Consciously Negotiating Challenging Emotions

When I feel sad, angry, lonely, jealous, or sorrowful, I know I’m in the underworld. I feel the descent and the darkness around me. While it’s not much fun, I know the value of being with it and that I will eventually come out the other end, provided I’m willing to ride it out. It’s okay to be in the dark sometimes. I always emerge with valuable insights and more inner peace, and that’s worthwhile to me.

I think of the underworld as an actual place and I honor the darkness as much as I do the light (well, almost as much). In the wheel of the year, there is a season for darkness; a season for light; and time and space for the infinite gradations between them. The same is true in our human existence, no matter what you may have been taught. Life is obviously not all sunshine and rainbows.

The underworld is a potent place you can traverse through… once you learn to recognize when you are in it. When you understand how to identify and navigate the underworld rather than trying to keep it at bay or pretending it doesn’t exist, you harness the tremendous power that resides in your emotional body. Like the power of a half-tamed horse, it can either take you for a wild ride or you can learn to saddle it, ride it, and guide it where you want it to take you.

The power of your emotions is that when you acknowledge and feel them, they pass through and out of you, layer by layer. You don’t even need to know why you’re feeling them. Just ride the waves. Feel what you are feeling. Breathe with it. Be with it. There doesn’t need to be a story or a drama attached to it for it to move through and out. Chances are, whatever you are feeling is actually something you first experienced in childhood that you’ve been reminded of, re-evoking the same feelings. When you are able to just be with the feelings, you are forging new neural pathways in your brain, effectively re-wiring yourself in a very positive way.

Excerpted from the forthcoming book, Dancing with Cancer – The Sacred Feminine Path to Wholeness by Amrita Grace

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The Ceremonial Rededication of the Priestess

Artwork by Emily Balivet – emilybalivet.com

Upon this Autumnal Equinox day 2015, on the slopes of Haleakala Maui, I rededicate myself as a Priestess under Morning Star Venus in Leo. I embrace the Leo themes of radiant, radical self-love, vision-carrier, and innovative creator. I declare my willingness to shine my full light and bring my unburdened, unarmored heart to every aspect of my life. Whatever beliefs, patterns, habits, and structures do not support my full, joyous expression are unwinding easily and effortlessly.

By my example, I inspire and empower others to shine their own brilliant light. I see God and Goddess in everyone, while projecting God and Goddess on no one. We are all part of the same divine matrix, here to learn together and help each other along the path. Though occasionally that might look like strife and challenge, I trust the process and I trust myself to navigate graciously.

Having walked through some of the darkest of underworlds, I have gained the capacity to hold exponentially more brilliant light than ever before. Through the alchemy of transformation, I have separated the gold from the dross in the crucible of my body, my emotions, and my heart. Having embraced the parts of me that need love the most, immense expansions of love, joy, abundance, and pleasure are immanent.

I take full responsibility for the life I am creating… every relationship, every circumstance, every situation. I am a sovereign, autonomous woman of immense compassion, power, and discernment. I have full capacity to channel the sacred feminine mysteries through my being as I welcome and allow all appropriate consciousness upgrades to my human and divine systems with ecstatic ease.

I open myself to sensual pleasure, delightful fun, expansive creativity, and playful adventure. I embrace my birthright as a fully healed spiritual/sexual expression of the divine. I welcome all of my Shakti and life force energy to express fully through me with the utmost integrity.

My feet are firmly upon the body of Gaia, rooted deeply into Her. My arms reach for the heavens, welcoming the light codes that are entering the planet for the highest good of humanity, the planet and all her inhabitants, and the universe. Divine Feminine, Divine Masculine, and Divine Child energies dance harmoniously within me.

I surrender my will to divine grace. Show me the highest options and the most expansive magic. I am an empty vessel. Pour Your divine love through me. I am Yours, God/Goddess. Everything is Sacred. Blessed Be.

Amrita Divine Grace

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Spinning Spiderwebs Into Gold

D for Dragon

Artwork by Emily Balivet – emilybalivet.com

The dreaded “Dark Night of the Soul” (DNS). It’s kind of like giving birth (I imagine) in that you can’t remember how painful it was after it’s over, because if you did, it might just take you down. Having just come through a DNS portal, the pain is not that far behind me… but far enough that I am no longer immobilized by it.

