I grew up reading the New York Times. I was raised in New York City for a good portion of my childhood and once we moved to Vermont, my mother had my siblings and me read an article,  highlight any words we did not understand and report back to her. This was our chore in order to go out with our friends. Today she still sends me articles to read and recently she sent me an article on ‘How To Stop Your Period.’     I immediately felt a sense of rage take over and was in disbelief that someone would actually be sharing information on How To Stop Your Period . As I read the article, I was riding the edge of anger and passion. I knew that the sense of anger I felt, as I disagreed with the author’s view , was also the same fuel for the passion I have to support women and their menstrual cycles and was also the same fuel that called out what I stand for.      I stand for women being given the knowledge to understand why their cycles can be challenging on so many levels. I stand for women using these challenges and knowledge as access to their wisdom and power. I stand for for a culture that supports women to connect with their bodies-in the light, the dark, and the wild-in order to fully embody their authentic feminine essence.      As far as I am concerned , we need to be sharing more support for more growth, rather than suppression and fear. So I decided to write this post in an effort to do my part.     I encourage readers to read the   article   , so we can all get a sense of what is out there. I want highlight a few points she makes and in return hope to shine a different light, giving readers some knowledge and awareness.     The article advocates women to use ‘menstrual suppression’ as a means to cope with physical challenges of a period and even a method to cope with their lives. She writes, “‘Brides and vacationers use period suppression so a special event or trip isn’t ruined by a difficult period and how fewer periods can help improve quality of life for women in extreme employment situations.”  She continues to highlight the use of oral contraception as a way to achieve this, which include one brand call Seasonele which only gives a woman 4 periods a year. She says most of the women she polled seemed to have an interest in this menstrual suppression and the many who do not want to try period suppression have “been conditioned to believe that a monthly period is a sign of good health.” Finally , the author points out that there are ‘no known risks of using birth control continuously beyond the side effect profile that already exists for the drug.’     Ok...that's about as much as I can type without that feeling of rage boil within me! The many reasons to why I disagree with this article are under the umbrella of the science and the spirit of menstrual cycle, which is how I choose to share my work with women and their cycles.      THE SCIENCE BEHIND WHY I DO NOT THINK WE SHOULD STOP OUR PERIODS:      To say continuous birth control only has the side effects that already exist under the drug, is a huge understatement and gives a completely false profile for what actually studies show for using birth control , continuous or not.    Birth control , which is what we are talking about here, encourages the the one size fits all model. Women and their cycles are most definitely NOT a one size fits all and this only encourages the idea that all women should fit into one mold of looking and feeling.    In a 2012 study birth control was linked to higher risk of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis) due to synthetic estrogen , which does a number on our good bacteria. Problems with digestive systems leads to so many diseases down the road.    Birth control inhibits the absorption of B vitamins, zinc and magnesium , which just so happen to be very important for hormonal balance and fertility.    Birth Control dries up our cervical fluid because we are not ovulating, which down the road , when a woman wants to get pregnant, can cause infertility and major hormonal imbalances . It also further ingrains an epidemic in which we women are told infertility can only be “fixed” with drugs.    Birth control is a MAJOR ENDROCRINE DISRUPTOR, which means chemicals at a certain dose (here being the Birth Control) can cause disruption in our endrocrine system, which governs so much of health including immune system, mood, digestion , and sleep.       Taking birth control for short or long time can cause some major side effects that puts us on a hamster wheel of physical and emotional symptoms. To say casually that there are some side effects is a not only an understatement , but is not the true facts. Empowering women with the true health effects of birth control informs women to make choices about their bodies, which in turn creates a healthy relationship with herself versus a model of suppression, band-aide remedies, and disempowered women.      THE SPIRIT BEHIND WHY I DO NOT THINK WE SHOULD STOP OUR PERIODS:        A woman’s menstrual cycle is a rite a passage and I believe her spiritual assignment in life.  The call of becoming young woman is marked by her first period and is the beginning of her heroine's journey towards wholeness.  A journey which is explored each month, and within a lifetime, marked with challenges , thresholds , and shadows; all supporting a woman’s capacity to face these trials with wisdom and strength.         Suppressing our periods not only suppresses the physical aspects our cycle, but also suppresses the connection to self.  A woman’s intuition is her greatest ally and disconnecting from our natural state weakens the ability to hear her intuition  , which is her voice. If we suppress all the uncomfortable challenges and create a pretty box for us to fit into , then we are also weakening our capacity to acquire skillful ways to move through these challenges. We can not gain wisdom and strength without learning to walk through the fire and shadows. The work we are asked to do as women is held in the layers of physical and emotional pain within our cycles. Suppression will only create a woman with no voice, lack of intuition, or disconnect to herself.         Deleting our periods disconnects us from pleasure. As I noted, birth control shuts off our ability to naturally ovulate. Ovulation is the juice we get in order to step into feeling pleasure. Pleasure ignites the natural state of being our erotic selves and being erotic is our primitive, wild, turned on, inspired selves. I am not only speaking of sexual pleasure, but pleasure as tool to help us navigate what turns on our passion and purpose in this life.  A deeper connection to pleasure lends to a deeper satisfaction with life.           Shutting off our menstrual cycles, shuts us off from the past, present and future.  When I read this article I had the same reaction and thought as I do when I hear about the deforestation of the indigenous Amazon. The Amazonian forest and the people who among the forest,  hold ancient wisdom within the ancient and landscape. Most of the wisdom held in the Amazon is not written down, documented , or preserved. The wisdom is held within the trees , the healers, the elders, and the one’s who walked before them. What they know is taught by their deep connection to their natural surroundings, the connection with the plant medicine among them, and the ability to communicate with the earth and her offerings. All of this wisdom is being deleted with each tree and community being uprooted. To me, I see deleting our menstrual cycles as the same method as deleting the wisdom of Amazonian forest. Our menstrual cycle is synced to the phases of the moon and the tides of the oceans.     Just like the people of the Amazon connect to the trees , plants, and animals among them, we too have a direct connection between our outer and inner natural landscape by means of our cycle. This connection IS our blueprint and is our wisdom.    We learn how to become women from this connection to our natural self and what we learn will passed down to the generations ahead of us.      I am not advocating for women to bear with the physical pain that can come with our cycles. I am advocating for empowering women with the knowledge they need to make informed choices for their body’s.  This knowledge and awareness in which our cycles offers us tools and information about who we are, what we desire, and how we can make change from pain, sorrow, grief into purpose, pleasure into inspiration and power into wisdom.  If we think providing  a fix it remedy that involves suppressing our periods for a “better” quality of life, then we are only giving women a choice that says we are unable, incapable, and too small to work with what we are given. I stand for women who are willing, able, strong, and wise and have confidence they can work with and through what they are presented in life.      I hope this post has served you!       Erin  
    

