Thank you for your workshop. I had a great time and have started to put things into practice. Prior to it I had already realised that I needed to have some type of downtime on my creative process, in fact it was my singing teacher who advised it...but don't think I'd really given myself the permission to do it.  Just your simple diagram of the creative progress has really helped my mind to be at peace with this... I have also begun the process (of Cycle Awareness) and am already discovering lots of things.  The main one is how intrinsically different elements are connected.  It has only bought me closer to my voice and body, trying to accept where it is and work with it from there, rather than pushing it through the next hoop.  I am developing a new approach to my practice, it begins with meditation, into the breathing, into the exercises, and then if needs be into any songs I'm working on.  It is great to have the space to allow this process the time it needs, and it means I'm listening to my body as well as listening to what it can produce
Adele Bates, Classical Singer, 26yrs, Brighton, 2011
Thank you so much for an inspiring, full, deep, lovely, light, heavy, humorous, truthful, human weekend. I know I will be feeling the effects for a long time'. 

Hannah Rose Tristram, Yoga teacher, Community Choir leader and performing artist

I just loved the day and so much of what I've been looking at over the last few years has fallen into place since then.    A couple of months down the line and it's remarkable how everything which showed up in the guided visualisations has shown itself to be so accurate. I am now organising my life around the inner rhythms and allowing nature to guide me to live ever more deeply in harmony with this flow.I'm so grateful for you pioneering this work and just know that it's something that all women (and men!) need to know about.

 

Laura Berridge, Coach, Healer & Designer

A big thank you for a really amazing day last weekend. I have to confess that I used to see the course in the Alternatives magazine and think ’I am never doing a course like that.’ Oh boy am I eating my words! I think your course should be taught to every young woman in every school in the country. I really learned a lot about myself, and the cycles make complete sense to me. I love the extra awareness I have now, and am going to enjoy using it in my creative work too.I shared with my husband how I was feeling during a bout of PMT instead of gritting my teeth and trying to be nice. He was so happy to be included in my feelings and said it was much better than just being ‘blocked off’. Guess what, the PMT feeling completely went after about 45 mins and never returned that cycle. Also my actual bleed was pain free and I have to say, almost enjoyable! I got the feeling my period had enjoyed being acknowledged and listened to for once. You work beautifully together. It was a joy to see you joint facilitating. In fact we forgot we were rather cramped in that room because you were both so magnetic, interested and enthusiastic.

Sarah, actor, 44 years. Unleash Your Creativity, London, 2012

I loved the way we were engaged right from the start through personal experiences and so I felt safe and that the group was held in sacredness. It was very informative and you were very caring, humble and very encouraging that we could be creative and find our own authority with our cycle.


Chystele Lafaye, therapist/secondary school teacher. Bristol, Feb 2012

I really enjoyed the workshop at The Haven and actually I think the day is still "working" inside me, shifting my perspective and helping me as I enter the (so far) least favourite premenstrual phase of my cycle. You and Sjanie are both such great, warm, caring teachers and I'm happy I had the chance to be there. 


Elke Sedlmeier, Certified NFP Teacher/Clinical Assistant, www.naturalgynae.com and www.nfp-muenchen.de

I want to thank you for such a fantastic workshop. I have been making such good progress in many aspects of my life. I feel like I am so much more in tune with my body, and like I have surrendered, listening to my body giving it what it needs, and this is such a liberating feeling. Every cycle, the day before I menstruate I have a sleepless night. For years I have spent that night fretting that I am not getting the sleep I need and want, and frustrated in how much pain I am feeling. Now I cherish these nights, look forward to them even, as I am flooded with creative ideas. I now leave a sketchbook on the side and jot down many ideas. I don't worry about the sleep I am not getting on this night any more as I know that I can catch up on that in the coming week (as I now know that it is more than okay to take it easy, have an early night when menstruating). Instead of feeling like I am giving in to anything I feel like this is a huge privilege and enjoy taking the time out for me.

As for the pain it is still there very much so, but I am practising to relax and breath through the pain instead of my instinctive reaction with is to cramp up holding every muscle with tension and hold my breath. This technique of breathing through it seems to be working, the pain may still be there but I feel okay, not so distressed by it.  

