We didn’t start out to be pioneers. We just wanted to share Suteja’s knowledge and experience of healing with others. But the deeper we delved into her ideas and what she wanted to do with them, the more we realized that she is indeed a pioneer. She is the first person to combine ancient Yogic teachings and Ayurveda from India, Toltec wisdom from Mesoamerica, natural healing methods from around the world, modern science, and decades of practical application and observation so that people can heal themselves and maintain their health for the long term. And she is doing it online where it is available worldwide to anyone who is interested.
We were both featured in the recent interview published in Authority Magazine entitled Female Founders: Suteja and Paula Grace of Inner Treasure Hunt on the Five Things You Need to Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder. Some highlights from this interview are below, which we hope you find interesting and maybe even inspiring.
– Suteja and Paula
SUTEJA: Most people ask mystical questions at some point in their life. “Who am I?” “Where did I come from?” “Why am I here?” The questions are intriguing and seem to lead to a great unknown awaiting discovery, but they get put on the back-burner due to the obligations of living. These questions stayed center stage in my life and I spent a lot of time seeking answers.
I went deep and was able to heal myself from chronic fatigue syndrome and create a strong philosophy of life that supports me through difficulties. For me, seeking answers to mystical questions is very practical in terms of one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Now I’m sharing my findings with people who are in difficulty, especially with the pandemic, the isolation, and the uncertainty of our time.
SUTEJA: First I am grateful for Paula without whom my dream of teaching wouldn’t have happened. I’m also very grateful for all my patients with whom I have a deep heart connection. They were disappointed to lose the support of their weekly sessions because of covid, but were open and flexible enough to shift to online meditation sessions to continue their healing. Many of them became the first members of ITH. I thank them for their presence, their feedback, and how they have shaped ITH.
I will be forever grateful to the ancients around the world for the legacies they have left humanity. I thank the Yogis in India for their discoveries about the subtle body, the Toltec in Mesoamerica for their amazing connection with nature, and the many other civilizations from which I draw inspiration every day for my own spiritual life and my work. And finally, I am eternally grateful for the seekers of the world who continue to ask the deep questions and look within for answers. They are building a harmonious future for humanity.
SUTEJA: My answer is going to seem far-fetched but I’m a healer and I’ve seen that my patients’ identities are often built on the identities of their parents and ancestors. Through our work together they would discover hidden reservoirs of unresolved family trauma stuck in their bodies, clinging to their organs and muscles and joints, without their awareness or consent. I would work on a painful part of their body and they would get an image of something, perhaps weep, and release long-held physical pain. Later they would tell me that their images had to do with things they had vague inklings about which were whispered in the family but never openly discussed since they were taboo. By releasing their connections to their ancestors’ traumas, they healed not only their pain but the pain of their family line for generations in both directions. So I’ve recognized that we all contain bits of our ancestors psychically and physically, a belief shared by many in the healing community.
My personal experiences are scientifically substantiated by the scholarly study of Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance, the passing on of traits from parents to children from generation to generation, including experiences of trauma. Mark Wolynn, Director of the Family Constellation Institute, explains the studies supporting TEI in his enlightening and readable book “It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle.” Once you recognize that this is going on, my answer will make more sense.
As much as we would like to speed up the world for women founding companies, the woundings of women are so deep and have lasted so long that the impediments are still engrained in the cells and subconscious of women the world over. I’m talking about thousands of generations of women raised to question their ability to survive on their own without a male provider, of being terrified of being sexually active or having a child out of wedlock, of being seen as worthless if they couldn’t procreate, of being considered chattel and second-class citizens. My own mother told me about how her father threatened to kick her out of the family if she got pregnant before marriage, and how women in her grandmother’s generation were thrown in jail if they got pregnant without being married (based on the laws in France at the time).
The root of one’s power, according to the chakra system devised by ancient Yogis, is the first chakra where sexual organs and sexual pleasure are. Basic energetic empowerment comes from each chakra, and most women have been denied access to their own sexual pleasure and the root of their power throughout recorded history. This denial is embedded subconsciously in women, and every woman has to fight against it as she tries to rise. It’s like the chains on Marley’s ghost in “A Christmas Carol” – whether you realize it or not, chances are that your female ancestors were not free to express their sexuality or be empowered by doing so, and you’re dragging the chains of their imprisonment behind you.
The oppression of women has been going on for millennia and the rise of the women’s movement in the last half-century is a step in the right direction but a drop in the ancestral bucket. The pernicious societal trauma that every woman carries in her bones and reproductive organs will take generations to release, but we don’t have to wait. There are many ways to address ancestral trauma which is why our classes and events offer a variety of methods. As more women heal, the female wounding will be released from the collective subconscious and not carried forward.
SUTEJA: When you feel empowered, your life force is strong and pushes you to create; by creating you feel empowered. It’s a lovely symbiosis. This is reason enough to become a founder. When you are your own boss, you’re free to create as you see fit. The more you feel empowered as a human being, the more likely you’ll become a founder.
PAULA: I often used a game called Lutts and Mips to teach problem-solving and team dynamics. Eight to ten people sit in a circle in age order, with the oldest person in the first seat and the youngest in the last seat. Each person is given cards which contain clues that solve a problem the team is working on. You can’t show your cards to anyone, but people can take turns sharing one of their cards aloud with the group until all the cards have been read. The oldest person is also given a ball. But there’s rules about talking.
Only the person holding the ball may speak. The ball may only be passed from the oldest team member to the second oldest team member, and so on to the youngest member. The ball always travels in the same direction and does not skip anyone. Older team members may interrupt any younger team members at any time by taking the ball. Younger team members may not interrupt any older team members at any time. When someone finishes speaking, they pass the ball to the next younger team member and the team resumes the age-related speaking order.
Over decades using this game, in small rooms with one team to giant ballrooms with hundreds of teams, the results were always the same. The only teams who solved the problem in the allotted time were all-female teams or co-ed teams where the oldest member was a woman. Okay, maybe 5% of the time male teams solved the problem, but that was rare. And why did the women always win? Because unlike the men, the women didn’t interrupt others or snatch the ball away from younger people, and they saw to it that the ball went all the way around the circle many times, thereby ensuring that everyone shared all their cards and had equal opportunities to discuss the solution. In the male circles, the youngest members either never got the ball so they didn’t read their cards aloud, or after reading their cards aloud they never got the ball in order to contribute to the solution. When debriefing the activity there would always be young men on the male teams who had solved the problem but never got the ball so couldn’t share what they knew to win the game. This would be a shock to the other members of their team.
As far as I’m concerned, Lutts and Mips is the best reason why more women should become founders.
SUTEJA: One myth of being a founder is that you have to be a charismatic person with a strong, outgoing personality who loves human contact, shakes a lot of hands, laughs easily and loudly, and talks a lot. I’m living proof that introverts can be founders. Being introverted means that I’m comfortable spending time and energy on quiet introspection rather than noisy outward expression. I cherish time alone and am used to finding solutions inside of myself. I find that clarity comes in the empty spaces I create. What’s most important is having a vision of what you want to create, regardless of whether you’re introverted or extroverted.
PAULA: There’s a piece of paper taped to the wall of our office that says “F**k Everything! I just have a message!” We printed it after a lengthy discussion in 2020 about how impossible it would be to start a website where Suteja could share her knowledge about healing with others. There were so many problems we couldn’t see solving and so many scary things to consider given how private a person Suteja is, that we’d reached the limit of our ability to dream and were sitting in gloomy silence.
Suddenly Suteja jumped up and shouted, “F**k Everything! I just have a message!” I gasped – I’d never in twenty years seen Suteja have an outburst much less swear (merde doesn’t count), and the passion behind it was impressive. It was like she morphed from Gandhi to Xena Warrior Princess. We stared at each other then burst out laughing so hard I peed my pants. We memorialized this breakthrough with a wall sign, the first of many as it turned out.
We’re all taught a myth: that we need a business plan and funding, and that success is measured only in numbers. Don’t believe it. What you need is to be inspired, determined, and ready to last for the long haul. You need to be open to luck and serendipity. You need to be kind and generous, ethical and grounded. You need to acknowledge and address your fear. You need to define success on your own terms. And it helps if you’re smart.
Suteja and I don’t have a business plan. We didn’t look for financing. What guides our enterprise is a relentless desire to get what the ancients knew about how to live in harmony and thrive out into the world. She’s on board because she’s a conduit for healing who is driven to educate others about what she’s learned. I’m on board because I’m having fun doing what I love, instructional design, and she’s great to collaborate with. Our measures of success are if we’re enjoying ourselves and if our members are benefiting. As long as both are in place, ITH will grow. “F**ck Everything! I just have a message!” is our business plan, and we’re committed for life.
Learn more about healing pioneers in The Science Behind Sound Healing: Pioneer John Stuart Reid and Myofascial Release Pioneer John F. Barnes.
Learn more about natural healing and wellness at Meditation Script for Sound Healing With Your Voice, Wellness vs Mainstream Medicine, Lucid Dreaming Techniques from the Ancients, Powers of the Moon Series, 5 Ways You Can Build Resilience, Awakening Your Chakras, DAYS OF THE DEAD: Ancestral Healing & Conscious Dying, and Journaling Benefits.
Learn more about Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance, Mark Wolynn, Director of the Family Constellation Institute and his book “It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle.”
Learn more about healing and consciousness at Inner Treasure Hunt. If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the Inner Treasure Hunt newsletter to stay informed about new posts, programs, and events. #innertreasurehunt
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