EP 63 Lama Rod Owens, New Saints From Broken Hearts to Spiritual Warriors

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Episode Summary:


In this episode, Lama Rod Owens explores how tending to our own brokenheartedness can unlock the transformative power of creativity, offering a path to building an awakened and beautiful life. Through insightful and personal anecdotes from his book, "The New Saints: From Broken Hearts to Spiritual Warriors," Lama Rod invites listeners to reimagine forgiveness, radical self-care, and awakened care as essential tools for crafting a fulfilling existence. Don't miss this opportunity to discover fresh perspectives on spirituality, human connection, and the boundless possibilities of creative expression.


Lama Rod navigates the complexities of healing and transformation, highlighting the role of community support in fostering resilience. His reflections underscore the intersection of creativity, spirituality, and emotional well-being.

We discuss the concept of radical self-care; what it is (and what it isn’t), why it is so important for us to know how to replenish our energy, set boundaries and avoid depletion, and why it plays such a crucial role in nurturing personal well-being and resilience that ultimately empowers us to serve the people we love better. 

We talk about the idea that our brokenheartedness serves as a gateway to discovering our innate gifts and talents. By acknowledging and tending to our inner wounds, we can uncover hidden strengths and abilities, leading to personal growth and transformation.

The importance of building community emerges as a central theme, Lama Rod highlights the significance of leaning into one's community for support and guidance, especially during times of need. He emphasizes the power of collective care and mutual aid in fostering resilience and fostering a sense of belonging.

One of the most powerful moments in this episode comes as Kate asks Lama Rod to share his practice of connecting with unseen beings for support and guidance. Whether through ancestral reverence, prayer, or meditation, he suggests that tapping into the wisdom of unseen realms can provide valuable insights and assistance on our journey.

Lama Rod encourages listeners to embrace joy as a radical act of defiance against suffering and oppression. He explores how cultivating joy in the face of adversity can be a powerful form of resistance, fostering resilience and inspiring positive change in ourselves and others.


  • Lama Rod's journey to recognizing the importance of tending to one's own brokenheartedness as a creative process.
  • Exploring the concept of brokenheartedness as a source of inspiration and creative fuel.
  • Understanding how embracing vulnerability can lead to profound personal growth and artistic expression.
  • Delving into the practices of self-care and self-compassion as essential tools for tending to our broken hearts.
  • Navigating the complexities of healing and transformation through creative endeavors.
  • The role of community and support in providing space for individuals to explore and heal their brokenheartedness.
  • Lama Rod's reflections on the intersection of creativity, spirituality, and emotional well-being.

3. Key Takeaways:

  • Tending to our own brokenheartedness is essential for nurturing creativity and personal growth.
  • Embracing vulnerability allows us to tap into the depths of our experiences and channel them into creative expression.
  • Self-care and self-compassion are integral practices for tending to our broken hearts and fostering resilience.
  • Building supportive communities provides a safe space for individuals to explore and heal their emotional wounds.
  • The creative process serves as a transformative journey towards wholeness and self-discovery.

Contemplation:  As we tend to our own brokenheartedness with compassion and care, we unlock the door to the truest version of ourselves and our profound creative potential. It is inside the brokenheartedness that we find true love. Can you find a small way to lean into your own brokenheartedness today (making sure you stay open to all the support available to you) . 

Keywords: Creativity, Innovation, Transformation, Liberation, Forgiveness, Self-expression, Community, Spiritual Growth, Healing, Joy, Artistic Apocalypse, Ancestral Wisdom, Collective Support.


Hello, my beautiful friends.

It's Kate Sheppard, your host of the creative genius podcast. If you're new here. Welcome.

This podcast is for you. If you're feeling like you have something inside of you. That , has been trying to get out your whole life, but you haven't totally been sure how to get at it and learn how to trust it and follow it. I often say that humanity is glitching because we've become disconnected from creativity.

Creativity is this. A live intelligence. That's animating the entire universe. It's breathing our bodies and growing our plants and moving our oceans. It's the thing that writes poetry in us and wants to make paintings If you are living and breathing right now, you are not separate from creativity, but our culture has sprouted up. Around these ideas that are largely focused on the rational mind. That tell us that creativity is only for the chosen few. It isn't for you probably.

And that it has to look a certain way. And even if it was for you. The outputs of it, what you do with it would have to look or feel, or sound or taste, or just be a certain way in order to be acceptable. And we're here through these conversations, breaking down some of those things so that we can go inside find and activate and trust and follow this incredible energy that wants to guide us all.

And the conversation that you're about to hear today. Is a particularly potent conversation. Our guest is Lama rod Owens. Is a black Buddhist Southern queen with a master of divinity degree from Harvard. He's a leading voice in a new generation of Buddhist teachers. He's given talks and retreats and workshops for organizations, businesses, and universities. Including calm. NYU Yale, Harvard, Google, and Columbia university. His teachings center on freedom self-expression and radical self care. He has a beautiful new book called the new saints from broken hearts to spiritual warriors. And in the conversation that he and I have today, we talk about. How brokenheartedness can unlock the transformative power of creativity.

Throughout the conversation.

You're about to hear Lama rod navigates the complexities of healing and transformation, and he highlights the role of creating community support. And foster resilience. So often we're trying to do all of this deep healing and repair work in our, in ourselves and in our communities. And we try to do it alone and he explains to us why that's impossible and actually why that's more harmful.

I don't know if you know this, but I'm an independent podcast producer. Which for me means I don't have any outside funding sources to create the show.

It's all me. Apple and Spotify don't pay producers like me for creating this content. Every cent that I get towards producing this show comes from you. The creative genius listeners.

I love doing this work and I dearly hope that I can keep doing it, but I can't actually do it without you. I'm learning that it's okay for me to lean on you and say, Hey, I'll create this show. But I need something in return from you. So if you tune into the show regularly, if you feel nourished by the show, if you find yourself listening to episodes on repeat or nodding your head or. Thinking. Wow, she's doing a great job at this show.

Please consider giving something back to help me keep doing it. It could be in the form of a Patrion membership. There's multiple levels you can sign up for there's . Five 10 or $20 levels. And they each come with different benefits and bonuses. that are intended to support you on your own creative journey you can find the one that works best for you. Every time a new person joins the Patrion.

It's a powerful message to me that I'm on the right track and that I should keep creating this show. . You can find out everything you need for that on P a T R E O n.com. Slash creative genius podcast. And there are other ways you can help, you could buy my artwork or my jewelry on Kate Sheppard, creative.com.

K a T E S H E P H E R D. creative.com or. On love morning, moon.com. I have a whole line of really beautiful nature, inspired jewelry. That I would love for you to adorn yourself with

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I think you might really like this one. Check it out. There are so many different ways, big and small that you could support me to do this work.

That would mean the world to me.

So I hope you'll consider stepping into a deeper relationship with me. So that I can continue to do this work for you.

This episode is jam packed with insightful moments. Lama rod chairs, personal anecdotes and practical wisdom from his own journey.