 

   

     
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I grew up reading the New York Times. I was raised in New York City for a good portion of my childhood and once we moved to Vermont, my mother had my siblings and me read an article,  highlight any words we did not understand and report back to her. This was our chore in order to go out with our friends. Today she still sends me articles to read and recently she sent me an article on ‘How To Stop Your Period.’

 

I immediately felt a sense of rage take over and was in disbelief that someone would actually be sharing information on How To Stop Your Period . As I read the article, I was riding the edge of anger and passion. I knew that the sense of anger I felt, as I disagreed with the author’s view , was also the same fuel for the passion I have to support women and their menstrual cycles and was also the same fuel that called out what I stand for.

 

I stand for women being given the knowledge to understand why their cycles can be challenging on so many levels. I stand for women using these challenges and knowledge as access to their wisdom and power. I stand for for a culture that supports women to connect with their bodies-in the light, the dark, and the wild-in order to fully embody their authentic feminine essence.

 

As far as I am concerned , we need to be sharing more support for more growth, rather than suppression and fear. So I decided to write this post in an effort to do my part.

 

I encourage readers to read the article , so we can all get a sense of what is out there. I want highlight a few points she makes and in return hope to shine a different light, giving readers some knowledge and awareness.

 

The article advocates women to use ‘menstrual suppression’ as a means to cope with physical challenges of a period and even a method to cope with their lives. She writes, “‘Brides and vacationers use period suppression so a special event or trip isn’t ruined by a difficult period and how fewer periods can help improve quality of life for women in extreme employment situations.”

She continues to highlight the use of oral contraception as a way to achieve this, which include one brand call Seasonele which only gives a woman 4 periods a year. She says most of the women she polled seemed to have an interest in this menstrual suppression and the many who do not want to try period suppression have “been conditioned to believe that a monthly period is a sign of good health.” Finally , the author points out that there are ‘no known risks of using birth control continuously beyond the side effect profile that already exists for the drug.’

 

Ok...that's about as much as I can type without that feeling of rage boil within me! The many reasons to why I disagree with this article are under the umbrella of the science and the spirit of menstrual cycle, which is how I choose to share my work with women and their cycles.

 

THE SCIENCE BEHIND WHY I DO NOT THINK WE SHOULD STOP OUR PERIODS:

 

To say continuous birth control only has the side effects that already exist under the drug, is a huge understatement and gives a completely false profile for what actually studies show for using birth control , continuous or not.

  • Birth control , which is what we are talking about here, encourages the the one size fits all model. Women and their cycles are most definitely NOT a one size fits all and this only encourages the idea that all women should fit into one mold of looking and feeling.

  • In a 2012 study birth control was linked to higher risk of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis) due to synthetic estrogen , which does a number on our good bacteria. Problems with digestive systems leads to so many diseases down the road.

  • Birth control inhibits the absorption of B vitamins, zinc and magnesium , which just so happen to be very important for hormonal balance and fertility.

  • Birth Control dries up our cervical fluid because we are not ovulating, which down the road , when a woman wants to get pregnant, can cause infertility and major hormonal imbalances . It also further ingrains an epidemic in which we women are told infertility can only be “fixed” with drugs.

