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Period Story Podcast, Episode 39: Jen Wright, Listen To Your Body When It Tells You To Rest

On today’s episode of Period Story, we have Jen Wright, a cyclical living mentor. She supports creatives working with their natural rhythms – menstrual, lunar, seasonal – as they build their small business. I really loved this conversation – we talked about the importance of rest, the power of working with your menstrual cycle and Jen shared her own story. Jen has just launched Life, Aligned, a 3 month productivity and wellness journal. I can’t wait to get my copy!

Jen shared the story of her first period and how she felt shame and embarrassment about it. She says she always felt that it had to be a secret, hidden thing.

Jen says that she’s lost any shame and embarrassment and thinks she’s perhaps a bit too open about her period (I love it!). Listen to hear about how Jen’s fertility journey forced her to learn more about her menstrual health and how she fought for what was right for her personally.

Jen uses everything she’s learned in her work as a mentor and she talks about she helps her clients connect with the highs and lows of energy across their menstrual cycle. She says that if your body is saying that it’s time to rest, then listen to your body, rest and you will be so much more productive.

Jen also talked about how to use the lunar phases as a way for people who don’t have periods to connect for the ebbs and flows of their energy. Jen says that it’s so important to listen to our bodies and that rest isn’t selfish. Thank you, Jen!

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Life, Aligned Journal

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JEN’S BIO

Jen is a cyclical living mentor, supporting creatives working with natural rhythms – menstrual, lunar, seasonal – as they build their small business. Jen offers 1-2-1 mentoring, and runs gatherings with a bit of a twist. Last year it was Networking for Introverts, and Silly Heart Wanders (walking in the woods and gentle conversation with a small group of like-minded creatives) and she has a lot planned for post-lockdown meet-ups! 

Jen launched Silly Heart in 2018, knowing (from experience) that there was an easier way to run a small business than to work all hours, sell low, and risk burn out. She had happily left the advertising industry and office jobs behind to build her own stationery brand, Inky and the Beast, but the idea of busyness and constant working had followed her home from the city. In 2016 she became mum to twin girls and everything shifted.

Jen had believed it was good to be busy. “Busy” meant she was contributing, she didn’t have to feel guilty, she was moving forwards, and that she wasn’t “just a mum”. She thought, when she hit that wall, she could outsmart her body with caffeine and sugar and the right playlist… and then she discovered menstrual cycle awareness. Now Jen creates when at her most creative, writes and plans her marketing when feeling confident and social, and rests when she needs it. This small step of listening to and respecting her own body has been revolutionary, and she’s very happy to now be supporting others as they learn to work with their body, not against it.

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SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Le’Nise: Welcome to the show. 

Jen: Hi Le’Nise.

Le’Nise: Let’s start off by getting into the story of your very first period. Can you share with us what happened? 

Jen: Yeah, it was, I don’t really remember all that much about it, which is strange considering how much time I spend thinking about my period in my adult life. I think I was about 13 or 14. I know I was in high school and all I really remember about it is that I came out of the bathroom and into my mom’s room and said, I think I’ve got my period. And she went, “Oh, God” in this kind of like, it was a kind of happy sound, but it also sounded a little bit bereft, which I feel like I understand a bit more now that I’m a mother myself. Yeah. And and other than that, I remember that she gave me that she gave me pads to use, but yeah. Otherwise, I don’t remember anything about the blood or cramps or any kind of embarrassment around it, but I do remember later on when I was in high school, remembering the embarrassment around it and the shame and like, I hope that no one sees anything, flush the toilet twice and hide everything at the bottom of the bin. And the pads were so thick back then that the other girls could hear it as I was walking along the corridor, things like that, and just always feeling like it had to be this very secret, hidden thing. 

Le’Nise: Why do you think that you developed this shame and embarrassment? 

