Prison Break: An Interview With Tosha Silver
When I looked at the speaker schedule for the upcoming SAND: Science and Non-Duality Conference, Tosha Silver's workshop, Leaving the Prison of Doer-ship, caught my eye.
For the past 30 years, Tosha has taught people around the world ways to align with Inner Love. She is the author of Outrageous Openness: Letting the Diving Take the Lead and Change Me Prayers: The Hidden Power of Spiritual Surrender, and also runs an online school called "Living Outrageous Openness" to help members from around the world truly let the Divine take the lead in their lives.
At the conference, which is taking place Oct. 20-23 in San Jose, Tosha will be talking about how to break free from doer-ship by the way of surrender. She says we can take any situation or problem and offer it up to the Divine, which allows us to listen for the right actions to arrive at the right time.
"One misconception is that surrender means passivity, but in actuality, it is the opposite: Surrender simply means that you allow your Higher Consciousness to show you when to act and when to be still," Tosha said. "You can learn to detach from the outcomes and just let the right action flow through you. You allow your intuition to flow. When you start to tap into your Higher Consciousness, you start to tap into synchronicity and you start to see the miracles that already surrounding you. The ego literally gets out of the driver's seat."
I had the opportunity to speak with Tosha before the SAND conference and also asked her about her speaking engagements at corporate America, her thoughts on the Divine Feminine, life in the Bay Area and more.
AF: I am curious what it was like speaking at Google and wondering if you think corporate America is interested in changing this paradigm?
TS: I actually think corporate America could care less about changing this as it's still part of the patriarchal paradigm. But here's the truth: people are fried from living in this mentality of chasing, grasping and anxiety. The learned “Doer-ship” is part of our culture, but there IS another way. It's actually the core of True Yoga. Yoga. The word itself means “yoking to the Divine.” We must come back to the actual meaning of the practice which is something larger than the ego.
Regarding speaking engagements at corporate America, I believe it is a great start, and it's surprising to see who can be open to this. I've received many, many unexpected letters from people who are now open to these ideas of surrender and offering, people who never would have been open to these ideas even a year ago.
AF: How do you sell the "Divine Feminine' to a bunch of engineers?
TS: First off, I never try to sell anything to anybody. That's part of the Doer-ship mentality. I find that if you tell your truth and you live from it, you touch people in a way that's authentic. People are naturally drawn to something if they resonate with it. And oddly, a bunch of people at Google really were drawn to this message. (P.S. It helps to be a little funny.)
Second, it helps to get rid of the word God. You don't really need it with some people, and you if you just think of God as Life itself, you can be make it more palatable to your audience.
For those who are cynical of this practice, I just say “do it as an experiment.” Even if people have that tech mindset and need scientific proof, they sometimes do see the benefit. Even Albert Einstein said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." You need to put it in their own language. I also think it is important to realize that there are people who just won't get it and that's okay, too. And, instead of lecturing them on your judgement of their ways, it's far more effective to simply EMBODY a different way. You touch their hearts without even trying. So in the end, opening to inner surrender yourself is the key.
AF: You live near San Francisco, which I think is the ultimate Alpha run city. Do you think there needs to be a cultural shift and if so, where will it come from?
TS: I have been off and on in San Francisco for 30 years now. I keep it simple. I figure my role is to keep offering myself to the Divine, to surrender and say: Use me for the greater good and show me the action I need to take. You can even say that "I am open to being a servant of the Light." The beautiful thing is that anyone can make this invocation and invitation to the Light. I figure my role is to offer myself to this force of Love and helping others who want to live this way. I'm not here to build some army of women for world domination. You don't have to approach this from an alpha place and just recreate the same old patriarchal mentality but in cuter clothes.
If my karma is to be in a leadership role in this world, so be it, but I could care less. I just want to play the role Eternity has picked for me. The Universe knows your abilities and limitations and can guide you into the right role when invited. This is the message in both books that I have written and there are endless examples in them.
Instead of asking the ego what it wants, you can actually invite Life to use you for the highest good of all. This is so different than just getting a shopping list fulfilled. Amazingly, once you surrender, the Universe is really efficient. It will use everything it needs to put you where you should be, if you surrender into it!
AF: How do you explain the idea of Destiny when it applies to what I may perceive as negative things like car accidents, missed flights, loss of job, or death of a loved one?
TS: There is this idea of Prarabdha Karma, that a curriculum exists for every person's soul that is greater than the likes and dislikes of the ego. It takes practice but it becomes simple to surrender by actively asking the Divine to help you let go. And you can do it anytime you have a particular problem, including having a human incarnation and wondering what the hell it's for! Ironically, as this surrender is genuinely invited, it often also brings the fulfillment of desires anyway. It's funny that way.
AF: What about ideas like the Power of Affirmative thoughts and the Law of Attraction?
TS: Well, they have aspects that are accurate but I find them far too fixated on just chasing the ego's agenda. Often the Universe has a plan far beyond what the person is "trying to manifest." Not everything is meant to happen just because the person thinks it, it's a vast oversimplification. So to me it's actually a very limited way to live. I go into that a lot in Outrageous Openness. The difference between genuinely inviting the Divine to take the Lead versus using Life to just get wishes.
Think of someone who always says "Oh I want to be in a relationship." Sometimes it hasn't happened because there is still work to do before getting into that relationship! The Universe itself has a whole other agenda. It's not because you're “blocking” it. It can be very powerful to say: "I am here to be used by this Force of Love. May it use me for the Highest good of All."
For years I was always hearing spiritual teachers say "Surrender" or "Let Go" but rarely would they say how to do this. I came to realize on my own that you could solicit that surrender, you could pray for it. It's a conversation and invitation you can make to Life itself. You begin having a conversation with the inner self versus just using Life to serve the ego. If you read both of my books, these ideas can radically change how your life unfolds. You're literally moving from a completely different level of consciousness rather than grasping and chasing.
AF: Do have any last words for our readers?
LS: When you surrender to the Divine, you start to remember who you actually are. You begin to remember your true identity as Love Itself.
Tosha Silver will be teaching an intensive course in Los Angeles on Saturday, November 5th and an intensive course in Berkeley on Sunday, December 11th. To learn more about Tosha Silver and the intensive courses coming up, you can visit toshasilver.com.
Click here to learn more about the SAND Conference or to register.