  • Birth control is a MAJOR ENDROCRINE DISRUPTOR, which means chemicals at a certain dose (here being the Birth Control) can cause disruption in our endrocrine system, which governs so much of health including immune system, mood, digestion , and sleep.

 

Taking birth control for short or long time can cause some major side effects that puts us on a hamster wheel of physical and emotional symptoms. To say casually that there are some side effects is a not only an understatement , but is not the true facts. Empowering women with the true health effects of birth control informs women to make choices about their bodies, which in turn creates a healthy relationship with herself versus a model of suppression, band-aide remedies, and disempowered women.

 

THE SPIRIT BEHIND WHY I DO NOT THINK WE SHOULD STOP OUR PERIODS:

 

  • A woman’s menstrual cycle is a rite a passage and I believe her spiritual assignment in life. The call of becoming young woman is marked by her first period and is the beginning of her heroine's journey towards wholeness. A journey which is explored each month, and within a lifetime, marked with challenges , thresholds , and shadows; all supporting a woman’s capacity to face these trials with wisdom and strength.

 

  • Suppressing our periods not only suppresses the physical aspects our cycle, but also suppresses the connection to self. A woman’s intuition is her greatest ally and disconnecting from our natural state weakens the ability to hear her intuition , which is her voice. If we suppress all the uncomfortable challenges and create a pretty box for us to fit into , then we are also weakening our capacity to acquire skillful ways to move through these challenges. We can not gain wisdom and strength without learning to walk through the fire and shadows. The work we are asked to do as women is held in the layers of physical and emotional pain within our cycles. Suppression will only create a woman with no voice, lack of intuition, or disconnect to herself.

 

  • Deleting our periods disconnects us from pleasure. As I noted, birth control shuts off our ability to naturally ovulate. Ovulation is the juice we get in order to step into feeling pleasure. Pleasure ignites the natural state of being our erotic selves and being erotic is our primitive, wild, turned on, inspired selves. I am not only speaking of sexual pleasure, but pleasure as tool to help us navigate what turns on our passion and purpose in this life. A deeper connection to pleasure lends to a deeper satisfaction with life.

 

  • Shutting off our menstrual cycles, shuts us off from the past, present and future. When I read this article I had the same reaction and thought as I do when I hear about the deforestation of the indigenous Amazon. The Amazonian forest and the people who among the forest,  hold ancient wisdom within the ancient and landscape. Most of the wisdom held in the Amazon is not written down, documented , or preserved. The wisdom is held within the trees , the healers, the elders, and the one’s who walked before them. What they know is taught by their deep connection to their natural surroundings, the connection with the plant medicine among them, and the ability to communicate with the earth and her offerings. All of this wisdom is being deleted with each tree and community being uprooted. To me, I see deleting our menstrual cycles as the same method as deleting the wisdom of Amazonian forest. Our menstrual cycle is synced to the phases of the moon and the tides of the oceans.

Just like the people of the Amazon connect to the trees , plants, and animals among them, we too have a direct connection between our outer and inner natural landscape by means of our cycle. This connection IS our blueprint and is our wisdom.

We learn how to become women from this connection to our natural self and what we learn will passed down to the generations ahead of us.

 

I am not advocating for women to bear with the physical pain that can come with our cycles. I am advocating for empowering women with the knowledge they need to make informed choices for their body’s.

This knowledge and awareness in which our cycles offers us tools and information about who we are, what we desire, and how we can make change from pain, sorrow, grief into purpose, pleasure into inspiration and power into wisdom.

If we think providing  a fix it remedy that involves suppressing our periods for a “better” quality of life, then we are only giving women a choice that says we are unable, incapable, and too small to work with what we are given. I stand for women who are willing, able, strong, and wise and have confidence they can work with and through what they are presented in life.

 

I hope this post has served you!

 

Erin

 

There are so many areas in our life that challenge, push forth, nudge, ask, and demand us to let go. We can hear the call to ‘let go’ within many different thresholds and experiences in life. If we are paying attention and hear this call, our path of letting go has begun.

 

I would say I spent my 20’s resisting to hear the call to let go in life. I was mostly committed to holding on, staying on the path I was told was the ‘right’ one and would set me up for ‘safety’ as I got older. In my 30’s I started to actually hear the call louder and started to gently release my grip on life and trust the visions I had for myself could and would be true. Now having entered into my 40’s, I would say I have done the most amount of releasing and letting go I have ever done in my life. Most of this releasing could not have been done without recognizing the lessons in the shadows. Of course, the path will always be one which asks for more letting go, but I now find my grip to be a less clenching and more releasing.

 

Fortunately , as women, we receive this call to let go every month and throughout our journey as women. It is the journey of the heroine , which is an ebb and flow out of comfortable and easy times in our life into more challenging and darker moments and once again arriving back out towards our true , authentic , wise selves. Our cycle mimics this journey each month and is a strong and beautiful reflection of this life journey.

 

Our menstrual cycle is an opportunity to gain skillful ways of being and becoming a woman and if we are paying attention and willing to do the work, the gifts are rich when we decide to shed what is unserving.

