Adi Shakti is the founder of SoulWork™, where she has trained 1,000+ yoga teachers in the 200 hr, 300 hr, Prenatal, Conscious Business Leadership + Trauma-Informed professional focus areas. She has led retreats focusing on humanitarian efforts in different parts of the world including India, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Thailand, Cambodia, and Guatemala. Shakti is the Host of the SoulWork™ Podcast, Executive Producer of SoulWork™: the Film, co-founder of the SoulWork™ Jungle Ashram in Costa Rica, and Executive Director of Shakti Seva Inc. – the nonprofit extension of SoulWork™.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I grew up in Indianapolis, in majority-black Elementary and Middle schools. This made me hyper-sensitive to issues related to race + social justice. Looking back now, those early lessons shaped so much of what is central to my work and teachings now. I had a lot of friends in dealing drugs and violence, and when I pair this with the elite schools I attended later in life – it created a recipe for me to be able to connect meaningfully with a wide spectrum of backgrounds, values, and life experiences. My family is incredibly loving and supportive, and I know that so much of my bravery and confidence stems from being raised in such an incredible home. I believe that spiritual healing becomes the foundation for the environment in which we raise the next generation, and I am passionate about supporting others in opening their eyes to the importance of creating their home life with awareness.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

I don’t think that I would have interfered with my process. The teachings come as they are meant to, and I am increasingly grateful for the pace and intensity of my life curriculum.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

There seems to be a trend now that ‘abundance’ is about mindset work. I do believe that mindset is an incredibly important element of inviting in success in your creative projects. However, I see a dangerous trend of entitlement of ‘spiritual entrepreneurs’ waiting with their palms to the sky instead of being willing to put the work in to support your dreams. It can make people feel like a failure or like they weren’t ‘chosen’ by the universe to experience success in the form of impact. There is a trend in shaming those who actually want to work hard for what they have in their lives. That it isn’t ‘spiritual’ or ‘the feminine way.’ In my experience, financial growth takes work. Joyful work. It doesn’t need to be old school, patriarchal, work till your bloody at the knuckles work, but it is work all the same. Maybe you just manifested it. Or, maybe it’s white privilege.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

My darkest periods have centered around grief. To attempt to speak or write on these emotional lessons seems to take away from the power of their truth. To those who know what it is to lose a chunk of your heart, you know. I came out of it with time, love, and the presence of a strong inner circle of support. I have learned to move forward with a part of me missing. There isn’t some grand, positive outcome. Life just hurts sometimes. We build our resilience I suppose. And then we move on the best we can.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

I am honest with myself, and I surround myself with others who are honest with me. I reject the veil of needing to uphold some sort of illusion of mystery of the truth of my struggles, my pain, my own discomforts, and blind spots. It is a new form of leadership, but it keeps me in integrity. My community knows I am walking with them, not above them.

What is your morning routine?

I wake up when my body calls me to. This is important to me. I set an alarm if I have a flight, but other than that – I give myself all the time I need. I don’t start work until later in the day, and my mornings are for me. I get my movement in the mornings, I spend time with my loved ones. I typically confirm / plan out my day the night before in regards to work meetings, etc.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Weightlifting. Feeling strong, sexy, and confident in my body has been the foundation for emotional + mental resilience. Also, EVERYTHING I need to get done is recorded. I used to hold all of these things in my mind – and it made me crazy. Now, I have peace when I am away from work – because I don’t feel the stress of needing to keep millions of things rattling in my head. This has made all the difference in the world.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

I plan my following day before I go to sleep. I have scheduled weekly team meetings to keep everyone focused and on task. I am naturally very fiery and focused. If anything, I need to discipline more free time in for myself. My natural, joyful tendency is to be in creation. Lists on lists on lists. Calendars scheduled to the T (including big chunks for personal time). If it isn’t written down on a list or in my calendar – it might as well not exist.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

Conscious Loving by Gay and Katie Hendricks. This is what changed my perspective earlier in my career around seeing our most personal relationships as vehicles for personal growth, healing, and transformation. It outlined the framework for conscious connection and has changed the way I live and see my life.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

“Let Nothing Steal Your Peace” – it is a reminder that my inner life is my responsibility. Whenever I am tempted to blame others for my own suffering, this quote enters my mind and heart to remind me of my empowered state of self-soothing, self-regulation and seeing triggers as opportunities for growth + expansion.