Alexandra Hughes 0:00
Hi everyone and their cat is talking about witches. But what is a witch or medicine woman or priestess? How does one become one? And what is the common thread between women who identify as such magical creatures? Welcome to the witch hunt podcast, where we hold space for healing conversations that collectively explore these questions with the intention of celebrating of illuminating and elevating the rise of feminine energy magic and self sourced power. All in a world that's gone pretty much mental. Every new and full moon host is Aleksandra Beckel Hughes, who identifies as all three of these sacred tights, in her own weird way, invites you to brew some tea to light a candle and to join her in her conversations with witches, medicine, women, priestesses, and other magical creatures from around the world. So come gather to share in the knowledge, experience, magic and sacred stories of those women, who, once hunted to be burned at the stake, are now hunted, to be held in the light so that they so that we can illuminate the way.
Nisha Moodley 1:29
I think a lot of what shapes our intuition is our trauma. And it's what a beautiful way to make art. What a beautiful way for our psyche and our being to make art of trauma, that hyper vigilance that might sort of stay in an anxious alert state all the time. can also have another side to the coin that can be developed which is like deeply discerning and highly attuned.
Alexandra Hughes 1:56
Welcome to Episode 42 of the witch hunt podcast, weaving a re indigenized path of devotion, a deep dharmic conversation with feminine leader and culture shifter, Nisha Moodley. I am so excited to introduce you to this love filled, wise and beautiful soul who I've had the privilege of learning from over the last three years. Nisha talks about how magic wove its way into her life through the serendipitous arrival of teachers who manifested themselves in the shape of friends, parents of friends, neighboring yoga teachers and more. She talks about the relationship between trauma and wisdom, and how this shapes our intuition. We also explore the importance of Reverend generous and gratitude centered practices of devotion to nature, and the ecology of leadership. niches energy is poignant, gentle, full of love and oh, so beautiful. Her wisdom is deep, and her truth critical in today's world. This is not an episode you want to miss. Enjoy.
Hi, Nisha Moodley.
Oh, I'm so glad you're here. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. It's a real honor and privilege because you know, it's funny this online space, but you probably without even knowing it have been a real mentor and teacher of mine. And so I'm very grateful and very honored to have you here.
Nisha Moodley 3:32
Welcome. Thank you. Thank you for having me. That's a an honor. Thank you.
Alexandra Hughes 3:37
Well, one of the first questions that I always ask my guests, or one of the first things that I always invite them to do is just to introduce themselves off the cuff in their own words. So would you do the privilege? Yeah, give us the privilege of your introduction?
Nisha Moodley 3:51
Sure. So I'm Nisha Moodley. I live on the land of the hook of Magnum and some chop and speaking peoples in what is commonly called Saltspring island in British Columbia and Canada. I have two little kids. So I'm a mama I have almost seven year old and an almost two year old. So life is wacky and full and full of things being spilt on the floor and craft projects and science experiments. So a good portion of my life is spent doing all of those things. And in my work, I leadership, I call myself a leadership coach, but that could mean a lot of different things. So I take a deeply animist spiritual dharmic approach to leadership and it's the kind of leadership that we're called into the sometimes whether we like it or not, we are being asked to show up for and then how do we be on the path of devotion with our work and not just with our work, but in our lives? is really the sort of central question And that guides my work. And I could talk about a lot about what how I came to this work and what brought me to this work. But I would say like, the sort of the deeper calling that brought me to this work is like a profound care for this world, and the future have of this world and of our species and all of the other species and a recognition that in order to co create a kind of world where we stopped this train of destruction that we're on and turn things around, it's going to require that the adults of the world, us step up. And in order to step up, we have to move past all of our frozenness and apathy, and who am I and imposter syndrome and all of this stuff to just actually be about what we're here for. And, and my focus specifically, the people that I serve directly are folks who I feel are leading the change in terms of work that is culture shifting, that has us relate to our planet to each other to ourselves, to our children in in new and more generative ways. So that's a little bit about me.
Alexandra Hughes 6:14
That's beautiful. Thank you. i Oh, and we will dive into as much of that as we can. But I wanted to ask you, what made you say yes to come on a podcast called Witch Hunt?
