Mischa Varmuza is a long time soul sister and one of the wisest, most talented and inspiring yoga teachers I know. Always learning and deepening her awareness, Mischa holds regular retreats in the UK and beyond. Here she discusses her experience of the divine feminine and how reconnecting to our inner world opens the gateway for the individual and the sisterhood.
Life is a sacred dance between the divine masculine and feminine, Shiva and Shakti¹, light and dark. These energies exist within all of us and it is their balance that gives us the strength, power and wisdom to grow, heal and live our lives to the fullest potential. True sacred masculine energy is confidence, courage, loyalty and power that unites and builds, and this is balanced by the nurturing strength, wisdom, creativity, love and compassion of the sacred feminine.
I am currently being guided deep into my own psyche; the process is scratching holes in my own illusion, showing me where I am blocking my own freedom and potential for space, love, creativity and growth. A strong message that is continually showing itself is the need to remember and connect to the essence of the sacred feminine. It is a process of self reflection, honesty and patience but with commitment it can bring liberation from the trappings of the mind and powerful results.
Currently, many of us are living in a state of disharmony and conflict, resulting in a deep-rooted suffering amongst humankind and damage to the heart and beauty of our planet. Mother Earth is the greatest expression of the feminine essence yet she is ruled by an excess of false masculine force guided by greed, power, domination and materialism.
The light and healing of the feminine aspect has been suppressed and quietened into darkness to a point where she has faded almost completely from our individual and collective psyches. This is evident by our disconnect from nature and reluctance to remember that we are all related, and each of us is a unique expression of her creation. If we can rebalance our energies so that we feel strong and whole, we can let go of fear and feelings of insufficiency, and see everything and everyone through the eyes of love, regardless of our differences.
We spend our lives receiving and processing information on both conscious and sub conscious levels, nature and nurture shaping the way we move through the world and deeply impacting the way we live in our bodies and minds.
The human body is an intricate, delicate and magical creation of nature and the temple of our soul whilst our mind has the potential to see love and opportunity for growth in every experience.
We are born into the world as children of the earth with a body, heart and mind. When these align in harmony, we can awaken our potential and experience life fully. Unfortunately the modern world has done a fantastic job at repressing this potential and causing contraction and fear. We are conditioned from a very young age to think a certain way; society, culture and modern myth telling us what is right and wrong, defining what is beautiful, instructing not only how we should dress but how our bodies should look, how we should feel, think, behave and live our lives. These powerful messages lay down certain expectations and direct our minds toward sadness and confusion, suppressing the fundamental feminine force that supports growth and love.
And the age that we begin to be influenced is getting younger as the internet, phones and social media take over our innocence. As young girls today, we close our hearts shut and begin to reject parts of ourselves and our bodies, living in disconnection with our own unique beauty and potential. This disconnection tends to deepen with the conflict and competitive behaviour that arises between girls and women as they mature – but we are all equal creatures of what should in essence be one loving and supportive sisterhood.
And so to heal and evolve collectively, we have to first heal our inner world. Processes of self inquiry have shown me that my own sadness and suffering, much of which I have projected onto others or quietly buried deep into my tissues, has come from a disconnect to parts of myself. The contraction that I have experienced in my heart towards people and life was rooted in my own unresolved shadows and fears. I have been stuck in a net of false masculine energy which has stifled feminine energy, driven by fear, lack of self-love and respect, and not fully owning myself. I am deeply grateful as my yoga journey and path back to spirit are slowly teaching me what it is to be true, authentic, real and whole – and I am blessed to have teachers in my life whose work is to show us how to piece back together our fragmented selves.
This brings me to shadow work; a process of looking face to face at every aspect of ourselves, both expressed and hidden. The work is to realise that we all contain every quality within us, although we have shut the door to many aspects of ourselves that we believe are not acceptable. Once we reject something, that same quality will most likely trigger a response in us causing contraction and resistance. However, the way life works means that this will usually show up again and again until we acknowledge where we are closed off and let things flow, then accept and lovingly hold that as a part of ourselves. The same goes for fears – if we run away from them they will persist, however if we look them in the eye we can work through and beyond them.
Rejection of emotions, past traumas, parts of our body and patterns of behaviour manifest deeply in body tension and blocks in our psyche and energy. They hinder our own freedom and creativity and stifle our potential to form true relationships. I have experienced this in my own resistance toward loving and openly supporting others. Where does this come from when my heart knows and deeply desires the power of love, community and sisterhood? When we see something in others that we feel we lack or are not able to achieve, resentment can surface or a choice to ignore that beauty or quality so as not to feel insufficient. On the other hand, there might be parts of me I don’t see as virtuous or admirable so have suppressed, and when I see those traits in others it can cause a reaction. There is also fear of rejection which creates barriers towards building relationships. The first challenge is seeing and owning up to whichever of these patterns are present.
My practices are showing me how to navigate my internal world, which has lead me to the magical discovery of the sacred space and the divine feminine within. It requires patient navigation and much of the practice has simply been learning to sit with myself. To see and feel every emotion and discomfort that rises within me and to acknowledge my body and the patterns of my mind with open eyes. It is by no means a complete process as the work is infinite and each step I take continues to show me where I am still not showing up fully; where I need to work harder or to let go. It is teaching me how to be authentic and slowly reshaping the conditioned processes that have misguided me and my feminine potential for so long.
It is up to each of us to take self responsibility; to show up fully. We must embrace and nurture the qualities of the sacred feminine, healing our inner selves to open the gateway for seeing the world and each other through the eyes of love.
As women we must lift each other up; be brave enough to show our own beauty and courage whilst reminding others of theirs. We must inspire one another with kindness, compassion, support and love. We are all children of the earth, one sisterhood, one community, one love.
I would like to share a beautiful and simple meditation practice that I was taught on a recent teacher training with my teacher Sianna Sherman where we were fortunate to have Swami Chetanananda with us for part of the time.
I deeply wish to grow
Find a comfortable posture, sitting cross legged, kneeling or in a chair where the spine is upright, chin parallel but the body relaxed. Softly close your eyes and take 3 slow breaths exhaling through the mouth to release any stuck tension and relax the body. To ground and feel presence in your space, work your attention through each part of your body, starting at the feet and working up to the head (feet, legs, groin and hips, tummy, chest, back, shoulders, hands, arms, neck, head). Follow the flow of your breath and settle your attention at the centre of your chest. Breathe in smoothly through the nose and as you exhale silently and meaningfully from the heart say ‘I deeply wish to grow’. Continue with this mantra on the exhale with the focus at your heart centre for 10-20 minutes.
It can be helpful to set an alarm so you don’t have to think about the time.
This mantra can remind us of the opportunity that each moment in life brings, and to root this intention deep into our psyche and body.
Mischa is running Wild Heart: A Soulful Yoga Retreat in Goa in March, visit her website for more details and booking info.
¹ ‘ The Goddess or feminine force in Tantra is worshipped as Shakti, generally translated as ‘power’, whereas the God or cosmic masculine force is worshipped as Shiva, meaning ‘peace’. Yet to render Shakti as power creates may misconceptions. Shakti is the power of Shiva or the power of peace. It is not born of violence of agression. It is the power born of passivity, in silence of mind, the energy comes forth from the void, like the life that comes forth from the womb. Shakti is not power which is asserted against something, but a power that enlivens everything from within.’
David Frawley, Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses