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Eli: I guess that the life-changing experiences that I’ve had were close to death, or near death experiences. And so it gets you to really, really take a deep breath and slow down when you’re in situations like that in nature and understand what’s valuable, what’s true, who’s been there for you, those kinds of things.
Dr. Taz: Hi everyone, and welcome to Super Woman Wellness. I’m Dr. Taz. I’ve made it my mission throughout my career in integrative medicine to support women in restoring their health using a blend of Eastern medical wisdom with modern science.
In this show, I will guide you through different practices to find your power type and fully embody the healthiest and most passionate version of you. I’m here for you and I can’t wait to get started. This is a Soul Fire production.
Welcome back everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Super Woman Wellness. We’re always determined to bring you back to your superpower self. Now we’re going to do something a little bit different here. We talk a lot about health, we talk a lot about wellness and different issues that we may face within our families, but we’re going to pull the lens out and really think in a bigger, broader perspective. We’re going to think about the world and our history and what that might mean for us.
Joining me today is Eli Coberly, a world traveler and seeker of truth through adventure. At 17, he left a small Pacific Northwest town to fulfill his dream of becoming an army paratrooper. At 20, he was honorably discharged and began his search for a new dream. His writing has taken him worldwide to explore a few of the bigger questions of our human existence, and his prophetic worldview combines military service, counterculture, anthropology, and archeology, looking at the world’s religious symbols.
He’s a yoga therapist, and when he’s not writing or practicing yoga, he’s examining Tibetan Buddhist tradition and sitting in ceremony with Mayan priests and going deep into the caves of Belize. Welcome to the show, Eli. Thank you. What a fascinating background for sure. So tell us a little bit about this journey. How do you go from military to sitting with folks in caves and Mayan priests? Like what’s happening here?
Eli: Well, I started to notice something about the world. I spent some time in Saudi Arabia, and I saw the colonialism that the US kind of encroached on other countries and the business that happened. And I thought, “Wow, that’s interesting. I wonder what other cultures think about this”. And so after post-military service, I really started traveling a lot and visiting different cultures. And I thought, “Wow, everyone else isn’t so bad”. And actually there’s a lot of value in other cultures. Mostly I noticed this illusion that I’d see over and over again about what people thought about themselves and they thought about the world. And so the Maya, and I got fascinated with the Mayan people, and Maya means illusion in Sanskrit.
Dr. Taz: I didn’t know that. So let’s backtrack, because that was a whole lot that you laid out right there. And I had a similar experience, which is why I’m fascinated by it. But what about being in Saudi Arabia… I’m assuming you were there for the military, is that correct?
Eli: Yeah, I was deployed in ’97.
Dr. Taz: Okay. So what about being there and colonialism did you observe?
Eli: Well, there’s a lot of oil over there, and there’s a lot of oil tankers, and there’s also a lot of jets that, at that time, that were being produced through McDonnell Douglas, and it was right after the Khobar Towers blew up, and so my unit was sent over there to guard the people doing paperwork for our foreign interests, because it takes money to put all this thing together.
Dr. Taz: Right. And then so what of the colonial aspect, what was your observation there? Do we just have the wrong perception or have we actually, as a country, or is it the west, is it not even the United States, have we with our foreign interest, have created a dialogue and a narrative that may not be the whole story?
Eli: Yeah, I think that’s all accurate. I mean, I was on the edge of unconventional warfare and I trained with the Green Berets at times. While I wasn’t at Green Beret, my best friend’s father was a trainer of most of the people that went over to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. So unconventional warfare means we’re training people to do these… initiating these things that we want them to do for our business over there. So that’s just what I noticed and what I was a part of.
Dr. Taz: Got it. Okay. So let’s fast-forward to now being with the Mayans. And give us a sense… because you’ve written a book too, War in the Hearts of Men, give us a sense of your experience with the Mayans. You said Maya means illusion, give us a sense of what you learned by sitting with some of these different leaders from around the world.
Eli: Well, there’s a lot of ceremony in it. Everything kind of takes time. And the Maya priests, they’re actually time keepers, so they keep track of time in a different way. It’s more cyclical as opposed to linear, like the Western thinking. And so what they’re doing is they’re calculating vast amounts of time and condensing them with symbols. So for example, a Baktun equals 144,000 days, and they can trace that millions of years in advance and also in reverse. And so they track the cycles and the time through astrology and numerology, and it’s more about the grand picture of the cosmos, as opposed to what are we having for dinner tomorrow? And so they’re doing these ceremonies continuously throughout generations and generations. It’s passed down and it’s quite an amazing thing to witness.
Dr. Taz: That’s fascinating. I remember seeing a little bit about my culture in school, but how has Mayan culture and their beliefs influenced some of what we do today?
Eli: Well, I wouldn’t say necessarily that their beliefs influence what we do today. I would say that their culture is a great marker for what not to do, and it’s happening again, cyclically, as I said. So we see deforestation and we see subjugation of women and subjugation of people over time and rulership. And then the trees, the more they get cut down, the less air we breathe. It’s sort of happening cyclically. So they’re an example of… they’re kind of saying over and over again, don’t do this, and this is your last chance. And it’s in all the books if you read them, or all the prophecies or the codexes that I’ve read and stuff like that.
Dr. Taz: What are some of the Mayan prophecies about the future of the planet or the health of the planet? What is some of what they say there?
Eli: Well, I mean, they say this is our last chance, And we’ve had many chances before. And they track that with the cycles of the sun and the moon and the equinox. And in Badek tradition in India, we have the sun represents the masculine and the moon, the feminine. So you have these two polar opposites that are needing to come together, and at times they do throughout the grand cycles of time. But they say that this is the last opportunity for us to get it right with those grander cycles of the solstices and equinoxes.
Dr. Taz: And is there a directive on what getting it right means? What does it mean to get this right?
Eli: Well, when I talk about colonialism and sort of like that, and subjugation of women or police brutality and those types of things, where people are being treated less than equal, where people are being marginalized, gets a direct correlation to what our perception of the Earth is and how we treat it. And they say, Mother Earth, like the Earth is your mother. You wouldn’t treat your mother like that, you wouldn’t be horrible to her, or at least, hopefully, you wouldn’t want to be. And so that’s a good example on if you treat the Earth like your mother, maybe we can get this thing right.
Dr. Taz: Gotcha. So everything from probably farming practices to travel and industry and a lot of what we do, I think currently that’s disruptive. I think the pandemic was such an interesting observation where literally the atmosphere cleared, it seemed like, because everybody was grounded and at home. I think that was such a testament to that time. What are some of the Mayan principles that might apply to our health today, to our physical health or emotional health or mental health? How do we bring this back into the spectrum of overall health?
Eli: I wouldn’t say actually that there would be much that I learned from the Maya people. I mean, they’re eating corn and…
Dr. Taz: Right, right. They’re very true.
Eli: So I can’t speak to that part, but I would say that they have a lot of beautiful practices of staying in the moment. And I think if you stay in the moment while you’re consuming things, it encourages you to be more sustainable.
Dr. Taz: Were they big on not wasting and eating slowly? And what was their sort of self-care or belief in connecting with self?
Eli: Yeah. Well, a lot of it was animism, which is you take on the characteristics of different animals based on a totem or something, where you would use these animals characteristics as an example on how to interact better in the world, different tones of the day and energies. And they were really good at that until this little thing happened, this punctuated equilibrium, really from the Aztecs, kind of the people came along and they changed their way of thinking to more of a war type of subjugation thing. And so it was the earlier Maya people that were close to the earth and doing self-care and practicing these good things. But then there was a group of people that came in and said, “This is how you have to live, and we’re going to put little rulers in charge of individual towns or sites or cities”.
