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Love Through the Mess

My toddler is having a melt down while I am changing my kicking, crying infant’s full diaper. As Grayson is jumping around to avoid my swatting, he hits my elbow then nearly plants his foot in the motherload resting on the ground by my knee. I start to lose it.

Who is this tyrant I gave birth to? What the hell is wrong with him? My normally calm voice breaks into a feverish mom voice. Like a boiling pot with a lid on, irrational things start to escape from my mouth. Some of them might be swear words. I start to threaten this small maniac. I sound kinda crazy.

And like that, a lifetime of training goes down the tubes. Mindfulness? Staying centered and grounded? Not today.

I begin to feel urgently that those with anger management issues should NEVER be parents. No one but my three year old has ever elicited this sort of rage from me. And he is a truly great kid.

Less than an hour later, the diaper is clean and Grayson is sitting happily drawing.

He’s perfectly fine. And I am still pissed. I feel harried, frazzled, tired, resentful and messy. I have not brushed my teeth or combed my hair and we need to get to preschool.

In some variation or degree, this is a weekly, if not daily experience for me. Even as I’m writing this, I can feel the pent up anger in my chest and the heaviness of the shaming voice saying “why don’t you have this figured out yet?! You’re supposed to be a teacher.”

I rack my brain for a mantra, a practice, a yoga pose that will help me stay calm through the chaos of my children, help me be a parent that’s a little more like Mr. Myagi, or like Buddha. But nothing seems all-encompassing enough for this….

…And then last night as I was closing up my computer, out of things to write (I did not come up with a mantra ) I recalled a conversation I had on Easter Sunday with my brother in law. He shared something he had heard his pastor say that morning. He said,

“The world is messy right now. Our job is simply to love through the mess.”

I was thinking it sounded like a great blog post but it did not occur to me until last night to apply it to my own little life. What if we could stop trying to fix things and just love?

What if I could stop trying to control my kids, running after Grayson with the vacuum, cringing every time he eats toothpaste? Just love him more, and perhaps more to the point, love myself more. Stop trying to “get it right”.

As I consider this idea of “loving through the mess”, my chest literally relaxes. It feels warm. My jaw softens.

Then I start to wonder….can I actually begin to love the mess itself? And then I realize, I already do.


Camron Momyer is a Reiki Therapist and Intuitive Healer based in Seattle, WA. By accessing more joy and less worry, she helps others easily step into their life purpose. You can learn more about her and book a remote reiki session on her website, www.soulsourcedenergy.com

 

#LoveThroughtheMess #love #selflove

The Authentic Self: Who are you?

Namaste: “My God honors the God inside you” Do you honor the God inside of you?

In 2015, I was traveling through India. I was in my 5th month of hot and dirty solo traveling when I wanted nothing more than to rest. I wanted a moment where I could let my guard down and just take a breath. I stumbled into a Traditional Tantra Ashram nestled behind Turtle Beach on the coast of Canacona. This was a decision that would change my life. Traditional Tantra Yoga is based on the practice of stripping away the limiting thoughts of the conscious mind and sinking into the true reality of one’s subconscious self. See it is here, in the subconscious, that we can access our link to the Divine reality. It’s really hard work but isn’t everything that is enlightening?

I stayed here for months and honestly, for a majority of the time I hated it! After 200 hours of yoga and a lot of self-study, I realized that I only hated it because it was pushing against the grain of my ego and my nature up until this point. One day I gave in. It was a particularly hot day and pushing through the 120-degree heat and 100 percent humidity was too much. I let go and did the work. I pushed into wheel pose and had a vision. The voice came from within me. It activated all of my cells. It said, “I am here to coach and teach!”

As I slowly lowered down to the hot concrete floor of the Shala practice space my conscious mind kicked in. It poked at me with questions such as “who are you to coach?”, “what if no one listens?”, and “what if you are bad at it?”. I rolled over and pushed up into Cobra, the southern Indian sun beat down on my chest, I took another deep breath and the vision came back with whispers of “You are a coach. You are a teacher. This is your calling. You will help others find their calling as well” I took another deep breath and pushed deeper into the palms of my hands laced with beads of sweat that has rolled down from my shoulders. Another deep breath and I smiled.

