Help in any way that you can, but don’t take the burden upon yourself if it is not something that you can bear. It doesn’t serve a sinking ship to attach yourself to it. Give what you can and know your own boundaries. This is an important part of the process of knowing how to support others.
As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dashama Konah.
Dashama is an award winning speaker, author, health and happiness expert who has spoken at the United Nations, Sony Motion Picture Studios, XDubai, Nike Global Leadership summit and was inducted into the Stanford Happiness Hall of Fame. She is a featured speaker of the Flow Summit along with Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, Sadhguru, Dr. Joe Dispenza and others. A media favorite, she has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, ABC, NBC, CBS, Discovery Channel, OWN, QVC and Fox news as well as Cosmo, Vogue and Inc.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
When I was 18 years old I was hit by a car while riding my bike and the impact caused scoliosis of my spine. At the time, doctors told me there was nothing that I could do and there is no real way to reverse scoliosis. I felt hopeless, but accepted the doctors words. A few years later, at 23 years old I became completely depressed. Although I had a great job, ideal home, great boyfriend, and was in peak physical shape, nothing would bring me joy. I had no passion for life and the things that used to motivate me and inspire my daily actions felt life less and worthless.
In my depression, I was searching for purpose and meaning in life and could not find it anywhere. One day I did a google search for ‘inner peace’ and found a yoga studio that was offering a 10 week yoga teacher training. Since I had always done yoga and sports, I felt immediately called to go to this, not to become a teacher, but to find inner peace for myself. The experience was nothing short of miraculous. Not only did I regain my feeling of passion for life again, but since this experience had impacted and transformed my life in so many miraculous ways, my desire to share this life enhancing practice with the world inspired me to start teaching. Quickly I gained a tremendous amount of support and a large following, as I was one of the first yoga teachers on youtube in 2006 where I started the first yoga challenge, 30 day yoga challenge, back in 2008. My videos went viral and it started me on a 15 year non stop traveling adventure around the world sharing this gift of yoga and meditation that had transformed my life in such a profound way. I have traveled the world for the past 15 years, been blessed to speak at the United Nations for International Day of Happiness, was inducted into the Stanford Happiness Hall of Fame and have worked with Harvard medical doctors to show how these practices can heal your mind, rewire neural synapse, cure depression, anxiety and a number of other mental health issues. Now I’m writing my next book, The Flow State, to share more about the profound wisdom from the masters, to help people understand the importance of living in alignment with the universal laws of life. The book will be released on 11/11 after the Flow Summit which is in October.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Yes, so many books have changed my life. When I was 12 years old my aunt gave me a book called “How to Be Like Women of Influence” it featured 20 of the world’s most renowned women and each was embodying a trait. For example Mother Theresa was “Compassion” and Amelia Earhart was ‘Courage’. I felt really connected to Oprah’s story, she shared about her challenging childhood, since I too had been raised in foster homes and by my aunt, after my mother lost her mind when I was 6. This book gave me so my encouragement and hope that I too could be like them one day. As a young girl with no real role models, that book came at a time when I needed it the most. And since then, I was on a path to living the best life I can. I faltered many times on my path, but never lost sight of the goal. Now to this day I teach millions of young girls, and people of all ages, how to live in alignment with the universal laws through my yoga school and am writing the Flow State book which will include 22 universal laws, which can be seen as virtues to align with, to live the best life.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
#1: Everything goes in cycles. We are currently in a down cycle. The up-cycle will come again. This is a very powerful time on earth. It’s important for everyone to understand that everything in life goes in cycles. We are currently in a deep healing and purging cycle for all of humanity. If you look at history, this has happened many times and always there is an up turn after a down turn. There have been global pandemics in the past that transformed humanity during their time. There have been economic depressions in the past and it shaped the economy that restructured and got stronger after that. Since life is cyclical, it is somewhat predictable and with that predictability, we can gain some comfort for this time we are currently experiencing. This knowledge also gives us power to make it through this down time. The world was not operating properly for many years. Like all cycles, this too shall pass. And eventually we will be in our glory days again, after some very massive restructuring of the way things were operating. Despite the way it may feel right now, stay strong, in a few years, the next golden age is coming. That is one reason to be hopeful!
#2: We are rapidly evolving and awakening as a human species. From a spiritual perspective, the Corona Era is all about humanity being presented with an opportunity for awakening to a new way of being and living. The old ways were not working. We knew that based on the climate crisis, global wars, plastic pollution, racism and many other previous programs that were running in our system before COVID broke out. Since the outbreak, and largely due to the mandatory global locks downs, people everywhere are examining how they were operating and seeing all the ways that were not optimal. The hours of traffic jams and commuting to and from office buildings for work that could be done remotely was one big issue and has become solved with the transition to zoom and online home based remote work environments. This is just one example of a solution, amongst many, that are arising from this era to create more sustainable solutions for almost 8 billion people to co exist in harmony with our planet in a healthy and optimal flow.
