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My first TEDx talk: The Fierce Face of the Feminine

In early December, in the very last lap of the year of 2010, another dream of mine came through: I was invited to give a TEDx talk!

It was the amazing powerhouse-women of SeeJaneDo, who against all odds managed to be chosen to arrange a TEDx Women’s conference right here where I live in the small Sierra Nevada foothills town of Grass Valley, California.

Since I came home from my Europe tour the day before the talk, I was jet lagged and with not must time to prepare, I decided to put all my political correctness aside and speak about a topic I feel very passionate about, The Fierce face of the Feminine (and looking at the response to one of our guest bloggers writing about a similar topic earlier this week, there are more of us out there!).

In the talk I address how to allow for a natural response towards injustice, without creating more hurt, how to embody the power and beauty of feminine rage, why we are called to step up and give voice to the power of the fierce feminine, and how anger is not intrinsically negative, only what we do with it.

Enjoy the talk, and I hope that you will share your response with us all in the comments section below.



  1. awakeningwomen says:

    Yes yes yes, I love that you are joining the roar!
    I bow,

  2. awakeningwomen says:

    Yes, David, we hear you. And we send our blessings to your beloved wife for her wisdom and tenacity among other things.

    Suzan @ AWI

  3. david usher says:


    It kind of feels like the two of are spiritual twins. I am 81, feminist since age 20. Am an intellectual nerd with a bunch of University degrees. My wife is 64; high school diploma, severely injured at age 15. She is, most definitely, wiser then myself. Abhorrent medical patriarchy over 44 years has made her life a near-continuous hell, yet she survives

    I have a cougar yell, , hard to describe but EXTREMELY loud: it works, seldom used. We need to have rage. All over the world thousands are killing, mercilessly, hundreds of thousands are dying, including even tiny babies. Inequality and ferocious injustice seem, now in October 2014, to have reached a boiling point. We are at the tipping point.


  4. […] this Tedx talk, my dear and wise teacher Chameli Ardagh speaks about how anger itself is not intrinsically […]

  5. Christine says:

    You are so fantastic. I am going to be 38 this year, and I am so jealous of women like you who are so far along on the spiritual path. You are an incredible speaker, and I needed this talk at this very moment. Bravo! I’m sharing with everyone!

  6. A powerful, beautiful and moving speech!

  7. Suzan says:

    Thank you for your kind observation of Chameli. She appreciates it very much.

    Suzan @ AWI

  8. Peoplenplants says:

    Enjoyed hearing and witnessing this strong, alive woman sharing this wisdom. Since I was a teenager I knew deep inside myself that war is stupid. Thomas Banyaca, the Hopi prophet told me before he died how important it is for the women to speak and to stand and take action as leaders for the very survival of humans. The woman in this video is embodying this.

  9. Susan Scott says:

    Thank you so much Chemali! I came across yr page by (meaningful) chance. I will share on my FB page. Of course, I am reminded of Adam and Lilith (Adam’s first wife) and Lilith’s suppression and expulsion for not obeying Adam and her anger at G.d for not helping her settle this dispute. She was banished to the depths of the Red Sea to never appear again – but she did when the timing was right and appeared as the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Eve took the apple that was offered as a way of getting out of the G of E and out of unconscious bliss and dependency and with the ability to exercise her free will .. which of course is not as straight forward as it sounds .. anyway – thanks for the reminder of being present with one’s rage … and not suppressing it … 
    Susan (Johannesburg South Africa)

  10. Louise Romain says:

    maybe we all have feelings because we have important needs or human values…
    if you haven’t read about nonviolent communication (nvc), it shows a path to express feelings without hurting others.

  11. Adrianna says:

    Thank-you, this is awesome!  One thing I don’t understand, at about 11.15 of your talk you say that ‘you can be just as prescient with thoughts as you can will feeling’.  I don’t understand this…Can you please clarify?

  12. Kali without Shiva is destruction

    Kali with Shiva is medicine

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

    I can feel the healing force of these energies in my body.
    Deep emotions. Tears. Healing.

    Much Gratitude for this Medicine

  13. Kali without Shiva is destruction

    Kali with Shiva is medicine

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

    I can feel the healing force of these energies in my body.
    Deep emotions. Tears. Healing.

    Much Gratitude for this Medicine

  14. Angel says:

    I loved this speech! I think it’s totally TED-worthy. GREAT speaker! One thing that comes to mind though is you have demonstrated what Kali and Shiva is, and what Kali is without Shiva, but HOW can we find Kali with Shiva and how would that manifest itself?

  15. Ramarajkumari says:

    Thank you, we need more ways to empower the women of the world. I have worked many years helping women in US to embrace their spiritual power and enlightenment. It has been a long time coming and it is so wonderful that there are more women doing this work.
    Swami Ramaraaja Stone
    Sharon R. Stone BS, DD, VHT, RMT

  16. Joan says:

    Wonderful!! Fabulous and inspiring… Thank you for getting me in touch with my anger… and understanding the ebb and flow of feelings in a box.  I am sick to death of the training and cultivation of the feminine through the misogamy of men for corporate profits from the number of Barbie’s sold per year!!!  Thank you 

  17. awakeningwomen says:

    This is so powerful! I would love to post it as a blog post. How would you feel about that?

