Using your Inner Seasons - Winter

 
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If you've been reading my blogs, following me on instagram, or facebook, you may have heard me talk about my #innerseasons - and maybe you know what this means?  Or maybe you're like ummmm WTF is that?

So because I've had a few lovely ladies with the later experience, I thought I'd jot down some notes covering each inner season - starting with Inner Winter.

If you missed it, I talked in a previous post about fractal patterns, and how these can be seen in nature - both in the macrocosm of the universe, but also in the microcosm of our bodies.  What can be seen in nature - can also be seen in us.

What am I talking about?

Well just as the planet goes through the different seasons, women go through seasons too, we have our own Inner Seasons, of Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn - with each menstrual cycle we go through.

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But before I get into telling you about Inner Winter I want to remind you, the most important thing for you to notice is, what I say about each season might not be the truth for you  - I encourage you to pay attention to your body - what does your body say?  How you feel, and your experience may be different to what I say.  All I'm doing is drawing your awareness to the fact that you have seasons.

So because I'm in Winter here in NZ, Soltice is just a few days away! And because it makes sense.....lets start at the beginning - and also the end - INNER WINTER

 

When does Inner Winter start and end?

Inner Winter usually starts 2-3 days before you actually start to bleed.  So lets say you have a 28 day-ish cycle, Inner Winter will usually arrive on about day 26 or 27 of your old cycle.  Typically Inner Winter will last for about a week, so by about Day 4 or5 of your new cycle you'll feel that shift, out of Inner Winter and into Inner Spring.

Lets look at what happens in the natural world, during actual winter......

During this time in nature, it's cold and dark, there's less life, it seems like everything's dead or decaying. (but the death and decay is also part of what nourishes the soil). The trees are stripped bare. No animal babies are being born, (except human animal babies, and animal babies born on farms - where people are controlling the natural rhythm of life). There isn't the abundance of flowers and colour, that there is during the other months.  The grass hardly grows. The nights are long, the days are short. 

Essentially, during winter,  it looks like nothings happening.  But that's not true.  During winter, (and I'm not a plant specialist - I struggle to keep my house plants alive), everything slows down, there's hardly any growth, trees don't expend extra energy on anything that isn't necessary - they need their energy to survive winter. The trees may look bare and dead, but under the soil, the roots can be growing in search of water and nutrients - essential growth. Seeds lie dormant waiting to be activated by temperatures and sunlight.  Animals hibernate. 
It's a time of being - not doing.

What does all this mean - how does it relate to a menstrual cycle?

During our bleed it might seem like nothing is happening - all we're doing is waiting for it to be over - waiting for summer.  But actually this is the time when the soil is rich, the falling of the uterine lining is (on an energetic level) nourishing new life, making room for new possibility - we can connect to this physical phenomenon of cleaning out, and let go of other things too . During this time, our root system becomes crucial for our survival, things that can't be seen, or even explained in words, are going on beneath the surface for us - we can use this time to connect to what nourishes us, what is essential for us. We're being called to go deep, to be still, go to ground, connect to our essential selves.....and to support this our bleeding encourages us to stay close to home, and to do things that require little energy from us. 

NB: Just so you know - you can also water down your menstrual blood and use it on your garden and house plants... nurturing actual life!

Naturally our own Inner Winter,  is a Yin phase, (which basically means feminine phase), this designed by nature to encourage us slow the f down.  The feminine is all about being, not doing.  It's not a time for growing, going out into the world and being energetic or making things happen.  This is a time for you to regenerate, to restore, to rejuvenate. This is a time for us to consider what it is we'd like to let go of, while at the same time connect to our essential vision of what it is we want to create in the world.  It's a turning inwards to your deepest desires, needs and truths.

Ok what about the moon - tell me about her inner winter.......

When the moon comes into her winter - the new moon, the sun and the moon are in alignment in the sky, the moon is between the sun + the earth.  During this time there is darkness in the night sky.  When the sky's dark like this, it's often the best time to see the planets, meteor showers, or star clusters. 

What does this all mean - how does it relate to a menstrual cycle?

Well, don't you think it's interesting, that you can see all the sparkly, beautiful, less obvious stuff, only when the sky's dark, and the moon is new - we need the darkness to see this beauty that we don't usually see.  Also it's interesting to note that the moon is considered the feminine aspect of our night sky (also known as th Yin aspect ) and the sun is considered the masculine aspect in the sky (also known as the Yang aspect). 
The new moon is a time when these two aspects  - yin and yang, moon and sun - are in alignment with each other. 

You could think about Inner Winter (or even the new moon) as the time when you're naturally aligned with both aspects of feminine and masculine self, the time when you get to observe things about yourself and your life you may not have been aware of during the rest of your cycle.

Ok what about hormones - tell me about the body's Inner Winter........

Well hormonally just before you get your bleed, your hormones (all of them involved in the menstrual cycle) start to decline. So that on the first day of your bleed, you're experiencing the lowest level of hormones you'll experience in your cycle, which according to Alisia Vitti means, you have the greatest levels of communication between the left and right hemisphere of the brain........

.......are you putting these dots together?  The left and right brain - the "logical" side and the "artistic" side - the masculine and the feminine......kind of like the moon anyone?  Do I need to spell it out?

And lastly - what about the night and day - are there seasons to the day?

Well, have you ever tried to stay awake for 24 hours?  What about 48, or 72? 
The night-time is the Winter season of a 24 hour cycle.
Any mother will tell you we can survive on small amounts of sleep - but not none!  And even then it's like torture not to have sleep at night! 

What does this mean - how does the night-time relate to a menstrual cycle?

We know if we don't sleep well, the days are much harder - so it makes sense that if we don't rest well when we bleed, the month ahead is typically harder.

If you don't believe me, I dare you to try it as an experiment!

The days are the Yang aspect of life, designed for us to be out in the world, doing things.  The Nights are the Yin aspect of life, the time we are supposed to rest, reconnect, and snuggle up into sleep so we can regenerate and restore our bodies.

Alright, I've got a few questions for you.......you might want to grab a pen.
  • How does winter feel to you?
    Lifeless, dull, stormy, chaotic, long and drawn out - never ending? Heavy, empty, depressing, hard? 
    Or maybe it feels enticing, you can't wait for it to come, so you can feel warm, snuggly, comfortable, luxurious, comforted and cocooned....?
    Or something else?

    What do you love about winter - and what's not so great?

    How does winter affect your mood, your energy, your relationships, your life?
     
  • How to do you deal with Actual winter?
    Do you love it or resist it - why? 
    Do you find some sweet slow rhythm there, or try to carry on like it's summer - what are you winter habits?

Now with the things you've written down, take a look and see if you notice a pattern?

Are there similarities to how you treat actual winter, and the way you treat your Inner Winter?

How is actual winter teaching you about Inner Winter?

  • How do you feel during your own Inner Winter?
    Some women feel a warmth, a softness, even a feeling of bliss and excitment - is that you?
    Maybe you feel dull, tired, stretched, or foggy?
    Do you feel sexy and in your power?
    Do you feel like being intimate with your partner - this may mean physical intimacy, or just being held, or even emotionally intimate with or without any physical touch? 
    Maybe you don't want to be at all intimate - with anyone?

What's the energy that moves through you at this time in your cycle?  How does it feel, what does it encourage you to do?  What's it asking for?

All of your answers are for you - they're there to move you towards something.......what is it?
They aren't right or wrong, they're just clues for you to follow.

How can you use your Inner Winter?

I've got to be upfront here and say, using your seasons, is more about connecting to the energy that's there, and moving with that rhythm, the things you feel called to do......it seems like hard work, at first, like a task or homework that's pointless, and you really just want to get onto the next level  - you probably feel like you get it (at least thats how I felt about it)!   But the thing is, your cycle will only start to weave magic for you and through you, as you start to live it as a daily practice.

Here are a few things you can do in your Inner Winter........

  • First of all start to track it, notice when you start to move from one energy, into the next, when do you notice Inner Autumn coming to an end, and Inner Winter starting?  Clock it, and write it down.
     
  • During Inner Winter, you're being called to go inward......you know that physical discomfort you feel, the heavy bleeding - that tiredness, the headaches, your shitty, short temper - those are part of the call - and these symptoms can get worse when we don't deeply listen and follow the call.  The call is to be still with yourself, to do without doing.  To give yourself space.
     
  • This is the time to use your logical brain (left side - masculine) and connect with your creative brain (right side - feminine) to come up with things you haven't thought of or noticed before - what I mean is, it's the time you'll find ideas just pop into your head, you might be watching something on netflix and it makes you think of something else, or maybe you read something, or perhaps you see something in nature that inspires you or sparks a shift. 

    You may have noticed a pattern or relationship habit you're not thrilled about (usually we notice these things in our Inner Autumn).  Using the energy of Inner Winter, you can just ask yourself, or bring your awareness to noticing what a solution to this particular situation might be.......solutions and inspiration come with daydreaming, letting your mind wander off on you.

    You can use this in your intimate relationship, your relationship with your kids, the way you spend your time or organise your life, You can use it to look at how you eat or exercise, and obviously you can use it in your career!

How.........?

  • This is a great time to ask yourself what you want to let go of......hint - our hard stuff often comes up in Inner Autumn. 
    What are the habits, patterns, thoughts, situations, things, relationships, conversations, possessions - that are no longer useful or supportive of you? 
     
  • At the same time, it's also the perfect moment to notice what you want to create?
    Remember, while this is the end, it's also the beginning!  Where are you NOW and where do you want to go?  
    What are you deepest desires and needs?  What would you like to see happen in your life - or what would you like to use your life for?  What are you longing for? If you could change anything what would that look like?  Who do you want to become?
     
  • Physically this is the time to be on the go-slow.
    I give you permission to rest.  Rest deeply into your bones.  Drop the guilt and treat yourself. 
    You deserve to feel like a queen.  
    Nap, go to bed early, take a few days off your normal exercise routine and do something that feels restorative like, yoga nidra, kundalini yoga, yin yoga, and walks.  Don't push yourself during this time. 
    Use your slow cooker, cook in advance - or better yet, get someone else to cook for you.

Create your own ritual around your bleeding time or your Inner Winter......Here are a few ideas

  • Take some time to journal.....if you're wondering what to write you can take your cue from any of the above questions.
  • Think about and feel into, the things you're letting go of. - write them down - ask for help from the universe, god, your angels.
  • Do the same for the things you want to achieve, your intentions, and goals.  You may want to take this a step further, and bury your paper with intentions and goals in the garden - as if you're planting a seed.  Or maybe you plant actual seeds and think of your intentions every time you water them.  You could whisper your intentions to your house plants, and water them.  You can pray over your intentions, light a candle for them, sing for them, or put them into a special tin or box.
  • Bring your Values to the party.  What are they?  Are you living them?  How can you embody these more deeply?
  • Visualise yourself in the future, conjure up the feelings you want to feel, imagine where you'll be, what you'll be doing and how you'll be, imagine yourself as the type of women you'd like to be - see yourself there, and trust in the power of your cycle to carry you through.
  • Make a playlist for your Inner Winter
  • Decide on one habit you'd like to break or create and focus your intention and energy on that.

This is the season of letting go of the old, and breathing life into the new.

It's can be an incredibly creative time, when you'll find yourself filled with inspiration and ideas, while at the same time an incredibly restful time, when all you need to do is stare at the ceiling or the ocean or take a walk on the beach or dance and listen to music.......you get the idea.

Giving yourself space during this time allows the creative ideas to come through you.

It's the time to do without doing.

How you spend your winter will have a flow on effect for the next 28 days.

Here's what it can look like for me.......

Personally I find that the a day or so before I get my period I start to get very reflective, this is usually the time I start to ask myself what am I letting go of, I feel restless and heavy.  Then during the first day of my bleed I notice I feel a deep sense of bliss - sometimes even if the day doesn't go my way - but I must admit it's a wonderful luxury to just be alone, to turn up the music, light candles, lie on the couch, eat nourishing food, read books and notice what thoughts or unformed ideas pop up. (But they never come when and how I think they will!)  I journal and generally spend the time just being - it's taken a lot of practice to get to this point - I can't always do it either, kids, work and life are real!  But if I have to DO during my bleed, I always try to do it as slowly as possible, and let the grounded feelings of my menstrual cycle move me through my day.

Et voila.

Phew - That's absolutely enough from me!
Tell me about your Inner Winter.......?

Looking forward to seeing you next week, in Inner Spring.

Lots of love

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What's a menstrual coach?

 
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5 Years ago I couldn't even say "period" without feeling gross and uncomfortable, but now I talk about periods all day long and I LOVE it. Even though I've always had a deep interest in women's health ( think front row seats in high-school sex education classes!), it did take me a while to get here....... 

Menstrual coaching is this new thing - but honestly I kind of stumbled on it.  I didn't set out to become a menstrual coach, it just evolved out of my own experiences, lots of research and reading, more education, my desire to understand my own cycle better, and of course, my work with pregnant women.

So what is a menstrual coach?

There are a couple of different ways menstrual coaches work......

  • Some of them like to help you "fix your period"  by looking at the signs and symptoms you get each day and month - and then offering food, supplement, and exercise support, to help you move towards a better cycle and better health.  Generally this is something women would look for if they were having problematic periods or cycles.
     
  • Some of them like to give you more spiritual / emotional / mental support - which basically means, noticing how the energy of your cycle is here to support you, and how to move with that so that it benefits your life, in small ways, like how to sync your life to your cycle - so you're not planning that romantic get-away on your period.   I know. It sucks when that happens.  And in bigger ways, that involve a much deeper inquiry, exploration and connection to yourself.
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So, which kind of coach am I? 

I'm kind of a mix of both......you see, I'm a Registered Nurse, a Certified Life Coach, and I'm currently training in Natural Fertility, so the way I work with women is pretty unique.........

As a nurse, I want to know how your cycle is....... 

What are the ups and downs?  What does a normal period bleed look like for you? How long is a normal cycle for you?  Do you have irregular periods? Have you noticed any changes lately? What colour is your menstrual blood? What about....... Clots? PMS? Cramps? Headaches? Depression? Heavy flow, Light flow? Spotting - when? I wanna know if you're actually ovulating - and teach you how to know if you've ovulated.  I want to know if you have breast tenderness, flooding, and I might even ask you about your poo.  I'll definitely ask about your cervical mucus - and I'll probably be keen to know about your sex drive......  

All of these things - are indicators of your hormonal health - and the more you know about what your "normal" cycle is like - the more empowered you are.  Also - just because something is "normal" for you - doesn't always mean it's healthy. 

If you're period or cycle isn't great you can change it, often fairly easily with diet, lifestyle, and supplements.  And if it is great - then you'll have the opportunity to notice when changes arise - trust me, they will, not necessarily because things are going wrong, but naturally as we get older as women, we go through hormonal shifts.

But as a coach + a woman, I wanna take you a step further..........

A lot of menstrual coaches will look to your period blood, and physical cycle symptoms, to determine the quality of your hormonal health (Lara Briden calls it your monthly Report Card). This is super important, and absolutely something we'll do.

But I also really like to pay attention to the quality of each phase of your cycle - what's going on in your life, your energy, your moods and your thoughts - because this can be considered the report card for your life. 

  • I like to notice if you have time to rest on your period - and if not take a look at what's stopping you. 
  • I want to bring your awareness to your pre-ovulatory phase, and the energy that's there, is it inspiring you and calling you towards something - if not why not - and how you can start to bring more of whatever you're being called towards into your life. 
  • I definitely want to talk about ovulation - giving you a chance to reflect on your dreams, visions, intentions, desires and goals, we'll talk about how you can use the energy of your cycle to take steps towards what's important to you and make changes in your life.
  • Obviously,  I like to pay attention to what's coming up for you in your luteal phase - think PMS - I like to know what's making you feel sad, angry, upset, hurt, taken for granted.......because this stuff is super important and relevant information.  This is the emotional report card you get every month that tells you if you're doing a good job of being you - it'll reveal what really needs your attention, and whats asking for transformation.
Having a menstrual coach will help live like a woman.

You'll learn how to move with the energy of each day and each phase.  You'll learn the nuances of tracking your cycle - and even start to enjoy doing this  - I know you can't be bothered to start off with, but as you begin to do it, it becomes second nature - you can't unknow it...  You'll learn how to plan your calendar.  You'll start to gain insights into what's not working and why it's not working.   You'll learn how to let go.  You'll learn how powerful you are and how to use your creative energy and life force to bring the things you want towards you.  You'll remember things you thought you'd forgotten.  You'll start to shift, and so will your relationships.  You'll find you're more confident and naturally feel stronger.  You'll find you can move with grace and compassion, and also complete irreverence. Self care will become non-negotiable. You'll find the sweet spot of vulnerability......You'll really understand what it means to be moved.

Honestly this is an endless list.

If you want to get started today - here are a few things you can do....... 

  1. Track your cycle, and jot down any signs or symptoms you notice.
  2. Each day take a moment to notice the energy + emotion of the day - write it down.
  3. Start to notice what your body feels like doing each day - do you allow yourself to follow it's intuition?
  4. Bring your awareness to how you move through your cycle - do you pack in as much as you can each day, or is there a rhythm to your day, your to-do, your life?
  5. Notice how you interact differently with people at different phases of your cycle.
  6. Look at your menstrual blood.
  7. Look at the discharge in your underwear - it's called cervical mucus, or cervical fluid.  There's nothing wrong with you, we all have discharge in our underwear and it changes most days - or at least follows a pattern
  8. Look for the ways you're being called home

I know many of you won't do these things......so if you want someone to walk you through it all -  I'll be opening up spaces to work with me on a 1:1 basis in July - if you're keen to know more, or sign up - you can email me: truenatureme@gmail.com 

Here's to healthy hormones and Inspired women!

Lots of love

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How long is your menstrual cycle?

 
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Growing up I always heard that a woman's cycle was 28 days.

I had no clue what that really meant. 

Even when I was apparently a "gown-up" - I still didn't really get how to count the days of my cycle - or why there were a certain number of pills in my contraceptive pill pack .....it just didn't make sense to me.

And at that stage, I felt like it had gone on way too long - I was well past the point of asking the doctor what the 28 day thing was about.

So let me lay it out here.....

This is how you count the days of your cycle
 Image taken from "womens bodies, womens wisdom" a book by Dr Christiane Northrup.

Image taken from "womens bodies, womens wisdom" a book by Dr Christiane Northrup.

  • Day 1 - is the first day you actually start bleeding (not spotting or brown mucus in your underwear) but proper blood, that you actually have to do something about - like wear a tampon/pad/mooncup etc
  • The last day of your menstrual cycle, is the day before you start bleeding.

So you simply count from day one, until the day before you get your period - thats how long your cycle is.

Easy-peasy.

But there's some other tricky stuff to know......

Things like, not everyone has a 28 day cycle......

......28 days isn't some arbitrary number - if you read my last post - you'll know that women's cycles closely follow the moon cycle, in energetic nature, and in length. 
Annnnnnd FYI, the moon cycle is 29.5 days long.

So we're like the moon, we cycle around, and around, from menstruation, to ovulation and back again.

Though not everyone has a regular cycle, or even a 28 day cycle.

The first thing you're gonna wanna do is, start tracking your menstrual cycle - and get a really good picture of how long it generally is - FOR YOU. Until you're writing it down on paper or have it in an app - it's really anyone's guess!  Some of us THINK we know how long our cycles are - and it can be quite surprising to see what the reality is when we actually track it.

STEP 1 - the most important step (and the only one in this post).

Track your cycle - mark it on the calendar - download an app - put it in your bullet journal - use a paper chart - dear diary........whatever you do and however you like to do it, just get it somewhere you can actually see it, and see patterns!

Personally, I think all women should be taught to do this - right from the beginning - what woman alive hasn't been caught out by her period??

Ok now that you're tracking your cycle - you've got some data to work with.

So lets take a look at that.

Some women have cycles they can set the clock by, it's bang on every single month - but others (like me) have a cycle that's mostly the same - though can sometimes be a few days longer, or shorter, than what I expect it to be.

What I mean is - usually I have a 26-28 day cycle.
But then, for 4 cycles in a row, it was 30-33 days.
And now it's gone back to 26-28 days.

But there are some women who have very short cycles like 21 days, and others who have longer cycles like 35 days - this is considered to be the normal range - not everyone has a 28 day cycle, but whatever your cycle is, there should be a pattern and regularity to it.

ANNNNND there are women who have irregular cycles - this might be normal for them - but there will be a reason behind why they don't have a regular cycle.

There are so many reasons for why you may have a short, long, or irregular cycle - but here are a few of them - in no particular order.......

  1. When girls are going through puberty, their hormones are typically still balancing themselves out - it's like the body is practicing or warming up for the years ahead - it's not unusual for a young woman to take a couple of years to settle into a regular pattern.  
     