#3: We are healing ourselves and each other. Since we have had so much time at home, now we are more aware that we must find new ways that are sustainable and beneficial for the whole of humanity. The selfish, materialistic, consumeristic society of the past is coming to an end. This is a good thing. But just like when someone goes through a deep healing crisis, such as getting the flu and having to stay in bed for 2 weeks, humanity at large is being asked to slow down and reflect. During this important time, the healing of humanity is the healing of our world. As each individual has unique issues they are facing during this time on earth, everyone can see what is needed to heal to bring balance back into their individual lives and the world at large. The healing will be complete when all of humanity can shift from the ‘me’ mentality, to the ‘we’ culture. The lesson is that we are all interconnected. We are all in this together. And what happens to one, affects us all. In a recent talk I heard Dalai Lama say, ‘oneness will heal our world.’ What does that mean? It means its time for each of us to see ourselves as part of the greater whole and to make decisions based upon that understanding, knowing that what we do to others, we affectively do to ourselves. Everything affects everyone and everything.
#4: We are learning to be the change we wish to see in the world. It starts with healing your inner traumas so you don’t inflict pain or suffering upon others. After you find peace within, the next step is to help others on the path to find that within. Then it expands out to contributing to make the world a better place for all, in whichever way you feel most inspired. That is called ‘Dharma’ in sanskrit, the ancient language of India. Dharma means to do the work that your soul has come here to do, that brings you the greatest joy and fulfillment, while benefiting others. I feel this is the ultimate wisdom for humanity to take away from the Corona Era.
#5: We are connecting with our divinity! Corona literally translates to mean crown in Spanish. On a spiritual level, this is a crown chakra awakening for humanity. Everything you are facing is happening to help you awaken to the divinity that you are. To be aligned with your divinity is to be connected to the source of life and to shine your light into the world, to illuminate the darkness and spread love. This is the ultimate light at the end of the Corona tunnel. For all beings to awaken to their divinity and to create a wave of peace, love and oneness for all to see beyond race, color, religion or sexual preference and to unite as one human family, on the same team, together with a shared mission to heal the planet and reverse the climate breakdown. This is where we are going as a human species. It won’t happen over night, but millions are already aware of this and more are awakening every day. It’s very exciting!
From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
My 5 Steps to offer effective support is the HEART Method: Help, Encourage, Ask, Recommend, Techniques
- Help in any way that you can, but don’t take the burden upon yourself if it is not something that you can bear. It doesn’t serve a sinking ship to attach yourself to it. Give what you can and know your own boundaries. This is an important part of the process of knowing how to support others.
- Encourage loved ones to exercise, take walks in nature, do practices that open the heart and release fear. Anxiety is a state of fear, and the more we can become comfortable with the mystery of the future, the unknown can transition from instigating anxiety to creating feelings of excitement. Since anxiety and excitement are in a similar frequency spectrum, simply flipping the switch and focusing on the positive, and all of the things that you can control that will help you create a more positive future is the antidote to anxiety. When you are so busy with the excitement of creating the life of your dreams, you will have no room or time for anxiety in your life.
- Ask your friends and loved ones if they are ok and sincerely listen to their response. This sounds simple, but in a world that focuses on looking good or ‘ pretend to be ok’ on the outside, many people may not share if they are not doing well and may keep it inside. When it is repressed, it can lead to greater emotional issues and mental health breakdowns. Being a good friend is to listen sincerely and to care how others are doing. Practicing empathy, which means to try to see and feel from their position and offer any help that you can. Remember how you show up in people’s time of greatest need impacts your relationship for the rest of you life. If you can’t offer much help beyond a listening ear, just let them know. Excellent communication is to speak your truth while holding space with compassion.
- If those who you love or that are surrounding you are not doing well, mentally, emotionally, physically or financially, offer any support you can, but they may need professional help. You could look online or encourage them to seek professional help so they can get the healing and / or therapy they need during this time. There are many foundations and organizations dedicated to support people through crisis and trauma intervention, so don’t feel you need to take it all on upon yourself. Sometimes being a good friend is just pointing the direction to Refer/ Recommend them to where they can get more professional help.
