Jo

The Consciousness of Plants

Are you, perhaps more than ever, longing to live in a deeper harmony with nature? Maybe the near-certain collapse of our economic system that we are all witnessing at the moment is prompting you to focus on connecting with the security and safety of our ecosystem like never before? After all Mother Nature’s reality based bounty existed long before the fiction of stocks, shares and other man-made financial constructs. The Great Mother will almost certainly exist long after as well.

In this podcast I speak to Emma Farrell, a certified plant spirit healer. Emma’s spiritual quest has taken her all over the world, to study in the Himalayas with master energy healers, to learn in the Ecuadorian Amazon with a shaman elder, and to train in Buddhist meditation at the Dalai Lama’s temple. However her greatest passion today is connecting with great integrity to plant spirit medicine and helping others to discover and explore the power of plants, a gift that was nurtured by a teacher she now treasures (who I also hope to interview on Wyse Women so I won’t share her name just yet.)

We talk in this episode about what plant consciousness actually is, how you don’t need to go on big ‘trips’ with hallucinogenic plants to answer life’s big questions and the importance of doing your own inner work alongside any healing modality you invite into your life.  We start off though by talking about how Emma’s childhood illnesses of asthma and eczema were the catalysts for her journey within.

Show Notes

In this podcast you will learn:
  • How plant spirit medicine helped to heal Emma’s ancestral and soul traumas
  • What plant consciousness actually means
  • Emma’s thoughts about how plants are used in conventional medicine within Western cultures
  • Why we need a solid foundational inner life when working with psychoactive plants
  • About Emma’s first experiences with two powerful ‘teacher’ plants
  • About Emma’s love for Mugwort
  • About the effect Emma feels coronavirus is having on the natural world
My stand out quote from this podcast

‘For me I wanted to understand how my ancestors worked [with plants.] I understood and it made me sick seeing all the problems with ayahuasca and how the pharmaceuticals treated the indigenous people, but I wanted to bring forth the medicine of our land. We don’t have to go and have a long distance relationship with a plant from another continent we can just walk outside into our own countryside –  and so this is what I wanted to bring through in my work and to understand and bring through in myself; is how to find myself through the plants and trees of my own land.’ – Emma Farrell

The Goddess Bhuvaneshwari

Most of us are aware of the practical steps we can take to help navigate what is going on in the world at the moment, but where can we turn for spiritual guidance and support?

Please note that the word spiritual in this context is used to describe someone who looks and inquires within in order to experience universality in all things.

Well in a recent conversation with the author Sally Kempton ,a former swami (monk) about the coronavirus we discussed the power we all have (men and women) to invoke the full potential of our inner feminine energy by connecting with different facets of different Goddesses. Sally has written a book called ‘Awakening Shakti’ which is all about this subject.

This part of our conversation was not included in The Wisdom of Coronoavirus podcast released last month which featured Sally (among many others) so I hope you enjoy the unedited version of our chat. In this bonus podcast Sally gives a brief introduction to one goddess in particular who we can unite with at this time.


(Illustration of Bhuvaneshwari by Ekabhumi Charles Ellik used with kind permission from the book Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton.)

 

Show Notes

On this podcast you will learn:
  • Who Bhuvaneshwari is
  • Why Bhuvaneshwari can help us at this time
  • A practice to help you connect with Bhuvaneshwari at times when you feel overwhelmed
My stand-out quote from this podcast:

‘I love invoking her [Bhuvaneshwari] when I feel scared or incapable. Her name means lady of space and she is that energy which silently holds space for us in times when we are actually in pain or angry or when we need space to have transformative conversations with oursleves or with someone else.’

Related Podcasts and links

If you enjoyed this podcast you may like to listen/listen again to other podcasts I have done with Sally.

CLICK HERE to read my book review of Awakening Shakti. CLICK HERE to buy Awakening Shakti

The Gayatri Mantra

Deva Premal is a German singer best known for introducing Sanskrit mantras into the mainstream, her millions of fans include the singer Cher, The Dalai Lama and Eckhart Tolle.

In this Wyse Women episode (available this full moon,  April 7th ) Deva shares her wisdom with me about the day her father left his body and the beautiful mantra that she sang to him as they said goodbye. Incidentally it was the same mantra he sang to her while she was in her mothers womb. She talks in detail about what kind of man her Dad was too. Plus of course Deva answers my three quick fire questions as well; her most influential male mentor, her favourite words of wisdom and her favourite song.

Please note that the world was a very different place when we originally recorded this interview in January, so this podcast does include an update with Deva about coronavirus.

Show Notes

In this updated podcast you will learn:
  • How Deva feels about the coronavirus 
  • How beneficial sound healing can be for our immune systems
  • How Deva responds when I sing the Gayatri Mantra to her while washing my hands (!!!)
In this main podcast you will learn:
  • What the Gayatri Mantra means
  • About the extraordinary character of Deva’s father
  • How Deva felt as a child growing up with parents who weren’t conventional
  • How Deva felt when her father left his body and how she feels now without his physical presence
  • Deva also sings The Gayatri Mantra at the beginning and the end of this podcast too
My stand-out quote/s from this podcast

There are so many benefits to it [chanting.] It has a calming effect on our nervous system, and when we are calm that is good for the immune system, and just to sing and breathe and charge ourselves with oxygen is so important with this virus that effects our lungs. – Deva Premal

Deva_Premal
Beautiful music, beautiful
The Dalai Lama
My favourite CD to do yoga to is Deva Premal’s 'The Essence.' As a matter of fact I drive my teacher crazy because it’s the only one I want to listen to!”
Cher
As you listen the sacred space that lies beyond the mind emerges naturally and effortlessly. Pure magic
Eckhart Tolle

The Wisdom of Coronavirus

Are you someone who is keeping away from the news at the moment, or at the least limiting your exposure to it? Don’t get me wrong I worked in radio and television newsrooms through my late teens,  all through my twenties and into my thirties and I know (first hand) how responsible these outlets are for spreading information. 

However (and it is a BIG however) information is very different to wisdom. Information is fact based. Wisdom is experience based. So with that in mind I have gathered together a group of previous Wyse Women guests (in a virtual red tent) to offer comfort and strength to anyone who is finding the mainstream media a bit too overwhelming. 

In this very special extended edition of Wyse Women, mothers, teachers, spiritual leaders, musicians and even a former swami (monk) discuss what they feel is happening right now and offer their deepest wisdom to us on how to navigate our way through.

Show Notes

In this podcast you will learn:
  • Why nature helps us to feel safe and secure … ‘Mother Earth has lived much longer than us.’ 
  • How fulfilling it is to be of service to others
  • Ways to get creative in self isolation
  • A short cut meditation to ‘witness consciousness’
  • A few chants/mantras to dwell on
  • … and probably most importantly, you will learn how a whole group of grounded and wise women (who have all learned from their own individual crises) are feeling and thinking at the moment. Sometimes when we hear others sharing similar thoughts/feelings to the ones that we are having, we know that we are not alone, and that in itself can be a tremendous source of comfort.
My stand-out quote/s from this podcast

‘If we feel strong and we feel there is a tomorrow – we are not afraid of it. So lets be strong and lets be all together creating love from our heart, not from our head.’  – Frauke Behrens

I honestly do believe this is the beginning of a radically transformative period in human life.’ – Sally Kempton

‘Avoid the fear, there is no point in embracing it. I think you have really got to honour your body, your mind and your soul at this time. This is all about staying grounded’ – Tiggy Walker

Contributions from ... (in order of appearance)

Click on name to listen/re-listen to each woman's original podcast

Related Podcasts

You may also like to listen to my brand Wyse Women episode with Deva Premal. 

Click HERE for Deva’s podcast ‘The Gayatri Mantra.’

Also available for your earholes on April 7th (Full Moon) 

***This podcast includes an update with Deva about Coronavirus as well ***

The Sha-Manic Episode

If you believe as I do, that the purpose of our own individual trials is to overcome them so that you can show others the way … then you will love this Wyse Women podcast.

Nikki Slade first experimented with drink and drugs as a teenager, but it was during her career as a talented actress and musician based around London that she became an addict. At the height of her addiction in 1989 she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for an episode of psychosis (which she now understands was a profound spiritual emergence/sha-manic episode.) Thankfully it was also at this point in her life that she had found comfort and solace in the healing power of mantra and chanting … a practice which Nikki feels liberated her from her addiction.

Now, 30 years clean, Nikki is the UK’s number 1 western style Kirtan leader who is passionate about helping others to free their inner voices through chanting … and in this podcast she courageously shares her journey in the hope that it helps others to uncover the greatest expressions of who they are too.

