, , ,

It’s ok to say no

Most women think that they have to do what their doctor or midwife is suggesting, even when it doesn’t feel right to them. But the truth is, when it comes to your body it’s your right – and your responsibility – to be sovereign. That means expecting to have your boundaries respected, and if something doesn’t sit right with you, feeling confident speaking your truth.

 

Hands up if you’ve ever had a massage and the pressure was too firm or painful or otherwise uncomfortable and yet you didn’t say anything?

 

I know I have.

 

Or, have you ever been in a situation where a professional – maybe a beautician or a hairdresser – was wanting you to try something new and you didn’t know how to say no?

 

Yep, I ended up with tattooed eyelids thanks to that one.

 

Or how about you’re with your lover – someone you know and trust – yet this time you’re not really into it or it’s hurting a little but rather then say so you keep going?

 

Oh yes, I’ve been there too.

 

The reason I’m asking you this is because I know I’m not alone when it comes to not always speaking my truth or asserting my body needs. The truth is most girls and women have never been taught body love and body autonomy, and most girls and women would prefer to say nothing and suffer in silence then risk conflict or rocking the boat.

 

Here’s the thing, I want you to know that it’s ok for you to say NO and I want to put this into context of modern gynecological and obstetric care.

 

A particular example that has prompted me to write has been observing how different clients process their experience with vaginal ultrasounds.

 

In each case there’s been a sense of unacknowledged violation in that none of the women were expecting to experience a vaginal ultrasound, and so were caught unprepared and off guard. In the moment of being asked, ‘is it ok if I do a vaginal ultrasound?’ both the fact that they weren’t expecting it and the fact that this procedure is being suggested by a medical professional – someone perceived to be in a position of power – meant none of the women were in a position to fully consent.

 

Sure, they may have said ‘yes’ but from witnessing the aftermath of this experience my sense is these women needed more time to process the request AND to understand it’s ok for them to say ‘no’ in order for their ‘yes’ to truly be consensual.

 

I say this because I’ve recognized varying symptoms of trauma in these clients as each woman subconsciously tries to process the confusion of an experience that appears to be a violation of her inherent body intelligence against a backdrop of a culture that has taught her this is normal.

 

When I describe the response as trauma, from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective energetically it’s as if the body has experienced shock, yet the shock can’t be processed consciously because such invasive procedures to the seat of female sexuality go unquestioned in modern healthcare.

 

After all, in any other circumstance it would be reasonable to conclude that a woman has the right to feel violated if someone with whom she is not physically and emotionally intimate inserted something foreign into her vagina, yet when it comes to modern obstetrics and gynecology this is deemed par for the course.

 

Yet whilst socialization may have conditioned us women to unquestioningly say ‘yes’ to invasive procedures – be it vaginal ultrasounds, pap smears or vaginal exams – our wild and instinctive body intelligence says ‘no’. And I believe this body ‘no’ is amplified in the deep feminine intelligence of a pregnant woman – with whom vaginal ultrasounds are increasingly common.

 

The effect of shock on the body is disconnection – when the body says ‘no’ the survival response is to disengage and disconnect.

 

In the case of unsanctioned vaginal ultrasound or exams, the energetic response is to withdraw energy from this part of the body, to disengage from the physical, sensory experience and to divert energy out of the body into the head. This is the same pattern common to ‘survive’ sexual abuse – to escape what is going on ‘down there’ through disconnection.

 

As a TCM practitioner, I notice that women feel unstable and ungrounded after the experience of an unexpected vaginal ultrasound: overly talkative or chaotic, emotional and unstable, like there is a bubbling of energy that is palpable, something uncontainable wanting to spill over and threaten the status quo. The violation to the deep feminine runs so far back we’ve forgotten the truth of our inherent genius, and She’s outraged.

 

Now, I’m not saying that vaginal ultrasounds or exams are right or wrong.

 

I’m saying your body, your choice.

 

But I also put it to you that a woman’s body has been a commodity for so many eons that for most women their relationship with their own body is not one of love and respect but personal abuse, and that certain conditions need to be met before choice can become conscious and empowered.

 

The generational compliance of women saying ‘yes’ even though they don’t like it or it doesn’t feel right to them, and to not want to create waves is something that needs to be talked about and acknowledged by healthcare professionals who are in a position of trust when it comes to women’s bodies.

 

“The horrendous trauma that the Feminine has endured has somehow become so normal in our culture that in many cases it goes unnoticed, unseen!”

– Elayne Kalila Sophia, Priestess Presence

 

I’m suggesting that within the framework of our current mainstream model of obstetric and gynecological care female sexuality is vulnerable, and that the progressive future for woman-centered healthcare is with enhanced sensitivity and respect to women’s bodies, her boundaries and inherent genius – number one of which is teaching women it’s ok to say ‘no’.

 

It’s the sensitivity that’s called for. I’m not saying that there isn’t a place for technology or medical instruments. I’m saying that it’s essential for the care provider to exercise absolute sensitivity to a woman and her body when approaching female sexuality, and to go out of the way to create conditions that give women the ability to consciously say yes or no.

 

Otherwise how can we expect to change the culture of sexual abuses against women when our very health institutions fail to offer autonomy and reverence for the unique needs of female sexuality: gentleness, patience, space, respect, boundaries?

 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine there’s a treatment that involves acupuncture to the Hui Yin point located on the perineum, between the vagina and the anus. In order to perform this treatment, there’s a protocol that’s followed that demonstrates respect for female sexuality and an understanding of the unique needs of women:

 

First the practitioner must describe the treatment to their client in detail, going through the full process and making sure the woman is completely clear and understands exactly what’s involved and answering any questions in order to get the clients consent.

 

Then, if the client does consent, they do not receive the treatment there and then.

 

They’re asked to come back the next week.

 

This is key because it acknowledges that women often feel intimidated in such situations and may be coerced into treatment that doesn’t feel right to them because women are taught to please others and not speak up for themselves. This ‘cooling off period’ allows the woman to leave the room, to go home and tune in to her inner voice, giving the client full permission to change her mind and be the authority when it comes to her body.

 

This is informed and conscious consent.

 

Can you imagine a world where hospitals and birth centres pioneered the way for women to live in right relationship with their body?

 

This is a sensitive topic and I speak from the heart when I say if you’ve been triggered in any way by this conversation, please consider making an appointment to transmute any unresolved trauma within the body or mind related to this.

 

Curious to know more about Sexual Sovereignty? I highly recommend the Jade Egg Mastery Course

 


 

, , ,

Your body is your temple

Ever heard the expression, ‘your body is your temple’?

 

I didn’t really get this concept until the last couple of years when I started female yoga & qi gong practices that helped me connect to my body in a way I hadn’t before.

Up until then I’d spent most of my life living in my head – and hadn’t even realised it! My mind was constantly in overdrive, running the show, whereas my body was more of a love-hate relationship – I loved to hate her. Since puberty I hadn’t felt good about my body.

It wasn’t until I took up practices that tuned me into my body – particularly the feminine aspect of my body – that I discovered the well of womanly wisdom that lives inside me…as it lives inside YOU.

Ok, it may have been a little weird at first to have a conversation with my womb or breathe into my ovaries, but in doing so I’ve gained an embodied understanding of the gifts of the goddess.

La Diosa!

What a blessing it is to be living life in a woman’s body!

Yet, if you’re anything like most women, I bet you’ve spent most of your life hating or otherwise rejecting your body rather then worshipping her as a temple. 

I know I have.

 

Unfortunately, women have been taught since puberty that their body is the enemy. She’s too fat, too thin, her thighs too dimply, her teeth too crooked, her breasts to small, her breasts too large, her belly too round, her skin too pale, her skin too dark, her legs too hairy, her flesh too soft, her bum too big…and so on. And lets not mention the fact that she bleeds every month. I’m sure you get my point. In so many ways our culture sends women the message that the female body is flawed or must be controlled.

 

As a result, women are literally programmed to think negatively about their body and to wage a constant war against their body – from hormonal control to complete eradication of body hair, to constant dieting to bootcamps aimed at transforming female curves into hard masculine physiques.

The average woman has a negative thought about her body at least once per hour, and up to 50-100 times per day!

 

In fact, it’s such an accepted norm to put your body down that women bond by negative self-talk – when women get together it’s socially acceptable to insult their body rather then praise it.

As a health practitioner I notice this all the time. I even wrote a blog on the subject: Have you ever noticed how often women apologise?

When you’re so busy fighting yourself, you don’t have power.

You might find it interesting to consider how it serves society to keep sending media messages to women that fuel body insecurity; and how this insecurity and lack of body love might flow on to disempowered birth experiences…

(…thoughtful pause)

 

Women’s bodies are powerful.

A woman’s body is so powerful political campaigns are won or lost over the topic of controlling women’s bodies.

A woman’s body holds the gift of life. In ancient times, goddess temples were built to celebrate the life giving, abundant power of a woman’s body and this helped remind women of their creative potential, strength and innate capacity to birth.

It’s no coincidence that fear and mistrust of birth has coincided with the disappearance of the Goddess for the last few thousand years – replaced by a patriarchal mindset that’s taught women that, as punishment for the sin of their female body, they must suffer during childbirth.

I’m telling you this now, not to challenge your religious or spiritual beliefs, but to invite you to open your mind to possibilities you might not have considered before:

Women are not meant to suffer during childbirth. It’s not meant to be painful or traumatic or frightening. A woman’s body was built for birth. The truth is birth is meant to be ecstatic. 



 

Here’s what I invite you to know:

Your relationship to your physical body is integral to your power as a woman; therefore the relationship women have with their body is integral to their birth experience. 

 

Thinking negatively about your body is a habit that keeps you disempowered.

Don’t you think its time for change?

Neuroscience reveals that whatever you focus on shapes your brain. If you’re constantly thinking negative thoughts about your body, those negative neural pathways become stronger and those thoughts become habituated.

The good news is habit is just that…habit.

You can break negative thought patterns by consciously choosing to focus on positive thoughts about your self and your body.

By choosing to deliberately seek thoughts of appreciation and gratitude toward your body you start developing new neural pathways – pathways that lead to a healthier, more connected and empowered ‘Goddess’ you. Your honour her wisdom.

Body love is not something that only happens to other women. It’s a choice available to you everyday to say f**k it and bring more woman (power) to you. 

Your body is your temple, home to the goddess that is YOU.

When was the last time you looked in the mirror and viewed your body through the eyes of love and approval?

 

Contact me if you would like more information about Ecstatic Birth Preparation.


Body Love Action Step

Rather then focusing on how your body looks start appreciating your body for what she does.

Start a Body Love Journal and commit to the practice of writing daily about your body in a positive way, starting with appreciating what she does for you and how she serves you. Every day choose three things about your body that you’re grateful for and write about them.

The secret to your success is simple: small practices done regularly produce BIG results. Be consistent.

If you stick to this practice everyday for 30 days, you’ll notice a profound difference in how you feel about your body.

 

Body Love Journal

Today’s Date:                                                             

I’m so happy and grateful that my body:

 

 

Need Inspiration?

  • How does you body allow you to experience the world? How does she bring you feelings of pleasure?
  • What about your senses do you appreciate? Think about touch, taste, smell, sight & sound.
  • Imagine you were your own lover. How might a lover appreciate your body?
  • Take a tour around your body and consider each part and the important role they play in your day-to-day life: your eyes, your feet, your hands, your mouth, your stomach, your breasts, your vital organs, etc. What are you grateful for?
  • What parts of your body do you like? Can you spend more time focusing on these aspects and letting those good feelings grow?
  • If you’re pregnant, think about your baby’s experience of your body. What attributes does your body provide for your baby, now during pregnancy and after your baby is born? How might your body feel to your baby?
, , ,

What does it mean to surrender?

So, how do these words make you feel..?

Surrender.

Let go.

Allow.

The reason I ask is that these words are often used to describe what a woman needs to hear or move toward during birth, and yet it can be hard to comprehend exactly what that means until you’ve actually been there.

What does it mean to surrender, or to let go, or to allow?

For the past twelve months I’ve been in the process of creating, gestating and now launching my online course Breathe | Believe | Birth with Ease. Just like preparing to birth a real baby, this has been a labour of love that has stretched me way outside my usual comfort zone…

I’ve stalled. I’ve procrastinated.

I’ve connected to my Heart and felt invincible. I’ve been moved to tears by the love and the beauty of the act of creation, and the overflowing of feminine wisdom that is not coming from me but through me.

I’ve doubted myself again and again. Told myself I don’t have what it takes. Told myself I can’t do this thing, I am not enough.

But this baby is coming through me anyhow. She’s my love, my passion, my hope for the future. She keeps me inspired to keep pushing through, to have faith in this birthing process, to trust myself.

I keep opening. I keep expanding. I keep pushing.

I keep moving to places I’ve never been before. Places that take me far beyond all that I’ve known to be safe and comfortable and familiar and secure to a point where I can no longer feel the edge of what was, but I’m still so far away from what is to come.

It’s like floating in darkness. There’s nothing left to hold on to.

I feel all alone with my fear.

She whispers…let go.

And eventually I do. I stop resisting. I lay aside my small and individual fear and doubt and my need to control or to know what comes next.

I open to a process and a movement that is SO MUCH BIGGER then me.

I no longer try to contain it. I do all that I can to allow it.

To surrender is to feel divinely guided. Like I am one with the energy of the universe. Like I am all that is in this expanded state of being without edges or boundaries in the spaciousness of infinite possibility.

It is an experience that takes me outside myself, that has pushed me to my limits and then beyond to remind me, each time I let go my resistance, of the extra-ordinary power of the Mysterious Feminine.

Call it ecstasy…or bliss…or union.

THIS is birth.

 

Resistance.

These past few months I’ve learnt much about how fear is simply resistance to the Unknown.

Life is growth. Growth is exciting because it opens you to new possibilities but scary because it takes you places you’ve never been before.

One of the effects of fear is to keep you in a contracted state. Fear is under the illusion that if everything stays the same (freeze), fear can keep you ‘safe’. You know what to expect. You can plan ahead. You can be prepared. Fear provides a false sense of being in control.

In this way it becomes human nature to seek experiences that are familiar. Known.

This is how fast food giant McDonalds became a global success – their business model was based on the realization that people seek the comfort of what they know. With this basic understanding of human psychology, McDonalds started a restaurant that delivered the same food, the same menu, the same interior and the same experience every time. Cha-ching!

Yet life is growth and growth can only occur by expanding beyond the boundaries of what is Known – your current reality – into the Unknown.

That means in order to invite any new possibility into your life – a new baby, a new relationship, new wealth, new health, new career – you need to let go your attachment to the safety net of what is Known, and breathe for a bit in the uncertainty of the Unknown.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory the Unknown is the realm of the Mysterious Feminine.

Fear of the Mysterious Feminine is the underlying impulse behind every intervention that is the cornerstone of modern antenatal care.

If you consider how birth – and women’s bodies – are the gateway to the Unknown, you get a sense of why birth triggers so much fear and why the human response is to seek the illusion of control by imposing human will rather then letting divine will lead the way.

We prefer to set a time or a date or a measurement or a preconceived idea on how things should be rather then trusting in the flow of life. We want McDonalds because it keeps us feeling safe, yet it’s when we venture outside the familiar and the known that we open ourselves up to the magic of the miracle that is life.

Few times in life is the growth process as obvious as during pregnancy.

Pregnancy forces you to move beyond your current limitations not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Whether you like it or not, the life force growing inside you is taking you outside your comfort zone on a journey that will stretch you in every way imaginable.

Every day you’re growing. You’re changing.

You’re more aware of being part of something much bigger then yourself, something other then you that’s driving the wheel.

Pregnancy and birth is simply life lived with heightened intensity. It’s like a vortex opens where the usual growth processes start spiralling at greater speed. From a spiritual perspective, how fast you move through the birth process depends entirely on how quickly you move through your resistance.

This is what it means to surrender: you let go your fear and human need to control in order to open with love and trust to magic and the mystery of LIFE.

Sounds good in theory, but in action how do you surrender?

1 – Breathe

Learning to breathe properly and deeply is your most powerful tool to connect you to the present. To be present allows you to surrender your attachment to outcomes and open to the delicious possibility of what is. Correct breathing is also key to physiologically and psychologically resetting the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ (fear) response.

2 – Positive Anchors

To surrender is to lose sight of the shore and be willing to take yourself into unchartered waters. It is at these moments that you can forget why you are going through what you are going through and get lost in the fear and uncertainty and doubt. A Positive Anchor is something that strongly anchors you to your why, something that connects you to positive feelings – feelings of love, calm, trust, faith, confidence – that will support you through the process. A Positive Anchor can be an image, a word, an affirmation, a mantra, a person, a vision for the future. Whatever it is, keep your Positive Anchor where you can see it constantly.

3 – Creative Visualisation

Your thoughts are powerful. You can use creative visualisation techniques to mentally prepare yourself for the reality you wish to create. The more you consciously and creatively visualise yourself surrendering to the flow of the divine – and enjoying the process! – the more you prepare your mind for that possibility. This in itself helps the mind surrender control.

 

Breathe | Believe | Birth with Ease is the birth preparation course that will revolutionise what you know about birth and being a woman. Want to learn how to ENJOY childbirth? CLICK HERE

 

 

,

Why a Doula is a Rolls Royce of birth support

love doula

Imagine what it would feel like to give birth feeling supported, informed and involved in all your choices?

What difference do you think it would make if your birth support team helped you believe in yourself?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Birth is a normal, everyday physiological event that your body was designed to do naturally. In fact, according to nature’s design, birth is meant to be a joyous and ecstatic life experience.

Sure, birth can be hard work and for a small minority of women pregnancy and birth can present problems. But, the fact is for the vast majority of women pregnancy and birth are healthy transitions in life and yet this healthy state of womanhood is increasingly medically managed as an illness. It has become so normal for our culture to view pregnancy and birth according to the medical model that for most women the first thing they do when they believe themselves pregnant is visit a doctor for confirmation and book in for an ultrasound.

And fair enough, it’s exciting and extra special care is part of enjoying being pregnant. However our culture has come to provide that extra special care comes in the form of ongoing medical tests and measurements that do little to prepare a woman for birthing or motherhood, and does a lot to instil fear that pregnancy and birth are risky business.

Wouldn’t it be special to enjoy a model of antenatal care that treated you like a pregnant and birthing goddess?

Why a doula can be the Rolls Royce of birth support…

It’s common to believe that private health insurance and a private hospital means a ‘superior’ level of maternity care, but this depends on your vision of the birth you want. Choosing a private hospital means an obstetric model of care and therefore a medically managed birth by default. This is because an obstetrician is trained in intervention and surgical delivery methods, and may not ever have experienced normal, uninterrupted physiological labor.

If your vision is for natural childbirth then this not be the best model of care for you.

Unfortunately, many women don’t realise until they’ve had first hand experience that the medical model of care can lead to a medically managed birth often involving routine, unnecessary interventions. Due to patient demands, hospital midwives can be limited in the care they can provide and are often in the difficult position of having to comply with hospital protocols. The medical system may provide for the physical management of your birth experience, but isn’t equipped to support for your mental and emotional wellbeing; the essential ingredient of love and comfort that allows women to feel safe, reassured and in control of their experience.

