Sexual Healing – The Final Frontier

Have you done a ton of healing and personal growth work and yet still feel disconnected from your sexuality? This was exactly my experience after going through several years of therapy and a variety of personal growth workshops in the late 1990’s. I had to face the fact that none of the work I had done so far had addressed my sexual wounding. It was back to the drawing board.

Then, by some miracle, I found my way to a school (Divine Feminine Institute, founded by Caroline Muir) that taught high-integrity sexual healing. I took a weekend for women, signed on for the 2-year certification program, and never left. I moved quickly through the ranks from student to assistant to teacher to administrator to director until the school closed in 2012. A few months later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The tools I had gained from my sexual healing and awakening work helped me clear cancer quickly, joyously, and with tremendous ease.

I’m nearly 4 years cancer free now and moved from Maui to North Carolina in 2015. I could not have been more surprised to learn that people in North Carolina are HUNGRY for high-quality, safe, sacred sexual healing. I thought I would be helping women with breast cancer and even created a beautiful online course called Dancing with Cancer-The Sacred Feminine Path to Wholeness. But the need for accessible sacred sexual healing workshops is much more powerful and compelling at this time.

Because I am a priestess and bring a ceremonial element to the work, it can be quite multi-dimensional. What that means is that natural altered states of consciousness can be accessed, leading to visions of past lives being healed, assistance from higher guidance, and ancestral trauma cleared in a very short space of time. These are just a few examples of what’s possible even in a very short, fully clothed sexual healing session.

The fully clothed sexual awakening and healing work (AH Practice), developed by Caroline Muir, is the most powerful, safe, and accessible sexual healing modality available today. I love teaching this work and witnessing the miracles that people experience when loving, healing energy work with permission and no agenda is brought to their bodies, including their lower chakras. This has been the missing piece in all the other healing modalities. The lower chakras have been strictly off limits, and that’s been totally appropriate.

It’s time for something new and I’m being invited to bring it… to teach the AH Practice, which I have been immersed in since 2005. It was this practice that helped me fully heal my sexuality and attract an amazing and beautiful beloved relationship into my life. It’s time for this potent work to be available to everyone who wants to live a fully integrated life. I’ve partnered with my beloved mentor and the creator of this work, Caroline Muir, to make it available to a much wider audience through The Sacred Feminine Mystery School, which we co-founded last October.

If you feel called to learn more, please visit my events page. There are several weekend offerings for women in North Carolina and a week-long for women in Costa Rica in November that’s nearly sold out. Workshops for men and mixed genders are coming in later this year and in 2018. If you have a group of people who would like to experience this work and/or you would like me to bring a workshop to your area, please email me. I am beyond thrilled and very honored to be fulfilling my sacred purpose on this planet in this way.

With immense gratitude and love, Amrita

 

 

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When Kali Comes Out to Play


Kali unfurls her tongue in her role as the ultimate deliverer called upon to salvage a situation that seems hopelessly out of control.


A little bit of backstory…

In August of 2014, on the heels of my dance with breast cancer, I made a solo sojourn to my home and roots, Northern California, to visit my nearest and dearest friends and family. I made a 1000-mile figure 8 loop that took me from the Bay Area to Calaveras County (where I lived for 13 years) to the Sierra Foothills and Tahoe, visiting every dear friend and family member I could find. It took me a month. That was my last trip to CA. I was long overdue for a visit. I had not seen my three sisters or two best women friends in two and a half years.

California dreamin’

It was a short trip, and Apollo joined me for this one. I made plans to briefly visit my two besties and my mom and sisters. It was hectic and the visits were short but sweet. When someone asked me why I was making this trip, I thought for a moment and said, “I’m here to love the people I love!” I didn’t really grasp that wouldn’t be all sunshine and roses. Just a few days in, the dramas began to unfold.

Elephant in the room

I’m going to change the names to protect the innocent. I’m not looking to embarrass anyone or elevate myself in any way. Mostly, this story is about the power of love in all its forms and what I’m willing to do for those I care about. Hold space for intense meltdowns. Shift from mild-mannered visiting sister/friend into a wicked “tough love” paradigm-shifter. Call out the elephant in the room that’s left piles of poo everywhere. The elephant no one else is willing to see or talk about. I love elephants, don’t get me wrong… but those invisible, metaphoric space-holders call out my Kali, especially when they involve someone I love.

Not quite what we had in mind…

The first drama involved a couple, dear friends both of them, who were experiencing intense, painful challenges in their relationship. I started getting angry texts before we even arrived, and once we did arrive, both Apollo and I held a powerful space for this beautiful couple to dive deep and navigate the underworld. Things felt stable when we left, and we felt we had been a true contribution to them. But it definitely wasn’t what we had envisioned for a visit. Apollo and I left ever so grateful for the loving, solid, easeful relationship we have.

