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 Sacred Inner Masculine

An excerpt from the forthcoming book:

Dancing with Cancer-The Sacred Feminine Path to Wholeness © Amrita Grace

sun godThe sacred feminine is balanced by her counterpart, the sacred masculine. Rather than being outside of yourself, the sacred masculine is part of you. Every man and woman carries both feminine and masculine energies inside of them; some men lean more into their feminine sides and some women more into their masculine sides. The 20th century, with the rise of feminism and equality, brought more women into their masculine and into competition with men, driving some of the qualities of both masculine and feminine into the shadow. 

Has the shadow masculine aspect become dominant in running your life?
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

Am I an achiever, a doer, and an accomplisher?

Do I ever feel aggressive or competitive?

Is my self-worth tied up with my achievements?

Has the shadow feminine aspect become dominant in running your life?
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

Do I often need to be “rescued”?

Do I ever feel helpless or dependent?

Do I have problems with giving, wanting only to receive?

The sacred feminine path is the antidote to being run by the shadow aspects of masculine and feminine, which naturally arise in varying amounts in both men and women throughout their lives. With awareness and practice, it’s possible to shine a light on the shadow aspects and invite healthy, dormant qualities forward, bringing balance to your masculine and feminine sides.

Sacred Endeavor – Meet Your Inner Masculine

Set aside 20-30 minutes for this visualization/inner journey. Get really comfortable either sitting or lying down. Imagine yourself walking down a path, noticing whatever emerges around you as you walk. It might be trees or a beach or rocks or even something you don’t recognize. Eventually you come to a meadow or clearing, and you see that there’s a park bench in the clearing. Head for the bench and sit down. Take a deep breath and relax on the bench. Invite your inner masculine to join you in the clearing. You can either speak the invitation out loud or say it internally.

Now simply be with whatever unfolds. You might see, hear, smell, or feel something, or you might “just know” he is there. He may come in a different form than you expect… an animal, a fictional character, or even a symbol or metaphor. Ask him if he is your inner masculine. If he says yes, ask him about himself: how he feels, what he needs, how you can best connect with him. If he says no, ask whomever it is to help you locate your inner masculine.

Ask him if he would like to make a deeper connection and support a state of wholeness and balance in your being. If he is not interested or says no, ask him why. Be curious and allow space for him to express his needs, concerns, and feelings. Ask for his support in ways you need support from the masculine. Be patient, as sometime the inner masculine will be reticent after decades of not being acknowledged.

If he says yes, and you want this too, invite him into a ceremonial sacred inner marriage for the purpose of harmonizing the masculine and feminine aspects of yourself. If he agrees to the sacred inner marriage, let him know that will happen in a separate ceremony.

As you part ways, bow in Namaste or hug or do whatever feels good to honor the newly established connection and then take the path back in the direction you came from. When you feel ready, open your eyes.

Self-Reflection Questions

What does my inner masculine look like, feel like, sound like, and/or smell like?

What color or shape did he take? Did his color or shape change during the encounter?

How did he respond to my questions?

What kinds of support did I ask for?

I invite you to share your answers in the comments section.

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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 (2015), 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 marriage. 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 full-on 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!

This year (2017) is much more sedate for me, birthday-wise, as I  prepared to leave for Costa Rica in just a few days to facilitate a Sacred Sexual Awakening and Healing Retreat for women with Caroline Muir. Little did I know what I was calling in with that burlesque performance! A move from Maui to North Carolina and the creation of The Sacred Feminine Mystery School!

I’ll be teaching one last time with Caroline (after Costa Rica) before she moves to Panama to semi-retire. That will be April 2018 in Maui. A true full-circle homecoming for both of us.

So tell me (in the comments)… what archetypes are you playing with this Halloween?

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

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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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The Ceremonial Rededication of the Priestess

Artwork by Emily Balivet – emilybalivet.com

Upon this Autumnal Equinox day 2015, on the slopes of Haleakala Maui, I rededicate myself as a Priestess under Morning Star Venus in Leo. I embrace the Leo themes of radiant, radical self-love, vision-carrier, and innovative creator. I declare my willingness to shine my full light and bring my unburdened, unarmored heart to every aspect of my life. Whatever beliefs, patterns, habits, and structures do not support my full, joyous expression are unwinding easily and effortlessly.

By my example, I inspire and empower others to shine their own brilliant light. I see God and Goddess in everyone, while projecting God and Goddess on no one. We are all part of the same divine matrix, here to learn together and help each other along the path. Though occasionally that might look like strife and challenge, I trust the process and I trust myself to navigate graciously.