Although your partner can be a wonderful source of support in labour, your partner is not trained in birth support and it’s unfair that partners are now routinely expected to assume this role. It’s all new to them too!

Evidence shows women birth best when supported by people they know and trust, who are able to stay with them continuously throughout their labour, and who understand techniques to be with women that promote normal, natural physiological childbirth.

And so, I give you the doula.

Doula is the name given to a birth support person who provides one-on-one continuous support of a non-medical nature and is instead trained in alternative, traditional and natural methods of being with women during labour.

A doula will develop a relationship with you and listen to your fears and concerns, providing support for your mental and emotional wellbeing during pregnancy, birth and beyond.

A doula will guide you through your birth choices and help keep you informed.

A doula will support your partner and help your partner support you.

A doula will help you believe in yourself and find the resources within that you need to birth your baby.

A doula will hold the space for you to birth your baby and do so for as long as you need.

A doula is YOUR ‘servant to birth’ and there to support your unique needs. The primary aim of a doula is to provide for your emotional and mental well-being and your comfort. This is why, especially for women birthing within the hospital system, a doula can be the Rolls Royce of birth support.

, ,

Are you a powerful birthing goddess?

Do you remember a few months back when I shared how I’d benefitted from discovering the work of Australian Money Mindset Mentor and author of Get Rich Lucky Bitch, Denise Duffield-Thomas?

At the time I said, lots of women have big blocks and fears around money in the same way they have big blocks and fears around birth, and that helping women achieve a great birth and helping women overcome their money blocks kind of goes hand in hand.

Your mindset is the key. Your beliefs create your reality and a belief is simply a thought stuck on repeat.

For example, I commonly hear women say that they would love to have a home birth but they “can’t afford it” or “it’s too expensive”.

The truth is money is not the obstacle. Your mindset is.

The average cost of an Independent Midwife is between $3500-$5500. That figure reflects extraordinary value for what is, statistically, the safest model of birth.

I was recently reading an article that stated the average cost of a wedding for an Australian couple is $65,482.

Both a wedding and a baby’s birth day is a day of celebration; a day a couple will remember for the rest of their life. So why don’t women and couples invest in birth in the same way they do their wedding day?

The article went on to explain the mindset of the bride: her wedding was “their day” and “I will wear what I want, I will play whatever music I want and I will give the bomboniere that I want. I will have a day that reflects me and my partner, not what tradition has dictated”.

The reason I love this quote is it highlights the mindset of a woman planning her wedding day: she’s in charge, it’s HER day and everyone knows that what the bride says, goes.

Blame it on Cinderella.

Your beliefs are formed by the stories you hear throughout your life that teach you what’s possible for yourself. Young girls are brought up listening to fairy tales of being rescued by a handsome prince and a fairy tale wedding. The princess mindset is embedded deep in every woman’s subconscious.

So, when it comes time to marry, this fairy tale princess archetype makes it easy for women to embrace their sovereignty. And being sovereign, allow the money to support that reality.

Here’s the thing, I can’t think of a single fairy tale of a powerful birthing goddess?  

Can you?

These stories exist but you have to go back several thousand years to times when the Goddess was celebrated and the power of woman to create life and to birth was revered and not feared.

So part of the reason WHY the face of birth in the modern world is such that some countries are now at a 100% caesarean rate (Australia is 30-50%) is because we teach young girls becoming women they need to be rescued and have forgotten the stories that teach the truth of their bodies: stories that embed the mindset of a powerful birthing goddess.

Just for a moment, can you imagine what birth might look like when a woman applied the same mindset to her birth planning as she did her wedding?

I will wear what I want, I will play whatever music I want and I will…what I want… 

… I will birth in whatever position I want... I will take as long as I want to push out my baby or birth my placenta … I will birth in water if I want… I will make whatever noises I want… I will only allow the people present that I want and who I trust… 

I will have a day that reflects me and my partner, not what tradition has dictated.”

And imagine if women expected the money to support their birth plans in the same way they expect the money to manifest that 1-carat princess cut solitaire diamond ring (the current most popular engagement ring)?

Mindset is key to creating the reality of your desire. 

You can only receive what you allow.

To own your self worth is to see that reflected in your external world.

My soul purpose is to help women remember their power and come home to their goddess self. To allow yourself an expectation of so much more for birth, and for life.

When you embody the mindset of a birthing goddess you expect to birth like a goddess. It’s a mindset shift that takes you out of fear and disempowerment to a place of maternal authority. It’s a crucial mindset shift that needs to happen to move beyond the fear-based culture of birth, to a world that benefits from remembering the gifts of the feminine.

Helping women achieve a great birth and helping a women overcome their money blocks go hand in hand – both require shifting deeply embedded beliefs of lack of feminine self worth to bring greater power and freedom to your life.

For this reason I’m a proud affiliate of the work of Denise Duffield-Thomas as a pioneer in helping women shift their relationship with money. I’d love you to know that the reason women accept 30% less then men has nothing to do with external circumstances and everything to do with your relationship with yourself and the feminine.

You can find more about Denise’s Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp here, or check out a chapter of her Get Rich, Lucky Bitch book.

 

 

“What are you all doing disrespecting women? Nothing comes to this Earth unless it first passes through a woman. What are you doing? You’re all nuts. You have to respect it; it’s the one and only reality that the universe blesses. All comes through the woman.”

– Guru Nanek, cited Hari Kaur Khalsa, Ecstatic Birth Foundation Series 

, ,

Please, rethink the ‘dating’ scan…

Ultrasound in pregnancy has become such a routine procedure that you may not even have thought to question this medical intervention. After all, it’s an exciting part of early pregnancy, almost a right of passage and the first way that many couples now announce their pregnancy – with that little black and white photo on Facebook.

I’m not going to talk about the potential physical side effects of ultrasound. That’s up to you to do your research but if you’re interested in knowing more, a good starting point is Dr Sarah Buckley.

What I’m going to talk about is why I would love you to rethink that early ultrasound. You might not have thought about this before…

Many of my clients are super keen for that early ultrasound because they need confirmation that everything is ok. At 8-12 weeks it can be too early for most women to show any physical signs of pregnancy. Sure, you might feel nauseous and like you have a permanent hangover, but except for that and tender breasts or having to pee more often, its not like you can tell you’re pregnant. There isn’t any discernible bump to prove that there’s a baby on board.

The first trimester can be a psychologically challenging time. There’s an unspoken rule that most women seem to wait until 12 weeks before announcing the pregnancy, a pact that reflects the fear of miscarriage in the first trimester. For many women, especially those who might have previously experienced miscarriage, an early ultrasound provides reassurance – they can see the tiny sign of a heart beating.

