The Vedic Astrology Podcast

The Paradox of Self Improvement with Annie Moussu

March 17, 2023 Fiona Marques; Annie Moussu Season 2 Episode 9
The Vedic Astrology Podcast
The Paradox of Self Improvement with Annie Moussu
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Is it possible to do too much Self Improvement work?  Are we driven to improve from our ego's sense of fear and lack? What modality is most suited to us based on our Vedic Astrology Chart? What are some of the traps and pitfalls of Self Improvement? These are just a few of the questions that certified EFT Tapping Master Practitioner and host of the "Hush Your Mind" podcast, Annie Moussu and I discuss in our broad-ranging conversation.  I hope you enjoy our journey examining how a variety of influences such as perfectionism,  protestant work ethic, success-envy and even our own ancestry can take us away from the joy of the present moment and have us constantly in the rat-race of "not-good-enough".  Join me on Patreon to share your thoughts about today's episode - look forward to seeing you there!
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More about Annie ...
Annie helps women build confidence, set empowered boundaries and enjoy healthy relationships. Her struggles with perfectionism and people-pleasing spurred her inner growth journey. Originally from California and now living in France, Annie offers EFT sessions online to help others speak their truth and come home to themselves.  Her blog article that connected us for this episode is available at Why You Shouldn’t Do Too Much Spiritual Inner Work – Hush Your Mind
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 The Paradox of Self Improvement

The Paradox of Self Improvement

[00:00:00] Welcome

[00:00:00] Fiona Marques: Hello everyone. Welcome to The Vedic Astrology Podcast. My name is Fiona Marques and today I'm excited to be talking to my guest about a topic that is very intriguing to me in my history of coming to Astrology as a Life Coach. I've learned a lot about the strengths of Life Coaching, and as I moved into Astrology, it also shed some light for me on some different perspectives of how we can do our inner work.

And I have been really wanting to have a conversation with someone about that territory of how our different modes of personal improvement and Personal Development, their strengths and weaknesses, how they cross over, and maybe some of the pitfalls of being drawn too much into one modality or another.

And that's why I was delighted when I met Annie Moussu and read her blog article called "Why You Shouldn't Do Too Much Spiritual Work", and it piqued my interest because this is something that I've been wanting to talk about. So I reached out to Annie and I'm so pleased that she's here with me today. So before we dive into the topic, I'd love to ask Annie to introduce herself to all of our listeners.

[00:01:12] Annie Moussu: Of course. I'm so excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure and a joy. Yeah. I'm Annie Moussu. I'm a Certified EFT Tapping Master Practitioner. I help mostly women set boundaries and build confidence so that they enjoy healthy relationships. 

[00:01:28] Introduction and Context

[00:01:28] Fiona Marques: And Annie, both of us are in this field of being inspired to improve our own lives and work with other people to improve their lives. I guess many of us on the planet are looking to sometimes heal things, sometimes just experience less suffering. And in that search people come across Life Coaches, they come across Therapists, they come across Astrologers.

So can you share a little bit about your background as an EFT Practitioner or in the role that you do now? How did that come about for you?

[00:02:04] Annie Moussu: I had joined a group Coaching program for abundance blocks, and in this group program, they introduced me to EFT Tapping. And we were Tapping on things that didn't seem really related to abundance at that time, I didn't realize abundance had to do with self-worth, so we were Tapping on things like, "What do I need to free myself of to feel loved or to feel accepted". These kinds of questions gave us the answers that we needed to tap on next. And then I saw in the next few days that money would actually come in. And I was just so stunned that I had to find more about EFT Tapping.

And since then I've become Certified. I've used it on everything in my life. Especially repairing my relationship with my husband. At the time we were dealing with codependency. Our respective childhood trauma was getting in the way of our interactions, creating a lot of miscommunications and daily arguments. So I've been able to further heal my childhood wounds having, growing up with an overcritical father. And people pleasing just my whole way through life. And so yes, there were very stubborn childhood blocks that kept getting in the way, and I found my way through via EFT Tapping. And in, in ways that have been so effective - haven't been found in other modalities at all. I've done a lot of meditation, a lot of self-inquiry. But EFT just had its own way of getting into the deepest blocks, my blind spots. So it's been really effective for me in all aspects of life, like I've said. And now I'm using it to continue growing my business.

And anytime I get a little bit anxious about anything, I just use it and then I feel relaxed. It gets me into the relaxation response instead of the stress response, and it just makes life so much easier and I'm feeling more abundant and supported than I've ever been before.

[00:03:59] Fiona Marques: and for people who haven't come across EFT before, although this could be a whole Podcast on its own, so briefly, could you just share a little bit about what EFT is for anybody who hasn't heard of it or is unsure what it is?

[00:04:14] Annie Moussu: Yes, EFT is Emotional Freedom Techniques or Tapping. And we basically we tap on different acupuncture points on the hands and the face and the upper body. And as we tap on these acupuncture points, we're focusing on the cause of the stress. So there are Tapping statements that we use as we tap on these acupuncture points.

And as we do that, we're sending calming signals to our brain and we're getting ourselves out of the fight, flight or freeze stress response. And we're lowering our cortisol levels. That's our stress hormone. And we're sending the signal to our body that "It's safe, it's okay it's okay to be calm and relaxed".

And that's when we're the most effective because the prefrontal cortex of our brain that's in charge of the rational thinking, the creative thinking, solution-based thinking that comes online when we're out of the fight or flight response. So we're more apt to make wise choices about our actions or even the mindset that we have going into a certain task or a project. We're just so much more, alive and wise and calm. And so it's, yeah, a wonderful tool to use anytime as a self-soothing tool. And we can also use it for deeper healing issues like trauma. And it's all proven by science. There are, over a hundred studies and more coming out every month on EFT Tapping.