Carli Anne Warner, teacher, London, May 2010

A most amazing weekend, I'm still reeling! Thanks again for being such a brilliant communicator, for framing the menstrual cycle so clearly and for giving me, and everyone else, such a simple way to access our true selves.  


Holly Tarquini, Administrator, Bath Film Festival; lecturer and mother of 2 girls

Just a quick note to thank you for the wonderful day I had on Saturday at the workshop with all those fabulous women.  You created a safe environment for sharing but what I have been able to take away from it is quite astonishing.  Not only did I gain a deep understanding of the emotional mind of the menstrual cycle which will be so helpful to me in my work, but I discovered something about myself.  I faced for the very first time in my life my own death - not as an intellectual fact that it would happen to me one day - but as an experience in the form of the old crone rattling her death rattle at me.

This morning I awoke and once again felt the shock of it - as if every cell in my body understood at a very deep level that I will have to face her again one day.  I am still working with her and it really has woken me up to the fact that I think I need to prepare for my death so that I can die as consciously as possible.  It's a reality check I have avoided until now.  

In this context, I thought about the menstrual cycle, my life cycle, and then saw the cycle of the day and night following the same cyclic pattern.  It was very comforting for me to realise that death of my day occurs when I fall asleep.  I am quite happy to surrender to sleep, so why not, when the time comes, to a deeper sleep, to death itself?  

Of course, within the menstrual cycle wintertime also denotes not just death but renewal so it was again extraordinary for me to see the old crone rip open her chest to allow the dove to soar away, perhaps revealing the soul that can be released to a new experience when freed from the confines of the body.

Carole Murray - London UK

Thank you for a wonderful and informative menstrual workshop in London a couple of weeks ago. I really did get a lot out of it and what came up for me was that I needed to embrace my summer and come out of my shell more and a few days ago I did just that. On a women's retreat I did a very sensual and strong dance that I am very proud of and really enjoyed it! It was the first time I had ever danced in front of any group, or anyone really, other than my husband, and still I haven't ever danced like I did that day in front of anyone. It was so wonderful to feel so free and to be seen. I am sure the menstrual workshop did plant a seed in my psyche.
 

L.M. 41yrs Mother and Wife

Thanks again for Saturday - it really was something! I think its going to take me a little while to process it all, but it really was fantastic and I feel life changing. I have been thoroughly enjoying letting myself rest the last couple of 'winter' (menstruation) days, and its been great! I feel so different yesterday…much more grounded and less 'crazy-headless-chicken-trying-to-keep-myself-in-spring-mode' which is fantastic.

Sera Golding, company director & vocalist for MIB Music Ltd (www.mibmusicltd.com) Age 27

 

Hi Sjanie and Alexandra, for some weeks I have had in the back of my mind to write you!  I have been filling in the Menstrual Dreaming charts for some months now - great fun. And it DOES add to my consciousness about my cycle. I am SO curious about the premenstrual 'moment of separation'. It makes SO MUCH SENSE to me. As I told you before, my way to get to work with the menstrual cycle has been a bit backwards as I started out working with what I now call 'the Marathon Cycle': pregnancy, childbirth and early maternity. As I described and worked with the energies of this 18 months cycle, I realized that it was very similar to the monthly menstrual cycle in many respects. And I realized that working with the spiritual and psychological aspects of the menstrual cycle in fact was nature’s way of preparing women for pregnancy and motherhood. To me this was an amazing REVELATION. And it started to dawn on me what damage the pill does to women. THIS was when I came across the book The Pill by Jane Bennett and you, Alexandra. 

One thing that I was NOT able to explain fully was the connection between the menstruation and the actual birth giving. YOU simply presented me with this 'missing link' when you talked about the 'moment of separation' leading up to menstruation! THANK YOU! I begin to feel this moment in my own energy system and how it relates to separating from your child when you give birth.  


Helle Hestbjerg, MA-URI practitioner and teacher, leader of Mama MA-URI, 47 yrs, www.mama-ma-uri.org

I really really enjoyed the day...it was such a powerful opening experience for me, a day I'll never forget really, and actually all quite unexpected!  So thank you for holding such a safe space for me to feel this could happen.  God I'm so glad I finally booked and came along! I have come away feeling empowered, a really sense of what I want and starting to get real insights into who I am and becoming, and very much looking forward to continuing to use the further knowledge you have again offered to help me move forward towards my dreams. I really really LOVED and got so much from the menstrual wheel journey we all went on, and the Shamanic aspect of this was amazingly powerful, I love this kind of work and I love that you integrated this into the day. In fact the whole day was filled with this amazing powerful energy, which I'm sure allowed, certainly for me all of the amazing processes to happen.

.

Charlotte Nolan, Massage Therapist/Healer, 39 yrs. Unleash Your Creativity, London 2012

I wanted to thank you for the fantastic workshop... it was so insightful, and powerful... it keeps coming in waves... waves of understanding, clarity, knowing, connection... turns out I am on day 9... into Spring... and just knowing that, I can feel the energy.... I am excited for the rest of the cycle - to experience it consciously - see where it takes me... WOW :) It is such important work - such an important part of being a woman - I can't believe it took me this long to get here. I believe strongly that it is a vital missing piece from the birthing story... connecting with our cycle, knowing our bodies and ourselves... it is part of the conscious birthing story. I will spread the word far and wide... it is too important not to!

Suyai Steinhauer, student midwife, 34 yrs

I attended your Womb Wisdom Retreat in Stroud last year with Uma. I have finally come down from the high of that weekend and decided to do the quest. I would like to join the community for support and encouragement. (Comment came in an email almost a year after the event)

Helen Woods

Thank you for your workshop. I had a great time and have started to put things into practice. I had realised that I needed to have some type of downtime on my creative process but don't think I'd really given myself the permission to do it.  Just your simple diagram of the creative progress has really helped my mind to be at peace with this.I have also begun the process (of Cycle Awareness) and am already discovering lots of things.  The main one is how intrinsically different elements are connected. It has only bought me closer to my voice and body, trying to accept where it is and work with it from there, rather than pushing it through the next hoop…It is great to have the space to allow this process the time it needs, and it means I'm listening to my body as well as listening to what it can produce. 

Adele Bates, Classical Singer, 26yrs, Brighton, 2011

I just wanted to write and thank you both again for a fantastic, eye (and more importantly) heart opening day. Now that I'm home, I can't believe how different I feel. I sense that a massive shift has occurred in me, and I feel happy, free and excited to explore myself as a woman.

I have been carrying A LOT of tension in my back and shoulders for years that no massage has ever been able to fully shift. And...its now gone! I literally can't believe it. I feel that the work today has really opened something up in me - what seems to make sense to me is that I'm now free to begin life again as a new woman free from some sort of past shame or repression I have been harbouring around that fact for many many years. 

ER, Web Editor, Creating Menstrual Health, London, 2010

I attended your course in May in Brighton and I have been doing my 13-session Women's Quest course. It has been very amazing for me—such a tool to discover myself more and use the power within and in tune with nature. Soooooooo lovely! I thank you for your work. I have been spreading the word. I feel very empowered from just 3 months... Imagine in a couple of years!!

Carolyne Ratund, 29 yrs, massage and naturopathic nutritional therapist, Brighton 2011

I absolutely LOVED the seminar...you are SO SO gifted and it is so obvious that you really CARE for each individual.....I came to your course for health reasons but left emotionally healed in so many ways....it was like a piece of the puzzle that was missing was found." 

L. B. Teacher, London workshop 2010

I just wanted to express my deep gratitude for the wonderful knowledge and experience which I gained from attending your workshop last Saturday in Brighton. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I booked my place but I can tell you that it exceeded all my expectations and I know that my friends who attended felt the same way. Since Saturday I have been filled with new energy, hope, inspiration and power. I seem to be getting more out of each day and feel happier and thankful to be alive and in charge of my destiny and life choices. So thank you. Something has definitely shifted

Cherith Loane, Artist and Nutritionist, Brighton Feb 2010

What a truly wonderful wonderful experience.  Your work and facilitation were groundbreaking the first time, however, something has shifted even more deeply with how you offered this workshop.  Has it??!!!!  It feels like there was some super deep spiritual and shamanic undercurrents happening in that room!  I could feel it the moment we sat in a circle with our intentions, which were all strangely powerful – not something that always happens in such workshops!  Made me giggle as I knew the workshop would be amazing, as it had been last time, but I assumed that it would be amazing in an informative kind of way, not a deep shifting connecting to the 5th dimensional experience of mother earth. I loved the exercise of moving through the 4 seasons.  It is a way of working that is super great for me, but I was intrigued at how everyone in the group responded so well.  Love love love your work – it’s helping me integrate so much of my own world and work too. THANK YOU   

Olivia Flaxman, Coach and Yoga Teacher, www.spirituallifecoach.co.uk Unleash Your Creativity, London 2012

This is my third workshop (Creating Menstrual Health). My experience of the content is different and deepens every time. Definitely not a ‘repeat process’ – it’s new and fresh to me with different insights as my understanding of the work deepens. 

Adrienne Egan, Maya Abdominal Therapist, Dublin 2011

Once again I want to thank you for the 2-day seminar in Recanati.

On Monday when I went to work many of my female friends said I looked different... full of energies... very much in charge! This is exactly how I feel... I am very determined and I can tell you with pride that I had my period three days ago and that I was able to take only 2 pain killers!

Probably that does not sound like a great achievement to you but trust me with the type of endometriosis I have it is more than what I was expecting to accomplish. I do not know if it is all down to the seminar but not only my period arrived after 28 days (lately it was of about 24 days), but I was not bleeding heavily like usual and I felt much more relaxed about it. I felt like I accepted it more. I hope I can have a chance to see you again in another seminar soon. Continue your work! It is very useful to all of us women!.

Lucia Bianchetti, Export Manager and mother (7 mth boy and 3 yr old daughter), 35 yrs, Italy 2012

A big heartfelt thank you….the next day after the workshop I felt really optimistic about how to manage my life more efficiently and at the same time connect with my inner wisdom and power. Just one day of exploring my cycle brought me to this place - powerful stuff! I feel like I have returned home! 

Sundari Falconer, 33 years, mother and Structural Yoga Therapist

I   feel that I have with me a piece of your heart, I appreciated a lot that you never used the word “must” and that there wasn’t judgment and prejudice inside you. You have always welcomed each of us heartily and at the end this has created self-confidence in me and I feel also in each of us. I felt really fed and also satisfied. It has been a new sensation for me! I have understood that I have needed it! Thank you very much. 

Paola Giusti, Pyschiatrist, Lucca, Italy 2011

Thank you so much for today. I feel enormously grateful to you both for sharing this knowledge and for re-introducing us to our rich inner world. Even though financially I am not in the best position right now, when I find out about this workshop I knew I had to take part no matter what...Interesting that I ended a six-year long psychosynthesis therapy with my therapist roughly this time last month. After today, I really had this sense that I have now found my inner therapist, my inner compass, something that represents my very inner nature. 

Angela Mammarella, PA, Creating Menstrual Health, London 2010

Thanks for a wonderful day on 26th. This was the first time that I have had a whole day to talk about my menstrual cycle in a space where everyone knows the language and they are open to the conversation: this is what I valued most, the freedom to speak and explore without censure and the way that you both facilitated was immensely inspiring in creating the space for this to happen. The content and format for the workshop were great and helpful to get leads and resources to follow up afterwards.


Julie Christie-Webb, Charity Director, 47 yrs, London, 2012

I'm very grateful for your visit in Recanati, for your work in our Centro Armonico.....the women continue to call me by phone, by e-mail, to thank for this occasion, to know you, all tell me it was two specials days... unforgetble. They talk with other women and say: "You must be here!!!" It's wonderful."

Annarita Corradini, clinical psychologist, organizer of Women and Power, part 1, Recanati, Italy

Yesterday's workshop was really wonderful for me, every bit of it was exactly what I have needed to hear and learn and experience for so so long. I felt after I left that there was much to digest and take in…so heartfelt thanks to you both. I will be telling every woman who cares to listen all about your work and your workshops and what I have learned, and I plan to host a red tent evening as soon as possible!! 

Merav Shub, Food Campaigner and mother of three, age 41, Unleash Your Creativity, London 2013

I want to say a huge Thank you to you and Sjanie for the Creating Menstrual Health workshop. It has made such a huge difference to my life. My periods have been hell and were getting worse and worse. I had absolutely no awareness of what was really happening with my body. Oh, who knew that you could have a period and enjoy it?? Who knew that each season has a gift? Since your workshop I had a period and didn't take the medication that I normally have to fill myself with. I just wanted to know what my period actually felt like…My bleeding is insane, clots, blood, the lot…but I had to rest. I had to stop. I had the mother of all crash and burns and have been off work for three weeks. But you know what..it's all been worth it. Because now I understand that I bleed the way I do because I am so out of balance. I push too hard. I am merciless with my Self. I was a woman trying to live, compete, fight, act and work like a man! I am starting to make changes…I am committed to my healing and my restoration.  You showed me how to regain my power, my feminine, my Goddess and I so Love you for it. Thank You!


Althea, Social Worker, 41yrs, London 2012

I'm so happy that I received guidance that led me to you!! I feel like an explorer setting out on a tremendous adventure. Everything we covered yesterday blends seamlessly with my TCM studies and experiences in women's health, so I'm looking forward to experiencing the fullness and richness of my cycle, as well as incorporating it into the way I work with and educate patients. 

Maisie Hill, Doula and TCM Student, London

Your workshop was fascinating to me. It engaged me on a level which I have never experienced elsewhere having never been exposed to thinking about my physical body in that way. I have been dancing 5 rhythms for a few years now and it has really developed my knowledge of my own behaviour and the behaviours of those around me - it has given me a new language to think and communicate with.

Your workshop has added another layer of depth to that language. It has helped to strip away another layer of the facade that I feel our society builds. I am very grateful to you and extremely via positiva right now! Really embracing this light energy and gathering as much as I can so I am prepared for the next part of my cycle!

www.gabriellasonabend.com

 

Gabriella Sonabend - artist and film maker, London UK

A number of years ago I attended one of your 1 day women’s quest workshops here in Victoria, Australia. I had bought your book, The Wild Genie, and have been working through The Women's Quest workbook. These two books have completely transformed my life in regards to menstruation. It was The Wild Genie that put me on the path that I am now on – running a women’s circle in Ballarat as well as retreats for women who continue their life journey to know, honour and express themselves. Thank you so much for the work that you have and are doing around menstruation – if it wasn’t for you I would never have grown to be a beautiful and empowered woman.

Jules White, mother and facilitator of women's circles and retreats, age 34

I want to thank you for such an amazing workshop on Saturday in London.  I was so overcome (I was fighting back sobs from the first exercise) by the process, that I wasn't able to express all that was happening for me, but I have felt hugely transformed since that day.  I read your book, The Pill, and began to see very clearly a.) how much I am still in recovery, 5 years later, from about 7 years of hopping on and off all sorts of hormonal contraceptives and b.) how I could be transformed by understanding my cycle. Over the past few months I have casually held it all in mind, sharing parts of the book with my fiance, and being more aware of the cycle.  The power of the workshop however, shifted the work from something theoretical to something that I have begun to work with on a practical level (easy to say now, as I am in my summer - inspired and energized!).  I will engage on the Online Community, as I agree with you that women have so much to share to help each other ignite the full power and appreciation of what it is to be a woman. I have been sharing it along. One college pal in America is hooked - read your book, went off the pill, and is charting with FAM!! 

Emily Webster, 28yrs, Yoga teacher, Vermont, USA

"I'm a part of an amazing bunch of women taking part in "The Woman's Quest".... I'd like to say that I can't begin to put into words my gratitude and how much this quest has helped change my thoughts and views of myself."

Mel Bull, retail assistance, 24yrs.

Thank you, it was such a sacred space that allowed us to accept, enjoy and cherish what our bodies naturally do – how amazing that is and how powerful this is. In one day you have changed how I see my menstrual cycle and I am actually happy to have it! I feel for the first time more connected to my ‘feminine’ and am just beginning a journey of self–discovery—I’m excited where it leads—it is what I needed without knowing it! The informal, relaxed, nurturing space created made it easy for people to share and really come together somehow it felt like everyone connected even if we didn’t get to actually speak much to each other.


Daniela Beer, HR manager, London