In the past year, I’ve found myself surrounded by a at least a dozen of beautiful, empowered women who are driven by passion for something bigger than life, and are sharing their gift with the world. This circle, like a magnetic sisterhood, has been growing and helping me step into my own feminine power. Through experience, I’ve realized the importance of coming together as women to share, manifest, support and co-create.
The Awakened Feminine community — a movement of women committed to seeing and supporting each other’s full potential — came into my life at the perfect time, and there’s a way every single woman can benefit from being part of a similar sisterhood. Find out why in this interview with the wildly inspiring Awakened Feminine co-founders Taryn Longo and Adriana Rizzolo.
How did you two beautiful ladies meet?
We met through David Harshada Wagner, our spiritual teacher and Taryn’s partner. We met when Adriana was first getting into meditation and studying with David. We didn’t instantly get close. While we sort of “got” each other, but there was a closed-offness that was still there. As we both continued on our path and opened up individually, our relationship began to also open up. We both remember when Taryn’s son was 2 days old and Adriana came over to see him, Taryn watched her hold him, and there was something about that moment that forever feels like “the” moment our connection was so obvious. From there is blossomed into what it is now. We are tearing up thinking of that!
Awakened Feminine started in Adriana’s living room in Brooklyn. What’s the story?
Adriana had just moved into a new apartment, which was a big deal for her and the first time she really had her own space It was something that she really manifested for herself, the way it all came about was kind of magical. There was a lot of intention and power behind it. One of the intentions she had for the space was to make a welcoming place for the women in her life to be in, and when we looked at the space itself together, we realized that we could easily hold women’s meetings there.
Initially it was meant to be a nice support for ourselves and for all the women we had in our lives that we knew could benefit from it. It began as a series of potluck social evenings, but we did always from the beginning gather around and talk about a theme we had chosen. Eventually it became more structured and we realized we were actually facilitating something bigger than a living room gathering.
People outside of the group started to hear about it, and invitations to host meetings at yoga studios followed. So naturally, we took it out of Adriana’s living room and brought it into a public setting to allow anyone join us.
We are not claiming to be perfect; but we are committed to a higher vibration among women.
From there we built an online community, which just over this last year has grown tremendously. On the blog, we write about the experiences we are facing and learning from in our own loves. We started sending our newsletter (which we call “Love Letters” ) to a small list every week. That too has grown so much!
Our meetings have become events, where the structure is the same, but what’s different is a social and connecting element added to it. Women tend to stick around after the meetings and get to know each other. Since we have so many women in the AF community who live outside of New York City, we are now working to bring our meetings into a more global setting with webcasts.
Happy full moon! I have some really important news to share…If you are tired of using LOL, over at @awakenedfeminine text support we are fond of sharing SOL (smile out loud), or our newest JOL (joy out loud). Try it out – see what happens! #tbt to that time we were in Ecuador leading a yoga retreat. #awakenedfeminine #awakenedfeminineyoga #womensupportingwomen #soulbeauty
You told me over dinner that you’re planning to start doing YouTube videos. What are they going to be like?
We have been feeling a need to expand, grow and reach more women in the same manner we do with our meetings. With videos, want to give a sense of connection in a deeper way and with videos, we can be “face to face”, so to speak. So we are beginning to add videos to our blog in addition to our weekly Love Letters, and will likely make a YouTube channel with them. Our videos will be like our meetings, where we have a theme we discuss and we share our own experiences and growth edges with it, and invite the audience to do the same and then comment on the blog with what comes up for them.
SUPER excited about it!
What inspires you to keep doing what you’re doing with AF?
We connect to our work with AF as our dharma… our purpose. And it is really a lifestyle for us. We call it our internal compass, because it helps guide the way we live, and brings us back to a place of wisdom if we drift. And our lives are what creates the content, so it is an incredible dynamic that works hand in hand. From the moment we created it, it has been all about how can we grow ourselves and how can we make more space for this new paradigm to spread. It is our deepest passion to share this connection and conversation with as many women as we can.
Do you have daily rituals that help you stay balanced?
Doing Awakened Feminine. ; ) We take our self-care very seriously and that includes everything from massages to deep inner spiritual work. We are both on a path of sadhana, and we study with David, go on his retreats and do his trainings, and it makes an enormous difference in our lives. We meditate regularly and take our path of inner work really, really seriously. Neither of us have resistance to transformation, we are both super willing to face what we need to to grow, and from there comes a very deep sense of harmony. That is what has brought us to know and live our dharma, and more than anything, that is what keeps us centered and aligned. Oh and AF text support helps. We text each other constantly!
Instead of jealousy, comparison and superficial “friendships”, you bring forth support and love among women. Has it always been like that for you?
It definitely was not always like that for either of us. That is why we became so attracted to and excited by being able to connect intimately with other women. In fact, the lack of having a strong community of women is what drove us to create Awakened Feminine.
It says something about you as a woman to be able to make a connection like that, and the energy you’re giving off is often very magnetic, because it’s something we probably all really crave being around.
