Interview with Carol Haggerty Reardon
In preparation for an upcoming workshop for women, I had a brief conversation with Carol Haggerty-Reardon, Director of Spiritual works for women at the Institute for Hermetic Philosophy. She was kind enough to share some interesting points from her experience as a woman about the work taught by Dario Salas Sommer.
JE: What part of the idea "be with yourself" relates to your experience of being a woman?
CHR: That no matter what is going on around me, I can connect to the peace within me, where my true self resides and try to live from this place where there is power and calm. Naturally, there are many things to distract me and keep me from making this real connection: putting others’ needs before my own, negative emotions, self doubt, self judgement, fear, physical or emotional pain, all of these things can keep me from "being with myself".
Of course, I still have feelings and old definitions of myself that want to rule and define me, like being easily distracted, self loathing and rejection, but the more I experience “being with myself”, the more on guard I am to the traps that lower my energy through self sabotage and rejection. When I am truly "being with myself" I feel light and limitless.
JE: It sounds like you have gotten a lot from your personal work. In your experience, what part of this work has touched you the most?
Carol: What has touched me the most is that this energy is REAL. Anyone can learn how to connect to it and grow it - when I am connected to this true, real energy, this vibration of peace, calm, self acceptance, I am open to giving and receiving in a way that I didn't know was possible. My level of energy will determine how my day will go. When my energy is stagnated because I am feeling low, or judgmental of myself or others, that is when I do damage to myself. If I realize this in that moment, I have the ability to connect to a positive place. These tools we are given allow us to take our energy, and our continued ways of connecting to it to another level.
JE: So what would you say to a woman who is struggling to bring her life into balance?
CHR: First, I would say it’s normal. Today it’s so difficult for most people to find balance, especially women, who play different roles and support others in their lives. They are used to supporting others and being the nurturer, typically giving to others before giving to themselves and that leads to depletion of their energy. In order for a woman to find balance, she needs to find her center first, she can use that place as an anchor to make decisions based on her reality and not on her expectations of herself or others. I would say to someone who is trying to find that balance, to first accept where she is - you can't change things over night, but you can accept them. Then she can find ways to bring herself into the present moment by breathing, to love herself, to take care of herself. In the end she is the only one who can figure out what she needs and then give it to herself.