Radikal Life S1E2: Intuit with Brighid Murphy
Mon, Aug 22, 2022 1:43PM • 1:03:19
people, intuition, connected, soothed, queer, spirituality, experience, feel, spiritual practices, practice, thinking, spiritual, life, curious, folks, world, learning, guides, mainstream, move
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP), Brighid Murphy (she/her)
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 00:03
Hi, and welcome. This is the Radikal Life podcast. And today we’re chatting with our Intuit module leader. Would you like to introduce yourself?
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 00:15
Sure. Hello there everybody. My name is Bridget Murphy, my pronouns are she and her and hers. And I currently live in Western Massachusetts, US on Nipmuc and Pocumtuc territory. I am a transformational healer. And I help people to open up their consciousness so that they can make the shifts that they need to really, truly, deeply heal. And I’ve worked with a lot of healers who are looking to open to the next level of their life and their work in the world. So there’s a variety of programs that I offer one on one work that I do, and I really allow the work that I do to continue to evolve. I’m a cisgendered queer person who likes to really pay attention to my identity in the world and how it influences my work. And so I’m sure we’re gonna get we’re gonna get more into that and I’m gonna be here.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 01:21
Awesome. Thank you so much. I realize I also didn’t introduce myself so I’m Marina Patrice Vare and I will be hosting today. My pronouns are they them and MP. And I am currently recording on the unceded lands of the Lenni Lenape peoples. So thank you so much for the quick overview of who you are, where you’re coming from with your work in the world. I would love to when we think about intuition, I’m often thinking about people’s spiritual practices like their personal practice. And I’m wondering if you would start by just sharing with us a little bit about what your daily practice looks like?
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 02:02
Absolutely, yeah, my daily practice is, I spend a minimum of 10 minutes a day, sitting. And being in a space where I am connecting with myself, my guidance, my intuition, the spirits of the land that I live in, or live on. I do my regular routines of like getting up making some coffee, getting a shower, and then I sit before I do any of my work or any sessions with clients, I sit, sometimes I play my drum. Sometimes I will sing. Sometimes I sit quietly, I don’t put a lot of rules around what I do during that time. I because I feel like that can be limiting and committed to at least 10 minutes a day of doing of having this space where I connect. And sometimes it’s 10 minutes. And sometimes it moves into 20 minutes or 30 minutes, maybe even an hour. It depends on where I’m at and depends on what what kind of time I have in that day. So it’s consistent, and the timing, and what I do in that time is fluid.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 03:20
I love that. And I imagine that folks might be surprised, right, that you can have sort of a deep practice in 10 minutes. So I really love hearing that that’s, you know, it can be that small, I guess small is, maybe a funny way to say that, because I know big things can happen in 10 minutes. But I love the idea that like it’s not something that you have to carve out a huge chunk of your day or like delay until you have a lot of space to do it. So that’s really encouraging to me. And I imagine also to folks that are listening. I am curious if you will share with us sort of how far back these practices go for you. Or maybe when you first sort of became aware that you could you know, tap into this guidance.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 04:05
Yeah, I will say that my practice has developed over time. I didn’t always know what I know now and I also did not have the context that I share, you know, that I share from now. My, my awareness around my intuition and my experiences around intuition started when I was young. I was naturally inclined as a baby to move myself into meditative states or what we would call altered states. And the time my family didn’t know really what I was doing. I had no conscious understanding. I just rhythm and movements and sound. Were what soothed me, calmed my nervous system and moved me into a place where I was naturally connected through my imagination and daydreams to my intuition. And so my memories of moving into meditative or altered states go back to when I was about three. My mom, when I asked her, you know, when did I start doing these things, which I’m happy to talk about. She said, I was about 18 months old, when I would move into these practices.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 05:38
That’s really neat. I’m thinking, you know, my little one is almost 24 months old. And sometimes they do these, like just things where I’m like, Oh, where did they learn that? Right? And so I’m curious for you to tell us if you would a little bit more about sort of what this childhood practice looked like.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 05:53
Yeah. First, I want to say that, when we’re talking about our intuition, people put a lot of focus on their third eye and their psychic abilities. And my experience is that intuition can be a full body experience, you don’t need to activate your third eye in order to connect to your intuition. And so children naturally know how to move themselves into intuitive states. No one is naming it or talking about it a lot of times, but kids know, because we come into the world with pretty much everything we need. Our bodies know how to heal themselves. And we know how to connect with sacred forces. That isn’t always encouraged. So we don’t always follow through with it. And sometimes life circumstances pull us from our natural state. And every child knows how to do this. By the time people get to the adult stage, they’re remembering. They think they’re learning if they’re really they’re just re remembering. So I just want to I feel like that’s important to share.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 07:12
I really I love you naming that, right? Because I often think about like, as we’re learning things as adults, like I do, I feel like we’re trying to relearn things that came in with us and sort of evaporated over time. Or were maybe even more specifically trained out of us, right. Like some of them just didn’t get deeply rooted and stay in our consciousness because we didn’t practice them. But some of them it was really like, Hey, don’t do that. Right.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 07:39
