I speak and write often about my love for Marianne Williamson, who has been offering up incredible wisdom and guidance for decades. Marianne is the New York Times best-selling author of A Return to Love and countless other titles. Ten years ago, when I got sober and reignited my spiritual journey, Marianne was my greatest inspiration. Her interpretations and teachings of A Course in Miracles rocked my world and set me on my path.
Marianne’s work greatly supported me in healing my darkest addiction of all: codependency. Through her books, talks and workshops I was led out of the inky depths of addiction and back to freedom and love. In fact, the week after my wedding I sent Marianne a thank-you note explaining that if it hadn’t been for her work I wouldn’t have been able to create such a healthy partnership.
A few weeks ago when I was in L.A. I had the privilege of sitting down with Marianne over tea. In an hourlong conversation she was able to tap into a new development in my spiritual recovery: my ability to be vulnerable and feminine. She helped me witness and understand a shadow side of myself that I had been unable to see on my own. She helped me see how I had lost my connection to my greatest source of truth: my femininity. Not only did she help me witness my shadow but she guided me back to the light. She offered me spiritual guidance, prayer and concrete advice. Once again, her words and teachings transformed me.
I was so blown away by Marianne’s capacity to open me up to such profound wisdom. After our time together I began thinking about the women in my life: my mother, my friends, my business contemporaries. Had they lost touch with their vulnerability and femininity too? It quickly became clear to me that I am not alone. If you’re a woman reading this, whether you realize it or not you may feel like something is missing or a part of you is lost. If that’s the case then have no fear! Nothing is lost — the flame has just dwindled. In an effort to support your feminine spark I decided to bring Marianne’s words to you.
In this interview Marianne shares why it’s so important for women to reclaim their femininity and vulnerability. We chat about her upcoming live and digital course, The Aphrodite Training. She touches on the ever-present issue of work-life balance and reveals the most transformational tools from her own practice of nurturing her femininity. I hope this interview serves you greatly.
Why is it important to align vulnerability with power?
First of all, our vulnerability is power … just a different kind. Magnetic power is as important as dynamic power, and most women feel emotionally bereft if we saunter out into the world yet find we’re lonely in the intimate realms.
How can we balance both our work lives and our romantic lives?
First of all, we have to make space for what we really want. Too many people today — men as well as women — have allowed our work lives to eat up too many hours of the day. We spend too much of our energy on work while leaving our romantic lives unattended to. Women as well as men started thinking that romance was either less important, or that it would just magically happen without too much effort. But the opposite is true. Living a romantic existence takes as much thought, time and energy as any other area of life. But it also gives us more time and energy, which is the amazing thing. Deep romance is a spiritual experience, and one of the most powerful in its effect on all aspects of our lives.
You have an incredible training coming up this month. Can you tell us more about the Aphrodite training?
The arc of my own journey was this: When my career became successful, my intimate relationships started to go south. For a long time I thought this was just my own personal drama, unique to me. But as I began to navigate the waters of my own emotional turbulence, I realized I wasn’t alone. This was a generational wound, a remnant of a flawed strain of feminism in which we suppressed the feminine in the name of feminism. In our manifestation of worldly power, a lot of us became so masculine that we started to succeed in a worldly sense but at the expense of other areas of our lives.
Practicing what I learned from Pat Allen [and] A Course in Miracles, plus going through various experiences of life and love, I ultimately began to heal in my broken places. And for a long time I thought the generations of women younger than me weren’t making the mistakes that mine had made; I thought they had self-corrected and would be okay. But over the last few years I’ve realized, “Egads! In some ways they’re even more wounded that we were!” I’ve seen that the journey I’ve been on is the journey of many women, of all ages, and I feel I’ve learned some things that can contribute to their healing process.
What can women expect from this training?
Most of us are carrying around a lot of trapped light, suppressed feminine, unintegrated Aphrodite. Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war, might be thriving in our lives, but she is a virgin goddess. Her sister Aphrodite, the goddess of love and romance and pleasure, can live in us too, but we have to make room for her. She can’t thrive where she is not embodied, and she can’t be embodied by a woman who is ashamed of her, or invalidates her, or disowns her. That’s what we will be talking about, and invoking, and celebrating, and allowing. I think there might be some tears for a few women, but there will also be dancing and loving and fun.
Great news! You can attend the Aphrodite training from anywhere in the world. To get all the details click here.