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Archive for April, 2012

Moon Time: A Guide to Celebrating Your Menstrual Cycle ~ GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

If you’ve stopped by at all this week, you’ve probably noticed something of a theme.

It started last year around Earth Day when I made the switch from disposable to reusable menstrual products and spent a week reviewing the different brands and products I tried.

I’ve learned so much and been so satisfied with my choice since then that I’ve decided to turn it into kind of an annual thing – a week of each year dedicated to extolling the benefits of making the switch – AND to learning more about ourselves and our cycles in general, in a quest to turn something that may feel like a big downer (or worse!) for most of us every month into something we can actually celebrate.

Now I’ll be perfectly honest – I’m not 100% there yet. There are many, many things I don’t love about my period (especially the bloating! :p).

But it’s such an inherent part of being a woman that gets passed over so easily and so often – the amazing cycles we experience every month (they really are amazing when you think about it) are so frequently not even considered – truly it’s a shame!

I’ve been trying for awhile now to alter my own perceptions about the whole thing, which was why I was so thrilled when Lucy Pearce’s book, Moon Time: A guide to celebrating your menstrual cycle, was published. I bought my copy within weeks of the release date and was not disappointed (not that I expected to be – I love Lucy’s writing!).

Moon Time has been exactly the guide I needed to really begin the journey to loving acceptance – and the empowerment that is possible – in knowing and valuing the way my body works in all of its seasons. Read the rest of this entry »

Moon Time – Taking Our Understanding of Our Cycles Beyond School Biology Class!

The following is a guest post from Lucy H. Pearce, author of Moon Time: A guide to celebrating your menstrual cycle.

What did you learn about your cycles in school science classes?

Were you told about the spiritual and intuitive gifts of menstruation? How to weave your work and creativity around them? Did you learn how to care for yourself during your bleeding? Or what about the four archetypal parts of the cycle?

No? Me neither!

That is why I set out to write my book:  Moon Time: A guide to celebrating your menstrual cycl. It is for you, and me, and our sisters and daughters. To fill in the gaps that school and our mothers never taught us. Because when we understand what is happening inside our bodies, we can learn how to live our lives in harmony with them, rather than fighting or ignoring our biology. This leads to a decrease in PMS, heightened intuitive powers and a deeper connection to our own innate creativity.

Our cycles ensure that we do not live static lives. Instead, they demand that we live dynamically, constantly exploring the different gifts of feminine power. Part of learning the art of being a woman is learning to honour each element of our cycles and ourselves.

Through our cycles our bodies regenerate their life-giving ability. During our moon time we dive into our depths, mining gems of intuitive wisdom. And in the mid-part of our cycles we are gifted with the energy to bring these forth – to birth our gifts, our children and our creations into the world.

Our cycles have four major phases, which can be interpreted as corresponding to the four main female archetypes (or energy patterns) and stages of life.

The Virgin/Maiden Read the rest of this entry »

How Well Do You Know Your Body?

Detail from Birth of Venus by William-Adolphe ...

Detail from Birth of Venus by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1879. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I had my daughter (not many months before turning 30), I’ve become much more aware of and attentive to the way that my body works, reacts and rejuvenates.

It’s been a process, like any other change – but since it’s begun I’ve been rather surprised to look back and realize what a huge gap this has been in my experience over my entire lifetime – especially when it comes to my reproductive health.

I simply hardly paid any attention to my own body in that respect. Periods were always an unwelcome surprise – I didn’t know how long my cycle was or where I was at in it on any given day. Though I understood the basic biology, I didn’t really have any deeper knowledge of how it all worked or was meant to function.

When I became sexually active I started birth control with no research whatsoever – just took what the doctor gave me. I ultimately ended up switching to the depo-provera injection (in spite of many, many warnings that it was a bad idea from various individuals around me) because it was easier than trying to remember to take the pill every day.

And really – what could be better than not having to have a period? (That’s what depo does, in case you’re wondering). Periods were a nuisance – a big crampy annoying mess – something to be endured and got through with as quickly as possible (which was never quickly enough).

