Welcome to The Revelation Project Podcast!
The Revelation Project was designed to disrupt the trance of unworthiness and reveal conversations that foster connection, healing, humor, and self-actualized love for the women of our planet (we aim to enroll men that are curious about changing the status quo as well!).
In addition, The Revelation Project podcast will host thoughtful interviews with other change-making humans who offer compelling perspectives and new narratives that move us away from traditional patriarchal influences and towards accelerated consciousness, ultimately shaking up old paradigms and waking up new insights.
Each week we hope you enjoy inspiring topics that un-pack deeper truths, and reveal the hidden gifts beneath the surface of everyday living. Soul-dive with us into vulnerable and courageous topics to reveal the animated spirit of our lives, and witness the revelations that bring meaning and healing toward the integration of the masculine and the feminine. We believe life is a revelation project and what gets revealed, gets healed.
For our very first episode of The Revelation Project, enjoy Andrea interviewing Monica about her darkest days before the dawn, and where The Revelation Project began. We also talk about why loneliness is so difficult, how to heal from difficult situations, spiritual work and much more.
We hope you enjoy The Revelation Project Podcast!
“Oftentimes we're the instrument in somebodies healing but we don't realize it.” - Monica Rodgers
"We are always working with spirit when we're working in the realm of transformation." - Monica Rodgers
"It was interesting because in that loneliness, it forced me to befriend myself." - Monica Rodgers
Andrea Willits: Hey, everyone. So we are sitting here together, Monica and I, Andrea [Willits 00:00:08].
Monica Rodgers: Hey, everybody, it's Monica Rodgers.
Andrea Willits: Yeah. And so today we're going to reveal where it all began, the revelation project. So just sit back and enjoy some story time as Monica shares where it began. So Monica, where were you in your life when the revelation project was starting to have life?
Monica Rodgers: So where I was at, it was after actually a massive depression, and I had really had what I call a full-on life breakdown, almost to the point where, at the time I think I called it a universal smackdown. It was actually in hindsight, because hindsight's always 2020, kind of this divine choreography of events. You know, Pema Chodron talks about the wisdom of no escape.
Andrea Willits: Yeah.
Monica Rodgers: And there was no escape. It was literally like this cataclysmic series of events that just tore at the very foundation of everything that I thought I had built, until I realized I had built it on a foundation of quicksand.
Andrea Willits: Yeah. And what comes to mind is the foundation of you.
Monica Rodgers: Well actually the false foundation of me.
Andrea Willits: What's that?
Monica Rodgers: Well, you know, I had built my life around what I thought everybody wanted me to be. I think that having that epic experience of having everything fall apart, and when I say everything, I mean everything, it was at the time, shortly before all of this went down, I had built a successful parenting goods company, I had done all the things that they say women can do. Right? Like be the entrepreneur, be the mom, be the wife, have the picket fence. I literally had a picket fence. Have it all looking handled on the outside, the perfect picture on the outside, or what people would have thought was that perfect picture.
Monica Rodgers: And at the time I had taken my company into a level where I was seeking venture capital. And so, we were in a big growth spurt, we were scaling, we were monetizing, all those right words that entrepreneurs use. I had built a board of incredible entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals who were helping me. I had all the things, you know? Had it all going on. And what I was kind of hiding, the mask that I was wearing was hiding who I really was. And who I really was, was someone who was scared, lonely, deeply confused, exhausted. And I was in a perpetual state of low level self-hatred and grief.
Andrea Willits: Yeah. So I'm really listening to you and it's, the surface life was really pretty.
Monica Rodgers: Yeah, I was living life, it was a beautiful surface life.
Andrea Willits: It looked so beautiful. But the inner workings below the surface was-
Monica Rodgers: Empty. And here's the thing, there was a lot of life to be had down there, right? Like we talk about soul diving. And I had done some work, I had, I had actually done a lot of work. So in some ways I could be like, wow, you're really knew better. But the training ground is so powerful. It really is. And so I had a huge disconnect between, it was almost like I hid my transformational self, like I had. And because I wasn't allowing myself to have those conversations, or had not found my tribe to be able to encourage and foster that inner growth, I had a really shallow faculty for it. I had a really shallow skillset. I only had myself. Right?
Monica Rodgers: And there was the occasional friend that I could, like I called it, go deep with. But oh my god, what I now know to be going deep and what those little treats were for me. I mean, if I showed that side of myself, people thought I was pretty intense.
Andrea Willits: Yeah. I want to make a distinction here too, because something you and I talk about in our relationship as friends and partners, so there's something about going deep, and then there's also being real and going deep, right?
Monica Rodgers: And there's being just real with what's so. So to actually have been able to be vulnerable and to talk about where I was at, and that's where the loneliness came from. It was like I just kept suiting up and putting on the mask every morning. And in some ways it's interesting because I had lots of daydreams about dropping the ball, you know what I mean? Like purposely, burning it all down.
Andrea Willits: Yes. Yes.
Monica Rodgers: Because there was part of it that I was really in touch with how much of a facade it was, meaning that below that surface I was deeply unhappy, and I just couldn't access or come to that truth at that time. And that's where, again, that divine choreography and forcing that no escape. It was like the world was like, "Yeah, you can do better than this." Like, "This is your small game actually." And so, it was right around the time the economy collapsed. I was in retail at the time. I had a series of retail stores. I was manufacturing and wholesaling and of course nobody was buying.
Andrea Willits: Is that like 2008?
