Leadership has different styles, but it should always focus on connecting with people most effectively while living joyfully. Tune in and be a conscious leader by listening to Moneeka Sawyer as she takes the hot seat opposite Catherine Rowan. Moneeka shares deep insights on discovering the beauty inside of you and focusing on affirmations so you can clear those blocks and live peacefully. She also explains different chakras and evolving through them. Learn how you can create a whole sense of power, energy, and excitement for your business and your life.
I’m on a summit for conscious leadership and the title of my talk was Tantra for Leadership. If it’s a fun opportunity to share about the different styles of leadership. It seems that most of us here think of leadership as a very masculine style. That’s what we see and think we need to be. It turns out that there are many different kinds of leadership and many of them are very feminine. There are types of leadership that we are very good at as women and they help us to stand in our power and be more powerful in everything that we do.
A lot of people think that they are not leaders. I’m not the type of person that stands up and leads people, but that’s not what leadership is all about. We are leaders for our children and family. We are leaders when we are trying to get something done, maybe in a PTA, in a club, or at work. We play leadership roles in a lot of different areas of our life. Understanding that you are a leader and what type of leader you are helps you to stand in the power and amplify all of those great assets that leadership style has.
We discover that type of leadership is great. There are all these things that are amazing about it and so you feel good. For me, it’s a big part of my bliss to understand what type of leader I am, what turns me on, what excites me, and what my style is. I’m not trying to be something other than what I naturally in but I can still be a leader.
It’s been a part of my bliss in my life but also it has helped to make me powerful in my business. It helped me to be more decisive and powerful to negotiate more strongly to understand myself. This conversation is relevant because it is going to show up in your real estate world and I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy this talk and I love to hear your feedback. I love to hear if you want to email me and let me know what you thought of it, that would be awesome. Enjoy the talk.
My guest is Moneeka Sawyer. She is a personal success coach and tantra energy expert who has been coaching executives in Silicon Valley for over ten years. Her unique approach to leadership has helped clients from artists and solopreneurs to high-tech CEOs discover their own personal leadership style and create a whole new sense of power, energy, and excitement about their businesses and their lives. She loves the power, playfulness, and daring of using tantra to make us our best selves. She teaches how to understand your own innate energetic makeup from proving communications, creating more fulfilling relationships, and being a more effective leader in all areas of life. Welcome, Moneeka.
It’s so nice to be here. Thank you for having me.
I’m looking forward to this conversation with you. I love the way you describe your work in your bio and that you are even talking about tantra, leadership, and connection. Maybe we could start to define for the audience what tantra is. Let’s see what it is to you, Moneeka.
When people hear that word, especially here in the Western world, they have all these weird ideas. It’s not weird, but what we have been taught. We think it’s about sexy or kinky. Let me clear up traditionally what tantra is and what we are talking about. Tantra is the yoga of living. It was created thousands of years ago and it was first documented in India.
People in the Indian caste system who were not considered yogis are Brahmans, which is the highest caste, and those caste members had the inherent God-given right according to the culture to pursue enlightenment and spirituality, but that wasn’t something that the rest of us had access to, the normal person.
Tantra, the yoga of living, was created to give access to enlightenment to everybody else, those of us that wanted it but were in the lower caste. I hate to talk about the caste system but that’s how it all started. When we talk about the yoga of living, what that means is utilizing every daily thing that we do as an opportunity for spiritual growth.
In those days, it might be we were working in the field. We were milking a cow. We were taking care of our children. We were cooking. We were praying. We were having sex. It’s all of those things. Every single one of those was an opportunity to slow down, be mindful, and get access to the spiritual enlightenment inside of us and to the unknown knowledge of what it’s like to be connected and live joyfully.
I will often say it to people and people laugh at me all the time, “Everything that I do is a spiritual experience,” and they are like, “Uh-huh.” Even doing the dishes, if you slow down, feel the warm water, the bubbles, things moving over the plate, and the metal. You try it. You feel the softness of the towel. Suddenly, this is a mindful experience. Suddenly, it’s so sensual and live that makes you feel good.
