Her home is called Embody Lab. It is a place where souls come to seek spiritual guidance, to access the eternal Garden of Eden and to shed their masks and come into their bodies. Aphrodite reincarnate, Stefanie carries centuries of female wisdom. Her speech is that of all the ancient healers, sages whose voices were stunted and whose bodies turned into ashes by the great fires that were triggered by dread and disgrace.
When I first met her, I knew that her duty on this planet is to break the silence of our great grandmothers the witches and to destroy the maleficence that was assigned to them throughout history. Stefanie is a doula and in my personal view, a spiritual guide. Her role as a doula is to prepare and to support women and couples in their journey of childbirth. She teaches women how to listen to their bodies and to connect to the sacredness of their feminine energy before the magical event of delivery.
“When I was completing my training as a doula in London, my mentor was actually a man, he was one of the pioneers of natural childbirth. His knowledge of the female body was incredible. This man knew everything about the woman. He made me aware of how disconnected we are from our wombs. Nowadays, women are terrified of giving birth and I don’t blame them, look at the conditions that we are giving birth in! Practitioners of western medicine refer to those who are in labour as the sick. The process is rushed, it’s violent, not only for the newborn but also for the mother. Instead of being a sacred event it becomes a traumatizing one! I don’t disagree with medicine, I have studied clinical embryology myself. However it seems to totally disregard the nature of women.”
The creatress’ first experience as a doula was during a natural birth in Paphos. Surrounded by the immensity of the Cypriot forests, Stefanie fell in love with life’s miracles that are so moderated and taken for granted in our society. As a modern sorceress, she is deeply aware of what it means to be human. Because all of our traumas are rooted in the moment of our conception, she is interested in working with cellular memory, embodied trauma and self-development. In fact, after leading a nomadic life outside of the Mediterranean, Stefanie came back home to Cyprus and launched Women Awakenings Academy. A program that offers a variety of workshops and healing circles focusing on awakening our inner wisdom and on tantric practices. The amplification of the yin energy always being the basis of her work.
“Throughout history, as women, we have only emphasised what is lacking from us. We lost the ability to appreciate and to put into use what we actually DO have: the ability to create life and to be guided by our intuition. I think that right now is a significant time for us to come back to ourselves instead of seeking to define ourselves through politics and through our society. We need to take ownership of our bodies and show our pride of owning a womb.”
This is precisely what Women Awakenings Academy is seeking to achieve. During our discussion, Stefanie and I did some analysing and we looked into what makes us disconnect from ourselves, the creatress suggested that it all starts with our menstrual cycle. Instead of celebrating it, we are taught to feel disgusted by our own menstrual blood. From our childhood, we are taught to avoid the topic of periods, pads, menstrual cups and tampons even around our female friends.
“The infrastructure of our society is made in such a way that it never took into consideration the fact that once a month women do need to slow down and to dive inside themselves and simply feel. Nowadays, if you are a female entrepreneur it is considered highly unprofessional to just decide not to go to work because of your period. I find it scary that we don’t even have examples of how to live as a woman who has a menstrual cycle. We don’t know how to use our menstrual pain in order to look within ourselves and explore the very depths of that pain. We numb it with medication, thinking that the cramps and the discomforts that we experience is a nuisance rather than an opportunity to explore and learn something from our wombs.”
Whatever Stefanie teaches and the guidance that she offers, it always starts with herself. She first works with her inner voice, she delves into her own challenges and traumas. In order to heal and help others to grow as human beings, she insists we need to put an end to the blaming of patriarchy. Everything starts with our inner beings, it is our responsibility to free ourselves from our chains. As women, we need to refuse to compromise our nature and reclaim our female intuition instead. It all starts from our individual work and from the examples that we set for our sons, our boyfriends, husbands and our brothers.
