I recently featured two inspirational women on the Heroine podcast: Elle Luna, a SF based artist and author, and Susie Herrick, a licensed therapist with over 20 years experience and author of an upcoming memoir, Aphrodite Emerges (coming out in the Fall).
We discuss some big themes, the biggest being inner misogyny. You may be surprised to discover that we all – to varying degrees – have an inner misogynist. As women, getting a grip on this part of ourselves is key to growing on the path.
In our chat, we also discuss the challenges they faced on their own heroine journeys, how to know when you’re following expectations vs. your deeper calling, the expansive power of dreaming bigger, and their upcoming workshop in the Bay Area (now open for enrollment here).
Elle: Talking about ‘should’s’ and ‘must’s,’ ‘should’ being the external expectations that others put on us, and ‘must’ being our own knowing, this inner knowing that’s been with us from the moment that we were born. Why we’re here, even.
For me, as I began to really look at my ‘should’s’ over the last year and a half, I asked, What ‘should’s’ am I inheriting? Of course, there are little ones from friends or family. But really, the ones I started to look at were, What are the larger ‘should’s’ from a cultural perspective? What are the ‘should’s’ like as a woman? What are women obligated to do?
Whether you’re a woman or a man, regardless of your background, what ‘should’s’ imprison you? What ‘should’s’ keep you confined to some idea or understanding of who you should or shouldn’t be?
Maria: I’d love to rewind a little bit to that moment when you first heard about Susie. You mentioned that you were in a particular place in life. Can you describe what that place was like? I think a lot of our listeners could resonate with that place. Tell us about it, what was it like?
Elle: Busy, busy, busy. Exhausted. Busy. I just felt all dried up. I felt totally out of touch with my body. I was working insane hours. It was just nuts. It was totally nuts. I don’t even know how many hours I was working. I was really deeply dissatisfied. Really discontent. Almost at a spiritual, gut level. I just felt I was a part of this system, this corporate system which is so busy, with all of the goals, the metrics, the scaling things really, really quickly– like, yesterday! It felt like everything was always behind. I woke up and was panicked.
Maria: That feeling of scarcity…
Elle: Yes, scarcity.
Maria: When I think about the heroine’s journey, there’s this point of inner dissonance, where you feel dried up. You feel, This isn’t working for me anymore. Then there’s a reclamation process that wants to happen, for us to cross over to the other side. How does that happen? How do we get from that inner dissonance phase to the other side?
Susie: That’s really what our focus has been on. For me, the journey is all about the self-experience. That’s why I like to talk about my own story. That’s where the real knowledge comes from.
Elle: In the heroine’s journey, things moves from the known world into the unknown world. The initial call to adventure is then immediately marked by an initiation, in which all the challenges begin. One of the things I’ve learned that was always so encouraging, especially when my own initial challenges began on my journey, is that the size of the adventure is one that the hero/heroine is ready for. There’s this sense that, whatever is coming towards you has been called into your life for a reason. There’s something reassuring about that. Your challenges are matched for you. Is that an appropriate way to say it?
Susie: Yeah. This sense that you’re ready for it. Even though your ego is saying, No! Get me out of here!
Listen to the full episode here.
- On Susie’s spiritual upbringing, and her earliest realizations of negative self-talk and the conflicting expectations within women in our society. [3:54]
- Considering our ‘should’s’: Where they come from, what they’re like for women, and how they imprison us. Plus, the powerful one-liner Elle read about Susie that caused them to meet. [8:36]
- The insanely busy, exhausted, dried up, and deeply dissatisfied state Elle was in before turning things around. [11:46]
- How do you cross over from discontent and inner dissonance to other side? Susie’s shares her own experience. [13:33]
- Elle reads from their book, Aphrodite Emerges, about destroying ego and accepting new callings for life. [18:55]
- On the conflict women face in a “balanced” work culture and the kinesthetic experience of ‘should’ and ‘must’. [23:46]
- Culturally inherited misogyny: The oldest prejudice. [27:03]
- Coming to terms with the social emotions of blame and shame. Plus, how Susie’s relationship with her father strengthened after calling him out on some buried issues. [32:23]
- Elle and Susie talk about their upcoming workshop in August, Aphrodite Emerges: A Journey to Unleash the Goddess Within. [39:58]
Subscribe and listen to full episode here (you must subscribe to receive latest episode).
- Aphrodite Emerges retreat info at http://www.aphroditeemerges.com
- The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna
- Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice by Jack Holland