Archives for April 2018

A Call for Celebration: Reclaiming the Power of our Cycles

“My little friend,” said with a roll of the eyes.

That dreadful “Aunt Flow” that makes it difficult for us

to fit into our favorite skinny jeans every month.

We don’t need to look far to find less than empowering language we have inherited from our cultures to speak about our menstrual cycle.

When I was a young girl, I remember my male friends squeamishly protesting at the simple mention of a sanitary pad or tampon, as if the very mention of my period was offensive, leaving me feel like something was wrong with me for something I had no control over.

But it wasn’t their fault.

Sex education is taught…

  • by separating the sexes, creating a divide between us at such a young age.
  • with videos that hardly talk about the beauty and wonder of the human body in a way that children can understand.

Boys leave the class ignorantly giggling and joking about their own thoughts, while girls are left to hide in embarrassment and live in a culture of silence, ignorance and shame.

Did you know…?

  • Our monthly cycles were once celebrated and praised amongst matriarchal peoples, yet we only hear stories that embody punishment, such as the fall of Eve.
  • These stories are the reason our wonderful cycles are now considered a taboo topic.
  • They are pathologized, medicalized, and turned into a “problem that needs to be fixed,” but none of this is actually true.

It’s this very attitude that there’s something wrong or shameful about having a period that prevents us from fully understanding them and using them to their full potential.

Period blood is designed to nourish and give life.

We have the power to…

  • reject this oppressive narrative.
  • destigmatize menstruation.
  • bring back the power and celebration our bodies deserve.

This is a letter to all women and girls that have ever related to their monthly bleeding as a burden, curse or ugly aspect of their female experience. This is a call, asking you to let go of the feelings of shame or guilt around your own natural cycles.

May we shine light on the lies we have been told surrounding our bodies and rise into our power. May we once again return to an understanding of our vessels and their rhythms as sacred and divine. May we learn to celebrate our blood and all the creation they give birth to. Embrace the essence of this female experience.

Care for Earth

Tampons, pads and panty liners generate more than 200,000 tons of waste per year.

The materials used in these products…

  • are often composed of more than 90% of plastic
  • end up rotting away in landfills
  • as toxic waste,
  • releasing harmful gases,
  • and by entering our seas and rivers.

As non-biodegradable materials, they will remain in the environment, seeping toxins into Earth for hundreds of years.

While the womb sheds and renews each month, our Earth does not have the same ability to discard all of the waste we dump into her.

Shifting our attitudes and practices towards our menstruating bodies holds not only the promise for transforming our lives, but also our environment.

Choosing sustainable, eco-friendly feminine products is a kind way to relate and navigate your monthly flow while treading gently on our precious planet.

Cleanse Your Body

Our modern menstruation culture has popularized products and options that are not only toxic to our outer environment, but toxic to our own bodies as well.

From the materials used to compose pads and tampons to the fragrances to mask your natural scent, feminine products are saturated with dangerous chemicals and even cancer causing ingredients.

  • Example: many feminine hygiene products are bleached with chlorine, which leads to the production of the chemical dioxin. When accumulated in the body over time, we see
  • immune system suppression,
  • reproductive issues, and
  • potentially, cancer

While this may seem alarming to you, its considered standard industry practice, and companies have no obligation to disclose this information to you.

When we embrace our cycle for the beautiful mechanism it truly is, the choice to treat it with non-toxic products becomes much easier.

Making Industry Bloody Rich

The culture of shame and secrecy surrounding our menstruation has been lining the pockets of the feminine hygiene industry for decades.

While women and girls suffer from the taboos bombarding their bodies, the industry gets rich by creating “discreetly” packaged products such as tampons, pads, feminine washes, sprays, powders and personal wipes. Many of these products are excessive and unnecessary and only appear to be essential through marketing tactics that lead us to believe are bodies are filthy, unclean and undesirable when we bleed.

In the United States alone, women spend an unnecessary $2 billion every year on feminine hygiene products. When you abandon the belief that your body needs to look or smell a certain way, this cost can be reduced drastically.