That’s what life is as a tantra yoga practitioner. The reason that it’s become so sexy in the Western world is that sex is a piece of that and that’s exciting to talk about. Our sexual energy is the most powerful energy of human beings. Redirecting that and transmuting that helps you to achieve a lot of this tantra fully coming alive thing, but it’s not the only practice. It’s one of many.
Tantra is a practice for householders and also great for women as well. There have been so many spiritual traditions in the past that have elevated men above women and tantra doesn’t do that.
As a matter of fact, with tantra, we worshiped the goddess. Historically, when the Western world came to India and started to notice this, they would say that they had these sex temples. It was horrifying. They stopped them and they shut them down. The sex temple was about the male serving the goddess because the woman creates.
The woman has the children. The woman has creativity. The woman is the pillar of the household and society. These temples were about worshiping the goddess and men learning how to do that. When they came home, they treated her with love and respect. They cherished her and build her up so that she could be the pillar she was meant to be.
That’s a whole lovely conversation for both women and men with regard to the place of the role of women and also the place of the feminine in our society. We live in a society, more or less, worldwide where the feminine has been suppressed if we look at it from the context of how these were looked at in these ancient traditions.
It’s also true in India as well. Even though people might do religious practices and honor the goddess in that sense, it doesn’t always translate into how they do that in human society in terms of how women are treated. There is a lot for us to learn from that with regard to the role of the masculine and feminine and for the inner feminine to be honored in both men and women, which is something that the world seems to sorely need. Tell me more about how you see tantra associated with leadership.
I would like to start by asking anybody who’s reading this. When you think of a leader, what is it that you think about? Who is it that you think about? In the Western world, we usually think about the President of the United States or the Prime Minister in England. We’ll think about these sorts of people, even the President of India.
You think about that person that they are bold and big. They love talking, they have opinions, and everybody gets to hear their opinion. They do have the love of their country in mind, but the way that they present themselves is powerful and confident. “I have an opinion. You get to hear it,” type of person. In reality, that is not the only kind of leadership. There is a whole range of leadership.
When I talk about tantra, my big thing is clearing the chakras. That’s the base of my tantra practice. If you don’t know what the chakras are, we have energy centers in the body that move and create energy to support us in different areas of our life. We have over 200 of them, but, for the most part, we focus on the seven, which I call the pillar of perfection.
In the pillar of perfection, we have our seven chakras and they represent different parts of us. For instance, the root chakra is all about safety. It’s about being rooted. It’s about trust. Many people don’t have that handled, so they are not able to take care of the rest of them because it all builds on top of each other.Focus on all that's good and all our potential so that eventually, it pushes out all that other stuff that’s blocking because it can't exist in the same space. Click To Tweet
When you talk about leadership, once you start to clear those chakras, you start to become in tune with where your leadership is coming from. Most of the leaders that we see in the world that we think of as leaders are coming from the first chakra the root, or from the power chakra, which is the third one. It’s all about power, presenting, and how they stand, but there are so many other different kinds of leadership. I have got a chapter that I wrote on this. Can I share with you some of the different leadership styles to make this real?
That would be wonderful. Yes, please.
Red is the root chakra. Those are the pillars of society. They are solid, reliable, and stable. Those sorts of leaders were George Washington, Bill Gates, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Orange, which is the sacral chakra, is those who lead with creativity, playfulness, and joy. Those are people like Princess Diana or Ellen DeGeneres.
Yellow is the power chakra, and that’s the third one. These are powerful, confident, and inspire awe. These are people like Oprah Winfrey. I like to say Jean-Luc Picard if you like Star Trek, but he was the epitome of this person in a beautiful way, and then Margaret Thatcher. Green is the heart chakra, and these are the people who lead with connection, collaboration, and compassion. This would be Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa.