Monica Rodgers: Yeah, it was right around there. Yeah. I also had been having problems in my marriage, and that was coming to a head. I was, like I said, raising venture capital. And so literally I remember. Within a six to eight week timeframe, everything literally falling apart. And so first it was, nobody was shopping and there was no cash flow in the stores. And then it was like none of my vendors were buying because of course they were feeling it as well across the country. And so there was that cash flow as well. So two main cash flows that I was counting on. And then the investors could see the writing on the wall, because of course they were working with analysts, and so they withdrew and pulled back.
Andrea Willits: So the business was failing quickly, right?
Monica Rodgers: Oh my god, failing so fast. I mean, I had more on my plate that I could say grace over at the time. It was like I needed to be eight different people. My children also needed me because they had been, I think, feeling the unintended impact of what living with insane... You know, we were not sane, we were not sane people at that time.
Andrea Willits: Crazy making, right?
Monica Rodgers: Crazy making. Depressed. I tried my best not to be crazy making, but you know, kids can sense things.
Andrea Willits: Yeah.
Monica Rodgers: And so even in my silence, I think-
Andrea Willits: Oh, absolutely, sure.
Monica Rodgers: My daughter is so astute. Both of them are, but in different ways. And so they were just picking up on it all. So they started actually being more needy. And then it was actually getting a separation and declaring that we were divorcing and really losing, at that time, my friends and my family.
Andrea Willits: Yeah, so just to take a little inventory, right? So, work?
Monica Rodgers: Yep, career, dreams.
Andrea Willits: Family, relationship, home.
Monica Rodgers: Yes, and then I lost the home, yep.
Andrea Willits: So they say that, one of those things, that you potentially go into depression and a major emotional upset. Two of those things, you're now in hell. Three of those things, you're in hell and you're burning up. So, what I'm hearing is the whole infrastructure of your life was crashing and burning.
Monica Rodgers: Yeah. Crashing and burning. It's interesting because as you're talking about it, I'm realizing that I was actually not connected to the news at that time of my life. I have Waldorf kids, so we didn't have TV. And I know we don't think of 2008, but I didn't have a smart phone, I think I had a Blackberry, you know what I mean? We didn't have access to news on our phone and stuff. And so I didn't actually get that this was also happening, you know, the economic crash. I did, of course, from talking to my investors and seeing the news. But I wasn't in a relationship with a lot of professional women or a lot of other professionals at the time that were kind of commiserating together.
Monica Rodgers: So there was also a big feeling of isolation. I actually realized I had not built a community around me of support either for my work life. And I think it's because I was a workaholic, you know? And if I look back at the woman that I was being, I wasn't being, I was doing, I was a woman doing. And I was doing to keep from being, and I was doing to keep from feeling.
Andrea Willits: Yeah, the distraction. It was a form of numbing for you?
Monica Rodgers: Oh, no doubt.
Andrea Willits: Yeah.
Monica Rodgers: Yep. So, I kind of jokingly say, I went to bed for eight months, but that is true. You know, it was a time of deep darkness, and really in that period of time I really wanted... I had no fear of death. I mean, my god, I think it's harder to live at this time in my life, I did. I hadn't had any access to joy for a long, long time. In fact, it was interesting, once I started recovering, I started bumping into things that were really true for me. Like I couldn't visualize anymore. I was never dreaming at night.
Andrea Willits: That's interesting.
Monica Rodgers: I was so out of touch with the creative, dreaming, spiritual side of myself. It was a, I want to say schism and I don't know why, because I don't even know what that word means, but it just came in.
Andrea Willits: We're going to have to look that one up.
Monica Rodgers: I know, I'm like, it was a schism, some kind of schism, right? And so, I always say the thing that saved my life, well, two things, one was I was too much of a coward to actually do the deed. I couldn't figure out like, well, everything seemed messy, in my waking hours. Right? And people talk about depression as a bodily sensation. And that was so true for me. I could not stay awake. I would get up, I would put the kids on the bus. I would come home, I would sleep all day. I would go pick them up. You know, set my alarm, get up, go pick them up from the bus stop. I would make them dinner, put them to bed. Because of course, in those days they were going to bed at 6:30. And I would go back to bed.
Andrea Willits: Yeah, you were majorly in that retreat, right? Of like the she wolf in the den having to lick her wounds. That's the metaphor that always comes up for me when we are... We're so wounded, we're so depleted, we're so lost. It's all you can do.
Monica Rodgers: Yeah. And I had had the second thing, you know, that really saved my life during that time period, and it was a wise woman had given me a book. I'll never forget Ellen, she was my neighbor across the street and she lived around the corner from one of my stores that was in Newport, Rhode Island. And I wrote her a email later to tell her how that book saved my life. But she handed me a copy of Pema Chodron's, When Things Fall Apart.
Andrea Willits: Amen, sister. That book has saved a lot of lives, I think.
Monica Rodgers: And she even said, "I'm sensing you're going through a really hard time, and I don't need the book back, but when you find somebody that needs the book, I'd love for you to pass it on." And I did just that, but I didn't pass it on until a few years ago, when we had a dear friend of Austin's who lost his wife, and I gave it to him, and told him the same thing, you know, "I don't need the book back, but give it to somebody next who needs it." And it was interesting, you know, throughout that eight months in the bed, it felt like the longest journey, in some ways it was only the beginning, back to myself. But I remember toward the end of it, having almost this waking dream or in this kind of fugue state, where, what kind of happened in that bed, if you can metaphorically look at it like a cocoon, was that, that was kind of the beginning of learning to love myself for probably the very first time in my life.
Monica Rodgers: I'm someone, again, who has done a lot of work. Like I say that with air quotes as if the listeners can see me here. But it's interesting, you can do a lot of work and still not feel the work.
Andrea Willits: Oh yeah.
Monica Rodgers: Right? So there's doing the work, right? I also did all the things, I said all the right things, I went to the workshops.
Andrea Willits: You were a great student.
Monica Rodgers: I was a great student. And fascinating, because I would intellectualize, which of course is what women learn to do. We learn to shut off our emotions and we intellectualize everything versus feel them. And that's where women are incredibly intuitive and powerful. And unfortunately we're taught to disconnect from that side of ourselves when we're little girls.
Monica Rodgers: And of course I'm no different. I was taught to disconnect from that side of myself. It wasn't acceptable. It was too much. It was too dramatic. It was too sensitive. It made my family uncomfortable. Knock it off.
Andrea Willits: Yeah. Too needy maybe.
Monica Rodgers: Yeah, too needy. It was weak. It was unbecoming.
Andrea Willits: Drama.
Monica Rodgers: Yeah, all the things.
Andrea Willits: All the aversions of being human.
Monica Rodgers: Yeah. And I was often shamed for having emotion. And I think that that's unfortunate, because I remember being a little girl and having no problem finding my way in the world. It was like I believed I could go anywhere and do anything, and I could, because my GPS was intact, you know? And so that kind of inner compass that we have, there are those of us that are lucky enough to have it when we grow up, you know? And I'd say that is also a divine choreography to have that intact. Because it's not the case for most women. For most women, that compass is thoroughly broken.
Andrea Willits: Yeah. So, you're in bed and you're licking your wounds, so to speak. You're, I'm making this up, literally allowing yourself to find yourself in the dark, right? Like not that it was even intentional, but now there's nothing but you in that bed, in that cocoon, in a sense, right?
Monica Rodgers: Day after day after day. Yeah.
Andrea Willits: So what started happening?
Monica Rodgers: Yeah. So, that book, when I would wake, I would read a passage. And for somebody who wasn't necessarily a Buddhist or Buddhist thinking, right? But it truly was... A lot of people talk about resonance or dissonance, right? As coaches, we know that to be like a really strong kind of distinction-
Andrea Willits: That's an indicator.
Monica Rodgers: Right? To help people, to guide them or help them surface values. And it was literally like I was discovering the truth, like somebody was speaking truth to me for the first time, and in a way that I got it. I was like, oh my god! Like it was just, there was a way that she wrote and talked about her own experience, and because it was very similar about, although in her case, I believe her husband had an affair and left her, and in my case I pulled the plug on our marriage. It was my choice, meaning it was my decision. Now, that's another episode, you know what I mean? In terms of like whose decision really was it?
Monica Rodgers: But me actually, that was also the beginning of me, and it was before the depression, but I don't think I had a whole lot of strength left. And that was almost like saying my truth right before I went down the tubes.
Andrea Willits: Yeah. Like that's where your voice started to break through.
Monica Rodgers: That's where it started to... Where life had become so intolerable, and it was also this feeling of like everything else is falling apart. I tend to be like go big or go home, even when things were bad.
Andrea Willits: Yeah. You sure do.
Monica Rodgers: Right? Yeah.
Andrea Willits: So your voice was literally breaking through the veil, the trance.
Monica Rodgers: Yeah. And I was like, "You know what, this isn't working either. You know what, enough's enough." And there was something about doing that, I knew I was in an, "Oh shit. Like I have no idea what I've really done, but whatever it is, I guess, let's just burn it down." Because I think in my mind I was self-destructing and I wanted it. There was part of me that wanted it.
Andrea Willits: Like, bring it on.
Monica Rodgers: Yeah, like, bring it, I am done. And I'm not afraid of death. Take me.
Andrea Willits: Yeah. It's an interesting place to be, isn't it?
Monica Rodgers: It is an interesting place to be, because a lot of people are like, I remember, you know, before these last really nine years, even when I met you, still having a very cynical side, very cynical.
Andrea Willits: Oh yeah!
Monica Rodgers: Like, you know, it was funny, people got a lot of humor from it.
Andrea Willits: Like, "I hate people today."
Monica Rodgers: Yeah. And I still bring it, right? But there was like a cynical side to me that, if people would get into talks about death, I would just be like, "I'm not afraid of death. Take me tomorrow. Life's the hard part." And they'd be like, "Are you serious?" I'd be like, "Yeah, I'm totally serious." Just for me, life, living, oh my god, since I was a kid, so hard, was always so acutely aware of my own suffering. And I just felt so lonely in it. I was like, "What the hell is wrong with all these people? Why are they so happy?"
Andrea Willits: Yeah. I think loneliness, honestly is, in the human condition, our greatest undertaking. It's our greatest danger, is loneliness, to feel so detached. Truly, really, I don't know any other more dangerous life sentence than loneliness.
Monica Rodgers: Yeah. Well, it's also interesting to look back and realize-
PART 1 OF 3 ENDS [00:23:04]
Andrea Willits: [inaudible 00:23:00]
Monica Rodgers: Yeah. Well, it's also interesting to look back and realize, you know, I had some really close friendships and God bless them, people I loved and still love to this day. I realize when I look back, water does seek its own level. That's one of your favorite expressions, and I always remember when you would first say, I'd be like, "What does that mean," right?
Monica Rodgers: And realizing that it's almost like we broadcast a frequency, an energy, and our energy finds other people in the same energy, and we feel like we can see each other in that energy. And so I tended to broadcast a frequency that would attract people like me. And so, I would attract friendships to women who were just as cut off from their own inner ... they might have ... actually, one of the friends that I had who I still love and admire so much to this day, and she's done a lot of work since then, and we've had lots of discussions, lots of transformations for both of us, but at that time, that friendship was broken and wasn't going to come back either.
Monica Rodgers: And so, when I say I lost my friends ... when you get a divorce, you know-
Andrea Willits: I do.
Monica Rodgers: ... it's like people feel like they need to choose sides, everything is so ... and if you're already just in-
Andrea Willits: Yeah, so true.
Monica Rodgers: ... in a mess, people have a hard time being in that mess with you. It is too messy for people to deal with. It's just like-
Andrea Willits: Yeah, it's threatening. It's awkward-
Monica Rodgers: Oh, people just don't know what to do, they think it's contagious, you know? Like, oh god.
Andrea Willits: It's really true.
Monica Rodgers: Yeah. So lonely, oh my god I was so lonely. And it was interesting because in that loneliness, it forced me to befriend myself. It did. And there was something about that bed, that cocoon, and I talk about the fugue state. I'll go back to this because you know, we use the symbol as the butterfly and I've always kind of been like, "Oh, so trite," you know?
Monica Rodgers: And that's not what the butterfly represents for me although that's part of it, is of course the butterfly transformation, the cocoon, the stages. And that's come to have even more meaning for me since some of these recent revelations and discoveries that we've had about the butterfly. It's like, oh my gosh.
Monica Rodgers: But for me, the wings. It was almost like if you cut a butterfly in half, right?
Andrea Willits: Yeah.
Monica Rodgers: And who would ever do that, but you know, feels blasphemous to say. But you know, where you ... it was me, like on my side, like meeting myself on my side in the bed. In this dream state, I took my own face into my own hands, and I get choked up now talking about it. You know, like loving myself. Kissing my own face. And just apologizing for heaping all of the abuse all those years because I'll tell you, the things that you're most afraid of out there, you know, the things that you think you can't possibly endure from others?
Andrea Willits: Yeah.
Monica Rodgers: The truth is you're doing it to yourself oftentimes. It's why-
Andrea Willits: And in a far more of a fiercer way, right?
Monica Rodgers: ... it's so painful. And it's ... in a far more of a fiercer way. And the truth is, nobody could have ever talked to me as cruelly as I spoke to my own self. And I was unaware. You know, these are all things that over the healing process, I've come to be aware of. You know, like this precious self that I am, this beautiful, hurt filled, creative, brilliant being.
Monica Rodgers: To even be able to talk about myself like that, in a way that it doesn't feel odd anymore. But I'll tell you, oh my god, the journey to loving myself. I remember somebody suggesting a couple of years ago that I do love affirmations in the mirror and I was, "Yep, I'm not doing that." Like, "Hells no."
Andrea Willits: Yeah.
Monica Rodgers: It's just, there were things that I didn't understand and that I had no yet surfaced about how this whole things works that I just ... I didn't have the tools yet to be able to see what I needed to see in order to actually get past these huge barriers back to the truth of myself.
Andrea Willits: Recovering yourself?
Monica Rodgers: Yeah, oh my gosh.
Andrea Willits: Remembering yourself, right?
Monica Rodgers: Well, yeah. We talk about remembering in that different sense of literally going back to the places that you've abandoned yourself along the way. And almost having to revisit those things in order ... you know, in shamanic world, they call it a soul retrieval. It is a necessary part. You know, a lot of people talk about the law of attraction, and I'm right there. I love the law of attraction. But don't think that you're going to be a vibrational match for something out there if you haven't yet gone back and retrieved these parts of yourself so that you can actually feel the feelings and have the processing that needs to get done for your energy to shift.
Monica Rodgers: So a lot of people will talk about and give a lot of lip service to the law of attraction without understanding that you can't ... I mean, maybe Abraham Hicks would disagree, but in my world, in the world of the Revelation Project, what gets revealed does get healed. There's something about the healing energy that is almost like a plus energy. It's like, so whatever you were leveling up to, and you heal that layer, it's almost like you get a plus energy. It's fascinating.
Monica Rodgers: Because the energy of healing is luminous. It's transformative. It's magical.
Andrea Willits: Yeah, and I keep thinking it's that higher vibration-
Monica Rodgers: It's an ascension.
Andrea Willits: It is. It is true, right?
Monica Rodgers: It's an ascension within your own being.
Andrea Willits: It is.
Monica Rodgers: And I'm not, just for any listeners out there who's like, "Oh my god, they're going into ascension." No, you know, I have my feet, I feel like at this point in my life, firmly grounded in both worlds. Where I like being left of center on both sides, right?
Andrea Willits: Yeah.
Monica Rodgers: Just feeling like there's a time and a place for different conversations at different times in our lives, and of course there's so many amazing modalities out there.
Andrea Willits: Yeah. Well, you know, I just want to pause here for a moment and speak to that because you said earlier, you're someone that's done a lot of work. And you have, right? And there's something about this time in your life that you're talking about that really birthed the Revelation Project, is that this was a doozy. And it was a huge, huge layer, right?
Monica Rodgers: Yes.
Andrea Willits: That really kicked your ass and called you forward. I can't help but believe because in your own evolving, it's like you were ready for this, you were ready to literally burn down your house existence as you know it, right?
Monica Rodgers: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Andrea Willits: And you needed to be stripped to get to even that more empowered, deeper sense of self to like discover that, to then take on where you were heading unbeknownst to you until you did the Revelation Project.
Monica Rodgers: Yeah. And so-
Andrea Willits: I get goosebumps by the way, saying that. I really do. Because it's like, I've heard this story, but I got to tell you, every time you share it, Monica, I get even more of a deeper sense of how far down in the cervices, in those dark, really damp, scary places, in order to literally-
Monica Rodgers: Come back to life.
Andrea Willits: Well, and come back to life, but also bring something so meaningful and so healing, really, to the world, right?
Monica Rodgers: Yeah. Well, and herein lies this really interesting passage in terms of bridging over into the conversation of the Revelation Project, is that when things got really interesting was ... I didn't plan on talking about this piece but I'm realizing that to not honor it would not be of service to the people who do this work.
Monica Rodgers: And so, I had said that ... there was a surrender that happened for me, okay? And it was in stages, right? Because we're only ... especially when you're that fortified, meaning, I think of a fort, right? I had so many ... or for those of you that were recently watching Game of Thrones, like the winter is coming battle, right? Where they had fortified the castle with the guards out front and the horsemen and [inaudible 00:34:08] and you had to get through every layer, right?
Andrea Willits: It was well fortressed.
Monica Rodgers: Right? Well fortressed. And it's like if I was down in the crypt, kind of like trying to survive the battle, there were all of these layers of breaking down those barriers to get to the me that was kind of in the crypt, metaphorically.
Monica Rodgers: And so, really for me, what was part of that healing process was one day my manager called and this was right around the time that the final property was closing. Oh, I got sued too. That was the other thing that was part of this-
Andrea Willits: Oh yeah, let's just lay a little more icing on-
Monica Rodgers: Yeah, there was a lawsuit, and I was also deeply in debt now because I was ... I had one of my retail stores at a property and I couldn't fulfill the lease because of the economy.
Monica Rodgers: Anyway, my manager called that day and of course I hadn't been to work in months. So she said, "You have to be the one to come in today. There's a tax assessor that's going to be here and you have to sign papers," whatever. I said, "Okay, I'll come in that day." And so, I knew nobody was going to come in and I'd probably just lay down on the floor, I had a carpet literally in my office, right? That's the way I was thinking those days.
Monica Rodgers: And so, I went in and I was the only one in there, and I was in the back, curled up on the floor when I heard the bell, and I thought, "Well, that's the tax assessor," and I went out, and there was this beautiful, tall, Adonis woman, and I was like, "I'm sorry, we're not really open." There was really nothing left, very few things, and the lights weren't even on, right? And she said, "No, did you call me here?" And I was like, "What? Another crazy," right? Because ever so often you get somebody that comes in and is just a little ... you know.
Monica Rodgers: And she said, "Did you call me here?" And I said, "I'm sorry. I didn't call you. No."
Andrea Willits: Like, who are you even?
Monica Rodgers: Yeah! Like, what? And she's like, "All right, I'm really annoyed. My guides told me to come here today."
Andrea Willits: Oh, my.
Monica Rodgers: Oh, my. Exactly. I was like, "Oh, boy." And she came up close to me and she said, "Are you ill?"
Andrea Willits: That's a hell of a question.
Monica Rodgers: And I started to cry. It was literally like she could see my soul. And I mean, ill, sick, whatever I was. And she goes, "Oh, thank god. My guides just wouldn't leave me alone," and I'm thinking woo-hoo, but at the same time I'm thinking ... so, she says, "I'm a doctor of acupuncture and you need me. My guides told me to come."
Andrea Willits: Wow.
Monica Rodgers: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And like I said, this is hard for me to talk about only because I think I'm fearing the judgment out there right now-
Andrea Willits: Right, like the woo-woo land.
Monica Rodgers: ... it's like, you know, the woo-woo. Right.
Andrea Willits: Yeah.
Monica Rodgers: But here's what I've learned, is that I can handle judgment because remember, I was my own worst judge, critic, jury. So I'm just going to say what's true for me. And what's true for me is that this woman was another big lifesaver for me. And she said, "I want you to call right now. I want you to call this number from this phone," and she's pointing to the phone at the front desk, "While I stand here."
Monica Rodgers: I was like, "This is weird," and I called and I made an appointment with her, with the secretary that was picking up the phone. I had never gone to an acupuncture appointment, and I went to her three times and every time I went to her, the needles wouldn't go in my body, they would-
Andrea Willits: Reject.
Monica Rodgers: ... come out. My body would reject the needles.
Andrea Willits: Well, that means you've got some work to do, right?
Monica Rodgers: Right?
Andrea Willits: When they're popping out like that.
Monica Rodgers: Yeah. And again, this is in between going home ... I would get up and go to these appointments, but this was the only thing on agenda, and on the third appointment she said, "You actually need a shaman. I want you to trust me." She said, "Something else is going on and I want you to go and see a shaman." And I was like, "What's a shaman?" And she said, "Well, I guess you're going to find out." And I did trust her by that point. I wasn't feeling any different, but there was something about her, and to this day, I adore you. She's just of another world.
Monica Rodgers: And so, I followed her instruction and I made an appointment at the shaman, and you know, I laugh because I think I was expecting him to be in these robes and in this like ... I don't know, but you know-
Andrea Willits: Right? You hear the word shaman and it's like, yeah, I mean-
Monica Rodgers: Mystical, right?
Andrea Willits: Yes.
Monica Rodgers: And it was like he had a secretary like everybody else, and she's like, "Wait in the waiting room," and he also had a chiropractic business, and herbal. And so, when I went in to see him, he had on like a Patagonia vest and hiking boots, and he's like, "Yo, what's up?" Like, "Hey, how're you doing? What can I do for you?" And I said her name, and I said, "She told me that you're a shaman." And he said, "Oh, she did? Did she?" And he kind of just was looking at me, and so he sat back in his chair, and he kind of just asked me a few questions. And I was like, is this what a shaman does?
