Slay Your Dragons - Malcolm Stern

Navigating Life's Dragons: A Beacon of Feminine Leadership and the Power of Community

January 22, 2024 John
Navigating Life's Dragons: A Beacon of Feminine Leadership and the Power of Community
Slay Your Dragons - Malcolm Stern
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Slay Your Dragons - Malcolm Stern
Navigating Life's Dragons: A Beacon of Feminine Leadership and the Power of Community
Jan 22, 2024
John

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When life throws you into the depths of adversity, it's the power of our feminine strength and resilience that often becomes our guiding light. My friend Joey Walters, a beacon of feminine leadership, joined me in a rich discussion that traced the contours of personal transformation and the awakening moments shaping our journeys. Together, we navigated the beautiful, intricate tapestry of life's experiences, highlighting how the smallest moments are the threads that weave the fabric of who we are and who we are becoming. Joey's wisdom, currently being channeled into her forthcoming book, serves as a reminder that life's greatest lessons often come dressed as dragons, waiting to be faced with courage and grace.

The weight of the world's trauma can be staggering, yet it's through the embrace of feminine leadership that we find hope for balance and healing. Matthew Pruin brought his perspective into our conversation, illuminating the challenges and the beauty of maintaining one's perspective amidst global conflicts. The call for a reconnection to our cultural roots, to community support—or sangha—resonated deeply as we acknowledged the transformative power of confronting our deepest fears. Whether it's grappling with a health crisis like breast cancer or confronting societal pressures, the path to wholeness is paved with the acknowledgement of our emotions and the courage to face the dragons of our inner world.

Our journey together closed with heartfelt thanks to Joey for her profound insights and the lively dialogue that unfolded. The robust exchange of ideas and personal stories we've shared stands as a testament to the enduring wisdom that comes with age and the societal shifts we are yearning for. To all the listeners who have walked this path with us, I hope this discussion serves as a beacon of light, illuminating the importance of honoring our elders, the healing embrace of nature, and the power of community in the face of life's trials.

This Podcast is sponsored by Onlinevents 

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

When life throws you into the depths of adversity, it's the power of our feminine strength and resilience that often becomes our guiding light. My friend Joey Walters, a beacon of feminine leadership, joined me in a rich discussion that traced the contours of personal transformation and the awakening moments shaping our journeys. Together, we navigated the beautiful, intricate tapestry of life's experiences, highlighting how the smallest moments are the threads that weave the fabric of who we are and who we are becoming. Joey's wisdom, currently being channeled into her forthcoming book, serves as a reminder that life's greatest lessons often come dressed as dragons, waiting to be faced with courage and grace.

The weight of the world's trauma can be staggering, yet it's through the embrace of feminine leadership that we find hope for balance and healing. Matthew Pruin brought his perspective into our conversation, illuminating the challenges and the beauty of maintaining one's perspective amidst global conflicts. The call for a reconnection to our cultural roots, to community support—or sangha—resonated deeply as we acknowledged the transformative power of confronting our deepest fears. Whether it's grappling with a health crisis like breast cancer or confronting societal pressures, the path to wholeness is paved with the acknowledgement of our emotions and the courage to face the dragons of our inner world.

Our journey together closed with heartfelt thanks to Joey for her profound insights and the lively dialogue that unfolded. The robust exchange of ideas and personal stories we've shared stands as a testament to the enduring wisdom that comes with age and the societal shifts we are yearning for. To all the listeners who have walked this path with us, I hope this discussion serves as a beacon of light, illuminating the importance of honoring our elders, the healing embrace of nature, and the power of community in the face of life's trials.

This Podcast is sponsored by Onlinevents 

Malcolm:

Welcome to Slay your Dragons, a podcast which I'm doing in conjunction with online events.

Joey:

And.

Malcolm:

I've had some brilliant guests and some really interesting stories, and today is no exception. I'm very happy to welcome my good friend, joey Walters. Joey has been an inspiration in terms of feminine leadership, which I think is very important in our times. I know the Dalai Lama said the hope for the world will be western woman, and I do see that there's a real role for the feminine in changing things. So I'd like to talk a little bit about that, but also about your personal journey, joey, and what's drawn you into this work and what dragons you've had to slay, because the podcast is called Slay your Dragons and for most of what I've seen, we come of age when we go through different trials and tribulations in our lives. So over to you. Let's just see how you are and what you think of that, all that.