When we connect with our subconscious selves, in a space where there is no ego, no limiting conscious beliefs, then we are able to hear God (or The Divine). And, who are we to dismiss the word of God? Messages from The Divine are most often obtained when we meditate. In meditation, we are able to let go of the physical self, quiet the ego, and create space to listen to our God. I believe that we are all God’s, we just have to practice listening. This is when the answers to all questions will come.

Last year I wrote an article for Elephant Journal titled: “6 tools to discover whether you’re living from your head or your heart.” In this article I write about how to discover if one is living from the head (ego and conscious thought) or the heart (subconscious self). As explained above – I found my calling on top of the rooftop practice space in India – that is my calling, in this lifetime, to help people understand from where are they living and teaching. I support them as they make the change to listening to one’s Divine calling which resides in the heart.

Five years later, I realized that all of my clients were people looking to become a coach or teacher. From this, I created an online masterclass about discovering one’s authentic self and the importance of healing yourself before healing others. This masterclass encompasses my teachings of Traditional Tantra and Meditation. In this course, one will go through a series of meditations and journaling, that will help CLARIFY who you are as a healer. IDENTIFY your limiting beliefs. ACTUALIZE your practice. ATTRACT your perfect clientele. And, how to COACH WITH CONFIDENCE. If you have ever thought about becoming a coach, a teacher, or just crave to get in touch with your true subconscious self then I highly recommend this masterclass.

For Three Moon Collective readers, I would like to offer an 80% discount off this class which is valued at $650! Enter discover80 upon checkout at my website 

My God honors the God inside you. How will you honor your God and the Gods around you?


LeLa Becker is an inspirational author and a personal freedom coach for coaches. She has devoted her life to deep soul transformation and she is honored to share what has touched and transformed her with you, on this path. Learn more on her website www.MakeaChange.coach

postpartum doulas are a new mother's dream come true

Postpartum Doula; The Support Every New Parent Needs

When I tell people that I’m a Postpartum Doula and the responsibilities that entails, I hear far too often – “Where were you when I needed you?”. While both birth and postpartum doulas have been around for quite some time, Postpartum Doulas have more recently gained popularity. 

The Role of a Postpartum Doula

The definition of a Postpartum Doula is as follows: A postpartum doula is a professional support person trained in the needs of the family in the days, weeks and months after birth or the addition of a new baby. The doula offers non-judgmental support, guidance, evidence-based education, and practical hands-on support immediately after birth through the first year. Doula originates from the Greek word meaning woman servant.

The period after birth is what we call the “Fourth Trimester”. This is a time period where not only is the newborn adjusting to life outside of the womb, but the adults caring for them are also transitioning into a new role. The postpartum period looks different for everybody and the role I play as their doula during this stage varies based on each individual need. The ultimate goal is to help not only the mother but the family unit as a whole foster maximum self-determination. My role is not to do everything for them, but instead support them so they have the confidence to know they CAN do it on their own.

 

mother & baby

During this period, there are prominent aspects that I give specific attention to. These include: emotional support, physical comfort of the mother, self-care, infant care, education, partner support, sibling support, referrals, and household organization. Though I focus on each of these aspects with every client, my role as their doula looks different for each one. I must assess their specific needs depending on their individualized preferences and provide evidence based information for the mother to make the best informed decision regarding what is best for herself and her baby. 

Anything outside my scope of practice requires a referral, as doulas are not medical professionals. This includes having a rolodex of professionals including certified lactation consultants, postpartum therapists, physical therapists specializing in women’s reproductive systems including before, during and after labor into the postpartum period, among many others. 