“What I have learned is that you cannot fight the system but you can learn how to step back and be with yourself. At one point you notice that the outside is no longer affecting you, but instead, whatever is inside of you starts to create the outside world. This is the ultimate, human power that we carry deep inside of us! I believe that we are all creators of our own reality and just because that power has been suppressed and hidden from us, it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. It merely lays dormant and it’s simmering, waiting for its eruption. All that it takes is to align with who you are and trust the flow of life. It will take you eventually where you need to be.”
One of Stefanie’s workshops is called “Meeting Without Masks”, a series of gatherings that she organises for both men and women who are willing to meet their most authentic selves, to unlock whatever has been suppressed and silenced within them. Once the masks are taken off, it is the crucial moment to ask oneself: what does it mean to you to be a man or a woman?
“As a facilitator, I get the chance to observe how the lines that separate both genders disappear. We’ve been taught that masculinity equals the embodiment of protection. The man is believed to be the hunter, the provider. However, through my work I have learned that there is actually something else! Men and women might have different bodies and different hormones but, in essence, we are all the same. With age, we got disconnected from our vulnerability, from our inner child and our innocence. I hope that my workshops truly help people rediscover these hidden parts of themselves. I also encourage men to dig deeper into their emotions, which is something that is socially “forbidden” to them. I think it’s essential, so they can understand what it means to them to be men. It’s all about setting your own definitions and limits! As women, we have been doing it for quite a while now. I feel that an important shift is happening within men right now too.”
When talking about past relationships and how traumatic they can be, Stefanie highlights the importance of cleansing the cellular memory. Just like life, relationships and their hardships are similar to a dance; healing and progress is just a step and a breath away.
“Sometimes replaying memories is important, you cleanse in that way! You release whatever feelings you need to get rid of. Your personal healing is never about the other person, it is all about you. Whatever you feel has been taken away from you by a previous partner is actually hidden somewhere inside! Our psyche, just like the ego and its workings, are very interesting. The mind will never stop analysing, replaying and asking questions. It’s self-sabotaging at times but you should never reject these feelings. Let everything that comes to you come, overtake you and naturally, with time, it will dissipate. We all have a natural ability to let go. It is the human ego that attaches itself to interpretations, to that need of giving everything a meaning. Once you release, it goes! It requires work and acceptance but your inner wisdom knows when it’s time. You first need to empty the baggage.”
Part of Stefanie’s work is her generosity to share the lessons that she has learned through her personal experiences with partners and through any challenge that she encounters on a daily basis
“When we meet someone and we attach ourselves to them from a place of lacking, expressions such as ”you complete me” are destabilising. The disruption of that union with another, leaves us even more incomplete than how we were before we entered that relationship. We are all complete and we don’t need to look for anyone to “fill” anything inside of us. It is all about sharing our completeness and learning from one another.”
Especially as women, we need to learn to fully embody our completeness, to connect to our yonis. We hold ancestral traumas in every cell of our wombs and it is frightening to realise that some of us only know our sexual organs through the other. The partner who provides us pleasure seems to know us more than we know ourselves. Women Awakenings Academy is based on the premise that as women, we come to this world with the responsibility of providing the best environment for life to emerge.Whether it is the earth’s landscape or our own bodies.
Stefanie is currently turning her house, the Embody Lab, into a retreat centre in the old town of Nicosia, a place where both men and women will be able to come from all over the world in order to receive healing treatments, take part in Stefanie’s workshops and discover the natural beauty that Cyprus has to offer. “We are on the island of love. Aphrodite was born on our shores. We tend to forget that as Cypriots! My goal is to remind everyone where we actually come from.” In the near future the young woman is going to Thailand to complete a course that combines Tantra and Taoism, a special treatment that helps you get rid of emotional trauma which is held within the body. It goes without saying that whatever the creatress will learn on her journey, she will carry back with her to Cyprus, to her garden of Eden, and share the wisdom with her sisters and brothers.
You can view Stefanie’s amazing work on
her Facebook page: WomenAwakeningsAcademy