Tag Archives: Lucy H Pearce

Reaching for the Moon – a girl’s introduction to her female cycles

I’m delighted to announce the launch of my third book:Reaching for the Moon – a girl’s guide to her female cycles.

(Be sure to read to the end to claim your own FREE e-copy!)

Written especially for girls aged 9-14 as they anticipate and experience their body’s gradual changes. This has been requested time and again by mothers, godmothers and aunts who wanted a gentle, loving, soulful introduction to women’s cycles for the special girls in their lives. 

1-RftMCover

ISBN: 1482363038

80 page paperback or Kindle.

Beginning with an imaginary journey into the red tent, a traditional place of women’s wisdom, some of the gifts and secrets of womanhood are imparted in a gentle, lyrical way including:

* The secrets of the moon.

* The secrets of our cycles.

* The gift of self-care.

 Along with practical advice on:

* Preparing for her first period.

* Choosing menstrual products.

* Herbal healing.

* Celebrating menarche.

Reaching for the Moon is a nurturing celebration of a girl’s transformation to womanhood.

 

It is available as a signed copy + bookmark + FREE greetings card of one of my paintings (usually €2.50) from The Happy Womb£6.99 + P&P (Orders will be dispatched from 11th June. Offer available until 23rd June.)

It is also available from Amazon as a paperback or ebook. (Buy on Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com.)

***TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!***

From today until Sunday 9th June 2013 (midnight PST) you can download your FREE Kindle version, so you can sample it before purchasing for the special girls in your life. (Please note you do NOT need a Kindle to read it. Kindle books can be read on tablets, android phones and computers).

Free Kindle copy – UK customers only.

Free Kindle copy – rest of world.

Please do share it far and wide, on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and by email – let’s get copies into as many mama’s hands as possible.

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Reflected beauty

The other day I saw a woman across the room. And my first thought was – she looks like she’d be a great friend, she’s just my sort of woman. Beautiful patterned artsy clothes, an open face, radiating her own unique beauty, she looks happy in her own skin.

Then my brain caught up. That woman, that beautiful woman was me, reflected in the bedroom mirror as I walked by. What a moment it was! Genuinely seeing yourself as objectively beautiful – free from ego or doubt or intentional self esteem raising. Just seeing. And knowing.

Me and my daughters

And it was in such contrast to another mirror moment three years earlier.

In a restaurant with our children, I caught sight of myself in the mirror across the room – and felt physical disgust as I dissected my faults – my eyes filled with tears, I felt sorry for my husband to be not only married to such a hideous creature, but embarrassed for him that he had to be out in public with me. Then I caught sight of my daughter sitting opposite. Angel faced, the epitome of beauty. I scanned back to my own face, and noticed what I am always told. She looks just like me. So similar its scary. The eyes, the nose, the mouth, the shape of her face. I know her beauty to the depths of my heart. It is truth. So how, if we looked so similar, could she be beauty incarnate, and me a hag? I knew then that I really was dealing with a problem of perception and not reality.

I have had an ongoing hate-hate relationship with my own beauty. A general disgust of my reflection in a mirror, photographs of me, my thighs and belly as they sit quietly… I have always found my physical self unacceptable. Its so cliched. So dull. So pointless. And yet so real, omnipresent in my mind and life. Beauty shouldn’t matter… but it does. With beauty come value, love, acceptance – of self and others.

I know where its roots for me lie. In not fitting in. My dad not thinking I was beautiful. My mother and step mother showing dismay at their post baby bodies and carving them back into shape with diets and harsh exercise routines. A friend’s mother who thought her daughter, aged nine, was fat and should diet. Friend’s comments, magazines, TV… the list goes on. The poison is everywhere. And I swallowed it down like a good girl. Until I hated every part of my beautiful self.

I found myself looking back over our wedding photos, and oh how beautiful I was. But acceptably beautiful. The slimmest I have ever been. Hair dyed back to its natural color. But I remember just how uncomfortable I was in my skin. I showed the photos to my children. And to my shame asked if they thought I was beautiful then, they said yes. And if I was beautiful now, not really, was their response. They make references to me being big, being fat. You know where they learnt that from. Because that is how I have felt.

But recently I have realised, that being heavier I feel fully myself. Full of me. in my own skin. I was never much good at being a teen or in my twenties. When life was about weight and surface beauty. I never cared enough about it to sacrifice myself on the altar of beauty and fashion. I always wanted to be me. But me was apparently unacceptable.

