- Why we should be paying attention to the moon and it’s cycles
- Kirsty’s amazing techniques for getting life to slow down (perfect for you if like me you can’t believe it’s December already)
- How to live life in tune with nature and how that could help those of us with anxiety
- Plus Kirsty shares openly about what she’s been struggling with lately and the inspiring story of how she’s overcoming it
This episode is sponsored by Kloris CBD. BY Get 10% off Kloris CBD oil when you enter the code ‘calmeryou’ at www.kloriscbd.com
CBD oil and public speaking anxiety https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/)
This episode is also sponsored by Dorset Cereals check out their range at www.dorsetcereals.co.uk
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Thanks so much for listening!
Chloe B.: Hello, and welcome to the calmer you podcast, thanks so much listening today. This is your host Chloe Brotheridge. I am a coach and a hypnotherapist, and I’m the author of the anxiety solution and brave new girl. Today, I am speaking to the amazing Kirsty Gallagher, who is a friend of mine, she’s a yoga teacher. She’s also the founder of Lunar living; she teaches about the moon and how amazing the moon is basically, and how we can all start to use the cycles of the moon to tune into ourselves more and tune into nature more. And I actually love the conversation that we have.
We talk about why we should be paying attention to the moon and what it’s doing. She shares her technique for getting life to slow down. If you’re somebody like me who just thinks how is it November suddenly, where did the year go? And you want to be more tuned into life, and actually get life to slow down so that you can appreciate and enjoy things more; you’re going to love this episode. Kirsty also shares her life philosophies, and she shares really openly about something that she’s been struggling with lately, and the insights that she’s gained from it.
And I think this is something that so many people are going to relate to. And if you haven’t already, I want to invite you to come on over to my website Calmeryou.com/free. And when you enter your details there, you can receive a free anxiety toolkit which contains a hypnotherapy mp3, an affirmations mp3 made by myself, as well as worksheets, and I’ll also keep you posted about the latest podcast. So sign up for free at Calmeryou.com/free. So let’s get into the interview with Kirsty Gallagher.
Chloe B.: Welcome, Kirsty, thanks so much for joining me.
Kirsty G.: How are you?
Chloe B.: Happy me, really good, thank you, really good.
Kirsty G.: Amazing.
Chloe B.: Can you tell us what it is that you do? And how you got to where you are today?
Yoga break for busy work schedules
Kirsty G.: Oh, I wear a few different hats at the moment. So I’m a yoga teacher, I’ve been teaching yoga for about ten years. I teach nowadays mainly cop or privates, just because I want to take yoga to the people that really need it the most, and so I teach for lots of kind of law firms and corporate offices.
And it’s incredible; it’s a joy to see the difference that that one-hour sort of makes to them. And so yes I teach yoga kind of full-time, and then I also run an online course about lunar living, about how to work with the energies and the magic and sort of the ancient wisdom of the moon, which I’m sure we’ll get around to talking about at some point.
Chloe B.: I love that. I love that. Yes, there are so many stressed people in work places that desperately need that. And it just seems like yes, workplaces are trying to squeeze more and more out of people and get them to work harder and harder, and there’s so much uncertainty with people’s jobs. And I’ll constantly talk to people that are experiencing restructuring or these long working hours, and just to have that hour is so important.
Kirsty G.: I mean a law firm I teach around here. Actually, I do four classes a week with them now, and it started as one. And it’s incredible to watch because with them being lawyers, I always think no one’s coming to class and then two minutes after they all run in because they’re billing to the last minute. And they walk in with shoulders around their ears, little stress lines in their forehead, tight jaws and they walk out like different people.
And I think it’s so important that a lot more companies nowadays are taking wellness, well-being which everyone broadly put it under so much more seriously. And the law firm I teach they’ve seen that billing hours improve on yoga days, which is just incredible.
Chloe B.: Oh my God, that’s amazing.
Kirsty G.: I know. And I say that quite a lot that that one hour away from their desk will give them three or four hours more productivity than them staying they’re trying to keep going and going and going when your brain is already fused, and you’ve gone into the loop, and you don’t know what’s going on anymore. So it’s a real gift to take yoga into those kind of places.
Chloe B.: That’s such an important reminder for all of us. Because I can get myself into this mode of thinking right I’ve got to get my head down, I’m not going to take a walk today; I’m not going to even go outside.
Kirsty G.: I’ve not got time.
Chloe B.: I’m just going to answer emails; I haven’t got time to look after myself.
Kirsty G.: And actually it is an investment in you being more productive, more effective.
Chloe B.: Absolutely, yes. And there’s that saying that if you don’t have time for yoga or meditation, that’s the time when you really need it the most.
Kirsty G.: In those moments where you are in such a tailspin that by taking that time out, and what I really rate about the one law for my teacher, in particular, is that a lot of the people who come with the partners, the managing partner in particular come. And I witnessed him once someone came to class and they were in the middle of a big issue in work, and they were telling him about it, and he actually said to them do yoga first, do yoga first.