- Anxiety is a state of fear about the future. This often comes from the future being unknown. The most useful support you can offer to people who feel anxious is to help them to understand that all we can be certain about is this present moment. Living in the now is the ultimate solution to anxiety, but it’s not so easy for most people. Techniques such as meditation, breath work, yoga or any practices that help you be more in the present and less in your mind worried about the future are the best solutions to anxiety. Yoga and mediation have been proven to alleviate anxiety and rewire the nervous system and neural network in the brain to be more present and content with what is happening in life.
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?
There are many resources for people to help alleviate anxiety. Recently a movie came out about this topic called Chasing Present, which was created to help people with anxiety. Additionally, Harvard medical research has proven that meditation, yoga and breathwork can help alleviate anxiety. I have many resources people can try on my youtube.com/dashama channel or my free self love and yoga 7 day challenge which includes practices of meditations, yoga as well as EFT (emotional freedom technique) you can access here: pranashama.com/slay
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok yet, it’s not the end.” ~ John Lennon
I have been through many big challenges and traumatic events in my life. Everything from losing my parents at age 6, being sent to be raised in foster homes, losing everything, being homeless, being in 5 near fatal car accidents, etc. Each of these experiences left me in a very bad place at first. It took time to work through the negative or lower emotions that I was experiencing to get to the place where I could see the blessings and the gift of each of the major challenges I have faced. The beauty is, as I got stronger and more clear that life is not happening to me, but is happening for me, I started to realize that every single thing I was experiencing was a result of the universe presenting me with opportunities for growth, healing and expansion. That understanding alone changed my life. Now, no matter what may happen, I look first for the gift in it. Then I work through the energy until I can regain my inner peace and feelings of appreciation for the experience. Until you have reached a place where you feel truly grateful for everything, there is still work to do. In the end, it always is ok, as John Lennon said. That alone offers so much peace to help you through the hard times. Never give up. You got this. Keep going.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I’m currently writing a book titled The Flow State. It is truly the deeper secrets behind ‘The Secret.’ This book features 22 Universal laws and wisdom from renowned masters (such as Eckhart Tolle, Dr Joe Dispenza, Sadhguru, Dalai Lama, etc) about the importance of aligning with the universal laws in order to create a life of happiness, health and fulfillment. One of the universal laws is Divine Oneness, another is Unconditional Love, another is Grace, and another is Gratitude etc. Each of these are so essential for humanity to understand, align with and choose to embody.
The FLOW (Flow Love Oneness Worldwide) movement is what I see can change the world. Currently the planet and humanity is out of flow. Our planet is suffering from the way we have treated her. The global lock down has given us all a chance to look at how we live life and to realize it’s time for some major changes. The solution for the worlds problems is to spread FLOW. I had previously felt that the Oneness Movement was the solution to the world’s ills, but now I feel the other 2 laws, love and flow, are essential aspects to create a better world for us all. I have a vision, since we are launching The Flow State book on 11/11, which is a few weeks after we are releasing the Flow Summit with Hay House in October. I feel the summit and book can spark a movement, as we restore FLOW to the world, we will see humanity uniting, which will allow us to accomplish the great tasks necessary to heal the world, restore the global economy to a better place then before, and elevate the consciousness of all beings eventually so we can have peace on earth.
Whether it is called The FLOW Movement or Oneness Movement, one thing is clear : it can and will change and transform the world in a very positive way for us all to unite with flow, love and oneness. That is my vision. I feel on the deepest level, this is what we all want, but some people might feel this is too much of a utopian vision. I prefer to consider it supreme optimism. We can truly all work together as a TEAM, Together Everyone Achieves More. With enough people on board and supporting this vision, we can and will change the world. It has been said that it only takes 144,000 fully awakened beings to create a tipping point for all 7.8 billion people to awaken. We are making that happen now. So the masses are waking up and seeking resources how to navigate the awakening. They need guidance and support. That is what the FLOW movement offers.
The future vision is that there will be a whole new genre of films called FLOW Films, and we are already partnered with VR and AI technology brands to bring flow state to the general public with apps, brain wave entrainment, healing frequency music, movement practices like yoga, dance, tantra, breathwork, healing arts and so much more. This is just the beginning and we are open to inviting leaders to join the movement to contribute in any way they can. We are also leading a big event on facebook on 8/8 called Lion’s Gate FLOW Master Mind: Flow Love Oneness Worldwide which will include masters, celebrities and experts in flow all sharing their wisdom and gifts and will include a global OM and meditation for our network of 20 million fans across the facebook pages: @Unify, @ConsciousCollective and @CureJoyIncas well as my page @dashama and @jillianmichaels as well as others who will be there. This is the start of something truly remarkable and it will change the world. Join us! 🙂
What is the best way for our readers to follow you online?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!