So yeah, it's just a matter of time that it's even more widespread and enters more into more schools and more hospitals and yeah, I just love how accessible it is to everybody.

[00:05:49] Fiona Marques: What I love about EFT Tapping is that it integrates the mind and the body. Or our thoughts and our connection with the body. And perhaps that gives me an invitation to share a little bit about how I came into the field of Personal Improvement. Because I was also really attracted to this field of improving my life and the idea that all lives could be improved. Everybody can reduce their experience of suffering. That was a really attractive idea for me as a younger person. We all pick up traumas in our childhood and don't necessarily arrive in adulthood with those traumas healed or even understood or exposed. And we're operating from these old programs that we can barely recognize, and yet they're having a profound effect on our experience of everyday life. From what you were talking about, like abundance, but could be just emotional availability, happiness on loads and loads of different levels. 

So I was really inspired around Life Coaching. It was a Personal Improvement Methodology that I really liked. In my profession at that time I was working in Human Resource Development in a large organization, thousands of employees. And we had a good understanding in general. There was a good level of knowledge about NeuroLinguistic Programming, but combining that with Life Coaching, (which sort of happened in the late 90's, early 2000's, in the kind of work that I was doing) I found very empowering. And so NeuroLinguistic Programming, in some ways, gave birth to the Life Coaching movement because it's saying that the language that we're using, the words that we speak actually reveal our ways of perceiving the world. And when those ways of perceiving the world are faulty or incorrect, we go around running programs that are also faulty and incorrect.

So it's like a very it's almost like being able to see the software by listening to people's language and watching their, all of their non-verbal communication. One can see the software that's written and have tools to help people reprogram. And so NeuroLinguistic Programming is famous for many things, but one of them is like, "Reframing" is probably a very famous technique from NeuroLinguistic Programming. As is the "visual, auditory, kinesthetic". And as is even "Rapport". I think NeuroLinguistic Programming is beautiful in placing rapport at the center of all change. The rapport between two people is the conduit for how change takes place. It's a really vast and beautiful field. 

So I was lucky enough to be trained as a Life Coach, as a business professional Coach as part of my work and. For those people who have been following the Podcast recently, we did an episode about the 11th House and Gains and about Aquarius. And in that we talked about the "Drama Triangle", which is this model of "The Victim, "The Persecutor", and "The Rescuer".

And I guess Life Coaching builds around this kind of model, largely encouraging empowerment. That, as we've made it to adulthood, whatever it is that's happened in the trauma that has gotten us, but we've made it now to be an independent and fully adult person. Therefore, we can reclaim our empowerment and step out of our "Drama Triangles" and begin to choose things consciously that we want in our life and also let go of things that we don't want.

And that's really largely what a Life Coach is helping someone do, is identify what they want and helping to set clear goals around that, to break it down into manageable, achievable steps that the person, the client, reports back to the Coach. Sometimes having that Coach really helps just knowing that you're gonna have to show up on Tuesday and say whether you did do that thing or not, do that thing. And the Coach also helps identify those things that we don't want and strategies to let go of those things. And using our mindfulness. So it's a really powerful personal improvement strategy. 

But it can have some pitfalls as well. And this is where our connection came along with your article about raising awareness that perhaps there are some dangers to doing too much personal improvement work. So do you wanna share a little bit about that blog article and how it came about for you, Annie?

[00:10:37] The Trap of doing too much Self Improvement work

[00:10:37] Annie Moussu: I tend to go to extremes when it comes to Personal Development. I've come from a background of being a high achiever and a perfectionist. And today, I can safely say that I've overcome those defense mechanisms. But when I go towards my Personal Development, I've tended to just push it to the edge and see how far I can go, as fast as I can go. That's just my adventurous nature when it comes to these kinds of things. 

And I've realized that... first thing, the body needs time to integrate things. We can't force it to do to change or to fix anything. We can only guide it and hope that it go towards our agenda. But we have to learn that our agenda is less important than what our body's wisdom has to offer us. 

And so in EFT Tapping, for example, even though I know that quick transformation is possible, it is not always the safest way to go about things. It's even better sometimes to go slower because we've been carrying these layers for so long that it needs time to integrate and to process everything. Even if the releasing has happened, it still needs to rest. And we need to drink a lot of water. We have to make sure that we're slowing down and helping that process along. 

And before I, I realized all of this. I would keep doing the Tapping on myself. I was my own Guinea pig. I've, I still am for experiments.

And I just kept pushing back into the past because that's what we've been trained to do, is to look past, into the past, to tap on past memories and help people release those from their systems. Cause that's what's actually keeping them in fight or freeze response when they want to have a great relationship or attain success. Oftentimes there are links to the past. Times when we felt not good enough. Or we were discouraged from going pursuing our dreams. That kind of thing. So as an EFT Tapping Practitioner, I've learned we have to go back into the past, release those limiting beliefs so that we can move forward with more ease.

The thing is, if we go, we keep going back into the past, we can get stuck there and. Our energy gets heavier and heavier as we start looking for the next problem to tap on. And it becomes this endless quest to fix ourselves to look for the next thing that's off about ourselves. And it can really reinforce this idea that we're not good enough and that there's always something wrong with us. And before we find that little piece, that missing piece we'll never be able to be happy. Becomes this excuse to not live in the present moment. 

It's very easy to slip into this and to think that we are being conscious and aware of what we're doing. But, because, I think the way our society is set up, this "not-good-enough-society", we slip easily into the this mindset again.

"We just have to pick and choose the next missing puzzle, tap on it or fix it in some way, and then we can get what we want". And I've learned that can actually be detrimental to our inner growth. We have to learn how to just step back sometimes, pause, take a break. And just be with what is.

