Kyoto Girl, Awakening Woman


“I say, It’s in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.“ ~ Maya Angelou

As the train I was riding traveled closer to Kyoto, little did I know I was also coming closer to meeting a geisha, and that that geisha would be me! I also had no idea I would be doing this little photo shoot until the morning after my Reiki pilgrimage to Mount Kurama. And as scared as I was doing it alone, I was also excited because it all happened so effortlessly, but also pointedly, I knew something important and destined was happening.

Slowly as the makeup was applied and the increasing weight of layer after layer of garments were wrapped around me, my free spirited self felt very confined and didn’t like it one bit. But then something happened as I looked at this version of myself in the mirror. The fear and oppression in my eyes seemed to transform into empowerment and grace. My posture started to straighten and my body felt lighter than ever.

I quickly realized this to be a rite of passage ceremony, and it was ushering me into a time of being a sweet strong loving and courageous woman in the world...a completely different reality than the hurt and pain-driven young woman I've lived as most of my life.

To be a “phenomenal woman” as the venerable Maya Angelou describes is to choose to carry ourselves, with love. That’s it. No one can touch that. I asked the weight of it all to give me structure and instruct me how to move and stand and simply be. And as awkward as I felt, I soon found myself loving every quiet little step and somehow knew just what to do.

I thank Reiki for guiding me here to revisit this lifetime in Kyoto so I could unlock these gifts of the sacred feminine to share with all my sisters throughout the world. And to all my phenomenal sisters: May we hold each other up as we transform our pain and suffering into beauty and grace one little awkward, yet, precious step at a time.

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