But now, when I look in the mirror, I do not carve myself into pieces of unacceptability. I see the curves and the flesh and the hair and the skin, the wholeness of my beauty. My spirit incarnate. And I shake my booty, and laugh with pleasure and joy at this body that I get to call mine. And I revel in the flesh of my children. Flesh of my flesh. And I tell them that I think they are beautiful. Strong. Kind. Loving. Smart. Creative.

And I tell them that I am too. I show them my work, my actions, my heart. And when I look at myself in the mirror, I share my beauty too.

I am commited to this admiring and celebrating of our beauty, inside and out. And this is why…

“When I was growing up there wasn’t one woman in my environment who I heard saying something positive about her body. Everything I heard was negative, negative, negative. I accept my body. I accept how I am and make the best of what I am given. Children orientate towards examples. That’s why I talk solely positive about my body in front of my [daughter. I say things like ‘Hey, look at my strong arms!’ Or I shake my butt and say ‘Look at my fabulous butt!’ I do that deliberately,”

Kate Winslet, in a new interview with German magazine Brigitte.

And this powerful post by Amanda at Offbeat Mama

“I don’t want my girls to be children who are perfect and then, when they start to feel like women, they remember how I thought of myself as ugly and so they will be ugly too. They will get older and their breasts will lose their shape and they will hate their bodies, because that’s what women do. That’s what mommy did. I want them to become women who remember me modeling impossible beauty. Modeling beauty in the face of a mean world, a scary world, a world where we don’t know what to make of ourselves.”

And finally this powerful performance by Kate Makkai: Now for sale: Daughters $10,000 each

“When my daughter asks me if she’s pretty, I’ll say no! The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be. And no child of mine will be contained in five letters. You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing, but you will never be merely pretty.”

How do you celebrate your beauty? And what has your journey been?

Moods of Motherhood – My New Book

I am excited to share with you the publication of my second book, Moods of Motherhood.

A compilation of my best-loved posts on motherhood from my popular blog, Dreaming Aloud, my columns from JUNO magazine and many new pieces, never before published. This is a book full of my trademark searing honesty and raw emotions. It will make you laugh and cry – wherever on your mothering journey you may be.

Topics include: tenderness, pregnancy and birth, happy days, anger and fierceness, playfulness, love, patience, homemaking and much, much more… it is illustrated throughout with beautiful black and white photographs.

It would make a great gift for friends and sisters; great introduction for those who have yet to discover my writing.And a bound treasury of my work for long-time readers to hold in their hands.

And to celebrate I am running a 72 hour sale here on The Happy Womb!!!!!!!! Enter Moods72 at the checkout, to receive 15% off the paperback or 25% off the e-version. This discount is also available on Moon Time: a guide to celebrating your menstrual cycle.*

Signed copies are available from me here at The Happy Womb, and from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Please do leave me a review on Amazon!

Let me share with you the introduction

My grandmother always said: “You are your baby’s weather.” How true that is! There is nothing more remarkable about the act of mothering than the changing moods. The weather of motherhood can seemingly alter from moment to moment, day to day, a rollercoaster of emotions stronger than one has ever experienced before. The stakes, after all, are far higher than anything we have ever played for before: the very life, health and happiness of a creature that is our own flesh and blood.

On reading back over my blog, I noticed how contrasting posts follow one day after the other – all so real, yet so intangible. Like the weather we are only left with vague memories and snapshots of how hot or cold it was, no real yardstick of the tempests and sunshine of our mothering years.

Other mothers were drawn to these posts, these outpourings of emotion, frustration, joy and despondency. It seems we are all yearning for a reflection of our own tumultuous experiences, a validation of the endless emotional turmoil and physical exhaustion which motherhood reeks in our lives. We seem to lack a language to share both the mundane repetitiveness of our daily mothering lives, as well as a forum for sharing the deeper emotional parts. For perhaps the first time in history, the mothers of the twentieth and twenty first centuries mothered alone, in separate houses, often far from family support. The job of parenting is not meant to be handled by one adult, it takes a tribe.

Few of us entered the role prepared, though we might have been expecting (some) sleepless nights and smelly nappies, the all-consuming nature of motherhood lay hidden, until we were well and truly embarked on our maiden voyage. The sweetness of a first baby’s smile did not reveal the cacophony of demands which another child – or three – would bring.

Most knew how they wanted to be, and what they most certainly would not do. And then after the first glow of motherhood had worn off, the disappointments begin stacking up: the ideals which had fallen by the wayside, the perfection not achieved, due to lack of energy, experience, insight or something else.

