074: Anna Gatmon, Ph.D. – Living a Spiritual Life in a Material World

Former Fashion Model Finds Keys to Fulfillment and Balance

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Anna Gatmon is a visionary educator, spiritual innovator, and author of Living a Spiritual Life in a Material World: Four Keys to Fulfillment and Balance. She talks about how to live a spiritually fulfilling life without having to give up material needs and pleasures.

She is the creator of the Expansive Community, a membership for changemakers who are committed to creating spiritual-material abundance in all areas of their life and in the lives of the people they live, work, and play with.

What We Discuss with Anna Gatmon:

  • How your material world and spirituality are interwoven
  • Living in extremes to spiritually grow and transcend
  • The 4 keys to spiritual-material balance and their underlying characteristics
  • How to experience an intentional sense of expansiveness
  • What it means to manifest and the two things required to manifest
  • The duality of longing for spirituality and running from it
  • Paying attention to those small moments of expansiveness and how to spot them
  • The expansive healing properties of nature and how science backs this up
  • Creating a system behind homeschooling and looking at the spirit of math
  • Anna’s writing process and seeking support

[01:33] A Life of Duality

Anna lived a Cinderella-like life having had a rough childhood in Israel and ended up as a fashion model in Paris, appearing on the spreads of famous lifestyle magazines like Elle and Marie Claire. She was living a materially gratifying life but felt empty inside. She went back to school and got a Ph.D. in adult education and spirituality.

Both the material world and the spiritual world can actually interweave. It’s a common belief that in order to be truly spiritual, we need to live without material desires or have any material needs and we need to live very humble lives. Both are actually interwoven.

You don’t want to attach yourself to material things that are here today and gone tomorrow, but you don’t want to attach to inner peace either. Otherwise, you’re going to be focused on the attachment to inner peace, instead of inner peace itself. Even inner peace is here today, gone a minute later.

In the area where she grew up, everybody was Jewish. Anna was walking around with what she considered was a shameful secret. She wasn’t officially Jewish and living with an alcoholic mom and a raging dad. She realized that life is giving us these extremes in order for our souls to grow and transcend.

[10:38] The 4 Keys to Spiritual and Material Balance

The underlying characteristic is a sense of expansiveness. 

1. Expansive presence. This is something that should be intentional. It connects to a larger version of yourself.

2. Attentive listening. Once you expand your consciousness, you become aware of information not available for you while you were in a rational state of mind. Just listen to the universe speaking to you as well as your wisdom from within.

3. Inspired action. Whenever intuitive guidance or external prompts have come into your awareness, it’s time to act upon them. It’s about taking that insight and manifesting it into your material world.

4. Faith-filled knowing. It takes building your faith in order to trust that you are a part of this interdependent universe and it’s giving you feedback and guiding you along your way.

[16:32] What is Manifesting?

You have this idea or thought coming from the non-physical world and you want to make it happen. You go about making it happen by creating the conditions for it. For instance, if you want a certain amount of money, you get a job.

We have the capacity to travel like a portal from the spiritual to the material, from imaginal to manifesting, from visioning to creating.

You create the physical material conditions for something to occur. This can be done through two things:

1. Physical work

2. Mindset shift

You have to create the conditions for something to happen. You can’t just sit in your room the whole day hoping things will happen. But you need to work for it too.

[21:57] The Duality of Longing for Spirituality and Running Away from It

We so long to have spiritual experiences and it takes effort. It’s more of letting go and allowing love, light, creativity, and the life force to come through us. But then we run away from it.

Just take those steps and have smaller goals. Once we’re in the zone and allowing the flow of energy to come through us, everything just flows.

[23:38] Paying Attention to Moments of Expansiveness

Listen to your inner voice. There is the inner knowing or wisdom that guides us. If we keep arguing with that voice all the time, we suffer and we won’t have a spiritual experience.

Pay attention to small moments of expansiveness. There are very tiny shifts that happen in our emotional state where we find a bit of joy and gratitude. These are the cues that you’ve shifted.

Once you shift, everything begins to align much better. Then you notice things are happening in the right way versus the wrong way.

We’re all having spiritual experiences all the time. We’re all having glimpses of expansive experiences where we feel more gratitude, more joy, or more care for others.

The more you practice it, the more acute your senses get, and the more you can pay attention. Then you become more trusting.

[36:50] The Expansive Healing Properties of Nature

Nature has expansive healing properties. Research showed that someone healing from surgery in a room with a window and a tree will heal faster than someone who has no window and it’s just a wall.

Surround yourself with beauty and pay attention to it. Beauty is the gateway to an expansive presence. Look into a rose and just take it in.

[41:45] A More Holistic Approach to Homeschooling

Anna has been in the field of education for about 50 years now. For the first 12 years, her training is on what never to do. She ended up homeschooling her kid in first grade.

She initially went for the unschooling method which didn’t have any system. They just learned from every life situation turning it into a learning opportunity.

Seeing the spirit of math. Eventually, she created a homeschooling model that is holistic and looks at the spirit of math.

Kids have less defense mechanisms that’s why they’re more connected. They know what’s right and wrong and what feels good and doesn’t.

[47:50] The Writing Process

Anna sought support and things just unfolded for her. Slowly, she advanced and found a writing coach.

Bring your story in. You have to make it more alive with your own stories. It’s not about indulging in your life but finding that perfect balance so people could relate to you. Share things that would serve the purpose.

Episode Resources:

Living a Spiritual Life in a Material World: Four Keys to Fulfillment and Balance

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