Growing Into Myself by Thea Euryphaessa – an empowering memoir exploring sensuality, tantra and personal authenticity
Reviewed by Shine! editor Collette Walsh
I read a lot of books and often find myself comparing them to meals – some are snacks (light, breezy; they fill a hole). Some books are ‘main meals’ – satisfying and nourishing. Then, and not very often, some books are feasts – delicious, awakening, to be savoured and reflected upon.
Well, Growing Into Myself was most definitely a feast! It is the second part of a memoir trilogy by Manchester-born writer Thea Euryphaessa. In her first book – Running Into Myself – Thea embarks on a personal journey of discovery which sees her shaking off the shackles of a ‘conventional’ 9 to 5 life and taking on the huge challenge of running three marathons while exploring her own personal demons, her place in the world and ultimately the start of a deep spiritual transformation.
Following on from the introduction we get in Thea’s ‘entrée’ (to use another food analogy!) of Running Into Myself, comes Growing Into Myself. This is a delicious, sensual, raw and often VERY funny confessional of Thea’s journey into the world of tantra.
The experiences is clearly so powerful that the author is forced to confront practically every element of her life – from her frustrating, passionless relationship with her lover to her courageous reality-check about being authentic in her work (and the struggles this brings). She is also forced to tackle her experience of being a modern, western woman which includes sometimes painful (and sometimes wet yourself funny) recollections of puberty, sexual encounters and of course, her relationships with the women in her life including her mother.
A heroine’s journey…
What I especially loved about this book was the totally no holds barred strength of it. It takes real balls to be vulnerable and what is more vulnerable than to openly share with readers (with incredible honesty and detail) all the trials and difficulties faced by Thea during this period of her life.
These include the breakdown of Thea’s relationship with her partner (I am sure a LOT of women will relate to being a relationship that is way passed its sell-by date), struggles with money (and funding her work as a writer), feeding her intellectual hunger (Thea is a voracious reader and has an incredible appetite for knowledge). Plus, Thea’s growing awareness of her sexuality, her soul journey and of course, her feminine power. All of this is both daunting but also, clearly, as you read the final chapters, wondefully emancipating and fate-driven.
Shakti Tantra School… a school of pleasure
A fundamental element of this book though is indeed Thea’s acceptance of an ‘invitation to pleasure’ from the ‘School of Sexuality’ – the Shakti Tantra School and the five-levels of training that Thea ‘surrenders’ to. I say surrendered in a VERY positive sense as it is clear from Thea’s initial introduction weekend (level 1) that from then on she clearly unshackles her ego and fears and just throws herself into the world of pleasure, passion and sensuality.
Since reading this book I have recommended the Shakti Tantra school to several women friends who have shared with me issues about their bodies, achieving orgasm and self pleasure. If Thea’s account is anything to go by, Shakti Tantra should be on the NHS!
Finally, I was especially impressed with the outstanding level of research and knowledge contained in Growing Into Myself. Thea Euryphaessa has mindfully consumed an enormous amount of classic and modern texts on psychology, sexuality, human nature and mythology.
Do not expect to breeze through this book – it is NOT chick-lit. However, it is fascinating, challenging, educating (especially the Tantra Shakti accounts) AND very entertaining.
It’s also endearing – such is the humour and honesty Thea writes with that you cannot help but cheer her along on her road to her authentic self. I look forward to the final part of the trilogy which I am informed is already in progress. Wonderful.
Buy the book: click here Growing Into Myself by Thea Euryphaessa
For more information on Shakti Tantra http://www.shaktitantra.co.uk/