And for a managing partner to be in a position to be able to offer that, I just saw it was so incredibly special, it doesn’t happen very often, and that junior person who got to do that class will probably have gone back and hopefully seen that problem in such a different way, by taking that time to let everything settle, to restructure it, to get some new perspective, to get some new focus. And to go back and I forgot to ever ask, but I really hope that it all resolved in a much different way to how it started from them taking that time.
Chloe B.: Absolutely. So hopefully more of that was going to be happening in workplaces very soon.
Kirsty G.: I would love to see that happen, yes.
Chloe B.: How did you first get interested in the moon?
Kirsty G.: So I used to work in marketing and PR, and as far as jobs went, it was a good job. I worked in travel, so it was an incredible industry to be in. But I suppose from a very young age; I had always been I don’t know weird to use a bit different. I remember my great-great-aunty did tarot cards and tea leaves, and I loved her as a child. And I remember getting one of the park’s astrology books, in my probably early teens maybe younger and reading all about my star sign. And so I’ve always had a little interest in that side of things.
And then, when I went to India in 2009 to do my teacher training, you don’t practice on moon days. So on the following new moon days, there’s no yoga. And so I will spend most my time in my soul, to be in a place that my soul with hundreds of thousands of people are practicing yoga, and you’d have these two days in a month when no one would practice. I love people, I love watching people, and I’m a very good judge of people. And so to watch people in those days, the whole energy of the place would differ, people’s moods would differ. You’d notice that people would go through the same kind of issues, so that’s the same things would be coming up for the same people, and it was just a love affair that then began.
And on moon days, it would be traditional to practice what’s called [Inaudible 00:07:02.29], which is an oil massage. So you’d rub oil into your body, you lay and let it soak in for about 40 minutes. And so on those days, on the moon days, I just tuned into what the energy of that particular moon was.
What did the energy feel like, what the themes that people were going through, and most of all, what was stirring for me? What was coming up, what was it making me feel like, what life area seemed to be under the spotlight. And it gave me a real check-in point of those two days of a month to set intentions, to check in with what was really going on beneath the surface. To decide which areas of my life needed some focus, to consciously choose the direction I was going to go forward into with my thoughts, my desires, my feelings, what I wanted to create, how I was going to be in the world and I’ve been in love ever since.
Working with the energies of the moon
The moon and I have been in a relationship now for ten years, and it’s only got better and better. Using those days as a marker point, I could tell you so many stories of incredible things have happened from working with the energies of the moon rather than against them. And you see nowadays, I mean there are so many more people talking about it now on social and different things. People feel it; people feel it whether they choose to believe in it or not. I see it very clearly, and once I think people are aware of it, they get to tune into even more too.
Chloe B.: That’s so interesting. What’s the reason, do you know for not doing yoga on those days. Is it like a day of rest?
Kirsty G.: No. The official line was that because of the energetic pull of the moon, so it’s the moon most of us know that turns the tides, and so the gravitational pull of the moon is what pulls at the surfaces of the tides to move the water on the earth. And so it was said the official line was that the gravitational pull energy-wise, I think more so for yoga because they tend to be quite tuned into their body and energy.
On a new moon day, when the energies is it’s very lowest, there’ll be a lot more injuries because people would be slow and lethargic and kind of drag themselves around their mats. And especially considering it’s a lot of Ashtanga based practice, which is quite fast practice. People are bound to be sluggish, slow, tripping over themselves. A full moon day when you are at the energetic peak when the energy is high people will go too fast, too far, too deep, too much.
So they found the injury rates were just much more on those two days. And the unofficial line was that they just wanted an extra day off, so I’m not too sure which one was the truth. But yes, to do with the energetic pull of kind of the water not just on the earth, but in our bodies as well, they affected our practice.
Chloe B.: Amazing, that’s so interesting. Why do you think we should pay attention to the moon, and why do you think people are more, people are definitely more interested in this, aren’t they?
Kirsty G.: Absolutely.
Chloe B.: It’s like no one was talking about the moon three years ago, now everyone’s talking about it.
Working with the moon gives us a rhythm
Kirsty G.: Yes. I honestly believe it’s because we’ve made life linear, so we’ve made life extremely linear, and we expect everything to be the same every single day, and we just expect things as they are moment by moment. And when life becomes linear, it passes us by. So many people that I speak to now, and I’ve been terrifying people with this kind of thought for a few days and weeks now. But we’re in the last three months now of this decade. I know right, you have to sit with it for a moment while it sinks in. But even people are like how is it October, how is it October already? And life passes us by so quickly.
Working back with the moon gives us a rhythm; it gives us flow, and it gives us conscious control over our lives. Because twice a month, at least we have that check-in point where we stop, and we say where am I headed? Am I going in the direction I want to go to? If not, what do I need to change? What am I doing? What is happening around me versus just do October. And so it just gives us back, I think people are seeking a different way of living, a different way of being, a rhyme and a reason.
Working with the moon gives us answers to questions; it gives us an ability to tune into why we’re feeling how we are emotionally and work with it rather than against it. And as I say, it mainly just gives us those real checking points of focus where we get to come back to ourselves and stand still even for just a moment and say wow, I wanted to go there I ended up here. Okay, let’s reroute, let’s come back, let’s start over, and that’s where the magic is.
Chloe B.: That is a very motivating reason for me to want to pay more attention to the moon because I am searching for ways to help life to slow down, and to tune in more to life. And so many people say this, how is it already October? How is it 2019? How am I 33 now? All these sorts of things and we need these practices to help us to tune in and slow down and pay attention and live more in accordance with nature.
Kirsty G.: Definitely.
Chloe B.: Yes. Can you talk a bit about a bit more about that, like living in accordance with nature? Is that something that you talk about?
Living in accordance with nature
Kirsty G.: Yes. Because I also honor this kind of seasonal way of living again, we’re very different in every season. And if we take those transition moments to pause and to just redirect our focus. Life takes on so much more meaning when we’re living in accordance with nature. And I actually had a real kind of a hammer with the other day with autumn coming now, and I’m a sun worshipper, I love autumn. I think this time of year is probably one of the most symbolic of what we can see around us, and how we can take that into our own lives
And I was walking on the street the other day, and there’s a leaf on the floor, and just in full disclosure, I got down on the floor with this leave, and I was mesmerized. I was blown away by the perfection of this leaf, the color, the shape, the little veins that went the pure perfection. And it made me wonder in those moments how we can ever doubt life when we are run by the same nature; the nature that grew this leaf is the same nature that’s within each one of us.
The nature that enables that tree to let go of that leaf, and just let it go. And I started reading, in fact, I was fascinated by it, and trees actively shed their leaves because they have no need for them anymore. And if they kept those leaves, it would cut off their food source, and they would die. And it made me think that if the trees were human, they’d be gripping on like leaves don’t leave me and I’m scared to let the leaf go, and it really hurts me when the leaf leaves and this is really awful. And how if we can just take inspiration from nature, and instead just really take some time to be with what don’t you need anymore.
And I can speak from personal experience, but when we keep a hold of things in our lives that are in effect dead, that we have no need for, when we’re keeping hold of the brown leaves that have curled up and crusted and started to take away some of our life force. We actually do begin to die inside a little bit; we become less of a person. We become less able to take in the nutrients and the joy and the goodness that surrounds us because we’re just clinging when it’s very human thing to do.
So these things have long gone. And so if we can take inspiration from even this time of year, allow things to shed. If we then take inspiration from winter of allowing ourselves, we do very the opposite in our culture where December is all about party, go out, drink, and then people hit a real rock bottom around this time of year. And I’m all for the odd night out, but I think if we can also just honor time as well as to say okay on this one night, I do nothing hibernate, go inwards, restore again, renew, gather everything back to yourself and then we’re ready come spring when the blossoms start to grow again, to want. Again if we look at that even as I’m saying it to you, it baffles me that we can’t see and feel that in ourselves. The spring comes.
We want to go out again; we want to start to move in the world again. Summer comes we’re at our height, we’re at our best, we’re at our peak, but we lose that, and then life loses some of its magic for me, of just not being able to. We go against a natural law and natural rhythm, and that’s I believe when many of us get out of sync, we get out of balance. I feel, and again I’m not going to say all of I know you’re the expert and anxiety, but I think a lot of our lower level anxiety comes from just working against what’s going on around us in life.
Modern society causes us to go against nature
Chloe B.: I totally agree. I think that is such an important message that our disconnection from nature and kind of going against how we evolved to be, I think, is the cause of some of our anxiety and depression. And yes, how can we connect more with that and learn from nature, and trust that we are part of nature.
Kirsty G.: Absolutely.
Chloe B.: We’re part of nature too. We think we’re separate as human beings, don’t we? Some mastery over nature, but we are nature. So if we connect more with that, we’re going to connect with more of what’s true for us.
Kirsty G.: That’s it. And just back into as you say, I think it’s really important to just have that trust. I think that’s where a lot of people are coming even back to more of a lunar way of living. That we get to put our trust once again in a bigger picture in something greater, in the fact that we’re not just this small one little human doing life alone while it’s against us, that we’re part of something so much bigger and so much greater.
There’s again that beautiful saying isn’t it that we’re all made of Stardust, and I think working in alignment with that natural flow, just watching the trees lose their leaves, watching nature grow blossoms and buds just helps us to see that as you just said that same force of nature grows things in our lives, helps us to shed things and it just helps us feel part of something way bigger than our small like human problems.
Chloe B.: And there’s also so much evidence that just getting outside in nature every day helps with anxiety and depression. There’s evidence that being able to see green from your house means you’re less likely to be depressed, so it’s really important. I love your moon musings on Instagram; I was tagging friends in it the other day because I just thought people need to read this today. Can you share a bit about what they are and the sorts of things that you share?
Kirsty G.: Yes. So it stemmed back from being in India in those times. I was there for nearly nine months of working with and tuning into the energies of every moon and noticing how each one differed. And when I got back from India, I wanted a way to still continue to honor and transition these moments for myself, and I started to share I mean this little yoga moon workshops in my area, and I found that the more that you share, the more people I’d get saying absolutely yes, how did I not know this?
