Keahi Ewa is a student in the Leadership Course offered by Emissaries of Divine Light, headquartered at Sunrise Ranch. Starting in September 2013, Ewa joined nine other participants in a yearlong course consisting of webinars, face-to-face sessions, assignments and coaching. Students meet in faculty-led smaller groups on alternating weeks. Nearly five months into the program, Ewa took a moment to talk about her changing view of leadership—and what she anticipates before the course ends in the fall.
PrimalSpirituality.org: How is the Emissaries of Divine Light approach to leadership different from courses you might find elsewhere?
Ewa: I’ve taken other leadership courses, and most are all about the bottom line, the goal of money. They’re about how to control people: “You don’t want to understand them; you just want to know how to control them.” It’s basically chess. The Emissaries show how I can be a leader when working with different personalities—to understand them, accept them, and then work externally. To be with them instead of trying to control and manipulate them. The bottom line here is doing my work as an individual. I am using tools within me to be a leader.
PrimalSpirituality.org: Why did you decide to take the Leadership Course?
Ewa: My work in Hawaii was really easy and really fun, but there was still an emptiness in my life. There was no purpose. So I decided to leave Hawaii and be of service. I didn’t know what that was going to look like. So I ended up here [at Sunrise Ranch] in the Full Self Emergence (FSE) program, and it opened my eyes. Being in FSE made me decide to sign up for the Leadership Course. It was great foundational teaching, great cracking of all these shells and judgments. Leadership, to me, is rebuilding. So if I’m letting go of all this stuff, then who am I? This course provides tools and exercises for me to decide who I am and how I want to be in the world.
PrimalSpirituality.org: What was your view of leadership before starting the course?
Ewa: Corporate world. I was a general manager and part owner of a retail chain, and it was very manipulative—getting people to do what I wanted them to do because of the bottom line. If anybody worked for me, it was always controlling, not real connection.
PrimalSpirituality.org: And how has your view changed so far?
Ewa: I have additional tools to be a leader in my world. More fine-tuning of what I learned in Full Self Emergence (FSE). Leadership is accepting people for who they are, but accepting yourself first. That’s a huge thing. We all come from the same source, so who am I to judge how a person is and put them in a box where they’re supposed to be a certain way?
PrimalSpirituality.org: What are your expectations for the rest of the course?
Ewa: It seems like every webinar, I change so much. I feel like by the end of the course I’m going to be a monk or something [laughs]! One idea I use now that I didn’t before is Oneness. For example, I went out last weekend and heard some gossip. Normally I would meet gossip with a temper, but this time it didn’t come up. I didn’t judge people. I met them where they were and brought a higher perspective, a higher way of being, but I didn’t expect them to join me there. My attitude was something like “I’m glad to see where you’re at, and I accept you there, but I’m here. If you want to join me, cool. If not, all right.”
PrimalSpirituality.org: Can you talk about a particularly powerful session for you?
Ewa: There was a class on Childhood Development on December 21 that brought up intensities I buried deep regarding my childhood. I didn’t even know they were there and it was startling. Facing those intensities brought about a burning sensation on all levels.
PrimalSpirituality.org: How did that make the course challenging?
Ewa: It brought up a lot of emotion and judgment, but it’s my life. It made me who I am today, so at the end, there’s always gratitude. I’m thankful for this whole cycle, this whole process, and all the things I got through that made me who I am today. Before this course, I wouldn’t think about my childhood. I would think I wasn’t affected by the way I was raised. Reality check: everything I am is from that.
PrimalSpirituality.org: So what was your biggest takeaway from that class?
Ewa: Everything and everyone I used to judge and blame with resentment has turned into acceptance. I’m stepping into my leadership, accepting that I am a leader. That was hard for me, to realize I am capable. I’ve been a safe haven in the past, a doormat for people to come and wallow in their sorrows. I don’t want to do that anymore. I’m done. And that is going to push some people away, but I’m bringing me—a higher perspective, a higher way of being, and inviting others to join me. I’m finding my truth.
PrimalSpirituality.org: What words would you use to describe yourself as a leader?
Ewa: Truth. Being limitless in gratitude. I have a passion for embracing the mystery, the goddess within. I was very much pushing away that femininity of the goddess before. Now I know there’s a balance between king and queen within me.