Joey:

Thank you, malcolm. Just first of all to say I really appreciate being here, it's an honor to be here and, yeah, and I also really appreciate some of the people you've already interviewed and what I've. What are the stories that I've listened to? And what's really apparent for me is this whole recognition of significant moments in our lives, often huge, tragic crises for some of the people that you've certainly been interviewing and also for you in your life, not in the early part, but some way through and how those have been life defining moments and when I. It's very interesting because the timing of this podcast is perfect in a way, because I'm you know you're asking me to tell a bit of my story and I'm also, as you know, personally. I'm also writing my book and I've come back to that this year. I had a huge distraction last year, but I'm back to it this year and one of the things that I'm really with is the big question around what my story is and the different aspects of my story and how they weave together and it's not Well.

Malcolm:

You just let me just jump in there for a moment. When I'm running groups, what I often see is that there's someone who's got an amazing story and then no one else feels that they can share because they can't match it. And what I want to say is all of our stories, even the small things that happen to us, help mold us into what we are, and you would have been molded through your experience Exactly.

Joey:

Yeah, exactly Exactly what I, what, and actually this reflection, the reflection that I was having around today was, and it's, very related to feminine leadership, of course, but it's very much about how do we navigate those significant moments in our lives that we might call awakening moments, whether they are those wake up calls in our life, however big or small, or whether they are moments where we somehow have a deeper experience of our connection to life or who we are. And, you know, there's a little bit more of a kind of like a real, you might call it a spiritual awakening, but not necessarily in this sort of grand sense of having a profound experience. But those moments of recognition. Actually, here I am part of life, alive, connected to the world, connected to life, connected to nature, connected to myself and my body. So there's these different ways in which, if we recognize life as our teacher, as opposed to, you know, guru's is our teacher.

Malcolm:

It's a really important point. By the way, it's so easy. Robert Johnson, who wrote the he, she, we books and also Straddling Heaven and Earth it's not quite called that, something like that Bridging Heaven and Earth he said that we give away our gold to the so-called Guru's.

Joey:

Yes.

Malcolm:

We expect them to have it for us, and I love what you say about. Life is our teacher. Life is going to direct us into what we need to do.

Joey:

Yes, exactly so that. What that means is that any moment can be an awakening moment. Any moment can be a wake up call if we choose it to be and if we can hold a certain perspective on life, which, of course, when those really horrendous things happen, like you know, can you imagine someone really holding that in the midst of, you know, ukraine right now, or Gaza, wherever you know, in Israel, wherever? How do you actually hold that when you're in the midst of a huge trauma? Okay, we lose sight of that completely.

Malcolm:

So I'm not. Interestingly, I had. I was running one of my one year group courses with very excellent Palestinian chat called Matthew Pruin, who has also been on my podcast, and Matthew came out with something incredibly wise about the whole situation and people were acknowledging him for the clarity of his thinking and he said I'm privileged, I'm not having to watch my children be murdered, I'm not watching, not having to have my house blown to pieces. Yes, it's easy for me to talk from this perspective.

Joey:

Exactly, exactly. So I don't, so I'm. What I'm not suggesting here is that we can hold this perspective the whole time. I think we lose it time and time again, and that is actually part of the process. We get into a contraction and actually we lose the container of our when, interestingly, we can also flip that on its head and go.

Malcolm:

We find it time and time again. We keep getting a renewal notice.

Joey:

Yes, I like that expression. A renewal notice? Yeah, exactly. So anyway, I suppose where I'm going with this is that, you know, my life experiences is peppered with those experiences, but also, somehow, the growing recognition that actually we are living in a culture which is fundamentally disconnected.

Joey:

And where feminine leadership comes into, that is that there is a way, certainly, that I have been called as a woman to reconnect with the feminine in me. That doesn't mean that that's not available to men, by the way. I'm not talking about it as a gender thing, but I speak from the perspective of being a woman. I speak from the perspective of many women who I've coached and supported through their own journeys of healing and awakening. And you know, there's a, there's a call to find a new path, a new way to be in relationship with the world. And I believe, in many ways that is a call from life, like a call from Mother Nature, a call from Mother Life. That's.

Joey:

And actually the prophecies. There are many prophecies that are aligned with what you you spoke about, that Arun Alam is saying, which has come a bit of a cliche these days, that statement, but it's true, I believe. I think it's coming from a deeper truth than it's been spoken about in a number of prophecies from ancient earth-based cultures you know speaking about. There's a time when we're going to be moving into the era of the feminine and that time is now. And that's not just for women, it's for everybody.

Joey:

But I feel and have felt for many years, and it's been a very strong calling and path of mind for many years that as women there is a particular way in which we can access that wisdom, perhaps a little bit more easily.

Joey:

I don't know if that's even the right term, but there's an access that we have to that wisdom that, you know, for those of us that feel called and can relate to that, can perhaps see as a calling to reclaim something in ourselves that's been lost, find that through the body, through the wisdom of the body, and then bring that into a more fuller expression in our lives and in the world, whatever that looks like. And I don't I'm not saying that as in the terms of the kind of classic leadership in the world, because I believe that really what we're talking about here is leading from the feminine, leading from feminine wisdom, which means bringing it into balance with the masculine, not having the feminine dominate over masculine inside us, but bringing it back into balance, because clearly we're out of balance. There's such a disconnection and suppression of feminine culturally, energetically and culturally.

Malcolm:

That's interesting, javi, because that's like I sort of wonder whether your stance is what you would hope we're becoming or what you can see we're becoming, and there's a difference. And my sense is that you, as a pioneer of feminine leadership, will have a perspective that goes beyond optimism, but you'll be seeing some signs, hopefully, that there is a shift, a slow shift. I don't think it'll be a quick shift. I think it's gonna be a slow shift because it's a very entrenched masculine.

Joey:

No, this is very interesting because, you know, I think that's part of the dance. Do we believe what we believe and what do we? What do we really sense from a deeper knowing in ourselves?

Malcolm:

Are we new AG philosophers who have got some random idea that has no grounding in real life?

Joey:

That to me. That's part of the belief structure you know that comes with. Well, I want to believe this, so I'm gonna attach myself to that, as opposed to I'm gonna actually find out from within me. I'm gonna. I'm gonna move, I'm gonna trust the wisdom in me. But what that means which is very much about what you've been talking about in your podcast all along, and what we both align within our work is that we need to meet what is dark inside us. We cannot just be moving towards the light and expecting that to win over everything.

Malcolm:

We have to go into that, those dark places, in order to be able to recover the wholeness of our, of our truth, I suppose of that and what I see is this the denial of the dark that actually stops us from really becoming whole, because if we just sort of, like you know, we're full of love, light and angels and fairies, we are not going to get into the place where we're facing the reality of it's not easy being on planet Earth as a human being. I don't think it's easy being on planet Earth as an animal either, but it's not easy.

Malcolm:

And then, how do we find ways to be able to support the changes that we see need to happen?

Joey:

Yes, exactly, and so I have a perspective on so, you know, you asked me about my perspective on that and and I, and the way I look at it is, I do have a fundamental faith in the goodness of life that is moving through life as a whole.

Joey:

Where that takes us and whether or not, you know, we survive as a species, I don't know, but what I do know is that there's an input.

Joey:

What I don't know I sense deeply in my bones and in my heart that there is an impulse, you know, an impulse of life that is moving through each one of us and that impulse of life is trying to find its way through through the unique expression of each one of us and where I see, you know if I one of the ways in which I describe feminine leadership, if there, you know, if there is such a thing as feminine leadership, right, but the way I describe it from my own experience and from how I support other women in navigating their own lives and their own leadership, is that there is an external path and an internal path and those paths need to weave together.

Joey:

It's like a figure of eight, only sort of a horizontal version. So we, we move out, we. We feel the impulse to move out into the world because there is an awakening of something in us that is calling us forward and into a new experience of life. We meet our edges there. We meet the challenges that that that we face there. You call them dragons. I used to call them inner dragons as well, right, right we meet.