Unfortunately, a heart beating at 8 weeks doesn’t guarantee that the pregnancy will be ok.

There really is no reason to have an ultrasound at this early stage because it can’t make a difference to whether the pregnancy will continue or not. If the ultrasound detects no heart beat, your body will miscarry naturally in a couple of weeks. If the ultrasound detects a heart beat, you might still miscarry. Unfortunately it happens.

On the other hand, ultrasound is an intervention and not without risk. Despite the increasingly common and routine use of ultrasound in early pregnancy, the truth is we don’t know the effect of ultrasound on foetal development but we do know that guidelines advise against the use of ultrasound before 12 weeks unless absolutely necessary.

The reason I would love you to rethink early ultrasound has nothing to do with any of this. And nor does it have to do with the implications a dating scan will have on establishing an EDD and the associated pressure to be induced for every day that goes beyond that EDD.

What I would like you to consider is how a seemingly harmless early ultrasound has the potential to set in motion a chain of events that can effect your entire pregnancy, your birth and even mothering.

Every time you choose an external source to reassure you that everything is ok, you strengthen the neural pathways that teach you that the way to know what is best for you and your baby is to be found from an external authority. 

At the same time, when you choose to depend upon an external authority for reassurance you weaken the neural pathways that connect you to the inner knowing that all women possess – your intuitive body wisdom. 

It’s simply a matter of brain development.

As a modern woman, you’ve probably been taught that when you first think you’re pregnant, you do a pregnancy test. Now, generally at this stage you know you’re pregnant. The pregnancy test confirms what you already know. You don’t really need to pee on a strip, and you certainly don’t really need to have a blood test. You know.

This inner knowing that comes from inside and can’t always be explained is called your intuitive body wisdom.

Some women know the moment they conceive. I did.

Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks of technological advancement as it applies to pregnancy and birth is that it teaches us to over ride this intuitive body wisdom in preference of physical measurements and tests.

So even though you know you’re pregnant, you don’t trust it unless a physical test or measurement confirms it.

Another way of looking at this is over riding the feminine, right brain abilities of intuitive knowing in favour of the masculine, left brain pursuit of analytical understanding.

Like all skills and abilities the more you use it, the more it develops. Use it or loose it.

Now, on its own an ultrasound in early pregnancy might seem a fairly harmless thing.

But, as the beginning of a journey that informs how you choose to approach your pregnancy either from a place of inner awareness and connection or from a point of seeking external authority, that has huge implications.

The more you learn to develop your intuitive body wisdom, the greater you develop connection to the parts of your brain that know how to birth and know what your baby needs, its instinctual.

These skills don’t happen overnight. In order to make it in the career world, modern women have learnt to become highly left brain, masculine dominant. These are the analytical, rational, logical neural pathways that you’ve practiced again and again since primary school when the focus was on maths and english rather then art.

Learning to develop your inner world, the right brain world of feminine intuition is not something our culture actively encourages. That’s because the feminine is the great mystery. She is the unknowable – the expansive reaches of infinite possibility – the creative conscious. It is this unknowable quality that fills the masculine, critical consciousness with dread. Rather then being able to surrender to the Unknowable, the critical consciousness in us all wants to be able to control, wants to keep us ‘safe’ by trying to manage the unknowable: to compartmentalise, analysis and rationalise. It is based in fear.

It is scary to be in the face of the Unknowable. Every woman who has stood at the threshold of birth and embodied the word surrender is a testimony to the word courage.

Natural childbirth is the ultimate surrender to the feminine pathways of instinct and intuition. Preparing for natural childbirth is learning to get comfortable with the unknown. It’s learning to relinquish the parts of your brain that seek to control and to expand your capacity to trust your inner guidance and act on it.

This is a choice that you must practice every day.

And these are choices that begin long before your day of birth. It’s the small but consistent actions that you take that shape your destiny.

Saying yes to a dating ultrasound scan might seem like no big deal, but before you make this choice I would invite you to rethink:

Do I really need this intervention?

What benefit does it offer to me and my baby?

What are the potential risks?

Why am I making this decision?

Is my decision based on fear or trust? 

What does my intuition say?


THE BAO MAI MERIDIAN

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine there is a special meridian, known as Bao Mai, that connects the Heart to the Womb. It is this Bao Mai connection that allows the inner communication between mother and child.

To strengthen your Bao Mai connection, place one hand over your heart space in the centre of your chest and the other hand over your lower abdomen, just below your belly button. You’ll find even just holding your hands in this position is centering and creates a sense of connection.

Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Breathing deeply, notice how your hands rise in unison with each inhalation as your belly and chest expand, and then how both hands move in unison with each exhalation falling back toward your spine.

Using your imagination or your visualisation, notice if you can sense a connection between your Heart and Womb. 

Repeat this exercise daily and learn to listen to the voice within.

,

Could you be unsuitable to birth in hospital?

A recent United Kingdom National Health report advised that 45% of women in the UK were unsuitable to give birth in hospital.

I love this!

Imagine if you found out you were pregnant and, rather then automatically opting in to the standard medical model of care for your pregnancy and birth, your first thought was that pregnancy was a normal, healthy state of being a woman and didn’t need to be managed as an illness. So you chose something different.

What would your pregnancy and birth look like if you opted for a wellness model of antenatal care rather then an illness model?

Wellness Model versus Illness Model

So what do I mean by that?

A wellness model of care takes a holistic approach to care, taking into account the mental, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of wellbeing as well as the body physiology. This is known as a Mind Body Spirit approach. An illness model of care focuses almost exclusively on the physiological aspects of health. An illness model looks for disease, whereas a wellness model sees health as not just the absence of disease, but a sense of wellbeing. Not just absence of pain, but feeling good.

A wellness model of antenatal care views pregnancy and birth as normal, healthy states of womanhood and looks to provide the emotional, mental, social and spiritual support to provide for a sense of wellbeing in the mother throughout pregnancy, birth and postnatal, as well as caring for the physical body.

I recently attended a planning meeting for a home birth. The appointment was at Sarah’s home. There was Sarah and her partner, plus her other children running in and out, plus two midwives and myself. We drank cups of tea and looked through photo albums of Sarah’s previous births. The meeting went for about 2-3 hours. During this time we discussed what was important to Sarah – what did she expect from us, how could we best assist her, how could we support her partner? The midwives discussed all of Sarah’s birth preferences and made it clear they were comfortable supporting her wishes. She debriefed her previous births and talked through where she had felt challenged and how we could support her better this time. Being her fourth baby, Sarah had set her intention to have a fast birth. Her midwives offered her wise advice to achieve this goal naturally. The atmosphere was relaxed, unhurried and intimate. The focus was supporting Sarah mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually to achieve her birth vision. Toward the end of the session, the midwife performed the routine physical tests of checking baby. At the end of the session Sarah said it left her feeling confident, excited and looking forward to birthing her baby.