  2. Low body weight, fluctuating body weight, or excessive body weight.
     
  3. Poor Diet - or diet lacking in essential nutrients.
     
  4. Stress.
     
  5. Lack of sleep.
     
  6. Lots of travel.
     
  7. Medication or surgical procedures.
     
  8. Infections.
     
  9. You may be coming off hormonal birth control - in which case things can take some time to get back into a rhythm.
     
  10. Disease processes like PCOS, Endometriosis, Fiboids, Cysts, or Polyps.
     
  11. Sometimes a women's body has several attempts at ovulation, this can take some time and cause a woman to have a much longer cycle than is normal for her - she may or may not achieve an ovulation.
     
  12. Sometimes women don't actually ovulate, this maybe after several attempts at ovulation - or after only one attempt.  If there is only one failed attempt at ovulation - the cycle will be short.
     
  13. There may be hormonal imbalances - estrogen dominance, low progesterone.
     
  14. During the breastfeeding months (or years - we've all been there!) it's not uncommon for menstrual cycles to be irregular - your hormones can be a bit all over the show - this is a whole other post.
     
  15. During peri-menopause all sorts of things can happen, for alllllll kinds of reasons - again, thats a whole other post.  The peri-menopause phase, is the years leading up to menopause.  During this time women will notice all kinds of changes in their cycles.
     
  16. Maybe your body is syncing up with the moon cycle.
     
  17. You could be syncing up with your girlfriend - it's not uncommon for women to menstruate at the same time, especially if they're women who spend a lot of time together - mother's and daughters, good friends, running mates, colleagues....

Sooooooo why is this important?

When you know what's normal for you - you can start to notice what's not normal, or have an awareness of changes......The American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology reccomend that a woman's menstrual cycle should be considered the 5th vital sign of health!

Tracking your cycle, you'll be able to pick up hormonal shifts and changes in your cycle.  You'll know when you're moving into peri- menopause, (peri-menopause can start as early as 35,) and of course there are plenty of things you can do to support yourself better through that phase of life - it doesn't have to be terrible.

Every day things are shifting and changing hormonally, you're getting cues from your body, important information that's there to help you - not only from a physical perspective, but also from an emotional, mental and spiritual perspective too.

There's something incredibly grounding and strengthening that comes from connecting to your cycle - it can feel weird at first, but over time, it becomes part of you, part of what it means to be a woman -  you can begin to plan your life in a much more logical way - according to your cycle, and as the authors of Wild Power point out - connecting to your cycle is the original spiritual practice of women.

Okey Dokey - now over to you
How do you plan to track your cycle? Do you already track it? What works for you - and why?

Let me know in the comments!

Loads of love

Kate image.jpg
 
P.S. I've got a gorgeous Menstrual Chart, being beautifully crafted as we speak!
Initially I'll be giving these away......if you want one just leave a comment here - or connect with me via Facebook!
I can't wait for you to see them!

What does the moon have to do with my period?

 
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Ummmmmm, well before I answer that question, I have to ask another one.....

"What's a fractal pattern - and what on earth does it have to do with my period.....?"

I'm SO glad you asked.......

I might butcher this - because I took Maths only as far as far as "School Cert" - which doesn't even exist now - Millennials, and anyone who's not from New Zealand doesn't know what I'm talking about.  Anyway, I passed it, it was a big deal at the time (for me at least), and I told myself I'd never do Maths again, because I would absolutely not need it in my life.........I dropped it and picked up Art, History, Outdoor Ed, and all the fun stuff in life that wasn't Maths!

Moving on.  Turns out Maths is important in life - I haven't used it that much if I'm honest, but it comes up in fractal patterns, because fractals are made by calculating a simple equation over, and over, and over, and over, and over, until the end of time.  It's a repeating pattern, that just keeps repeating itself.  (Don't worry - you don't need to know what that equation is - just that this is how it works).

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So you might be thinking that fractals probably have nothing to do with real life - but actually you're already familiar with way more fractals than you probably realise.....Nature is full of them - and so are we as humans.

 Psssssst - just a quick reminder, humans ARE nature - we're not separate.

For example......Rivers, mountains, seashells, trees, lightening, coast-lines, hurricanes, moss, lungs, brains, eyes, vegetables - they all carry fractal patterns within them.
 
They are all Fractal patterns.

Like, have you ever noticed the way fork lightening looks in the sky?  Does it remind you of the way the brain lights up with electrical activity when you think or move?  What about the fact that they're both electrical currents?  How about the way rivers look like the veins in your arms, both of them carrying life sustaining fluids......?  What about the way our lungs are structured on the inside, bronchial trees in our lungs look just like trees, - they're even called trees!!  And both of them are involved in respiration.

It's not a coincidence!

So what does this have to do with your cycle?

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....Women's cycles are fractal patterns too. Lets begin with The Moon.

The moon "starts" with a New Moon (the type of moon that's not visible in the sky) and it slowly builds up to a Full Moon, before once again dwindling down to a New Moon......and it goes on, and on, and on, and on, like this forever.  A complete cycle is about 29.5 days in length - from the beginning to "end".  Hint - the End is also the beginning.

They say the energy of a full moon and the energy of a new moon can be felt not only on the day of those actual events, but also about 3 days before and 3 days afterwards.

How does this relate to a woman's cycle?

Well.
The New Moon / dark moon phase, can be thought of as the time of menstruation or bleeding.  This marks the end of one cycle, but also the beginning of the next.  Slowly we move towards ovulation (think the Full Moon)......and then after we've ovulated, our bodies start to unwind, our hormones start to dwindle and decline, moving us back towards menstruation - like the darkness of the night sky.  It often takes about 28 days (though everyone is different - and not everyone has a 28 day cycle - for all different reasons).

So why is the Moon important?

I'm not trying to say that you *should* have a 28 day cycle. Or that you *should* have your period on the new moon and ovulate on the full moon (some of us do and some of us don't).

What I'm saying is - our bodies move just as the moon does - from a time of nothingness, into full-bloom, and then back towards nothingness.

Its also interesting to note that the moon controls the tides......and as humans our bodies are fractals of the earth, made mostly from water - its not surprising that the thing in nature that guides the tides, also is connected to the tides of women's bodies. 

The secret to navigating life can be found in your menstrual cycle.

What do I mean?

Well,
If you want to understand death, emptiness, letting go, stillness, remembering, surrender, nourishment, intuition, receiving, restoration, presence  - these are  gifted to you every time you bleed.  

If you want to know the rhythm of creation, how to find your passion, remember what it is to be playful, connect to your imagination and rediscover your innocence, motivation and enthusiasm - you can experience that every month too, during the time you start to move out of the bleeding phase and towards ovulation. 

If you want to learn how to really get results and be in the zone, how to deepen your connection to your intuition as a woman, how to use your magnetic energy and really be visible in the world, if you're ready to experience the power of your sexual and sensual energy..... you'll want to dive deep into the power of ovulation.

And of course your cycle is the master of showing you what's really important. (PMS anyone?).  The final phase, before you start to ovulate is often considered the most difficult by many of the women I work with - and our culture in general,  but really this is the time we can begin to experience our power in a whole new way.....This phase of our cycle teaches us how to tell the truth, How to channel our emotions in a healthy way, how get shit done and let shit go.  This phase shows us where we can grow and what needs to shift.

When you know your cycle, you know how to live

Each phase, each day our body chemistry is shifting we're either moving, and growing towards Ovulation, or moving and waning towards Menstruation.

So how do you get to expereince your cycle with more intimacy and connection?

Here's something simple you can do......

Every day, just ask yourself, What are 3-4 words I'd use to describe how I'm feeling today?  What's the tone?  What's the mood?  How would I describe my energy today?  Start to keep a little book with the date, and what day your on in your cycle - and just a few words.

The simple act of awareness is the first, and actually most powerful step.

Let me know how you go in the comments, or connect with me on insta or good old facebook.

Much love

Kate image.jpg
 

Why do you get clots in your period blood.

 
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It disturbs me when I read that clots in your period blood are normal.

They're not. Even though I know we've all had them!

So here's the rule when it comes to clots

Pea sized or smaller is ok - any bigger should be considered not normal and worth taking note of.
Larger clots are common - but not considered normal. 

But why do you get them?

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Right of the bat I feel it's important to mention they could be a sign of  Fibroids, PCOS, Endometriosis, Cysts, or Polyps.....these can all cause clots in your period blood - and can be serious conditions - the clots could be a valuable sign your body's giving you that you need some further investigations done. 

BUT you may have clots in your menstrual blood - and NOT have any of these conditions..........

Clots could be indicating a few other less serious, but still good to address issues.

There are a variety of reasons you get clots in your menstrual blood - and because Im not a doctor, I'm more of a researcher.....I've rounded up all the information I can find and I'm sharing that here today.....

1. You may not be ovulating. 

So yes, it is possible to bleed without having ovulated (technically they don't class this as a menstrual bleed, it's called withdrawal bleeding - but it totally looks and behaves like a menstrual bleed - and many women wouldn't even know the difference, and so if you haven't ovulated, your body won't be producing progesterone like it typically would in a luteal phase, (after you ovulate). Progesterone is involved in the way uterine lining is processed before it leaves the body - so there's evidence to suggest that if the progesterone isn't there, or there in high enough levels - the clots will be.

2. You can have an too much estrogen in your system. 

Estrogen is that gorgeous hormone responsible for building up the lining of the uterus......but if you have too much estrogen - you can kinda "overgrow" that lining.

So I know what you're gonna say; 
"What would cause too much estrogen?" 

Here are a few top contenders.

  • If the liver's overloaded when it's trying to detox from the estrogen that naturally occurs in your menstrual cycle - it will prioritise other substances that are overloading it, before estrogen - like coffee, sugar, alcohol......which means the estrogen gets pushed out of the liver and back into your system, where it builds up.
     
  • If you're stressed, your body may be making less than optimal levels of progesterone,  because it's busy making cortisol.  What happens is, when your body's needing to make lots of cortisol, it steals cells that could be used to make progesterone, and instead uses those cells to make cortisol - so then you don't have the building blocks you need for progesterone!
     
  • You may have a couple of attempts to ovulate, in which case you could have a very thick uterine lining.  If this is the case, it may be that you never actually ovulate during that cycle - or you could ovulate - with more than one attempt at ovulation before you actually do ovulate.
     