And oh, yeah, absolutely. Um, my, I was very colicky as a baby, I cried a lot. And I had trouble sleeping. And so my mom would, and my grandmother who lived with my family, she would spend a lot of time trying to get me to take a nap, trying to get me to slow down because I moved around a lot. And my dad told me that one of the things that soothed me and helped me go to sleep was the sound of the Irish bagpipes. Now, Irish bagpipes are not necessarily like, you wouldn’t think that they were a calming sound. There was something about them. For me that calmed me down. So music was helpful to me, and soothed me from when I was little. And then when I was about 18 months old, I would lay myself on the floor, and I would move my head back and forth, I would roll my head back and forth for long periods of time. I wouldn’t move my body.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 08:46
Yeah, just the head back. I’m just trying it out for a minute just to like, get a sense of what happens in my nervous system. Yeah, of course.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 08:54
And I found a rhythm there. And I would just, it would be natural, it wasn’t forced. And any repetitive movement, specifically back and forth movement moves you into an altered state, if we were to all lay down on the floor, or sit up and move our heads back and forth for half an hour, we’d be in a meditative state. So that’s what I would naturally do. And I do believe that that was my soul’s way of calming myself down. And when we’re in a calm space, and when our nervous systems are more relaxed, our intuition can be more active because our busy mind is quiet. Of course, at 18 months old, I didn’t have a busy mind. I just was soothing myself.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 09:37
I do but I think about how active you know, young kids can be right. And so maybe it was less a busy mind than just a busy like there’s so much like sensory stuff that you’re taking in. Right. And I think that that continues throughout our life. But I think over time we learn how to like modulate it, right. And so I’m just imagining how how relaxing that really could have And just that sort of repetitive movement. And I think the other thing that strikes me is just that your family left you alone to do it, right, like I think about how often people want to, like, intervene if something seems like why are you doing that? Right. And so I think that’s really I think that’s pretty special that like, you know, you got to like have this thing that was your own intuitive way of soothing yourself and that the people around you trusted you to to do that for yourself.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 10:36
There were lots of things that did, they didn’t let me do. But they did let me because I think that I was so active, and loud and energetic, that when I was rolling my head back and forth, I was quiet. I wasn’t bothering anybody that I think they thought it was weird, but it wasn’t hurting anything. It’s I seem to like it. So they just let me do it.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 10:59
Yeah. I love that.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 10:59
And I continued to do it, I continued to do it. And when I got to be about seven or eight, I would play, put the radio on, and listen to music while I did it. And then my sister who’s two years younger than me, she started doing it with me. And I didn’t know that everybody that other people didn’t do this. I thought everybody did it. And so when we got to school, we realized, Oh, we’re the only ones that are doing this. So we didn’t tell anybody about it. We did it through I think I mean, my sister be a little upset for me to tell this. But we did this up until we were teenagers, then we decided it was time to stop. Very soothing. We activated our intuition and put us in a relaxed state.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 11:48
It’s that’s so interesting to me both the I mean a couple of things you said there, right like that, just the we did this. And we didn’t know everyone else didn’t do this. Right. It was so like, natural for you. Right? That it just felt like part of the human experience, which I think is really neat. And then, you know, behind that I have, I had some joy that like you did this together. And then I felt a little like sadness float through when you were like, and then we became teenagers. And we decided, like, we shouldn’t do it anymore. Because I really like I, I can feel like the connection to my teenage self. Right? And that like that social pressure, right and that like, so I just I think that’s a really powerful like thing to be able to, like see a name in your experience, right to be able to say, hey, we did this. And then. So I’m curious. How did your practice shift then? Like, did you still have a way that you actively connected with your intuition as a teenager? And how did it shift?
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 12:54
Well, there was probably a very short gap of maybe a couple of years, where I didn’t do that practice. And I’m not sure what I if I what practice I did, because as a teenager, I don’t know I was busy being a teenager, I guess. But it about probably at about 17 I had a an awareness around being on the planet for a purpose and helping the planet. So soon after I found spiritual practices. And in my early 20s, I found my teachers, and at about 20 years old 19 or 20, I started going to different circles and gatherings and events where there was live drumming, and the drumming is what I moved into. I learned how to drum, I learned how to play an African drum and a frame frame drum. And I started to engage in practices where I would work with a rhythm and movement through the sound of the drum and through moving my body. So it was only a couple of years I think went by before I found another practice that would help me move into those states.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 14:11
Yeah, yeah. I love that. And it’s interesting to me that they’re both like movement based practices, right. Just as a, I’m just noticing, noting my awareness of this. Yeah. Cool. And I’m curious then when you found your teachers, sort of what was that experience like for you? Maybe early on?
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 14:37
Yeah. So I think I found my I discovered my shamanic teachers around the same time that I found a Reiki teacher and I, my intuition works in a way where I just know that I need to connect with somebody, work with them, follow them, learn from them. And I will often feel compelled to when there’s something that is going to be right for me, I am compelled to do it. But so my shamanic teachers, I met them at a an event, a earth based spiritual event. It was either in West Virginia or Pennsylvania somewhere. And I took a workshop that they were offering. And I just felt them, I felt that they were real, they were honest, they were true, they were living and still live a path that is very connected to the sacred. And so I took a workshop with them, and continue to take workshops with them. And a relationship developed between myself and my teachers. And as I’m still 28 years no, 24 years later, still connected to my teachers, one of them has crossed over, and is no longer on the planet. The other one, I am still in communication with her and I still work with her.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 16:13
Mmm I love that. Thanks for sharing that. I just like in hearing that I can feel the the fabric of connection between you. And it feels warm to me like I’m like, ahh. I’m curious. We talked for a moment before we started recording right about sort of what it’s like when you first start on your spiritual path. And there’s like some comparison or like the, you know, am I doing this right? Please speak to that a little?
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 16:49
Yes, yeah, I this has been such a journey for me. And to know me now, you wouldn’t. I’m very, I’m definitely more confident and comfortable and sure, than I was 25 years ago. And so in the beginning, when I was I was I had been pulled toward making a difference on the planet. And I was learning a lot about spiritual practice learning about my own connection with my soul. And I did feel like for a long time, like I wasn’t doing it right. I needed I wasn’t, wasn’t experienced enough other people did it better. And that, I think, is a common experience when we start anything, particularly with spiritual and intuitive practices, because the people who are teaching things seem to have a lot more experience. And we don’t get to see them when they were in the beginning of their. So there’s this sort of perception that humans have, that everyone always knew everything. And so I didn’t, I doubted things for a long time. And I grew into a relationship with my own intuition. And so early on, I would ask for messages, I would ask for signs. And it didn’t always, I felt like I should be having these really clear signs, like I should, they should be so super clear that I things should drop out of the sky, and they weren’t dropping out of the sky. Well, every once in a while something will drop. That’s rare. So I remember asking, I would always ask, I don’t ask anymore for signs. Because the whole I feel like my whole path is one big sign. I remember that I was asking the sacred forces or spirit, whatever you want, however, you want to word it, to show me a sign that I was on the right path. And I feel my experience is that we get signs that pull us more further onto the path instead of telling us giving us direct information all the time. And so I was told, I heard and I heard this on multiple occasions, that I should follow the smoke down the road. And at the time, I was like, What the heck is this? Follow the smoke down the road? Thanks a lot. Like that doesn’t help me, but doesn’t tell me anything that’s not validating at all. And one of the things that I have learned about intuition and guidance is is that it doesn’t make sense all at once. Sometimes it’s confusing. Sometimes it makes no sense at all, and we need to trust that what doesn’t make sense now will reveal itself and make sense along the path. I feel like that’s where a lot of the true learning is in the trust. And so, follow smoke down the road made no sense until I I realized that a lot of the practices that I was involved in involved involved in, were connected with ceremonial fires. And I kept being drawn to people and practices and events where there was a sacred fire that was lit and tended. And I felt the most passion and connection to my soul around the fire. And so I was in my early, probably mid 20s, when I got that message, and it continued. And now 20 years later, I work even more deeply with fire. And following the smoke down the road was a message that was telling me to keep following the fire. Yeah, yeah. But I didn’t know it, then.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 20:53
I was just thinking about some of the most important Yeah, like messages I’ve received in my own life, right that like, we really only understand them in retrospect. Because like until they’ve unfolded, right, there’s like, I think, at least in my experience, and you’ll tell me if this is similar for you. There’s like enough of a, there’s something interesting in the thing, even if you don’t understand it, right? Where it’s like, Okay, I’m going to trust that like, that will still unfold. Right. Right. Like, it’s maybe you’re like, Well, I don’t see the smoke right now. I’m not on a literal road in this moment. Right. But it was interesting enough that it like sort of planted a seed. And then, you know, you can sort of see how it ripples out as time passes right, which I think is really neat. Yes, it is really neat. And especially I think, and I don’t want to go like super far off track there. But like, we thinking about, like, just the way that we think about time, right? And really, if we think about it another like a circle and a cycle of time, as opposed to a line of time, like, all of those things are happening at the same time. Right. And so it’s like, you’re getting that guidance, and it’s unfolding. But it’s also already unfolded, like in my belief, you know, and so I’m curious if that aligns in any way with the way you think about things?
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 22:08
Yeah, I do. I do believe that time is more circular, circular, cyclical, almost like a spiral versus linear. And so yeah, there are many things in my experience that are happening simultaneously. This could, we could go down a rabbit hole here.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 22:38
Yeah, I will say this, but we don’t have to spend all of it. Yeah. Say as much or as little about that as you’d like.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 22:47
That’s good. Probably another podcast. Yeah, I do think that, that there are things that we, I feel like there are multiple possible realities that we could step into. And if we imagined something or experience something, it exists somewhere, even if we haven’t fully experienced or learned to understand what it is. Yeah.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 23:16
I can feel that.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 23:17
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 23:18
I’m gonna just sit with it for a second. Yeah. Yeah, I think I’m a complete on thought. I think if I, if I think I might take you any further into that, thought yeah, we might not come back to my other stuff. But it is it’s planting, you know, like, just like hmmm, I’m gonna think about that some more later. I’m curious if you would share with us about a time where your intuition sort of was persistent, or maybe unexpected, but sort of, like nudged you in a way or something like that you want to share with us?
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 23:55
Yeah. Yeah well I’m thinking of I’m thinking of a time where my intuition. I mean, my intuition I can physically at times feel something pull me. And I remember a time that I saw a weekend, or it was more than a weekend, it was a workshop experience. That was somebody created an event on or an email, I got an email or saw something online. And it was I live in Massachusetts. This event was like five days it was in Kentucky. It was happening in like, I don’t know, a couple of weeks. And I felt compelled, like I had to go I had no idea what this event was. I had no idea what they were doing. I just knew I needed to go and my rational mind was like what the heck Brigh you are not in a place to like take all this time off. You have to fly, how are you supposed to bring a tent? How can I bring a tent on the plane, it was this whole thing. And I just knew I needed to go. And it turned out that there was a spot open for me. I was given an opportunity. I mean, there were all these things that fell into place. And I could go, and it was one of the most transformative experiences. And I’m still working off that experience years later. And it was a deep knowing that I have to go to this event.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 25:32
I love that. And I, I really am sitting with just the fact that you have cultivated this relationship over time, right with your intuition that like, you can hear a call and go, Well, I’m like, looking at it. It doesn’t make sense, but like trusting it right it unfolds. And I’m wondering if you want to say any more about that specific transformational experience? Or if maybe you would like to share about another sort of intuitive moment where following that intuition really, like led to a transformational unfolding.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 26:04
Yeah, that one definitely led to a transformation. There was there were it was a group, it was a group, sort of a training. That was an experiential experience. And there were facilitators, there were people who were facilitating this event that did something that’s called Shadow Work, and shadow where people are talking about shadow work. And like throwing that word out all the time, these people are were trained in something very specific that was developed by and is trademarked and was developed by a therapist. And so they led us as a group through a large process. And then we all were given the opportunity to do an individual Shadow Work process where we were able to see parts of ourselves that we couldn’t see on our own. And that was incredibly transformative. Because as someone who’s on a spiritual path, I am aware of like, my, the influences in my life that led me to where I am, I’m aware of the trauma that I walk with, and the effects of this and that and my family stuff. And this experience helped me to see that I was it helped me to see the parts of me that I didn’t have access to. And I didn’t even know, I didn’t have access to. It wasn’t like, yeah, so we’ll, I think we’ll probably leave it there. Because that’s a whole nother long thing.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 27:43
For sure. I just, I heard a couple of things in there that really struck me. And I think it was the definition of shadow there, right of like being able to see parts of yourself, you couldn’t see I really that feels very different for me than a lot of the language I’ve heard around shadow work, where it’s like you’re diving into your dark stuff, or like it’s, you know, what I mean? Where it’s like, it does often feel like it’s like, this is like repressed trauma pieces or whatever, right? And the way that you framed that as just people helping you see things you hadn’t seen, I just that really resonates with a lot of the work that I’m doing in my own life right now in work that we wouldn’t call shadow work specifically, right. But that I think is really, I just am reflecting for myself for a moment on like, the most transformational experiences in my life have been when someone has like, opened the door I didn’t know was there, right has like brought, like an understanding or learning or even just like being a few steps further ahead of me on a particular path, where like, they show me a thing, or they say a thing, and I’m like, Oh, I just didn’t have access to that before. I didn’t even know that I wasn’t thinking about that. Right. Or I didn’t even know that. I wasn’t seeing that. And I think that for me, that framing makes Shadow Work feel really like much more accessible than I have ever heard it in a way before. Like, there’s a yeah, there’s an invitation there. I think that feels different to me just says like, I’ll keep that back there as well. Like as just a different way to think about things.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 29:16
