“The Wild Woman’s Way” is Michaela’s body of work drawn from her decades of counseling and from her training in a female lineage of Kashmiri Shaivism, of which she is now the lineage holder.
This work is designed to provide education, inspiration and practical exercises for living as a woman in today’s world.
Never before have we as women in the West had more opportunity, more choice, and more freedom. Granted, we still have a long way to go, yet compared to any other time in history, we have the greatest options and choices to forge our own paths and determine our own destinies.
At the same time, with these opportunities come new challenges and distinct difficulties: the demands of life have created high levels of stress, pressure, disconnect, discomfort, and dis-ease in women.
As women we are now, more than ever, able to have the career we want, we can make our own money, choose our relationships and have the freedom to determine when and if we want children. Yet, our connection to our self, to pleasure, to nature and our intimate relationships has suffered. We are ever more disconnected from our biggest ally -the body- and as a result are missing out on a powerful natural resource for aliveness, pleasure and empowerment.
All offerings draw from Michaela’s decades of professional and personal experience and are an invitation to remember the innate wisdom of the body—not to be defined by our looks and shapes and sizes, but the living, feeling body as a portal to unlocking who we truly are.
In each event we will explore feminine embodiment, full bodily expression of who we are, our relationship to pleasure and intimacy, and learn how to counteract stress and trauma in the body.
What is the Wild Woman?
The Wild Woman is a part of each of us. She is not the crazed and uncivilized creature she is sometimes made out to be, but the part of us that is deeply and inextricably connected to natural life. She is connected to all things in nature, including her own body, whom she cares for and utilizes as an instrument of perception. She represents the part of each woman that comes from nature and is part of nature.
The Wild Woman is an archetype, and as such, can rise from the unconscious and come into play when the time is right. She is a portal to natural empowerment, through which we understand that we don’t have to “become someone else” to be loved, that who we are is utterly perfect, and that each of us is born with a natural genius that can be revealed and will bloom with the help of our body’s native intelligence.
Each of us has that native, embodied wisdom—a wild, untamed, undomesticated body-mind and heart that know what is true for us. This looks and feels different for each woman, and no two are ever alike.
The Wild Woman is not a fixed idea or a template into which we need to fit ourselves, but rather a portal, an entry point into our vast and rich inner landscape.
Embodiment has become quite the buzzword and there are many ways to define it. In this work we define it as an ability to listen to the messages the body sends and being able to keep our thinking mind, our emotions and our bodies connected and integrated.
In this context, the term “embodiment” can be understood to mean “coming back into the body.” Of course, as long as we are alive, we are always in our bodies. But that does not mean we are aware of what is happening in our body.
Embodiment is the process of becoming alive to the signals of our bodies. The awareness of the signals of the body can also be described as sensual recognition. Being with the full array of sensory and emotional perception—the sublime as well as the ugly—allows us to savor the full human experience: body, mind, and spirit – alive, open, and integrated.
Engaging with the Energetics of a Woman’s Body
Even though each woman is built as a unique expression, with her own physiological and psychological makeup, and our personal history and programming determine how we each relate to our bodies, there are some principles that apply to all of us.
We use a framework I call “Energy Distribution,” which teaches us to pay attention to how our life force energy is distributed within our body at any given time. As women we are uniquely connected to our lower bodies. Power to create, instinct and our ability to feel pleasure (and procreate) sits in the lower part of our body.
Many women nowadays experience the gradual loss of connection to the feelings and sensations of their body, especially the lower body. With stress and overwhelm come numbness, maladaptive coping mechanisms (in the form of overeating, addictions, etc.), and disconnection.
When we “get into our heads,” and prioritize thinking and doing over feeling and being, our thoughts and actions take on a compulsive quality and our body gets tense and tight. Headaches, a clenched jaw and neck pains become all too common.
Once we are in the mindset of getting things done, it is not easy to get back to the relaxed, open state of flowing naturally. Even if we know intellectually that we should slow down, the energetics in our body might no longer cooperate.
Knowing where the energy gets stuck, meaning, being able to detect areas of tightness and tension is the first step towards distributing the energy differently. Simple movement of the hips, thighs and lower body can effectively counteract the effects of a body stuck in “go”.
Each event provides exploration and experiential insight into your energetic habits and offers simple yet effective ways to “re-embody” and experience flow.
Coming Back to Pleasure in the Body
Sometimes women ask in workshops “How do I escape the seemingly inevitable reality of disconnection and stress, and their effects on my body, without giving up the ability to be successful and productive?”
The answer is to become fluent in both the world of work and stress, but to also reclaim our natural state of aliveness and pleasure. Since vitality and sensual sensations happen in and through the body, trying to think our way into them is like trying to think our way into riding a bicycle. Reading books on bicycle riding and talking about bicycle riding do not translate into sitting on a bike and knowing how to ride! Thinking and talking about reclaiming your pleasure is a start, but it does not necessarily translate into having the bodily wherewithal to open, soften, and relaxed. Physical closures, contractions, and habits are acquired through repetition can be undone by consciously practicing new patterns within your body and nervous system.
As humans, we learn through repetition. Every activity is wired into the body-mind through repeating an activity. When we learn something new, our whole system interconnects. What first felt foreign and almost impossible to do, over time and repetition becomes the pattern we use automatically.
All patterns have somatic, emotional, and mental components. Once a pattern has been learned, it is accessed automatically and becomes second nature. We can counteract existing patterns of stress and closure by learning new, simple activities that over time become the new “go-to” patterns of our body.
There are two parallel approaches. First we create awareness of tension and tightness in the body and counteract those constrictions by bringing the energy into the lower body. The easiest way to do this is by moving the body in unstructured ways, either in the form of dancing, embodiment practices or Non-Linear Movement.
Second, we bring attention to sensual experiences that are already available. Instead of looking for outside “fixes” and stimuli, which often require even more “doing”, we can create awareness of what is already there. The feeling of your hair brushing across our neck, the sensation of fabric swishing around your hips, a delicious bite of chocolate, a sip of tea or the smell of fresh flowers all can inform your senses and connect you with the perception of pleasure. Over time, these small sensual perceptions train the body to be more aware and alive for sensual connection with a partner and ourselves.
In addition, we engage with movement, ritual and sensory exploration to increase aliveness and sensuality, and with that, pleasure in the body.