I once saw a therapist who worked with crystals to help clients gain insight into the qualities they’re looking to augment in themselves. Apparently, when asked to select a crystal that calls to us, we choose the one whose core qualities we need the most.

I chose a piece of watermelon tourmaline, which apparently meant I was looking to balance my feminine and masculine energies. Not surprising. I’ve been told by many a close friend that my masculine energy (the active, make-it-happen part of my nature) is much more developed than my feminine (receptive) side.

Of course, we live in a culture that has historically exalted the masculine, so it’s not so unusual for women as well as men to rely more often on their masculine energy to navigate the world. And yet—for both genders—our feminine energy is more powerful than we realize.

“The sacred feminine is the source of all manifestation, in both the inner and outer worlds,” says spiritual teacher Sally Kempton. “When you have access to it, you have access to your own energy.”

I know I’d still benefit from awakening my sacred feminine. Having spent most of my adult life trying to manifest opportunities through diligent effort, I find myself longing to shape—and experience—my life in a different way these days. The sacred feminine offers that possibility.

“Our connection to the energy of the sacred feminine transforms our perception so that we can actually see the divine dimension of ourselves and others,” Sally explains. “It awakens our capacity for experiencing compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, and other higher emotions. Without activating this energy, we can practice meditation for years and never crack the code of inner transformation.”

Awakening the sacred feminine also involves awakening shakti, the fundamental creative power of the universe. Sally describes shakti as the “joyful, dynamic, juicy, love-saturated quality of awakened consciousness.”

“It manifests subtly in the human body through meditation and yoga,” she says, “especially with the awakening of kundalini.”

Sally describes the kundalini as a specific form of shakti that’s hardwired into the human body for the purposes of evolving consciousness. It’s ordinarily dormant until activated through meditation or yoga. “It’s the force behind real spiritual progress,” Sally notes.

The result of awakening and energizing our sacred feminine energy is apparently a heightened feeling of presence and of being empathically connected to others, regardless of gender. Sally insists it’s a life-changing and dynamic process.

“It can help you re-order your priorities, bring physical healing, uproot habit patterns, bring out hidden talents, kindle joy, and give you enthusiasm for service and creative endeavors,” she says. “And above all, it makes spiritual practice dynamic and full of unfolding wisdom and insight.”

Originally published by Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health