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​an exploration of the sacred within each woman
&
ideas for how to step into honouring the sacred,
both from the self and the outside world

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The House Of unfurling Logo

part one:
H O N O U R I N G   T H E   S A C R E D
F R O M   T H E   S E L F

Ok love, so go get yourself something lovely to drink and settle in – it’s a long one. It’s also still very much a work-in-progress – I haven’t got things all figured out and ready for you, on a silver platter with a bow. So do join in. Let me know YOUR thoughts…

1. where we start with self-care and end up exploring what’s wrong with society’s views on women.

Yesterday I spent some time reflecting back on this past month – a month with lots of unexpected upheaval. And I felt things settle when I realized that through it all, it’s also been the month where I have most fiercely stepped into a TRUE honouring of who I am and what I need to thrive.

As a woman.

This has not always been the case. (cue amused-at-self eyeroll)

I am still sometimes cringing when I think back to those years I spent in corporate, pushing myself into physical and mental exhaustion, trying to cram work into every minute of my day – and failing to feel truly fulfilled, or energized, or even simply like it mattered.

I had a firm conviction that self-care was only for people (women) who couldn’t cope, or who didn’t want to give their all, go all the way. Women who didn’t take their responsibilities as seriously as me (cringe). Somewhere along those lines, there was also the notion that it was a vain thing to do, this taking time for self, for self-care. And yet. Secretly, I also envied these women – who had appointments with their favourite hairdresser, went to get a manicure, or massage, or yoga class, or even, gasp, leave work at the exact time their workday ended; all without a second thought. And certainly none of the guilt that I ran into whenever I considered taking time away from my work, or my family, JUST to go spend some time on myself. Weren’t those the REAL priorities?

<insert wry smile>

Yes. I know.

This is easily one of the stupidest cultural myths I have ever bought into.

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Being a woman means differently. It means there is a depth to us – an endless source of deep wisdom, deep compassion, an experience of a deep love and joy in life, of true connections with others, of seeing beyond the surface into the heart of what really matters. It is a deep well of magic. A sacred essence within – and it needs to be nurtured.

And so – any action we take towards nurturing our body, our mind, our soul – is an action that will feed that well, that will give it space to bloom, and overflow, and fill our lives and hearts with its juicy vibrant glow.

THIS has made all the difference in my life.

The understanding that self-care isn’t another task on my to do list, not some vain surface-level thing we women do, seduced by ads and fashion shoots …

SELF-CARE IS THE DEEP HONOURING OF THE SACRED ESSENCE WE WOMEN CARRY FROM WHICH EVERYTHING ELSE IN OUR LIVES WILL FULLY SPRING INTO BLOOM. Click to read the Full Article: "Do you hold yourself as Sacred? A radical reframe of self-care." From Embodied Feminine Radiance - kathleensaelens.com
tweet this: self-care is the deep honouring of the sacred essence we carry

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The House Of Unfurling Logo

WE CAN LIVE FULL OF VIBRANCY, AND JOY, AND DEPTH… AND, IT’S ABOUT SO MUCH MORE THAN SELF – CARE 

Self-care has been the road that took me into the EXPERIENCE of the sacred within (it may end up being a different gateway for you). And it is very much a FELT experience. Where all of a sudden, you realize that despite all of the blaming, and shaming, and guilting about being a woman, living in a woman’s body, doing woman’s things – the actual truth of what lies deep within you, that what makes up your femininity – it’s GORGEOUS. It’s FIRE, and a gentle smile; it’s wise and fucking deep and not to be easily dismissed. And it’s so much more than where you get your hair done and how well you can keep up with the guys and what size of bra you wear.

HERE’S WHERE THE BLAMING AND SHAMING AND GUILTING EXPERIENCE OF ‘BEING A WOMAN’ COMES FROM

WARNING: I don’t censor myself when writing. The following may be upsetting and triggering for you to read so if you’d rather skip to the next (reclaiming) part, click here.

▼ your desire for the ‘forbidden’ (read as “your forbidden desires”) has doomed humanity for evermore – FEEL THE GUILT, WOMAN! how dare you even come to this earth? of course it makes sense that this would make you a second-grade citizen. hell, for what you’ve done, you deserve to be put below the cattle. Sooooooooo bad, disgusting, vile and to be vilified. Ugh. Everything that is going wrong for humanity is YOUR fault. All the suffering, all the pain, all the wars and abuse. All because you sooooooooooo needed to have that one thing (that apple, yeah). Selfish bitch. Be our chattel for evermore.

good girls are seen and not heard. good girls don’t ask for much, if anything at all. good girls know how to listen and obey. good girls are respectful of their ‘elders’ (read: any man in the room). good girls know they are guilty until proven otherwise. good girls try to erase their existence from this world by being invisible. good girls hide, walk with their heads bowed, try not to be/ask/see/say anything that could upset anyone. good girls know it’s their duty to make amends (read: please everyone and die trying). good girls know they shouldn’t take up any space.

▼your body is sin personified. The work of the devil. A mere man cannot fight against that temptation. FEEL THE SHAME, WOMAN! You’re the reason good men do vile deeds. How can you expect them to do otherwise, when you flaunt your wares everywhere? Bind your breasts if you don’t want us to look (we’ll still look, and judge).

her skirt was too short. her breasts were too big. she was there, quite simply, so I took. hey, my hands can go anywhere they please. I’m a guy. I’m bigger and stronger than you. I don’t fucking care if this makes you uncomfortable. I love to see you squirm. haha. workplace etiquette be damned. I only see your body anyway. That’s why they hired you, don’t you know? Women don’t get hired for brains. Hey, we’re just having fun. Right, babe? Just a joke, no harm meant. haha. No, I didn’t spread those porn pictures with your face glued on them. Okay, yes, I did. Where’s the harm in that? God, you can’t take a joke now can you? Spoilsport. You’ll never be one of the boys.

hide your breasts. hide your curves. be careful, honey. you never know what might set a man off. rather safe than sorry. don’t drink. even when you’re sober, you might still lose. wouldn’t you rather just stay home? not have a life outside, where you walk the streets from the gym to your apartment, and pepper spray might not be enough to keep you safe? take self-defense class. don’t look them in the eye. walk fast.

▼of course you’re less than a man. So emotional! How can you expect us to trust you in knowing how to make the best decisions? Fuck, when one of your employees comes crying because they cannot pay the rent, you FUCKING listen and empathize! FEEL THE BLAME, WOMAN! You’re the reason <insert any weird thing that can go wrong in a business setting>. You’re such a pushover. If you cannot care about the money, ONLY and solely the money, you’re out. Let the good boys in.

she’s only on the committee to make the quota right. she’s a pretty face, yes, every office needs a pretty face, it makes things so much more pleasant. you got a bad review because we think your leadership is rather weak. oh, you thought we took those people skills seriously? no, that’s just because it’s law, you know? we don’t really care about people. easily replaced. no, you didn’t get the promotion. yeah yeah, it seemed like a good idea at the time but management felt a guy was the safest choice. you know, in case you decide to get pregnant…

… do you feel the anger? the upset making your stomach churn? the tears grief sadness rage burning in your throat? GOOD. we’re done with this shit.

2. where we redefine what it means to be a woman, and explore ways to honour our selves.

I believe all of us here, sharing this space in reading and writing and speaking words about the feminine and the future, we’re being asked to REDEFINE what it means to be a woman or a girl. With so many outside-imposed definitions on our bodies and possibilities, our rightness and our wrongness –

it's time for each of us to personally explore exactly how to define 'woman' and 'girl'. Click to read the Full Article: "Do you hold yourself as Sacred? A radical reframe of self-care." From Embodied Feminine Radiance - kathleensaelens.com

To then add these individual perspectives to the growing lexicon we have – a lexicon defined by women, for women. So, I’ll share mine with you here, today. And I’d love to hear yours (comment below, tag me on instagram, or send me an email).

HERE ‘S WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO ‘BE A WOMAN’

▼our bodies flow. they provide an anchor-point, a steady refuge for children and men and women alike. the warm embrace of a mother, making space within the hectic day to hold her child on her lap, listening to its hurts and fears – when all around them, the world is busy busy busy yet unable to shatter the depth and peace of her embrace. flowing with the moon, flowing with life, in sync with rivers and oceans across the globe – a woman’s body is deeply grounded into the earth, in tune with cycles of sowing and growing – with the potency of life itself, flowing in endless creativity and gifts of nourishment and abundance and love. There is something about a woman’s body that is just. so. beautiful. A ripeness. Lusciousness. Rhythmic dance. starlight and ancient mysteries and a whole lot of wise-woman ancestry that carries in her bones.

girls do whatever the heck they want. girls celebrate their bodies. mossy streaks on her skirts from climbing trees. jumping from boulder to boulder, testing her strength, savouring the burn in sinews and muscles and blood. gleeful aliveness. loud whooping belly laughs. sitting however the hell she wants (amazing post by Jeanette Leblanc). dressing up and make up because it’s fun. streaks of dirt on her skin as she gardens, plants, seeds, nurtures. high grasses. sand between toes. strong body wonderful body vibrant body. lazing around. sacred moontime. her softness envelopping others in a no-holding-back hug. peach juices running down her chin. sensuality, shared or with a chosen partner. orgasmic bliss as what’s normal. a full-on sensory experience of life. full-colour. saying what is real, in this moment, this situation.

