Luminary Profile: Chameli Ardagh
Chameli Ardagh is a leading pioneer in contemporary feminine spirituality. She has inspired thousands of women all over the world with her breakthrough teachings. We are continually inspired by Chameli and we think you will be, too.
If you could share a piece of wisdom or comfort with a younger version of yourself, what would it be?
Get out of your own way, pure magnificence is waiting to run the show. Surrender.
It was right after the tragedy of 9/11, and I was painfully faced with all the ways that I was not living love in my life.
I have been so blessed in my life. I was born in Norway, the very peak of luxury on this planet when it comes to safety and affluence. I have been studying with the best spiritual teachers, learning so many methods of awakening, techniques to really live and experience a more peaceful and compassionate dimension of myself.
But here I was, in this time of global urgency, taking an honest look at my relationships at the time, and what I saw was power struggles. I saw WARFARE! If I was honest with myself, I saw that I was part of the problem, not the solution. It was not nice; it was painful.
Shortly afterward, I went to a mentor of mine, ShantiMayi. I sat in front of her and I said, I am committed to no longer separate my spiritual life and my day-to-day living. I spoke this commitment outloud, with her as a witness, and I can tell you that nothing ever again has been the same.
We often hear: commitment and freedom are polarities, they are opposites. In my experience, that is not so. At all.
In my experience, commitment has opened up to a greater freedom than I could ever ever have imagined while I was sitting on the fence.
Commitment is the most powerful teacher I have ever met.
My deepest commitment is to find ways to embody the love that I am and to support other women to do the same.
Everything I do arises out of this commitment.
What foods & practices are essential to your wellbeing?
Before I sat down to connect with you, I lit a candle and some incense, and I spread the last withering rose petals from my garden at the feet of my statue of Saraswati,
the Goddess of art and writing and creativity. I created a puja.
Puja is a small ritual of devotion. I like to think of it as small pockets of beauty that I can create in my day. An oasis for the feminine soul.
Puja can be a way to mark transitions. Between the seasons, between work and open time, endings, beginnings. It only takes a few minutes – but I am growing roots in infinity.
And green smoothies. Green smoothies have changed my life.
Since I travel a lot, I am used to the experience of having a flat battery. The key for me is to not expect anything else. So after a tour, I always schedule into my calendar “do nothing time”. I watch trees. I watch movies. I read books. I sleep and I move very slowly. I have lots and lots of open time.
Every Monday, no matter what, I go to practice in the Women’s Temple. I always feel rejuvenated after Temple.
My passion and mission is to gather women in the timeless Yogini Circle. I am traveling and meeting with women in many different countries. We are also meeting online in Sadhana intensives, and when I am home in Northern California I practice myself in the Women’s Temple. This circle is my satguru, it is my home, it is my sisters, it is my mother and it is my most important teacher.
A Yogini is a word used to describe a feminine spiritual practitioner. The Yogini lineage goes way back for thousands of years, and the practices we explore in the Awakening Women community challenge us to move fluently between the esoteric and the highly practical realms. We are asked to question the concept of a split between spirit and body, between the holy and the mundane. Where is the red dotted line?
The Yogini circle is the bridge across the tormenting schism between spirit and our aching humanness. It rips away the fog, the dusty old concepts, the plastic spiritual food, and invites us to feast at the table with the Goddess herself. Why would I settle for anything less than that, when she is RIGHT HERE. Only a breath away. Not even.
The circle has birthed me into real womanhood, it has given me infinite roots in all directions. I have surrendered into the flow of giving and receiving, giving and receiving, and in that flow I have had a taste of real sisterhood. Trust. Strong, brave, clear, beauty.
The circle reminds me to dance, to shake, to howl. I am ripped open, I am recognized, I am awakened. It stretches me, massages me, slaps me, tickles me, nurses me, pushes me, and it holds me tight, tight, through it all.
The circle has swallowed me, chewed me, digested me, composted me, and spit me out. Re-born, helplessly in love.
The focus of the practices are embodied awakening, embodied love, to be an instrument of awakening in this world.
Chameli Ardagh is the founder of www.awakeningwomen.com and a leading pioneer in contemporary feminine spirituality. She has inspired thousands of women around the world through her breakthrough methods for living and embodying feminine awakening. She is especially appreciated for her love of mythology and storytelling as a method for illuminating our hidden strengths and beauty.
She is initiator of a global network of Temple groups for women, and the author of three books on feminine empowerment and spirituality, which have been published in three languages. Every summer she spends time in Greece with an intentional group of wild Yoginis, exploring the depths of beauty. You can practice with her and the global Yogini circle from your home in the 21 day online Sadhana program.
Image Credit: Bibbie Friman