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Turning Point: Arti Ross Kelso

Kripalu Online Describe what you do in 15 words or less.
Arti Ross Kelso I use presence and compassion to empower people to discover freedom and sustainable well-being.

KOL Tell us about a turning point in your life.
Arti Having my first child. I was 36 and had devoted my young adult years to spiritual practice and development, including living in a celibate ashram from age 26 to 33. With marriage (also a turning point), I could still retain the illusion that I had some control over what happened in my life. We could make choices and plan how we wanted our lives to go. Having a family removed any illusion of control over life that I may have had up until that point. Family life can be messy and unpredictable and, from that point on, my sadhana (spiritual practice) took on a very different flavor, one it has taken years to fully surrender into and embrace. What I have most loved about this particular turning point is that my soul’s yearning to have a family was very clear from a young age, and though I know it is not for everyone, for me the sadhana of marriage and children has deepened and blessed the journey in ways I could not have fathomed as a young seeker.

KOL What do you love about teaching?
Arti Someone said “We teach what we need to learn.” This is true for me, and it is a gift. I am deeply moved and inspired every time I have the honor of holding space for the inevitable unfolding and transformation of the human soul.

Arti What are you passionate about right now?
KOL Exploring the true meaning of freedom, and practicing presence with myself and other engaged human souls. I am also passionate about contributing to and having a transformational impact on growing numbers of people.

KOL What do you do in your downtime?
Arti I am a “woman of the woods”—I love being in nature through the seasons, with or without a particular agenda. I could be making coal-burned spoons around a fire, kayaking, walking with a friend, or boiling maple sap for syrup. Indoors, that may take the form of creative homemade products, such as lotions and potions, herbal remedies, or seasonal recipes.