#021 Rebecca Campbell: on micromanaging the universe & embracing a soul-led life
How do we embrace a soul-led life? How can we stop micromanaging the universe? And why is shadow work so important to our growth? Big questions that we are deep diving into with Rebecca Campbell, best-selling Hay House author of Light Is The New Black and Rise Sister Rise.
Rebecca Campbell walked into my life when I was 11 years old. She was our neighbour, became our babysitter and had an instantaneous soul-sister connection with my mum. They would spend hours talking, discovering and embodying spirituality together.
Fast forward two decades and Rebecca is now a globally best-selling Hay House author of two books: Light Is The New Black and Rise Sister Rise. She is also the author of oracle cards, both of which have been translated into 18 different languages around the world. She runs an online sisterhood and several online courses “Work Your Light” and “Discover Your Cosmic Blueprint”. All of her work is dedicated to supporting people to live a soul-led life.
Before writing her books, Rebecca has a very successful career as an award-winning creative director, working for some of the world’s top advertising agencies in London and Sydney. She also travelled around the world as Skype’s Nomad – ‘longest-ever live ad’, where for 33-days she had to remain on the move the entire time, crossing 15 countries.
In this podcast episode, we talk about coming out of the spiritual closet, hearing the whispers of your soul, and not bypassing the pain of the human experience. You can listen to the whole conversation on the Live Wide Awake podcast here or read the highlights below.
On the moment she cracked open…
When I reflect back, I do see the journey as spiralling rather than linear. The meaning doesn’t change, but the perspective of understanding the meaning changes. When I look back at that period, I realised I’d done all the things that you were meant to do to develop a career. And I did all the things that I was told to do in a world that’s so overly focused on the masculine. In a world that isn’t in harmony and reverence with the earth, with the feminine. (And we all have these elements of masculine and feminine within us. It’s not just male, female, or any gender here.)
I was around 28, 30 years old then, and I think there’s definitely something in our biographies, during that time, where there are these opportunities. Where big changes can come in. At that point, everything that I’d set out to achieve within my career, I’d reached. And I was looking at the next step and I went: “I don’t want that.”
And it wasn’t really a moment. It was many moments, and it was a loosening of the grip, to then be like: “Oh God, shit.” I didn’t want to, but it wasn’t like I couldn’t not do it. For me, the only thing harder than answering the call within the soul, is not answering it. So that was where it was for me. And biographically, I had big things happen in my life, so it was kind of like a pressure cooker. It actually helped me, because I didn’t have the strength. It helps the shedding happen. And that’s what happened.
On being out of alignment…
I think that we, as humans, we’ve seen ourselves—and I’m particularly talking about the West here—as separate from the earth. Better than the Earth. That’s caused all the harm. We even talk about needing to get grounded, needing to go into nature. That’s the language we use. But we are nature. Our bodies are nature, and this separation from nature is what separates ourselves from our spirituality the most. Because we don’t see the soul and spirit in all living things when we do that.
(And where does this come from?) It’s from this over-leaning on the masculine, that separates us from our spirituality. Now, spirituality isn’t masculine nor feminine: it’s both. But we, as humans, have separated the two. And this isn’t an attack on any religious tradition, but in many cases we’ve moved God to being in the sky, separate from us. Versus, the many goddesses of the earth. So that’s a separation.
And I had a moment in my birth, where it was both heaven and earth together. It was not easy. For me, it was so painful. And so it taught me that the human experience isn’t meant to be all joy. It’s not meant to be all one thing. And I think when we’re overly focused on the masculine, we’re trying to make it one thing. If we come back to this idea of us being nature… look at flowers. They cannot be in full bloom all year round. And it’s us being in the masculine that causes us to try and keep the flowers blooming constantly.
On how we can lead a soul-led life more…
Leading a soul-led life… is a way of life, rather than a thing. The first thing is to connect with your soul. There are so many ways to connect with it, and for me, they do change over periods of time. There’s meditation, chanting, walking in nature… And there’s even journalling, like Morning Pages in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. There are so many different forms of spiritual practice, and I’d recommend picking one. Pick one form of soul work or spiritual practice that resonates with you and commit to doing it every day. Show up with rhythm. And it doesn’t even have to take hours, it could just be five or ten minutes a day.