Menstrual Freedom through Financial Boycott

There’s no doubt that the feminine hygiene product industry has little concern over the health and well being of our bodies, the Earth or our wallets. And for so long, women have supported these products financially because they felt as if they had no other options.

Today, we know the truth.

Thankfully, today, we have a wide variety of sustainable, toxin-free and eco-friendly products to better live our values for care of the Earth and our precious temples.

  • Natural sea sponge tampons
  • Diva Cups
  • Created by a mother and daughter duo committed to making periods a more positive experience for all women.
  • Thinx Panties
  • A company committed to female empowerment, smashing through the period taboo culture.
  • DIY Cloth Pads
  • For a fraction of the cost of the above mentioned products, you can empower yourself to make your own reusable cloth pads… extra “Go Green!” points if you up-cycle clothing that you are no longer using to make them with.

Learn Our Bodies

Society has developed in such a way that women have great ignorance around their bodies and how they function, as well as how to listen to and decipher the signals their bodies send to them. In a way, we have been left in the dark.

But thankfully, there are an immense amount of resources available to us today to better understand our bodies, written by and for women who have consciously chosen to discard this narrative of embarrassment and shame.

Even before or even without indulging in these resources, there’s so much to discover simply by asking ourselves about own lived experience.

Get quiet. Become still. Drop in with your inner knowing. Nurture your body in its constant ebb and flows of change.

Let’s learn again how to respond to our cycles as a sacred act… a divine ritual… a cherished retreat to hold a space for introspection within yourself.

Honor your time of the month as a physical, emotional and energetic cleanse and detox.

Ask yourself:

  • What does each stage of your cycle call for you?
  • Are there times where you must heed to your body’s demands for rest… silence… turning inwards and reflecting on your emotional wants and needs?
  • Are there times where your creative juices are demanding to be felt and expressed?
  • Or perhaps there are strong and persistent urges to nourish and feed your body in specific ways during specific times.
  • Out of all the products you use, which ones are 100% necessary?
  • How many of them have you purchased simply because you have been led to believe that your natural scent is gross or filthy?
  • Do you own accessories or bags that solely function to disguise your feminine hygiene products, perhaps feeding into the sense of embarrassment from which the industry makes money?

It’s Time to Take Charge

Your experience of your period can tell you a lot.

The food we eat, our emotional experiences, hormonal shifts, and the thoughts you were having leading up to this phase in your cycle all have strong impacts on the symptoms of your menstruation. This includes the amount of blood to the quantity of clots.

In this way, we can use our periods as a mirror to better reflect and understand what it is we are experiencing in our lives. The quality of our cycle can tell us the things we need to let go of our eliminate from our realities in order to achieve a greater state of well-being.

We just need to be still and listen.

In order for society to shift its attitudes towards women’s bodies, we must pioneer the way by rejecting the story it has given us and writing a new one. What story do you wish for society to proclaim of our greatness? What story will you write and live to pass on to our daughters?

We are pioneers.

This is a call to change our relationship with our cycles as intuitive gifts, times of power, spirit, release and rebirth.

We need to resurrect period blood from a place of shame.

We need to tell a different story.

Let’s make it a celebration.

Mahalo,

Alyse

Leading Lives of Grace: Practicing “Loose Grip” in Our Pursuit of Greatness

Look for the Signs

I felt compelled to write this blog after finishing my recent entry on how to use the Law of Attraction(link) to manifest your biggest and grandest dreams.

I absolutely stand by this practice and application of universal law, but I think we can also move through life with greater grace when we practice it with a “loose grip.”
What do I mean by loose grip?

  • Letting go of stubborn expectations, demands, and needs.

When we become too rigid in what it is we think we want, we may lose sight of all the alternative paths present to us.

Over planning dampens magic.
(And we are all worthy of living lives rich and deep in magic!)

We find the signs of the universe by…

  • Remaining open to new and unplanned experiences,

While still…

  • Continuously taking steps and actions towards our ultimate dream lives,

You’ll know you’re using a tight grip when…

  • You experience anxiousness
  • You feel resistant to what is happening around you
  • You have this nagging feeling that you are suffering more than you should be

Go with the Flow

Practicing ‘loose grip’ can be applied to our everyday lives.

