Faces of the Feminine, a dialogue with Sarah durham wilson and Jessica Sevapreet hesser
Sarah: Jessica, let’s start with this: how do you show up as a woman in the world?
Jessica: I share my love with the world by awakening women to their divinity, strength and grace. That shows up in many forms, but I’d say I’m most passionate about teaching Kundalini Yoga. For me, it’s at the core of everything I do. This yogic technology is really profound in how deeply it works with the mind, the body and energetic system. And right now I truly believe that we do not have time to waste. We need a practice which can give us the energy to elevate ourselves and our surroundings and which can give us the energy to serve, NOW.
2017 will be the year of the woman. There is a huge awakening in response to a call felt deep in the heart of every woman, a call put out by a planet which is suffering. Women are rising up ready to be sacred activist, ready to be protectors of the earth and its people, ready to be the saviors we have been waiting for.
This is as it should be. We were made for this. Our love, our grace and our strength can contain the entire world. But first we have to have a way to get out of our own misery, however that shows up, so that we go be that force of change.
This is one of the reasons I really love working with women. To be able to serve in this awakening is a beautiful experience.
You’re really passionate about working with women, what fuels that desire in you?
Sarah: I think it comes from a few things, I know that the Goddess is the missing piece in so many women in a patriarchal culture. And the Feminine alignment which comes from a relationship with Her- these are tools I wish my mother had had, the self love and intuition and feminine alignment of cycles and seasons in our lives.
A relationship with Goddess and Mother Earth brings you in a deeper relationship with yourself and all beings.
And these are things I wish I had had earlier in my life, the lack of them left me lost in life and leaving a trail of destruction, where I was constantly hurting myself and others, before my Saturn Return, in which I lost my fiancé and almost my life itself. When I had a feminine awakening, it literally saved my life and I wanted to share the gifts I'd been shown with every woman I possibly could. I didn't just want to, it felt like a mission Goddess had handed me. What about you, how did you find the Goddess?
Jessica: I didn’t really find the Goddess, she found me.
Many years ago I had an experience of my god dying. It really came out of the blue, and without getting into the whole story (which is quite beautiful, but a little long), what happened was that this idea of a a Christian male god-head that I had started to disintegrate within me. At first I really grieved this loss, I felt very, very alone in the world. But then things started to move in a different way.
I had a very deep spiritual opening and more and more of this feminine, Goddess energy began to show up. It really gave me a much deeper, embodied experience of Spirit.
How does Goddess energy show up in your life?
Sarah: Well it's almost more like what happens when I lose touch with Goddess energy.
I lose touch with the best parts of myself or I'd go so far as to say I lose myself when I lose touch with Goddess. I'm lost and self pitying and angry, seeking outside of myself instead of inside. I'm not aligned with my intuition and I'm making a ton of mistakes- hurting myself and others unneccessarily.
I'm chasing, not receiving. I'm not compassionate, I'm frustrated and impatient. I'm sort of pushy and rushed and faithless. All this is to say I'm not in my feminine, I'm in my unhealthy masculine. It's no stretch to say when I'm in touch with my Goddess energy it serves not just me but everyone around me.
As far as this journey we’re going to go on together - what does the "Faces of the Feminine" mean to you?
Jessica: The Faces of the Feminine are these different aspects of the feminine energy and form. As women, we are entirely cyclical and I think so much of that has been lost, forgotten or hidden in our patriarchal society. Coming back into ownership of our nature really allows us to fully come into ourselves.
In a masculine society the emphasis of life is very one sided. The masculine energy oppresses the natural and feminine cycles in an effort to distance itself from death. (Man's fear of woman is man’s fear of nature is man’s fear of death.) Women hold the death energy because we are always changing, like the moon and like the seasons. When we remove ourselves from death and darkness it leaves us very incomplete and disempowered.
In working with the Faces of Feminine we can come back into integrity with the beautiful wholeness which is our birthright and the source of our power.
How do you think our journey will serve women coming into their power?
Sarah: Well definitely to encounter and embody Mother energy. To rise from Maiden into the empowered Mother.
For the new year, I’m obsessed with the transition from "Maiden to Mother" to raise Mother energy on the planet.
