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Activism & Human Behavior in the Multiverse with Kelly Tatham

Activism & Human Behavior in the Multiverse with Kelly Tatham

“I think that our consciousness is evolving so that we’re going to be able to rise to this challenge, that we’re going to be able to figure this out, that this is exactly the catalyst we need to rethink humanity and come together – because the way in which we’re living doesn’t work.”

Today I’m joined by Kelly Tatham – a storyteller, an activist, and infinite cycling energy currently having a human experience. We discuss: how to have a feminine versus masculine approach to activism, disrupting the norm and business as usual, climate lag, the multiverse, human behavior, sitting with discomfort, numbing agents, sugar production, the movement of time, the depth of grief, decolonizing our minds, and so much more.

Show Notes:

Full Transcript:

Shakti Sita:
I’m so excited to welcome Kelly Tatham to the podcast today. Kelly is a storyteller, an activist, an infinite cycling energy currently having a human experience. She’s amazing. I met her at RA MA doing Kundalini yoga. She’s also a filmmaker. She’s a writer. She’s just super creative. I’m very inspired by her because she’s just someone who really puts herself out there and pushes the boundaries of her own comfort zone, and it comes across clearly in the way that it inspires other people around her to push their own boundaries and see where their deepest creative potential and desires actually lie.

Shakti Sita:
Kelly, thank you so much for being here today.

Kelly Tatham:
Thank you so much for having me, and thank you for that beautiful intro. That was so lovely.

Shakti Sita:
Oh, of course. I think we should actually start with what’s going on currently. Right now you’re in Los Angeles.

Kelly Tatham:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Shakti Sita:
And there’s fires.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah. There’s a lot of fires going on right now. It finally kind of made the big news. I started getting texts and comments from people back home, which is funny because I’m like, “Oh, it’s been actually on fire for a couple of weeks now.” I just laugh because it’s kind of absurd how much is going on in the world, and what makes the news and what we’re aware of because there’s so much noise out there. We’re in the middle of a crisis emergency, and many people aren’t treating it as such. So that’s what I’ve started doing down here.

Kelly Tatham:
I always come down to LA for film or I think that that’s what I’m coming down for, and then I end up in the yoga community, the spiritual community, and now I’m in the activism community. There’s a fire going on just across the highway from where I live, and it’s one of several fires that have erupted over the past week or two including some incredibly devastating fires closer to San Francisco in wine country. Unfortunately this is the new normal because it’s always been part of the ecosystem in California, but global warming has aggravated the situation very intensely, and we’re seeing hundreds of thousands of people being impacted and tens of thousands of people losing their homes.

Shakti Sita:
Did you go out yesterday and actually meet with some of the people?

Kelly Tatham:
We didn’t get a chance to meet with them, but I actually ended up getting together with a couple other activists and discussing how we can better help the community here. Actually what we ended up rallying around was this idea of meditating in public and bringing meditation to the protest. Nonviolent direct action has been known historically to be one of the only things that can move the needle forward, that can get change. Think Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Gandhi. That’s the organization that I’m working with, Extinction Rebellion, that’s their whole MO is nonviolent direct action.

Kelly Tatham:
I took part in an action just last week, and it was incredible, and it was beautiful, but it was also very confrontative. I find the whole methodology to be very masculine and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just see a need to balance it out with a feminine form of protest, not to say the meditation is inherently feminine, but to just look at balancing the ways in which we approach direct action and that we approach bringing attention to these issues. In terms of the fires we wanted to connect directly with people to make sure that they’re understanding the connection between these fires and the climate crisis. But what we ended up moving through is brainstorming this way to bring meditation and mindfulness to the movement.

Shakti Sita:
That’s fascinating what you’re saying about activism kind of having this inherent masculine quality to it. I think that’s actually… When you said that I was like, “Yes, that’s the thing.” I have a lot of fire in me where I want to do things and I want to create positive change and I care deeply about a lot of things, but the masculine approach to activism, it completely burns me out. I literally burn myself out almost instantaneously.

Shakti Sita:
I love what you’re saying about how can you bring more a feminine nature, not that meditation like you’re saying is feminine, but there’s got to be more of a balance, and is it also what we do on the daily versus just get out there. I don’t know. I don’t even know what my question is because I think the thing is that activism has this barrier to entry of I’m going to have to take up a torch myself and be like, “Stop this,” or “Don’t do this,” out on the streets screaming about something.

Kelly Tatham:
Totally.

Shakti Sita:
That’s not a good look for everyone, and it’s not what some people really hop out of the bed in the morning for. What other ideas do you have around how people can in their own way take more of an activist role?

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah. Everyone’s role in the revolution is going to be different, and it has to be because there’s so many things that need to get done. What I really see a need for right now is regenerative culture for building new communities, for building new systems. If people feel called to take to the streets, then that’s wonderful, but what we need especially from the mindfulness and spiritual community is new world building. For me, this starts with dismantling the current structures. My hope for this meditation movement within Extinction Rebellion is to have kind of a Monday meditation movement because as we know Mondays are ruled by the moon, they’re meant for a rest, they’re meant for reflection, for stillness, and yet in our patriarchal society we start our work week on a Monday, and it’s meant to be go, go, go, go.

Kelly Tatham:
Most people disagree that that’s not the energy of Monday. Every meme will tell you that it’s not what anyone wants to do on Monday. I really want to subvert and disrupt what Monday looks like. Within that line of thinking people can go and say, “What in my life isn’t serving me?” And then see if they can follow that thread. Is it tied into a belief that was taught to us? Because everything’s been taught to us. Everything is beliefs. So much of what we believe to be true is actually capitalist ideology that is kind of forcing our behaviors to degrade the planet. It’s about there’s so many nuanced little things. Even something like not shaving your armpits is like incredibly subversive, which is so wild to me, which is why I stopped doing it because I was like, “Body hair is a political statement. Whoa. That’s huge.” It made me super uncomfortable.

Kelly Tatham:
Then I had to sit with this discomfort. I’m like, “Is it making other people uncomfortable? How does it feel?” There’s so many tiny little nuanced ways for people to disrupt the norm because the whole thing of what we’re trying to do is disrupt business as usual because we cannot continue living the way that we’ve been living.

