What if the perfection of this moment called us to stand inside of something much greater? Join us for a provocative conversation with the Rha Goddess, Founder & CEO of Move The Crowd, and author of The Calling. A creative, activist, intellectual and true thought leader, Rha is the entrepreneurial soul coach behind hundreds of breakthrough changemakers, cultural visionaries, and social entrepreneurs including Gabby Bernstein, Alisa Vitti, Claudia Chan and Reshma Saujani.
Her mission is to revolutionize the way we live, work, play, and do business. Through her coaching platform, Move the Crowd, and her new book, The Calling, she is empowering entrepreneurs operating at the intersection of values, profitability, and impact.
NUSHU listeners have access to an exclusive giveaway for Move The Crowd’s White Awakening Course.
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Vanessa: Tell us about yourself about your path, your arc that led you to now to your work through move the crowd and the calling, and what brought you to now and your work and your purpose.
Rha: The road is windy and twisty and Rocky and, and I think that those actually make the best, the best journeys. It’s often sometimes when you bump up against the dead ends that you get the greatest insights. But for me, you know, I described myself as a change of life baby born into the intersection of civil rights and hip hop. My parents were born in the 1920s survived over two decades of Jim Crow segregation in this country. I am the baby of four. They were really living examples for me not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But they were very adamant and quite intentional about the values that they instilled in my siblings. And I, growing up, you know, they were serious about education, they were serious about community, they were serious about family, we were raised with the belief that if you ever had any advantage, any opportunity in life, you had a responsibility to make a way for somebody else, you had a responsibility to hold the door open, you have the responsibility to bring other people with you. And they, they didn’t just talk about it, they actually lived it. My father for many years was a criminal attorney, very active in the NAACP, and in the Urban League. New Martin, new Malcolm, my mother was an educator, lifelong educator, we would come home from school and you know, no telling who would be at the dinner table. And so that’s in my DNA that’s in the essence of who I am. But I’ve worked in corporate, I’ve worked in the nonprofit sector, I’ve worked in entertainment, I’ve worked in all of these different aspects and facets of, of society. But I think at the heart of the matter, my work has always been about liberation. My work has always been about empowerment, our work has always been about upliftment. And in the work that we do, move the crowd, it is about supporting people and showing up in the truth of who they are, and supporting people and making the highest contribution that is uniquely theirs to make in the world, and to do it in a way that is profitable and sustainable, and deeply, deeply impactful.
Vanessa: I love your your sort of very succinct mission. Stay true.
Vanessa: Get Paid?
Vanessa: Did I get it right? memory, remembering. That That means that you figured it out in a way where people would remember it, because it’s so potent, you know, not in my notes from memory. So tell us what you do at move the crowd, because I think your work is so important, and people need to know about your platform.
Rha : Thank you. So I mean, we are an entrepreneurial training company. But I say entrepreneurial, we work with leaders, we work with change agents, we work with entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, people who have a deep, deep desire to want to make a difference in the world, and who want to show up as their whole selves. We have a long tradition in the context of activism. And in any real form of success. When people operate at a very high level, it’s always been at the cost of at the price of really important aspects of their lives are really important aspects of themselves. And I think from my own experience of really learning, coming back from burnout, several aspects of burnout, in each sort of sector or industry of society going like this is not sustainable, and more people. If they knew that they could be well compensated if they knew that they could be deeply cared for in the center of their missions, more people would get on the field. And my work and our work could move the crowd is helping people get on the field. So whether it’s helping you find your purpose and calling in whether it’s helping you monetize your purpose and quality, or whether it’s helping you get your purpose in your calling in your mission to more people. That is the work that we do every day.
Vanessa: I love that it’s such it’s such important work. And I thank you for it. I do want to talk about right now. We set out to talk about what we can learn from the experience of going through a pandemic, and what we can learn from sitting in uncertainty and discomfort. And you’ve written some really powerful pieces on this. And we are experiencing another moment of great learning and movements, a disruption of our complacency and in our sort of collective blindness about the deep racism in this country? Let’s talk about both. Because I think there are a lot of themes that that overlap. What is one of the great teachings of this moment?
