Reclaiming the Divine Feminine: A Conversation with Alexandra Roxo

by Janet Arnold-Grych

I sometimes think of Sir Isaac Newton’s quote, “I stand on the shoulders of giants.” My ability to make the choices I do has its foundation in the strong women who came before me. It seems crazy to me that my ability to vote was not shared by my great-grandmother, and that, in some parts of the world, my gender would still define me more as property than partner. When I am not grateful, it is because I forget. I forget how privileged I am to have the education and choices I do. Despite amazing gains, I know the scales remain imbalanced—in perception, opportunity, voice, and value.

I have four nieces. Each is creating her own imprint from an amalgam of grit, compassion, and vision. My definition of what it means to be a strong woman is inevitably different than theirs. I like to think that theirs will be better, more complete, more self-determined. I like to think that their sense of self will be rooted in who they are, rather than swayed by how they are received and perceived. Even with a solid start, the road to becoming a strong woman remains a tough and often confusing climb.

Fully Embracing Our Feminine Power

Alexandra Roxo is a transformational coach, healer, writer, and artist, and and a regular presenter at Kripalu. She believes that many of us have become displaced from our connection to the divine feminine and to the power and insights that are part of it. To fully embrace our power as women, Alexandra says, we need to reclaim that divinity, which is simply part of who we are.

“While our definition of what it means to be feminine will shift based on social, religious, cultural, and other beliefs at a particular moment in time, the notion of the divine feminine is constant, and closely linked to nature—to the ability to create, nurture, protect, grow," says Alexandra. “It is the mama bear that will fiercely protect and gently nurse her cubs. It is the intensity of storms and the softness of morning rain.”

I’ve heard it said that we create our sense of self based on what is reflected back to us. That is, our opinions cement around the “mirrors” we experience. I wonder how I would think, feel, and act now if I’d had spiritual teachers who were women; if I’d grown up around more women in positions of communal power; if more of the businesses in which I’ve worked had women at the helm. At best, these imbalances in the power structure are like a stone in our shoe, not crippling us, but hobbling our natural emotions, reactions, and expectations.

Being Human ... and a Woman

While my experiences are through the lens of my identity as a woman, I know that women are not the only group to feel the lack of air around equality. So, isn’t it more important simply to be an awake human than to lean into feminism? “As women, we need to first elevate who we are,” says Alexandra, “we need to validate the feminine voice and experience. If we just go to the general, we are skipping a step on the path to integration. It’s about bringing the feminine that has been repressed more into balance first.”

Alexandra believes that we can do that perhaps most effectively via our sensuous and mystical bodies, employing dance, movement, and breath. “We need to learn how to feel our feelings and move the energy through our body,” she says. “And we do this together. That’s why having community is such an important part of the awakened divine feminine. We’re talking about the path of love, of embracing open-eyed awakening together. We support each other as we step out and share our gifts with the world.”

I think about the gifts each of my nieces holds, and my hope that those gifts truly bloom. May many strong women light the path for them, and may they do the same for those who come after them.

Janet Arnold-Grych is a yoga teacher and writer whose work has been published in Elephant Journal, Huffington Post, Third Coast Digest, and other outlets.