  18. Jayne says:

    Chameli, you have expressed for me the balance that is needed in order for the power of the Divine feminine to take action , to rise up in each one of us . I have been on this journey for a long time, working at staying present, going forward , walking the walk , not just talking.I feel it is time for the Patriarchy to admit that it’s not working to suppress one wing of humanity. I woke up one morning with an image that now I realize resembles Kali . I put the image into words. The image is of a super human , gigantic warrior female striding onto a land ravaged by on going war,eyes blazing ,

    She told her daughters, don’t have any daughters
    she told her sons, don’t have any sons
    she told her children , “no more children, no more cannon fodder for their guns”
    She’s so tired , tired of the killing
    She’s so tired and she’s not willing to sacrifice, not even one
    she said “what’s the matter children, don’t you have enough?
    “don’t you think you could share some stuff?”
    Stop making war, causing all this pain, why do you do it again and again?”

    She took one foot, she took two
    she took one hand , she took two
    she picked up a tank and she picked up a gun
    and she threw them all the way to the sun, all the way to the sun.

    WHen I told my adult Son about this image and shared these words with him, he said
    ” Mom, I hope she let the guys out of the tank, before she threw it into the sun”
    Thank you and blessed be

  19. Mariel says:

    Thank-you! Truly inspiring to see someone share so passionately and without holding back.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your warm feedback!!

  21. Leanne says:

    Amazing! I am hugely inspired by the richness of the words and body language I witnessed… a passionate expression of the personal and universal. Thank you x

  22. awakeningwomen says:

    Wonderful Diana!

  23. Diana Köster-Kandé says:

    Since I was a little girl, I always felt very strongly injustice. Later I saw myself confronted with male rational arguments ( f.e. in political discussions) like: you are too emotional, you have no idea how the world works, this is not the level where an intelligent, rational, modern being should discuss. I felt wrong even my belly and my heart talked another language from another inner world. And indeed I was too emotional. I felt the right and the truth of my Kali-Energy beond all rational argumentation. But Shiva wasn`t there. So I blocked and my biggest enemy was rational thinking, so much that even good Shiva energy felt like a nice, reasonable lie and prison. Only with awakening women I learn to like my feelings, without being a victim of them and without hurting myself – and others. And it is the first time that I realize that I am not wrong with my strong Kali energy in love with truth. I thought I was so wrong before because to be a woman AND to have strong rage was not the image of a modern, “civilized” and “cultivated” woman. Thank you so much! The real freedom is to feel this anger about injustice (and the lie about separation blocks all emotional investment about what is going wrong in our world!) AND to be without the need to react or let it out all the time! A wise rebellion ! Love Diana

  24. Brilliant! I have tears in my eyes, as you remind us of this deeply buried treasure which we have held back for so long in the name of being ‘correct’ and which if it was active with awareness and Heart, we never would have got ourselves into this quagmire of denial and violation. This is so very very timely..your passion and outrage…NOT THE CHILDREN
    thank you, thank you, thank you

  25. Nici Moeller says:

    Great, wonderful it couldn´t be expressed in a clearer way….Thank you for giving so much powerful presence to us. I´m happy, Kali just came home. Lots of love, Nicola

  26. Cecilie says:

    I feel cut off from this fierce feminine power in me. Or I feel it and then I swallow/ I don´t allow myself to speak what I feel is true. Because my habit is to analyse what might come out of my mouth, because I am afraid – of loosing control – of being rejected – of not belonging. It´s painful and it sucks the energy out of me, and it turns me into a woman I don´t like – feeling worthless and hopeless, selfpitty which makes me dislike myself even more. And yet I know deep within me that only I can break this circle of repressing and holding back.

  27. Brilliant! I have tears in my eyes, as you remind us of this deeply buried treasure which we have held back for so long in the name of being ‘correct’ and which if it was active with awareness and Heart, we never would have got ourselves into this quagmire of denial and violation. This is so very very timely..your passion and outrage…NOT THE CHILDREN
    thank you, thank you, thank you

  28. Ticaluna says:

    I really don’t reognize the angry child.. I was the adapted, nice ‘adult’ child.
    But…. lately… the angriness comes up. And I (now) love it! Still learning to get Shiva involved, but hey.. I’m learning 😉
    And I can feel the energy of angre and love to learn to work with Siva.. So speak! 😉

  29. Ticaluna says:

    GRWOEHHHH…. I really like this. I can feel it in my whole body. My body likes this!!
    I MUST share ;-)….. Thanks for sharing with me!! Big warm loving hug Daniela

  30. Orly says:

    G R E A T. Love Orly

  31. Linda Sama says:

    great synopsis of Kali, loved your talk! have Kali’s eyes and Her yantra tattooed on my back….yeah. I get it….;)

  32. Such a powerful and timely message. And delivered with such fierce love and energy. I can feel my own Kali rage and my fear of its expression and in that fear, its suppression. I’m appreciating this model of Kali with Shiva presence as a template. “God forbid we should be emotional…” so true! Our emotional life as women is at the core of our power to transform and awaken. I’m an emotional creature!

  33. Claudia says:

    WOW! Absolutely BRILLIANT!! Thank you so much for sharing and spreading this crucial CRUCIAL message of embodying our Kali…together with the Shiva* to own our feelings and step into them…

    Thank-you for sharing it with such fierce passion* That was wonderful!

  34. Wonderful! I salute your Kali and Shiva… what a team. 🙂

  35. Bonnie Franklin says:

    Thank you !

  36. Niki Andre says:

    I love to hear you speak!! Every time I tune in I find something that rings and resonates with what’s percolating in my life. This talk is like distilled crystal. You are a bright fierce light! So grateful for your work and words in the world. Tell! Tell! Tell!

  37. savannah says:

    Your talk gave me chills. YES! How do we learn to channel our rage against injustice, against the forces of “darkness” without becoming trapped in duality? Thank you for so passionately bring the question forward with signpost to a new direction. NOT THE CHILDREN!!! You go girl! Thank you for speaking so clearly and with such force.

  38. Daniel Spiegel says:


    I stumbled over PASSION = SUFFER:

    “Founder & passionate feminine embodiment practitioner”

    I just made a group on Facebook: ROMANCE to the ROMANS. The topic of passion is high on the list. Please explain why it can not be a “compassionate feminine……”



  39. Daniela Hammer says:

    Wow! Chameli!
    I am loving the hyena in you..What a fierce love!!
    lots of love


  40. rafhara says:

    it is mindblowing for me to experience a teacher which embodies the feminine divine like you Chameli!!!! What a gift we all receive from the Universe. It is big. Now you spoke to the world on stage, not in your habitual space in your own community, and in the temples all over the world.
    For me it is so so important, what you are speaking out loudly… are sooo brave and I bow to you for the courage you have to follow your passion. You do it for all of us. Thank you for transmitting me, how it is to be incorruptible heartguided……I am honored to pass you THIS speach on all over the world and to live this teaching the best I can, I promise…….grateful forever

  41. Sorry. I was so moved. Of course it should read Human Greatness…

  42. You exhibit genuine Guman Greatness! You ARE Kali (with Shiva). I bow to the ground!

  43. camille says:

    Wow!!!! Just Wow!!!

  44. Annika says:

    Thank you Chameli! I so recognized myself in the angry child and in learning how to control all those emotions in my teens. You are truly an inspiration. Namaste!

  45. Filiz says:

    Dear Chameli,

    with this talk you offered me the medicine I needed in this moment. I was losing myself in Kali energy with much resentment and longing for an opening, now I know in what direction I need to cultivate it and the greater context in which this anger can rest and serve.
    I absolutely love the storytelling in your talk, the feminine archetypes are immensely powerful.
    blessings upon you and your work…

  46. Spiralwoman says:

    Thank you! So important to not only awaken but act and express and cultivate this feminine force! Really enjoyed your stories and the Kali/Shiva example. Inspiring to see you poised with force, and the flow that moves through you!

  47. Eartha says:

    Thank you for such powerful and passionate message. It’s very much needed for us to get in touch with our inner fire for the protection of our children. It reminds me of the quote from Coretta Scott King – “Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.” Awesome!

  48. awakeningwomen says:

    Thank you so all of you amazing sisters!!

  49. Lisa Swahn says:

    Touched, happy, crying, angry, feeling US together. all my sisters and that we work together.
    For me you are like a big female icebear blowing fresh air in my body,cleansing away all doubts of who I am. we always know.. but its so easy to forget.
    Thank you again and again for reminding,supporting and loving
    Its time to act now.Im in

  50. Wonderful , Chameli.
    Your are divine encouragement for all of us!!!

  51. Lone Morch says:

    Ah Camelia, we most meet!

    Kali has been my ally for the past couple of years … helping me own my ferocity, dancing with the truth, and cut away delusions and anything that stands in the way of love. And now, I feel like you, the need for turning this fierce love toward the world to inspire and encourage truth speaking, and funnel this deep-seated life force that rage is into creating a world we can be proud to be part of.

    Thank you for voicing it so eloquently, powerfully, passionately … Jai. Jai. Jai.

  52. Christy Farr says:

    This is exactly the type of fierceness I’ve seen missing in my coaching clients, when it comes to their “fight” to learn to be peaceful and loving with themselves, to eat well, move their bodies, believe in their own dreams the way they do everyone else’s. Thank you.

  53. Brilliantly and poignantly said, Chameli. Thank you for sharing your fierce love and powerful presence. May we all learn to practice this through your empowering work.

  54. OH Sister. You are a force! Thank you so very much for the wealth of insight and inspiration that you bring. This is, I believe, the most important message there is to be delivered. And deliver it, you do, ever so bravely and elegantly.

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