Category Archives: Healing

Cunt Love

 

Today’s guest post from Colette aka Lady Cunt Love is powerful stuff…

To really love your cunt is to take back what belongs to you.

It is to reconcile with the patriarchal bullshit we have had to put up with for the last thousand years and gain back all the wisdom that we had in a time when our cunts were revered with love and awe. It is to accept that the fear that men felt of our power and capacity for sexual pleasure and to also see that somewhere along the line, we have internalised that fear.

To reclaim the word ‘cunt’ and say with a smile on your lips is so fucking liberating. It is to strip yourself of the chastity belts and straight jackets once and for all.

It’s time for us to move on to a new place.

A place where we are no longer silent or shamed. A place where we see the beauty in ourselves and others.

It is time for us to stop comparing and competing with each other as women but to join together in a circle of sisters. It’s so much easier and liberating this way. It is the only way.

I learned all of this through talking to people on the streets. I decided one day that I had enough of the secrecy and silence. So I created an alter ego for myself named Lady Cunt Love. I wore a silk cunt headpiece on my head and a velvet, glittery cunt around my waist. I had a clipboard and a lots of handrawn cunts and colouring pencils. I had my two friends with me – Queen Clit and The Cuntess. We approached people on the street and in pubs and cafes and clubs. We learned so much about how people view the world, cunts, cocks, sex, porn, gender and language.

cuntlove

I then began to share my story in the form of a poetry collection called ‘The Healing Journey of my Cunt’. We created Cuntcraft, a craft where we sit in circle and use velvet, satin, silk, glitter to create our own beautifully crafted cunts. I facilitate these circles and perform and exhibit from my studio in Brighton, The Cuntquarters and all over the UK and Ireland.

I have witnessed so many beautiful moments where a sweet kind of magic takes over and women find the courage to share their stories with me. Sad stories are told about painful periods, rape, traumatic abortions, miscarriage, abuse and shame (lots of shame). Liberating stories are told too – about sexual pleasure, joyous births and pregnancies, premenstrual insights and happy bleeds. Once the stories are expressed, they are out in the world and can take on a new meaning. They are released and we can come to a place of love, forgiveness and acceptance.

cunt

I have now decided it is time to take this even further and am inviting women to join me on a four week online Cunt Loving Quest beginning on the 1st April. This is to give women the opportunity to explore their relationships with the cunts in the safety and comfort of their own homes.

You can see a video of me describing the course here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGEyvx6dYrY and join the quest on my website here. http://cherishthecunt.com/2014/03/06/introducing-the-28-day-cunt-loving-quest

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Herbs – Healing Whole Foods for Women – Guest post

“One of the biggest tragedies of human civilization is the precedents of chemical therapy over nutrition.  It is substitution of artificial therapy over natural, of poison over food, in which we are feeding people poisons trying to correct the reactions of starvation.”

Dr. Royal Lee

red clover  The effects of moving away from our whole food diet and eating a refined, processed, and convenience food diet are very prevalent in our society.

As a culture, we have created the same scenario with our healing medicines, including those for healing the female body.  We have moved away from whole, natural medicines to the processed, refined, factory made pharmaceuticals that upset balance in the human body.  Just as refined, factory made food products upset the body’s natural balance.

Herbs, whether ingested as a medicinal infusion, taken as a tincture or in any other form of herbal medicine, are amazing healing tools because herbs are whole foods.

The nutrients in the herbs: vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients, and the nutrients yet to be discovered, are utilized by the body cells to cleanse, nourish, and heal each and every body cell.  Herbs specific for the female reproductive tract are nourishing to the reproductive organ’s cells.

So often we get the message from main stream media and medicine:  Do NOT use herbs as they are potentially dangerous.  This is as crazy as saying that eating beets, apples, or any other natural, whole food is potentially dangerous.

When we eat a beet, an apple, some broccoli, or any whole food, our body digests and absorbs the nutrients in the whole food to nourish our cellular health.  The same process of digestion and assimilation of nutrients happens with herbs.  Herbs are whole food; herbs are healing medicine.

Herbs are plants (leaf, root, stems, bark, berries, seeds), like a beet or an apple, that have nutritional and healing properties with affinities for certain tissues.

Herbs for female health are many and each has its own healing purpose.  Used in combination, they create powerful healing energy in the female body.

