body wisdom

5 Natural Remedies For a Painful Menstrual Cycle

 
M76.jpg

Yesterday I was on my moon cycle and was having one of those days where I needed to stay close to the Earth, lay in bed and really allow myself to feel what was happening in my body. 

There was a lot of discomfort, and I realized it was the kind of discomfort I haven't felt in a very long time.

It got me thinking about all the women in the world who experience this kind of pain and discomfort every single month, often for the whole duration of their cycle. 

I know many seek out painkillers and birth control pills just to get through the difficult emotions and physical sensations surrounding their menstrual cycle. 

While I am glad women have these options, I've also been learning more about adverse effects from regular use of over-the-counter painkillers and birth control pills, so I thought I would share some of my natural remedies and discoveries with you in honor of the new moon this week. 

1. Do your best to avoid sugar

I haven't read much research about how sugar relates to our menstrual cycle, but can certainly share from my personal experience on this. 

A few years ago I removed cane sugar from my diet entirely to clear my system of candida and clear my skin (this worked amazingly by the way). 

Then one month when I was on my moon cycle, I was out to dinner, had a beer and unknowingly ate sugar in my salad dressing. That night I woke up with some of the most painful cramps I had had in ages. 

It took me awhile to figure out what was going on, but after being off of sugar again and having another similar experience, I realized it was the sugar. 

This made me also become aware that sugar includes wine, beer, pasta and bread, which all turn into sugar in our system.

But what about when we're craving chocolate?  

Try opting for a dessert sweetened with dates, 100% cacao, or chocolate sweetened with coconut sugar made by my friend Jonas of Firefly Chocolate.

2. Take a warm bath (and bring your crystals)

A warm bath is such a powerful act of self-love for any time of the month, especially when you're on your moontime. I've always loved crystals but only recently discovered my sensitivity to their powerful healing abilities...

Yesterday I was guided to draw a warm bath, and bring my crystals with me. I used clear quartz crystals and placed them over my womb. While listening to my breath I felt a significant shift in the sensations as energy began to move.

3. Practice restorative and yin yoga

Part of what led me to become a restorative and yin yoga teacher was the powerful relief I experienced during my moon cycle after practicing these postures.

Here are a few specific poses that can help alleviate discomfort during the moon cycle:

  • Balasana ~ Child's pose with a bolster

  • Supta virasana ~ knees bent with heels on either side of the hips, thighs together, lay back over a bolster

  • Upavistha Konasana ~ Wide legged forward fold with a bolster in front of you

  • Bending over to one side and then the other while in the wide legged forward fold

While these poses can help get you started, it's always helpful to have a teacher show you the poses to make sure you are set up in them safely.

In honor of the new moon I'll be teaching a restorative moon cycle sequence this week at Westside yoga in Sebastopol with harmonium, singing, and sound bowls. Join me this Friday at 6:45 pm.

4. Use a hot water bottle

Do you remember using a hot water bottle in the nurse's office in elementary school for a stomach ache? 

That was the only time I ever used one until I went to nutrition school and they recommended we use one for all kind of reasons. 

Everything from when we are feeling sad and just want some comfort to providing relief for menstrual cramps. I find the heat is so soothing for my muscles and allows my body to relax more deeply. 

5. Listen to the messages of your womb

Now, if all the tools just aren't working, there is most likely a message your womb is trying to send to you that you haven't caught on to yet. 

Our body uses pain and discomfort as a way to get our attention, and deliver signals and messages that we may not be receiving from the outside world. 

Before I started having all these difficult sensations yesterday, I was actually starting to create a vision board and found myself moving full steam ahead on a particular plan and dream. 

The contractions of my womb were almost immediate.

When I was in the bath, I fully tuned into my womb and asked if there was anything she wanted to show me. 

The answer came: Slow down. Now's not the time for action or even dreaming. Now is the time to be grateful for everything you have. 

Like many of us, I too can get caught up in thinking about "what's next" rather than being in the present moment. The unknown can be uncomfortable, and my mind likes to have a plan.

But as soon as I got the message and allowed myself the physical and mental space to slow down, the physical pain and discomfort immediately dissipated. 

When I find myself in this place of moving forward on a plan before my body and spirit are fully on board, I get pretty clear signals to slow down.

So what could your body be telling you? 

Have you been honoring your relationship to your inner feminine? Is there anywhere you've been pushing or forcing yourself to move too fast? 

Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments below. I'd love to hear. 