Monica Rodgers: Then he said to me, "All right, Monica, I got a question for you. I've heard about your depression, I've heard about the fact that you've been in bed for several months. I want to know, do you talk to yourself the way you talk to your loved ones? Or do you talk to your loved ones the same way you talk to yourself?" And I was like, "What kind of question is that, first of all. And second of all, I don't know how I ... no." I really didn't know what he was talking about. I didn't ... it was like I knew what he was hinting at, I was like, "Oh, he thinks I talk badly to myself, like that's why this is any issue." Because of course I knew better, always. But there was also something about just like sitting with that. And kind of making a mental note to start noticing.
Monica Rodgers: Anyway, from that point forward, after he was done asking me a few questions, he invited me to kind of lay on this examination table and he asked permission, if he could do his thing. And I'm thinking like, "I have no idea what ..." and so, he said this ceremony and he ... I mean, shamanistic work, I've done so much into it since and I am so ... again, divine choreography, I don't think anything else could have helped me. There was ... I think not only did he do a soul retrieval, but he really helped to clear me.
Andrea Willits: Yeah, because shamans work with energy, right?
Monica Rodgers: Yes.
Andrea Willits: So, they're able to shift it, to remove it, to uncover it.
Monica Rodgers: Yeah. And so, he also removed what wasn't mine.
Andrea Willits: Yeah.
Monica Rodgers: And that was a big part of it. It's such fascinating work.
Monica Rodgers: Anyway, it was interesting. I felt a lightness of spirit afterwards. He said to me, "Do you notice anything different?" And I kind of did, but i kind of didn't. And he said, "I want you to go and look at yourself in the mirror." And I did, and I did, I mean, I saw kind of like this light in my eyes. And from that point forward, which is saying a lot, I never went back to bed. He had me go home, he had me repeat this ceremony. He wanted me to go and write my story in the earth. Find a sacred spot and just tell ... I didn't know what he meant. And he said, "You're going to figure it out."
Monica Rodgers: and so I did, with a stick, I went home, I found this area under the rhododendron bush, and I sat there and it was like, I just wrote symbols that symbolized the story as I knew it at the time. I asked for guidance and a blessing. And the next day, I have this experience where I call it ... well, [Glennon 00:43:13] more accurately calls it the god of the bathroom floor, but of course that time in my life, I didn't know Glennon. And I had kind of this release while I was taking a shower, it was like this emotional release, this torrent of energy and sorrow. The crying, the sobbing that came from me.
Monica Rodgers: And you know, it was interesting, this light came through the window, and it was this light that made me know ... I don't know, it's like I can't really put words around it, but there was a light there in the experience that I knew that there was something happening. Like some kind of healing really. And so, I just ... it was probably the first time I had allowed myself to feel at that depth.
Monica Rodgers: And at that point, I surrendered. Like the final barrier between me and the crypt.
Andrea Willits: What would you say you surrendered ...
Monica Rodgers: Control. I surrendered control. It was really clear to me that I was not in control anymore, that control in the way that I had known it, had not worked out for me. And it was controlling and managing, right? When I talk about control, it was like managing.
Andrea Willits: Yeah.
Monica Rodgers: Managing the masks, managing the appearances, managing the façade.
Andrea Willits: God, that takes so much energy doesn't it?
Monica Rodgers: Incredible energy.
Andrea Willits: Oh my gosh.
Monica Rodgers: And it was like, in that moment, also the release, it was like, Atlas Shrugged, right? There's no more world on my shoulders, it was like world be damned, you know? I'm so done playing by these rules.
Monica Rodgers: It was about a couple days later, it's hard to kind of go back and think about the various things that happened, but somewhere in and around this period, I had an amazing woman, who I'm sure was no accident, her appearance in my life. Because she, again, was a very special spirit at that point. She was, again, another piece of my healing because she brought humor and levity. She moved in across the street from me. She had been through a recent divorce. She was artistic, articulate, I could go deeper with her. And she's just another-
PART 2 OF 3 ENDS [00:46:04]
Monica Rodgers: She's just another woman I just have a tremendous amount of respect for, and she showed up at my house after we had definitely hung out a little bit, as I was coming out of this, and slowly, but surely, I started sharing my story with her, but really shortly into our friendship and shortly into her moving in, she showed up one day literally with a laundry basket at my door and a camera on top with all these clothes, and she said she was trying to get back into the dating world, and she said, "I just hate myself. I hate looking at myself. I need to see myself differently, and I want you to photograph me," and I was like, "All right."
Monica Rodgers: It was really interesting what happened because that became the foundational workshop for The Revelation Project, but, of course, our work has developed so much since then into all of these offerings, all of these workshops, retreats, digital courses. When I think back to this being nine, ten years ago, actually more like ten years ago, because The Revelation Project was stops and starts in the beginning. At this point, the cool thing about that experience with this amazing woman was, doing her hair that day, doing her makeup, and photographing her, the whole while, I was interviewing her, and because our energies were so all, God, I needed levity, and so, God, she could make me laugh, and I was so cynical that I could make her laugh.
Monica Rodgers: We just thought we were hysterical, and when later that night ... Well, then it was funny. She goes, "Well, now let me do you. I want to do this for you," and that night, and so we must have spent seriously four or five hours, and then we go over to her house, and we had a spaghetti dinner, and her boys were with their dad that night, and we just kept going. We got in front of the computer, and we uploaded all of the images, and we started looking at them, and it was like, at one point, we looked at each other, and we both have tears streaming down our faces, and she looked at me, and she's like, "I don't think I've ever seen myself this way."