Collateral damage

The next stop left me shocked and appalled. To see someone so dear to me several years into heavy drug and alcohol addiction and all of that showing on her face and in her nearly-wrecked life. Having not seen “Jennifer” in more than 2 years, I could see the heavy damage to her body and especially her face. It reminded me of some “before and after” pics I had seen once online of meth addicts whose faces had deteriorated beyond recognition. I was seeing a skull instead of a face. It scared me badly and my inner Kali began to rise.

Gathering the forces of good

I was reunited with Jennifer’s daughter “Angela,” who was not speaking to her mom because of the addictions and felt the loss deeply. She’s in her early 20’s. Since we were all going to be in the same room together, I invited Angela to write out her thoughts and feelings. Then I decided that some kind of intervention was in order. My time was short. I would be on a plane early the next morning. I invited all the others that we would be gathering with to write something to Jennifer as well. No one responded to my email. The elephant grew bigger. It was up to me and Angela. After avoiding Jennifer during the gathering and seeing how that impacted her, Angela finally decided to give her the 8-page handwritten letter. I had read it already. It was heart-wrenching. She wanted her mama back. They had grown up together and were best friends.

Kali roars to life

I decided this was my time to move. Jennifer’s façade was cracked. The hardened addict that refused to feel anything and masked all her pain with drugs and alcohol was feeling something. And Kali came roaring to the surface. I had been so supportive and loving in the past, not judging Jennifer for her drug use, just loving her. That wasn’t working. At all. I asked hard questions and made harsh observations. Just me and Jennifer, one on one. She wouldn’t look me in the eye until I demanded it. I pointed out the car “accident” she had recently had, totaling her truck (which wasn’t her fault, nothing was ever her fault). No such thing as accidents, Kali told her. Wake up call. WAKE UP before you lose EVERYTHING! Including your 15-year old daughter, who is cutting herself in her room. “Why do you suppose she is doing that?” asked Kali… “Perhaps because she has no mom and her home life is trashed?”

Good cop, bad cop

Angela and I naturally fell into roles of good cop and bad cop. Angela, crying for her mama back from her broken-heart space somehow reached through the hard shell of addiction, and Kali waltzed in for the kill. That necklace of skulls is not made of plastic, you know. Kali slashed the air with her knife and cut through the bullshit and excuses.

Tough love

In the end, Jennifer told the gathered group that she would go into rehab. She nearly chickened out of that, but between Angela’s powerful request that she do so and Kali’s enforcement, it happened just before we all left the gathering. Now, we must all hope and pray for redemption for the one we love and almost lost.

Compassionate Kali

Kali is considered one of the most compassionate of the Hindu deities because she provides liberation to her children. She and Shiva are the destroyers of unreality. The ego trembles in the presence of Kali, knowing that its demise is imminent. A person who is attached to their ego will not be receptive to Kali and she will appear in a fearsome form. A mature soul who engages in spiritual practice to remove the illusion of the ego sees Kali Ma as very sweet, affectionate, and overflowing with incomprehensible love for her children. [Adapted from http://www.goddess.ws/kali.html]

Hope and prayers

I love you, Jennifer. I pray for you every day. May the universe conspire to bring you everything you need to transform into the woman you were born to be. Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Auntie, and perhaps eventually, Grandmother.

Blessed be, Amrita

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Sexual Energy is Powerful Medicine

mandala-1791719_1280Isn’t sexual energy just for sex?

Sexual energy has a much greater scope than most people realize. What we feel as sexual energy is actually the life force energy that animates our bodies; without it, we would cease to exist in human form. Sexual energy has the power to create new life as well as heal all manner of imbalances, blocks, dis-eases, and illnesses. Perhaps this is a new idea for you, using sexual energy for anything other than sex. It is for most people.

Our life force energy is the most abundant energetic resource available to us. It’s a precious gift that has infinite applications beyond physical sexual connection. Imagine orgasmic, sexual energy as the most powerful healing potion in the universe. It’s free, readily available, infinitely abundant, and intrinsically yours. If you had access to such a potent healing elixir, wouldn’t you want to use it?

The power of Shakti

We can look at sexual energy or life force energy in a larger context by considering Shakti. Shakti is the feminine principal of the universe. It’s the fullest possible expression of the feminine without restrictions, limitations, or boundaries as well as the untamed, primal creative force and the agent of change and liberation. When you embrace Shakti energy, you live deeply from your creative center and move and flow as you are inspired to rather than as you think you should. Shakti inspires you to dance like no one is watching, even when they are. Shakti energy is snake energy: sinuous, always moving, and sometimes a little dangerous.

Why sexual energy for healing?

