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Nurturing Our Sacred Feminine Naturally – blogposts about bringing sacred awareness into pregnancy, birth, as a mother and a woman.

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I am sacred mother

At the Red Tent Women’s Circle Today

women circle meditation

As a women’s holistic doctor I firmly believe that if a woman is feeling supported. loved, honoured and nurtured – her physical and emotional health will have a power for remarkable healing and well-being. So I do red tent style women’s gatherings and circles.

Today my husband was graciously playing with my young son and off I went. Backpack on my back with posters, beads, herbal teas, silk cloths, milk sweets, pens, papers and signs!

I cycled down the packed and busy village road in India. I live at a pilgrimage site and being Sunday it was packed! Buses come and drop off people there from near and far villages and towns. I mazed my way through the throngs of  small Bengali’s and their bright red and yellow saris. Cycling in public roads in India definitely takes practice- and I am still practicing! I drilled my little bell hoping they would stay to the side as I dodged buses and their loud elaborate song horns, motorbikes whisked past me with their deep incessant and very urgent hooters making them seem far more close and menacing than they really are. Bicycles, rickshaws, people, Indian spitting…smells of fried puris, the odd beedie being smoked, car fumes and incense. Shops playing their Krishna dance videos with children singing Krishna bhajans on the small screens for all the shopping pilgrims.

Then it opened up and their was a relief from the intensity! The shops were left in the distance and the roadside revealed the nature. Cows walked slowly, the air felt fresher, cars and buses became less and I could see the rice paddies on the left, still soaked from when the river Ganges flooded last month. Green, blue..space and beautiful. I appreciated the rhythm of my bicycle peddling round and round. Passing the rickshaw bicycle also cycling round and round with its regular squeak. Squeak. Squeak. Strangely reassuring and lulling.

I started enjoying my ride and appreciating the village atmosphere here. I put up my sign saying “Women’s Gathering Here” at the turnoff from the main road. Directions in India can be very confusing – “Carry on until you see a road on your left…don’t turn there! Turn at the small lane 8 metres after that road!” So I placed some signs so people would know!

And again at the nameless apartment block.

DSCN1295Inside the beautifully decorated Spa – a perfect space to honour and nurture women – I set up a small altar with rich pink silk scarf I had bought in Jaipur. Some beautiful women figures, beads, incense in my lotus incense holder from Bali and my African Sage and Lavender smudgestick from my Chinese doctor friend in Cape Town.

Some soft music, some Rooibos and Mint tea on the boil.

 

We chatted, we shared, we shed a tear, we laughed, we loved and appreciated and respected and learnt. We holding hands discovered this is ImPOrtANt! Every young and old girl and woman should have this opportunity as a human right. It should be part of the community script that every woman has the opportunity to feel part of a caring community of women. Where she can share her fears, doubts and learn from her older mothers, sisters about her body, her fertility, her mooncycle, her sexuality, childmaking, childrearing, pregnancy, birth…. in a circle of non-judgemental, caring and loving others.

We are an international community and we were internationally represented this afternoon.

I left touched, grateful and appreciated!

I want to do more! I want to honour women so much for the role and significance they play in society.

I have so much planned to share and to nurture our Sacred Ladies!

I rode home eager to embrace my sons, listening to their excited time with his dad and the cows; and cycling with friends.

Read more about Red Tent Gatherings.

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EXCITING NEWS! Stay tuned for new website and blogsite for I Am Sacred Woman and Woman’s Health COMING SOON! Women’s Health website (old one). 

 

 

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TRANSFERENCE IN BIRTH

There is not much more to say about it….read this and reflect. We take our own baggage in all sorts to all of life….especially important life events. We may not even be aware. It is one of the most important aspects I believe need to be addressed in harnessing and spreading a Sacred Model of Birth. The power of transference. It is not volountary.

From the outstanding and revolutionary book “Birth Without Violence” by Frederick Leboyer

first breath - credit First breath photography

“Will the baby breathe?
Everyone is holding their breath. Identifying with the baby unconsciously. We have all returned from our own births – fighting for breath just like this newborn baby; on the verge of suffocation.
We have no umbilicus to supply us with oxygen. So things soon become unbearable, and we must take some action.
The easiest, the most sensible, the most obvious thing for the onlooker to do would simply be to breathe.
Instead of which, he cuts the baby’s cord.
His own emotional involvement has made him quite irrational.
Naturally the baby shrieks.
Everyone present exclaims in relief: Its breathing.
But, in fact, it is just they themselves who have found relief.
What they really should be saying is ‘I am breathing’.
Because the truth is that the baby was in no hurry – its umbilicus gives it plenty of time.
Under the pretext of helping this new foreign being, the obstetrician has considered only himself.
Without knowing it, he has made a transference. He has rid himself of his own anguish by projecting it on to the child.
And so the victim, deprived of its umbilicus, finds himself choking for breath.
And shrieking…
So that we can breath freely.
This process of transference will be endlessly repeated. And the sum of these repetitions is what we, in our ignorance, call education.”
Birth without Violence – Frederick Leboyer.

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3 random tinctures for your health!

Yesterday I chose some herbs in my cupboard and made some tinctures with them! I really love using plants as medicine so I was very excited to finally make my own tinctures.

You may find it strange or ironic perhaps for a medical doctor to be so excited about making her own herbal medicines! But I started off my medical studies with a deep appreciation and respect for nature’s offerings and my studies only made me more skeptical and avoidant of pharmaceutical drugs unless absolutely necessary.

So I now find myself finding far more satisfying experiences in healing using herbs, plants, teas, tinctures, topically or internally and the more I explore the nature and character of the plant, it’s parts, how it grows, its uses, its traditional folklore – the more I find not only a very present satisfying balance in myself but I find so many more nuances and facets of healing holistically. I find one plant can heal so many variances in a person’s health and wellness, touching absolutely physical symptoms to healing emotions, and even energetic blocks.

So I am always very excited for hands on experience and now that I am further on in my formal herbal medicine studies I feel I can start making my own tinctures and other herbal preparations. Working with the plants and turning them into usable preps is so satisfying and incredibly easy!

Tintures are easy to take. They hold a concentrated dose in a few drops so instead of consuming a whole cup of tea for example you can drop a few drops (about 15) in a little bit of water and drink that. This makes it easier to be compliant with a prescribed herb course or to simply take during the day. Using vodka as a solvent helps to extract alcohol AND water soluble extracts from the plant. If the alcohol content is too strong for you or if you are pregnant or for a child you can place in a quarter filled cup of warm water and simply swirl it around before taking it. (If you are pregnant please ensure via healthcare provider of herb safety first).

elderberries2So first I made ELDERBERRY tincture! Why Elderberry? When I started searching for best immune herbs I came across this short talk by phytomedicine expert Tierana Low Dog.

Dr. Tieraona Low Dog on 3 cough and flu medicines.

This and the presence of elderberries in so many flu and cough remedies convinced me this is one worth having on hand for my family. Elderberries are excellent for your immunity, shown in research to prevent and help heal sinusitis, bronchitis and general coughs and flu symptoms. You can take in a variety of forms or even eat the whole berry!

While in South Africa I was shocked at the price of elderberry syrup so before I left I bought some elderberries so I could play around with making my own syrup and tinctures while in India. When the weather turns here, the kids, especially my 2 year old tends to feel it in his chest quite badly. This time his chest healed super quickly – with daily zinc and elderberry syrup and an ayurvedic cough syrup. So first I made elderberry tincture! Super easy. The berries turn the tincture into a rich purple colour.

Then I started looking around for what else I could make into a tincture!

chamomile flowers
Picture credit She Who Eats.

I have some CHAMOMILE FLOWERS left over from my Lactation Tea I make for moms. I use it in the tea for its calming and soothing effect and sweet taste but actually it is also super for gas, cramps, colicky pain and muscle spasms too. As a medicine it is well known for soothing teething pain and colicky pain in babies. I know a few babies and read more about its value for soothing, sleeping and general digestion so I figured I would have a use for it! So popped some flowers in a bottle and filled it up with Vodka!

One of my favorite herbs is Motherwort. I had plenty of her (dried) for my daily tea. (Although she is a bit bitter in a tea, so many advise it as a tincture). Here is more about Motherwort – Motherwort – the mothering herb. I love using her personally for menstrual cramps, and uterine tone (she mothers my mothering body), as a soothing and calming presence for nervous tension and she can also be used a cardiac tonic especially for heart palpitations. So I was very eager to use her to make a tincture too! I would have preferred to use fresh leaves but I only had dried leaves. You use less per ratio of herb to alcohol of the dried herb than the fresh herb and I could see why! Her leaves and stems cut up and dried all swelled in the liquid!

The whole exercise was SO satisfying and elevating! So now I visit my herbal tincture babies in the dark cupboard daily and swirl and shake them daily for the first week then less often and after 6 weeks I can start using them!

If you are inspired and would like to make your own tinctures, I found this site very useful. how to make your own tinctures. I highly recommend looking around your garden, reading up on the herbs you have lying around OR see what symptoms and illnesses tend to be in your family and read or get professional advice on herbs that can help you….and then play around with these extractions (following recipes).

Making your own medicines is a bit like cooking your own food! The consciousness and intention going into it definitely has an effect on the outcome and the healing effect on you! (In a positive wonderful way.) Even more so if you can harvest your own herbs too!

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I Am Sacred Woman SHOP

Sea Sponge Tampons - 2 in a set (1 medium, 1 small) at R46
Sea Sponge Tampons – 2 in a set (1 medium, 1 small) at R46 More information here https://gaurilowe.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/natural-mooncycle-care/
Mama Cloth Pads with light soft toweling inner and colourful African patterns outer, with clips on wings. R94 for 1 set (1 small and 1 large)
Mama Cloth Pads with light soft toweling inner and colourful African patterns outer, with clips on wings. R94 for 1 set (1 small and 1 large)
Mama Cloth Pads with light soft toweling inner and colourful African patterns outer, with clips on wings. R94 for 1 set (1 small and 1 large)
I Am Sacred Mother Herbal range – postpartum care naturally.
Full Range includes lactation tea, herbal sitz bath, Wound healer and after care formula at R170 for set.
Set of 3 Massage oils R135. More information here https://gaurilowe.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/i-am-sacred-mother-herbals/
Herbal Sitz bath - for soothing, healing and relaxing postpartum moms. Safe for baby too. Use directly in bath or via an infusion. 6-8 baths per bag.  Chamomile blossoms, Comfrey leaves, Lavender blossoms.  R35 per bag.
Herbal Sitz bath – for soothing, healing and relaxing postpartum moms. Safe for baby too. Use directly in bath or via an infusion. 6-8 baths per bag.
Chamomile blossoms, Comfrey leaves, Lavender blossoms.
R38 per bag.
Afterpain Formula is an internal tincture for after birth pains.  With Cramp bark, Yarrow, Motherwort.  R45 Wound Healing is an external tincture to apply with a spritzer (included) diluted with warm water or directlt with a compress or dilute with oil and apply to any internal tears or swelling. Helps with swift healing, pain and keeps clean.  Calendula, Hypericum and Witchhazel.  R55
Afterpain Formula is an internal tincture for after birth pains.
With Cramp bark, Yarrow, Motherwort.
R58
Wound Healing is an external tincture to apply with a spritzer (included) diluted with warm water or directlt with a compress or dilute with oil and apply to any internal tears or swelling. Helps with swift healing, pain and keeps clean.
Calendula, Hypericum and Witchhazel.
R65

 For purchases and info email me gauri@womens- health.co.za 

Postage around South Africa – with SAPO as eco parcel or courier. 

International postage as per individual costs to be quoted with inquiry. 

Lactation Tea is a delicious and nutrient-rich herbal tea to support breastfeeding moms with herbs to physically nourish as well as support milk supply and quality and enrich moms nerves too.  Includes Fennel, Fenugreek, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Nettle.
Lactation Tea is a delicious and nutrient-rich herbal tea to support breastfeeding moms with herbs to physically nourish as well as support milk supply and quality and enrich moms nerves too. Includes Fennel, Fenugreek, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Nettle. R35 
Pregnancy Massage Oil, Labour massage oil, Baby massage Oil.  Aromatherapy infused oils. Uniquely made up to enhance physical and emotional symptoms at each phase.  R50 each or R135 for set.
Pregnancy Massage Oil, Labour massage oil, Baby massage Oil.
Aromatherapy infused oils. Uniquely made up to enhance physical and emotional symptoms at each phase.
R50 each or R135 for set. 
Exquisite art locket with solid crystal essence perfume inside - bringing beauty and fragrance to your day. R375
Exquisite art locket with solid crystal essence perfume inside – bringing beauty and fragrance to your day. R375

That Similac ad! Just cunning manipulation or what is true sisterhood?

Similac Schimilac – What really is the essence of this Motherhood?

Many people were quite moved about the similac advert on motherhood. I was genuinely intrigued by the varied responses; as well as the intensity with which some were portrayed. I initially thought it was a nice message and an important one – “the sisterhood in motherhood”. Doesn’t it just sound very nice? 

similac 2 similac still 1

Then I found out it was a formula advertisement and I still thought it was a good message. I reflected on its source and the power of ego and representation of various symbols of groups of people, the intention – the sly intelligence. And I still thought it was a good message. What surprised me were the other responses from so many other people. Why did I not agree with my brethren? (The social network with whom I so easily identified.) Was something wrong with me? Why was I not as passionately inspired by a message when I discovered it is from such a manipulative source? Since I am normally so passionate about these topics!? it really got me thinking.

And I slowly allowed the memory and the images to come back to me….I remembered that tangible oneness with all mothers that I had felt when I birthed my first child. When you feel like you are one pulse with a divine organic raw mother Godhead. When the energy pulsing through your body is the same energy shared by mothers all over the universe….crossing cultures education nationality religion and age. That feeling when the world stops and every moment is forgotten except for the amazing beautiful baby you now have in front of you that is yours! The love. The responsibility. The melting away of everything else to consume you in a most deep self-sacrificing love that you never knew possible.

And then I remembered my own mother. I found ones perspective of ones own mother changes somewhat when you become a mother yourself. I considered how I might judge her according to her mothering choices she made when she was my age managing life and young children. How I was weaned at 9 months; how I never co-slept; how I attended day creche from a young age….etc and I considered my relationship with my own mother and how I know absolutely and completely that she deeply deeply loved me and trusted me. How I deeply love her and respect her for her unconditional love to me.

Now I understand the physiology research of the neuroscience and psychology behind attachment parenting. Shew I devour the research and the articles. I love this science and I get it and I adore teaching it and practicing it because it is SO important for bonding and parenting and giving our little ones the best start! I practice and preach it passionately!!

Yet, I again reflect on the nature of the emotive responses to the similac advertisement…. and I considered humility. Now I digress from the content and focus on the mood. Humility is not a cowards quality. It is not a quality of shyness nor inferiority. Humility is a deeply divine quality….true humility gives you a power….a connectedness to faith and an attractiveness. By delivering a message with humility – ones heart can open and one can interact on a heart level. A heart exchange.

Not on the level of ego. Ego meaning we are identifying with our status or our choices or what we are known for – which are all part of the material or bodily identity.

Humility speaks to people in a way that encompasses everyone equally on a soul level. It does not judge; and it does not divide. It speaks with compassion and love.

I realised this is the message I want to bring forward. This is what came pouncing out at me as I reflected on the responses written with such passion and intensity, where I felt divided from the very group of people I most identified with: on this very same topic.

Humility is more important to me. That honouring of integrity of words and sharing that does so with love and compassion and not judgement nor ego.

How can I stand in outward judgement about the very essence of the sisterhood of motherhood in terms of the various practices a mother uses? No matter how strongly I may feel or know…to come forward in judgement is to nullify our words and intention and mute our message. So is there a trick to express passionately AND humbly?

I really must also say that I am not sitting here spouting out “Thou may not judge!” while I sit back and do so. I try not to be a hypocrite ! and I am, too, so far from perfect or even non-judgemental! But I do try. And when I do something that does not feel so good – when I feel my intention was somewhat uncool or facetious, I do reflect on that black dark feeling in my heart and consider how I can make it light again. I just keep trying. And I really feel humility is a good goal to strive for.

The sisterhood in motherhood. Why not? Why see so much more into it than simply that? Even if we know without a doubt that our choices on parenting issues are perfect and superior and right. How do we get to play that card and lose our integrity to important qualities and values we are so desperate to grow and imitate for our children?

If you haven’t seen the advert yet, here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqPHqaSb8PM

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments! Please feel free to leave your own ideas here.

If you would like to read more about parenting here is an interesting blog about how parenting affects our children and society! 

https://gaurilowe.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/why-parenting-matters-workshop/

Some more thoughts on humilty…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXEinvmG6l8

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