Her Invitation

Just a week ago a friend indicated that I was keeping myself a bit in the background with my work through Sacred Circle Retreats. Well, she more than indicated – she flat out said so. I could feel she was right, however replied that I’m not feeling called to lead any particular groups or bring something through that space as a guide myself. And I meant it.

Within about three days time, that all came to a screeching HALT! Very little of what felt like actual effort occurred, although some very powerful, Sacred-Feminine-infused conversations transpired and Viola! – I’m now preparing to lead my first ever ‘event.’ My mind, that old recording we all have, wants to keep butting in: ‘Ahem, shouldn’t you be nervous? Do you really think you have something to say about this? Are you even going to be able to keep your thoughts and your self together? You’re terrified of your own voice. Seriously?!’ Nothing happens. No freak out, no physical response from my body to include heart palpitations, sweating in my armpits – NOTHING. She cannot and does not validate that old story. Because it’s no longer true.

'Spiritually Centered' by Karen Zima
‘Spiritually Centered’ by Karen Zima

What IS true is that I’m very excited about this. As soon as I said yes to Her invitation to step out, to speak up, to let my heart’s whispers take the lead, there was a very clear guiding path laid out before me. I could see and feel Her so clearly, illuminating from the center of my soul.

As part of the Awakening Woman series that has been so much of my vision for several years now, I’ll be joining this gorgeous group of five women (now six) and the stories and gifts they have to share. Not only will my senses be stirred through each one of them, but I will bring that inner stirring to those who are present and taking part. The focus for my session is (uhuh, you guessed it) sensuality. And the deeper I delve into this truth through my own body’s wisdom and ancient knowing, the more I discover this is NOT about sex. For too long, sensuality has become synonymous with ‘dirty’ sexuality. I was shocked and disgusted to find these definitions of sensual on Dictionary.com:

sen·su·al

adjective

1. pertaining to, inclined to, or preoccupied with the gratification of the senses or appetites; carnal;fleshly.
2. lacking in moral restraints; lewd or unchaste.
3. arousing or exciting the senses or appetites.
4. worldly; materialistic; irreligious.

 
The most accurate description here is #3, and even that does the true essence of sensual very little justice. It’s time for us to speak up in favor of what our hearts, our souls, our bodies know to be true. Sensuality is not a dirty word. There is a fire and a beauty intermingling in my being around this conversation, and I’m very much looking forward to radiating on Her behalf in my upcoming session: Invoking HER Sensuality.

All are welcome to join, if you feel so called. I’m elated to be offering this series and my own personal contribution. Our world needs to remember, we need to dissolve the programming we feel from the patriarchal energies–both within and without. It’s our time, Beloveds. It’s our time….

Details on Awakening Woman:
Crossing the Drawbridge article posted today
Awakening Woman Event Page 

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SHE is Not Contained

We keep wanting ‘it’ to be ‘something.’ We go in search of ‘it’ hoping ‘it’ will reveal itself to us. Our minds tell us ‘it’ will be tangible, touchable, definable. And yet, when we go into the space of our hearts all those words and the need for definitions fall away.

Love. Purpose. Calling. Longing. 

What’s the ‘it’ they are leading us to?

Here’s the truth, my loves, there is no ‘it.’

Yes. Take a moment and let that sink in.

Divine Feminine breathing

There is no treasure at the end of the rainbow awaiting our arrival. There is no moment in the middle of a conference where we suddenly feel light shine down upon us and we know what we are here to do.

SHE is not that contained. She is a feeling of elation when our child does something amazing. She is the deep desire we feel for our Lover as our eyes meet. She is the softness of words whispered in comfort to another. She is the rise and fall of our breasts as we take in a vision of something beautiful, stirring our senses into madness for Her.

We long to be stretched bare, to be laid wide open, uncertain of who or where we are, to HAVE to call HER in to our most intimate space where SHE will breathe her Love all over, into and through us.

We find ourselves on this endless search for Her, expecting Her to be standing at the end of the path we’re on, smiling at us with a book full of answers. And yet, She has been here with us all along. Very much like the poem Footprints, She is there when our tears fall, when our hearts sing, when our bodies love and our spirits soar. She is in each moment, if we but pause long enough to breathe Her in. 

 

Resurrecting Venus

‘There’s never nothing going on.’ ~ Socrates, Peaceful Warrior

As part of all that is shifting in my interior life, I feel called to return to the practice of keeping a Sacred Journal. Irish Mystic Poet John O’Donohue speaking on the subject of Beauty, described this practice as having a beautiful journal in which to keep the golden threads of our lives, the most precious moments that do not need to be explained or described, only to be felt and cherished. Sera Beak talks of her Red Journal in which she engages with the ultra passionate RED of her own Red Lady. I sensed a piece of myself, of my longing, in each of these. And in addition, am at a time when there feels to be so much stirring, coming in, moving up and out that there are droplets and waves of beauty and passion in so many of life’s moments.