Blue, these are people that lead with their words like JFK, Martin Luther King, and those types of people. Indigo is for the third eye, and those are people who lead with knowledge like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Thomas Edison. White is those who lead through elevating the spirit. These are people like Mahatma Gandhi or Maya Angelou.
You see leadership shows up in so many different ways, yet we think it only shows up in one way, and because of that, we don’t see ourselves as leaders and we can’t step into our personal leadership. That’s why when I talk about tantra, I talk about who were you. Fill yourself up. Clear all your chakras and discover where your leadership lies then you can fully step into your power. Does that make sense?
It makes absolute sense. That’s such a nice way of looking at leadership to point out the different styles, like different chakras. You mentioned clearing the chakras. I’m sure there might be people reading here saying, “How do we do that?”
That’s its own whole class. It’s been a lifelong practice for me. I do want to say they will never be fully clear and it’s like brushing your teeth. They get muggy. You have to continue to clear them every single day like you brush your teeth.
A teacher of mine once said, “Have you ever heard of a house that only needs 3-in-1s?”
It gets dusty. That’s so true. I love that. To clear the chakras in tantra, we talk about breath, movement, and sound, and then I add visualization. You utilize those 3 or 4 elements to open the chakras, and I have some meditations that you can do. You can find them online. The chakras work from the bottom up. If you are living a spiritual life, you will clear each chakra, and then each chakra opens you to clearing the next chakra. You go from the bottom up. People often think in spirituality, you want to start from the top down.
The problem is that even if you are fully open at the top, you can’t ground it and bring it into your life and be fully activated unless everything below it is clear and available to receive. You want to start from the bottom up. There are practices where you start by focusing on the chakra that you want to focus on. I always start at the root.
You take a few deep breaths. You focus on the color and chant a sound for that particular chakra. If you see it as a rosebud so that one’s red. You see it as a red rosebud, and then as you do the sound and the breath, you watch the rosebud. That visualization allows a clearing of that chakra, and if you do it enough, it stays open. It gets wider, more available, more receiving, and more stable. It becomes the foundation for the rest and you do that for each of them.
In a practice, I will do all of them. I start at the bottom and work all the way up. You’ll notice in your life that things start to shift. When you are red chakra, your root chakra feels solid, open, and clean. You feel stable and confident. You trust yourself and the world more, even if you have reasons to not, you open up so that you can see those things.
If the second chakra is opened, this should set the sacral one. You start to be more creative. I remember when I went through one of these tantra classes. Suddenly, I came home and I was starting to do beadwork and painting. I didn’t even relate it to the sacral chakra, but there was creativity. It suddenly entered my life in a new way. It’s like that. You breathe into them, you open them, you visualize that rose opening, and then you get to experience in the world what starts to happen. Is that helpful?
That’s very helpful. I’m wondering if I could add something in there. When we talk about the clearing process, we are also talking about clearing out emotional patterns, wounding patterns, defensive patterns, and reactive patterns that no longer serve. As leaders, we are at our strongest if we haven’t got all our own stuff in the way.
There are many different ways to clear a lot of the ugliness that’s happened to us in life that sticks to our insides. Many practitioners will focus on the blocks. I come from a place of wanting to focus on bliss. For me, I want to focus on all that’s good and all our potential so that eventually, it pushes out all that other stuff because it can’t exist in the same space. Where some practitioners will help us to clear those blocks by approaching, “What are the wounds?” I approach, “What are the affirmations? What is the beauty inside of you that you can now focus on and make it so big that there’s no room for anything else?”
There’s the other side of some spiritual practices, which are very wound-clearing focused. We can get addicted to what Eckhart Tolle calls the Pain Body. It’s never going to be completely cleared. If you are that way focused, you are going to find some new stuff to clear.
