We discuss the techniques and how you can apply them to your own daily life, how massage can help women with pelvic organ prolapse, changes associated with the menstrual cycle, menopause and SO MUCH MORE!
Sit quietly and answer these questions as a way to review your year and then set goals for 2016.
I love to do this in a special book I keep for planning and manifesting, this way I can see how I am doing over the years and when the same things keep appearing it makes it clear that I must either change my thoughts or change my deeds!
Don’t take too long thinking about each answer just get it down on paper and don’t judge your self.
These questions are paraphrased from something I found time ago but can no longer remember so I can’t credit the original author.
What was your greatest success in 2015?
What word or phrase sums up your experience of 2015?
What was your best decision in 2015?
What was the greatest lesson you learnt in 2015?
What was the most loving service you performed in 2015?
What is your biggest piece of unfinished business from 2015?
What are you most happy about completing?
Who are the 3 people who had the greatest impact on your life in 2015?
What was the biggest risk you took this year?
What was the biggest surprise?
What important relationship improved the most?
What compliment would you likes to have received?
What compliment would you liked to have given?
What else do you need to do or say in 2015?
What would you like your biggest triumph to be in 2016?
What advice would you give your self for 2016?
What major effort are you planning on to improve in 2016?
What would you be most happy about completing in 2016?
What major indulgence do you want to experience?
What would you like to change about your self?
What are you looking forward to learning?
What might your biggest risk be in 2016?
What are you most committed to changing and improving in 2016?
What is your as yet one undeveloped talent you are willing to explore?
What brings you joy and how will you have more of it?
Who are you most committed to serving in 2016?
What is your one word to carry you through 2016?
It’s that magical time of year when the day is long and the night short. The summer Solstice is the 21st June and we can do this bath in the few days before or after, in fact the full moon on the 23rd would be perfect too.
If you can’t have a bath then get out in to nature and hug a tree one evening this week. Its beautiful out there and we ALL have time to take a breath with nature, it doesn’t get dark until 10 at night and is light again at 4a.m You CAN find the time. If you can’t hug that tree then just a little lean on it, maybe brush your self down with a few oak leaves and feel the power of nature at this the centre of the year. Try it – you don’t even have to be a hippy!
A spiritual bath is any bath we do with intention, it could be as simple as lighting a few candles, using some essential oils and saying a prayer. Water has a profound ability to cleanse on many levels – not just the physical.
I learnt my bathing tradition from Maya healer Dr Rosita Arvigo, my teacher and mentor.
With her we were taught to pick our herbs and plants with a prayer that they would support us in our journeys, to give thanks to the plant and Mother earth for providing such beauty.
Right now in the gardens, hedgerow and municipal parks are roses, marigolds, lavender, ladies mantle, oak leaves, humble but perfect dandelions, plantain and so much more. Go out and find your plants, even simple herbs like rosemary or holy basil bought from the supermarket can do the job. Hum a little song, smile and chat to them and bring them home.
Place your plants in a large bucket or bowl of warm water and mash with your hands whilst praying to whoever you feel appropriate or asking for support from the universe. The water will turn a brackish colour and stop being quite as pretty.
If you can leave the water in the sun for a couple of hours then perfect but in my beautiful home in England this is not always possible.
When you are ready, take your bowl to the bath, top up with warm water if necessary, light a candle, burn some incense and meditate on what you would like at this mid point in the year.
KEEP IT SIMPLE. Not too many ‘if’s and ‘buts’ or caveats and clauses. The universe is indeed abundant but lets not clog it up with our own ‘deals’, ask out loud for what you want and let spirit take care of the details.
Start to pour the water over your self, starting with your head and feel the support of the plants and herbs. You could then soak in a nice warm bath, after, wrap up warm and stay out of drafts. Allow your self some time to rest and maybe write in that special book you’ve got hidden some where.
Do this for your self, a friend, your children, your loved ones. A spiritual bath is one done with love and summer is a great time for love.
Happy Solstice xxx
In response to the @everydaysexism campaign my mind went back to an incident a few years ago. I was well into my 40’s and at a wedding with my boyfriend when at the end of the night a ‘friend’ of his saw fit to shove his hand up my dress and grab my crotch.
My first feelings were paralysis, I slapped his hand and ran, unable to shout and immediately wanting to pretend it hadn’t happened. The same old questions – had I ‘asked’ for it, was it my fault? I was a 40 something year old woman but as unequipped to deal with the incident as I had been in my twenties.
I did share the experience with my boyfriend and he behaved as I should have, outraged, angry and dealt with the man in question. I received an apology but was too embarrassed to voice my feelings and just grateful that it was over.
Fast forward to today, I watched the Everyday sexism film and saw fit to send it to the man in question and tell him how I felt then and now about his assault.
His response was to deny it had ever happened; accuse me of being deluded and indeed for having behaved provocatively. In that split second once more I questioned myself. Had I flirted with him? Had I suggested I was open to his advances?
NO. Obviously the blame lies 100% with him but although educated, mature and a supporter of all other women and their rights I wavered, maybe it was my fault.