Joey:

We meet those challenges and if we have the perspective that there is a gift in that, then we can bring that back inside and look into that more deeply. That then gives us a deepening experience In my, in my experience, it's usually an expansion of self. It's like I feel more expanded in myself and then I've built a level of confidence, not in worldly things but in actually who I am, and from there I feel more present and able to be in the world authentically, you know. So it's like it's a journey really of, of, of living more authentically and leading more authentically, and for some people that means stepping out and meeting the darkness that we're facing in our world right now. You know, which is a very, very real conflicts in the world where light meeting dark, not in the sense that one side of the war is right and the other side is wrong, but in the sense that there are, you know, forces beneath that that are, you know, promoting, you know the destruction of humanity.

Malcolm:

There's a lot of inhumanitarian action happening in our world in so many ways and that can be very debilitating just being and knowing that that's the reality of what's going on around us. Yes, I think we had Joanna Macy, who's the founder of Deep Ecology, at St James's, and she said that we are now entering a new age not new age in the way that it's often talked about which is an age of what she calls the great turning.

Joey:

Yes.

Malcolm:

We will either evolve and get to the next level of who we could be as human beings, and therefore we will change the way that we live on planet Earth, or we will die. And she doesn't know which it is, which I really liked. Actually, it's rather than you know. Yes, we're definitely fine, we're not definitely fine, but that we have to feed that which is positive as well, even though we don't know the feeling, it will give us the answer that we want.

Joey:

And I think that's very much and I love Joanna Macy's work and I like that great turning, the way that I see that great turning is.

Joey:

It's happening inside each one of us.

Joey:

There is both the awakening of who we are, that movement, that deep desire, and the way I feel it in myself often is like the deep desire to creatively express myself.

Joey:

That then gets all kind of like a wham, with the part of me that is terrified of that and that actually, fundamentally, is in a death. And so how do we hold all of that inside ourselves when we actually haven't been taught how to do that at all? Right, that's not the path that most of us have learned, but it is the path that I believe that many of us are on. You know we're in order to wake up to the potential that we hold. To find our way through this, we have to meet all of the parts of us that have been in denial, and I think you know a big part of that is how we have suppressed so much of our emotion, which is life, fundamental life, energy that's been locked down and suppressed. And so I know a lot of Joana's work is also around grief and that's a lot of the work that kind of comes into my circle work as well is really being able to meet the depths of grief that we need to touch in order to open enough to a field of love.

Malcolm:

That's very key that we go to the places which most people would not willingly. I mean, none of us wish for the tragedies that happen in life. Yeah, it's not. I used to think that, because I was a good person, that I was not being given difficult tasks to manage and that's rubbish. I think that we get what we get, but how we manage it is what involves us as human beings.

Joey:

Exactly exactly. Yeah, and maybe that's a good point to speak a little bit about some aspects of my story. I don't have a chronological I do actually have I mean I can't go into it now because it would take too long but there's definitely In my journey. It helps me to see my journey through the lens of feminine awakening, of awakening that feminine in me to bring it into balance with the masculine inside myself. And if I own that journey inside myself then I stand a chance of bringing some of that balance into the world through my work and through. If I look at this through the lens of dragons I've had to slay.

Joey:

Fundamentally, it's that shame of the feminine shame around my emotions, not being good enough with all of the qualities of my feminine self and feeling that I've had to kind of suppress that in order to fit into society's mould of what it is to be successful. And I know I'm not alone in that as a woman, and nor am I alone in that. You know, many men also feel that kind of pressure from our very I mean the patriarchal, masculine, dominated culture where achievement, overachievement and action and constant doing and seeing emotion as weak is the dominant force in a way.

Malcolm:

And so that's a very important point, that emotion is actually essential. I don't trust people who don't share their emotions because it means that they're sort of coming from the neck upwards. But also there's a balance to be struck, because people who are completely flooded by their emotions are also they feel like they're too much to handle.

Joey:

Yeah, and I think those of those people come from a lack of capacity to hold ourselves emotionally. Because one is filling it out and one is shoving it away, and so that's definitely been the journey for me is how do I hold myself in a way that can allow that energy to move through me without it being Because often, when it spills out, it spills out unconsciously because it's got nowhere else to go, and so it's a projection out, often onto others, of the energy I can't hold in myself.

Joey:

I put it on someone else because I can't hold it in myself and that's the nature of when we get triggered and we react from our triggering. It's like I can't hold that.

Malcolm:

And when do we have practices that help us hold it? Because, of course, meditation for me is a valuable practice, because if I can truly find the meditative space, if I can truly breathe through struggles, I'm finding some resources inside myself.

Joey:

Yes, exactly, yeah. So well, let me tell you, I mean, can I say a little bit? I'll say a little bit about my story around. You know there's a couple of pieces to it, but maybe I'll just go to the piece that was most prominent recently, which is my journey of having a breast cancer diagnosis, and what happened for me in that experience, I mean, was pretty amazing when I look back, and I don't, I mean I know that my experience of that is very kind of minimal and I was very lucky compared to what a lot of women have had to cope with in fighting any kind of cancer. But breast cancer is.

Joey:

There's something around breast cancer that I believe has to do with a wounding of the feminine. I don't necessarily need to go into that, but you know mine was a left breast lump. It was a complete shock to me that it was there and the experience that I had of that was in the shock, or maybe the sort of moving out of shock, part of it was moving into intense fear, when I really really fell into. What does this mean? You know that kind of shattering moment of truth. And so you know I had to face this intense fear and I know that there were.

Joey:

You know, part of how I was leaning towards dealing with that was get this thing out of me. And I think this is like get this out. This is a kind of like a poison in my system that I need out of my system. Somebody just take it out. And, of course, what that's really saying is I can't hold the fear that this is bringing up for me. I want the fear out of my system. So what I had to learn Then it's not someone else doing it for you.

Malcolm:

It's you having to do it for yourselves.

Joey:

It's me having to face what it brought up for me.

Malcolm:

Yes.

Joey:

Right, because the deeper truth in that moment was right there and then-.

Malcolm:

Yes.

Joey:

Wasn't fighting for my life in that moment. I was just dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Right, I'm not trying to minimize it, especially not when somebody gets a cancer diagnosis that might be terminal, for example. But the point I'm trying to make is that I learned through that experience more than ever, and this is what I teach as well and have been learning for a long time in my life.

Joey:

But I had to really kind of face this overwhelming, overwhelming intensity of fear, which was obviously fear of death, that kind of felt I had no control over. I suddenly felt like I had no control over what was happening in my body, and I realized actually that I never do. But that realization came later. You know, the veil between life and death actually is incredibly thin. We just live as if it's not. We live as if we are in more control of our lives than we actually are.

Joey:

So I had to face this fear, and so the learning there for me was bringing was giving myself the space and finding the capacity inside me to hold that space of fear inside myself. And what I've learned over many years I was lucky in the sense that I was able to fairly quickly see through the lens of this is a gift I don't know what the hell it is yet but I'm gonna hold it like that. I'm just gonna hold that view as much as I can, and then, of course, I'd dive into these intense kind of fear states. But the thing that helped me find that capacity to hold myself was being held by others. And I think this is a really important point, because you say you know, how do we learn to do that? And I think there are times in our lives where we cannot hold ourselves.

Joey:

A lot of people think that you know the greatest. You know when we've really made it to our kind of transformational potential. That's when we can hold anything. And maybe that's true for enlightened beings that you know just are really so ready for death that that fear just doesn't touch them right. But for most of us we're nowhere near that. So what was important for me was to be able to be with that fear and not ride over it and not just go with the get this out of me thing, but to be met by someone. And luckily I had people in my life that could actually really meet me there. And then, when I really dropped through that which you know, which took a lot, I came out to another place in which I could actually genuinely hold this cancer in me and welcome it in, and that was a turning point for me. Okay, I can really welcome something that that without that awareness and without the support, I would actually find really hard to hold inside myself.

Malcolm:

So the support's very key, and especially in the whole concert of Slay your Dragons, was based around a number of practices. One of those practices is the creation of sangha, which is a Buddhist term, or creation of community of others of light mind. Now, you and I, along with our friend Nicholas Yannier, in a regular, ongoing triad, a three-person group, we meet to support each other, we talk about what's going on in our lives, we give perspectives yeah me, unless, well, the itching says, until we reach a certain stage in our evolution, not only do we need the support of others of light mind, we have a duty to seek their support, and what I'm hearing is that your sangha would already have been in place, because you can't suddenly create it out of nowhere. Exactly, it's what we're building for you.

