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connecting to your menstrual cycle.

I’ve noticed that so many women and girls these days believe that periods are gross, inconvenient, a curse, or something else along those lines. I hear things like “ughh! I got my period” or “I wish I didn’t have to deal with this” and more negative talk towards this natural and beautiful thing that happens in our bodies. It’s a little sad, but I know it’s because of years of conditioning put upon us through marketing for feminine hygiene products and just the patriarchy telling women that they should be ashamed of their blood. It’s really beautiful, because like so many people are noticing, the rise of the feminine and goddess energy is upon us. More and more women are coming out and speaking about the Feminine, and our natural moon cycles. More and more women are feeling comfortable standing in their truth. Today I wanted to talk about this, because it’s kind of special. My moon cycle is sacred to me now, but for years it wasn’t. For awhile I suppressed this natural gift because I wasn’t comfortable enough with it, but after a lot of rearranging my mind and learning more about what my blood means, I started looking at it in a completely different way.

* Disclaimer: I’d like to acknowledge that I understand not all women get a period and this does not make them any less of a woman. There are many things and many ways that connect you to your feminine, and anyone who identifies as a woman has divine goddess energy within her. ❤ This post is merely for helping women who do get a period have a better relationship with this gift and themselves, by sharing my own experience with what has worked for me.

By connecting and honouring our menstrual cycle, we connect to and honour ourselves. Our blood is our womanhood. Our creative energy. Our power. As women, we hold the power within us to create life. Our bodies can literally grow a human within us (of course with the initial help of male seed) and I personally believe that that is pure magic and something to celebrate. Back in the times where tribes would sleep outside and there was no light pollution, most women had their menstrual cycles synced to the moon: they would ovulate during the full moon, and menstruate during the new moon. If you are looking to feel more connected to your female body and soul, then this is the post for you. Below I will share some ways I have found useful in connecting myself with my menstrual cycle and my femininity in general:

Meditate with your womb

This one might be the biggest and most important tip I have. While learning to connect deeper to my cycle, I found this tip on my sources and through many people, and didn’t quite understand the importance until I tried it. Meditating with your womb is very simple. All you have to do is sit or lie down, place your hands on your womb/pelvic area, close your eyes, and breathe. You can listen to healing music while doing this if you’d like, but I generally like to do it in silence. And then I just listen. Listen to my breath, and listen to what my womb has to say. Our female reproductive systems hold so much ancient knowledge and wisdom, if we only listen. The first time I did this, so much information was downloaded into my consciousness and I learnt many things about myself.

Learn the history of menstrual traditions

Learning the ancient history of the traditions, rituals, and beliefs about women and their moon cycles was such an interesting thing for me. Only in recent western times has the suppression of women and their natural cycles been prevalent. Throughout history many tribes and cultures all over the world honoured women when they were in this time of menstruation. Women would have their cycles synced, and once they started to bleed, would go to a Moon Lodge, or Red Tent, where they would rest, meditate, be, breathe, and be in women’s company throughout their menstruation. It was often believed that these women were at higher spiritual peaks while bleeding, and the men would seek spiritual advice or wise words during this time. Their blood was considered sacred and would sometimes be used in ritual to connect people to higher realms of being. There is so much more you can learn about Moon Lodge’s and I really recommend you look into it.

Ritual

Ritual in all times of your cycle can be wonderful and powerful. By ritualizing your menstruation in particular, you can deepen your connection to your body, your blood, and your feminine energy. You can do this by burning sage or cinnamon and saying a prayer to your goddess energy. Or by using your blood in certain ways to connect to yourself or the earth. Or even just by slowing down and being more mindful of every little thing you are doing: ritualize everything.

Rest and release

Menstruation is a time where the body sheds the blood that it no longer needs. Spiritually, this can also be a time to reflect, and then release what no longer serves you. Often times in the Red Tent, women would spend their time resting their bodies and meditating. Through doing this it becomes more clear to you what you might energetically need to release along with your physical blood.