 

The most common challenging time for us during our cycle  is PMS, or our Waning Moon time. During this time, our hormones are beginning to fall, our emotional body is heavy with unpredictable emotions, our physical body feels uncomfortable and our spirit is in the realm of the Underworld of Shadows. We often find this time to be dark , painful , and isolating. Our ease and grace that allowed us to move through the day just a week ago, has now left us to the face our sensitivities and vulnerabilities.

 

We often wonder - why is PMS so challenging and WHY is it here in the first place.?

 

The answer , my heroine’s , is the medicine we seek to feel whole, authentic and powerful,  is found in the jewels of this shadowy, PMS time.

 

If we are willing to listen to the messages of our deeper emotions and thoughts of this time, we can come out with a better understanding of what needs to be changed, what is unserving , and what needs to be let go in order to continue on our present path with clarity.

 

All of the ‘stuff’ we experience during PMS is actually making the fabric of what being a strong woman is all about. The “stuff” is usually is a call to pay attention to our needs that are in order to be met and let go of the rest.  That call, or ‘something’ , that can be changed or let go,  is preparing us to continue on to our next cycle, as we start again, and setting us up for our path ahead in life. 
 

 

  • If we are physically feeling challenged, such as poor sleep , anxiety , or low energy , look at what habits that could be shifted around unhealthy food choice, too much caffeine intake, or too much screen time before bed.

 

  • If it is emotionally heavy, which it always is, what are those deeper emotional messages telling you? Are your tears about an issue in your relationship you need to address? Is there an old wound , such as an old love or unmet need , which keeps emerging from the past, that needs to be looked at?

  • If there is anger, is there a conversation needed to be had with someone, or a clearing that needs to be done?

 

If we start to track our cycle and note what is coming up for us in our physical, emotional and heart (spiritual body) during this time, we often see this ‘stuff’ to be similar and patterned month after month. If we recognize the recurring ‘symptoms’ as patterns, we can see that these are not symptoms of something wrong, but actually patterns guiding us towards what is truly calling us to feel complete, whole, and in our power.

 

No, our menstrual cycle and the journey of being a woman, is not easy. However, we are definitely handed down the opportunity to learn from the our harder moments in order to fully stand strong when life gets chaotic or unpredictable.

 

What if we embraced all of our darker moments throughout our cycle with the mindset that we are given the opportunity to aquire tools and the opportunity to practice our walk towards fear in our life?

 

I stand for and support women to have the tools to stand toe to toe with fear in life , in order to create culture that has the capacity to walk straight towards this fear, cultivating stronger communities and a connected planet.

 

I hope the next time you are feeling challenged during your PMS, you will stop and listen to what you should keep to continue on your present path and what you should let go.


 

With Love,

Erin

Using Your Cycle As A Barometer For Your Wellbeing

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOU

ONCE A MONTH?

 

  • Why don’t I have as much energy as I did last week?
  • Why can’t I fit into my jeans I fit into just yesterday?
  • Why aren’t I sleeping well?
  • Why is my partner getting on my nerves lately?
  • Why can’t I think clearly?
  • Why can’t I accomplish what I want this week?
  • Why do I feel crazy?
  • Why do I feel like a completely different person as I did last week?

 

If once a month you ask yourself any of these questions, then welcome to being a woman. This is who we are. Multi-layered beings, with physical and emotional up and downs. We feel like super-goddess heroines one day and the next day we wake up feeling defeated by everything “out there.” We either feel ready to accomplish all of our goals within a day or we feel only one task is all we can handle within a day. This is because we are not linear beings. We have hips, breasts, needs, and emotions. And this does NOT make us crazy. This makes us beautifully feminine.

Moving through all of the emotions and physical manifestations within a month can be tricky, difficult, and can leave us feeling defeated. I speak a lot about the cultural paradigm we , as a culture, are still working within. It’s an old paradigm, but it's thick with support. Women have generally been taught to suppress all such emotions as anger, sadness, or discomfort. Push through it in order to get through the day or month , is what we know. It’s the sort of “support” that fits appropriately into what may work for the masculine. Not to say that women have not come along way, but when our menstrual cycles become something that can literally feel like “it” is taking over our life and the tools and awareness on how to approach our discomfort can feel obsolete in the workplace, within our families or within in larger social containers.

 

I am not here to keep singing the song that we are not supported and it’s “their” fault . I of course want to shine light on this paradigm we are still in order to weave in why we may struggle to feel like it is not ok to be uncomfortable or slow down during our cycles. However, I prefer to shine even more light on empowering myself , and other women, with the awareness of what is actually going on during our cycles when we do feel imbalanced.

 

There are SO MANY  tools we can gather to become more in tune and more stoked about our cycles. Yes, I do believe it , and see it with the women I work with, that we can be stoked about our cycles. We do not have to white knuckle grip our way through each month. We can actually do just the opposite and let go into it our cycles. Our part is simply learning about our cycles.

