A well-known voice in women’s leadership, Nisha Moodley is on a mission to empower women everywhere to support one another while nurturing their own desires. With contagious warmth, the motivational speaker and blogger encourages women to embody the difference they want to make in the world; her openness about her own obstacles allows all women to relate to her uplifting words and advice.
We caught up with Moodley to get her perspectives on the new season ahead, how she stays present, and what she learned from the recent second-annual Global Sisterhood Day.
Experience Life | It’s spring, a season of growth and renewal, but even with the season’s feeling of possibility, people still tend to hit walls in their pursuit of happiness. What do you suggest for our readers who are looking to foster a healthier natural cycle?
Nisha Moodley | We tend to expect so much of ourselves, especially those of us who are very ambitious. We fantasize that there’s some smooth upward trajectory toward happiness that we just need to sync-up with, and everything will flow from there.
But the reality is, life naturally brings ups and downs, ebbs and flows. Just as the planet has seasons, our lives have seasons. And the more we can embrace the cyclical nature of life — and the less we resist it — the greater access we have to true joy and satisfaction. This isn’t about losing our edge or becoming complacent, or letting go of our ambitions, it’s about letting go of the intense pressure to “succeed” in each moment and the pervasive feelings of failure that accompany our resistance to our natural cycles.
When we can look at our lives and ask ourselves, with tenderness and sincerity, what “season” we are in at this time, we create a more honest relationship with ourselves. Because while it may be spring outside, we may be in a winter of our lives — a time of letting go, rest, not doing. We won’t know, though, until we look and listen. From there, we can start aligning our choices with the truth of where we are, which creates much more happiness than fighting against our nature.
EL | Are there any favorite traditions you keep as we move into summer? How do you make the most of the season?
NM | For me, in part because I love the sun and in part because of how I’ve structured my business calendar, summer tends to be a season of play and adventure with friends — afternoon picnics, trips to the beach, long dinners under the stars, and outdoor concerts.
While I do lots of international travel during winter months, summer months are typically reserved for long and lazy hometown visits with friends. Spending time in the sun, sand, and surf with the people I love provides both deep relaxation and endless creative inspiration. I make the most of this softening of the mind and heart, and wellspring of creative energy, by writing a lot and dreaming up new creations for the following year.
EL | You just hosted your second-annual Global Sisterhood Day in March. Where did this idea come from and why is it important to you?
NM | For years, I’d been running women’s groups and retreats through my business and was completely sold on the power of sisterhood. What I’d seen countless times — and experienced personally — was that when women gathered in the space of safe, loving, and supportive sisterhood, our deeply held (yet often unseen) wounds of shame, comparison, jealousy, and judgment of ourselves and one another transformed rapidly and completely.
The more I saw the centuries-old internalized patriarchal narratives crumbling in front of my eyes, the more I understood that sisterhood was a powerful catalyst for women’s courage, deep confidence, creativity, self-expression, and leadership.
Global Sisterhood Day was one of those precious ideas that arrived in an instant, as a flash of knowing. From the moment that seed was planted in my heart, I knew I had to create it. It was and still is important to me that the day be 100 percent free for women around the world to participate in, that each woman have an opportunity to share, and that we contribute to a deeper understanding of what sisterhood really is. It’s not just about women hanging out together, it’s about women connecting deeply around what matters, and supporting one another in standing for that in the world.
EL | You’re very open in sharing your past challenges with being overworked and not feeling like you were living in the present. What’s one tip that people can do every day to create space and stay in the moment?
NM | To be truly present is to reside in the heart. What I’ve discovered with many of the overworked, overwhelmed people I speak with is that they’ve often lost touch with the deeper meaning behind why they do what they do — their personal North Star. We get so wrapped up in our plans and to-do lists that, moment-to-moment, we’re much more in our heads than our hearts. I’ve been there and it’s painful.
Here’s what I do now, and it’s made a huge difference.
Grab a small piece of paper or Post-it note and write three questions on it:
- What do I really have to do?
- What would make me proud?
Place this note beside your bed, and ask yourself these three questions each morning to help you connect with your big “why” (your North Star), the few aligned actions you actually need to take that day, and the things (like exercise or calling Mom) that would make you proud. This helps to integrate focus while embracing flow, so we can be productive without losing ourselves in the process.
Follow Moodley on Instagram at @nishamoodley, or ask her a question on Twitter at @AskNisha. Learn more at www.nishamoodley.com.