Jen: I don’t know, because I remember other girls at school talking about it, you know, almost kind of showing off about about it and doing a little kind of skit around it and making the others laugh. But I also remember friends of mine telling stories of one girl saying that she was at her friend’s house sitting on their sofa. And when she stood up, there was blood on the sofa. And so she quickly wiped it on her hand and went, “oh, no, I’ve cut my hand” and just ran out of the house and didn’t didn’t look back. And this idea that it had to be hidden and I don’t think I was explicitly given that message at home. I remember my mum talking about about it with me, but I also grew up in a house with three older brothers. So I feel it was always quite a private thing between me and my mum and just between me and my friends. And it wasn’t talked about in the rest of the house for fear of being made fun by these rather loud older brothers.

Le’Nise: Do you feel that you carry any shame and embarrassment now?

Jen: No, no, no. On the contrary, I think I’m probably a little bit too open to the point where a little while ago, I think I finally found my boundary with it when I was on a Zoom call with with my daughters and their classmates in their nursery. And we arranged like a group Zoom call, a few of us in lockdown. And one of my girls announced that I had blood in my pants, that that morning really loudly and I was like, “oh, no” and I kind of tried to, like, pass it off because it was like this whole group of parents, mums and dads and things like that. Yep. I think I finally found my boundary with it, actually.

Le’Nise: Was it one of those situations where you’re just kind of like, oh yeah and you kind of explain it away. 

Jen: Yeah, exactly. Like, “no, that’s not, yeah, anyway, so as I was saying…” And I think there was so much noise going on with kids screaming and shouting. I don’t think anyone had any idea.

Le’Nise: Yeah, a nursery Zoom call. I could just imagine the chaos of that. I want to go back to the story of you around when you started your period. So you said that your mum she was, she was fine but she was a little bit bereft perhaps because it was a transition from your girlhood through to now puberty. How did you learn about what was happening to you? 

Jen: I, I honestly, I don’t I honestly don’t really remember much. I remember, I remember classes at school. I think a very, very brief lesson on what would be happening in our bodies. And I was talking to my mum about this a while ago when when I knew I was going to be coming on to the podcast and saying, “do you remember having that conversation with me?” And she doesn’t remember either. I’m sure that we must have. But yeah, unfortunately, yeah, I don’t, I just, I don’t remember it. I remember talking to my peers about it at school later after we’d already started discussing the products that we used. And my friends were always trying to convince me to use tampons because I was just using pads. And it’s funny, but even from that kind of early age, in the early stage of the menstrual journey, I felt like my body wants it to come out. I don’t want to block it in. And it just seemed really odd to me to try and stop it from coming out. If my body is trying to expel something, then surely I’m better to just catch it when it’s already come out. So I was just yeah, I couldn’t be convinced and I remember them making fun of me and and like saying that I wasn’t really like, I wasn’t really a woman and I wasn’t really grown up for it. I was just kind of steadfast on no, that’s not that’s not right for me. 

Le’Nise: They said you weren’t really a woman because you didn’t want to use tampons?

Jen: Yeah. It was like, it was seen as like the, the oh when you get your first period, you use pads. 

But when you’re really, like, grown up and really having periods, then you use the the grown woman’s product, which is the tampon, which again is just feels like it’s more hiding it away, you know. So yeah, I was just I was pretty diligent about that. 

Le’Nise: Yeah. But that’s interesting that you knew your body so well at that point and you know, you could connect this feeling of I want, the blood, wants to come out with the the the need to use pads instead of tampons. That I find that fascinating. I’ve never heard anyone express it like that before.

Jen: Oh, OK, good.

Le’Nise: And so do you still use pads? 

Jen: I now use period pants.

Le’Nise: Oh, OK.

Jen: But yes, I was using pads up until a couple of years ago. I went on to discover period pants and then again, just haven’t looked back. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. And so much less waste as well. Plastic free in so many areas of my life. But again, when I was out to dinner with them with a group of mum friends and talked about how I just just discovered period pants, isn’t this amazing and just the looks of horror on everyone’s faces. 

But but what then you have to you have to think what? You have to rinse them out. You have to touch the blood and everyone just seemed, yeah, totally horrified by this idea. 

I was like, yeah, guys, it’s just blood, so it’s completely natural. Yes. They didn’t seem quite on board with it. I was very excited. 