  • Xenoestrogens.  A fancy word for "foreign estrogens" meaning - not made in the body, except your body doesn't know that, and invites the xenoestrogens to the party........Too many of these bad boys and you start to get out of balance......they're basically found in everything.  Ok not everything, but lets just say you're probably swimming in them.  They're in shampoo and conditioner, nail polish, makeup, cleaning products, soy products, dairy products.......and this is the short list.  

3. Other reasons could include.....

Miscarriage, affects of medication, peri-menopausal changes, rapid weight gain or loss, other illnesses, such as cancer, liver dysfunction, kidney problems, thyroid disorders or it could be an enlarged uterus after child birth......

OR

4. Here's a wacky idea - it could be related to the way you live.....your energy  

I used to have heavy clotted bleeds as my regular period - and then I saw my acupuncturist, and she used her magic needles to cure me.  My clots and heavy, heavy flow were a symptom of something more energetic that was going on in my life - that absolutely needed to be addressed.

(I'll have more on acupuncture in a later post - because this is a biggie)

So what am I saying?

If you've got menstrual clotting - it's definitely something to pay attention to.

Here are a few things you could try......

  • Avoiding coffee, refined sugar, and alcohol - especially around the time post ovulation, and when you have your period.
  • Slowing down, and reducing the level of stress,worry or upset in your life
  • Supporting your livers detoxification process with milk thistle, lots of water and leafy greens
  • Start cutting down on anything that's a xenoestrogen in your life.....if you're wondering where to start you could go through your products at home and notice what has lauryl sulfate, in it - or avoid soy and dairy products...you know just to get started.

If it's a continuing problem, I would also reccomend seeing a health practitioner who understands and values menstrual health - and doesn't immediately suggest hormonal birth control like the pill, the injection, the Mirena or the rod.  Because while these things may help - they're actually not helpful.  You have clots for a reason, and when you understand what that reason is - you can do something about it.

If you're not keen on a regular  MD - or your not finding the support you need when you see them, you may find it helpful to see a Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncturist, a herbalist, abdominal massage therapist, Osteopaths - or find a different doctor and ask for another opinion........my point is, find someone who can really help you - and you'll see the evidence of their work in your cycle.

Here's to nice healthy period blood!

Kate image.jpg
 

Filling up on Energy - aka G O I N G H O M E

 
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A week ago it was my birthday - and I wrote this post about ageing backwards - because, I don't know about you - but suddenly I'm not 22 anymore..........the baby weight is still on3 kids and 3 years later, my 6 year old pointed out to me that I have black circles under my eyes, my back is stiff and tired, sex is not always the #1 priority when I go to bed at night, annnnnd if I don't keep up to date with my pelvic floor exercises -  I wet my pants when I sneeze.

(I promise I'll cover the sex and pelvic floor another time!)

Anyway - in that post I shared 10 themes I'm committed to for this birthday year, and one of the themes was "Filling up on Energy" - which doesn't mean drinking more coffee! 

So, in this article, I'll be sharing a few things you can do, particularly around your cycle, that can help you fill up on energy - the key words here are "to-do" because if we don't take action - nothing changes. 

Obviously there are basic things you can do, (which we alllll know - and roll our eyes at - and promise ourselves we'll do more of it ) like........

Lights out by 10pm
Eating nourishing foods
Taking vitamins, minerals and other suplements
Drinking plenty of water
Disengaging from social media on a regular basis
Limiting coffee, alcohol, sugar and any other drugs
Not over exercising
Getting exercise
Being in nature

But there's some other stuff you can do, that you may not have thought of - or maybe you didn't think it was important.....? 

Energy is my numero uno priority - and from what I hear it's the number one priority of a lot of the women I work with, and hang out with.

Not only do we want more energy just to get through the day - We want more energy to start exercising, to go to yoga, to connect and play with our kids, to start businesses, to be intimate with our partners and go on dates, to write books, to hang out with our friends, to pick-up new hobbies and do things that matter to us!

So what is our energy?

  • Energy is something intangible within you, like a river,  a life force potential that brings a certain "you-ness" magic to everything you touch and do. 
     
  • Energy is also completely tangible, we see it in ECG machines and other medical technology, it's what keeps your heart beating,and your blood flowing, it's what fires through your brain and body when you want to walk, talk,  smile, or think - just to name a few!
     
  • AND, science tell us energy is what your body is made of - you might think you're solid - you look and feel solid - but the reality is, your body's made up of energy - so much energy vibrating in the same space, with the same signature, that it's become matter.  It's become YOU.

But there's another piece to this pie, which often masquerades as lack of energy.....

It's one that many women feel, but perhaps can't put into words - it's a feeling of missing something, needing something, wanting more - sometimes feeling guilty for wanting more or different, because what we have is so wonderful - but still, there's a calling we feel from within, for something.

The calling can be mistaken for depleted energy, but it's much  more than lacking energy - it's that feeling of looking for your sense of self, wanting to feel restored, to revive yourself and feel alive again........ 
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Do you ever feel that way?
Bereft.  Looking for something. Yearning. Feeling out of alignment.  Homesick for your truest self.........?

Maybe you feel lacklustre, tired, unmotivated, fatigued, overwhelmed, or underwhelmed, restless, irritable - it might feel like mourning or grief, or maybe you feel disconnected and isolated? 

Maybe not?
Maybe just certain times of the month.....?

But if you do - you're not alone.

Often this feeling can become more noticeable during the Inner Autumn and Winter of a woman's cycle, (that time after ovulation, and when you get your period).  It can come up at birthdays or anniversaries. It may set in as you move into peri-menopause. It can come up as the seasons of the year change, or as you move into a new phase or season of your life......or it can just be there.

So what is this feeling?

This feeling is here to wake you up. 
The dissonance and discomfort becomes more and more obvious - especially when you ignore it.  It's here to create a hunger in you, a desire to search for what nourishes you.  BUT this feeling makes you so uncomfortable that it's hard to do anything about it - Which quite honestly sucks - because the way to move through this feeling is to go home, to do something different, to do something about it - to connect to that inner energy of you.

I know - there'll be excuses - I've made them myself a thousand times.......

Yes yes, I know I should, but.....
I don't have the time to........
I don't have the energy to......
My kids need.......
My husband wants........
I've got to ________ first
When I get time I will
Next time
Tomorrow
Next summer
Later
But I can't because.......

We all have our favourite ways of talking ourselves out of going home.......

It's not the right time
I'll upset so-and-so
I really shouldn't
There are other things I need to do first
But things aren't that bad
I shouldn't be so selfish
I don't really need to
Next year I'll......

To be quite honest with you - I get it.
As my husband read this article over my should, I could feel myself worried that he'd be rolling his eyes, and thinking you don't need to do that - what you really need to do is _________________!

It can be hard not to doubt ourselves - mainly because we've been brought up to doubt ourselves! 

Our culture systematically undervalues this aspect of life and disregards it as unimportant - we're taught as women and men, that this isn't the real work of the world. 
As women we're trained to ignore the call.

What does this have to do with our cycles?

It may have nothing or everything to do with your cycle - bring your awareness to what works for you, and what's true for you.  You might notice you have cycles within cycles, or maybe you sync up with the moon's cycles.  The more your listen in - the more obvious it will become.

The time for you to go home, is anytime you feel called to. 
These are just some ideas......

During Inner Summer - Ovulation - Full Moon, we're primed to spend time in solitude. You may hear the call to retreat and be with yourself, to assess any and all aspects of your life - the way you mother your children and the relationships you have with them, the work you do, your intimate relationship, your home, your connection to your parents and siblings, the way you play, how you move in the world......

During this time we ask ourselves - What do I need more of? What do I need less of?  What do I need to change, or shift?  What am I yearning for?

During Inner Autumn - Post Ovulation, - the Wanning Moon and Inner Winter  - Menstruation - the New Moon, we may feel the call, the desire to be alone and connect with our soul, the part of us that whispers what's next, what wants to happen.  This is when all the work's going on beneath the surface, it might look like nothing's happening, it might seem like a waste of time, or a like there's no point to it - but without this spaciousness, without this quiet time, without this stillness and darkness - nothing can be brought to life.......

During this phase we spend time alone doing nothing, time setting intentions and connecting to the visions we have for our lives.

AND,

When we don't take time......I believe this is part of what PMS anger and frustration is about - we deeply desire time alone, but feel like we can't take it, we're needing to go home, but feel like something, or someone is stopping us.

Tell me where I'm wrong?

What if we don't go H O M E?

If we don't do this work, we become a watered down version of who we were born to be.  We become over controlling, stressed, pressured, we become perfectionists,  we become obsessed with our own success and ambition.  We find life to be dissatisfying.

We fade
We lose our ability to speak up
We become dreary
We wilt
Eventually, we become empty.  We have nothing to offer the world or our families. 
We become dry and sour.

So what is H O M E? 

Home is the place you go that brings a feeling of calm, or ease, or refuge, or pleasure.  A place you can rest.  

It may be a physical place, a forrest, a beach, a tree or a river.
It may be a table by the window or a deck you sit on.
I could be an armchair, or a bonfire, a patch of grass in your back yard.
Or
It could be the smell of rain.
A warm cup of tea.
Holding hands.
A Favourite book
The smell of your childs' head

There are many, many, many, homes.  All of us are different. 


How do we go H O M E?

Visiting home can happen in a moment - or it may take a week.  You may leave your home town, and journey to a physical location, or you might sit in your living room with the kids playing around you.  

You don't need to "go on a retreat" or book a yoga holiday, to take yourself home - though that can be lovely.

All you need is the desire and intention to go.

Visiting home maybe a certain place you go to - a field, a mountain, or warf.

Or it maybe something you do, like running, meditating, praying, getting up early before the house wakes up, singing, dancing, writing, crocheting, creating a space you love, preparing a meal, growing a garden, watching a play, staring at the ocean or the sunset, smelling a flower, standing still, listening to the thunder or rain on the roof, lying under the stars, journaling, painting, people watching, feeling the warm sun on your face, or the cool winds whip your hair, reading an old journal or a favourite poem....... 

I don't know what your home looks and feels like - I only know my own way home, and even then the path can be hard to take.

It costs nothing.  

But the cost of not going is immense

Others, (husbands and children), may not understand your need to go.
You may not understand it.
But that doesn't mean you shouldn't go.

We all know how to get there. 
Not going, never serves us.

Where's your home?
Do you go often?
Are you different when you come back?
Does anything stop you from going?

Any questions?

I'd love to hear your experiences of home.
Drop me a line in the comments section.

All my love

Kate image.jpg
 

Can we age backwards.......?

 
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"How you move through time, determines whether or not you will decline"
- Dr Christiane Northrup.
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I know it sounds bizarre - but I've seen it first hand - when women live well, they start to age backwards......

This is a really selfish article - basically, today's my birthday, and I started to think about a few things I'd like to be able to do, to start doing, or to do more of - that would make me feel more full of energy, life, radiance and vitality!

And I thought I'd share them here - because none of us are getting chronologically younger, but that doesn't mean we have to get old.

I've written lists before, of things I wanna do before my next birthday - like a bucket list for the  year - and that's been helpful, sometimes I've done the things and sometimes I haven't......and I definitely have a few key things I'd like to get the ball rolling on for this year - things I've been saying "I want to do that" for YEARS, and still don't get around to doing......
(is it just me?)

But this list is a little different.....it's kind of categories (bar a couple of things), that I wanna focus on, to bring more of me, into my life.

10 themes (in no particular order),  I'm committing to for the next year.......

  1. Lights out 10pm - 5 nights a week (my 5 year old self is throwing her hands up - but my 30-something self is cartwheeling with bliss)
  2. Connection with Nature  - my favourite flavour of time out - and there are so many ways to enjoy nature - are you keen to know more?
  3. Connection with Friends and Family - I heart the people in my life.
  4. Sensuality - What can I say, I'm a Taurus - this is a soul need - I'll share more about how I'm bringing sensuality into my life if you're interested?
  5. I quit refined sugar - I quit coffee and alcohol at the beginning of the year - why not sugar?
  6. Speaking kindly to myself - This is hands down one of my favourite things to do.
  7. Filling up on energy - I'll expand on this later......SO many things to say!
  8. F U N + L A U G H T E R - I don't have nearly enough of this in my world - So I'll let you know what fun looks like for me, and how I crack myself up in later posts!
  9. Meditation and visualisation - we all know it works.
  10. Strength and flexibility - Since I hurt myself, I've become extremely aware of how important my body is to me, and how much I want to love and care for it ......Again, I'll let you know what I'm up to.

I almost feel like I need to take before photos?!
Who am I kidding - I've totally taken before photos - but do I really want to share them?

Before photos are just photos, without the after photos.......

The whole point of this exercise is not to reduce wrinkles or greys, or to change my appearance, it's to be conscious of the way I'm moving through life - I don't want to decline - I want to expand!

What would expand you?

I'd love to see your list - do you have a birthday coming up?  If not, maybe you could join in on my birthday?

Would you go with a bucket list - themes - or something else entirely?  I'd love to hear your birthday rituals!
Share them with me in the comments.

See ya next week
Much love
 

Kate image.jpg
 

How To Use Your Period To Change Your Life

 
 

Every year I get really excited - A NEW YEAR!!!!
And everything's great for the first couple of months - and then I putter out.

But then I discovered my cycle - and I realised - I get a New Year - EVERY MONTH!  I don't need to wait a whole year to get that clean slate, I only have to wait a couple of weeks!!

So how does it work?

Basically the woman's cycle is designed to support you, it shows you what's asking for transformation, and she helps you create your dreams.......today we're going to deal with how to create more of what you want in your life........

Here goes;  There are 4 phases to each cycle.
1. Menstruation - your period - #innerwinter
2. Preovulation - before you ovulate - #innerspring
3. Ovulation - when you're ovulating - #innersummer
4. Postovulation - after you've ovulated - #innerautumn

So, each cycle, when you get your period, it's an invitation to tune into yourself, this is #innerwinter, and here, you have the opportunity to dance with your cycle, to move with her invitations (rather than just trying to get shit done and muscle through).  This is the end - and the beginning.  This is the time to plant seeds for your life.  This is the time to notice what you want more of in your life - here's one way you can do it.......

Ask yourself this - What would I like the theme of this cycle to be.......?


If you could make it about anything - what would you want it to be about?
Self care / More sleep / Meditation / Better communication with your partner / Feeling more energised / Earning more money / Having more fun with your children........
You get to choose ANYTHING.

So, now it's you'r turn, finish this sentence.

The theme of this cycle is __________

Awesome!
Intention set.

(Tip; set one intention and nail it.)

Ok, I've set an intention - now what?
.........Planning like a boss

#Innerwinter is a wonderful time to plan, so take out your planner and look at how you can put things in place that would really support your intention........if it's get more sleep - set yourself a bed time / take netflix off your computer.  If it's better communication with your partner, you might like to schedule in some dates, or just quiet nights in together.  If it's feeling more energised - ask yourself what would make you feel more energised and put it into your plan - it could be buying groceries online rather than at the shop, or maybe it's starting a new class, or having a sleep-in day on the weekend and discussing that with your partner (if it means he needs to take the kids).....  Just come up with a bit of a plan - it doesn't need to be ridged, just something you can feel supported by.

Next, you get to practice embodying the theme you've chosen.

How do you embody a theme?

As you move out of #innerwinter, and into #innerspring, you get to really show up to each day with that new energy - noticing how you can bring that theme to life within your day.

For example; If your intention is to have more fun with your kids, you might write that intention down on a post-it and stick it to a mirror, your  dashboard, your planner, your fridge.....and then look for ways you can have more fun with them......what would be fun for you?  how do you like to play and have fun? invite them to do that stuff with you........ or join them in their world, maybe it's lego or running races?  if what they do isn't fun to you - how can you make it fun?   Maybe you play music you like while you're doing lego - or invite a friend to come with her kids and do running races.  Ask yourself questions like "how could I have more fun with this?" - bringing your awareness back to fun all the time.  

Inner spring is about creativity and noticing what's pulling you forward - what opens your heart?  What brings you alive?

Use the power of your energy, that wonder-woman status, that budding flower, bright, vibrant, curious, sassy, energy of spring, to really step into the shoes of the woman you know yourself to be.  How can you take steps in the world that support your theme?v  what would it look like to live that theme? 

Inner spring is often a time of lots of energy, so harness that energy and channel it towards your intentions.


As you move into #innersummer spend time noticing, and appreciating all the ways you've been committed to your intention.  Celebrate! 

Honour this sacred time in your cycle - you might want to journal and list out what you've done towards your intention, maybe chat with a girlfriend about how awesome you've been doing, you could buy yourself a little treat or gift, or do something to mark this time in your cycle - maybe a swim or a walk - or if you look at the above example - maybe it's celebrating with your kids - doing something supper fun like taking them somewhere special..........whatever you do - love on yourself, tell yourself what a great job you've done, and be intentionally grateful to yourself for any and all effort you've put towards your intention.

Next comes #innerautumn. 

This is typically a time of slowing down, you may notice you feel a little more tired, and you don't have the energy to put into your intentions like you did earlier in your cycle - that doesn't mean you need to abandon them - you just need to to notice the shift in energy and take a slightly different approach......

How can you continue working towards your intentions - without pushing towards them?
Is there a different flavour to play with? 

Going back to the fun example, maybe fun in the #innerspring phase looked like a dance party in your kitchen or  a run on the beach - but fun during #innerautumn is more like skimming stones on the water or watching a movie.......

During #innerautumn, grant yourself permission to be fully committed to yourself, ask yourself : Do I feel good about the way I spent my time this month - and if not, what needs to shift?

When you know the answer to the question - you'll get to allow whats not working to fall away from your life, just as the leaves fall from the branches and leave the trees bare and ready for what comes next.......you can do the same, allowing what has fallen away to create the fertile ground for the next cycle,  and you'll start to open up to even more possibility, as your intentions for the new cycle start to form.......

So hon,
What's the theme for this month?

I'd love to hear what your theme is, how you plan for it, what creative ideas you have, how you put those into place, how you celebrate, and what you do to slow down........

Let me know in the comments!

I'll announce my theme tomorrow - and you can follow along with how that unfolds for me on facebook and instagram

Much love
 

Kate image.jpg
 

What is the Billings Method?

 
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You might have heard rumours.............The rumours that people who use The Billings Method™ are all religious - or catholic.

Not true.

You may have heard that people who use, or teach The Billings Method™ are all prudish, and wear brown cardies.

Also, not true.

You've probably heard - "We tried The Billings Method™ - it didn't work - that's how we got pregnant with Maddison"

I'd love to talk with those people and hear the details - 'cause it's pretty damn effective when followed correctly.

So what is The Billings Ovulation Method™?

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The Billings Ovulation Method™ is a way of tracking your menstrual cycle, and your phases of fertility, by looking at your cervical fluid, and noticing the sensation you feel at your vulva, daily.  It's a way of determining if you're potentially fertile or not, on a day-to-day basis.  Once you know what your particular signs and patterns are (because you can see them and you start to know what to look for and what's normal for you), you'll be able to use this knowledge to choose when it's safe to have sex - and avoid pregnancy.......or when you can go for gold and pregnancy 'cause you wanna get pregnant!

Got it?

Basically you're tracking your unique cervical fluid patterns, and vulva sensation (no need to go digging around in your underwear or feeling inside your vagina) - so you can tell if you're fertile or not - and then you can decide if you want to have sex during that time or not.

What is The Billings Ovulation Method™ used for?

  • Recognise fertiltiy
  • Achieve pregnancy
  • Avoid pregnancy
  • Monitor your reproductive health

So why does The Billings Ovulation Method™ have such a bad rep?

Well it's mostly for people wearing brown cardies. 
But seriously - here's why.............PEOPLE ARE CONFUSED.

They're confused about what The Billings is, AND how to use it

Even some health professionals are confused - like doctors - you know, the people who we think know everything.
But that's ok, because it's actually pretty simple - and you don't have to be a doctor, or even educated, to learn it.

Heres' what the Billings is not.....

  • It's NOT the Rhythm Method. (Don't use this - it's not gonna work)
     
  • Other people confuse it with an alga-rhythm method - again this is basically the rhythm method - where a woman uses past cycle lengths, and a mathematical formula to PREDICT future fertile phases.  Bad plan lady.
     
  • It's NOT a period tracker app. 
     
  • It's NOT preying "Dear God make me not pregnant"
     
  • It's NOT using Cycle Beads
     
  • It's NOT the Fertility Awareness Method, or FAM, (though in my book this is a close second) or The Thermo-Sympto-Method.
     
  • It's definitely NOT The Two Day Method

The Billings Ovulation Method™ does NOT predict when you will be fertile - it tells you when you ARE potentially fertile - on a day to day basis - and when you're not.

The Billings Ovulation Method has been extensively studied on 1000's of women, all over the world, measuring their levels of hormones, and documenting their cycles, and tracking it's effectiveness - it's incredibly accurate, and scientifically confirmed, and very well documented.

How Effective is The Billings Ovulation Method™?  'Cause that's what we all wanna know!

When it's taught correctly, and when the couple completely understand the method, and when they follow the rules - it is 98% - 99% effective!

Thats more effective than the pill, the copper IUD, condoms, diaprhagms, depo....... Don't even get me started!

Got it?

Got questions?

Ask away - either here in the the comments - or you can find me on Facebook here - instagram here - or of course you can always email me at truenatureme@gmail.com - I know I'm working on getting a real email address - but you know this one works and it's not high on my priority list to fix something that's not broken!

You stay classy San Diego!

Kate image.jpg
 

How do you use the New Moon Energy?

 
 
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Did you know that today is the first New Moon in the Astrological New Year?
Nope, neither did I until I read Jennifer Racoppi's thoughts on this New Moon......

So what is the Astrological New Year?
Well to put it into simple terms - Aries is the first Zodiac Sign on the astrology "calendar".
As the sun travels through the sky, he moves through all the zodiac signs during the course of a year, and he moves into the house of Aries on March 21st, and out again on April 19th. 

I know what you're thinking.......What has the moon got to do with my menstrual cycle???

Quite a lot actually.

1. The moon governs bodies of water - and we are bodies of water.
2. Anything that's going on in nature, is going on within us - As above, so below.

So what does that really mean?!

Well basically, you know how the moon goes through phases?
It starts with being dark and not visible - as in a New Moon - and then the moon "grows" in the sky, getting bigger, and bigger, until it becomes a Full Moon - then it begins to "die" getting smaller, and smaller, until its a New Moon again!
And the whole process stars fresh.

Weeeeeell, a woman's menstrual cycle directly relates to the moon - as in - we go through the same phases.......

We start with bleeding (New Moon).
We then stop bleeding, and start to grow an egg, the egg gets bigger and more ripe as we move towards ovulation (Full Moon).
After we've ovulated, the egg dies, and our bodies start to move us back towards our bleeding phase again (New Moon).

Little side note: Not all women bleed on the New Moon, and ovulate on the Full Moon.  I think this is partly because of the lifestyles we live, we're exposed to a lot of light, from screens, home lighting, street lights etc and this can mess up our cycles (not to mention all the other things that can affect a woman's cycle).  I also think, sometimes there's a greater logic at play, and if you pay attention, often your cycle shifts - sometimes moving you closer to bleeding on a New Moon, and sometimes leading you closer to bleeding on a Full Moon - but that's a discussion for another blog. 

My point is.  Don't panic if you don't have your period on the New Moon!
Personally, at the moment, I bleed on a Full Moon.  I'm not actively trying to change that, I'm just noticing.

So what's the difference between a New moon and a Full moon?

  • A New Moon is a time of BEING. A time of new beginnings, a time to acknowledge what you've learned, a time to set your intentions or goals, it's a time to connect to the wisdom within yourself and decide how you want to move forward.  It's a great time to listen to the vision inside your heart and womb.  So, you know how I said before that New Moons are a time of being, they're also the time of moving into initiation, its like you put the key in the ignition and start the engine, you feel the dream, you sense it moving your spirit - and you start to move out of being energy, you rev the engine a little.  After the New Moon,  you begin to move out of being and into doing. 
     
  • A Full Moon is usually a time of DOING.  A time of being active, and moving through the world in a way that supports your intentions, needs, and desires - since the New Moon, you will probably have been quite active in following your dreams, or changing things in your life so you feel better.  Its a time of celebration and receiving, connection and fertility - acknowledging all you've done since the New Moon.  It's a time when the moon is shining bright, it lights you up, nourishes you.  It's a time for you to fully embody yourself and appreciate all that you've been working towards.  It's a time to honour and love yourself, and really be grateful.  Full Moons are a time of moving out of doing energy, and into being energy.  It's kind of like you have a party for yourself, and then you begin to wind down into rest.

Wondering what you can do this New Moon...........?


Well - let's go back to the beginning and remember that this is the first New Moon in the Astrological New Year! 
That's like a whole new, New Year, with an extra serving of "yes the fuck you can!"

So, go grab your journal, and write some stuff down.


1. Think of this time as a Reset - You might want to consider looking back over your "New Years" - as in 1st of January 2018 - thoughts, ideas, visions, goals and intentions.........And just check in with yourself......Is this what you still want?  Why do you want it? Have you been taking action on it? Is there anything stopping you?  What do you need to know / do - to move through that obstacle?  What lessons have you been learning this year?  How do you want to stand out from the crowd? 

2. Ask yourself if you're being true to you - is there anywhere the real you isn't showing up?

3. Notice what actions you're inspired to take that would support your vision, don't over think it - just jot a few things down.

4. TAKE ACTION - Set the wheels in motion.  Harness the power of the New Moon and move with her towards your wildest dreams. 

Also I recommend reading this - for a much more in-depth look at how this particular new moon is working for you.  And this is always a go-to for me, at anytime, for astral insights

Happy New Moon!
I hope you relish in the energy of darkness, warmth, and being comforted by the blanket of night, as you feel your dreams, needs and desires, moving you in the direction you most need to go.

Let me know how you go with that! 
You can comment in the section below, or connect with me on Social - we're friends right? Instagram, Facebook.....I don't do twitter or snapchat!

See you there
Much love xx

Kate image.jpg
 

Why I Hate Period Apps

 
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Let me start by saying, I have several apps on my phone for tracking my cycle.  I first started doing this about 6 years ago - though I don't remember the name of the first app I used, I basically downloaded it so when my doctor asked me "when was the first day of your last cycle" I'd know the answer!  

I chose it because it was pink and had flowers on it.  It did everything I needed it to do. 

Also prior to my first baby I'd been on the pill for 11 years, so having a real period was quite a new experience for me - I had no idea when it would come, or where I was at, without that little packet of pills on my bedside table.

Anyway, the app I first had was basic to say the least - nothing like what's on the market now.

So why do I have a problem with what's on the market?

Period apps make it seem like you're tuning into your body - because you're tracking things like .....how much sleep you get, what mood you're in, if you have tender breasts, or cramps, or headaches, they'll ask you to track vaginal discharge, and constipation.......

But what you're actually doing is; going through a check-list. 

They can be a great jumping off point - but very quickly you'll outgrow your app, and start to notice that there just wasn't the right check-box for you to tick......

So what should you do?

I'm not suggesting you ditch your app, because personally I have 5 - and I know how helpful it can be to refer to them.....for example, if I want a ballpark date on when I might be going to start my period.

What I am suggesting is; you stop relying on your app to tell you when you're ovulating, or fertile / not fertile, or getting PMS or going to get your period - and start tuning into the signals your body's giving you.  Signals you're getting All. the. time.

Because let's be clear - there's no possible way for an app to know when you're fertile, when you'll get your period or when you'll experience PMS.  They can guess - but that's all they're doing.

There's so  much going on in your body ALLLLLLLLL the time, things are changing constantly, and the more you tune into those changes and subtlities, the more clear you'll become, the more you'll know exactly where you're at - not only in-terms of what day it is in your cycle, but you'll know how to support yourself better, and the more you'll start to trust your body.

What happens when you trust your body?

You know how to live.....

  • Your confidence goes through the roof
  • You're able to work smarter
  • You're healthier, now and in the future
  • You're a better mum
  • You're able to be more compassionate with yourself.
  • You're a better partner
  • You have more energy
  • You have less stress and anxiety
  • You'll know what decisions to make

Try this; Grab a notebook or a journal and next time you get your period, start counting the days, (day 1 is the first day of your period), and try taking note of all the ways your body is talking to you throughout your cycle, each day until your next period.  P.S. this is not a limited list!

.......Does your appetite shift?  How does your mood and energy change?  What does your body physically feel like on different days?  Do you crave different types of food on different days?  Is there a time when you notice your dreams become more vivid?  When does your sex-drive amp up, and cool off - do you have a sex-drive?  Are you more creative at different times of your cycle? Do you sleep better some nights compared to others?  Are there times when you feel anxiety or overwhelm more acutely than others? Does your skin break out?  Do your allergies get worse at different times?

Your body is the best period app ever created, and your moods are way more complex than a smiley face, or a crying cloud emoji.

But you're the only one who can log in..........You log in with your attention and curiosity.

I can't wait to hear what you notice!

Much love

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Do you rock your period - or do you think it's gross?

A little while ago, a friend was telling me a story......and it was a good one!

 Image by @naqvi_sarah

Image by @naqvi_sarah

Once upon a time, she got out of the shower, and without realising it, a drop of her menstrual blood landed on the floor.  Her husband, asked her if she'd cut herself shaving - "ummm no" she said - and it took her a moment to realise where the blood had come from.

The kids and the husband started to all wonder where had this blood come from?  It was a mystery, no-one could work it out -  and my friend wasn't fessing up. The kids even made a movie about it on their phones. Hilarious!

When she told me this story, she must have apologised at least 5 times for it being a gross story, and sharing too much information......Meanwhile, I'm on the edge of my seat with popcorn! Ummmm what do you mean gross?  You could never share too much information about your period with me!

But I get it - I've been there, many times before, cursing my period, feeling embarrassed, having a bleed-through, staining the sheets, marking the towels, leaving a drop of blood (or more) on the bathroom floor, having a freak-out moment because my period has arrived unexpectedly........I know the horror I've felt in the past.

And I see you - as you shift uncomfortably when I say the word period.  I see you when you dismiss the topic right off the bat and quickly change the subject, how you blush and lower your voice.  I see you when you call it something else, like "Aunt Flow, or Shark Week". 
It's ok.

I used to feel this way too.

I also know that it's actually not gross. 
It's the most natural thing your body does. 
All women have, will, or are, menstruating - bleeding.

So why do we try to hide it? Or feel shame in it?  I mean really HOW does that help us in any way?

Imagine how my sweet friend might have felt, if she'd made the bold move of saying - "Oooh, I must have gotten my period and not realised".  

P.S. Notice I didn't say "SORRY - I got my period".

Imagine if she'd rocked it!

Yup, you're right, the kids would have missed out on all the fun of making a detective doco - she still has the movie and has promised me a private viewing one day! I can't wait to see!

BUT

We're women and we bleed - lets own that.

You don't have to shout it from the roof tops - or announce it on Facebook.....but then, why wouldn't you?

Here's what I know - Not owning your period disconnects you from yourself, and it disconnects you from your source of power - it erodes your confidence, and your trust in yourself, you become less of the woman you were born to be.

So here are my questions to you ........
How do you treat yourself and look after yourself when you're bleeding? 
How do you talk about your period? 
How do you think about your period?
How do you tell other people that you've got your period?
How do you tell your partner you've got your period  (apologetic, embarrassed, guilty....?)
How do you talk about "getting your period" with your kids?  And remember - daughters aren't the only ones who need this information.

And then ask yourself - Why do I think this way / feel this way / act this way?

SO......Are you ready to rock your period?

10 things you can do when you've got your period

 

Most of the women I talk with, have kids, husbands, careers, goals, exercise routines, appointments, dogs.....Lives! So when it comes to the advice "Take a day off when you get your period", they're like, 
"Ah, yeah right"!

I get it, taking a day off is something many of us just can't do.

Though almost every woman I know who's read "The Red Tent" says "ohhhh I wish I had a red tent"!

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So, what can you do to support yourself - short of setting up a red tent, or refusing to get out of bed - to give yourself the rest and care you need?

I love to ritualise this time of the month - doing things at a slightly different pace, or in a slightly different way, feels like special treatment to me, and I'm all about special treatment on my period. 

So when I talk about ritual, there are a few things I make sure to do each month, that just allow me to sink into the different energy of my period.  But honestly, everyone will probably want to do this differently - and what works for me, will be different to what works for you. 


The important thing to remember is......tune into you, ask yourself; "What do I most need today?"  

The key here is to find a way to honour your desires and needs - do the best you can - and absolutely no self-judgements here - you'll have some months where life just happens, and you can only do the bare minimum, and other months where you'll love yourself up!  The more you priorities your needs and desires during your period - the more it will become second nature.

Self care during this part of your cycle is really valuable, it's similar to getting a goodnights sleep - or only getting a couple of hours.  The quality of your self-care during this time sets the tone for your month ahead.

Really these are just some ideas to help you if you're feeling stuck, or wondering what you might be able to do to support yourself and your cycle.

Menstrual Magic: When you listen to the wisdom of your cycle - your cycle will look after you......What's your cycle calling you towards?

Here are a few things I love to do, I'm not amazing at doing all of them all the time, it's a practice - but I always make sure I treat myself with tender loving care around this time with a few of these babies........ 

  1. Get to bed early
    If you know when your period's coming, go to bed early in the lead up to your bleed, take an early night the day of the first day of your period - or all the days of your period.....this is the most simple thing - but trust me - it's NOT EASY! Getting myself to bed early is like pushing water uphill, I always find a million things to do, Facebook and Instagram are like jungles I get lost in......Maybe I should social media ban myself or curfew myself at this time of the month.....?

  2. Change your sheets
    It's so much nicer and more inviting to jump into fresh sheets.

  3. Meal prep
    - Cook up some meals for the freezer - or a big stew that will last a few days
    - Make sure there are left overs in the fridge so you don't have to cook.
    - Order in - and enjoy it.
    - Get your husband / partner / kids / mother, to take over cooking duties

  4. Maybe don't run a marathon today
    This isn't the day or days you want to push your limits in exercise - think gentle stretching, yin yoga, a nature walk, dancing in the way your body wants to move......Slow down.  This is the YIN phase of your cycle, the feminine, being vs. doing phase, think "the art of non-doing" - we're not meant to go 100% all the time!  Taking a least a day off your regular routine, allows your body to rest and regenerate - and gives you space to be with yourself in a different way, you might discover things about yourself you never would have noticed, if you hadn't taken the time to slow down.

  5. Journal
    Write a few notes to yourself......not sure what to write?  You can try free writing, or maybe answering some questions, for example;
    What do I want less of in my life? 
    What do I need to know about (name your situation / relationship / issue)? 
    What needs to change? 
    What do I need?
    Why do I feel this way?

  6. Tidy up
    To be honest, this is usually a natural part of my premenstrual phase, I really start to feel the urge to purge, to clean and tidy - it's like I'm having a baby all over again! Things I don't usually notice (like dirty windows) become something I can't stand to look at, and absolutely HAVE to clean!  SO, before you start your bleed, take some time, or hire a cleaner, and tidy things up.  I'm talking a nice clean bathroom, tidy cupboards,  get your laundry up to date, fridge cleaned out - think of it like a spring clean - or nesting, so you can rest into your space.  

  7. Allow
    This is something we're not great at - Allowing ourselves to have what we want (tell me where I'm wrong?).  So consider this your permission slip - while your on your period.......You want chocolate - have it.  You want a day off running - take it.  You want to reschedule a meeting - do it. You want to watch a bunch of netflix - go for it.  When you allow yourself to want what you want - and then follow through by giving it to yourself (and the key here is; don't feel guilty about it), you are a happier you, your batteries recharge and you have more energy. 

  8. Schedule something lovely for yourself
    This is something I really, really, really, love to do - I love to look at my planner and get this stuff in, it feels like such a treat and a luxury..........Maybe you schedule in a massage, some yoga nidra, a reflexology appointment, some acupuncture, or a reiki session.....honestly the list is endless - and it depends on your definition of lovely, but doing something a little out of the ordinary, a little treat for yourself, shows you, you care about you.  And the more you care about you - the more you flourish.

  9. Buy yourself something lovely
    It might be some flowers, a box of tea, something you've your eye on for a little while, a book,  a candle, some nail polish......what would feel a little bit special to you?  Or a lot special?

  10. The beauty way
    This ones' pretty easy - and costs nothing - The Beauty way is about creating beauty in your life - and to do this you don't have to buy something or pay someone, you get to be creative.........Maybe you find some flowers to cut and arrange from your garden (or if you're like me, you stop on the side of the road to pick some Queen Anne's Lace!) Or take a few moments to paint your nails (I always like a bright red - to remind me of the sacred space I'm in), it could be a bath, or foot soak in some epsom salts and essential oils, maybe you light the candles you already have, or start reading the book that's been sitting on your bedside table waiting for you......What would feel like it brings more beauty into your life?

Over to you.....

What are you going to do next time you get your period?
What would feel lovely?
What would feel like a treat?
What would make you feel cared for?
What do you need?

I can't wait to hear how you support yourself through your next cycle - or if you have something special you're already doing and want to share it with me, or other women who read this blog, I'd love to hear from you......Drop your thoughts in the box below.

Here's to well women everywhere.
Much love

Kate image.jpg
 
 

There's a better way to live.

You might feel shy about sharing space with other women like this, like maybe it's a bit weird or hippy or unnecessary.  It's not. 

Smart, modern women know, that connection with other women is what makes us stronger, more radiant, more successful, happier and much, much, much better women.

There are only a few spots left - if one of them is yours - click through to the link, where you can sign up or enquire about anything you desperatly need to know! 

 

DATES 2018

This program is a year-long commitment with 12 retreat days. 

February 15th. 
March 2nd.  April 3rd + 30th. May 30th. 
June 28th.  July 27th.  August 27th. 
September 25th. October 25th. November 23rd.
December 8th.

Dates are based on the Fullmoon - when the Fullmoon falls on a weekend, or public holiday, I've created a retreat day within 3 days either side of the Fullmoon, (with the exception of December 8th).  

NB: The first and final retreat days are based around the Newmoon dates.

 

TIMES

Each retreat day will run from 10am -2pm

COST

Twelve monthly payments of $79.00

Wanna know more?

See you there!

Kxx

Welcome Woman, into 2018.

 

How have you welcomed in the new year? 
 I notice there are so many ways to live, so many ways to celebrate, and so many ways to move into a new year - and theres a lot of pressure or noise about how to SLAY this year......

Some of us set goals, some vision board, others vibration board, some people pray rain, while others of us look to astrology, buy planners, talk to god, or plan the year out in quarters.  

Personally I dabble in a bit of everything.

And as a life coach - I'm always swimming in a sea of self-help gurus, 6 weeks-to-six-figures, and old ideas turned new - personally I can feel overwhelmed by all the possibility, and people promising to make my life better in some way. 

I really don't want to overwhelm you.

So, I'm simply going to tell you a few things that I'll be doing this year, and if you feel inspired to join me, that'll be really exciting!

 
 
 
 
One-to-One Coaching


A lot of people ask me;
"Can I refer my friend to you - are you taking more clients?"
"Do you work with women who aren't pregnant"  

The answer to all of those questions is YES.
I'm Currently accepting new clients - I only work with 6 women at a time, and places go fast - but if, you, or someone you know is interested - here's the link to check out private coaching with me.

 

 
 
 
Twelve Moons - Join me for a year of living in sync, with yourself, your cycle the seasons and the moon.


As you probably know - there are actually 13 full moons in a year - we'll only be meeting for 12 of them. 
This is a special kind of programme, created to be lived over the course of a year, through all the seasons, and (almost all) the moons.  We'll meet in circle, approximately once a month on the day of the fullmoon - each moon will bring it's own essence, and each retreat day will be guided by different feminine principles......there are only 6 spots and the first retreat day is THURSDAY FEBRUARY 15th Register now if you're interested.......PLUS you'll have the added bonus of being able to work with me in a 1:1 session each month - as part of the programme!  This is a pretty unique opportunity!  

 

 
 
 
Heart of Birth
One-to-One Coaching for Pregnant Women

This is my oldest running coaching programme, it's been put through it's paces in all kinds of ways - and the results are always gorgeous.  This isn't about having the perfect birth, or even having a natural vaginal birth, this is about supporting women as they move through pregnancy and into motherhood - giving them tools they may not otherwise come across.  It's the chance for women to really check in with themselves, be with themselves, heal past birth experiences, and re-birth themselves as mothers - whether its for the first time or the fifth time.  
 

 

 
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Webinars, Facebook Live, Speaking, and other Events

If you're keen to get some free information - I'll be hosting regular webinars + Facebook lives, so you can get the most out of our time together, I'll also be doing some speaking events - specifically for pregnant women (dates to be confirmed). 
And watch this space for the opportunity to work with me in Blessingways - Blessing the way for pregnant women and their transition into motherhood, and girls also blessing the way for girls who are moving into womanhood and starting menstruation.

 

 

So there you have it - the basics of my life and work, as we move ourselves into this new time and space of 2018.
I'd love it if our paths crossed, and I look forward to seeing you dream, create, connect, and shine as a bright woman - inspiring us all to step into the power and wisdom of ourselves.

