Hello, my dear friends:
If you're a sensitive person like me you may have noticed some stress, anxiety, or tension this week. I think the first week back to work after the holidays can be challenging for some. Also the current global environmental and political climate is a bit hard to take in. I'm attending to my nervous system and my heart and would like to remind you that there are plenty of resources (Reconnect to Source) available to you so that you can do the same.
Move your body:
I just finished doing TRE - Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (video) and feel more in my body than I was prior to doing them. And this is why I suggest movement, to stay connected to our bodies and their wisdom, to let the energy move. When we do we center ourselves and make space for hope, a clearer perspective, and compassion. Support your beautiful local Yoga studios and attend a class. There is also a dance studio for adults in Fredericton now! You'll see me there Sunday nights for Ecstatic Dance.
I've created a 5 min. meditation video for you. It's available here.
If you follow me on IG you have access to my 4-part Video Series for Empaths and Sensitives. Check my profile, IGTV, and stories highlights for the Videos.
Loving Kindness Meditations are available on my Soundcloud.
Action is powerful and always available to you!
If you can, donate to the causes you care about. I love Treesisters who have a goal of planting 1 billion trees per year in deforested areas. I have more info about that below.* Donate to local and foreign animal shelters, to conservation and environmental organizations, to Australia (see pic).
There are events being offered by donation and several artists making donations when you purchase their products, all in support of Australia. Locally, Louise Farr has organized a Drumming Circle on January 15th form 7-9 at the Keswick Ridge Community Hall, 86 Route 616. Proceeds go to Australian Red Cross.
Consider your purchases. Can you buy less plastic? Where is your food coming from? Have you thought about consuming less meat, composting, bringing your re-usable bags to stores, shopping local? The new year is great time to get started on these new habits. There is so much we can do to take care of the environment!
Contact your local political representatives. Let them know what you will and will not be a part of it. Let them know what is important to you.
Rest when you need to rest. Take care of yourself, each other, and your part of the earth. Turn off the news. Attend to your heart. Connect with your loved ones and offer them your heart.
* Treesisters is the same wonderful organization who put together Sing for the Trees on International Women's Day last March. They are an amazing symbol of the connection between women and nature, and supporters of feminine-based leadership - all things that I believe in whole-heartedly.
I've joined them as a Grove Tender which means I will be creating a local Grove in support of their mission. It will include a monthly event which I will share here when ready. <3
Womb work is important because of the connection mentioned above - that of women and nature. Working with our wombs helps to re-establish this connection as it grounds us in our bodies; helps us to see how nature is so intricately woven into our existence; magnifies how sacred Mother Earth is, and therefore, how sacred we are; and amplifies how connected we are as we begin to notice the synchronization of the moon to our womb cycles whether we menstruate or not.
Juliane Nowe and I are teaming up to share some of this goodness in a Yoga and V-steaming class happening on Thursday January 30th from 7-8:30. Pre-registration is required so that you can safely experience a V-steam according to your needs.
We are creating a sacred and confidential space for you to be a part of and can't wait to share with you!
I'm sharing lots about the benefits of V-steaming on my social media these days. Contact me if you have any questions!
Sending love beams in all directions.
This past weekend I watched Brene Brown's Call to Courage on Netflix. It was excellent of course! I recommend watching it. There is so much great material in it. There's one piece that's been sticking with me that isn't even the main point of the show. Near the end she mentions that women most often feel shame around their body image and men most often feel shame around their role as providers. I have since been reflecting on this.
As women I know we are so much more than our appearance. SO much more. And I know there is some good emotional material of my own to dig into here. For now though I'll say that it angers and frustrates me to think that we still live in a culture where a women's appearance is so heavily emphasized and that it is something we still experience so much shame around.
A friend of mine said "if only eyes could see souls". I agree.
As if it isn't enough to feel pressure to look a certain way and be a certain size, how about the thousands of us who just purely don't feel safe in our bodies? Energetically many of us are not grounded in our physical bodies. Our energy is in our heads most of the time, or even beyond our heads and outside our bodies completely. Whether that's for the simple fact that you're a woman and that might not feel safe to you; or because you don't fit the particular mold set out in magazines, television, runways, social media, or even family and friends. Or perhaps you have experienced physical or emotional trauma that's left part of you believing that it's not safe to be in this body. Energetically, even the experience of an emotion that we don't want to feel can leave our energy sort of hovering above us - "Nope, don't want to go in there, don't want to feel that." Not to mention the pace of life that surrounds us, the disconnection from nature, and the constant bombardment of wifi, cell phone signals, environmental pollutants, a culture that emphasizes knowledge over embodiment, etc etc.
Let's switch this up to something a little more positive. I invite you to close your eyes and take the time to ask yourself the following questions. What would it feel like to live in a world where people feel safe in their bodies? How do those people interact with you? How do they interact with themselves? How do they move? What do they look like? How do they speak to themselves? How do they speak to you? How are they in their relationships? How are they at work? How are they in their general lives? How do they treat their bodies? How do you feel when you feel safe in your body? And how do you treat your body when you feel safe in it? Does the way you feel in your body relate to the way you feel in the world?
The above paragraph is available in audio below so that you can really feel into this and notice what comes up.
For now, put your hands on your belly, take 3 deep breaths, and say to yourself "It is safe to be in this body. It is safe to be in this body. It is safe to be in this body".
How do you feel now? How do you feel in your body? How do you feel about your body's appearance?
You are beautiful. I mean it.
If you find yourself wondering...
Why is she offering this course?
What's it for?
How does it work?
What's it's purpose?
That's all good!
I realize that connecting with the moon and your womb cycle might seem kind of out there for some people and that's okay.
The more I learn about myself and practice being authentic in who I am the more I realize that I am here to do things a little differently, to show people a different way, to open eyes and hearts a little. :)
If you feel called to do something a little different and to learn more about who you are authentically, read the Q&A below.
These are some of the most popular questions I've received about the
Dancing Your Moon Cycle Online Playshop:
What does Playshop mean?
It's a play on the word "workshop", because who wants to work more?
Why not play?
Why am I offering this course?
There are many reasons I am offering this course. One of them being that when a family member of mine began menstruating I heard one of her parents say "Why would anyone like it? It's gross and it's messy" and intrinsically I knew I wanted to be a part of changing this perception.
There are many more reasons why and I'll be sharing them over on our FB Event Page if you're interested.
What is the purpose?
The purpose is to connect you with your natural rhythm so that you can honour it and live a happier, healthier life. Sounds simple and it is!
When we tap into our body wisdom through dance, creativity, nature, our wombs, journaling, etc. we can receive so much guidance on what's good for us and what's not, as well as how we can live our lives in a way that feels nurturing, sustainable, and joyful. Maybe even magical!
Who is this Playshop for?
It is for everyone!
I think you'd benefit the most though if any of these apply to you:
- You feel a connection to nature and want to foster that connection
- You know that there is more to your cycle than that one uncomfortable week per month
- The moon feels magnetic to you, you are affected by it, or you love to moon gaze
- You know deep down that you are creative and want to express that
- People in your life say that you are sensitive, emotional, or intuitive
- You love to dance, meditate, or journal
- You experience PMS symptoms
- When I tell you that you are innately powerful, beautiful, and creative you feel a twinge in your body that lets you know it's the truth
How does it work?
After you register you will receive an email prompting you to create a login for my website. All the material is offered there on a weekly basis according to the phases of the moon - new, waxing, full, and waning. You will also receive access to a private Facebook group where you can ask questions, share and support other womxn participating in the workshop, and take part in the weekly Live Connection with me or view the recording if you can't make it live.
How do I register?
You can register by connecting with me via text (506-449-5380), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Instagram or Facebook.
How much time does it require?
It requires as much or as little time as you choose. You will benefit from it the most if you commit 2-5 hours per week towards it. It's all fun stuff! And because of the nature of this journey you might notice it slowing creeping into your life outside of those 2-5 hours.
Do I have to do everything you suggest?
No. The playshop is self-lead and you can pick and choose what you want to do. All parts are optional.
More questions? Reach out! I'd love to hear from you. :)
Lately I've been attempting to eat mindfully...not an easy feat for a food lover/devourer but enlightening none the less. This evening as I was eating I thought to share the experience with you by taking a photo of my delicious pizza! And no, that is not being very mindful of eating and only eating, but I choose not to judge myself because of it. :)
I see mindful eating in three steps:
1. Before eating ~ I sit down (no standing and eating!), I turn off electronics and put my cell phone away, and I pause. I think about my food and where it came from. My pizza is on a gluten free crust (made in Edmonton), with feta cheese (Montreal), balsamic vinegar and olive oil (Italy), and black pepper (India). The shitake mushrooms are organic, from Ontario I think. The arugula, broccoli sprouts, chives, parsley, and sage are all local and organic, some right from my backyard, or pots in the sunroom. I think about the work that went into these things and how they arrived on my table: the farmers and their hands that worked the soil, picked the harvest; the trucks and the drivers that drove long distances to bring some of the toppings to the store; and then the supermarket or farmer's market where I purchased them. I give thanks to all these people. I give thanks to the soil, to mother earth, to the sun and water for helping these things to grow. I give thanks to the divine/creator/spirit for supplying me with the money needed to purchase these things, for allowing me to do a job that I love, and for the clients and students that I share my work with. I could give thanks forever! I look at my food and how beautiful it is and the pleasure that went into preparing it.
2. Eating ~ Yay!! I take a bite and try to tune into each flavour, each texture, and taste separately and then combined all together. I try to chew mindfully and lots! Chewing is one of the first steps of digestions, very important. I try not to rush to swallow it down and get to the next bite but instead take my time and s l o w d o w n . I set my fork and knife down between bites. I try to keep my mind on the food and not other places. It's interesting to watch my urge to grab my cell phone to see if anyone's sent me an email or text. I think I've realized the reason for this but that's a whole other blog post. Other thoughts that come up often are work, family, men [it is spring time! ;)], friends, etc.
3. After eating ~ I sit and breathe. Another very important step in digestion. I continue to breathe and sit in the same spot where I ate my meal until my body tells me it's ready to move on. I notice how full I feel or if I want something else to eat. I notice if I have the urge to reach for something sweet or if I don't. I notice if I feel light or heavy. It's all very interesting. It's also neat to observe the thoughts that come up when I'm eating on a schedule, with someplace to be, or something to do very soon.
So, why am I doing this? Well, I struggle with digestion and food sensitivities. Food sensitivities are hard to discern but when you eat mindfully you become more aware of what settles well in your system and what doesn't, also what moves along in your system and what doesn't. This is one of the many instances of your body's innate wisdom sending you messages and when you are mindful you are more apt to receive them. And also, I believe that in general we need to slow down and be more mindful, that health and integration will not come to us in this fast-paced, high stress way of living.
Since I've started eating mindfully I've noticed:
~ Eating mindfully reminds me to be grateful for all that I have.
~ For proper digestion I need lots of time to relax both before and after eating.
~ I don't need to rush through my meal. I'm not starving and no one is going to come along and steal my food.
~ I'm eating less and what I do eat usually consists of high quality, healthful foods.
~ My digestion is better which leads to more energy, more exercise, more productivity and more smiles!
~ Food is one of our many connections to the source. If it weren't for earth, soil, sun, water, animals, humans, and divine love and energy we would all be very hungry people.
Thank you, source. Nandri.
(Nandri means 'thank you' in Malalayam, the popular language of Kerala, India)
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of mindful eating please visit: http://www.tcme.org/
Please feel free to share your experience(s) with mindful eating and any yummy photos that you may have. :)
Natalie loves life, people, animals, plants, and trees. She believes in the flow of life and approaches each day with gratitude.