There are numerous potential happenings that can occur any given day, many of which we can never anticipate.

Have you ever experienced something that was “meant” to be a joyous, well thought out and planned day turn sore simply because it did not go as you had envisioned?

  • Ie: Were you looking forward to your perfect beach day just to wake up to cloudy skies and rain?
    You have a choice. You can…
  • Sulk and suffer for something out of your control

Or

  • Flow into the new possibilities

Ask yourself… what can I now accomplish because of this new situation? I can turn this rainy beach day into a perfect self-care day, with nourishing home cooked meals, indulging in those books you’ve been neglecting and relaxing into a self-curated spa day, bath bombs, facials and all!

You don’t have to have a plan in life to be taken to exactly where you need to be.

Do you have faith in the inevitable success of your life? Do you trust that you are fully and wholeheartedly supported by the universe?

Guess what… you are.

We have a choice.

We always have a choice.

Make the choice to let things happen

and fall into place as they are,

rather than as you wish them to be.

Know that whatever it is that you resist, will persist, so take the path of no resistance.

In these moments…

  • You’ll find ample space to celebrate the joyous twists and turns in your life’s plot.
  • You’ll get to surrender to and enjoy all that is out of your control.
  • You can choose to leap into the caring embrace of the Universe.
  • You can trust that you’ll be caught if you ever fall.
Be open to the signs of the universe.

Be open to the goals and ambitions of your life,

evolving and transforming as you do too.

Think

…back to a younger version of yourself… 5, 10, 20 years ago.

What was it that you day dreamed of?
What was your vision of success?
What were you striving to achieve?
And how does it match to your visions and dreams of today?

Sometimes, I am struck with amazement at the life I live today and how it is far more fulfilling than a younger, less lived version of myself could have ever dreamed was possible.

With each lived experience, memories made, and lessons learned, our future paths are influenced and affected. For many of us, there maybe future events that may completely transform the direction of our lives.

There maybe some hidden passion that will only come with perfect, divine timing. And with its arrival, it can open doors and pathways that your previous knowledge had no awareness of.

Can you be like a river and live your life in flow?

Like a Leaf on a Stream

If today I can experience deep astonishment at the wondrous, deep and fulfilling life I lead, who’s to say I won’t continue to be moved and amazed at how my life blossoms and blooms in time?

We can all benefit from adopting this way of thinking… of living.

There’s so much in store for us, some of which our wildest imaginations cannot even dream of.

I ask of you…

  • Abandon resistance to forces out of your control.
  • Accept where and how you can influence and create change.
  • Embrace this mystery. Celebrate the unknown.
  • Make the choice to flow with the great, mysterious river of life.

We may not always know where and how the river twists and bends. This is part of its beauty.

In the pursuit of your greatness, don’t lose sight of the very moments you are currently living.

We can…

  • We can learn to trust that however things happen, it’s for the best.
  • Make room in our visions for how things unexpectedly fall into place.
  • Grant our dreams permission to adapt, shift and be informed by all of life’s happenings and events.

All you need to do is let go and float.

 

Mahalo,

Alyse

A Practice to Change Your Life: Letting Go of Assumptions

Picture this…

You’ve just finished making an extravagant meal for your significant other. You’ve put an immense amount of effort into its preparation in anticipation of this planned date night that you scheduled weeks ago. From the careful selection of the ingredients at the market to the detailed presentation and layout of the table, you couldn’t be prouder of the feast and ambiance you’ve created. You wash up, put on your favorite dress and sit with wild anticipation for your lover’s arrival. You look at the clock. Quarter to 5.

Okay. He’ll be here soon.

But those 5 minutes quickly turns to 10, 15, 20…

You pace the floor and send him another text message as your attempted voice calls continuously go straight to voicemail.

With each passing minute of his lateness, the dinner grows colder as your emotions take you on a tumultuous ride from annoyance, anger, fear and disappointment. Your mind begins to create castles of ideas of where he could be, what he is thinking, what he is doing…

“That good for nothing jerk! He’s ditching me on our date night. I bet he’s off with that woman from the office that I met at their company holiday party. I hated the way she smiled at him! I had a feeling he was up to no good. Wait until he hears what I have to say to him…”

The power of your imagination spins out of control.

Then you hear the door click. As soon as his eyes meets yours, you explode and unload on him the plethora of accusations you had formed in your head.

And then… somehow.. he manages to explain the various unfortunate events that lead to his tardiness and lack of communication.

  • His phone died.
  • He gets a flat tire.
  • He stopped to get you flowers.
You stand stunned… embarrased, even…

And suddenly, you realize that instead of being available to support

your boyfriend after a challenging time, you projected fears and insecurities onto him,

turning what could’ve been a salvageable date into a sour ending.

I imagine we can all think of situations similar to this one, where our thoughts got away from us. I think most humans have the deeply ingrained habit of making assumptions about… well, everything.

When the mind cannot explain certain events,

  • We tend to form theories on shear imagination alone
  • We assume our own stories are the absolute truth
  • We forget (or refuse) to ask for truth from the other person, believing that anything they say will be a lie.

The unfortunate power of assumptions is
we begin to believe our thoughts to be true.

Do Better… Skip the Assumptions
Be curious!

In making assumptions, we will find ourselves in a trail of unmet needs, both on our account as well as for others.

Instead…

  • Ask non-assuming, open-ended questions
  • What happened tonight?
  • What thoughts were you having while this was happening?
  • Be upfront, but flexible, with your feelings
  • I felt really hurt tonight when you didn’t show up.
  • Thank you for explaining everything to me. I’m still feeling a bit hurt. I understand much better now, but I may need a half hour or so to come back to happy. I still want to continue on with our date night, do you?

The truth is, there’s really no way to determine how or why things happen as they do. Can you remain receptive to the grand mystery of it all? Can you come to a place of accepting the world as it is instead of how you’d prefer it to be?

When we learn to calm and silence the mental chatter of our mind, we’ll be left with a much more enjoyable version of reality than the one we had previously known.

In this new space, we make room for things to be exactly as they are, leading way to deeper clarity and understanding.

Don’t Read Between the Lines

~What did my best friend mean when she said that? ~That thing that guy did rubbed me the wrong way. ~Why did my mom express that thought like that?

Instead of guessing the intention behind someone’s words or actions, ask them what they meant when they spoke. There’s no need to decipher meaning when we have the ability to communicate our need for understanding.

In my experience, when I have taken this route, I’ve found time and again that there was no ill intent behind the words or actions directed towards me.

As individuals, we all have unique “hot buttons,” or sensitivities, created by our experiences that even our closest friends cannot always anticipate. We think they should know how we think and feel because they’re so close to us, but they’re probably busy thinking the same thing about us – that we should know exactly what they’re thinking and feeling.

By asking questions, we shine light on the truth of any given situation and avoid unnecessary, hurt feelings.
  • Give others the benefit of the doubt.
  • Request clarity from them before diving to the conclusion that their intention was to cause harm.
Be Vulnerable.

In doing so, you better support your loved ones in understanding your needs, and you can understand their needs better as well.

Be Fearless.

State exactly what you want and how you feel.

Be Flexible.

And be willing to compromise in any situation that doesn’t conflict with your values.

Be Kind.

Say what you want is different than saying how you want.

Telling your partner “I’m tired of you coming home late without texting me,” is much different than “It genuinely hurts my feelings when you come home late without texting me.”

We have the power to:
  • Create greater harmony and openness in our relationships.
  • Completely transform our way of communicating with each other.
  • End the needless suffering in our relationships caused by mistaken assumptions.
When we ask clarifying questions and speak to our wants, everyone involved feels more supported, honored and seen.

Through this practice, we begin to see the world as it is, not how we prefer or think it should be. And in this unveiling to truth, we begin to discover beauties we had not previously seen.

Let go of making assumptions
and welcome more freedom in your relationships and life.

~ This is inspired by one of four rules of life from Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, “The Four Agreements.” Gift yourself this life-changing book. ~

Mahalo,

Alyse