 

  • Learning about the different phases, the beginning the middle and the end and what is actually happening within your body during these phases.
  • Learning about which hormones , and when this happens , make us feel like super goddess slaying it like Beyonce:)
  • Learning about why our PMS can be so hard sometimes and what we can do to feel more ease during this time of the month.
  • Learning about the many tools available to have balanced energy, clear thinking, and stable moods.
  • And most importantly...learning about leaning into to your feminine self , with all she has to offer and all of her entirety.

 

All of this learning is your power. I always say, knowledge is power. Becoming curious about your curiousity as to what is happening within your body as a woman. Lean in closer to the parts of you that feel crazy or out of sync during the month. Using our cycle as a barometer of physical , emotional, and spiritual health. Trusting the gift of our cycles as a blueprint for what, why, when, and how within our cycles. It is about trusting the sweet and potent medicine of feminine intuition and granting more space for YOU and how you DESIRE to feel each month. Our cycle carries the code for working with and through all the obstacles and desires you have as a woman. Our job is to simply show up.

 

My passion is to support women who want to show up in order to align with their cycles. My part is offering you tools to get you out of discomfort and overwhelm and into more ease and alignment on how you want to feel throughout the month. I personally have journeyed down the road of balancing my hormones and I am aware of what it feels like to feel out of sync . I use the same tools and knowledge I offer you to feel more aligned with myself. I find this commitment to self to reveal the most potent wisdom and is the most certainly the most rewarding investment I can make as a woman.

 

For the next 10 days I am offering FREE 30 minute discovery sessions to support your curiosity and desires on how you want to feel each month. This session is for you.

This is a chance to talk about your physical and emotional challenges which leave you feeling overwhelmed each month. This is also a chance for us unpack some this discomfort and get into a space of more ease and empowerment. The first step to becoming more aligned with your cycle and feeling the way you want to feel is learning how to partner with your cycle and ultimately yourself. I am here to support you on this path and share with you all the keys to unlock your doors to your own personal health, power and wisdom.
 
CLICK ON THE ‘CONTACT’ TAB ABOVE TO SET UP YOUR SESSION TODAY.
 
Looking forward to supporting you.
Erin

The Heart and Our Menstrual Cycles

The Heart and Our Menstrual Cycle

 

Today I am writing about a topic that is dear to my HEART.

 

Much of the knowledge I share is about the ‘science’ of a woman’s hormonal communication. Literally the communication that occurs between our sex and stress hormones throughout the day , the month and our life cycle. It is a sweet and delicate dance , which I find to be important and powerful knowledge for women. Once we know what’s actually going on during our cycles, we tend to feel more empowered with the tools to bring harmony and balance for ourselves. I always say , knowledge is power.

On the other side of the science, is my passion to share and inspire women to access the 'spirit' of our cycles. The 'spirit’ of our cycles is the underbelly of what feels raw, real, dark, messy, sexy, taboo, challenging, sad, and all encompassing. “It” is cloaked in disguise of our “PMS emotions” , which we have unfortunately been taught to hate , mask, and delete. It is when we are feeling our worst and want to shamefully climb into our caves. We all have these days of the month and we all have been there.

However, there is a thread between all of the messy stuff and naturally if we follow our sadness, frustration , shame, and our “messiness”, we will ultimately be lead to our HEARTS. The center of where all of these emotions breath.

In Chinese Medicine , there is a channel called bai mai which translates to “uterus vessel.” It was written thousands of years ago that the connection between a woman’s emotional state and hormonal imbalance is ruled by the heart and the uterus, rather than the brain being the dominant organ. It says the heart and the uterus communicate with each other through the bai mai channel. Every month the heart fills the uterus with blood in order for conception or menstruation to occur. The HEART MUST BE OPEN for the blood to flow through this channel. If it is blocked, PMS or infertility can occur. What could block the channel? Stress and emotional upheaval. (http://www.wellandwisewoman.com/newsletter/see last week's post)

 

When I learned this , I thought it was both wise and beautiful. It sheds light on our challenging emotions we experience during PMS and our periods and links its directly to our uterus, the home of our feminine essence, where we will birth a child or cycle through menstruation. Clearly, the connection between these two organs reminds us of the importance of tending to the matters of our heart. We literally must keep our hearts open for the blood to flow and our cycles to be balanced.

This is where the work as women becomes the most challenging , but can be the most rewarding. Tending to our hearts and getting intimate with the uncomfortable shame of our emotions will keep the blood flowing and ultimately keep our cycles balanced and graceful.

 

It can be some of the hardest work we do when our body feels like a balloon , the tasks seem endless, and our hearts feel overwhelmed with unfamiliar sadness. However, staying at the edge of these emotions and gathering the tools and practices to meet them, can and will be where the true medicine of our cycles will be revealed.

