Hailing from the golden shores of Australia and now putting down roots in London, Jessie Atkinson is the vibrant soul and spirit behind Network Gratitude East London, and we recently connected in our neck of the woods over a whole ocean of mutual friends, interests, hopes, dreams and desires; her work for the sisterhood here in the city is so beautiful and she is gathering some strong connections around us all as we delve deeper into gentle female inquiry and women’s wellness in its many mysterious forms.
For a magical summer ritual, this honest and inspiring botanical goddess invites you to STOKE YOUR FEMININE ESSENCE.
Ideally, my life would be one big long Ayurvedic yoga retreat and luminous Goddess Vibes would radiate from me 24/7. But I’ve chosen not to live on an Ayurvedic Yoga retreat; instead I choose to live on a busy street in chaotic, dirty London. Masculine, stressful, on-the-go. Like everyone I have unpaid bills and dirty washing I’m ignoring. Often my to do list takes over meditation, I snap mindlessly at my boyfriend, choose Game of Thrones over yoga and jars of tahini somehow disappear as soon as I buy them…So far not very Goddess… but how human of me….and what a gift to be human. To have eyes to see beauty and lungs to breath in the vitality of life; that feels like Goddess power to me!
When you sit quietly and listen you can feel it, the golden glow of high vibing Goddess energy, Shakti, the divine feminine power, flowing within and all around us. Once we become aware of the vibrating essence of femininity, the vitality that flows freely inside us – our thoughts, our breath, the space between nothing- we want to stoke that feeling. Dark and light, it’s when we lose ourselves in laughter with girlfriends or feel our heart break into a thousand pieces, this is the presence of the feminine life-force, even on days when we feel anything other than Goddess-like. Yes! Men and women, we are made of divine, feminine Goddess energy, the life force of the Universe.
When radiant Xochi asked me to contribute to this dairy I had feelings of apprehension and unworthiness. What do I have to offer? I’m not a yoga teacher or a healer but I knew she asked me for a reason. When I listened I realised there is a massive celebration of the feminine amazingness every woman must embrace NOW – and what an honour to share my voice on a safe and sacred platform. Just like you, I’m a girl finding my way, trying to be good to myself and those around me (and raise the vibrations of the universe while I’m at it…)
Acknowledging, accepting and nourishing our femininity is hard work and takes practice. I’m working on it everyday! It’s an effort to slow down and be kind to ourselves.
Born with a cleft palette, a gaping hole at the roof of my mouth which mapped out in the stars a longing to fill a void, I often feel I’m on a never-ending journey of searching for something to make me feel complete, to feel worthy, to be enough. After years of forcing myself to meditate, pushing myself into Hanumanasana and vita-blitzing grass into smoothies, I’ve come to a point where I feel a strong need to chill out and just let go. Maybe it’s to do with all the Frankincense I’m inhaling, but my priorities of what’s good for me have completely shifted. In Ayurveda, the science of life, we learn like + like = illness and opposites create balance. I love this, so wise. Our masculine pace of living is hectic and stressful enough, so why add on an extra dollop of stress through our never-sit-still mentality? Our nervous system is close to imploding.
So how can I care for myself as I would a Goddess? How can I best support myself to move into a place of harmony and realise slowing down and taking care of my femininity is the balance my body, mind and spirit deserve? What each woman needs to nourish her divine self is a unique and personal experience. Below are a few of my favourite non-negotiables; practices I use daily to return to my self, my feminine essence, and support me as I navigate life in a way that nourishes and honours my true and higher self. Through stoking my feminine essence I’ve come to experience fullness. I am enough. I am made of Goddess energy and a Goddess is definitely enough just as she is.
GODDESS AT REST
Our lives are so hyperactive and overloaded with sensory activity that stillness has become a non-negotiable rebalancer. For me, it took the gift of heartbreak manifested in physical illness to force myself to relinquish control and slow down. Restorative yoga has been a big part of my life for years now and has so dramatically soothed my nervous system it should be mandatory for everyone in stressful environments, i.e anyone living in a big city… When our energetic and physical body relaxes completely we move into the deeper layers of restoration where the magic begins! We L E T G O O O O O. Physical and emotional tension melts away, we’re tuned in to Shakti moving deeply and freely through us and we allow ourselves to explore a non-tangible dimension. My teacher explains active rest as a movement towards Anandamaya Kosha, our subtlest, mostly undeveloped of the five physical beings, Koshas, which is experienced as ananda, a state of pure joy and bliss. Stillness allows us to become human beings once again rather than a human doings.
I invite you to introduce 20 minutes of savasana into your day and feel the benefits of taking a break and letting go.