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 29:17
Thanks for that offering. Just like even just languaging is really important to me.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 29:21
Yes. Yeah. You’re welcome.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 29:23
Yeah, thank you. Let’s see what else I want to talk about here. I would love to know, I think there is a lot of talk about being an empath and like, you know, in some of the circles I’m in I hear a lot about like highly sensitive people. And I’m wondering if you want to talk about if there is a relationship there to intuition and sort of what that looks like, how they’re linked to each other.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 29:49
Yes. I feel like the word empath is used a lot and also there’s this idea that to be empathic means you’re going to suffer because you’re feeling everybody else’s feelings. And that doesn’t need to be true. Most empaths suffer, not because they’re sensitive, but because they haven’t learned how to work with and manage their own energy. So they experience that they are beholden to other people’s stuff. It doesn’t have to be that way. So a lot of people who are empathic are also really intuitive, and have an ability to connect in with their own knowing. But because they don’t know how to access it, they don’t, they get stuck in the loop of feeling everybody else’s stuff. And they’re not actually able to use their sensing abilities in their favor. So I help people to work with their energy and do what I call manage their energy or be in command of their energy, so that their stuff is in check our stuff my stuff is in check, so that I can tend to and engage with my intuition. So yes, sensitive people and empaths can be very intuitive. Sometimes they are afraid of it, or they’re not connected to it, because they’re, they don’t know how to work with their own energy or abilities.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 31:30
That make sense, a lot of sense to me. And I will just speak from the people, in my experience, and my own experience that like, I feel like often people will call themselves empaths. And maybe are quite empathic, but use the words when they don’t have great boundaries, both like in relationship, but also literally just like have not yet developed the capacity to have energetic boundaries. Right. And so then they’re getting more information, like for me, that was really transformational, really, to be able to like, figure out how to find my energetic boundary where I could let the things in that I wanted, and keep the thing that I didn’t at bay. And that meant that I could come into an out of that deeper relationship with people like consciously and on purpose, right. And I do, I think it was my own intuition that I really had to develop in order to be able to find that boundary. So that’s interesting. I think we’re having a similar experience there of that. And I love sort of what I heard there that shifted a thought for me was just this idea that like, not everyone who is empathic is actually using their intuition skillfully. Right. And so I’m curious, because a lot of people are self proclaimed empaths. I think it can make other people feel like maybe that’s a thing that only some people are. And so I’m curious if you’ll speak to your thoughts and beliefs about if everyone is intuitive or not.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 33:02
Yeah, I think everybody has some, everybody has intuitions it’s built into us. Some folks, many folks don’t have any encouragement to cultivate their intuition. And then comes in this belief that you have to have a special ability in order to be intuitive, when really slowing down, tuning into yourself, and the energies around you. Which is something our modern mainstream Western world doesn’t teach us to do. Slowing down and coming into yourself helps you to actually tap into your intuition. There’s nothing glamorous about it. There’s nothing super special about it. And it’s one of the hardest things for humans in the West to do slow down and be with yourself. Yeah, so I think that above any other open your third eye workshop, is that you could take is what is really important, and slowing down and having some patience so that you can shift your awareness and be open to the information that’s already there to the energy that’s already there. It’s all already there. It’s a matter of breathing slowing down and just shifting our lens. Yeah.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 34:34
Yeah, I love that. I have this image of sort of just there always being like layers of information, right, some of its seen and some of it unseen. And then you know, the things that we see my partner and I like to take walks a lot, and he’s a lot taller than I am. And so like often he’ll just like see something that like I hadn’t seen, right, and he’ll like call something out and I’ll be like, I would not have seen that without help like Right, like it’s just in a different space than where my line of sight was right. And that image is coming to me when I’m thinking about this idea of slowing down and seeing the things that are that are always there. Right? And that are, you know, more or less interesting, depending on how much space we have to engage with them. Right. But, but that that slower pace, like really does make a lot of things that are already available to you more accessible. Yeah, that’s really just just sitting with it for a minute, you know, like, yeah. All right. So we talked a little bit about the relationship between intuition and empathy or being an empath. And I’m also curious about how you might describe the relationship between intuition and guides and ancestors. You know, are they the same thing? Are they related? How would you describe that to folks?
