Lisa Marie Rankin is the author of the new book The Goddess Solution: Practical Wisdom for Everyday Life. A wellness coach and yoga and mindfulness teacher, she lives near Boston.
Q: What inspired you to write The Goddess Solution, and how did you choose the goddesses to include in the book?
A: I have always been interested in yoga and spirituality. Well, since college, anyways.
In my late 30s, my marriage was ending, and I found myself less and less inspired with my day job. I began to look for happiness and validation through external factors like men, appearance, and career success.
When that didn't work, I found myself drinking habitually in an attempt to mask my feeling of unease. I remember saying to myself: "I don't feel like a goddess."
For some reason, saying those words inspired me to start figuring out what a goddess feels like. I began to research goddesses across traditions and started a blog to explain how I experienced their presence in my life.
I learned that a goddess is sovereign and whole. She doesn't need to look outside of herself for contentment and joy - she creates it on her own. I began to practice what I was learning, and this wisdom changed the course of my life.
I moved on from my marriage. Ended a cycle of toxic relationship patterns. Minimized my alcohol consumption. And started to take exceptional care of myself - body, mind, and spirit. When I began to take accountability for my life, I found joy, ease, and meaning.
Just as I was looking outside of myself for happiness, I observed so many other women doing the same. Many women don't feel good about themselves. They think they'll feel better after they lose 10 pounds, get the guy, or make more money.
But it doesn't work that way! We feel better when we can learn to love ourselves unconditionally. That's not something someone else can give us.
The intent of my book is to teach women that they are already whole. They already possess everything they need - they don't need to look outside of themselves. They can tap into goddess energetics to overcome challenges, experience pleasure, and create the life they were meant to live.
I researched hundreds of goddesses, and the ones I selected were the ones that resonated with me the most. People will experience the goddesses and their myths differently - and that's ok. The goddess shows up uniquely for all of us, and myths evolve to fit the time, place, and person who needs them.
Q: You begin the book by writing, "I was born a goddess." How do you define goddess in that context, and why did you move away from that as you got older?
A: Like a young child, the goddess is in touch with her feelings and emotions, not curating them for the benefit of others. A goddess doesn't try to alter herself to be more likable. She just is.
As we get older, we start to form conditioned behaviors. We do this to win approval from our caretakers, friends, and partners. We are dependent on our caretakers at a young age, so we need to do this to stay alive. However, this conditioning takes us further away from ourselves.
Tapping into our inner goddess is really a process of remembering: What lights us up? What brings us pleasure? What makes us feel good? It's coming back to a more authentic and honest version of ourselves where we care less about what others think and more about what we believe.
Q: How does meditation fit into the goal of the book?
A: A key component of connecting with your inner goddess is understanding the nature of your mind. Meditation helps us to observe our thoughts but not fuse with them. We can experience anger and anxiety - but that doesn't mean we are anger and anxiety.
Meditation is a tool that helps us create space between our triggers and reactions. Within that space is our inner wisdom. That's when we can access our goddess self.
It's also vital for women to take the time to be still and silent. We need to create space to hear our inner wisdom and reconnect with our spirit.
Q: Overall, what are the most important things you hope readers take away from the book?
A: I want women to understand that they are sovereign and are entirely in charge of their health, happiness, and wellbeing. I hope these goddesses inspire them to stay true to themselves. It takes courage to walk outside the lines society prescribes, but it is a much more fulfilling journey.
Our culture is always trying to sell us on something - the idea that we need either a relationship, children, a particular car, or an ageless face. We don't need anything but a connection to the divine.
Yet, when we start to do the inner work and begin to love ourselves unconditionally, we begin to attract the things we desire. Our outer reality reflects our inner reality - so it makes sense to focus on ourselves. That is the only thing we can truly affect.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I am currently launching a course, also called The Goddess Solution. It is a five-week wellness program that teaches women to care for their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing through myth, Ayurveda, and ancient and modern practices.
This will be my second time offering it, and I've received terrific feedback. It changes the way women view their bodies, sexuality, emotions, relationships, and spirit.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: Yes! Women, please remember: You are already a goddess! Becoming a goddess isn't about doing more. If anything, it's about doing less. It's about removing the different facades or masks that you present to the outside world and remembering who you are at your core.
You are more than a mother, wife, employee, or daughter - you are a goddess. Becoming a goddess isn't a look - it's a way of life.
People can find me at www.lisamarierankin.com. I offer a free book club with women worldwide to connect and dive deep into what it means to be a woman in my private Facebook group, Goddess Wisdom for Modern Women. Please join me there!
--Interview with Deborah Kalb