank you all so much for listening. All my love.
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