How does each phase of the moon affect us
And once you are aware, you begin to notice how each and every moon does affect us differently. And so I’d started then to share with people around me, people would start to agree, they’d share with their friends, and they’d be emailing me back in the days when email was kind of more prominent asking what was going on. So then I start to share on social, and over the years, the amount of direct messages I get saying what’s going on with the moon, or oh my gosh, it’s like you wrote this for me, it’s like you are in my head.
It’s just a way again for me to help people come back into that rhythm. I see in all my girlfriend’s around me so when there’s an upcoming moon of how people are acting, reacting and what they’re feeling. And so rather than just feeling like oh it was a bad day, I had a really bad day, and it’s all for. You can be like okay I’m feeling this because it’s just the Libra new moon, it’s a Libra new moon and the Libra new moon is calling me into looking at these areas in my life. And what you’ll find is that each moon, because each moon falls in a different star sign and so the new moon will always be in the same sign that the Sun is currently in, because of a new moon they all line up together in the sky. The full moon then will always be in a sign opposite, because the moon is gone around to the opposite side of the earth.
So we can then further use the star signs that the moon falls in to delve a little bit deeper. So the earth signs will take us into being very grounded, very real of looking what’s going on in our lives in a very real way. We come into the fire signs that’ll give us the passion and the drive and the desire to want to make things happen. The watery signs offer a lot more into our emotional depths, so they can be the kind of quite big hard hitters for a lot of people, and then we get the air signs that take us into our dreams and into our minds and into planning.
And so again, if we can work with each one of these fuller new moon’s in the different sign, it means that we get to consciously just keep looking underneath the surface because we’re masters at the I’m fine. I actually read the other day that the biggest universal lie ever told is I’m fine. And again it has to do with the energetic pulse, so what the moon does is the energetic pull of the full of the new moon will just bring our emotions to the surface to help us to see what’s hiding underneath the I’m fines, and I’m okay, and the brave faces into I’m feeling this.
And then we have two choices we can, of course, push it back down again to come back out in some of the way, or we can just sit and hold a space for it and be like okay, I may be feeling like this because that moon lady said it was a Libra new moon. And so how about rather than run or hide or [Inaudible 00:21:17.14] I sit with it, and I just invite it in, and I go like okay what’s this showing me, what’s this highlighting for me, what’s this showing me. What you’ll start to find when you work with moon work is you get the same repetitive things coming up over and over again.
So it becomes a bit like Groundhog Day in the beginning, where people like oh I feel this again, and it’s like, but that’s because you’re not changing anything. And so normally signpost is very clearly to the areas of our life that aren’t working, the areas that need some attention. And even sometimes it can be the self-sabotaging thoughts we have by ourselves, the limiting beliefs that we hold on to, the fears that prevent us from ever stepping into bigger dreams.
And we get to just moon by moon very gently begin to peel back some of the layers, to bring a little bit more of our ourselves to the forefront and just, I know I keep saying it but it’s that conscious control over our life of like this is what helps me. And you can choose to let it continue stopping you a few years to come, or you can say okay, let’s use this moon magic a little bit and see if it’s true and just see what I can do about this.
Chloe B.: So it sounds like it’s an amazing way to have a tool to check in with yourself.
Kirsty G.: Absolutely.
Chloe B.: And to check in with the rhythms of the earth. And so from what you are saying, it sounds like you can always bring things up that might be a repeating pattern for us as we pay attention to those patterns that show up again and again.
Kirsty G.: Absolutely.
Chloe B.: And otherwise, it’s going to continue to show up for us until we pay attention.
Kirsty G.: And that again shows us that the online group I have, kind of a online sisterhood we’ve been together since April. And to see some of the changes, these girls have made is incredible, because a lot of the time as well we’re not even aware. So we’re not only not aware of what holds us back because it becomes such a repetitive thing, but quite often for many people as well they don’t know what they actually want. And so working with the moon, in the beginning, can be quite, we see everyone again on social saying new moon make your new moon wishes, like set your intentions and for many people they’re like I actually don’t know what that is.
And so, first of all, it encourages you to just stop and to again be like where am I in my life, am I where I wanted to be. Is this what I want to be doing? And so, in the beginning, it can be quite confronting, and as we know with anything confronting we’d rather go okay, let’s pretend it’s not happening, everything was easy before when I was like sleepwalking through my life and didn’t know.
But then yes absolutely as you said, once we get going with it you’re like oh this again, this again, this again until we get to stop and to change track, to try something different. To maybe even look at the same thing in a different way and notice how it changes. But we’ve become I know we said earlier linear, everything is just become same thing, same time, same day life’s just not like that.
Chloe B.: And I suppose particularly for women in the workplace, we’re expected to be the same every day, throughout the month and obviously women we have a very obvious for us cycle not obvious for everyone else. An obvious cycle that is potentially linked to the moon.
Kirsty G.: Totally.
Chloe B.: And we’re in our society not able to live in accordance with that cycle, we have to be on good form every day when there are certain days we might be feeling more tired or more energetic. Do you talk about that aspect of things as well?
