There’s such a deep sense of purpose emanating from you as though your worth is so intricately tied up with your mission that having a clear and strong relationship to your worth is a non-negotiable. Is this so?
Well I appreciate that, first of all. Knowing that you feel the resonance between my work and my soul. That alignment is my mission. I seek to help people facilitate a deep connection with their innermost knowing and from there, to trust it deeply enough to act upon it. As long as we’re mortal (and as far as I know, we all are) our sense of worth will waiver. It’s human nature to question and doubt ourselves, our power, our work, our actions, our relationships. The question for me is always this: Where’s my center? In magic, there’s always a great Return. A return of seasons, a return of energy, a return of power. One must always know where to return. Where Center lies. And it’s always within. The great mistake we make is thinking that our worth lies outside of ourselves. It does not, at least not to me. My worth lies within my capacity to find peace within and to return to my Center when my faith in my worth waivers and falters. Because it will. And somehow knowing that allows me always to be preparing, buffering, strengthening.
Have you always been in deep relationship with your worth?
No. In fact my major low point was after my kids were born, when I struggled with a form of energetic recalibration that Western culture calls post-partum depression. It was a major resetting of my entire life, my work, my central nervous system. In fact all systems shut down for a little while until I was ready to rebirth myself and shed that old skin. I had accomplished a lot: I earned a PhD before I turned 30, I had two beautiful kids, a thriving academic career. And then it was like the air seeped out of my balloon. It was an initiation of sorts. My health failed, my relationship faltered.
And then I rose. Like the Phoenix. I didn’t even look the same.
I learned that my worth lies inside, not outside. It’s not going to be found in an achievement, relationship, child, or crossing of some socially-constructed milestone. And I think women trust me because I’ve been through those trenches. I haven’t hid my journey. They’ve seen the rebirth. They know if I lived to tell about it, they will live through theirs too.
To me, worth is the wearing of your struggle and the remembering of your courage in those moments.
When you’re shaken or disconnected what’s your practice for re-engaging?
I smudge with white sage. Always every time. I spend time alone and in silence. I meditate and journey and ask for guidance. I pray and listen. I read. And I lean on the very small handful of people I trust for guidance and advice. I have one teacher whose voice alone, even if all she says is “I see you”, brings me right back to Center. We all need one person whose voice can do that for us. I am honored that my voice does that for others.
As a mama what are the things you think are most important in enhancing your children’s knowingness of their inherent worth?
I’m genuinely curious about who my kids are. Not who I want them to be, or who I think they will be, but what they came in bearing. I play to their strengths. I used to be an executive coach and I can tell you that successful companies and CEOs do more of what works. They don’t try to improve their weaknesses first; they capitalize on their strengths. I think the same applies to everything, even raising kids. What are they good at? Help them do more of that. Help them see that what they love to do is what they should pursue. We talk daily about who they are helping and how they are feeling. I am teaching them to pray and meditate and get quiet, which is not easy for a 5 and 7 year-old to do. They know what “sacred” means. And they know that they are entitled to feel all of their feelings, all of the time. When I am gone many years from now, I hope my kids say that I helped them see the world as a place of possibility and see themselves as people of possibility.
Thank you for offering me a space for my voice in this place you’re creating! xo Athena
Athena Perrakis, Ph.D., is a former university professor and executive leadership consultant with Corporate Executive Board (CEB), where she developed a portfolio of Fortune 50 companies, including Coca-Cola, Lockheed Martin, and Cisco Systems. In 2011, she launched Sage Goddess to help individuals seek wisdom in their subtle, yet powerful, divine life force, and in the short time since, has grown the company into an internationally recognized resource for sacred tools and deep, personal learning.
Athena works with men and women from 12 countries through her online programs and private mentoring practice, and brings 25 years of formal and informal training to her work. She has studied aromatherapy, shamanism, Wicca, Native American tribal practices, and ancient ceremonial practices from both eastern and western traditions. Her personal lineage is Mediterranean and Native American. Her Greek ancestors descend from just outside Delphi, the birthplace of the famous Oracle.
– See more at: http://www.sagegoddess.com/