Elizabeth DiAlto’s new book, Untame Yourself: Reconnect to the Lost Art, Power and Freedom of Being a Woman, helps women get out of their head and into their bodies. Her program is called The Wild Soul Movement.
In this interview, I’m talking to Elizabeth about her move from fitness trainer to helping women untame themselves. Elizabeth says, “I shifted from working out to working in.”
Download the MP3 below.
Sherold: I’ve watched Elizabeth’s evolution, since we were in Marie Forleo’s B School together back in 2010. I’ve always admired everything she created – her programs and website.
I’m excited to talk to Elizabeth today because she has evolved her work into what’s known today as the Wild Soul Movement. She’s known for her raw, honest, grounded approach to self-help and spirituality. She’s also just authored a fabulous book that I highly recommend. It’s called Untame Yourself: Reconnect to the Lost Art, Power and Freedom as a Woman. She’s also the host of Untame the Wild Soul, Women’s Podcast, which I listen to watch as well.
Elizabeth’s been a teacher, a leader, a speaker, a coach and a trainer to groups and individuals for 13.5 years and she also consults with organizations that range from startups to large corporations such as Dove, UK and, boy, do we love Dove. They’re all about authenticity, aren’t they? Welcome. I’m just so happy to have you.
Elizabeth: I’m happy to be here. Thank you!
Sherold: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and the evolution of how you got to be doing what you’re doing today.
Elizabeth: I love answering this question. I probably answer it different every time, depending on how I feel on that particular day and what feels like the important highlights.
I think the specific part of the evolution that you’re referring to, when we “met” — I put that in quotes because I’ve never actually hugged you in real life. We just connected on the internet. Yay! Virtual squeeze.
The evolution that you’re referring to is I used to be a fitness professional. I had this online fitness business, I was a personal trainer and then, at a certain point, I just kind of shifted from working out to working in with women.
Sherold: That’s a great phrase!
Elizabeth: Right? I didn’t make it up. Years ago, I saw some man in a YouTube video and I was like, “Oh, that’s — yes, yes yes!”
Sherold: It’s fabulous.
Elizabeth: I started to notice in my own self and with clients that you could get all the physical results, but inevitably, some mental, emotional or spiritual thing would come up and sabotage everything.
I first went in and started doing that work on myself and I reached a point where I literally just couldn’t do fitness anymore. I didn’t want to work out. It was so masculine, it was so forceful and I was just so tired after so many years.
Because I didn’t want to work out anymore, I didn’t feel comfortable teaching or working out. Not that I didn’t believe in it, but it just, for me, it wasn’t what I was doing. I’m just not a person who can teach something I’m not practicing.
It was an interesting transition, and I was nervous. All these people on my email list and in my products and programs had signed up for fitness advice, but I was steering away from that.
However, I think one of the reasons why it worked and was a bit more seamless than I thought it might be was because I still kept my focus on the body. Only now, instead of all of the external stuff, it was about the internal stuff and engaging with the body form a sensual perspective.
Sensual with an S, not an X. Not sexual. Sensual meaning, “How can we tap into our senses and how can we learn to speak and navigate our body’s unique language of the senses to connect with our inner wisdom,” and really get the truth and the information that so many of us are taught and conditioned to seek outside of ourselves from within.
Sherold: I think what you’re doing now is marrying the body and mind together because we can be inside, but if we’re not paying attention to our body, which is really our truth-teller in all respects — and this (the mind) lies to us all the time. We need the ego but we need to discern and pay attention to the higher Self – our intuitive self. I think it’s a beautiful transition you’ve made.
You say in your book, Untame Yourself, that you wished you’d had this book that you could have read several years ago when you began the process of awakening to who you really are.
I love that word “awakening” because I think that’s what we’re all here to do, to be self-realized.
Can you talk about developing a personal relationship with your own femininity? I think there’s a lot of confusion out there about what it means to develop our feminine side.
Elizabeth: Yes. I’ll tell you a story of how I connected to that and really started to bridge the gap.
I had received feedback for a number of years, actually, about being very masculine. I had some shame around it because I was just being myself. I didn’t know any better.
At the time, people were telling me to soften and I should be more feminine. But I didn’t really have an understanding of what feminine was. I though feminine was just prissy or girly, which I’ve never really been. I was a little bit lost.
But then I got this book called Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton.
Sherold: I’m reading it right now.
Elizabeth: The study of feminine archetypes is actually what helped me realized, “Oh, we are all feminine,” and everything else, all these different personality tests people love to take, we all have a different expression of feminine. While we do all have access to all the different archetypes within us, for some of us, the expression of certain ones come more naturally than others.
Awakening Shakti profiles nine Hindu Goddesses as expressions of the feminine. When I got to the Durga chapter, which is that fierce warrior goddess — she has eight arms and each arm represents a different aspect — I was like, “Oh, I’ve always been feminine, but my feminine is that fierce warrior energy.”
It was interesting. I had to accept and integrate that part of myself the last number of years. Then, what’s funny, transitioning into 2016, I started — I was very tired at the end of 2015. I’m like, “Cool. I think I’ve integrated the warrior goddess. This year I feel a lot more pull to that Gaia, that Earth Momma energy. That’s what I’m really sinking into and soaking into.
The feminine archetypes. Whether it’s looking at different types of goddesses — for people who like to study these things, some great books are Awakening Shakti, Women Who Run with Wolves… there’s another book called Goddesses in Everywoman by Jean Shinoda Bolen. I haven’t even finished that book. I never even finished Awakening Shakti either, to be quite honest. I got it and I was like, “Oh, it makes sense to me.”
That really helped me because it was the energetics of being feminine, which can be receptive and nourishing. It’s like the being instead of the doing, the wild all over the place, not linear versus the very linear structure to the masculine.
One of the things I realized as I swung the pendulum all the way over to the feminine was that I need masculine too. Then it became a journey of integration; of marrying the two within myself. It’s really fun to play with how I can get the two to support each other in my life, in my business and in my relationships. It’s like a never ending journey, but to me it’s like super juicy, and I never get bored of it.
Sherold: In the book, you talk about the struggles that you see women go through and what they’re experiencing. It seems like what you created with your program is a very safe forum where you’re all working on this. What are some of the top things that you’ve seen from your women that they’re really having struggles with?
Elizabeth: The thing that’s super present and is up for me right now is a lot of women have been mothered by mothers who were also mothered by mothers and mothered by mothers in this patriarchal culture where, really, the amazing gifts of the feminine have been edited out and conditioned out of culture and society and religion and everything.
So many women are burned out. I don’t just mean stressed out. Adrenal fatigue, diseases, issues a lot of fatigue stuff.
It’s physically wreaking havoc on the body, it’s emotionally wreaking havoc on people in their relationships, so much resentment brewing because people… we’ve basically all been cultured to just be lovelier versions of men.
When we’re not accessing an entire part of our nature, it’s in there scratching and clawing and screaming and doing everything to get our attention. That’s why these illnesses manifest.
I’m sure you’ve had this with clients, too, Sherold. Women, all the time, it’s like you’ve been to every doctor and no one can diagnose you.
Elizabeth: Right? Is it adrenal fatigue? Is it this? Is it that? Getting all the test, peeing in all the cups, doing all the things and no one can tell you what’s wrong with you because it’s not a freaking physical issue.
It’s denying a real deep part of your true nature.
That’s a big thing.
Things like women being people pleasers or putting everyone else first, not having boundaries, not knowing how to say no.
These are all symptoms of the ultimate thing, which is just not trusting or honoring yourself. Not being connected to your body.
One of the things they talk about all the time is getting out of your head and into your body. If the head is running the show, it’s a problem.
The body is the filter for what’s actually true that’s going on up there.
It’s really being disconnected from the body, not trusting ourselves, not loving and honoring ourselves and really seeking; giving other people all this power and authority to tell us what is right and good for us when, really, no one could possibly know better than we can.
It’s not an issue of having anything. One of the thing I say is everything you’ve ever needed has always been inside of you. I say it that way on purpose.
People have asked me, “Why don’t you say everything you need is inside of you?” I want to emphasize that it’s always been there. There’s never been a moment when it wasn’t there. The issue isn’t having what you need, it’s accessing it.
Sherold: I love that. I think you’re so right. It’s about listening to the voice of that higher self and discerning the ego and the inner critic and the one that’s blasting us. Those are just old voices.
Sherold: I see that, too, and I think that now we’re in this new consciousness here on earth where we’re beginning to really talk about this a lot more, so it looks like there’s a real epidemic of “I’m not good enough,” and “Who do you think you are,” but I think it’s been there and just not talked about. It was a shameful kind of thing. Those are shaming beliefs.
What are some of the tips that you would share with your community around self-doubt and being afraid to show up? With the women I work with as well, we’re afraid to use the voice, afraid to show up online.
Tell us more about this because many women experience this, this is not just… I think it’s good to normalize it. That’s what I want to say.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Yeah. Right. Everyone is unique. They’re going to have varying degrees of this fear of visibility for whatever reason. For me right now, where my fear of visibility is is around actually speaking to… the funny thing is I don’t even know how to articulate it. I’m just going to say it this way, take it or don’t take it. How mystical my nature really is.
Sherold: Oh, I love it. If people knew how mystical mine was… I’m a mystic in disguise too.
Elizabeth: That’s exactly right. It’s like, do I have to still keep that in disguise or will I have to continue Trojan horsing that where it’s like people don’t necessarily know until they get behind the curtain with me that we’re really operating from energy and the spiritual realm a lot more. Even all these things, the mindset, even the body — all the energy and the spiritual stuff comes first.
For women who are struggling with that, it’s really important to identify where the root of that thing is. An analogy I make all the time is anyone who has a garden or has ever had any kind of garden or backyard knows, you can mow the lawn and you can cut down the weeds, but they’re just going to keep coming back unless you pull them out by the roots.
Sherold: That’s a great analogy.
Elizabeth: A lot of our issues, we are mowing down the weeds. We are not pulling them out by the roots because we’re slapping Band-Aids on them instead of clearing it out and healing it.
One of the most incredible practices is forgiveness.
There’s a lot of different ways to do it, but forgiveness is just the way to take your power back from all those things that you’ve given it to, whether it was someone telling you, “You shouldn’t say that. Don’t talk about that,” or, “Nice girls don’t do this,” or, “Don’t be too much.”
Wherever the voice is, wherever it came from, we need to clear the energy around that because it’s constantly at play. Really getting to the roots of things and clearing out the energy before we even move forward into, “What’s my mindset? What do I feel in my body dealing with being nervous and vulnerable and all that stuff?”
Sherold: Yes. We’re learning about Chakras and energy in Kundalini yoga training. It’s all about energy. For me, it’s bringing in what I know about the mind, which is very much what they talk about in Kundalini, but also the Chakras. I’m fascinated.
Elizabeth: Do you know who Sonia Choquette is?
Elizabeth: I interviewed Sonia for the podcast last year. One the things that she said that I love is she said:
The throat is the chimney to the heart.
Sherold: Oh, I love that.
Elizabeth: A lot of women do notice, right? Physical pain and sensations in the neck and shoulder area when they’re not speaking their truth, when they’re not using their voice and they’re not speaking up. Or they might have thyroid issues or things that are all centered around this area.
That’s why I love the simple reference of the Chakras for, to go look at my body and go, “What’s going on in my body right now? Okay, well if that’s in my solar plexus, where am I struggling with my personal power right now?” It’s just super interesting to look at how the physical relates to the energetic in everything.
Sherold: It’s fascinating. I see a lot of throat chakra issues too. What do you hope to see in the future with women? What would a new world look like for us as women, compared to what we’re dealing with? You know, like crabs in the pot. Somebody’s being successful and bring them down.
That’s the old model. What’s your view? I’d love to hear yours.
Elizabeth: This is amazing that, on this day — I don’t know when this interview is going to air, but on this day when you’re asking me this question — one hour ago… I just pulled it up. Here’s what I just wrote. I’m just going to read you my Facebook post that I just wrote.
Feel Good Friday Love Bomb:
To all my soul sisters, divine feminine leaders, sacred womb temple creators, priestesses, witches, crones, manifestors, magical unicorn fairies, firestarters, masters of the yoniverse, mermaid princesses, rebels with a cause and whatever else we’re calling ourselves these days — not that names, titles or labels actually mean anything or matter.
It feels like everywhere I look lately, feminine revolutions, courses, programs, circles and women’s movements are sprouting and growing. I know these things aren’t new and have been happening for centuries, thanks to the internet they’re much more visible and accessible now. There’s a lot of similar language, themes, images, quotes, mantras, affirmations, prayers, layouts, designs and vibes going around and this is good news.
I’ll pause to say this is my view: this is good news. This is our proof that it’s working. We, all of us, are collectively making a difference. The beautiful nature of the feminine is collaborative, not competitive.
