Women Wellness, Smears, Cancer & Gratitude.....Always Gratitude


Wild Woman-The Blooming Womb.jpg

 I have to say that I was an avoider of the smear test. Unfortunately for me this avoidance lasted for a few years. I know from the statistics that many women are also doing the same thing...which knowing what I now know really saddens me! As we know Cervical Cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35 years.

 I eventually got myself in check as we were thinking of having a baby so I felt like I wanted to be in tip top health or at least get rid of this nagging feeling that needed to be addressed. I had no symptoms. But there was as I say this nagging.....I guess it was an intuitive feeling in my subconscious that pricked up every now and then that I should go for a smear test. Which I pushed back down and keep striding on with my everyday life in a complete head in the sand way. Any letters were put straight into the bin! Looking back I really think why did I try and avoid it so strongly. I think there was some fear for sure, I think I just made ALL the excuses to not have time.

I have to say I feel like I was so fortunate to have caught my cancer early enough to not need any chemo or radiation and that surgeries were able to take away the cancerous cells in my cervix.  I now have to have check ups & smear tests every six months at the amazing Royal Marsden Hospital to which I owe so much to the consultants & nurses! It isn't a pleasant experience of course but it is life saving. Having faced the consequence of ignoring when my smears were due, I now embrace any checks that are offered and welcome them. I strongly believe that the smear test should be available to people under the age of 25, and I have signed many petitions, but unfortunately we are not there yet! 

When I was diagnosed, I felt totally lost, bewildered about the journey I would be on. I suddenly felt like my body was no longer my own, I called the cancer a 'shadow creeper,' this thing that was silently growing in my body. I became fierce and driven to face this challenge head on full fucking force! I managed many of my surgeries and facing the unknown with humour and positivity, for me this was what took off the edge, what took away the power from the 'shadow creeper' I was held and lifted up by my husband and closest friends, for which I'm eternally grateful. This time in my life also deepened my interest in spirituality, meditation and yoga. I continued my love of movement and danced through the moments where I was challenged with my feelings and the moments where I questioned everything....I danced to shift the feelings. the stickiness, the darkness that had settled in my womb space. I held my womb space, I moved with a sense of wanting to heal myself, of self love & the deepest of reverence for myself as a woman. 

I am also incredibly thankful to have found Jo's Trust at this time it was so helpful with so much support and literature to read in my own time. I was being told many things by consultants that I could not digest, and language that was loaded and coded in medical terminology so having the resources online and also the support groups that are ran by Jo's Trust was fantastic. 

I think we should be encouraging women from a young age to empower themselves to understand there bodies, to discuss feelings, to understand body boundaries & embody and feel a deep respect for the female body. I certainly feel there is a rising in the divine feminine, we are taking a stand, we are rising and standing shoulder to shoulder with each other. There is a swelling in our consciousness that is growing as we embrace our bodies, periods, sex, women's health issues. The taboo is slipping away as we embrace the messy, as we embrace what it means to speak out without fear! Growing up I personally felt a deep shame and lack of respect for my body and what it meant to be a female. I guess for me there was a distinct lack of female role models. I now have so many female powerhouses in my life that I feel we mutually support & empower each other, many of these beauties I have found through social media. Hold these people close, the ones who love you unconditionally, the ones who are always championing you and raise you up! 

I take the approach now of living more in the moment and not worrying as much about the things I cannot control or that are adding to my stress levels. Being a survivor of Cervical Cancer, has certainly changed my approach to all things health, wellbeing and living life to the full I think when you are faced with your own mortality and being on a journey where you don't know the destination... you see things very differently and I feel such overwhelming gratitude for each and every moment I know it is all a blessing. 

This is definitely some of what has led me to want to explore women's health supporting other women in empowering themselves, through pregnancy, postnatally and beyond. I really hope to start a yoga/movement/meditation group for survivors of cancer for women in the future, so watch this space!  I just love spending time in circle with women, sharing stories, encouraging and supporting each other.

I would love to connect with you, to hear YOUR embodied stories, feel free to make contact. Deepest gratitude for reading this, Please share, lets make a stand against Cancer, lets keep raising awareness, WE are a force for change to happen. 

