In the Magdalene Temple

stained glass window of resurrection angelIn many ways, I’ve been feeling disassociated from my priestess self. From my connection with the Goddess. It seems like I set most of that aspect of myself aside to be part of Divine Feminine Institute, crazy as that sounds. Even though I was setting up the altars and creating opening ceremonies each workshop, it was relatively secular compared to the priestess life I lived in the early and mid 2000’s. Apparently, however, the Goddess has not forgotten me. In the final stages of Divine Feminine Institute, she sent me Asha, a beloved sister I met in this life less than a year ago, but whom I have know for thousands of lifetimes. Asha has been helping me “re-member” who I am as a priestess.

Asha invited me to bring a Reclaiming Aphrodite workshop to Oakland, and has assisted with every Reclaiming Aphrodite workshop prior. I stayed with her while I was in Oakland, and she has supported me in taking the workshops to new levels with each weekend, especially in the realms of ceremony. It was she who suggested I visit a sweet little sacred arts shop in one of Oakland’s shopping districts near where the workshop was held. I went in the day before the workshop started, intending to find some little gifts to give the participants.

Ilana, my other assistant for the weekend, and I ventured into Sagrada together and I found what I was looking for. As I was choosing, a woman came to greet me. As I looked up into her eyes, I saw her whole face transform as if she recognized me. I told her what I was in town for and she introduced herself as Mary. She was very supportive of the workshop, offering to post something in the store. She asked Ilana and I if was possible we had met before, but we were sure it was not. She asked if we had a few extra minutes, as there was something she wanted to show us. We did.

She had us put down our goodies, and told her helper she would be back in a few minutes. Mystified, we followed her out the front door and around back down a passageway behind the shop. There was a row of low-roofed, plain metal doors, and she unlocked a door and pushed the rolling metal door aside. Behind it was a regular wooden door with a window, and a sign saying “Magdalene Temple.” I drew in a deep breath.

Ilana and I stepped in. There was a tiny entry alcove where we left our shoes. To the right, a black iron candelabra stood majestically holding a few small white candles. Stepping further in, there were three or four rows of red-upholstered chairs facing an altar at the back of the small building. Skylights let in diffused light through the white draping that hung beneath them. The altar held a figure of an ancient goddess holding candles. There were orchids in pots and roses in vases. We took seats in the red chairs. I felt a wave of emotion take me and I felt so held, so supported in this place. I knew that I could ride that wave into full meltdown and surrender, but I chose to hold it together in honor of my responsibility to the fourteen women who would be under my care for the next three days.

As we looked around, we saw there was a beautiful quilted wall hanging on the back wall, a rose in various shades of red. Mary explained that it had been created by a group of women who came together and worked on it, and while it was not designed for the temple, it was indeed a perfect fit both on the wall and with the energy of the space.

Last Supper

Jesus and Mary Magdalene portion of the “The Last Supper”

I noticed a small painting that reminded me of a part of “The Last Supper”, where Jesus and Mary Magdalene are leaning away from each other, except that in this painting, they were leaning towards each other. Mary told us it was painted by a friend who paints Russian icons who kept doing it over until she deemed it perfect, sometimes painting over the whole image that was near completion to start again. I’m struck right now by my misremembering of “The Last Supper”, thinking that the painting in the temple was a section of the full painting and that they were leaning into each other in the original.

Before leaving , I spoke to the temple about my breast cancer diagnosis, asking a blessing. Mary handed us each an orchid blossom, and we walked out into the Oakland sunshine in a very altered state. I felt high as a kite, blissed out. We went back into the store, and Mary tucked a little rosewood tub of Magdalene anointing balm into Ilana’s purse. We completed our purchases, then went on to do the much more mundane tasks of grocery shopping and office supply hunting in preparation for the workshop.

Mary & Asha

Mary & Asha

I told the women in the workshop about the temple. They were invited to come into the temple on Saturday after the workshop, and almost all of them took advantage of that opportunity. I had a dinner date, so did not go… but I joined the procession and watched them go in. At the last moment, Asha and Mary turned back to me and I snapped a picture with my phone. I learned later that arrangements had been made and shared with the women to bring me back to the temple for a special surprise ceremonial healing on Monday.

When Asha, Ilana, and I came back on Monday and opened the door to the temple, the first thing I saw was Mary with her back to me spinning at a spinning wheel. It was like being transported back to another era. Time and space shifted inside me. I seated myself near the altar and Asha lit the candles. I sat in meditation for some time, then signaled to Asha. She had asked me to bring along the anointing balm, which had not tipped me off to the surprise, interestingly enough. She brought it, and kneeling before me, she blessed and anointed me. In unspoken agreement, I removed my top and she anointed my breasts as well. I felt Ilana’s hands on my shoulders. She later told me that Mary’s hands were on her shoulders as well. Mary spoke a blessing. Though I could not see her, I felt the power in her words. Perhaps she was channeling them from Mary Magdalene herself.

Magdelene

Goddess Wisdom Doll “Mary Magdalene”

Upon my return home, as I was putting things away in my office, I came across the Mary Magdalene doll that stands in the corner on a high shelf. She came to me via another women’s workshop I facilitated a few years ago in Portland. She is part of a series of Goddess Wisdom dolls that were designed to reflect different sizes of women, to be more authentic in their portrayal of the female form in all its beautiful shapes and sizes. The dolls were created in very high quality. It seems they are no longer available, as I cannot find them anywhere online. They used to be part of Beverly Danusis’ About Wisdom website. Apparently, I have a collector’s item! The woman who offered her to me in partial trade said she had long, red curly hair, just like mine. She wears an alabaster jar around her neck. I feel the presence she represents more than ever now.

The Goddess continues to conspire to bring me back into her arms. What better timing than this turning point in my life? The signs are all there, pointing the way. As Beltane washes over me, I will gladly follow them.

Please leave your comments below. Thank you!

Love & blessings, Amrita

Included in a small white scroll with the Magdalene balm:

Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper; he was reclining at table when a woman came in with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the ointment over his head. Some who where there said to one another indignantly, “Why this waste of ointment? Ointment like this could have been sold for over three hundred denari and the money given to the poor”; and they were angry with her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why are you upsetting her” What she has done for me is one of the good works. You have the poor with you always, and you can be kind to them whenever you wish, but you will not always have me. She has done what was in her power to do; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. I tell you solemnly, whenever throughout all the world the good news is proclaimed, what she has done will be told also, in remembrance of her.” Gospel of Mark

Posted in Archetypes, Blessings, Mary Magdalene, Reclaiming Aphrodite | Tagged | 11 Comments

Amazing Grace

As I begin my journey with cancer, Adrianna Grace is completing hers. I met Adrianna in April of 2006 at a Divine Feminine Institute workshop on Maui. I moved to Maui in June of that year, and we became good friends. I watched her leave Maui and come back several times, and was always happy when she returned to live on the island again. We co-created a few times, and there was always overlap in our work and in our lives. There was never a time when I felt out of sorts with her.

Adrianna was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer a few years back. She had surgery and chemo, and over the course of about 2 years, she healed herself and almost made a full comeback. She came back to Maui late in 2012 to begin her professional life again as a colon therapist and vibrant life advocate. A few weeks back, she started having pain and was diagnosed with acute leukemia, a complication of the chemo she received previously.

Adrianna

Adrianna Grace

Now she is resting comfortably at Maui Memorial under palliative care. She has created a beautiful field of love and light around her hospital room, where she is being visited by many loving friends and her few remaining family members.  I sat with her on Sunday, and she was lucid and still feisty. She’s grieving, of course, and understands that the graceful completion of her beautiful life is at hand. She has maybe a few days or a week left. The nurses who are attending her are loving, compassionate, and very available for her and to those who have questions. She has three dear friends who are attending to her needs, wishes, and final arrangements: Neeraja, Caress, and Shelley. The nurses are amazed at the quality of attention she is receiving from her visitors. They think she is maybe famous or something.

Adrianna is not famous in the traditional sense. She is, however, known to have the biggest heart you can imagine that she freely shares. She’s not all soft and gushy, though… this woman is fierce and opinionated, and she expresses herself honestly but lovingly. She is truly a Queen. The grace with which she has lived her life, especially through her cancer battle,  is an inspiration to me. As Apollo and I were sitting with her on Sunday, Neeraja asked her about one of her possessions and what she might like to do with it. Adrianna replied that there would be a later conversation called “bequeathing”. We all got quite a kick out of that.

A&A with Adrianna crop

Adrianna with Amrita & Apollo

I leaned in close and asked Adrianna what I could do for her. She asked me if I had, in my “priestess bag,” a ceremony to release the spirit from the body. Having felt this call from her very soul over the past couple of days, I was prepared. It was not a ceremony I’ve ever done before, but I knew exactly what to do. I had brought with me an essential oil of sandalwood and rose damask, and I anointed her body and invited her to open her crown and to know that the portal is open whenever she is ready to go. She visibly relaxed and we talked about her next adventure into new realms and dimensions.

Is is strange for me, recently diagnosed with cancer, to be at the beside of someone dying of the disease? Not at all. First of all, I’m not afraid of death. I plan to be around for a long time, Goddess willing. But when the time comes, I expect that I will be fully at peace with how I’ve lived my life  because I already am. I left feeling the hospital feeling high as a kite. Her energy is so beautiful as she prepares to journey home to spirit, to be embraced back into the oneness from whence we all came. When a body gives out and there’s nothing more to be done except make that body as comfortable as possible, there’s only one thing left that matters, and I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about.

Adrianna pre cancer

Adrianna pre-cancer

I’ll see her again on Tuesday after my next round of biopsies, and that will probably be my final goodbye as I leave for the Mainland on Thursday to teach my final Reclaiming Aphrodite workshop in the Bay Area. Adrianna has lived a blessed life, filled with grace…. amazing grace.

Journey well, beloved sister. I will miss you and remember you forever with love and affection.

If you want to know more detail about Adrianna’s progression, you can visit her Caring Bridge page. Please leave comments below as well.

Love & blessings, Amrita

Posted in Death & Rebirth, Grace, Love, Releasing | Tagged | 17 Comments

When Life Turns on a Dime

I’ve been saying it for a long time:

“Sometimes, life turns on a dime.”

And now mine has.

One week ago today, I received a diagnosis of breast cancer. It’s so early that I don’t even know yet the severity of it or the course of treatment. More tests are needed and will be taking place over the coming days.

close up, topless woman body covering her breastsI suppose most people react to this kind of news with sadness, fear, and shock, and that is natural and to be expected. However, so far, I have experienced this news as simply the next phase of my journey on the planet. I am a person who is fully engaged with life, overflowing with enthusiasm and joy. Why should this be any different? Because it’s potentially life threatening? Isn’t life in general potentially life threatening every day? Perhaps just a little less in-your-face than cancer. One of the first insights I received after getting the news is that I have absolutely no regrets about my life. How many people can truly say that? I believe that’s part of why I don’t feel afraid.

What I have been most sad about is the fact that my life’s work, my right livelihood, was just starting to take off. An evolution over many years, it was finally emerging fully formed and ready to take on a life of its own. It will now be set aside as I turn my attention to my next healing path. One of my students pointed out to me that my whole life has been about healing. And it’s always been shared with as many people as I can reach in the hopes that they can benefit from it. I can’t imagine this healing journey will be any different. I can  imagine I’ll be doing a lot more writing.

I could not bear to cancel my next Reclaiming Aphrodite workshop in Oakland, CA. It may be my last opportunity to teach in this way for quite some time, if ever. I decided to go ahead with it in a month’s time. I have shortened the month-long trip to California to one week, and will focus solely on the 3-day workshop April 19-21. After that, I’m willing to surrender to whatever the next steps on the healing journey might be. And I trust it will be a potent and powerful journey.

Amrita at Lumeria Cropped

Amrita Grace with protea flowers

I could not possibly be better prepared to take a journey like this, and for that I am infinitely grateful. My beloved, Apollo Grace, is by my side and has been through the breast cancer experience twice already with women in his life (with great outcomes) and I have the strong support of family and friends nearby and far away. My work has reached people around the world, and the support is already pouring in. I live in Maui, a place renowned for its healing energies. Whatever your feelings are, I honor them. All I ask is that you not be in sorrow for me, but to celebrate life with me!

There’s so much more to say, and I’ll be continuing to blog regularly. If you want to get notifications of future posts, please follow my blog. There’s a “follow” button in the upper left corner of this page.  Please comment below as well, if you feel so inclined. You can like and follow my Reclaiming Aphrodite Facebook page as well, or check out my website for free resources for sexual wholeness and empowerment. I would prefer comments to the blog rather than emails… my inbox is pretty overrun right now. Thank you!

I’m so grateful for your presence here. Thank you for being part of my world.

Love & blessings, Amrita

Posted in Amrita, Dancing with Cancer | Tagged , , | 41 Comments

The Art of Right Relationship

Have you ever wanted to heal one of your relationships, and you didn’t know how or where to start? I’ve experienced some tumultuous upsets in some of my relationships over the past year, and wanted to find a way to heal the issue within myself before approaching the person involved. I turned my attention to two powerful tools, and combined them for an effective process for healing relationships with others without needing to interact with them.

The first tool is the ancient Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono (make things right).  I begin by gently holding the person in my mind, and repeating, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.” I say this internally or out loud whenever I think of it. The second tool is my imagination, in a process called inner journey work. In a quiet location, I close my eyes with an intention to resolve the relationship, and simply allow whatever images appear to unfold in my imagination. I don’t try to guide or change them, I simply stayed tuned in, no matter how strange or silly they might appear.

I have found that my subconscious mind will use symbols and imagery to guide me through the resolution. In one case, a couple I wanted to heal my relationship with appeared in my imagination as a pair of tame rabbits. As I began to speak the words of Ho’oponopono to them, the rabbits held an ornate golden oval mirror up for me to look into while I spoke. I grinned with the understanding that I was really saying the words to myself.

Rabbits holding mirror

I walked away from that inner journey session with the understanding that healing our relationships with others is always an inside job. It’s so easy to blame others for the difficulties, and, being human, I often do. More and more, however, I understand the value of doing the inner work first. By doing so, I give myself an opportunity to take responsibility for my own contributions to the difficulties in the relationship. When I’m willing to look that deeply inside myself and listen for my inner guidance and authority, I often discover that the qualities I’m blaming someone else for are really things I’m not willing to see in myself.