Sherold: Right on, sister. I’m right there with you because I talk to my women and say, “We are here to support each other. None of this negative energy.” It’s very sacred in that respect.
Elizabeth: That’s interesting. I don’t get that (negative energy) in my communities either. I just don’t because that’s not the space I hold and that’s not energy that I go into the world with.
We really are one big team. My way of doing things resonates with some people, your way resonates with some people. Thank God there’s so many of us doing this work so that the message can spread and the energy on the planet can shift.
My big goal, my big vision — and is funny. I was at a conference last week and they called this the “moon shot,” like shooting for the moon — It’s just really a world where the feminine divine is just as honored and included as considered as the masculine divine and, also, the two are integrated. Because if that was the case on the planet, energetically, so many of the issues that we have as a global culture would literally just fall away because it couldn’t exist in that state.
It’s a big one. I don’t know that I’ll live to see it, but we’re making so much progress.
Sherold: We are and I love everything that you said.
I see a world where we support each other to be the best versions of ourselves and that we’re not tearing each other down.
Sherold: Anything else you want to add about Wild Soul Movement? I also want you to share how people can access your program and, especially, your new book, Untame Yourself.
A Taste of the Wild Soul Movement
Elizabeth: Cool. The book, the tagline for the book is, “Reconnect to the lost art, power and freedom of being a woman.” It’s actually surprising. It’s a pretty short book, but the range of topics covered in the book goes from body/mind/soul connection to transparent communication and courageous conversations. It’s just this whole breadth of… it’s very… I tried to make it as useful as possible, and I’m getting amazing reviews. I’m super, super grateful for that.
It’s basically just a download of the processes that I’ve gone through and that I’ve been using with my clients for years and continue to use.
The Wild Soul Movement Program. This was the big shift for me out of — Wild Soul Movement was the vehicle I rode from being a fitness professional into doing what I do now. I had this idea to create a practice that combines movement, but sensual slow movement. Not for the sake of burning calories or exercise, but for the pure sake of connecting to the body and feeling and cultivating a new relationship to inhabiting your female body with mantras and meditation.
Sherold: Oh. Beautiful.
Elizabeth: Basically, the movement is kind of an expression of the words. For example, in the virtual program, there’s 12 weeks to it — there’s 12 videos — and it goes in order. There’s four topics that build into each other. The first one is surrender and release, so kind of like what we were talking about earlier. You’ve got to clear the stuff out first before we can put anything new in, right?
Then it’s trust and receiving. As women, we really honor ourselves on being amazing givers and we over-give. To get a little more balances in the giving and receiving and the trust that that’s okay. The trust that life wants to support us. We do, we live in this very independent age of being like “I’ll do I myself!” and we’re killing ourselves trying to do it ourselves. It’s not in our nature to do everything ourselves.
Then we do wild dreaming/main desire. Basically, in each section there’s three videos with the movement practice and the mantra supports the topic. In wild dreaming and desire, for example, one of the mantras is, “I am worthy of wild success.”
Sherold: Oh, I love that.
Elizabeth: It’s funny. When I created this, I’m like, “I’m going to combine these things and see how it goes.” The things that come up for people, the way people will resist it but then — there’s a journal that supports it, too, so there’s all these support questions. People are like, “Oh, my God.” It’s mind blowing to me, constantly, this thing I created. Which, we all know, the idea drops in and we’re just like, “Okay, I’ll take that one,” and run with it. Right? “It’s not mine anyway.”
The things it does for people, it’s just unbelievable and ridiculous.
The last topic is creation and inner wisdom. The last mantra of the entire program is, “I’m a powerful creator.” It’s really about coming to this deep place of just love, trust, acceptance and really owning the fullness and embracing that fullness of our personal power — which is always evolving, too, right?
Wild Soul Movement is the right name for it because it’s wild the things that women get out of it and the experiences that we all continue to have. It’s been out in the world for like two years now.
Sherold: It’s just such a thrill to talk to you about this. This is something I spend a lot of time pondering and reading about and I just wanted to share your movement with my audiences, too because —
People can reach you at Wild Soul Movement?
Elizabeth: Wild Soul Movement goes to… It’s UntameYourself.com now, but it all goes to the same place.
If you want to check out the program, it’s at UntameYourself.com/join-us. If you want to get the book, which is currently still only available in Kindle — the print very will be out around May this year, 2016. But you can get the Kindle version of the book at UntameYourself.com/Amazon. That will take you right to the page.