A Conversation with Upwards

A Conversation with Upwards

Ally Bogard and Jordan Daly want to share their toolbox with you.

When the two women started out in the world, neither could have anticipated where they’d land today, as the founders of Upwards, a new innovative program for deep diving into self-discovery.

Bogard—the creator of Gaiatri Yoga Teacher Training—has spent her career as an educator and seeker, guiding practitioners everywhere from MoMA to Wanderlust. When not studying shamanism, yoga and the inner landscape, Daly, on the other hand, is a builder of companies and concepts, having launched and grown entities from economic development funds to tech companies. Amazingly, their combined experience converged to create this new method for looking within.

We listened in, as they sat down together to talk about their responsibility to share the methods, concepts and teachings that help them each evolve—and feel supported—as they follow their paths:

Jordan Daly: Ally, in your mind, how did you arrive here, at this moment in time? Start wherever you want.

Ally Bogard: Growing up, I always thought I would be working in micro-finance for grassroots businesses or that I’d be an hotelier. (I really wanted to own a hotel.) I actually never really wanted to teach. The current of my life always moved swiftest and strongest towards teaching and, 15 years later, I travel the world teaching yoga teacher trainings, immersions, workshops and retreats.

I had taken time off at the beginning of the year to reset and dream in my next chapter. After a few weeks offline and in the wild, I had the idea for Upwards as a vehicle to make time-tested practices—that we seem to have lost or misconstrued—current again; things like initiations, personal prayer, self-study and being inside of a process that has a beginning, middle and end.

That is why the 40 days/40 nights concept is so strong with our modules like many mystical traditions. That amount of time allows people to change habits, see something through to completion and start to train themselves out of just looking for a “quick fix” or a bullet-pointed list of how to escape their own heartbreak and mental discomfort.

AB: Over to you, Jordan: How did you arrive here, in this exact place?

JD: The short answer is, I started listening to something bigger than me.

My path has been a gentle—and sometimes not so gentle—version of all the things one experiences in a human life: an amazing family dynamic, uncomfortable teen years, big career, divorce, times of deep despair, searching for identity outside of myself. I started my inward journey from a conscious place 10 years ago. I went all in pretty quickly and, very soon thereafter, many things that were not serving me began to fall away. I knew that the work I was here to do was going to require a deep amount of trust. I kept doing my thing—building companies, creating partnerships, advising people on how to grow—but there was this layer, this wisdom, that was with me, holding the ontological, divine reason why I was building all of these things. I certainly have wavered; there have been periods of time which felt really, really dark. And I know that is how we learn and break open to come back together. As Omid Safi says, “A spiritual path has to take you to the top of the mountain and the depths of the valley; it’s the same God in both places.”

AB: Let’s tell them what brought us together.

JD: We met years ago in a shamanic training called, “Recapitulation.” Kind of a mental boot camp, where you go in and reprogram the stories you have been carrying around about yourself since childhood. We have been inseparable ever since.

AB: Jordan was working on many of her own projects and, early this year, we got together in Big Sur to have a writer’s retreat. By the time we left, she was even more fully on board than I was—with a vision of how to make it applicable, helpful and deep.

JD: It’s like when two people are brought together to have a child because that child is here to do some magical work. It requires those two people, specifically, to create it.

JD: You’ve not really shared your body of work online up until now. What gave the push to create this?

AB: My favorite secret element is how deeply personal this program is for me. I am a fairly private person, but, every single day, teachings and resources on upwards.gold have at one time or another gotten me off of the kitchen floor, helped me move on and even saved my life. We know people don’t really read more than one scroll’s worth of a phone screen anymore. We understand that people’s attention span for anything that uses the words “process,” “self-study” and/or “personal work” is super low—but we don’t care. We want people to work for their attention, their focus and their own healing. I know from my own experience that, when people heal, they turn around and heal others. We hope this program is like a hand held out in the dark for someone—a nudge, a reminder, a slight turn of perspective, letting them know they aren’t alone, that everything can heal and that there is an answer to every question—inside.

AB: What got you on board to do this?

JD: You. Because I know that, together, we have something powerful to do here.

I am in service to God. This is my only job. I am moved by and reminded of this every single day in the subtlest ways. I am here to help people clear a pathway to realize who they are here to become—through a return to God. And we have some deep-seated beliefs of a condemning, atonement demanding, man-in-the-sky version of God that has to be unlearned. To do that, we have to investigate within to come back to love within ourselves. That is the only place that is real. It takes an open mind and courage to go down an inward path of discovery. I could not have done this, and come to realize all of life is happening for me, without an arsenal of teachers to guide me through my own healing.

This is a container to guide, support and take you through a process of questioning if your allegiance is to truth.

*For this month only, Upwards is offering an exclusive discount to Live The Process followers. Use the code LTP11 for $11-off an individual module and LTP33 for $33-off the entire series. Discount will be be applied at checkout. Click here to find out more.

Photograph Andres Reisinger

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