My Sacred Journal

With this in mind, I pulled out a journal from years ago – six years ago. The cover is leather, embossed with the scene from Botticelli’s ‘La Primavera,’ including the Three Graces, and Venus as its center focal point. While there’s much discussion around just what Botticelli intended to convey, one can really never know, and as with most beautiful and sensual art, the interpretation is up to the observer. Here’s what came to/for me:

Venus – Goddess of Love

Three Graces – Chastity, Beauty, Love

Cupid ~ Shooting his arrows of Love

Springtime ~ Season of Love and Fertility

Botticelli-La-Primavera

While there is certainly so much more happening in this painting, there is for me a clear theme of Love, Beauty, Grace. And these are the energies that stir change in my life. A dear friend shared a passage from one of her books with me this morning. The first sentence struck me immediately and still sits within my awareness:

‘Let your longing lead you, not defeat you.’

It feels like for so long, my longing, that desire to feel more, to love more, to sink deeper and deeper into the beauty of what it is to surrender fully into the energies of love, of passion, of beauty and grace–for so long that longing has taken on an ugliness. The desire has been quieted, squelched to ashes, with barely a smolder left in its wake. We are not meant to quiet what is most natural in us. And those who would turn it into ugliness (including our own selves) lack understanding of the beauty in its presence. The veil is lifting, dear ones, and we are each in our own ways coming to a much purer, more Divine and intimate understanding of who we are. The very passion that has been with me since I was a child, the longing to merge and connect with others is what is meant to lead me into my own truth, my beautiful, sensual, radiant self and my sacred purpose in this life.

In painting Venus, Botticelli resurrected subject matter that had not been explored for nearly 1000 years.

I’m opening her pages once again. This time ready to pour myself out without judgment and with a greater sense of who I am. This time the energy is less about navigating my wounds in search of wholeness and more about letting myself be in the presence of Love and Beauty. The Three Graces have filled my senses yet again. They have secrets to share. Venus is alive and well–and SHE is ready to be fully integrated into our contemporary world. And I am Her willing partner, ready to welcome Her into every fiber of my being. 

‘You cannot forge a relationship with the living Goddess by living in the past. Be with Her now.’ ~ Peter Grey, The Red Goddess

 

 

I Could Weep….

I found her book quite by accident – Sera Beak’s ‘Red Hot & Holy: A Heretics Love Story.‘ It’s just one of so many pieces falling into place at this time in my life, and frankly, I’m not sure I was ready before now.

There’s so much I want to say around this, so please bear with me as it begins pouring out. Feels like I’ve mentioned to you here before that years ago I asked one of my spiritual teachers why it was that every time I felt the fullness of the Divine, it left me heated, hungry, filled with a fire that it seemed was only about sex and all those ‘ugly’ labels we’ve put on Her. We were in the midst of an intense workshop – The Sacred Marriage of Mysticism and Yoga. I had been rocked to my core by a profound union with the Sacred during that time, after which I asked this question: ‘What is it about this energy that leaves me feeling so attracted to men, to what feels lustful in myself?’ It wasn’t the first time I was aware of this energy within – I have loved boys especially since being a little girl. I’ve loved kissing them, being with them, writing love letters to them, being intimate in every way possible–on and on I could go. What I know now, is this isn’t just about ‘boys’ or ‘sex.’ It isn’t any of those lies that have been forced upon it, upon US: slut, cheap whore, promiscuous, impure, acting inappropriately, being too much in our feelings, too beautiful, clothes too tight, hips sway too much, too flirtatious, too much laughter, too seductive, too revealing, too much of this or that. All lies. How could we possibly be too much of anything that flows so naturally from within?

These lies were pounded into us over and over again – and so we began to believe them, adjusting who we are, ‘taming down’ our inner fires because it made others uncomfortable. And I’m not talking about just ‘sex’ here. I’m talking about a heat that begins in the depths of our soul, that sets our hearts on fire with mad love. I’m talking about being so full of Divine Feminine Force we must find an outlet for Her, she must breathe and express through us in the ways that are most organic to our passionate natures. No more lies, my friends. We live our truth. NOW.