Hiding from our shadow

There’s a term for such qualities that we don’t see in ourselves; it’s “shadow.” There’s a human tendency to cast or project our shadows onto other people rather than see them in ourselves. Starting to recognize and integrate our own shadows is deep and intensive work. For those who are willing, it’s very rewarding and brings one closer to a state of wholeness and inner peace.

goddess mirror

The art of right relationship begins within. When we are in true integrity with who we are, taking responsibility for our shadows and projections, we are practicing Ho’oponopono with ourselves. From that foundation, we cannot help but draw to us people with similar values. Even so, there will always be misunderstandings and difficulties in relationships. Now, when I find myself wanting to blame someone else for my bad feelings, I simply look in the mirror and say “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”

Love & blessings, Amrita

Posted in Right Relationship, Shadow | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Renewal of Yule in 2012

Yule, or Winter Solstice, is a high holy day that predates Christmas by thousands of years. It’s one I’ve recognized and celebrated for more than a decade. Because of the nature of the Mayan calendar focus on 12/21/12, Yule has come to the forefront this year as a most sacred of holy days. I’m quite tickled about that, and feel inspired to elaborate on some of the mythology of Yule.

Yule Goddess Leotti 08

Artwork by J.M. Leotti

What I am most familiar with is the God and Goddess story, which illustrates the circle of death and rebirth intertwined with the wheel of the year. At the Winter Solstice, the Sun God (the light returning)  is born of the Goddess. It’s likely this helped fuel the Christian myth of the son of God being born at this time. The Sun God grows and is a small boy at the time of Imbolc (February 2nd). He continues to mature through the Spring Equinox, and by Beltane (May 1), he is in his prime. He mates with the Goddess at this time of the rising sap and riotous blossoming in nature, and then reaches his peak of power at the Summer Solstice (strongest light). From there, he begins his decline through the harvest festivals of Lammas (Aug 1, Autumnal Equinox, and Samhain (Halloween). During the harvest time, symbolic sacrifices might be made to return his energy to fertilize the earth (ie, burning a straw man, or effigy). During his decline, the Goddess rises in her power, as ruler of the dark time of the year, the feminine, the womb, and the time of hibernation. And that takes us back to Winter Solstice, when the Sun God is reborn.

moon triple goddess

Triple Goddess
Google Images

This Yule has a specific sequence of magical numbers that make it special as well… 12/21/12 translates to 3/3/3, which is sacred to the Goddess. This relates to the Triple Goddess, maiden, mother, and crone (wise woman). Same with 12/12/12. I’ve been pondering the most appropriate ways that I might immerse myself in the energy of this time, and I love what my dear friend Dr. Deb Kern shared on her blog. I’m going to post it below as she wrote it, and I’ll likely be following most of her suggestions.

I sometimes think that the ancient Mayans had a sense of humor about all this… perhaps they gathered in circle around a fire to talk about the future and the calendar. Let’s assume they had advanced knowledge of the Law of Attraction and the concept of critical mass. I imagine them talking about it like this (envision with me, if you will, the elders having this conversation):

mayan-pottery-chama-valley

Mayan pottery depicting a religious ceremony

Listen people, I’ve received a vision that people of the future are going to overpopulate the earth and overuse her resources, so how can we help them  understand that they are headed for disaster if they stay on that path? Hmmm, how about if we make the calendar end on the sacred date of 12/21/12? Great idea, I see where you are going with this… many of them will think that’s the end of the earth, but many more will perceive it as a time to shift into the next spiritual and evolutionary phase… so they’ll create that all on their own with a critical mass! Excellent, let’s roll with it.

My personal belief is that while the earth’s and humanity’s changes are rapidly accelerating, they are still gradual. Humans need time for their nervous systems to adjust to energetic upgrades and evolutionary shifts. The more prepared we are, the more of a shift we experience within ourselves. It’s that microcosm, macrocosm thing… as within, so without. More and more, I believe the changes are internal, and that’s ultimately what impacts the collective experience. So, whether you celebrate this season with others, with your beloved, or with yourself, remember that you are ALWAYS the ultimate creator of the reality you are experiencing. All of it.

With deepest blessings to you and yours as we enter the time we have been waiting for! I’m SO EXCITED! Love, Amrita

Dr. Deb Kern’s recommendations:

How to purify the body:

  1. Between now and 12/12/12, cut out sugar, wheat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners and processed foods. Drink lots of water and ginger tea. I will be eating kitchari. If you’d like to join me, just click here to learn how to make it.
  2. From 12/12/12/ – 12/21/12 do a juice or raw foods cleanse. I have been intimidated by this kind of cleanse in the past, but I feel very confident because I’ll be following the “Jump Start Cleanse” created by Krystalle and Artemis Keszainn, creators of the “Cleanse ATX.” Their 10 Day Jump Start Cleanse is available online as a virtual program with DVDs and e-books to guide you. What I love about it is that they have different levels of cleansing available. So if juicing is too big of a challenge, you can choose to use raw foods. Just click here for the “Jump Start Cleanse” (not the New Year’s cleanse because you will have to wait until January for that one).

How to purify the mind:

  1. Cut WAY BACK on the amount of computer, TV, radio, newspaper, idle chat.
  2. Add more yoga, dance, meditation, prayer, quiet time in nature.
  3. On 12/12/12 set aside time to reflect on any areas in your life (habits, thoughts, relationships, jobs, material possessions, debt, food, addictions, etc) that are blocking you from living your BEST life. Write those down on paper. Then reflect on all of your gratitudes and write them down on a second piece of paper. Finally, reflect on your hopes, dreams and desires for yourself, your family, your friends and the entire world. Write those down on a third piece of paper.
  4. On 12/21/12 (Winter Solstice) build a fire or put a candle in the bottom of a large metal container and burn the papers. Whatever your tradition is, pray as the fire metaphorically transmutes the blockages and magnifies the power of your gratitudes, hopes, dreams and desires. I chant as I burn the papers and I end with the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic .

Do whatever feeds your soul!

Posted in High Holy Days | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Delightedly Descending Into Dark

In previous centuries, before the advent of electric light, winter was a time of rest, relaxation, and hibernation. These were times when people depended upon a good harvest of their crops to make it through the cold season, and there were no grocery stores around the corner to stock up on food supplies. There was not a whole lot to do on the short, cold winter days, once the harvest was in, except to read or work on handicrafts by the fire. There was a natural alignment with the seasonal rhythms, an alignment that I am keenly aware of in this 21st century.

Even living in the tropics, I am deeply tuned in to the earth’s seasons and rhythms. About this time each year, I rebel against the escalation and craziness of the Christmas holiday season. What I want more than anything is to dive deeply into the dark, quiet peace of the winter solstice, go within, and hibernate like the wild, furry mammals of other species. It’s no easy task in these times, to disengage from the bright lights, the parties, the shopping frenzies, and the loud and raucous celebrations that welcome the new year… but somehow, I do. It helps to live on Maui, where Christmas is pretty mellow and low-key. I can’t imagine living in a city during this time of year, although I have in the past.