What’s the point of a DNS, and what to do with it? In my very recent DNS experience, I brought every euphemism I could think of to bear: The only way out is through. Breakdowns lead to breakthroughs. There’s always a silver lining. The key to the pain is in the pain. This is an initiation. Something amazing will emerge from this. None of them worked. There was no light at the end of the tunnel, ever. Until there was.

Sometimes, we just have to be taken to our knees. The reasons will vary by individual soul contract. If you’re a light-worker (you know who you are) and you’re not living your open-hearted truth and your full potential, especially in these powerful times, expect a wake-up call. I don’t care how much work you’ve done on yourself, how many years of therapy you’ve had, or how many transformational workshops you been to. I’ve done it all. A thousand times. And I still got taken to my knees.

I have an amazing and happy life, a beautiful beloved relationship, and an award-winning book published and a second book written and gestating. I live on Maui, for goodness sake! And what better place to get shaken and stripped to my core. The land and my home supported me beautifully as I melted down in the alchemical crucible of my multi-layered bodies – emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental.

It doesn’t really matter what the catalyst was…. it never does, though it’s easy enough to place all the blame squarely on the trigger. Suffice it to say that it was the biggest and most powerful trigger possible in my life right now (short of the death of a loved one). And that’s what it took to force me to look at the carefully constructed reality I had generated and was very attached to maintaining (and remaining blind to) at all costs.

After many months of rising stress followed by many weeks of intense underworld suffering leading up to the final fall (from grace? into grace?), I began to get an inkling. Then the inkling opened into a trickle. Then the trickle became a flow. I saw how I had abandoned myself and my spiritual path, how I had given my power away to the point of a near-complete loss of self. Now I could begin to spin spiderwebs into gold.

Once I could see the bigger picture beyond my crying jags, victimhood, depression, fear, rage, and grief, it didn’t take long for me to galvanize my inner resources. Clarity came quickly and I started to stabilize, drawing back my power and my projections and calling me home to myself. I began letting go of illusions that had long sustained me, letting them shatter like stained glass upon a tile floor. I swept up the broken pieces and began to reconstruct myself from the inside out.

The best advice I can give someone who is experiencing a DNS is to ride the waves of emotion, just feel them all the way, even when it doesn’t feel like it’s productive or like anything is moving. Don’t push it away or try to understand it. Just ride it. And get support! Lots of it, including professional support. Don’t try to go it alone. Be gentle with yourself, make sure you are in a safe place to feel your emotions, and do your best to love and embrace the parts of you that are driving the bus. They are each a very sacred and important part of your psyche. Give yourself time to integrate. Several months, if needed. I’ve lovingly given myself six months to adjust to this completely new version of myself.

In Part 2 of this post, The Ceremonial Rededication of the Priestess, I share the culmination, the gold that emerged from this process: shining, valuable, precious, and downright indispensable.

What gold have you spun from spiderwebs? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Love & blessings, Amrita

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When the Shadow Feminine Comes Out to Play

As a woman, have you ever had an experience of feeling betrayed, deceived, or manipulated by another woman? How do you feel when that happens?

I want to explore this, because while it’s easy to cast blame and be the righteous victim, there’s likely some potent information underneath the initial reaction. Women have been competing with each other for various things, including men, for a very long time. What’s been building up is a collective experience filled with the razor sharp memories and tattered remnants of the unresolved deception, betrayal, and mistrust.

Sister, it’s time to heal our collective experience. It begins within each of us. Pointing fingers at each other is not the answer anymore… we’ve all done it, and it’s all forgiven. But have you forgiven yourself?

The invitation here is to ask inside yourself when you feel you’ve been harmed by another woman.

♥ When have I harmed other women in exactly the same way?

♥ How does the experience reflect what’s unhealed inside of me?

You might be quite surprised by what arises. You can work this one backwards in your history for some rich veins of shadow material as well.

I had an opportunity to do some of this work myself, recently. I was really grateful to be able to excavate some very old, unforgiven, and mostly forgotten ways in which I had been the perpetrator of exactly what I thought I was the victim of. It led me to a powerful ceremony of Ho’oponopono. I got to make it right. Including forgiving myself. Now, I get to hold that sister that supposedly harmed me in compassion, acceptance, and accountability. (Yes, accountability.)

When the shadow feminine comes out to play, we all benefit. When we cast light on our shadow, acknowledge it, accept it, forgive it, and embrace it, it can no longer run us from its subterranean hiding place. And we have an opportunity to create something new in the sisterhood. Cooperation, collaboration, acceptance, trust, love, friendship, support, and the sharing of resources. It’s time to weave a new story of the feminine.