Rha: I love the heart of your question, which is really what creates true transformation, true change. And I have actually one word, and that is practice. Because we do remember and forget, we do remember and forget, we, we practice, and we need to practice anything that we’re serious about. Anything that we’re committed to. Anything that we’re dedicated to, must be met with our devotion. And our devotion is demonstrated through our consistent practicing, of whatever it is that matters and is important to us. Some of the practicings is about what enables us to continue to grow, evolve and transform as human beings. And some of the practice is in service to a vision, a vision we have for ourselves a vision, we have for our world a vision for what it is that we want to achieve. The lessons of this time, are many, Lord have mercy 2020 2020 in and of itself is gonna go down in history like as Can we just go that doozy right? You can just write that across the calendar, right. But even at the top of 2020, the energy was very strong. And in all of the predictions the cosmic downloads, and and information that was coming through lots of our different thought leaders and, and intellect folks, was all about the fact that this was going to be a year where we were, we were laying a new foundation, right, it was a new decade, and a lot of people were kind of reflecting not just on the previous year, but reflecting on the previous 10 years. And there was a sort of a way that we came into the top of 2020. Like we were shot out of the can, somehow the middle of January felt like the middle of April, and now you go We can’t remember that. Remember, this cannot be I mean, it’s incredible how much determination. But really, if I get like real in it desperation, was living in the center of the energy of how we will move in. But if you come back to the cosmic wisdom of what was embedded in 2020, it was all about foundation. And it was all about understanding what was the work that needed to happen to align us with the essence of our purpose to align us with the essence of what we said was important to align us with the essence of our calling. And that the work that we were going to do this year was going to set the tone and set the stage for the next 20 years. I framed this as the sacred pause for the cause. You know, and a lot of people heard the past part, Vanessa, but they didn’t hit the cost part. Okay, so let me break it down, right? The cause is you. And in this mandate of go home, it was all about our opportunity to take an inventory of our foundation. Now for some of us, the first invitation was come home to yourself. And in the coming home to ourselves, it was the opportunity to look at an all of the things that we commit ourselves to intend ourselves to, in the day to day, to what degree were we neglecting our own self love, to what degree we’re being neglecting our own self-care, to what degree we’re being neglecting our own voice, our own ideas, thoughts, inspirations. And so this first part was like a lot of people learning how to just self-attend. Because again, that capacity is not the present. Second invitation was to get our house in order. And that’s everything from our environment, to our relationships, to our finances. And you and I both know there has been a range of impact and reactions in response to what this moment has been about. For some of us home is our is our sacred sanctuary. For others of us home is hell. Yeah. And so our getting our house in order was about being willing to confront and tend to address all of those areas that had been calling for our intention in the context of how we defined and shaped home. And for some of us that required a complete redefinition.
Rha: The Financial piece, some of us had the opportunity to really look at what Are we saying is our source? What are we saying? Is our supply? What is it that actually gives us security? And is it real security? Or is it for security? Is it abundant? Or is it scarce? And many of us, as you know, are still trying to reconcile and even understand, where we sit in the midst of all of this. And the third and final invitation was to realign and reset our energy. And in the real lining, and the resetting of our energy, it was about coming home again to what is true. What is true for us, in terms of what it is that we’re here to do in the world, in terms of food is the procure to be in the world. And this is where the inspiration, the motivation, the creativity, the imagination, you know, so many of us did experience? Well, I’m writing my book now, or Wow, I’m learning how to speak Japanese right now. Or, you know what I mean, like we we were, we were allowing our creativity and our sense of humor and joy and celebration, to give us a different narrative about what this moment was for us. In all of that, the lessons were grounded in the mandate to come home. But the work has been our willingness to face and confront where the gaps are, as we take that inventory. And then not just to commit to do that work over the next couple of months or until we get back to normal again. But could that invite us into a new way of living, a new way of operating, and a new way of being in the world? And that was really the fundamental question.
Vanessa: Just taking a moment to digest that so powerful. Can we talk about a couple of ways that those invitations and lessons seem to be being hijacked? For some people.
Rha: we’ve been conditioned to desire predictability, we have been conditioned to value it over so many other aspects and qualities of our life experience. And it really is actually in our need for safety in our need for certainty, that we don’t ever really get to develop the muscle called trust. And we don’t ever get to develop the muscle called surrender. And many of us have been taught that surrender is actually a really bad idea. Scary, right? Because we then have to confront what is it that we believe about the forces outside of ourselves? Or even do we believe that there are any forces outside of ourselves, right, because I want to make an assumption here about where we’re standing. So this opportunity to strengthen our capacity to tap into something that is greater than what we can control and greater than what we can understand. And actually see it as a loving force, as opposed to an antagonistic force is really where the anger and the anxiety lived. And you feel it. In other words, we had to go deeper into what is it that I believe that has me be unable to deal right now? Now, because I can’t control ultimately means I’m going to thrive or I’m going to fall this ability to genuinely sit in uncertainty because it wasn’t just like, we don’t know what’s happening. It wasn’t just like, we don’t know what this is. It was like, we don’t even know when it’s gonna stop. Yeah. Right. And I think it was the time when Vanessa between you and I that really drove people crazy,
Vanessa: right. I think people said I can sit in uncertainty, but tell me For how long? Yes. Because I can tolerate it for a short amount of time. But if it’s open ended, that is intolerable. Yeah.
Rha: If I don’t know when it’s gonna end, that’s, that’s when we really have a problem, right? Because that is the ultimate surrender, where you really are out to see with your experience. For those of us who grappled and who struggled. We reached for things that either supported our ability to come into a more grounded and calm state, or actually revved us up. One of the things I talked about, in this call to sacred pause. I talked about that. Three invitations, we had three practices and the first was to pay attention to our sources of information. Many of us when this first started on every media outlet on every some of us left the channel on for hours and hours and hours and hours at a time and and and what really the the call to practice was the discipline of understanding how do you take in information in a way that enables you to be informed, versus taking information that sucks you into propaganda and sensationalism. And then get your mind heart and spirit spinning in ways that are not good for anybody. I raised it because what we consumed had everything to do with also our ability to be able to sit for an asset. The second challenge, you talked about this way that we thwarted the lessons, like okay, I could do that. Or I could, and this is to my caretakers, I could go save everybody else.
Vanessa: Oh, that’s a good, that’s a good one to point out. Like, working hard working really hard diving into your work, or, you know, the glass of wine or the Netflix. But the caretaking is a powerful one that I haven’t thought.
Rha: let me go make sure everybody else is okay. Let me So in other words, whatever it was that we do in life to avoid whatever it is we’re avoiding, or not dealing with facing, confronting sitting with traces. That gave us even greater opportunity, and reason to not deal. So now I’m going to check on my 87 cousins, I’m gonna make sure everybody else is good. So that I don’t have to check in and deal with with me. And just even for myself, it probably took me three weeks to really start.
Vanessa: 17:07 REVIEW >>>It definitely took me longer than three weeks and I’m not sure I really stopped. But I have recognized it along the way, it’s an ongoing practice, I love what you said about it being a practice, which means ongoing it never ends but you have to. Let’s talk about one more thing, the idea of holding contradiction, 2 different emotions, 2 different realities at the same time
Rha: I mean, feel it all. And our capacity to feel it all, and dance with it all and be with it all is part of the invitation to the next level of growth and evolution. In the darkest times always carry joy. Because I believe that joy is a form of resilience. Right? I’ve always worked to stay in high vibration. And it doesn’t mean that I don’t see what’s going on. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel what’s going on. But I do have a choice about what I’m holding as a foundation. The other thing that I know that I don’t think we we get to talk about enough or consider enough is that our emotions hold very important information. our emotions point to things that are important for us to see. They invite us into new understandings, they invite us into deeper intelligence. They also hold the earn the yearning for longings, the nudge, things of our callings. And whether that’s our little see like what we’re being called to in a moment or a big see our lives path, our lives vision and our life’s work. They are part of the communication for how we discern what is in alignment for us, how we discern what is for us and what is not for us. So if we never lean into our sadness, then we don’t really ever get the opportunity to understand what’s important. We don’t ever lean into our anger, then we don’t ever really get the chance to confront and engage what we value. If we don’t ever you hear what I’m saying, deal with our guilt. We don’t ever get off the ground in what it is that we’re here to offer and contribute because Be clear, your guilt is not a contribution. If we’re doing well, how do we leverage that capacity to create opportunities for other people to be able to thrive and prosper alongside of us.
Vanessa: I want to keep going on, on the topic of guilt for a moment and even of shame. Because I think I’ve learned to download the information, you have to not turn away from it, or evade it, or numb it, or gloss over it. And so I think that the information is there. But we also usually just want to make the feeling go away. And then we’ve missed the whole opportunity for the feeling, in spiritual work and in, in in anti racist work. Sometimes it’s deeply uncomfortable to confront those feelings. But without that confrontation, there’s no information and then no action.
Rha: Shame is the name of the game. And I’m going to tell you why. Because underneath it, is what we’re grieving. And grief is good news. Because it means we’re alive. And it means that we are feeling grief is the thing that does connect us to our humanity. So I want to say to you be worried when you don’t feel anything. Because I actually think that’s the biggest challenge we are facing right now, people who have completely disconnected from their capacity to be able to feel, and it is what then enables what we see as atrocities. And what we see as horrific acts of violence and acts of violation. What enables them to occur is actually because we are disconnected from our humanity, or we are rife with unprocessed wounding, and grief. And our challenge is right, Vanessa, to your point, the busy becomes the perfect reason to not go there. And what happens is when we don’t go there, as a practice, it accumulates. And it builds and builds and builds. And so anytime we see burning, or people in the streets, that ain’t that’s the, you’re at the end, of the tail.
Rha: You ain’t nowhere near the route, you’re at the end of the tail, you’re waking up late in the movie. Right? Do you know this is the big crash ending, right? It’s not an end, we have the cycle of it that goes over and over and over and over and over again. And so one of the things every one of us needs to start asking is what is the root of my grief? What is the root of my discomfort? What is the root of my disease on ease? Where is it that I know that I do not want to go and our willingness to start to lean in and sit in and hold space for our own brief is actually the beginning of us being able to do it as a larger society
Vanessa: It takes a lot of courage. I think it’s a lot of what you do is invite people into being brave. And I want to touch on an article that you just wrote from medium, an open letter to white male allies. And everyone listening you should read it. I want to I want to pick out two lines from it. It says today I am asking you to be brave. Today I am asking you to break free. Talk about what you’re doing there. And about stepping into being brave and breaking free.
Rha: When I like every single one of us saw all of what was unfolding. I kept saying what can I do? And I say this because sometimes as activists as those of us who consider ourselves to be activists and consider ourselves, you know, of service in the work that we do, like Well, yeah, I’m doing that I’m doing my thing. I’m doing me, you know, right.
Vanessa: I’m doing I’m already doing Yeah.
Rha: Exactly. It’ll get there somehow someway. And I will tell you that the answer was not sufficient for me this time around. I’ve never done anything like this. I’ve never written off it but when I got Quiet. And what really precipitated the app it was I had an interaction with a beloved male who has a big audience and podcast, and we kind of got into a really interesting conversation. He said, I love you, but my audience is not ready for you. It will just be too much. And this is an individual who is deeply devoted and deeply dedicated, and who, you know, he was like, Listen, you and I could go all day. But these people over here, they not gonna be, they’re not going to be able to handle this. So in order to protect you or protect them, we’re not going to do this. And we hung up the call. And I was like, Oh, that’s bullshit. Yeah. And then I said, you know, what, I just realized, you know, who we need to talk to who we have not been talking to, is we need to talk to sympathetic white men. White men who believe they’re with it, white men who call themselves allies in the dark, but who put on the mask in the light. And this is a hard conversation, Vanessa? Right? Because I have hundreds of them in my life. Do you know what I mean? Really hundreds of them in my life. And today, I recognize that my work is to get more white men on field. And I say that also because I push against the belief of who can activate. So there’s an assumption that as a black woman, maybe I should be talking to black people. Or there’s, as y’all hear me, right, there’s an assumption as a white woman, maybe you should only be talking to the certain kind of people. What I believe is that the truth, no matter how it comes, will penetrate. If we’re committed to it, if we’re devoted to it. And if we’re willing to stand in as a practice, over and over and over and over again. So I sent this out before we posted it to 10 white men, in like my close, homies. They already started, you know, texting back, can we talk? Can we talk to you? And that’s what we want. But we have to challenge each other? Yeah, we have to.
Vanessa: I think that what you did, there was such an incredible example of what you advocate for in the calling. And in move the crowd, rah, I’ve been asking myself a lot. What can I do? What can I Vanessa Cornell with my constellation of reality do? And this is not a conversation about what I’m doing. But it’s really been informed a lot, by the way that you have empowered people to understand. Use your gifts in your way and find your way to do it. So thank you for that. I love this question. characterize your path to trust. It is a practice,
Rha: It is a practice, because we are immersed in a reality that actually doesn’t lend itself to trust.
Rha: In other words, if we look outside, and we navigate the systems and structures that govern our society, does not hold out of trust going on, though, I think we’re starting to break through it. You know, I think we’re starting to challenge it.
Vanessa: So let’s talk a little bit more about what you said, we have to challenge each other. And it relates to a question here that you know, white men are afraid. How do you get them to the conversation, not only white men are afraid, white women are afraid, everybody’s prey? People are afraid? How do we challenge each other? from a place of love, both love and effectiveness?
Rha: I think you first have to be willing to just take your terror with you. To say that I didn’t have feel or concern writing it to say I didn’t have fear or concern saying yes, you can post it to say, you know what I mean, and I say that Vanessa because sometimes I think we expect somehow the fear to magically fall away before we do the thing. But my fear isn’t bigger than my love. And my fear is not bigger than my calling. My fear is not bigger than my compassion for humanity for our humanity. And and so the question I always ask my beloved’s is what’s driving fear can be in the past. And you see, they could be in the backseat, they can be in the trunk.
Vanessa: Sometimes Rha feels like it’s on your lap.
Rha: Look, it can be in your lap, but nothing else has got to be driving. And every single one of us has got to ask ourselves AI and heart to heart. What are we going to allow to drive right now? Who’s gonna drive a car? Is it going to be you that’s committed to love you that’s determined to be a part of the solution you that’s willing to leverage your talents, your gifts and your abilities to make the world that you envision better, actually manifest itself? Or is it going to be your concerns, and all of the material fears we have about how those will react and, and what it will cost us?
Vanessa: I appreciate so much you talking about your fear about writing it, your fear about posting it. I want to ask you about this question in the q&a, talking about the difference between surrender and non action, I want you to clarify, I want you to clarify the concept of surrender with complacency, or lack of anger or lack of fire or a lack of desire for change. Because I think surrender is a very different thing than that.
Rha: complacency is rooted in a belief that somebody else is going to take care of it. Somebody else is going to do it, somebody else is going to handle it. Or it’s already fixed, or it’s already solved. And I don’t need to bother. What that’s driven by his a desire for comfort, and ease. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting comfort and ease because we all do at some point want comfort. And you know, listen, I would love to be poolside with a lot of right now. Like be clear. We all want it lovely crave it. But not around what matters. around what matters is something else we crave more. And that is movement. That is transformation. That is growth that is changed. That is evolution. So when we say I’m in a place of surrender, what it means is that you don’t know what’s going to be asked of you. You don’t know where you’re going to be guided.
Rha: You don’t know what you’re going to be told to do. Believe me when I tell you Friday morning when I got up, if somebody would have said to me you are about to write an open letter to white man, I’d be like, No, I’m not. Oh, no, I’m not. Right, and all my you know, reasons, justifications, whatever’s but when it came clear to me, because I couldn’t I couldn’t even think coming off of the conversation. I was like, oh, okay, I guess I guess I am, I guess I am. So surrender means I’m willing to trust that something bigger than what I can see. And understand is operating, and that it is operating for the highest of good, the highest of good for me, and the highest of good for humanity. And that is what is driving. Not my, my concerns, or my fears when I can secure.
Vanessa: surrender to the lessons that may not make you feel good.
Rha: Or the calling that may not make you feel comfortable. Right, all of those things. Right.
Vanessa: Let’s talk about reemergence. You talk about this in your article about the sacred pause. There is a pause. But it’s not forever. And then we reemerge. What do you think about when you think about yourself and other people reemerging?
Rha: Yeah. So you know, in this conversation of this time, I’ve talked about the three invitations, the three practices I’ve alluded to. I also believe that there have been three gifts. And these three gifts are what prepare us for reemergence. I believe. The first gift is like if we’ve done the work if we’ve been willing on any level to surrender, that we have realigned our relationship with ourselves. At there’s a new level of self awareness, a new level of self love, a new level of self appreciation, a new level of self understanding that we have been able to come into as a result of having done the work of climbing onto ourselves. That there is a real alignment with our relationship with source And this is the healing of whatever is wounded for us around money, the healing of whatever’s wounded for us around relationship, healing of whatever is wounded for us around the way that we have organized our foundation created or not created our foundation, and this idea that we can operate in a different kind of abundance. You know, when everyone was saying, Oh, my God, they were screaming recession recession, it’s like, Is that what you want to create, like being mindful of your speaking because there is a domino effect, there was an orchestration co creation, collaboration effect that occurs when we begin speaking, and particularly when we begin speaking out of fear, with conviction. And so this realignment with sources like to recognize money is not your supply, there’s something bigger that is holding us, there’s something bigger that we are plugged into tapped into. And it is our ability to really get to the heart of what that is. And then the third and final gift is in our relationship to our world. And this takes us directly into the heart of the emergent, what is the world that we want to have? Because we will have whatever we say. So if we want to have a chaotic, crazy, racist, fill in the blank world, that is, then what we will, we will succumb to if we say we want to have a different vision for a different kind of world, then we will align with that. And if we align with that, then the re emergence is about the new way we begin to see our work, and how we show up coming back. So the question I would ask you all is what is it that you want to take with you? What is it that you want to take? As you come back? And how do you come back in a way that honors, what feels aligned with your own timetable, and your own criteria?
Vanessa: You have a lot of spiritual guides, people in the personal growth, self help area that you’ve mentored guided, and in new shoe also, there are a lot of people who are, I would say self identified people who want to be of service. What is the particular responsibility of this group of people? Were the particular path of this group of people in setting the tone for their, their circles, the people they touch for how this reemergence happens?
Rha: Yeah, I mean, you, you have to put your light on. And you have to understand what it is that your beloved’s are grappling with right now. And you have to be willing to create space, and provide opportunities for them to express to be seen, to be felt, to be heard, and to be engaged. And so whether it is you’re creating forums like this, or whether it is just you’re going on live, your respective channels and platforms and talking to your people, those spaces are so necessary and important right now. And sometimes it’s just holding, so that people can speak, and so that people can listen. The other thing you you you’re being invited to do is to educate yourself. All of us have a responsibility if we really want to be of service in the world if we really want to be global citizens, to have a deeper understanding of realities that are vastly different than own
Vanessa: Thank you for saying that there’s a couple, you know, questions in the chat about this, but I think you’ve really addressed it, which is it this is all new to you. Listen, and learn and read, listen and learn and read and keep listening and keep learning and keep reading because there is a whole big truth that maybe you’ve never seen before that you need to understand before you can affect in the spiritual community, in the wellness community in the self help community. We have a long way to go. I am very committed to holding space for those conversations for wherever people happen to be right now. So that we’re moving towards seeing the truth and then being able to download the learnings of what to do next and what action steps to take. So I cannot believe we’re out of time. I’ve learn so much. I hope that you all have learned so much and thank you for all that you do in the world and for agreeing to come on.
Rha: Absolutely my love to all of you every single one of you. And thank you Vanessa for the amazing work that you do.