Michelle Sorro’s hands shook uncontrollably. Beads of sweat dripped down her back. Terror ran through her veins. Pain had consumed the entrepreneur, podcast host and transformation guide, an aid in the journey to higher consciousness. She was at a crossroad.
It had been seven weeks since the last episode of her podcast, Fire and Soul, aired. But now, in September 2021, Sorro was returning to the mic—as her truest self. It was her only option.
“I was terrified to be that honest, but there was no other option,” she says. “I am not going to operate out of that fear. It comes out to get you. It’s a disease in the body.”
It’s hard to imagine Sorro as anything but a beam of light. She’s charismatic and a quintessential Californian. But in those weeks that her podcast had gone dark, Sorro spent days balled up, crying in the darkness. Her bright, pearly smile was gone. Her nights were spent under the glow of the moon staring at the eucalyptus trees in her mother’s backyard. She surrendered herself and looked inward for guidance.
“I just kept hearing this whisper, this knowing, of when you’re doing this work that is of the divine—in other words, it’s of integrity, the highest integrity—you will always be OK; you never have to worry about anything,” she recalls.
After a personal awakening, Fire and Soul podcast host Michelle Sorro returned to the mic to encourage listeners in their spiritual journeys and guide them toward conscious leadership.
Michelle Sorro’s personal awakening
In the 18 months prior to her September 2021 podcast return, Sorro had undergone a personal awakening. She had been part of a competitive mastermind of 18 high-achieving individuals. The other individuals were awakened—and she was the last to go through the process. The awakening process was something akin to The Matrix, she says, referencing the popular 1999 film where Keanu Reeves’ character is exposed to another type of world. A world where people were not in control of their own lives.
From that point forward, she was a changed person.
For Sorro, many of her views escalated due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic and the messages being put out to the public. Her opinions about what was going on during the lockdown fueled her from the inside. As a result, she became more vocal in her beliefs—and not everyone agreed. She discussed how to navigate relationships with those who disagreed with her, and her response to this propelled the next phase of her podcast.
Some in Sorro’s circle at the time advised against publicizing her newfound perspective. The lack of support from her peers silenced her for those seven dark weeks. However, she wanted to step into her sovereignty and share what she believes, despite the risk that she might be susceptible to cancel culture or censorship.
“Many just don’t know how to speak up because they’re so afraid to ruffle feathers,” Sorro explains. “They’re so afraid to be canceled; they’re so afraid to be censored.”
Ultimately, her personal transformation was a turning point for her podcast and business.
The Fire and Soul podcast: A powerful platform
Today, Fire and Soul is a space where individuals can specialize in holistic spirituality, embodied self-awareness and conscious leadership.
“When we have the spiritual awakening and we remember who we really are—our sovereign blueprint—then it allows us to face what we had not wanted to look at most of our lives,” Sorro says.
For decades, Sorro had worked up to 100 hours a week. She had given up weekends and had moved across the country. Her relationship-building and sales skills were magnificent, despite her never having taken a sales class. She had thrived in every setting she was immersed in.
Those days were filled with performing, proving and lusting after approval. She stayed in overdrive, aiming for business, money and success. In those days, Sorro’s smile was plastered on her face, her eyes distant and her nervous system ransacked.
“I never even knew how exhausted and anxious I was,” she says.
Michelle Sorro’s transformation to success
Now, Sorro is not the woman she once was. To step into her highest self, she shed the distractions: TV, mainstream media and alcohol. She also followed her intuition, taking time to rest and giving herself grace. The light returned to her eyes. She glowed from within. She documented this transition unapologetically on her podcast. Fears that she would alienate herself or sound “woo-woo” were dissolved by success. Her podcast grew and collaboration requests began to come in.
“Once you actually start to build on that atrophied muscle of courage and truth and bravery, you begin to see how other ideas of creativity and brilliance come through you,” Sorro says.
She has interviewed more than 100 personal development visionaries such as Jack Canfield and Paul Selig to help show her audience how to embark on their own journey of knowing.
“I invite my audience to learn to listen to that internal guidance that is always awaiting us,” says Sorro, who has been surrounded by the world of personal development her entire life. Growing up, she was surrounded by a library of personal development cassette tapes, bonding with her mother over the teachings of the Indian Hindu monk and yogi Paramahansa Yogananda. In her adulthood, Sorro has invested more than $150,000 in her own journey, including Tony Robbins’ immersive Date With Destiny experience.
A personal development entrepreneur
The personal development industry was valued at $41.8 billion in 2021, and the self-awareness segment is expected to grow at the highest compound annual growth rate of 6.9% from 2022 to 2030, according to business consulting firm Grand View Research.
Sorro’s inner voice has helped her tap into this market’s expansive growth. She has developed courses to help others accelerate their own entrepreneurial dreams. Her signature digital course, Live Video Mastery, teaches students how to equip live video into their business arsenal.
Sorro’s longtime friend Andrea Groussman has participated in the course and praises Sorro’s teachings and passion: “She cares, and we need people in our world, and in our inner circles, that care.”
Sorro also launched The Podcast Accelerator, an eight-week podcast development course, with Ginni Saraswati.
“I discovered the access point to my soul’s purpose through my podcast,” Sorro has said on her social media platforms. “My entire coaching business—in-person retreats, aligned business collaborations and life-changing friendships—all these incredible blessings came into my life because of the Fire and Soul podcast.”
The podcast has transformed her life, Sorro says. Through The Podcast Accelerator, which has helped launch over 128 podcasts since 2020, she is helping others do the same.
Sharing her transformational success with in-person retreats
In 2022, Sorro launched Soul Circle, a 12-week mastermind centered on guiding and supporting women in the journey of embodiment.
“Every woman I know is longing—on the deepest, deepest level—for a connection to herself,” Sorro says.
Corporate executive Chinwe Esimai turned to Soul Circle for clarity. She wanted to look beyond tangible goals. She wanted to journey inward to discover how she wanted to show up in this world.
“I’ve never felt with Michelle that I needed to abandon or change my spirituality,” Esimai says. Instead, she felt empowered to be real, cherishing one lesson from Sorro in particular: “No one is looking for perfect; everyone is looking for real.”
Sorro’s titles include podcast host and entrepreneur, but her most cherished one is transformation guide—and by October 2022, she had expanded her business and began hosting biannual in-person retreats.
Cheri Plett, a banking organizational development director, participated in Sorro’s Sacred Feminine Immersion (formerly known as the Rose Women retreat) in Ojai, California. The retreat began with setting an intention. Throughout the immersive experience, participants joined in activities such as “inner compass activation” and “powerful collective clearing.”
For Plett, all of that terminology can be simplified: Rituals and habits become synonymous with habits and routines. Communing with nature is just spending time outdoors. She takes these learnings and applies them to corporate life, where personal development and leadership skills are highly emphasized.
Michelle Sorro is a conscious leader
At the end of the day, Sorro integrates her spirituality into leadership by teaching conscious leadership. “The old paradigm of leadership—which is like, do this and then do that and then do this—that is the dying system that we are watching crumble before our eyes,” Sorro says.
The journey to the highest self starts with listening, Sorro says. To do so, she advises a reclamation practice she learned from a Fire and Soul guest. She invites individuals to close their eyes and take two luxurious, deep-cleansing breaths. This allows for the nervous system to calm down. The final exhale should be slow. Then silently state the following: “I love you. I am listening.”
“There’s no formula; there’s no proven process. There’s no do this and then do that, and then, for sure, you’ll manifest the life of your dreams,” Sorro says. “It has to come from your inner knowing.”
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2023 issue of SUCCESS magazine. Photography by Milla Kuhto/Courtesy of Michelle Sorro.