It amazes me now to see how incredibly detached I was from the entire process – not knowing or caring about the way my body was meant to function.

But in another way, it’s not so surprising – that is our culture, after all. We are not raised to be proud of the unique ways our bodies work, but to be ashamed of and disgusted by them. We are not given the opportunity to relax and reflect on ourselves when we are meant to, but expected to continue on as usual no matter what. We are not given credence when it comes to how the different points of our cycle affect us, but dismissed as bitchy, moody, PMS’ing. Our bodies are most frequently not a joy, but a nuisance to us.

Even now, loving my body is a place I haven’t yet reached – but I have learned to get to know it – and value it – quite a lot more than I used to. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s That Time of the Month Year Again! (Giveaway ~ US/CAN CLOSED)

Giveaway winner will receive a Set of 5 Cloth Pads from Moms Crafts 4 U

Last year, in the spirit of Earth Day, I made a resolution.

I must admit - it wasn’t something I was terribly excited about doing at first – I looked at it as taking a pretty big risk and did not have a lot of faith that it would work out well.

But as I look back over the past year, I can say with full confidence that I’m a total convert and wouldn’t go back for anything.

What I did ranges from being no big deal for some (and indeed, seems like nothing out of the ordinary to me now) to being a huge, potentially weird and disturbing deal for others.

In short – I made the switch from using disposable menstrual products (pads and tampons) to using reusable menstrual products – cloth pads (or as it is sometimes known – ‘mama cloth’), a menstrual cup, and sea sponge tampons.

I wrote all about my initial experiences in various posts you can find HERE – they include reviews of Moms Crafts 4 U (along with Earth Mama Angel Baby Monthly Comfort Tea), Lunapads, GladRags, the Diva Cup, Sea Sponge Tampons, and Party in My Pants.

Now that I’ve been using these products for an entire year, I wanted to share a bit more about my experiences. I’m not gonna lie – I’d love to help convert you too (I’m even sweetening the deal with a cloth pad giveaway at the end of this post)! Read the rest of this entry »

Let the Scales Fall From My Eyes…Just Not Too Quickly

*******
Welcome to the Earth Day Blog Carnival!

This post is part of the 2012 Earth Day Blog Carnival hosted by Child of the Nature Isle and Monkey Butt Junction. Each participant has shared their practices and insights of earth friendly, environmentally conscious, eco-living. This carnival is our way to share positive information and inspiration that can create healing for our planet. Please read to the end of this post to find a list of links to the other carnival participants. Happy Earth Day!

***

blindfold

blindfold (Photo credit: Belladonna Wild)

This Earth Day seems more like a ‘New Year’s Day’ to me than anything else. It marks a real anniversary of the time I’ve spent getting serious how my actions affect this world.

I made a LOT of changes when Bean was born, but looking back, many of them seem relatively easy - or so obviously worthwhile that there’s been no question of going back to the way things were.

By the time she was 8 months old Earth Day rolled around, and I was ready to make a more serious commitment. I picked a challenge I really wasn’t at all sure I wanted to take – I made the transition to reusable menstrual products. I wrote about my experiences at the time and plan to share more throughout the coming week (I hope you’ll stop by to hear more!) – but all that to say, that decision marked a transition for me.

It was moving into a deeper awareness – a willingness to learn more – a greater understanding of the effects I, as an individual, have on my world.

It led to more of such decisions – ones that required greater time, effort, sacrifice – growing our own food, boycotting Nestle (and purchasing Fair Trade when it comes to things like coffee and chocolate), buying organic. After watching a documentary on bottled water, I’ve finally stopped buying it – period. After reading more and more articles on the dangers of both BPA and aspartame, I’ve finally given up my beloved diet coke.

But before you get to the point of thinking I’m being insufferably obnoxious and pious with my environmental love, I admit here before anyone that there is still SO much I am willing to close my eyes to in denial.

I saw a cartoon recently that was captioned: “My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.” I find it very apt – though I hate to say it, ignorance sometimes really does seem like bliss. Life was easier before I knew all this stuff of consequences and effects and dangers and what have you.

But once you do know it, it becomes very difficult to go back.

Ultimately, I know in my heart that I don’t want to go back – but I’ll tell you I hate it sometimes. It causes difficulty. It makes simple decisions harder. It makes me feel like a hypocrite – every time of the many times I don’t live up to those ideals. It makes me feel like I’m giving a ‘holier than thou’ impression, which I don’t want to do or be. It causes strife with the husband and other family members. It makes me depressed to think about how much there is to think about.

As I look back over this year, I know that there are many things which I still consciously or unconsciously am able to not see. And over time, I think the list will only get longer. Over a year of both triumph and failure in an area that’s become very important to me, I know that I do want those scales to keep falling from my eyes – I owe that to myself, and to my daughter.

But I don’t want it to happen too quickly…

Thank you for stopping by the 2012 Earth Day Blog Carnival! Please relax and take time to read these other great eco-living posts:
Earth Day Blog Carnival - Child of the Nature Isle and Monkey Butt Junction

  • You are a Child of the Earth – Using the Earth as their classroom, Patti from Canadian Unschool teaches her 4 children their spiritual connection to the Earth and she accepts that loving the Earth can get really, really messy.
  • Cutting Out Paper – Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how she went from curiosity and concern to actually cutting out the use of paper towels in her household. She is proud to be “greener” as each Earth Day passes.
  • The World is Brown – Debra Ann Elliot of Words are Timeless believes in keeping the Earth green, but because so many people inhabit the Earth it is turning brown because people aren’t doing their part by reducing, reusing, and recycling.
  • 7 Child And Eco Friendly Activities To Honor The Earth (Plus Some Environmental Books For Kids) – Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares her favorite books that help children become more aware of the importance of respecting and caring for Mother Earth. In addition, she hosts a guest post outlining seven child and eco friendly activities to honor the earth.
  • 5 Ways We Teach Our Children To Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – Valarie at Momma In Progress shares a few tips for encouraging young children to care for the earth.
  • Little Changes – Big Results – Meegs at A New Day talks about how sometimes it’s the little decisions and changes that can lead us to find big results, and how she’s baby-stepping her way to a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.
  • Inspiring the Next Generation – aNonyMous at at Radical Ramblings hopes to inspire her daughter to live a green and sustainable lifestyle, in the same way she was inspired by her high-school science teacher, and talks about the changes her family are making towards this vision.
  • Eco-Friendly Cleansers: Safe For the Environment, Healthy For Every Body – Rebekah at Liberated Family writes about safe and natural alternatives to toxic, household cleaning products..
  • Lightening My Footprint with Cloth Nappies (Diapers) – Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares the biggest eco-choice she has made so far, and why she is so passionate about it.
  • Clutter Free for a Cause – At Living Peacefully with Children Mandy’s penchant for decluttering and simple living cuts down on consumerism, taking less of a tole on the Earth.
  • Eco-Parenting: Homemade Bug Spray – Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares a homemade bug spray recipe that helps her family to enjoy the natural world while taking precautions against bug bites.
  • Let the Scales Fall From My Eyes…Just Not Too Quickly – Kelly at Becoming Crunchy talks about the discomfort of no longer being able to live in denial over how her choices affect the world around her.
  • Fostering Love of Earth – Justine at The Lone Home Ranger instills a love of nature in her daughters by embarking on their first backyard vegetable garden together.
  • Being in Nature – Carrie at Love Notes Mama knows that just being in nature is more than enough.
  • 5 Ways to Pass Down Environmental Values to Your Children – Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares how easy it can be to instill environmental values in your children.
  • Viva Portlandia – Amy at Anktangle writes about the place she lives and loves in: Portland. She describes the ways this green city makes it easy for her family to take care of our earth, and also the steps she’s taking to further lessen her family’s environmental impact.
  • Conspicuous Conservationism – Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction examines the phenomenon of eco-conscious behavior as a status symbol.
  • Time for Radical Sustainability – Terri at Child of the Nature Isle ponders how she can model a truly sustainable lifestyle for her children and raise them in a way their environmental consciousness is as natural as breathing!

A big thank you to all of the 2012 Earth Day Blog Carnival participants!

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