Le’Nise: And it’s so interesting especially that you had that interaction with a group of mums, because when you become a parent, you become very connected with or familiar with fluids, bodily fluids. Yeah, exactly. And it’s like the that blood is still seen as like kind of the last frontier and that it provoked those reactions.

Jen: Yeah. 

Le’Nise: And I really wonder, when did we become so afraid of our own blood? When does that when does that start and…

Jen: Well, it’s so interesting, isn’t it, because and again, it’s not just any blood, it’s just period blood that is still seen as dirty. And that message is given to us from such a young age and through, throughout our lives with the simple fact that they’re called feminine hygiene products and called sanitary towels and everything makes it sound like, oh, that area is dirty and what you’re dealing with is dirty and needs to be cleaned up. And it’s just this subliminal message that’s constantly told to us that, yeah, as you say, even after becoming parents, when we’re basically either covered in jam or poo, we’re still worried about talking about period blood. 

It’s, yeah, it’s crazy. 

Le’Nise: So you talked about how you found your boundary when it comes to talking about periods. 

But I want to ask you, when did you start to become more open in terms of talking about your period because you described when you were a teenager this shame and embarrassment? When did things change? 

Jen: I think probably on my fertility journey, they, things had to change because I was discussing with so many different doctors and consultants, so it took us about three years to get pregnant. And again, I didn’t I, I kind of resisted intervention for a while. I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) when I was in my early 20s and told that it would be very difficult to get pregnant. And added to that, I had been on the contraceptive pill on and off since I was 15 years old, which obviously didn’t, didn’t help matters either. But when when I was off the pill and we were actively trying for a baby, I was going in and out of all these different kind of doctor’s appointments. And so that was when I started to get to know my my very irregular cycle.

So sorry, going back a little bit when I was when I was still a teenager. After my period arrived, I would only have one, maybe once, one or two year. So they were they were still very rare for me. And they stayed there for a couple of years when I went to the doctor and said everything’s still very irregular. And I remember that they were very heavy when they did come. And so no other questions were asked. I was just dropped straight onto the contraceptive pill and I stayed on it for six years. And it’s only as an adult I’ve learnt that actually more questions should be asked to find kind of the underlying issues and also that it’s quite normal as a teenager for your periods not to regulate until until you’re older. But we’re not really given a chance before we’re given the contraceptive pill. I’ve lost my train of thought now.

Le’Nise:Go back to what you were saying about the pill and talk a bit more about why you came off it, because you started at 15 and then you came off. You were on it for six years. So you came off when you were 21. What made you decide to come off the pill? 

Jen: So I think a number of reasons. I, I had been quite, quite miserable and quite moody throughout my later teenage years, which again, I think everyone put down to adolescence. I put it down to my own adolescence and boy problems and things as well. Actually, looking back, I do wonder whether it was something to do with that, because when I came off the, the pill, things did change for me emotionally. Over a couple of years, I found myself in quite a toxic relationship and it was kind of like I saw sense a little bit and like something in me woke up and I, I found my way out of that relationship, fortunately. And I then, I then went back on the pill again, feeling like everything’s still irregular. If I if I don’t want to keep going out and being surprised by my periods arriving when I’m out and about, then the only option for me is to go on the pill. 

So I went back on the pill for a few years and then as I say, my husband and I wanted to try for a baby. And so I only came off the pill like literally a few months before we actively started trying.  

So I started going to different appointments where they started to tell me all of the options for me, which all sounded just like something that I didn’t, I didn’t want. And I was very I was adamant with my husband from the beginning that I, I wouldn’t want to go down the IVF route if things were difficult for us for years. I wouldn’t want to go down the IVF route. And again, it kind of comes back to that not wanting to do the opposite of what my body wanted to do. If my body is telling me that it’s not ready for whatever reason or it’s not doing it for whatever reason, then I need to sort out my body, not force it to do something it doesn’t want to do. And that was just what felt right to me personally. So before before I tried any of the options that the doctors were offering me, I was going back for blood tests and hormone levels and all that. While I was having that, I went to acupuncture and started taking Chinese herbs and things and tried that for about six months, I believe. But unfortunately, it didn’t seem to be having the right, the right effect. If anything, I felt actually a little bit poorly over the months that I was taking the Chinese herbs and my acupuncturist was so wonderful. She said, “I think that you’re just very sensitive to this to this style of intervention. And maybe it’s time to try something else.” “OK, I’ll try something else.”

