Strength in Numbers- the Power of Shakti

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The first time I went to a women’s group was hell for me. I was in India at the time, immersed in a month long yoga program, and we were invited to a women’s group as an additional activity, hosted by one of our teachers. I thought it would be fun, we’d dress up and share juicy stories etc. No such luck. The teacher had us reflect on when we had felt most feminine.

OUCH.

I was totally stumped. I’d spent my adult life in corporate masculine workplaces (Perform! Compete! Achieve! Smash those targets!). I’d spent my leisure time at soccer matches surrounded by drunk blokes, and DJing in bars and clubs, in a mostly masculine environment. I had to compete and push myself to be better than the men, to get noticed and taken seriously. I dressed like the guys, I had short hair, I was “one of the lads”. So when had I felt most feminine? When I reflected on this question my whole stomach contracted. I couldn’t remember. There must have been a moment, surely?

Nothing came to mind.

I felt empty. Frustrated. A lump came to my throat and I tried to suppress the feeling of wanting to cry. In that moment, something broke deep inside me. The tears started flowing. They didn’t stop. The tears carried on through the whole of that session. And beyond. Afterwards we all went to a café, and I continued crying. Deep, full on sobbing, for a whopping 5 hours. I’d never experienced an emotional release before and this was incredible. It was the start of a long journey to uncover my authentic femininity.

Six months later, I went to my second women’s group. This time there were no tears. I connected with the other women through reflection and dance exercises. I started to experience some big shifts. The leader was a woman I hugely admired and resonated with. The work was incredible. Through connecting to this bunch of women that I initially saw as intimidating, I found out more about myself. I started to explore through dance and movement what felt good to me. I started to feel what “feminine” was.

On a practical level, I found a great new bunch of friends. Friends who just supported me in moments when I needed them. They didn’t know or care about my back story- there was no baggage of expectation or energy exchange like with old friends or family. They gave me a fresh perspective. I became happier and I gained tools to transform my emotions. I learned so much from these women- sex tips, relationship advice, how to connect and relate to the masculine, how to love my own body. It was truly priceless. And I had a hell of a lot of fun along the way!

It wasn’t always easy or comfortable. Every week I would be challenged and triggered by certain exercises. The leader helped guide us all through this, and I came to learn what a powerful tool resistance is. Now when I feel resistance (and it still comes up a lot!)- I know this is an opportunity for growth. I close my eyes, and breathe, and try to feel into what the resistance is. Where is it coming from? Why? Most often it’s something that I can work through- in a group of women we help each other to work through these challenges. When I’ve processed the resistance, the shifts and the growth come very fast. This approach led to a much needed and beautiful flowering of my femininity.

A women’s group is not about dancing and clapping, and having superficial girlie fun. It’s something much more deep and profound. The connections I made with many of these women in those exercises are still strong, several years later. I learned so much from having the reflection and transmission from these women. We created a sisterhood. We learned to connect and share with each other, and to drop judgements and competitive (masculine) mindsets. We empowered ourselves and each other. The power of a group of women coming together is phenomenal- this is Shakti in action, just like a hurricane or a tidal wave! This collective feminine force is unstoppable- anything is possible!

A few years later, I lead my own women’s group in Mexico, giving me the chance to hold space for others, and to develop themes that worked for us. Since then I’ve been blessed to run women’s workshops and circles all over the world exploring all aspects of femininity. What’s most important to me is to uncover what authentic femininity is for ourselves. We’re all different. What feels feminine to me may not feel the same to my girlfriends, and that’s great! We all have our unique take on this. I fiercely reject teachings that tell us that as women we should act, dress or behave in a certain way. We can embody different aspects of the Goddess in different moments. A good women’s circle should give us the chance to explore who we really are, not who we think we should be. And to celebrate this, and to celebrate each other!

Right now I’m connected to a few circles. They give me an international network of incredible, empowered bad-ass women that I know I can reach out to when I need advice and support. I’m truly blessed to have these women in my life, and I always welcome more.

My next women-only offering is a 6 week series, starting 2nd October in Melbourne- Shakti Circle (hosted by the awesome Tantra is Love). Click here to register: http://tantraislove.com/workshops/shakti-circle/ If you’re not able to join us but would like to go deeper in your femininity, I’m also available for personal consultation via Skype- contact me for further details.

Love,

Mangala x

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