Shakti Sita:
Yeah. I’m super into disrupting things just for the sake of disrupting things. Also, there’s kind of the other barrier that I feel like people kind of rub up against. It’s like, “Okay, cool. I can do this little thing,” or I’ll change myself in this little way, but I’m not perfect. How do I have the right to come out and stand up against climate change or global warming and I’m still ordering from Amazon or using plastic or whatever. Where is the scale? How do you navigate that?

Kelly Tatham:
That’s super complex, and it’s never not going to be complex because the very nature of being alive is impacting the planet until we’re able to get to a place where we’re regenerative and we’re sustainable, but society isn’t set up that way. You have to use the web to get out of the web. You have to be gentle with yourself because, again, the capitalist’s ideology, the core belief of capitalism is that you have to work for your worth, that you’re not good enough as you are, so you have to fulfill yourself with purchases, with external love, with validation from other people, and things. That teaches us that we’re never enough.

Kelly Tatham:
We’re always striving for this notion of perfection, this notion of fulfillment, and that’s never going to come. That’s the whole nature of being human is this illusion of being separate from our power, from our source, from the light. Capitalism took that and twisted it, and that’s why the planet is burning. To save the planet we have to be gentle with ourselves. We have to be kinder to ourselves because when we do things that are… We fail and we make a mistake, and we start beating ourselves up, it’s only useful to us if we’re able to twist that into something productive. We beat ourself up. We just get stuck in these shame spirals. We often become self-fulfilling prophesies of, I’m not good enough,” and then it spins off into these other actions and behaviors because then we get stuck in those negative thought patterns.

Kelly Tatham:
Whenever you do something that you feel guilty for, ashamed of, that’s a learning opportunity, that’s a teaching moment for yourself. Okay, how am I going to do this differently? I’m so glad I did this now so that future me has learned this lesson. And you can take that and transmute it into power for yourself. I’ve gotten to where I am and became… went down this path of searching for the true nature of reality and seeking all these answers because of all of the times I got dumped, I got broken up with or I kind of pushed for something that wasn’t available to me. Each time I had this broken heart, which is really a broken ego, and realized that I have to do something. I have to learn from this so I don’t have to sit with the brokenness, and I can take this and turn it and make it better.

Kelly Tatham:
I would say to people also who are struggling, it’s very important to be gentle with yourself but also we must recognize that we’ve entered a time of sacrifice. We are going to have to give up a lot of things. We are going to have to stop ordering from Amazon and be very vigilant about our plastic use and all of our consumption. We have to cut back our consumption by about 90%.

Shakti Sita:
That’s a lot.

Kelly Tatham:
It’s just unnecessary. Yeah.

Shakti Sita:
That’s a lot. That’s a big number.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah, it’s a big number. That’s not an official number, that’s just one I kind of pulled out of the air.

Shakti Sita:
Yeah, but it’s probably pretty accurate.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah, because if you look at the science, if you look up the Extinction Rebellion Talk, you’ll see how dire this situation is. Unfortunately, there’s something called climate lag, which means that the weather that we’re experiencing today was locked in a couple of decades ago, which is a really heavy thing.

Shakti Sita:
Whoa, that hurts.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah.

Shakti Sita:
Ouch. I have chills.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah, I know. It’s really scary.

Shakti Sita:
How does this all fit in with all the parallel universes happening right now? You’re a real scholar and thought leader of the multiverse. Is there a multiverse within a multiverse that this isn’t a problem, and can we go there?

Kelly Tatham:
Great question. I believe in all possible timelines, all possible outcomes. Infinity. I also believe the opposite of infinity is one and that there are two sides of the same coin. While I do believe in all possible outcomes, I also believe that things cannot be different than they are. I think that there’s an infinite number of timelines that we can shift into at any moment, but that requires big shifts take big actions take big changes. Little shifts, little actions. I do believe that the timelines are shifting all the time, and I do believe that there are many timelines where we…

Kelly Tatham:
Here’s the thing. Ultimately, we’re just having this human experience, right? We’re going to be fine. Our beings, our souls, whatever you want to call it. Whatever happens to the planet, even if we go through terrible, terrible suffering, all of us, that’s what we came here for is to have these experiences.

Shakti Sita:
Exactly.

Kelly Tatham:
But I do think that we’re intelligent enough now, and I do think that our consciousness is evolving that we’re going to be able to rise to this challenge, that we’re going to be able to figure this out, that this is exactly the catalyst we need to rethink humanity and come together because the way in which we’re living doesn’t work. So, of course, this is happening. We talk so much about carbon emissions and how that’s what’s hurting the planet, and that’s really what the conversation has been centered around. We need to fix the carbon emissions. We need to get rid of the… But it’s not carbon emissions, it’s human behavior. The human behavior is what’s creating all of this.

Shakti Sita:
How does the human behavior itself kind of… Do you see a mirror of what’s going on with the planet playing out in our own bodies because it’s all just kind of a fractal of itself?

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah. I totally think the externalism mirror for the internal and we’re in a time of massive turmoil. So many people are very confused and numb and uncertain and angry, and rightly so. I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault. We’ve all been conditioned and socialized to be certain ways, and we’ve been through quite a time in society. Everyone has the right to be angry because even the people who are the most privileged have been poorly socialized. We talk all the time about how white men are just doing all the bad things, but they’re also the ones who were going off to war, and they’re on the streets, and they’re in jails. They’ve been impacted in different ways. There are all sorts of privileges there, but also there’s so much pain there.

Kelly Tatham:
I think that the true key to saving the world is to save ourselves, to fix ourselves.

Shakti Sita:
To be completely transparent, fixing myself means that sometimes I have to put the blinders on because if I go big problems and big picture it’s like too much. There almost has to be this kind of going in and keeping the blinders on, and then only then can I actually turn out and actually help other people. I guess that’s kind of the whole fill your cup thing can overflow, the whole thing. Do you have moments where you feel like you have to just put your blinders on because you’re like, “Yo, it’s crazy out there. It’s getting cray-cray”?

Kelly Tatham:
I do. I do. Absolutely. I’m not very good at it though. I’ll try and watch a movie, and then I’ll get 10 minutes in, and I’m like, “No.” I’m going to go back to reading these articles.

