Dancing Our Power for All Women


Gathering with women can be so many things. Fun, inspiring, challenging, scary, informative and a rare opportunity for personal growth. Gathering with women in our Sacred Circle most certainly is all of that, but it is always without fail, profoundly soul enriching for those who choose to gather with us.

Creating and holding sacred space together immediately takes you out of the every day way of looking at, and approaching your life, and dances you into a more self-responsible, self-inquiring and uniquely safe place. That’s why I love Vividly Woman Circles.

The experiences with in the circles community are held in beautiful, inviting outdoor, nature settings, where we as a group of conscious women can retreat from the stresses of our hectic lives and drop down into the essence of our true selves and access the wisdom living within (I’ll share more on just what it is to access your “true self” and “wisdom within” in a future post).

It’s been a week now since I joyously conducted one of my signature workshops “Dance Your Power Weekend Workshop Retreat” in upstate New York, and I have been weaving together the many threads of priceless moments that found their way into our collective conscious awareness; through the dance, the flirting with nature and the circle rituals we touched on emotions and our innate, intuitive senses. “Dance Your Power” takes us on a journey through what we call the Vividly Woman Solar System to discover and claim the deep personal power that is inside us all.

When I refer to a “solar system” I am speaking of a grouping of planets that constellate around a central star. The Vividly Woman “star” is our feminine power. This Vividly Woman is a star with three dimensions: Sensual, Emotional and Intuitive/Expressive. The “planets” that constellate around this central star, are the 5 Vividly Woman Textures. Sense, Ground, Mobilize, Harness and Express. These five textures serve as lens’ through which we can explore and bring into greater conscious empowerment, each of the three dimensions of our individual feminine power. Ultimately our goal as participating women in these circles, is to move from the stories and dramas that weigh us down, to the embodied truths that set us free!

During the opening circle at “Dance Your Power,” one lovely sister shared her pain and suffering for the miscarriage she had recently experienced. Her grief seemed unending and life debilitating, and she felt powerless to shift out of the pain. She had come to our circle in hopes of healing and to move forward with her life. Fast forward to the third and final evening of our impactful weekend. We had just concluded three days of creative processing through the first three textures. This remarkable woman also had chosen to have a private coaching session with one of our Vividly Woman co-facilitators. On the closing night, we entered into a shamanic dance process to dabble in the essence of the 4th texture – Harness. In this dance the unborn daughter energy visited her and spoke to her in the dance. Come early the following morning, our courageous sister had confronted the true issue in her loss; the intense fear that she would not be a good parent, and the deep truth that it was her own lack of self-love that she had been grieving all along. This embodied awareness set her free from the enormous pain that had been imprisoning her.

Sensual Power
As we moved through the “Dance Your Power” weekend, another precious thread came to us from a sister who arrived feeling deep guilt for leaving her children and husband at home for the entire weekend, to focus “selfishly” on her self. This is not surprisingly a common theme in circle to discover this weighty gut reactive feeling showing up for us yet again. This sister candidly shared her struggles with a lack of her own creative expression, she spoke about her extra body weight as a protective barrier against flirtatious men. Clearly, the tap and flow on this sister’s sensual power had been turned tightly to the “off” setting for a very long time. With the gift of self-honoring and a circle of sisters to mirror this back to her for the entire weekend, she was able to dance radiantly and claim her power and joy with laughter over-flowing in our last circle of the retreat.

Emotional Power.
On day three of our glorious retreat, is the day we devote to exploring and expanding our emotional power. I happened to speak with my mother that day during a break session; I hadn’t heard from her in a few days, and was feeling quite worried about that fact. My mother has been battling cancer, and as some of you may know from your own personal references, there are many up’s and down’s on her journey to wellness. Not having communication with mom had me quite concerned, but knew I needed to focus on the circle and my participants. When the opportunity came that we finally spoke, I learned that she’d been taken to hospital for pain relief two days earlier, and chosen to return home instead of stay in hospital, for fear that staying in that hospital would be her last stop and never return home again. Her words caused me an immense amount of grief and sadness. After our explorations through “Mobilize,” the art of meaning that is so vital for a woman’s emotional power to be activated, tears welled up inside me and made their way down my face, releasing the anxiety and sadness I held for my mother. However this time something was different than usual… I’m no stranger to sadness and grief, but this sadness did not weaken me. Instead, I tasted a distinct power in the authenticity of my feelings, and there was no victim energy about it. It was the truth of my sadness instead of the story about the sadness. I can say this was for me a very powerful moment in the “Dance Your Power” weekend.

Intuitive Power
On the last day of our circle gathering, the group and I focused on claiming intuitive expressive power. Our Vivdance practice that morning evolved into an expressive dance journey through emotions, inner characters and altar egos moving and dancing through us. Dancing our inner butterfly, our joy filled inner child, the shadow self, the sacred prostitute and the old lady within, we gave intuitive expressive power to the many faceted women that each sister embodies in her spirit. Claiming our intuitive expressive power in sacred circle, witnessed by our sisters, ensures that we are more likely to live this as a reality out in the world and our daily lives when we depart the workshop and travel home. As this intuitive expression becomes more of how we show up in our lives, our world starts to unfold and open to be a more authentic expression of our most radiant self, and the vision we hold for all beings and our planet.

The final circle of the weekend, as we shared our last gems of wisdom from this gathering of amazing women, I was struck by the depth and essence that spilled forth. Each sister speaking profound wisdom from their personal experiences and then ringing the chime to send the vibration of that wisdom far and wide. “Dance Your Power Weekend Workshop Retreat” initiates you to the awareness that your life is a dance for all women. Each and every life experience and all healing, are an offering to all our sisters to be free, to be whole to embark on their divine right to joy, happiness and dignity. In the words of Jean Bolen, “women gathering together to share truth can actually change the world.

Thank you once again dear sisters for being the conduit to expression and growth for each of us. I am so excited for the next opportunity to see you again!

Written by Leela Francis, editing by Lisa Pool

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"This is not my Beautiful Life" (yes as in the Talking Heads song!)

It was in the space between waking and dream, tangled and tripping on the thin veils that define the two realities, when I stubbed my toe on an old rotting stump of a memory.

It was cold tile slick with my snot and tears, I was gagging on the mediocrity of my life. “How did this happen to me?” Even more disturbing was the lack any real proof or permission to feel this way.

I had a successful and thriving business, a healthy child, a relationship free of infidelity, physical abuse, etc. I chose to work 3 days a week. I had a loving supportive family to watch my son. My Yoga practice was consistent and strong. I had plenty of time to cook, paint, write, hike…

Why had this life become too small, so intolerable? What was this growing resistance inside of me? Why was I insistent on more?

That day I screamed it out loud to my shower curtain, to the gods of plenty, (and apparently to a neighbor who came over later to check on me) “THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL LIFE! I WANT AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE! NO MORE MEDIOCRITY, ENOUGH!!! I WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO REALLY LIVE MY LIFE!” over and over and over again.

(The next day in Yoga class my left hip was magically opened. The hip that I had all but given up on. That’s another story for another time.)

8 years later, this morning, I leapt out of bed… The awareness of that declaration made manifest. I was thrust into this truth: I am doing it. I have been slowly but surely creating, cultivating, growing, nurturing my beautiful life. It is extraordinary. I have released what no longer served me, upgraded from mediocrity, I surrendered and birthed a whole other me, that was asking to be born.

My days are rich with deep connection. I am in meaningful service and PLAY! I have amazing communities of sisters, dancers, coaches, artists, and mentors! I get to dance almost everyday! I love my body, finally! I am surrounded by family and friends who love me, and I love them!

How did I get to be this lucky?

Wait I’m not done…there’s more!

This Thursday I am leaving to spend more than a week in Troncones, Mexico. I will be in Circle with my Vividly Woman Community! Dancing, playing, swimming and soaking in “Sacred Sensual Splendor”. (learn more!)

This is not luck. It is intention, it is saying YES to my heart’s desires. I am powerful in my life.

We are powerful in our lives. I choose to be extraordinary! Did you hear that? We can choose the extraordinary!

Tell me, are you living YOUR beautiful life?

Kara McKay is a certified Nia & Yoga teacher, Vividly Woman Co-Facilitator & coach. She guides women from their head back home to their body.

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