Sexual energy is an unlimited resource that we all have access to. It has the power to clear blockages and congested energy when used with intention. Stuck energy, unresolved pain and wounding, and repressed emotions are all contributors to illness and dis-ease. Using sexual energy for healing may take some focus and practice, and it will likely bring things to the surface that have been previously hidden. It’s not always an easy path but it is a rewarding one.

Here’s an example of how it’s worked for me:

I began my journey with sexual healing in 2005, by attending workshops and trainings that taught me sexual healing and awakening practices (I was single at the time). I met my beloved partner in 2008 and he was also involved in sexual healing. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, I used all the tools I had gained to heal my cancer in less than three months. I used a combination of alternative medicine, allopathic medicine, and sexual energy practices. I believe that my deep connection with my sexual energy made my journey with breast cancer easy, joyful, and free of the pain, fear, and anxiety that most people experience with a cancer diagnosis.

What if I’m not in a sexual relationship right now?

This is the most important time of all to cultivate your sexual energy, as most people tend to shut down their sexual energy when they are not in a relationship. Though it seems like a logical thing to do, it’s not at all beneficial for your being. You want access to all of your life force energy, right? Whether you’re exchanging it with a partner or not, you have an opportunity to cultivate personal sexual healing and awakening practices that will empower you for the rest of your life.

How do I cultivate my own sexual energy?

There are some foundational practices that you’ll want to master before you begin cultivating sexual energy on a solo basis.

  • Grounding – creating a solid physical connection with the earth and your body
  • Presence – full attention, awareness, and participation in the present moment
  • Breath – an ability to deepen your breath and breathe into your whole body
  • Imagination – an ability to see, hear, and feel beyond your thinking mind
  • Intention – a clear, focused desire that you bring to your practices

Once you have a handle on these simple practices, you will have the capacity to make good use of the sexual energy that arises as you initiate the cultivation practices. Generating sexual energy outside of a sexual situation takes some practice, but it’s well worth it as you alchemically create the potent life-force elixir that will feed and nourish your whole being.

Cultivation practices:

  1. Stirring the Cauldron

Begin by getting grounded and bringing your awareness to your pelvic region with some deep breaths. Fill your pelvic bowl with your breath on each inhale (if you don’t know how, imagine that you do). Send what you no longer need out through your feet with each exhale, using your intention.

Start slowly moving your hips in small circles. You can do this either standing or sitting, or even lying down. As you feel your hips warming up, make the circles bigger. Keep breathing into your pelvis. Be sure to circle in both directions.

Imagine you are stirring a cauldron (with your hip movements) filled with sacred healing elixir that’s just for you. Notice what gets “stirred up” as you move. Notice how much range of movement you have in your hips. Try other kinds of hip movements, like side-to-side or tipping your pelvis front to back. Make this a daily practice and tune in; notice any information your pelvis offers you.

  1. Priming the Pump

In a seated position, ground yourself and become present with your body and your breath. Allow your awareness to drop into your pelvic floor. Lift your pelvic floor by gently squeezing the muscles in that region and then releasing them completely. The point is not to strengthen the muscles, as in kegel exercises, but to invite an awakening from the reservoir of sexual energy that spirals at the base of your spine and “pump” it up your spine to circulate through your body.

As you squeeze and inhale, visualize the energy rising up your spine and enlivening your entire body. Notice what you feel and how you are impacted by this practice. If you feel absolutely nothing at first, keep practicing and noticing, a little each day.

  1. Connecting Heart & Genitals

This is a wonderful thing to do as you lay down for sleep and as you awaken in the morning. Lay one hand over your pubic mound and one hand over your heart center, and just let them rest there. Notice how it feels to connect with yourself in this non-sexual way. Can you feel any energy in your pelvis? Can you feel an energetic connection between your pelvic region and your heart?

Imagine you can run energy in your body between these two powerful centers. If you don’t know how, pretend or imagine that you do. You can combine this practice with Priming the Pump to jumpstart the circulation of energy. Build up to a daily practice and keep noticing how it feels.

How do you use sexual energy for healing?

As you build sexual energy and recirculate it in your own system, you will be naturally engaging healing processes in your body. You can amp it up with your intention and imagination; for example, sending pure life force into a part of you that needs healing or into the cells of your body. Allow your body to guide you… check in with your body and ask it what it needs, then listen with all your senses. Trust what arises, even if you think you are making it up. Your imagination is the gateway to your intuition.

I would love to add my intention to yours. Please post your personal intention for healing in the comments section and I will hold it with you.

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The Birth of The Sacred Feminine Mystery School

The Great Turning by Oceanna oceannavisions.com

The Great Turning by Oceanna oceannavisions.com

My entire life has prepared me to be an emissary of the sacred feminine. From childhood sexual abuse to breast cancer and everything in between, I’ve been forged in the alchemical crucible of divine “opportunities.” Rather than take me down, those opportunities have pushed me to reach for the stars, the sun, and the moon, and to gather their energies and bring them all the way home into my body and into the planet.