Kirsty G.: Yes, definitely. I would love for women to be able to phone their bosses and be like it’s a moon day; I’m working from home. I have a couple of people working with me at the moment, and I always say that to them, I was like just take the day, just go and take the day. It’s not possible in our society; I would love it to be. But what is possible is that forward planning, and so whether or not your cycle links up to the moon or whether you follow the moon cycle or your own cycle forward plan, know when those days of the month are going to be when you’re going to feel deep in the depths.
And most of the time the reason we feel so in the depths of emotion is because it’s the only way that either the moon of our cycle can get our attention because the rest of the time it’s like we’ve got our hands over our ears, our hands over our eyes, we just keep going. And so it’s only normally when we get hit by that huge brick wall of emotion that we go and we stop when we go wow, otherwise we’d just keep going forever. And so I honestly believe that’s why the emotion comes as strongly as it does, is to make you stop and go okay, what is this? If you could forward plan that on one evening of that week, you were going to go home and close the door and have that one evening off.
That in itself would make the biggest difference to the whole rest of your moon or your monthly cycle, just from giving yourself that few hours. And if you’ve got kids and things and responsibilities, I really understand that, but lock the bathroom door, like lock yourself away just for one hour. Ask your husband to come home just one hour earlier, one day a month, and just really carve out that time to be like this is for me.
And not only am I going to take care of myself in the best way, but I’m going to really listen to what is beneath the surface for me, what is stirring for me. What are my inner yearnings? What is this emotion trying to tell me? Where am I being sign posted to? If we could just honor that in itself, huge difference.
Chloe B.: Yes. So actually scheduling something into your diary, and that’s something that I’ve been doing actually. Like I don’t really want to be doing a talk to loads of people on certain days of the month, and so I tend to just try and organize things so that it’s not on those days.
Kirsty G.: Totally.
Chloe B.: And I have more nights in, sometimes I just need to go to bed at like 8:30 in the evening and rest, so I’ve really been trying to do that, and I think it has helped.
Tuning in to our natural cycle
Kirsty G.: Beautiful. And again, just being back in tune with that natural cycle, I remember going to a workshop many years ago, and they also relate the menstrual cycle to the seasons. And so the teacher said go and stand in the room if you’re like in your spring or summer or autumn or winter, and I remember being like I have got no idea what she’s talking about, I’ve either got my period or haven’t that’s it, there was no other days in between for me. And it was a real shocker to think that this happened to me all day every day every month and I had no idea.
And that was a real wake-up call as well of how again if women could come back in tune and realize oh okay on day 12 every month I feel like this, okay the world’s not ending okay, I can take a deep breath and instead just sit with this. Oh, on day 22 every month, I feel like this, oh on every new moon, I tend to feel like this. Can we get back that conscious control rather than just waking up in the morning and feeling like we’ve been hit by bus and not knowing why, we can take back that and go okay, wow this is why?
Chloe B.: That is so important. Day 22, what a nightmare Thank you so much for telling us that. Can you tell us because I went to a yoga class of yours a couple of years ago which I loved, that’s amazing. And you told the story of Durga, can you share a little bit of that now?
Kirsty G.: Oh my gosh, can I tell the full story?
Chloe B.: Yes, cool, please do.
Kirsty G.: I can only talk Durga if we tell Durga’s full story.
Chloe B.: Okay, please go for it.
Kirsty G.: Get comfortable, everybody. So once upon a time, it was said in the ancient kind of laws of the universe that if anybody did anything for long enough with enough dedication and commitment, their wish would have to be granted. And so these two demon brothers and for four and a half thousand years they stood on one leg with one arm up in the air, and they stood and stood and stood, and at the end of the four and a half thousand years all of the gods got together, and they said listen, they’ve stood on one leg with one arm in the air for four and a half thousand years, we have to go see what it is that they want.
And so the gods went down to the edge of the river, and they said to the two demon brother’s okay, what is it you want? And they said we wanted to be so that we can be defeated by no man or god, so the gods were like well we’ve got to grant their wish, the laws of the universe say we’ve got to do this. So their wish was granted, and these two demon brothers claim themselves kings, and they took over this whole corner of the kingdom, and they were causing mayhem.
They had like cars and jewels and parties and women, and there’s what’s known as the Davers, which is the good spirits; they banished all of the Davers out of their kingdom, and the whole world just was really getting out of balance. And so all the gods and the sages all got together to discuss it, and they were like we’ve got to do something about it, the whole world is getting out of alignment everything is going to start to end soon if we don’t stop this, what can we do? They can’t be defeated by us; there’s nothing we can do.
And there’s one wise old little sage at the back of the room, and he said no man or god and they suddenly went oh of course. And so for days and nights, they traveled through forests and over rivers and through mountain ranges until they came to the foot of a cave. And all that the sages and gods got down on their knees, and they just chanted the kind of the Devi mantra and they chanted over and over and over and eventually after three days and three nights Durga came out of her cave. And Durga, when she came out, she rides on a lion or a tiger, depending on which you prefer to visualize. And she has skin that shimmers gold and long black hair, and these eyes that look at you as if they can see into your soul.