As a therapist and spiritual seeker we are taught to take responsibility for our own actions, not too blame, to surround the problem in ‘love and light’. ‘How do we invite events into our lives and what can we ‘learn’ from all our interventions both good and bad’
Well, IT WAS HIS FAULT!!!
Along side that, to the client that came to me feeling guilty that she had terminated pregnancies at 15 and 16, I’d like to say, it was the fault of the much older man that impregnated a minor and then did nothing to support her.
The stories are endless I do not need to list them here, the Everyday sexism campaign is doing a wonderful job of that but what I do want to say is sometimes the blame game is more than necessary.
If we as women are to heal from the harassment both major and minor that every one of us has suffered throughout our lives we need to know where to place the blame. The blame ALWAYS lies with the man who assaults us. We never ask for it or deserve it we do however, have chance for recourse. We can confront sexism wherever and whenever we see it.
We can stand up for ourselves and we can stand up for women around us when we see it. We can teach our sons, our men and our fathers that it is not harmless fun and it is not our fault.
To my boyfriend at the time who did the right thing and to all the wonderful men in my life who are far removed from blame, I am grateful.
But its time to play the blame game and point our fingers at the ones who need to be told, at the men who have no shame and the ones who should know better. It is their fault not ours and now is the time to come right out and say it. Maybe then we could get down to forgiveness and back into that love and light.
Follow @everydaysexism on twitter and if you haven’t seen it take a look at the short film
Do you suffer from poor womb esteem?
Ever felt like a failure because you can’t do something ‘simple’ like have a baby? That teenager with a pushchair, smoking a fag managed it and you with all your intelligence, organic lifestyle and acupuncture can’t even get a regular cycle together!
Another month, another period, another disappointment? What comes next? Loss of libido is often one of the first things to happen when trying for a baby becomes an all out strategic campaign and the healthiest of relationships can take a hammering.
Trying to put a brave face on it when yet another friend or colleague announces their pregnancy and a surfeit of well-meant advice may be making you want to do some quite nasty things. That obsessive merry-go-round of thoughts, hormones and appointments are likely to make the sanest woman a little deranged at times and childlessness can feel like the loneliest place on the planet.
In my clinic supporting women on their own particular fertility journey I often see a complete loss of trust in parts of the body, mostly their wombs. These ‘empty’ holes inside us, what do we really get taught about them and when we want to fill them with growing babies how does it feel when they let us down?
I’d like you to think about a colleague or a friend – if every time you meet you criticise their size, shape or the quality of their work you are soon to create a pretty toxic relationship. The same goes for you. If after years of yet another period or worse a miscarriage you may not be feeling so positive about this remarkable organ housed in the belly of your body.
Learning to trust the innate wisdom of our wombs is the first step to healing the trauma that comes with this territory and understanding what a magnificent organ she really is. Whether you get to birth that baby or not you will be left with a womb when the story is done, you’d best make friends with her if you want to achieve any thing like a harmonious relationship.
She is doing the best she can, she is the repository of all our female wisdom, the throne of creativity, if you’re not creating a baby what else can you do with that energy? A failing womb can bring a whole heap of pain, what would you do if this was a friend? You might wrap her up in fluffy blankets, mummer words of encouragement and support, run her a bath, even take her out and get her drunk whilst she weeps into the vino and pushes chocolate mousse round her bowl.
Our work teaches you how to care for your womb, to love her and nurture her just as you want to love and care for a baby. When we start with our selves we send a powerful message to our body that we will support it no matter what the out come. As parents we would love our children through thick and thin and it’s important to do the same for our selves.
As part of the treatment you get taught a self-care massage which not only may help the womb to optimum health but will also keep that positive relationship between you and your womb. Just by putting your hands on your womb and sending love can be the first step of the healing process for many women.
Take the time to love your self and you may not feel less disappointed next time you see that period but you may be able to wrap your self up in that fluffy blanket and take care of your self a little better.
How do you really feel about your womb and do you need to give her a little boost? Healthy womb esteem is good for you, good for making babies and good for all those around you, take the time right now to tell her you love her, give her a rub and send a smile down there. I know, yet another bit of annoying advice but what have you got to lose? Its easier than doing hand stands after sex…
To learn more abut your womb or to receive a treatment drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help you find your nearest practitioner.
I often get asked about how I started my work, as with all the best ideas this one occurred at the kitchen table. My son was 3 months old and miraculously sleeping whilst his big sister was scissor snipping things in the corner. I was 25 and WHAT was I going to do with the rest of my life?
These times were pre Internet for me so a magazine provided inspiration, a few phone calls later I was booked on my first massage training. The rest as they say is history. It was, I have to confess, an impulse decision but one that has served me well.
Since those days I have travelled right around the world, Central America, the States, Japan, Australia. I have meet countless inspirational women, wept, laughed and been swept along on a wave that has never let me down.
As my children grew I became a Doula, founding Doula UK with some like-minded women, no budget and a blind optimism. I sent my first e-mail, chaired my first meeting and later found myself at the Houses of Parliament helping to shape childbirth in the UK.