Some excellent female healing herbs are:

  • Stinging nettles
  • Red raspberry leaf
  • Wild yam
  • Chaste tree berry
  • Motherwort
  • Red clover flower
  • False unicorn root
  • Passion flower
  • Don quai root
  • Wild carrot
  • Ginger
  • Blue and Black cohosh
  • Squaw vine
  • Yarrow
  • Pennyroyal
  • Mugwort

I recommend you read up on the herb you want to ingest for its nourishing, medicinal abilities.  Learn about the herb and its healing affinities before you make the decision to take it.  Contact your local herbalist for help in choosing the right herb or blend of herbs to add to your whole food dietary plan to promote personal health and healing.

Herbs are whole foods.  Use them wisely for healing your female energy and whole body healing.

 

YoumellPaula Youmell is an RN, author, holistic healer, and blogger who thrives in northern NY State, USA.  Learn more about her healing lifestyle at www.HandsOnHealthHH.com or http://www.wholefoodhealer.com

Purchase her new book here.

Light at the End of the Tunnel: Pregnancy and Depression

Today’s post comes from Laura Wright and is on a topic close to my heart. I struggled with depression during one of my pregnancies and after two. Please do also see my articles on pregnancy/ post partum depression in the free resources section, here.

pregnant meme

Last year, someone very close to me became deeply depressed while pregnant. In fact, it was my little sister. After coaxing her through this tough time with the help of her wonderful partner and the rest of our family, it got me thinking about what advice or information to give prospective mothers who feel depressed during this time.

I am aware just how lonely and isolated women can feel when the world expects them to be blooming. While I have two wonderful daughters of my own, my experience of depression had been purely academic until my sister’s experience last year. Now, I feel called to write more on this deeply personal topic, so that women who find themselves in this situation can find the support and resources to help them, and to know that they are not alone in this and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Exploring the Treatments Available to Treat Depression in Pregnancy

While a diagnosis of depression during pregnancy is usually a shock, you are not alone; as many as a fifth of pregnant women suffer from low mood. It’s also important to remember that your diagnosis means that you will receive treatment, which won’t just protect your well-being, but also that of your developing baby.

Receiving treatment

Your doctor will advise on the treatments available to you, which will depend upon the severity of your depression and other factors in your medical history. In cases of more severe depression, they may suggest antidepressants as an option. However, as some of these drugs may pose a risk to your unborn child, they are usually not recommended in cases of milder depression, as the benefits are not sufficient to outweigh the risks. There is still plenty of help available though, as a range of treatments are effective when low mood is mild to moderate. These therapies can also be used in conjunction with antidepressants to enhance the outcome. Here we give an overview of some of the alternative treatments for mood disorders available to pregnant women.

  • Taking regular exercise during pregnancy is recommended to keep up your fitness to prepare you for delivery. However, keeping physically active is also beneficial for your mood when expecting, as it triggers a number of positive changes within your body that promote feelings of well-being. Exercise such as brisk walking, low-impact aerobics, swimming and yoga are all good activities, but check with your doctor about other suitable forms of exercise.
  • Psychotherapy can take the form of one-to-one counselling, where you may receive help you to build on your relationships or to change negative thought patterns. However, support groups designed to help people with depression may also be useful if you are comfortable participating in group activities.
  • The complementary therapy of acupuncture is an additional option to ease the symptoms of depression, as certain pressure points relieve feelings of low mood. Indeed, research has shown that this is a suitable option in pregnancy.

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Laura Wright worked in nutritional science and health provision before turning to writing for a new career. Now she combined ghost writing for a wide range of businesses and organizations with spreading the word about a number of health guides she’s personally invested in. When not writing, she likes spending time with her family and going for long hikes.

Shall I Drive You to the Red Tent? – Guest Post

I am honored to be joining DeAnna L’am and 29 other leaders in the field of menstrual education and women’s wisdom in the month of February for a free online red tent gathering. There are so many of my own real life heroines taking part I can hardly believe I am standing shoulder to shoulder with them. 

Today’s guest post from DeAnna explores a really important aspect of red tents, and one that has stalled me in my tracks in establishing one… HOW to make one and make it sustainable? There is so much emphasis on making a pretty space that we can get distracted from the main purpose – just making a space to nurture ourselves and the women in our lives.


How would the world be different if girls growing up today had a Red Tent to go to, in their own neighborhood?
Many of us would love to see a Red Tent where our daughters, stepdaughters, granddaughters, nieces, cousins, or any cherished girl in our life — could regularly find a haven.“Yes, but who would hold such Red Tents for them?” you may ask… and the inevitable answer is: YOU!