Nisha Moodley 6:28
would have me say no. Yeah, it's a great question. I think that we will look to use these older tales and stories at this time, as a way to remember as a way to remember why we've forgotten. And also, that there's more than sort of default consensus reality would have us believe. So to me, just in just in the name alone, that it says so much. You know, it's it's telling a story of the past. And it's also weaving a possibility for the future. That feels really compelling and exciting.
Alexandra Hughes 7:10
Oh, thank you for saying that. That's exactly what it was. Sort of, well, actually, I didn't even come up with it. It was just a divine download. It was like very clear message, this podcast will be called which, so I can't even take credit.
Nisha Moodley 7:23
But you had an open channel to hear. And you said yes. And that matter? I
Alexandra Hughes 7:28
did. It was a it was a little bit terrifying at the time, but I did say Yes, totally.
Nisha Moodley 7:32
I mean, I think all big all great callings are equal parts compelling and terror.
Alexandra Hughes 7:41
Absolutely, absolutely. So a lot of the women who come on the podcast identify and and I hate to kind of, you know, you pigeonhole and label things. But I am curious. Women who come on either identify as witches or priestesses, sometimes both sometimes source versus sometimes medicine, women, I'm curious of all these words. Which one? Or which few resonate most with you? And how would you define your experience embodying living those words?
Nisha Moodley 8:20
Beautiful, rich question. In some ways, I relate to all of them. And then in other ways I relate to none of them, which might just be like that, that's sort of the story of my life, in a sense. So that's, it's unsurprising that this is how I feel and resonate with them. And I think part of it is just being like a biracial person and feeling like I'm brown but I'm also white, but I'm also not and so and also by cultural you know, and and having a religion that was very specifically practiced by my father's side, but no, my mother's side and and so this sort of like I am that but I am also not that and I am also this other thing, but I am also not that so there's something in you said which priestess, sorceress medicine woman, and there are so many more, right, but even as you said, each of those and like, oh, I can feel the place where my spirit is a yes, where there's relatedness. And then I can also feel the place where I'm like, oh, it's not the whole story. Like it doesn't feel like that is I know, I have friends who are like, I am a witch, like this is 100% there is no part of this being that doesn't resonate with that identity. And, and I can be like, yes. And also Oh, there's some other sense of dimensionality. And I think it's also just Yeah, being a person who enjoys playing range and having dynamism. And so to me, I guess how I relate to those are sort of archetypes. I relate to them as archetypes and like to me priestess and which have slightly different flavors. and they don't, they don't have to have different flavors to anyone else. But to me, they have slightly different flavors, sorceress has a different flavor. And so there are flavors that I resonate with all of them in different ways. And also, I think that there are, you know, Priestess is a great example. And one of my teachers, Elaine Karela, talks about how priestess can be both a I don't, I'm gonna paraphrase her words, but an archetype and also a role, you know, so, to be a fully ordained priestess is an actual, it's a path. It's, it's an ordination, you know, I could call myself a doctor, because I have some doctor archetype in me. But that doesn't mean that I can go perform surgery. And so there's a thing about there, you can be an actual ordained priestess. And that's different than archetypal priestess energy. By the way, I don't consider myself an archetypal doctor, just just to be clear, but using it as an example. So with all of those things, I see myself as yes, there is that and also, there are ways that I don't fully take ownership of that, because I embody them in a more archetypal way. And as part of this sort of dynamic range of expression. But yeah, I think it's, it's both my history to have a I am that and I am also not that. And I think it's also my kink, like my personal kink to be like, I don't want to be in a box, I want to have all the flavors, I want to embody all the flavors and so I enjoy that possibility to live into the dynamism of all of it.
