"I didn't feel like I had permission to be here, to be seen, to dress up, to look nice or to feel empowered. I felt like I didn't have the right to ...well, exist - anywhere outside of my house, my family or my workplace. I felt like an imposter, not just in the restaurant, but in the WORLD."
Since the great yoga-teacher-training-ego-death debarcle lessons of 2016, I've not been well. I've been floating in this space of uncertainty and grief looking for a part of me that I have lost. This is a poem I wrote recently that captures that feeling...
My ego death about my yoga identity, the empty-nest hollowness I feel about my children growing up and the loss of my home have all converged in this massive ball of grief that I feel almost all of the time these days.
What my children leaving has done, however is to remind me who I was BEFORE I became a mother.
Last night, my partner took myself and my youngest daughter out to dinner at the casino. I looked around at all of the women who were dressed immaculately and I could feel a mass of anxiety rising in the pit of my stomach, the realisation that I was an imposter; like I shouldn't have been there, because I had no right. Just like I did as a teenager and a young adult at university.
In both situations, I didn't feel like I had permission to be here, to be seen, to dress up, to look nice or to feel empowered. I felt like I didn't have the right to ...well, exist - anywhere outside of my house, my family or my workplace. I felt like an imposter, not just in the restaurant, but in the WORLD.
I am afraid of being seen and to be honest, my greatest fears (apart from tsunamis - and who isn't scared of them?!), is to be the bride in a wedding because that would make me the centre of attention. All of these fears were hidden while I was a mother, but now, it's come back in a full-frontal assault on my consciousness. There's this real sense of a feeling that I don't have permission to be happy, to have fun, or be successful outside my comfort zone of my introverted protective bubble that I created while my kids were around.
Recently I signed up for the Femme-preneur training with Marnie Le Fevre and the moment I signed up I realised that this was a woman who wouldn't allow any of this inner crap stay inside me, the training will break down these walls that I have put up to protect myself from rejection and hurt by others because in truth, I'm afraid to shine. I'm afraid to shine my own light and to just be fully in myself as Alyssa Curtayne. The moment I signed up, it was as if I actually started the training with her on an energetic level and I'm scared, I'm excited but mostly I'm tired of pretending that I'm okay with how things are because I'm not.
So, today, I'm asking myself what the most extraordinary thing I could imagine for my life. I'm breaking down the walls and giving myself permission to live an extraordinary life where I am comfortable in being the very best me I can be, the most beautiful me I could be and the most happy me I could be and in August I experience the training with Marnie, I know I'll just be ready to shine and let my vulnerable brilliant self be.
©Alyssa Curtayne 2019
"The role of women is changing from the traditional maiden, mother, crone to a time where any woman can be whatever it is she wants to be. A Goddess doesn’t have to be a young woman, or a mother, and she can age as gracefully (or disgracefully) as she wishes. It’s about women having choice; it’s about women feeling beautiful, powerful, confident and sensual in their own skins."
The internet has been awash with blogs, Instagram images and articles about being a Goddess, yet, unless you have experienced it, many women do not know what a Goddess is, or indeed, how to be one. And what on Earth does it mean to be Empowered? In the interests of full disclosure, this article will be my truth about what being an Empowered Goddess means to me.
For many years, I was plagued with self-esteem issues and it wasn’t until I did an online course with Leyolah Antara at Kundalini Dance that I felt the pulsing of energy that is the feminine energy of the Goddess that I fully understood the sensation of being an Empowered Goddess. I guess for me, I had to experience it to understand its power.
I could start by writing about how women were revered in many ancient cultures (and some modern ones), however, I think that it will detract from the issue. Such powerful women as the goddesses of early Pagan (Diana, Hretha), Hindu (Kali), Sumerian (Ishtar, Ereshkigal), Egyptian (Isis), Norse (Freyr, Bil), Irish (Dana, Brigid) and Greek (Aphrodite, Artemis) societies, not to mention those from China, Africa and the Americas as well as Indigenous ones and those in the Biblical stories, such as the divine Mary Magdalene.
I could talk about the other terms like embodied woman and Shakti that are used interchangeably about the Goddess in the early 21st Century but for the ease of the article, let’s just stick with the Goddess. Historically, women were revered as they carried children and the burden of both life and death through the process of childbirth. Thankfully, maternal deaths are decreasing and less women are dying in this important stage of life, and more interestingly, many women are choosing not to have babies. The role of women is changing from the traditional maiden, mother, crone to a time where any woman can be whatever it is she wants to be. A Goddess doesn’t have to be a young woman, or a mother, and she can age as gracefully (or disgracefully) as she wishes. It’s about women having choice; it’s about women feeling beautiful, powerful, confident and sensual in their own skins.
