Thank you so much for coming to this page. I am beyond happy that this homepage is now standing, the social channels are connected and I have created a "home" for my new baby.
WOMENBODIMENT is now a platform, that holds and nourishes my first film and hopefully the following, that I have in my mind. It will be a home for my other creative projects, too, but first and foremost I want to show you films about women that I find inspiring, that are healing other women and know about the heritage that all of us women are holding within.
In this first film I have dedicated myself to the topic of why and how we women are getting together again in circles and create sisterhood. I myself have made these experiences already five years ago but there was a big wave of gathering in circle in the 60/70s. Every decade has it's form of renaissance and I believe that the Yogaboom of 2010 has paved a pathway for more and more women getting on track of reconnecting to themselves, their bodies, their minds.
The beginnings of being a filmmakeress
I have worked as a yoga journalist for a couple of years and had dedicated all my time and passion towards this topic. This is how my brain rolls: I will find an interesting topic and plunge in right fully with all my heart. This also led me to creating my first short films about women in the spiritual realms, all completely self-taught but with the help of some great friends. I found it deeply interesting to learn from other women who had freed themselves already from the cage that I was sitting in. I met great women. And all of them gave me their trust fo film them to be of an inspiration to other women. The most magical things would happen and within four years I had published 20 short films about yoga on my old platform, The SHANTIPHANT Project. Some of them you can still see here.
Motivated to learn more, I started my journey towards the West. I enrolled myself in a documentary filmmaking course at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. I was eager to learn the real hacks of filmmaking and I was hoping to learn more how to self-publish. The field of producing a film independently (meaning: no funding by a production company or public broadcaster) was still very basic in 2015. Even though more and more people founded their independent platforms, schools were not quite prepared for this alternate route next to cinema and TV.
So, what I didn't learn in LA was how to self-publish and in many ways, the course also quite repelled me from making films. Turns out I am just the autodidact I had always been and forgotten - so getting back to school with homework and rules and regulations was a massive cut in my creative blossoming. I had many sweet teachers with some I am still in contact and I DID learn some very important stuff but in general, the strict structure was just not for me. It took some time to believe in my creativity and passion again. This is the time between 2015 and 2016.
The positive side tough:in LA I was absolutely in the Mekka of modern spirituality. California is still praising the hippy roots, it is honoring the streams of other cultures and reconnecting to it's indigenous heritage. It was here that I sat in the first women's circle, it was here that I got the idea of making a film about the circle tradition. I made a script and called it 'Goddess Rising' and I had goosebumps all over my body when I was thinking about how wonderful it would be to film women that are connecting to themselves in a shamanic way.
In the same year of 2016, in March, my visa ended and I had to go back to Germany. The state of being inspired and cheerful switched pretty rapidly to a feeling of being a failure. I had quit film school and thought I was not talented enough to engage in further filmmaking. I had talked myself down so many times that I believed my thoughts and also developed an anxiety towards showing myself and my work. I moved to Berlin to escape myself, got a job at a TV station and played it low for a while. As long as I could hide and make some money, I was in a safe position.
The thing with being an artist or someone who believes in being put here on Earth for a reason: hiding doesn't work for very long. I would dream about women healers, I would feel bad when I stumbled though Instagram seeing others living their purpose. I would feel very depressed in my job, eat compulsively and even isolate myself from time to time. Then the 'safe' job became a bankrupt and for a while and I jumped from one freelance job to the next one, eventually moving back to Munich.
In winter 2017 I had my dark night of the soul. Everything was quite the opposite of how I wanted it to be. I'll spare you the details but I was just very, very lost. Luckily, I had seen a shaman to that time who advised me to try and find a stable job again, stay in one city and not travel. Essentially, developing a connection with the Earth again. Serendipity led me to a sweet vintage fashion store where I would earn stable money and reawake my love for colors, textiles, expression and creativity. Also, I was surrounded by the sweetest heart-people and still had enough time to cry and work through my woundings. And I cried a lot. All the grief about the loss of my mother came up, about lost love, and the loss of myself. Month by month I got happier again.
Then all went very quick: in May 2018 I found a podcast from Katya Slivanskaya, a conscious/holisitc coach from Colorado. In her podcast she explained that eating disorders can come from a deep wish to fulfill one's purpose in this life. Upon the episode "What do Binge Eating and having the career of your dreams have in common" I got so curious that I booked her coaching service. And within five sessions I was massively motivated and inspired to take up the film idea of Goddess Rising.
Birthing: pressing & acting, praying & surrendering
When I look for protagonists, it always happens with magic and trust. I am being led to the women who are the right ones in this moment. How I met each woman for this film, I would I will tell you in a different post in the next weeks. All I can say is now: there was a divine flow once I fully committed myself again to making this new film.
When I arranged for filming in Ibiza for example, all fell into place magically. Diana and Amaru had workshops going on that I could film, Melisa had her art exhibition and enough time so we could film in her art studio, the wonderful photographer Michaela Meadows had just arranged to spend some time in Ibiza and was willing to take pictures of me. I adore her work and wanted a shooting with her for a long time. Also, my friend from NYC was traveling through Spain and immediately arranged to meet me in Ibiza to help and hang. This all happened in the one week I had booked my flights. Needless to say that the week itself was just remarkable and never to be forgotten.
So I had filmed in Ibiza, a place that was very dear to my heart since my childhood. And now I wanted to incorporate the cities Munich and Berlin, both cities in which I spent most of my life living on this planet in this incarnation. Also here, I met amazing women that would open up new realities to me.
End of 2018: I had the footage, I had the idea of my purpose. I had shouted out the idea that I wanted to make a film and I inflicted a good amount of women already. But the hardest part was yet to come. And I am not talking about the editing of the countless clips I had made which would take a long time to sort through. No, it was not the creative part that scared me. It was the part in which I had to go viral and tell you, my dear out there, that I was about to give birth to a project that is important to me. I was scared as s**t to go into the light, step up and say: HELLO I MADE SOMETHING FOR YOU THAT YOU MIGHT LIKE AND I'M SCARED YOU WON'T LIKE IT AND THINK I'M DUMB. So what I did instead was procrastinate for m o n t h s, feed the creative block monster, develop a big anxiety that would keep me up at night.
Luckily, all the women I filmed were incredibly patient and supportive, some of them nudging me gently, some of them letting me be, some of them guiding me. Like Katharina from Munich. She helped me with a shamanic session and encouraged me deeply with so much love to shine my light. It helped, I got back to my desk and edit. Then I fell so massively in love in 2019, that I had a hard time dividing myself between the film and my love, who became so precious to me. We had a beautiful summer and engaged ourselves actively in the climate saving movement with the Red Rebel Brigade. Towards autumn, I managed to get myself back to the desk. But until February 2020 it was really a walk through quicksand: believing in the project, getting scared. Motivating myself, getting frustrated. Editing again, procrastinating.
Such a dance between the polarities. I realized that this is life and the process of creation.
Before I end this article with the proud announcement that I faced the fire and made it to the other end, I want to tell you a last story form the path. In winter 2019/20 I went into sweat lodge, which is an ancient shamanic practice to crawl back to the womb of Mother Earth. It's a dark and hot place - staying in the hot, earthen hut usually requires all my will and humility. I endured the session until the end and showed my devotion. And I prayed that WOMENBODIMENT would be birthed safely and definitively.I told the spirits I was willing to give all it takes to finally birth my online baby. The next day I went on a walk with the facilitator and he told me about a friend of his who had filmed a huge amount of footage for a documentary in the 70s. The whole footage is apparently still stored in his house and was never published because he was always too perfectionist to show it to others. This really gave me the chills, it was the final kick I needed. I have figured out for me, that the solution that always helps me is to just get in the making process. No matter how little I do, I just have to start somewhere.
Dear sisters, thank you so much for reading until here and letting me share my story. It is an absolute pleasure for me to be presenting you this platform and the first film soon. I hope that we can connect, form bonds and inspire each other. May you sail safely though these times of shift.
Much Love, Laura