As their doula, my focus is on “mothering the mother”, meaning I ensure that self-care is foremost, especially if a new mother has had a cesarean section. Proper nutrition, rest, and fluids are top priority. I am a companion, always there to listen in a non-judgmental environment and ready to provide resources, referrals and options to decrease feelings of worry/concern, stress, and segregation from life before they gave birth. 

postpartum doulas support mothers & their babies

Why Work with a Postpartum Doula?

Women have been nurtured and cared for since the beginning of time from various individuals including family, neighbors, and friends. There are numerous benefits that come from being supported by a Postpartum Doula, much like the support for those in your tribe. Mothers and partners do not feel so alone and gain confidence with the help of a doula, as the doulas role is to affirm that these individuals are right on track. Showing your confidence in them allows them to grow more confidence in themselves and trust the decisions that they are making. 

Having a Postpartum Doula assists not only in instilling confidence but also helps the parent truly understand their newborn. The first 5-7 days are an extreme roller coaster, with hormonal changes and body recovery, all the while getting to know a new member or members of the family. I help those caring for the newborn learn how to interpret cries, body language, reflexes, and those super sweet baby sounds that occur. With wisdom and gentleness, as your Postpartum Doula, I am able to guide you through this journey! 

A Day (or Night) in the Life of a Postpartum Doula

Doulas work around the clock because let’s face it, newborns do everything on their own terms. They eat when they want, they sleep when they want, and we are there to make sure they are happy! Every single day and every single shift is different. Many doulas choose to work minimum 3-4 hour shifts, though I work as little or as much (up to 8 hours) as my client desires. I chose to provide my shifts in 60 minute increments due to no limitations on self-care. If a new mother is having some anxiety about leaving her newborn but just really wants to get a pedicure, I am there. If she wants to take a nice, long, hot shower and know her newborn is well cared for, I am there. If she just wants to enjoy a coffee alone, I am there.

 

I always check in with a client before arriving to see if there is anything they need me to pick up for them. Some place grocery orders and I pick them up on the way, some simply want an iced latte. Some have medication that they have not been able to pick up, and some simply say no thanks. First two things I always do upon arrival is remove my shoes and wash my hands. 

Depending on the needs of the client, a typical shift consists of A LOT of baby wearing. Sometimes I wash bottles and fold laundry while wearing the baby. Sometimes I simply sit and listen to my client talk about their fears and concerns while bouncing on a medicine ball with their newborn in my arms. Active listening is the key, as you are there solely for them, to guide them, to support them, to listen to them, to validate their feelings and concerns. 

Sometimes, the mother just gives me a few instructions and cannot wait to leave for a few hours! I wash a lot of bottles, fold a lot of baby clothes, and get spit up on A LOT! I show new mothers how to engage their baby to properly open their mouth for a successful latch when they are having breastfeeding issues, I place breastmilk into baggies and properly label them and wash pumping supplies. I support new mothers who are having difficulties breastfeeding and refer them to some amazing certified lactation consultants.

Working an overnight shift means a lot of newborn snuggles! I love working overnight shifts, the main reason being I know how exhausting it can be and being able to provide support for new parents in the form of getting uninterrupted sleep is priceless. Whether it be snuggling a newborn all night who will not sleep otherwise, to feeding and changing them on cue, to light household chores that do not cause a disruption; overnight shifts are very rewarding. The most rewarding part is when morning comes and one or both of the parents look well rested and are beyond elated that they got more than two hours of sleep without having to get up. 

Becoming a Postpartum Doula has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. It is far beyond just a career. Nothing compares to knowing you are making a difference in the lives of others at their most vulnerable times. These individuals invite us Doulas into their lives and their homes, and in turn, we provide them with invaluable support that allows them to be the best they can be.


Wendy Quast is a Postpartum Doula and the founder of Seattle Day Doula. She has over twenty years of hands-on childcare experience and received her postpartum certification from Bastyr University. Interested in working with Wendy? Book visits using this link or send an email to admin@seattledaydoula.com

CBD Company Myriad Wellness

Curious about CBD? Read This.