And so I ended up taking a drug called Clomid, which was to kind of force ovulation and again, they said that I needed to take it when I started my periods and my period was still only coming once or twice a year. They offered me progesterone to bring on a fake bleed. And again, I said, “I’m not taking that because to bring on a fake bleed, how is that going to help you get pregnant?” That’s nothing to do with my natural cycle. So I said, “I’m just going to wait. It might take a few months, but I’ll wait until my period actually arrives.”

And fortunately, about six weeks later, my period did arrive. So I took the Clomid and fell pregnant with twins, which was a bit of a shock. And oh, so my body obviously was just ready to wake up by that point. Yes.

And then obviously no menstrual cycle while pregnant. And at the beginning I had my my girls I was expressing and attempted to breastfeed and it didn’t, didn’t work for me with the two. They were premature and both had tongue tie and it turned out quite serious dietary issues with one of my daughters as well. And so I ended up switching to formula. 

And so quite early on, my period returned and I remember being furious about it, just like I waited so many years for my menstrual cycle to sort itself out and now at this point where I don’t need to ovulate and I don’t want to have more babies now, it’s suddenly going to start turning up like clockwork. And it did. It started becoming more and more regular and more and more frequently, almost as if my body had gone, ‘I understand what I what I’m supposed to do now, OK? Yes, I’m going to kick it into gear.’

Le’Nise: Your story is so interesting because you ostensibly had PCOS, but then but you because your periods were so irregular when you were a teenager, which is actually really common, that, you know, then you started taking the pill, which suppresses ovulation, came off the pill, went back on it again and then came off the pill, then had to take a drug to stimulate ovulation. It’s fascinating. 

And then you got pregnant and gave birth and your periods, your menstrual cycle resolved itself.

Jen: Yeah. 

Le’Nise: And so it’s really fascinating how quick the doctors were to put you on the pill when you were 15, when perhaps, you know, hindsight being 20 / 20, it may have been better to just wait to see what have, what what what would have happened naturally to your body. 

Jen: Yeah, completely. And and I wish, I just wish I’d known then what I know now, because I don’t believe I would have taken the pill at all. And yes, maybe I wouldn’t have spent most of my life thinking, oh, I have huge and irregular periods because the fact that they’re regular now I mean, they are every kind of 35-36 days usually, but that’s still regular. I can still plan around it and I can still track it. 

Maybe that’s what would have happened anyway if I’d just let my body kind of ease itself into it rather than going yeah you’re not doing the right thing, we’re going to fill you with drugs again and years later, and you’re not doing the right thing filled with drugs. And and again, it wasn’t raised when I was talking to consultants about all the different things they were offering me to help me get pregnant. 

It was never really addressed the fact that I’d been on the contraceptive pill for that many years, it was never you know, I was told, “oh, well, you only came off such as much time ago. So you need to give your body time to regulate itself.” But it was it, otherwise, that was it was never mentioned again. 

Le’Nise: You said something interesting about you, you were going to go on the Clomid, but you were uncertain because you felt like, or prior to that you didn’t feel like your body was ready to do to go on, that you wanted to find another way. And that’s again, then another example that you’ve mentioned where you’ve really been able to tune into your body and be able to listen. 

And it’s fascinating because that’s something that I’m starting to see more and more, more women being able to start to listen to their bodies and listen to what what their bodies are telling and actually respond to that, not just hear it and then just kind of carry on. 

How do you continue to develop that kind of connection with what your body is telling you? 