Women have only had the right to vote for about 100 years and the Goddess has risen historically in periods when misogyny was at its worst, such as when the Inquisition tortured and killed thousands of men and women who stood up to the church. Women who rode “cowboy” were considered witches (I kid you not!) (Stay tuned for my first novel, Matilda, based on this crazy misogynist culture in 2018). The Goddess brings us back to balance when the masculine energies become too dominant and unfortunately, we need the Goddess energy now more than ever.
Women are tired of being told what we can and can’t do by men and the institutions that run the world. We are all powerful, we know it and men know it and when they see us in our full power, they know who really wields power; and it’s not men or women, it’s a balance between the two.
The word “empower” means to “to give power or authority to; authorize, especially by legal or official means.” By its definition alone, being empowered means that we give permission to ourselves to feel the power of ourselves. By extension, an empowered person also aids and empowers other people, particularly women, ethnic minorities and those who are in some way disenfranchised by society. Putting others down, does not empower the self, and it certainly does not empower others.
An Empowered Goddess is not the antithesis of men, she lifts up the men in her life as much as she lifts the women and herself. It doesn’t have to be duality; that is dominance by men OR women, it’s about balance. The more the Empowered Goddess taps into her inner self, the more that she can empower others to be the very essence of who they are, raising us all up in a collective empowerment.
To me a Goddess is a woman who has embraced and accepted all of who she is, that is, her darkness and her light. We all have the capabilities to be a great healer or leader or indeed someone who is capable of murder, given the right scenario. A Goddess sees and acknowledges those parts of herself that reflect both the primitive parts of humanity and the full goodness of it.
A Goddess is a woman who has done a lot of self-reflection and owns all of those parts of herself that at times she doesn’t like and at times she loves. When she looks into a mirror a Goddess will sometimes see a frightened little girl, or a vulnerable woman, other times she will see a wild woman ready for anything and other times a sensual, sweet seductress.
A Goddess is a woman who is assured in her sexuality; she has no guilt or anxiety around masturbation or sex and honours each and every lover with every ounce of her being. She can see her lovers’ vulnerabilities and knows just when to support him/her and lift them up. She is able to walk away if it’s not bringing her satisfaction, yet she is happy in the moment, knowing that she is exactly where she is meant to be.
She is not afraid of men, in-fact, she knows just the right ways to disarm or seduce a man should it please her. This is not something that she shows off, but if she wants someone or something, she will get it, she knows of her power to manifest her desires in a way which is loving but not manipulative. An Empowered Goddess feels into her body and she knows it, inside and out. It’s a feeling of being connected to something greater than all of us; a flow of femininity if you like that completely honours and respects the masculine and feminine balance of life.
May you find and honour your inner Goddess and those around you.
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2017
Note: In 2015, I created tools to help people become self-empowered; Chakra Cards. Unlike traditional tarot and other divination tools, these tap into our intuitive self and allow people to clear all that no longer serves for them and help them to become an empowered Goddess or God with the power of looking within. Chakra Cards Empower yourself; look within.
Last month when I was sharing my blog on the amazing Rachel Burrows-Davies, I accidently wrote the word “inspirited”. It was in those nanoseconds that I realised that I had stumbled across (and probably invented) a most spectacular word.
Inspiriting (verb): an inspirational action which is driven by spirit; to let spirit live through the individual.
To live an inspirited life means that you are living and are driven by the spirit. It is not the ego or external forces driving you or your actions, but moment to moment existence; the calling within you, the vibrating, pulsing energy of all of life that drives through you.
What it means to live an inspiriting life:
I quit my teaching job because it felt so wrong and I was literally dragging myself out of bed and forcing myself to drive the 35 minutes to a place I couldn’t stand to be. Yet I persisted with it for nine months because I was under the illusion that I couldn’t survive financially without it, but what happened was that I was so overcome with offers of work that I couldn’t fit them all in in one day. I am so flat out all day every day, completely engaged in things that I love to do and I couldn’t be happier.
What I have learned is that if you feel a “calling” or an inner nudging, don’t ignore it, follow your intuition/instinct. Make a decision and the universe will respond by helping you. Your purpose in life is not to work in a job you despise until you retire and then start living out your dreams in your 60s! It is to live your dreams now, by following your calling. If something feels good, or even too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true and YOU ABSOLUTELY DESERVE it, you are being offered an amazing gift, why would you say “no”?!
The world is changing at a rapid rate and the idea of staying in a relationship, job, house and so on until it reaches a disastrous end is not doing you, or the planet any favours. The world is calling to be true to yourself, stand strong in who you are and trust that inner nudging that you feel, you know it is the right decision because you will feel the joy in your heart.
