HOW TO BE SPIRITUALLY SASSY, WITH SAH Dâ€™SIMONE
Story by Chad Schubert
â€œWhatever is true for youâ€”live. The category is live!â€
Sah Dâ€™Simone is our kind of spiritual teacher. Heâ€™s bucking the idea that we need to conform to a regimented spiritual pathâ€”speak a certain way, live a certain, believe a certain wayâ€”in order to heal our hearts, free our minds, and connect with our divinity. â€œThis is already within your ability,â€ Sah says, noting that â€œthe path to complete freedom is to be radically and authentically yourself, so much so that you give everybody else permission to be that too.â€
His spicy, no-nonsense TikTok videos calling out the experiences we tend to struggle in silence with (the anxiety, the fear, the trauma, the drama), coupled with light-hearted, easy-to-apply advice to help cope with it, are what made us first fall in love with this â€œradical spiritual guide,â€ a phrase modern spiritual legend Deepak Chopra used to describe him. Heâ€™s not reinventing the path, but rather igniting a refreshed aliveness within it; a more open, joy-filled approach that speaks to the current generation and invites us to come along exactly as we are. After all, being who we authentically areâ€”â€œelevated by love, compassion, wisdom and joyâ€â€”is one of the most spiritual things we can do, Sah says. In his new book, Spiritually Sassy: 8 Radical Steps to Activate Your Innate Superpowers, the LA-based meditation teacher combines scientifically backed principles with time-tested Buddhist techniques and a heavy dose of his sassy sauce, to guide readers in unblocking their hearts, befriending their minds, and living their truth out loud.
â€œMy whole game is to seduce people to take care of themselves,â€ Sah explains, â€œto fall in love with themselves.â€ During our recent phone chat, the bestselling author explains how we can be spiritual without changing who we innately are, how to create a happier mind, how to handle social media comparison, and how the healing path changes the types of people we attract into your lives.
Chad Schubert: Hi Sah! Iâ€™m so excited to chat with you! Iâ€™m obsessed with your IG/TikTok videos and this beautiful new book, Spiritually Sassy! How did your Spiritually Sassy path begin?
Sah Dâ€™Simone: Heyyyy, honey! Oh my god, thank you! First of all, Spiritually Sassy comes from my desperate need to find a home within the wellness and spiritual space. Iâ€™ve had some amazing opportunities to study with radical saints and gurus, and, even in the holiest of places, high up in the Himalayas, I would feel kind of uncomfortable because there were not a lot of people of color, although Buddha himself was a brown man, and there were not a lot of people who were queerly expressed. And Iâ€™m rolling up to these places in a look, honey! Iâ€™m rolling up in the whole vision, right? And I would notice that there was this sort of low-level, non-verbal violence [of judgement] happening. Because of that, I then started to perform this role of dimming my light and being small, of not laughing out loud, not dancing, not dressing a certain way, not talking a certain way; all to sort of fit what I thought it meant to be spiritual. I thought being on a spiritual path meant that you had to be all â€˜namaste, namaste,â€™ and you had to look a certain way, talk a certain way. So I had lost my personality. I had lost my connection to joy. I had lost connection to what the whole purpose of the path was: to be radically and authentically you.
How did that realization, that you were conforming yourself to fit the world, help you to find your authentic path?
When I became aware of that, I was like, â€˜oh f***, this is it, Iâ€™m literally living out the performance of what I had to do back when I was living in normal societyâ€™. Doing what queer people have to doâ€”all kinds of things just to survive. So I said f*** off to zombie zen. That path may equal spiritual healing and progress for some people, but I definitely knew it did not mean that for me. So I started to create something around that realization and thatâ€™s when the birth of the book began. As I was developing it and talking to different teachers, I was getting these insights about spiritual practices and the path, and one of my teachers said to me, â€˜Sah, I think the role youâ€™re here to play is to bring joy back into healing, back into the spiritual path.â€™ She said, â€˜I feel like people have gotten so serious; they sort of equate this zombie zenâ€”this forced seriousness, this being hard as a way of livingâ€”as progress.â€™ I realized that that was my whole game: to get people to be a little more lighthearted, to be a little more playful.
So what does it actually mean to be Spiritually Sassy?
Spiritually Sassy is a home that invites everybody to let their freak flag fly, loud and clear. Imagine if people were living authentically? There wouldnâ€™t be this amount of harm in the world, this amount of confusion and oppression. So when you are a Spiritually Sassy warrior, you are literally living as an embodied permission slip for everybody else to be bold and free in their own unique way. Personally, I do laugh out loud, I do dance flamboyantly, I do wear women’s clothes; these are all things that my expression calls me to do, but it doesnâ€™t mean everybody needs to do that. Whatever is true for youâ€”live. The category is live!
So the base of this path is to express our most authentic selves, which is our Spirit, right? Then we can tend to the bigger work of life?
Yes, honey! The word â€˜spiritualâ€™ does require a level of discipline, a level of diligence for you to transform your mind, release limiting beliefs, energize your body, heal your sh*t, and open your heart. The â€˜sassyâ€™ aspect of it is to awaken to your best qualities and share them out loud with the world, boldly and fabulously, honey. I call it an â€˜avant-garde awakeningâ€™ because it really is about feeling good, looking amazing, doing epic sh*t in the world, and helping other people.
Aside from the book as a starting point, what is another important step that we can take to begin to improve our inner lives?
You have to re-learn how to breathe, honey. The breath is directly connected to the quality of your mind, and the quality of your mind dictates the quality of your life. So if youâ€™re breathing in a shallow, short breath, the quality of your mind is going to be scattered. It will be fragile. It will be sticky to everything. Iâ€™m talking about a deep belly breath. When you breathe to the bottom of the belly, you are accessing the third part of the lungs. Once you do that breath, you actually enter into a healing state and that helps you to relax a little. Then witness the kinds of thoughts that are presentâ€”key word, witness. Witness the kinds of feelings that are present. When you witness them, you are no longer lost in them.
For guidance with breathing and meditation practices, check out the Spiritually Sassy School, a digital membership packed with guided meditations, powerful masterclasses, dance medicine practices, and moreâ€”all the resources you need to simplify access to your spiritual evolution.
Photo credit: Ali Kaukas
For people who have a hard time with meditation or believe theyâ€™re too busy, what else can we do to help ease the mind?
Stop multitasking, b*tch. What you can do is take time out of your day to just wash your motherf***ing dishes. When wiping your ass, just wipe your ass. When folding your laundry, just fold your laundry. Doing one thing at a time will create a sense of safety and ease within your internal world. Once you cultivate that inside of yourself, the energy of that safety ripples out into every direction of your life. It ripples towards your past, towards your future, and that helps to make peace with your path. To make peace with your trauma. To see harmony in all the past chaos youâ€™ve experienced. Itâ€™s really simple: breathe, b*tch and stop multitasking.
Wow, amen! How does this actually help our state of happiness?
When you have a concentrated mind, the mind becomes naturally happier. The mind is no longer thinking threats and creating self-fulfilling prophecies of all your nightmares, because you are no longer future-tripping or past-tripping. Youâ€™re more here, in the now. Miracles happen in that space.
In the book, you talk about taking a spiritual inventory. I love this. Can you please explain what this entails, for our readers?
Yesss! So you write down the main stories that the mind unintentionally, unconsciously, automatically engages with all day. What are the beliefs you have? What are the poisonous narratives that play out in your mind? Write them all down. Why do I add the word â€˜spiritualâ€™ in front of inventory? Because there is a level of sweetness, tenderness and patience that is required when you start writing down things like, â€˜I tell myself Iâ€™m a piece of sh*t 5-10 times an hourâ€™, or â€˜I am constantly obsessing over past mistakesâ€™, or â€˜I tell myself that Iâ€™m a bad person.â€™ So you do this with kindness, with patience, with compassion for yourself.
Then you take spiritual inventory of your external life. You take inventory of the people, places and things in your life that are doing one of two things: developing your neurosis or helping you to become free.
A lot of queer people grew up feeling bad about the unique aspects of themselves. For me, as a young boy, it was the feminine sway of my hips, which I was constantly teased for. How does owning ourselvesâ€”and allowing it to shine boldlyâ€”serve a spiritual purpose?
Your unique traits are your own unique ways of conveying your love, your compassion, your wisdom, your joy to the world. If you are swaying your hips like a legendary Naomi Campbell supermodelâ€”as you should!â€”and itâ€™s bringing you joy, then it is accessing this place of wisdom, this place of love within you. So continue to do that, because people who are seeing you swaying your hips, itâ€™s going to be communicated to themâ€”nonverbally, no words spokenâ€”that they can also express themselves in a variety of ways that they perhaps havenâ€™t in the past. Your own unique, fabulous, flamboyant, bold traitsâ€”when you own them proudlyâ€”are a powerful reminder to others that they can own themselves too.
Wow, so that pure self love invites others to love themselves too. How has living that authenticity activated abundance in your life?
Oh my god, I became completely magnetic. I literally became an abundance machine, because Iâ€™ve also understood this idea of entering the world as a blessing. You have to actively train your mind to be a blessing factory. What does this mean? When you enter the coffee shop in the morning, take a minute to look around at people and say to yourself, â€˜I wish you all to live with ease. I wish you all to be happy. I wish you all to thrive.â€™ It takes two seconds to do this, rather than judging everyone around you. This is how you cultivate an innate state of abundance. Then you become magnetic. You literally think of something, a flashing thought, and the next thing you know, you open up your email and that collaboration is there.
As you grew on your spiritual path, did you notice a change in the types of people that were drawn into your life?
Oh my god, drastically. At the beginning of the path, I had to take time away from everyone and everything, thatâ€™s why I was living in India, Nepal, Indonesia and Thailand. So, having taken that time to rebuild myselfâ€”to not be blaming people for how I was feeling or playing the victim and all that stuffâ€”itâ€™s quite amazing what happens when you feel relaxed inside of yourself. Itâ€™s quite amazing what happens when you open your heart and are actively watering positive seeds in the garden of your mind. You are then being drawn to certain people, places and things that support your growth. The more you become your true self, the more the right people are magnetized towards your being, your energy, your light.
Social media can be a struggle for a lot of us, because we tend to compare our lives with people who seem to be doing it bigger and better. How can we cope with this?
Look, if social media is activating comparison and competition inside of you, you know you need to take a break, b*tch. But, if you are taking breaks and you’re meditating and exercising and dancing and taking care of yourself, recognize that competition and comparison, through a spiritual perspective, is a misinterpretation of inspiration. If someone is doing what you want to do, itâ€™s actually a reminder that you have the potential to do that too. That seed is already at the base of your being. The problem is, youâ€™re watering the seeds of depression, suffering and anxiety, rather than the seeds of creativity, joy and inspiration. Everytime you water those negative seeds in the garden of your mind, your mind becomes filled with garbage weeds, instead of beautiful, iconic roses.
Tell us about The Spiritually Sassy Show Podcast! Iâ€™m so excited that your sassy self is hosting a show!
Yesss, honey! The podcast is a place where I talk to visionary minds from every walk of life and we get to redefine what it means to be spiritual. We get to recognize that a writer, such as yourself, will get into a deep flow state when writing this interview out. Thatâ€™s a spiritual practice. Or a dancer, or someone whoâ€™s cooking or making jewelry, weâ€™re talking to a variety of people who are creating their own magic. The whole game is to humanize the spiritual path and shed light on the fact that no matter how successful and powerful people are, weâ€™re all going through it, and whatâ€™s helped them might help another person. Iâ€™m so excited about it!
Check out the latest episode of The Spiritually Sassy Show Podcast here!
Follow Sah Dâ€™Simone on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sahdsimone/
Story by Chad Schubert
Photo credit Madeline Northway
Photo credit Ali Kaukas