I've talked a lot about what unhealthy Maiden energy can look like, that place where so many women are trapped in the patriarchal paradigm, and I'm excited to dive into that more with you on the course.
What does this transition mean to you?
Jessica: The transition from Maiden to Mother has been really profound for me.
But first I think it’s really important to understand that we all carry this Mother energy and we all move through this process of growing from Maiden to Mother whether we have physical children or not. Woman is always the creative essence, always giving birth — to children, ideas, businesses, art, words or any other form you put into the world.
In fact, I didn’t move into the mother phase even when I had children. It actually took me a long time to go through that process. There’s a lot of healing that needs to be done in order to make that change.
The Maiden energy is full of vitality and energy. But when we stay there too long, the opposite actually happens, we are drained of our energy and we are stripped of our power. And yet our culture really latches on to the Maiden as the preferred image for women. This emphasis stops really traps us. So in order to move out of maidenhood, we have to have a process of exposing these hidden agendas within us and within our lives. This is the great work of the Goddess, to strip us of everything false, to strip us of everything that is essentially unworthy of us.
The Mother energy is rooted in the understanding of ourselves as Adi Shakti — the creative, primal and protective force of the Universe. The Mother’s power and strength lies in the depth of her compassion, it lies in her intuitive intelligence and it lies in her grace. It is always accessible and available and it is never dependent on outside forces. The Mother is complete with herself. She is like the round image of a pregnant belly, the circle or the serpent with its tail in its mouth — there is no beginning and no end, every need is met within the form itself.
Yogi Bhajan teaches that the one thing a woman must do is be a woman first. In all things, know that you are a WOMAN before you are anything else. This, to me, is the process of moving from Maiden to Mother. Maiden doesn’t quite yet know what being woman is, but Mother embodies it completely.
That’s why I feel so blessed to be offering this course as guidance and support for this journey right now. The world desperately needs women who experience themselves as whole and powerful. The world needs more Mother.
You’re on a very big journey into motherhood yourself. What new aspects of yourself have you discovered during your pregnancy? How has moving into this part of your life changed how you interact with the world?
Sarah: It’s still changing, I'm deep in the transformation cocoon. I think before I got pregnant I only studied the transition from Maiden to Mother. Now I'm literally living it. When I slip back into Maiden- like I did over Christmas, briefly toward my twin sister- I'm sullen and temper tantrumy. I blame others and expect others to solve things for me. When I'm in my Mother energy, I am sourced from within. I'm calm and graceful but powerful. Which is, as we've said, the energy the world needs.
You had mentioned Peru- that's when I too met the energy of Pachamama- the energy of the empowered, embodied feminine Mother Earth. And when I'm in that, I'm aligned with life, not fighting against it. I run on faith and my deeply empowered feminine energy.
And I can't wait to learn more about this energy through your kundalini teachings.
Jessica: You came up with this idea for the Faces of the Feminine, which is beautiful. What does it mean to you and how can all woman integrate this understanding into her everyday life?
Sarah: I think it clicked that it was the easiest way to teach feminine alignment for women in 2017, to break the phases of the moon and earth up into four nights. Dark of the Moon/ Winter, New Moon/ Spring, Full Moon/ Summer, Waning Moon/ Fall, and dive into feminine archetypes on the aligning nights as well. I wanted to focus deeply on the feminine now, when our healthy feminine energy, the energy of the Mother- is called for more than ever. And with my clients, I'd say almost always the first thing I tend do is align them with the earth and moon, and we tend to start where we are.
So with this journey, we are starting in the depths of winter, in the dark of the moon, which is naturally a place where women are in between phases in their lives. They're leaving behind the old but haven't quite birthed the new. It's dark and cold and they can't reach outside of themselves for warmth and comfort. We are asked to go in.
I think laying out the Faces of the Feminine journey with the phases of the moon sets a nice natural blueprint of understanding our own seasons and cycles. And I think once a woman understands the cycles of the earth and phases of the moon, she can understand herself better, she doesn't feel so alone, she is one with the Mother, which is where we feel best; most natural, most feminine, most alive, most nurtured, abundant, empowered.
Want more? Join the course starting January 8th