I know, you probably think I’m a Grinch or maybe just a party-pooper. I admit that I cringe at the thought of Christmas shopping and receiving gifts I don’t really want; at tacky tinsel in colors I’m not fond of; of all those irresistible sugary treats appearing at once; of spoiled children whining for MORE PRESENTS; and of stressed out people over-extending credit card balances. I also admit to having a favorite Christmas song, to loving the smell of evergreen fir boughs, to enjoying light displays on homes, to appreciating the deep peace of the high holy day itself, and to acknowledging the birth of the Christ Consciousness in its pure, un-religious, energetic form. The gifts I want to give and receive are quality time and presence with people I love, quality time with myself and my inner being, small gatherings of friends to catch up on each other’s lives… no credit card bills necessary. I want to get quiet enough to feel my own heart beat and I want deep connection with my beloved, at a time when work and the internet can be set aside for a few days and the whole world feels blanketed in peace.

I don’t begrudge those who celebrate the holidays in whatever way they like to. I simply choose, most years, not to engage. I’m more than happy and willing to make the occasional exception, such as a Christmas with my in-laws in the upper mid-west. I’ll be due for that in 2013 and I’ll enjoy it for what it is. But for this year, after the kind of year I’ve had, filled with underpaid overwork, extreme stress, and a magnificent, monumental, successful effort to bring Divine Feminine Institute to a close gracefully, I will descend delightedly into the dark in the way of my ancestors of long ago. I will rest, recover, and repose. As I emerge into 2013, having shed the skin of the past 7 years, I’ll be refreshed and ready for what’s next. And what’s next promises to be amazing and magical.

Happy holidays, whatever your fancy.

Love & blessings, Amrita

Posted in High Holy Days | Tagged , | 4 Comments

The Deciduous Dance of Death and Rebirth

As we head toward the dark half of the year, I ponder death and rebirth; that which cycles on the earth, and that which is cycling in my own life. This particular time of year is special to me, being my birth time (October 30); this year in particular, as I turn 50. I’ve know for decades that I would turn 50 in 2012, and it’s proven to be an interesting time. As I reflect on the past year, I feel so much gratitude for all the abundance around me: my beloved husband and teaching partner; my sweet home on the slopes of Haleakala crater; the opportunity to live my passion and purpose; incredible health and fitness; not to mention the loss of 35 lbs of excess weight in the past year and a half.

I’m also really grateful for the hard, painful stuff. I see it as a tempering process, a polishing of my inner diamond so that it shines with ever more clarity. I’ve moved through massive amounts of internal shadow material this year, and gotten really clear about how I want to go forward with my work. That process alone has been quite challenging and has fundamentally changed my connections with several people I have been close to over the past several years. As I step into my full power and sovereignty and the need for approval drops away, I claim even more of my core essence to bring forth for the greater good. And that circles me right back into gratitude for all the gifts, the sweet ones and the “growth opportunities.”

I have been so deeply served by my time with Divine Feminine Institute these past 7+ years. I would not be where I am now without the training, the practices, the teachings, and the experiences of pulling myself up the side of the mountain, from student to administrator to facilitator. Having received these gifts and combined them with my own, something new has emerged that is purely and perfectly mine. As Divine Feminine winds to a close by the end of 2012, Reclaiming Aphrodite will continue to arise and be expressed more and more fully. I will always appreciate my lineages, my teachers, and those who have modeled expansive possibilities to me and held a space for me to transform myself from sexually wounded to sexually empowered and whole.

Deciduous means the dropping of a part that is no longer needed, or falling away after its purpose is finished. It’s such a perfect example of the constancy of change. Completing with Divine Feminine has been one of the hardest as well as one of the easiest things I have ever done; and yet it has shown itself to be complete in its cycle and ready to die, perhaps to be reborn in a new form down the road… with someone else at the helm.

There is a time to live, and a time to die. A time to hold on and a time to let go. The divine perfection is in being able to distinguish between those times, and to embrace the changes with grace, courage, and fearlessness, grieving the losses and celebrating the gains. More than forty of us will gather in early November 2012 at Haramara Retreat in Sayulita, Mexico, for Divine Feminine’s final week-long retreat, Spirit & Shadow. It promises to be the best of the best, as we give it our all and embrace all the sadness, celebration, relief, disappointment, and, no doubt, shock that this body of work is ending in its current form. What I know for sure is that the Divine Feminine never dies, She just changes shape and and dances into new form. Sometimes we just have to let the old structures go and see what arises in their place. We’ll be sending Her off in style.

Love & blessings, Amrita

Posted in Dance, Gratitude, Sacred Feminine, Shadow, Solar Feminine | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Emerging Aphrodite

I’m on the verge of culminating the work of a lifetime as I prepare to debut Reclaiming Aphrodite in Boulder in a week’s time. The journey to here has been amazing, and I’m so grateful for the gifts I have received along the way as I prepare to give my own in full measure. There’s so much I have integrated, especially this past few months, to prepare me for this next level of service. Today’s inner journey was no exception.

Again, my friend Lisa held the space on the phone as I stated my intention to journey inside and receive any information or guidance about going forward with Reclaiming Aphrodite. I thought I would revisit the place from the last journey where I received an invitation into a portal into the lower world. I went there, but was instead take up to the upper world… and once again, the rich imagery unfolded. There in the upper world, I met a crone on a throne, who went straight to my heart and had me lie down and began to do energy work with me.

The crone continued to work with me, and I notice a figure bringing hand to my lower chakras. Before I could tell who it was, I felt hands blessings my yoni, inside and out. It was Mother Mary and Mary Magdelene, who were one and the same. Jesus also was present, and I was shown that he is part of me, the part that lives calmly from love and compassion. Snake also appeared, and showed me how to move my energy up from my lower chakras to my throat, and eventually up to my crown. I was told that all the work is done, that’s it’s safe to live from my heart, and I can simply speak now and trust that the words will come.

I know that my next big breakthrough is trusting that I can speak without a script or outline, that I will say all that needs to be said, and that the energetic transmission will fill out the information. When I speak from my heart, I will communicate everything perfectly.

When I opened my eyes, the colors around me were so bright! I was in a very altered state, fully immersed in the present moment. I felt deeply calm and yet lusciously alive. Tears poured down my face as I realized the incredible power and magnitude of what had just transpired.

What I realize is that Aphrodite is much more than the Goddess of Love. She is All Women. She is Mother, Sister, Lover, Daughter, Crone, Queen. She is wholeness. It is this emerging Aphrodite that I bring forth in my life’s work. May She bless the world through me, and with me.

Reclaiming Aphrodite will debut in Boulder October 18-21. The next workshop will be in Maui March 1-3. I expect that 2013 will be a magical year as I continue to find impeccable alignment with my soul’s purpose.

Blessed be, Amrita

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Maiden, Mother, and Queen

First, I want to acknowledge the value of having a friend who can hold a powerful space for me in which I can do my own work in the context of a session. It takes courage to be silent with someone on the phone and trust that they are having their own experience whether they are speaking about it or not. I know, because I’ve been on the holding space end of it before, many times. There is a tendency to want to make something happen so that I know I am being effective in my guidance. So often, it’s just not necessary to do anything but be present.

In my previous post, I mentioned my friend Lisa, with whom I trade phone sessions each week.  It was two weeks ago that I had the big session where Queen Radiant Ease emerged (see previous post). I knew there was more work to do, because I was feeling confused and restless as well as experiencing depression-like symptoms. As the session began, I started speaking about all of this, and once again, I was taken into a brand new inner reality.

In my inner vision, there was a pond and lots of fall colors with leaves scattered on the ground and the surface of the pond. There was a log in the pond, and I was immediately shown a little girl (my own inner child) standing on the log and spinning it, barely keeping her balance. She communicated without words, “This is what you have been doing.” I breathed into that revelation. Then she let me know, “It’s okay to let go and fall in.” And she did just that. I thought she would be cold, but she came up smiling and laughing. As she climbed out of the water, I wrapped a towel around her and we sat on a blanket under the trees. There was a picnic basket, and she wanted hot chocolate. With whipped cream.

I’ve done a great deal of inner child work, with myself and with others, and written about it extensively in my book. This was a whole new experience. Little Kim (my childhood name) was older than I’ve ever seen her before, around 10. There was no energy of wounding around her at all. This was my COMPLETELY HEALED (or perhaps totally unwounded) little girl. Her hair was white blond and shiny, her smile and her manner easy, and her energy playful and light. At some point, she placed her own hands on herself, heart and yoni, to show me that she was comfortable with her own body. I was amazed.

At this time, I chose to invite a friend with whom I have unhealed issues to come into the space, and she came and sat down on the blanket with us. I had some things I wanted to say to her, to help clear and heal the energy between us. I had been feeling quite heavy-hearted about what was incomplete in the space between us, and I decided that I did not want to wait for her, I did not want to depend on something outside of myself to feel better.

I asked if her little girl would like to come out, and a girl of about 10 emerged from her and took off to play with Little Kim. They seemed very glad to see each other. The adult version of her did not speak, but her shape changed into the Venus of Willendorf shape, with large breasts and thighs and no clearly defined head. She was still as a statue and about the same color. I spoke to her about my love and respect for her, and my gratitude to her for all of our time together, and I acknowledged that we are always connected through our little girls as well as through our higher Goddess selves, even when our human selves are acting from their pain bodies. I completed with her, and invited her little girl to merge with her again. The little girls were saying goodbye, sad to part. They played a game of patty cake where they put their hands on each other’s hearts. During this part of the vision, as I spoke it out lout, I made that motion with my own hand. As I hit my heart center a little too hard, I felt how tender my heart is right now after being somewhat armored over the past year or so.

I saw her three parts, maiden, mother, and queen or goddess, and it showed me that this is the gift I was being shown right now… my maiden Little Kim, free of her wounding; my current human self, in a mother phase of giving birth to Reclaiming Aphrodite workshops; and my goddess self, Queen Radiant Ease. I’m sure there’s a crone in there somewhere, but it’s not quite her time yet.

Her little girl merged with the Venus, and they dissolved into the earth. I placed my hands on the earth in blessings and goodbye. I turned to Little Kim, and she invited me to lie down. She placed her hands on me, taking the healer role. She told me (again, not with words) that she can show me how to be easy and playful with responsibility, a how to have fun with wisdom.

She showed me the log again, and how to fall off the spinning log. I surrendered into taking a turn, and after a moment of spinning, I allowed myself to fall into the water. I thought it would be cold, but it was not. It was welcoming and comfortable. I realized that this pond is a portal, a place to journey deeper from. There is an invitation to return and dive deeper into other dimensions that this portal leads to. I don’t know what they are yet, but I’m excited to find out. Little Kim reminded me that when I was little, I thought I could breathe underwater. She said I still can, in this place.

Now, I feel as though I have a foot in each of two worlds. One part of me still resides in the old paradigm, where I am a pessimist, I easily take a martyr stance, and everything is black and white. And at times, I feel the gratitude, my feelings right on the surface, sometimes joy and sometimes sadness. I never know where I’m going to find myself, and when I’m in the old place, I can witness it… but can’t quite shift it yet. It’s a very deep process of integration and releasing what no longer works. I’m thankful for people around me who can reflect with love and compassion what they are seeing, knowing that I am doing my work, patient and understanding. I have full faith in the process, and trust that the old pieces will fall away as my denser physical body integrates the cellular changes and the new neural pathways that are being forged.

I have declared my intention to teach women about the power of emptiness as part of the feminine. I also know that I cannot and will not teach anything that I am not fully embodying. I know that I am being prepared in all ways to bring my particular mission and soul’s expression to the world. I am ready for whatever is next.

Blessed Be, Amrita

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The Brighter the Light, the Deeper the Shadow

In Jungian psychology, the shadow is defined as “everything of which a person is not fully conscious;” in other words, that which we cannot see in ourselves. It is also prone to projection: turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. I’ve recently traversed the full territory of my own biggest shadow, the one that’s been running my life since childhood, the one that I’ve been grappling with for years without full resolution. Until now.

I’m in a period of deep integration now, having just this week made a huge connection of the dots after having a complete and total meltdown which, much to my dismay, was quite public and impacted many people. I am humbled and have experienced a fair amount of shame, and yet I am also quite compassionate with myself, knowing that I’m having one of the most transformative kinds of human experiences short of extreme illness or the death of a loved one.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who have supported me, held space for me, and trusted me to do what needed to be done to come out the other side. I know that I was on the verge of losing one or two dear friends, and almost certainly have lost another. I’ve paid dearly for my experience of transformation, and the consequences are still reverberating. I am grieving and celebrating at the same time, and slowly, my tender and vulnerable heart is peeking out into the light.

So many of us have witnessed the intensity of this year of 2012, the structures collapsing, that which does not serve us being violently torn away at times. My year has been no exception. I began to work in true earnestness on this particular shadow piece, which I refer to as “rigid control,” in June of 2011 in a Shadow Work® process facilitated by the founder of Shadow Work®, Cliff Barry, along his wife Vicki Woodard and Joe & Julie Mandarino in Fairfield, Iowa. What emerged was “Get Shit Done Girl (GSD Girl),” a very old aspect of me that had been protecting me since childhood from an unsafe and traumatic environment by working really hard, proving herself to be “good” to the point of perfection, and needing to be acknowledged and approved of at every turn. It was a very big first step, and the beginning of what is culminating now.

With GSD Girl now in my conscious mind, I could feel what it felt like when she was running the show. I could recognize her, but she was still in charge. Then December came, and a very stressful situation presented itself in that the Director of Divine Feminine Institute stepped down very suddenly, and I took over her job along with my own Director of Education position.  GSD Girl came roaring to the surface under great duress,  and she drove me with one-pointed focus to single-handedly grab the responsibility of taking on two full-time jobs. I was driven non-stop, pulling a huge load of baggage behind me, not very happy or peaceful, but by goddess getting the job done at all costs.

Back in Fairfield, Iowa again this past May, I had the opportunity to take a Shadow Work® weekend with Joe & Julie Mandarino, Certified Shadow Work Instructors, and do another full SW process (a different one this time). It was the next layer, one where the following words emerged (in the altered state of the process) from me to my youngest self:

You are so precious. You deserve everything. There is nothing I would rather do than take care of you now. I will always be here. I adore you. I love you. You deserve a life of beauty and enjoyment and balance. You can trust the support that is all around you. You don’t have to do it all. You are just as loveable at rest as you are when you are productive-maybe more so. You can trust yourself-trust that part that wants to relax and be guided towards beauty and enjoyment. Allow that part to guide you.