Let me know in the comments what you like to do in your own cycle to connect deeper into yourself!

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7 herbs for anxiety relief.

If you live in this modern western world, it is likely you have experienced anxiety at some point or another. As a culture, us humans have been more and more about the go-go-go, and seem to honour the hustle more than the peace. Society sometimes looks at people who are working so hard that they are sleep deprived and not eating enough as warriors and heroes, rather than someone who might be pushing themselves too far. Along with this, I feel as though the increasing use of technology and social media can have something to do with the widespread anxiety people are starting to have. I know that, personally, I have been experiencing anxiety for most of my life–even in childhood!

I know it can be hard, but we don’t have to live with anxiety. If we take care of our mind, our bodies, and our spirit, we can follow our dreams and do amazing things, while still nurturing ourselves! I’d like to do more posts about anxiety in the future, because as it is something I have experienced for myself, I know how tough it can be and I really want to be there for you as much as I can. But today, I’ll be talking about some herbs you can have that will help your anxiety. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I’ve become very interested in herbalism and natural health. So I am pretty new with all of this still, but I did want to share my learning process and journey with you. Please let me know if you try any of these herbs and if they help at all! And just a little note: make sure you do your own research on each herb to make sure it’s safe for you to try 🙂

Lavender

Many of you have likely heard of lavender and how it is a common herb/flower used for stress relief. Maybe you have use lotions with the scent, diffused lavender essential oil, or even sprayed it onto your pillow! I know from personal experience that lavender is really such a lovely scent and helps me relax. Many studies show just how much lavender can help us with anxiety, and I am soo grateful for it. My favourite way to use it is as essential oils to put on my pulse points, or as a tea.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has been a popularly used herb in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Traditionally is has been used to treat anxiety, low energy, and even just as a general wellness herb for everyone. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which is a substance used to help the body balance itself out. I take ashwagandha in a capsule, but you can also put the powder in smoothies if you’d like!

Chamomile

To me, chamomile is like a hug in a mug. It has a very gentle, soft, floral-like flavour, and is really good for kids as well as adults. It’s naturally low in caffeine and can help you get to sleep, or even just relax. When I was little, I remember having chamomile tea with honey before bed, and it’s still a nice tradition I like to do every so often. It is such a gentle herb that you can really do so much with it, but my favourite ways to use it is in tea or as a tincture.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm is a very gentle herb with many uses. It is used for digestion, sleep aid, autoimmune disease, aromatherapy, as well as for anxiety. It is really just an all round nurturing herb that you can enjoy. You can cook with it, use essential oils from it, or–my favourite– make a tea with it. It tastes gentle, like a nice green tea.

Passion flower

Passion flower has been used historically for treating anxiety, depression, insomnia, seizures, and general well being. Not only is it a beautiful flower, but it has many healing uses. I think it is most often used in teas, however, you can make tinctures and tonics with it as well!

St. Johns wort

Many studies have found St. Johns Wort helpful for both anxiety and depression. Apparently it is even used in some antidepressants. You can use it from tinctures, capsules, teas, oils, and more!

Valerian root

Valerian is a flower native to Europe and parts of Asia. The medicine, made from the root, is often used to treat anxiety and insomnia. Valerian has been used for centuries, dating back to even ancient Greece and Rome to help anixety and insomnia. You can make tinctures, teas, oils, and so much more with it!

Plants are really so magical, and when respected, can be used for such healing properties. I hope maybe this inspired you to look more into herbalism and what plants can help you, or at least gave you some ideas for teas that can help with your anxiety. When paired with a healthy lifestyle and mindfulness, plants can do sooo much to nurture you.

hashimotos+ my journey.

My health journey really started in high school, when I was about sixteen. I discovered a plant based diet and became soo passionate about it! It was amazing to me how natural nutrition and treating your body right with food could heal it. I would immerse myself in articles and documentaries showing people suffering from health disorders, and who heal themselves by adopting a whole plant based diet, and knew from then on that plants were truly magical. I began learning about nutrition, healthy lifestyles, and this was even when my spiritual journey started too! It was an all round awesome part of my life, and little did I know, was just the beginning of my health journey.

After highschool, I decided to take a gap year to travel a bit, work a bit, and just get to know myself better. It was a great year and sooo much fun! My boyfriend and I travelled around Canada for a month (living in a van!), and even went to Kauai which was my dream for so long. It was really a wonderful experience and I am beyond grateful for taking time off from school. Though the year was slow at many parts, the times of travel were, though incredibly wonderful and i don’t regret, small stressers on my adrenals as travel tends to be. I should mention that in September of that year, really the start of my gap year, I stopped taking birth control pills because I no longer resonated with it and wanted to adopt an even healthier more holistic lifestyle. I’ll be making a separate post alll about birth control pills and why I don’t take them anymore, because most young girls don’t actually know what it does to their body. Going off of a hormonal medication, as you may know if you have done so, is pretty hard on the body and can cause the hormones to be a little messed up for awhile. And on my last trip with my boyfriend, to Kauai, we went cliff jumping and I ended up hurting my back and chest for awhile.

The reason why I’m mentioning these things, is because I’ve learnt through my research on hashimotos and autoimmune, that a lot of the time the disease can be dormant in you for awhile, and then is triggered by stress, trauma, hormonal imbalances, environment, and those things. My year off was by no means traumatic or insanely stressful. Not at all. But I do believe that some of these small things added up a little in my adrenals. My naturopath told me something that really makes a lot of sense to me. Autoimmune really relies on three things: sex hormones, adrenals, and gut. To heal, those all need to be pretty good. My sex hormones were a little messy since I decided to go off of birth control pills, travel and injuring myself would have triggered my adrenals, and even though I ate fairly healthy, I realize now I have some allergies to things like gluten and soy, which would have been triggering my gut. So basically all these things kind of happened together, which I believe is part of what triggered my autoimmune disease. Of course there are other factors in it like genetics and environment and some mysteries. To me it’s a little important to narrow down on things that could possibly have triggered it so that I could change those parts of my lifestyle!

Near the end of my year off, I would go to work and realize that I would get these terrible headaches every day. I tried drinking more water. I tried peperment oil, it seemed I tried everything I could think of. But the headaches were staying and it wasn’t fun. Along with that came extreme fatigue, anxiety, a bit of depression, and all that. I decided to go get my blood tested just to see if anything was off, so I could go from there. The test results came back and they said I was slightly anaemic and my thyroid was off. I started eating more iron and got more detailed thyroid testing, and discovered that I was hypothyroid, and had antibodies… like a LOT of antibodies. My family doctor prescribed my thyroid medication to take, but it didn’t really feel right to me. After doing research it was clear that the medication would not treat the root cause, but only the symptoms, and something even then the symptoms wouldn’t go away. I didn’t want to be committed to a medication that I was unlikely to go off of, so I booked an appointment with a naturopath!

Family doctors have their uses in some cases. But I definitely do not think healing autoimmune is one of those cases. That is just my opinion based on experience and a lot of research in autoimmune. But basically, my naturopath helped me understand what was happening to my thyroid, she gave me a name for what I was dealing with (Hashimotos) and helped me understand exactly how I needed to heal it. And I went with that instead!

Everything made sense again. Just like how I watched these people in documentaries who were suffering with an illness and healed themselves with plants, I realized I needed to do the same! So I made a plan. I needed to change my diet, even though it was already really healthy. I needed to go onto a more elimination type diet, which is where you cut out common autoimmune trigger foods such as grains, gluten, corn, soy, certain animal products, so that whatever was triggering the hashimotos would be gone, and you could slowly introduce things again. Along with this I started taking a variety of supplements to help support my thyroid, adrenals, and gut. I went pretty hardcore into everything because I was just so done with feeling sick.

This itself was such a change for me. During this time, I started school again! At first I liked it, but it slowly became less interesting. I was living away from home in a place that was not a good environment, and it was pretty difficult to keep to the elimination diet. Not only was the program I was in not great for me, but being sick made it pretty unbearable. After the first semester, I dropped out, moved back home, and was really focusing on my health and wellness.

Since then, it’s been like full on health mode to try and find what I need to do to make myself feel well. I tried super strict elimination but then found I wasn’t consuming enough calories. I added in fish and eggs for a bit to see if that helped– it didn’t, so I went back to plant based. And now I’m on something that I feel is actually helping me! I’m eating plant based, still grain free and everything, but am working on just eating a huge variety of healthy plant foods. I’m eating lots of fruit. Including lots of herbs and teas and healing juices/smoothies. And the last few weeks i have gained a big passion for herbalism and aromatherapy, which I have been trying to incorporate as well! It’s really great because I am actually starting to feel a little better! The headaches started to go away, I felt happier, I had a little more energy. Things were changing.

I really just wanted to share this to make it clear that autoimmune and hashimotos is really a journey. Everyone’s body is different and there isn’t a pill that you can take to make everything better. As with many illnesses as i’m realizing, it can only be healed holistically, by improving your nutrition, environment, lifestyle, and so much more. I’m not completely healed. Not yet! But I do know that the plants are healing me. I know that things are going to get better, and it’s really just about patience and trying new things. It’s a long journey, but we’re getting there.

Tinctures and How to Make Them

The last few weeks I have been so interested in learning more about herbalism and medicine making from plants! I have always loved nature and love finding new ways to connect with it. It occurred to me that creating an apothecary and working with plants in a ways where I can help heal myself and my loved ones, would be so much fun as well as help me to learn about which herbs I like and which ones I can use for certain ailments. I’ve decided to bring you along on this learning journey, and share what I learn and am doing as I go (let’s do this together)! I think I will be doing a sort of series on some common kinds of plant medicines, and some easy guides that I have learnt for how to make them.

Today I am sooo excited because I will be making my first tincture!! A tincture, if you didn’t know, is basically a medicine made from herbs infusing either alcohol or vinegar for a few weeks, which allows the herbs to bring their nutrients to the substance in a concentrated way. You can take the tincture everyday for as long as you need, and it’s really fun because as you learn more about herbs, you can choose any one or any mixture that you find would help you or your loved one with what you are dealing with.

The last eight months or so, I have been working on healing my Hashimotos autoimmune disease naturally with nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle changes. So I thought for my first tincture, it would be great to use herbs I know help with the thyroid. I’ll probably be using things like thyme, basil, atlantic dulse, lemon balm, and kelp in a mixture for that. But you can use anything for what you need (I reallyy want to make a lavender tincture for anxiety/stress as well). I personally don’t like alcohol, which is traditional for many tinctures, so I am choosing to use apple cider vinegar (raw, from the mother) to put my herbs in.

To make the vinegar tincture, you need:
Dried herbs of your choice
Apple cider vinegar
A mason jar with a sealable lid
Cheesecloth or mesh strainer
Funnel if you would like
And glass dropper bottles to store the tincture in later

It’s really quite easy to make a tincture, which i love.
First you need to fill the mason jar with the dried herbs of your choice.
Pour the apple cider vinegar until the dried herbs are covered.
Seal the lid and store the container in a cool, dark place for two to three weeks.
Make sure to shake it a little everyday.
After the vinegar is done infusing, you can strain it, compost your herbs, and funnel the tincture into dropper bottles! And you’re all done!

I’ve learnt that for alcohol based tinctures, they basically last forever, but for vinegar based ones it usually last up to a year. So make sure you label what herbs you used and when you made it on the jar, and store your tinctures in the fridge so you can keep them longer.