Joey:

I had, you, nicholas, I had, and I had a number of other sanghas in my life, circles and sanghas in my life and individuals. So I and I, you know, and I've built that over time and actually that's come from an experience of being very isolated, which is, of course. There's another experience that many women have on their path is like I'm all alone, which is why I'm doing the circle work I'm doing. It's another form of sangha. It's like we need to come together again, we need, we need and of course that's really part of what Jo Anna Macy is talking about and the great turning is like we're moving into a time where we actually are related to one another in a way that recognizes we need one another in order to survive and thrive and we need our relationship with the earth too.

Joey:

So, so, yes, that I was able to really really draw on that, and not only that, but actually that other piece, which is also a very important you know, I think, really all the kind of qualities of the feminine, if you like, not like, I say not saying this is about women and men or anything between, but that, in a sense, if we see that perhaps this is also language of the I Ching. You know that the feminine is more the receptive principle, right? The receptive principle is connection with life, right? So this is what we've lost in our society. I believe that the receptive principle that enables us to connect not just with our emotions but with the wisdom of our bodies and how our bodies actually are connected to life and the earth and nature and everything else. We are part of that and we've lost sight of that.

Malcolm:

But if we look at addiction, you know as well we can see that actually the path away from addiction is connection, Precisely, Connection is absolutely key. If we're not connected, we are flotsam and jetsam in the universe, not knowing where we've come from, where we're going, and we're all over the place.

Joey:

And that's probably the you know, that's the core wound, because if you, you know the way I see that is one of the first agreements in the circle work that I do about authenticity it's where that really originates in the core, is in the core wound of separation, the core wound that I'm not enough.

Malcolm:

Yes.

Joey:

And that I'm not enough comes from a separation from I'm not part of life. You know so, and if we really kind of like play that, you play that out. That's why we have war in the world, Because this, you know, wandering around as these individuals that are disconnected from the source of life. And if we're, when we're connected to the source of life, we're okay in ourselves. Yes, we recognize actually we're part of something that is interconnected and interwoven. And of course, you know there's so many ancient earth-based cultures that didn't just know this, they lived it, they were born.

Malcolm:

That's the thing, isn't it? Yes?

Joey:

They lived and breathed it in their culture and in their way of life, because they lived connected to nature, connected to the earth and the trees and the every life form, and you know even the stones and the rock. They were life, they were teachers, they held wisdom too. They were, you know, they were life-giving and this is, you know, I think, a really important part of our reconnection. I think you've said it in one of your podcasts as well. You know that not even the principle, the act of spending time in nature, and this was another really important part of my healing journey with the cancer, because what happened was I. I was actually quite isolated. It was 2020. It was, it was right before the lockdown.

Joey:

Yes the UK? Right, so I Was. It was a fascinating timing because in many ways it was like I was even more isolated. My family couldn't visit me, my friends couldn't visit me, I didn't get hugs from other people other than my partner and my kids, and it was just. It was very isolating, but in another way it was helpful because everybody was slowing down.

Joey:

Yeah, and you did, to slow down more than anything In order to really do the work and go into that inner journey, because I did lots of things around my diet and I did everything I could to Take care of my body. But I really went on quite a significant journey where, through nature and I was, I was literally going out. We had a beautiful spring that spring and I live in the middle of a forest, which is wonderful, and I was out every morning from about 7 7 30 in the morning, often for about four hours. Well, with the flask of of you know, herbal tea or whatever, and I just went off with my journal and my tea and I and, and and I just journeyed in in the forest and I found places in the forest where I could really connect and do my work, and it's probably even another whole.

Joey:

You know it would take a long time to talk about that story, but I connected with a lot in that process huge amounts of grief, huge amounts of rage. I discovered, you know, oceans of unexpressed emotions from Female line in my family. You know so they would. I recognized intergenerational suppression of emotion in my family and it opened up a huge vista for me. And also you know the invitation to To heal that and my operation was actually delayed because of the whole Upheaval around covert and the hospital's trying to get the right equipment into the operations could take place and all that kind of stuff happened and actually I was really grateful for the delay. It wasn't very long delay in the end but I remember thinking, oh good, I've got more time to investigate this thing in my brain. That's, that's shown up you know this, I understand that.