Please share your experiences of working with the shadow feminine within yourself. How are you weaving the new story?

Blessed be, Amrita

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What is the Sacred Feminine?

Who am I to define the sacred feminine? Well, I’m a wise woman, for starters…  and a high priestess with direct experience of the sacred feminine mystery. And why would I even want to try? Because I’m writing a book about breast cancer and the sacred feminine. I can only manage to describe a few of her many faces and shapes… perhaps you can add your own in the comments.

Below is an excerpt from my forthcoming book. The working title is Dancing with Cancer – The Sacred Feminine Path to Wholeness. Yeah, really! Soon I’ll be following my own advice from the last three blogs and writing a book proposal!

[begin excerpt] Imagine before you a maternal being that is as big as the universe. She takes you in her arms, against her soft bosom, and you know that you are safe and protected. Let yourself sink in, for in this moment you are a child with no cares or fears. Take a deep breath and fill yourself with the sense of nurturing that radiates from her.

She begins to shift now, into a mama bear whose babies are threatened. Feel her fierce protectiveness and her willingness to defend her children at all costs. You are one of her children.

Now she morphs yet again, beginning to dance and move with wild abandon, flowing skirts and scarves following her every leap and twist. Do you dare to dance with her? Feel her breath breathing her, her dance dancing her, her life force fueling every cell to express with full freedom and total abandon.

She spirals down to the ground now, placing a dark mask on her face. She lies down upon the earth and surrenders herself to the underworld journey, willing to navigate the place where she feels all her earthly feelings… sadness, grief, anger, rage, loneliness, and sorrow. She beckons you to follow, if you have the courage.

Looking up, you see there’s a playful winged creature in the woods ahead of you, giggling and peeking around trees. She’s got a magic wand and she’s not afraid to use it. She leads you on a merry chase, laughing, until you both collapse in a soft, warm, green meadow. She asks you about your creative projects, your dreams, what you do for fun. She wants to make some playdates with you.

She rises up with a sword in her hand, screaming, “Off with your head, tame your ego, cut out the bullshit, carve away what no longer serves you, do it now, now, now!” She sticks out her tongue, feints her sword toward you once more with the sternest face you can imagine, and offers you the hilt of the sword.

She brings her hands to her heart and then opens them toward you. From them spills golden light, shimmering and sparkling, flowing and rippling all around you. She brings her light-filled hands to your body and swirls the energy around you, anointing you with it. She taps your third eye and you are transported to another realm, filled with indescribable colors, scents, and sounds. Every place she touches you ignites with pure ecstasy and bliss. Breathe it all the way in.

She leads you now into a temple of such beauty and grandeur as you’ve never experienced before. She reminds you of who you really are, who you have always been. She bids you look into a magical mirror that reflects your true essence to you, and you gasp at the magnificence and elegance that you witness as you look. She offers you a drink of holy water. Her lips don’t move, but you hear her say, “May you never thirst.”

She drops to the ground and transforms into a writhing snake and you feel a blast of pure, formless sexual energy. She bids you sit on the ground and slithers behind you, bringing her head to your sacrum. Expanding into the fear, you feel her moving up your spine. You are breathing the energy that creates life up your spine and feeling it fountain out of the top of your head in red, yellow, and orange sparks. The sparks form a human body made of fire and you look into her wild and primal eyes.

She melts into grandmother, wise ancient one, she who spins the threads that connect us all. She shows you how every thread is connected, and reminds you that every thought you think and every action you take impacts everything and everyone else in the universe. She reveals the paradox of as above, so below… as within, so without. She reminds you that when you love and care for yourself, you are effectively loving and caring for everything and everyone, not the other way around

The years drop away from her ancient face as she transforms into a beautiful, mature woman holding a chalice… the symbol of the feminine. Her beloved approaches her, holding a sword, a symbol of the masculine. Together, they place the sacred articles upon an altar, and come together, wrapping their arms around each other and joining their foreheads. As you witness this, you see the multi-colored skeins of energy and light wrapping around and through them, and you suddenly understand the true meaning of “communion.”

Everything vanishes, the altar, the chalice and sword, the beloved. You are now facing the queen of death, all in black. Fear ye not, for death does not always mean physical death. Death must occur in order for rebirth to happen. She asks you what needs to die within you now, and you have an opportunity for letting go of what no longer serves you. Will you take it? The queen of death will guide you.

The black disappears, and she is hugely pregnant with planet Earth. Your willingness to let something die has paved the way for this birth. You are her midwife, just as she is yours. She is giving birth to herself, just as you are giving birth to yourself. Her message is we are all in this together.

The sacred feminine is vast, ever-changing, powerful beyond measure, and always with you. She resides within you. You have access to her at all times, in any of her aspects you choose to call forth. Perhaps some are more hidden within you than others, but you can invoke and cultivate them as you choose. I’m going to show you how to invoke the sacred feminine aspects you need for healing, for change, for letting go, and for growth… all part of your breast cancer journey. [end excerpt]

What does the Sacred Feminine mean to you?

Please add your comments below. I would love your input and feedback

Love & blessings, Amrita

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What Happens Next?

MaslowsHierarchyOfNeeds.svgHave you heard of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Looking at the pyramid, as each set of needs is fully satisfied, one’s attention can move up to the next level. Regarding the top of the pyramid, Maslow said, “What a man can be, he must be” (emphasis mine). This level of need refers to what a person’s full potential is and the realization of that potential. Maslow describes this level as the desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be.

Sometime in the past year, I hit the top of the pyramid, and it set me off on a quest for my life’s purpose. After recovering from breast cancer, I was no longer wiling to cast about in the hope that I was living my purpose. This led me to the fascinating realm of modern hand analysis. Turns out that life purpose, life lesson, and special soul gifts are all encoded in our fingerprints and handprints. After receiving some basic information about my own handprints, I have a lot more to go on now. There were some fun surprises… and my clarity is growing by leaps and bounds.

At times over the past year, I’ve grumbled that I know a lot about many things and am the master of nothing. Now I see this condition as multi-talented and bringing a very unique body of skills to my contribution. I’ll share more as it’s revealed to me.

What I can say for now is that I’ve put my stake in the ground: I’m creating a new paradigm around breast cancer and there’s nothing PINK about it. Stay attuned!

Love & blessings, Amrita

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Navigating the Maze

fractal spiral wheelHave you noticed a different feel to 2015 and the days leading up to this turning of the year?

What I’ve noticed and spoken with others about is how unknown the future feels… even the immediate future. It reminds me of being in a maze and not knowing which turn to take or what will appear around the next corner.

I find it an interesting paradox, because we really never know what’s coming, right? It’s like the illusion of knowing is getting more transparent all the time. I think it’s an opportunity to become more and more present in the right-now and to trust that I am being guided at every step through my powerful connection to Source.

My friend Kara Maria Ananda just published a great article called 33 Ways to Create More Magic in Your Life and I really enjoyed it. I found that I already practice a large percentage of the 33 Ways, and I believe that each of these Ways deepens my connection to the inner guidance that sustains me and keeps me in a state of contentment and joy.

My hope for you AND me that 2015 is the year that life expands beyond our wildest dreams! My wildest dream is to successfully create and run the Breast Cancer Mystery School and help thousands of women have an amazing experience with breast cancer (as I did). 

What is YOUR wildest dream for 2015? Please share in the comments below.

Love & blessings, Amrita

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Do You Mind if I Don’t Celebrate Christmas?

Every year I ask myself: Is it okay that I don’t celebrate Christmas? Will everyone think I’m a Grinch or a Scrooge? Do I even care what other people think?

I suppose I do care, or I wouldn’t be writing this. So, as long as I’m writing this, let me speak my truth. I don’t dislike Christmas or have any problem with it being celebrated far and wide. I honor the energy of the season, the birth of the Christ Consciousness, and the blanket of peace I feel out in the world on that sacred day, when the shopping is done and many people are enjoying time with their families.

Wiccan HolisaysBut, I am not a Christian. As a Divine Feminine High Priestess, my holy day comes a few days before Christmas, at Yule or Winter Solstice. And the time leading up to it, when most people are going crazy spending and shopping, is for me a time to come into stillness and receptivity; to clear out what no longer serves me (inside and out); and to vision what’s next in my life. It’s the darkest time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, including in Maui where I live, and this year it even falls on a new moon.

Giving and receiving… there’s an elephant in the room!

Part of what is complex and difficult for me is the gift giving and receiving. When I was younger and did engage in traditional Christmas, I always wanted to create homemade gifts or give something that I already possessed and wanted to pass on. But that’s really not how it’s supposed to be done, right? It’s mostly about BUYING STUFF. I also find it very confusing being caught in a sense of obligation around gifting. Someone gave me a gift so I feel obligated to give one back. I’m letting that one go this year! To add even more complexity, receiving gifts is not one of my love languages… in fact, it’s at the bottom of my love language list.

Giving stuff that’s not actually “stuff”

When I give a gift, I want it to be from my heart and because I have chosen to give it, not because a custom or tradition dictates it. Gifts can take many forms, and I most adore the intangible kind! I love to gift through cooking and serving food, passing on something that I no longer need but someone else will cherish, and as an introvert, giving my time and presence is a gift. Does that make me a Grinch?

A plethora of December holy days

There are so many different multi-cultural celebrations this time of year… Hanukkah, Asura, St. Nicholas Day, Bodhi Day, Yalda, Kwanzaa, and of course, Yule and Christmas. Whichever one you celebrate, if any, I hope that your holiday season is filled with love, connection, and joy. I know mine always is!

Please comment below if you have a perspective about anything I’ve brought up here… or if you celebrate in a different way, too.

 

 

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The Egg Hatches

Golden-egg.jpgAfter many months in the cauldron of the unknown, much has been revealed these past few weeks.

It feels like I finally landed on my true purpose, and I’m tingling from my head to my toes. For a while there, I poured my passion into helping authors and others who have a unique message to share. I felt really inspired and so much great content emerged from me… and I still have excitement (and blogs and a new product, coming soon) for this niche.

However, I have a very unique way of looking at and being with breast cancer, and I’ve been called to share it… with a large audience and without further ado!

So begins creation of the Breast Cancer Mystery School, of which I’ve been speaking since my diagnosis in March 2013. I’m ready to enter the limelight, to live in abundance, and to practice the principles I learned from my own Breast Cancer Mystery School journey:

♥  If it’s not fun, I’m not interested.
♥  If I hit a wall, I back away instead of ramming it down.
♥  Life and work weave together with ease and grace and enjoyment.
♥  I deserve and receive enormous financial abundance.
♥  Every day, I nurture my connection with Source.
♥  I am an immense contribution.
♥  I am a living example of my own THRIVE philosophy:

Thriving
Happy
Radiant
Integrated
Vibrant
Embodied

I’m starting a movement. It’s called THRIVE. And I’m going to ROCK it!

Love & blessings, Amrita

 

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Cancer Free, One Year Later

The Benefits of Letting Go

May 29, 2014 is the one year anniversary of my double mastectomy and breast reconstruction, and I can’t help but notice how fast the year has gone by. When I received my diagnosis, I let go of my entire career, the one I had been building for years, with relief and gratitude. Relief because that career really wasn’t working and never really had. Gratitude for a clean slate, a new beginning.

I decided to maintain my website, blog, and email list, not knowing what the future might hold or how those assets might serve me in the future. Over the past year, I kept blogging and sending out newsletters and occasionally touching up my mostly static website with no clues about what might be next for me.

So What IS Next?

A year later, I still don’t know what’s next, if indeed there is a “next.” When my website recently came up for annual renewal, I questioned why I’m maintaining a blog and a website when I’m not actually selling anything… why I have business expenses without any related income. I even considered closing my expensive, outdated website down for good.

Luckily, I got a powerful reminder of why I want to keep in touch with my list and maintain a web presence. For so many years, I was driven by the desire to make a difference in the lives of women… and with the cancer diagnosis, it all came tumbling down. I see now that I CAN make that difference, and I’m willing to maintain my online presence until I have clarity about exactly how I will do that.

A New Website, Really? Why?

amritagrace.com

So what about that website renewal? I decided it was time for an update, and my tech-savvy beloved suggested building a new Reclaiming Aphrodite WordPress site and integrating my formerly separate blog into it. With his help, support, and tech knowledge, I created a brand-new, beautiful WordPress site that I am very proud of.

So What Are You Selling?

As of this writing, I’m still not selling anything or offering any services… but I know I enjoyed the creative process of building my piece-of-art website and I still believe in what I’m providing. So yes, I’ll continue offering my blogs and occasionally promote really high-quality programs that I believe in while keeping in touch with my small but beautiful community of people who’ve received benefit from my book and/or my former workshops.

I continue to “just be” in the cauldron of the unknown, and I’ve actually gotten pretty comfortable there. Who woulda thought? Certainly not me, if you’d asked me a year ago!

It seems I keep counting the blessings of cancer.

Love & blessings, Amrita

 

 

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