 

The sadness I have felt in the past during PMS never made sense to me , but I noticed it would arrive each month at the same time. I started to notice a pattern in my intimate relationship . I noticed that the feeling of being frustrated during PMS was actually linked to what was underneath , which was a deeper wound of abandonment. I was able to follow the thread of my emotions to my heart and find a deeper meaning to which I was feeling. With more time , awareness and self work, I realized this uncomfortable space of feeling sadness , frustration and deeper wounds of abandonment, was met with what I truly needed to heal, which was connection and love in my relationship. This is how I see our challenging emotions we experience in our hearts , during our cycles, can actually be our most potent medicine.

 

So next time you are raging with PMS and finding yourself physically and emotionally in the throws of it all , take a moment to follow the thread of your emotions back to your heart, where hopefully will find a willingness to open your heart , open the channel to uterus, and have a cycle that is here for you, rather than against you.

 

Some helpful ways to keep your heart and channel open!

 

  • My dear friend of Medicina Pachamama creates beautiful herbal formulas and flower essences. One of my favorites I rely on most, especially during challenging emotional times or when I feel a heavy heart, is Matters of The Heart. This blend speaks directly to the heart by opening up the heart chakra, empowers our feminine energy, aids in finding strength in vulnerability, and aids in balancing our ability to give and receive love. I always make sure to have this formula around as a wonderful ally. You can buy Matters of the Heart (here) and while you are there check out all of her supportive formulas and offerings.

 

  • Ashwaganda: I specifically choose ashwaganda as an herbal ally for the heart because of its ability to support the adrenals. YES, the adrenals again! There is no way around not supporting your adrenals as a foundation for hormone balance. Without supporting adrenals-, our gland that manages our stress , our heart in unable to feel safe. When stressed, our breath and blood flow are constricted to our heart, which does not allow a space of safety and nourishment for our hearts. The result,  when feeling constricted in the heart, is challenging emotions which mirroring suffocation and suppression. Ashwaganda is a super star herb to support the adrenals in order to ease these emotions , support the adrenals , and open the heart.

 

  • Get Accupuncture: There are so many ways to balance our hormones and acupuncture is a beautiful ally that works. Of course , when speaking of the heart and uterus channel, the best way to do this is by receiving acupuncture to specifically open up this channel. There are many channels and many different treatments which can help with physical and emotional discomfort during our cycles. Seek one out!

 

  • Be in Nature: Nature Cures! When feeling frustrated, low energy, anxious, or your list of tasks seems like it’s impossible to complete, make it mandatory to be with nature. Her ability to match where you are at with your emotions, whether that is wanting to feel more energy or feel more grounded, nature will ALWAYS meet you. Being in the presence of nature’s beauty undoubtedly shifts our moods and opens our heart. Make it a practice and priority to get outside for at least 30 min a day.

 

  • Self Love Ladies!: You know what it is and I can not tell YOU how to

  • love yourself. In this exact moment if I asked you , “what does loving yourself look like to you?”, you would have the very answer you need. Simply asking ourselves this question can open our hearts up to how it is we REALLY want to feel and what it is we REALLY need during our most challenging moments in our cycle. The answer may be more time alone, communication or intimacy with our partner, a nourishing meal , time with our girlfriends, a day where you treat yourself like a queen, taking a class...the list is endless and it is most importantly unique to you. During emotional stress, ask yourself what you need , and from an open heart,  give yourself this love.

 

With Love,

Erin

50 Shades of Stress and Your Menstrual Cycle

The other day during a consultation, I asked a woman what stressed looked like in her life. She responded that she felt it was good , felt financially stable and was successful at her job. As I continued to ask her other questions around stress, which included: how healthy was her relationship to food? how nourishing was her intimate relationship? how many times a week did she get outside in nature? and how fulfilling was her job? , we dove deeper into the conversation and it became more transparent that her idea of stress was actually not just one shade , but was a whole spectrum of colors . 

 

This woman is not alone, as I frequently hear women express their stress levels in measurement of finances and career success. Both are linear expressions of success and both obviously supported in our culture versus our success measured in connection to self and other. Of course financial stability is most certainly an important spoke on the wheel , but spreading light and awareness all of our actions, needs and values , as women, is foundational when trying to achieve hormonal harmony. 

 

As women, we are straight up awesome when it comes to how we respond to stress and our ability to take on a variety of stressors. We are natural caregivers and queens of multi tasking. We can tend the needs of our family, build our business’s and be support for our girlfriend’s heartache. We can have 9 million tasks to complete and we do them all with strength and grace. HOW we literally respond to stressors, big and small, is also another amazing ability of ours. It has been scientifically proven that under stress we respond as a woman, not a man. We seek out the action of “tend and befriend” versus the masculine way of flight or fight. If a tiger, for example,  is attacking our village, we respond by protecting our loved ones-tending- and gathering in numbers with other women- befriending. We find strength in numbers and community, all the while raising our much needed caregiver hormone (see my last post!), oxytocin. So , biologically, its a win-win. Yes, we are awesome. 

 

Our awseome-ness can , however , take a toll on our bodies and cycle. Like the woman I spoke with the other day, we can miss some very big stressors in our life , directly impacting our cycles. We hold so much power to do, to do MORE, and to be more, that we tend to wake up with a pile of stress on our shoulders, forgoing time for self care and solitude and end up with unstable moods, weight gain , and painful periods. Yes, stress can cause all of this and I say is the number one reason why women are hormonally imbalanced. 

 

Besides the divinely perfect way we respond to stress with tend and befriend , we do respond to stress with a cascade of hormonal responses. Our neuroendrocrine systems want us to achieve balance at all times and will do whatever it takes to do this. So, when the tiger is chasing us , or we are fighting with our partner, we literally are experiencing a STEAL in our sex hormones, specifically progesterone. This progesterone is what we want more and more of as we age and as we go through PMS. Too little of it is the reason we experience PMS. Our body sees no reason for to release this calming , non-bloating, sleep well, make babies hormone when we are are getting chased by a tiger or pushing too hard on our bodies! Each and every stressor in our life signals our body to pay more attention to the stressor versus a balanced hormonal cycle. This is a key piece of knowledge for us women! Simply put , the amount of stress and stressors we have in our day to day directly impacts our menstrual cycle. This will ALWAYS be the case. 

So, what does this mean? Have no stress in our life? Obviously not the answer and the experience of good stress (getting ready for an amazing vacation) is actually important for immune function and decreasing inflammation. It means taking a close and clear look at the variety of ways stress shows up in our lives as women and ways we can manage the stress. Bringing more awareness to the variety of stressors in all areas of our life is a start and simply the best medicine. 

 

Some obvious and not so obvious stressors in your life that could be creating an imbalanced hormonal cycle:

 

Not getting enough sleep- sleep is foundational to balance our internal rhythms, our moods and support our nervous system. End result- balanced hormones. Try to go to sleep the same time every night and wake at same time, even on weekends. Get in a rhythm to provide a rhythm for yourself.

 

Skipping meals- under nourishing your body- and mind- is a major stressor and sends wave of signals to your body that you are under attack! Skipping meals means blood sugar meltdown which gives your body another reason to not produce calming, non-bloating, happy hormones. Nourishing your body with food at proper times of the day will never be underestimated. Set your day up with a super goddess breakfast-protein and fat!- and continue to eat every 4 hours. Snack only if you feel you need to. 

 

Drinking caffeine- While you are deciding to skip a meal and get a coffee , you are setting your self up for PMS and a challenging period. Caffeine stimulates your body into blood sugar havoc, messes with your internal rhythm of sleep, and increasing excess estrogen - the not so fun hormone in our menstruating bodies. Excess estrogen is the reason we feel fat, are bitchy and have a hard time coping in general. Limiting our caffeine intake to green tea or not drinking it all, will support your ability to sleep deeply, have a clear mind and feel comfortable in your skin.

 

Being in a relationship that is not serving-Having a clear, conscious , loving relationship may not seem like it makes that much of a difference to your menses when the last thing you want to do is be around your partner during PMS. However, the relationships we choose directly reflect our choice to love ourselves. Constant arguing , repeating toxic patterns and loss of intimate connection in a relationship triggers our deepest wound of abandonment and nourishment. Without enough nourishment in the form of love from and with our partner , we are in a state of stress and are taxing our systems on a slow steady release of stress hormones. I chose to list this one because this is a stressor that is so commonly looked over because of denial or shame and I find it to be the most dramatic change in a woman’s -happiness -and hormonal balance -when addressed. Bring some raw awareness to the issues within your relationship by seeking support through a life coach, therapist and community. 

 

Lack of self love in the form of body shame- this is a big one with women . Eating disorders, overexercising, negative self talk , and a need to be perfect. Ingrained deep and wide into our subconscious by the media, our parents, our ancestors , and culture. Looking in the mirror and wanting to be thinner, prettier , and perfect is depleting our pool of happy and confident hormones and increasing our signals to our body around scarcity, i.e.: we are not enough. Again, the constant drip of negative body talk continues to leave us in the shame corner where we will be repeating a pattern time after time of disconnecion from self , shut off our power of intuition and decrease our ability to connect with our feminine power. Having a practice of choosing love , over shame, each time you see yourself in a mirror or each time you come across an image that triggers a reaction of “I am not enough” , is foundational for you , me and every girl and woman to access her power. Get in the habit of choosing love over shame by repeating these words in the mirror “I will not determine my self worth based on appearance.” 

Some herbs and nutrients to support stress:

Rhodiola: This herb is part of the adaptogenic family, meaning it responds with your body and stress by adapting to your needs versus a specific action. For instance, low energy, during your cycle can be supported by Rhodiola by providing sustainable energy versus what a stimulant ,like caffeine, may do. Rhodiola works with our HPA axis , which is like a switchboard to for our female system of hormones, by strengthening the communication of our sex and stress hormones. Better communication means more energy, better mood, deeper sleep cycles, and balanced digestion...outcomes we want for our cycles. Choose high quality brands in tincture or concentrated capsules.