Dr. Taz: Okay. So we didn’t have that concept until the Aztecs, necessarily.
Eli: Yeah. But it was pre-Aztecs, maybe Toltec. There’s a lot of different stuff going on. It’s pretty complex.
Dr. Taz: Gotcha.
Dr. Taz: Interesting. Well, what have you learned through some of these experiences and what’s been maybe a highlight or one of the most thrilling experiences for you?
Eli: I would say, relationship with everything. Like I was saying about the micro moments of time and things like that. When you go out in nature, everything slows down. I went to Guatemala, El Mirador, and in the jungle, it’s northern Guatemala and in the Baten region. And those are basically, that’s the lungs of Texas. That’s where all the air that people live in Texas breathe, and maybe some people in Atlanta. So it’s these kinds of places that are being taken advantage of, or there’s people doing deforestation there. But what I did was I went on a 80 kilometer hike in a matter of… it’s about 48 hours. Most people take a mule, right?
Dr. Taz: Right.
Eli: But I’ve brought a date along, a woman I was dating at the time, and we almost didn’t make it out alive. And I carried her around there for the last 10 kilometers or so. I guess that the life-changing experiences that I’ve had, were close to death or near death experiences. And so it gets you to really, really take a deep breath and slow down when you’re in situations like that in nature, and understand what’s valuable, what’s true, who’s been there for you, those kinds of things.
Dr. Taz: Got it. Is there a particular culture or teaching that you walked away with more so than the others, that really resonated the most?
Eli: Yeah, absolutely. Buddhism. I think Buddhism is awesome as far as, well, there is a lot of masculinity. There’s only one enlightened woman in the whole thing, and she was this exception. There’s a lot of beautiful teachings of the heart, like the Heart Sutras and all these different things around la Tara Goddess.
But what I really resonate with is the dream time. And I studied Tibetan dream yoga and I studied lucid dreaming. And those kind of go hand in hand, but it’s a way to change your mind and your vision through… while you’re dreaming, there’s no sense of, I can’t do this. Once you become lucid, you’re able to completely switch into an anything’s possible mode. You have to have a great imagination.
Dr. Taz: Can you give us an example of that? How would that work? What’s an example of that process?
Eli: Well, I would say that one of the things is like… okay, well, a woman I met once, she said, “I keep on having this recurring dream. And this dream is, I’m in an elevator and I can’t get out. There’s four sides and there’s no door, there’s no buttons”. And so, in dreams, you can’t have a situation where you use a mechanical object because they’ve failed. The physics are just completely different. And so she’s pressing buttons and they’re not working. And she’s had this reoccurring dream over and over and over again. And so once I went into her dream with her and she saw me and I said, “Well, why don’t you just look up”? And she looks up and snow comes through the ceiling of the elevator and she floats up to the top and out of the elevator, and she never had the dream ever again.
Dr. Taz: So what’s the meeting behind that necessarily?
Eli: Well, anxiety is a killer, I’d say, of trying to get your dreams accomplished. It gets in the way. And I think you probably know that from what you studied. You get the fight or flight, and all of a sudden you’re panicky and your heart rate elevates and there’s nothing you can do but think that it’s not going to be okay. And I think the key to all this is relaxing the nervous system and realizing that you’re not stuck in this elevator, and there’s things, you have options. And the thing that’s nice about the dream time is you can change it instantly as opposed to two years of psychotherapy, talking about the elevator, or whatever.
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Okay, so let’s go back to dream time, because I don’t know that I’m mastering that a hundred percent. So is dream time something somebody can do on their own, or is it… so can you walk us through how we would do that on our own, if we didn’t have you? How would we… because anxiety’s prevalent. It’s like the number one mental health illness. It is dominant in women. I would say somewhere between 80 and 90% of women talk about anxiety and how anxious they feel. Some of that, again, is societal, and women having a lot on them and having such a great burden on them. I don’t know if you have comments on, do women today have a greater burden than they did in the past? I don’t know if you have thoughts on that when you look at these other cultures. But how would you go into dream time on your own? You have a recurring nightmare, a recurring dream, a living nightmare, a living dream. How would you get into that state on your own where you can correct it?
Eli: Yeah, I mean, I do have a little comment. It’s like when people are constantly thriving or trying to get this sort of career down and this hustle, and especially women and when they have babies or they have a household to run, and the traditional woman isn’t necessarily like they used to be. So I’d imagine the difficulties of all of the career plus the family, or will I ever find someone that I’ll have a family with. In addition to, I have to get this six figures. That’s a lot to strive for.
Dr. Taz: Is that realistic? I mean, in Mayan cultures and other cultures, I would hate to say I’m all about women having their own careers, but is it maybe not realistic for us to do it all and it’s what’s making us anxious and what’s making us sick?
Eli: I’d agree, but I wouldn’t tell someone what their own destiny is. So I totally agree, yeah, it’s the anxiety of performing in a man’s world, and I can’t pretend to know what that must feel like.
Dr. Taz: Gotcha. Interesting. Okay.
Eli: Can you get us back on track to the dream part?
Dr. Taz: Yeah, let’s get back on track to the dream part. But I will make a comment.
Dr. Taz: I would agree that the anxiety of having to juggle, I call it, that’s why this show’s called Super Woman Wellness, because I don’t think I’ve met a woman who’s not a superwoman because almost every woman I meet is juggling in some degree, right? It’s not just the nurturing of the home and taking on that responsibility, but it’s also the hustle. And I think as I’m getting older and I’m getting more observant, I think even for myself, I think the lesson is we can’t do it all the time. And I think there has to be seasons. Seasons when we’re very career focused, seasons when we’re very family focused, seasons when we’re maybe not a hundred percent, and one of them are the other one and we have to be okay with that.
I remember my mom gave me such excellent advice. She was like, “Please go to med school now”, because I wanted to delay and do some other stuff. She’s like, “Please go now. When the pressure of family starts, it’s going to be very difficult to go then, and then you’re not going to do it”. And she couldn’t have been more correct or right.
So I think for any woman out there listening and just understanding that there’s a part of our nature that older customs and cultures recognize, we’re never going to be able to let go of that essence in us that is nurturing, that wants to care take, that wants to be a mother. I think the majority of women, even if you’re not a physical mother, you are mothering, I can pretty much guarantee you, someone. And so I think that stress is something that we have to take into account as we also all want to be independent and financially independent and kind of in charge of our destiny that way.
So anyhow, that’s a big segue. Let’s get back to dream time. All that creates anxiety, that anxiety, maybe dream time is a tool that we can use to get out of it. Talk to us more about how that works.
Eli: Sure. Well, lucid dreaming is by definition… if you don’t mind me talking about this?
Dr. Taz: Yeah, go for it. Yeah.
Eli: So lucid dreaming by definition is knowing that you are dreaming in the dream. That’s it. And if you Google it, or if you go to Amazon, there’s a grip of books. It’s a laundry list of all these books with all these ideas on how to lucid dream. But really it’s nothing that special in itself. You’re realizing that you’re dreaming, and that happens every night. Everyone dreams. But the thing that’s special is doing something about it, as far as, oh my God, I’m dreaming. Okay, now what? Most people start to fly when they realize that they’re dreaming. That’s one of the first things they do. And how do we stay in that to change the potential realities of our subconscious, I think would be the key.
Dr. Taz: Gotcha. All right. So much interesting information. So your book, again, which we didn’t talk too much, War in the Hearts of Men. What was your message in your book?
Eli: Well, I mean, I wrote it originally because, honestly, I was frustrated with relationships and sexist norms and out of balance masculinity. And I wanted to dive into the very root of the suffering and why that happens. And so I kind of just went into this, I’m going to study all the ancient cultures and all their religions and why they’re doing it, and this sort of subjugation of indigenous, and why do we do that?
And I was fascinated with the Maya people, and I realized that they had a record of all… and I studied the art and the symbolism, and they had record of all these people from time periods that were not of their own and not of geographically, in different locations of the world. And I thought, how did they do that? And so, to me, I uncovered it and I found the art, and I went to these pyramids, I went deep in the jungles and the caves, and I realized, okay, well this symbolism is happening all over the world all the time. And also these symbols are continually used again and again and again, and what do they mean?
And I read a lot of Young, and I got into Joseph Campbell and I started realizing if there’s a microcosm and there’s a macrocosm in all of this, and what is the individual doing? What is that person… how are they working in their relationships? What are these chakras about in the yoga or the Indian tradition? And how are they related to nature? How is it related to symbolism and mathematics and tone? And through this process, I uncovered the root of my own suffering and understanding of timelines throughout my life. And I was able to decode and sort of explain why people hold onto things in their mind and how that sort of manifests in their relationships, in their body, and also how it worked for me.
Dr. Taz: So what, give us maybe just one little snippet of what you were able to decode. Give us an example.
Eli: Well, people talk about sacred geometry, and that might be too heavy or something like that. But really it’s just mathematics are encoded in our body and it’s in our DNA and numbers come up. And also the artwork that we see that I’ve been talking about, specifically the yantras of India, it’s the same numerical code as the kind of things in our body, and the spinal segments, the teeth and certain numbers that the Mormons use.
I mean, there’s a lot of stuff, but what I notice is simply in the rainbow, there’s seven colors, and we talk about the chakras, people like to talk about that in yoga, and they have emotional responses that are associated with these colors, and they have sort of ways that people deal with things. And so I realized that time, if it’s cyclical and chakra is called a wheel, then there’s a timeline in your life when you were maybe shut down, told that you weren’t worthy enough or you weren’t able to do this, or someone was picking on yours, you’re too fat, you’re too short, you’re never going to be worthy of this. Someone abused you sexually, these kind of things.
Dr. Taz: And what does understanding that timeline do? What’s next? Once you identify that, what happens next?
Eli: Well, it’s sort of those movies where it’s like they go back in time or something that like, “Oh, I got to figure out what went wrong”, right? Let’s fix it. And then it gets worse or something. But you go to that location in your mind, and maybe through meditation or dreams, and then you can change that perspective.
Dr. Taz: Ah, okay.
Eli: Does that make sense?
Dr. Taz: Totally. Yeah, totally. So it’s a lot about, and I had a guest on prior to you. We talked a lot about timelines as well, that we’re on a soul journey. And if we understand where we are on that journey, then we can go back and reeducate ourselves, reparent ourselves, renurture ourselves, to a place of healing. And it sounds like that’s what you learned through all of this, but using tools like symbols, math, all this other stuff that helped you to understand the body a little bit. So that to me is so fascinating. Super fascinating.
Eli: Thank you.
Dr. Taz: Well, if anyone wanted to connect with you or get the book, what’s the best way for them to do so?
Eli: It’s on all the platforms like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I have an Instagram, Eli Coberly, simply.
Dr. Taz: Okay.
Eli: And my website’s, elicoberly.com.
Dr. Taz: Wonderful. Well, thank you for taking time out to share your book and your travels and your journeys with us. It’s interesting. I feel like the bigger the world is, we realize we’re all really connected, and everyone’s kind of trying to say the same thing. It’s all about loving yourself, healing yourself, understanding the connection to nature, which is the best healing, and for me as a doctor, ultimately shows up in your body. So thanks again for taking time to join us, Eli. For everybody else watching and listening to this particular episode of Super Woman Wellness, don’t forget to rate and review it and share it with your friends. If you shoot me an email at email@example.com, I’ll send you a free bottle of Boost and just send me proof of your review. All right, I’ll see you guys next time.