Rev. Julie Moret: Author + Speaker
How do you start your day?
I am NOT a morning person! However, my spirit craves the deep sacredness of quiet, pitch black, early morning hours. This past winter after reading Swami Rama’s book, Living with the Himalayan Masters, I was so seduced by the swamis’ discipline and commitment that I decided to give it a go! Each night at bedtime I would set the intention to wake automatically at 3:30am - no alarm. Upon waking naturally, I’d spend a few minutes in bed trying (sometimes succeeding) to talk myself out of getting up. Eventually I’d creep downstairs and pour through every one of Swami Rama’s books, romanticizing his stories about living alone in remote Himalayan caves. The thought of spending hours – days – months – in deep spiritual practice fills me with ecstasy. Life feels so busy and overscheduled with commitments as mother, wife and entrepreneur. Retreating into isolation sounded heavenly, so I told my husband I was going on sabbatical to a cave in the Himalayas and planned to live off one cup of goat’s milk a day like Swami Rama. My supportive and practical husband reminded me that I’m vegan, don’t like cold weather, and unless I can airlift fabulous shabby chic bedding to my cave, I was doomed. That said, I scrapped the cave idea (for now!) and opted instead for pre-dawn wake ups! I brew a cup of tea, do my spiritual reading, and meditate for about an hour then crawl back in bed until six. No matter what happens from 6am on, the day is golden!
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE OVERWHELMED OR STRESSED?
When I’m overwhelmed or stressed, I hang upside down like a bat! I swing around in bed and throw my legs up the wall. This is my miracle cure and the healthy way I start and finish each day. For years I dealt with chronic headaches due to car accidents, hormones, stress, etcetera. Doctors prescribed heavy daily medication to keep those incapacitating headaches at bay, but I never filled the prescriptions. I knew there had to be another way. Finally, while chatting with a yin yoga instructor before class one day, she advised that I practice Viparita Karani- leg up the wall pose. This restorative yoga posture allows my mind and body to relax, relieving stress and tension. It also facilitates venous drainage and most importantly for me, it increases circulation which was a main reason for the headaches I used to get. While doing this inversion posture, I multitask by practicing deep breathing in through my nose and then letting the exhalation fall out through slightly parted lips with soft sound giving my internal organs the bonus gift of a sound bath, which drops me into an even deeper state of relaxation and allows my body to function with greater economy. Since I do this morning and night, it becomes an opportunity to consciously set intentions at the top of each day and then sincerely review myself at the day’s end. It’s a beautiful way to self soothe and restore ease, calm, and balance.
WHAT GIVES YOU THE FEELING OF TRUE BLISS WITHIN?
My son. Hands down. When women nurse, their bodies release oxytocin which sends waves of happiness inducing chemicals throughout the body. Though my son is well out of the nursing years, I still experience that chemical rush of pure bliss when I’m with him. Not necessarily in the morning when I’m asking him 57 times to get ready for school, and not when he morphs into teenage Groot from the Avengers movies, but when we have special little moments throughout the day — like hanging out in his room in the darkness before bedtime, that moment when he reaches over and takes my hand or snuggles next to me or says something incredibly insightful and compassionate; or when he extends a hand to help me down a particularly rough section of a hike, or tells a joke and belly laughs so hard that his smile lights the world. That’s major bliss right there! Bliss experiences have entered my life in another relatively new way as well. Last summer I went on a retreat to Rythmia Life Advancement Center in Costa Rica with Michael Bernard Beckwith and some of the other senior teachers at The Agape International Spiritual Center where I work. During a shamanic ceremony something shifted inside me. I had a ‘dream-but-not-dream’ about taking flight. It was the same sensation I experienced as a child when astral traveling- weightless, soaring. Its’s the most exciting feeling I can fathom, and it ignites my desire to see how far I can go, how immersed I can become in Spirit. That’s the goal, too see how much my presence can be an invitation for all those listening to catch air, that together- even if but for a moment- we become heaven on earth. That’s the grace of true bliss and the desire for this experience of Divine Union has become even stronger since my last interview with Annapurna Living. My path has become narrower. More clear. There’s a place I’m going in consciousness- it’s like a compulsion- to know God and love God and serve God and see how close I can come in this lifetime to being everything I came here to be. I’ve experienced glimmers of this Supreme Oneness. It’s like trying to catch moon beams. The yearning is not completable — but the striving after, the reaching forward, reaching inward, that fills me with bliss beyond measure.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
Books have always been my friends and I keep a lot of them around! I am currently “in relationship” with Initiation by Elisabeth Haich, The Sorcerers Crossing (again!) by Taisha Abelar, The Art of Joyful Living by Swami Rama, Shaman, Healer, Sage by Alberto Villoldo, Spiritual Liberation (again!) by Michael Bernard Beckwith and my own book, What’s Your What? How to Ignite Your Unique Brand. I’ve been asked to share several quotes from it for an upcoming article and am enjoying the opportunity to review what flowed through me and put the practices into practice all over again.