And this was one of those episodes. I actually called my mom who used to be a radio and TV producer to tell her, oh my goodness, this, everything this guest says is a sound bite.

I don't know how to pull out the best moments. They're all the best moments.

This is an incredible opportunity to expose yourself to some fresh perspectives on spirituality, on human connection and on the boundless possibilities of your own creativity and your own true self. That exist right inside you already. I don't think you're going to want to miss this conversation. I'm so glad you're here for it. There is a particularly powerful moment towards the end.

I don't want you to miss where I asked Lama rod. Rod to share his practice of connecting with unseen beings. And I really loved a lot of the things he said about that. Once you've listened to the episode,

I'd love to hear your feedback on that.

I am giving away a copy of Lama rods. Beautiful new book. I'm holding it in my hands right now. It is. A thing of beauty, not only to hold, but to read. I had such a personal experience with this book. It was a true journey, reading this book and, I would love to help one lucky listener. Get their hands on this copy. So stick around to the very end. I'll let you know everything you need to know about that

and I'll also tell you what word I pulled for this show at the end.

I wanted to read you a review from a listener named Jackie. She writes, I can't believe I've just now found your podcast. Now binge listening while I work on my new art space. I love your content and how you are bringing creatives together. I hear so many things that resonate with me.

My new favorite podcast, much love.

As you're listening to this today, make sure you've

subscribed. So you don't miss an episode and leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. Here's my conversation on what it means to become a new Saint with Lama rod. Owens.

Kate Shepherd: Lama Rod, thank you for sitting down with me today. I appreciate your time so much.

Lama Rod: Absolutely. I'm excited to be here.

Kate Shepherd: It's really wonderful to have a chance to talk to you about your new book, The New Saints, , from broken hearts to spiritual warriors, which was a joy for me to read. It really was. It's a beautiful book to hold what's inside of it is truly powerful. I felt so much of it was deeply resonating with me.

You have a beautiful way with words. I was struck by how I really felt you as a human. Like I really felt you . And at the same time, I, I getting the chills when I'm telling you this, I could feel that you were also channeling something that felt like a sacred invitation for me to experience something deeper.

Ooh, I got full body chills. So congratulations. What an enormous accomplishment. And I wanted to just

you for, for I can only imagine the amount of work that isn't, you know, pretty with rainbows and bells on it that went

Lama Rod: yeah,

Kate Shepherd: creating that work. So thank you for bringing it into the world.

It's beautiful.

Lama Rod: yeah, thank you, yeah, I'm really happy to hear, right, your experience, um, because that was definitely the intention,

the experience on my end was to really open wide and to practice a kind of vulnerability, which, which honestly was painful, I think,

but, Necessary, you know, um, when I started thinking about this book, I knew that I had to tell the truth.

I just didn't want to write another book about what people should and shouldn't be doing. Right?

you know, I just, I had to break through to another level for me. couldn't just tell you, you needed to, you needed to be shown, like, I had to show you What work looks like

Kate Shepherd: Mm-Hmm.

it right in front of


Lama Rod: right.

You know, almost as if it's like just opening, like bleeding on the page. Like here's

Kate Shepherd: that. There were things you wrote in there where I, where I, like, I got the chills and I got, like, I got triggered in the

Lama Rod: yeah,

Kate Shepherd: in bad ways. I got, like, all of it and it, but it was all within this container of, like, I always felt that undercurrent

this, this thread of this love from you.

, I really felt that carrying me through the entire experience of reading this book. It was beautiful.

Lama Rod: yeah, yeah, that's it. You know, and I would hit those moments where I would be like, Oh, this is too much,

right. possibly share this,

Kate Shepherd: Mm

Lama Rod: know, then I would take a break and just remind myself that. This book is about telling the truth, right? Again, not just to tell the truth because I wanted to sell books, because to, I wanted to tell the truth because I knew that this is what people needed, right?

You needed to hear the truth, and I wasn't interested in looking good, either.

Kate Shepherd: Yeah, towards the end you talk about yourself as a troublemaker, and I was like, we are, I felt such a kinship with you, like I really felt all my life I've also been a

but from a place of like you. Love and wanting to you, you're stirring things up to wake people up.

You're not stirring things up because you're coming from a pace of wounded, like you're stirring things up from the scar, not the wound.

Lama Rod: Exactly. Yeah. Mm hmm.

Kate Shepherd: So for our listeners, what is a new saint? What, who are they and what are they? What is the work that's before them?

Lama Rod: Yeah, well, you know, I think perhaps a lot of people listening to this podcast are themselves New Saints, the New Saint is someone who's really committed to the work of liberation. Moving forward, right? Taking into, into account this age that we're in, this late capitalist age, um, this age I call Apocalypse, It calls for a different kind of engagement, right? Because the apocalypse is about unveiling. It's about awakening from, from deception, right? From misunderstanding, right? And that awakening is, It's painful because you're having to, to really understand or, well, confront all the lies that we've told each other, ourselves, our communities and so forth, you know, about who we think we are, And to start waking up means that I need to admit that like, I'm not who I pretend to be. That there's this great brokenheartedness that I have yet to tend to. And when we commit to tending to this brokenheartedness, we enter into our sainthood, right? And you know, sainthood isn't about being, you know, having these extraordinary abilities or talking to God, you know, or, you know, being like a DC Marvel superhero.

Like, that's not What we're talking about is wonderful if you do that, right? But what we're talking about now is returning back to the most radical revolutionary work of giving a shit about ourselves and about our collective, about our communities, about the world and saying, okay, what am I going to do?

Like, what's my work, And my work wasn't just to sit around and just let the ship sink, right? Like, my work is to, is to get active and say, you know what, there is a future awakening. In this apocalypse and that's where we're going and we can't give up this isn't a time just to give up, you know, it's a time for us to like actually get focused and really start working um, we'll never see what we need to see unless we commit to our work individually and collectively.


Kate Shepherd: You talk in the book about awakened care, you know, learning, like, I love how you put it, learning to, learning to give a shit,

it is something you have to learn how to do.

Lama Rod: Yeah.

Kate Shepherd: I wondered if you could talk a little bit about awakened

Lama Rod: Yeah, you know, because awakened care is, it's so, it's a, it's this complex experience, right? Not just casually caring about something, but feeling. what needs to be cared for, like, feeling that, um, care is how love is expressed in action, And Awaken Care itself, as I was thinking about, okay, what is care and what is love and compassion?

I just said, oh, you know, there's love here, which is this deep wish for people to be free. right, from suffering. And then there's compassion. And compassion is more about the action of freeing people, right, from suffering. But it's more than love and compassion. There's also joy here. There's joyfulness and Being concerned and helping, right?