There is so much mystery surrounding Cannabidiol (CBD) and the endocannabinoid system (ECS), so the purpose of this article is to inform in laymen terms all of the factors that one should know in case you are curious about trying CBD.

Over the last 2 decades researchers have started to uncover a remarkable amount of information proving the legitimacy of endocannabinoid system and the cannabis plant’s application to it, but there is so much modern science still has yet to fully understand as well. It is humbling that in the age of technology and exponential advancement, this archaic plant and its coinciding regulatory system has still managed to outsmart us.

Having worked in the cannabis industry helping multiple CBD companies in their product development, there are a couple things that everyone should know before choosing a brand. (I want to preface this, for those who don’t know, any CBD products being sold over the counter LEGALLY are only allowed LESS THAN .3% THC. That is POINT THREE percent THC, so if you are worried about getting high it is very unlikely that this will be an issue, unless you are dosing many times over the suggested amount.)

1. Everyone has an endocannabinoid system, therefore everyone can benefit from CBD.

The reason why CBD has been successful treating so many diverse conditions is because our bodies create small amounts of endogenous cannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the ECS that regulate our central and peripheral nervous systems. These endocannabinoids are called on when cellular function deviates from homeostasis, therefore maintaining optimal function of cognitive processes, the reproductive system, appetite, pain, mood and memory.

With that being said, due to our drastic change in diet in the last 100 years, our diets contain much less of the nutrients that are precursors to the production of the endocannabinoids that mitigate stress and inflammation, which have both been linked to a plethora of diseases. Even if you do not have health problems that need immediate attention, chances are the lifestyle you are living is not completely in alignment with your body’s operating system. Specifically, CBD can be useful to the modern day human because of the bombardment of information and over-stimulation of our brains neurons.

This is a huge reason why stress levels are higher than they’ve ever been. When a neuron is firing excessively, the neuron it is connected to produces Endocannabinoids that retroactively calm the neuron down to bring it back into homeostasis. That begs the question, then why are we still so stressed out? The answer is because our diets and lifestyles are vastly different from the diet of the prehistoric human, devoid of the nutrients from indigenous herbs and undomesticated plants that are required to keep up with our rapidly changing world. Supplementation of CBD can help with this, as well as moving toward an organic, non-processed diet consisting of seasonal seasonal foraging of indigenous plants. This might seem unrealistic but with the rise in cancer in an astonishingly short amount of time would suggest it necessary.

2. Isolate vs. Full Spectrum Oil

If you do any research on the CBD market, you will see the terms “Isolate” and “full spectrum oil” used, depending on the brand you are looking at. Lets break it down:

CBD Isolate

Many companies use the isolated CBD molecule to eliminate any THC (which is also a cannabinoid) in their products. The process by which this is done separates all the other cannabinoids (THC, THCA, THCV, delta-8 THC, CBDa, CBC, CBGa, CBN, CBDv), vitamins, minerals, protein, chlorophyll, terpenes, flavonoids and fatty acids. There are a couple reasons this could be, one being because of the potential legal ramifications if the FDA or DEA decides to penalize companies for using any THC whatsoever, even at the legal limit.

The other would be because it is most cost effective for the company making the products because it is so concentrated that it requires such a tiny amount to achieve the desired milligrams per unit. This is a great option for anyone who is extremely sensitive to THC or is worried about about a drug test. However, I would suggest reading the next section if you are hoping to use CBD to treat a health condition.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil

Many CBD companies are using a diluted full spectrum CBD oil (it is very concentrated and must be diluted to achieve less than .3% THC). This means that the whole plant is used to extract a full spectrum profile of plant properties, including cannabinoids (THC, THCA, THCV, delta-8 THC, CBDa, CBC, CBGa, CBN, CBDv), vitamins, minerals, protein, chlorophyll, terpenes, flavonoids and fatty acids. These compounds work together to produce a synergistic effect, commonly referred to as “the entourage effect”. Studies out of Israel have documented the superior therapeutic results from whole-plant cannabis extracts with the full spectrum of cannabinoids compared to just the isolated CBD molecule.image.png

