I have been blessed to meet many amazing women in my studies, travels, and in my work, all with their own unique expertise and flavors of wisdom. And thus I’m overjoyed to introduce the Awakening Goddess Interview Series, highlighting women in the web of sisterhood who are committed to women’s awakening through the embodiment and empowerment of the Divine Feminine.
Heidi McCormack is a Transformational Coach and Therapist in Cape Town, where I had the pleasure of sharing in community with her. She also shares amazing self-care and body care recipes and rituals on her Facebook page Alchemy Goddess. I asked Heidi to share her wisdom and one of her favorite self-care techniques as well as share some of her views and perspectives about life as a goddess.
Awakening the Goddess: What does being a goddess mean to you?
Heidi: The concept, goddess has over time become this etheric, untouchable being, totally out reach of the modern woman. My personal view of being a goddess has nothing to do with having “magical powers” or exceptional physical beauty or being overly spiritual, but everything to do with me knowing myself. My belief is that a woman can’t truly know herself without recognizing that she is fundamentally a goddess at the deepest level of her being. When I refer to “know myself”, I mean becoming as conscious as I can about my light and my dark (shadow). It has been interesting to notice how the more I go into my shadow aspect, see and love what is there without judgment, the more my light grows and the more light I have to shine on my shadow.
Being a goddess for me is definitely not about being perfect, it is about accepting my humanness in all its aspects and learning to love it all, the beautiful, the crazy, the child, the pain, the heartbreak, the bliss and not being afraid to connect with my wild nature. The nature of the goddess for me is a continuous unfolding of self, never arriving but always seeking to awaken more and more of who I am. To call myself a goddess is to acknowledge my truest nature, that part of me that is immortal, wise and intuitive.
AG: What challenges do women face?
H: I feel the challenge for women working on awakening the goddess, is our attachment to the image of what a goddess has come to mean – being perfect or amazingly beautiful or always getting it right is not what it’s about. We’ve become so defined by how we look and how we’re perceived by men, the media, our peers, there is no freedom to just be who we are. Women are highly intuitive, intelligent and compassionate beings, which is why so much energy has gone into taking away our power and our voice. The methods used have cut deeply into our psyches and almost cut us off completely from our sexuality, passion and wild nature.
Shame is something women are almost born with. We are conditioned from such a young age to not enjoy our bodies, always be modest, like we have something to hide from the world, when in fact the parts of us that are shamed are in fact our “super powers”. This world would be a very different place if we were never controlled in this way. Life would be more passionate, more compassionate and definitely much more loving and delicious. Thankfully the force is strong with women and so it was only a matter of time before we started seeking the truth and listening to the tiny whisper inside our hearts, calling us to recognise who we really are.
AG: What are some of your favourite self-care rituals?
H: I believe an important aspect of connecting with the goddess is self-love which can be practiced in a number of different ways. One of my favourite ways is through body therapies that care for my skin, allow me to spend time connecting with myself, while at the same time nourishing my mind and my body.
Abhyanga is self-massage, which I try and do once a week, followed by a warm shower or bath.
Here are the steps:
- Choose a warm, comfortable room for your massage, free from clutter and drafts. Place a large, warmed towel on the floor and have a spare towel for covering your body once you’re done.
- Warm the chosen oil (this can be coconut, sweet almond or sesame seed oil) by placing it in an oil burner. Be sure to blow out the tea light candle once the oil is warm enough, to prevent the oil from overheating.
- Undress and sit naked on the towel.
- Begin with your head, gently massage the oil into your scalp (and hair if you like) and down the back of your neck.
- Continue down the back and onto the hips and buttocks. Keep your touch light and rhythmic. Work down each leg in turn and pay particular attention to the feet, be sure to massage between your toes.
- Move back to your shoulders and work down each arm – making sure every inch is covered in oil – and down to the tip of each finger. Take your time, don’t rush.
- Finish with the neck and face. Pay particular attention to every part of the face, making movements very gentle. Pull the ear lobes and massage gently inside the ear. Work gently inside each nostril.
- End up by spending quite some time (at least 5 mins) gently massaging the third-eye area (just above and between the eyebrows) with your thumb.
- Lie down and cover yourself with the extra towel and relax for 15 to 30 minutes.
AG: Anything else you would like to share?
H: In our modern society, I believe the goddess holds the key to awakening men. Once a woman opens to her power, she is strong enough to hold the space for men to feel safe enough to soften and find their authentic power. It is the nature of feminine energy to hold and sustain the creation of the masculine energy, like a womb holding and nourishing a baby. Feminine energy is the framework of creation, without it there would be no creation.
Women have enormous power, but that power can only be fully realized when we give up all attempts to fit into the definitions and roles created for us by society. We are infinite beings forcing ourselves into tiny, outdated concepts that no longer serve us, they never did.
You can find out more about Heidi and her work at her website!
Heidi McCormack – www.heidimccormack.com