There's a joy in telling the truth about suffering and then learning how to make different choices to free ourselves from the conditionings around suffering, right? And there's also, you know, this experience of emptiness, right? That Ultimately, right? Um, there is an essence here that is already liberated, And that's what keeps us in the game is the reality, the truth of emptiness, which in which I think different traditions. have named different things. You know, I, I call that emptiness God, Um, in Buddhism, we call it Buddha nature, you know, this emptiness is, is, is what everything springs from, but it's also the most liberated experience of everything, right? So emptiness is the space. It is the hope. It is the promise, it is the reality that we can get free, you know, and in Buddhism to say that we're already free, we just have to remember that, right? So for me, coming back to awakened care, awake, awakened care is how I stream together love, compassion, joy and emptiness to give rise to this expression of care, which is Sacred expressions of tending to our suffering and the suffering of those around us and the suffering of, of the material world, including the, the, earth, the land, the elements and so forth, both seen and unseen as well, like we, everything, everything and everyone must be freed.

From this experience of suffering that's awakened care.

Kate Shepherd: And part of that, I imagine, is you talk about this, radical, or you talk about the importance of self expression, but radical self care.

Lama Rod: Mm hmm.

Kate Shepherd: I, I think that

of knee jerk reaction that we have when we know all of the things that are going on, even beyond our own personal traumas in the world. How could I possibly, possibly give attention to myself? How could I possibly care about myself? Forget, I mean, we talk about self forgiveness in the book, and I wondered if you would say a little bit about the importance of self care, radical self

Lama Rod: exactly right and radical self care And we're not talking about indulgence,

because you know

Kate Shepherd: Mm

Lama Rod: with this baggage right what we're really talking about in terms of self care is that We're realizing that we need resources to get free like freedom doesn't happen through depletion

Kate Shepherd: hmm.

Lama Rod: I just don't shrink and shrink and and crumble in on myself and think that's how we get free That's actually cruelty.

Kate Shepherd: Mm hmm.

Lama Rod: That's being mean to our bodies to our experience, right? freedom happens through being resourced, replenished, right? Um, through care, right? So, you know, people say, oh, I can't possibly do something for myself because there's so many people in the world struggling right now. Well, you won't be of any help to people in the world if you're depleted.

people who are struggling to get free, struggling to survive, don't need you showing up with your depletion because you become work for them. You become someone they have to take care of as well, on top of trying to get free. And trying to gather the resources that they need to be well, right? So asas we witness injustice and genocide happening right now, all over the world, right? You know, it's easy to say, it's easy to shut down, it's easy to say, you know what? I'm not going to take a nap, I'm not going to eat well, Because so many people don't have access to this, right?

And then You actually intensify your suffering, which makes it harder for you to be of benefit to people who need you right now, So I know it's a really hard thing to do, but you know, we have to rest. Like we have to figure out the resources that we need in order to feel replenished and to use that replenishment to go and do what needs to be done to help people survive.

Kate Shepherd: when I was reading about radical self care in New Saints, much of it to me was about healing

Lama Rod: Yep,

Kate Shepherd: my own inner trauma, because that trauma prevents me from showing up in the world as the love and the light that I actually am. That trauma makes me create this little facsimile of Kate

that shows up in the world as wounded, broken Kate that just goes around hurting people unconsciously. And that real self care, yes, it's taking a nap and

myself so that I can actually go and do my inner work so that I can, right? there's this beautiful line in the book that you write. We can't figure out who we are beyond the trauma until we go back and figure out who we were.

before the trauma. And that to me was one of those, was like, there was light coming off of those words for

just so, it was just so true. You were pointing in such a clear direction for me. Like, this is where you look, this is where you look.

If you want to remember who you really are, I feel like so much of, being able to do this work is, Like you just said, resourcing ourselves so that we actually can do the work. But I also feel like for many of us, it might be too painful or even impossible to receive love from ourselves, from others. How I, how does the listener, how does the reader, how do you to receiving love? That feels like to me, such a really important gatekeeper on this path.

Lama Rod: Oh, absolutely. I think this is the number one issue everyone is struggling against. Right? I think for anyone who enters into a spiritual path, I think this is the issue that comes up. You know, self love, self appreciation, right? Which is, again, an expression of deep depletion. Um, how do I love myself? But really, honestly, when we talk about self love, we're talking first and foremost about acceptance.

I need to actually tell the truth about what my experience is in this moment. Right. You know, and when I began my practice, this is well over 20 years ago now, I, thought strangely enough that I wasn't struggling with self love. Like, I thought I loved myself quite a bit, you know, that was at the beginning of my practice.

And then over a couple of short years, I really started touching into, I mean. I would say some darkness, some real heavy material, right? Some really, I would say, strong self hate. And I used these practices that I'd learned in Buddhism, which were, you know, I have to just tell myself that I deserve. To be happy and safe and resource.

I just have to keep telling myself that over and over and over again, and I'll work through it and I kept doing that and it just wasn't working right. I kept pouring everything into this experience of just darkness. Just, it felt like a deep, dark hole. In the center of me and just nothing was happening.

Right? And then one day in practice is just dawn on me that maybe my work isn't to fill this up and to make it disappear. Maybe my work was just to allow it to be there. and disrupt my fixation on this experience of depletion and just say, there you are, right? And when I started doing that, this incredible space opened up around that self hate.

And I realized that I could have multiple experiences. That wasn't so centered around self hate, right, that it was still there, but it wasn't the totality of my experience. It wasn't the headliner of my experience. It was just one experience. Amongst many happening, and that's when self love really started happening for me.

Kate Shepherd: So it sounds like the love was inside the hate, where else could it have been hiding if

if you were, if, if it emerged for you when you were willing to sit down beside and

Lama Rod: yeah,

Kate Shepherd: okay, there you

Lama Rod: yeah, it's a deep acceptance, befriending, and that acceptance, it means that you just stop all of this, like, I don't know, this, this kind of pushing, this aggression to make something different happen. And then you just start telling your truth and say, but this is happening now. And there's a lot of, like, openness that comes from that.

Like, energy gets redirected from trying to make something disappear to just being,

you know?

And in that space, you start thinking, Oh, wait, I'm not the only one experiencing this, then all of a sudden you start belonging to the collective, right? Because you understand that this is a collective issue, not just one issue that I'm dealing with.

Everyone's dealing with this, right? So you don't feel so alone anymore. And there's that warmth that begins to happen. It's like you feel closer to people because you know you're sharing this experience. And you know that like it begins to, to give you insight into why people show up in the way that they're showing up,

Kate Shepherd: right,

Lama Rod: right?

That every conflict that you have isn't about you. That's often it's about the ways in which people are Deeply under resourced, and they're trying their best to function under resourced,

right, and that all, that tension of trying to function under resourced always leads to conflict, right, it always leads to, to, to just misunderstanding and to unskillful ways of just blaming people for our So, despair, right? Um, this path is really calling for us to take responsibility for our own experience, and that's hard, especially for those of us who have survived injustice and things that seem really unfair. Absolutely. It's unfair that we've survived this, but no one can heal us except for us. Like you can hurt me, but the woundedness is what I have to tend to.

And work through, right? As Whitney Houston said, it's not right, but it's okay.

Kate Shepherd: mm hmm,

Lama Rod: Which is one of my favorites. I talk about that in the book. Right? You know, it's not right. So let go of this whole, like, it's not right that I have to tend to the woundedness that I've experienced from others. But it's okay, actually.