Jen: So well, not so early last year, I was I was talking with a with a friend and she recommended the book Period Power to me. And I think from reading that it was just it it was just like a mind blowing moment, learning all of this all of these facts about my body and my hormones and just how how much is affected by hormones, because we still talk about it as if it’s just we get, we get kind of emotional and pain for a week and then we bleed for a week and that’s it. And the rest of the time, we’re not on our period and that’s it.

But actually, the cycle is constant. We are always on the cycle of of different hormones flowing through our body. So, of course, that’s going to affect us every day in a different way. So, yeah, everything that I’ve learnt from. Period Power and my own fertility journey, and I then I then became a voracious reader of anything that was about the menstrual cycle and also reading and I mentioned before the book How the Pill Changes Everything by Sarah Hill, which was fascinating and gives you so much more insight into everything that the hormones do, because, again, you think of it all just affecting your uterus, basically. And actually it’s all these signals from the brain, they affect your entire body and mind. 

So, yes, I’ve just been kind of trying to bring that learning into my day to day life and then into my mentoring work as well. So when, when I start, when I started mentoring women back in 2018, I already was very adamant with them when we were talking about the kind of their to do list and their ideas and everything they wanted to do, something that was always key for me to bring up in the conversation was, “OK, but when are you resting? When when are you going to do something fun for you? When are you creating just for the sake of creating” and how frequently the answer was just, “oh, no, I don’t I don’t have time to do that or no, I haven’t even considered that. How could I possibly do that? I’m already running on empty.”

Well, yes, you’ve just answered your question. 

If if you rest and give yourself a chance to just sit and breathe and you know, the ideas that you feel blocked around will flow more easily and give your body a chance to to recoup. And I guess I’ve just, just now increased those questions with my clients and we work them around the menstrual cycle. So I talking to a client a couple of days ago and she was laying out all of all of this work that she wants to get done over the next few weeks and saying, “yeah, it feels it feels manageable. You know, I’ve got this lot of stuff here in this little stuff here,” “OK, but when when these your bleed due? Aren’t you due soon?”

“Yeah, I’m actually due the day of that deadline. Maybe I should shift that.” I’m kind of trying to bring that consideration into, into our work because it it does affect us. And I think a lot of a lot of women still fight that saying, no, I am in control. I say, that I need to do these things and I will get on and do it and say, well, you are your body. And if your body is saying that it’s time to rest, then listen to your body, rest and you will be so much more productive and feel so much brighter and more positive for having that rest. 

Yeah, and I’ve been trying to practise what I preach for the most part. 

Le’Nise: Why do you think we’re so resistant to rest?

Jen: Oh, the patriarchy. I think we’re just we’re just indoctrinated with this belief that we have to be busy. We have to be busy all the time to really be seen as contributing and really being seen as being productive. And I’m a victim of that myself, of you know, I had a very busy, very stressful office job for years. And even when I started working for myself, I ran a stationary brand for a few years. I just still felt like if I wasn’t working all the hours, then how could I possibly ever be successful and how would people take me seriously? And it just it’s just a one way ticket to burn out. And you don’t do your best work in that space. So and it’s mad that we leave these jobs going, oh, I don’t want to be in the rat race. I want to start my own business. And then we work harder for ourselves than we would ever accept working for somebody else. And there is this this old kind of patriarchal view of, you know, I must work the same every day, day in, day out, must make money, must, you know, just keep going no matter what. 

Le’Nise: It’s interesting what you’re saying about this patriarchy and productivity and needing to work harder for yourself, because I could completely relate to all of it. I I’m actually on day three of my period right now. And so Saturday I, I usually have lots of stuff to do in the morning, but for whatever reason, things got cancelled out of my diary. So all of a sudden I had all of this free time. My husband and son were out of the house off to play football. And I said to myself, Why don’t you just read and rest? I had a book that I wanted to really get into. It was in a fiction book which I love reading fiction, and I don’t read enough of it. And I, I was like, just lay in bed. You don’t feel good, you’re tired, just lay down and read. And there was so much resistance to it. I kept looking over at my laptop and thinking maybe I should just do this. No: read. And in the end, I read, I actually finished the whole book.

