The first time, I didn’t want to…

Lana, 2012

Lana, 2012

Some of you have heard me say this… my first experience with the Art of Feminine Presence was somewhat … underwhelming.

The experience was via an introduction night which I attended out of curiosity, and because I was going to be around anyway. I had no idea what to expect and likely some guard up going in.

In the evening I did have moments of thinking ‘hmm, interesting’ and also ‘oh, weird!’

And while I didn’t sign up at that time to do any further work with the presenting instructor, I did receive an important insight into myself. Which was that I had no idea really of what the Feminine meant to me. The Feminine as I personally related to her was rather foreign; any inkling that I did harbour somewhere was flimsy, diminutive to the extreme. I was a bit stunned.

(And, I see now years later, rather ashamed about it… to be so confronted with my own ignorance and prejudice even after all the work I’d done up to that point.)

The next day, unexpectedly, I had a chance to talk to the same instructor, the teacher from the night before. That was when we had met, we didn’t know each other at all. During our conversation she said something to me so random and out of the blue, that I knew it was the Universe speaking to me directly. Indicating that, despite my resistance, this was something I should do.  (Indeed, when I asked her about this later, she said she had no idea why she had said this thing)

Somewhat reluctantly, I agreed to attend these classes of hers once my prior commitment ended and once she had space in the circle.

Have you ever had that experience of resisting something (perhaps even a person!) only to have it (them) persist in showing up in your face? I can find it somewhat reassuring – like, even if my ego stands in the way of what is good for me, the Universe will not give up on showing me the path of my own highest good. But… I also find it annoying. It’s uncomfortable too, isn’t it?

This is also what has me feel very understanding of some of the women I encounter who feel this resistance in the face of strong indications that it should be a ‘yes.’

There is no need to force anything and, also, comfort is not always our friend. Sometimes we need a nudge, sometimes a push. And better to surrender at that point until it becomes something along the lines of a shove (such as pain, illness, loss).

It worked out to 4 months  after that introduction that I made it to my first, real Art of Feminine Presence circle. Again, I had no idea what to expect and perhaps had I known, I would have made some effort to participate sooner…  more on that soon.


Why ‘Sisters Awake’?

I enjoy that it’s both a command AND a noun.

A thing. A powerful clan.

Sisters Awake!

and a call: Sisters, Awake!

When sleeping women wake, mountains move. ~ Chinese Proverb

And, my Sisters Awake. What piece of the magical puzzle are you? I want to know, and more importantly the world needs you.

A woman has the power to light up the world. She always has. Now what would it be like if we were all doing it?

Join Us. Sisters Awake!


What is Truly Knowing the Feminine

Art: 'The Mirror of Venus' by  Edward Burne-JonesWhat I’ve been hearing lately when I ask women what the ‘Feminine’ means to them has changed quite a bit over the past 5 years. We are more likely to use words like:
powerful & sensual & wise.

Which is great. It wasn’t always so clear or the language so powerful and affirmative.

However, this stands in stark contrast to what most of us heard about what it meant to be a woman or a girl or feminine being as we were growing up.

And therein, the challenge and difficulty.

While we may ‘know’ and be reading and understanding and appreciating more about the Feminine these days, it doesn’t necessarily unwind and heal the hurtful and painful messages so many of us received (and continue to receive) which tend to be something along the lines of:
*women are weak and need protection
*we are not ‘enough’ whether it be pretty, worthy, or whatever – fill in the blank
*women can’t be trusted; we’re crazy and irrational
*being a woman is dangerous
and it goes on.

Can you relate?

My antidote and access to healing and bridging the distance between knowing the Feminine to be wise, powerful, and beautiful and relating to myself and to others in this way has been the Art of Feminine Presence.

My experience has shown me that we can’t just think or positively affirm away the messages and the hurt we have internalized in our very bones. We need sisterhood, connection, reflection and validation of our very Goddess natures. So that we begin to relate to ourselves and get this knowing deep in our bones.

The feminine is rising, we see that all around. And it doesn’t necessarily mean we know how to rise alongside her.

This is my holy and special offering to women (of Toronto, ON at the present time). If you are feeling a stirring or strong pull, I hope you will heed the call. Click here

Art: ‘The Mirror of Venus’ by  Edward Burne-Jones


Receiving the Worldwide Womb Blessing

The Worldwide Womb Blessing happens five times per year with an ever-growing number of women (& men!) participating each time.

The Womb Blessing is an attunement and an evolving journey welcoming the energies of the Divine Feminine into our lives and allowing this sweet experience to guide us ever closer to knowing, appreciating and living our unique selves.

Whether this is your first time or whether you are a returning participant, I’ve prepared this blog to make participation easy and clear. You can participate on your own or you can invite your friends and create a circle.

First things first: remember to register at your chosen time (listed are UK times, so do the calculation for your region). Men can find out more about their gift and register here.

