Sandhya Saldanha – Global Connections Lead
1. What do red tents mean to you?
I find myself at a point in life where I feel the need to rediscover and redefine myself for who I am. I have been lucky to have some strong women role models in my life. However, I suddenly find myself isolated and lonely because of the frequent moving due to my husband’s work; prioritising the well- being of my children and my husband’s career. Attending a virtual Red Tent has made me realise how women can truly support each other in a non-threatening space and that there are so many who feel like me. This experience was powerful in the mere virtual circle of sisterhood and I cannot wait to meet these talented, strong and astute women in person and enjoy their presence and energy.
2. What do you do in Red Tent Directory?
I am excited about my role of Global Communications Lead at the Red Tent Directory. Culturally diverse traditions, festivals and rituals fascinate me. Every culture defines the role, image and integrity of their women in their own context. It is my interest to find that common thread of feeling feminine through global cultures and string them together through the Red Tent Directory. It is my sincere intent to celebrate cultural practices and traditions that may have kept women safe and nourished their beings and to acknowledge those that have oppressed and eroded their existence. It will be my humble attempt to ignite a tiny flame of desire for women to co- create their own Red Tents; a space for sharing, nurturing, nourishing, creating and rejuvenating all that is what is feminine. I invite women of all cultures, gender orientations and walks of life around the world to join me in being the catalyst in celebrating “the feminine”.
3. How do Red Tents inform your wider work and life?
There is a stability in the sensation when you feel held. My earliest experience of this was my family. I feel blessed. In this phase of my life where change is a constant in every aspect the knowledge and experience that I am held by my fellow women in my Red Tent is very stabilising. The wider sense of belonging can be extremely liberating and grounding. The connection I feel within the Red Tent transcends my roles as a mother, a wife and a professional to being part of the power called “the feminine”. Just like the compassion, commitment and creativity I have developed through being a mother, a wife and a professional feed my Red Tent.
4. If you were to describe yourself as a plant, mineral or animal, what would it be and why?
I can identify myself with the snake. Just like a snake casts its old skin for a new one I have invented and reinvented myself through my life experiences. There are many divine and symbolic representation of the snake in my culture that aligns me to this animal including the Kundalini serpent in Yoga and the snake around Shiva’s neck as part of Shiva Shakti symbolising transformation and liberation.