With love, 
Meredith

 

You're Invited to a Nourishing Spring Retreat

 
leaves-yoga-meditation-spring-retreat

When I feel agitated, frustrated, have pain in my body, or am experiencing difficult emotions, I show up to my yoga mat.

That is when I receive all my best insights.

That is where I am able to tap back into what's really important, make decisions about my business, and receive guidance when I feel at a loss at what to do.

I believe our body is full with wisdom.

We all have a 'highest self' inside who knows the answers.  However,  we can only access this wisdom when our mind is quiet enough to tune into intuition.

It's so important to listen to what our body is telling us, but often we get distracted.  To-do lists, obligations, work, kids, and a busy mind can crowd out the wise-self we all have inside.

That's why Karen Prosen and I decided to devote a whole day to help those ready to tap back into this wisdom.

We want you to reconnect to that wise, centered part of yourself.  The part of yourself that already knows all the answers. 

We also want to honor and welcome the new season of spring.  This is a time to start fresh and release old patterns that are no longer serving us. This is a time to step into a new way of being and living in the world.

We have rented a gorgeous yurt in Occidental, CA for a one-day retreat in honor of our body's wisdom and the new season on Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 10 am - 5 pm.

We are creating an intentional space for an intimate group.  I'll be teaching gentle yoga, breathing and voice exercises.

Karen will lead us through meditation and yoga nidra to recede into rest and we will end the day in celebration with kirtan chanting.

For lunch, we have invited Camina Gillotti to prepare an ayurvedic lunch with locally harvested foods.

If you are in need of nourishment, of rest, of community and reconnection to your body's wisdom, I invite you to join us.

The investment is $108 when reserved by March 18, or $188 when you reserve for two.

You can read more about the day and reserve your space here.

And if you're unavailable, or don't live locally, please take a moment to ask yourself, "Do I know anyone in the Bay Area in need of this kind of nourishment?"  I invite you to forward this message to him or her.

In love and service, Meredith (and Karen) <3

 

011 | 4 Keys to Feminine Leadership with Meredith Rom

 

SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES

A few months ago I sat down to be interviewed by Luna Love, the host of the  Ladies Who Lead Podcast.  I had a great time sharing about my personal story of how I came to do the work I am doing today.  

I talked with Luna about growing up in New York, what inspired me to take a leap to move to California after college, become a yoga teacher, travel to India and eventually start my own business.  

I decided to share this interview on the  Rising Women Leaders Podcast  so you can hear about  my  "4 Keys to Feminine Leadership"  as well as the women who have inspired me most over recent years.

"When you share your fear, it starts to lose its charge."

Here's what else you'll find in this  episode:

  • My personal process of how I execute my creative ideas
  • How I let go of "distractions" of alcohol, sugar, and busy-ness in my life to listen to my body's wisdom and needs 
  • How I moved from a fear of self-expression and being seen to becoming a yoga teacher and entrepreneur
  • My dark night of the soul  - how I knew I reached my breaking point where I needed to make a big shift in my life 
  • How I discovered yoga  and met my first spiritual teacher, Amma

"If I feel fear, but even just a little bit of excitement, I know that's a good sign for me to walk closer to it..."

  • How I handle my inner critic voice and limiting beliefs
  • Practices to listen to your body wisdom, face your fears, and create layers of support in your life 
  • The story of what happened when I shared my first song on the harmonium 
  • How I call  upon a higher power to manifest my desires
  • The women who have inspired me the most in business and life
  • A sneak preview of details about the book  I've been writing for the last year about my travels in India

Did you enjoy this episode?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Love, 
Meredith

Enjoy this Podcast?

Write an iTunes Review For Us Here!

Subscribing on iTunes and writing a review helps increase our visibility to reach more women looking for inspiring content.

 To write a review:

  • Follow  this link
  • Click the blue button on the side bar that says, "View in iTunes"
  • Click "Subscribe" under the Podcast Image then Click "Ratings and Reviews"
  • Click "Write a Review" where you can choose your rating, write your review and click "Submit"(you may be asked to login with your Apple ID)

Thank you for helping spread the word!

 

4 Questions to Ask Yourself When You're In A Rut

 

Last week I was on my first coaching call with a woman who had been going through several months of feeling depressed.  "I'm in a rut.  I don't wake up feeling happy like I used to.  I know I'm a happy person, but for some reason, I can't access that feeling right now.  I don't know what to do or where to start,"  she said.

I asked her questions about her life and found out about her stressful 50+ hour per week job, challenges in her relationship, and lack of connection to her body because of how much she was working.  As I listened actively with compassion and acknowledged her for all she had been going through, a lightbulb went off in my mind and I knew the exact next questions to ask her.  

Through my years of coaching women to find their voice, face their fears and manifest a new vision for their life, I have found there are four key areas that we can look at to lead us to greater joy, love and fulfillment.  I have found when I am sharing my gifts, facing my fears, taking care of my body, and creating structures of support around myself, I can't help but feel happy. 

The next time you are going through a rut, or feeling depressed, I invite you to ask these 4 questions:

1. Am I sharing my gifts to the fullest capacity?

It can feel pretty hard to be happy when we know we have strengths and skills that aren't being utilized.  This is why even when my clients are working at full-time jobs and don't plan to leave, I encourage them to find ways to share their natural and innate gifts either through their work or outside of it.  I also support new entrepreneurs who are ready to turn those gifts into their full-time work.  Every time, I have seen when we are finding ways to honor and share our gifts, it leads to a sense of fulfillment, wonder and joy.

2. When was the last time I stepped outside my comfort zone?

I need to consistently step outside my comfort zone in order to feel more alive.  I used to be so afraid to teach yoga, it was one of my biggest fears, but when I jumped in and did it anyway, I felt so full of life and proud of myself.  Now I have to find new ways to challenge myself, so twice a month I show up to a public speaking group where I get to tap into that feeling of nervousness and then feel proud of myself after giving a speech.

Eleanor Roosevelt says, "The very next thing you should be doing is what scares you the most."  So what is something that scares you?  Can you commit to facing that fear, knowing how good it will make you feel?

3. Am I listening to my body's wisdom?

Our bodies are full with wisdom and send us very clear signals when something needs to shift in our lives.  We develop pain, skin problems, or other symptoms when something is not right.  It is our job to listen to those signals instead of pushing them away.

I believe intuition is so important because it guides us closer to our purpose.  When we numb out the wisdom of our bodies, we lose our connection to divine guidance, we forget why we are here, and as a result can easily suffer from depression or feelings of meaninglessness.

However:

When we use our intuition, we are guided to our highest potential as beings and are able to live more meaningful, synchronous and connected lives.

The place to start, is simply taking good care of your body.  Eat well, take time to rest, exercise, do yoga, meditate.  When we are doing the simple acts of self-love and self-care, our body's wisdom will start revealing itself to us and we will know the next steps to take to lead us to greater joy.

4. What kind of support do I need?

I remember recently when I was going through a difficult time, I found myself relying mostly on my partner.  However, it became really difficult when my partner went away for two weeks and I didn't have him to listen to what I was going through. 

I told my friend Kevin about it and he shared a metaphor with me.  “If you’re only relying on one person in your life, it’s like you’re standing on top of a flagpole.  That’s a lot of pressure on one person, especially if his or her life is calling him or her to be elsewhere.” 

I imagined myself standing on top of a flagpole, shaky and worried of falling.

He continued, “However, if you become like a spider, with many legs supporting you, it’s okay if one of them takes a break.  You still have seven other legs to lean on.” 

When you are supported in all directions, your weight is evenly distributed.  It is so much healthier.

I think it’s really easy to get swept up in relying on just one person for our emotional, physical and mental needs.

However, when we create more structures of support through friendships, therapy, coaching, healers, and especially in community, we can really thrive.

So what kind of support could you need through this hard time?  Is it more friendship?  With women? With men?  Or could it be a therapist or coach that would be the best kind of support to you? 

When we are able to set up multiple layers of support around ourselves, no matter what happens, there will always be someone to turn to when you're looking for someone to listen. 

If you don't know where to start when it comes to sharing your gifts, facing your fears, listening to your body's wisdom, I invite you to ask for support.  I would love to connect with you more, hear what you have been going through and see how I may be able to support you, or point you in the right direction.  You're always welcome to contact me personally here.

 

Seven Signs You're A Modern Day Priestess

 
leadership-body wisdom-courage-divine-ritual

When I was growing up and heard the word "priestess," I thought of boring sermons at church, wearing clothes I didn't feel comfortable in and being forced to sit quietly when I wanted to play outside. I didn't know much about what it meant to be a priestess other than it was probably the female version of a "priest." As a playful young girl, the thought of becoming a female priest sounded pretty mundane.

Then one day, a friend wrote out my numerology. It was the number eleven, which also breaks down to two. In tarot, the eleven (or two) corresponds to the archetype of the High Priestess. She told me in ancient times, the priestess was known for having a heightened contact to other realms through intuition and dreams. The community would seek counsel from priestesses to know what actions to take in their lives.

I thought about my life and how I had always had a heightened sense of intuition; of being able to feel into a situation in order to make a decision. I thought of how friends were naturally drawn to me for guidance and consolation during difficult times.

Maybe I was a priestess after all.

Over a few months, I felt more and more connected to the archetype of the High Priestess and dove into books and articles on the topic. I began to see: the modern day priestess lives anything but a mundane life. Her life is rich in dreams, intuition, ritual, feminine leadership and a connection to the divine.

Here are seven signs there is a modern day priestess awakening within you:

Your Calling is to be of Service

To be a leader, you must first learn to serve. —Jennie Mira

The priestess is not a teacher or leader on a pedestal, but rather, she is of the highest service.  She is in service to her community and to her calling.  Being of service is not about placing anyone above or below, but rather creating a mutual relationship of respect between the priestess and the women she facilitates and serves.

Her work is to become a channel, a vessel to serve the highest good of the divine.  She must maintain a practice of self-care to be the most present and abundant in her ability to serve and become a channel.

Many women fantasize about a priestess wearing flowing robes, crowns and using magical tools, but in reality the priestess must be prepared "to be the last one in the rented hall, scraping candle wax droppings with a razor blade."  ~ Ruth Barrett

You are Highly Intuitive

The priestess uses practices such as writing, dancing, movement, meditation, self-care and alone time to hone her ability to listen to intuition. Our intuition is like a muscle that heightens when we pay attention to it. The more she can quiet the busyness of her mind, the more access she will have to the guidance of the divine and be able to step into the role of a channel to those in need.

You Seek Out Ritual in Your Daily Life

Rituals infuse magic, intention and sacredness into our daily lives. A ritual can turn a mundane act done without awareness into a sacred act with clarity and purpose. Slowing down to say a blessing before a meal changes the experience. Meditation, singing, or lighting a candle imbues a moment of peace and serenity into a busy day.

Ritual can also be a healing space where women come together to honor a specific purpose. These rituals may honor transitions, letting go, grieving, the lunar cycle or the change of seasons. Participating in ritual has been one of the most healing ways to mark a big transition in my life. Ritual has provided a space for me to be fully seen, acknowledged and supported by my sisters. After participating in ritual, I feel more confident and courageous to share myself with the world.

Your Internal Clock is Synced with the Moon

In ancient times, women slept in tribes, often under the stars and the moon. Their menstrual cycles were in sync with each other and with the lunar cycles: bleeding at the new moon and ovulating at the full moon.

You may begin to be more in tune to the natural world and notice energy levels rise and fall. Going out to socialize will make more sense with the heightened energy of the full moon and slowing down to nest will feel perfect at the new moon. For a modern day priestess, creativity, energy levels and social needs begin to flow in tandem with the moon and tides.

You Are Highly Sensitive

A priestess can feel the energies of the room and has a heightened ability to feel other people's emotions. This can be difficult for highly sensitive women because the world may sometimes feel like "too much."

In my last program, one of the woman "came out" as an HSP (highly sensitive person) and nearly all the others spoke up to share how much they related to and supported her. As a highly sensitive person, you may feel alone in a world of extroverted and gregarious people, however we often forget that heightened sensitivity is a gift.  You can fuel your feelings and emotions into writing, singing, and listening with a deeper level of compassion for others.

You Have Prophetic Dreams

Have you ever dreamt something and realized it became your reality a week later? A priestess often turns to her dreams for guidance. Dreams are a powerful place to explore questions in your life and to connect to the desires of your subconscious self.

One practice I use often is re-entering dreams. When you are unsure of how to decipher the symbols or occurrences of a dream, close your eyes and imagine yourself back in the space. Then go to characters and objects one at a time and ask, "What do you have to show me?" You will probably be surprised with the answers your subconscious comes up with.

You Are Naturally Drawn to Holding Space

The twenty-first century priestess becomes the container who helps create sacred space wherein women can connect with the Goddess within. —Ruth Barrett

A priestess is a space-holder. She creates the space for others to show up as they are. Have you noticed that people turn to you to guide them through an experience? Holding space is not about planning or knowing what to do or say. It is about becoming present to the moment. All that is needed is to tune into the energy of the person or the group; to listen and ask for guidance within.

In the comments, I'd love to hear what a "priestess" means to you and how can you embody the priestess in your daily life?

 

Self-care as a pathway to self-love

 
self love-body wisdom-personal growth

This week, I'm happy to share a guest post I wrote for The Sacred Plate.    The Sacred plate is an online community to encourage girls and women of all ages to align, support each other and share their individual wisdom to find balance, healing and meaning in the sacredness of their plates.

So many women are at war with their bodies.

And I've been there...in the endless fight against emotions, weight gain, acne, warts, freckles, cellulite, split ends... the list is endless.

"I don't want to feel this right now."

"I hate how I look in this."  

"If only I were... taller/shorter/thinner/curvier..."  You get the idea.

In the past, I turned to food, alcohol, or shopping to calm and distract these thoughts, as so many women do.

"If I eat this ice cream, at least I'll feel better for now and won't have to think about how crappy I really feel about myself"

I had days where I picked out the part of my body I would do anything to change.  It would consume my thoughts.

And then as soon as I could let go of the thoughts about my body, the thoughts turned to my personality:

"Why can't I be more outgoing?  Funnier?  Louder?"

The thoughts all added up to:  There must be something wrong with me.

It's been a long road for me to find a deep level of acceptance and self-love.  What I see now, is that it didn't happen all at once.

It was the little actions I did again and again that led to my own radical self-acceptance.

 

Now I guide other women on that path to find self-love.

However, through my work, I've learned, no matter how much love and encouragement I funnel to my clients, I cannot make my clients love themselves.  That has to come from them.

So where to start?

The first step is awareness.  Ask yourself, "Where are these thoughts coming from?" "Is it the tv shows I'm watching?  Am I surrounding myself with people who talk negatively about themselves?"  "What was my mother like when I was growing up? - was she the kind of woman who gave to everyone but herself?"

Once you have the awareness, you can take action.

Stop buying the magazines or watching the tv shows that always end with a carton of ice cream in your lap.  Listen to inspiring TED talks or Super Soul Sunday instead.  Make new friends in yoga class.  And remind yourself, "I'm not my mother/sister/best friend from highschool/etc..  I can do this differently"  

Then you can create a new reality.

I believe it's impossible to feel stuck and depressed for too long if you are consistently:

  • Eating whole, organic foods
  • Exercising regularly
  • Taking baths
  • Meditating
  • Giving yourself enough time to rest
  • Having meaningful connections and relationships

I started with small, consistent actions of self-care to discover love within and for myself.

Here are some of my favorite self-care techniques I use for myself and suggest to my clients:

1. Take an epsom salt bath

The salts will relax your muscles and draw toxins out of the skin.  You'll come out feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to cozy up with a book or fall asleep.

2. Read affirmations while you're brushing your teeth

I have a poster hanging on my bathroom wall that I read while I'm brushing my teeth, putting body butter on my body, or going to the bathroom.  It is a constant reminder of I AM ETERNAL LOVE.  Or I AM FORGIVEN.  You can find more of my favorite affirmations in my 4-day Self-Care Reset.

3. Drink herbal tea

When I feel a sugar craving, loneliness, or simply want to do something nice for myself, I make a cup of tea.  Try my favorite Tulsi Cinnamon Rose, it is luxurious.

4. Let go of FOMO - the fear of missing out (and go to bed early)

Because sometimes the night at the bar would be no where near as nourishing as staying in, cooking a delicious dinner and falling asleep by 9 pm.

5. Practice yoga and meditation

This is where I learned to be with myself as I am.  I realized, there's nothing wrong with me, and there's nothing I need to change.  I show up to my mat as I am and can let go of self-judgements and negative thoughts.

In the beginning, it will probably not be something you want to do, and that's okay.  If you're coming from a stressful lifestyle or have a lot of negative thoughts rolling around in your head, it will probably feel unfamiliar and maybe downright uncomfortable to take these steps.  You may even do anything to avoid it.

But from my experience, freedom is waiting for you on the other side. When you PUSH THROUGH and make these small actions of self-care a priority, you will no longer be at war with your body.

It is so much harder to be at war with your body when you are consistently and lovingly taking care of it. {tweet it}

After awhile, you may not even be able to live without your self-care routine.

When you are taking loving and consistent steps to take care of your body, you may no longer be able to pull an all nighter.  It may be harder to take on more than you can handle at work.

But it will be easier to say "No thank you" to the cookies your friend offers, because you'll realize, "I just love myself too much to do it." 

And all of these small actions will lead to to waking up one day, looking in the mirror and thinking, "Wow. I genuinely love myself." 

At least that's what happened to me.~

In the comments, I'd love to hear, what small act of self-care will you take today?

With love, Meredith