Shakti Sita:
It’s great though because you’re like totally on your path. This is a real calling.

Kelly Tatham:
It is. Yeah. I’ve been working, I’ve been doing the work for some time of being okay with the discomfort. I’ve been throwing myself into all sorts of situations where the discomfort is just so present that I have no choice but to face it.

Shakti Sita:
Like what?

Kelly Tatham:
Living home free. I gave up my apartment in late 2017 and just went on the road and dog sat and crashed with friends and traveled around. There was a lot of times where I didn’t know where I was going to sleep the next week or sometimes that night. I didn’t have much money. Sometimes I had no money. I was just like, “I trust that the universe provides,” which on one hand I’m like, “Great, I learned that the universe does provide, but also I’m super privileged and have family to fall back on.” I recognize that model doesn’t work for everyone. I think that it can if you are able to remove the doubt and just be in the flow.

Shakti Sita:
Yeah, if you can really get into the belief of anything, it can happen.

Kelly Tatham:
Totally. Also, I was like, “Oh, you’re putting yourself in a lot of stressful situations. Is this healthy?” I don’t know. I don’t know. It’s a line that you walk and move around.

Shakti Sita:
We’re bored. We have to keep things interesting.

Kelly Tatham:
I know. I get bored so easily. I do put the blinders on. I definitely removed most of the numbing agents from my life. I took out sugar. For a while I stopped drinking. I started drinking again and then it was not much, and then it was a little bit too much, and then I realized, okay, you can have this as long as it’s not something that you’re doing all the time or something that you’re using to check out.

Kelly Tatham:
I smoke weed as well, and that’s something that I grapple with because in Kundalini there’s a lot of discussion about how they don’t want you to do that, which I think I’ve gotten to the bottom of.

Shakti Sita:
Have you?

Kelly Tatham:
So this is interesting because on one hand we’re here to have this grounded earthly human experience, which includes plants.

Shakti Sita:
Right.

Kelly Tatham:
And they’re totally here to help us evolve. Throughout history, Terence McKenna called us the Stoned Apes, that’s how we… saying that the apes ate mushrooms, and that’s what catalyzed the neurons in their brain, the firing to provoke the evolution.

Shakti Sita:
Okay. I can live with that.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah. Regardless, there’s all sorts of studies that they’re helping people through PTSD and depression. It rewires your brain. However, we’re also ethereal beings. We also beyond here. We’re beyond the earth. Substances that you put in your body can cloud your judgment and slow you down and keep you separate from source or the force as I was talking about in the last podcast for nonsecular folks.

Shakti Sita:
I love that. That’s so great. I’m going to use that.

Kelly Tatham:
I was talking to someone about, I was like, “Oh, what do you think about smoking weed?” Apparently, Yogi Bhajan says that it cuts off the energy flow in your neck so it can’t circulate. I noticed that I was having these kind of neck twitches especially I would do a really intense Kundalini class, and then I’d smoke weed, and I could feel the energy circulating, and I could feel it kind of cutting off at the neck.

Shakti Sita:
Very interesting.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah. For me, I do think that there will come a day where I won’t engage with any plant medicine, and I look forward to that, but right now I am very much of the earth and need to be with the earth.

Shakti Sita:
That makes a lot of sense because the numbing in the other way you just could just meditate. Meditation is a numbing agent as well.

Kelly Tatham:
Absolutely. That’s when I stopped smoking weed for a while. I stopped drinking. I wasn’t eating sugar. I still don’t eat sugar because sugar is one of the things where I’m like, the human cost of producing sugar is so high.

Shakti Sita:
Oh, yeah. Tell us about that because we’re recording this days before Halloween here. By the time you listen to this, you probably have the tail end of your Halloween candy, so let’s just ruin that for you.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah. It is so bad. It is really hard to produce, and it is really hard to harvest. Of course, it’s done with really, really cheap labor in parts of the states, the Dominican, Cuba. These people are not paid well. They don’t have healthcare. They’re out there all day long breaking their backs and it’s just these sugar barrens who own it, and it’s just all about profit. They were doing a bunch in the Everglades, in the Florida Everglades in the 80s and 90s, and they completely ruined the ecosystem there, bought off the politicians. It’s a total nightmare, not to mention it’s so bad for our bodies and our nervous systems. It’s also one of the reasons the Great Barrier Reef is dying and a lot of has died because of the runoff from fertilizers from sugar cane farms.

Shakti Sita:
Really?

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah.

Shakti Sita:
Wow.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah. Don’t eat sugar. Listen, here and there whatever, but it’s something that it’s in everything. It’s in ketchup. It’s in barbecue sauce. It’s in bread. It’s in all sorts of dips. It’s in all sorts of chips. Any packaged food take a look at the bag, and there’s a really high chance that there’s sugar in there. I really think we’re all addicted to it, and we all kind of need that hit because again it’s that little hit of, “Oh, I’m okay. Everything’s okay. I feel good. All good.” We’re in a time now where things are not good, and we need to get comfortable with not being good.

Kelly Tatham:
To the point so I removed sugar, and then I was meditating so much. I was doing yoga meditation five hours a day, and I was so zen, but I was too zen. I just completely, “Oh, you know, everything’s… ” So it’s another way that you can numb out and bypass. Like many things in life that are wonderful and beautiful like food and sex and weed for those of us who do engage with it, we have to learn how to balance those things so that they’re serving us and they’re not numbing us.

Shakti Sita:
That makes a lot of sense. I’m just thinking about parallel universes right now. I’m just thinking there’s got to be… Can you go into that more? Do you think that there’s multiple realities unfolding right now? I’m in my own reality. You’re in your own reality. This conversation is its own reality. The people listening are going to be in their own realities. What’s the deal?

Kelly Tatham:
How the multiverse works, when I first started getting into it, I started researching all of these theories in physics. They were all interesting, but nothing really made sense, not just because I didn’t understand the math, but the way that they were talking about it, they were like, “Oh, there’s these bubble universes, and they’re all out there floating in space like bubbles in a champagne glass.” There’s all sorts of these different ways that physicists look at the multiverse because when you study quantum mechanics you realize, you’re like, “Oh, nothing on the micro level of reality is as it seems in the world that we see.”