Joey:

Yes, it was really interesting and and so I, in that time I really built a different relationship with it and then I decided I was going to create a healing Sanger, if you like, a healing circle around my operation, and I was going to treat my operation you may remember this like I'm sure I told you about it at the time. But you know, and I treated my operation as a ceremony and I invited people to like candles or like fires and say some prayers and send their prayers into a friend of mine and and it was, you know, I turned it into a beautiful experience and it and it really was quite a beautiful experience.

Malcolm:

That wonderful having enough self-belief that you can invite people to participate in your healing, because a lot of people shrink in the face of their suffering.

Joey:

Yeah, and it's it. I had to be careful. It was kind of like it was quite close circles, but you know, I couldn't. I wasn't ready to blast it all over social media. I couldn't do that and not nor am I. I'm not very efficient at blasting anything over social media, just not my way. But but I needed to. Yeah, I needed to not be alone in it and I, yeah, I just know I'm gonna, I'm gonna share this and I'm gonna invite other people to share in it with me, and it really was, yeah, quite beautiful. And then I love myself to have Six months of spaciousness and I put myself in a space actually it was this space here which is my kind of like a little sanctuary space, but I actually took myself up, I slept up here, I made a lot of practice and, yeah, so I just and I came away from it recognizing, you know, that this was a gift, that really was a gift and I was thankful for it. But I'm also, I also I'm not, you know, blind enough to think that, well, that's the be all and end all. You know.

Joey:

I think you know, to some extent I have put myself back together the same way, but with a little bit of change. You know, and I think for some people, those momentous fractures, life fractures, you know where the experience is shattering. They either stay shattered, you know, and you know which is tragic when that happens to people, or they find a way to come back together. But they come back a new person, you know, and I think so. I think, coming back to our original conversation about you know, our life experience, life as a teacher. If we can see those any moment where we're thrown into fear, where we're thrown into that kind of place of where we're triggered somewhere, it's like how can we hold that and see that as a potentially awakening moment? How can we look into what is it in me that needs to be lovingly embraced and held and healed that can help me expand, become more of who I am? So, yeah, it's.

Malcolm:

So it's really interesting because what that also does, it sort of takes us to the place of seeing that becoming older is not a curse. It's not easy, because our bodies are more prone to illness, disintegration, ultimately death. But there's something about what goes with the experiencing of life and the being moulded by life that causes us to shift from the unconsciousness that we had been in beforehand.

Joey:

Yeah, exactly, almost like preparation, I suppose, for death. But of course, as with all of these things, the way that we have kind of created our society and culture to handle all of that, yeah, it's worked very well for a lot of people. So a lot of elderly people get left out of society because elders aren't valued, and so we try we need to tackle that.

Malcolm:

We do.

Joey:

Value our journey into elderhood as being a really significant part of a need in society to be valued, and how do we include that part of our society, the elders in our society, as the wisdom keepers that have a gift to bring? And I think you know that's one of the huge differences and great tragedies of our current culture compared to the way that, you know, earth-based cultures used to live, tribal cultures used to live. Yeah, the number of society was valued and everyone had a gift to share, and without that wholeness there was something missing.

Malcolm:

Yes.

Joey:

Yeah, so yeah, I'm turning 60 this year. Welcome. So I'm transitioning into that time.

Malcolm:

Yes, yeah, you are, and you're becoming an elder. You know you're becoming a crone and we used to think of witches or crones, as you know ugly, evil beings, but in fact, what I'm seeing is that the wisdom of aging makes us into something else as well. I couldn't recognise my 40-year-old self there.

Joey:

Yes. So if life is our teacher, then the more life teachings we have, the closer we come to the natural wisdom that's available to us through life, and if there's some of that that we can pass on not as doctrine, but even you know, I think what I'm trying to pass on is well, here's how I navigated the journey Right, and I think that's what you're doing with this podcast how you know how do we navigate this journey? Because that's the question about the fact that we all have to navigate a journey called life, and there's no question that all sorts of shit happens and we can't control it. We'll stop right, and the sooner we recognise we're not in control, the better. That's the problem. We try to stay in control.

Malcolm:

Yes.

Joey:

It doesn't work and we make a big mess of it. You know so you know and that's my learning now as well in a microcosm kind of way, is, like you know, constantly coming back to. How do I let go of what I think of? I think I know what I think I need to do and what I think is the right way to do something, the old patterns that keep me in this mindset of I need to know the answers, or should know the way, or blah, blah, blah and let go to life more and more and more.