It started with individual intentions, both of us making it a priority on our path to manifest empowered, supportive women. We both were going through huge life changes, really working on ourselves, and we didn’t have a strong network of women around us. As we grew, the need for that became more and more obvious. Much faster than we probably expected, we manifested this community, we found each other and we found this group of core women who we are constantly supported by and loved by. Experiencing that really led to AF, and to wanting to spread the message of how important it is to have those deep, real, supportive relationships.
And yet even now we are not claiming to be perfect; but we are committed to a higher vibration among women. It is something that really woke up in both of us, and it is what we hope to help other women with.
How can every woman move steps towards this direction?
In order to move in the direction of deeper connection and past toxicity, you really have to know what you care about and what you stand for. You have to be unafraid to mess up and to be the an agent for change, as Taryn likes to say : )
In one of our meetings, we discussed not being afraid to ask out on a lunch friendship date a woman that you admire. I love this concept. Don’t we all have a woman or two in our circle that we’re fascinated by and want to be around?
Of course! There are so many amazing women out there. And the more we do it the MORE we meet! It’s often a foreign idea to women, to think that it’s not only OK to do that, but that it works and that it’s welcomed. Most women, in our experience, actually really love being on the receiving end of this kind of invitation. It says something about you as a woman to be able to make a connection like that, and the energy you’re giving off is often very magnetic, because it’s something we probably all really crave being around. It’s like a confidence mixed with a humbleness, and that is really beautiful to feel.
It’s also sort of a law of attraction thing, where you really are declaring to the universe, “this is the kind of network and community I want”, and putting energy out in that direction. So even if it doesn’t pan out with the woman you are asking, another one will likely pop up. And we have seen this happen time and time again. You just start to draw these amazing women into your world.
You don’t have to be someone different to live an extraordinary and transformative life. Quite the opposite- you get to be more YOU. Follow and do the things that help you build a relationship to the part of you that is UNSTOPPABLE. It’s always in there. The more you do it, the easier it becomes to access- and then you can just be it. Then, you show up full in your life and can be the effervescent reminder to those around you- no matter what you’re doing. That’s how we work together and truly support one another. Love, Awakened Feminine. @awakenedfeminine #soulbeauty #loveandserve #awakenedfeminine #support
A photo posted by awakenedfeminine (@awakenedfeminine) on
I know exactly what you’re talking about — that energy really is magnetic, both in real life and online (I’m talking about Instagram!). What’s your vision for AF?
There is this absolutely magnificent energy that happens in our NYC meetings, and our intention is to bring that energy into the lives of women all over, whether they can come to a meeting in person or not. Our vision for AF is that we really expand our reach to a global community. We have the beginnings of that for sure, with women who follow our content all over the world, but we want to see it expand in a way where there is engagement and where that energy really filters into the lives of women everywhere.
We want our work with Awakened Feminine to continually wake us all up to a more beautiful connection within ourselves and with each other. We are creating a book and producing a video blog right now to help support this, and we will be doing webinars and online meetings as well to get women all over soaked into what we see as a deeply beautiful, powerful approach to life.
How can women interested in joining connect with you?
Visit our website and sign up for our weekly Love Letters at www.awakenedfeminine.org! It’s a great way to get a little of our content and AF approach to life sent right to you each week. And share our posts and videos with the women that you love in your life! We hear a lot from women that simply sending a Love Letter to their friend has sparked an awesome conversation between them, and that’s the movement we love!
We are never stuck and we are never alone, no matter what we are feeling… we are meant to evolve, and we are meant to soar.
The Love Letters and videos are meant to be a true support for you in between meetings. Share our instagram @awakenedfeminine and follow our posts on Facebook. Come to our meetings in New York if you are able to, or attend our webinars and online meetings. We will be announcing those dates on our website and social media soon — stay tuned!
Words to live by, from each one of you?
Adriana: “Love Hard Live True” by my spiritual teacher David Hardhada Wagner. In fact, I have it tattooed on me now!
Taryn: “We are never stuck and we are never alone, no matter what we are feeling… we are meant to evolve, and we are meant to soar.”
Favorite breakfast to make?
Taryn: My favorite right now is a smoothie with acai, frozen dark cherries, frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, almond milk, and banana. Sometimes adding a little almond butter. Especially nice in the warm weather. SO yummy! When something a little hearty and warming is needed, I love making avocado toast with sprouted grain bread, avocado, olive oil, garlic, salt and a little chili powder.
Adriana: Oatmeal made with apple juice, raspberries, blueberries apples, almond butter, banana and served in my life-changing heart bowl :)
Favorite breakfast to eat out?
Taryn: Le Pain Quotidien, everything is so fresh and is often local and organic, and the iced drinks and coffee are amazing too ;) Plus it has a nice community vibe there, and we love working there whenever we can!
Adriana: Sarvana Bhavan indian breakfast! Iddly is my favorite. :)
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.