Imagine your girl coming home from school. She feels tired. She is actually crabby, and the sullen look on her face warns you to keep your distance. Throwing her backpack on the floor she runs into her room, not interested in answering any of your questions about her day. Her shoes fly off her feet, one at a time, on her way up the stairs, and land randomly on the floor. Her door is slammed shut, and you are not welcomed inside. You want to ask her about her feelings, to understand what is going on, but the door’s message is clear, and you know it will not open for a while…

Imagine, though, that you had a magical key to this closed door… Imagine softly knocking and whispering to your girl: “Shall I drive you to the Red Tent?” Imagine her door flying open, her eyes meeting yours, a sigh of relief rushing out of her mouth: “Oh, thank goodness! I’ve just got my period!” Imaging the two of you getting in the car, since it feels too cold to walk the otherwise pleasant road to the nearby woods. You likely wouldn’t talk much during the short drive, since your girl clearly wants to be quiet. She curls up on the passenger seat and closes her eyes. You arrive at your destination in no time.

The red flaps of the Tent are hanging down to keep the warmth in, and you lift them to allow your girl to walk in first. It feels like walking into a different world. It is blissfully quiet. You start lighting a few candles while your girl walks up to the pile of red blankets and grabs three of them. She sinks onto a mattress in the corner, and huddles under the blankets, letting all the air out of her lungs. She knows you are busy making her a cup of herbal tea. This is a familiar routine… You’ve been here many times before, and the roles have changed back and forth between you: barely two weeks ago it was you who flopped gratefully on a mat and curled into a ball under a pile of red blankets, while your 13-year-old was skillfully brewing a cup of Raspberry Leaf tea to soothe your womb and soul.

This is an easy reality to imagine… And, as surprisingly as it may seem to you, it is also an easy one to live! This can become a reality for you, and for your daughter, stepdaughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, or a cherished girl in your life, since it is up to You, up to Each Of Us, to make it so! A Red Tent in your neighborhood is only as distant as the limitation your mind puts on it. It is as close as your belief in its possibility!

We can make this a reality in our life time! You can create a Red Tent in your living room, in your back yard, in a friend’s home, in a nearby forest, meadow or beach. It can be made of anything: you can pitch a camping tent, or raise a tipi. You can drape Red cloths from tree branches, or build a yurt. The outer structure is not nearly as important as the space it holds inside — a space in which permission is given to simply BE…

Nothing is more essential than this: we need spaces where we can BE when we flow, either alone or in the company of other women. Anything beyond this is luxury (and we can create luxury, of course we can!) but lets not make luxury become the reason for not having a Red Tent right now. Lets remember the bare necessities: Space and Permission. And these, my sister, you can provide for yourself, for your girl, for your community – right now!

© by DeAnna L’am, All Rights ReservedJoin me to get inspired by the Red Tents In Every Neighborhood World Summit
A Free Online Event featuring women leaders from:

USA, Spain, Germany, U.K, Italy, Ireland (that’s me!), New Zealand, Australia, and Israel

Airing February 1-28


Email signature_html_m4c93903d
DeAnna L’am, speaker, coach, and trainer, is author of ‘Becoming Peers – Mentoring Girls Into Womanhood’ and ‘A Diva’s Guide to Getting Your Period’. She is founder of Red Moon School of Empowerment for Women & Girls™, and of Red Tents In Every Neighborhood Global Network! A pioneer in Menstrual Empowerment, DeAnna has been transforming women’s and girls’ lives around the world for over 20 years. She teaches women how to love themselves unconditionally; how to dissolve PMS symptoms and draw spiritual strength from their cycle (rather than be at its mercy); and how to hold Red Tents in their communities. Visit her at: www.deannalam.com

Woman’s wellness (an interactive post)

Today’s guespost comes from Sile Walsh. We invite you to read this and experience it, grab a cup of your favourite warm drink, hide away in a quiet spot and prepare to explore …

Image: sparrowmagazine.com

Image: sparrowmagazine.com

What do the following words conquer up for you?

WOMAN’S WELLNESS

Stop and take a breath a moment, and notice what impact these words have for you.

Take another breath and notice the images that come to mind.

Breathe again and notice what emotions come forward.

Lastly take a breath, what thoughts do you have when you focus on the term ‘woman’s wellness’.

Sit for a moment and soak up whatever these words bring you to.

Did anything surprise you when you did this?

Did anything show you where you may be out of sync with your own wellness as a woman? Did your mind conquer up excuses or did it conquer up images of what looks like a fairytale in comparison to your current life? Did you even have a space in your life where your wellness is even on the agenda?

I have to admire the women around me, always giving, doing and caring but if I am really honest I have felt let down in the past by this image of a female role model, I have seen a double standard. I have watched smart, empathic, intuitive and loving women give every ounce of what they have to the world until they have no more to give but seldom have I seen these woman turn this kindness inwards.

This kindness is deserved as much by us as by anyone else we love and it can only be given to us by us! Where did we learn that it’s all about giving?

What happens when we have no more to give?  Why do we wait to be worn out before we are willing to say no?

Again take a moment, a breath and see what this is stirring within you? Mull it over, feel it and acknowledge your thoughts…..

There is another way, another way you can be more available, be more present, feel better with in your-self and live in a way that honours you and the ones you love equally ( it is not a case of one or the other). It starts with a slight shift in perspective, gentle self-care, internal dialog and an offering of basic kindness to your-self.

It’s this thought process that inspired a conversation which led onto a woman’s wellness morning, for woman by woman. It would be beautiful to have you and some friends join us on the day to explore these areas. Information can be found at  http://www.silewalsh.com/womans-wellness-workshops.html

sile

Sile Walsh is a wellness coach & holistic practitioner in East Cork, Ireland, specialising in the release of emotional blocks, mind-set work and restricting or reoccurring patterns in your life.

Sile is passionate about empowerment and believes that’s the key to true change in any area of our lives. She can be found on Facebook or at www.silewalsh.com

Event Details

Woman’s wellness relaxation morning

7th November, 10am-2pm

For tickets contact info@silewalsh.com or 0870660688

Your Story is Sacred: 5 Steps to Find your Sacred Path

Today‘s guest post comes from Leanne Chapman

sacred story

“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” 

Joseph Campbell

 

What if everything you had come to believe about yourself wasn’t true?

What if the person you thought you were was built on the stories of others, projected on to you by their own untended wounds, their lack of understanding, their confusion?

I have let go of one story after another over the years – the story that I’m invisible, the story of being second-best, the multitude of stories about how I’m not OK as I am, the stories that told me to change so I could fit in, be OK, be enough.

Without clear guidance, how easy it is to fall into step with the rules and expectations of others – rules which don’t feed or nurture our souls. Who guides us into womanhood when those around us are asleep and don’t see or know us as we are?

Here are 5 suggestions for finding your own sacred path:

1. Step back and see the bigger picture

When you stand in front of a tall building, you can’t clearly see the whole structure. It’s difficult to get a clear view of the floor you need to get to from this viewpoint. But when you stand back further, your view  is much broader and you can see all the way to the top.

Our lives are the same – when we’re in the midst of transition and upheaval, we get up too close and our focus becomes very narrow. This is exactly the time when we really need to be taking a step back so we can see the whole story. Our momentary discomforts are often leading to longer term growth and learning, we just can’t see it when we look at them from a micro perspective.

2. Look for the answers inside you

Research psychologists have discovered that when behaviour is uncertain, such as when we try something we’ve never done before or go to an unfamiliar place, we are more likely to copy the behaviour of others. So when we’re feeling lost and confused about our life direction, we tend to go looking for answers from others. We ask friends what they would do, we check in with psychics, oracle cards, astrological forecasts, and still we can’t decide our next step.

That’s because the answers aren’t out there. The only way to find your true north is to look within. Our heads are so full of ‘what ifs’ and ‘yes buts’, while our heart usually has only one answer – the real one. Our heads are so busy sorting through all the external advice that we don’t learn to go to the source of our own wisdom. Our intuition, our ‘gut’ feeling, our inner knowing – this is where the real answers lie.

3. Focus on your progress, not your stumbles

It’s easy to focus on what we haven’t achieved yet and what didn’t turn out the way we hoped along the way, but we can do this to such a degree that we filter out our successes. It’s important to notice what’s working for us and celebrate our accomplishments so that we keep a balanced view of our journey.

One way to do this is to compare ourselves only with ourselves. For instance, when you started learning a new language three months ago you might’ve only known three words. Now you’re able to hold basic conversations. Of course there are times when you use the wrong word or misunderstand something, but you’re using a lot more of the right words and understanding far more than you were three months ago. It doesn’t matter if other people are fluent, you’ve made progress – celebrate it!

4. Recognise that this is a journey with many segments

Our life path never takes a direct route to success, healing and happiness. The trail follows a winding course, disappearing around corners, dipping into gullies and climbing mountainous terrain. There are sunny days but there are also wild stormy days that almost knock us off our feet. We can’t judge our footing by looking at any of these single points in the road.

The path is made up of many segments which twist and turn in numerous directions. We can only tell if we’re moving forward by taking a series of measurements over time. You’ll have good days and days where you take three steps back. But if the overall trend is in the direction you want to go, you’re on track.