Having walked through some of the darkest of underworlds, I have gained the capacity to hold exponentially more brilliant light than ever before. Through the alchemy of transformation, I have separated the gold from the dross in the crucible of my body, my emotions, and my heart. Having embraced the parts of me that need love the most, immense expansions of love, joy, abundance, and pleasure are immanent.

I take full responsibility for the life I am creating… every relationship, every circumstance, every situation. I am a sovereign, autonomous woman of immense compassion, power, and discernment. I have full capacity to channel the sacred feminine mysteries through my being as I welcome and allow all appropriate consciousness upgrades to my human and divine systems with ecstatic ease.

I open myself to sensual pleasure, delightful fun, expansive creativity, and playful adventure. I embrace my birthright as a fully healed spiritual/sexual expression of the divine. I welcome all of my Shakti and life force energy to express fully through me with the utmost integrity.

My feet are firmly upon the body of Gaia, rooted deeply into Her. My arms reach for the heavens, welcoming the light codes that are entering the planet for the highest good of humanity, the planet and all her inhabitants, and the universe. Divine Feminine, Divine Masculine, and Divine Child energies dance harmoniously within me.

I surrender my will to divine grace. Show me the highest options and the most expansive magic. I am an empty vessel. Pour Your divine love through me. I am Yours, God/Goddess. Everything is Sacred. Blessed Be.

Amrita Divine Grace

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Spinning Spiderwebs Into Gold

D for Dragon

Artwork by Emily Balivet – emilybalivet.com

The dreaded “Dark Night of the Soul” (DNS). It’s kind of like giving birth (I imagine) in that you can’t remember how painful it was after it’s over, because if you did, it might just take you down. Having just come through a DNS portal, the pain is not that far behind me… but far enough that I am no longer immobilized by it.

What’s the point of a DNS, and what to do with it? In my very recent DNS experience, I brought every euphemism I could think of to bear: The only way out is through. Breakdowns lead to breakthroughs. There’s always a silver lining. The key to the pain is in the pain. This is an initiation. Something amazing will emerge from this. None of them worked. There was no light at the end of the tunnel, ever. Until there was.

Sometimes, we just have to be taken to our knees. The reasons will vary by individual soul contract. If you’re a light-worker (you know who you are) and you’re not living your open-hearted truth and your full potential, especially in these powerful times, expect a wake-up call. I don’t care how much work you’ve done on yourself, how many years of therapy you’ve had, or how many transformational workshops you been to. I’ve done it all. A thousand times. And I still got taken to my knees.

I have an amazing and happy life, a beautiful beloved relationship, and an award-winning book published and a second book written and gestating. I live on Maui, for goodness sake! And what better place to get shaken and stripped to my core. The land and my home supported me beautifully as I melted down in the alchemical crucible of my multi-layered bodies – emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental.

It doesn’t really matter what the catalyst was…. it never does, though it’s easy enough to place all the blame squarely on the trigger. Suffice it to say that it was the biggest and most powerful trigger possible in my life right now (short of the death of a loved one). And that’s what it took to force me to look at the carefully constructed reality I had generated and was very attached to maintaining (and remaining blind to) at all costs.

After many months of rising stress followed by many weeks of intense underworld suffering leading up to the final fall (from grace? into grace?), I began to get an inkling. Then the inkling opened into a trickle. Then the trickle became a flow. I saw how I had abandoned myself and my spiritual path, how I had given my power away to the point of a near-complete loss of self. Now I could begin to spin spiderwebs into gold.

Once I could see the bigger picture beyond my crying jags, victimhood, depression, fear, rage, and grief, it didn’t take long for me to galvanize my inner resources. Clarity came quickly and I started to stabilize, drawing back my power and my projections and calling me home to myself. I began letting go of illusions that had long sustained me, letting them shatter like stained glass upon a tile floor. I swept up the broken pieces and began to reconstruct myself from the inside out.

The best advice I can give someone who is experiencing a DNS is to ride the waves of emotion, just feel them all the way, even when it doesn’t feel like it’s productive or like anything is moving. Don’t push it away or try to understand it. Just ride it. And get support! Lots of it, including professional support. Don’t try to go it alone. Be gentle with yourself, make sure you are in a safe place to feel your emotions, and do your best to love and embrace the parts of you that are driving the bus. They are each a very sacred and important part of your psyche. Give yourself time to integrate. Several months, if needed. I’ve lovingly given myself six months to adjust to this completely new version of myself.

In Part 2 of this post, The Ceremonial Rededication of the Priestess, I share the culmination, the gold that emerged from this process: shining, valuable, precious, and downright indispensable.

What gold have you spun from spiderwebs? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Love & blessings, Amrita

 

 

 

 

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When the Shadow Feminine Comes Out to Play

As a woman, have you ever had an experience of feeling betrayed, deceived, or manipulated by another woman? How do you feel when that happens?