Mucuna: Mucuna is hands down one of my favorite herbs for stress and women's cycles. Its a traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine and comes from Africa and Asia. I love this herb for women because of its ability to increase dopamine. The best way to explain what l-dopamine is ; think of a time when you feel happy, calm, focused and centered. This is what mucuna increases and we all know that our testy moods and meltdowns during our cycles , could use a little of this mucuna love. 

BioActive B Complex- This is the activated form of the B vitamins and are the best way to assist your body in using the B vitamins. We need B vitamins when we stress and as women we specifically need them to help with our cycles. B12 and B6 help with the cascade of physical symptoms in our body manifests when stressed: low energy, blood sugar swings, sleep disturbance, poor quality of blood during menstruation, unable to think clearly. Find a formula that is activated and take throughout your cycle. 

Stick with me to keep uncovering the womanly ways we can access PUROSE, PLEASURE and POWER during our cycles. 

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What Does Creativity Have To Do With PMS?

What Does Creativity Have To Do With PMS?

 

It's possible that you are reading these two words- creativity  + PMS - and are thinking " what the heck is she talking about? Im NOT creative and when I am PMS'ing the last thing I want to do is even pretend I am creative!"  If you are , you are not alone and I understand why you may feel these two words could not be anymore opposite. We have been supported mostly in the ways of thinking creativity is only for "artists" and if you can't paint, draw, or play music, then pack your bags and get out of the art room. We have also, in a HUGE way, have only been told, that PMS is horrible, something to be shameful about, and get over it. Well, newsflash, it's 2016, and I am here to tell you otherwise. 

Creativity and our pre menstrual phase are one within the other, each lending support and wisdom into the other. If we become aware, have knowledge, and shift our perception - and the paradigm- of what these two words mean to us as women, then we can use our creativity within and around us, to access the tools to ease our PMS and shift it into a place of...yes, POWER

Here is why and how.....

  •  To Create- "to bring into existence, to produce or bring about by a course of action or behavior, or  to produce through imaginative skill." If we look at these definitions, we can step back and see WE, in human flesh and form, existed from creation- Adam and Eve, the moon and stars, energy transpiring before thoughts, sperm and egg. We are not separate from creation or creativity as women. We hold the gift, each month, to create the ultimate work of art, another human. Our cycles are a mirrored reflection of creation , of death and re-birth. The creative energy within us builds and flows each month , with the energy of the moon and the communication of our hormones. We reach the peak of our creative juices at mid point of our cycle, ushering us into the next phase of our cycle, thinning the veil between thought and emotion. The key is to USE THIS CREATIVE JUICE to open us more into our intuitive , primal , wild, and receptive selves. Do THIS versus resisting with liner thought and action, suppressing creativity with feeling shame around feeling JUICY, or overriding any desires which may take up more space in thought and action. Pay close attention to what ever may feel, taste, smell, or sound like creativity to you. This is the juice you WANT to allow more space around your challenging “symptoms of PMS.” Your creativity is actually your anecdote to PMS. 
  • Being in a state of CREATIVITY has been shown to release more of the hormone called OXYTOCIN and OXYTOCIN allows us to feel softer, more nurturing, more cuddly, more loving. It changes our visual and mental perceptions allowing us to see the oneness of all things, the interconnectedness of all of us. Sounds like the exact opposite of wanting to climb under rock or have no tolerance for the sound or smell of your partner during PMS? There is a literal communication between our sex hormones that decreases our edgy, aggravated, "masculine hormone"-testosterone- and an increase in the softer, loving, more "feminine hormone"-oxytocin. This oxytocin hormone can be more likely to be released during the peak/mid way of our cycle ( STICK WITH ME TO LEARN WHEN THIS IS!) into our PMS phase of our cycle.  If we tune in and allow aspects of our creativity to come through, we can have a better chance of feeling more open in our hearts and less tension in our bodies, leading us to more ease during our PMS.
  • Creativity is EROTIC and EROTIC is more than SEX .....and SEX is not what we have been told as wrong or taboo. The Erotic is Creativity at its best. It is transformative, vital, enlightened, and IS Feminine Power. It is the lure of becoming your own you, flourishing, and it is at the front lines of our lives. Creativity is birthed from this eroticism of life, when sperm meets the egg and the masculine meets the feminine. Embracing our creativity brings back the erotic to its wholeness. By tapping into our creativity, via SEX (yes literally,) , and tapping into our erotic, we reconnect to the lost connection in our bodies and all of her sensations. We immediately get tapped back into the workings of our body, our hormonal communication, and the deep emotional intelligence of our body wisdom. When we have body awareness, intelligence, connection, and wisdom, we move beyond feeling overwhelmed and overtaken by our emotions and more in our purpose and power during PMS.

WAYS TO ACCESS YOUR CREATIVITY THROUGHOUT YOUR CYCLE

Be in nature.

Cook for yourself and others.

Dance

Orgasm through self pleasure or with your partner.

Sing

Chant

Move- run, walk, yoga, slither around like an animal.

Dress up for no other reason than to feel good.

Wear sexy underwear.

Draw, paint, write. 

Take an art class to draw, paint, or write.

Spend time with close friends.

Laugh