5. Realise that you can create your own path rather than following ready-made ones

The mythologist Joseph Campbell said “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”

We often find ourselves on paths that are influenced by the wishes and expectations of others. This works for many, especially those who might otherwise feel directionless, but if it’s not working for you then it’s OK to get off that path. Your own path might take a different route to existing ones, and you might have to beat your way through the undergrowth with a machete to find it, but it will be there and it will be waiting for you.

You’ll know you’ve found your unique path when time slows down. You’ll no longer be lost and unsure or feel as though you’re running out of time. You’ll be caught up in the moment and your future will light up in front of you. All the previous challenges and detours into the unknown will suddenly make sense because they were bringing you to this, your sacred path.

 

leanneLeanne Chapman is an art therapist, writer and founder of Claim Your Treasure, a place to discover your sacred path, reclaim your lost treasures, and connect with who you really are through self-expression, creativity and intuition.

Leanne creates Treasure Maps and Sacred Stories to help you unlock the true meaning of your journey, uncover new pathways to success, and intentionally take the next steps on your sacred path. You can also find her on Facebook.

Moving Beyond your Childhood Pain

I am a big fan of the site, Tiny Buddha, it was my ambition, ever since discovering it to contribute to it.

I have now contributed to it three times (on Perfectionism, Anxiety and The Importance of Connection for Healing. 

So you can imagine my excitement when one of my pieces was selected for Lori Deschene’s second book: Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself which is published on 1st October this year by Conari Press. And if you pre-order it from her site for the month of September you get a whole raft of e-goodies, including my e-book The Creative Mama’s Soul Book!

So to whet your appetite, here’s some powerful words from it that touched me deep…

 

Top 4 Tips about Moving Beyond your Childhood Pain
1. Tell empowering stories of healing in the present instead of sad stories of hurting from the past.

When you live in the story of how you were hurt, you define yourself by your pain, and you essentially pick up where others left off in mistreating you. It’s hurtful and crippling to rehash these events over and over again (though it can be helpful in a therapeutic setting). When you find yourself dwelling on an old story, tell yourself that you’re creating a new one—a story of forgiving and loving yourself in action. Try to understand whoever hurt you, and recognize that their actions were prob- ably caused by their own pain. Then proactively choose to do something to take care of yourself in the way you wanted to be taken care of years ago.

2. Challenge the limiting beliefs that make you feel bad about yourself. You may be holding on to all kinds of limiting, inaccurate beliefs about your worth, your potential, and what you deserve. Realize these are not facts—you formed these beliefs based on difficult experiences and years of misguided thinking, and you can change your life by challenging these beliefs and forming healthier ones. When you start thinking the old belief, look for evidence to support the opposite one. It’s there—proof of your intrinsic value is in your choices, your actions, and your daily life. You just have to start recognizing all the good you do.

3. Shine a spotlight on your shame and douse it with empathy.

When people abuse us, disrespect us, silence us, or disregard our feelings or needs, we often internalize that and feel shame, as if we deserved to be hurt because we were unworthy, bad, or flawed. We then feel the need to hide ourselves to avoid the pain of being seen, but hiding just creates more pain. It’s not your fault that you feel shame—it’s a natural response to the way you were treated—but it is your responsibility to heal it.

Researcher Brené Brown wrote that shame requires secrecy, silence, and judgment to grow exponentially, and that it can’t survive when doused with empathy. Offer yourself that empathy by choosing not to judge yourself for what other people did to you or what you did in response; and let someone else into that process, whether it’s a friend or a professional.

4. Recognize the beauty in your journey.

You may not feel that all parts of you are beautiful, but there’s beauty in the strength and courage that have helped you get where you are. Whatever you did in the past, you were doing the best you could, based on what you learned and experienced. Shift your focus and take some time to acknowledge how amazing your journey has been thus far. How have you displayed grace and bravery? How have all the chaotic dots of your past shaped up to create something unique and inspiring? If your life were a movie, what positive message would viewers take away?

Lori Deschene has dedicated the last  four years of her life building a supportive online community for those seeking and looking to share wisdom. Since she launched tinybuddha.com in 2009, she’s helped more than 650 writers share their stories with over 17 million readers. In addition to writing her first print  book, Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s  Hard  Questions, Lori has self-published the Tiny Wisdom eBook series, and recently launched her first eCourse, Recreate Your Life Story: Change the Script and Be the Hero. Formerly a writer for nationally distributed ‘tween publications, she has also written articles for Tricycle: The  Buddhist Review, Shambhala Sun, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. A native of Massachusetts, Lori now splits her time between the Boston area and the San Francisco Bay Area with her fiancé Ehren