I’m no longer a ‘good little church girl’ or a child living under the fear of my parents’ experience and programming (and it was the same for them, so no blame here). I’m a grown woman who is coming into a place of understanding what this is about. And the answer is not ‘sex.’ Nor is it about insecurities that lead to needing sex and male attention to be ok. It’s not about my father leaving when I was five. I have done the work and healed those places in myself – and yet this flame of passion and desire remains. It’s about longing to feel Sacred Love so fully and completely we experience it in every way possible. For me, for my contract in this life, for the energies I carry in this time and place, that’s connected to a hunger to connect with Her so intimately, so passionately, so completely that She is whispering to me of that which stirs my senses. And I must answer Her NOW.

heart-on-fire

The day I asked my teacher that question, with an open innocence and more than a little confusion, the only reply was something like ‘my dear, it would take me hours to explain that to you.’ This being who exhibited such a fiery passion, perhaps the first real mystic I’d ever met and known in my life, who left me feeling the heated flames in every cell of my body – had no answer for me. It left me bewildered. I realize now, I had to find the answer myself. I had to come to this place where I was healed enough, mature enough–OPEN enough to receive the truth. And I don’t mind telling you that although I’m sharing my heart here, there remains a small thread of trepidation in doing so around this subject and in such a personal way. And because of that, I sense there is still a shred of ‘safe’ in this telling as well–for now.

When many mystics felt the Divine, they literally felt turned on, erotically speaking. ~ Sera Beak

So with great anticipation I’m going to read this book, because it calls to me, it makes me weep sometimes with the recognition of myself in this ‘Heretic’s Love Story.’ For there are reflections of my own inner truth glaring back at me. There is a beautiful release and inner knowing that accompanies my desire to be free of the old programming. One by one, I feel the lies unraveling inside of me….

I don’t believe for a moment there aren’t some of you feel your own pang of knowing as you read this. I know there are so many of us who have been quieted, who have turned our feelings down, stifled our passion away in a safe, neat box. But although She whispers still, there is a beautiful, awakening ROAR that lurks in the shadows. It is there, beloveds, that we find our purest selves, liberated by our truth, our fires, our willingness to be alive in it, expressing Her in whatever way She desires. I’d love to hear your stories…..

If you wish, I invite you to consider joining a free Sacred Circle Retreats call later today Your Succulent Chakras. This is a bold step for me in my work, but with the confidence and passion of my collaborator Lynn Jaussi, I feel a whole new space opening up. You can also listen to the replay at any time using the same link. 

I’m also very passionate about my ‘baby,’ the AWAKENING WOMAN series about to begin. This has been part of my vision, and although perhaps a bit more tame, it will still ignite the fires that burn in the depths of your being. 

 

 

Sacred Sensuality

Sensual feminineSensuality. Ecstasy. Pleasure. Sexuality. Voluptuous. Alluring. Mesmerizing. Passionate. 

I’m curious what each of these words makes you feel. Uncomfortable–even subtly for a moment? Perhaps only in that we are speaking them openly. For in truth, some part of each one of us relates to and is drawn to these words and to all they represent. It’s the nature of who we are. Yes–as human beings, but also as these spiritual beings come here to experience all this life has to offer us. Somewhere along the way, we’ve taken on that our sexuality is meant to be expressed only in private. We aren’t supposed to be sexy or flirty. Pursuing our pleasures has been portrayed as sinful, against what is true and pure. We’ve come to believe that if in fact we want to become enlightened, to really connect with our own perception of ‘god’ then we must curb our appetites, else we are searching for something that is ‘missing’ in our lives. If we love food too much, love sex too much, love being filled with our most carnal passions–then we have strayed from the rigid laws of what it is to be Christian or even spiritual.

This topic has long plagued me personally. I’ve come here on many occasions to write about it, only to abandon mid-post because I just couldn’t get myself comfortable enough to crack the window and begin the conversation. And yet – I feel I have so much to share, so much to say about it. I feel we each do. We have experiences that have molded our beliefs, our behaviors, but we also have a deep, deep desire to talk openly about who we are and what we love about this life, about each other, in a way that is so open and vulnerable it feels contrary to our ‘safe’ zone.

What I can see from here is that I have been terrified of being seen, of saying I am a woman and I have a deep, deep longing to connect. I am sexual in every bone of my body and I no longer want to pretend I am not, or keep that quiet and hidden. I love to feel the heightened state of being that comes with feeling sexy about myself–just because I do, not because it’s in the ‘right’ place of the marriage bedroom. I want to let every impulse flow freely, to feel every ounce of my feminine energy, intuiting it’s part of being spiritual rather than a weight of my humanity. No more.

This is the tip of the iceberg, my friends. So much I want to talk with you about: sacred sexuality, healthy perception of oneself, feminine beauty and grace, divine sensuality. These are not mere ‘human’ feelings or cravings, but are driven by something much deeper. We LONG to connect with the sacred, to merge with the Divine. We are aching to feel that fire in the most intimate physical space of our bodies. And if we turn off the feelings and desires of our physical bodies, that impacts the energetic and emotional bodies as well. They are one, there is no separation between each layer of who we are. We are given physical pleasures as part of the Divine human/soul/spirit journey. The separation is only illusion. And it’s time to start talking about it, to start feeling into it, allowing the allure of who we are to penetrate every cell of our knowing, our feeling, our connecting and intuiting. This is the sacred marriage: masculine/feminine, human/spirit, body/soul. We are here to experience it in its fullness. No more censoring.

