Today I’m chatting with Gitanjali Hemp, a master energy healer from Santa Cruz County, California.

Gitanjali works with clients and students to help them cultivate awareness of their subtle body and most sacred selves, increasing their capacity for meaningful contribution and fulfilling expression in their lives and work through a system she founded called Syntara System, a deeply integrative, evolutionary energy healing modality that awakens consciousness, inspiring sustainable change.

She brings 20 years of study and training with healers and masters from some of the world’s richest traditions and most cutting edge healing modalities. She has spent 18 years in active practice, both as a practitioner and teacher: leading retreats, workshops, 18 month professional trainings, virtual courses and facilitating ceremonies and women’s groups.

There is nothing Gitanjali loves more than helping people learn how to access and embody their unique brilliance and create their life and world from that place.

I thoroughly enjoyed connecting with Gitanjali and hearing her perspectives, and I know you’ll enjoy our ramble through the Indian tale Churning The Cosmic Sea as well as hearing about her relationship with her body and creativity.

Resources from this episode:

Connecting with Gitanjali:

Connecting with Janelle:

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Things we chatted about in this episode:

  • the story of Shiva and Shakti: Churning the Cosmic Sea
  • On being raised in the US as a Catholic, growing up on western style bible based stories, having ancestors and family from India
  • stories about Shiva and Shakti and those energies as external and internal aspects of our selves
  • separating darkness and light, churning to create and separate, poison created from this churning, representing the suffering of the world
  • Shiva taking the poison and swallowing it to save the world, Shakti holding Shiva around his throat, strangling her beloved in order to save him (Shiva becomes knows as the ‘blue-throated one’ because of this)
  • how this story is shared in different ways – some parts of the story are only told by holders of lineage traditions, other versions of the story are more mundane version
  • how the heroic act needs the tenderness, the support
  • how Shakti is the saviour as well by stopping the poisoning and transmuting the poison
  • how this story speaks to those of us who are healers, and how transmuting the poison depends on our connection to nourishment and nurturance and pleasure
  • that remembering to weave nurturance and pleasure into our work in the world is so important – it’s from there that we can reorganise our trauma and wounding and make a difference in the world
  • how powerful the things are that we don’t consider powerful
  • how being nourishing/caretaking comes easier than being nourished
  • how taking the time to ask for and receive nourishment is important and empowering
  • nourishing for Gitanjali looks like taking baths, nature, taking walks, good food, the oceans, meditation, movement, yoga, dance, time with children, friends, family, playing and creating art
  • how there are so many different faces of our aspects of our psyches, the feminine, and how the feminine embodies the dark goddess energies of knowing in a fierce way that sometimes intense direct action is needed and that it comes from the same level of compassion and presence as the nourishment, and knowing how to take that type of action
  • how the forcefulness of birthing and labour reflects that ferocity
  • relationship with creativity
  • on believing we are all creative beings
  • on developing an energy modality and how working with clients and teaching this is Gitanjali’s creative endeavour in the world
  • how her business flows and runs is a creative expression
  • how giving birth and raising children taught her a lot about creativity
  • the childbirth and mothering experience and how it shapes consciousness
  • dancing, freeform movement and expression is creative
  • visual arts and singing are some outlets for creative expression as well
  • the creative work of teaching Syntara Systems – created through a long process of learning through dance, working with clients, seeking and learning from people in ashrams in India, and from Hopi, Navajo and Australian Aboriginal peoples, and learning to teach as a teacher of massage students, as an assistant at a Montessori school, by receiving transmissions from dreams, and developing her process of working with people and teaching what she knows through that process
  • how direct experience and connection to things is as important as learning skills and techniques intellectually
  • on having a doubting questioning mind, but also being able to follow the currents of energy
  • the importance of hanging out in the ugly messy phase of the creative process
  • relationship with body
  • On loving her body and having a complex relationship with it
  • on having a body that was very thin, then became really strong in 20s, then after having children it softened, then experiencing 2 children really close together, building a business, dealing with Lyme’s Disease, experiencing a lot of stress, becoming depleted and now having a body that is heavier
  • coming back to yoga and wrestling with an egoic notion of what she can and can’t do,
  • the experience of having admired women with soft bellies when she was younger, and now having the soft belly and learning to live it
  • on knowing she wouldn’t have the capacity to know and carry all that she is if she were still as thin as she was – the weightedness in her body and presence feels much more sustaining of all that she’s doing