Kelly Tatham:
I started doing my own thinking about the multiverse and how each of us has a unique world view. No two people have the same biology, upbringing and experiences. Everyone has a slightly different or drastically different experience of life. How we think and how we feel has been shaped by our socialization. Feelings aren’t inherent even though they feel that way. They have been socialized. Our thoughts and our beliefs, everything has been taught to us. We now know from studies in neuroscience that how we are shaped dictates what we see. They’ve done these studies where they will bring all these different people in, and they’ll show them the same scenario, and they’ll question them after. People will experience different things.

Kelly Tatham:
It’s like when in the terrible shootings that we see across the states of African Americans, the police are like, “Well, I saw a gun in his hand.” Because no objects are actually real, they’re all just particles flickering in and out it’s real to one person, but another person can completely see something else, and that’s real to them. We’re all living in our own world. So the multiverse is infinite parallel universes, which are infinite humans being born and dying side by side interacting in this place we call reality. But it’s actually this multiverse of all of these different world views and ideas and people.

Kelly Tatham:
Beyond that, to me that’s how I see it. Earth is a multiverse. Then for the timelines, this is more complex, and I don’t have a complete grasp on it. There’s a wonderful theory called Block Universe Theory that says all time exists simultaneously. We know from physics that time is not at all how we conceptualize. Time does not pass. Time is actually part of the fabric of the matrix. It’s something that stretches with gravity. It’s something that we experience differently depending on how fast we’re going.

Kelly Tatham:
We know that this notion of past, present and future isn’t as we think it is. All of time is actually existing simultaneously, which means the present moment is the only thing that exists. I don’t know that I can answer your question about all sorts of different timelines and how that’s working. I just think that I’ve had these experiences where I have these memories or I’ll meet someone, and I’m like, “Oh, we know each other in a different timeline.”

Shakti Sita:
I felt like that when I met you. I was like, “Oh, we’re just… Hello.”

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah, I remember you in the future. Yeah. I’m feeling that more and more these days. I don’t know about you.

Shakti Sita:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Big time.

Kelly Tatham:
So this is interesting. Jenny, who I think was just on our podcast-

Shakti Sita:
Yeah.

Kelly Tatham:
Jenny and I spend a lot of time together.

Shakti Sita:
Of course you guys do.

Kelly Tatham:
We met at RA MA as well. I knew we had to be friends because we had the same phone, and we kept going to the bathroom at the same time. I was like, “We were meant to be friends.”

Shakti Sita:
That’s how you know when your bathroom breaks line up. It’s true.

Kelly Tatham:
Exactly. It’s like the cosmos want us to connect. For a while I was getting the angel numbers on my phone, like 333, 222. Then it stopped, and now I’m getting… Is it palindromes? 808 and 737 nonstop all the time.

Shakti Sita:
So interesting.

Kelly Tatham:
Yes. She told me that you said that it was like a boomerang.

Shakti Sita:
Yes. That was my kind of download about palindromes. I was really meditating on them. It has this boomerang effect because it goes in and out. It goes back. Yeah. I see the energy move like that.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah, it feels like time is folding in on itself or our concept of time because time is kind of like infinity. It just is. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but that’s where we’re going with it. I feel our concept or understanding of how we experience time is folding in. Did you see the film Arrival?

Shakti Sita:
No.

Kelly Tatham:
Oh, you got to watch it.

Shakti Sita:
Okay.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah. The whole concept it breaks away from the notion of linear time. Time is not linear and we only… Because we experience time as linear because we live in containers that expire. We’re born, and we die, and so we’ve created this concept of time passing to understand that experience.

Shakti Sita:
Isn’t linear time also a sort of patriarchal concept because matriarchal mentality and just the feminine quality is more of this like cyclical, like everything’s kind of moving in this cycle around and around overlapping at the same time. I’m talking about this while you’re talking about that. Everything’s unfolding simultaneously. Maybe this linear concept of time is part of the patriarchy, and maybe that’s why we’re experiencing like, “Oh, my God, this is collapsing on itself,” because shit’s changing.

Kelly Tatham:
Yes, absolutely. Well, [inaudible 00:32:14] says that men are linear and women are multidimensional. That makes a lot of sense to me because-

Shakti Sita:
Yogi Bhajan says similar.

Kelly Tatham:
Nice. In my experience with men I’ve come to understand that they do experience time differently. They completely have a different experience of time. Conceptualizing that has really helped me.

Shakti Sita:
I’m literally just laughing because I’m thinking about my husband and my dad. Just go on.

Kelly Tatham:
We’re circling, right? Everything is circling. You look at the Orb Wars. You look at the Yin-Yang, which is just kind of like a 2D image of the holographic reality. Of course, within the experience of the circling it looks flat, just like the earth looks flat. We’re on a round earth, but it looks flat. We are moving forward, and we have this idea that we’re moving forward in this flat line, which is linear time. But actually we are moving forward. That’s entropy, that’s forward movement. That is a reality.

Shakti Sita:
Or is it just expansion? You know?

Kelly Tatham:
That’s interesting. Absolutely.

Shakti Sita:
There’s just more circles.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah, more circles, circles, circles and circles. It’s kind of also this feeling of turning inside out. I also do mushrooms sometimes.

Shakti Sita:
And you feel like you’re turning inside out?

Kelly Tatham:
I have. I often set intentions before I do it.

Shakti Sita:
That’s probably a good move.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah. You talk to the plants, and you say, “This is what I want.” The last time I did mushrooms, I was like, “Listen, I would like to feel the structure of the space time matrix.” And I did. It was profound.

Shakti Sita:
Practical.

Kelly Tatham:
It was wild. It was wild. It’s hard to explain with words because naturally it’s beyond words. It’s kind of like this turning inside out, this forward movement, and then all encompassing in all directions. That’s the multiverse, the reality. It’s just like this constant kind of movement, expansion, growing, cycling, interconnectivity.

Shakti Sita:
I love this because I don’t know about you, but the way that I do work I have my list of things. It’s like, “Okay, I’m going to prioritize, and this is my plan for the day.” It never, ever, ever, ever follows the F-ing timeline or the order that I originally set out for because as I’m doing it I’m like, “This needs to be done, and then and then,” and it’s constantly reconfiguring itself in real time. That’s why I was laughing because my dad… Shout out to my father. He’s helping me with the yoga studio that I’m hoping in Rochester. He’s helping me build the stage. He has two projects that I’ve delegated to him that he’s like, “I got this. It’s mine. I’ll handle it.”

Shakti Sita:
I’m like, “So how’s this coming along?” He’s like, “Well, you know, I’m also working on this at home and this and this.” The projects are stagnated. He has plenty of time to do it, but until those are fully crossed off he can’t move on to the next thing. Multiple things cannot be running simultaneously. My mom and I joke about it all the time because it’s cute. We don’t function like that. We have 17 pots cooking at once. At any given point everything needs something, and it’s reprioritizing itself. I actually think that this is… I feel like we’re on to something. I feel like there’s a similarity in the energy of just how the female brain functions and how time space is actually functioning or how we’re now experiencing it. Maybe it has been linear for the last 2,000 years.

Kelly Tatham:
I think one of the biggest mistakes that people make in science and all sorts of different fields is assuming that what we know now is, ‘Oh, well, now that we’ve proved this, it means it was always like that.”

Shakti Sita:
It may not have been.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah.

Shakti Sita:
Maybe it was linear. I don’t know.

Kelly Tatham:
Totally. Lisa Feldman Barrett, the author of How Emotions are Made has proved that emotions are socialized, but maybe they were inherent at one point. We don’t know. She’s like, “Oh, well now we’ve completely ended the classical view of emotions, and we know that that was wrong.” It’s like, “Well, why does it have to be wrong or right?” Maybe things were different then, and we’ve moved, and we’ve grown and evolved. Now that we can step back and separate ourselves from our emotions and change our emotional experiences when at one point they weer inherent. And maybe not. But just the notion of things are always changing and it doesn’t mean that something was wrong before just because we know… Because it’s always going to continue changing. That’s the pursuit of science is not to show the truth but to constantly prove yourself wrong because there is no bottom. It’s infinite. It’s always going to be different.

Shakti Sita:
There is no bottom.

Kelly Tatham:
There is no bottom.

Shakti Sita:
Just like that. It’s simultaneously absolutely frightening and totally freeing.

Kelly Tatham:
I was afraid for a long time when I… When I was younger I was super obsessed with space, and then I graduated high school in my early 20s, and I just didn’t want to think about it . It was too big. I was terrified by this thought of the infinite. Now I find it so comforting. It’s like, “Oh, everything’s going to be okay because… ” I remind myself too that it’s beyond knowing, that it’s beyond seeking, it’s just about being. But getting to that place I had to step through a lot of fear. I know that there will be more fear because it’s cyclical, and there’s so much more to learn through.

Shakti Sita:
I love that. I feel like what you said earlier about, “Yeah, these are major crises,” and “Yes, this is a really big deal.” But ultimately we’re all going to be okay because we’re at our soul level. This is just part of our experience and our evolution. You being able to kind of zoom out and take that really high macro view I feel like there’s a lot of energy there because you’re like, “You know, I’m doing what I can because I’m here, and I’m having this earthly experience. I want to make the impacts I can, but ultimately I can maintain this kind of more expanded viewpoint.” I feel like a lot of us can’t get there sometimes. Maybe that’s why we burn out.

Kelly Tatham:
I can’t always get there either. I do believe that I will be able to sustain it. Right now I’m feeling great, and I’m like, “Oh, maybe it’ll always be like this.” I do think that that’s-

Shakti Sita:
Well, when you’re in it, just ride it.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah.

Shakti Sita:
This is now my reality.

Kelly Tatham:
When we’re in it good or bad it always feels like it’s-

Shakti Sita:
Forever.

Kelly Tatham:
Forever. But for me, I’m able to really be in this place and take this approach because I know that I’m doing what I need to do in the day-to-day to live in reality and to shift reality because it’s a little too easy for us to have this knowledge and use it to bypass what needs to be done on the planet, which includes grieving and being with our anger because what has happened, and what we are grieving for, we have really suppressed the divine feminine to the point that we won’t be able to live on this planet anymore the way that things stand in this timeline. I hope that we will shift timelines, and we can continue to live on the planet, but the timeline that we’re in right now we don’t make it. It’s so bad.

Kelly Tatham:
We have to be with that group. We have to feel it. We cannot bypass it. I offer these tools because I know that the grief is so immense that we need these tools to be able to handle it, but that doesn’t mean that we can bypass it. It is such a necessary component of what we’re going through is being with all of our feelings and sitting with them because the depth of our grief is the depth of our love. In those places, in the places of that pain, that’s where we get broken open and our greatest understandings come from and our greatest humanity comes from.

Kelly Tatham:
We have to go through, that’s the only way out is through. We have to be with everything that comes up.

Shakti Sita:
Yeah. I want to go back to you were talking about getting information. You were talking specifically about the sugar and all that stuff. I’m just curious because I worked in news. It’s a whole situation in how information gets out there and what actually makes headlines and stories. How can we as storytellers get our stories out there in a more meaningful way and also find the stories that matter? When we are looking for the truth, it’s so slippery. Where do you go? That also is such as easy excuse to put the blinders on. It’s like, “Well, none of this is real.” I’m not going to bother reading anything. Are these sugar stories even real? Is this even real? You know, you can get really-

Kelly Tatham:
Sure. You can always go down the nothing is real path.

Shakti Sita:
Nothing’s real.

Kelly Tatham:
It’s not. At the end of the day, sure, nothing is real. Yet, that’s not useful.

Shakti Sita:
It’s not useful, right. So how do you navigate that in an earthly way where you’re like, “Okay, I know these things to be true and I’m going to just do something”?

Kelly Tatham:
It’s definitely a challenge. I recognize that even I’m in an echo chamber of the content that I get. I seek out a lot, but I go to my regular sources. I understand that there’s an algorithm when I Google based on my past searches that dictates, although I did just switch to Ecosia, which is a new search engine that plants a tree every time you search.

Shakti Sita:
Seriously?

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah.

Shakti Sita:
We will put that in the show notes.

Kelly Tatham:
Yes. I notice that my searches are a little bit different than how they come up on Google, which I think is really interesting. I think that people really need to take responsibility for seeking out truth for… When I’m doing my research I’ll make sure I find a couple of different sources or if I’m reading an article and I’m like, “This doesn’t feel… ” you got to look for bias in things. You got to understand who’s writing this. Where’s it coming from? Who are they owned by? Everyone can pick up an article and look in and see, “What’s the tone in this? What are the words being used? How is this narrative being led?” I always step back and center it around the health of the planet. Is this something that’s moving the consciousness forward? Is this something that’s covering up or is it something that’s illuminating?

Kelly Tatham:
At all times just centering what’s good for the world. What’s good for the earth? What’s good for my sanity? Usually, whatever that is is the opposite of making money. Not always. Those things can be aligned but we look at so much of what’s happening, it’s just greed.

Shakti Sita:
Follow the money.

Kelly Tatham:
Follow the money. I encourage people to spend more time researching for themselves, to look at their life and say, “What in my life do I think is holding me back, and why?” And then following that thread, that trail. If it’s a certain type of food or if it’s a certain activity or if it’s a certain person and just do a little sleuthing as to what’s provoking you to feel the way you feel, and where does it lead back to, and questioning that.

Kelly Tatham:
Also, I think it’s really important to support journalism both on a local and national/international level. I read The New York Times and The Guardian. I also read The Tyee, which is this little paper in B.C. where I’m from so I’m getting unbiased local news. I follow different people on Twitter. It’s not a perfect model, but I believe I’m doing my due diligence to make sure I’m seeking out as unbiased opinions as possible even though bias is inherent to being human. That’s never going to change.

Shakti Sita:
You also spend time actually at the scene of things. Your eyes are open. You can look across your street and see the fires. The other thing I actually want to ask you about is you’ve recently traveled a pretty long distance and opted out of flying. What was that like and why? Can you tell about-

Kelly Tatham:
I did it a couple of times this summer. I had been flying. I travel fairly often, and so I fly fairly often. Then I started hearing more about the movement in Europe, the fly shaming, which I believe Greta Thunberg had a big part in. Just understanding the impact of the carbon emissions from planes. I went from Vancouver to Calgary and back, but then coming down to LA I went overland. I decided to do it over a couple of days and stay with friends along the way. It was really interesting. It wasn’t super comfortable the whole time. Some of those buses, the seats are a little rough, but fortunately there’s plug-ins. I could do work. It was more expensive, which sucked. It was more expensive than flying.

Kelly Tatham:
At one point I was supposed to… It was like a 15 hour travel day from Eugene, Oregon to San Francisco, and we stopped in Sacramento, and it was 10 o’clock at night and supposed to have an hour and a half bus into San Francisco, and the bus driver didn’t show up. I was stranded in Sacramento. I had to find a motel. I’m on such a budget too. I was like, “All right, universe, here we go.” I’m not going to sleep in the streets, so, cool, let’s do this.

Kelly Tatham:
I was like, “Oh, I’m so grateful that I’m able to afford a motel even if it’s just like scraping by for me,” because so many people aren’t able to do that. So grateful that I have so many people that I can call. The reason I did that is because plane emissions, carbon emissions, they’re just one drop in the bucket. If you’re only flying a couple of times a year, you’re not making a big impact. It’s the people who are flying constantly that really need to check their behavior. However, for me it’s less about the carbon emissions and more about the experience of, “Okay, so if I fly Vancouver to LA, that’s half a day, not even, and I’m there.” And it’s just instant, right? This is the culture we live in, instant gratification, instant satisfaction.

Kelly Tatham:
What I did was take three or four days to head down, sit through some discomfort, and really feel the experience of traveling that distance, which is better for the planet, less emissions, and I think it’s better for my psyche. I think it’s better for my growth as a human because so many of the things that are hurting the planet is this fast delivery, is this fast food, this fast fashion, this need to have everything quick and cheap and easy. That’s where the sacrifice comes in. That’s what we’re going to have to let go of to save the planet.

Kelly Tatham:
Certainly, the corporations and the banks need to pull their money from oil and gas and put it into renewables. We need to understand that it’s systemic, and we need to build an immense amount of technology to pull the carbon out of the air and to start positive feedback loops, but also we have to shift our behavior. We cannot continue to go at the rate that we’re going at. It’s very important in this conversation to understand that it’s not an individual. No one’s to blame. We’ve all been taught to behave this way. And we need to put overwhelming pressure on the people with the money and power to make the systemic changes, but at the same time we also need to be altering our day-to-day behavior to slow down.

Shakti Sita:
Slow down. I just have this visual because you’re saying change our behavior. When creating this yoga studio it’s been a great process, and it’s moved pretty quickly, and part of the quickness is that everything gets delivered to me, and it gets delivered to me in a cardboard box. The amount of cardboard that I have gone through to open this yoga studio is repulsive. It’s to the point where we have a cardboard box, and my husband is like, “Oh, my God. No more cardboard.” Both of us are like, “We never want to see cardboard again,” because we both cringe at just how much, but at the same time we had a discussion about it last night, what is the alternative if I need to acquire these certain things? I literally don’t think I could get certain materials or props or whatever any other way.

Shakti Sita:
Innovative solutions are definitely needed across the board, but then also this disruption in our day to day like you were talking about, I’m definitely going to sit with that and think about other ways that I can disrupt my day to day, but I’m basically just unloading my cardboard box guilt on you right now. It’s real.

Kelly Tatham:
All good. There will come a time where we won’t be ordering new things anymore. That will end. That will end because all we will be focused on is our survival. This is the timeline we’re living in.

Shakti Sita:
So you’re basically saying the human behavior will shift because there is no other choice?

Kelly Tatham:
Yes, unless we find a way to shift before then. The pentagon did a study they just announced a couple of days ago that the US military within 20 years will not be able to handle the capacity of climate change.

Shakti Sita:
Whoa.

Kelly Tatham:
Hear that siren?

Shakti Sita:
That’s you?

Kelly Tatham:
No, that’s you.

Shakti Sita:
That’s outside. That’s me? Oh, my gosh.

Kelly Tatham:
This is wild. I went on a walk a couple of months ago, and I was recording myself talking, and I was having a lot of profound thoughts. I was all positive, and then I was like, “Yeah, but if we don’t make it, we might not make it in this timeline.” I said something really negative about how the world was going to end. Then I was, “No, no, no. It’s fine.” I listened back later, and right after I said that there was a siren, which I did not hear in real life. Then I was like, “No, no, no, it’ll be fine,” and it ended.

Shakti Sita:
I got the chills.

Kelly Tatham:
This is something that I’m really grappling with that you’ll understand that a lot of people don’t is recognizing that our thoughts create our reality, that our intentions and our energy and our emotions are all a part of creating our reality. I know that I’m like, “I have to stay positive, and I have to say that we’re going to make it because we are,” but at the same time I’m like, “I need to get the point across to people that we are in a dire, dire emergency, and everything needs to be done. We need to drop everything and focus on this emergency.” How do I walk that line between those two realities?

Shakti Sita:
That is tough. I actually think about this kind of thing all the time because you do have to carry the duality of the positive and the negative. It does no one any benefit for you to be crying on the floor, “We’re not going to make it. It’s over.” Or you can take it out of the climate conversation and you can just make it about your own suffering that you’ve endured over your life, and you’re just curled up in a ball over it. That does no one any good. But at the same time if you want to get anything across to people, and you want to carry any kind of weight or breaking news or whatever, you have to share that part. But you can’t go into it because you can’t get out of it.

Shakti Sita:
I’m actually actively grappling with that kind of thing because anyone who knows me knows I don’t talk about my suffering and things that I’ve gone through because I’m over it. I’m onward and upward. Part of my ability to put myself out there is that I don’t linger in the kind of darkness of it all. It’s there if I want it. I don’t want it though, so I don’t need to lead with that. The news organizations are onto it because the journalism 101 principal is if it bleeds, it leads. Now you look around Instagram, if it bleeds, it leads. Everyone is telling their fricking story about their suffering and their this and their that.

Shakti Sita:
We all relate to it on a human level, and then on the climate situation it’s very easy for people to not even… for it to not even register in their reality because they look outside, and they’re like, “Blue sky. Persimmons growing. Figs growing.” Literally I’m just looking out my windows right now. I don’t need… Who cares. Everything’s fine here. There’s none of that breaking news hitting them in the face until there’s a fire literally across the street.

Shakti Sita:
That’s a really tough… It’s an interesting energy to have to navigate. I’m curious. Keep me posted if you find a good method for doing it.

Kelly Tatham:
I think I’m getting there. I know I’m definitely getting closer. I’m definitely getting closer to it. I think it’s by talking about things like in this timeline. Understanding that this is where we’re at right now, but it can shift at any moment. I need to be better with my wording. I need to become more nuanced because words are spells.

Shakti Sita:
We do need better words around it. One of the things that we do on news is we would always hedge everything. We’d be like, “Breaking news out of so and so, blah, blah, blah. Allegedly a shooter… Allegedly… Reportedly.” Every single sentence started with allegedly or reportedly. But it would cover our butts. Also on a mental side when you’re writing it, it’s almost like having your fingers crossed when you’re saying it. It’s like, it’s true but it’s not true. We need our version of that when we’re talking about these things that are true but that we don’t need to necessarily linger in because we need to be the beacons. We need to be those lighthouses of where we’re going and the possibility, not the kind of… Yeah. It does no one any good for us to hang out in the doom and gloom of it.

Shakti Sita:
To be honest, I think one of the perception issues, the PR issues, of activism is that it hangs out too much in the doom and gloom. People who are trying to live a hunky dory life are like, “I don’t have time for that.”

Kelly Tatham:
I don’t have the capacity.

Shakti Sita:
I don’t have the capacity… I don’t have the emotional capacity for that. My toddler is screaming.

Kelly Tatham:
Exactly. That’s what I’m working on right now within the activism movement is raising the hope and the regenerative culture that needs to be built in the hopes that that will bring people in who can’t exist in that space, who can’t exist in the intense emotional confrontational space all the time. Although I do think everyone needs to dip their toes into that and just-

Shakti Sita:
Hang out.

Kelly Tatham:
… maybe wade around a little bit. Be with it. As long as they have the tools and the support system to be okay afterwards because not everyone does. Unfortunately, we’re going to start seeing a lot of people freaking out. We’re already seeing it. It will continue for a time, and I don’t say that because I want it to become true talking about this but just understanding that this is what we’re heading towards, and the way that people are acting right now is just so out of sync. And we’re seeing this across the world, protests everywhere, uprisings everywhere. I’ve lost my train of thought.

Shakti Sita:
It’s okay. I feel like I’ve lost 16 trains of thoughts probably to another dimension.

Kelly Tatham:
Yes. This is where the spiritual community is really going to take leadership and where are people are really going to step up and guide us through is these high vibrations, this positivity, because more and more each day we need that, and more and more each day people are turning to that and looking for that and seeking that. Creating spaces where people can come and be safe and also have community, but also be processing their emotions and grieving and finding ways to disrupt and protest and take action through those communities is vital.

Shakti Sita:
I love that. Thank you so much for joining me today. I could listen to you all day long. Actually, the last thing I want to get in before we end on this topic because I just feel personally connected to this part of it, is the animal agriculture. I don’t know if you’ve ever delved down that road. I can’t go near it from a frontline standpoint, but from a day to day my form of growing my armpit hair out is I’m not eating animals. Tough shit. It’s not happening. I really don’t care. I’ll starve. I will preload. I will be high inconvenienced if it comes to it, but that’s not even true anymore.

Shakti Sita:
I see across the board that there’s way more options for nonanimal foods, but it’s amazing to be in situations where there’s not, and it’s like a cultural thing still. I’m like, “Do you guys know? Have you…” now for me, it’s so obvious it’s like, “Guys, you don’t need to go to the factory farm. There’s a reason they won’t let you take videos of a factory farm. There’s a reason.” It’s really awful. I don’t know. Do you have anything on that area of this activism?

Kelly Tatham:
The animal agriculture is one of the top pollutants. The Amazon is burning because they need room for the cattle to graze and to grow soy to feed the cattle. It is devastating the planet the way that we eat animals. I don’t know that it’s realistic for the whole word to go vegan. There’s a lot of communities that rely on eating animals, but these are often more indigenous communities that use the whole animal that eat a diversity of animals. I think the conversation needs to be nuanced. I think the conversation needs to be small for people to get on board. There are some people in my life who eat a lot of meat, and I find that frustrating because they are aware at this point of what it does to the planet. I don’t eat meat anymore. I will eat chicken or fish occasionally, on occasion, but I don’t eat red meat anymore. I overall just don’t do any animal products. Except I do eat eggs because I make they’re sourced properly, and I don’t eat them that often. I do look forward to the day that I can have my own chickens.

Shakti Sita:
Yeah, these are the nuances of veganism, which is there’s sustainability, there’s having your own farm and your own family chicken, and then there’s what we’re doing.

Kelly Tatham:
Yeah. I think some people need to be… I think sometimes the conversation of being like, “No, you can’t have any of it,” which is kind of like the overall conversation which is like no one’s fault. It’s just like that’s how these conversations go. I think it needs to be a lot more nuanced to get people on board and needs to be navigated. Because when people think something is being taken away from them, they get very protective.

Shakti Sita:
I actually just had this kind of little bit of an ah-ha. Going back to what I said about people are striving for perfectionism in whatever realm they’re in. It’s inherent. We’re just all trying to be enough here. We don’t enter the activist realm because we’re still ordering from Amazon or we still do this or that. I think the big hurdle with plant based diets is veganism because some people don’t want to be all or nothing or they can’t be all or nothing because of various reasons in their life.

Shakti Sita:
In my world it’s like every plate that you leave it off of is a really massive F-U to the system. Great. If you take it off your lunch, great. If you take it off of your dinner some nights, great. If you only do one less plate of it a week, great. At least you’re doing something. That to me is how I look at it. I agree. All or nothing doesn’t work. For me it works as a person because it is one area where I can be all or nothing about it because I do have a deep desire to have my own impact in a positive direction here.

Kelly Tatham:
The way I try and approach my diet is centering around the climate at all times and understanding that it’s just so devastating what eating meat is doing to the planet and also how the animas are treated is just like, “Why would I want to bring that energy into my body?” when they haven’t had a good life at all. Also looking at all the other things that I’m eating. As much as possible I’m like, “What can I eat that’s local? What was grown nearby? What’s in season?” Because our diets are so out of touch with actually the seasons. Things that are being shipped, things that are being processed, anything that’s packaged. Looking at all of that and recognizing that every little thing makes a huge difference and asking yourself, “What could I grow on my own? What could I raise on my own? If I do want to eat meat, how can I source it locally from someone trustworthy where the animals had a good life. Could I eat a moose or could I eat a bison?”

Kelly Tatham:
If you’re eating cow all the time, you need to be asking yourself these questions. Why am I not eating a diversity of these different types of animals because a model where we’re all eating way less meat and we’re eating a diversity of meat could be sustainable. I don’t know that spiritually speaking that we’re going to want to do that for much longer either because that’s different for everybody, but I know there’s a lot of people out there who are like, “Why would I eat another conscious being?”

Kelly Tatham:
Plants are conscious. Tables are conscious.

Shakti Sita:
It gets real deep. No, it does. I grew my own tomatoes this year, and I was like, “These are my buddies. I’m murdering my best friends. I watered them everyday. We hung out everyday. Now I’m eating it.”

Kelly Tatham:
That’s so beautiful. You’re like, “Thank you so much for your life, and I’m so grateful.”

Shakti Sita:
Yeah, it was a very intimate relationship.

Kelly Tatham:
Within the animal kingdom animals eat other animals every day all the time.

Shakti Sita:
It’s more like the way we’re doing it.

Kelly Tatham:
It’s devastating.

Shakti Sita:
It’s crazy.

Kelly Tatham:
So many people are just… I personally cut it out pretty much entirely because I see that other people aren’t, and I feel like I have to swing to the other side, and I’ll give you an example. I think all of these things are linchpins, cutting out sugar or cutting out meat, or stopping flying or not ordering off Amazon anymore. As soon as you start pulling at those threads, other things will start falling into place.

Shakti Sita:
They do. They totally do.

Kelly Tatham:
It’s all about facing your discomfort and recognizing that the time has come for sacrifice, so whatever you can do to center the planet you should be doing.

Shakti Sita:
Beautiful. I think on that note we should end it this time. Thank you so much for joining me in this parallel reality that we’re in. I’m just so happy that they lined up, and the time lined up and that we could all make this happen today at this time.

Kelly Tatham:
Thank you so much.

Shakti Sita:
Thank you. Will definitely continue this conversation because I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

Kelly Tatham:
I’m so excited to talk again because we’ll have so much more depth to share. It’s such a privilege to chat with you. You’re so intelligent.

Shakti Sita:
So are you. Thank you so much. Where can people find your work? I mean, you write. You have a medium blog and Instagram.

Kelly Tatham:
If you go to Instagram, there’s a link tree there, and they can follow through. They can see my film. They can read my essays. My Instagram is @KellyTaham. You can just follow. All the links will be there. I encourage people who are interested, the medium page has a lot of essays and articles, and I will continue to write. I’ve really started delving into breaking down our ideologies and our world views. I really think that that’s the next step is decolonizing our minds.

Shakti Sita:
You can start with mine.

Kelly Tatham:
You’re doing a great job. You’re doing a great job.

Shakti Sita:
Thank you. It’s nice when you can have a friend who’s like a decolonization surgeon come in and help you. Phone a friend.

Kelly Tatham:
Disbelief. It doesn’t serve. Pull it out.

Shakti Sita:
Actually, maybe that could be a new job. 2020. New jobs in 2020. Decolonization surgeon.

Kelly Tatham:
Yes. Oh, my God. Love it. I’m here for it.

Shakti Sita:
I’m here for it too big time. I’m going to end this now. Thank you, Kelly.

Shakti Sita