I wish you many blessings, plenty of joy, and heart open to receiving all the richness and beauty you deserve.
All my love

 

 
 
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Period Guilt - Do you get it?

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About every 28 days I get my period.

Now I've been married for coming up 13 years, and up until this year, I would approach my period like this.......

"Hey Babe, I just wanted to let you know, I'm sorry, but I've got my period"

As I would say this, I'd feel dread, guilt, and a little bit nervous and ashamed.
Not because my husband has ever reacted badly - in fact the opposite - the first time I got my period while we were together, he bought over a hotwater bottle and some chocolate!  He's amazing.

But for some reason I would always feel like I'd let him down - let the team down in some way. (This isn't his fault)!
I'd feel like he might be upset with me in someway.

AND at the same time, I'd secretly be doing a little happy dance inside, because I'd know that those days are sacred to me - MINE.  
Aka - No sex.

I feel it's important to write this little "Aka" - because, in private conversations, I hear a lot of women say  something along these lines; having their period is a break from sex, and they look forward to that. 

Its important to note..... it's not that I, or they, don't love their husbands, or enjoy sex, its that - and I can only speak for myself - there's a kind of inner knowing that this is time for me to just be with myself, to read, to journal, to sleep, to watch emotional or funny movies - essentially to rejuvenate.  

Do you ever get that feeling - like you just want to run away from the world, and sleep all day? 

This is my - and your - permission slip, you don't need to feel guilty about enjoying a few days to yourself - your body is leading the way, in the way all female bodies do - what would happen if we followed that intuition and desire?

Anyway, this year I've been charting my fertility cycles pretty closely, and I noticed that one day,  without intending to do anything different - I said with deep satisfaction, pride and happiness "Hey Babe, I just got my period"! 

And he said "oh ok, Awesome".

 It was a tiny, but life changing, moment.

Now I know not everyone feels guilt or shame or any kind of negative feeling when they let their partner know they've got their period - and with all sincerity, that's amazing for you - but I've talked to enough women to know this is a thing, a thing not many of us are talking about, or even really conscious of............

So my question is  - WHY DO WE FEEL BAD FOR GETTING OUR PERIODS?

I guess a number of years ago, my response would have been a couple of things like this............

  1. Periods are gross and a pain to deal with - 
  2. I become a pain to deal with, I'm not as fun - I'm grumpy and emotional, and over sensitive -not myself
  3. I'm making my partner miss out on intimacy
  4. I'm ruining things

In the last few years I haven't consciously thought this way - but that way of thinking was such a habit, I didn't even know it was there, that the remnants of those thoughts were still there.

What about you - are those thoughts you have or have had?

So, I'm just going to leave you with this thought.....

How different would you feel, how different you would be -  if, when you got your period (even on a romantic weekend away), you celebrated your period, celebrated yourself, and celebrated your body......and if  that seems weird or uncomfortable - to celebrate - then let me ask you this....why wouldn't you celebrate?

Just something to think about.....

Much love

Kate image.jpg
 

Seriously - how the F do women's hormones work?

 

I just need to know - does anyone out there understand the diagrams or graphs related to womens cycles, the graphs that show when FSH / Estrogen / Progesteron and LH, is being produced - or when ovulation or menstruation happens?

 
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Like this graph... does it make any logical or practical sense to you?

Does anyone really know what a luteal phase is?  Or what that even means in the grand scheme of things?

I'm a nurse (and I know I really shouldn't say this, but it's true...)  we sat down (it was 2003) and spent a solid day looking at all that stuff - and I've gotta tell you - I definitely didn't get it.  I know I shouldn't say that, but honestly, it made zero sense to me.  I felt like I was reading a map in Chinese.

And I'm guessing if it made zero sense to me - it's the same for other women out there?

It's only since we decided that my husband wouldn't get the snip, that it became REALLY important for me to understand WHAT ON  EARTH IS GOING ON IN MY BODY?! Because in a nutshell - me understanding my fertility, is our contraceptive plan. I KNOW.

So despite the fact that I've always been fascinated by my cycle - it's taken me until my 30's to really start to understand it.......Annnnd I thought I'd just share a few basics with you - incase you're confused by the graphs too.

Here's a basic breakdown......

  • A cycle "begins" at day 1 of your period - and lasts until you start bleeding again. 
  • The day you start bleeding again is the next cycle.

So if you count from the day you start bleeding - until the day before your next bleed - thats the total length of your cycle.

Day 1 of your cycle - is the first day of your period, and when you get your period, the Follicular Phase starts.  
When you're in the Follicular phase - you'll be having your period for some of the days, (depending on how long your bleed is - usually 2 -10days), - and then you'll stop bleeding, but still be in the Follicular Phase.  This phase lasts until you Ovulate. (We'll get to that in a minute.)

During the Follicular Phase - there are 3 main hormones: Follicle Stimulating Hormone + Estrogen + Luteinizing HormoneThe Follicular Phase generally last about 14 days - but can be slightly shorter, or much, much longer - even up to 30 days!

  • Follicule Stimulating Hormone (FSH) peaks, and then drops away, just before ovulation - It's role is to help the eggs in the ovaries mature. (Each cycle  15-20 eggs will begin a race, to be the most mature egg and be released at ovulation).
    The eggs are each encased in their own follicle.
  • Estrogen / Oestrogen (same thing different spelling), is produced by the follicles that surround the eggs.
    Estrogen levels increase, throughout the Follicular phase, until the body reaches a threshold for the estrogen. 
  • Luteinizing Hormone gets released when it's trigged by the high levels of Estrogen - right around the time your body reaches it's Estrogen threshold

OVULATION!!!!

Once Luteinzing Hormone surges, (because of the high levels of Estrogen), an egg is released from the ovary by the most dominate follicle.  This is OVULATION!  
(If you're wondering what happens to the other 19 or so eggs that were in the race.....they disintegrate).

Ovulation is when the egg is released out of the follicle that it was incased in - and out of the Ovary that all the eggs are in.....After ovulation........The egg gets picked up by the fallopian tube and moves down the tubes towards the Uterus.

Which day you Ovulate on (day 12, day 14, or day 30 etc) depends on YOU, it can vary from woman to woman - and can vary for each woman individually, depending on so many factors.....what's going on in your life, your environment, your thinking, your stress levels, your relationships, your phase of life, the moon, the world, etc.......all of that can play a part in how long the Follicular Phase (day 1 of your Period - until Ovulation), lasts - amazing ah?!  Usually women have a general, "normal for them", time frame for the follicular phase.

OK almost home!

The Luteal Phase  (Ovulation, until the day before the first day of your Period), 1 main hormone - Progesterone....
.....(and Estrogen hangs around too - but to a lesser degree than in the Follicular Phase where it has a massive peak.
In the Luteal Phase Estrogen is a bit more stable.  The dominant hormone should be Progesterone 

  • When the egg has been released from the Ovary, (and the Follicle) - the Follicle then collapses, stays in the ovary wall, and becomes the Corpus Luteum.
  • The Luteal Phase is usually between 10 - 16 days and can not last longer than that (I've read), because the Corpus Luteum has a limited life span - so this phase of your cycle is usually very predictable (within a day or two for most women).

The Corpus Luteum has a VERY IMPORTANT job - it releases Progesterone.  

Progesterone is lovely because it.......

  • Prevents the release of other eggs for the rest of the cycle
  • Causes the lining of the uterus to thicken - incase you're egg has met a sperm and needs to burrow in and be looked after before the placenta starts to form.
  • Causes your temperature to change (temp goes up - think incubator, incase the little egg has met a little sperm and you've made a baby).  Also causes the position of your cervix to change and your cervical fluid to change, (if you know how to watch these 3 things - then you'll know if you're in a fertile phase or not!)
  • Relaxes the central nervous system, and binds to the  same receptors in the brain as valium!  Progesterone has calming, soothing, and relaxing effects (according to Dr. Christian Northrup in her book Womens bodies Womens Wisdom).  And according to Dr. Libby Weaver, its an antidepressant, antianxiety agent, and a diuretic (makes you wee more).

NB Synthetic hormones aren't the same as the ones your body naturally produces - so don't rush out to start the progesterone only contraceptive pill!  Synthetic Progesterones have known side effects.....nausea, bloating, problems urinating, rash, hives, vaginal bleeding, sweating, headaches.....and so much more!  AND I didn't pick out any of the "rare" side effects listed!!

So what's next?

When the Corpus Luteum disintegrates - Progesterone drops off dramatically, as does Estrogen.......and you get your PERIOD!  Back to day 1!

SOOOOOOO
All of these hormones are present throughout your cycle - at varying levels - and what I've described is a VERY basic overview - but hopefully it might help you understand a little more about your cycle, your hormones and all that's going on inside your body, on any given day.  It's total Magic!

Don't hesitate to comment, or message me privately if theres something you want to share, or ask - I'd love to hear from you.

See Disclaimer

 

Are you committed?

 

"As soon as you TRULY commit to making something happen - the HOW will reveal itself."
- Anthony Robbins

I really resonate with this. I pinned it on my Pinterest board tonight.

BUT, the truth is......

You can't MAKE anything happen; when we stop trying to MAKE shit happen, when we stop trying so hard to avoid feeling the pain, or stress, of whatever situation we're in - and ask for help - thats when life gets magic.

It's not about commitment to MAKING something happen - YOU can't do that.

It's about a commitment to connecting to your inner wisdom. Is that spiritual? Yes it bloody well is, and I'm pretty sick of avoiding it, or trying to dress things up so that they don't sound spiritual. 

If you want things to be different in your life in anyway - there's a whole universe inside of you, its like a thunderstorm on a summers afternoon, it's like gazing into your newborns eyes, it's the sound of snow falling and waves on the shore, the wind in the trees and rain in the morning.  

The whole universe is waiting for your call.

Commit to that, and the how will be revealed.  
 

Alignment

 

A while ago a friend said to me "you can never be out of alignment with yourself".  At the time I thought she was right, it sounded so spiritual - and I was really paying attention because she was doing some really intense work with shamans, and I thought that was as good as it got......  

And turns out, she was right.

Whatever's happening for you, in this moment - good or bad - is exactly what's supposed to be happening for you, you're in perfect alignment - it really is impossible for anyone to get off course.

BUT

When things feel shit, when you feel bad - that's life's way of saying - "you're out of alignment, you're off course, you're out of balance, something needs to shift, you need something, move, try something different......."

So actually, even though you can't be out of alignment - you can.