During this time I heard of Dr Rosita Arvigo, she had trained with a Traditional Healer from Belize in the art of abdominal massage. A flame was lit and off I went again. This work was unknown outside the States so with that same naïve belief I set off and brought the work home to the UK.
The treatment is simplicity its self but the results are profound, by working deeply into the pelvis and diaphragm as part of a full body treatment we improve circulation and support female health conditions from painful periods to fertility problems, menopause, prolapse and more.
My favourite part of our therapy is teaching the client a form of self-care massage. This is powerful stuff and I have seen it change lives, not only my own but those of the business women, the lawyers, the mothers, the childless, those who have been abused and those young women who have yet to grow and find their way.
As I approach the age of ‘wise woman’ in my own life and 25 years in business I increasingly feel the need to spread this work. I now teach workshops and train others in this wonderful modality worldwide. I’ve come a long way since that kitchen table, my daughter ‘snips’ things for a living and my son stays up all night for his career, some things never change.
Ladies what we are talking about here is the ‘M’ word, the time when M no longer stands for Mother – for all of us the letter M will eventually become one thing, MENOPAUSE.
Not all women will have had the chance or made the choice to become a mother but if luck is on our side, we will all get to enjoy our menopause. Yes, you heard right I said ‘you will enjoy your menopause’, if we were in the same room I would be waving my arms and shouting this sentence, one thing that happens to us all as we get older is we do indeed become more certain.
Over time women become less grey in opinions and that little bit bolder, no longer likely to ‘shut up’ or ‘put up’ we are far more likely to shout out and yes, ‘put out’ too.
We don’t have to look far back and women were old in their 60’s, go not much further back than that and women just didn’t get to reach that age at all. For the first time in history we are a fast growing generation of peri/menopausal woman. The baby boomers have reached that ‘certain ‘ age and with a force of numbers women are redefining the menopause.
In puberty our wombs grow and double with each cycle. As we menopause, our womb shrinks back to a pre pubescent size, she hardens, becomes a nugget of wisdom; compressed by the force of nature she eventually becomes our own sparkling diamond. Our shining wombs are the light that can carry us into that third age, the age of the wise woman or as others might say the crone.
It’s a journey and the way can be complicated, but for those of us who approach peri menopause we have some fine sisters to follow and we in turn will light the way for those behind.
As we increasingly celebrate a girl’s coming of age once she reaches puberty, now is the time to celebrate woman’s coming of wisdom as she reaches menopause.To feel that shining strength, whether we still have our wombs or not, the energy is there and its time to listen.
Through the busy years of earning money, making babies, handling relationships our focus is outward bound, a time of looking inward will ease the transition of this third age, a time to say what you mean and mean what you say. A time to put one hand on your heart, one hand on your womb and listen.
Listen, because your womb holds your story and she needs to be heard. She demands to be heard. Hot flashes, heavy bleeding, sleepless nights, these are some of the ways she is shouting out. If we stop to hear she may teach us a lesson and you know, we are never too old to learn. Of that, I am certain.
More information coming soon on an exciting collaboration between Artist @marybranson and womb worker @hilarylewin . Follow for details on how you can participate in workshops and art installation for hundreds of women of a ‘certain age’.
A woman at a recent workshop coined this thought after hearing what we had to share about wombs, I loved the concept and it is now my newest mantra.
What does your head say, does your heart agree and how does your womb feel about it? We could call them ‘gut instincts’ but for us ladies it’s more likely to be our womb talking and maybe its time to start listening.
The womb is the most creative organ in the body and so much of the time we ignore her, only stopping to pay attention when some thing goes wrong but when we wait a moment and listen we just might get that little extra insight we need.
So what is your womb saying? Is she desperate for a baby or terrified of getting pregnant? Maybe she hates the clothes you are wearing and is screaming out for an elasticated waist and comfy shoes or maybe she wants to stay up all night and go dancing. Does your womb really want that sex and have you got your head and your heart on board too? When we listen to our wombs, we make healthy choices and that’s something we could all do to learn.
Did you know your womb doubles in size every cycle? Not only that but she is held in place by ligaments and if for any reason these have become stretched then your womb may be less than perfectly positioned. This may result in less than perfect behaviour from our personal female throne.
No wonder we can feel full and bloated when our period comes, the womb can double from between 2 and 4 ounces to 4 or 8 ounces over one cycle – that’s a whole lot of womb and she’s going to make her self heard if she’s not happy. Painful periods, endometriosis, lack of libido, constipation, mood swings may all result from a womb that’s out of balance.
So what can you do?
Learn to listen with our self-care massage, even simply holding your womb and breathing into that space right now is a wonderful place to start and regular massage can help your womb into a great place both physically and emotionally.
Women make choices for all sorts of reasons but when we have our head, our heart and our womb singing from the same page – that’s when our dreams really can come true.
If you would like to know more about this then take a look at our website or drop me a line for information on workshops and massage therapy.
From my womb to your womb I think you might just like it.