And she has eight arms waving around, and in each of her arms she’s got a gift, she has a bow and arrow from the wind god and a mace from Hanuman, and she has the dharma, the dharma is your purpose in life, she has a dharma wheel spinning around on her fingers. And she says to them can I help you, and I say oh great mother the world is in extreme danger, we need your help. And Durga says to them and now that it’s got to this point where everything is in danger, only now you remember the greatness of the Divine Feminine, the Divine Mother the Maha Shakti.
And they said oh we’re so sorry, Maha Shakti divine mother we’re so sorry we ever forgot, we’re so sorry please help us. And Durga turns around the flicks her hair over her shoulder and goes back in her cave, and she knows she’ll help them; she just wants to make them wait. So for three more days and nights, they bow down, and they chant and they pray, and they pray, and so Durga comes roaring out of her cave. And Durga travels to the kingdom of the demon kings, and they’re very used to being sent women and gifts from villages, and so they let her into the kind of the palace.
And she says for them I’ve come for your masters, and they’re like okay she’s really beautiful, but a bit strange is this one? Okay, so they send the message up, and the two demon Kings go oh she sounds like hard work, someone go and deals with her. And so they send the guards down to try and remove her, and within seconds Durga with her eight arms has finished off the guards. And so then they send down the next level of guards, and again within seconds, Durga’s finished them all off.
And then they start to send down the more elite guards, and again within moments Durga’s finished them, and by now the two demon kings are starting to get a little bit nervous, and a little bit anxious, and they’re like okay, start to send down the very best we’ve got. Send down all of the demons, and everyone we’ve got to send them down there. And so they all move down into the courtyard and stand opposite Durga, and Durga takes his all mighty roar, and out of Durga’s third eye comes all of the Great Goddess Warriors that have ever been, and there are all of these great warriors, and this big sort of battle begins. And the goddesses are winning the battle apart from this is one demon who every time a drop of his blood gets spilled, it produces a new one of him and a new one of him.
And we’ve all no doubt maybe seen Carly, Carly is known as the dark one, Carly is often depicted with her tongue sticking out, her tongue is often blue, and she carries skulls in her hands and skulls around her neck. And so Carly moves and starts to trail her tongue along the floor so that she captures every drop of blood until also this demon is finished. And by this point the two demon kings have kind of got the idea of what’s going on, they’ve realized the little break clause in the wish that they got granted. And they go down into the courtyard, and they say to Durga well this is really unfair because there are lots of you and there’s only two of us.
And Durga says to them what you don’t understand is that every single one of these goddesses is a part of me, we’re all part of one and each other, and she draws all of the other goddesses back into her until there’s only her left standing. The one demon king is finished quite quickly, and the other one gets down on his knees, and in the moment of his death, he just says ma because he realizes he’s going back to the great mother, the Divine Feminine, back to where he came from. And in love Durga story because Durga story to me when I tell it, especially for us women tells us that often when we hide in our cave, we believe that we’re not big enough to make a difference.
We believe that we’re only small. But within each one of us is the ability to change the world, to go out there and to save the world in the way that Durga did in our own way. Because we’ve each got our own little purpose and our own way, and our own way of being in the world, but the whole time we would deny that, and we make ourselves small, and we hang on to go back to my analogy before of those little dead leaves and the dead relationships and the dead beliefs, and we let ourselves stay small, we never get to come out of our cave. And Durga shows us that sometimes you just got to roar and go out there in the world.
Chloe B.: I love it. I love Durga’s story. Yes, I mean there’s so much stuff in there in society for women that we are the weaker sex, and that we’ve been minimized, I think by the constant focus on our appearance. And we’re so strong, and I love that story just of that reminder to empower us all. Where does that story come from?
Kirsty G.: So yoga doesn’t have a religion; as such, there’s no religion in yoga, but yoga borrows a lot of its tales and stories from Hinduism. So yes, they take a lot of the deities and the gods from Hinduism, so we’ve got Hanuman, the story of Hanuman comes around there, and so a lot of the tales are told in the yoga world. Yes, but Durga’s one is really special. Also, the Dalai Lama said the world would be saved by Western women. So all of us Durga’s, it’s our job to get out there and save the world.
Chloe B.: Definitely, I’m on board of that totally, thank you for that. I love the story. And do you have any life philosophies?
Life philosophy: asking ‘what?’
Kirsty G.: Oh, the main thing I always try to live by is trying to find as we spoke about before a real trust in life. One of the things I really tried to do and it’s hard in the midst of the drama, is to move out of the wise into the what, and so it’s so easy for it to be like why is this happening to me, why does this always happen to me. Why do people always do this to me, and he said to move into the what, what’s this showing me, what needs to change, what can I take from this, what can I do differently.