And it's really great in another way because I get to practice agency to heal myself.

And not wait on something else to happen. I don't have to wait on you to apologize. Right, or to whatever. I can actually take initiative and say, you know what, here's my woundedness. Let's go tend to it. Let's hold it.

Let's get some care into it.

Kate Shepherd: You offer a beautiful map for forgiveness,

Lama Rod: Mm hmm.

Kate Shepherd: , that flows from what you were just saying and I wondered if you might walk people through that because when I read that I thought, oh, a brand new journey with forgiveness that I think is the journey that's needed.

Lama Rod: And you know, there's this unspoken experience from a lot of folks, which is that even if we have survived and justice or harm from someone, there's still a way in which we blame ourselves for being hurt.

And that's where I want it. To draw our attention, and so the process in the book is, is bringing attention to that. It's like when I experience hurts right as a survivor of harm, my 1st priority isn't. To caretake the person who hurt me, the offender, right? And so many of us have been conditioned to do that because forgiveness has been so rooted in this idea of being a good person,


being good is something that I really interrogate in the book, right? Because I think goodness has been weaponized against a lot of us to keep us in line and to keep us quiet and to keep us from challenging. You know, real injustice, right? So when we experience hurt, it's like, I don't care how the offender is doing.

I'm caring about what I need. And I center me and my hurt, right, in the process, and I bring in all these resources and so forth, right, in a checklist, you know, it's like, I want to, I want to resource myself, because for me, forgiveness for another person, or for anyone, forgiveness of self, forgiveness of others, means that, like, I get back to a place where I want the person, you know, or myself to, to, not suffer.

To have everything that they need to be well, right? It doesn't, forgiveness doesn't mean getting back to a place of liking people,

Kate Shepherd: Mm hmm.

Lama Rod: right? So when I forgive you, it means that like, I'm back to a place where I want you to have what you need. Because maybe if you had what you needed, I, we wouldn't have had this experience together.

when I'm talking about self forgiveness, right, I want to get back to a place where I believe that I deserve to be here, to take up space, right? That I deserve to have access to the resources that I need, regardless of what people have done to me. You know, that may point out the contrary, perhaps, And I want people to take time with that,

Kate Shepherd: What could you say to the person who's realizing that maybe they've been doing this sort of automatic bypass

comes to forgiveness their whole lives and they just jump to that, tending to the, I think a lot of, this is just true for me, So much of my, of my fear around that is, I don't want to have to go back and feel hurt again.

Lama Rod: Exactly, and that's the issue. Like, we haven't, we haven't tended to that hurt.

Kate Shepherd: Right.

Lama Rod: Right? And so, we just kind of push it to the side and say, Okay, I feel okay again. Everything's forgiven.

You know?

Kate Shepherd: the other cheek. You say, We're taught that

Lama Rod: yeah, absolutely. And we have to, because as I talk about in the book, I think that kind of philosophy really privileges offenders and perpetrators.

Because as a perpetrator, we're all victims and perpetrators. Right.

as a perpetrator, we don't, we, you know, we don't want to like feel guilty. You know, we just like, we, um, We've done something to someone has created harm, you know, and that doesn't feel great. So we just want to be forgiven and just get and keep it moving.

Right? So let's disrupt that and say, you know what? It's not about the offender. It's about the person who is trying to heal. So we ask ourselves, what resources do we need to feel well enough again? And take as much time as we need. And then when we feel compelled, like, I just don't think forgiveness in the way that we've been taught is so, I don't think it's mandatory.

Right? Like, I, you don't, No one has to forgive you, however, here's the issue, as people surviving harm, right, we have to be clear that our lack of forgiveness isn't, in some way, masking rage and anger, right, and if that's the case, then we won't ever be free from the hurt, right, we won't ever be free from the depletion, we certainly won't be free from the anger that we have towards others.

Who hurt us, And this doesn't mean that again, we have to like anyone. Like liking and loving are two different things, you know, like you don't have to be someone's friend after they've hurt you. That's not the point.

Kate Shepherd: Mm hmm.

Lama Rod: The point is getting to a place where the harm has been recognized. I have been offered and gathered the resources that I need to tend to my own, you know, anger, you know, the, everything that's come up from the hurt.

Right. And getting to this place where perhaps I'm able to say, you know, what you're. I don't like you, but I'm in a place now to, to where I believe again, that you still have, you still deserve to be free. As much as I do from suffering and to have the resources that you need because I don't want to get in the way of people getting free from suffering, because you hurt me doesn't mean that everything should be restricted from you. You know, and that's part of what we use in terms of restorative justice, And in terms of abolition, like you have to start thinking in ways that help people gain access to the resources that they need, because that will begin to free so many of our interactions from violence and harm and domination and control.

Kate Shepherd: it's reminding me what you were, what you say about compassion being so much more than just like thoughts and prayers or say you're sorry, or it true compassion being action that actually gets at the root of the problem.

Lama Rod: Yeah. And

Kate Shepherd: get at that unless you've undergone this process,

Lama Rod: And the root is complex,

that I experience is contextual. Everything is contextual. Like, there's a lot of other things happening that has informed this interaction. And we have to unpack that more, right? We have to have the space in our culture and our collective to unpack, okay, what really informed this situation?

What really happened?

That takes a lot of energy, To do that, it takes a lot of care, You know, I often say, too, that, you know, I've moved away from this idea that people are just evil, Instead, like, I'm, I've trained myself to understand that people are doing the best that they can given the context that they are arising in, I don't know what people necessarily have been born into when I meet you, you know, or see you somewhere for the first time, right? Like, we have to, we have to contextualize people. That means that we have to include the ways in which they're suffering. You know, that may not be even evident to us in the moment, but everyone's suffering, and that suffering is informing our, our relationships with one another.

Because if, you know, if people are just inherently evil, how do they, how do they change? You know, evil people can't change, okay, but that actually lets us off from doing the emotional work to contextualize people. It's just like an easy way to get out of doing the work for people. You know, they're, you know, they're just evil, whatever the language that we use, and we just keep it moving, right?

That says more about us, though, right? And our capacities to, to, to have this fluid, open kind of emotional labor and contextualization with people.

Kate Shepherd: What do you say to the person who, you know, so many of us are, uh, consumed with exhaustion?

from our, from our own traumas, from the trauma of the

I mean, there are most days, I have a pretty easy life, I got to say, but there are most days where I just feel like I can't, I'm exhausted.

How do I, do we conjure? Or cultivate. Like, how does compassion have a chance? Because it's, like you just said, it's so much work, it's so much energy.

Lama Rod: Well, you know, I think that's definitely that can feel really isolating when I'm saying, Oh, me, I'm exhausted.

Kate Shepherd: yes, I

Lama Rod: who can I Get support from who can I rely on who are my mentors and teachers and guides, like who, who are my elders, right?

