I have noticed recently that women’s work is popping up all over the place. Women’s Circles are in every town across Australia, women’s only workshops are flourishing and collectively we are being called to redefine what an empowered woman is. For a long time after the waves of feminism woke us up many women felt that in order to be a women in her power we had to compete with men and even become more like men. We see this for example in politics where successful female politicians are described with masculine qualities such as ‘strong’, ‘hard’ and ‘iron’.
Women with a spiritual practice and a longing to awaken have long known this is not the way to true empowerment. In the Hare Krishna movement our founder Shrila Prahbupada used the Sanskrit word ‘medha’ which refers to mental vigour and power, nourishment, prudence and wisdom to describe women. Medha means ‘the intellect illuminated by love’ and is associated with female intelligence. Prahbupada recognised what it is taking us years as women to absorb, our power is not in competing with men but rather in our unique qualities which differentiate us from them.
Here are some practices for both men and women which can heal the Divine feminine (Shakti Prana) in all of us:
Remember that the masculine and feminine role models can serve all of us at different times and in different ways and both have their beauty. Hone and use both your buddhi (discrimination, analytical mind) and your medha (intellect illuminated by love). Become both God and Goddess, sacred lover and beloved!
Observe and connect to the shifting energies of the moon, notice how you feel at new moon and full moon junctures particularly. This can connect to and support menstrual health for women. If you are a woman in your fertile years healing your menstrual cycle is a big step to reclaiming your Shakti Prana. To learn more about how to do this please join us for my Ayurveda Sadhana training at Krishna Village in 2019.
Practice ceremony. When we step into ceremony or heart-felt ritual we step out of auto-piolet and narrow thinking. Start your day with ceremony by lighting a candle and praying before you do anything else. End your day with ceremony by chanting mantra or journaling what you are grateful for before you sleep.
Smoke cleanse your space (with sage, incense or palo santo) then sit in meditation.
Rethink your approach to healing when you are unwell. Experiment with aromatherapy and herbs rather than turning straight for pharmaceuticals in consultation with a qualified naturopath or holistic GP.
Connect to the season, land and people around you. Notice which food grows seasonally where you live. Eat that food. Explore seasonal rhythm and cycles.
Connect to the stories of your female ancestors. Talk to those who are still alive and ask about generations that came before. Particularly talking about family history of birthing babies, spiritual awakenings and traditional family folklore around food and medicine are healing for Shakti Prana. Be open minded and non-judgmental about which family members you ask and what they tell you. These are the stories that formed you whether you 'like' them or not. Sometimes a little reflection and deeper investigation of ancestral patterns can hold great riches of understanding for our own healing and evolving if we stay kind and expansive in our approach and thinking.
Katie is teaching lots of women’s work in the last quarter of 2018 and moving into 2019. Join her for Women’s Ayurveda Training at Krishna Village in northern NSW, full moon Women’s Circles in Newtown, Sydney and Advanced Yoga Teacher Training at Sukha Mukha in Bronte, Sydney. All details are under trainings / workshops on this website.