And so I really try as much as I can to delve into that. I’ve just held in that trusting life I’m a massive believer, I have this really powerful belief that before we came down to earth, we decide in our own lives, and that we almost decide on what we’re going to put in our way to help us to grow. And so I always try and hold the belief that anything that happens to me, I kind of gave this to myself, and I wouldn’t give myself anything that I knew I couldn’t get through.
And that’s what has helped me through really dark times, again it brings a bit of that Durga’s spirit back out I suppose of like I chose this on some level. I gave this to myself because I knew I could get through it, and I knew that when I came out the other side, I would be different and stronger. So I try and take a lot of the challenges of life on in that kind of way of what’s this really showing me and how can I become better from this.
Chloe B.: Yes. It really reminds me of that saying that this is happening for me, not to me.
Kirsty G.: Exactly.
Chloe B.: And I suppose a more empowering way to think about it rather than getting into a mode of victimhood, yes, I love that. What’s the best advice that you’ve ever been given?
Listening to our own voice
Kirsty G.: Honestly, the two ways to look at this, I think the best piece of advice I ever really heard in some ways, and it comes back to advice is be careful who you listen to. Because so many people would give us advice, but that is based on their own experiences of what they’re telling you about. And so I guess when you’re in your kind of maybe let’s say, late teens, early twenties you’re having man problems, you go around, and you tell all your girlfriends. You’re going to tell anyone who listen all about what he’s done and the problems and they’ll all give you their advice based on what they think you should do.
So be careful who you listen to. You just really mean you wouldn’t take relationship advice from your eternally single friend; you wouldn’t take money advice from someone who’s broke. So if you’re going to take advice, find someone who’s doing what you really want to be doing, and doing it well and take their advice on that, and that’s really always stuck with me. And then the second thing that I think really helped me was again around advice itself, of course, there are times in life we need advice and perhaps in a business sense or a relationship sense or just a little bit of guidance, but ultimately you’ve got your own internal GPS in your heart and in your intuition.
We know nine times out of 10 what we need to be doing, we know. We know when it’s right to stay right to go, we know. And I think the reason we tell people a lot of the times is to validate ourselves or to get permission to stay or go because other people have said that we’re able to. And I think as I’ve learned to listen to myself more and more, I’ve needed advice from people less and less.
Because all they’re going to give me is their take on my situation based on their similar experience of what I’m going through, which isn’t my experience. And so I have wonderful friends, like my best friend and I we do daily check-in, which is not necessarily me asking her what I should do, but it’s just a space for me to be able to go da-da.
And then if I need advice, maybe she’ll give it to me because she knows me well enough, but otherwise, we’ll just listen to each other. And I think that’s what we need as humans more rather than advice, we just need people to listen and people to maybe remind us how we always know to empower us to make our own decisions a little bit more. So I think my advice and advice is to just not take as much advice.
Chloe B.: I did not say true, isn’t it? If my partner tries to give me advice about something, I quite often resist it.
Kirsty G.: Yes.
Chloe B.: I don’t want to be told. I want to be listened to, thank you for sharing that. Is there anything that you’re struggling with at the moment, and how are you dealing with it, how are you overcoming it?
Kirsty G.: I’ve got to say at the moment I’m in a really good place. However, that’s only because about a year ago, I went through a real struggle. And so I went through a really, it was a really tough breakup about a year ago. And I think it was tough on so many different levels, on the first level I’d moved to London to be with this person and so everything about my whole life he was tied in there, that it wasn’t just leaving him it was leaving my home, the only home in London I ever knew, I don’t have any family here. I had some friends here, but at that stage, as we do in relationships a lot of my time here had been spent with he and I., So it wasn’t just leaving him, it was leaving everything that I knew to be true.
And then I think also when you do get to a certain age, you then have to almost mourn an imagined future, because we put a lot of effort and focus into staying in places especially I mean we’ve been together five years, so when you put a lot of time in there, there’s a little part of it that resists it, because you’re like I’ve already put this amount of time in it when we’re supposed to do this, and it was meant to be that, and this was supposed to happen. And so again we cling on, and we stay for this imagined future.
And so about a year ago it was, it was actually the beginning of it was August actually a little longer, I moved out of a very comfortable relationship in a beautiful home, and ended up self-employed. I worked, but I’d worked as much as I had to if I’m being honest into Oh a flat that was filled with mold and damp, and in an area of London that just felt like a totally different country to me, just something I wasn’t used to. And I remember just being on the floor in pieces, I didn’t have a real support network. And just being like I don’t know how I’m ever going to get through this, and so we’ve all got the breakup story.
And I remember those moments, on the one hand, wanting to rush the process to get to the other side of when I was going to be okay again, but then in the other hand really wanting to be in those moments so fully and completely because I knew deep down on some level that that process was going to change me and change everything and it did. And in those few months of having to live in that place, I mean I got home one day from teaching yoga, and there’s literally water pouring down the walls and out of the ceiling. I was so sick the whole time I lived there because there was mold in the walls; it was just like bad like dark times.
