Medicinalmeadows

the place within…..


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Ancestral Journeys

Ancestral journeys take us deep into the raw emotions of lineage, of health and trauma of the family. Today I honoured my maternal bloodline with a journey for the menstrual cycle from menses, to motherhood to menopause. Throughout my preparation and journey the aspects of the three kept coming through in a pattern. Maiden, Mother, Matriarch needed honouring in youthfulness, in pain, in suffering, in shame and held with compassion. These times are of deep witnessing, deep love and deeply rooted in my bones. I am my ancestors after all, we are them, we have the capacity to hold a container for them and to witness our own lives as vessels of their wisdom and a releasing of their pain through our allowing.
Thank you Ancestors for all that now Is.
#guidance #intuitive #spiritualcoaching #ancestraljourneys #honouring #bloodline #redtent #redtentdoulas #redtentcollective #roots #bones #circles #mothers


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Menstrual Matters in the Current Climate

The vaccination roll out has seen menstruation reports to the yellow card scheme, which is the system to report adverse effects of any medication or treatment in the UK. “Common side effects of covid-19 vaccination listed by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) include a sore arm, fever, fatigue, and myalgia. Changes to periods and unexpected vaginal bleeding are not listed, but primary care clinicians and those working in reproductive health are increasingly approached by those who have experienced these events. “More than 30 000 reports by 2 September 2021, across all covid-19 vaccines currently offered”. (1)

The Science Media Centre on the 21st June 2021 stated that “It is vanishingly unlikely that vaccination, including Covid-19 vaccination, would have this effect, and women should not be worried that vaccination might cause problems with their periods” (2). Another report from the International Journal of Epidemiology suggests that menstrual disorders are extremely common, in its explanation to the yellow card scheme.

I have no doubt that there are “challenges”.  “Studying menstrual cycle features is challenging. Normal variation exists within women over the lifespan and between women in relation to characteristics such as history of infertility, body mass index (BMI) and exercise. In addition, menstrual cycle features such as volume, pain and PMS symptoms are subjective “(3). But my concern is that women do not go to their healthcare provider about their menstruation cycle unless they are experiencing a different pattern. Women know.

One report from the School of Medicine in Chicago found that “More than half of respondents to an online survey reported changes in their menstrual cycles during the pandemic, including differences in premenstrual symptoms and in the time between cycles and the duration of their bleeding”(4). Changes can be accredited to stress of the pandemic, as “It is well-known that stress can cause changes in menstrual cycles, and these changes range from shorter or longer periods to heavier or lighter bleeding, and may cause women to skip or miss a period altogether,” said study author Nicole Woitowich”.

There has been more media coverage, that may highlight menstruality to all with campaigns such as #periodpoverty, the Scottish product free provision, Red Tent Movement facebook groups and resources for online education. The University of Edinburgh has highlighted that when women have irregularities or “problems”, they know. They know the difference between ‘Typical and problem periods’ (5). The author and obstetric Doctor, Michel Odent writes in Primal Health (Ch9) that our bodies and our cycles are also intrinsically linked to our external world as well as the internal. Our stresses and strains are influential to our cycle. How can you measure tiredness as a quantity measurement? One person’s levels of tolerable activity are different from another. This is why comparisons are not as scientific as science would like. This is why we have not engaged in parameters of normal Michel Odent says, “what is normal health and how is that measured?” (6).

More recently the American Society of Gynaecologist rate the menstrual cycle as a “vital sign” in health. “ACOG and supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises health practitioners to consider periods as the “fifth vital sign” — meaning menstruation is as important a health indicator as changes in body temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure (7). Other countries are participating in further investigations, such as The Institute of Public Health in Norway. They monitored 6000 women, and are now going on to research a cohort of 60,000 participants.  In this study they state that in most (vaccine) cases, the changes were transient and returned to normal in the next cycles. Here in Norway the reporting system has gone on to formulate a research study. The findings of this study will be vital to all pharmaceutical companies and all countries rolling out programmes in the future, as well as Women’s Health around the world. (8). (Menstrual changes following COVID-19 vaccination – NIPH (fhi.no)

1.(www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n2211).

2.(www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-mhra-yellow-card-reporting-relating-to-periods-after-covid-19-vaccines

3. http://www.academic.oup.com/ije/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ije/dyab239/6447179

4 .www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-10-04/pandemic-stress-altered-many-womens-menstrual-cycles

5.www.ed.ac.uk/centre-reproductive-health/news/2021-news/menstrual-health-animation

6. Michel Odent 2007 Primal Health Chapter 9

7. http://www.elemental.medium.com/doctors-think-your-period-should-be-a-fifth-vital-sign-5b882c864783

8 (Menstrual changes following COVID-19 vaccination – NIPH (fhi.no)