Jen: Oh wow.

Le’Nise: Yeah, I’m a fast reader, so I read the whole book and I felt so much better by the end of the day. And I just, it was just a reminder of firstly, practise what you preach. And secondly, that rest is so important. It’s like almost feels revolutionary at times. 

Jen: Yeah, it does. And it’s like you say you’re looking around going, oh, well, maybe I should do that first. Almost like you have to earn the right to sit down and read your book.

You’ve already earned it. And here is your permanent permission slip when you feel tired it is a message from your body to sit your butt down and rest. We listen to all of these other messages from from our body. Just the simple case of the circadian rhythm of just, it’s night time, I’m tired, I’m going to go to sleep. And obviously there are a few people I know, who say, “I will stay awake for as long as humanly possible”, and fight against that. But the average person will go, will accept, I’m tired, I’m going to go to sleep. 

And yet, I really feel like I need a rest. I better do all of the housework and also all of my emails and just sort all this out first. And no I just just sit down. 

Le’Nise: I want to talk more about the mentoring work that you do and how you’ve managed to tie in the ebbs and flows of the menstrual cycle around that. 

Talk a little bit more about how you educate your clients about that and whether there’s any resistance they have to incorporating that into the way that they work. 

Jen: So, yeah, I don’t think I’ve actually encountered any resistance with my clients, which has been brilliant other than kind of, they’re not being aware of how much it affects at the beginning when we start talking about it to a mere few weeks later or a month later going, “I can’t believe now I’ve been tracking it I can see exactly where it is that I should be, you know, resting or where I should be planning that deadline.”

And that’s that’s such a good way of looking at it rather than resisting this idea that you’re not in control. It’s taking control of it and going, right. I’m going to I’m going to track, track my cycle so I can plan for my next one and know that, oh, there’s that networking event that week that I’d really like to go to, oh, God, I’m going to be on day 28 or for day 1. And I’m really not going to feel like talking to people. I’m going to mess up my words. 

Oh but there’s this networking event that falls around ovulation when I’m going to be like really confident and feeling sexy and I’m going to go and talk to everyone and sell them what I do. 

And just being able to be able to plan that way is is hugely empowering and liberating. And I did it myself the first time last year. OK, I’m actually going to put this theory into practise for myself. And I booked my first professional photo shoot going getting some some photos taken from my website and she offered me some dates. Oh, great, that date falls on kind of as the moon is becoming full and I’ll get into the lunar phases as well. And just as I’m coming up to ovulation, so I’m going to be feeling like more confident, more energetic, a little bit more playful. And and I did I felt great, something that would usually fill me with much dread. And I had to get up the early hours and it was a freezing cold day. And like travelling on the train delays, I had to go up north and usually I’d be just a ball of stress by the time I got there, I was still just so excited and and it was a brilliant, brilliant day. And I think that if I booked that a couple of weeks later or earlier and I was, you know, in the middle of my period or something, it would have been a completely different experience. 

Le’Nise: Yeah, can you talk a bit more about the lunar lunar phases, so you have a brilliant Facebook group for anyone who’s listening. I’ll put it in the show notes: it’s called Life, Aligned

And you talk about not only menstrual cycle tracking and what that can bring to in terms of work and life, but you also talk about the moon phases. I don’t know a huge amount about it, so I’d love to hear more from you about what it what what it’s all about.

Jen: Sure. So, yeah, because the group stemmed from my desire to kind of bring, bring what I was learning to a wider audience because I work one on one with, with people, but I started the group to just to see kind of how it would work in the group setting. Talking about cycles, but obviously it would be very difficult to talk about everyone’s individual menstrual cycle if you end up with lots of different people in different, different timing. So I thought, well, we’ll do it around the lunar cycle and I’ll talk about how that reflects the energy of the menstrual cycle because it does mirror it.

