Shares – A Class, A Book, Articles, and Blogs
It’s been way too long since I did a Share post, and they are really central to why I originally created this blog – to share teachings, writings, and resources, especially those relevant to women. So here goes! First up, a beautiful course being offered TOMORROW (sorry for the late notice) by Deonesea La Fey:
Embodying Your Sensuality – from the course description, “You will receive wisdom teachings on how to be more in touch with your sensual nature on a day to day basis, as well as tips and techniques on how you can more fully enjoy and love your body.” As you know, sensuality is a key aspect of our sacral chakra, and thus of sacral healing. I had a chance to interview Deonesea a few weeks ago (will be publishing that here next week) and know that this will be an amazing and unique offering.
Now a book, my favorite so far this year:
Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga, by Sally Kempton. This book provides practices for connecting with the energies of each of the Hindu goddesses – Durga, Lakshmi, Kali, Parvati, Saraswati, and many more lesser known – as both actual deities and/or as archetypes for the different feminine aspects of our being. Sally does an exceptional job retelling these legends of these goddesses in a compelling way, and of helping us understand their relevance to our modern lives. I also love this book because it explores femininity as multi-faceted – the warrior aspect of Durga or rebel side of Kali are as much a part of womanhood as the beauty of Lakshmi or devotion of Parvati. While each of us may connect to some aspects more than others, I think this is a great way to surface those parts of you that may still be unrealized. It also offers a wonderful vision of Tantric practice in general, because the author has walked this walk for many years.
Moving on to articles, I thought this article shared by a friend was very interesting…
…although the writer criticizes both Katy Perry and Lady Gaga who I happen to enjoy:-) Having grown up on Madonna, I just can’t help but see them as her legacy (and Madonna also exclaimed herself a non-feminist at the time, although now she is sometimes held up as an icon of feminine power.)
Really I think I resonated with this article because I sometimes receive emails or comments here criticizing the idea of women’s spirituality or women’s energetics along one of the following lines:
1) It’s divisive.
2) It encourages an ego identification – in this case a feminine one – and the spiritual process is about moving beyond such limiting identifications.
3) Source/Light/Love/Enlightenment/God/Tao etc. is non-dual, and therefore non-gendered.
I actually agree with all of these statements, or at least that they can be true – certainly I have sometimes been uncomfortable with women’s spiritual writings that seemed to raise the feminine above the masculine, or enforce divisions or retribution. But that’s not what it means to me. To me it is about rebalancing and healing historical wounds, on the personal, social and spiritual levels. Someday this work may not be necessary. For most women now, it is an essential part of their spiritual journey at some point. We are in female bodies, and experience Light through them. We are in female subtle bodies, and experience light through them. Or at least we can, when they are healed and strong. But it’s true, limiting yourself to this as your source of identity, isn’t what it’s about. What it’s about at a certain point is beyond words (or at least my words!) and definitely isn’t genderized.
But I digress! Now on to a study that has been in the media lately, noting that the number of people who categorize themselves as ‘spiritual but not religious’ is one of the fastest growing categories. Here’s the full Pew results (which is actually about much more than just this trend):
You’d be amazed at the backlash this has inspired in some quarters, including lots of posts like this:
There’s even since been a new, related study garnering attention:
Really, if you google ‘spiritual but not religious’, it’s pretty comical how worked up certain factions have gotten over this…a real ideological battle is being waged around this right now, and it’s part of the larger shifts related to spirituality that I think are one of the most important social trends occurring in our lifetime. Organized religion is worried it is losing its hold on our spiritual lives. It will be interesting to see where it all goes.
And on the slightly weird front, an article on how Dung beetles are guided by the Milky Way - I just can’t help being fascinated by dung beetles, because of the symbolism of scarabs in Ancient Egypt…
On to some blogs – I haven’t had as much time as usual to visit blogs, or update my blogroll, but I hope to soon. In the meantime, here’s a few goodies for you:
Mon has started an astrology blog, The Owl in the Moon, that brings all of her amazing gifts together in a new way, and in her latest, Retrograde Planets: Re-everything, she offers us a much deeper understanding of Mercury Retrograde than the standard astro-fare.
Cate has recently shared more Links for the Midlife Journey…
Akemi is back blogging at Real Life Spirituality, with The Story of a Rich Man, A King, A Guru, and a Woman.
Elizabeth has started a new blog exploring many spiritual themes, including her healing work with animals and families with animals.
If you were drawn to the goddess book above, be sure to also check out Daughter RavynStar’s blog Journeying to the Goddess…
I loved this interview with yoga teacher Kimberly Johnson, Recovering Post-Partum – To Yoga or Not to Yoga.
That’s all for now…if you are new here, please be sure to leave a link to your blog so that I can visit you back.
I’d like to close with a favorite Debbie Ford quote, as Debbie passed away this past week. She was the author of many bestselling books, including The Dark Side of the Light Chasers from which thess quotes were taken:
“Each aspect within us needs understanding and compassion. If we are unwilling to give it to ourselves how can we expect the world to give it to us?”
“Your life will be transformed when you make peace with your shadow. The caterpillar will become a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly. You will no longer have to pretend to be someone you’re not. You will no longer have to prove you’re good enough. When you embrace your shadow you will no longer have to life in fear. Find the gifts of your shadow and you will finally revel in all the glory of your true self. Then you will have the freedom to create the life you have always desired.”
Feel free to share your own favorite links and articles. Thank you.