This, my friends, is just the start of a very long conversation….and I invite you to share your thoughts.

When a woman is in touch with her unbounded ecstasy, her infinite capacity for love and her clairvoyant potential, she will be ripe and ready to give birth to a world where life overflows with joy, dance, song, love and beauty. I see such a world on the horizon. It will happen as soon as a critical mass of women wake up to the power of the divine feminine. ~ Tantra and the Divine Feminine by Mahasatvaa Ananda Sarita

 

Chalice of the Sacred

What does it mean to open my heart? To hear only the rhythm of my own mind, body and spirit in union, not to become absorbed by the voice and false beauty of illusion. To hold receptors of light that shine Divine healing into this world. 

Teach me the grace and beauty of walking my own path. 

Sitting in your chapel today for our last ritual, I felt your spirit so deeply. The sacred heart quickened the pace of my own heart, creating a flutter of birth within–that of the heart opening. I feel your presence so strong, visualizing the rays of the sacred heart spreading as the rays began to grow from my own heart. My legs, too, began to quiver as your sacredness penetrated my being. I was immovable from the energy connecting our souls. Open my heart–I know the rays are to go out from me–how? To whom? 

As I stepped away from our intimate communion, you touched my soul with the light of knowing. You spoke to me softly with the voice of awareness: ‘This child, this is why they are in your life, for the healing you have known they needed and now will bring to them by your light, your words, your knowing. You are their healer–by the grace and light I shine through your spirit.’ 

 

Chartres Chapel of the Black Madonna
Chartres Chapel of the Black Madonna

These are the words I wrote in my journal July 7, 2006 as I sat before the Black Madonna in her chapel of the Chartres Cathedral and later in the garden nearby. I’m not sure I understood what was happening to my soul–indeed my entire life. Upon returning home a depression set in. I believed that while in Chartres I hadn’t seen and felt the miracles of being in the Presence of sacredness, mostly because I was still measuring by comparison. This is just one excerpt from my journal during that week, and all these years later, I’m in awe of how deeply immersed I was in the Sacred. 

Black Madonna of Chartres Cathedral
Black Madonna of Chartres Cathedral

I left Chartres feeling I was to go home and heal my family. They were who the Black Madonna–Mary–referred to as she talked of my work to love my husband and children, to bring them healing. What it took some time to recognize is that first I was to heal my self. I so longed for the intimacy of connection with the Beloved. My turmoil was in believing it was out of my reach. What I can see now is how much shame and self judgment I carried within–for being a female, for my sexuality, for feeling so disconnected from the sacredness of my being. This, loved ones, requires much healing. 

I’m sharing this intimate passage because as my children have grown and two are now off to college, my life has taken a significant shift. These words take on new meaning as I inquired so long ago. The same question has come back around – open my heart, allow the rays to shine from me, but how and to whom? Only this time around, the years of deep inner work have opened a channel of inner knowing. At this time in my life the call is to serve as a chalice of Divine Feminine energy in a way I could never have imagined, but still, it feels familiar. The birth of Sacred Circle Retreats has occurred, and my work now is allowing the rays of light to be shared in a contemporary fashion. 

We’re no longer mystics living within the walls of convents and monasteries. Our work now is to live in the world and allow our lights to shine amongst the people. My passion is to be of service in this way, opening myself as the bridge between those who offer healing and light, and those who like me, are seekers of how to move into the next step of their journey. Through Sacred Circle Retreats, so many facets of my life, my journey, my soul purpose are coming together in a beautiful harmony, and truly, with very little ‘push.’ It’s all flowing into place, and I must tell you my dear friends, how in awe I am. This woman I’ve become was once someone I could only envy. She is strong, confident, courageous, open, vulnerable and willing to stand amongst her peers, to collaborate as equals and not feel threatened for what she might not be. She has learned how to stand in her soul’s truth and sacred ‘power.’ She understands what it is to answer the call. She leaves me breathless…because she has allowed herself to be moved. What over six years ago was such a struggle–the act of surrender, has now become her soul’s desire. 

We can’t know what the Universe has destined for us. As Oprah said – God has so much more for us than we could ever imagine for ourselves. It’s so much bigger than me, so I know it’s not of me, but of the Divine. I’m elated to be doing this work, in this place, in this way, at this time. I’m fully open and continuing to surrender into the arms of the sacred, for I know I am always loved and held with grace. As each step unfolds, it feels more and more miraculous to be following my heart–and for it to be so much more than I ever thought it could be–and so much easier than I ever would have imagined. This, dear loves, this is the beauty of ‘doing the work,’ putting the time in to allow yourself to heal, to open your heart no matter how terrified you are of what you might find there or feel through your own heartache. And this is why I’m called to serve as a channel for the sacred. xo