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When I was doing the first year of a psychodynamic couples therapy training, we read a lot of stuff by Freud et al.

The basic premise being, as I reckon most of us know, that the experiences of our earliest years determine our adult beliefs, behaviours and relating patterns.

And when I say early years, I mean especially years 1-3 and then, so the theory goes, you're pretty much "formed" by 7.

Now while I don't dispute that we're shaped by our childhood role models, culture and context. (I'd actually go way further and say we are already being influenced at the moment of conception, whilst in the womb and back before that by the ancestral patterns in our DNA).

What always struck me as notably absent from these theories was the importance of adolescence.

As I reflected on my own conditioning, it was clear to me that I had my "happy years" (pre-puberty) and then my "unhappy years" - puberty and beyond.

For me, everything changed the moment I began to bleed, awaken sexually, develop a more womanly figure, start to question life and individuate intellectually.

And I could see very clearly, how the way my parents behaved, related and treated me at this critical juncture inculcated key patterns that ultimately shat on my shine and stamped down the blossoming of my magnificence.

Of course, there were other significant influences too: church, school, peers, popular culture, society.

But it was my toxic family dynamic in particular that dogged me for years. Having a very real impact in terms of poor relationship choices, self-doubt, self-sabotage and the sacrifice of dreams.

I’ve devoted years to healing and illuminating these aspects of my personality, as well as to understanding the bigger picture.

Which I would summarise as the overlap between human shadows and patriarchy. Patriarchy itself being a shadow expression of masculinity, that is anchored and embodied by both women and men.

You could say it’s been my life’s work on both a personal and professional level, to clear my body and being of these templates and then lead the way for others. This is what awakening - at least in part - means to me.

And because I’m a woman and have such empathy for all my sisters as a result, my focus has been upon facilitating this clearing and return to essence for other women.

In the 20 years that I’ve been holding space and undergoing my own initiations, I have seen over and again a similar imprint: the arrested development of girls just as they are morphing into women.

At that most tender moment of menarche - where the feminine soul is naturally inclined and invited to enter the mystic, cosmic and expanded realms of womanly power, wisdom and sensuality - she is halted, diverted or suppressed.

But rarely - if ever - encouraged and supported to claim her bodily, s@xual and intellectual sovereignty.

She may rebel, sure, but that is no more free a response, than submission.

And so, again and again, I encounter grown women - middle-aged women even, who are still living out their teenage trauma via relationship drama and stunted potential.

It’s challenging to look at. Painful to feel. But an unavoidable step on the awakening path.

Pretty much all of my work addresses such themes, whether through dance, yoga, tantra or one-to-ones, because these are all ways to reclaim and awaken the body, which is the nexus of such transformation.

If you are steeped in the patriarchal belief system (whether woman or man), you will assume what I do is all about s@x. But this is because you are blind to the knowing, that a woman’s divinity, power and wisdom is both accessed through and emanates from her sensual body.

And in a world where these aspects of her being have been demonised and objectified for aeons, they are central to her reclamation.

My upcoming online intensive - RAPTURE for Women - (based on my book published in 2021) - offers a roadmap for women seeking liberation from the stories that have kept them safe, but small.

With the promise of more pleasure, power and potential in equal measure with more awareness and responsibility.

And what I’m also feeling called to offer this spring is a workshop for HEALING THE WOUNDED MAIDEN. Dates for that are tbc.

If you’re called to RAPTURE, or want to know more, the link is in comments, but key to know is that we start on Tuesday, February 7th, 7pm GMT, for the first 3-month cycle. It’s all online and will be a small, closed group.

If you’re interested in joining the Wounded Maiden workshop, which will be in person here in Glastonbury, ping me your email address and I’ll share the details with you when they’re ready.

And if you’d rather work one-to-one, I have a New Year’s offer running next week only (January 23-29, 2023), where you can work with me at a super-generous discount. After that it’s back to my standard rates. Be in touch !!

Love, Shakti


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