Show Notes

In this podcast you will learn:
  • How Nikki defines addiction and how her own addictions began and escalated
  • About Nikki’s spiritual emergence/sha-manic episode
  • Why Nikki is sharing her story on this podcast and in her own book ‘The Healing Power of Chanting.’
  • The history of chanting/mantra and why chanting/mantra is so powerful
  • How you can begin chanting (even if you aren’t a good singer)
  • Nikki’s answers to my three quick fire questions, her most influential male mentor, her favourite words of wisdom and the song that sums up her story
  • PLUS Nikki also sings live on this podcast and shares one of her most powerful recorded mantras with us too.
My stand-out quote from this podcast

‘When we come together and chant with a group we actually experience oneness and oneness is what we are all trying to get back to, and the irony is that many of the great spiritual masters say that the true home inside is already attained. So in a practice like Kirtan we are remembering where we already dwell and when you have a room full of people all together remembering where they have innately dwelt infinitely forever, we all realise we all come from the same one and then we glimpse that, not just from the level of thought but from the level of a beautiful opening of the heart … and then we cry with joy.‘ – Nikki Slade

nikki-slade-kirtan
Click cover to buy Nikki’s book
Praise for Nikki's book

‘What an amazing person Nikki is. I love her honesty when describing her journey.’ – Astrid

‘Author’s openness about herself gives a feeling of freedom, frees the reader of his/her false shame.’ – Paul

‘I personally related to Nikki’s journey on many levels and admire her raw honesty.’ – Vembley

Related Podcasts ...

If you enjoyed this podcast with Nikki, you may also be interested to know that next month (April 2020) I will be talking to Grammy nominated Deva Premal about The Gayatri Mantra. 

A mantra that she sang to her father as he was taking his last breath (which incidentally was the same mantra he sang to her while she was in her mothers womb.)

You may also like to listen/listen again to Elle Arthur’s podcast. Elle is a yogi living in Bali who shared her wisdom about The Power of Mantra in Series 1 of Wyse Women. 

'Nikki’s kirtan has the power to explode love in the room, take a chant soaring to the skies, and draw tears of love from everyone who participates. I love the smoky depth of her voice, and the fullness and intensity she brings to this practice.'
Sally_Kempton
Sally Kempton
Author

The #Ecocide Friendship

jojo mehta

The Guardian newspaper called Polly Higgins ‘one of the most inspiring figures in the green movement’ but on Easter Sunday last year at the age of 50, she passed away after a short battle with lung cancer. Polly was a successful lawyer who abandoned a courtroom career to lead a decade-long campaign for a law called “ecocide” to be recognised as an international crime. 

‘Ecocide is extensive loss, damage or destruction of ecosystems, in laypersons terms; serious harm to the natural living world.’

In this podcast the co-founder of the Stop Ecocide campaign Jojo Mehta talks to me about Polly’s legacy and Jojo also shares her wisdom on how she has handled her own personal grief at the loss of one of her closest friends. Wisdom that is universal to anyone who has a close friend in spirit.

Show Notes

In this podcast you will learn:
  • About the moment Polly realised that Mother Earth needed a lawyer
  • How seriously Polly took her mission
  • How Polly’s illness began and her response to her diagnosis
  • About the day Polly died and her spiritual presence at the Extinction Rebellion on Easter Sunday
  • How Jojo compartmentalised her relationship with Polly and how only recently has she grieved the deep friendship they shared
  • More about how you can join the #stopecocide campaign and become an Earth Protector
  • … and Jojo’s answers to my three quick fire questions, her most influential male mentor, her favourite words of wisdom and the song that sums up her story.
My stand-out quote from this podcast:

‘She [Polly] also had this amazing effect on people, I mean the number of people I’ve met in the last few months who have sort of confessed to me that they kind of fell in love with her when they met her and you know that might not necessarily have meant romantically but she had this extraordinarily inspirational effect on people where she would have a conversation with them and they would turn their whole lives around. She was always incredibly feminine and terribly sexy as well, just extraordinarily warm with a strong feminine presence and I think in that way … a wonderful role model for what a woman can be in a man’s world.’  – Jojo Mehta

Background Information

Click image of JoJo above to find out more about Ecocide and how you can become an ‘Earth Protector’ and watch Polly’s TED talk below to get maximum enjoyment from this Wyse Woman podcast.

Related Podcasts

If you enjoyed Jojo’s podcast you may like to listen/listen again to Mandy Haggith’s podcast from Series 1. Mandy lives a self sufficient life in harmony with nature in a cabin in the woods in Scotland. 

'The destruction of the earth is a crime and it should be prosecuted.'
george_monbiot
George Monbiot
Journalist, The Guardian