I hope this was informative and helpful, and I will definitely let you know in my next post how the tincture making went!

the ebb and flow.

Life is pretty interesting. We have no control really over what happens, and as you’ve probably heard before, all we can control is how we ourselves respond to situations. Even though this is so, for some reason we all try so desperately to control the outcomes of our lives, and sometimes we get offended at someone for being something we didn’t want them to be. It’s often about expectations of our own lives and of other people.

It’s a little difficult for me in particular to balance being optimistic and having so many dreams, to not setting my expectations too high.. Usually I tend to always have all these dreams and plans for the future, and I love being so positive, but sometimes it gets me hurt when something I want to happen doesn’t happen.

All this adds a little more confusion when you consider the Law of Attraction. I’d really like to make a post on this topic in the future because I could speak a lot about it, but for now I’ll just say this: the law of attraction is a method of manifestation where the basic principle is, your thoughts/feelings create your reality. This theory has definitely improved my life, I believe, because even if we are speaking logically, by having a positive mindset in life, you will be happier… because you are literally being positive. So even if not every one of your manifestations are coming to fruition, you are still improving your life by being positive. And naturally, when a person believes in themselves they are more likely to accomplish things they wish to accomplish. But the thing that confuses me at the moment, is how do I have this positive mindset and believe that everything will be okay, but not be let down when something doesn’t go to plan?

In saying this, I suppose it just goes back to my first paragraph, in saying that we really can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react. I suppose all we can do is be positive, dream, and always work towards being the best version of ourselves in every moment. Sometimes that means making business plans and venturing out into the world, and sometime that means seeing when we need to be still and introspective. All we can do is honour the ebb and flow.

This post is probably pretty all over the place, but that’s kind of something I love about this platform. I can share whatever is on my mind and let it all pour through here. Thank you for listening. 🙂

social media.

My experience with social media has been a very complicated and emotional journey. I had been exposed to it at a young age– i was probably 11 when i got my first facebook account– so it was a big influence over me as i was growing up. From facebook, i went to youtube, watching beauty gurus and lifestyle type channels. Then from youtube i went to instagram. Consuming these influencers’ content was a big part of my life, and played a big role in growing up.

I am a very sensitive individual. I am highly empathetic. It’s kind of to the point where i can feel people’s energy around me, and when i’m watching a movie or reading a book, sometimes i even feel like i am in that story… i’m not sure if that entirely makes sense, but basically, i feel things really hard, and feel what others are feeling very easily. So for a young girl, not yet sure of who she was, consuming all this content and being exposed to others validating one another based on what they share, wasn’t very good for me personally.

I didn’t know who i was or who i wanted to be. I would see all different kinds of girls with large subscriber counts being loved and validated because of the person they shared with the world. As a young girl, wanting to find her place and to feel worthy and to be loved, i kind of took to trying on different characters and personalities, as an attempt to be loved.

Social media became a sort of addiction to me. Always consuming, always sharing, but never from my heart. Everything i shared was while thinking about what others might think about it. Nothing was for me. Nothing was for fun. It was so so strange to see some of my friends share whatever they wanted and feel so light about using different platforms, when here i was feeling so trapped and having so much anxiety over what i posted.

This changed a little bit when i had my “spiritual awakening” for lack of a better term. I became a lot more aware of the universe, of energies, of a more spiritual type of living. I wanted to share this and inspire others, through social media. I found myself spilling so much of my soul onto instagram, in hopes people would relate or be inspired. I told myself it was foe me, but it was still for others, i just had an excuse now.

Things started to change for real, when i got sick, went through a depression period, dropped out of university, and moved back home. So so much was going through in my life. I was starting to see the stories people had for themselves. The labels many people would cling to so they would feel safe. The life i was telling myself i wanted, when i really never did. I’m not saying this is everyone on social media at all. I know there are many people who share authentically. But at this point, i was beginning to realize that is would be very difficult for me personally to share anything authentically, because i felt like anything i would share would just be a story i made for myself, and an image i wanted others to see me as. I could never show all of me, and even if i tried, i would still subconsciously be sharing a biased version.