[00:13:46] Fiona Marques: When I was younger, definitely the sense that there was just so much in there. There was so much wrong. It was like a bottomless pit. I agree with you that culturally I think we can have a sense that we are flawed and it's almost detoxifying or taken to an extreme like I guess purging or whatever. That we become so obsessed with cleaning things out that it begins to damage the system itself.

The way that I look at that culturally, I always think it's that Protestant Work Ethic, that's the umbrella word that I use to describe it. When I see that we can culturally have picked up a sense that we are not good enough. And if you take it back through Christianity that split between Catholicism and the Protestant world was that in Catholicism, this was the idea that humans do sin, but they can be forgiven. And they can, at the worst extremes, they can almost buy their way into forgiveness, which has its problems too. But but at least has the idea that humans are good, however they can commit sin. And if they do commit sin, they can make repentance and penance for that. Whereas the Protestant branch took that idea that humans sin, that's their nature. And that while we are here on Planet Earth, gonna have to do everything that we can to improve because of this innate nature.

And I think that has maybe filtered into society and into our culture, the sense that there's something wrong with us, at that really core level, we are wrong. And that's, it's a tragedy. It's really sad to be living in a reality where our own relationship with ourself is one of mistrust because we think our core self is evil or wrong.

And how that can show up is exactly what you're saying, this drive to always improve. And that can be very damaging in the same way that anybody who detoxifies too much or purges too much, obviously we know the results of that on the body are not good. And I do love about EFT that it's integrating the mind and the body in the work the whole time.

Whereas NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming) is working on the programming, the statements, the language, and the beliefs. And almost working on that at an intellectual level. I love how EFT is integrating the body in real time. The process of unhooking these traumas or beliefs is literally both happening at the mind and the body level. Such a special thing. 

And like you, I really have come to respect that the body is a, it's absolutely essential. In some ways, it's the most spiritual part of who we are. It's easy to think that it's like body next, layer up mind, next layer up spirit. But in some ways the body is the most spiritual, it's the most innocent.

And I was lucky enough having been a Life Coach professionally, I then took sideways step to become a Massage Therapist. And I continued seeing private clients for Life Coaching. But I worked as a Massage Therapist for over a decade. And it's so beautiful, that innocence of the body, the presence of the body. The time. How the body exists in the present moment. And when you're working with someone as a Massage Therapist, it helps you have realistic expectations of how much recovery and healing is available to the body in each session. 

Theoretically, I'm sure a Massage Therapist would love to just work work and whatever it is, six, eight hours, do everything that the body needs. But it's impossible both physically from the Massage Therapist, but also from the person's body to heal and receive so much therapy. And so massage has this real rhythm of someone coming, creating more, ease, them returning to their life, coming back, seeing what's set and what has released and working again. And this rhythm helps the provider, the Massage Therapist, the Therapist, realize that things take time and things happen at their own time. 

[00:18:19] Self Improvement in the context of Vedic Astrology

[00:18:19] Fiona Marques: And then of course, when we talk about time, it's a real opening to think about Astrology, right? Because Astrology is always interested in time. And I remember in my very first few weeks of learning Astrology, my teacher said something about the 5th House. The number 5 in Vedic Astrology, Leo and the 5th House are all about self-improvement. They are, if we think about the Hero's Journey, starting in House 1 where we arrive and in the 2nd House gathering resources in the 3rd House, exploring and making meaning, learning and understanding. And in then in the 4th House, consolidating all of that into an inner peace knowing that I can be here and I, I can belong here, allows us to embrace the 5th House, which is where we choose the kind of kingdom we wanna create. It's where we begin to create the legacy that we are here to offer. 

And I remember this statement that "People who respond well to Life Coaching have a great 5th House because it's all about self-improvement. And when a person wants to improve, if there's support to their 5th House, they'll be able to do it.

But if you have real challenges to your 5th House, you might not find that Life Coaching works very well for you". And I remember being really thrown by that because my paradigm at the time was that Life Coaching works for everyone. That it's a very empowering model of identifying what you want and then creating that, like moving in the direction of that and with your alertness, you're with your awareness addressing any obstacles that come up, which takes a lot of creativity sometimes, but everybody can change their life. So to be told that only people with a good 5th House can change their life was very confronting for me. 

But I think the process of learning the vast body of knowledge that is Vedic Astrology has changed my paradigm a little. To relax. To know that everything is happening at the right time, in the right way, for the right reasons (in inverted commas). You know this word right, is very hard to define, but for auspicious or "right" reasons, everything is unfolding as it should. Not necessarily on the timeline that the ego would like it to. And that comes back to what you were saying about... "We can feel that we wanna set the pace around how we change our life. And we've already experienced so much suffering. We don't wanna be there anymore. I wanna change. I wanna change now!" Do you find that clients can come, really ready to be in their future already?

[00:21:14] Annie Moussu: Oh yeah, definitely. Yes. I have plenty of clients who come in with success blocks. They want to achieve a certain amount of revenue by a certain amount of time. And so I let them know right off the bat that I'm only here to guide them and we can have really great results with EFT. They can happen even very quickly, but sometimes things take more time than usual. Than our agenda would like to admit. 

Sometimes I wonder how much control do we have? Because, in my experience, I've tapped on my success blocks and then I have immense results. I've seen a client come in maybe the next day after I've tapped and released a huge block. And so for me it reinforces the idea that it does work. And fortunately it does because that's what, the EFT Tapping is amazing is that we can cut down time. 

Like for example, people come to me after years of talk therapy and they wonder "What can EFT bring to me now? I've done all the different modalities, I've even tried acupuncture, EFTs based on acupuncture". And I tell them "E very person is different. Each body is different. Your needs are different. So each modality might bring you something different that you needed before you, now you're ready for it. And so it's worth trying".

