To the outside world I was living the dream; a successful business woman with a six figure income, three degrees behind me, two beautiful children, a loving husband, a big house by the beach, regular exotic travels and lots of spiritual “glam”.
Then I got the news that I had cervical cancer.
Fortunately, I had been trained from a very early age from my Father to see life as a ‘dream’ of sorts. In other words, everything that happens is for a reason and is simply the will of God or Spirit. What we are here to practice is Love, kindness, compassion and forgiveness, even with the hardest of people, which for me at the time, was my Mother. My Mother had a strong spirit and was able to impact a room with her radiance as well as holding an exceptional matriachal energy. However, she was emotionally abusive and unable to nurture me with the presence I needed to feel loved.
But, there was a gift in this. From a very early age I learned to put my 'stuff' aside and show up in love. I still hear my Father's words now: “focus on what you can give, not on what you can get.” He also helped me to see the bigger picture. How can you come from love? How can you grow from this? I knew there was a message in this news about my cervix. I approached it the same way I approached all challenges at the time: with my mind. This however, did not seem to be shedding any light on the situation, so in divine timing, I met a shamanic guide who was able to steer me away from my usual practices and into my emotional body. This man changed my life and eventually became my partner of five years.
When the neck of my cervix was removed, I was sent to the hospital a second time for re-testing and I was told my womb would have to be removed. After the operation the Dr re-tested and said "the womb was not cancerous upon testing, this is very strange”. I was saddened deeply by this at first feeling like an unnecessary second surgery took place, but at the same time was given conviction for the power of shamanic healing, which would be my life’s new path of service.
You see what a lot of spiritual practices do, including the practices I was raised with, is tell us to meditate, come into our centre and stillness, come back into love and light and transcend the darker aspects of our being. However there is only so long that we can continue with these practices before life happens and our body starts screaming at us “look at this!”
Well, I looked alright! Before and after my surgery, my eyes began opening in the dark and I was feeling what was underneath my mask of a strong, empowered woman. I screamed, I cried, I remembered and acknowledged my history of sexual abuse that had previously been blocked altogether from my memory. I felt rage at my mother for her neglect. I felt grief for the Father that I longed to be with 24/7 to protect me but whose job took him away often. I felt my Feminine as an out-of-control wild beast, I felt my Masculine as a bully and a tyrant, I felt my ‘scared, alone little girl’. I felt like this journey into the darkness would never end.
Read more about the Healthy and Unhealthy Feminine and Masculine energies inside of us here.
Little did I know that this dark time in my life was leading me to my life path: Shamanic Tantra- The energetic path of descending into the emotional body with Breath, Sound and Movement. It felt like I was coming home.
This time, I was releasing trauma from my body by going INTO the body rather than OUT of it. Understanding things at a consciousness level was no longer the priority. Being totally present and totally out of control became my new practice. I began to come back to a body I abandoned long ago and live from my heart rather than my mind. I left my corporate job and became passionate about this new style of healing. Very quickly, I started training as a Tantrica and working as a supporter on many tantra workshops around the globe, as well as facilitating my own.
As I journeyed in new directions, my marriage ended and a new relationship with my shamanic healer began. I was being met in very new and exciting ways which was very beautiful but also very difficult. It became like a spiritual soap opera; dramatic and emotional, love and hate, 5 years of push and pull, leaving and coming back, monogomy and polyamory, wounds battling each other, personal and archetypal, tantric and multidimensional, deeply passionate and deeply destructive. It was filled with esoteric characters, such as Mary Magdalene, Jeshua, Kali, St Jermaine, Lilith, Dakas, Dakinis, Yogis, Light Workers. It was also very real and very raw. There was fire, tears, war, peace, rose petals and plenty of thorns.This relationship was undoubtedly bringing up more darkness in me than all the sessions, workshops and trainings put together, which meant it was also the biggest catalyst for my growth. I had never experienced a love like this.
It was an initiation into my Sacred Feminine where I was constantly faced with two options: 1. Complete destruction at the helplessness of having absolutely no control, or 2. Complete awakening through allowing the dark to birth more light.
In the end, I realised that for this ‘initiation’ to reach its full potential, I had to dis-entangle myself from him. The crucial key was when I decided to 'leave' the crucible FOR GOOD and put an end to it, which was the most challenging thing I've ever had to do in my life. But also the most empowering.
After leaving the relationship, I wondered who I was before I was diagnosed with cervical cancer...but I could not find her again. The little princess who was uncomfortable with her pain and who wanted to be rescued by a King and made a Queen was burned alive and in her place was a woman who knew that she was her own hero and that THAT is what would make her a Queen. It was that part of me, the princess, that I grieved for a very long time. Am still grieving at times actually. I also let go of the part of me that thought I was unloveable - the part that made me such an easy target. I love knowing that I deserve love. I love that I no longer turn crumbs into gold. I love that I now know how to ask for what I need and assert healthy boundaries.
My life pre-tantra seems unimaginable. I don’t live in fear of my pain or the unknown anymore; I walk with it now. I’m not afraid of anger anymore; I feel it and let it transmute into power. I no longer have my physical womb but what I do have is the grace of all the lessons learned. Another great gift was that during an emotionally unstable relationship which was the worst possible time to have a child, but a time where I really wanted one, I was unable to. So not having a womb, in a way, saved me from myself. As my father always says, the universe gives you what you need not necessarily what you want!
I look back at this time of my life as a ‘cocooning’. The most profound insight I’ve had from this ‘butterfly’ stage of my life is realising just how much energy I now have to be in service to the world. More than anything, being in service has been my greatest tool for growth. Really learning what it means to show up in Love and Presence. Also realising how much easier it is to be in true service when energy is not being constantly drained by the endless drama of a dysfunctional relationship. It’s frightening to think how much energy was actually being drained from me and distracting from my creativity, ease and power. And guess what? I’m actually earning more than I was in my corporate role, consistently.
I’m still learning and growing all the time and helping others do the same. That is, to go into their pain rather than avoid it. To feel their grief, their anger, their frustration without judgment and release it out of the nervous system. To realise that pain and pleasure are both as beautiful as each other and both are always in the flow of life. The key is to not be attached to the pleasure and not resistant to the pain. To simply BE ourselves in the multi-colored spectrum of life - all of it.
This is what Tantra is.
Tantra is life.
For an initiation into living Tantra, experiencing it as a daily practice and way of life, please join us for the 8 Week Embodiment Journey, LIFE TANTRA.