Lisa opens her story by telling us about her family; she was born into South Africa’s apartheid regime, where lessons about human equality, oppression, and justice were woven into the fabric of her being. In search of a better life, her family subsequently emigrated. As a Doctor, her father held a Western & Scientific life approach and her mother, an ethereal spiritual practice that made her family dynamic a stark contrast of those extremes.
She felt a deep knowing from a young age that our human task is to balance the spiritual and material worlds. Her parents each taught her a lot, but the work was hers to find the integration and reconciliation within herself. She felt the future of her spirituality needed to be a balance between the spiritual and material. She dove into discovering what it means to be spiritual as a human being, how to truly incorporate spiritual principles into an everyday reality, and furthering a dedication to finding a cohesive approach to eastern philosophy and western science.
Her journey of awakening and unique qualifications are the culmination of a wealth of life experience, degrees in fine arts, philosophy, and transformative learning, and training as a teacher in Ashtanga and therapeutic yoga. All of which have served to illuminate potential answers to her most pressing existential questions, as well as pushing the boundaries of her consciousness and preconceived ideas about what’s possible in human development.
By looking at and working on self-actualization through the lens of many disciplines and wisdom traditions, Lisa has gleaned what was essential for her own healing and uncovered a unique gift in service to others. As her spiritual practice grew, she felt the call to be a teacher and a leader but held resistance from seeing her mother give so much of herself to others and to her practice. She found in yoga a way to create an embodied spirituality that would help her maintain the healthy, grounded state necessary to hold space for herself and others.
When speaking on motherhood, Lisa describes having her son as the most sacred undertaking of her life. As she embarked on parenting alone, she could not imagine anything else she could do in her life that would be more important than being responsible for empowering her son. As she describes, empowering this soul who had entrusted her with his guardianship and making sure that this soul gets to actualize whatever gifts it’s here for.
Motherhood taught her so many incredible lessons – the beautiful gift of surrender, patience, and the value of softening, letting go of the hard edges and the aggression and finding the real power in being vulnerable and soft. Her son also showed her ways to be open-hearted, joyful, and playful. Motherhood allowed her to re-learn to play, to abandon her reservations, and learn to carry that playfulness and curiosity and surrender into her responsibilities and into mindful living.
Lisa shares her recognition that everything she has suffered, was a narrative concocted to survive because she lacked the emotional maturity and tools to tackle such monumental change so early. Change is the one and only truly dependable outcome in life. She learned is that she would be okay no matter what challenges she faced.
As she beautifully touches on the uncertainty our world faces right now (on May 18th when this was recorded) and the real lesson we can all collectively learn to let go of the grasping and the need for certainty. Especially within motherhood, the rate of change can be so accelerated, that the only way to have balance is to understand that having balance is an on the fly job. We are all figuring it out a moment to moment. As Lisa says, we don’t maintain balance, we adjust regularly, surrender, and make peace that life requires constant adjustment and creativity.