Alexandra Hughes 11:49
I love that so much. And it's just, you know, I'm also biracial. And I'm in Toronto, but raised in Ottawa, so also on what is now known as Canada. And I think the reason maybe when I did read your about page I got all teary eyed was because so much of it spoke to me about kind of the dynamism, perhaps the shape shifting that one learns as a coping mechanism, possibly, but also something that becomes a beautiful experience. When you have in my case, it's indigenous, well, mixed race, indigenous German American on my mother's side, and then Ukrainian Acadian on my father's side. So settler and indigenous and I, I understand what you're saying about the the attraction to all of it. Yeah, yeah. And also, Elaine kalila was on the podcast. And so with Sarah Jax was an ordained priestess. So we've had that conversation here, around, you know what it is to be archetype peace, but also the very serious responsibility that priestesses have today.
Nisha Moodley 13:12
Yes, path, right. Yes.
Alexandra Hughes 13:15
Yes. So I'm curious a little bit about your path. When did you realize that? Or when did these words begin to resonate? When did you begin to take on the kind of, I guess, values or paths aligned with these words? And, you know, how did you know what what's your story?
Nisha Moodley 13:39
Oh, gosh, yeah, I feel that it's been such a weaving. So when I, you know, there's a part of me that wants to answer like, oh, yeah, I had a spiritual awakening when I was 24. And that really, sort of thrust me on to this path of, you know, deeper exploration and embodiment and unshackling. But then even when I go back, and I think about what I was interested in as a child, and when I was, it was a beautiful, I would say that one of the the angels in my life was my childhood best friend, mom. And she was a single mom, and had lost her husband, her children's father, and and had had her own spiritual awakening, and really nurtured in us, you know, because this is my best friend. So we had this sort of open door policy, she could always be at our house, I could always be at their house and I spent a lot of time there as a preteen, you know, I would say sort of like 10 to into my, you know, 1415 into my teenage years. We spent a lot of time together and we would go to the mall. At a physical bookstore and there was this affinity for angels and communing with angels and doing affirmations, and she was a Reiki Master and so at 14 gave us our level one attunement, and and then really taught us how to discern our energy from other people's energy from this universal life force energy. And these rules and practices that I both was both drawn to and then introduced to and then mentored around as a young person. I don't know that I I fully at that time would have embraced that the titles the the archetypes of medicine woman or priestess, sorceress and beyond. And there was there were threads of recognition coming in there was like, Okay, there's something that feels true, and holy, and safe and beautiful. And I didn't grow up with a lot of religious indoctrination in the sense of, you know, if anything, the religion I grew up with, was Hinduism, and which is an animist religion rooted in an animus, culture. So the idea of like, talking directly to deities and spirits was like, totally fine, I didn't have baggage and hang up around that, and the way a lot of people might wear it might be a confusing and shameful thing and scary thing to be exploring. Instead, it was just like, oh, this, this just feels like homecoming, it feels safe, it feels warm, and, and also a bomb, you know, to a kid who was very well loved. This is my talking about myself, like, I was very well loved, and also had a lot of struggle, you know, struggle around my parents, divorce, and my dad's addiction, and, you know, and just being a preteen, and, and being biracial, and having my experience and challenges with, with navigating the world as a mixed race kid also. And so, I think those were some of the early threads. And then, you know, I drifted away in my later teenage years and, you know, did like reckless partying and, you know, a bunch of stuff that I needed to kind of get out of my system and find like some individuation. But then when I started to come back and read Gita, Krishna, Marathi and get into yoga and, you know, go into poetry slams, and sort of like rum has being on a new path making art in my early mid 20s. It felt like I was picking up some of those threads and re weaving them again. So, yeah, the sort of long winded answer to your question is, I feel like it's been a sort of lifelong reclamation and relieving and, and I'm still picking up threads, you know, I would say even in recent years, diving deeper into ancestral work and animism and, and again, those, while they might look new, also have a sense of, oh, this is a relieving, you know, because I grew up in with strong exposure to an animist culture and religion, so it's not new, it actually feels deeply familiar to be relating to the world through an animus lens. And yeah, and then I'm more sort of dedicatedly sincerely started practicing archetypal work about 11 years ago, through my coach training program, which no longer exists, but was very, very, very deep and very intensive and we did you know, archetypal work and sort of like deep sacred theater, like archetypal embodiment work as a part of that. And then that sort of really deepened for me when I started working in the 13th moon lineage with Elaine Karela and Ariel Spilsbury. And and really like going into temple space and practicing archetypal embodiment and archetypal work. So yeah, but a weaving a weaving, a weaving, weaving.