The second thing is soul inquiry. You have to answer the call of your soul. And you can do it by writing it down, or even just putting it on your phone. What is your soul communicating to you today? It can be tiny or it can be big, but you have to be listening to that constantly. Most of us aren’t in the practice of hearing that voice, so at first you might not be experiencing anything. But if you spend time connecting with your soul (and it’s just like any other relationship), if you show up every single day, you’ll start hearing the voice.
And the third thing is the grounded action. So often when we’re doing spiritual work, it’s separate from us. Like, we’ll spend time hearing our intuition or connecting with ourselves, but we won’t turn it into action. And this is about weaving of the soul into our everyday life: it’s little by little. Slowly pulling the whispers of soul into the front of our lives, instead of having these two worlds.
On not micromanaging the universe…
So I’ve heard a quote before, and I can’t remember it now, so this is me paraphrasing it. But it goes something along the lines of… you can either rely on the same miraculous force that causes the seasons to come and go, the planet to spin, the force that underlies every bit of energy that is life, the same intelligence that governs the tides and tells the flowers to bloom all in perfect timing, and you can surrender to that; or you can rely on your own individual power. Both of these exist, but when we’re just relying on our own power, we’re on our own. So when I’m feeling like I’m trying to overly control something in a way that isn’t guided, that’s what I remind myself of.
And I think this is particularly relevant to those of us who are creating things in the world. Those of us who feel the pressure to do more, at a speed that isn’t in alignment. Particularly so with social media, and a bombardment of what feels kind of counter-productive to trusting the intelligence that’s within us. Flowers for me are my biggest teachers. And what they teach me over and over and over again is that we all have our own timing. But when we try to make things happen according to our own timeline, in a forced way, then we’re kind of trying to force the flower to bloom before it’s ready.
On shadow work…
So some people who are new to the term “shadow” can feel like it’s a bad thing. But really, it’s the entry point of spirituality. Light is literally not possible without it. And we as humans, we all have it. We’re not not meant to have it. It can feel like we shouldn’t or don’t want to have one, but inevitably we do. It’s always leading us in the direction of returning to the self. If we lean into it properly, tenderly, we’re going to come a wounded part of us. And this part of us isn’t a bad thing. To be a human on this planet is challenging. To properly embody the soul, to be fully hurdling ourselves into deeply loving, is at times excruciating.
The invitation is not to close off, even though we want to when we’re coming up against something in our shadow. What comes up is what we most want to close off: a person, an experience, or whatever that’s triggering this hurt inside of us. The invitation is to open our hearts to ourselves, to the wounded parts of ourselves, through this work. How do you take that part of you that’s hurting and not close off to it, or not close it off from the world?
On not bypassing the pain…
One of the many things that these times are inviting us to do is to not bypass the pain of the human experience. Whether it’s our pain, or others’ pain, or how we’ve divided and separated ourselves. I see that we’re being invited to bring the two together. Yes, unity and oneness, but not without it being grounded. And when I say “grounded”, I mean “integrated”. So not just dissociating to the heavens without seeing the pain that’s here. Like I said, being a human takes courage. If you’re living a soul-led life, your heart is open. And sometimes for the heart to open, to start to be open, we need to go into the shadows, and not just put it in a box in the corner. And that’s why the human experience can be painful.
But once we move through it, if we find a way to open through it? Then it’s like the miracle, the “whoa, I couldn’t have imagined it to be like this.” Doing this work though, it doesn’t exactly get easier. What does change, however, is having the perspective of what’s happening. And you begin to allow yourself to trust the process that you’re going through. That’s what becomes easier: being able to trust, and lean into what life is inviting you to lean into. I’ve found that looking back, I’ve been surrounded by people who’ve supported me. The more courageous I’ve been, the more I’ve been rewarded. And the more I’ve shown the world who I really am, the more supported I’ve felt. Because people could see me.
On how we can live wide awake…
Be with what is, when it is, rather than what we wish it would be, now.
Three things I’m taking away from this conversation with Rebecca:
1. When we see ourselves as separate from nature and from the earth, we are separating from our spirituality.
2. Don’t bypass the pain of the human experience. It’s where growth, understanding and lessons come from. Living a soul-led life means our heart has to be open, which sometimes can be painful.
3. Instead of relying on our individual power and micromanaging the universe, we should rely on the miraculous force that governs the planet and the whole galaxy. Remember that flowers are not meant to be in full bloom all the time.