Andrea Willits: Wow.
Monica Rodgers: You know?
Andrea Willits: Yeah.
Monica Rodgers: For me, too. I realized I had stopped showing up in photographs. I hated ... because here's the thing. I avoided photographs. I dreaded them because I had such a critical eye for myself. It was never good enough. I could see every-
Andrea Willits: You were always going to shred whatever image was in front of you.
Monica Rodgers: Oh, God, and that was 10 years ago, so, my God, how terrible could I have looked? We do such a disservice to ourselves. In all these beautiful stages of our lives, to have been entranced into unworthiness so deeply that all you can see is your shortcomings, your flaws, your shadows, it's just such a racket, such a racket.
Andrea Willits: Entranced into unworthiness.
Monica Rodgers: It is. It's a trap, and it's a trance-
Andrea Willits: It really is.
Monica Rodgers: It's literally like linguistic programming. It starts at a very early age for women, and by the time they're 13, they're entranced. They're not [crosstalk 00:49:48].
Andrea Willits: Oh, yeah. I would even venture to say that it's even before that, you know?
Monica Rodgers: Yes.
Andrea Willits: Wow. How amazing. I'm hearing these ... You've mentioned three women that were these wise women that came in at this time in your life, that-
Monica Rodgers: Well, the shaman was a man, so the two women and the man, but it's interesting. These were touchpoints in my healing journey that were critical touchpoints. They were critical touchpoints, and it's funny, we oftentimes, we're the instrument of somebody's healing, and we don't realize it. Of course, those that are in touch in that spiritual way are just conduits for healing. They really are.
Andrea Willits: They're such angels.
Monica Rodgers: Such angels.
Andrea Willits: I mean, they are, and it's like I call it, when their synchronicity or someone shows up in your life or you see a road sign, and it's like, "Go this way. It's an affirmation. Go that way. Yes, we're paying attention to you." It's like, "Oh, my gosh," and it always feels like it's a miracle, doesn't it?
Monica Rodgers: Right. Here's the other cool things. Well, two things I wanted to say about that. One is that's also that final surrender, was also, I think, me inviting the spiritual back to my life because I'll tell you, I had grown up in a very, very, I'd say ... What's the word I'm looking for? It was I want to say a strict, Irish, Roman-Catholic home.
Andrea Willits: Conventional.
Monica Rodgers: It wasn't strict more. My mom, to this day, I mean, bless her heart, goes to church every day. She's so faithful-
Andrea Willits: Committed to her-
Monica Rodgers: To what she believes, and that was never my expression. I just couldn't resonate with that from the earliest time that I remember. In fact, I've just started writing a bit of a memoir, and that was one of my earliest memories was really realizing that that was not my expression of my spirituality, and I didn't know what ... I didn't know the difference because we're children. I didn't know there was a difference between spirituality and religion.
Andrea Willits: Of course not.
Monica Rodgers: A lot of people, unfortunately, still don't know that there's actually a difference, and so, for me, too, just knowing that I was inviting in a different experience, that I didn't know what I was inviting, but I knew what I didn't want anymore, and sometimes that's enough. It's almost like you start saying, "No, not that," to the universe, and the universe starts saying, "Okay. How about this? Okay. How about this," but if you don't start saying, "No, not that," you're not going to get what you want. That's when I started really thinking articulately, thinking more articulately, because I was real clear about what I didn't want anymore and where I didn't want to go. I just didn't know where I wanted to go. All these experiences were starting to come to me.
Monica Rodgers: The other thing I wanted to just come back and circle around is that, in addition to these people showing up in my life, what they were also modeling was their truth, and what I thought was really interesting about that, and I remember it striking me because the woman who came to me that day, who was like, "My God sent me here," even though I was like, "Hoo hoo," she had no shame, none. She was-
Andrea Willits: That's a beautiful thing right there, really.
Monica Rodgers: She stood in her knowing and she was beautiful in it. It was compelling, and probably it's why I did what she told me to do because she was clear, and I knew she knew what she must know something because that just doesn't happen.
Andrea Willits: With as cynical as-
Monica Rodgers: As cynical as I was-
Andrea Willits: Were, really, it's like you would have been able to really be able to identify the fraud, and I've had people come in and out of my life that do practice from that spiritual platform that have tremendous gifts, and I have to say I can pick up pretty quickly who's the fraud, who's truly gifted, and who's gifted, but not someone that I actually want to dance with in that realm, right?
Monica Rodgers: Right.
Andrea Willits: You start being able to identify it, and I love that we're bringing this in today and that you are sharing this part of your story, Monica, because this is where we are saying, "Dare to know the invisible, the unknown."
Monica Rodgers: Dare to know at least that there is an unknown that has a whole world available to you.
Andrea Willits: We're supported in so many ways that-
Monica Rodgers: We are, and here's the other cool thing, too, is that when I invited the spiritual, I didn't know what was going to show up, and, yet, The Revelation Project showed up, and the models for what I did want showed up, and my access to being able to see things I had never seen before showed up, and my ability to attract the next right person or the next right experience showed up, and it's interesting because here I had been having my whole life under control, just controlling, controlling, controlling, controlling, and thinking I was getting everywhere, and it was an illusion. I was getting nowhere, nowhere, and I was deeply unhappy, and I had all the things. I had all the things. I had the beautiful, handsome husband, the beautiful children, the corporate, I had built a small empire, I had all the things that everybody says they want, and I couldn't have been more unhappy, ever.
Monica Rodgers: It's fascinating, and it's interesting because when we work in The Revelation Project, when we put our lives inside the project, what we're doing is putting it into the life of spirit. That's been really illusive for me to talk about, I think, because out of context, and we're having a contextual story, it just doesn't land, and I think I'm always also, as someone who's very sensitive to that for myself, not wanting to do the project a disservice by ... I feel like it has so much to offer everybody, and we're also not hiding that we invite that third entity into everything that we do, and when I say that third entity, what I mean is that there is a spiritual dimension to our lives and that we are always working with spirit when we're working in the realm of transformation, always.
Andrea Willits: Absolutely.
Monica Rodgers: I realized after this first photo shoot with this woman that there was something about the witnessing process that was different, that created a different experience for the person being photographed and potentially for the person who was taking the photographs or witnessing the event, that there was a transformation available for both women, and what was interesting, because I've always been a little bit of a documentarian and photos have always played a big part of my life, is that photos became a vehicle for understanding when a woman was or was not in her body and starting to observe what would happen and why it would happen, and having gone through my own experience of a near death rebirth type of spiritual experience at least, I started to realize that we were attracting women that were having their own rebirth in some way, and that by witnessing them in this way and by putting a structure around the what became a workshop, that it became this very powerful transformational tool.
Monica Rodgers: Again, it was the foundation of The Revelation Project, but where we've come in the last nine years and, of course, how you got involved, which is another podcast and another story that I can't wait to tell, but has just been this extraordinary experience and journey, not only with all of the women who have come to do this work with us, but it's living the project every day.
Andrea Willits: It truly is.
Monica Rodgers: It's creating the tools to put your life inside the project every day. I know that to some listeners out there, we're still speaking in foreign tongues, but it's more about, really to break this down, what we've done at The Revelation Project is we've created an arc of work, that what we've noticed over the course, the last nine years, and how women struggle, how they've been trained to be and who they really are are two different things, and so it's giving them access to the tools that can help them reveal the truth of who they really are, and we do that through coaching, through content, through courses, through workshops, through retreats, and that's really what essentially we're starting to have women practice is the muscle of soul diving, but into an area that is deeper than they've gone and is really essentially starting with connecting them back to who they were before the world tried to change them and really also connecting them back to and restoring the compass.
Andrea Willits: Which is probably, I think, the most intoxicating, exhilarating really work we could ever do and journey, as far as feeling alive, truly alive. I just want to, before we wrap up here, there's a term you coined, which I love, and it's apropos at this point in our talk today, is you experienced divine trauma, and I'm so glad you did. From that place of through suffering, these are where the miracles happen.
Monica Rodgers: Great point.
Andrea Willits: If we choose, and-
Monica Rodgers: We always want to run away from the suffering, but it's actually a source of transformation.
Andrea Willits: You literally have so much courage, Monica, and we talk about courage a lot, and thank you, Brene Brown, too, for really bringing that for all of us here in the present day. Courage is so key. Again, I am grateful for your divine trauma, that I get to be a part of it and dance with you and co-create and live inside this project.
Monica Rodgers: It's extraordinary, and thank you for the acknowledgement. I do recognize myself as courageous now. I don't know that I felt that way then at all, and I recognize it everywhere now. I see these courageous women, really against all odds in a lot of ways, because there's a system out there, and it's a setup. It's a big setup, and when women can reveal the system, they are free. We talk a lot about surfacing this system so that women can actually navigate the world because it's hidden, this system that The Revelation Project has certainly seen, and so it really, for me, is just I'm in such great company these days, that I also feel like, energetically, this happened to a lot of women, and I'm sure there's women out there listening that are nodding their heads because they've had their own universal smack down and had no escape and have been forced, in a lot of ways, to make changes and to ... Sometimes, I make this stuff up, but if you've been around the block a few times, meaning, God knows, I don't want to have to come back again and again and learn my lessons, but I do think if you've been around the block a few times and the universe is like, "Still? You're still not getting it? Are you kidding me?" Let's just pull all the stops here. No, you are going to evolve down here this time, right?
Andrea Willits: Right.
Monica Rodgers: Of course, I'm making this up, but-
Andrea Willits: But then there's going to be another layer, actually.
Monica Rodgers: Absolutely.
Andrea Willits: It's never going to end. We are never-
Monica Rodgers: We all have a growing edge.
Andrea Willits: We do. We do.
Monica Rodgers: That's just it, too. I'm still growing. I still feel so ... Nine years in, and I'm like, "Wow, I am just beginning." Even two years ago, finally learning how to love myself, and what that has just ... Oh, even in all those years of healing, out the bed, but still hadn't really gotten to the place where I knew what loving myself really looked like and what it really was, and you've been a huge model for me for that, so another one of my divine partners who've come to really just assist me from the moment you did the work. It was like you were not taking no for an answer. We will. We'll get into that story next, but thank you so much. It's just been such a pleasure to talk about this today and lots of unexpected things came up for me-
Andrea Willits: I know.
Monica Rodgers: [crosstalk 01:05:59].
Andrea Willits: I've heard more, some things I hadn't heard before, which is so cool. That's it. That's the reveal, the reveal. There is always more to be revealed.
Monica Rodgers: There really is.
Andrea Willits: It's the magic. It's the magic. We're going to wrap up here. Just stay tuned because we'll be back with more revelations.
Monica Rodgers: Thanks, Andrea.
Andrea Willits: Thanks, Monica. I love you.
Monica Rodgers: Love you, too.
PART 3 OF 3 ENDS [01:06:44]