Malcolm:

I think it's interesting because I put on about probably about a thousand lectures and workshops for alternatives in my younger days at St James's Piccadilly, and the people who knew and knew and inverted commas were not the people I was very interested in, the people who had a sort of a surety about what life was, but the people who were constantly inquiring and questioning were the people who were bringing something through, because there was an openness to being educated.

Joey:

Yes, exactly, yeah, exactly.

Malcolm:

So we're coming towards the end of our session together. It's been really lovely having this dialogue with you. We don't often have time to have this sort of change which is lovely, but what would be the message that you would want to put across as part of your statement of who you are and what you have to bring to the world?

Joey:

Well, the essence of the work that I'm doing at the moment. That is a culmination of my own personal journey. It's not a culmination because I'm still on that journey, but so far a culmination and synthesis is rising, connected. That's the core message. It's the community of women that I'm evolving slowly over time. It's probably the title of my book, but in essence it's what we've been speaking about and there's three aspects to it.

Joey:

To kind of simplify things a little bit, the first is trust the connection that you have with yourself. Trust your capacity to hold your experience, particularly emotions, and find a way to learn how to do that. It's like more and more, and it's not about how to do it, it's also the extent to which we have to do that or that life is perhaps calling us to do that. It's trust the fullness and capacity of the body to hold what's actually in it, move it through, because that's what it's. That's the intention is to be actually a vessel for life force, energy to move through. So there's like bring compassion to the feelings and trust yourself. So that's the reconnection with self in a way, in a nutshell. And then there's also allow life to support you in that, particularly nature. So find a way to connect as much as possible and have it with nature if possible.

Joey:

But also that implies in a way like seeing the wider connection with life, because life, if we play with the idea that actually life is in support, life is up on beneath us All right, play with that idea as a resource and feel into the possibility that possibility, I would say, is kind of like a gentle way of putting it but particularly spend time in nature. So that's the second connection with life, and then the third is one another. So what we've said is like reach out and for a lot of people that's hard. You know there's so much shame in reaching out and saying I'm in trouble, help that I want to say you know that that often when we do that it becomes a gift for whoever it is that is hearing that call for support and an honor for the other person to be there to witness or to support holding the difficult emotions that might be there.

Joey:

So reach out and find that Sanger or that circle, that individual that can really support you where you are so that you can be authentically where you are.

Malcolm:

And then, of course, be be a person to whom others can also reach out.

Joey:

And then from there and that comes naturally, I think, Malcolm anybody that doesn't want to pay it forward when they've had the experience.

Malcolm:

Exactly, exactly, yes.

Joey:

And be willing to feel and follow the call, to be that holding container for another and to bring and that's where I that's what I call family leadership in a nutshell as well. Really, it's like we need those containers more and more in a world that's falling apart right now. So how can we know? This is the other important message Don't try and be perfect before that, before you do that right. So all capabilities, go the next step, go the next step, because that next step is going to take you to the next teaching, the next teaching right.

Malcolm:

Well, there's the great line of Lenny Kearns. Of course, forget your perfect offering. That's how the light gets in. We're not going to be perfect. We're perfectly ourselves and who we are.

Joey:

We can remain true to ourselves as much as possible, exactly, and we can be perfect as much, as much as possible. If all we do is just come back to that place of humility in ourselves. We are who we are and do our best to let go of needing to be special or needing to be anything other than where and how we are right now, in this moment, then that's where true healing and potential lies. That's where our true power lies, I believe yeah.

Malcolm:

Joey, thank you so much. It's been really such a great pleasure having you on this show, and I look forward to hearing the completed product. So we'll be in touch again soon as well. Anyway, I'll send you the recording once I have it.

Joey:

Brilliant. Thank you, Mark. I really appreciate having this conversation. It's been lovely.

Malcolm:

And thank you, Owen, as well, thank you.

Joey:

Thank you, bye for now.

Malcolm:

Ciao, bye.

Exploring Feminine Leadership and Awakening Moments
The Importance of Feminine Leadership
Exploring the Awakening and Grief Journey
Connection and Support in Transformation
Healing Journey Through Nature and Aging
Thank You to Joey and Closing