I don’t want to be social media famous anymore. I don’t really even want to use social media much–at least not how i used to use it. I used to think that in order to live the life i wanted, i had to make other people think that i am living that life…. but that is so far from the truth. I can be me. I can live the life of my dreams. I can travel. I can make art. I can inspire people to live a holistic and happy life. I can have a family. I can have amazing and beautiful friends. I can do all this, and the amazing part is that i don’t need to share it with anyone. 🙂

So i turned to blogging! I don’t need anyone to read this blog, and i don’t know if anyone even does. It’s pretty therapeutic for me to document my life and to express things i learn and find interesting. But with a blog, it is completely my space. There is no validation. No numbers. Nothing that would ever make me inauthentic. I’m writing this blog for me.

And it feels good.

full moon.

the full moon is a powerful time, happening once every 28 days. in many different cultures and spiritualities, the moon is seen as the feminine energy in our world, the yin of the yin/yang. she represents softness, creativity, reflection, and wisdom. the moon’s energy, and our own, is powerful as the sun and moon are opposite to one another. when the moon has reached her fullest, it is a time for celebration. a powerful night in which our energies, our dreams, intuition, psychic abilities, and creativity are amplified, allowing us to tap into our higher selves and improve our vibration.

i have always been so fascinated by the night sky, but especially by the lovely luna who watches over us. in recent years, it has really enriched my life to honour the moon cycles and myself by creating sacred rituals to help me connect to myself and the Mother moon at certain points during the cycle. as the full moon is one of the most powerful time of creativity and psychic ability, i really wanted to share the rituals i enjoyed to do during the night of the lovely full moon–just in time for the super blood moon in three days!!

RITUAL ONE: Cleanse
cleansing is something i always like to start my rituals off with. it completely renews and rejuvenates the energy of yourself, your environment, and your tools so you are prepared for your night of connection.
i usually like to take a bath the cleanse my body. it is so so relaxing, which is great in itself, but it also makes me feel really connected to water– as a water sign, this is essential to me. i love to use candles and crystals around the tub to make it extra sacred. to make this bath more cleansing, and to make sure you cleanse not only your body but your mind and spirit as well, it can be really great to put salt in your bath. salt is a known disinfectant and can really help your muscles out as well. i personally use a bath because i don’t live by the ocean, but if you do, it’s even better to go enjoy a swim in the salty water.
once your body is cleansed and you feel a little more relaxed, it’s time to cleanse your space an your tools. this part is easy and so interesting to watch. i use sage or palo santo, and simply burn it while bringing the smoke around my space and around my spiritual tools that need cleansing (such as crystals, mala beads, oracle cards, etc). i always have a window open while i do this though, as i heard once that the low vibration energies need a window to escape out of as you cleanse your space.


RITUAL TWO: Sacred Movement
as i wrote earlier, the full moon is a time for celebration. it’s a time for being grateful. a time for moving your body and honouring her with the moon. this sacred movement can appear different depending on my mood. sometimes it is doing some intuitive movement on my yoga mat, following a yin flow, going for a jog, or even just dancing around my room.
the reason why it is so important to move your body on a full moon, is because throughout the moon cycle we might be carrying energies and feelings that are no longer serving us. by moving our bodies, we allow this stagnant energy to move through and out of us, leaving room for our new high vibrational energy.

RITUAL THREE: Meditation
as the full moon is a time where our intuition and psychic abilities are amplified, you better believe i want to be connecting deeper within myself and listening. meditation is something i have been trying to do everyday, because when i do i notice a huge difference in how well i can listen to my heart. we all have the answers to any of our questions within ourselves. as humans we tend to look externally for things to make us feel good or things that make us feel worthy, but all that really matters is that we listen to and honour our own heart.