So from the new moon would be reflective of your menstrual stage, your bleed when energy is at its lowest and light is at its lowest. And you just feel like being kind of indoors and cosy and hibernating. Waxing moon would be spring, energy to return, in spring, your follicular phase, when you’re coming out of your bleed and heading towards ovulation and oestrogen is starting to rise in your body and you feel a little bit more energetic, playful. And then Full Moon is reflective of ovulation when you’re feeling most confident and outgoing and productive and you kind of want to share your ideas with the world. And then as the moon wanes again, the energy starts to wane also and it starts to wane, it would be reflective of the luteal phase. So post-ovulation and oestrogen drops, progesterone starts to rise and you just kind of want to hunker down and get back into that hibernation mode. 

Le’Nise: So in terms of the lunar cycle, do you talk about, because you can see the connection for people who are still menstruating, but for someone who is either going through perimenopause, menopause or post menopause, do you talk about, how does it work in terms of connecting your lunar phase with whatever else is going on in your life. 

Jen: So, yeah, that’s that’s exactly when when you’re not having that menstrual cycle for whatever reason, if you’re pregnant, perimenopausal or for whatever reason, and having the lunar cycle to look to, to ensure that you’re still taking time to rest and that you’re still kind of working on that cycle rather than working on a treadmill is is really important. So, yes, I lost lost my train of thought again, sorry…

Le’Nise: So you were saying that for people who who don’t have a period, for whatever reason, using the lunar cycle is a really nice way to to rest, to remind yourself to rest because you don’t have that menstrual cycle to connect with. I think that’s really interesting because I get those questions a lot when I talk about menstrual cycle, menstrual cycle, tracking a lot. And people will say to me, “oh, well, I don’t have, I don’t I take the pill so I can do this or I’m menopausal or post menopausal. How does it work for me?” And I love that lunar cycle tracking as a tool because again, it’s a reminder to rest and it’s a reminder that we are still cyclical beings, even if we are, don’t have a menstrual cycle for whatever reason, we need to rest. Rest is important. Rest is our right.

Jen: Yes. It is our right, yes. It gives some still, gives women a way to kind of grounds themselves rather than going back to kind of working every day in the same way. OK, so it’s we’re coming to the new moon. I’m going to schedule in a couple of days to just take a break and really practise self care. 

Le’Nise: So if you had one thing to say to someone who’s listening to this podcast, what would you what would you want that to be? What would you want to leave them with? 

Jen:Oh. Yeah, I think the most important thing is, you sound like a broken record is listening and listening to your body. Again, so often we we do fight. We automatically fight against this idea of taking a break and this fear of looking like we’re not contributing and we’re not being productive. And the brilliant Untamed by Glennon Doyle, which I feel like almost everyone has right now. If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. She speaks about how, you know, the what we’re all striving for is to be selfless, to kind of make ourselves disappear so much that we are seen as completely selfless. And this is like the epitome of being a good, a good person, a good mother, a good woman. And I think that is so ingrained in us that we feel it’s, it’s selfish of us to want to, as you say sit down and read a book. But actually, it’s so, so important for our own mental health, physical health, to just keep ourselves rested so we can carry on, like keeping our brain firing on all cylinders and keep bringing our brilliant ideas to the world and keep like looking after whoever we’re giving care to, children or family or community. We need to be rested in order to do those things. 

Le’Nise: That is such a brilliant message and I really encourage all of my listeners to take that to heart. Rest is so powerful and it’s not necessarily just about being productive. It’s also about feeling better in yourself and just feeling your best self to, to quote Oprah. How can listeners find out more about you? 

Jen: You can find out more about me on my website, which is www.sillyheart.co.uk and I am sillyheartco, all one word across pretty much every other social network going. And you will most likely find me hanging out on Instagram.

Le’Nise: And your Facebook group?

Jen: My Facebook group is Life, Aligned and it’s a closed group. So everything you can share in there is just within, within the group. And it’s such a friendly, warm, calming space. It’s really lovely. Yes. You can find me on Facebook on Life, Aligned.

Le’Nise: Thank you so much for coming on the show, Jen. It’s so brilliant to talk with you, connects with you and find out more about what you do. 

Jen: Thank you so much for having me. 

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