Now, as the sacred feminine principle rises in each of us and on Earth, I’m being asked to step up in a new way. The clarity of direction has come into focus after a long gestation period following the big shift in my life that breast cancer brought. I’m healthy, happy, full of energy and bursting with life force. I’m grounded, rooted, ready to rock and roll!

sfms-logo-clear

In partnership with my dear friend, colleague, and Scorpio sister Caroline Muir, we have birthed The Sacred Feminine Mystery School. Into this mystery school we bring our complementary and combined skills together to initiate women into the sacred sexual awakening and healing mysteries supported by powerful ceremonies at sacred sites, Shamanic Breathwork®dance and movement, and full-on, turned-on embodiment. This inspiration arose from a powerful Aphrodite Arising weekend in mid-October that Caroline and I co-taught. We see how needed this work is! With Caroline’s refinements to this delicate and sensitive work, we bring such a unique approach that makes it accessible to just about anyone. How divinely feminine!

We’ve announced our first confirmed retreat: Costa Rica November 4-11, 2017 at Blue Spirit Retreat Center. Who knows where else we’ll be called to? Teotihuacan pyramids in Mexico? Glastonbury? France and the Magdalene mysteries? We’ve already been invited to Australia… where would you like to go and spend a week with us?

I’m overflowing with gratitude for this opportunity to fly! Come fly with me!

Love & blessings, Amrita

 

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Fall in Love with your Girls!

Snake womanWhy does breast health matter for every woman?

With more than 1 in 8 women being diagnosed with breast cancer in the US and over 300,000 women opting for breast augmentation, breast health has become more important than ever.

There are so many expectations placed on our breasts – are they small enough? Big enough? Perky enough? The “right” shape? As women, we must take a proactive role in caring for our breasts, which starts with falling in love with them.

Heart Pillows

Think about where your breasts are located on your body… right in front of your heart. These beauties are your heart pillows. No matter what size or shape they are, they are your glorious Goddess-given globes! Their location in front of your heart chakra is no accident. As a woman, you penetrate the world with your breasts and your heart.

Starting Over

I’ve had the opportunity to fall in love with a new set of girls, as my original girls were removed during a double mastectomy after my breast cancer diagnosis in 2013. I had the privilege of being attended by highly skilled surgeons and nurses, and after a 14-hour surgery, I had new breasts (sans nipples). I elected not to receive implants, but to have my own belly tissue used to create my new breasts. This reconstruction is called DIEP Flap.

Heart-Yoni Connection

As a sacred sexuality and sexual healing instructor, I learned a long time ago about the connection between my heart and my yoni (sacred word for vulva). For years, I’ve practiced placing one hand on my heart and one on my pubic mound and sending love between these two energy centers. This is such a simple exercise, one you can do before sleeping or upon awakening… or anytime you have a moment to yourself. It’s a great step in the direction of falling in love with your girls.

Massage Breast touch crop

A wonderful way to love your breasts is to take the time to gently and lovingly massage them. You can do this in the shower or afterwards, with your favorite oil. Rub in your love… talk to them and tell them how beautiful they are. Find the beauty in them, no matter their size or shape. Appreciate that you have nipples and love them, too!

Get Them Moving

Girls just gotta dance… you know what I mean? The tissue around your breasts is filled with lymph glands, and lymph glands have no internal pump. Movement keeps the lymph running smoothly, which keeps the body healthy and moves out toxins. Breasts were designed to move… to swing, to bounce, and to shimmy; that’s what keeps the lymph moving. So let your girls dance!

Ditch the Bra

As often as you feel you can get away with it, lose the brassiere. Bras were created to cover, restrain, reveal, or modify the shape of the breasts, and they are commonly accepted as a fashion necessity at this time in our culture. While they do accomplish their purpose, they also restrict the movement of your breasts and clamp down on the lymph glands and pathways. Let your girls move and breath and be free whenever you can. This may be somewhat more uncomfortable for women with larger breasts, so use your best judgment about what works for you.

Your Body Knows Best

Mammograms may be connected to higher rates of breast cancer, so do your due diligence before blindly following doctor’s orders. If possible, get thermography as a safe alternative for cancer screening. If you do receive a cancer diagnosis, take some time to check in with your body and find out what it needs. The medical system has a prescribed “standard of care” conveyor-belt model that is one-size-fits-all, and you have the option of asking your body what SHE wants and needs for her healing. I created a simple, top-notch guide for anyone who has received a cancer diagnosis called Don’t Just Survive, THRIVE! The 5 Vital Steps to Take After a Cancer Diagnosis. You can get it here.

Breast health cover 3DIf you would like a free PDF of this blog post, you can get it here.