©Text and images Alyssa Curtayne 2015
You know when you meet people who are truly living their lives with purpose. You can tell that they have walked through that invisible barrier that we all put up. Rachel Davies Burrows is one of those people.
Rachel is the founder of The Joy Sanctuary, a beautiful oasis of peace in the Perth Hills town of Kalamunda. This vibrant single mother of two had to experience a few tough years before she started listening to the inner nudges, “I wasn’t living my authentic truth before I got sick,” she said. Rachel said that she had always been a happy and positive person, but she never really lived that with feeling. “I realised that we don’t get forever…if I don’t give it a go then what’s the point?” she said. Like many people, Rachel needed a catalyst to get her to move into authenticity. “I needed cancer to motivate me to live my dream, it’s almost ridiculous to say, but it’s true,” she said after being diagnosed with leukaemia in 2011. Rachel feels stronger from her experience with the disease. “I could be a victim to it…but it’s given me the fuel to push me to where I really wanted to be…it wasn’t an easy ride.”
Rachel opened the space in May 2015 and it has had a steady build-up of business for the eclectic collection of products in the retail section and the courses run by people who have just walked into the shop. “It’s amazing how it draws the right people in. I have an amazing interaction with every person,” she said. The Joy Sanctuary really is about bringing together all the things that Rachel loves. “I love being a part of other people’s journeys…I feel like I am facilitating some place where others can do what I have done,” she said. “That brings me my highest joy.” “I have had so much synchronicity in my life since I’ve taken that leap,” she said and has been overwhelmed by the generosity of people who have come into her new life.
“There’s no question that I’m doing the right thing.”
There have been a number of lightbulb moments for Rachel and, like many of us, often needs to hear to things multiple times before she listens. One of the more significant illuminating moments was when she returned to her administrative assistant job and realised that the life that she had been living no longer fit who she was.
“I couldn’t live like that anymore,” she said.
Rachel uses the analogy of crossing a bridge to describe what it’s like to take that leap of faith. “You can’t see where you are going and trust there will be something on the other side…and once you start you can’t go back,” she said. There have been a few scary moments along the way but it helped her to realise where her passion was. As for the future of the business, Rachel is not sure where it will go “but that’s okay, I don’t need to.”
Rachel says that her whole life had not been about being empowered. “The Joy Sanctuary is a place of empowerment…being within myself.” She is doing it for herself because she loves it and it brings her joy.
And I think that is the secret to the success to making the leap into the unknown. Like Rachel needed cancer to prompt her to take action, not everyone has to have cancer! Some people struggle with relationships, jobs, health, accidents, drug use and, in my case, having no money is my catalyst to start following that inner nudge inside. Following the things that you love and are passionate about, even if it means taking one step at time, after all as Martin Luther King Jnr said “you don’t need to see the whole staircase, you just need to take the first step.”
Synchronicity happened while I was writing this and it was affirmed by a video and article by the amazing philosopher Alan Watts who also affirmed that it is passion that you need to follow. Watch this link to a Steve Jobs/Alan Watts combo: http://youtu.be/3yFiqdCjNMk
On the TED Talks series, there is a lawyer and philosopher, Ruth Chang who had a great 15 minute talk on “How to make hard choices”. Please take the time to wrap your head around it. In it she speaks about the values we place on decisions, but also making decisions based on what you feel inside, not what society expects of you and its values. She calls people “Drifters” when you don’t put yourself into it. “Drifters allow the world to tell the story of their lives,” she said. I have been a drifter, professionally speaking. I have gone where society says I should be and I have never had enough money, even when I was on a great income. There was never enough. Maybe it’s time to put my agency behind what I’m called to do and to trust in who I am, how I think and my own divine uniqueness and most importantly the things that bring me enormous joy. I admire those people who don’t need a catalyst and trust in the path.
For me, I felt the strongest urge that my job was not working for me, pretty much the moment I started it. Here we are nine months later and I am officially “unemployed” in three weeks. But that’s the best bit, I am so excited about the infinite possibilities for me and I have spent the past year really meditating on how I want to live my life. There are so many possibilities that I love so many things that Rachel’s idea of putting all of her joys in one place appeals to me. I don’t have to do ONE thing. I can do and BE multiple things and create my world how I want it by following my bliss, the things that bring me joy.
Rachel (and Andrea from previous blog) are inspirations to me because they are living, breathing examples in my world of how following your bliss brings so much joy, happiness and synchronicity into your life. There’s an enormous amount of faith that is required to do this, but it feels so right to follow the inner callings within you and to step out of the hamster wheel where our authentic selves are smothered or lost by jobs, relationships and expectations that we value over our own intuitive whispers and knowing. Maybe it’s time to stop “drifting” and step into my divine authenticity, not just cognitively, but in real faith and action. See you on the other side.
©Alyssa Curtayne 2015