As a young woman I used to be anxious, insecure, filled with self-loathing and doubt. All these years later I’m truly comfortable in my own skin and wildly grateful for my life.


That radical shift didn’t come simply with the passage of time. I want to share with you the main secret responsible for that change. It’s something another woman offered me while I was exploring my inner work nearly 20 years ago. It’s turned out to be a more powerful resource than money can buy and it has changed my life profoundly – truly a gift.


Today, I want to share this gift with you.


It’s the gift of the Sacred Feminine.  Not in an abstract form that’s hard to wrap your head around but in the form of 3 loving, wise and powerful Mistresses of the Divine Feminine. Each has touched my life deeply and I am so honored to share them with you.


They each have beautiful gifts they’re ready to offer you if you’re open and receptive. Each wants you to experience self-love, acceptance and compassion and for you to shine your light and gifts into the world brightly.


They are the Divine Mother, Quan Yin and Mary Magdalene.


Imagine how good it would feel to have the ultimate big sister, champion and mentor available any time you need her. To have a powerful feminine presence to guide, support and love you.


Someone to mirror the beauty of your own Sacred Feminine Spirit that dwells deep within the human frailties, gifts and insecurities you carry through your day.


Having that kind of support has made all the difference in learning to love, accept and celebrate myself. Getting there has been quite an amazing journey of transformation – truly the caterpillar to the butterfly.


I spent many years as a young woman actively disowning and disparaging my own nature as a woman. My family, church and culture all made it explicitly clear that being a woman was a liability. My feminine nature and its associations with the emotions and the body were things I would need to overcome if I was ever going to truly be of value.


It wasn’t until I had some exposure to the Sacred Feminine first through the Divine Mother and then the Buddhist Goddess of Compassion, Quan Yin that I began to have some inkling of another way to feel valued and empowered as a woman.


Divine Mother

Painting of the Divine Mother by Nadya King

The Divine Mother entered my healing journey through the suggestion of a young, beautiful, Australian, spiritual teacher who radiated everything I wanted – strength, beauty, & self-assuredness.  She introduced me to a version of the Divine Mother who resembled the Mary of my Catholic childhood but was much more dynamic and alive – she burst my heart wide open. She touched my self-judgment and shame with a love and acceptance that enveloped me and allowed my defenses to dissolve in her love and care. She began a process of softening and tenderizing the malice and self-loathing rooted in the cultural and familial misogyny I’d been steeped in.


Painting of Quan Yin by Elaine Chan-Sherer

Painting of Quan Yin by Elaine Chan-Sherer

A few years later Quan Yin deepened my relationship with the Feminine and began to teach me about the healing power of compassion. She too came to me through another powerful woman and spiritual teacher I had been working with. Quan Yin, like Mary the Divine Mother had lived a human life as a woman. It is said that although her Spirit had evolved to the point she could leave the earth plane upon her death she chose instead to stay here -accessible to the people of earth -until the last being is free of suffering. Her service to humanity is a commitment to compassion.


Having been touched by the Presence of her compassion time and time again over the years has awakened my own compassionate heart, first for my fellow sisters and brothers and then ultimately for myself.  My compassion has allowed me to hold the truth of my human imperfections – something I could not tolerate previously – with tenderness, care and understanding.


Both the Divine Mother and Quan Yin initiated me in the practice of seeing myself and the world through the eyes of love and the wisdom of my heart. My relationship with them allowed me to begin to celebrate my own distinct nature as a woman and recognize its dignity and strength rather than cut it off like a gangrenous appendage.


Painting of Mary Magdalene by Joni Maher

Painting of Mary Magdalene by Joni Maher

More recently, I have opened to Mary Magdalene as a teacher. We have crossed paths over the last twenty years but I was never fully ready to say yes to her. I wasn’t ready to embrace Her particular form of no holds barred “Be your Full Self no matter what” kind of teaching.


She has taught me to value myself and stand by my value. As I’ve learned more of her emotional depth, spiritual devotion, embodied fullness and empowerment in the face of challenge the more I feel a kinship with her as a woman and gratitude to her as a Sacred Feminine (S)hero.


She says, “Celebrate all of who you are! Leave nothing unexpressed. Celebrate your sensuality, claim your sexuality, own your spiritual depth, your wisdom and powerful emotional nature. No part of you need be denied.”


Whoo, that one takes some practice! I’m still working with it day by day. It’s through my work her that has prompted me to share my private experience and devotion so publicly with you.


The three of them together continue to guide and support me personally and in my work with other women. They fuel my passion and spur me on in supporting women like you to open to self love, claim your full worth and live your truth.


With their Presence, inspiration and support I am offering No Apology Necessary! You Are Enough. (exactly as you are): an online month long journey in self love, acceptance and celebration for women this October.  Using guided meditation & inquiry, story, journaling, ritual, movement and creativity you can begin to release your old story of not measuring up and embody the truth you are so much more than enough.


We’d love to have you join us and claim your bright, beautiful light.


Wherever you are in your journey know you can open to the love, wisdom and Presence of the Sacred Feminine in one of Her many forms.


If you’re ready to make contact you can begin right now – in this moment.


All that’s required is your desire and willingness to call Her in and open to receive Her. You can let your voice speak it out loud or your heart murmur it quietly within you. You can write a personal invitation or sing a song of welcome. Once you call upon Her it’s time to get quiet and receptive. You wait to see how she will express herself to you.


You may feel a warm glow around you, or hear her whisper into your ear. She may speak clearly with words or images or a soft touch on your skin. But rest assured She will come. If not in this moment then when she can most easily access you.


Joni with Mary

At the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice, Italy


A simple practice I’ve used with each one over the years is a written dialogue format. I write out my invitation and/or a question or request for information. Then I pick up the pen and begin to write out a response. Not thinking but just allowing a response to come.  With practice it has become increasingly easier to allow the wisdom to come through but many women I’ve worked with have had immediate success.


With Love & Blessings of the Great Mother of Us All,



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