Please share in the comments below how you feel about your breasts and what, if anything, you would like to change about those feelings!

 

I was recently featured on the
Conscious Sexuality Summit.
The Summit is over now, but you
can still get access to the 3 most
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Love & blessings, Amrita

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Retrieving the Divine Child that Lives in Each of Us

Who is the Divine Child?

beautiful-931152_1280As each of us enters the planet from the non-physical realm, we come in with our being still connected to the wisdom of our soul. We appear in the human realm seemingly a blank slate, but we are anything but. Physically, we are helpless, dependent, and unable to communicate with words. And yet, have you ever looked into the eyes of an infant and seen a vast depth of wisdom and presence?

What so often happens to the divine child is that they lose that soul access as they are acculturated into human life. As they learn to speak and behave according to their caretaker’s rules, the light that they came in with gets dimmer and dimmer, and the inherent gnosis recedes into a very distant place inside of them. If they are lucky enough to have very aware parents, that light may be encouraged rather than extinguished, but still they must learn to function in a human world, and that means there will be bumps and bruises.

Where does the Divine Child go?

The divine child lives on inside of us in that pure and innocent form. No matter what has transpired through your childhood and your life, be it drama, betrayal, or indescribable trauma, that pure drop of God-consciousness lives on, indestructible, eternal. It’s even possible to gain access to that part of yourself while still in human form, if you like. When my divine child appeared to me in a healing session, I was blown away by her wisdom, her power, and her clarity. She came through it all completely unharmed.

The way I was able to access her was through a traumatic, triggering experience that brought forth some intense and very scary emotions, including murderous rage, deep sadness and grieving, and lots of fear. As I worked with a Parts Work facilitator (aka Internal Family Systems) in a deeply shamanic session, I invited each of the parts to come forth so that I could understand their purpose. The murderous rage part, who preferred to be called “Brute Strength,” has been a powerful inner protector of mine through my childhood. His counterpart, “Spiritual Overview,” was a part of me that I didn’t even know about until the session. She was very nebulous and etheric, and she was the one guiding me to “be above” the trauma, to basically be in spiritual bypass around it. The two parts seemed very polarized.

In Parts Work, these parts are called “Protectors.” They protect the “Exile,” or wounded child part, from being further damaged. As they resolved into a team during my session, I began to see that their role had been to keep that Exile safe. What I experienced as an adult took me straight back into the childhood threats and fears and the protectors acted accordingly. Eventually, they revealed themselves as my Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine parts, who gave birth to the Divine Child.

How can we access the Divine Child?

With the permission of the protectors, now that I had their trust, I began to work with the exile. At first, she stepped forward as the wounded child. She told me her name was Broken Heart. Her heart had broken because no one could see what she had to offer when she came into human form: so much love, affection, healing energy, wisdom, and presence. She had not been welcomed and received for who she really was. And her light dimmed until it was just a pinprick. As she was able to express her needs and be seen during the session, her light grew brighter and she felt safe to express herself fully. She transformed into the Divine Child, and now her name is Open Heart.

Each of us carries the Divine Child archetype inside of us. She may be hiding behind the wounded child, but she is there. This is our God spark, the pure, sweet, innocent, wise, beating heart of our soul… still in touch with Source, ready to bring wisdom and council. And each of us has an opportunity to form a relationship with our own Divine Child.

What is your relationship with YOUR divine child?

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Fleeing Fresno High – A Story of Healing and Redemption

A special note to the women who read this, especially the women I went to school with: As a teenager and young woman, I didn’t know how to be with other girls. I only knew how to be with boys/men. I never felt good enough, pretty enough, or like I belonged, even when I was part of the majorette team, and I was competitive and aggressive in a very masculine way. I’ve made it one of my life missions to heal the feminine wound, and to reunite the sisterhood that we all, as women, share. 

I’ve just reclaimed a huge piece of my past… a piece I haven’t been interested in revisiting for over 25 years. A few weeks after being added to a secret Facebook group called “Fresno High Friends,” I decided to reveal my identity as the former Kim Gammel in the group by posting my senior portrait and a group pic of the majorette team that I was on in 1978.

I took a very deep breath before doing so. Would this be a waste of time and energy, a big ol’ black hole? What inner demons might emerge to taunt me about that horrible time in my life when I had few friends and zero self-esteem? I took that breath and went for it, and I’m so glad I did!

I fled Fresno High a couple of times, once in my junior year (for part of the school year) and then in January of 1980, having passed the GED. I said no goodbyes either time. I just bolted.

Let’s rewind the cassette tape back a decade. My mom had divorced and remarried a violent and abusive man. There was physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that went on for 5 years, and that marriage broke up when I was 10. I had been threatened not to tell, and I didn’t… even after he was long gone. I turned it inward and hated myself.

