Jun 26, 2023 | Podcast, Your Business

Embracing Self Acceptance with Nandi Gabremedhin

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About the episode:

I am so excited for this conversation today and for you to get to know our guest, Nandi Gabremedhin. Nandi is one of my spiritual teachers and I believe the whole world needs to know her because she is magic. As you’ll hear, Nandi is nothing short of transparent about all that she’s overcome in her life to get to where she is today as an entrepreneur, yoga teacher and practitioner. I’ve learned so much from Nandi and this episode is just a sneak peek into all of that. 

Topics discussed:

  • Nandi’s story of doing a large part of her life without her mom and how that has impacted her career, teaching, and making connections 
  • How Nandi learned to be so surrendered in her teaching throughout her life, especially since a lot was on her own
  • The importance of having self acceptance and love for yourself and why Nandi chooses to live in gratitude 
  • What Nandi’s self care routine looks like as she honors her body and is able to show up consistently 
  • Nandi’s journey to Kundalini yoga and eventually becoming a yoga teacher

About Nandi:

Nandi Gabremedhin is a female business creator, owner of Efua’s Baby, LLC, and a budding yoga brand, Nandi Yoga based in Washington, DC. Her work focuses on wellness, self-care, and spirituality as well as honoring our ancestors through daily rituals.

Connect with Nandi:

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Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode

Catherine A. Wood  00:02

Hello Nandi, welcome.

Nandi Gabremedhin  00:06

Hi, Ken, thank you for having me.

Catherine A. Wood  00:09

I am so excited for you for this conversation. And I’m, I’m also just really excited for my audience to get to know you. Because I don’t know if you know this, but I really relate to is one of my spiritual teachers.

Nandi Gabremedhin  00:26

Oh, wow. Okay, thank you so much.

Catherine A. Wood  00:29

And I feel like the whole world needs to know you, because I just think you are magic. And I’m excited to have you on the podcast and share you with more of my world. So how’s that for introduction?

Nandi Gabremedhin  00:45

Wow, I am so honored about that introduction. And it’s good. It’s those are things that I need to hear. Because sometimes I keep my voice in here and I don’t always presented and but sometimes there are opportunities that that you probably have had. That’s what makes you say that people get a glimpse of the more that’s hanging out inside. So I’m happy that you called on me to give me an opportunity to share some of that. So I give thanks. Thank you so much.

Catherine A. Wood  01:15

My pleasure. Well, I would love to give you an opportunity to just share briefly about who you are, and I’d love to invite you to share your pronouns and, and a little bit of your story.

