The Book of She: Your Heroine’s Journey into the Heart of Feminine Power
Sara Avant Stover
[New World Library, 320 pages]
There’s a quote in the introductory chapter in The Book of She which sums up the message this book is trying to convey:
Some call her Sophia. Others call her Kuan Yin, Mary, Pachamama, Buffalo Woman, Grandmother Spider, Isis, Shakti, the Mother. She’s the sparkle in your eyes, the wind weaving through trees, the leap of your dog through the hills outside. She’s the very breath you’re breathing right now. The roll of thunder outside. The pulsation in your body that you’ve grown numb to. The blood in your underwear, the bloat in your belly. We all have to find Her, and in find Her we must learn how and what to call Her. I call her SHE. SHE’S the one who won’t let you hide anymore. Who lives inside you, even when you ignore Her. SHE’s the one who draws in anything and everything that’s both good and deplorable about your life. She’s your expansion and your contraction, your love and your hate. SHE’s everywhere because SHE’s everything. And yet, SHE’s so subtle that you could miss Her. Most of us do. SHE seems unpredictable, but there’s great wisdom to her grace. SHE’s a trickster, with a wicked sense of humour. SHE’s here to remind you: you’re destined for more than just suffering your suffering. SHE won’t let you fall asleep to the song of your soul. SHE doesn’t care if you’re uncomfortable, SHE only cares that you wake up to the truth of who you are. Almost every woman has forgotten her and yet, SHE’s alive and well. Even if you think you’ve never met Her, SHE’s always been with you. SHE will never leave you. No matter what. SHE can’t be controlled; SHE can’t be acquiesced into becoming anything other than SHE. SHE’s an unconventional compass by which to navigate life. She’s a genius, here to lead you home to yours. And SHE will enter in any way that SHE can.
The Book of She is a book for women on the spiritual path. It’s a book designed for those who want to further explore and embrace their feminine spirituality. It comes with step-by-step instructions, personal accounts and examples from the author, and a diverse range of world traditions and practices.
This is a book for women who want to fearlessly and lovingly explore their feminine spirituality by undergoing a five-part journey. It begins with exploring our wounds, and learning to become more loving to ourselves. It goes on to partnering with the “demons in our head” or rather how she terms it the “Dark Goddess.” I like to look at this as the shadow selves that Carl Jung refers to—facing our darker side. The third part is a journey into learning to “feeding rather than warring with our inner demons.” The fourth part is about healing and creativity through renewed energy, and last but not least, what the author calls “ the homecoming” in which one gets to share the gifts that are and always have been part of us.
To go on this journey, one must be willing to face both the good and the bad, the dark and light of themselves, so that they can become a whole person. The author shares personal accounts of her relationships and life stories to illustrate her journey in becoming the woman she is today. This takes courage, authenticity and beauty and is an example to those who want to mark their spiritual mark or place for themselves.
The most profound piece in this book is the author’s way of explaining the key to unlocking our feminine power—and that is through understanding our bodies, our cycles and our reproductive organs. This means doing yogic breathing, journaling exercises to connect to our bodies and menstrual cycles. Women must begin to accept their cycles as a blessing.
The book covers PMS, menopausal and post menopausal; there’s a huge emphasis on understanding a woman’s cycle and how that is the key to letting go of all the shame, blame, guilt and grudges that hold us back from attaining our full potential. Whether we realize it or not, as women we hold so much of our emotions in our womb and by facing these emotions we can reach the “homecoming” or become the SHE that has and always has been around us.
Accepting our body and our cycle as a blessing can allow us as women to live through our true power and through that energy one can cure exhaustion and depression. We must first be willing to change our inner in order to change our outer. And the cornerstone for every woman on the spiritual path begins with our female bodies and our cycles in particular.
This to me was most fascinating and insightful, specifically how to understand our moods/cycles better and a step-by-step guide to regaining balance, power, energy and creativity through our cycles. The author teaches us how to do that by gathering ancient practices from two-thousand-year-old wisdom traditions as well as contemporary research and discoveries to help us get back to the SHE.
The beauty of this book is that it’s written by someone who has lived the path of SHE and is providing us with tools that have helped her come to that point in her life. Some of the techniques covered in this book are journaling, Buddhist meditation, devotional practices, explorations of childhood trauma, shadow work and Voice Dialogue. She includes SHE Yoga, a combination yogic and breathing practices.
The journey that’s carved out for the woman is that of an emotional one, but the author, through her imagery and stories, delivers a feeling of support for anyone willing to embark on that road. Sara Avant Stover has produced a loving and healing piece for women who want to reclaim themselves and break free from the chains of their past and be that full woman, which is called “SHE.”
by Anjali Mani