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Episode 42 ~ Honouring Sydney Miller with Sandi Loytomaki


Episode 42 ~ Honouring Sydney Miller with Sandi Loytomaki

“When we pass over to the other side, we become everything, we become one with all. All the traditions, this connects back to the phrase ‘I and I’, . . .I (the individual self) am a part of divinity connected to the Larger Self, all traditions speak about this, I am physical and I am spiritual. . ..I AM, I AM.” -SL 

After a long hiatus, due to personal and professional circumstances in Robert’s life, Episode 42 of QuestHands returns with the highest dose of Spirit & Love. This long awaited episode for the first time in Questhands history varies away from the structure to pay tribute to Sydney Jo Miller (July 4th 1994 - September 13th 2017). Beloved daughter, sister, friend, dancer, model, artist, teacher, mentor and even QuestHands co-host of Episode 26. Whichever role she played in your life, she was bound to illuminate it with her colourful personality. While dancing on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas in 2016, Robert had the honour to meet, dance and explore Asia with Sydney. They were like Tigger and Pooh. Her yang to his yin. Robert being Canadian, with a lifestyle of yoga, meditation and veganism. While Sydney from North Carolina, USA, over a decade younger, a louder, fearless, rockstar beauty. They connected through their love of animals, efficiency, ice cream, avocados and well, life. With Sydney’s passing coinciding with September’s Suicide Awareness Month and October’s Mental Health Awareness Month, Robert decided to include these key topics in the spotlight to help shed stigmas. 

“I don’t want to be remembered for me as an individual, ‘she did this’ or ‘she was that’. What I want to leave behind are the teachings, alive and living in others. So they can carried forward.” -SL

Joining Robert in this powerful conversation is Sandi Loytomaki. Who Robert couldn’t think of a  more suitable person to dialogue and offer their light on. Robert and Sandi are celebrating 1 decade of friendship after meeting through their 3HO Kundalini Yoga Teachers Training. Besides being a fellow yogi, Sandi is one of Robert’s greatest inspirations for all matters human and Spirit. It was from a very young age that she always wanted to help not only people and all living beings. She is a teacher and someone who is dedicated to carrying on the ways of her ancestors, and accessing indigenous medicine way lineage.  She is very clear to have it be known that her wisdom shared is not about her, but simply Universal principals that she is a vehicle to offer to us as a whole.

“I have something new to learn everyday, and the day that I don’t learn something new, is the day that it is my time to return home.” -SL

Together Robert and Sandi listen to some of Sydney’s thoughts, then reflect further on what resonates with them. This conversation builds into rich offerings for all, especially regarding mental health, the essence of life and death, Spirit and our true nature. 

“Where did this voice come from in me, why is that voice there? Do I want to choose to keep that part of me present? Or is it time that this part of me dies and returns to Source? So I can birth something new out of myself?” -SL

It is an amazing ‘Law of Attraction’ how Sydney got to explore her ancestry in Korea, while she celebrated her passion. This was quite symbolic for Sandi to hear as she has constantly been exploring her ancestry and identity. Where theres a will, theres a way. Be it of medicine or athleticism. She had the opportunity to study and work in Finland which was a profound experience.

“Because we are physical and spiritual beings we can go anywhere at anytime, we can meet anyone at anytime. So I can go into an altered state of consciousness and I can communicate with my ancestors, I can communicate with my family that is present in the physical world at this time, I can communicate with other elders in different places of the world. And it’s just the way we are wired. I like to say, ‘It’s just the way we are hardwired and softwired’. I don’t need a cellphone to do that, I don’t need internet to do that.” -SL

Sandi speaks clearly and slowly for us all to grasp some understanding on the various topics. Truly a humble Guru here to serve and friend to all. A wonderful concept she explained is ‘Hardwire’ & ‘Softwire’. Hardwired is the way our neurology (neurones, cells, nerves) is set up in the body. While Softwired is of vibrations, intuition development and Soul knowing. Some valuable self development tools were shared, such as free flow speaking, journalling or a creative art project. Sandi encouraged us to develop our ‘witnessing ability’. To remember to go back, to read and listen where these aspects of ourselves are coming from. To live with intent, to feel and experience yourself to move things. 

“Our internal cleansing waters, the tears that happen when we grieve, that many cultures and traditions want to restrain or withhold or must happen within a certain timeframe. In the west there is all these conditions with whether you should cry or shouldn’t cry and when you should cry or shouldn’t cry, and if you cry too much you are weak or if you cry at all you are weak, depending on what gender you are or where you are. We never hear how beautiful and wonderful crying is and how cleansing it is and how positive it is. And how the tears of sadness are just as wonderful as the tears of joy.” -SL

Sydney speaks on her cleansing shower ritual which Sandi clarified and affirmed how she was not just cleansing her physical being, but all aspects of her being to lay the intent of returning to original essence. Sandi also shared great knowledge around humans being composed of up to 74% water and the importance of our internal and external plumbing systems. For our blood to move properly within for nutrients to be absorbed and for our toxins and wastes to get out.  How when you cleanse you are making space for something nourishing, and to be mindful of that. If not then the harmonic resonance of what was dominantly there before will return.

