3 practices that help me relax while speaking in public

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Photo: Bibbie Friman

Having trained more than 400 women in the art of creating and leading an ongoing Women’s Temple group, I often receive questions about how we can deal with fear and insecurity as leaders.

For me the solution is not to build up a new and shiny “confident me”, but to cultivate the capacity to stay present and relax open even when unwanted feelings like fear come to visit. Any identity we cling to suffocates our connection to the wild intelligence that we are and dims how much Presence we are able to transmit to others.

The world doesn’t need the plastic version of you: what we are hungry for is the medicine of Presence, generously given through the broken, imperfect, glorious and fully alive you.

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Dare to be Beautiful

IMG_5433_croppedGuest blog by Anita Wiger

I’m sitting on my balcony viewing the ocean, reflecting on my weeks in Corfu.
A month long Yogini ashram with
Awakening Women.
My life feels like a movie, a good one.
Not a Hollywood feel good movie, more the independent black and white one.
Interesting and not what you expect.
A little dramatic, real, raw and beautiful life changes over the years.
I can hardly believe it.
This summer, this life.

All my different choices.
From my work as a hairdresser, cool chick in black, wife, being a mum, to assisting in women’s groups, Lifedancing teacher, guiding women, taking care of my mother, leading the Yogini assistant team, Stylist and Coach, selling and buying houses, a new building project in Portugal, to body work, and this summer
to SING IN A MICROPHONE AND RECORD!!!
Hello, give me a break!
So surreal and yet so totally natural.
I’m pinching myself, is this for real?

Yes, I’m really here in paradise ~ on Corfu ~ in my body.
Nothing less and nothing more, just a woman through me, Anita Wiger.
The feeling of gratitude and humbleness runs through me.
Tears running from my eyes,
and my heart is so willing to surrender to all this incredible beauty.
My first reaction is to burst out with sounds, but I let myself breathe into this moment.
I just breathe and feel it.
Like Chameli says, kiss it with your breath from the inside.
A tantric practice, playing with my life force.

It has been more than 15 years since I first met my dear friend and teacher,
Carina-Maria Caur. She showed me a way back to my body,
through the love of dance and movement.
Lifedancing, I just love the sound of this word, Lifedancing!
And some years later C-M gave a workshop with Chameli Ardagh.
I couldn’t believe how “at home” this made me feel.
A feminine way of embodying spirituality.
Yes!!!

It was like I found a bit of my own life puzzle.

You know that feeling when you put on the perfect ring, bam, there it is!
I shall not say it has all being easy, not at all.
Oh shit, so many feelings coming up from the basement.
A lot of ” ugly children” being seen and held over the years.
And I still hear knockings on my door…I welcome them, they are all my “children”.
Just wanting to have some love and attention.
And they have.
They have my attention, my love and my patience.

For me this work has been crucial for my perception in the wide area of beauty.

It has been nearly 8 years ago since I woke up with half of my face paralyzed.
I had to do some deep soul searching.
How can I live my life like this?
What if this never goes away?
Can I still live in beauty?
After the first shock, I went through a lot of shame feelings.
Maybe it’s my own fault?
Did I ask for this?
And…I’m not healing quick enough.
Bahhhhh, many voices wanted to be heard.

Some thoughts were my own, and some came as friendly messengers from ” friends”.
I can say it was a tough time, but with the help from my spiritual practice
and my closest friends, I started to heal.
Not just the outside and my face, I started to heal my insides.
I found and did some really incredible practices (as I love to practice).
I asked the mirror every day, how can I serve the Goddess,
how can I bring out more beauty in myself and into the world?

How can I make myself more happy.
I did my best every single day, even when I didn’t feel Her.
This truly helped me.
And I started to feel more love and beauty for myself and others.
Maybe it’s okay to shine even if you are feeling a little “so and so”.
Can you feel beautiful anyway?

I sorted out everything that didn’t serve me and beauty anymore.
Bye bye old belief of how I could feel, Bammmm, gone from my wardrobe.
Welcome sustainable, well-fitting beautiful good quality clothes.
Welcome space and clean shelves.
Okay, one eye cannot be open and blinking, then “Hello” to the one that can!
I see you beautiful sister.

My life was seen by me, from me, with so much more kindness.
Much more relaxed than from the “model” of how beauty should be.
The brainwashed and kidnapped version of beauty and fashion.
I choose to dare to be beautiful…all of me!
This was a total life change for me.
My way back home!

And yes, summer 2015, back to my balcony in Greece, Corfu!
My movie.
This 3 weeks serving in Paradise, with my Yogini sisters, my teachers, sharing my gifts,
coaching so many beautiful women, sharing my voice, giving my love, this crazy loving heart!
Ahhhhh, I just want to cry out my gratitude to the world.
And I do, I cry outloud!
I refuse to hold back my love!
I refuse to make myself and others anything but absofuckinglutly beautiful!!!

Forever on my knees in deep gratitude for this life.