▼our spirits soar. we look through the eyes of heaven and heal with our touch. when we’re alive to our world, we see through veils and read intentions and know a lie when we hear one. there’s a finely tuned awareness and alertness that speaks to us in moments of quiet, and a deep sense of serenity and deep inner calm when we walk in our knowing. our wisdom travels many worlds at once. we know when to just sit and listen, and when to offer advice. we see patterns. we find the gold, the gem within the darkness. and we can guide ourselves, and others home (tweet it). we honour the living and mourn the dead. and beyond it all, we see the silver thread connecting us to our futures, and us to past. we see humanity. we see visions of hope. tender hearts. and fierce truth-speaking words.

depth and tranquility. gateways into what lies beyond, the deep dark eye of the storm, sorceress in blazing light drawing potentials to her. ever becomingresonance guiding our steps. the sacred in the everyday. cultivating beauty, memories, home. listening for answers. following our gut. acknowledging where things, and people, and places feel off, and choosing how to proceed. creating space for stillness, because in the stillness, the answers reveal themselves with clarity and wisdom..

▼ It’s FIRE, and a gentle smile; it’s wise and fucking deep and not to be easily dismissed. there is no one-dimensional woman here (tweet it). nothing like the fairy-tale princess, nor the witch, the slut nor the queen with ice in her veins. “it’s complicated”. you bet it is.

women are whole beings. our wholeness IS our gift, <anyone who wants to put us in an easy-to-label-box>. I can cry and still be fucking fierce. I can tell you, I don’t know, and still be an amazing business leader. I can feel insecure & wounded around other women, and still be the bestest friend ever. I can walk the path, unfurling into more and more fullness, and still, for all my imperfectness, and not-there-yetness, and frustratingly moody/bitchy/impatientness, be mesmerizing, radiant, wise, wickedly funny, big-heartedly loving, fiercely focused, and an absolute gorgeous woman-creature..

Know that. Trust that. Honour that.

The House Of Unfurling Logo

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so I ask you … do you hold yourself as sacred?
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ARE YOU AWARE OF THE DEPTH AND BEAUTY THAT LIES WITHIN? Click to read the Full Article: "Do you hold yourself as Sacred? A radical reframe of self-care." From Embodied Feminine Radiance - kathleensaelens.com

O R   D O E S   I T   F E E L   C O M P L E T E L Y    F O R E I G N ?


I promise you – it IS a part of you.

In my own experience, I was that woman who always felt out of tune with her own femininity. My body felt foreign, like a vessel I didn’t know how to care for, blundering about, desperate to learn from magazines and shop assistants what would make me feel at home in this strange land. I could feel the weight of the outside gaze everywhere I went, judging, finding fault, acutely aware I would never be as pretty as the girls on billboards, feeling like a disappointment in femininity. I didn’t own my body, didn’t own my space, didn’t own my voice. And I’m pretty sure I didn’t even know HOW to do the whole self-care thing.

It wasn’t until I showed up, willing and open to explore new ways of relating to myself as a woman – a radical turning inward versus looking outward for ‘the’ definition – that all of the depth opened up to me.

Where could you bring more of this forward, honour it and nurture it so it can truly start to overflow into every area of your life? So it can feed your own soul? And inspire your loved ones?

For me, honouring this sacred feminine essence comes in many shapes and forms … woven into my days in ways both small and large …

Barefoot in the garden, 
A ripe tomato picked still warm from the sun,
Lighting a candle as I settle in for the day in my office.
Being truthful, no matter how uncomfortable.
Honouring my need for calm on the first day of my cycle.
Adding a touch of beauty to my physical space.
My favourite dress.
Listening to the excited rush of my deepest longings, and taking them seriously.
A quiet moment at 3am velvet dark, no one but me and the stars.
Hugs. Lots and lots of heart-opening hugs.
Journalling.
Choosing to believe in myself.
Recommitting.
Honesty.
And more honesty, still.
And a stubborn commitment to love.

Holding myself as sacred is a moment-to-moment endeavour. It’s still not always easy. It goes into every area of my life. It speaks to boundaries, with myself (“why am I allowing myself to even listen to my most negative thoughts and beliefs?”), work (“why am I creating pressure for myself in wanting to stubbornly keep that deadline?”), relationships (“who can be a part of my trusted circle?”), and so much more. It brings me face-to-face, again and again, with the mirror of my actions and words. It demands fierce honesty, first and foremost with myself. And the thing I’ve learned, above all?

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The choice is always yours.
To make space for what makes you thrive,
as a deeply present, deeply tuned in woman.

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CLICK THROUGH TO READ: "Do you hold yourself as Sacred? A radical reframe of self-care." From Embodied Feminine Radiance - kathleensaelens.com

part TWO:
H O N O U R I N G   T H E   S A C R E D
F R O M   T H E   O U T S I D E   W O R L D

part two coming soon!

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Connect with Kath

Would you love to receive some personalized support and guidance on your journey? I work with a small roster of private clients. If you’d like to explore if my mentoring would be the right next step for you, please click here, and we’ll set up a complimentary call. I look forward to connecting!

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