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 35:58
Yes, I will first say that this answer, the answer to this question comes out differently depending on what your cultural experience and background is. So I share from my lens, there are other people’s lenses and other cultural lenses to look through, and none of them are right or wrong. I believe that our, our sense of knowing, is connected to our souls. And information comes from the soul into the human or merges with the human or is accessible by us as humans, because we are connected to something that is larger than us. The soul, and some people have a different way to look at this, this is my lens. So me as a human, I’ve got my body, my energy field, my heart, my mind. And my soul, my soul is tapped into larger knowing, that I might not even be aware of and my soul filters that knowing to me or the pieces of that pieces of that to me. Okay, so all of that said, our we all have guides and guidance. For some people, their guidance is an inner compass that comes from their gut and their heart. It doesn’t take on the face of or isn’t perceived as a guide, or an outside force. And for other people, it is very much their guidance is very much perceived and experienced as an outside force that works with them. All of it is good. All of it is this. All of this sorry, there’s a dinger on one of the appliances here.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 38:06
Yeah, let’s wait for a minute, so that I don’t miss that thought. All right, go.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 38:12
All of all of all of it is it’s all really connected and intertwined. And so for some folks who have a cultural background, a spiritual background, or a religious background, that includes specific deities, specific. I mean, deities, angels, higher beings, whatever you want to call it, the information comes through those beings to the human. And that’s part of like, how people are raised and trained in their spiritual and religious practices. And for some folks, they’re not raised or trained like that. So developing a relationship with their guidance may include connecting with guides and healings, what we call healing spirits, and earth based practices of shamanic practices. All of it is connected, it’s not all the same thing. It’s all connected, and I say if it works, roll with it. I remember early in my training with my shamanic teachers, when when I would have there’ll be people in the workshops, who would have like these Angel forces come and they could describe them, and they would talk to them, or they would have like, ancestors come in and they could see them and talk to them and I I wouldn’t have a lot of those energies come through in the same ways. And I thought, Well, I’m just not getting it. And I remember my teacher said, your guides are so connected with you that you receive information from them, and you don’t even realize that it’s coming, where it’s coming from, because you’re so connected with them. And I was like, wow, that’s really, really interesting. So there’s different ways to experience guides and work with them. And some people really experience them as separate beings. And some people don’t really depends on your makeup.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 40:23
Mm hmm. Yeah. And it sounds like either way, that’s it’s all intuition. Right? It’s, it’s still a channel that, like, you have to be receptive to, right. And to me, that channel is the intuition. So whether it’s like your ability to perceive and know that that’s the word that came to me was like, sort of, like the right guide to interact with. And I was like, that’s not quite the language I want to use. But like that. You know, I think there are lots of people moving through the world, right. And I believe that we all came with, like, you know, folks that guide us whether that’s, you know, like you’re saying closely integrated, or whether that’s, you know, and so I think that, to me, that piece where intuition comes in is this idea that, like, you know, which which of those things to tap into, right? Like, you know, what’s for you, for lack of a better you know, what I’m trying to say there?
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 41:18
Yes, yeah. And in some people’s experience they receive and experience information and guidance solely from in their internal self. And for some people, they experience their guidance coming from outside of themselves, all of it is perfect, all of it is perfect. Our worldview, and our understanding and experience of those spiritual forces or lack of spiritual forces, definitely informs how we connect and how we receive information.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 41:58
Yeah, I love that. Thank you for that. I’m curious. Just because it’s a passion of mine, right? Is this sort of intersection of queer identity and how it shapes, I’m particularly interested in how it shapes spirituality, and the way we move through the world. And I’m wondering if you have thoughts or perspective on that, that you want to share?
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 42:24
Yeah, well. There’s a lot I think there’s a lot to talk about here. Yeah, I feel like in the, in the some of the mainstream religions, and in spiritual like modern, mainstream spiritual practices, there can be a real sort of heteronormative focus, and a real focus on the binar. There can be a focus on the good and the bad, the black and the white, the god and the goddess, the feminine, the masculine. And for me, being queer moves me outside of that binary and that heteronormative thinking. And so my seeing of the world, the invisible world, the spiritual world. What I see and how I see it is filtered, or vice versa, through my understanding that things are not binary. And not everything is the way that the mainstream tells us. It should be. So. Yeah, so I’m not exactly sure that I can completely explain this because a lot of it is internal.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 44:13
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 44:14
I can say that. I don’t look at connecting with spirit, or the sacred forces from that from a mainstream lens. Yeah.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 44:32
Yeah. That makes sense.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 44:36
I think it can be a little challenging to explain.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 44:39
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 44:40
Growing up and seeing and being exposed to Christian religions. There’s not a lot of room for queer people in Christian religion. There can be acceptance, and some sort of circles and ways, but there isn’t really room for queer people, and so it can be really challenging for a lot of people to, to experience religion or be religious, and also be queer or gay. And I think that, um, personally, I feel like spirituality doesn’t know a gender, spirituality and your spirit, like doesn’t care what your orientation is. And that I feel like queer people seek practices that are going to include them.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 45:42
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 45:43
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 45:43
Yeah. I love that. The way you concluded that thought, that like that really brought it together for me. Because I do I often think that one of the greatest superpowers of being queer is finding spaces. Right? Where where when we find places where we can be fully ourselves. Like, I feel like there’s a real like, deep tap in both to ourselves and to everyone else in that space.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 46:15
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, well, I’ll tell you. So I have been involved in the spiritual and wellness industries. For I mean, the last almost 30 years. And what I see in the spiritual and wellness industries, and it is changing, now it is shifting, because the times are changing us, I see a lot of straight, white people, including many white, straight cisgendered men who are teaching spirituality. And there’s not a lot of there’s not a lot of front facing leaders in the spiritual and wellness industries, or there haven’t been who are black, indigenous, queer, trans people, or people who are differently abled, we don’t see that front facing in the spiritual industries. Now, of course, behind the scenes, we’ve had it going on for a long time. And in the mainstream, what is put out there in the media and the book, the publishing companies, is not very diverse, it’s not very diverse. And so I see that as changing, and I see it as really, there’s really a necessary shift that needs to occur, and it is occurring. But if you look at and this is going down a rabbit hole, but I think it’s important with intuition, because intuition is connected with spirituality, wellness, all of that, when you look at a lot of the books and the movies, and the professional in the books, the movies, the media, there’s not a lot of diversity, or hasn’t been a lot of diversity in who is presenting these things. Yeah.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 46:21
I think that that is 100% Spot on about the lack of diversity. And I think when you use the word industry, you’ve really hit on why, right? Because what is who is profitable? What is profitable? What will sell, right? I think is yes, it’s very normative. And I do think it’s shifting, and I think one of the things that has been such like gift to me is really being able to be in queer and trans only spaces, right? In affinity spaces where I do really feel like I get to have a different and fuller experience of my spiritual of my whole self, right, not just my spiritual identity, but like, a more whole experience because I’m not, you know, masking so much or, like, so guarded about, you know, what is acceptable. And I, it’s my hope that we will continue to see more and more folks be open about the parallels for them, like, where their queerness and their spirituality come together. Right. And that will yeah, that there will be more and more spaces where folks can connect in that way. And also, I’ll say like, I think that for me, even the way that I connect with myself and my own intuition feels just like queer by nature and, or by its nature, and I think that that yeah, I think that that is important in and of itself, right? Like there is a way for me that like queerness doesn’t make me feel like it has to look a specific way. Because I already know that like, I am not like a lot of the things right? That the way I’ve I’m told that things look and I know I’m having this experience and so it. Yeah, there is a tremendous amount of space that opens up there for me. Yeah, I experience and I can’t speak for all I can’t speak for everyone. Yeah, say that I experienced a lot of queer folks learning how to be are naturally being in their bodies and not denying the humaneness of their bodies of their sexuality of their experience. And that way of being is connected to spirituality. It is in the white washed, mainstream Western, capitalistic, all the things sort of culture that we have made spirituality be from here up, open your heart, open your third eye, right? Connect with the universe. There, our bodies are really important in our spirituality. Yes. And so queer people and like, I don’t want to put everybody in a box. And many queer people are tuned into their their bodies in ways that straight cisgendered folks just aren’t. Not everybody, but a lot of people. And so I think that’s true. And I think some of that is because we’re navigating, how being in those bodies Right? Like, it’s not always like an easy journey, but I think it is a yes. Like, I think there is a inherent navigation that has to happen. As a queer person moving through the world, and you know, for myself as a trans person moving through the world, right, like there’s a navigation that has to happen with the body where there’s just no way for it to, long term, be separate, right. That’s it in for me, that really has been some of the most powerful spiritual work is just coming to terms with having a body. Like that’s, that’s a whole I could do another whole podcast, too. Yeah, yeah.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 52:01
Yes, I believe. And a lot of people believe that spirituality is about our whole being not just some connected state that we put ourselves in, it’s about everything is spiritual, our work, our social justice, our stance on social justice, our participation in activism, it’s all spiritual. And, and I’ve seen in a lot of like modern, white centered, you know, culture and philosophy, spirituality is about rising above the physical and ascending, and if you ever want to do a podcast on Ascension, you let me know, I’ve got a lot to say about that.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 52:41
Have anything to do with staying the fuck grounded here so that you can actually take care of the people who need like, you need your presence in this space? Because I could go on about that for a while.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 52:55
That’s a whole I don’t want to pull us off track.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 52:57
Yeah, no, I think that that’s great. I appreciate that. And I think that I think you’ve hit on something really important about spiritual bypassing that I just want to make sure we name here, right, which is that, like, there is no way to liberate the self while we’re oppressing other folks. And we’re all you know, in this soup, and we have roles here that we have played, and we get to unpack those and figure out how to do less harm. And you know, in the course of that, you know, I believe that is where the transformation of our spiritual journeys happens.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 53:34