And I remember, I’d be crying, I’d hold it in the whole time in the class, and as soon as they all lay down and closed their eyes, I’ll be like oh. So anyone listening who came to my classes during that time. But really trying to feel into what that was showing me, and then within three or four months I with my income I moved back to the place he and I lived together but in my own right, on my own. And since then I mean gosh he’s a wonderful man, nothing to him, but since then I can fully speak with conviction with what I was saying before about how keeping on to things that are outdated, you die a little bit inside.
I hadn’t realized how smaller to become; I hadn’t realized how scared I’ve become of life; I hadn’t realized how much magic I’d lost from being in a situation that I just wasn’t meant to be in for so many years. And since then, I feel like I found me again, but in so many more ways, it’s been some of the most precious transformative times of my life in those dark moments on the bathroom floor with water pouring down in tears. Because everything that’s come since has been such a gift and such a joy, and it’s come for me delving deep into my soul.
And I just have this little thing I did it in India as well right, to find my own shoulder with skin and I put my cheek against my own shoulder and feel skin on skin, and I just say to myself you’re okay, you’ve got me like you’re okay. And just feeling my skin on my own skin would make me feel like I was safe, and it taught me then just to take out myself, to find me in a way. I’ll never lose myself again now; I know without a doubt now that I’ll never let myself get lost again. I’ll never give away all my power to anyone else again.
Life has so much more meaning and joy and happiness now, and also everything that I’ve created now is mine, I’ve done it. It was the hardest yet most empowering time of my entire life, and I look back on those moments now, and I’m so grateful for each and every one of those, really dark times. Because I look at what I’ve got now, and I’m just like wow. So I’m in a good place after coming through, and I think we all do that, we want to rush the process, we want to just get back to feeling okay again, but we never learned that much when everything’s just okay, we don’t.
We learn the most when our back is against the wall, and when we’re on our knees and we’re digging around in the dirt, and that’s when we really learn. And so again, if I’m going to leave anyone with advice, it would just be to try as much as you can to enjoy sounds a silly word but to really be in those dark times. Because that way, you’re going to really learn the most about yourself, and you’re going to find those hidden parts of you that you’ll never want to lose again.
Chloe B.: Thank you so much for sharing that, that’s really an inspiring message, thank you, amazing. So can you tell us about where people can find out more about you, and what you do and your course and what the future brings.
Kirsty G.: Of course. So KirstyGallagher.com is my website on there. You will find everything you need to know about Lunar living. So Lunar living is an online sisterhood whereby every month on the full and the new moon, I send out a full download of exactly what this moon is. So why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling, what life fairies this moon is calling you into. What issues might be coming up for you and why, and what you can do to really work with rather than against this kind of magical ancient wisdom of the moon.
And then we do an online moon circle once a month, and I do a recording, a recorded meditation for every fuller New Moon. And we have a Facebook group that’s just magic because all these women what I think help most about Lunar living and that’s why I share my moon musings online.
So an Instagram you can find me it’s Kirsty_Gallagher_ if you type in my name or Lunar living, you should find me. It makes us realize we’re not alone because I think each one of us when you’re in the midst of that awful breakup or life crisis or disliking your job or feeling lonely, we honestly think we’re the only ones feeling like it. And as soon as I share my moon musings, and people come in oh my gosh, I feel just the same, oh me too, me too.
What again we’ve lost in this linear world is a community, and especially for women’s sisterhood. So back in the days, we would all have got our period together on the new moon, and we would have got in the red tent, and we just sat together. And had it been like hey Chloe, how are you? Is there anything I can do for you? Are you alright? And you would have gone actually well, and you maybe have spoken to me, and we’d have shared, and we just felt good by being together in a community where we’re like oh are we all feeling this, oh we all are how can we hold each other, we’ve lost a lot of that.
And so through Lunar living even just on my Instagram post of the amount of people that comment of how they feeling the same, it really makes us feel like we’re part of something greater. We’re not on our own in how we’re feeling the way we’re feeling. There are a million other people out there feeling the same way as well, and bringing back communities is what I say.
So yes, Lunar living, you’ll find out there on my website or details from my Instagram. And then if you want to follow my moon musings, they are on Instagram, or I send out a lunar love note, which is just a little bit of information direct to inbox, so you don’t have to search for it. So you can sign up for those on my website too.
Chloe B.: Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing everything you shared.
Kirsty G.: My pleasure. And I will be putting some more classes and workshops and things out soon; I’m just trying to find a bit of space to forward plan. Because as we keep saying it’s October already, how? So yes, there’ll be more coming, but if you send it to my newsletter, I keep everyone up to date on things like that but thank you so much for having me.
Chloe B.: Yes, thank you. Love this conversation, thank you.
Kirsty G.: My pleasure, thank you for having me.
Chloe B.: Thank you so much for listening. I really hope that you gained a lot from this episode, come on over to Instagram and let me know what are you taking from this episode. Find me @ChloeBrotheridge, and I would love it if you would leave me a review in the podcast app or in iTunes, subscribe to the podcast, and leave me a rating.
And is there someone in your life that will really benefit from this podcast? You can let them know by sharing this podcast; I’d be so grateful. So I’m just wishing you a wonderful week ahead, sending you loads of love. Hopefully, you’ll tune in again.