The sexual abuse impacted me in a very particular way. I had no sexual boundaries and after my first post-abuse sexual encounter in my sophomore year, on some level I realized that I now had the power and no one would ever have power over me again. That power grew into a monster over time.

I drew troubled relationships to me, no surprise there. The boy I dated for much of my sophomore year had a nervous breakdown while we were together. I kept all of this secret, as I had been taught to do. Everything was closely guarded and on the sly. I had to shield myself from the shame.

MajorettesIn the summer between 10th and 11th grade, some friends of the family came for a visit, and invited me to come live with them in Sacramento. I imagine that I was complaining about how awful I had it at home, and they took pity on me. The excuse of the moment was that I could not get along with my sister (1 year younger). To illustrate this: I had done a nasty piece of work at the end of the previous school year, during majorette tryouts. My sister was coming in as a sophomore and trying out for the team. I told the coach that I could not be on the same team with her. She didn’t make the team. However, by deciding to move to Sacramento, I gave up my spot and she was placed on the team. I forgave myself a long time ago for that.

During the conversation with my mom and the next stepdad, I told them why I wanted to move away. I felt like a “black sheep.” I didn’t fit in. And somehow during that discussion, the truth finally came pouring out about the sexual abuse. My mom was petrified. Seriously, she could not move or act. I received no help or support, though there was talk of bringing criminal charges. Thankfully, that was abandoned. I was 16.

I moved out of my house and fled Fresno, running hard and fast from my demons. I had peace for a little while, at a new school where no one knew me. I had a boyfriend in Roseville who was very sweet and kind and had a stable family, and that was a very supportive environment. But eventually, I got tired of being a perpetual guest in someone else’s house.

I moved back home and went back to Fresno High partway through my junior year. Someone told me that there was a rumor that I had been pregnant and that was why I left (I was shocked then, but of course it’s no surprise in retrospect). I’ll put that to rest right now. That was not the case. I just ran away when the opportunity presented itself.

Now I had a driver’s license and a car, an old yellow Chevy station wagon my dad gave me. I went down the “stoner” road, smoking cigarettes and drinking Boone’s Farm jug wine when it could be had. I spent evenings dirty dancing at Electra disco and cruising Belmont. And the sexual monster grew.

When the chance to take the GED showed up in my senior year, I grabbed it. I was down to 4 classes and had straight A’s in all of them, but I was bored. My family and home had completely broken up and scattered, and it was time to get out of Dodge once and for all. I can still remember walking out of Fresno High for the last time in January of 1980.

I took a job at China Peak Ski Area, living in the dorms, and the sex-drugs-rock n roll lifestyle kicked in full force. I had also reconnected with my troubled boyfriend from 10th grade. He asked me to marry him and I said yes. Then, I went off for my second season at China Peak and immediately took up with a guy there. I realized that I had a problem… but in that moment, I pushed it away and decided to deal with it later. I broke off the engagement.

I did go to the Fresno High class of ’80 ten year reunion with my then-husband. All my demons came up in my face and I didn’t have the tools to deal with them then. It was a rough night, my husband didn’t really want to be there, and we were all 28ish years old… still posturing and preening and competing. It makes me appreciate the wisdom and self-love that’s come with getting older.

Fast forward the cassette tape to 1998. Two broken marriages filled with addiction and co-dependency, and I hit rock bottom. I self-diagnosed as a sex addict and started seeking help. It was hard to find in the small town I lived in in the Sierras, so I carved out my own healing methods. It took several years for me to get “clean,” but I was committed to healing, and there was no turning back. It was a gradual process and I took many non-traditional paths. Foremost was my personal spiritual path, also very non-traditional.

Eventually I realized that after years of therapy, my sexuality still was not completely healed. I found my way to a school that taught sexual healing, and became an avid student of these arts. It made a huge difference for me and finally addressed the abuse and addiction on a visceral, physical level instead of just talk, talk, talk. I became a practitioner, helping women overcome sexual abuse.

The name change came with the reclaiming of my feminine nature through the sexual healing work. I changed it legally before moving to Maui in 2006. It was a reflection of becoming a whole new being, changed and healed. I changed it all, first, middle, and last, to Amrita Divine Grace.

In 2009, I published a book to help guide people that had experienced childhood sexual abuse to healing and wholeness. It’s called “Reclaiming Aphrodite-The Journey to Sexual Wholeness.” It won an a award. I gave away over 1000 downloads. It’s on Amazon in book form and Kindle.

It was through the sacred sexuality work that I met my Beloved, Apollo. I was living on Maui and we met in Sedona at a sacred sexuality conference. We had a long-distance but very connected relationship for 2 years, then he moved to Maui and we got married in 2011.

