(Here’s this story in text, for those of you who love to read, rather than watch.)
Today I’m tracking the ‘wild feminine’ and exploring practices to inspire the shift from shame to honour in the female body; to benefit our health, creativity and capacity to live our calling.
Seven years ago I was standing in a bookshop in Seattle when I had a moment that changed my life – a book with a beautiful golden cover caught my attention. And I read the words ‘Wild Feminine; Finding Power, Spirit and Joy in the Female Body’.
Several things happened in that moment.
Firstly, I suddenly felt a spotlight on the sexual trauma in my body, and the shame that came along with it – which I was wearing like a shroud – and which was drastically diminishing my health, creativity and sense of love and connection with myself.
(As we’ve seen in the #MeToo movement, I’m not alone here. This is an epidemic amongst women. One in five women experience rape and 80% of women report having experienced some form of sexual abuse.)
Secondly, as I read the first couple of pages, I felt a cascade of possibility rush through my body.
Something deep in the core of me wanted to know more about this ‘wild feminine’. “I can transform this shame into honouring, power, joy and creativity?!” I thought. Yes please.
So, I began to track this feeling of ‘wild feminine’ possibility everywhere I could find her.
It took me to Nevada City to train as a woman’s temple leader with Chameli
Ardagh and the Awakening Women Institute.
It took me on a three-month filming adventure across the south of France researching the story of Mary Magdalene as a powerful allegory for the process of women standing in their own power.
It took me into a deep process within over 13 months of tracking my menstrual cycle as a map and guide to my own physical, emotional and spiritual health, through Alexandra Pope’s ‘Women’s Quest’ workbook.
It took me and my inner geek into a deep study around the female body, reading ‘Vagina: A New Biography’ by Naomi Wolf, ‘Wild Power’ by Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer and ‘In the Body of the World’ by Eve Ensler, as well as memoirs from dozens of women who have found a pathway to embody incredible power, such as Michelle Obama.
Most of all it took me into wild nature, where I’ve always felt more connected to this wild feminine possibility than anywhere else. And to this day I’m engaged in a mysterious love affair with the natural world and her capacity to help me shift from Shane in my body to a deep, real sense of honour and love .
So now, let’s fast forward to a couple of years ago, when I was working as the communications director of a global women’s charity, TreeSisters, devoted to restoring the relationship between honouring the female body and the feminine principle, and honouring and taking care of our earth as an expression of that feminine principle.
And it was creating some beautiful, tangible fruit, in the form of a network of over 250,000 women gathered around the vision, and millions of trees being planted in the ground.
I felt so fulfilled. I felt I was tracking this wild feminine possibility more than ever before.
Yet my body was hurting.
And despite all my best efforts, my partner and I weren’t able to conceive the baby that I had been longing for years.
And that’s when I received an email from Tami Lynn Kent about a training she was soon to offer in London in Holistic Pelvic Care.
It made no sense! I was a marketing and communications professional. Not a massage therapist, osteopath or healthcare professional. But something in me simply said a loud, radiant and undeniable yes, so I did it.
Sitting in that room for five days with Tami changed my life, just like picking up Wild Feminine had, so many years earlier.
I understood, through my own embodied experience, the resiliency of the female body.
I learned how to feel safe in my body.
And I learned that bringing loving presence into the core of our bodies as women is an incredibly powerful, healing antidote to shame and it’s debilitating effects on our creativity and capacity to live our calling.
I’m still on the trail of the wild feminine today.
At the moment, this looks like exploring ways to support the women I work with as a communications consultant to access the wisdom and healing capacity within their bodies, to enhance their own health, creativity and vitality when it comes to bringing their own unique work into the world.
The practices that I want to highlight from my story, as tools to support us all to make the shift from sale to honour in our female bodies are firstly:
One ~ Gathering with other women like I did in Nevada city with the Awakening Women Institute. Some kind of powerful and mysterious her capacity opens up within us when we physically present with other women with an intention to shift a shame.
Two ~ The second is to track our cycles. Whether that’s the menstrual cycle or the lunar cycle, as a pathway to coming home to our own unique rhythm and flow.
Three ~ And finally the series of practices which are in this book, “Wild Feminine”:
And this is why I’m hosting an online “Wild Feminine” book club this summer, with my dear friend Edveeje Fairchild, so encourage and inspire women to make this shift from shame to honouring their bodies, and to experience more power, spirit and joy in their female bodies.
We want to make this accessible to as many women as possible, so to join the contribution is £25 or $33 and all of the profits are going to the City of Joy in the Congo to support women survivors of rape to become leaders in their communities, as well as to TreeSisters, to plant trees in the tropics that are an active expression of our ordering of the Earth.
I’d love to have you with us. You can join here, we start on July 25th, and we’re hosting a free intro event on July 10th.
In honour of the wild feminine in you, Sophie