This is part two of a casual chat with Carol Haggerty, Ceci Baker, and Rosemarie Ramsumair, the presenters of the April 26 Wonder of Women Workshop. The interview was conducted by Soribel Fernandez in the Institute for Hermetic Philosophy midtown Manhattan space.
Q. What is the most valuable thing that a woman can get from this opportunity?
Carol: I keep going back to this power, this connection to Nature. We have something that men, sorry guys, they just don’t have access to, and I just feel that most women, probably 99%, do not know that we have this capability. Every single one of us does, no matter where are we from, or how old we are, but we each have it, and that is the main thing that I feel that women will be able to connect to and allow themselves, for the first time possibly, to understand what it means to be empowered in a truly feminine way and “feminine” meaning self-actualized.
Rosemarie: I agree with that.
Ceci: Yeah exactly, the power is not something that competes with men. It’s something that just is, and regrettably most of the world has been informed that only men have power; that has caused a lot of women in my opinion, myself included at one time, to be very competitive with them on their terms as they are, and I am finding for myself and in myself that, that is losing battle, because that is denying who I am as a being.
Rosemarie: And when we think about, how much emphasis is put on a woman’s physical appearance and how women can interpret that as “I am beautiful therefore I am powerful”. Instead on focusing on that, we kind of bring it back to the inside, to see that there is actually something different that we can focus on.
Carol: And the internal beauty that we create for ourselves actually affects our external appearance.
Ceci: To that point, since I have joined the school so many people in so many walks of life have looked at before and after pictures and have said that I am getting younger and ask how is that happening?
Q. How you would define self nurturing and what is your favorite form of self Nurturing?
Ceci: For me self nurturing is more than self care, it is a way that I can grow who I am as a human being and who I am as a woman, I am generally pretty good at nurturing other people and really good at nurturing plants you should see my apartment, and I’m trying to find ways to bring that in to nurture my spirit so it grows and it flourishes and actually, my favorite way of doing that is with my plants, touching them, talking to them, tending them, repotting them and giving them away to people, I give out plants to everybody who invites me to a house warming.
Rosemarie: And you do a great job, the one that I got from you has flourished and produced more.
Ceci: And that’s what is great about this. I feel that I am giving part of myself, the love that I have given to this external creature comes from within me and see that it goes out and goes to another person and another person and that is just a reflection, I feel, of what I want my spirit to be able to do.
Carol: Self nurturing for me involves few things. I start with taking care of myself, getting enough sleep, exercising every day, eating well, but also allowing myself to have the guilty pleasures as well, but also to listen to my voice, to have compassion for myself if I make a mistake, to appreciate what I have done well, to learn from things that I may not have done well or could have done differently. Right now it’s about trying to hear my voice inside and trying to find the answers from within before reaching out to others around me; I feel that is self nurturing in a way that I am trying to cultivate and grow my voice. That takes a lot of effort because is easier to say "what do you think?" Or what does so-and-so think? Or read about it somewhere and find an answer. I'm really trying hard to understand what I think, what I know, by creating a stronger and stronger connection with myself every day.
Rosemarie: Yes, there is definitely the physical aspect of self nurturing. I do a lot of that - getting massages, acupuncture, facials; but for me a big part of it is self forgiveness and really telling myself every day ”I love you.” I take a moment every day to look at myself in the mirror, blow a kiss to myself and say, “Hey, you’re pretty cool. I love you.”
Q. Is the IHP about women’s power? Or is there also work for men?
Carol: There is work for men and there’s work for women, absolutely. It’s important to have separate work for men and separate work for women. But it’s really important to have workshops where we are also in the same room doing work together. It depends on the workshop, it depends on the topic, and we decide which work makes sense that is just for men or just for women, or to have a combination, as well as different levels of work that people have done here. There are some people who have just started, and some people have been here for 20 years and sometimes those people are in the same workshops because we can always learn, those of us that have been here longer, can learn from the people that have just arrived and of course those people arriving can learn from those who have been around for a while. So we have work at all levels, for men and for women.
Register Here for one of IHP's upcoming Workshops in New York City!