What’s important for people to understand is that we came to this planet to have a series of experiences to create evolution for ourselves. Those experiences are often not awesome, sometimes horrifying and they rest in our bodies. Our mission is to find ways to clear that and stand in our power in spite or even because of those things.We were built to create and evolve through the chakras. Click To Tweet
Understand that this is a lifelong process. We were built to create, to evolve through the chakras and that clearing and our capacity to be fully human our entire lives. You will never be fully clear, but you can be clear for yourself, and then you keep working. That’s why it’s a lifelong practice like you say, “You have to keep dust in your house. It doesn’t stop.” As you work on that, you evolve higher.
The other thing I was trying to think of is it has to be a lifelong practice, too, because we live in an evolving universe. We don’t live what’s outside of us that isn’t any more static than we are. How can there be a place where we don’t still have the potential to evolve if the universe is evolving? We talked at the beginning about tantra and its associations with sexuality and sexual energy. We need to talk about sexual energy because the people who are reading are interested in that.
It’s the most exciting word. If you read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, you will notice where he talks about sexual transmutation, when we talk about sex, especially in many Western cultures. It’s true even in the Eastern cultures now, but it wasn’t always. We don’t talk about sex as good energy that we can utilize.
You had said before that in India, that’s what all the leaders do, but it’s not just India. It’s everywhere. Think about who was interviewed by Napoleon Hill. It was Henry Ford. It was all of these big moguls. They talked about sexual transmutation because sex is the significantly biggest and strongest human force that we have access to.
Why not utilize that to improve our lives, our powerfulness, and our leadership? True leaders understand this. We get irritated that they are out there having so much sex because so many of them haven’t mastered this skill of how to transmute it and to use it for the betterment of our life and the betterment of others. It’s been studied forever, but we don’t use it.
Let’s talk a little bit about how to use it and why that’s good, if you think about when you are first in love. What is that? Some of it is a compassionate love connection. Some of it is lust. Our sexual juices are flowing. Have you ever noticed, when you are in that place, how much more creative you are? How much more kind you are? You are nice to everybody. The world is beautiful and all you see is beauty.
You are creating, you are doing more at work, and your relationships are better. That’s what it does for us, and that is sexual energy. What if we could live like that? If we get access to that sexual energy, we can. Things are going to evolve. You don’t want to be in that spastic and love energy all your life. It can be exhausting. You want access to what brings you confidence, passion, compassion, love for life, feeling fully alive, and all of those things.
There’s another thing that’s important. People think that sexual energy is only created through sex. That’s not true. Mine started when I was sixteen. I didn’t have sex until many years after that. The practice can be a solo practice. It’s important to understand that if you are tuning in to your sexual energy in that way and utilizing it, you don’t want to muddle it by having sex with the wrong people. Bad energy, while you are having sex, will muddle your own energy. It’s so much more work than the cleanup after that.
It’s always been imperative. Anybody that I am intimate with is tantrically trained or has an interest in it. That energy has to be a match for me because it’s that important. You may not have that, but understand you have to take the responsibility for anybody that you have an intimate relationship with. You need to be responsible for the energy that is coming to you and for clearing that. That’s my tantra sex talk, but let’s talk about how we could use it.
The sexual energy comes from your sacral chakra. It’s the second chakra. I have a gift for your people that talk about how to clear the sacral chakra. That will be what I will be giving everybody, but let me give you a little bit of a highlight. You are going to want to breathe into the sacred chakra. Take a deep breath and have it go down to where you feel it’s tickling the back of your belly buttons. You want it to go all the way down, and then you are going to let it out, and then do it again.
Take white light and breathe that down into your nose and the back of your belly button, and then release it through your mouth. You may notice that white goes in and gray comes out. If you can visualize that, you are already starting to do clearing with the breath. On your third breath, you are going to take that in and hold it. You are going to meditate as you visualize a yellow rose opening. While you pull that out when you are breathing out, I want you to visualize the energy that opened, flushing through your entire body, all of your chakras, as you are breathing it out.
Now, you’ve got clean energy and you want to wash your whole body with that yummy clean energy. That’s a super simple practice you could do. What does that take us? It will take 15 to 30 seconds that will clear that energy, invigorate you, and put you in a wash with the beauty and excitement of that joyful sexual energy that we can utilize.
I will do that when I’m losing focus or creativity. I’m a dancer, so I do that if my dance isn’t working quite right. There are a lot of times that I utilize that, and the chant that I use where the vomit started with a V. That will open up that chakra. You are going to do better if the first one is open first. That’s how you get direct access to our sexual energy.
There are all of those creative possibilities that come with that. Let’s talk a little bit more about how often there are various stories associated with leaders, sexual misdemeanors, and things like that. Whether we are questioning if they were practitioners of tantra, they were followers, and had some training, whether that would happen because they would have other places to use it. It all comes into the whole conversation about integrity and leadership, too.
It’s important for all of us to understand that we take responsibility for our own leadership. You show up as the leader that you are and want to be. Many people think about leaders and think, “I don’t want to be that person. I’m not that person. I don’t aspire to that.” You don’t have to. Your leadership style is individual to you.
As you step into your power in your leadership, you get to decide what that looks like. How much integrity do you have? What are you bringing to your power? What do you speak? Is it kind or necessary? Does it improve the world? All of those things that you do as a leader are your responsibility. You don’t have to be like any of those people, any of those impressions that you might have.
If you see all leaders as sexually promiscuous, it doesn’t mean that you need to be sexually promiscuous. You could utilize that energy in ways that I have mentioned and through other studies. Don’t be so quick to judge what’s possible as a leader based on what we see out there in the world. Take responsibility for who you are going to be when you step into your power.
I would love to talk more about power from this point of view, the tantric view of power. One of the talks that I have given in some events is where I will talk about the feminine as power because, in tantra, all energy or power is Shakti, which is the feminine. It is a different view of power than we have in the West, where power generally has more masculine connotations. There are more men in power.Don't be so quick to judge what's possible as a leader based on what we see out there in the world. Just take responsibility for who you are going to be when you step into your power. Click To Tweet
We have these many situations where if you say, “People are put off perhaps at times from seeking positions of power because of the abuses of power that they see.” It’s either because they think, “I’m not like that,” or perhaps they fear that they are like that if they are in that position. I’m wondering if you had any more comments on the subject of power with regard to tantra.
Thank you for bringing it up because I had forgotten to mention some of this stuff. We do think of leadership as masculine and understand that it does not have to be. It’s only what’s being modeled. Even female leaders often tend to focus on their masculine traits so that they can step into leadership in a world of male-dominated leadership. It’s what people understand, trust, and believe we need to be.
I have paid a huge price for my own leadership role because I have refused to step into that because, for me, I understand that I will never be as good at being a man as a miss. No man is ever going to be as good at being a woman as I am. I have innate abilities that make me powerful that no man has access to. Why would I try to step into something where I can only be second best instead of utilizing what I can naturally be the very best at?
Men, as leaders, are powerful. They are hunters and decision-makers. There are all these things we associate with masculine power. What about the feminine? We are collaborators. We are powerful in our ability to lead and change through love. We collaborate and love. We stand in the feminine power of holding space for change and evolution in ourselves and others in the world.
Our power is in creation. We are visionary and we are also implementers. It’s like magic. Who gets that? As women, we get that. Men don’t have access to that. They have one or the other, but we can do it all. We are better at some. You want to focus on what you are best at. We have access to a whole other set of skills and superpowers that we can bring forth powerfully without having to be a man or act like a man.
It’s so much more powerful because you are at your best. You are not doing an imitation of yourself. All of us need a balance of masculine and feminine. Even as a leader, even though I focus so much on my feminine, the masculine is there and it has to be. For men, there has to be a level of feminine, but our superpowers are in our God-given gifts as women.
The whole point about superpowers and that each person has them is so important. Often, when we are talking about power, the real thing is to discover where your own innate power lies, and so often, that is to do with connecting to energy and the clearing work you’ve spoken about, which brings a person into connection with their creativity and their unique gifts. Maybe the leadership comes from there.
I do want to say one more thing about the feminine and our feminine power. I feel like we, women in this society in this world, are gifted because we have been brought up to believe we have to act like men. We have learned so much about masculine power. We have had to live in that. We have had our whole lives access to all of those masculine superpowers, and then we have our innate feminine superpowers. We can marry them and be powerful in both of those areas. Men do not have that gift. They haven’t been taught how to have feminine superpowers because they have been favored. They haven’t gotten the gift. We got the gift of having access to both.
I once heard somebody say that living in a patriarchal society for men was like being fish and water, but for women was like being birds trying to swim in the water.
We are birds that can swim, too. We get both because we have to survive in this society.
Having followed some traditional tantric pathways, it’s been so helpful to have that model of equal honoring of masculine and feminine as a guiding framework for life. I love what you are offering to people, and that you have developed a whole suite of practices and writings where you’ve boiled it down to some essential points. You’ve focused on joy and bliss, which is something else that’s missing largely in our society at this time. People want it, but they don’t know how to get it. You are the one person they can go to learn both of them. How can they contact you?
There are a couple of things I want to tell your people about. First of all, I wrote my flagship book called Choose Bliss. You can find that book on Amazon. That would be one place to start. The other thing is I created what I call the Missing Chapter. This is the chapter that I didn’t want for the mainstream because people do think it’s a little bit weird and they hadn’t met me.
I called it the Missing Chapter, and it’s all about how to utilize your sexual energy to live your most blissful life. I call it the Missing Chapter and I would like to offer that to your audience so that they can get that, now that they have met me. You can read the book. If you want to start with the Missing Chapter, go to TantraForLeadership.com. You put in your email address and the Missing Chapter will be delivered directly to your inbox.
I’m sure you’ll get lots of people wanting that. I certainly want to read it.
It’s fun. I was rereading it. I wrote it a long time ago. They were such good information. This is the thing like when you’ve been practicing, I have been practicing since I was sixteen. I’m not going to tell you how long that is, but it is many decades. You forget some of those basics that they are the simple things that make such a big difference in our practice. It was fun to read it again.
I’m curious to ask you about what led you to practice when you were sixteen. Can you boil it down to a couple of minutes?
Yes. I was living in India. I remember that I was walking down the street and there was a book fair. There was one vendor who had an English bookstore. I went one day and I bought Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, and Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People. I started to read those books.
I hit chapter eleven in Think and Grow Rich, and I was like, “What is this? I’m a sixteen-year-old girl. How can a sixteen-year-old girl resist? This sounds sexy.” I went back to that store and I found a book about tantra and using your sexual energy. I was in India with my uncle and so I couldn’t buy this book. What I did was I took it. I threw money at the guy, stuck it under my coat so that nobody would see it, and then I would read this under my blanket at night after everybody had gone to bed. That’s how it started. Napoleon Hill told me to go to buy a book about tantra. That’s how the whole thing happened.
That’s a wonderful story. Thank you so much. That’s a lovely ending to our talk. Thank you so much, Moneeka. It’s been a delight.
Thank you so much for having me.
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Moneeka Sawyer is often described as one of the most blissful people you will ever meet. She has been investing in Real Estate for over 20 years, so has been through all the different cycles of the market. Still, she has turned $10,000 into over $5,000,000, working only 5-10 hours per MONTH with very little stress.
While building her multi-million dollar business, she has traveled to over 55 countries, dances every single day, supports causes that are important to her, and spends lots of time with her husband of over 20 years.
She is the international best-selling author of the multiple award-winning books “Choose Bliss: The Power and Practice of Joy and Contentment” and “Real Estate Investing for Women: Expert Conversations to Increase Wealth and Happiness the Blissful Way.”
Moneeka has been featured on stages including Carnegie Hall and Nasdaq, radio, podcasts such as Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod, and TV stations including ABC, CBS, FOX, and the CW, impacting over 150 million people.