An illness model of antenatal care focuses on the pathology and physiology of pregnancy of birth, the assumption being that pregnancy and birth is fraught with danger to mother and baby and needs to be medically managed by the continuous process of tests and monitoring to make sure everything is ok: blood tests, ultrasounds, foetal monitoring, blood pressure checks, amniocentesis etc. It follows that birth then becomes a medically managed event within a hospital setting.

Ok, I’ve got no problem with that.

This isn’t us against them. Everything has its place. I just want to highlight the imbalance that exists in our culture. An overwhelming 98.5% of Australian consumers choose to birth in hospital. More Australian babies are born on the way to the hospital then are a planned home birth (0.5%)!

If a UK study can recommend that 45% of women are unsuitable to give birth in hospital – and that’s probably a conservative figure – then why are Australian women not able to birth without medical assistance? Where are we going wrong?

Why does this matter?

Because pregnancy and birth are normal, healthy states of womanhood. The fact that 98.5% of Australian women choose to birth in a hospital reflects that women (and their partners) aren’t being provided the information to trust birth and the innate intelligence of women’s bodies and are not being offered automatic access to a wellness model of care.

And that’s not ok.

It’s a bit like needing to fix something that isn’t broken. Rather the first supporting the normal, naturalness of pregnancy and birth, our culture jumps straight to the pathology of pregnancy and birth. That creates a culture of fear and mistrust and leads to a vicious cycle where women aren’t made aware of the true ability of their body to birth their baby with ease and without intervention.

It’s disturbing that we’ve allowed a situation where ‘normal’ birth is only seen in 1.5% of the population.

For the rest of the population, the focus on pregnancy and birth as an illness mean that women’s mental and emotional wellbeing is secondary to the outcome of a living baby. Under this system, women are prepared to put up with all manner of indignity, trauma, surgery, invasive procedures, pain and suffering ‘as long as the baby is ok’.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

You have choice and its important to understand where your choices might lead. That allows you to take responsibility for your wellbeing and not come out of your birth experience feeling a victim.

I want to have as natural birth as possible with minimal intervention.

Sound familiar?

This is something I hear women say all the time and yet their choices do not reflect their intention. If you want to have as natural birth as possible with minimal intervention you choose a wellness model of antenatal care that supports natural processes.

If you choose an illness model of care, if your antenatal care involves a focus on the pathology of pregnancy and birth, if your antenatal appointments involve the medical management and physiology of pregnancy, you might want to consider where your choices are leading and if they support your desire for natural, vaginal childbirth with minimal intervention.

A common mistake Australian consumers make is to choose obstetric-led care because they have private health insurance, believing that because it costs more it is ‘superior’. If you’ve choose an obstetrician as your primary care giver, you’ve chosen the medical management of your pregnancy and birth because that is what obstetrics is: the pathology of birth.

It doesn’t matter what you choose, as long as you are aware of where your choices are leading.

May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears. – Nelson Mandela

It takes courage to make the choices that go against the vast majority. But if you want something different for yourself and your baby, you can’t do what everyone else is doing and expect a different result.

Courage is the ability to act on your heart, even in the face of fear.

Who holds the power?

Under an illness model of healthcare, the doctor is viewed as the authority and top of the hierarchy and the patient is at the bottom. The system operates according to a hierarchy, a bit like a military operation, where responsibility for health outcomes belongs to the doctor, and the patient plays a passive role. Under this model, there is an expectation of assumed compliance – the patient will do what they’re told because the doctor is viewed as having higher authority.

At the same time, the patient expects the doctor to ‘fix it’. This can be a happy trade off because it means the patient doesn’t have to take responsibility.

The problem with applying an illness model to antenatal care is the perception that the hospital, obstetricians, doctors and midwives have greater authority and power then the birthing woman. This has led to the common situation where women play a passive role in their antenatal care, doing what they’re told and expecting their baby to be delivered for them.

The result is a antenatal system where women aren’t actively encouraged to be the authority when it comes to their birth, and they’re not empowered to trust their body or trust themselves. Yet it is when women assert themselves and play an active role in their birth journey that women report a positive outcome.

Authority, power, responsibility and assertiveness are qualities that can be challenging for women. Yet giving birth is arguably the most powerful human experience possible.

“What are you all doing disrespecting women? Nothing comes to this Earth unless it first passes through a woman. What are you doing? You’re all nuts. You have to respect it; it’s the one and only reality that the universe blesses. All comes through the woman.” – Guru Nanek, Ecstatic Birth Foundation Series

Wouldn’t it be great if more Australian women decided to choose different?

Wouldn’t it be an empowering step if we, as consumers, demanded a different model of antenatal care based on wellness rather then illness? 

What would your pregnancy and birth look like if you opted for a wellness model of antenatal care rather then an illness model?

 

,

Progesterone: strengthening your digestive fire benefits your hormones

Have a feel of your lower abdomen, does it feel cool to touch?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine a Cold Uterus is a common cause of reduced fertility.

From the Western Medicine understanding a Cold Uterus can be associated with low progesterone levels – the warming energies of the body are insufficient to activate ovulation, to support healthy Qi and Blood flow through the pelvis and to ignite the spark of life of early pregnancy.

Your basal body temperature (BBT) should rise almost 1 degree in the luteal phase (second half) of the menstrual cycle due to progesterone. Progesterone is the hormone produced by the ovaries after ovulation and the purpose of this hormone is to support early pregnancy. High progesterone levels cause the body temperature to rise, whereas a low basal body temperature indicates low progesterone, and corresponding issues with ovulation and fertility.

If you’ve been diagnosed with insufficient progesterone or low thyroid function, or luteal phase defect, polycystic ovaries or endometriosis,  or maybe you’re having unexplained fertility issues and you have a cold nose, or cold hands and feet, poor circulation and metabolism/weight issues, you may benefit from understanding the TCM concept of Cold Uterus.

If so, read on… 

I’m going to share how you can use TCM Diet Therapy principles to improve your hormonal health by strengthening your digestive fire.

What causes a Cold Uterus?

There are many causes of a Cold Uterus, but a common one in Australia is Winter sport.