Cervical Cancer Awareness week 12-18 June 2017 is fast approaching lets do this! lets raise awareness and get support if you need it loves, you are not alone!

Namaste lovelies x

 Source: jostrust.org.uk

Source: jostrust.org.uk

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Life As A Ritual

In search of a place, a time, a space for self.

A place, a space of reconnection, to the earth, to the universe....

I have been using rituals as a non negotiable part of my self care routine. Especially as a Mama I feel even more now that I need this time and space to really do the things in life that light me up and gives me a deeper sense of connection within my body and also this make me feel more connected to the world itself! I know we all have our own rituals, our ways of connecting to special occasions, but I feel even more lately that these rituals are to be revered and honoured as a space for self reflection, awareness and connection to my embodied self and a way to feel a sense of the divine and universal. 

My personal rituals take place each day in some way...however small. I like to show up on my yoga mat each day. Whether through a strong vinyasa flow or with a yin/restorative depending on what my body needs that day. I also have been meditating, chanting mantras and doing yoga nidra most evenings which has been so needed to unwind. A mantra I have been working with for the past few weeks is:

'Aad Guray Nameh, Jugaad Guray Nameh, Sat Guray Nameh, Siri Guru Dayvay Nameh'

This mantra is used for protection and guidance. I usually use my mala to aid my concentration and counting of each round. I also love listening to mantras loving the work of the artist Jai Jagdeesh.

I have also recently subscribed to Movement for Modern Life, which I have been loving! It has such a variety of styles, amazing teachers and the best thing for a busy Mama is you have the flexibility to watch them as when you can. If you would like to check them out, they give you a two week free trial to see if you like it before subscribing. Another recent resource I would love to share with you is the Rituals App, I have been using this in the evenings with my Hubbie to relax and meditate, you can set it for 5, 10, 15, 20 mins. They also have a yoga section which is fab! 

I began to honour the earth cycles at last years Summer Solstice where I held my own ceremony in the garden and took some time to really reflect, dance and meditate in a simple spontaneous way that really began my interest with following all the festivals throughout the year. This I follow in conjunction with the moon cycles, each month and also my menstrual cycle.

 I like to create a sacred space or an altar to hold my ceremony. I light a candle & cleanse the space smudging with either Palo Santo or sage. I usually spend time journalling, noticing things that I want to release and let go of, and things I want to attract into my life. I also invite in the five elements, Earth in the North, Water in the West Air in the East, Fire in the South and Spirit in the centre. I also sometimes call upon my guardian angels/spirit guides to support me and guide me. I use crystals to support my rituals, these I usually cleanse at every full moon. My crystals support my health and wellbeing on many levels especially in used in conjunction with my Doterra Essential Oils. I like to use Frankincense on my third eye during meditation and also I diffuse Balance Blend during my yoga or have on the balls of my feet to really bring a sense of connection to the here and now to feel grounded & rooted. To find out more about these beautiful essential oils please contact me for more info! 

I think taking this time for ritual and reflection has brought so much balance, and beauty into my life. I have connected to myself and others in a much deeper reflexive way. It has been a way of decompressing after a challenging day as a Mama. I think many people have rituals they follow that support there wellbeing, which may bring comfort and connection to other people and the greater world we live in. I would love to hear about what rituals you follow in your own life, feel free to leave me a comment or come follow me over on Instagram or Twitter beauties 😀

Namaste Lovelies x 

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Self Care in Mamahood

How can we look after ourselves? 

The search is on for this Mama to find the off button. 

I find as a Mama, I need to find the time for a reset, a time to do the things that recharge me and enrich my soul. I find that I am able to find some inner peace, through my regular meditation and yoga practice. 

Other things that light me up is going on walks, being in nature, dancing, reading, journalling and being with friends who nurture and support me and I them.

I believe it is through these self care nourishing moments that I am able to really offload the stresses from the challenges I face as a Mama to a toddler. Sometimes it can feel so overwhelming, anxiety provoking and lonely being a Mama. Going along to the baby groups in the hope you may get chatting to a kindred spirit, only to just be following my little man around as he explores wildly.  Ending up going home without speaking to anyone. It can be a tough one....reaching out and saying hello to another Mama, I'm not sure what holds me back, maybe the fear of rejection? 

 It really feels so important to me that we can feel the best we can feel for our little ones and ourselves. Im sure it will look and feel different for everyone but the more we can try and connect to other Mama's going through the same things and looking after our own self care needs and wellbeing then it will be surely be a positive thing!

I also encourage you to reach out to the Mama standing on her own, smile, say hello! I'm sure we all feel the same way and just need to find the courage to just reach out and realise we are all doing our best in 'Mamahood' and it is through connection and sistering that we will stop this loneliness. Lets do this! Lets push the edge of our comfort zone we may be surprised how it makes us feel!

I would love know your feelings on this subject or if you have been reaching out to other Mama's please leave a comment, I would love to hear your opinions.

Namaste lovelies x 

 

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Pregnancy Yoga Teacher Training

 I had been thinking about doing this Pregnancy Yoga course for a year, I don't know why I delayed one of the best decisions I have ever made. I guess it all about timing and trusting things happen for a reason.   I signed up to Sally Parkes course as I had already had the pleasure of meeting Sally, when I took my little boy along to Mother and Baby classes with her in Worthing. We loved every minute of the weekly classes and made some firm friends. This where the seed was sown for wanting to become a Pregnancy/Mama and Baby yoga teacher.   The training is a 85 hour certified course which runs over 6 days. The first weekend we concentrated on Pregnancy yoga, covering many aspects from breathing exercises, the anatomy and physiology, symptoms and ailments encountered in pregnancy and suitable/unsuitable asanas during pregnancy. The second weekend covered Postnatal & Mother & Baby yoga and the business side of setting up classes, plus many opportunities for any questions or reflections we had. I particularly enjoyed the elements where we explored and embodied the chakras, mudras, bandhas, relaxation/yoga nidra and pelvic floor exercises.   We had a great group of ladies on the course, all of which supported each other as we had to teach our own pregnancy yoga sequence to the class which although completely nerve wracking was such a positive experience, and really instilled so much confidence in what I had been learning.    The days covered so much information and were supported with guest speakers. It was so intensive, but I left feeling so excited about the opportunity of supporting other women during pregnancy and beyond... I feel so much gratitude having such an accomplished teacher as Sally, I really cannot rave enough about what an inspirational force this beauty is. She knows so much and has so much energy & passion for what she does it truly lights up the room.   Check out Sally Parkes website for further information on all of the courses and retreats that she offers:  http://sallyparkesyoga.com      Namaste lovelies x                   

I had been thinking about doing this Pregnancy Yoga course for a year, I don't know why I delayed one of the best decisions I have ever made. I guess it all about timing and trusting things happen for a reason. 

I signed up to Sally Parkes course as I had already had the pleasure of meeting Sally, when I took my little boy along to Mother and Baby classes with her in Worthing. We loved every minute of the weekly classes and made some firm friends. This where the seed was sown for wanting to become a Pregnancy/Mama and Baby yoga teacher. 

The training is a 85 hour certified course which runs over 6 days. The first weekend we concentrated on Pregnancy yoga, covering many aspects from breathing exercises, the anatomy and physiology, symptoms and ailments encountered in pregnancy and suitable/unsuitable asanas during pregnancy. The second weekend covered Postnatal & Mother & Baby yoga and the business side of setting up classes, plus many opportunities for any questions or reflections we had. I particularly enjoyed the elements where we explored and embodied the chakras, mudras, bandhas, relaxation/yoga nidra and pelvic floor exercises. 

We had a great group of ladies on the course, all of which supported each other as we had to teach our own pregnancy yoga sequence to the class which although completely nerve wracking was such a positive experience, and really instilled so much confidence in what I had been learning.  

The days covered so much information and were supported with guest speakers. It was so intensive, but I left feeling so excited about the opportunity of supporting other women during pregnancy and beyond... I feel so much gratitude having such an accomplished teacher as Sally, I really cannot rave enough about what an inspirational force this beauty is. She knows so much and has so much energy & passion for what she does it truly lights up the room. 

Check out Sally Parkes website for further information on all of the courses and retreats that she offers: http://sallyparkesyoga.com

 

Namaste lovelies x 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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