And at that point we can despair and see ourselves as failing. But the mothering journey, does not, cannot stop that day, even though we feel we cannot continue. And it is in overcoming these moments that we find ourselves as the mothers we truly are. In this moment we let the perfect mother die, and embrace our quirky, impatient, silly, messy, deeply loving mother selves.

This book is far from a parenting manual written by an objective expert. Rather it is the life of a mother – warts and all. It is compiled from posts written for my blog, Dreaming Aloud, published articles and previously unpublished work. So here, for you, is a journey through the emotional terrain of a mother, from humour to heartbreak, though the story is mine, it could be yours.

When I was the mother of one, I thought I was an expert. Which is why I became a writer on parenting issues!  As the mother of three, I have been humbled to my core. I have realised just how much I don’t know or can’t do – and just how little I am “in control”. And yet ironically with that knowledge and acceptance, comes a little more wisdom, and a lot more experience.

I see new friends starting out on the road to motherhood with mixed feelings. Immense joy at the ecstasy of love they are about to experience, great protectiveness, wishing to shield them from the scars it will make on their souls, the pain, the heart ache, the worry, the exhaustion, the touching of anger which they had been able to keep hidden all these years. But this is the journey. The one that makes us the mothers that we will be. The mothers that our children will live with every day, yet barely know.

Becoming a mother brings with it such a vast raft of complications for the psyche, before you add the momentous task of caring for a small and ever-changing child to the mix. Becoming a mother reawakens our own feelings, good and bad, about our own mothers. It changes our relationship with our partner forever: suddenly we are not just lovers but parents. And it shifts us instantaneously into the next generation, causing potentially seismic shifts in friendships where one set are not parents and we now are. Not to mention the adjustment between us and our families of origin. And that is before we even consider the massive shift in roles for most modern women from full time work or study out in the world, to suddenly being at home, if only for the first weeks, with a small being who needs you all the time. Ideas of women’s roles in society suddenly become less abstract or idealised, and the whole dilemma of who cares for the child, who works, who pays the bills and how suddenly become pressing realities with few ideal answers.

Very often I find it hard to be really mentally present with my children – though I aspire to be. I find the demands of motherhood too intense, their needs too much. And so I do what I know, what I love: I write. In writing I capture the mood, the moment in a more effective way than my whirling thoughts and fuzzy memory could ever hope to. And so I find that even in my moments of despair, distraction and elation I was present. And in these vignettes of mothering life, and the images which accompany them, I have captured the whole process of motherhood which was at times almost unbearable in the actual living of it.

And so I have it here in all its preciousness to savour, and give thanks for, from the safe distance of time and the security of the written word. Yet, as I read back, I realise with great poignancy that these babies who I am capturing have grown, without me noticing, despite my almost daily writing about them. They are bigger and stronger, little rugged human beings out in the world. Little humans that I co-created, that I carried in my belly and fed from my breast. I feel like I need to pinch myself, it doesn’t seem real, or even possible. And yet it is. And that is the miracle of motherhood.

The most important thing about this motherhood lark is that we know that we are not alone. That we are not the only ones feeling these feelings and living these experiences. Surround yourself with like-minded allies to laugh and cry with, to confide in and gratefully accept support from.

I look forward to sharing my journey with you and hope that it might give you insight and support in your own.

Lucy Pearce

 

From the back cover…

“Moods of Motherhood traces the life of a mother: her tenderness, joy, anger, love, frustration, grief and gratitude. Compiled from posts written for her popular blog, Dreaming Aloud, her best-loved columns from JUNO magazine and many new pieces. This is a book full of Lucy Pearce’s trademark searing honesty and raw emotions. It will make you laugh and cry – wherever on your mothering journey you may be. Though the story is hers, it could be yours.”

*(Discount valid to midnight (GMT), this Sunday, 4th November, use valid to one product per customer).

Celebrating Menarche

Many of us wonder how to mark our daughter’s transition in to womanhood, how to celebrate her first bleeding. I loved this article by DeAnna Lam in her recent newsletter, and wanted to share it with you (with her permission). She is hosting her 2nd Annual Rites Of Passage Tele-Summit next week, which I will be glued to.