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Gina Breedlove devours ‘I Will Fly’ -it drops me every time! Jesse Campbell singing ‘Never Enough’ fills you with the fire to take flight and be more than you ever thought possible. Charles Holt’s version of ‘Tapping’ is transcendent. Jennifer Johns’ ‘It’s Going to be Okay’ will wake the warrior within, and the way Rickie Byars Beckwith held thousands of congregants with ‘Connected’ at our last service after 20yrs in Culver City before moving to the Seban Theatre in Beverly Hills- was breath taking. I have clips of all their performances on my Instagram page and review these moments of greatness over and over again, especially before stepping on stage. They give me life.
WHAT DOES NOURISHMENT LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
The secret sauce in nourishment is consciousness. Something can be healthy, have the right kind of fats or proteins, but nourishment is deeper than that. It sources the very marrow of your beingness. It’s the state of mind when preparing food, massaging cream into the skin, selecting the days’ outfit, speaking with a child or making love to a beloved. Simple daily activities become nourishment based on our consciousness and intention. That’s what I love so much about Annapurna Living. It is soul nourishment for so many of us women who don’t even realize how malnourished we are in the areas of support, care, play, happiness, ease, creativity, sensuality, fierceness, even freedom. Annapurna is a lifeline to the art of soul nourishment.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SPACE FOR PLAY?
Play for me has changed over the years. I used to think it meant hanging out with friends or going on fabulous adventures. While I enjoy those things, what I’m owning more now is that my kind of play is as it was when I was a child- by myself in my room, roaming barefoot through the wilderness of my imagination. With so much noise in life- metaphorically and literally- true playtime for me happens before I drift off to sleep or in the dark, early morning hours when I slip out of bed, curl up in my reading chair, and take flight!
WHAT ARE SOME FAVORITE MANTRAS YOU CLING TO?
Bring the Moment! is an important mantra for me because I am a chameleon by nature. It’s easy for me to blend into an environment. This works well when the environment is positive and loving, however I have learned the power of deciding before an interaction-whether with family, friends, or business associates- what quality of God I want to bring to the table. Do I want to be the presence of Peace, Love, Joy, Justice, Integrity, Fierceness, Play, Beauty, Creativity, Freedom... I am here to Bring the Moment, not be at the whim of it! It is my job to Elevate the Baseline of My Consciousness (another favorite mantra.) Doing so allows me to Consciously Compass, meaning guide myself on purpose. That way I don’t morph into anyone else’s energy. I let my presence stay bright and clear, an open invitation for others to rise into an elevated state of consciousness. One of the ways I know what quality of God I am here to embody is by beginning each day asking, What is my assignment? You can ask this question of God, Nature, Higher Consciousness, Supreme Creator, Divine Source- whatever name works best for you. I repeat this mantra periodically throughout the day to help me stay on track, ‘Dear God, what is my assignment? What will you have me do?’ My favorite family mantras are Give as Your Go and Have Giving as an Aspect of Your Living, sweet reminders to share and be generous. The old thinking about generosity was to wait until you’ve made all your money and then give back. The new philosophy, and master manifestation law, is Give as You Go! It’s about staying in circulation and being generative along the way.
PLEASE SHARE SOME WORDS OF WISDOM YOU’VE LEARNED OVER THE YEARS.
Our society is teetering on the razor edge of a mighty reckoning- children marching, football players kneeling, woman speaking out, an openness in sexual orientation and preference. Everyone demanding equal rights, equal privileges. We are in a moment of great reckoning! A reckoning is a settling of accounts, a righting of wrongs. It is about naming injustice. Drawing it out from every corner and crevice where it dwells. Demanding accountability. Demanding reform. We are doing this right now as a society in the United States of America and we each also have our own moment of personal reckoning. Here’s how I describe it in my book, What’s Your What: “ …from every angle- media, society, teachers, parents, friends- the shackles of appropriateness stand at the ready, cuffing our need for expression, choking individuality. Deciding to live fully means moving forward anyway. It is the child who decides to shine anyway, even when her radiance is a constant reminder to her parents of their failures. Choosing to shine anyway means breaking unspoken contracts between lovers lulled into mediocrity. Shining your life anyway means that when you are young other kids may call you a freak out of their own insecurity and ignorance and when you are an adult, other adults will do the exact same thing just using bigger words and thicker veils of false politeness. It means traditional religious communities may be offended by your existence. It means knowing yourself, trusting yourself, choosing yourself, and being your own mighty champion, come what may.” What I’ve learned over the years is that not only must I be my own mighty champion come what may, but my presence must champion the lives of others as well. That’s what we get to do. It’s who we get to be!
Julie Moret, author of What’s Your What? How to Ignite Your Unique Brand, is an accomplished inspirational speaker and personal coach. She holds degrees in a wide range of healing modalities including psychology, Neuro‐Linguistic Programming, rebirthing, and hands on energy healing. Julie’s work has been featured on the Lifetime television channel and she is proud to be an ordained Agape International Spiritual Center minister, speaker, & member of the Leadership Board. To connect with Julie, visit her online in the following: Website | YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram