Love Your Belly

What is self-care?

January 23, 2017 by admin | 0 comments

Kate and Leora discuss ‘What is self-care?’ and why it matters so much for fertility, menstrual and menopause health.

 

If this has got you interested in charting your cycle, check out our next Love your Belly workshop or you can download a chart by filling in the form on the right-hand side of the page. We also have lots of ideas about how you can create more self-care and kindness in your life.

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the-map-of-the-menopause1

November 23, 2016
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The Map of the Menopause

How to become a rooting-tooting, bad-ass, mighty powerful wise woman

 

The question that I’m most often asked about menopause is “How long?”

 

“How long will these symptoms last? When will I reach ‘the other side?” 

 

How long is a piece of menopausal string?! The length of time a woman experiences menopausal difficulties varies enormously, anywhere between a year and a decade can be considered normal.  Much depends on genetics, so ask your mum and your aunties about their experience. The other factor is how easily you are able to manage change in your life? Are you kind of rigid in your self or is it easy for you to flow with what is as it emerges?

 

The menopausal transition is not just a change from menstruating to not menstruating, for me personally, this has been the smallest aspect of menopause. In fact, it’s a mighty change from one way being, to becoming another person entirely. It’s an inside job! We shed what no longer serves us so that we can emerge, phoenix-like, from the ashes of our roles, to serve the world in our own unique way (big or small) unimpeded by hang-ups or fears.

the-map-of-themenopause

Susun Weed, who’s book ‘New Menopausal Years, the wise woman way’ is an excellent guide to natural remedies, maps the process into three parts; premenopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal. The medical model divides the process into  –

  • Peri-menopausal – literally ‘around’ menopause and
  • Menopause – the last bleed. But as you’ll only know it’s the last bleed sometime after the event, menopause is said to be at least a year after the last bleed.

This is not enough detail, we need a more detailed guide and my dear friends I have a map! It’s not a linear map I must warn you, but a feminine map, so though you may find yourself cycling through different aspects of menopause in one day, you’ll probably resonate with a particular chamber. This map was created by my teacher Alexandra Pope as part of her menstrual teaching ay Red School and mirrors the process.

Not yet peri-menopausal? You need to read this too! These five chambers are also present every month during your bleed-time and are a rehearsal for menopause; pay attention to the shifts now and your menopause will be much easier!

 

The 1st Chamber of Menopause

Separation.

separationYou’re just about coming into your power in your 40’s, you know who you are and what you want, you’re on your way to get it and BAM! This is where the rug gets pulled out from under your feet. You start to question…

“Does this job really matter to me anymore?” 

“Is my partner really my soulmate? Maybe I should go, I can’t take it anymore?” 

Doubts, uncertainty, confusion and raging is your new country. In ‘The Wisdom of the Menopause’ Christiana Northrup tells a story of ‘crazy’ Aunt Carole throwing the leg of lamb out the window (I think she was totally justified btw); it’s a bloody struggle! All and any of the health or emotional baggage that you have not dealt with, will come and bite you on the bum. Youch!

You’ll find you need way more space and time alone than before and  fantasize about running away. You may actually leave but just don’t burn the house down before you go.

There will be grief – over not having children, over aging, facing your mortality and all the things you wanted to do but never got around to.

Separation hurts.

 

A woman is separation will say…

“I hate my body, with my droopy skin and stiff  hips, I’ll never dance again!” 

 

Your task in separation

Is to take time out. This will mean saying no to stuff, it’s good practice because you’re going to be no a lot more! Take time out to drift. Stare out of the window. Sleep. Do pretty much nothing (or that how it looks on the outside).

Self-care is key during this chamber. What does self-care mean? It will certainly include reforming your diet and honing the exercise you take, but there’s much more… self-care massage, dancing, yoni steams (download your instructions here), singing…. In short doing the things that give you most pleasure.

 

The 2nd Chamber of Menopause

Surrender.

surrenderYou still have all the joy of separation, BUT, you stop resisting and wanting to be ‘normal’. Instead, you start to accept the madness, to relax and get curious. This is where the process of healing can start, with reflection and looking back at the emotional rifts in your life with kindness.

This is also the phase where as well as listening  to your body, you will start to act on what you hear. So for me, like many women in their 40’s, my adrenals got a little weary, actually a lot weary, and I tanked out. No energy was available for me to do anything much for about 6 months until I really heard what my body was telling me and started to act on it.

 

A woman in surrender will say…

“I was always doing to be a dancer but I never did it… I wonder why?”

 

Your task in surrender

Let go of your expectations of doing all the never-ending stuff that you feel you ought to do. Burn your to-do list.

Take more time out to rest; you know the brain fog? This is where it’s inviting you, to a place of inward rest.

Search out healing practices that work for you, it may be homeopathy, therapy or massage, circles of women or nature. Choose what soothes your soul.

Potter in your jim-jams.

Say no to more stuff.

 

The 3rd Chamber of Menopause

Renewal

renewalThis is where things start to turn; there is a teeny tiny fragile sense of hope returning. “Maybe I… What if I…. “

 

Somehow, having done the healing work in the chamber of surrender, the lost parts of yourself are being gathered home. Often through menopause, it is the enthusiasms we had as a girl that come back to us along with the innocence and sense of possibility that girls have.

 

It is also possible that some of your energy will return at this point but DO NOT squander it, this is the energy of regeneration for you to use for yourself. Self-care is still your first priority. Non-negotiable self-love and kindness.

 

The woman in renewal will say

“It’s not just about dancing, actually it’s about teaching children to express themselves through dance, oooh, that would be fab!”

 

The task of renewal

Is to enjoy the sense of possibility and growth without acting on it. Think of the tender shoots in spring that must be protected from frost and hungry slugs – they need protection and kindness or they will not thrive. Your job here is simple, it is merely to receive the renewed energy. Simple eh? Except of course it’s not, because as soon as we get a little more juice in our tanks, we rush off and get super-active. Self-care is STILL your first priority.

 

The 4th Chamber of Menopause

Vision

visionThis chamber is a natural extension of renewal. Your energy and hope is stronger now and you are starting to see how your passion and skills can come together in the outside world.

 

A woman in vision will be

…scribbling down ideas about games and processes the children might move through to help them express themselves and become more confident.

 

A new enthusiasm comes through as the pieces of your new self reveal themselves; menopause is organizing you from the inside!

 

Your task in vision is to…

Enjoy the excitement of your renewed life-force and new possibilities. Think of when you buy the perfect pair of shoes, bring them home and try them on to admire them. It’s not time to wear them out in the street yet. You need to admire them and wear them in at home. You can now surrender to the possibilities that arise on your horizon, still without the need to act on them in the real world. Too tender and too precious to risk those shoes outside!

Trust is key here, a trust that the universe has your back and will bring the pieces you need.

Do I have to mention that you still have to make self-care a priority?

 

 

The 5th Chamber of Menopause

Clarity and direction

clarity-and-directionIt’s in this chamber that the practicalities start to fall into place. The details of your new calling are emerging; maybe someone mentions that they know a special needs manager at the local borough, or a great dance course.

 

At this point you have to trust that the right ingredients will come your way and that all will be well. After the darkness of the first two chambers you have developed the spiritual muscle to carry through your transformation.

 

A woman in clarity and vision will say

“I had the power all along!” 

 

Your task in clarity and direction…

Is to pace yourself, use your energy wisely. By now your self-care routines will be so habitual that you won’t even think about them : )

 

Congratulations! You are now officially a rooting-tooting, bad-ass, mighty powerful wise woman!

 

The chambers don’t necessarily coincide with particular symptoms, so that you may start to enter separation way before your periods start to change or be feeling renewed and clear while also flushing. This is a psycho-spiritual map and the sharp eyed amongst you, you’ll have noticed that these chambers hold true for any transformation in life. Pregnancy, birth, death, bereavement all follow similar patterns.

If this map appeals to you, you can delve deeper into the chambers at our next Love Your Menopause workshop or find more articles about menopause well-being. If you are interested in doing more reading, you might enjoy Leora and Kate’s menopause booklist.

So where do you think you are in this process?  Tell us in the comments below, sharing our experiences is incredibly powerful, remember; there have never been so many educated, aware menopausal women on the planet, let’s make this a change for good.

 


 

 

 

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November 8, 2016
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Massage Your Menopause Away

When Mrs Menopause comes knocking, massage is probably the last thing you’ll think of but in this video, Kate shares how kindness and time out are the secrets to surviving menopause.

So, is it really possible to massage your menopause away?

 

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You know you're menopausal

September 2, 2016
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You know that you’re perimenopausal when…

You know that you’re perimenopausal when you’re 40+ and…

  1. You’re pissed off. Those things that irritated you before your period, now irritate you all the time.
  2. You can’t just ‘put up’ with things that are wrong for the sake of a quiet life.
  3. You cycle goes on for longer than usual, then shorter the next month.
  4. Your periods are like a blood bath.
  5. Your periods practically disappear.
  6. You get hot at night, but not because you’re feeling hot.
  7. You feel an inexplicable sense of grief.
  8. Me-time is ON! You leave on solo trips feeling gleeful not guilty.
  9. You feel lost and bewildered.
  10. What used to set you on fire, now leaves you cold.
  11. When you used to stay cool, you’re now blazing hot.
  12. What you used to really ‘have to’ do, you can now walk away from.
  13. Anxiety seems to hang around longer than usual.
  14. Your jeans are weirdly tight, but you haven’t eaten (much) more than usual.
  15. Your children are a lot less fascinating than they used to be.
  16. If you haven’t had children, fantasy family lives spring up before your eyes.
  17. Brain fog. Now where did I put that damn thingummy?
  18. You have the overwhelming urge to nap like a baby, all the time.
  19. You don’t take any shit, not anymore. Oh no.
  20. NO is your favourite word.

 

Any of this sound familiar? The symptoms of peri-menopause are as unique as you are, but the list above are some of the finest wake-up calls that Mother Nature has to offer.

Wake-up!” she’s shouting!

Wake-up it’s time for change!”

During the process of peri-menopause, all the stuff you’ve not properly dealt with in your life will pop up for healing, either in your relationships or as symptoms in your body.

The good news is that you are invited to change into a properly powerful woman;

  • if you take on the invitation to heal what needs to be healed in your life
  • learn how to really nurture your body
  • and honour your needs

Feeling properly powerful already? Then just you wait as see what you become!

What is perimenopause?

Perimenopause all starts because of the shift in hormones that begins to happen probably without you noticing, around 35 or so. In English peri means ‘around’, menopause means the end of your cycling. Actually, in Persian mythology peri means a female, supernatural being that was thought to be evil, but turned out to be angelic all along! I think I see a parallel there.

 

What is menopause?

In medical terms, you are ‘menopausal’ one year after your last period but it’s common for cycles to stop and start with more than fourteen-month gaps (yeah, that’s me!).

 

What is post-menopause?

Post-menopausal is when that list of pesky symptoms has gone from your life, that’s when you realise,

Oh! it was menopause working its magic!”

 

One thing’s for sure, there’s no certainty in this part of your life! If you’re feeling absolutely lost, you are probably in it, which is why you can come to ‘Love Your Menopause’ and find a map of your inner world to show you how to become the woman you would love to be.

 

Remember to be kind to yourself – Kate x

 


 

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July 19, 2016
by admin
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Heal Your Womb

Winter into SpringOne of the highlights of our workshops is the self-care massage (before lunch obviously). As a special treat for you, we have recorded a unique ‘Winter Into Spring’  guided massage and visualisation that will help you to nourish and heal your womb as you massage away any tension from your belly. As far as we know, no one else is using this particular combination of practices together, there’s even a bit of Womb Yoga to make it super-powerful! You can use it to create a little self-love in your life and release what no longer serves you. You can get yours by clicking here.

You can just pop your email on the form and your MP3 will land in your inbox.

Enjoy your self-care!

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January 7, 2016
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Free Place Offered On Workshop

Sponsored PlaceWe are offering a free place for one lucky woman at our Love Your Belly workshop in Watford on 22nd February.

The winner will learn how to give herself abdominal massage and other techniques, which can improve your monthly cycle.

A national newspaper survey of 600 women stated that 10 per cent frequently found it necessary to take to their bed due to period pains.

The research also found that four out of 10 claimed the pain affected their concentration at work.

And some women questioned said they believed that their period pains had a detrimental effect on their career.

“It is a dream job to be able to teach women techniques to live without pain and discomfort.” 

 

Who Can Enter?

There will be a prize draw for the place, which is open to any women of low or no income who emails a few words to explain why she would like to come. We will not be asking women to tell her what their earnings are; women will know whether low or no income will apply to them.

Send your entry to leora@auraholistictherapies

“We’re on a mission to help women to love their bellies!” And want to make our work accessible to as many women as possible.

 

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What is Womb Yoga?

January 1, 2016 by admin | 0 comments

When we tell people about the Love Your Belly workshops, the question everyone asks is

What is womb yoga?

It’s a practice that nourishes women at all stages of our lives, it’s juicy and delicious, and gives us energy for a sustainable life. But don’t take our word for it, have a look at this video made by our teacher Uma Dinsmore-Tuli and you can see women of all ages enjoying delicious movement.

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November 4, 2015
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Womb Awareness Week

We are delighted to be joining in with Womb Awareness Week which runs 1st-8th November this year. The purpose is to bring awareness to all women’s wombs, regardless of whether they are on a fertility journey or not. If you use social media you can explore with the hashtag #loveyourwomb We invite you to explore

  • what it means to you to have a womb… or not have one
  • what do you know about your womb?
  • what one word would you use to describe your womb?
  • if you could dress up your womb, what would it wear?

There are some fun activities and a free womb fact book you can download from the fertility massage website and you can find out more about this marvelous organ below. Just click on the images to enlarge them.

 

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