Nandi Gabremedhin  01:29

Okay. So my name is Nandi gabber Madden or Nandi Tong gay government and my younger self wanted to hold on to my hyphenated name and my older self is not so concerned with that anymore. So a lot of times I just kind of drop it and write it because it’s a very long name pronouns. She, her Queen goddess, are some of the pronouns that I like to use. I am originally from New York and New Jersey, Teaneck, New Jersey, and moved to Washington, DC, about 15 Shortly after I lost my mom, she’s right here behind me and on my chest. And I joined my sister in Washington, DC, who was a new grad from Howard University. She was a young mom and wife. And I’m very grateful that my sister swept in to help support me because my father and I were struggling, he was in mourning, and I was in mourning and just kind of all over the place and my grandmother, and my sister decided to take hold. And that really supported me getting to where I’m at right now. Getting an opportunity to go to Duke Ellington School of the Arts, I was a dancer all my life, and didn’t really know what my plans were going to be didn’t know didn’t really envision me being a dancer, I guess was kind of floating. But especially when my mom transitioned and became our ancestor, I really had no idea what it was that I was going to do. But my sister sat me down and showed me a few applications for DC high schools and Duke Ellington popped out I was like, that seems like a cool place. And it really really was, it was a great space for me to process my healing positively like to go into the arts, and to be have positive people around me artistic people around me, because in that time of mourning, it could have just went, it could have just been like total flip side. So, um, Duke Ellington was a saving grace for me, I’m grateful to still be connected to that community. And I have eight, I will call them sisters, women that I’m still connected to that we help support one another spiritually, socially, and business wise. They’re very smart women. And I’m grateful to have grown together like women that I’ve known since I was about 15. Beyond that, I’m married. I have four children. I didn’t finish university, I’ve been working and mothering and kind of figure out figuring out life, I used to work for DC government Board of Education. And then when I got pregnant with my third child, I realized that staying at home was going to be more affordable and more nurturing. My husband agreed. So we both went like we’d like drug ourselves into work. He literally worked like 80 hours a week, he was working full time jobs. We barely saw each other and I was doing the full time homework. And sometimes when I see other young families coming up, I get a glimpse and remember, you know, all of the struggle that we had to go through and it nothing was perfect, nothing is perfect, but I’m very grateful and proud of both of the foundations that my husband and I had, that we were able to come together and put a lot of positive and versus on raising our children together, even though we’re not always on the same page, but when it comes to them, we’re pretty much on the same page. And that has been reflected. People have put us on plates on a pedestal. And I always say to people don’t get confused with Facebook, right? Like, don’t get, like, don’t like get carried away with the imagery that you see. Because it’s not a it hasn’t been easy. It’s beautiful, you know, and I’m super grateful. And we make things look great. And people are inspired by us. People make commentary, they want to be like us. And that’s great, because it is not so common to see to young African Americans. I was 19, my husband was 24. We got pregnant, like, instantly, I was going to Howard University, he was going to PG and we got pregnant, like instantly the right to choose, we then keep that child and I got pregnant, like two weeks after meeting him never been pregnant before. Obviously, having unprotected sex, and then eventually got pregnant right after that, that was our oldest daughter. So we’ve been together since then we’ve been married for 14 years, we’ve been together for 25 years, and we’ve done a lot of growing and learning. And there’s a lot of growing pains when it comes to that, you know, we’ve been guiding ourselves, we haven’t had, I haven’t had the wisdom, like to go talk to my mom or my siblings, you know, but they’re older. But I didn’t gain a lot of wisdom from them, I guess watching them allow me to make choices to say what I do want and what I don’t want, so I did learn from them. But the coaching that you might get from your mom, from your aunt’s, I didn’t really have that, you know, guiding me on my finances. You know, running a house, I had to do a lot of figuring out, and I’m very grateful that the 12 years that I did get with my mother and in the nucleus of our home at the time was very powerful and impactful to help kind of guide me, you know, to make a proper home to create order in my house to, you know, sign my kids up for activities, to put them to bed on time to read stories at night to feed them good meals, you know, those are all the things that were taught to me. And the love and nurturing that I got when I was little that I just tried to recreate and the things that have been missing for me, I do my best to show up for my children. And the ways that I didn’t have people show up for me, which in turn makes a healing, it creates a healing, it helps to just stop some trauma there. And in a way, though, I

Catherine A. Wood  07:49

mean, I think that these are some of the qualities that I appreciate about you most is the willingness to keep it real. does say it how it is and must be your jersey routes, your Jersey, New York routes. It’s just incredibly it’s incredibly refreshing. And, you know, we haven’t even kind of talked about how I know you, which is really through the world of Kundalini yoga. When I was training for my Kundalini teacher certification, you were, I guess you’d done it a couple years prior, but you were just a sight to behold, whether you were teaching from the front of the room, or appear on a mat next to me like you’re just, you just radiate wisdom and beauty. And you’re really just, I just think you’re larger than life.

Nandi Gabremedhin  08:40

Well, I thought I remember coming to one of your classes, you taught either sadhna or something online. And I was very impressed. I was like, Oh, she’s like, she’s a new teacher was like, This is great. I don’t remember the details. But I remember being impacted by it. And then I remember asking Julie about you. And she was like, Yeah, you don’t know about cat. She’s an author. She’s this and I was like, oh, I need to know her. So I’m glad that we’re here now. And I’m glad I’m grateful for those experiences. And you saying that makes me think of is you never know who you’re going to bump into and how things are going to unfold. But when you present yourself right you have I was thinking about two sisters that I know I went to high school with one of them. But then our kids then later on in life. My kids went to school with another sister so they both know me, but they know me in two different ways. But they both respond to me the same way. So whatever, whatever impact that I was able to make one. The oldest sister in high school is the same. It was the same sort of impact in a different way on the other sister and I just said you know your reputation and how you show up is is very impact impactful and it can be important and you know and can draw things into your life. For end things, you just never know what you’re going to run into. So, that just made me that made me think of that.

Catherine A. Wood  10:07

I mean, it’s it’s truly, you know, and like I I mean, I think something I appreciate about you from the yoga mat is, is really like you don’t you share your journey with us. And when you’re processing some strong emotions, or, you know, you’ve had a lot of, you’ve experienced a lot of loss in your life since I met you, and your willingness to let us be part of that grieving with you and that processing, I think it is truly an honor. And, and it takes so much in our work to be able to share so open heartedly, in a safe space like that. And so when I think about the fact that you didn’t have that strong mentorship as a child, you lost your mother at a young age, you know, you didn’t feel like you had that. Those sisters to guide you like how did you? How did you obtain such wisdom on life, such ability to be so surrendered in your teaching? Because it sounds like in large part, you did it on your own? So what was that journey? Like?

Nandi Gabremedhin  11:26

Well, some of it, I will say is it is a gift that lives inside me. But a lot of it is just watching and observing. So like I almost said, I didn’t really learn a lot from my siblings. But I did though. And from you know, and my dad too, I, I learned that I wanted to be a little different, or I saw the hardship that they went through went through. So I just wanted to find a place of forgiveness. I’m leavin having these conversations is very powerful on that I’ve been able to share with some of my siblings, and I’m the youngest. So my understanding of things like the way I’ve been, it’s just been explosive for me. How am I doing it? I want to answer your question and then share something I don’t know, it’s just kind of a gift to observe and make these connections in a way. And it doesn’t always happen at that time. It’s like I guess having some experiences, seeing other people’s experiences. And then going into these programs, like you know, taking the Kundalini teacher training has been extremely revealing for me, authentic relationships. Oh my gosh, so revealing for me, and then recently stress and vitality even more like, I’ve been thinking about my place and my family, my siblings, the things that they went through the things that I went through, and finding forgiveness and acceptance for all of them. Right. And I feel so happy about that. Because it has been we’ve talked about, we’ve talked about relationships about family or siblings and trauma points. And I want to answer your question, but you’re and that this happens to me a lot. Your question makes me think about specific situations. But I don’t know how I don’t really know how I’m able to do these things. But it’s just like, I know I’m right. And then later on, there’s a bigger reveal. That’s just like, yeah, you’re in the right way. You’re, you’re on the right path. So I’ve been in this self acceptance phase, and I’ve also been celebrating myself. So I was mentioning the stress and vitality course, I had some more epiphanies and I’ve been sharing on because I’ve been I’m very, very hard on myself, but I’ve been sharing on my younger self like yeah, you you won’t answer something. You did have some awareness, you might not have known how to apply everything. You might not have known how to articulate it all. But it’s been there. And one of the one of my early days, in my 20s We have our father was an alcoholic, and now is still living. He’s 87 He stopped drinking. I can’t tell you when but his alcohol addiction created dementia or you know, so we he’s still exist, we can have conversations, and he remembers who everybody is. But he goes inside these kind of like, I’m going to work tonight. Nobody everybody knows he’s not going to work. He’s been retired for how many years but this is like, you know, okay, so my father had an abusive personality, whether it was verbally whether it was physically abusive at times, and that developed, of course, a stressful relationship for all of us. Well Watch, my brothers have a different relationship because they’ve got the longest standing relationship with him. My brothers are in their 60s, then my sister came along, and then I came along. So we all had a chance to see and experience Him. And my mother also created a space to try to protect us from that and protect herself. She did, she did the best that she could. And I have opinions, no judgment. But again, learning from them and making a choice to be different, right. So in my 20s, I observed my siblings and me even getting into these things with our dad, and I just looked at my father and I took him down to a boy. Right, I went in, and I just took my father down to a boy. And I started to envision from what I know, and from who I know, my grandmother is, I don’t know, my my grandfather, and just thinking about my father and their time period. He was born in 1937. He’s a black man in New York City, trying to make a way and I’m thinking about all of the struggles that compounded on my dad, not knowing his father. family struggles, how tough My grandmother is, she’s really, really tough. My aunts are all tough, they’re tough kind of people loving, but tough kind of people. So, um, I just thought about, you know, trying to have compassion and empathy for my father having to grow up in a space like that and become the man that he was also very proud of him because my father is egomaniac, but, and he’s an egomaniac. And he also is very headstrong. So, my father and mother came into the black Pan African movement in Harlem, which was a very invigorating movement for black Americans to be reconnected with Africa, the Caribbean, the diaspora and begin to understand more than slavery. And that was a huge mission for my parents, they changed their names, they changed my brother’s names. And then when my sister and I came along, we were given African names. And that is the way we lived our life, we lived our life in this conscious way. We couldn’t have relaxed our hair, we couldn’t use chemicals in our hair, we wore African clothes on picture day. And we got teased, we got all kinds of things that we had to deal with, you know, they call it the kids called us African booty scratches. And the kids made fun of our names. And they, you know, talked about your hair, or I’ve had people talk about my complexion, and all of these kinds of things. But in my house, when I got home, my parents made sure to build us up. I think my, my father is very fair skinned, my mother is a little bit lighter than me, but they knew and they understood what black children have to deal with when they go outside the home. And so they did everything that they could to build us up and prepare us to give us the confidence. And that’s why I am the way that I am. That’s why I believe in myself, and I carry myself with such reverence, because I had parents that build me up. But at the same time with my dad, um, he was fighting the internal struggle, and I saw that. So when my sister and my brothers tried to, they would get into beats with my father, I don’t think that they were able to see that. And I tried to communicate that with them, so that they can find some healing, because I know that everything that we’ve all been through has created resentment, you know, very angry. And I understand those feelings are very valid. But I’m to carry on for a lifetime, I’m holding those feelings of resentment and anger, and not being able to I’m not saying that they’re not grateful. So I just want to add that, but I think I choose to be more in the gratitude than the despair. Because I also see the difference in my other family members and how things could have been a lot different or other African American families and things could be a lot different. I don’t know if you’re gonna understand this, but one of the greatest gifts that an African American or anybody outside the continent is to understand your history to understand who you are, and have self acceptance and love for yourself because the world will beat you down. And if you don’t have that, you know, you’re going to struggle, you’re going to struggle just with just just in your appearance, you know, like there’s so many women that spend 1000s of dollars on hair, you know, unnatural ways to enhance themselves light skin lightening you know, and things like the crown act, I don’t know if you’re familiar with there was a law that’s passed in California. The first that allow black women to show up, or black people to show up and not be harassed about their hair. I’m sure you might have heard Oprah Winfrey tell a story about how she showed up to be a newscaster in Baltimore. And they were like, oh, no, that’s not going to work. You need to relax your hair, she wants to get a perm, burned, lost all her hair, she ended up in a wig. So for Oprah Winfrey, and many other black women and men that had to go through coming into corporate America and having to put on a different face. That’s a big deal. That is a big deal. So, um, yeah, doubling back to, you know, the how, you know, I didn’t get a lot of information and foundation for my family. But that’s my route is, you know, building up the confidence to be, but then that’s the physical part, right? But then you have, you have the mental part, you have your intellect. You know, that also has been a little bit of a challenge for me, because of my upbringing, my certain learning disabilities that I had, that my mother tried to support. And she did, she did such an amazing job. I mean, my mom, my mom had like legal pads that she got from work, she worked in the math department. And I remember her writing down all the times tables, and she was like, Okay, you have to go in your room. And you have to do that you have to read this passage. And I remember I was like, the kid, like, looking up in the sky like that paint is chipping up there, like, not she come back in the room, are you done? I’m like, Yeah, I’m still I’m still over here working on it, that kind of thing. You know, like, I was like, wanting to be a creative wanting to be do artistic things. And I think that I can appreciate the very many teachers that are presenting these lessons and a more creative way. Today, they’re using music, they’re using, you know, kids can get up from their seats and move around. And, and I could have benefited a lot more and my education had I had some of those teachers be more creative. And what I’ve learned that most indigenous people are not learning in a classroom setting, right? Like, like, back back in the day, like, people are sitting in their learning in a different more hands on way on how to move through life. And it’s almost like Montessori. Right, like, but but in life, right? Because Montessori would we learn how to clean the tables, right? It’s like a community setting. But imagine that like villages or communities learning and teaching kids in this way. But, um, when I think about that could have been more of a support for me, but whatever, you know,

Catherine A. Wood  22:45

you know, so there’s so much wisdom in what you just shared so many gems. And I’m like, smiling over here, because I think I’ve shared this with you before that I just think you’re a master storyteller. And, and I kind of I really want to highlight some of the pieces in which you shared because, you know, the question I, I, I asked was really around self acceptance, you know, like, how, how have you gained so much access to this wisdom that you just embody, in the face of, in the face of a lot, a lot that I’ve known that I’ve come to know about you since meeting you. And and, you know, I hear I mean, I, I’ve also experienced addiction and mental illness in my family. And I think something so refreshing hearing you talk about your experience is, is there’s so much facility and just naming it and speaking and speaking it without judgment, or, or hate, right, like that ability to just accept it. And even to be able to laugh about your father and some of your experiences with him over the years. It just it speaks to, it speaks to the the, you know, you and I were talking about this book, The yamas and niyamas, before we started recording and just that idea of the the Yama of non violence like really speaking from a non violent place and I which is the the Yama of Ahimsa which came up just this morning when I was on the yoga mat and your class and, and I hear so much of that in in how you speak about your experience. It’s just from a really surrendered. A surrendered, honest place, which I think is a huge is a huge facet of I think what I still appreciate about you is is you don’t you speak from a loving place about experiences that are can be deep really painful or anger fueled for for so many and and I am really in awe of that quality about you. And and I think there are some other some other qualities that I appreciate you and I know we share a passion for self care and your morning practice and your, your morning sadhna. And I think that is, you know, probably I’m imagining a huge component of what supports you in showing up the way you do. And, you know, I would love for you to share with my audience what your what your self care routine looks like, you know, how do you really support your body in doing that internal work and self honoring in order to show in order to show up so consistently in the way that I know you to be and yet to be?

Nandi Gabremedhin  26:01

Thanks. Yes, self care is is a big deal for me. And at different levels in my life. It meant different things. And self care I remember a long time ago was like, oh, no, get your pedicure. And you know what else maybe get a massage and I remember I was not getting massages, because I just it was not something that it was in my budget. I just thought it was really expensive or I don’t I don’t know, I wanted a massage but I just didn’t get it now. It’s like that’s a part of my that’s a part of my routine. So self care. Well, relationships, I lost. I had a huge breakup. I like to call them breakups. I had some college girlfriends, I thought I would have friends. We were friends with them forever. And I ended up on the outside of the circle. I found out later nope, no real conversation, no formalities, and I was really hurt by that. And again, I chose something positive to create a healing. I was very resentful. I remember some of my feeling very petty and vengeful and my thinking I would never hurt anybody, but I remember feeling really upset. Um, so I decided to do teacher training I talked to I was walking. I also simultaneously was working on my spirituality. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. Both my parents went to Catholic school, but because of their black nationalism and their African consciousness, they felt that the way that Christianity was given to them was regurgitated through like this Eurocentric scope, because, um, Christianity has deep roots and original roots in Africa. But that’s not the Christianity that’s being practiced. So my family you know, they didn’t go into the church and then there’s lots of African spirituality. I’ve never got a chance to have those conversations with my mother and father why they did not go full fledge to practice African spirituality because they did allow me to be blessed by Nona. Anona is a con gun and priests who gave me my name of Kosovo, which means born on Sunday. And, and my parents gave me the other names my father named me Nandi, because my dad’s name is Shaka. And my father has affinity for the Shaka Zulu story. Nandi was shock as mother. And my father gave me that name. So I’m coming into the religion. I’ve been searching all my life, just trying to figure out what my path was. I had an opportunity to go to church with some family members. And I remember thinking, Should we be going to church, you know, I don’t, I don’t know if you know, like, Okay. And then I had my daughter, and I was like, I’ve got to do something. I felt like I have to be responsible. I’ve got to create some spirit in her life. So we started going to church. My husband wasn’t interested. And I used to take her to church. And it was good for a while until I got very offended by the pastor, making statements about Islamic people. And I was like, oh, no, I’m not Muslim. And I might have opinions, but you don’t nobody gets on a pulpit. Who does that? So I was just like, No, we left. So all of this time passed, and what what did I mostly do for my children? Like I was raised, we bless our food, we say our prayers, you know, before we go to bed, but that was like it was not a big ritual and I had been searching I was like, you know, I want something I want some sort of spirituality. So I reached out to my sister, my ex sister in law, who is a priestess of Santa Santeria. Voodoo, there’s a lot of different names couldn’t do boomplay There’s a lot of different names and these, these are African spirituality practices that are practice in the Quran. had been through South America and they originated in Africa. So I talked to her about it because I had been interested. And I had already had I done it yet. I had already gone to Cuba. And that’s my business, the food was baby was born out of my trip in Cuba. And I had a reading, I had a very, very powerful reading, I can’t believe it. Like, I can’t share everything with you. But it was so profound to the point that and it was not a lot of stuff going on. But it was so profound to the point that I was energetically depleted. And I remember I couldn’t even hold my head up. When I left, I didn’t feel sick, but I just felt like this energy on me. And that pushed me to begin my business. So let’s bring it back forward. The breakup with the friends wanted to work on my spirit. And my sister in law said, you should look up Kundalini. Go and check out the Kundalini. She was like, she said, you know, stay away from the trendy yoga and I was like, Okay. And when you say that, when you say that phrase, anything can be trendy. Kundalini, any Kundalini can be trendy. Hatha right? Yoga period is just trendy right now. Right. And that was her language. And I was just like, okay, so that made me say like, for anybody that knows music, or if you know about hip hop that makes me think of like, don’t be listening to that new stuff, get into the roots, right? The authentic authentic stuff. So I’m like, okay, so I googled Kundalini, saw a few things. I went to YouTube, I took a few classes, and I was very, like looking for like Indian teachers, right. And I didn’t, I wasn’t finding like a lot of stuff I was looking for, like, real authentic. And I came across, I don’t remember her name. It was one Indian woman. She has her hair cut. It was a really beautiful video. And I did the practice a couple times. And I was like, All right, let me look forward teacher training, I want to be because I wanted to learn how to meditate. I didn’t sign up to be a teacher. I was like, I just, I feel like I can get to my spirit through meditation. I can know myself through meditation, but I don’t know how to do it. So I started meditating on my own and I was just sitting and I was breathing. And I was using my own personal mantra that I started for myself, be your own peace. And I just began to like, inhale what I wanted to take in and exhale. What I did what I wanted to release, like, resentment angry like, you know, I wanted to I still have some of that. I’m like, Why is this still there? But I’m

Catherine A. Wood  32:27

always like, called sacred rage. Nandi, the way you express it. It’s sacred rage.

Nandi Gabremedhin  32:35

I will take that. Kid down, get down. My cat is on the counter. He’s so rude. He’s like, I want to get to the window. The windows open. He’s got Oh, my gosh, next. I don’t want to yell on the tape. I’m so mad at him. Right? He’s so disrespectful, right? No, um, I was like, I was like, okay, got Google teacher trainings and Lighthouse came up. And I was like, Oh, that’s so far. I want it to be in my neighborhood. And it’s not even that far. But I was like, I don’t want to go out on Monday. I just want to walk there. So it took me some time. And I decided I would go to the to the intro. And I went up and I was like, sitting in the circle. I was like, let me see if I want to practice with these people for like a year. I need to see what it’s like, I need to meet them. So I went into the studio and everything was cool, except it was freezing in there. And I was like I asked Julie, I was like, Is it always this cold here? Because I don’t think I’m gonna be able to meditate. And I was like, Oh, I’m not feeling that. So she was like, Are you calling she’s like when he told me he was so she turned the heat on. And I thought about it I thought about and I was like girl you should jump on in. So I made Julie is amazing. She helped me make a payment plan. I was grinding in the restaurant. And I remember her saying I will go in there like a drug dealer with a stack of money and give it to her. And she was like, she was like, This is so cool. I just think it’s so cool. Like, you’re working hard, like she could see my dollars like in her hand. And that was a cool thing. I was just dropping off my money to all these ones. All this money to pay for teacher training. Um, man, the Kundalini like, that’s what they call it. Kundalini is the yoga of awareness, the awakening and that it did that it did, I began to create it began to open up so many discoveries about myself, how it related to other people, the wise what I needed. And I think shortly after that, I also did some therapy. But a lot of this stuff has been just reaffirming for me, right on that I did have those ideas or or creating an understanding for myself. And that is that was a major shift for my self care. That is the question that she asked me so I’m getting into the self care now is that um, I know we have to end shortly That was the start of my radical self care and a different way outside of, you know, the physical going into my practice. And I was not always a morning person. I was not like kind of a morning person but never going to get up out of my bed at four o’clock in the morning to do any, any practices. And a lot of things just began to resonate with me non stealing. I’d say I’d hear I forget that one. Oh, let’s see. The non stealing? Well, that’s true telling I think is no Satya, right. It’s truths for the truth. And I forget what I stay,

Catherine A. Wood  35:37

I stay non stealing, non stealing.

Nandi Gabremedhin  35:40

And Julie would, um, because I had issues with being late. And I was coming from, you know, northeast going uptown. And she would call us out about being late. And she was just like, you can’t steal people’s time. Like, if you’re going to be a teacher, you have to show up you have to and your class. And that really resonated with me. Because there’s a term in the black community CPE time color we always show up after or African people, they’re even oh my gosh, like, that’s why their wedding started at 1am. My husband’s

Catherine A. Wood  36:09

Indian, there’s a thing called is T Indian Standard Time, or ESD. Eastern Standard Time, I hear you. I got you so.

Nandi Gabremedhin  36:21

So I had to make an adjustment. And that was very powerful for me, and, and how, and I hold people to that, you know, if people say they’re gonna start at a certain time, I’m like, You got to gotta be there. And sometimes you got to have patience. But yes, um, so that was one of the things that just started to mold me in a different way really positive, you know about the timing, how I’m showing up and I just, I loved it, I just couldn’t get away from sunrise, I got myself a membership. And I was in class, I was taking five, you know, classes a week, as many as I could, or whatever classes were on the schedule, I tried to show up for them. And I was very happy about having something that was healing for me. And something that took my mind away from how hurt I was. I mean, even through the practice, I cried so many tears, I had to like stop following people on social media just to protect myself. And it took me a long road to get to even the self care that I’m on now. Because I added another layer, I added sacred woman, which was queen of who was program, she has this beautiful woman’s Bible that she’s an African American woman. And it started out in this African American community because a lot of black women and still are dying in childbirth, or dying after childbirth. So she created his Bible to help with womb health. And all kinds of women are all into her now. I mean, when I went to the sacred woman, Africa, there was there was a Caucasian woman that joined the trip. And I know that must have been really hard for her to be in a company of 62 African American women. Um, so I was very, I kudos to her. And I was very proud of that experience for her. But anyway, um, I added that layer and that, that that syncing with my Kundalini practice, created this mega sadhna that, that I did in 2020. And it was easy to do, because nobody was doing anything, right. So it was easy for me to delve myself yet again, into something positive, rather than just Netflix, eating, sleeping, you know, not being productive. So,

Catherine A. Wood  38:28

go ahead. I’m just mindful the time and I honestly, I feel like maybe we need to schedule a part two of this conversation, but I would love it. I do want to just just speak on a couple of these, I want to highlight a couple of the pieces because the question I asked you was around self care. And what I’m hearing is for you self care, spiritual, your self care is a spiritual practice, they are absolutely inter interdependent, they are one in the same and I hear that bringing the reverence and the spirituality into the your self care. It deepens the practice for you. It allows it to be a radical self love practice, I imagine it allows you to stay more committed to it. I mean, I know for me, Kundalini really supported me in connecting with my intuition. We just recorded a whole podcast episode with an expert on intuition. And Kundalini was absolutely the portal for me in creating that mental space in my meditation practice, to help me connect with my intuition. And so I and I, so I just love that reminder that for you, for you and for any of us, for any of our listeners, who are wanting to deepen a self care practice. It’s a spiritual practice. It’s a practice of connecting with spirit with God higher power, whatever. word you use, and allowing it to, to ground you to guide you. So I am not going to lie I wanted to talk about, I wanted to talk so much about some some, some themes of race because, you know, there have been so many deaths of black brothers and sisters over the past couple of years, and I see you teaching classes in a room full of white appearing students, and you as our black teacher, and I just, you know, I wanted to talk about this this with you, and we may need to have a second conversation. But in our last couple minutes, I really want to give you an opportunity to share with my audience where they can find you, I want to share you with the world. So I want, I would like for you to share how people can have a closer experience working with you like I have, and we’re here to encourage they start.

Nandi Gabremedhin  40:59

Okay, well, first, you can find me at Lighthouse yoga center DC, I’m teaching three sunrise classes a week, and offering workshops. Outside of that I am offering not offering I’m using my social media platforms right now to appeal to people and create other relationships while I’m still working on my website. But those are the best ways to contact me for yoga offerings. And then also on the other platform, I have a fluids baby.com that has lots of self care items. And also to that business is about inspiring people to remember their ancestors and radical self care, as we honor our ancestors. So they kind of go, I also merged those businesses a couple months ago with some of the products and meditation. So there’s a lot of cool stuff happening there. So a foods baby.com or Lighthouse yoga center for yoga classes for now. Beautiful.

Catherine A. Wood  42:05

We’re going to schedule a second part of this conversation. So I will. I’ll just leave you. I’ll leave you here with my final question which I which I ask all my guests which is what do you think has made the biggest difference for you and becoming a prosperous empath?

Nandi Gabremedhin  42:29

The biggest fade again, the biggest, what’s supported

Catherine A. Wood  42:33

you in in what

Nandi Gabremedhin  42:34

is support? Intuition, self reflection, right. And sometimes you can’t get caught up in a self reflection you have to be you can’t continue to reflect, reflect, reflect all shall never move forward. But taking a moment to just self reflect, you know, find out you know, how things could be different or what you want more of has has helped me a great deal. And I always suggest that for anyone that’s trying to pick up the pieces anyone that’s trying to figure out anything just take a moment to pause right and just reflect reflect on yourself and in the other end others or whatever the situation is and respond. Now react.

Catherine A. Wood  43:19

Nandi. Thank you so much. You were such a joy.

Nandi Gabremedhin  43:23

Thank you. Thank you so much, Kat. I’m looking forward to part two. Have a beautiful afternoon and I’ll see you Wednesday maybe or Thursday.

Catherine A. Wood  43:31

Yes and and listeners. Come join us. It’s 7am Eastern Standard Time.

Nandi Gabremedhin  43:39

You send blessings. Thank you all so much. Have a good afternoon cat. Thanks Monday.


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Exploring Sensitive Leadership with Nina Khoo

On this week’s episode of the Prosperous Empath®, we’ll explore how to effectively lead as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), mitigate challenges, and work with your strengths. I’m thrilled to sit down with Nina Khoo, a Sensitive Leadership Coach and a Master NLP Coach who helps HSPs understand and embrace their unique wiring so they can become confident and empathetic leaders. It’s common for Highly Sensitive People to believe that they’re not capable of effective leadership and struggle with overwhelm, perfectionism, and second-guessing. Nina and I uncover how our greatest strengths can sometimes be the traits we feel most self-conscious about and pose a central question: How does a Highly Sensitive Person protect their gifts as a leader? As an empath and an HSP, your brain is physiologically wired to take more information in and process it more deeply, which can be an incredibly powerful leadership skill. Yet, it can also lead to overwhelm and self-criticism. Through our conversation, you’ll learn how to approach leadership in a more sensitive, empathetic, and compassionate way so you can own your gifts and make a bigger difference in the world  

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The Prosperous Empath® Podcast is produced by Heart Centered Podcasting.

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