I want to explore this, because while it’s easy to cast blame and be the righteous victim, there’s likely some potent information underneath the initial reaction. Women have been competing with each other for various things, including men, for a very long time. What’s been building up is a collective experience filled with the razor sharp memories and tattered remnants of the unresolved deception, betrayal, and mistrust.

Sister, it’s time to heal our collective experience. It begins within each of us. Pointing fingers at each other is not the answer anymore… we’ve all done it, and it’s all forgiven. But have you forgiven yourself?

The invitation here is to ask inside yourself when you feel you’ve been harmed by another woman.

♥ When have I harmed other women in exactly the same way?

♥ How does the experience reflect what’s unhealed inside of me?

You might be quite surprised by what arises. You can work this one backwards in your history for some rich veins of shadow material as well.

I had an opportunity to do some of this work myself, recently. I was really grateful to be able to excavate some very old, unforgiven, and mostly forgotten ways in which I had been the perpetrator of exactly what I thought I was the victim of. It led me to a powerful ceremony of Ho’oponopono. I got to make it right. Including forgiving myself. Now, I get to hold that sister that supposedly harmed me in compassion, acceptance, and accountability. (Yes, accountability.)

When the shadow feminine comes out to play, we all benefit. When we cast light on our shadow, acknowledge it, accept it, forgive it, and embrace it, it can no longer run us from its subterranean hiding place. And we have an opportunity to create something new in the sisterhood. Cooperation, collaboration, acceptance, trust, love, friendship, support, and the sharing of resources. It’s time to weave a new story of the feminine.

Please share your experiences of working with the shadow feminine within yourself. How are you weaving the new story?

Blessed be, Amrita

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What is the Sacred Feminine?

Who am I to define the sacred feminine? Well, I’m a wise woman, for starters…  and a high priestess with direct experience of the sacred feminine mystery. And why would I even want to try? Because I’m writing a book about breast cancer and the sacred feminine. I can only manage to describe a few of her many faces and shapes… perhaps you can add your own in the comments.

Below is an excerpt from my forthcoming book. The working title is Dancing with Cancer – The Sacred Feminine Path to Wholeness. Yeah, really! Soon I’ll be following my own advice from the last three blogs and writing a book proposal!

[begin excerpt] Imagine before you a maternal being that is as big as the universe. She takes you in her arms, against her soft bosom, and you know that you are safe and protected. Let yourself sink in, for in this moment you are a child with no cares or fears. Take a deep breath and fill yourself with the sense of nurturing that radiates from her.

She begins to shift now, into a mama bear whose babies are threatened. Feel her fierce protectiveness and her willingness to defend her children at all costs. You are one of her children.

Now she morphs yet again, beginning to dance and move with wild abandon, flowing skirts and scarves following her every leap and twist. Do you dare to dance with her? Feel her breath breathing her, her dance dancing her, her life force fueling every cell to express with full freedom and total abandon.

She spirals down to the ground now, placing a dark mask on her face. She lies down upon the earth and surrenders herself to the underworld journey, willing to navigate the place where she feels all her earthly feelings… sadness, grief, anger, rage, loneliness, and sorrow. She beckons you to follow, if you have the courage.

Looking up, you see there’s a playful winged creature in the woods ahead of you, giggling and peeking around trees. She’s got a magic wand and she’s not afraid to use it. She leads you on a merry chase, laughing, until you both collapse in a soft, warm, green meadow. She asks you about your creative projects, your dreams, what you do for fun. She wants to make some playdates with you.

She rises up with a sword in her hand, screaming, “Off with your head, tame your ego, cut out the bullshit, carve away what no longer serves you, do it now, now, now!” She sticks out her tongue, feints her sword toward you once more with the sternest face you can imagine, and offers you the hilt of the sword.

She brings her hands to her heart and then opens them toward you. From them spills golden light, shimmering and sparkling, flowing and rippling all around you. She brings her light-filled hands to your body and swirls the energy around you, anointing you with it. She taps your third eye and you are transported to another realm, filled with indescribable colors, scents, and sounds. Every place she touches you ignites with pure ecstasy and bliss. Breathe it all the way in.

She leads you now into a temple of such beauty and grandeur as you’ve never experienced before. She reminds you of who you really are, who you have always been. She bids you look into a magical mirror that reflects your true essence to you, and you gasp at the magnificence and elegance that you witness as you look. She offers you a drink of holy water. Her lips don’t move, but you hear her say, “May you never thirst.”

She drops to the ground and transforms into a writhing snake and you feel a blast of pure, formless sexual energy. She bids you sit on the ground and slithers behind you, bringing her head to your sacrum. Expanding into the fear, you feel her moving up your spine. You are breathing the energy that creates life up your spine and feeling it fountain out of the top of your head in red, yellow, and orange sparks. The sparks form a human body made of fire and you look into her wild and primal eyes.

She melts into grandmother, wise ancient one, she who spins the threads that connect us all. She shows you how every thread is connected, and reminds you that every thought you think and every action you take impacts everything and everyone else in the universe. She reveals the paradox of as above, so below… as within, so without. She reminds you that when you love and care for yourself, you are effectively loving and caring for everything and everyone, not the other way around

The years drop away from her ancient face as she transforms into a beautiful, mature woman holding a chalice… the symbol of the feminine. Her beloved approaches her, holding a sword, a symbol of the masculine. Together, they place the sacred articles upon an altar, and come together, wrapping their arms around each other and joining their foreheads. As you witness this, you see the multi-colored skeins of energy and light wrapping around and through them, and you suddenly understand the true meaning of “communion.”

Everything vanishes, the altar, the chalice and sword, the beloved. You are now facing the queen of death, all in black. Fear ye not, for death does not always mean physical death. Death must occur in order for rebirth to happen. She asks you what needs to die within you now, and you have an opportunity for letting go of what no longer serves you. Will you take it? The queen of death will guide you.

The black disappears, and she is hugely pregnant with planet Earth. Your willingness to let something die has paved the way for this birth. You are her midwife, just as she is yours. She is giving birth to herself, just as you are giving birth to yourself. Her message is we are all in this together.

The sacred feminine is vast, ever-changing, powerful beyond measure, and always with you. She resides within you. You have access to her at all times, in any of her aspects you choose to call forth. Perhaps some are more hidden within you than others, but you can invoke and cultivate them as you choose. I’m going to show you how to invoke the sacred feminine aspects you need for healing, for change, for letting go, and for growth… all part of your breast cancer journey. [end excerpt]

What does the Sacred Feminine mean to you?

Please add your comments below. I would love your input and feedback

Love & blessings, Amrita

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Your Book Proposal – A Roadmap to Success – Part 3 of 3

baby-531191_1280In the last article, I covered the Proposal Table of Contents, the Executive Summary or Overview, About the Author, Specific Audience, and Marketing sections. I wrap it up for you in this final article.

Comparative or Competitive Analysis

It’s really important to know what the competition is doing and how you are doing it differently. Become a detective and read the books that successfully deliver the same message you are writing about. What are you bringing that’s fresh and different? How are you expanding on the subject? What’s not yet being said and how are you saying it? What are the features that make the books popular? How much demand is there in your category? Be honest, positive, and nice. Do the research for them and they will truly appreciate it. You will also benefit as you write, making your message distinctive.

PR, Media, and Platform

What have you already accomplished to support your book? Here you might include a press kit, talking points, hooks, FAQ’s, a press release, TV and radio interview links, print media articles or ads, number of blog followers, how many people in audiences you’ve spoken to, workshops you’ll be teaching, alliances with people who are willing to help you, how many books you’ll want to purchase for yourself or perhaps by a corporate sponsor, personal networks, prior purchasers or attendees of your products, and how many social media followers you have.

Addendum

Here you’ll want to include the book table of contents including subheads. This is where you’ll present your chapter summaries, as clearly defined as possible. These should be two paragraphs to two pages per chapter. If they are particularly riveting, move them up in the order of documents. If they are normal, leave them as an addendum.

You’ll also want to include a sample chapter. Choose your very best one to three chapters. Showcase a chapter with a story, information, research, and a tool or exercise.

Optional Extras

If you book is part of a series, it’s good to mention that. If you have legalities that you need to disclose, that should be mentioned as well. Perhaps your material is controversial or you have interviews accompanied by release forms giving you permission to use the interviews without remuneration. 

Putting it All Together

If you are emailing your proposal for consideration to an agent or publisher, do not include attachments or they may not be opened. Put it all in the body of the email. If you are snail-mailing it, bind it with a clip so it can be taken apart and copied easily. Don’t be tempted to bind it.

Remember, this book is going to be a huge part of your life for the next ten to twenty years, especially if it takes off. Laying the foundation now will very likely lead to more success, more income, and a more satisfying author experience.

Sources:

  1. The Transformational Author Experience-Christine Kloser interview with Linda Sivertsen, Your Big Beautiful Book Deal Starts with a Hot Proposal
  2. Enlightened Bestseller: 7 Keys to Creating a Successful Self-Help Book By Marci Shimoff, Janet Bray Attwood, Chris Attwood, & Geoff Affleck
  3. The Transformational Author Experience-Christine Kloser interview with Reid Tracy, How to Become a Hay House Author
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