With love
Anita

Göteborg 2013.08.29 Anita Wiger i Göteborg. Till serie om kvinnor som tycker livet efter 40 är bättre än någonsin. Foto: Niklas MaupoixIt was always easy for me to see the beauty in everything and everyone. I love beautiful clothes in creative combinations, and love cool hairstyles. I have worked as a hairdresser for over 30 years, and to inspire and bring out the beauty in others is natural and joyful to me. But seven years ago, my life totally changed. One morning I woke up with half of my face paralyzed. I was shocked and terrified when I saw myself in the mirror. With drooping eyelid and jaw, I did not feel beautiful at all. In order to not completely break down, I decided to focus on what made me feel happy. One way was through my clothes…

Read more about me and my work at: www.vagavaravacker.se

Images: Bibbie Friman

21 Day Kali Ma Sadhana

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With Chameli Devi & the Global Yogini circle

Date:
September 9-29, 2015
Place: Participate from your own home

Kali Ma, splendorous mother of truth,
tear out the heaps of replica spiritual plastic
cluttering the cathedral of my Being.
Wash away these masks gone stale and drench me in the rain of the real.
My soul is nauseous from binging on the fancy drinks offered on every street corner,
in my denial of what I am made of, I have been turning my back on
the nectar of you
gushing through my veins. 

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A Feminine Body Needs a Feminine Medicine

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Guest blog by Drs. Beate Maul & Gianna Irmisch

In our medical practice of Chinese medicine and psychotherapy, we meet many women each year who have to make essential decisions concerning their bodies and souls. Many of them feel the pressure that a medical system filled with fear and a lack of time and compassion puts on them. They find it hard to hear the voice of their own body among all the voices around them giving advice or even telling them the supposed only way to recover. Sometimes it seems like there is no “feminine way” to heal in this jungle of professional advice.  (more…)

There are mothers.

Poem by Mette Welhaven Næss

mothers

 

There are mothers.

There are birthmothers.

And there are stepmothers.

There are adoptive mothers

and there are soul mothers.

There are real life mothers

and there are heavenly mothers.

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Oxytocin: The Healing Key within the Female Body


corfu4Guest blog by Sophie Jane Mortimer

My most eye-opening moment in the Awakening Women Leadership Training was learning about the ‘Goddess hormone’ oxytocin, and the science behind the healing bliss of Women’s Temple.

Chameli began her oxytocin talk by explaining that up until about twenty years ago, all stress research was done on male subjects. The female body’s hormones fluctuate so much that it is challenging to measure hormonal responses, so researchers simply didn’t include them in their studies. Thankfully, a group of pioneering researchers embarked upon a ground-breaking study. What they found could have a potentially radical impact for women, especially women who are engaged in a healing journey of any kind.

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SILENCE

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Guest blog by Nicoletta Abbate

Silence is the knot in my throat I have known since I was a child
of withheld tears running back inside
it has the taste of immeasurable pain that cannot be held by loving arms
so it gets swallowed back

It knows the sadness of others that has no river banks
and so it engulfs and floods the whole of you.

Silence has claimed love words from me too
and it has robbed me of moments of joy and connection
and sometimes of the possibilities of softening in a loving embrace.

Silence has no words
and yet fights to find them.

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The Great Pause

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The day will come when we will turn a corner,
and the Great Pause will scoop us up.
It is not a mistake: it will happen to ALL of us,
yet we keep death hidden in the
corners of our consciousness we refuse to face.

We keep our breath shallow;
we keep our ecstasies under control,
our intimacies safe.

One day, your body will surrender into the
cosmic compost pile that sustains us all
and the Dark Goddess will,
in her breathtaking devotion to life,
devour you.

But she is not only physical death
waiting for you there at the very end,
she is also the shedding of your
old and outgrown, hand-me-down clothes.
She feasts on your collection of masks gone stale;
she laughs at all your strategies;
she dances fiercely on the funeral grounds of your smallness.
She sets you free.

Beloved, she is calling you, howling for you to face her
and reclaim the wholeness of who you are.

You don’t have to know how.
Bow down to her
and she’ll take the lead.

::  Chameli Devi

 

 

Photo: Roberto Kusterle

 

 

Jiddu Krishnamurti Talks With Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche — Gold…

 

You’re welcome.

 

Books We Recommend

Handpicked for youOver the years, we’ve studied and read many books on feminine wisdom, spirituality, relationships, Goddesses, healthy living, yoga, business and more. We have our favorites in our Amazon BookStore. Check it out.

An Encounter with Durga: What I Learned While Riding a Tiger


Vanessa Nova
Guest blog by Vanessa Nova

It was an afternoon in February, but the sun was warm and bright and there was a fire building in my belly. I had been in retreat already for several days, gathered with Chameli and yoginis from around the world, in a quiet valley in the foothills of the Himalayas. The air was clean and sweet to breathe, and felt thick with a sacred buzz, a pulse of spiritual energy like none I’d felt in any other place I’ve traveled.

In the afternoons we were free to practice our personal sadhana. We were to work with a chosen goddess in our own way and I had chosen Durga, the Hindu warrior goddess, powerful demon-slayer, goddess of victory of good over evil, who stands for truth, justice, and empowerment. I was longing to be compelled along my path, knowing all along, that I have a job here, a contract to fulfill in this lifetime. For years it was a fight, an uphill battle. I carried this knowing like a burden. It was larger than life. How could I ever make a difference? Little old me?

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Womanifesting: New Year the Feminine Way

Guest blog by Lisa Sch1475802_569760476430348_1176561554_nrader

The power of the womb gives birth to all things. It is completely astounding that this feminine body knows how to take a drop of liquid seed and create the miracle of life. So in this month of new year beginnings, let us not be seduced back into the hyper-masculine conditioning of frenetic pushing to produce outcomes. Let us remember to be wary of hopping on the rah-rah resolution train barreling through town.

When our action flows from authentic inspiration and enthusiasm, it feeds us and increases our Shakti. When we slip into the old pattern of efforting to make things happen, exhausting ourselves in “hurry-up-not-enough-all-alone,” we can feel the difference. If we ignore the message, our feminine soul will surely offer us either gentle or more forceful feedback. And thank goddess for that. Remember that we signed up for this, dear sisters, to be emissaries of the new way.
We are awakening women.

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What if I said Yes to the Moon?

Catrin Welz-Stein

 Guest blog by Clare Dakin

What if I said yes to the moon?
What if I let my calendar mind fall quiet and forget
Let that incessant load of lists get parked
Over there,
by the side of the road
That I used to follow
when I thought I knew who I was
when I thought I knew what I was

What if I fell still enough to hear the tides
The ones that rise and fall me
The ones that deeply inform me
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Durga Ma

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Om Durga

You can be sure
She is awake
Summoned by the gods again
For battle

Perplexed by their own chaos
They quietly confess they need her
Now more than ever
To move mountains
Put out fires
End the endless fighting
And lay down their shame
For what they have created
For what they have destroyed

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Retelling the Adam & Eve Story: A Talk by Eve Ensler

In this powerful talk (featured below), Eve Ensler retells the story of Adam and Eve in a way that empowers and liberates women rather than condemning them for Eve’s choice to eat the apple from the Tree of Life.

Through reframing this creation myth, Eve puts into perspective the shame engraved in the history of women, the insatiable pressure for approval from our fathers and father gods, and the gift of female intuition, whose power can spark revolutions.

“This is the time for radical change,” she urges.  “This is the time to come into our bodies to dance and drum and rise. This is the time to stop apologizing for our belief that it is possible to live in a world where everyone gets fed; taken care of.” (more…)

108 Women’s Empowerment Movies (Updated with Links)

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Dear Yogini Sisters,

We asked you on the AWI Facebook Page to share your favorite movies about women’s awakening and empowerment, and here is the list of movies compiled from your responses, updated with descriptions of each movie and a link to the trailer and reviews.

May this list feed your heart and soul during those warm, cozy nights spent on the couch…

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Can feminine spiritual practice change the way we work?

 

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There is a soft glowing buzz behind the scenes here at AWI, as we are preparing for sadhana start tomorrow. It is a deeply moving experience to feel the energy of so many awakening women gathering together again and again, so much gratitude is here,
for all the women who take a stand for a saner world (For the benefit of all.)

And I also feel unspeakable gratitude for the work flow and systems we in the AWI team have created together. It has been many years of patience and steep learning curves, but I can honestly say that today there is a sense of ease and joy in all we do and create.

Many women have asked me how we can do so many programs, how we can create
so much without being exhausted,
and I find this inquiry intriguing and worth looking into.

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Shakti Dharma — the unique thread of you in the vast tapestry of existence

 

Chameli

You spend lifetimes comparing yourself with others,
wishing you could be more like this and less like that.
Stubbornly you cling to your flaws, collecting evidence and reasons
for why you have to be fixed before you can fully shine.

Busy building wobbly towers of new and shiny selves,
the freedom you long for seems always just out of reach.
Yet its sweet fragrance keeps pulling you closer, again and again,
to the portal of a terrifying vulnerability we have become so skilled in avoiding.

It is from this very door of intimacy you hear the ancient call from the deep feminine.
Kali, Inanna, Lakshmi, Durga, Saraswati, they all are challenging you
to take a chance, in this lifetime, to trust that you are not a mistake. (more…)

The Yoga of Compassion

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Oh Sister,

This breath, this life, this earth…so full of incomprehensible suffering, so full
of unfathomable beauty.The trance of division so strong, and yet open
awareness—the medicine—is here, always available.

These last years we have witnessed horrendous, unbearable tragedies in the world.
We have cried, shut down, prayed, felt the depths of helplessness and compassion. (more…)

85 Women’s Awakening and Empowerment Movies (List)

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Dear Yogini Sisters,

We asked you on the AWI Facebook Page to share your favorite movies about women’s awakening and empowerment, and here is the list of movies compiled from your responses.  May this list feed your heart and soul during those warm, cozy nights spent on the couch…

Here is the list as a PDF that you can download

(feel free to add your own favorites in the comments section below)

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  1. Whale Rider
  2. Persepolis
  3. The Color Purple
  4. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
  5. As It Is in Heaven (Sweden)
  6. Water (Mira Nair, India) (more…)