Shortly after that trip, I had a week-long training to facilitate in Calistoga. This was the last push before I could finally take a break… and ultimately, it became the last push, period. Hopefully ever. I was in the midst of it… my shadow playing out full on, and I could see it to some degree, but could not do a darn thing about it. It was riding me, and playing me hard. I was doing my best to rigidly control everything and everyone around me, even though I was supposed to be the one holding the space for the participants. I was horrible to be around most of the time. I was able to do my job reasonably well, but it was not a very happy or satisfying undertaking.

Afterward, my commitment to myself was to clean up the loose ends from the workshop, then finally take a break after 6 months of full output. I was ready to really implement a new way of being for the first time. I used an astrological marker on my chart as a jumping off point… on July 19th, my North Node and Sagittarius moon were conjunct, marking a soul retrieval of my Sag moon, my vision quest Amazon truth seeker. My promise to myself was to not push into anything, but to allow inspiration to motivate me (or not). I had played with this a little previously, and was starting to get a feel of it in my body. On that day, I set all the work aside, and rested. I ended up on the couch for a week reading a book. I could barely move. One morning, after 9 hours of sleep, I went back to bed at 9am for 2 hours.

The full aftermath was yet to come. I was agitated about one of my projections that I had fabricated in the depths of the shadow journey. I requested a clearing with someone that I thought had broken an agreement during the workshop, and agreement that was important to me. That busted open the first round of the consequences, and luckily, my dear friends were able to walk through that fire with me. We did clear it all out, and it had been building for more than a year anyway… it was long overdue. I was starting to get my shadow mirrored to me so I could begin to see it more clearly; a little at a time, but with great intensity.

As I got clear of that, I was starting to witness big changes in myself. Already I had delegated significant portions of the work to be done for the next workshop in November, a huge step for me, but one that came quite easily. What a relief. As inspiration moved me, I began to feel an internal expansion of my own frequency of my passion and my soul’s work coming forth in full bloom. It began to explode out of me. I revamped my entire website, every page. I did a major edit on my book and created a second edition, adding a story about finding my beloved; updating the content, infusing it with new photos and energy, publishing both the printed version and formatting it for Kindle. None of this was planned, it just happened. It feels joyful, and easy, and very congruent. I feel another book gestating inside me.

Then the next wave hit just this last week. Again, my agitation and projections provoked a challenging conversation with someone dear to me who had received the big dose of my shadow self at the last workshop. It was the impetus to finally connect the dots. This was not about anyone but me and my stuff. What emerged from that, within 48 hours, is what feels like a final piece falling into place.

As I reflected on the conversation mentioned in the last paragraph, I felt shame, and lots of it. That was a big clue. I felt ashamed of how I had acted at the workshop, but there was more there… it was much deeper. There was something significant here for me. What kept coming up was I did my very best and received only criticism for it. Something was wrong with that picture.

I had an opportunity this week to have my dearest girlfriend hold space for me on the phone, as we trade phone sessions each week. I wanted to explore this: the shame, the “did my best” story, and whatever else I could extract. I gave her the backstory and as I felt into the shame, things started to pop. We took a look at GSD Girl. Yeah, she served a purpose, but it was not serving me any longer. What to do with her? Could she be reassigned? What about this flimsy “did my best” story? Ahhhhh, a need for approval that was insatiable! All connected. I asked for Lisa’s hit on what GSD Girl might be able to do next that would be in service to both GSD Girl and me. She had an intuition about providing some kind of safety. That was all I needed, and the imagery started to flow. What emerged was a being, taller than me, who stood behind me with her arms encircling me but not all the way, leaving the front of my body open and exposed. She is strong, powerful, protective, but in a soft but fierce maternal sort of way. She has my back, but is not leading me. She is not closing off my heart with a death grip, but instead, loosely offering the circle of her arms in support without actually touching me. I suddenly remembered an Akashic Records reading I had with a friend over a year ago. There was a name that came through, a name that was just right for the former GSD Girl. I dug it up quick from a pile of papers. It was Radiant Ease.

Queen Radiant Ease

As I continued to feel into this new energy, I realized that this is nothing short of my queen emerging. The Queen of Radiant Ease. Powerful but poised, she has no need for anyone’s approval or to be in control of anything. She is so viscerally with me now, that as soon as I hung up the phone, I made her in clay. In my mind, she is terra cotta in color, like a Southwestern painting of an Native woman in outline. I feel her behind me all the time now and can call on her anytime.

After the call, like instant karma, my husband Apollo immediately came forth with a shadow piece of his own that he had projected on me. We worked it through quickly. As I returned to my computer, the aftermath continued. Two emails from one of my dearest friends, raking me over the coals. On some level, totally deserved. On another, accusations of many things that were not true, and I chose not to take them on. I apologized for what was mine, handed back what was not. I surrender to whatever consequences there will be. This is the grieving part.

Overlaid on all of this, a third and final round of the HGC weight loss protocol. My body has morphed again, not from the loss of weight (less than 10 lbs), but from the shedding of a gigantic layer of over-responsibility, workaholism, and the weight of heavy baggage dragged through the decades. I know I will be tested, over and over. And, I know that I am free. I know in part because my jaw, with its lifelong clench and tension, has started to ease for the first time in my life. It’s been clamped down as long as I can remember, and I’ve been baffled about what was causing it. Now I fully understand that it was not about speaking my truth, or opening my 5th chakra, or whatever other psychobabble, it was about rigid control and clenching down on myself. It will provide me with a physical indicator, an immediate feedback loop, and I will heed it.

Jung also believed that “in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness—or perhaps because of this—the shadow is the seat of creativity.” I can believe it.

I have offered my most sincere apologies to those who experienced the last gasp of GSD Girl’s ugly side at close hand, as she must have known it was her final opportunity to act out before losing her lifelong job. She did it up good, as only a strong, powerful Scorpio/Pele woman can. It was a testament to thier love for me that they stood by me with compassion and tolerance as I thrashed around so unconsciously.

In a little over two month’s time, I will step into the portal of my 50th birthday. I remember back to turning 40, and it being another very transformative time, as I left my marriage of 14 years to continue on my path of healing and recovery on my own. Within 3 years of that, I found my way to Divine Feminine Institute. And the rest, as they say, is history. Cycles begin and end, rise and fall, peak and subside… as in all of this human life.

With profound love and deepest gratitude and blessings, Amrita

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Sexual Healing Begins with Accessing Emotions

I have been through my own arduous journey of sexual healing, and now my passion is to assist you on yours. Having made a full recovery from childhood sexual abuse and adult sexual addiction, my life’s work is now helping others free themselves from sexual wounding. While I acknowledge that the journey is never really over, I know that I have fully reclaimed my self esteem and have a beautiful, joyful life full of love. I want that for you, too.

Sexual healing begins with accessing and releasing the emotions stored in the body. As you allow the layers to emerge, information and guidance will be revealed to you that will show you your own personal path to full recovery. Next time you feel a strong emotion emerging, follow this formula to accelerate your process:

The Three Key Ingredients in Accessing Emotions

1. Breath – breathing deeply, especially when you feel difficult emotions, helps allow those emotions to surface, be felt, and then be released. The natural reaction to difficult emotions is to contract, which has the effect of making the breath shallow, effectively keeping the emotion buried. Expanding into the emotion will at first seem counter-intuitive… but what you may notice is that the emotion washes over you like a wave, peaking, crashing, and receding. That layer is actually leaving your body, never to return.

2. Sound – this one may be quite challenging at first, especially if you used your invisibility superpower as a child in order to survive. Making sounds bypasses the mind and allows you access to a more primal aspect of your being. If you can give a sound to an emotion as you feel it, you can speed up and supercharge the release. Start with humming and build from there, or just open your mouth and see what comes out. Take the intensity and volume up as much as you can. Make sure you have a safe space for making sounds first.

3. Movement – were you ever allowed to have a tantrum as a child? Kids know how to move energy fast, and once they do, they are done! Dance your joy, stomp your feet with frustration,  shadow box your anger, wail and rock your head with sadness. Be safe, make sure you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else, and don’t forget to breathe.

Now, the secret to success is to combine all three. Breathe, feel, make sounds, feel, move, breathe, and feel some more. Allow it all to wind down in its own time, and then just notice how you feel in your body, in your mind, in your emotions.

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The Abundance of Unconditional Giving

A couple of nights ago, I was listening to Arjuna Ardagh interview guests on his Thrive in the New Economy conference call about the gifting economy. I felt deeply touched by the couple who is teaching free workshops and inviting people to donate if they get value. I woke up the next morning with tremendous inspiration. I have a gift to give, and I’m going to give it away for free!

This is a whole new attitude for me, and I feel that I have somehow made a leap into a new personal paradigm that engenders total trust that I will be supported economically. I have always held a standard of “exchange of value”, knowing my own value and charging for it accordingly, as well as feeling the pressure to make a living. What I now understand is that the exchange does not have to be a direct one-on-one exchange; I can give away as I feel inspired and receive from the abundant universe!

As I embrace this concept of showing up in my livelihood with what I have to offer others, I notice how different it feels from showing up with what do I need to pay the bills and feel secure; I feel free, unencumbered, light, happy, excited, and open.

From this place, I have decided to give away my book, Reclaiming Aphrodite-The Journey to Sexual Wholeness. It is now available as a free download on my website. I priced the Kindle version at $4.99, and I am selling copies of the soft-cover for 1/2 retail from my website. This is not a limited time offer, but a genuine, ongoing offering of my gift to you. 

I want to donate copies to shelters, recovery programs, and libraries. I am open to suggestions about places that might welcome the book. If you have any ideas, please email me.
 
I know the way I feel now is the way I want to feel about economics as we warp-speed into the coming months. I keep getting pieces here and there that this is what our future is about: abundance rather than lack; openness rather than fear; service instead of entitlement… 

…and that starts right here with me.
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Stormy in Paradise – Hawaii Island Retreat

A quick little trip to the Big Island, that was the plan. Then Mercury had his way with me. Under the last day of Mercury retrograde, I left for the Maui airport in plenty of time for my scheduled commuter flight to Kona to do a site survey at Hawaii Island Retreat, where I was coordination a future workshop. I arrived in town early and parked in a strip mall lot to check my messages. I found a message I had not gotten from the previous day that said my flight had been cancelled and I was re-booked several hours earlier, uh oh!

I called right away on my cell, and just as we were about to settle the rebooking, the AT&T network went haywire and the agent could not hear me anymore. We called each other back several times, and although I could hear her, she was unable to hear me. I looked around frantically, remembering that there was a pay phone in this lot. Sure enough, there were two right next to each other. I had no idea how to even use a pay phone anymore, dinosaurs that they are, but this one took credit cards. I was able to rebook my flight for a couple of hours away, delay the rental car, and talk to someone at Hawaii Island Retreat to let them know I would be later than originally scheduled. The cost, I later found out, was over $5 for each of the inter-island calls.

The re-route took me through Honolulu instead of a direct flight to Kona, and the drive to the retreat center was about an hour long. It was dark, and I could not see the scenery along the way, but traffic was light and I arrived at Hawaii Island Retreat around 9:30 pm. It was just as windy and rainy as the weather I had left behind in Maui. I was greeted by Jeanne, the owner, and she showed me to my room, the Peach Hibiscus. She encouraged me to use the bathtub, a gorgeous over-sized oval large enough for me to stretch out my 5’10” frame easily. I obliged as soon as she left. All told, it was eight hours, door to door for a simple trip to the nearest neighbor island!

I slept soundly, wrapped in organic bamboo sheets and a down comforter, well insulated from the wild wind blowing outside. I left the curtains open so that the ocean view would be the first thing I saw when I awakened. In the morning, I took a closer look around the room. It was created with beautiful, dark wood furniture and floors, all highly polished. The bathroom contained a huge open double shower in addition to the lovely bathtub, and was also furnished in dark wood and marble with tile floors. Everything was spotless and there was an abundance of fluffy towels. I was greeted on the vanity by a baby gecko, who had probably hatched within the last few days.

Mercury continued to play with me as I watched my cell phone battery drop, realizing I had brought no charging cord for it. I was exchanging texts with a dear friend with whom I had had a deep misunderstanding that needed clearing, and I was feeling the emotional storminess overlaying my day even as the wind and rain buffeted the pine trees outside. Mercury would station direct the next day.

I only had a few hours to tour the place before heading home to Maui, so I went down for breakfast. I was served by Jeanne herself, in the open-air dining room. She sat down for a few minutes and I asked her about if she was of Hawaiian decent, as I could feel her connection to the roots of the culture. She replied that she was not by blood, but by heart, and that she had spent many years studying the Hawaiian language and culture, including the dance of Hula. She told me stories of being brought to this land many years ago, before she was looking for property, by her Hawaiian “Uncle”, or teacher. He brought her by boat and showed her the canoe house where the ancient Ali’i (kings) had come to hold council on this land. She did not fully understand why she had been brought to the land at that time, but later it was all revealed when she was brought to the land again and recognized the canoe house. She knew then it was where she was to build this special place.

Steeped in her stories, and having been fed luscious tropical fruits, homemade granola, yogurt and goat cheese, eggs and banana bread, I set out with Jacque to have a tour. The main lodge was a U-shaped, curved around a central courtyard, with an abundance of upstairs lanais and sitting areas. I saw several of the rooms, most of which had the same grand bath tub as the Peach Hibiscus, each room a different color. All the doorways were 9′ tall, with beautiful dark wood doors. Everything was immaculately crafted and kept. On the first floor, the Christmas tree was being decorated, and we peeked into the workshop room, large enough to hold at least 50 in a circle. Two curved, tile staircases took us to the second floor lanai and the media room with its comfy chairs and wireless internet.

Next we wound through the organic gardens and visited the yurt village, and I found the yurts charming and comfortable. Nearby was the bath house, with separate areas for men and women to shower. We then walked toward the spa buildings and pool. Though the day felt wintry and cool, the saltwater pool still looked inviting. From the outdoor massage space, we could see down in the valley that held the council stones, a sacred place on the land marked by ancient rocks in a verdant, green valley.

As the Director of Education, I am deeply excited to be bringing the Divine Feminine Institute to this magical place March 3-10, 2012. I feel it is a great privilege to be held in such a sacred container as we bring the much-needed work of sexual healing and spiritual sexual education to the planet. Those lucky few who will be with us in March are in for the experience of a lifetime… to be so cared for by a loving staff who wholeheartedly supports what we are doing… to be so nurtured by the luxury of the rooms and the grounds… and to be so held by the energy of the Gods and Goddess of the land of Aloha, the place of transformation, creation and destruction, is a rare privilege.

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Reclaiming Aphrodite-What does it mean?

Reclaiming Aphrodite, first and foremost, is the title of my book, or part of it anyway. The rest is The Journey to Sexual Wholeness. What I am realizing is that it is much, much bigger than that. As I sift through possibilities for a name, a brand, for the body of work I am bringing forth, my research led me to good ol’ Google. I was considering “Aphrodite Awakenings”, which has such a nice ring to it; but when I Google searched on that, I found many uses of this name already in place. So, I thought, might as well do a search on “Reclaiming Aphrodite”. What I found was really cool.

My name, my book, my blog, and my website rule the first 3 pages of the Google search, and they continue to weave through page 9. Page NINE! I found my little self published, home grown tome for sale in India and New Zealand as well as at several online bookstores beyond the ones I was aware of. I was blown away with delight and gratitude.

The book is only a starting place. It’s about my personal and highly successful  journey of healing from childhood sexual abuse and adult sexual addiction. It is written as a journey through the chakra system as a path to healing, from the base chakra to the crown. It contains personal stories from my life that are full of magic and intensity, as well as healing exercises to help people reclaim their wholeness no matter how they might have been wounded. As one review states, “Every reader will gain something from this book.”

Aphrodite is the Goddess of Love and Beauty. As a wounded child, I felt like the ugliest duckling in the pond. The road to self esteem and self love was long and winding, and the journey was arduous, but the gains were boundless. One of the milestones along the way was seeing a glimpse of myself in the mirror and catching my breath at the beauty I saw in my own eyes. Aphrodite reclaimed!

The first steps of my healing journey led me to a circle of women, an initiation of priestesses. We connected with the Goddess energies in ceremony, and these archetypal energies, along with the other women, were my first support system on the road to recovery. Eventually I was ordained as a High Priestess, carrying forward a lineage of the Goddess and the Sacred Feminine.

Sensuality and sexuality are also part of Aphrodite’s heritage, and there is much more to reveal about that aspect of my healing journey… but that is yet to come. This blog is dedicated to exploring all the richness that is entwined in the idea of Reclaiming Aphrodite, and I’ll be diving in at least weekly to weave the tapestry with you. Thank you for the gift of receiving my words.

Aloha

Posted in Reclaiming Aphrodite, Solar Feminine | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Dance of Balance

All of my life I have been Dancing with balance… in my head. I am really ready to integrate balance all the way in to my body and my life, and am calling forth the tools and assistance to take that giant step into true listening to my inner needs and true willingness to act on them. With this comes both genuine freedom and tremendous responsibility. This concept of balance has always been to me just that… a concept. What does it really mean? I’m finding I only receive the answers to that question as I notice AND choose to shift the cycles that have been driving me in barely conscious ways for decades.

Workaholism comes easily to me. I have drive and ambition and know my purpose on the planet, and there is a never-ending “tado” list. I have a tremendous reservoir of energy, always have, and I can draw heavily on it. What’s been underneath all that is a desperate need for acknowledgment; to be seen as “exceptional”; to be the best at what I do; to earn approval and acceptance; and of course the endless seeking for financial abundance. Time for a new paradigm!

As I traveled in the Midwest this spring, taking my work out on the road with my beloved, Apollo, I declared that it was Time. I busted the endless cycle of “I’ll have time to rest after this trip or project or [fill in the blank]”. If I’m going to have balance, it must begin NOW. What emerged from that was a very old, very integral shadow aspect of myself. She revealed herself and told me her name: GetShitDone Girl. I shortened that to GSD Girl. She had been running my life as far back as I could remember. She is a master of accomplishment; no deadline too short, no project too large, messy, or difficult.

My desire was to honor her place in my inner pantheon and be able to call on her as needed, without her running my whole life. Enter Shadow Work.  While traveling, I had an opportunity to receive a session from Shadow Work founder Cliff Barry and his wife Vicki Woodard in Fairfield, Iowa, supported by my dear friends Joe and Julie, also Shadow Work facilitators. It was a fantastic session, where GSD girl got to reveal her original purpose in my life (to protect me in my unsafe childhood) and she was honored as an important part of me. Although I can’t fully describe the process since I was deeply immersed in it, I understood and embraced the value of working with archetypes and symbolic processes as a way to catalyze inner shifts.

Upon my return home about two weeks later, I could feel the ways in which I was beginning to embody the balance I had called in. I have started consciously implementing new practices, which I will share with you here:

1. I follow my muse. I ask myself, “What do I FEEL like doing next?” instead of imposing the previous protocol, which was to start with the hardest thing on the list and work my way down to the easiest until I finished the list or dropped from exhaustion, whichever came first.

2. I take weekends off. No more work weeks that never end. Just because I’m self employed and work at home does not mean I need to be the worst boss I’ve ever had or live in my office.

3. I soften my focus. I no longer require myself to have a razor sharp edge at all times. When I need a reminder, I watch the 2:36 minute video called Prickles & Goo.

4. I go outside and play. I live in a tropical paradise, for heaven’s sake! Hiking, swimming, camping, backpacking, or just laying on the grass under the stars are all part of what I moved to Maui for.

5. My current growth edge is to ask for help and to delegate. I don’t have to do it all myself, and I truly can trust others to do it as well as I would. (Okay, I’m almost convinced, but not quite.)

6. I remain tuned in to this process that is a constant unfolding. I know that balance is never static, never finished, always in motion. A Dance with a capital D.

When I really need to remember exactly what it is I am here for, I read my favorite quote from Abraham-Hicks:

All is well, and you will never get it done. Life is supposed to be fun. No one is taking score of any kind, and if you will stop taking score so much, you will feel a whole lot better – and as you feel a whole lot better, more of the things that you want right now will flow to you. You will never be in a place where all of the things that you are wanting will be satisfied right now, or then you would be complete – and you never can be. This incomplete place that you stand in is the best place that you could be. You are right on track, right on schedule. Everything is unfolding perfectly. All is really well. Have fun. Have fun. Have fun!

Aloha

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Starting with Gratitude

I begin my very first blog with a full and happy heart. I have the supreme privilege of living on the beautiful, magical island of Maui, where I get to swim in the birth waters of some of the newest lands on the planet. I live with my Beloved, who waltzed into my life just a few years ago and recognized me as I recognized him. I am healthy in every way possible. I have access to fresh, organic food and clean drinking water. I love my work and know my calling, and am living my soul’s purpose with great intention.

I have written and published a book that is helping people recover from sexual abuse, as I have done with so much success. I continue to create, and to evolve ways to be in service to the Divine and the healing of the planet. I am alive during the turning of the ages, the most powerful time of change in the known history of Earth. I am surrounded by overflowing abundance and succulent beauty. I am truly blessed!

There’s more. Oh, so much more. But I’ll leave it at that for now. Thanks for tuning in, and may your heart be at least as full as mine.

Aloha

Posted in Amrita, Gratitude | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment