by Jennene, Brisbane
Being connected to my period cycle is something that has always been very normal for me. I grew up with a mother who encouraged me to be connected to my monthly cycle – and not to interfere with it in any way. She encouraged me to question why ‘The Pill’ was something that was so easily handed out to women without the understanding of the long term effects this would have on women’s bodies. It was a great foundation to have – and I am deeply appreciative of this.
So for the last 30 years of menstruating I stayed comfortable in this awareness of my cycle without really going any deeper than that. Whilst attending a recent Esoteric Developers Women’s Group (EDWG) meeting something amazing revealed itself to me; that is, I could feel how important it is for this awareness to be built upon, and not just be a laurel on which to rest. Continue reading “Understanding Me through My Period and Our Cycles App”
by Susan Hayes, BEng BSci, Bendigo, Australia
I have never really been into bras. As a teenager I was scared of the bra shop – the thought of someone measuring and looking at my breasts was not something that appealed! I ended up trying bras on by myself in changing rooms (not even allowing my mother in) and ended up having cheap, poorly fitting pieces that I never really liked.
In my 20s I ‘upgraded’ to sports bras that flattened my chest and had no back clip. I promoted that these were ‘easier’ and ‘more comfortable’ than a standard bra (although looking back at how tight they were to get my head, arms and shoulders through to eventually squeeze over my breasts so I am not sure this was an honest conclusion!). A couple of ‘normal’ bras were available when needed for special occasions, such as weddings etc., shoved in the back of a cupboard or drawer. Continue reading “My Relationship with Bras”
by Katerina Nikolaidis, Australia
When I was little I used to love dressing up, playing with my mum’s jewellery and spraying on her perfume. I would go into my room (hiding mum’s goodies under my arm, making sure she wouldn’t see I was ‘borrowing’ them), and play dress up, pretending I was a beautiful princess. I can’t quite remember how old I was when I bought my first lipstick, but I remember being told off for buying ‘grown-up things’ with my pocket money. And of course the disapproval and forbidding made the lipstick all the more desirable.
I also remember that I couldn’t wait to grow up. It didn’t feel sufficient being a child and there were too many do’s and don’ts that I wanted to be free of. As I grew into adulthood I became a beautiful woman physically, but I wouldn’t give myself permission to just accept this and be OK with it. Continue reading “The Esoteric Breast Massage – Rediscovering Sweetness”
by Raymond Karam, Goonellabah
A few weekends ago I was invited to an International Women’s Day function organised by Real Media Real Change (RMRC) in collaboration with Esoteric Women’s Health. I was under the impression that I was there to support them. I was wrong.
From the car trip there, to walking into the function, there was something bigger offered than what I had thought. There was something different about the women, something that I hadn’t chosen to see before… or possibly something that wasn’t there before. Continue reading “The True Beauty of Women”
by Kate Greenaway, BaAppSc (Physiotherapy), Goonellabah, Australia
The other week I had one of those Stop and Take Notice moments. I was walking around the local swimming pool to the women’s showers in my wet bathers, after having a lovely time in the pool. I was a bit cold and one of the males on staff was walking towards me. I had spoken to this man before and I knew him to be sensitive, sweet and completely harmless. I could feel he was going to look at me as we passed and all of a sudden I was feeling extremely vulnerable – my body went into an old pattern of pulling my shoulders inwards and caving my chest in – like I did when I was a teenager at the beach in my swimmers walking past men who stared at my breasts. You see, even though I have a petite frame, I had really large breasts as a teenager and I used to get awful, sexual comments from boys my age, AND older men. Being a curvaceous young woman was agony for me so I used to hide my body in large shirts. I thought I had moved through this and healed those self -conscious years, so I was shocked to feel this in my body now – in my late 40’s and feeling mostly content with my body. Continue reading “A Vulnerable Moment”
by Sally Scott, Perth, Australia
Imagine standing in front of a man with your back to him. He stands a metre from you. You do not know this man, but this man represents your relationships with men. This man is standing behind you, ready and waiting to catch you. You are playing the trust game which many of us would have played at school or on camp – having someone stand behind you, ready to catch you when you fall backwards.
This is an exercise in TRUST – about women being able to let themselves go, fall backwards without bracing the body and surrender it to be absolutely looked after, held, cared for, loved and supported by a man.
So, what if you were asked to let yourself go, and trust completely that the man behind you would be there to break your fall and catch you just before your body hits the ground? Continue reading “Women Trusting Men”
by Sharon, Australia
My life has been all about devotion, and many who know me would agree that I have been a devoted mother to my seven children. In addition, I have been devoted to my work both as a Birth Educator and also a Nurse, as well as being devoted to giving back to the community. In all this devotion there has been very little self-devotion and self-nurturing to myself as a woman. In fact, what I truly have been is another D word, which stands for ‘driven’, in which I have felt that I could never do enough to feel that I deserved any space in which to just be devoted to myself.
For me, the experience of growing up in a large family with a father who chose alcohol and work over family, and a mother who was barely coping with her own life, created a belief in me that when I would have a family I would do it ‘better’. Continue reading “Embracing True Devotion as a Woman and Mother”
by Cherise Holt, Nurse, Brisbane, Australia
As a little girl overjoyed to be a flower girl at a family wedding, I watched as a man and a woman proclaimed their love for each other: “I do – ‘til death do us part”. I believed I would grow up to marry a man whom I too would love forever. It appeared to me that is just what women did.
As a teenager I contended with low self-esteem, low self-worth, emotional issues, family loss and grief. I wanted a partner now more than ever, and I recall one day sharing tearfully to my mum, “I won’t ever have a boyfriend!”. And if I didn’t find one, would I be alone forever? Or perhaps worse still – who would I be in life?
When I was 16 I met a young man who told me he loved me… I thought “This was it! This must be true love!”. We shared a beautiful wedding ceremony when we were 21 and I eagerly discussed our future plans to have children as I knew I always wanted them. In fact, I believed I was pre-destined to be a mother. Continue reading “A Life of Marriage and Motherhood? – The Celebration of Myself”
by Anne Malatt, Australia
I have always been ‘good’ at anything I put effort into. If I wasn’t ‘good’ at it (riding a bicycle, for example) I would stop trying and refuse to do it any more. This way, I stayed good at everything I did!
I never thought I would be a ‘good’ mother. My own mother was a professional woman who worked hard all day, then came home and cooked all the meals and did all the household and garden chores. This was not a job I wanted for myself!
The only time I saw her sitting down was in the evenings, with a drink. I never saw her doing anything just for herself and remember her telling me that her own mother always called her ‘selfish’ if she tried to read a book or do anything just for her. Continue reading “Mothering and Motherhood”
by JK, UK
Whilst working recently I have been feeling just how lovely it is working with women, and how different my experiences are nowadays.
In my early days at work in the 1980’s, I worked in a number of different offices and environments with women. At that time I often observed bitchiness amongst one or two of the women, with one woman talking behind another’s back, for instance. Sometimes there were huddles of women gossiping about another woman, sometimes there were just silent facial expressions, door slamming and awkward moments amongst the women. In one particular group of women where I worked they even went so far as to ‘send one of the woman to Coventry’ – a phrase that described when all of the other women ganged up and totally ignored the one woman, not even speaking to her when she spoke – just a blank stony silence – a kind of ‘freezing out’ of that one woman. Continue reading “In The Company Of Women”