Thank you blue sky, thank you running water, thank you dear friend for your gift of fresh verbena leaves, thank you corner store man for stocking oat milk, thank you tummy ache for reminding me to chew my food, thank you stressful job for leading me to reassess my values, thank you argument for showing me that you’re hurting too, thank you boyfriend for your sweet texts…there is pain, there is heartache, but somewhere else there is joy and beauty. Opening our eyes and hearts to experience the richness of life is an opening to the dark and light within us. This is scary, as sometimes we want to stay in our glum, depressed, angry place but that is the dance of the Goddess. Be grateful for the dark times so we can truly embrace the radiance of the sunshine.
GODDESS CREATING BEAUTY
Creating a beautiful space, a divine expression of the Goddess, is one of the most nurturing, gentle ways I ground myself daily and raise my Shakti. Unless the kitchen table is clear and I’ve lovingly arranged fresh flowers in a vase I just don’t feel right! I’m not at ease. Some may call that anal; I like to think of it as an intuitive need for beauty, peace and abundance in my environment to nurture these qualities inside myself.
The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is create an oil blend to burn, usually Frankincense to centre myself and Rosemary to energise, or Clary Sage and Geranium if my adrenals need extra strengthening. Adorning the air with an exquisite scent in preparation for my morning Ritual, I set the space to invite abundance, beauty and creativity into my life. This is my first act of creativity for the day and it’s one of sweetness. We’ve become so sloppy and careless; not giving a damn is supposed to be cool. I’m beginning to understand the wisdom of my Nana’s words, brush your hair! Tuck in your undergarments! Creativity is a magical language and when we use it create Beauty, that is a deep connection to feminine essence right there.
I love Patanjali’s yoga sutra where the state of yoga is explained as …focusing on any one thing that is elevating… No mention of downward dogs! The act of creativity brings us into a pure and elevated state, whether it’s cooking a meal with love or putting together an outfit, who knew we were practicing yoga? Everything we absorb we transform into consciousness and our bodies are clever, we absorb all that’s around us. So a calming, soothing environment leaves a positive, calming, soothing imprint on our subconscious. Take care to create a sweet, nourishing space for yourself, even just a corner of a room, and notice as you return to a place of beauty and abundance inside.
GODDESS + GODDESS
Women Unite! The best way to stoke our feminine essence is sharing, connecting, learning from and having fun with our sisters all around us. My favourite thing ever is to bask in the wisdom of women I love, new and old friends. This is the deepest source of Shakti awakening we can receive as women and I’m truly honoured and overwhelmed with gratitude for the remarkable feminine energy in my life. Look around you, it surrounds you too.
We are blessed to be women, phenomenal every changing feminine beings, riding the cosmic and earth rhythms. Let’s honour our power, honour our Shakti and enjoy the celebration.
Here’s a little touch of luxury I’d love to share…my favourite Sleepy Goddess Soak, for bath time bliss pre-bedtime.
SLEEPY GODDESS SOAK
I love rummaging in my kitchen pantry and creating luxurious soaks to pimp up bath time.
This is a delicious skin purifying, spirit lifting combo to restore all round harmony and prepare your body and soul for a peaceful nights sleep.
Do some mega circle dry brushing to help circulation and loosen dead skin cells before jumping in the bath…
BICARB SODA meets HIMALAYN ROCK SALTS for the ultimate alkaline, detoxifying bath bliss out. Both reduce acidity & inflammation, soothing tired aching body & soul, restoring our body to its natural Ph. Magically…..our body is able to absorb the mineral rich goodness of the salt while simultaneously releasing toxins from inside and out.
Luxurious Rosehip is Perfect for dry, irritated, TLC needing skin. Rich in Vitamin A, E & essential fatty acids & promoting cell generation = healthy, youthful skin. (This is a splashout carrier oil: use just a few drops & save the rest for your face at night).
FRANKINCENSE, my favourite Buddah oil. I usually use Frankincense while meditating. Also anti-inflammatory, it primarily calms the nervous system, soothing that overwhelmed feeling & helps us focus internally, not just on our to do list, but on what’s actually important…our true self. Harmonious & spirit lifting.
GERANIUM: magical womens balancing oil. I don’t blend much without Geranium…balancing, calming, trust me, your mind will thank you.
ROSE uplifts our spirits, calms our nervous system, clears toxins and heat from the body: the ideal pre sleep ingredient…..in tea, water, oil burners and the bath.
CALENDULA: my beautiful calendula petals travelled home with me all the way from Greece. Super calming on the skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, calendula soothes, calms and infuses the skin with a youthful glow. Yay.
Mix and shake in a jar, pour in the bath & enjoy.
With love, love, love,