Yeah, and if we look at any older and some people like the word ancient, I don’t know that I would go ancient, but some people like that word, um, practices, spiritual practices, philosophies, belief systems. It’s all connected. It’s all connected. It’s impossible to separate it out. What, what the mainstream white culture does is they cherry pick ideas and concepts, and then try to create a spirituality out of that. And from that standpoint, it’s really easy to look at anything physical as being unspiritual. And that’s part of the disease and the infection of the patriarchy, really. It’s filtered into spirituality and the way people have accessed or perceive spirituality, in indigenous cultures and in deep cultures that have deep rooted spiritual practices the connection between the mind and the body and the community is all implied and it’s understood.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 54:53
I really love the way that you named that as a trio the mind the body and the community because I can I can feel that in my body, the the importance of that and like I just had a little like, ahhh, yes, I can feel that, like, come together. Yeah. So I asked you to talk about one of my favorite identities. But I’m curious, like if there’s any other aspect of your identity that feels like you want to pull it out and talk about it right now.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 55:21
Yeah, I think a good I think a good topic and also a hot topic is probably well, I mean, there’s a couple actually. So I’m already mentioned myself as a white, white woman, white person. And also, I come from a working class background, my parents are were working class people. So the that that’s probably a good piece, I think really helps to inform the way that I teach. And what I share. Because my family has historically, they’re very practical, they’re very on the ground, they’re very warm and loving and present. And they have a foundation of like, getting shit done. And so I see the world through a lot of their lenses. Yeah, and the way that spirit or the sacred forces move through me, is everybody gets to have a spiritual practice, it’s everybody gets to have it, there is nobody who is more or less entitled, to it than anybody else. And it doesn’t have to be hard. It can be easy and accessible. And so the way that Spirit moves through me is in a way that people can, anybody can understand. I don’t teach real big mysticism and mystical concepts so that you’re like, What the heck is she talking about? I give you practices that are easy to do that shift your consciousness and you don’t have to, like, study for 20 years, or have some sort of perfect meditation to get where you want to go. And I do believe that a lot of that comes from the way that I was raised. Practical, being in service, and making it real. Yeah, that is definitely yeah.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 57:37
That brings me sort of back to that circle at the beginning, right of like, it can be a 10 minute practice, right? And just Yeah, like that, in and of itself, to me really speaks to like, sort of the practical nature of like, making space for it to fit in your life, right. It’s like it’s not accessible for a lot of people to spend an hour plus, like in their day, like meditating, right, but like, I love that you named some really small, like, you know, you could move or you can drum for like 10 minutes, and then like, you’ve had this opportunity to tap in. So I feel like that’s a great illustration of what you’re saying there. I would also just sort of love to like, sort of circle us back specifically to like the Radikal Life topic, and ask you if you have any thoughts you want to share about like, what is your vision for a Radikal Life?
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 58:33
Well, I think that all humans all right, maybe all, maybe all is too grand. Most humans can live a Radikal Life. Many won’t. Because that perhaps that’s not their path, or their choice, or maybe they don’t even know I don’t have access to understanding what Radikal Life is. I believe that we can choose how we want to walk in the world we cannot choose what we you know, what race or class or culture we have been born into. And we cannot but we and we can choose how we want to walk in the world, we can choose that. And so I believe that the having a radical walking a radical path is a choice and that through learning how to be different in the world, or how to be connected to yourself in the world, you can live a Radikal Life and so what is my vision? My I really think that all of the work that everyone is doing at Radikal Life is giving people access to tools that they need in a way that they can receive them, so that they can live a life that they want to be living. Now, I think it’s like one of the best things that we could do is live a life that we want to be living. How many people are living a life that they don’t actually want to be living? They’re just going through the motions. So the tools that come through Radikal Life, help us do that.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 1:00:27
Yeah, I appreciate that. I’m wondering as we wrap up here, if you want to say anything about sort of how you came to be connected to the Radikal Life project. Yeah. And what that has experience has been like for you.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 1:00:43
Sure. So I’m connected to the Radikal Life through the creator, the founder of Radikal Healing, Manjot Singh Khalsa. I met him in my early 20s. We’ve done a lot of our trainings, our shamanic trainings, and our life world experiences together. And so I absolutely respect and honor his path, and the way he walks in the world, as well as the therapeutic work that he does with clients. And so when he when he decided to create Radikal Life and asked me if I wanted to be on board, it was a no brainer for me. I love the opportunity to work with him. We I’ve worked with some of his therapeutic clients in different settings. I’ve taught some with him, and I just love working with him. So that’s how I’m here. And why I said yes to being to being in this community.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 1:01:57
Yeah, I love that. Thanks for sharing. It was really a treat for me when I met Manjot to find out that there were still so many people in his life that he’s known for, like 25 or 30 years that have like, sort of carried through, right. And I just like, it’s just so I had a moment of like, enjoying the to like the two of you in your 20s as like, Yeah, I think it’s really a treat to I don’t know that a lot of us have the experience of having people that we walk with for a long time through our lives that are not specifically like intimate partners. And so I think that it really has been a treat for me to get to meet some of Manjot’s community and particularly like longtime friends. So what a what a gift, I think, really that he has brought us like together. Awesome. Well, I have really enjoyed this conversation. And I’m wondering if you’re feeling complete, or if there’s anything else that you’re thinking you want to just share before we close out our conversation.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 1:03:02
I feel good. I feel really good. Thank you for inviting me. Yeah, inviting me into this conversation. It feels really good. Thank you.
Marina Patrice Vare (they/them/MP) 1:03:10
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time. It really has been a gift.
Brighid Murphy (she/her) 1:03:15
You’re welcome. Thank you.