When Penny was fourteen, she vividly remembers standing in her kitchen looking in desperation for a therapist because she knew her menstrual cycle was making her depressed. No one would listen and no one would help.
She experienced decades of endometriosis before discovering Red School in 2010 and embarking on an extraordinary journey of healing, self discovery and transformation.
Now, although her physical symptoms have shifted and she has understood how much of her pain came from denying her true nature and overriding her body’s needs, she still doesn’t have a ‘perfect cycle’, but this helps her to hold a grounded place of acceptance and permission for others who haven’t been able to fully resolve their menstrual pain or complexities.
A born introvert, Penny’s inner summer is understated, but her autumn and winter are where she thrives. The second half of her cycle feels like home, the place where magic and creativity flow. In a world that doesn’t honour the potent nuanced qualities of the via negativa, she especially enjoys guiding women with more liminal gifts, those who seemingly live their cycles ‘back to front’ or ‘upside down’.
As a highly sensitive empath, she strongly appreciates the importance of safety, and models herself on facilitators she feels safe with. Her personal experience of depression, alongside years of spiritual practice and sacred space holding for individuals, groups and women in circle helps her meet emotionally difficult experiences in others with sensitivity and care. Her capacity to leave preconceptions at the door and welcome people exactly as they are allows her to support those living with trauma, pain and other complex challenges.
As a Yoga Instructor and Somatic Movement Therapist, her teaching has been deeply informed by the cycle. As intimacy with her cycle grew, she began to slow her own practice down, and teach from where her cyclical body was at on any given day. The popularity of her classes grew and she is now developing her passion for softer forms of movement practice that follow the inner prompts of the body - the perfect companion for menstrual cycle awareness.
As a child, Penny loved the idea of magic and was always out in nature in pursuit of mystery and awe. Now, as an adult she lives embedded in nature’s rhythms and enjoys conjuring up gentle natural magic of her own through ritual and setting up altars. As she begins to court menopause, she uses the sanctuary of ancient sacred sites to make peace with her younger self and relies on earth wisdom and the natural world to guide her through the difficulties.
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