Airing live every weekday, from October 22 to November 2, this  Online Event has inspiring new speakers that will focus on PRACTICAL WISDOM from various traditions to help you navigate your daughter’s or son’s journey to adulthood. This event is absolutley Free! Sign up here: www.deannalam.com

Leah’s First Period Ceremony

Leah called me to let me know she has just got her period! Being a heart-auntie to her I was delighted, and deeply touched that she chose to share this with me… Leah excitedly relaid the experience over the phone, told me of her Moms special attentions, and her bounty of gifts that included a red ruby necklace, a journal, fragrant bath salts, a red candle, a box of soothing teas, and many beautifully printed cloth pads. Leah continued to say that she chose to have a ceremony with only her Mom and myself present! I was lost for words…

The date was set, and Leah’s Mom & I were busy planning. We knew we wanted the ceremony to take place in nature, and chose a special grove of Redwoods, which we both love, as our designated spot. We explored what we would want to convey to Leah, and planned ceremonial activities to reflect each of the points we discussed. This was exciting!

The grove welcomed us with warm sunshine, a slight breeze, and deep quiet. We walked softly on the forest floor: a veteran cycling woman, a woman who stopped bleeding, and a girl who just started her first cycle…

We draped red fabrics over lower branches to create an entrance to our sacred place: a cave-like hollow at the base of a huge Grandma Redwood tree. Leah explored the surrounding while we prepared the womb-like tree hollow. We placed a large red fabric on the ground, and created an altar in the center, honoring each of the 4 directions and elements: Feathers in the East to represent Air; A red candle in the South to represent Fire; Sea shells in the West represented Water, and crystals in the North brought Earth to complete the circle, while red flowers graced the center.

Everything was ready. We called Leah to the opening of the tree hollow, smudged each other with pungent sage to clear the old and welcome the new, and asked each other: ‘How do you enter the circle?’ To which we each answered: “In perfect love and perfect trust!”

Inside our cozy womb space we started with a song, and then Leah’s Mom and I each shared with her the story of our first period. Leah then told her fresh new story for the first time in sacred circle.

Each of us adult women shared some of the confusions or questions we had as girls about menstruation and what we learned over the years, which in turn allowed Leah to ask us some of her own questions and receive answers.

We then each presented Leah with a gift. Her Mom gifted her with a Moon Calendar that shows all phases of the moon, for an entire year, on one beautiful poster. Leah marked her first MoonTime by filling in the full moon image with a red pen, as her flow started on the day of the full moon! I presented Leah with a red bracelet and a red rose.

To symbolize Leah’s transition from girlhood to womanhood, her Mom and I created a gateway with arms stretched up and hands clasped together. We invited Leah to ponder what she would like to leave behind as she moves through the gate, and what was she hoping to move toward.

When she was ready, we asked Leah to say Goodbye to an object she brought to represent her childhood, and to discard of it anywhere she chooses. Leah placed a stuffed animal, which she had since she was a baby, in a small cavity inside a nearby redwood, and stood there a moment, saying Goodbye to it…

She then turned toward the open gateway, which her mom and I were embodying, and regally walked through to ‘The Other Side’ representing Womanhood. Our cheers and hugs lasted for a long time…

The time for blessings arrived! We opened a pomegranate juice bottle and poured a few drops on Mother Earth, speaking words of blessing for Her well being. Filling our own glasses with beautiful crimson liquid, we each spoke heartfelt blessing to Leah, honoring her as a newly cycling sister. We shared yummy dark chocolate to enrich and sweeten the moment, which we dipped into our juice and devoured!

It was time to close the circle by thanking and releasing the four directions & four elements whom we welcomed at the opening. While we gathered and packed our altar, Leah was quietly communing with a redwood tree. A shift seemed to have taken place in her. She was still a girl, but a sense of depth seems to have settled in and around her, that will only deepen and grow through her many years of cycling.

(* Leah is a pseudo-name I gave my young friend to protect her privacy)


© 2012, DeAnna L’am, Red Moon – Cycles of Women’s Wisdom™

DeAnna L’am, (B.A.) 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. Her pioneering work has been transforming women’s & girls’ lives around the world, for over 20 years.

DeAnna helps women & girls love themselves unconditionally! She specializes in helping women make peace with their cycle; Instructs Moms in the art of welcoming girls to empowered womanhood, and trains women to hold RED TENTS in their communities. Visit her at: www.deannalam.com

Speaking for birth

“How can I speak for birth?”

That was my question, back when I first felt called to do birth work. To advocate for birth. Natural birth. Birth as she has always been for millions of years. Generation after generation. Nothing weird or hippy. Nothing worthy. Just the miracle of biology which is birth. Donkeys, goats, dolphins and cats do it: nothing weird there. That’s all I wish for women, is to experience the magic of life, the wonder of birth. But we have been told that birth is dangerous, uncertain, not to be trusted. And that birthing like animals is beneath us. We need to be saved from that.

But the opposite is true. Natural birth gave me back to myself. It was a revelation to me. And it has become a large part of my life’s work. I truly want to help more women share this most fundamental and natural of experiences, because in our medicalised birthing world this is not an inevitability, but a rarity. Continue reading

Woman-Song at Full Moon: Power

I feel the woman power rising. Can you?

Women putting on their glory clothes. Painting their faces, adorning their bodies in gleeful anticipation. The time is now, they feel it, they smell it, they sense it… the time they have been waiting for.

Hands join around the sacred fire. Faces flushed in the flickering light. The ceremonial drums form a communal heartbeat.

Women are finding their voices. Can you hear them being raised – from a barely audible hum to a beautiful song. A song of love, loss and beauty, a song that our mothers and grandmothers, and their mothers mothers sang so quietly in their hearts just to survive. #Now we can share it. Now we are able to sing it aloud.

Songs of creativity, of joy, of freedom, of love. Songs of possibility.

As we begin to embrace our bodies, embodying the feminine, we begin to dance, swaying our hips, circling our hands.

Full moon is rising. She speaks of power. Feminine power. Will you sing with her of your dreams, your visions?

Join with thousands of women around the world at Wilde Tribe for a beautiful women’s ceremony tonight 

For a wonderful link a detailed article on the meaning behind this month’s full moon, see the April forecast at The Power Path.com

 This month you will get to look at all things related to power. All of your old patterns, belief systems, reactions, experiences, trust or mistrust, resistance, desire, access; all of it is up for observation, recapitulation, clearing, re-defining, clarifying and re-negotiating. This is the opportunity to free yourself from your old beliefs about power and the old paradigm in which those beliefs live. You will be able to look at your self-imposed limitations, hopefully clear them, and make some bids for power this month that will move you into your next level of expansion and evolution.

Everything this month will be powerful. From events to reactions and personal experiences, everything is potentiated with a greater energy and vitality. For many of you this will come as an exciting and welcome opportunity for moving ahead with your dreams and goals. For some of you this may be a difficult time of resistance and feeling overwhelmed, especially if you are not used to handling large amounts of energy. 


 

The Path of the Divine Feminine: Guest Post

My journey into the divine feminine began with a simple question, “What does it mean to be a woman?” This question surfaced from someplace deep inside me while I was in High School. At the time the only answer I received was an immense silence. But my question, not fully in the realm of consciousness, drove an underlying quest for something more. More of what I wasn’t sure. Through college and into the world of work I was restless. I knew that I wanted to hear more of women’s voices but I wasn’t sure why. Through starting a business and personal enrichment programs, I was moving forward but without a strong sense of being seated into myself. I was just doing. 

One day while at the local library I found a book on women’s health that was more than what the American Medical Association offered. It offered meaning. Dr. Christiane Northrup’s newly released Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom was speaking the language of women. It was here that I began my journey into the divine feminine.

With more visits to the library and finding more women speaking from a woman’s perspective, my question finally came into full consciousness. I finally understood that my underlying restlessness came from the silence in our culture about a woman’s experience of life. I understood that many women had felt this restlessness and that these women were finding their answers on a new path. 

Today, around the world there are women who are looking inside themselves, rejecting the cultural “male norm” standard, and instead are choosing to redefine their experiences for themselves. And they are looking outside of themselves, reconnecting with the ancient tradition of the goddess, and discovering what it looks like to have the divine feminine in balance with the divine masculine. 

The path of the divine feminine reconnects women to the innate wisdom of their bodies and the practices that honor a woman’s experience of life. It is learning to own the truth of our experience. And It is finding the courage to be seated in the power of our knowing.

I now know that my question, “What does it mean to be a woman?” was there to guide me Home. Home to my body, the path of the divine feminine is an embodied experience. Home to my mind, I no longer have to buy into a world of thought that I have no affinity for. And Home to my spirit, the divine feminine is the numinous presence in all of life. 

Embracing this path means continuing to open myself to the work of unearthing the divine feminine in my life, to deepen my understanding of the gifts of the feminine that are grounded into the elemental energies of Mother Earth, and to learn to own the power of the sacred feminine in my experience. I invite you to join me on this transformational journey. 
Linnette Dooley is the Founder of the WellSprings Women’s Program. WellSprings Women’s Program is a series of courses that speak to women in their core experiences in life, grounding them into the divine feminine, transforming a woman’s sense of self. The path of the divine feminine is for women who are seeking a deeper resonance in their lives. Website: http://wellspringswomensprogram.com, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WellSpringsWomen