In 2013, I was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer. I knew exactly why I had drawn the cancer into my experience, and healed that aspect very quickly. I was cancer-free in less than 3 months, and I had a very easy, uplifting experience with cancer. (I know, that sounds weird, but it’s true.) I had a double mastectomy and a beautiful reconstruction that used my belly fat to create new breasts… no implants. I said no to chemo and radiation.

In December of 2015 we moved from Maui to Western North Carolina (Smoky Mountains) and bought a house (something we could not do on Maui). We are still settling in, and I’m investigating what’s next for me in the realm of helping others have better experiences with healing and recovery from cancer and from sexual abuse. Maybe there’s even a connection. I know that all the sexual healing work I did made a huge impact on my cancer recovery.

Here we are, back to the beginning of the story. Several people have reached out to me in the Facebook group, and I’m remembering that yes, I did actually have some friends. It was not a waste of time or energy. On the contrary, it’s been a huge healing for me to reconnect with this piece of my past. And my heart is open to receiving the love that I could not receive back then… in high school. The outpouring of love and compassion as I’ve shared my story has rocked my world and touched me deeply.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. I welcome your comments below.

Love & blessings, Amrita Grace, formerly Kim Gammel, Class of 1980 Fresno High

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The 7-Month Homecoming

Our HomeMy last blog was posted on 11/1/15, more than 7 months ago. What’s up with that? Big, big change, that’s what! Nothing less than the beginning of a whole new life. It all began with an invitation…

Did you know that I’ve written another book? Probably not, as it’s not been published yet. It came pouring out of me in 30 days in April 2015. The working title is “Dancing With Cancer – The Sacred Feminine Path to Wholeness.” I sent it over to my priestess sister Anyaa McAndrew to read and she liked it so much she invited me to collaborate with her to create a new process for women with cancer during weeklong Dancing With Cancer workshops.

Ultimately, the workshops got put on the back burner for now. The awe-inspiring process that followed that invitation started with a seed idea that grew fast and healthy and strong and got us moved completely off of Maui in 30 days time and sent us wandering for a few weeks, set free of our “stuff” while it rode the slow boat to the mainland.

IMG_1851I had no idea I was ready to leave Maui after nearly a decade… until it was instantly crystal clear. We were magnetized to the Isis Cove community in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina, home of the aforementioned priestess sister, Anyaa. We landed in Isis Cove in mid-January, after an extended visit with my in-laws which included a Caribbean cruise for their 50th anniversary. Talk about confusing to my body… Maui, then to Minneapolis in December/January, to the Eastern Caribbean, back to Minnesota, then the 2-day drive to Isis Cove. It was -10 when we left Minnesota, dropping to -15 as we crossed Wisconsin. It was “only” in the high teens/low 20’s when we arrived in North Carolina, balmy in comparison.

Irestone CabinWe passed the winter in a wonderful, tiny cabin at the top of the mountain in Isis Cove, with stellar views of the Smokeys and no insulation. I had a really hard time getting warm. That seems like just yesterday, and now we are running the A/C.

We spent the better part of 7 months looking for a home to buy, after initially bidding on a house that was on the edge of Isis Cove. That house turned out to be a “lipstick on a pig” situation… it showed well and looked good, but underneath and above, it was a mess. We let it go just before Christmas, days before we left Maui for good, and picked up the search again in mid-January. We closed escrow in May on a wonderful place 5 minutes from Isis Cove, in the middle of 6.5 acres.

What’s been most interesting about this move is that I’m being called back into the realms of sacred sexuality. I thought I was all done with that calling when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, but I started getting invitations very quickly. The first was to film a 3 hour trauma-release sexual healing session that I coached a couple through as part of a series with 3 other amazing teachers. That went spectacularly well. The series will be launched in the fall. The next was an invitation to do an interview for a conscious sexuality conference, also airing in the fall. And now, I’ve been invited to be interviewed for World Women’s Orgasmic Offering Day, a charming combination of ceremony and sacred sexuality. I’m going to speak about reclaiming our aliveness as we age. Oh, and I’m offering a 2-day workshop with Caroline Muir called Aphrodite Arising – Sacred Sexual Feminine Awakening in October at the Illuminated Heart Retreat Center in Isis Cove.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 11.53.42 AMAnother amazing synchronicity was finding out about Debra Hawley’s book Reclaiming Magdalen – A Memoir of Sexual Healing. The similarities between us, especially our healing paths, right down to the cover art on our books (mine is Reclaiming Aphrodite-The Journey to Sexual Wholeness), has been a stunning and very uplifting discovery. We will meet in early September. I can hardly wait to meet this new (ancient) sister/friend.