Who are the people in my life who are really resourced to offer some support for me to help me actually experience some mental space to actually make this more doable, right? But that's, that's, that's still sort of relying on community. It's what we have to return back to because I may be totally exhausted, but that doesn't mean everyone is like, and that's, and I have to, I have to remind myself of that as well, often, like, because I'm experiencing something doesn't mean everyone is So. When I feel like just really tapped, I remember that I can ask for help, Friends, family, teachers, mentors, so many people in my community that I can rely on. This is, this is what we call collective care, Mutual aid, I have to remember that I'm a part of something bigger.

I'm a part of a collective and I can ask the collective for help when I need that. But also, you know, here's another more kind of tangible thing. Like some, so many of us, yeah, overwhelmed, tired. It means that like, we're, we're doing other people's work that isn't ours. Right. I talk about boundaries in the book.

This is part of radical self care is like, I actually maybe should stop trying to do everyone's work right now, you know, and I tell people. You know, people come to me with the exact same question and concern, and I just go, Okay, what are you doing that you actually shouldn't be doing right now? Like, what are you committed to that actually you should actually let go of?

I think we all need to be going through that right now. It's like, it's an over consumer society. You know, and over consumer culture means that there's like a lot of stuff just like lying around that actually needs to be, um, kind of purged relationships being 1 of those, right? Things being 1 of another thing, right?

But we have to get clear about what we need as well, like, not just what we want, right, but having a real, real deep dive and to figure out what is it that I need to experience wellness and balance and connectedness, right, and what am I holding onto for emotional support, right, because that's part of overconsumption, it's like we use material things for emotional support to feel good, right, Right.


Kate Shepherd: lieu of sometimes the bravery of asking for help, like when you were writing in the book about, learning to set boundaries and, respecting your time and then leaning into your community to ask, help.

it blew my mind. I didn't know that there's a world that exists where I could ask the people that I'm trying to serve. help.

The idea of learning how to do that itself as an act of love for the whole,

Lama Rod: Yeah. we work together?

Kate Shepherd: yeah,

Lama Rod: You know, yeah, we have this mentality, I'm here to save everyone,

Kate Shepherd: right,

Lama Rod: But actually, can we partner together? To support each other

Kate Shepherd: yeah,

Lama Rod: because there, there's, there are things that, that are being taught that have to go both ways. I have things to teach the community has things to teach me in return.

Right. And that's going to keep me really actually resource and really sensitive to when I am kind of getting to the edge of being depleted. And that's, and that's what we, that's where we're trying to get to. Right. We want to develop a sensitivity of that edge. Okay. Instead of just waking up over the edge and going, oh, my God, how did I get here and then you're completely shut down.

It's so hard to come back from over the edge, but when you're like, okay, here are the signs that I am moving over the line and then you, you, you can make certain decisions. You know, um, I asked my team. At the beginning of the year, I asked for help. I was like, I don't want to be. Overwhelmed. I don't want to be depleted, like I have been in the past.

Can you help protect, me from taking on too much? And in turn, that offers me space to make sure that I'm able to offer the resources back to you, that you need to be well, you know?

Kate Shepherd: It makes such perfect, elegant sense when you say it like

Lama Rod: Yeah, but

Kate Shepherd: I just want, you know,

Lama Rod: yeah, I mean, this, these are conversations we can have with our friends and families and partners. It's like, when you notice me moving into certain spaces, certain territories, like, tell me. please reflect back to me what's happening so I can, particularly if I'm not aware, that I can make different choices, you know, and I just ask you to help me, you know, make those choices as well.

I think that's a really great conversation to have with people, you know, people close to you. Because they're usually the ones who have to, like, help us anyway,

Kate Shepherd: right.

Lama Rod: right? So you just say, listen, instead of just, like, coming in to rescue me while I'm over the edge, let me know when I'm getting to the edge,

I can practice agency to make different choices, right?

And that means, yeah, I have to take a break. I have to take a break. I can't, I can't go out. You know, I can't show up to this thing. I can't return the text. I can't have the calls, you know, and you just communicate to people, you know, um, this is the work that I'm doing. This is what's happening and I can't always be available.

Right. And if, you know, if you're raising kids too, if you're a caretaker as well, this is the same thing, , um, working with a lot of parents, and also just having close friends with, with children, and family, , members of the kids, like, this is something I'm always saying.

It's just like, get people involved. With, with caretaking, like, I just, , I grew up in a, , in this kind of village model. I, you know, I was very fortunate. I had a huge family, , we have to, like, understand that, like, when we're talking about caretaking, think about, like, the village model, like, let's, you know, again, not everyone is overwhelmed, we have just asked for help.

You know, you need a break from your kids. Well, can you ask, someone, you know, like come over for an hour or two. So I can take a break. , and then of course, yeah, , some people may say, but I don't have anyone like that. And this is why building relationships is really important.

community and belonging is extremely important. , mutual aid. It's not just that I'm interested in just taking and taking. I'm also interested in offering back as well. what can I offer when I'm getting certain, certain resources fulfilled or met?

Kate Shepherd: I'm just thinking about the person listening to this right now going, yeah, it's pretty broken and I don't have, you know, I came from a small family and they're fractured

have, you know, my people, but there's always, there's always one little step where you can, you can build it.

so it's my experience is that it just seems to, it's, it's so wants to grow. It's almost like lighting fire to really dry grass. Like

Lama Rod: Yeah. Yeah,

Kate Shepherd: wants to happen.

Lama Rod: absolutely. And I think a huge obstacle here are the ways in which we're so self identified with struggling and depletion,

Kate Shepherd: Yeah.

Lama Rod: because if we're not struggling or depleted, who are we? So we, we actually,

Kate Shepherd: a good job.

us feel

if you don't think I'm working my fingers to the bone, I'm a bad person and I'm not successful or I'm not doing a good job or, yeah.

Lama Rod: Exactly, right? And I think some, so much of that is the systems of violence that we're trying to abolish, capitalism being one of those, right?

I always have to be in motion, I always have to be doing, I have to justify, right? Me taking up space and being alive. Which kills people, and it has killed many people, and will continue to kill people, that mentality.

Because where's the space for rest? And systems of violence, capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, ableism, all the rest, it's not about resting, it's about doing.

You know, you're not valuable if you're not doing something, producing something. Right? Or engaged in some certain kinds of violence, or whatever.

this is, what I, in the book called abolitionist dreams, like, this is what we're dreaming into a future where we're like, where we get to choose our labor, If we need to rest, we rest. If we're sick, we have the spaces and the support to experience sickness, you know, that we, that our work isn't.

Tied to basic resources like health insurance and medical care and

housing and, you know, and everything that we need to support being human, right?

We have to disrupt that and dream into a different kind of future.

think you

Kate Shepherd: about having this relationship with the unseen world, with beings, and, I even feel on the verge of tears talking about it because it's so beautiful, but I think for, you know, for me and for, for many of us, I think that's something we have tried and over again to make contact with and haven't been able to, or don't even believe is possible,

Lama Rod: are communicating. It's just that we have to learn how communication happens between the realms, You know, when I, when everything that I've been talking about, you know, radical self care and boundaries and everything is so supported by all these unseen beings, you know, my ancestors, deities, um, you name it, right?

for me. this shamanic worldview or an indigenous worldview or like a natural worldview is this complex view that says that yeah, there's the physical and the spirit, you know, the form or the formless, right? And for me, In my life, a returning back to a relationship to the unseen world has been crucial for me, like when I need help, that's where I start, With prayers, asking the ancestors, but this has been something innate in me my whole life, I didn't need to be convinced, you know, like, this was always Yes. And an issue, and I say an issue because it just felt like a huge, it just, it just felt like too much early in my life. I just felt victimized by being sensitive, like just feeling spirits and just having these kinds of experiences and dreams and so forth.

I was like, how can you possibly protect yourself with beings you can't even see, right? How is this? It's even possible. So I was angry. I was scared by was always, always fascinated. , it never stopped me from getting deeper and deeper and deeper into, the science, you know, of all of this, right?

And I got to a place where Realized, Oh, like I actually have beings who love me around me who are actually protecting me. And I wonder what it would be like just to partner with them, and to really rely on them, , which means that like, I just kind of got out of the way and let them love me, you know?

And that's when like my practice with the unseen world really, really took root, I said, you know what, if you're here. Trying to love me, then love me, right, protect me, guide me, you know, and when I started doing that, my communication or my experience of communication deepens. And became much more tangible.

I think that's the thing that a lot of folks, you kind of have to push through, you know, when you're trying to, like, experience the unseen world, you have to start paying attention to how unseen world is offering signs back. To you that is paying attention, that is hearing, And that can be many things from physical sensations to dreams and visions to signs.

I am a huge believer in signs. I follow the signs. You know, when things, things aren't so ironic anymore and coincidental, you know,

Kate Shepherd: Right. Mm

Lama Rod: no randomness anymore in my life. Right, there's a reason for things, and I pay attention to that, and that's a big way, you know, the unseen world communicates for me as well.

So you have to start paying attention. You know, I say, you know, people come to me about ancestors quite often, trying to start an ancestor practice, and I just say, you know, just start talking to your ancestors. Like, not anything formal, just start talking, right? And then ask your ancestors to communicate with you, and then pay attention to what happened over time.

What is, what is that communication, right? and then you'll, you'll get a lot of data, right? But that takes you deeper, right? You know, it's, you know. Ancestor practice is really complex. Working with the unseen world is extremely complex, right? We need protections. We have to be smart. Like that. Not every being around us wants us to be happy and well and safe,

Kate Shepherd: That I had for you. So how do you, as somebody, so

beginning, I imagine you're blind to it. Like you don't, you think you know how they're going to talk to you, so

you know, you're looking for them to talk to the way that you would talk.

not how they're going to necessarily talk to you.

I get that. then you're almost feeling around in the dark and at first you really don't know your way around. How do you know who to strike up relationships with and who not to? What, what can you use to discern that? Is that important? Will

Lama Rod: Oh yeah. Yeah. I think it's really important to say, you know what? I only want beings around me who love me,

Kate Shepherd: Okay.

Lama Rod: who want me to be safe and happy. And any being who doesn't have that intention, I ask you to stay away. Not only do I ask you to stay away, I ask the beings who love me to protect me from these beings.

Kate Shepherd: Okay.

Lama Rod: Right, ask for what you need, right, ask, get real clear, you know, and that's, that's the huge, again, that's the other huge obstacle when I tell people, just just say what you need, and they're like, it has to be more than that. I was like, no, that's where you have to start, because like, it's not, these beings aren't reading your mind, like they're going there for a lot of folks, right, who aren't necessarily communicating, you know, these beings are just trying to like, Take the clues up from what you're doing in your life, you know, they're just trying to make, they're making assumptions and educated guests about, you know, what you need, but instead, why don't you just tell them what you need and that, that cuts, you know, that saves a lot of time and you see really clear things happening like really quickly,

Kate Shepherd: do you think everybody has beings that love them?

Lama Rod: Oh yeah, they wouldn't be alive.

Kate Shepherd: Hmm

Lama Rod: You know, I think we're protected by beings, right? It doesn't matter if we're like, you know, just like difficult people, right? There, there are beings who love us, right? Because this isn't our only life. We've had many lives and we've had many relationships, And there are beings who remember.

what we've done for them in past lives, you know, and they're in this, you know, non form state, spirit state, and they're like, I want to repay you, I'm going to partner with you and help protect you. You don't have to know who these beings are, you just have to have some faith that they're with you.

but yeah, like,, it takes a lot of like, kind of stepping out into this unknowing, like it's real, it's kind of feels like you're just floating in the middle of the air often

Kate Shepherd: mm-Hmm?

Lama Rod: right,

you know, but again, ask for signs, ask for data, ask for something, and pay attention to it,

Kate Shepherd: Yeah.

Lama Rod: help protect me.

and then that's why, , we rely on, the clergy class or shamans or teachers or however we want to label these beings, the intuitive psychics, mediums and so forth, this future that's coming about through this apocalypse, I think, is a return of these folks. Into really influential positions again, not just woo woo people, you know, but like people who have always been necessary in civilizations and societies throughout time, That capitalism and colonialism, patriarchy and so forth, particularly patriarchy and misogyny, has devastated the position of the wise person,

the shaman, the medicine person in our culture. And we have to return back to these, because these people hold a special position of being intermediaries between, you know, the physical and the spirit worlds, I'm excited about that, because that's the piece that we're missing, there's so much to navigate,

to get free, and we have to navigate the physical and the non physical world. Well, we're ultimately non physical beings anyway. We're energy, conscious energy, right?

Ultimately. But we're having a physical experience in the body, right now. So we have to navigate both of these experiences together, And that takes a lot of help and support,

Kate Shepherd: Mm

Lama Rod: for people listening to this. But again, ask for what you need

and be honest.

Kate Shepherd: and you're part of it is you're part of it. I heard somebody the other day can't remember who it was, it was an actor talking to somebody else and he was saying, you just have to play your

Lama Rod: Yeah.

Kate Shepherd: You know, they were talking about stepping away from, I know what it was, it was Ed, Ed Norton was


Lama Rod: Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Kate Shepherd: and he was saying, you know, I'm lucky that I have the freedom to step away from my work and do nothing for a little while because, you know, I was just doing it by rote and it

Lama Rod: Yeah.

Kate Shepherd: they were talking about, well, what about the person who, who can't do that? And Ed, I think Ed Norton just said, you, play your hand. You live the life. You were, you're only where you are.

and there's a trust and when you can fall into that

Lama Rod: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Kate Shepherd: it's the thread that I feel safe pulling on right now. And I'm going to trust that it's connected to this whole other tapestry. And like you're saying, trust that I'm supported and that there is this love and lean into

Lama Rod: Yeah. Yeah. That's so similar to this, um, Zen proverb that says, Jump and the net will appear.

Kate Shepherd: Mm hmm.

Lama Rod: And I just think that's been so much of my life. Yeah, coming from very little And just saying, you know what? This is what I have to do. I have no resources to do it, but I'm going to do it, you know, it doesn't make sense.

Right. But if you're supposed to do it, it will, it will happen. The resources will come. And that's been the case for everything that I've done

in my life. Even now I have these huge aspirations for certain, you know, just really basic human things to happen in my life. Right. And I'm just like, I'm just going to do it.

and this is the faith that we have in the unseen, you know, that we can rely on the unseen if we have a good relationship, for sure, that they're going to organize. the things that we need. Now this isn't about getting rich, this isn't about getting famous, this is about getting what we need.

Kate Shepherd: Mm hmm.

Lama Rod: Like, what you need, that's what they're there for.

Like, you need food, you need housing, you need, you know, some type of medical insight. Okay, that's what they're there for. Or, you know, ask for that help. You know, fame and wealth and all this other stuff, that's something else,

Kate Shepherd: Mm hmm.

Lama Rod: you know, right, but what you need, let's start with that, you know,

Kate Shepherd: It brings me to, I heard you say something in your interview with Tara Brach about , Yeah. Prayer.

Lama Rod: yeah,

Kate Shepherd: what we're doing is we're bringing our longing to emptiness

And in my language, in the language I use, Emptiness, to me, , is the source of everything in the phenomenal world.

So another word I use for it is creativity, God, I mean, but when I talk about creativity within the context of creative genius, I'm talking about that which animates. the intelligence that's animating everything simultaneously right now. And you were talking about when prayer is bringing your life, this is so, this was again, like another portal opening in me when I heard you say these words, we bring our prayer to that, to that emptiness, whether it's a good or a bad prayer. we're collaborating in the manifestation of that. And I was like, Oh my God, because I was raised to believe in the God that we need to let go of, which is that there's a God who's, who believes in

and bad and

Lama Rod: mm hmm,

Kate Shepherd: the, and there's, you

no, which brings a whole new level to, you have to be careful what you, not only what you wish for, but what you're praying for. Because you could have, you know, so, so just bad people.

bad people praying for, you know, and you can, I mean, myself, I've, we've all, we've all had a fight with somebody where we prayed for something

Lama Rod: mm hmm.

Kate Shepherd: in a, in a moment of anger. But I, I just, so that made me want to ask you a little bit more about your prayer.

How do you, what is your relationship to your prayer and, and what you allow yourself to ask for, or where's the discernment in that for you and

Lama Rod: Yeah.

Kate Shepherd: you navigated that?

Lama Rod: Yeah. I mean, I pray only for what is beneficial, right? And when I'm praying for something for myself, it's always in the context of understanding that whatever I receive, Helps me to help others even more when I have, when I'm resourced, I can resource others,

Kate Shepherd: Mm.

Lama Rod: right? So my prayers are about experiencing that resourcefulness and, and, and praying for what helps to reduce harm and violence and suffering in the world always.

Right. And that's a mindset that's rooted right with an awakened care and all the principles of awakened care, It's. It's. an expansive, de centering kind of prayer that may I and all beings have what they need to get free from suffering, those prayers that we offer, you know, to, to, for revenge, right?

Um, I mean, that's coming out of a lot of anger, but the complexity here too is that like, this is also about balance as well. Like this, this reality is, is balanced. I think this is why the apocalypse is happening. Apocalypse is also about rebalancing.

you have to come back to sensor because we're all, we're.

Somewhere in the extremes right now.

And so when we come into prayer, it's just like, no, maybe come back into balance. May there be balance, because if there's no balance, then there's discontent. Right, there's extremism, and we don't get free through extremes. Right, you get free through balance and, and wholeness, this doesn't mean that you don't visit the extremes, because I think you have to visit the extremes to actually figure out what the extreme is. And then you're able to say, you know what, that's not what I'm doing.

Kate Shepherd: Mm

Lama Rod: You know, mosey back on into the center now.

I think some of the most profound spiritual teachers have been people who've lived extremes. And they get it, like I don't, I don't like being around with, you know, spiritual teachers who haven't, they haven't lived,

I want people to have an experience of life and of mistakes and surviving and struggling, right?

In the same way I have,

but to open our minds and to say, may all beings have what they need to get free from suffering. May I have what I need to get free from suffering is perhaps one of the most powerful prayers because emptiness is really about freedom, you know, so you're aligning yourself with the essence of the universe.

Kate Shepherd: Yeah.

Lama Rod: which is freedom.

Kate Shepherd: , you write about, being queer and how the queer community used absurdity and camp to cultivate joy in the face of repression then soon after that you write about in, you're writing about the four sweet liberations and you're, which you dedicated to.

black queer and gender expressive people. And you say, and I'm going to, I'm going to read what you wrote. We sing because we are happy. sing because our hearts are full of sorrow and we sing because those who wish us dead need to hear what real beauty sounds like so that they too can remember their beauty and their preciousness. I just was so moved by that. That was so beautiful. And I wondered if you could talk a little bit about joy as a radical act and joy in this context.

Lama Rod: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I just think joy isn't about bypassing in this context, in the context that I come from, in my community, like we chose joy as a way to hold the struggle, to remember that we weren't Just the struggle , or what was being projected onto our bodies, And that joy offered us the space to kind of shake off some of these projections and to say, no matter what you're telling me, I am, I have the space to experience.

Who I really am, And so much can happen in that space. And I think it's often been misunderstood by dominant cultures. Like when you look like people, you know, growing up Black and queer, people looking at Black folks having fun in the middle of like crisis, you know, and the judgment that comes from that is like, no, this is actually how we're surviving crisis.

managing. You know, like when we're laughing and, and having fun, even as we're mourning the death of beloved ones, like beloveds, like that's, that's how we transform this heaviness, you know, and we start moving and we start getting fluid and we start remembering our gratitude that we're still grateful.

Regardless of the struggle and the pain and despair and the hopelessness, you know, that there's still so much to be grateful for, right? That this world is not our home, primarily, right? That this is just an experience that we're having, but this isn't like the, the ultimate experience, right?

That we're still kind of leaning towards that ultimate experience and, and training to return back to that experience of freedom. You know, which is emptiness,

Kate Shepherd: There's such a fear

doing things that hurt or being

things that hurt

Lama Rod: Yeah.

Kate Shepherd: at the risk of sounding like one of those inspirational posters, right? Like the, the gift is in the, but the gift is

Lama Rod: Right. It's,

it's true. It's absolutely true.

Kate Shepherd: I feel like we unlock something in our DNA. I'm not a scientist. I'm terrible at math and science, like it's not my world, but I intuitively just feel like we unlock something in our physical form when

to. Be with our struggle, be with our, you know, even if it's dissatisfaction or as discord or as strong as suffering, like gift is


And that's just such a beautiful, you know, rainbow and sparkle colored example of it.

Lama Rod: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, that's unfortunately the one thing that I don't have, like, a magic pill for, is that, like, you have to choose the suffering.

Kate Shepherd: Mm

Lama Rod: Like, you have to choose to tend to it, and it's not fun. It's not glamorous, but again, you're not the only one doing it. This is why collective labor is so important.

People remind me that this is the work that we are all doing together to not just uplift our individual lives, but the lives of the collective, we're doing this together. And this is the only way to get free. And the more we work with our suffering, the more our suffering changes, right? The more we work with death, The more we become less afraid of death, And death changes for us. But you'll never get there if we keep running away.

And it will change you, you know? Are you ready to change?

Kate Shepherd: I think that that's also something we need to give ourself grace with, because I, know, I think of a tomato plant no matter, you know, you plant the seed for the tomato plant and no matter how much you're ready to eat a tomato. That tomato seed is just going to sprout when it's ready to sprout.

feel like that readiness in us to be, to be willing to go back to that wholeness a choice, but it's also kind of a choiceless choice. Like you're ready when you're ready and to be gentle with yourself. If you're not ready, there's a reason why, and it's okay.

Lama Rod: Exactly.

Kate Shepherd: Yeah, you close out the book with a beautiful thought about how wholeness is, is no trifling matter. It's true. It's true. , wondered if, if to close us out, you would read, there's a beautiful little bit at the end on page 269 , and it starts with, I consent to this work

Lama Rod: absolutely. And this is the last paragraph, I think, on 269. Well, the last paragraph of the book. So, um, just before I talk about the salt eaters, which you just mentioned, um, and this healer, Minnie, who asks, This character who's beginning her healing process. Are you ready to get healed? Right? So picking up with that idea, beginning with the last paragraph.

I hear many asking me this question right now. Asking if I am ready to get more than just healed. Asking if I am ready to get free. It seems like my whole life has been an answer to this question. And though sometimes I am confused about what freedom feels like, or if I am as free as I think I am, I know this for sure.

I consent to the sacred work. I consent to the heartbrokenness, the rage, and the hopelessness, as well as to the joy, the gratitude, and the care. I consent to the weight of being healed, and the responsibility I choose to get others well and free. This has been the only choice for me in this life. With the help of the Saints, both old and new, I keep moving on.

Kate Shepherd: Thank you. Thank you for your time today. Thank you for all of what you're bringing into the world and how many people you're helping and serving. Thank you.

Lama Rod: Thank you.

Kate Shepherd: I close out every episode with what I call the billboard question The idea is that if you had this magical billboard that every person in the world who longed to it would be connect with the ancestors or feel the truth or resolve their trauma or learn to truly forgive. But for all the reasons that stop us, don't feel that it's available to them.

that it's possible or could happen in their lifetime to them. they were reading this magical billboard from Lama Rod and it reached in and it ignited something.

Lama Rod: Mm hmm.

Kate Shepherd: you put on that billboard

Lama Rod: Mm hmm. It would say, You have all the resources you need. You just have to ask for them.

Kate Shepherd: Thank you. Samarad, this has been such a treasure of a moment in my life to connect with you this way. Thank

Lama Rod: Thank you.

Kate Shepherd: Thank you.

Lama Rod: Thank you for this space. Mm

Kate Shepherd: . What is the best way for somebody who's listening to this right now who just feels so filled

Lama Rod: Mm

Kate Shepherd: and wants to support you and

your book and wants to stay connected to you? What is the best way for us all to do that?

Lama Rod: Yeah, absolutely. Visiting my website at LamaRod. com is a great way to, to see what I'm up to, see what I'm doing. It's a great way to offer a donation and to support the work, um, if you feel moved. in terms of books, they're all accessible, Always on your favorite online bookseller, preferably, you know, independent booksellers online and also independent bookstores, you know, quite frankly, at this point, any bookstore, you know, support

Kate Shepherd: Yeah.

Lama Rod: any bookstore right now.

Kate Shepherd: Right. Yeah.

Lama Rod: And, um, and I have a newsletter you can sign up for as well. Uh, we keep it pretty concise, you know, and, and online, you know, in terms of social media. I'm Lama Rod official on Instagram, I'm on LinkedIn, um, as well as Facebook

Kate Shepherd: I'm going to put links to all of that in the show notes. So if you're driving down the road right now and you're listening to Lamarod telling you all that, don't worry, we'll put it in the show notes and you can find all the links. ​
I had so many moments in my own experience of reading Lama Rod's book. And then again, , over the course of this conversation that really left me with a deeper understanding of

the transformative power of approaching my own. Brokenheartedness the places in my own heart that are unhealed and need attention. With creativity and bravery.

His ideas about radical self care. You know what it is to take care of yourself. I also really appreciate his offerings on forgiveness, this sort of new paradigm of forgiveness.

I think for me,

the most powerful part of both reading Lama Rod's book and having this conversation with him, come from his teachings around.

Understanding , that we need to ask for help. . We need to lean into our communities, the people around us, our elders, our neighbors, our friends. We need to build those relationships.

If we don't already have them. And the enormous light bulb moment I had , in this exchange with Lama rod was around radical joy joy. As a radical act of resistance. Whether we're facing oppression externally or internally, embracing joy and deciding.

To express joy. In the face of those things. As a radical act of resistance. To the suffering. It's something that I will be carrying with me every day now.

At the top of the show, I mentioned that I'd be giving away a copy of Lama. The rods. Beautiful new book.

The new saints . I can honestly say hand on my heart. There were things I read in this book that reached into my awareness and snapped something awake for me. And I hope the same is true for you. And I hope you buy the book for yourself and

All you have to do for a chance to be the person who gets this book is to be signed up for my newsletter, which you can do on Kate shepherd, creative.com.

Just search for newsletter. You'll find the form to fill in your details. , I give away lots of different things every month. Sometimes it's a piece of art. Sometimes it's a book from a guest that was on the show. Sometimes it's just a random surprise , but I love to do in person real life. Gifts to. People in the community.

And I sent out great little newsletters too. So. Uh, it's a great thing to be a part of. And then once you've done that, Head over to social media and create a post inspired by something you heard in this episode and tag a couple of friends who you think might like to hear the episode, make sure you tag me at Kate Sheppard creative. Or at the creative genius podcast and Lama. Rod Owens as well,

and that's it. I will do a random draw on this end on May 1st. 1st, 2024. And I'll send a note out to the newsletter to let everybody know who got a copy of this book. And who knows, maybe I'll include something else in that package too.

If you've been with me for any length of time, you know, , that I pull a word for each episode. I have this beautiful heart shaped wooden bowl. And inside it, there are a whole bunch of cards and they all have just one word on them. And I always pull the exact perfect word for any particular episode.

And the word that I pulled for lab Rod's episode was healing.

So I want to leave you with this thought today. Inspired by Lama rod.

What if we were to truly turn inward. And face the parts of ourselves that are broken hearted. Give them the love and the self care and the time and the acknowledgement that they made.


How might our ability to access and express our creativity. B. Different. Be transformed. If we were to bravely turn toward our own broken heartedness, those parts of ourselves that are in need of acknowledgement and forgiveness and. Self care and. joy.

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