Read to Rise

Oct 3, 2017

Over the past year, as I’ve been researching the online program SeaCHANGE:  The Art of Navigating Transition, and really finding my way into the work that I do with women, I’ve read a mother lode of books.

It was nearly two years ago when I realized that so many of my coaching clients and birthing mamas were approaching me to support them with what I realized was a deeply shared experience.  When I formed the idea of the Third-Life Alignment and started centring my work on that experience, it was with those women in mind.

I have since come to realize that this experience is so broadly shared by so many women.  Especially at this particular juncture in our society’s evolution, women are noticing that they do not fit comfortably into the roles they have been asked to assume by the overculture, and they are taking back their authenticity, their autonomy, and their feminine way of being.  They are coming into this alignment in myriad ways, from finding meaningful work to tending to their self-care needs, from digging their toes in the earth to learning to love their bodies.

It turns out that what I call alignment has also been called the rise of the sacred feminine, the transition from maiden to mother, and the Heroine’s Journey.  It shows up in texts on spirituality and ecofeminism and yoga and adult development and mythology and more.


It’s safe to say, if this is an experience you can identify with, you’re not alone.

It’s totally a thing.


And I wanted to share with you some of the books that have truly shaped my journey along this path.  They are written by brilliant, wise women who are paving the way.


If Women Rose Rooted (by Sharon Blackie)


If Women Rose Rooted weaves together Celtic mythology, goddesses, and the cultivation of a sense of home and connection with the earth into a captivating story of Dr. Blackie’s own reconnection with the Sacred Feminine.


Rise Sister Rise (by Rebecca Campbell)


Rebecca Campbell writes a modern-day tribute to the rising of the Sacred Feminine that is deeply moving and beautifully accessible.


Dance of the Dissident Daughter (by Sue Monk Kidd)


In the Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Sue Monk Kidd tells of her own decision to separate from the patriarchy of the religious institutions with which she was deeply affiliated.  This is a powerfully written instruction book for what it means to find alignment and your own connection with the Sacred Feminine.


The Heroine’s Journey (by Maureen Murdock)


Maureen Murdock turns Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey on its head, connecting how this experience relates to women and the rise of the feminine archetype.


The Book of SHE (by Sara Avant Stover)


Like Rise Sister Rise, this is another contemporary perspective on the rising feminine, with a yogic spin.  I’m in the middle of this book right now!


Women Who Run With the Wolves (by Clarissa Pinkola Estes)


This book is a classic, and I think all women should read it.  Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes guides readers through a series of myths that relate to the wild woman, to your inner sacred feminine.  Also, a word to the wise:  just go ahead and read everything Dr. Estes has written.  And while you’re at it, download every audiobook she’s ever read, because her voice will make you just want to curl up on her lap and learn everything she has to tell.


Diana, Herself:  An Allegory of Awakening (by Martha Beck)


This is an incredibly fun book to read that has a firmly rooted message in ecofeminism and women’s need to reconnect with intuition and the earth.


Wild Feminine (by Tami Kent)


This one is still on my to-read shelf, but it’s next!  Tami Kent is actually a physical therapist, and writes this book to help women connect with the feminine, embodied.


‘Tis the season to hunker down with a pile of good books and a cup of tea:  hopefully these will keep you nourished over the coming winter months!  Also, is there anything that you’re reading right now that you would add to this list?

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!