The other thing that I, that comes to mind is that consciously we might want to achieve a certain amount of revenue, or we want to have that fulfilling relationship. And unconsciously there's a part of us that doesn't actually want it. And that sounds crazy, but it's true.

There's a, there might be a part of you that felt that still feels rejected from the last breakup or grief from the last breakup. Maybe you think that you've already overcome it. But today, unconsciously, you're still running the program. "I don't wanna get hurt. I'm afraid to be vulnerable".

And so that actually creates a divided will between your conscious and your unconscious. They're in conflict. And so that will actually create more resistance and keep your goal further away from you. It's your body's natural way of keeping you safe, of trying to protect you. 

So I take a lot of time to explain to people the way our mind and body work so that they understand it's not their fault. It's not their fault, they're not Tapping enough, or they're not doing enough meditation or they're not putting enough effort. 

[00:23:34] The Importance of Acceptance and Compassion

[00:23:34] Annie Moussu: Cause it's too easy to blame ourselves when we don't have what we want right now. And so we have to learn how to relax and stay humble on the path, in the process of creating change in our lives. We have to really meet ourselves and our bodies exactly where they are. And meet it with acceptance and love. That's the most healing thing we can do for ourselves.

[00:23:57] Fiona Marques: Absolutely, and I think this is what I have really gained or had reinforced by Vedic Astrology, is that when one looks at one's chart (is lucky enough to look at one's chart), hopefully one develops a real sense of compassion for the journey that the self has been on. That there are many obstacles, there are many traumas and disappointments.

And that's okay. That's not something to be ejected or rejected. It's. It's okay. I think Vedic Astrology helps us stay in that place of having compassion for the self and the journey that has brought us to this point. 

And it's one of the things that I do think is very healing about Vedic Astrology, is helping someone have compassion for themselves. Helping someone accept where they are right now. And also helping take off that burden that can come from Life Coaching, that "If I am empowered and if I am powerful, then everything is my responsibility". We get this over responsibility that, "Then if I'm poor, that's my fault. Now it's my fault". Or "If I'm not in a relationship it's my fault. Because if, if Life Coaching is true, then I'm the one who's creating this reality and therefore I'm a bad person". And it just feeds back into the seeing "the lack in my life as now, not only is it a lack, but it's like a reflection onto my ego where I'm almost communicating to the whole world that I'm flawed and that I'm broken because I don't have a million dollars in my bank account or a Porsche" or whatever thing it is that we want.

And I think this is where, again, our cultural perspective maybe over individualizes and we think that we are more powerful than we are. So I love Coaching because it's really empowering and I do think it can help you heal so much. It can help you reintegrate so much and be powerful. So it's really good. But it has a limit that you, one is powerful, but one is not all powerful.

And Vedic Astrology is a great way of seeing all the other energetic forces that are on the chess board as well. And hopefully that helps a person take off that baggage that "My lack or my failures are indictment on myself". Do you find that people can get caught up in that as well? A sense of responsibility that they should be better than they are?

[00:26:54] Annie Moussu: Yes. Yeah. Since our culture is so steeped in, constantly improving ourselves, it's just too easy to look at the media and celebrities or, the Joneses and compare ourselves and feel like we have to keep up the rhythm, keep improving ourselves. And so it's, it is a huge burden for anyone to hold.

And I think Astrology, even my my own Readings that I've had, I've learned to just take it easy and realize that everyone has their own rhythm. And if I accept that, then I find that everything is OK. And so yeah, my, my clients are the same. They, they absolutely want to get out of the trauma, for example, like you were saying. And there's a lot of pain that creates that sense of urgency. "I have to get out of this issue, or I have to attain that goal right now". And I try to help my clients see the gift in the dark times, the gift in the shadows and the moments when you're not getting a response from the Universe like you want.

And so sometimes when we're really prone to overachieving, doing, constantly improving, life will find a way to tell you, one way or another, you have to stop doing, relax. And maybe you won't get any signs from the Universe for a while because you just have to sit there. And sit in the mud or whatever it is. Be with yourself and learn how to not do, just be.

And so whether it's through Astrology or maybe someone said something and it stuck with you or a book life has a way of showing us what our next step should be. If we want to go towards more ease and grace and abundance. Because of course, we always have the choice of not listening to those signs. Of just continuing on the same path.

And that's okay too because eventually we'll get the message. One way or another we will.

[00:28:56] Fiona Marques: Astrology's great for kind of indicating, which of those paths some people are more inclined towards. Push, push, push, push do. Partly because the way their chart is set up, and this just might be a lifetime to do that. Push and force and improve and perhaps burn out, but maybe progress in the way that this lifetime is all about.

And other charts might be saying something different. So I love that about Astrology. The variety that everybody's on their own different life path. But I do think that for those of us who are feeling the burden of being overachievers, and "If I'm in suffering, it's because I'm responsible and I caused it". Then it's just referring back to the self and making us feel even worse. Astrology can be really good for helping us have compassion for ourself, have a real love, like a real appreciation for the uniqueness of our own life as set up through the Astrology chart. Every life. 

 Every rock that you pick up on the beach is so beautiful. Or when you're walking through the forest, every leaf and every tree has got its own unique beautiful nature that it doesn't need anything else. It's exactly, it's manifesting exactly as it should be. Astrology can help us have that feeling about our own self that we're manifesting just exactly the way that we should be. And all, all as well. 

[00:30:21] Sthira and Sukha

[00:30:21] Fiona Marques: This also reminds me of that Sutra from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras about that yoga is the practice of strength and flow. It's Sthira, I think, for strength and Sukha for flow.

So ease and grace, but also strength and presence and determination. So yoga is such a beautiful practice because it's bringing those two together at the same time. Yoga is not all about the Asanas and having the perfect pose. And it's also not all about being in Tdasana and lying down and having your eyes closed.

It's the flow between, or the balance between these two things. And that's what we want. Whatever personal improvement methodology we're pursuing, we wanna have some conversation, some balance between the pushing and improving and becoming stronger. And also the grace, the ease, the receptivity, the openness. We're all looking to find that balance.

[00:31:33] Annie Moussu: Yeah. That's why I love the Yin Yang symbol. 

I've come from a Daoist background. These principles really resonate with me. And so I think of, the Yin as the receptive energy and Yang active. And life, if we observe nature, it's constantly in this exchange between these two energies.

And, so I, I think everything in moderation is a great slogan to keep in mind. We should always be striving for more and more balance in everything we do. And it's always just a great way to, to lead our lives, to make sure that we're not doing too much and that we're being too much, or, yeah, everything in balance is the way to go I find. That if we want peace and ease, then that's just the go-to answer. I find. The Yin Yang symbol reminds me of that every day, so yeah.

[00:32:20] Fiona Marques: Yes. 

[00:32:21] The dangers of Accepting one's Fate

[00:32:21] Fiona Marques: And then I guess there are dangers as well of going too far down the acceptance path. Although everybody is so different that the point on the continuum that is too far for each person is probably different. But I think that if you take Astrology back to its like myth, mythological, legendary roots (whe- whether these times actually existed or not, but) what we think of as being ancient Greece or ancient India, where "someone might feel that they're born into a caste or into a class and that their entire life is set by the stars under which they were born. And they will never rise above that status or hopefully fall below that status. And that one accepts life's whatever destiny and fate has for one, one accepts it. And there's no point fighting against fate". I guess is if you turn the dial too far the other way, Astrology can lead a person to potentially not strive. 

[00:33:23] Annie Moussu: Yes. I grew up Buddhist. So this idea that we have to give up all material possessions and renounce ourselves from the physical world really was ingrained in me. And so I went through a time when I did that. I barely worked. I was privileged enough to not need to work and spent my days just meditating and doing yoga, reading spiritual texts. And it was a very fruitful, rich time in my life. I even thought "This is my way of contributing to the world is just making sure my vibrations are high and radiating that out, in my daily life. And that's enough. I don't have to go after the dreams that I have when I was younger. That's all right. This is my path".

I realized that again, my energy got very heavy. And I fell into kind of a depression. Realized that I wanted more from life. I wanted to feel more fulfilled than what I had taught, been taught. My mom is a very active Buddhist and she spends, she would like to spend her days praying. She spends many hours of the day praying.

And I think I've recently realized that she's coming from a different time and generation where spirituality was, the traditional mindset is you must renounce from the physical world. And so this very Yin receptive energy dominating your life. And I think now I realize that has its place in the timeline of the Universe. Maybe for a time we needed that. We needed these people to uphold the spirit side of things. As we, as a society become more and more deconnect disconnected from our spirits. And now this time period that we're in my generation, we're in this wave of people who are learning how to integrate, spirit in form.

So we're being forced to, or asked to integrate what we've learned being in that Yin state. All the wisdom that we've had, the revelations. And bringing that into everything we do now in our jobs, in our family life as we go about our chores. Very terrestrial, right? Very material world, physical, 3D world. 

And so I'm seeing this in myself. This integration of both form and spirit and this balance between Yin and Yang that needs to happen for me to feel fully myself I guess, or more just a richer life, I think than what I had been taught.

[00:35:51] The Pitfalls of Binary Thinking

[00:35:51] Fiona Marques: I think I have observed this as well. In Ayurveda, one of the foundational ideas is around the Doshas. That there is a Vata type and a Pitta type and a Kapha type. And that Vata is Air and Ether put together. And it's very light and very changeable. And if it's prone to something, it's probably more likely to be prone to anxiety. It's very excitable. And Pitta is identified with the Fire element, Fire and Water elements. And it's very determined and driven and insightful. It's connected to the eyes and can really create change. It's like that arrow that you can look to where you wanna send it and you can move your attention there.

And Kapha energy is represented or composed of Water and Earth. And it's a heavier just more material. It's just has a stronger physical presence. And very gentle kind of energy and not easily disturbed. Able to be patient and achieve things through presence. And if Kapha is prone to anything, it would be towards heaviness, sadness too much moisture in the body.

Ah, I forgot to say, if Pitta is prone to anything, be prone to anger, right? That's very determined. And sometimes what I think is that perhaps Kapha dominates in some ways this "uni-culture" that you and I are talking about, (that obviously doesn't exist, but there's some culture that is Western or American or popular that we're aware of). Because when one's Dosha is dominated by Kapha, it can be really helpful to get more stimulation and do more exercise and eat raw food and really dry out the inside of the body because it's too wet and heavy.

And sometimes I think that's why we see so much information about "Just do it!" And various diets and various motivational things and people that really push is because keeping that Kapha active is so helpful for Kapha. Because it's such a strong type. It's so materialized that it can really respond well to all of this activity.

However, of course the Vata Dosha, if it's gonna be stimulated and on these raw diets and getting lots of Air inside the body, it's only gonna aggravate so much more of the Vata and send these people into more anxiety and more state of dispersion. So I think that, as you are saying and sharing about your mother and the practice of prayer and how that might work really well at times in our lineage and also for various body types, that more Yin lifestyle is so rewarding.

And yet for other Dosha types, having that lifestyle would be taking them out of balance. I've found both Vedic Astrology and Ayurveda have been really helpful. Both Vedic Astrology and Ayurveda take us out of the either/or, the binary kind of choices that we were just talking about Sthira and Sukha, grace and strength. So that's a bit binary. What I love about Vedic Astrology and Ayurveda is bringing in at least three choices. And I think Vedic Astrology brings in, hundreds of choices. But reminding us that it's not an either/or game and that what is good for one person's body type is not necessarily good for another person's body type.

And as you are suggesting, even the timeline of history, the generation that we're born into, these things are important. And in Vedic Astrology, I don't tend to read the outer planets, but outer planets are a great way to mark generations and long periods of time. And if you think about Pluto, very soon is gonna be moving out of Capricorn and into Aquarius and then go back and then it will finally move into Aquarius.

These are big generational changes that what is called upon from one generation to another. Those callings can be different. Yeah. So I guess what we're getting to is that Personal Development is very tailored to each person, isn't it? It's a unique recipe. And it's not necessarily going to be one size fits all.

[00:40:28] Annie Moussu: Yeah. I think in my case, I needed to go from one extreme to another. So bringing the Yin Yang how, what is it like to have a very Yin lifestyle? And then what is it like to have a very Yang lifestyle? And then learning to find the balance between the two. Sometimes we have to let ourselves have our experiences that we can find that balance for ourselves and see what it means for us personally.

[00:40:49] What your Chart can tell you about your Self Improvement Path

[00:40:49] Fiona Marques: Everybody's gotta find their own recipe. What are some of the things that in Astrology might lead us or give us some hints about different pathways to follow? As I was listening to you about EFT and Tapping, I was thinking how well that probably works with Mercury in the Astrology type because, and to some extent Mars as well. But Mercury is so good with language and also so connected to our nervous system that I think Mercury might be really great working with EFT. And in some ways Mars could be great with EFT as well because Mars is so good at taking action and it uses the nerves to do that. So that might really help. But I'm also reflecting that different people are gonna have different approaches.

Another thought that comes to mind is if we think about obstacles in Astrology there related to the 6th House. So whatever planet is ruling, your 6th House could give you insight about how to overcome obstacles. And this is a little bit what we were talking about, whether to push through and force might be a really good strategy with some obstacles and for other people, acceptance, surrender might be really good.

And in my mind then that brings, for example, if you have Jupiter ruling your 6th House, Jupiter is all about compassion and philosophy and understanding. And if Jupiter is involved in your 6th House of obstacles, making friends with your enemies and understanding the big picture might be really useful.

Whereas if Mars is related to your 6th House, then taking action and being proactive is a great strategy. If Mars is in the 6th House, we love to see Mars in the 6th House in Vedic Astrology. and there's probably thousands of examples like that. I would be cautious if you do have Mars in the 5th House that might encourage you to wanna over improve everything.

So yeah. Does that have any parallels with the work that you do, or am I wandering off on a bit of an Astrology rabbit hole there?

[00:43:10] Annie Moussu: I can imagine someone coming in for a reading with you and wondering "What kind of modality I should turn towards"? That would be very helpful. Cause I have plenty of people who come to me and they tell me I've tried everything. And now I'm gonna try EFT.

I've heard such great things about it. Let's see what it can do for me. And I think it might be helpful to have a Astrology reading and see what would be best tailored to that person and their personality and their path. 

[00:43:35] Fiona Marques: It's interesting. In Vedic Astrology, we think about Mars and Saturn as being the two planets that help a person deal with problems in the real world. Because living here on planet Earth, there are definitely problems in the real world. And Mars is a planet that addresses problems by taking action and would love to just cut problems off at the roots. Like as soon as they arrive on the Earth, we just cut 'em down, take action and ask questions later sometimes. And it's great to have a Mars energy that will do that. Early to spot problems and decisive in the action that it takes. And its partner in Shadbala is Saturn because Saturn is our other planet, for dealing with problems. And it deals with problems that can't be resolved, problems that need to be experienced, endured. Problems that need to be endured. Things that can't be fixed through action. And I love that Vedic Astrology has a place to put that. Because when we come from this Life Coaching filter, it can seem as if all problems can be dealt with. Like all problems are Mars problems. And Vedic Astrology is highlighting there are some problems that are Saturn problems. They're are things to be endured and one will learn something through that experience. Even if one just learns, I can endure, I can survive. I've got strength like that rock that's always being hit by the coming in of the tidal ocean waves. That rock just stands there and endures and has a strength from doing that. Yeah, it strikes me if Saturn is on your 6th House or rules your 6th House, there might be something about acceptance, surrender, just an authentic experience of life that these things occur.

[00:45:27] Annie Moussu: Oh yeah. That resonates with me so much because there's a part in EFT Tapping called Secondary Gains. And basically someone, like I was saying earlier, can come in wanting to achieve a certain goal. Like they want to be in a fulfilling relationship, but there's a part of them that says, "No, I actually don't want it. I don't feel safe. I've been hurt so many times before, it's not a good idea". And, some people can actually believe that Tapping will help them get their partner eventually, which it has helped many people find their partner. But in some cases, and this applies to any issue, we are not meant to have what we want.

And sometimes it's, it can be very hard to accept that people actually underneath, deep down, maybe they don't realize it themselves. They don't wanna heal, they do not want to overcome their issue. A very typical example is someone who has a physical illness. They're bedridden and all of a sudden they get a lot more care and love from their family members.

That their husband, for example, will stay will come home directly after their, the after working and make dinner. And then maybe their son will come and talk to her, or, et cetera, et cetera. And she begins Tapping and finds that she doesn't need to be in bed anymore. She's recovered. And then her family members don't treat her the same way.

They are just they're out and about. They're they're seeing their friends. They're not, at home with her in the same way they did before. And that person can actually want to stay in bed because of that care that they received that they would not have received if they had, recovered fully. So it's unfortunate. And at the same time, I think Vedic Astrology or the Universe would say "That's just the way things are". And from our human perspective, we can't really know what's going on for that soul, why that person has chosen that path. And if we could just pull back maybe if we had, maybe a flash on the other side, we can understand, "Oh, this soul had some certain things that they wanted to learn through this experience" and respect that, then I think we would be able to let go a little bit easier of our own agenda and respect our own path and others' paths too.

[00:47:46] Fiona Marques: So profound what you're saying, Annie. It's really complex being a human, isn't it?

And we see this all the time in charts, like when you are learning to read charts, you're looking for particular indicators, particular combinations or ease and support and say "That's gonna be successful". Or lots of difficult indicators, "Wow, that's gonna be really challenging".

And these are the theoretical things that you're learning. But then when you actually examine someone's chart there's so much of everything. There's a really good mix across, there's lots of success, there's lots of difficulty, there's success and difficulty mixed together. And that's what it's like, isn't it?

There's all these layers of what we want and what we don't want. And in, in your example of the person staying in bed, it strikes me that "Do I want to choose to be a fully independent adult who's responsible for my own needs, my own income, my own resources, my own food"? And it's it's so funny when you're a kid, you look up to adults and you think, "I want that. I don't wanna be this child that gets bossed around by people and I've got no power and no choices". And then you become an adult and you're like, "Wow, there's just a lot of, there's a lot of stuff, a lot of responsibilities, a lot of chores, a lot of work. There's all these things". And you can really understand that if you are point blank asked, "Do I want to be fully realized"?

How many of us are actually able to put the hand up and truly want that? And how lovely it is to fall into the arms of someone, anyone who will cook us a meal or tuck us in bed or bring us a hot cocoa or something. But that's just so lovely. And all of those are trade-offs that for comfort, we are trading off our independence or our full realization in order to get that softness and comfort.

So yeah, it's really complex. The layers that are in a chart help us understand. Even when I was massaging, there's quite a lot of research these days about what pain actually is. We all think that we know what physical pain is.

Every human can say, "Yep, I know what that is". But when you have chronic pain, there's quite some debate and research around whether there is actually a source of that chronic pain. Whether once pain becomes chronic, it's almost a self referral, therefore creation system like the signal is just on, but it's not necessarily being caused inverted commas by a trauma anymore. It's just sustaining itself inside the nervous system of the body and the brain. And then that gets to what I was saying to you is really profound is what is it to be human? What is it to be awareness? And all of these programs, if you wanna use NeuroLinguistic Programming, all of these programs that we have running that we haven't examined, but keep us in some kind of status quo that we can live with. Or not. 

And when we can't live with it anymore, we end up in a Vedic Astrology session or an EFT session. And that's, that's why you and I love thinking about these things and reflecting on them. So for me personally, on my journey as a Life Coach, I think Vedic Astrology has really deepened and broadened my view and my perspective.

I still love Life Coaching. I love the empowerment, the positivity of that healing methodology or personal improvement methodology. 

[00:51:29] The Role of Ancestry

[00:51:29] Fiona Marques: And I also love how Vedic Astrology puts that in an enormous context of this one lifetime among many lifetimes. All of the energetic forces that are pushing us and pulling us and keeping us in the status quo that we're experiencing right now.

I was just telling Annie before we started that I've spent my morning researching my family tree, which I don't know that much about. So I would call myself very much a novice. And as you do that, you realize all of these lives that have contributed to your arrival to your DNA being here for you to use in this lifetime and how each lifetime is so significant when we are living it here.

And it's also insignificant when you start putting it on a tree. And there are people that no one in your family has remembered to tell you existed. Of course they did exist, but you're becoming aware of them through the genealogy and yeah, that contrast of one's own personal life is so important and yet we are thousands and thousands and and millions of human lives. We are part of a long lineage that will continue along after us as well. Yeah.

[00:52:45] Annie Moussu: Yeah. I think it really puts things into perspective when we have the occasion to look at our genealogical tree. And just to understand that. In EFT w e tap a lot on generational trauma by Tapping on our own issues. I really believe that we can heal our own stuff and at the same time have this ripple effect on generations past and future.

And so it's always a very comforting moment when I tell my clients, you're doing immense work here. You, "I know you're dealing with people pleasing tendencies". This has come from childhood. They may understand where it's coming from, like they've been disapproved or shut down when they're younger.

And then I encourage them to start thinking about how their parents grew up as well, perhaps in the same mentality. And then how about those their parents? How far back that has gone? And now the work that they're doing, they're breaking the chains of the past, liberating their ancestors and paving the way for their descendants so that their children can learn how to speak their truths and be authentic towards themselves.

So it's a very humbling process and a privilege to be a part of. Yeah.

[00:53:57] Fiona Marques: definitely. It's invites us to be incredibly personal, that we are part of our lineage. And it also hopefully invites us to realize that in some ways, none of this is personal. To just release a little bit our ego identification and have that love for being alive. That all of us who are alive are going through loads of experience, some of which are traumatic and that we suffer through, and some of which are so joyful and inspiring.

So yeah, we are very personal and also transpersonal or beyond personal. In everything that we are saying there about the genes and the lineage is uniquely us and uniquely everybody. And I think this will be a little late by the time this Podcast is produced, but we just did a Podcast about Elvis Presley.

That's the current episodes that's out right now. And that is a great episode in terms of a lot of success. And a lot of drive to produce. So an incredible amount of output from someone in 42 years of life. And at the same time as a lot of indicators for success, there's a lot of indicators for suffering as well. These really, the dual indicators for enormous success and productivity, but also for people pleasing, actually Annie, but I wouldn't normally put that term, but very much giving a lot, feeling responsible for others and wanting to give is perhaps a way to describe it, which in some ways then disrespects the self. So the self gets worn out because of all of this. So anyway, beautiful chart to look at. Great Podcast episode if you have time. But from that, we are gonna do what we, what I call a Jam, where we get other Astrologers together and we just Jam about the charts, (we bounce ideas off each other) about the D12 varga. And the D12 varga chart is looking at your lineage, your heritage that you've inherited karmically from your parents, that's flowing through your chart. And in this case, we've got Elvis very famous and dying very young. Then very recently, his daughter, Lisa Marie has just died also very young. And her son Benjamin, died very young too. So we're gonna take the opportunity to look at the D12 from Elvis, Lisa Marie and Benjamin Keogh and see what stories or what insights are being passed through these different varga charts because of what you are talking about, that we are not existing freely. We have got a whole heritage that is imparted to us through our physical DNA, but also through the emotional traumas that have shaped each of those people that have built the people that have built the people that built us, that we've built into the people that are gonna go on in our future. So it's fascinating. And when you see this pattern of early death in these three generations I'm really inspired to go and have a look at that. So yeah. Astrology has, is just amazing of the things that you can look into and like you say with EFT, you guys are doing that work too?

[00:57:32] Annie Moussu: Yeah. There's an aspect of EFT that's a little "Woo woo". Very "Woo woo". And basically you can tap on people who have passed. You can tap for people who are not there with you. So it can be someone who's alive and you wanna heal, and sense distance healing to them. Or you want to connect with someone who's passed, then you can tap on them too.

And so sometimes I it's rare that I use this technique, but sometimes I do find it helpful to go back in time and help maybe someone's parent who has passed on, who has dealt with the same issue that my client is dealing with. And once we clear that, then there's this ripple effect positive on the client, and then we see that rippling out towards their children.

And even if we don't tap on someone from a distance or in the past as I work with my clients, they often find that there's this change that happens in their frequency and they see it happening in the people in their lives. For example, one of my clients came in with childhood wounds dealing with an overcritical mother. She and I have both share very similar struggles because I grew up with an overcritical father. And once we tapped on many memories where she was, shut down and just yeah, just depressed from everything that her mom had done to her. She realized one day as she was taking her mom out somewhere, her mom got in the car and said, "I know that your childhood wasn't easy. And I'm so glad that we were able to come out of it and talk today". And my client was just so stunned. She said that her mom would've never said anything like that. She's usually very annoyed by her mom. And so that day was just very shocking to hear that. And the mom and her, there wasn't anything that had changed on the outside. It was my client who had changed her frequency, her inner world, and that had an effect on the people around her. So it's a really nice secondary benefit there.

[00:59:30] Fiona Marques: Yeah. I love that story, Annie, and I think it, it is, it's really true. We're all keeping each other in the dance that we're undertaking, and if one of us changes our dance steps, then the other person can change their dance steps. But until one of us does otherwise, it'll just stay exactly the same.

[00:59:49] Conclusion and Contacts

[00:59:49] Fiona Marques: Oh, it's just been lovely to find so many connections between our work and our different methodologies, but having similar ways of, and complimentary ways of looking at the problems. I feel like I've learned a lot more about EFT. And I'm hoping that people listening have also received that invitation to have more ease and grace in relationship to their self-improvement and to, to pursue self-improvement as a way to be fully in the present moment and experience joy and happy in the present moment now. Not just as a process, that one is constantly doing a hundred percent of the time, and that it's okay to arrive here, accept where we are and thrive right here in the moment. 

[01:00:43] Annie Moussu: Yeah, I've learned so much about Vedic Astrology as well. I've had just a couple of Readings, so this has really expanded my, my view of what it can offer to us. 

[01:00:52] Fiona Marques: In Vedic Astrology, we have a tradition of remedies for various problems in the chart. And often those involve either gemstones or like a practice, a sacrifice in inverted commerce where one would give one's time to an organization to a charity. One would volunteer, for example, with helping underprivileged or impoverished people. Whatever it is in the chart that you want to. So we have this history of remedies and as we were talking, I was like, yeah, EFT is a great remedy as well for, issues in the chart. "Oh, go Tap on that, contact my friend Annie". So we got a new remedy to add. Yeah. And as we are speaking about that, Annie how can people get in touch with you? What's the best way to contact you?

[01:01:35] Annie Moussu: Yes, people can find me at They'll find a bunch of blog articles. I have a Podcast there every two weeks, a little short episode. My specialty is definitely people pleasing relationships. That's the backbone of what I do is my own story really inspires other people and tends to attract people who have had issues with childhood pain and parents who are very domineering or who weren't there. They feel emotionally neglected in their childhood and now has ripple effects in their current relationships. And I also offer e EFT Tapping meditations and live EFT sessions on Insight timer. So that's the free meditation app and websites. And that's every other Saturday at the moment, at 12:00 PM Eastern time for the live sessions.

[01:02:21] Fiona Marques: Great. Annie, thanks so much for being here with me and exploring this topic. I've learned a lot and I've really appreciated your contribution to my thinking about personal improvement and the balance between Life Coaching and Vedic Astrology. Look forward to catching up with you again another time.

[01:02:42] Annie Moussu: Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure and a privilege and I'm so glad to be able to share my wisdom with your community, and I look forward to learning more from you as well.

[01:02:53] Fiona Marques: Thanks, Annie. Bye everyone.

Introduction and Context
The Trap of doing too much Self Improvement work
Self Improvement in the context of Vedic Astrology
The Importance of Acceptance and Compassion
Sthira and Sukha
The dangers of Accepting one's Fate
The Pitfalls of Binary Thinking
What your Chart can tell you about your Self Improvement Path
The Role of Ancestry
Conclusion and Contacts