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Garden Medicine

Feeling the duality today with the heaviness of winter and the Light returning. I am inward looking and still I change and shift to the energies entering in of spring. Hard to imagine when listening to the stormy wind outside. I am feeling blessed now I remembered my garden gifts me medicine. This is dried lavender from my garden, it smells divine. The little green vase is lifting my mood with its fresh green hue in the slight light coming in on Brigid’s Day.
#intuitive #medicinalmeadows #gardenmedicine #landscapes #innerlandscape #brigidsday #imbolc #sarahravenjewelvases #wombkeeper #wombdoula #energymedicine #plantmedicine #earthmedicine #natropathy #homemaker #professionalcarer


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Rites of Passage

Sometimes the answers are so simple, what act of self-kindness helps me heal? Cake. You see I have been gluten free for over a decade and whilst I don’t miss such things as cake or toast anymore, I do miss the occasions. For so long I have not had that rite of passage that actually does mean a lot. I have had no Birthday cake, no candles to make a wish and no celebration for another year turning around the sun. These rites are important, they are a celebration of life.
A great woman wrote that when we are born we are not born alone. We are born with a placenta that becomes our guardian angel. The physical placenta we are born with is full of richness and nourishment and to honour this spiritual passage and guardian we have a placenta cake. We keep on celebrating that life giving connection. So this year I will gratefully be celebrating my spiritual connection, my nurturing, and whole self. I can bake a gluten free cake.
Thank you #robinlim
#placentatheforgottenchakra #spirituallife #ritesofpassage #glutenfreebaking #freeefrom #doveflour #guidance #intuitive #spiritualcoaching


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The Menopause, the Matrix and the Moon

For Christmas I gave myself adrenal fatigue. This feeling of minimal activity and maximum fatigue is not a new thing for me. I am well versed in how this goes. I am also well attuned to deep rest, hydration and good food to begin with, from a well oiled radar to the early signs. The “Holiday” in deep winter has me thinking that I am not as attuned to the seasons as I thought. My preparation for Christmas was not at all prepped appropriately. My inner vision was covered. I did not see the wood, literally, for the trees and here is why.

I got swept into the tangibility of it all. The Matrix was there with its all seeing eyes and I was lost to it. I got moved along with the to-do-lists, helped my elders with their food preparation, the lights and the tinsel. I colluded to buy and messy wrap the presents and all the time my energy levels waned and I knew it. I felt it, I recognised my bodily signs saying, slow down. I went out again and again when the fire side was calling with its soft golden glow and its warming invites. I left for one last trip with the Christmas cards.

All this was done out of love, but was it love for myself! And where do you draw the line with your loved ones at Christmas to say, I am done! I am menopausal, my instincts are saying I need to go inside and withdraw not do more. I am listening to my body and my answer is just one more thing! But the body knows the limits and has no cajoling from the mind, the body doesn’t say ok, let’s finish all this and high five. No, the body has a limit and when the limit is overstepped it shouts now, now is the time for rest and no more.

All this came home to me yesterday as we sorted, cut and piled the wood from the pruned trees in our garden. Here I was again, but this time the realisation was of my sacred rhythms with the trees and the land. As I over stretched once again I had this vision that my ancestors worked with the rhythms of the seasons. I thought I was doing so well with my menstrual practice cycling like the earth with my inner landscape then it occurred to me, what do we do when the cyclicity is gone.

Here I was without the clock, without the dial, the rhythms all gone. I was chopping wood in winter when this could have been done in preparation. My ancestors would have prepared for winter, just as I had prepared in the autumn of my cycle, my premenstrual phases, listing and smoothing things over so I rested in winter. My inner cyclicity had been musical even, never mind rhythmical…..and now as I arrive in this space of no cyclicity it began to look more like no-womans-land.

My world was not prepared for the winter. If I had looked, really looked at myself and my nature this would have been all in good timing. The cutting, pruning and gardening would have been put to bed weeks ago. If my body had been in a menstrual cycle I would have been prepared for this! But is it just me, or is the outer world out of sync? As I sit here typing, the window is open the hedges are green and it seems the earth herself is in a great flux of menopausal seasonal crisis of no-womans-land too!

When I close my eyes and think of my ancestry I see the high stocked wood stores, the jars of pickled fruits and veg, the importance of the harvest festival and the fire flickering and tended to day and night. Frosty mornings and sleet showers with streets of leaves piling up the brick walls. Houses with the lights on early and no more to do about the gardens but witness and welcome the returning of the light in weeks to come. Nothing kept for keeping sake and nothing needed but stillness and the flame.

My awareness is bringing up that familiar nervousness that all is not right with the world. I am aware of what has occurred on the inner landscape and I can accept that and find my path again. But what can be done about the outer landscapes, how do we assist the cycles of the season of this planet? Is this a greater task that we have as a collective? Is this a task for all women at menopause, as we sit in nature to nurture ourselves can we be in reciprocity at this time? Is it time to nourish both? If the earth is also out of cyclicity do we now look to the moon for our rhythms and reflect deep into our old ways, the wise and the well, the ancient and ancestral knowing once more?


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I am a garden

I unfurl into the cycles of my own cells, that mature, decay and shed. My body recycles daily and it has been its own Garden for all my days.

Seeding, growing, expanding, wilting, rotting, composting, rejuvenating since birth.

I am birth and death in a day. Marvellous Me.


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Centred

What is Calling?

When I consider the number of roles I have and positions I have worked as an adult I see that we develop and change towards our Calling. In life we may have had many roles as employees, as a family member that has change into a new way of connecting or a responsibility we didn’t even expect for ourselves as we are drawn to the Path in Life we now tread.

Sometimes we lose the footing a little and that is OK. Sometimes we need a little alignment to navigate back to the Path. The greatest tool for navigation is the Heart. When we deeply listen to what the Heart Desires we know we are living a true existence. When we find it hard to negotiate, feel exhausted or under valued by the world around us, this is when we could do with some Heart based navigation.

When I forget to drop into the Heart as my compass I am untethered in this world. I need time and space to check my Path, see where I am leading myself, see what is leading me, listen to myself and who is listening to me. To witness and observe the route I am on and with whom I am traveling with. All this takes time, space and a map for the journey ahead.

I may need to reminisce and the past can be a place of seeing and evaluating the journey so far. No journey has ever been without a lesson or a reason and I am grateful for all those I have met as my Teachers now I see the Path more clearly. There is also a need to clear away old baggage and worn out shoes from this great Path. To reassess what worked and what did not. There is also the treasure of the knowledge gained so far that is of value not just to me but to others I now meet along the Way. Journeying can be a venture done Alone or with others, All-One.

Here is a meditation I have prepared to begin the next phase of this Journey on the Path.

If you would like to leave me a donation for this post and meditation, I am very grateful. You can buy me a coffee with Ko-Fi.com, Thank you.


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Centred and Balanced

I love that the word Centred, in the dictionary it means to be “well balanced”, for me these words have very different connotations. The word “Well” refers to an old and ancient belief that women where Well keepers. not just attending to the water springs from within the Earth or distributing healing waters, but they were keeping us well. The midwives, the nurses, the “Goodwives” are all titles that have been used to describe women that looked after our well being. Women of today are still all these things. They are the Well Keepers of the families, the community and they are holding full time employment, caring for their elders and walking the dog late at night. I am not detracting here the contributions of Men. I am recognising the terminology referring to Women throughout the ages.

So are the Women Well? I have been a keen follower of the Red Tent communities for some years and the conversations are still leading to how the world views are continuing to show us the same news headlines. They still report on salaries to the largest workforce of women is underpaid, over worked and struggling. We forget that women in nursing makes up 88% of the overall staffing, that nurses are frontline staff in a Pandemic. Then there is women’s pensions, still up for debate as many have been short changed into 2021. The Well Women of years gone by are still the Keepers of Today, but there are age old controversies that continue.

To Balance means “evenly distribute”, in terms of health, wealth, and responsibility and so on. When things are in balance in alignment that is when flow of all these elements are equal. If distribution is equal then the load is weighed out, everything is just, right and stable. For Women to be Well Balanced, there is still thedistribution of All things to be considered.

How do you feel today? Are you “well balanced” and in your flow?

There are many weights we carry and many emotions around the family, community and our own self care that need up holding in the day to day. To be Centred is to be in alignment to yourself first and then into the world feeling energetically, stable at least. Sometimes the feeling if not the weight can be address. So where do women go to gather themselves, talk, be heard and be witnessed. We don’t gather at the well-springs anymore, so where is the modern day well keepers place?


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Red Tent Quest

The last twelve months I have been travelling with the Red Tent Collective into Birth Doula Training. I have sat in circle with the most amazing women, reading a stack of books, walking on and off the path to weave amongst the mystical ways of birth and cyclicity of menstruation and menopause. I am on a mission, the way of being woman, with all of this heightened awareness. I am seeing what is missing in society for women, health and equilibrium.

Some blog posts ago I was writing about Belonging to land space and place and this year I have come full circle to the place within. What a synchronicity….the place within. To me this equilibrium is the sense of calmness, where ever I Am, the Belonging is within. It is a deep rooted sense of assurity that no matter what I am rooted in the moment. It is the heart beat and the alignment to a feeling, not a place.

How did I get to Here? I got to this place of assurity from sitting in Circle with others, from a community of people who can sit and listen with total acceptance. By that I mean a listening circle, a circle gathering of others who have capacity of Heart to Hear. When we Hear and do not fixed, when we can Speak and are not held back, when we are Witnessed and not judged, we are Accepted. Total acceptance creates a feeling of Belonging to Self.

I will continue to blog more about my journey of Womenhood as my Path unfolds. For now, I leave you with a Womb Blessing, naturally spontaneous and unedited.


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Sounds of the Sea

A moment spent by the sea can calm all the cells, water by water. We develop within the rhythm of water. No wonder the sound of water resonates deep within every part of me, even those places that are tucked away, hidden and protected.
“Deep peace of the running wave to You” (Celtic prayer).