The Cook Awakening

Sovereign Self

a women’s meditation and
Deep Communication Circle™

Twice a month meetings —
༄ 1st Tuesdays, 7 — 9:30 pm
in-person in SE Portland, Oregon

༄ 3rd Fridays, 10 am — 12:30 pm
via Zoom video conference

Suggested donation, $10 — $50 per meeting
༄ no one turned away for lack of funds

Go here for the recordings from earlier sessions.

Sovereign, adj —
1. relating to, characteristic of, or befitting a supreme ruler
2. enjoying autonomy

As women in general, we are taught from an early age to be more aware of other people’s feelings than our own.  It’s how we learned to stay safe, to navigate sometimes very dangerous waters.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge that this is the experience primarily of white women in western culture. This experience may cross over into non-white cultural contexts, but I don’t assume that.

As a result, we often aren’t fully aware of how we feel in any given moment. Our antennae are always up, sensing the environment. Even when it’s relatively safe, the habit is so ingrained, we’re still scanning our surroundings for possible hazards. We often defer to our partners’, employers’, friends’, or children’s needs without even thinking about it.

This long standing habit of hyper arousal and leaving ourselves out of the equations of our lives has a myriad of outcomes — chronic illness, loss of income, depression and anxiety, and lack of meaningful connection with other human beings, to name a few. 

I want more for us. In my experience, when I can feel myself fully, I’m able to connect more deeply with those I love, and they in turn are able to feel themselves and me more completely. It’s a seeming paradox, that feeling my own boundaries allows a more rooted experience of kinship.

I remember my first experience of being in woman only space, it was a weekend in the wilds of Mendocino County. I felt something open up in my body. I still had a bit of social anxiety, I tend toward introversion, but I also experienced a palpable relaxation that was new.

Changing this habit of feeling others more than ourselves takes more than being in same gendered space. That’s a valuable start. There’s another important piece — we have to actually feel ourselves, on the physiological level. Our culture wide tendency to live in our heads leaves us without access to one of our most valuable resources! Our heart connection. Our gut instinct. The tendency to elevate other’s needs over our own is largely unconscious, and we need to access those patterns through our felt senses, through feeling our bodies, noticing how fear and love show themselves on the kinesthetic level. 

To do that, we need to slow down. Get quiet. Allow things to unfold at their own pace. Notice what happens when we’re not leading with our minds, when we let the heart and body come into focus. And, we need to have an experience of all that in quiet, and also witnessed by others.

Join me in this exploration. I’ll introduce some concepts designed to ground us into the process, then offer a guided meditation. From there, we’ll join together into a Deep Communication Circle™, a leaderless structure I learned from Lasara Allen, deepening the possibility of feeling ourselves as intact and self-complete, and also connected to others. We’ll end with time for more informal discussion and Q&A.

This is a dance, this learning to be Sovereign Selves. It is not quick or easy, we are unlearning lifetimes of patterning designed to keep cultural structures in place that really only serve to keep power in the hands of the few. This is radical. This is personal. This is loving. This is a gentle way of approaching feeling your own power at your own pace, in a safe structure. 

Contact me for more information and to register.



Can you feel yourself as distinct from the background of your life?

༄ Two meetings per month

༄ Private Facebook group for communication between meetings

༄ Talks and guided meditations recorded and posted online here

༄ Deep Communication circles will not be recorded to ensure safety and privacy.

This circle is open to all who identify as female.

༄ All meetings are drop-in, no commitment required. I will likely close the in-person meeting to new-comers in November. The virtual meeting will remain drop in.

༄ I ask folks to hold the intention to commit to coming to at least one meeting per month. No need for guilt if you can’t make it one month! But, hold the intention to make it.

༄ I offer this process freely, because I think we need this work to be available in the world. And, I’m a human being with financial needs.

༄ For context, most for-fee groups that I’m aware of run about $50 per person per meeting.

༄ Having said all that, I’m suggesting a donation in the range of $10 — $50 per meeting. More would be gratefully accepted! Less would also be gratefully accepted! Make it work for your financial situation. I trust you to honor me, honor yourself, and honor our work together.

Contact me for more information and to register.


“This article and the meditation are just what I needed to read/hear! Although I am experiencing more spaciousness than I have in all the years of single parenting and have now the opportunity to recover from years of sleep deprivation, your insight into how to really feel in the body moment to moment makes all the difference! I was still “striving” and demanding (although subtly) mental engagement. This morning I enjoyed a meditation that was more present than I’ve allowed myself for a while.

Your work is valuable and potent! It was wonderful to spend time with you yesterday as I listened to the recording, basking in both your warmth and realness as well as your wisdom. May you feel restored in all the ways your whole being needs right now.”

Anonymous in Oregon

Complimentary First-time Telephone Consultations!

To set one up, email me with times that work for you and your topics of interest.