Alexandra Hughes 19:25
My next question is, you know, because a lot of the women that come on the podcast have had that confused, I can't remember the second work descriptor you use, but kind of that confusing experience that distanced them away from something that they felt in their childhood, and the magic that they felt and they experienced in their childhood. And sometimes what brought them back was quite a traumatic event, or a shocking event. But it sounds like Well, first of all, what a gift your Well, everything, you know the everything but I'm saying think specifically of your best your childhood best friend's mother was. And sometimes women or humans come into our lives to just put us on the path in such a deep way. But so I often asked, you know, what supported you to come back or to embrace that path? But I think you've already answered that question. And so I guess,
Nisha Moodley 20:25
well, I would say I can I add a little Yes, please. I would say it's a lot of recognizing teachers when they appear in my life. You know, I don't know that I would have at the time been, like, I recognize that, you know, my best friend's mother is my teacher. But I certainly followed her, you know, and, and then even I'm remembering now there was also my neighbor, who was a bit younger than me. So we were sort of like friends slash I babysat her, but actually, we were kind of just friends. And her grandmother was like, you know, always into holistic everything. And so we would make papaya face with her. And, you know, she would talk about massaging toxins out of your feet. And, you know, this particular foot cream that helped massage and crystals. And so this draw to these, mostly women actually, along my journey that I would meet and sort of feel like I want to be close to you. And as a child, it was like a feeling of safety and a feeling of comfort. And then as I got into my adult years, it was like, you know, going across the street to the yoga studio that happened to be across from my house and meeting like, the truest yoga teacher that I have ever had the privilege of, of being a student of, and feeling this, this sense of like, you, you, you hold some secrets, you hold some deep wisdom, and I want to sit at your feet and learn from you. And I did you know, I just like, went all in and then meeting Elaine Karela and being like, okay, there's a draw here and then meeting Hiro Boga, and you're okay, you feel like my fairy godmother and humbling myself to recognize when teachers are coming into my life, like true teachers, and saying, I want to sit at your feet, I want to learn from you, you know, not to become you, but to become more me. And so I think that as a great stroke of luck, and also a choice. It's been finding and then recognizing those teachers and then choosing to say, Okay, this is my teacher, I'm gonna follow and listen, sit at their feet.
Alexandra Hughes 22:53
What do you think it is that allowed you to see them or to recognize them? Because a lot of it is countercultural, you know, or was countercultural? Less? So maybe today, though, I'm always wondering how much is my algorithm and habit?
But I think
Nisha Moodley 23:16
weirder than we think
Alexandra Hughes 23:18
we probably are. But what what do you think it was about Nisha? Or about the world you were born into the time, the place, the family, the street that you were born into, that allowed you to have the courage or the instinct, was it you know, to say, oh, yeah, they're right for me.
Nisha Moodley 23:40
You know, I think like with a lot of things, it's probably a combination of like trauma and wisdom. I felt unsafe on the study a lot as a child, like, my parents divorced quite young, I went back and forth between both of their homes. My dad really was struggling with addiction. My mom was really struggling, and she's been public about this. My dad is dead now. But my mom, you know, she struggled with depression. And so there was a feeling like, Okay, you're here, I have my needs met. And also, you're not here all the time. And this longing to feel this sort of safety of like a present, like, heart present, energetically present warm, like the warm presence of a safe adult. And so I think that part of it was the trauma of like, being hyper vigilant and deeply discerning around like, what is safe, who is safe, and sort of locking in when I met a rare creature that felt like, oh, you're a sturdy, safe adult. So I think it was like trauma and maybe I also came in with it, who knows but this ability to go Oh, to have, I think, quite clear attunement to a person's steadiness and safety, like the quality of their being. And yeah, and then really locking in with those, especially women, like I oriented, certainly towards women. And that clicking in, and I think that I still have that as an adult. So you know, I still have that, oh, this person feels so warm and sturdy and safe. And so, you know, how do we know what shapes our intuition I think a lot of what shapes our intuition is our trauma. And it would a beautiful way to make art, what a beautiful way for our psyche and our being to make art of trauma, that hyper vigilance that might sort of stay in an anxious alert state all the time, can also have another side to the coin that can be developed, which is like deeply discerning and highly attuned. And I think that's been part of my practice is how do I feel safe enough in myself, and embrace that gift and home, that gift of discernment and attunement and deep listening, without having all of this sort of like, I'm freaking out all the time, and needing to spin my head in circles to make sure that the coast is clear. But yeah, as I've practiced embracing that gift, I feel like I can recognize a teacher more and more when I see them.
Alexandra Hughes 26:28
Wow, I've never heard someone bring weave trauma and wisdom together so beautifully. And yeah, so thank you for doing that. I'm currently going through a lot of somatic healing work. And it's so true, like when you do face it, and when you do heal it, there is a great wisdom that is born out of it, you know, in addition to the strength and the resilience, that up leveling, right, like, there is yeah, there is definitely something there. And it's also I think about the instinct and the intuition, right, which is, which lives in our bodies, our hearts and our souls. And so there's something about learning to listen to that it you know, it's like trauma tries to shut it down. But it can't. It's always alive in there. And so what a beautiful answer, thank you. You beautiful witch hunt listeners, if you agree that it's time for women to stop living from a place of social conditioning, where we play small by over functioning and holding ourselves back. And you'd like to explore awakening your soul and rising into your calling as a version of yourself that's unstoppable and holds, then please check out my upcoming ceremonial workshop rise. We'll gather and sacred circle on Friday, September 29, at 10am. Eastern, you can learn more at Alexandra hughes.com/prize. Link is in the show notes. And I'd love to see you there. I want to dive into so much. But let me just ask you, what do you do? or what have you done? And you've mentioned some of the practices. And I like to share this because it's really helpful for listeners. But what do you do? What have you done that supports you in your day to day, magical living and to stay connected to that wisdom that we're talking about? Especially with two young kids. Three, they're not that young anymore. My eldest is 18. My youngest is 13. But I remember those days. It's crazy.
Nisha Moodley 28:43
It's it's a lot. It's a lot. The one thing I would say, as I enter this question is for me, it's less of a like staying connected and a more of like, coming back coming back coming back. Because I I don't think that I stay connected to a deeper sense of listening or wisdom. But in terms of practices, you know, the first thing that I also want to say is like, I have the incredible privilege of having support. And so my kids Dad and I co parent and CO parent quite well together. And we have a nanny that comes three and a half days a week so that I'm not trying to like parent 24 hours a day. I you know, I think about the solo, the solo single mamas and I'm like, like, maybe just fast forward through. I don't even know what it is, you know, to have to navigate in that space. And, you know, and there are ways I think that we can drop in and I've had to learn as as a mom, especially, how do I go into those listening spaces when I don't have, you know, the luxury to be like, I'm just gonna spend the entire A day, you know, crying on the floor, and I'm not going to get out of bed until I feel like it. And I'm, you know, I don't even barely remember my dreams because my sleep is deeply interrupted. And then I'm woken up in the morning by, you know, children who want things from me. And so these things that I think before having children are really nourishing practices in my life like dream catching, and, and sort of following the flow and the pulse of where the day wants to take me and where my spirit how my spirit wants to unfold, and, you know, going on long walks in the evening, and like, those things aren't really available for me, in the same way. And I've had to had my fair share of grieving around the changes that motherhood brings, and how, and the changes that it brings in terms of how I've had to find new ways to listen and find new ways to connect with myself and my life with spirit with nature. Okay, so all of that being said, my, my biggest practices are one, just going outside into nature, getting on my knees. And whether I have, I actually have a tray, I'm looking at it right now. But I have a tray that I keep ready, you know, it has a candle holder, and with a candle in it, and it has a vessel that I put water in and it has a rattle and a shaker and a lighter and it has a couple of little bowls that I will put sugar in or tea leaves. And if I had a tea ceremony that day, I'll put tea leaves in and just go out, take the dying flowers from the house, and go make offerings to nature and sing songs. And notice which plants or trees I'm drawn to and, and give thanks to them and listen for wisdom. And I tried to do that everywhere I go. So, you know, I was with a beloved recently and as soon as I landed, and it was not in the same place where I live as soon as I landed, just you know went out and found a tree that I felt called to and I'm like I'm here. I'm here to listen, you know, if you have any messages for me, I'm open, I'm available. And so yeah, that simple practice of just getting on my on my shins and on my shins on the ground, outside, not inside outside. And listening I feel has been the biggest re re grounding re centering practice for me. And some days I'll be out there for 40 minutes and sometimes I'm out there for three and so I it's not I don't do it every every single day and I do it every day that I'm able and it feels available in the morning and and I would like to you know amplify my devotion a little to doing it every day even if I need to you know push myself out the door in the middle of the day or something or after the kids go to bed in the dark go out just sit so that's a big one. And yeah, sitting with tea has been really a beautiful path and practice for me as a way of taking in nature. And my friend client and Auntie teacher, Mariana Rittenhouse has been my guide into that path which has been really beautiful and and then also I would say the other big thing is just altar creation like tending altars creating altars sitting at the altar communing with you know who whatever you know entity I'm wanting to commune with at that time. So if I'm inviting in the soul of my work or if I'm inviting in the soul of my child understand something more deeply or whoever or whatever it may be creating altars as both there's a way that I create altar that is a little hard to describe because I'm tuning into the field of the thing or the person or the being that I'm creating the altar for and so it's in that way sort of a reflection and representation of that being and also it's my offering to that being at the same time, but it doesn't feel like a sort of like how could I make this pretty thing it's more like I see blue. Okay, I see a blue scarf. Okay, you should go get the blue scarf. Okay, I feel to put it this way. Oh wait now I see a vessel which vessel Okay, great. There's the boss put the oh I want to put the bus this way. Okay, great. What else? Oh, I see moss. Okay, I would I go going to get moss And it just sort of organically unfolds itself. And that has been a really fortifying really beautiful practice. And I would say that the through line with all of it has been the shift from I want, I want, I want, I want, I want to thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. And when I come to my practices, with, even if I'm in a lot of want, even if I'm in a lot of like, I need, and I'm clear, and I just could, if I could have some clarity or understanding, or even if I'm in that sort of grasping space, if I can just hold myself for a moment and go, I'm in a grasping space right now, I really want clarity. And also, let me just hold myself in that. So I'm not coming totally transactionally. So I'm not coming just like, tree, tell me give it to me. So all of my work telling me what to do, like, this sort of demanding, you know, I am not a child, you know, and my experience of like, attempting to relate to a soul, as like, you know, tell me what, give it to me like this entitled sort of energy is like, you know, girl stand up, put your crown on, hold your tail out from between your legs, like, take a breath here. Like, if we're going to meet, we're going to meet a sovereign beings, it doesn't mean you can't feel all of that, but like, hold that part of you. And breathe for a minute. And so when I can find the place to start with, thank you. And to feel that not just I'm saying thank you so that I can get it over with, get it over with so that I can ask what I really want to ask. But I'm going to actually pour out, thank you until I feel it. You know, I'm going to pour out My gratitude until I feel it. And then when I feel it, and I feel so full of it, that I almost forget for a moment that I have a problem. Then I can go, oh, yeah, and I also have a problem. But I come humbly now, like I come with curiosity and openness. And I would say that that internal shift has been the thing that has, has made my practices much more fulfilling. And, and surprisingly, unsurprisingly, have brought me so much more clarity than when I was kind of gimme, gimme, gimme.
Alexandra Hughes 37:37
Yeah, that's all, you know, that I don't even know where to begin with. My whole body's just vibrating. But I wrote a few things down. And what I'm learning as I speak to more and more women on the podcast, is that we have been conditioned to have transactional relationships with nature, even in our conversations with spirit, you know, and the kind of common thread that I saw in all three of these beautiful, beautiful practices that you have is connection, and reciprocity, like a reciprocal relationship, or relating reciprocally, with nature, with connecting your, your soul to ethereal, whatever being, you know, an or the all three, right? And whether it be through the sipping of tea or the sitting with tea, whether it be you know, speaking with a tree, oh, and gratitude, which is, of course, I think part and parcel of reciprocity, true reciprocity. Yeah. Yeah. And I just And the other thing that I wanted to say was a little bit, you know, consolation from a mother who has done the grieving that you're talking about, and is now doing a different kind of grieving. So now I can go for walks in the evening whenever I want. You know, my kids, they need me in a different way, but not in the way that your kids need you. And so now I'm doing the opposite kind of grieving.
Nisha Moodley 39:18
My babies aren't babies anymore.
Alexandra Hughes 39:23
That will happen to Yeah, that will happen.
Nisha Moodley 39:27
You know, it's, we talk about decolonization, re indigenisation and appending systems of harm and revolution. And I think if we're going to talk about and this is I credit Bell Hooks, you know, with this, but if we're going to talk about revolution, we're going to talk about abandoning systems upon then we have to talk about love. Because that is the revolution. That's how we end systems of harm. And so to me Part of how we be decolonial and re indigenized ourselves is we say, how do those systems? You know, again, now speaking to Audrey Lord, the Masters tools will never dismantle the Masters House. How do those the systems of domination, control coercion live inside of me? How do I enact those against myself, others nature and beyond? And so to me, saying, No, I will not come to this tree, or my ancestors, or the soul of my work, or this other human being transactionally? I will not. And I will, because I'll forget, and I'll do it. And I'll be and then I'll and then I'll need to notice and make amends and create resolution, to learn to continue learning how to come in a relational way. And so I think, that deep and continual noticing of how am I coming to my prayer? How am I coming to my, whatever it might be, I'm using prayer as sort of a placeholder, I know, it can be a loaded term, but like, how am I coming to my practice? Am I coming in the spirit of reciprocity, as you said, generosity? relationality? Or am I truly if I'm being honest, coming in a spirit of transaction coming in a spirit of what can I get from this? And if I am, those, that's more of the same, you know, it's got like, some nice incense, and a sweet soundtrack. And some roses in the mix, it looks prettier than, you know, other forms of oppression. And also, if I'm being honest, and smuggling in this sort of default harmful ways, into my practice, and into my prayer, and and then I think it's, can I have the courage to hold myself in all of my neuroses and grasping and desperation and, and desire to control and can I hold myself and not long enough to come in a good way, with this up to this other person, or to this tree, or to this flower or to this meal, or to God, and, and not to say, I'm just little, and I'm lonely, because I've seen that doesn't work, you know, being like I'm entitled, give it to now doesn't work. But I've also noticed holding a posture that's like, I'm not worried. Again, my experience is that these entities are like, I'm a sovereign being, you're a sovereign, like straighten up your spine, come humbly, and also, you know, bring your whole self, not just this little shrink, shrunken version. And again, not to say, to bypass the truth of how we're feeling and what we're navigating, but to expand into the bigger truth of who we are, and what we're feeling and what we're navigating, expand the truth.
Alexandra Hughes 43:25
I think this is a perfect, perfect segue for me to ask you, and maybe you've just answered the question. On your you talk about the ecology of leadership. And you talk, you use the word devotion a lot. So it's the name of your podcast, your council is called
Nisha Moodley 43:47
Emotional leadership, leadership.
Alexandra Hughes 43:50
So Ken, can you explain to me a little bit what ecology of leadership means to you? And how how you define that and then weave the devotional piece in it, you know, or add on to whatever you've already said, in a way that wraps it up? Yeah.
Nisha Moodley 44:08
Well, I can kind of embed the notion of the ecology of leadership into devotional leadership. So I'll sort of talk about what I mean when I say devotional leadership because it's, it's baked in. To me devotional leadership, is leadership that starts with the seed of our deepest care. And my deepest care, then informs a vision that I'm holding for not just me, or my bank account, or my world, but or my little world, but for the world. You know, and so it's this seed of deep care, that that fuels that informs that gives birth to this vision. And, and then I hold that vision, that is the thing that I am devoted to and And then the work is, how do I move towards that vision, in my own way, with my gifts with my capacity, with my skills, and in a way that honors not just the bottom line, but also this body. And not just this body, but also my children. And not just my children, but yours. And not just our kids, but this earth. If I actually can hold, it can be on me consider it, like I hold consideration over all things. And then also navigate the deep heartbreak that I can't fix it all that I'm going to, I'm inherently going to fail, you know, I'm, in my attempt to be the most care filled and loving, I'm going to like, accidentally break my child's heart at some point, or put more plastic into the earth. Like it's not about being perfect. But it's about I'm not going to shut down my care. Because I don't know how to navigate it. So to me, devotional leadership is like, yes, it is we can apply, like how we work and how we bring forward our work and what our work in the world is. But it's this much bigger thing that it's about, it's about the seat of our care, giving birth to a vision, and then being devoted to that vision. And devotion being not this blog, not this duty, not this, I will murder myself for the cause. But actually, I'm part of it all. So I also have to this one has to be this one being me, has to be included. You know, if I'm holding a vision for the world that works for all, I am, I'm here to. And you know, and the earthworms are here, too. And the bees are here too. And our kids are here too. So like, I'm going to hold and cast my field of care over all of it. And so if we bring up the term ecology of leadership, it's like, if I'm gardening, and I'm just gardening to produce the highest yield this year. And that's it, then, I don't know, who cares if I'm like planting flowers that feed the bees, I don't have room for those. I need to just like pack in the plants. And who cares if the fertilizer is like actually killing the earthworms because like I don't, I'm not thinking about them, I just need the highest yield this year. And like, actually, I'm going to spray some stuff on it that will kill the bees. Because I don't actually want any bugs here. Because the bugs destroy my yield. That is not ecologically minded. I'm doing the same thing in my business. I just care about the bottom line. I don't give a shit about anything else, then Oh, guess what, I'm going to work all the time. This body, whatever, sleep when you're dead, my kids. Sorry, mommy's busy all the time. Like there's a lot of collateral damage when we are when we don't allow ourselves to feel this wide, open, loving, aching heart for the world, and all beings in it. And then navigate with truth and care and give our best, which is never going to be the best. Yeah, good answer. Thank you.
Alexandra Hughes 48:26
Wow. I want to ask you, Nisha, how you define magic and what your unique magic is?
Nisha Moodley 48:38
How do I define magic? What a fascinating question. I love this. Okay, let me see. I guess in this moment, I would define magic as the potential for all things. And then the spark of truth for what is really meant to be. So it's like, in the wide open field of possibility of all that could be I noticed the spark of what is true. And yeah, that's the best I've gotten. And I think that my, my unique magic is is like really seeing beauty in all things. And also cultivating like, consciously cultivating beauty. And not through a lens of like, perfection. But like, there's life here. There's truth here. Let's bring more truth here. Let's bring more life here. And so you know, really practically speaking that extends to like, making spaces really beautiful and cooking. I love to cook and you know, we do beauty in there and yeah, have experiences with Beloved's that feel potent and you know, I love producing and creating retreats and like all the details of what has this feel exquisite and magical and like a space that we can really exhale into. But yeah, I would say that's mine.
Alexandra Hughes 50:13
Beautiful. Before I let you go to do tell our listeners where they can find you.
Nisha Moodley 50:20
Yeah, so pretty much everything is just my name. My website is metion weebly.com. Same on Instagram at nation lewdly. Same on Facebook, although I'm not really there very often. But yeah, that's it.
Alexandra Hughes 50:36
And your podcast,
Nisha Moodley 50:38
and my podcast, which I've been on a bit of a hiatus from, but it's coming back. So devotion podcast, which is on all of the big podcast platforms.
Alexandra Hughes 50:47
Great. Thank you so much for being here today. It's just been a heartwarming, expansive experience. I'm so grateful that you came.
Nisha Moodley 50:57
Thank you so much. For the invitation. So grateful to have had this conversation really beautiful and rich. Thank you for your time it
Alexandra Hughes 51:05
was it was beautiful and rich, beautiful and rich.
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai