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An Interview With Isha Judd: Love Has Wings

by Edie Weinstein

The woman with the one word name has done it again. Isha came to my awareness in 2008, when her book "Why Walk When You Can Fly? Soar Beyond Your Fears and Love Yourself and Others Unconditionally was released. She is clearly attracted to the idea of flight as her latest book, which is entitled Love Has Wings, is ready to rise into the heavens.

An Australian native, Isha has been able to bridge cultural differences with her work reaching audiences world-wide, including South America, where she is referred to as ‘The Eckhart Tolle of Latin America’. Her hands-on portable life skills are in the service of positive life change. Her sense of humor is grounded and lofty simultaneously and she brazenly faces her fears and self-imposed limitations. Looking past the illusions in which we shroud ourselves in a futile attempt to avoid pain, Isha asks questions that has the reader delve deeply into their patterns and beliefs and encourages them to come through triumphantly on the other side. One such illusion is that we are victims and Isha offers a comparative chart with things a victim would believe or say and things a conscious creator would think, do or say.

The book is a handy guide that can provide step by step transformative growth and includes anecdotes from Isha’s own life interspersed with homework assignments and inspirational parables from others. She touches on the subjects of conscious parenting, intimate relationships, loss and grief, gender, workplace success and stress, communication, peace and spirituality, each with such fierceness and tenderness that it doesn’t matter where one begins and the other leaves off.

Wisdom: How did the title of your latest book come to be?

Isha: It came to me when the book was finished. I don’t think about these things, they just come, and it felt right. Because love really does have wings: it lifts us beyond the fears of the mind; it sets us free.

Wisdom: What is the Isha System and how does it work?

Isha: It is a powerful series of tools for inner transformation and self- awakening. I never set out to create a system: I just followed my inner voice, which led me to make the changes necessary for my own awakening to take place. By the time I had finished, I had a series of steps - the very steps I had taken to generate my own transformation - and so the System made itself! Now it is practiced by thousands of people around the world, and the results are phenomenal.

Wisdom: How do you take the esoteric/spiritual and make it practical?

Isha: I think spirituality is the most practical thing in the world! It is certainly the simplest. There is nothing more simple than being present and experiencing love. Fear is complicated; doubt is complicated, confusion is complicated. Love is simple, and it’s the most natural thing there is. It’s not weird or mystical, it is who we are. The experience of "love-consciousness" is something very concrete and earthy; it’s not ethereal or exalted, contrary to what we might think. It is an innocent present moment awareness wrapped in love.

Wisdom: Why do you believe that people are reluctant to take responsibility for their lives and choices when there is so much freedom on the other side of it?

Isha: Because we fear that which we do not know. Even though the choices we have made up until this point may have brought us pain and suffering, they are familiar, so in a way they make us feel safe. We avoid the unknown because we cannot control it. So yes, in reality we avoid love; we avoid freedom, simply because we do not know they are there. This is the leap of faith: to jump into the unknown, to let go of that which makes us feel safe. Then you fly. To take responsibility for our choices in every moment is so empowering. It is the ultimate maturity, to stop blaming the world around us for what we choose to be in every moment. At some point, all baby birds have to leave the nest. They look outwards into the wide expanse of the world and are drawn towards something great. Just so, we are inspired by what we know in our hearts to be out there for us: it is time to leave the nest and spread our wings, to fly back to our true essence and our own awakening. But this requires new choices: in order to change, I have to do something radically different.

Wisdom: You speak about the concept of unlearning. What do you feel we need to unlearn before we can begin healthy patterns?

Isha: We have learnt so many limiting things. We have learnt to fear instead of to love, to worry instead of to trust, to resist instead of to surrender. We have learnt to take instead of give and to think instead of feel. We have built such a complex and tangled web of fear-based ideas and opinions, but the good news is that this web is much easier to unravel than it was to create. To do so, we don’t have to analyze or understand from where or why we adopted these ideas: we only have to move beyond them and experience love-consciousness. When we do, the opinions and limitations of the mind dissolve in the presence of being.

Wisdom: What are some of the illusions we face that we could benefit from shining the light of love or truth, thereby transforming them?

Isha: "There is not enough," is a very common illusion. We all feel like something is missing; this is what keeps us out of the moment, seeking fulfillment in a future that never comes. "Comfort is king" is another common misconception: the idea that greater comfort brings greater satisfaction. This is often not the case, as we often become comfortable within limiting and even addictive behaviors, which ultimately bring apathy and disillusionment. There are many more which I explore in depth in the book.

Wisdom: I have always found joy to be such a healing force. How can people immerse themselves in it to attract what they most desire?

Isha: Joy is an internal experience that we can choose for in any moment; we just need to know where to look! I teach powerful tools, which I call facets, that take us inwards to reconnect with our own inner joy. But it is important not to try to act joyful if you don’t feel it: this is not about denial; it is about embracing every aspect of self, and in doing so, discovering the incredible joy of true self-acceptance.

Wisdom: What role does creativity play in a life of abundance and success?

Isha: I think creativity is something that expresses itself in a multitude of different forms; each of us has our own unique way of celebrating life and beauty. When we connect with our true essence, within the experience of love-consciousness, our innate talents begin to unfold in new and sometimes unexpected ways.

Wisdom: How can people move from separation consciousness to the awareness of unity?

Isha: We need to heal the separation from ourselves. We see separation and conflict in the world, but internally, if we are waging wars, fighting against ourselves, judging ourselves, we are not contributing to a peaceful and harmonious society. By healing the separation within, by developing unconditional love of self, we heal the separation we perceive in the world. In order to do this, it is essential to have a practice: I teach the facets of the Isha System, as they are what worked for me; others may use other methods. What I love about the facets is that they rapidly expand and stabilize an inner experience of consciousness: what this means is that they don’t just bring moments of peace, as a fleeting respite from the stress of the day, but they systematically develop the capacity to choose for that peace in every moment, until inner stability and wholeness permeate our every action. This is what we really need: a solid base from which to live in the world, without getting lost in the storms of life.

Wisdom: You speak about major losses you experienced at age 28. How did you move from what could easily have felt like victim consciousness to transcendence?

I listened to my inner voice. At that time, I lost six of the most important people in my life within a six month period. My mind was in turmoil; my understanding of who I was lay in pieces. I had lived my life through these people and when they were gone, I was lost. But through the confusion and the anguish, a voice spoke to me: my voice. It whispered, it’s time to wake up. I had no idea what it meant! But I listened, and it guided me beyond the fear, beyond the anxiety and ultimately to freedom. It taught me to speak my truth, to feel my emotions - emotions I had spent years fighting to avoid - and it led me through the steps that I now teach in my system. At the time I didn’t understand what was happening, but now I know that we all have internal omniscience, only we have learnt to ignore it.

Wisdom: I particularly enjoyed the chapter called Intimate Relationships. Since so many people are seeking a healthy, loving relationship, what are some steps to take to experience it?

Isha: Honesty is essential for true intimacy. If you are not transparent with your partner, you will never feel truly close to them or them to you. We often try to hide aspects of ourselves - emotions, reactions, fears - from our partners because we are afraid of being rejected, yet when we are transparent, when we show our vulnerability, we open up to more love and at the same time, we are inviting our partners to do the same: to be themselves. Unconditional love of self is the only way to love another unconditionally, and so when I embrace myself exactly as I am, I am able to embrace my partner as they are, free from need or the desire to control or change them. Here are a few tips to achieve this:

In an argument, stop defending your point of view and just listen. Listen to what your partner is saying, especially if you don’t agree or if it makes you angry. You don’t have to agree in order to listen, and by listening you are not automatically making the other person right, but you are opening up to receive what they have to show you. If you are resisting what they have to say, it is probably because there is some truth in it that you don’t want to admit to! When you listen, you learn more about your partner, but, most importantly, you learn more about yourself.

If you find yourself trying to control your partner, let go of your expectations of how they should behave in order for you to feel supported and loved. Instead, start taking responsibility for your own inner security.

When you see yourself manipulating or being overbearing, stop. Bring yourself into the moment and think to yourself, Oh, I can let that go. Go inward and focus on loving yourself. Then the need to control your partner will fall away.

If you feel resentful towards your partner, it is because of feelings you have not expressed openly with them. This resentment will then be triggered by the silliest little things. During an argument, you will whip out the list of everything you feel resentful about.

In order to heal resentment, be more vulnerable. Tell your partner how you feel — on a regular basis, whenever feelings come up. Don’t try to change them; express your feelings with the goal of being totally transparent, of showing yourself exactly as you are. By doing so, you will begin to release the emotional charge that causes resentment, and to replace it with love.

Wisdom: What is the most important message you would like your readers to receive by delving into the book?

Isha: That you are perfect. That you have never done anything wrong. That you are responsible for what you choose to be in every moment, and that this responsibility brings freedom: for when I take responsibility for what I am being right now, I no longer depend on the opinions or actions of those around me. I am no longer a slave of external approval: I am a creator.

For more information go to www.ishajudd.com

Edie Weinstein is a colorfully creative career journalist and author, dynamic motivational speaker and bliss coach, interfaith minister, social worker and the author of the Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary. www.liveinjoy.org

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