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Published October 25th 2018
For women searching for clarity, purpose and fulfillment
This weekend, I got myself into something I was completely unprepared for. I was anxious, embarrassed and emotional and was well and truly out of my comfort zone. I was acutely aware I was very different to everyone else in the room and left feeling like something about me had definitely changed.
This weekend, I met Vida. As I walked in it was like I was greeting a long lost friend, introducing ourselves with a welcoming hug. Vida's energy was infectious and calming, very much needed given I was tense and out of my depth. She recognised immediately I had little idea what I was in for and gently reassured me I'd be fine.
The focus of the day was Return of the Feminine Way and included the Rite of the Womb. There were about 14 other women in the room all of differing ages and backgrounds. Having spent the last 12 months raising a vivacious little man I realised this is the first time, in a very long time, I have been in a quiet place with calm and subtle chatter. I was sold. This isn't going to be too bad after all.
We all sat together in a circle and took a moment to gather ourselves and prepare for the afternoon. We then began the 5Rhythms. This is a movement meditation and is a great way to unwind, workout and relax. It is all done to a soundtrack and covers 5 states of being – Flow, Staccato (masculine), Chaos, Lyrical (Feminine) and Stillness. The official 5Rhythms website explains that the stages are markers to find the way back to a real, vulnerable, wild, passionate and instinctive self. We all stood up and closed our eyes as the music began. A bit like those Clubbercise classes but in the middle of the afternoon and you can definitely see everyone if you dare open your eyes. Vida encouraged us to let go and let our body feel the music. There were moments I really enjoyed the opportunity to let loose and be in a room with people completely focused on themselves and how they were feeling. There were also moments I could not get out of my head and had a giggle at how ridiculous we all must have looked.
Once we had completed the rhythms and became still it was incredible how different the room felt. There was a sense of bonding and openness to everyone. We had a quick afternoon tea break with some delicious cheeses and dips and then returned to sit in the circle together. I had never participated in a women's circle before however, Vida explained the guidelines, in place to ensure it is a safe and open space. Only one woman is to speak at a time and everyone else practices listening, waiting until the woman advises she is finished. When speaking we are to use first person language, in order to take ownership of our experiences and feelings. Noone is to offer advice, judgement or support but to simply let the woman deal with her feelings. I really struggled with this point as really hate seeing people in pain without offering a hug or a way to fix it, but it truly was remarkable to watch these women share intimate concerns and events in their life, break down and then bring themselves back, coming through the moment a stronger person for the experience.
While I didn't feel the need to speak up in the circle I was amazed at the strength and vulnerability of each of the women who did. On paper, a group of women sitting in a circle crying, then laughing, then crying again after dancing around the room, stomping and shaking their arms around sounds pretty unsettling, but in reality, it was such a welcome reprieve.
The outline of the workshop pointed out that, as women, it is easy to lose connection with our feminine way in the pursuit of career, success, equality, financial security and caring for our loved ones. We can be left feeling exhausted confused and lost as a result of trying to pursue a full life. The centre point of this afternoon was to prepare the women to embrace the wisdom of their particular feminine power and to conduct The Rite of the Womb. The 13th rite of the Munay-Ki (The Rite of the Womb) originated from a lineage of women through the jungles of Peru. The Rite of the Womb is intended to heal all women of the suffering they carry in their belly and reminds women of the following: The womb is not a place to store fear and pain; the womb is to create and give birth to life.
Once the circle was finished, in preparation of the rite, each person ''cleansed'' themselves with a flannel and focused their energy, pain or wishes into a flower. This flower was then placed in a large vase in which Vida would return to the Earth. We all then stood in a line to begin the formal part of the ritual. Each woman participated and shared the rite with the woman after her. To be honest I was sceptical of this part and felt a little sheepish participating but it was nice to see the women focus and have faith in the ritual and the notion of healing a lineage of suffering.
While I don't particularly feel as though I have been 'healed' I thoroughly enjoyed this and would recommend this event or a women's circle to anyone who is experiencing uncertainty or suffering or those who are open to meditation as a way to ground yourself and bring your mind back to the importance of finding the true you. While I probably wouldn't participate in another Rite of the Womb, I would definitely participate in another circle or workshop conducted by Vida.
Vida conducts the Rite of the Womb twice a year and you can find more information about the history and the ritual a theriteofthewomb.com/ She also runs workshops and wellness retreats throughout the year. She is running "The Feminine Way - A Place for Women" over three weeks beginning October 31st. Vida has been a leadership and wellness coach for more than 10 years and after a life of studying and running businesses, she decided to merge her business knowledge with her experience in inspirational mindfulness and conscious evolution. Vida is a published author, mentor and social entrepreneur, however, describes herself as an inspirer. Future wellness retreats and events can be found at www.inspirationsource.com.au or on her Facebook page.
What a lovely article. Anything that empowers even one woman is worth it's weight in gold. As girls turn into women then turn to hold a career and partners and children and friends we loose our true self and perspective of who we are and what we think and do and like in life. We are by nature designed to nurture but forget or don't have time to nurture ourselves. I hope this review helps other women to heal through this class or other classes like this.