It’s normal in our culture for girls and women to play Winter sports during menstruation. When a woman has her period her body is considered ‘open’; she’s losing blood and according to TCM women should take a break from excessive activity to rest and conserve (sounds good). When women play sport on chill winter days – wearing little more than a bathing suit – pathogenic Cold easily enters the body via the meridians in the legs and settles into the uterus, especially during menstruation.

The nature of Cold is to constrict: Cold slows down the blood circulation causing pelvic congestion. Many teenage girls experience this as painful periods, or it may not be a problem until years later when thinking about pregnancy and fertility issues are discovered.

So what’s this got to do with diet?

A second most common cause of Cold Uterus is diet.

Cold can be introduced into the body from the food and drink you consume. When you choose cold, raw or iced food and drink into your body it has the same effect as a Winter day – the nature of cold is constriction, slowing down circulation and metabolism.

The digestive process can be likened to a fire: healthy digestive function depends on the warming metabolic functions of the body’s Yang Qi (energy). Yang being the warming, activating and transforming energies of the body as opposed to the Yin cooling, moistening and nutritive substances. This makes sense if you think about the terms used to describe metabolism: you burn calories.

Qi (chee) is often translated as ‘energy’. Qi can be thought of as the motive force at the root of every cellular interaction, the energy that drives metabolic functions, that moves the circulation and that promotes the transformation of one substance into another. Qi is the ‘life force’: it animates every physiological function.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine Diet Therapy, the Spleen-Stomach (which includes the pancreas) is the organ system responsible for transforming the food you eat into Qi (energy) and Blood and transporting this energy to be used throughout the body. Good digestion occurs when the Spleen-Stomach Qi can extract the pure substances of food AND can also expel as waste any elements that are not useful.

Because the digestion is the major source of Qi and Qi is the warming, transforming fire energy of metabolism, the Spleen-Stomach System is considered responsible for producing certain hormones, such as thyroid hormone and progesterone that correlate to basal body temperature, as well as for aspects of the circulatory and immune systems that depend on warmth and movement.

Therefore the Spleen-Stomach System plays an important role in the Luteal Phase of the menstrual cycle. This is the 14-day period after ovulation where the corpus luteum releases progesterone. Progesterone raises the body temperature, a bit like an incubator, in order to prepare the endometrial lining of the uterus for the implantation of the fertilized egg.

Likewise, the thyroid hormone regulates metabolism. The chemical reactions of every physiological process within the body need to occur at a certain temperature. If basal body temperature is too low, then metabolism slows down, if basal body temperature is too high, then metabolism may be too fast. To visualize this imagine a pot of water. If you put the water over a high flame (Heat), the water speeds up and starts to bubble vigorously. If you put the water into the fridge (Cold) the water molecules slow down and there is little movement.

Warming and supplementing Spleen-Stomach Qi is considered key to regulating the production of progesterone and thyroid hormones, as well as avoiding introducing Cold into the body.

For these reasons, Yang Qi Deficiency is a very common cause of Cold Uterus and other fertility issues linked to poor circulation through the pelvis.

If your digestive fire is weak, you may already know it.

You might experience food sensitivities, bloating, loose stools, and feel tired and lethargic. You might find it hard to bounce out of bed in the morning and tend to reach for coffee or crave sugar to give you an energy hit to get through the day. Inadequate absorption of nutrients can be a cause fertility issues, especially Zinc, Magnesium and B Vitamins. Poor metabolism leads to inadequate elimination of waste products creating mucus and congestion, referred to as Damp, leading to problems such as cysts or congested fallopian tubes and ‘sticky’ discharges.

Other common digestive imbalances caused by Spleen Qi deficiency include irritable bowel syndrome, anaemia, blood sugar imbalances, candida, nervous indigestion, chronic diarrhea, weight problems, and pain or bloating in the upper abdomen.

Strengthening your digestive fire will be beneficial for your fertile health.

 


Insight without action is useless…

The cardinal rule for strengthening digestive fire is to avoid all cold, raw and frozen/refrigerated food and drink. Re-think that iced drink! 

(Yes, those raw diets that are so popular by Western health gurus are not suited to all body types! Raw diets are very cleansing and purging – suitable for people who are Hot and Excessive but will damage the Yang Qi over time and not suitable for people who are Cold and Deficient)

Choose food that are warming, nourishing and easily digested. Foods that are slow cooked such as soups, risottos and stews are considered particularly beneficial.

 

Harira | Yang Warming Soup

The following soup is an example to give you an idea of food for warming the Yang energies of the body. Packed full of warming spices, slow cooked and with small, easily digested pieces of lamb that warm and fortify the body. The celery is also good for draining Damp (excess fluids). Enjoy!

500g boned lamb

2 tblspn olive oil

1 large brown onion, chopped

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tblsn ground cumin

1 tspn ground cinnamon

2 tspn ground coriander

6 saffron threads

3 celery sticks, chopped

800g tinned tomatoes*

2.5 litres water

1/2 cup of brown lentils*

1/2 cup of chickpeas*

1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped.

*To save time, I use tinned tomatoes, lentils and chickpeas but you can modify and use fresh tomato and dried pulses.

This recipe is even better prepared the day before so the flavours have time to develop.

Cut lamb into 2 cm cubes. Heat oil in large saucepan, cook onion, stirring until soft. Add spices; cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add lamb and celery; cook, stirring until lamb is coated in spice mixture. Add tomato, cook 10 minutes on low, stirring occasionally. Stir in water. Bring to boil. Simmer, covered about 1 1/2 hours or until lamb is tender. Stir in drained lentils and chickpeas. Cook, covered, for 30 minutes.

Just before serving, stir in fresh coriander. Enjoy!

For more information on Traditional Chinese Medicine Diet Therapy or to find out how Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture can be used to benefit your hormones, contact me.

Why you need to stop apologising for your self…

Tell me, how hairy are your legs?

The reason I’m asking is because one of the things I’m always aware of in my practice is how commonly women apologise for themselves.

“I’m sorry I haven’t shaved my legs”

“You’ll have to excuse the belly flab”

“My feet are pretty gross, sorry”

As you may recall from my previous blogs, I’m on the Self Love Train – a journey I’d love to encourage you to take too – and this trip of a lifetime is teaching me so much about subconscious behaviour patterns that are really detrimental to happiness, success and wellbeing.

This Self Love Train is quite a trip, and the insights along the way are definitely worth another postcard to you…

One very deep, core belief that I’ve discovered is a feeling of not being enough. As a result, there is then an unconscious drive to be doing, to be pleasing, to be seen to be achieving in some kind of warped attempt to justify my very existence and right to be here.

And I realise I’m not alone.

How often do you find yourself unable to relax because you feel you should be doing…something?

Or maybe your tendency is to over-deliver and go above and beyond what is asked of you, and even then still find yourself worrying at 3am if you’ve done enough.

Maybe it’s so normal for you to put other people’s needs ahead of your own that you don’t even know what your needs are!

Or maybe its always seems to be you who can’t say ‘No’ and ends up doing all the work?

Yep, guilty on all counts.

When you have a deeply held belief that you’re not enough, this belief will be driving all of your impulses. It’s like a constant striving to be something more, holding out for that gold star of approval – from your husband, your partner, your work place, your family – without realising that all you need do is breathe. And relax.

You are enough.

So what’s this got to do with your hairy legs?

Dr Christiane Northrup, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom speaks of this underlying sense of not being enough stemming from centuries of Western civilisation belief that the masculine is superior to femininity. As an obstetrician, she retells the common occurrence of women apologising to their husband for birthing a daughter rather then a son. She describes a deep cultural message that women need to apologise for being born female, and how the underlying sin of a female body infiltrates women’s expectations for themselves and the treatment they receive.

“Have you noticed how often women apologise?…No matter how many degrees you get in college, no matter how many awards you earn, somehow you can never measure up. If we must apologise for our very existence from the day we are born, we can assume that our society’s medical system will deny us the wisdom of our ‘second-class’ bodies. In essence, patriarchy blares out the message that women’s bodies are inferior and must be controlled.”

Fascinating stuff, and I witness the truth of this everyday in my work with women and their relationship to their body. It’s such a good explanation why women don’t complain after a birth without privacy, power or respect. We don’t expect it.

Now, before you get triggered by words such as ‘patriarchy’, I’m sharing this with you not to point the finger at the masculine or otherwise feed into the story of women as victims.

Playing the blame game only serves to keep you prisoner to your negative emotions. By making it someone else’s fault that things are as they are, blame hands your power over to someone or something else.

Whereas, when you take responsibility for your own wellbeing you are prepared to look beneath your immediate response to recognise how you might be creating the issue in the first place.

My point is to remind you that you are powerful. Power comes from awareness and the willingness to identify deeply held, underlying beliefs that shape your life.

It can be as simple as starting to recognise how often you do unnecessarily apologise for yourself, or noticing how common it is for you to make negative comments toward your body.

And to choose to not do that anymore.

This is the kinda core stuff to weed out when it comes to Self Love.

Imagine, just for a moment, that you truly felt in every cell of your body I AM ENOUGH.

How different would your life look?

Here’s to loving all of you, especially your hairy legs and belly flab.

x Peta

 

Give voice to your primal self…

Today is a blue moon and I want to ask …

When was the last time you howled at the moon?

For me it was a long time ago but I can still remember the call of the wild as I climbed to the top of a tower at the top of a mountain forested by trees. The night was still and clear and against the midnight of the sky was the hugest glowing orb I’ve ever seen. There she was in all her glory, La Luna, filling the night sky with her radiance and her power.

I howled. A little foolishly at first but it felt so good, so liberating and freeing that I let go my inhibitions and my adult self and surrendered to the childish, primal delight of howling at the moon.

The memory still fills me with freedom.

Connecting to your primal self and giving that part of you permission to be expressed in your life is a powerful way to prepare to birth naturally and instinctively.

In fact it could be argued that the ONLY way to birth instinctively, the way Nature intended, is through nurturing your primal instincts. This is because the process of birth is controlled by the oldest and deepest part of your brain, the Primal Brain.

Problem is that, through centuries of domestication, modern women have been taught to disconnect from their primal nature and instead to behave in ways that are befitting of a lady and social norms.

In my studies with Shivam Rachana, author of Lotus Birth and principle of The International College of Spiritual Midwifery, I recall her telling the story of epidurals:

The anaesthetist who invented the epidural was proud to announce that from now on birthing suites shall be filled with the silence of labouring women. He was genuinely pleased that, thanks to the invention of the epidural, women would no longer debase themselves with the animal, primal noises of birth.

Silence.

My second birth was a liberation of oceanic energy moving through me in the form of deep, guttural vocals that roared my body open and birthed my baby ecstatically into this world.

It’s called the Song of the Cervix. The universal sound made by women in labour. Sound is vibration that releases stuck energy. When the throat opens so does the pelvis.

What happens when you try and contain the oceanic power of woman?

The Throat Chakra allows you to express your truth to the world. Within the silence of every woman who does not speak up for her truth, who smiles in order to keep the peace and who puts everyone else’s needs ahead of her own because thats what she does to please, is a ferocious feline raging
to be heard and acknowledged.

You know its true.

You might not want to own her, those wild parts of your feminine self, but she is there. When you don’t give her expression she lets you know she’s there: in your pre-menstrual irritation and your breast tenderness, your hot flushes and anxiety, in your low thyroid function and your hormonal ups and downs, in your migraines, your neck and shoulder tension and your jaw that clenches in the night.

This is what happens when you try and block the natural expression of who you are. It is like trying to hold back an ocean.

The expression ‘Mother Nature’ reminds us of the correspondence between the feminine and natural processes. Nature belongs to the realm of the wild and untamed. Women’s bodies are governed by natural cycles, akin to the moon and the mystery of life. As a woman, your relationship with your body and her natural rhythms reflects your relationship with your wild feminine self.

When a woman wants to birth naturally she has to engage with her primal instinct. Primal instinct is the voice that comes from within, it is not to be found by listening to others or seeking outside approval.

I hear many women’s birth stories: Baby Number 1 is usually a story of being a good girl – silence and doing what you’re told – it doesn’t usually go so well for mum.

With Baby Number 2 there is more awareness and the confidence to start questioning and to speak up for self – things go better.

By the time Baby Number 3 come along, a birthing woman is ready to growl fiercely at any midwife who wants her to get back on the bed – she’s a force of nature letting them know she will birth her baby anywhere she damn pleases, so back off!

It is the fierceness, the ferocity of the primal woman, who is your greatest ally in birth – and in mothering – but it is this aspect of ourselves that most women are uncomfortable with. She isn’t a good girl. She doesn’t do what she’s told. She’s wild and instinctive, like a tigress she will hiss and snarl at someone she doesn’t like. She is as elemental as the ocean. That is the power of natural processes, of birth and a woman’s body.

Your wild feminine self wants to be your friend. She wants to show you the way to a happier, healthier, more fully expressed vibrant you.

Start with giving her voice. 

Once in a blue moon, howl at the moon…