Things to have beforehand:

  • 2 bowls (per person), one should be water-proof and the other non-flammable
  • 1 tealight (per person)
  • 1 main altar candle (can also be a tealight)
  • a lighter or matches (to light the candles)
  • a shawl
  • a small snack
  • the meditations/instructions (a link to these is sent to you when you register for the blessing)
  • flowers (optional)
  • altar items (also optional, can be anything that is special to you or reminiscent of the season or reminiscent of divine feminine energies or all of the above)
  • For the October Blessing in the northern hemisphere you will also need a doll & some white string/thread – this is optional and depends on whether you plan on doing the season’s ritual/meditation (which I recommend). This can be a simple thing you create such as a stick with ribbon tied around it or it can be a doll that you already have.
  • Time blocked off (30 minutes before the blessing time, 20 minutes for the blessing itself and I like at least 30 minutes after the blessing’s end)

On the day of:

  1. Begin to prepare about 20-30 minutes before your chosen time. Set up the space where you will do the meditations and receive the blessing. Set up your altar if you are choosing to do this. You will set 1 bowl to the right (of the altar if you have one or to the right of where you will be sitting if you are not creating an altar) with the tealight in it. The other bowl you will place to the left and put some water in it.  (see pic below for an example, this can be so simple, nothing fancy required!)
  2. Get comfortable on the floor on a cushion or sitting in a chair. If you are on a chair, make sure that your feet are flat on the floor.
  3. Read or play the audio of the pre-blessing meditation & visualizations (there are two: the ‘Stirring the Waters’ and ‘Womb Tree’)
  4. At your chosen time, prepare yourself to receive the blessing. Set a timer if you wish for 20 minutes. Use your shawl to cover yourself or your head to create a bit of a sanctuary. Get comfortable either sitting or lying down.
  5. Receive for 20 minutes and delight in the energy.
  6. You can end here and drink the water in your womb bowl and have a snack to ground yourself. Thank the Goddess for her blessing

OR

You can participate in the post-Blessing meditation and the season’s ritual:

  1. Come back, stretch a bit and get comfortably seated.
  2. Read the post-blessing meditations (these are the ‘Ray of Light’, ‘Sharing our Sisters’ and ‘Honouring our Ancestors’ meditation for Oct)
  3. Drink the water in your womb bowl, and eat your snack to ground yourself. Thank the Goddess for her blessing.

 

As an Advanced Moon Mother, I am privileged to participate in the Worldwide Womb Blessings by sending energy with my sisters, and by answering any questions you might have. Please feel free to connect with me.

I encourage you to participate each time and to share with your friends. It is all too easy for the day-to-day grind to wear us down and each Womb Blessing is a chance for renewal and rejuvenation. The experience is unique each time and always what we need.

Much love

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Circle of Sisters

'Sisterhood' by Darryl Daniels

‘Sisterhood’ by Darryl Daniels

I had a brief but lovely conversation with a woman I met just the other week.

We were talking about how vital it is, especially at this point in our lives, to have deep, nourishing, supportive bonds with other women.

I’m reminded of this a lot as I have the incredible fortune to work with women in spaces that nurture and grow deep connection.

It is also something I’m reminded of especially when I get present to its absence should, for example, a few weeks go by without an Art of Feminine Presence circle. Without a regularly scheduled meet with other women it’s easy for me to fall into an all independent, do evertying myself mode.

And then, the opposite begins to show up: missing nourishing sisterly love and support and witnessing.

Throughout my life, I have heard different people remark that it is difficult to make new friends as adults. And this would always make me very sad. I did have periods in my adult life when I felt isolated and alone, unclear of the next steps. Times when I didn’t have to reach out to who would simply listen, without the need to give advice or tell me what to do.

That is an oftentimes rare, and treasured, gift.

As we grow, the context around which friendships were formed shift somewhat. When I was a child, my friends were neighbours and classmates. Fast forward a few years and I found myself in places where I didn’t know my neighbours or worked with people that I didn’t have too much in common with and didn’t necessarily want to hang out with after work.

It takes something to find and create nourishing and sustaining friendships as adults and it also doesn’t need to be all that complicated. I am astounded and so grateful at the friendships I’ve formed with the most wonderful people in the past few years.

I know a lot of us are tired and kind of done with chit-chatty, always-on-the-surface, small talk kind of conversation, as a rule. And we certainly don’t need people who we can’t trust or who don’t share our values.

But we do need people. We need community. For women, this is especially true as research shows when in stress, the thing that makes the most difference is ‘tend and befriend’: reaching out to the loving arms of your sisters and having them hold some of the load with you. Sometimes we need to be heard and witnessed and held.

We need sisterhood.

Intimate partners are important but they can’t replace the sisterhood. And when we make the mistake of thinking they can, an undue strain on the relationship is often the result.

So how are you feeling in your life right now? Do you have a support network of sisters or are you carrying on alone? What can you do to find your tribe if you find yourself without one?

We’re waiting for each other.

Art: ‘Sisterhood’ by Darryl Daniels