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Ep 2: How to Connect to Your True Purpose with Tejpal

Life Coach, Brennan Energy Healer, Kundalini Yoga Teacher, and Author, Tejpal, chats with Elizabeth about how to connect to your true purpose.


Elizabeth: Hello, and welcome everyone to Ascend and Transcend. I am giddy about our guest today. She is incredible. And by that, she only needs one name and her name is Tejpal to me. Tejpal was really one of the probably two people that forced my expansion, and my breakthrough, and my awakening eight years ago at Miraval Resort in Tucson, Arizona. I have been really excited to have her on and have her just explain a little bit about what she does. She's got incredible books that are coming out, we're going to talk about those as well.

I like to sum up Tejpal this way: Tejpal is somebody who has done the whole corporate thing before, right? She was in HR for a massive hotel chain in Paris. She's from France—you'll love this accent that you hear coming through as well in just a minute—and then she had an awakening of her own and decided that she was better used on this earth to be able to help other people wake up, tap into their intuition, and then use that as their wonderful guidance system. And so she has too many awards and things to kind of go through at this point. She's the author of two books. My favorite one that is actually required reading for all of my clients is Manifest Moment to Moment. That was in collaboration with Dr. C McLaughlin. Her newest book, Way To Be: 40 Insights and Transformative Practices in the Heart of Being, is in collaboration with Shari Gootter.

I wanted to have a chat with Tejpal today to talk a little bit about not only what she does, but her journey and how she really leaned into her spirituality and her intuitiveness to manifest all the incredible things that she has in her life, and then how we can try to do that for ourselves as well. Not everybody's going to be able to be a Brennan intuitive healer, and all of these things—she's an energy healer and does all of this incredible stuff—but we need to be able to take a little piece of that and incorporate it into our lives.

So welcome, Tejpal.

Tejpal: Thank you. Thank you.

Elizabeth: It's so good to see you again.

Tejpal: Yeah, it's great to see you. So what do you want me to focus on first?

Elizabeth: Well, I would love to talk a little bit about your background and how you got to the place where you felt either strong enough or pulled enough to leave your high power job and then move into this energy healing, intuitive writing space.

Tejpal: Yeah. My background, as you said, so I was born in France, and I didn't really know what I was going to do with my life because for so many years, I couldn't really find a lot of meaning in living. I was always interested in the non-physical world, and quite frankly, the spiritual world was my lifeline, my way just to keep my head above the water. But I was just kind of going through the motions and always asking, "What's the purpose of life? What's my purpose?" I didn't wait 30, or 40, or 50 to ask that question. I really was asking that at five or six years old. As I come to my late teens in, whatever, 18s and 20, we’re supposed to know what we are doing with our life, right?

Elizabeth: Right.

Tejpal: Here I am saying, "Well, I'm not sure, but I'm interested in psychology, and spirituality, and personal growth, and so therefore, I'm just going to get a master in psychology." Then once I got my Master's, I was not at that time interested in going for a PhD of some kind. Then I got an MBA, and with those two things, I was still questioning, "What am I doing? Am I going to become a therapist? Am I going to be like this?" I don't even know how I landed in a corporation, quite frankly. Long ago.

But when I landed, I got really excited. I loved it. I got into some great organizations. And very quickly, beside doing a lot of recruitment and training, and became an expert in leadership development. I had a lot of fun because I had a lot of space and a lot of responsibilities. At the same time, I think I grew up too quickly in organization. In my early 30s, I had a lot of responsibilities, and I certainly had the mind for that. I didn't have the emotional maturity for that. I struggled all of my childhood life with relationships and meaning, being able to be stable and not be like a volcano, reactive, and impulsive, and all these kinds of things, at least in my own self-assessment. When I was a leader, even if I had a lot of a cool project that I led throughout the world, I also knew that I just didn't like the way I was leading, quite frankly. I thought that I was sometimes too reactive. I always hope to be super zen-y.

Elizabeth: Everybody's goals, right?

Tejpal: And I say, "Why am I so reactive about that? Why am I so reactive about this?" The beauty is, I was always able to own my distortions of any kind. But I still had this fire in me. Eventually what happened is, at 33 years old, I decided to fire myself, quite frankly, because nobody was going to do it.

Elizabeth: Right. You were probably really good at your job, so they were never going to let you out of that comfort zone.

Tejpal: Yeah. So I was working and that's where I said, "You know what, I'm ready to do something that is deep, more nourishing for me and more meaningful." That's when I decided at 33 years old, it was in '94, to leave my job more, move to New York City... and move on my own, by the way. I left the relationship I was in.

I said, "You know what..." and I changed my name. It was kind of a radical way to start all over, but it worked for me at that time.

Elizabeth: So many people, I feel like, throughout their lives, they at least have a few nudges, right? The soul kind of nudges you into a different direction. It sounds like you started listening, and then just made the decision at 33 to say, "You know what, I'm really going to lean into this." So many people just kind of suppress it, or they let this duty or the obligation brain drown out what the soul is leading them to do. Something that I've always heard you say, and now I use with my clients, is to stay curious, right? Just don't immediately shut down these thoughts or these nudges that your spirit is guiding you.

That's great. So you leaned into it at 33, you left, you came to New York … and then what happened?

Tejpal: Yeah. But I want to go back to what you just said because it's beautiful: start listening. Every time we start listening, the mind gets in the way, as you know, either because we try to understand what the person is saying or we jump too quickly into conclusion. It's fascinating how poorly we listen a lot of the time.

Certainly, we don't know how to listen to ourselves, because we want what's next, what's next, what's next, an answer.

When I moved to New York, first, I started to do what I knew, which was executive coaching and leadership training. I knocked at the door of a different CEO that I knew when I was in Paris, and I said, "Hey, you have some work for me?"

And it works. At least in the first year, I found a way to collaborate this way. Then I took off on my own for a couple of years. Very quickly then, I realized that was just not going to be just executive coaching, and so forth.

I got a little detour because I was really playing a lot of golf at that time. I went into dropping everything and caddying on the LPGA tour for almost three years.

Elizabeth: I didn't know that. That's fantastic.

Tejpal: Yeah. So I had a few coaching clients over the phone, but I just needed a break because I... And the way it worked for me, if I don't do radical breaks, I'm just going to stay in the same thing with a different makeup, but it's not going to be a real change. I ended up caddying on the golf tour for almost three years, and having a few very flexible coaching clients who could always adapt their time to my schedule.

Then eventually, at the end of those three years, I say, "You know what, it's time to go back to school and it's time to pay attention to my longing because I'm still not living my purpose here, and it's too painful." And that's when I went back to school, and I went into Barbara Brennan School of Healing.

It was four years on and off based in Miami at that time. That really gave me permission to really go full speed into something that I was longing for since I was five years old but out of fear, I didn't choose that road first.

Elizabeth: Well, I was going to ask you, did you ever have any scarcity mindset or financial fears? Because that's one of the most powerful things that holds back a lot of the clients by the time they come to me as well, is this fear that they'll be destitute. I always say, "You're not going to end up under a bridge." They're like, "Yeah, but I'm making all of this money. So if I was to take four years off, and go, and study..." Or, just even six months, give your mind the space, as you talk about in Way to Be, the book, to give it the space to listen to it and then follow through. But throughout this time, you said you had fear. Were there ever any specific money fears or did you feel like you'd always be okay?

Tejpal: I had at some point, on and off, so many fears, but that didn't stop me. My goal with money was not, I need to have this amount or that amount or this amount. My goal was, I want to be at peace with money. That's always been my mantra, be at peace with money, be at peace with money. Because as you know... I mean, you work with people, I work with people. Some people may have what you consider quite a good chunk of money and they're still not at peace with it. They still think they need more. I mean, I still remember that person who was always talking about money in my sessions, and one day, I got tired of it and I say, "Okay, if you don't make any more money, how long can you live with the lifestyle that you have?" There was just a pause on the phone. I thought it was for a minute, but maybe it was only 15 seconds.

And she said, "16 years." I was like, "Okay, so I think you are going to be just fine."

Elizabeth: Well, sometimes I ask clients too, they'll say, "I'm making all of this." And I go, "But what is it costing you?" This is costing you something. It's costing you your personal peace and your happiness, which will then manifest in your body, and all of this stuff that can be symptomatic of that. A lot of times when it's flipped on its head of: What is your suffering cost? What's the price tag on your suffering because you're suffering every day in this job or in this situation? Every day you're not listening to your soul trying to guide you. And you're saying, "Shh, be quiet. We're making money." Then that's costing you probably a lot more than what you're making.

Tejpal: That's true. And there's another dimension, I'm sure you experience it for yourself, your relationship with money will change too. I mean, what I thought I needed at 20 is not what I need at 60. Without even any sacrifices or whatever, it's just the way it is. So we evolve and our needs change.

Elizabeth: Well, and I think too, if you see it as a wonderful energy that is flowing and reoccurring. When I was at Miraval and I was investing in private sessions with—I mean, you guys have to go there. It's incredible... I mean, book a call with Tejpal through—but you know what I mean?

It's an investment, but I've never looked at that and thought, "Oh, I wish I didn't spend that." Or, I always felt like if I went into it very happily paying for things or investing and really blessing that money that was being sent to somebody, it's always come back multiple folds. It's never just gone. Right? So if your intention with money changes from being how much can I get and hold onto and buy a bunch of material shit to how can I use this to better my life and somebody else's life, I feel like it does change. And then it comes from really wonderfully creative places.

Tejpal: Completely. I mean, when I went to Barbara Brennan School of Healing, it was about a $60,000 total while you think about the travel, other things. I didn't have it, so I borrowed it. It was not a problem at all. It was very crystal clear that that was just not going to be a big deal to be able to pay back within a couple of years, and I did.

It's just completely changing how you relate to that. For some people, they don't have to be radical like I have been at that time. It can be like, okay, I'm going to shift. And maybe one day or two days a week, I'm going to focus on the thing that I'm passionate about, and so forth.

Elizabeth: And I think too, at least that eight years ago when I came to Miraval, I was battling an eating disorder. It was awful. It felt very dark. You were the first one-on-one session... Well, first I went... She did a wonderful lecture and I went to that. Then I booked the session. I thought, "Oh my gosh, I hope this is worth it." Just because when you're at Miraval, there's so many things to do too, right? It wasn't even the money. It was like I could be laying by the pool and not thinking about my eight-month stay at home that I have to go home to. I remember sitting across from you. Tejpal has this wonderful gift of just embracing the silence. To your point, like when you're talking to your client on the phone, she'll just sit there in silence, and she's okay with it. Then you start frantically talking, trying to fill up the space and your mind is racing.

She'll really call you on your shit too. I feel like you could feel it that I was trying to scramble or think of other things I could do. I went there wanting to be fixed, and I think she really reflected that as in you have to do it for yourself and you have to decide what you want. Do you want to keep living like this? You have to be—that word again—curious.

Then two years later, when I came back, I had another session with Tejpal one-on-one. And she says, "You should try being a coach." I said, "Oh my God, no. No." Like the word even sounded icky because it sounded like people were just, poof, calling themselves coaches, just a bunch of know-it-alls wanting to tell people what to do. And they were going to call themselves a coach. I was a career person who had climbed this ladder, and had titles, and a certain amount of money. That was really feeding the ego.

You were the one that said that, and I sat on it for a couple of years. To your point, I created a plan. I told my husband, "I'm not going to be a coach. Tejpal's nuts on that one. She missed the mark. But she is right, I need to do something." We made a five year financial plan. We knew I was going to leave. It was just we were waiting for the universe to just really give us the catalyst, and that came later on. I really owe becoming a coach to you. Through me, we've collectively helped, I feel like a lot of women, realize when that catalyst is there, and then have the guts to listen to your voice.

That's what I wanted to ask you about, so when you really had to kind of burn the boats, like be done with the PGA, just really stop and then go to the center and really invest in that. Was there a moment where you said, "Okay, I'm done", or was it a slow build and you're hearing messages, but you're still kind of not 100% committed to following through with them?

Tejpal: Well, yeah, there was a moment and you have to feel it in your body. All this practice of transformation, like what you have done... And you have beautiful focus. So you had your five years plan, and it's beautiful, and so forth. When people don't have that tenacity that you have, and the determination that you have, and the focus that you have, I think one of the ways to help people is to be way more present in the physical body. Because if you stay in your head all the time, which is really the lifestyle of the country we live in, if we don't pay attention, at least that is the trend—and not only this country—then it's impossible to experience peace. The mind is so agitated that it's going to want to have some guarantee, which is an illusion, and the money's delusional anyway. The more we are able to create lifestyle and bring the body into the equation, the more at peace we are going to be when we create those changes.

Elizabeth: So what does that feel like though? I mean, it sounds silly to ask, what does that feel like? And I know in your book, Way to Be, it is really kind of focusing on that, right? There's certain things, there's 40 different chapters where you will list out ways to be kind, or all of these wonderful things, so be sure to pick that up, you guys. But I feel like... Even in our sessions you said the same thing like, "What are you feeling?" Sometimes it's hard to identify the feeling when the mind is chattering or when you're distracted or agitated. Then you said, "Where do you feel it?" I just said, "Oh, I feel it in my stomach." But I wasn't even able to dial in to feel myself. I was so disconnected that it was hard. Do you have any tips on how, other than getting quiet to really kind of tune into that, to even identify those?

Tejpal: There's a few things, those will be the first things to start. I'm sure you have done that as a kid, and maybe you still do that once in a while, you go outside and you say, "Oh, close your eyes and how many sounds can you hear?" If you do it with two or three people, they're all going to have a different number. You may hear four, I may hear three, or somebody may hear five, and so forth. You can do it with fragrances and so forth. You play, and what you learn at that moment is to enhance your senses because the mind has a tendency to be a seal, and if you don't learn to enhance your senses, then the mind keeps running the show. As the mind runs the show, you just are very confused, quite frankly.

Elizabeth: Yeah, that's a great tip. Another thing that you would always say in sessions too was to have a creative outlet to play.

Tejpal: Yes.

Elizabeth: I think that a lot of women don't. I mean, especially after the last year, I think obligation has probably been ratcheted up pretty high. That's another thing that I stole from you that I work with clients on, they have to have one form of creative outlet. They have to be able to play.

You told me once to paint a picture and I said, "But I'm not going to be good at painting." You said, "That's the point, you're going to be terrible at it and it's going to be fine. But you're painting just to have the experience with no expectations of what you're going to produce." Now that ugly painting that I did hangs in my bedroom, and I look at it every day and I can now see the beauty in that. I can let go of the judgment that I had for that painting that I called ugly for so many years. I get compliments on the painting all the time, and that was another one from you of “just do something and be bad at it.” That's okay too. Is that another way to tune in?

Tejpal: Yeah. Here, what you're talking about is, in some ways you make the distinction between your finite itself and the infinite itself in some ways, because we have both. So your finite is who you are, meaning you are female, you are male, you have roles, you have responsibility, blah, blah, blah, all your social attributes. Your infinite itself, if that's what we are interested in, because that's the one we want in our life to make decisions. When you suggest, and I was talking about, go play or do some arts, it's not that you have to be good at it, that's the finite, but you have to learn to relax into it because you may realize that there may be something there for you. Everybody has at least one form of art expression in their being. What's in the way, is what you mentioned, is our self-judgment.

Tejpal: Self-judgment comes from where? Not the heart, obviously from the mind. Here the practice is to just bring the mind back instead of bring the mind forward. Therefore, that gives you way more stability. For some people being outside in nature, whatever they do by the way, will bring a little bit more of that balance. For me, breathworks is great, obviously. If you meditate, you really have to pay attention because a lot of times people jump into meditation, but they have so much in their head that the meditation becomes dissociative.

When I started meditating, when I was 16 years old, I was not meditating. I was dissociating, I was going into la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, and thought that was meditation.

Elizabeth: How do we know if we're disassociating versus meditating? Are there ways or certain thoughts?

Tejpal: Quite frankly, if you really meditate, it's not going to be fun. Certainly not at the beginning.

Because you are with yourself. The distinction will be realized when you're gone. Obviously, when you're gone, you don't know it, but obviously, try to go back. I always say to people, start with a short amount of time, five minutes, that gives you less opportunity to go off for such a long time. Then journal. We say, "Was I present? Was I gone? I don't even know. Was I thinking about something? Was I worried, or was distracted?" And so forth. That's why most of the meditation I do or I teach are not just breath inhale and exhale because those are the hardest one to stay present.

Elizabeth: I remember in a session we were doing that and I got really lightheaded. I mean, I felt sick, and we were doing like the nostril holds back and forth to try to just get grounded because you were saying the same thing to me. You're like, "No, no, no, you're up here. You're like a balloon. We need to pull you down." Because a lot of my meditations, it was like watching a movie, it was almost like a dream. It wasn't really being present. And I think you can have those present check-ins throughout the day.

You don't have to be sitting in lotus with incense burning and on a meditation pillow. It can happen multiple times throughout the day. Then I feel like this leads into the art of manifestation too. Can you talk a little bit about that? Because I love Manifesting Moment to Moment, there's a lot of really great actual activities to do. I remember working through some of them and then feeling some resistance to others. I think maybe that could be a product of journaling and meditation as well. Is that correct?

Tejpal: Very true. The manifestation process, what I like to say, there's a big distinction between goal setting and manifestation. If you approach manifestation like goal setting, it's not going to work. Because goal setting is, you know where you are, you know where you want to be and you have those series of steps. That's goal setting. Sometimes it's great, it works and so forth. Manifestation is we may not be completely clear about the final picture, but if we listen to who we are at that moment, then we know what just the next step is. Once we go to the next step literally, like when you go from one rock to another, you have a different view, you have a different experience. From there, we'll see what the next step is.

Some of those steps can be quantum steps and some can be really baby steps. We don't know. It looks more chaotic, but in some ways it's way more authentic. Then wherever you are at that moment, you have a vision, and that’s the vision for that moment. What you keep doing when you manifest is you keep coming back to you, coming back to you, coming back to you as a check in, instead of going into your mind and achieving things that may not even serve you at the end of the day.

Elizabeth: Right. I think it is about like the let go or the surrender of it. It's great if you think, someday I would love for my books to be best sellers, or whatever it is, whatever goals you have for yourself, but then really just letting go of… If that doesn't happen, then I know that's for the best, right?

It's not the focus on, I must grind, or hustle, or push through at any cost. I feel that's the opposite, right? Then you're focusing on the lack of it versus being in a raft on a white water river or whatever, just kind of going with it. If it pulls me left, then I go left a little bit. I think it can be very hard, especially for women in our culture too, there's this whole type A, control freak type of thing that women get labeled at, which I hate, but it feels very rigid versus just kind of going wherever the journey is going to take you. They've set a lane and they will not get out of that lane. I feel like that can end in a lot of pain. It can be a very painful journey. Then ultimately, your destination might not be what's the highest purpose for you. It might not be what's actually going to serve you the best.

Tejpal: Exactly. There are two things that I'm connecting to. The first one is like, I always like to go back: Okay. Before you die, what are you going to think? Who are you going to be? What really truly matters? I mean, we need to remember that we are dying at some point, and we don't know when. We are just guests on earth. So, that notion of achieving and so forth is as if we're here forever, and that's all that matters, achieving, achieving. When you look at that and you say what really matters, then you are able to go and to serve the wave of the rafts, obviously. To be more in that moment to moment, because that's this title, Manifest Moment to Moment.

Tejpal: There's another thing I wanted to say, and then it went away.

Elizabeth: Well, then we will let it go away and it might come back. Right?

Tejpal: Let it go.

Elizabeth: Again, if it steers us another direction, that's fine too.

Tejpal: Yeah, there's that other piece.

It could be challenging for somebody to say... Because the question a lot of time people say, "So what are you up to? What's next?", and, "Da, da, da, da, da." There is sometimes social pressure depending where you live and who you are with, that you need to have an aim.

When you say, "Well, I'm doing this, I'm doing that." For some people, they believe that if they are not completely clear where they are going, that's not a good sign. Again, they get caught into that mask, the social image.

All the work is, if you have such a strong sense of self—and that's part of manifesting and helping people to change, to know who you really are beyond your age, your gender, your roles, and so forth—then it's way easier to just be you, whatever that looks like, and not trying to wonder what people think.

Elizabeth: To focus, as you said it and for Way to Be as well, instead of doing and producing, just being. Being is okay. But I think it is this automatic reaction for people to ask, "What are you doing? What are you up to?" I wish we could normalize people's response just, "I'm being happy." I think everybody always is quick to say, "Oh, well, I'm doing that", to validate themselves, or to somehow not seem lazy, or whatever this is. I tell clients too, "Try to just have an awareness of that when you're doing that." I used to do that too. I felt like I had to exaggerate things to try to get value in their eyes. Now I know that I have no fucking clue what they're thinking of me. I'm never going to know what they're thinking of me, so why do I care so much? That has been a journey to really let go of what people think and to be authentically myself in whatever environment I'm in.

It feels like a big journey, but if you can start to acknowledge when you're being inauthentic and you're lacking integrity for your soul, then you start to care a lot less. You realize that people don't give a shit. They care about themselves. They're just asking that question to be polite. They probably really don't care what you're up to.

Tejpal: Sometimes it's true, depending who you hang with.

Elizabeth: I have thoroughly enjoyed our time together, Tejpal. We could go on for hours, so maybe you'll have to come back again. I highly recommend picking up both of her books, Manifest Moment to Moment and Way to Be: 40 Insights and Transformative Practices in the Heart of Being.

You've been a huge impact in my life and my spiritual awakening, and I will forever be grateful to you for that. I really valued our time today, and I think that we came up with some really good nuggets for people to take away and start incorporating in their lives. So for that, I thank you.

Tejpal: Thank you. I'm going to also return that to you. I mean, I'm hoping that a lot of people find you because you are so clear and so committed to your work. It's beautiful and so open, it's magnificent. So I hope you keep creating.

Elizabeth: Thank you, Tejpal. We'll say goodbye, and we'll see you in the next episode.


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