I’m seeing a theme here. Dancing with Cancer meets Sacred Sexuality. Sexual healing and how it contributes to cancer prevention and recovery. (It sure did for me!) I’m open and available. I’m cheering on a younger generation that is enthusiastic about sexual healing. And I’m celebrating re-entering sacred sexuality at a new octave, one where I get to let go of the sense of shame and hiding about what I do. (What would Grandma think?) Really, I was simply afraid of being judged, and I still am… but what’s more important are the gifts I can give, and they are extensive. It would be downright immature and irresponsible to withhold them in order to save face. Right?

Please share your response in the comments below. I welcome all comments.

Love & blessings, Amrita

 

 

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Post-Mastectomy…. Burlesque?

When I want to feel empowered, I dance. Dance has carried me though times of greatest challenge and greatest joy. But I never dreamed I would be performing Burlesque on my 53rd birthday, 2-1/2 years post-mastectomy.

Being born the day before Halloween, most of my birthday parties have included costumes. The last time I had a party was when I turned 50, a few months before my breast cancer diagnosis. I didn’t have another party until this year, and I was not planning a costume party. But a week before the party, Goddess whispered in my ear… “DANCE!” and it began to emerge. A roaring 20’s theme and a Moulin Rouge-style burlesque performance. “REALLY?” I asked… and the answer was Yes. Really.

I set up a dance studio in my garage. Grabbed the mirrored closet door and threw a rug down. Spent hours finding music. Went to the Halloween store for a few costume items. Chose a stage name: Ruby Pearl. Watched some YouTube instructional videos. And I dress-rehearsed all week.

Ruby arms halfI have a long history of bringing sacredness to dance. As a belly dancer for many years, I taught women of all ages, shapes, and sizes to wiggle and jiggle and love their bellies. My intention for this birthday performance was to embody beauty, sensuality, grace, and empowerment for the people (especially the women) who would be watching. To show them what’s possible. And it blew way past all my hopes and expectations.

What was so sacred about this dance for me was that I’ve been calling forth my own Shakti to be expressed in a more balanced way, instead of only within the container of my marriage. After spending many years recovering from sexual addiction, I had my Shakti wrapped up tight and saved only for my husband. But there comes a time when I get to trust that I can bring my full life force expression to the world and that it will be appropriate and welcomed. That time is now.

The burlesque performance was a true full-circle, Reclaiming Aphrodite experience. I had so much fun and the audience absolutely loved it. The women came up to me afterward feeling so empowered and inspired!

It wasn’t until I was looking at the videos the next day with my Beloved that I put two and two together. Women who have been through breast cancer need to know what’s possible in the realm of reclaiming their bodies, their sensuality, and their self-confidence. I think I have just the ticket…

Dancing with Cancer ~ The Sacred Feminine Path to Wholeness

is a brand new collaboration with Anyaa McAndrew, founder and facilitator of the Shamanic Priestess Process and the Shamanic Magdalene Mysteries. Our first workshop will be offered in Spring of 2017. If you would like to know more, please join my list in the form below and, as a bonus, receive my report filled with optimism and positive cancer support:

Don’t Just Survive, THRIVE!
The 5 Vital Steps to Take After a Cancer Diagnosis

With so much love, respect, and joy, Ruby Pearl (Amrita Grace)

Please share on your networks and leave your comments below!

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Consciously Negotiating Challenging Emotions

When I feel sad, angry, lonely, jealous, or sorrowful, I know I’m in the underworld. I feel the descent and the darkness around me. While it’s not much fun, I know the value of being with it and that I will eventually come out the other end, provided I’m willing to ride it out. It’s okay to be in the dark sometimes. I always emerge with valuable insights and more inner peace, and that’s worthwhile to me.

I think of the underworld as an actual place and I honor the darkness as much as I do the light (well, almost as much). In the wheel of the year, there is a season for darkness; a season for light; and time and space for the infinite gradations between them. The same is true in our human existence, no matter what you may have been taught. Life is obviously not all sunshine and rainbows.

The underworld is a potent place you can traverse through… once you learn to recognize when you are in it. When you understand how to identify and navigate the underworld rather than trying to keep it at bay or pretending it doesn’t exist, you harness the tremendous power that resides in your emotional body. Like the power of a half-tamed horse, it can either take you for a wild ride or you can learn to saddle it, ride it, and guide it where you want it to take you.

The power of your emotions is that when you acknowledge and feel them, they pass through and out of you, layer by layer. You don’t even need to know why you’re feeling them. Just ride the waves. Feel what you are feeling. Breathe with it. Be with it. There doesn’t need to be a story or a drama attached to it for it to move through and out. Chances are, whatever you are feeling is actually something you first experienced in childhood that you’ve been reminded of, re-evoking the same feelings. When you are able to just be with the feelings, you are forging new neural pathways in your brain, effectively re-wiring yourself in a very positive way.

Excerpted from the forthcoming book, Dancing with Cancer – The Sacred Feminine Path to Wholeness by Amrita Grace

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