“I no longer have a bucket list, my bucket list is to live truly, madly, deeply, fully, completely, every moment of every day that I am alive. So every morning I wake up, that’s my quest.” -SL

Sandi speaks holistically on death and of personal choices to leave Earth. These are taboo topics for us, especially in societies where religious, cultural and medical ideologies are enforced but not questioned. There is lots of talk around prolonging life and staying away from death. However by putting all this aside, if we just look at death as another aspect of life; individually coming in as a vibration form, a soul journey that no one knows but that soul itself. Then really, who are we to judge what that soul chooses? For it is all about the experience, the evolution, learning and growth.

“If you don’t have a foundation, it is very difficult to build a house, particularly in certain areas of the world. The same thing happens with our consciousness. We can’t build a higher consciousness without a foundation”. -SL

No ‘Weekly Quest’ was needed as Sandi offered multiple invitations for our conscious growth. Sandi challenges us to take at least 1 thing from what we have heard and take it out into action in your life. To plant seeds with ourselves to look at these topics with a different perspective. When Robert asked her, ‘How can we connect and communicate with loved ones who have passed over?’ Sandi, wants us to focus first into connecting with yourself. To call out to them and allow yourself to feel their presence.

“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to share, and these teachings are not my teachings, these teachings come from the elders, these teachings come from the Universe, these teachings are humanities teachings, I just happen to be a vehicle that has worked hard to remember them and has the desire to carry them forward.” -SL

*Music featured throughout this QuestHands podcast is by Dj Shiva




Episode 40 ~ Susan Gold


Episode 40 ~ Susan Gold

“Somebody once said there is no bad clay, there are are only bad potters. But I counter that by saying, ‘No there is bad clay, but a bad potter doesn’t know the difference between good and bad clay”. -SG

This Episode features Susan Gold who is part of QuestHands history being the first direct blood relation to a previous show’s guest. Marimba Gold-Watts from Episode 36 is Susan’s daughter. Just like where Marimba lives in NYC, Susan is from the east coast but has been in San Francisco for 44 years now. She worked for The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) as a Teacher for 25 years, sneaking Art into English and History whenever she could.

“I started out as an art teacher, but soon found out that I could do more art if I wasn't directly teaching arts. So I taught english and history and incorporated a tremendous amount of arts into my curriculum. And also I found that the art of teaching is an art form. It’s a genuine art form and you are an entertainer. You are on a stage with your students.” -SG

Located in Golden Gate Park lies The Sharon Arts Studio where Susan currently spends all her time as an Independent Ceramic Artist and studio teacher. She has been part of this building and community for 21 years. You could say she found home. Some people feel she does indeed live there for the amount of hours which she puts in. From all her years of sculpting with her hands she has no problem opening bottles and jars at home. Susan also shares some interesting general information about sculpting in regards to the ratio of male to female, countries and traditions. This episode was actually recorded in one of the classrooms that Susan teaches in, which made Robert happy for being in such a creative artistic space.

“It can’t be just San Francisco that changes, it has to be more wide spread because if there is a more widespread community here, we will get more and more people who come here to take advantage of that support (understandably) and then the whole burden of support will come onto us (San Fran) as oppose to other cities.” -SG

It was fun for Robert to observe how aspects of Susan reminded him of his friend Marimba. She also reminded Robert of his own mom. Both these woman truly grateful to travel the world and see different countries and cultures due to where their ambitious children were living through studies or employment at the time. A favourite place Susan got to see was Cape Town, South Africa, which she described as a similar city to San Francisco but on steroids in comparison to the characteristics.

“I wish that people can overcome their prejudice, their narrowness, their fears and reach out to one another in a beautiful natural peaceful way” -SG

Susan is a friendly, responsible, diverse teacher, mother and artist. It was humbling of her to reveal that her greatest strength is also her greatest weakness ‘Perseverance’. As sometimes we humans need to know when to stop trying and let go. Susan loves spreading enthusiasm and sharing in the pleasures of her students discoveries.

“When some obstacle comes up I don’t think, oh it’s all over, this is the end. You know, I think, I’ll get through that and then there will be another one around the corner to overcome.” -SG (reflecting on her Father’s phrase: ‘That’s life, one thing after another’)

To check out and purchase some of Susan’s art visit:

You can follow her on Instagram too:

The theme of this ‘Weekly Quest’ is HEALTH. Make sure to exercise but don’t overdo it. Eat lots of greens, yes kale really is good for you. Be conscious with your body, check in with your body as often as you can. See where you are holding tension in your body and let it go.

*Music featured throughout this QuestHands podcast is by Dj Shiva




Episode 38 ~ Rakesh Sukesh

Episode 38 ~ Rakesh Sukesh

“I think that success comes when you really know who you are. If you don’t know how to control your mind or know how to control your mind, your thoughts, or what this body means, this spirit means; then you are not successful.” -RK  

This episode is only the 2nd one to be recorded in Canada. It occurred in a very unique creative building, The Dovercourt House. A symbolic place for host Robert having obtained his Kundalini Yoga Certification and rehearsals with the Canadian renown Kajea d’Dance Company. Rakesh Sukesh is featured in this episode. He was born in Kerala, a tropical lush southern part of India and is currently based in Switzerland. 

“I don’t like cities. I am more a nature guy. I like both water and mountains. Where there is nature, where there is lush, there is life, where there is growth. Where I can feel the energy of the core of this planet. Not a concrete surface.” -RS

He started out predominately as a Bollywood dancer in entertainment and media then later trained in Bangalore with more contemporary styles, yoga and martial arts. It was here that he was introduced to Kalaripayattu, an ancient traditional martial art form that rigorously trains the body and mind. Rakesh later started to travel to Europe as a performer but had passport challenges being hired. 

“Kalari means ‘space’ and Payatt means ‘activity’, so it is the activity that happens in s space. I call the technique Payatt Intransit, ‘the activity in transit, always going somewhere.” -RS

Rakesh predominately teaches now across the world a fusion genre which he calls Payatt Intransit; a contemporary movement method using Kalaripayattu—a martial art from South India—combining contemporary movement techniques, yoga and energy works. His teaching emphasizes the intricacy of movement to get to the core of the mind/body connection, and enable a more fluid expression. A school in Montreal brought him to Canada and this is how he had the opportunity to come to Toronto.

“i always say in my class for example, I cannot know myself without seeing another person. Imagine if you are in a room that is completely empty and you grew up there your whole life. You would not even know you are a human being until you see another human being. So I think all the things we see around is a point of reference for us to know what I am. That I why I say that every one brings a mirror for you.” -RS

Rakesh comes from a family where they follow ancient spiritual knowledge. He feels he carries this rich depth in his DNA as well as inserts it into his creative work. Rakesh is a wise man with a youthful playful charm. He feels truly alive when he is teaching, like a vessel transmitting what he perceives from life to others. 

“I am talking about more the root of yoga, trying to find the union with things inside and around you. Or try to recognize the union that is actually happening from things inside and around you. I am very much interested in this and I come from a family where we discuss this. This would be our coffee conversation where we discuss this. We don’t consider these things ‘deep’, we should be thinking about these things everyday. You’re breathing, you’re alive and if you are not thinking about that what else would you think about is my question.” -RS

Rakesh is one of those humble beings that you feel comfortable being around within a few minutes. There is a compassionate, non-judgemental energy he carries. It is truly timeless. He states that his strength is in his desire to know more, not for selfish knowledgable accumulations but in regards to whatever will help him dive deeper and know this life more. He shared so many great reminders with us from letting go and the continual journey towards happiness.

“Somehow I don't associate myself with the space around me, because I move every second or third week to a new space. So I guess I enjoy my company, and me, myself in my body, and so it’s great everywhere.” -RS

“i think we can re-alter our entire being with our imagination, but it probably doesn't happen over night or even in 10 years. Maybe over many civilizations it can transform.” -RS

“When I say ‘teachers’ I don’t mean just the people that taught me in a classroom. I find a conversation can be a teacher, an object could be a teacher, a colour could be a teacher, anything could be a teacher.” -RS

“My work has nothing to do with implying my way of thinking. My work is asking them to look at themselves” -RS

Rakesh shared with us one of his spiritual teachers who provides tools we can all apply to our lives. Sadhguru is a well articulated person from india who is not vague or superficial. He is quite clear and constructive offering confirmations in the choices we make in life as well as good reminders.

Rakesh also encouraged us at minimum to sit quietly for 15 mins a day and to drink water out of a copper glass.

You can check out Rakesh’s Payatt INtransit as well as see where he is teaching next here:

The theme of this ‘Weekly Quest’ is FAMILY. To spend a week with a grandparent or elder and listen to their life experience. They carry wisdom of a whole life they lived. You don’t need to believe in what they say, just listen to it.

*Music featured throughout this QuestHands podcast is by Dj Shiva