Cannabinoids in full spectrum CBD oil

Terpenes

A huge contributor to this effect but are also the least commonly understood.  Terpenes are a large and diverse class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants and some insects. To date, there has been about 100 different terpenes discovered in various cannabis strains, but the synthesis of them depends on the climate, soil, age and stressors. The more rich with microbial biodiversity the soil, the more terpenes will be produced. Think about body odor, and how the more bacteria and dirt you have built up, the stinkier you will be. Terpenes are the body odor of the plant, the essential oils. They often have a strong odor and some have insecticidal properties, deterring herbivores and attracting predators of herbivores. 

image.png

Terpenes are what give off the distinctive aromas and flavors of plants, but they also control the effects that you feel from cannabis by controlling how much THC enters through the blood brain barrier and influencing neurotransmitters in various ways (depending on the terpene combination), causing us to relax, energize or uplift our mood. For example, Linalool is an anticonvulsant and could be used in conjunction with a full spectrum CBD oil to help control seizures. If you or someone you know is looking into CBD to treat pain or a medical condition, full spectrum oil is recommended because of the additional compounds that will work synergistically to relieve symptoms. My favorite full spectrum brand is Myriad Wellness. Check them out here.

3. Not all Hemp/CBD companies are created equal

One major point of confusion for many CBD consumers is language surrounding hemp oil content vs CBD content. For example, a company might say their products contain 250mg of Hemp oil. This can be very misleading because 250mg of Hemp oil and 250mg of CBD are not the same. Hemp oil may contain small amounts of CBD but unless there is clear statement of how many milligrams of CBD is in that product, it may not be worth the price. If you are using CBD for chronic pain or illness misleading labels such as this can also give the illusion that you are dosing more CBD than in reality, consequently requiring more of the product or an inability to attain desired relief.

Not all Hemp plants are created equal either. Hemp is a bioaccumulator, which means if it’s grown in toxic soil it will uptake the toxins and remove them from the soil. Hemp can be used to clean up nuclear and radioactive waste from the ground and repurposed into a hemp “plastic”. This is great for the planet, but turning that same product into health supplement would not be wise. Much of the hemp in the market is grown in places like Kentucky and Tennessee, which are some of the most heavily mono-cropped and sprayed areas in the world, primarily with Glyphosate or “RoundUp”.

This toxic herbicide stimulates cell mutations (cancer), interferes with cellular communication (your body’s immune system) and destroy the gut microbiome (also linked to many diseases). Glyphosate is used heavily in these areas because mono-crop farms cannot naturally compete with native weeds due to the lack of biodiversity that would eat, deter or outgrow the weeds naturally. Glyphosate can travel up to 2 miles in either direction, which is all to say that you should be very selective over WHERE your CBD oil originated. Even if it was not sprayed directly, it could have come in contact, depending on the area that it was grown in. The lack of biodiversity from spraying and mono-cropping also translates to the soil, where much of the microbial interactions happen that stimulate terpene production.

When the soil biodiversity is gone, the plants that grow there will in turn be less nutritious and medicinal because they are up taking less nutrients from the soil. Think about the old saying, “you are what you eat”.  The same issues apply to the food we eat. A plant can only be as nutritious as the soil it is grown in, which is a huge reason for a lot of the health issues our society is facing now as a result of large agricultural corporation produce and their unsustainable farming practices. I recommend selecting a brand that’s hemp was grown in Oregon, where the farming laws are much more strict, the land has not been heavily mono-cropped or sprayed, and the natural eco-system lends to a more rich soil, rather than the dust bowl soil of the midwest.

Myriad Wellness’s hemp is grown and extracted by naturopathic doctors in Oregon, where they have very strict farming regulations and all of the oil is rigorously tested for purity. Myriad also donates 5% of their products to an organization called Growing Veterans, because of studies that suggest CBD has positive effects on PTSD, anxiety and depression.

Make the environmentally responsible choice to know where your hemp comes from, and support ethical farming practices. The industry is just taking off, and what we support now will be what we get in the future.


This blog post was written by Maria Swanson of Myriad Wellness. Want to give their products and CBD a try? Use promo code ThreeMoon15 for an extra 15% off at checkout. Browse their products here.

Support Your Hormonal Health With Nutrition

When it comes to our hormones, what we consume matters. However, there is not one diet that works for every single person. Food is neither bad nor good-rather, bio-individuality predicts that we all react to what we consume differently.  When we begin to assign morality to what we consume, we can develop perfectionist attitudes and an unhealthy cycle of shame around our food choices. This behavior can cause an immense amount of stress that cannot only be dangerous but will have a detrimental impact on our hormones. 

In my own work, before even exploring different foods that may help or hinder happy hormones, I work with my clients to cultivate intuitive eating. Intuitive eating is the skill of making decisions about what we consume based upon a place of listening to our own authentic needs rather than ascribing to pressure from outside ourselves to eat a certain way. We begin with the understanding that our nutrition has a unique effect on our mental, physical and emotional state. From there, my client identifies exactly how they want to feel in their mind, body and spirit and begin to make nutritional choices based on their own intrinsic desires and motivations.  

Our physiology, goals, health history, and struggles are all so vastly different. With some basic understandings about what we need to nourish our bodies on a daily basis, we can determine what is right for us. Below I share the essentials to maintaining hormonal health from a nutritional perspective. 

stabilize your blood sugar to support your nutritionStabilize your blood sugar.

Do you ever wake up, drink a cup of coffee on an empty stomach, run out the door with a muffin in your hand and an hour later feel shaky and hungry? What about an intense craving for caffeine or something sweet around 3PM? Do you find yourself consistently hangry or moody when a few hours ago you felt great? This is dysregulated blood sugar.

When our blood sugar spikes, our pancreas releases insulin in an effort to convert the sugar in our bloodstream into energy for our cells. Our bodies are designed to deal with this chain reaction sporadically. However, our modern lives are filled with sneaky sugar and pre-packaged, nutrient deprived foods to eat on ‘the go,’ causing us to experience these effects constantly.

When our insulin levels rise so do our cortisol levels. Refer to my previous post on how high cortisol can impact our sex hormones. There are also insulin receptors on our ovaries and when we have high levels of insulin production, our ovaries can respond by overproducing testosterone instead of estrogen. This can cause us to ovulate infrequently or not at all.

What are some culprits of dysregulated blood sugar?

  • caffeine
  • alcohol
  • simple carbohydrates/refined grains found in pasta, white bread, baked goods
  • refined sugar found in sauces, sodas, candy, nut butters-read your labels!
  • even high glycemic fruit like pineapple, mango and banana

Do your best to limit your consumption of these foods and beverages, especially if you notice symptoms of dysregulated blood sugar (low energy, headache, insatiable appetite). In addition, when sitting down for a meal or reaching for a snack, make sure that there are good sources of healthy fats and/or proteins present. By implementing these macronutrients, our bodies are better equipped to maintain stabilized blood sugar allowing you to experience sustained energy, moods and happier, more balanced hormones. 

inflammatory foodsBe aware of how you react to inflammatory foods.

Dairy, caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol, gluten, eggs, soy and peanuts are some of the biggest culprits of inflammation. Inflammation in our bodies is responsible for most chronic conditions and can contribute to painful periods, skin issues like acne, anxiety and chronic fatigue. We are not all reactive to these items but when trying to identify the root cause of a symptom, a good place to start is examining your experience with these common culprits. Cutting these foods out in a way that aligns with your life and goals may give you more answers as to what your system can handle and what it cannot.

drinking water is key to nutritionDrink water.

Many of us are in a chronic state of dehydration, which has a direct effect on our body’s ability to function optimally. Aim to consume at least half your body weight in ounces daily or more if you are very active. 

Consume mainly whole foods from clean sources.

At the end of the day, our body’s function optimally when we nourish ourselves with the nutrients that come from the abundance of food our planet provides. The plants and animals with the greatest nutrients are ones that have lived in an environment that is free from toxic chemicals. Do your best to consume organic, non-GMO, grass-fed, free-range and wild caught. You really are what you eat. Here are some examples of nutrient packed foods that support happy hormones and optimal reproductive functioning: 

  • cruciferous vegetables: kale, cabbage and brussel sprouts
  • seaweed and kelp 
  • healthy fats: olive oil, avocado, seeds and nuts
  • omega-3 rich foods: sardines, flax seeds, walnuts and salmon
  • organ meats… I know, I know, but they are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet! Organ meats are especially beneficial for women preparing for pregnancy.

If you are currently experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance, I urge you to experiment with what you consume from a place of curiosity. Take note of how you feel as you make subtle changes and let your findings guide your decision making on how best to nourish yourself moving forward. 


If implementing diet and lifestyle changes seems overwhelming or you feel as though you need support on your journey, please contact Lizzy at wellwomen@lizzymoran.com! You don’t have to walk this path alone.

Want to have a deeper understanding of your menstrual cycle? Check out Lizzy’s first blog post in the series.

Curious about the keys to happy hormones? Check out Lizzy’s second blog post in the series.

Your Guide to Happy Hormones

The Basics

When it comes to optimizing our hormonal health and well-being, starting with the very basics can seem almost too simple. We are programmed to think that a pill or a potion has the capacity to fix us faster and better. The truth is, if we don’t have the basic foundations of health in place like quality sleep, getting out in nature, moving our bodies daily and consuming water than all of that money we shell out on products, pills and potions will be a waste.  

I get it, changing our behaviors can be hard which is why the lure of a pill or potion is so strong!  When navigating implementing new behavior changes, I urge you to reflect on your values; your WHY for making the change. This is the first powerful step to creating a sustainable shift in your behavior. Secondly, start small and change what aligns with your life right now. Forget the shoulds or the all or nothing mindset. What is one thing that seems manageable and maybe even exciting for you to implement in this moment?

sleep is essential for happy hormonesSleep

When it comes to happy hormones we must prioritize sleep. While recognizing that everyone’s life is different and access to a good night sleep can be difficult or seemingly impossible depending on your work or familial responsibilities. Identify what your barriers are for sleep and try to address them.

Are you staring at a blue light past 8PM? When your body is exposed to light (especially blue light) past sunset, it can disrupt the communication between your brain and your ovaries.  Put the phone/laptop/tablet down and pick up that book that’s been collecting dust on your bedside table. Maybe when you first get into bed, squeeze in a mini meditation. Insight Timer is a free app and has many meditations designed to help you drift off to sleep. 

Get into the sun EVERYDAY! Sunlight regulates our circadian rhythm allowing us to sleep more soundly at night. This may not be easy for everyone! If you live in a place that doesn’t always see the sun like in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, then get your Vitamin D levels checked (in an ideal world your levels would be around 50) and talk to your healthcare practitioner about supplementation. Vitamin D is critical for hormone balance.

Managing stress

The physiological response to stress can have many different causes:  

  • food sensitivities or allergies 
  • past traumas 
  • negative self-talk, perfectionist tendencies, people pleasing
  • family
  • work
  • finances
  • climate change
  • over-exercising

The list goes on. How does this impact our hormones? When we are stressed the hormone cortisol is released.  In small bouts, this is normal and healthy. However, many of us are in hyper drive and in response our adrenals are pump out excess amounts of cortisol. The big issue is progesterone, the hormone that keeps us feeling calm and at peace, is the precursor to cortisol. When we are in a state of stress our adrenals require progesterone in order create cortisol. Progesterone is also responsible for nourishing and maintaining the endometrial lining of our uterus for an embryo to be implanted and carried to term. 

When we’re stressed all of the time, regardless of what that stressor is, our progesterone levels can be diminished quickly causing an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. When estrogen is the dominant hormone we are susceptible to a whole bunch of unsavory symptoms like anxiety, breast tenderness and night sweats. 

So where do we begin? Identify some of your biggest sources of stress. Can you remove ONE item off of your plate or modify it in some way? 

Then, identify what brings you to a state of relaxation. That feeling where you can (almost) let go of all that is demanding your attention. This can be as simple as taking three deep breaths, which is scientifically proven to engage your parasympathetic nervous system and downregulate your stress response. Try out one of the many different forms of meditation or yoga.  Go for a walk outside or take five minutes to laugh and connect with a family member or friend.

Identify what it is that allows you to let go of your daily worries, even if just for a moment. Do your best to incorporate your chosen technique as often as possible. It does not have to be perfect, just easy to implement so that it serves as respite and not another chore to add to your already overflowing plate. Inhale. Exhale.

Environmental Toxins

We live in a world where there are toxins in almost every thing we come in contact with from the food we eat to the products we put on our bodies. One of the biggest hindrances on our hormonal health are endocrine disruptors. Xenoestrogens are found as naturally occurring compounds in plants or in synthetic chemicals. Both types of xenoestrogens can interfere with our hormonal communication due to the similarity in molecular structure to the hormones we naturally produce in our body.

Some places to explore decreasing your exposures to endocrine disruptors are:

  • Switch your natural beauty products. (makeup, shampoo/conditioner, body lotion, deodorant). Look for products that that are free from phthalates.
  • Do your best to consume mostly organic fruits, vegetables and dairy products and grass fed, free range meat.
  • Switch to natural cleaning products.
  • Filter your drinking water. You can check out what toxins are in your city’s water source by going to EWG.com.

This topic is vast and can be overwhelming for many including myself. My suggestion is to start with what sounds easy and accept that we will never rid our lives of all toxins, our bodies are resilient and we can only do our best.

Remember, before anything else, identify why you want to make a change. This step is crucial when you are tempted to go back to your old habits. Then choose one or two things from this list that you would like to implement. Behavior change is a process that does not happen overnight. Starting with these three areas will set a solid foundation for any additional forms of healing you include in your wellness routine. 


If you have questions or concerns about your menstrual cycle or are curious about working with Lizzy, please set up a free 30-minute consultation on her website: www.lizzymoran.com

Want to have a deeper understanding of your menstrual cycle? Check out Lizzy’s first blog post in the series.

Understanding the Menstrual Cycle

A Shared Experience

There was a time in the not too distant past where I viewed my period like many humans in the world who have a uterus: a painful burden that brought acne, bloating, rage in my veins and an overwhelming craving for Cheez Its and Ben & Jerry’s. My understanding of my monthly bleeding was simplified down to two basic understandings; Because of the anatomy I was born with, I was destined to endure a shameful, painful, ‘dirty’ experience every month for at least three decades AND I wasn’t pregnant.

I am not alone in this experience. Many of us are kept in the dark about our menstrual cycles due to lack of sufficient education coupled with false beliefs perpetuated by society. The truth is our menstrual cycle is important for reasons other than creating more humans. The fluctuation of our sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone, throughout a healthy menstrual cycle can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on our energy, libido, skin, bone health, emotional wellbeing, metabolism, and productivity.

A Vital Sign

The menstrual cycle is also considered a vital sign by both the American Academy of Pediatrics and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Yes, a vital sign. Like our heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure. The information our bodies are giving us through presence of pain, amount of menstrual blood, regularity of bleeding, mood and energy can give us essential insights into our overall health.

This article is not to shame you for feeling disgust, or indifference towards your menstrual cycle. This article is also not to make you feel as though you should add one more item to your list of things that make you ‘imperfect’ because what I describe below is not your current reality and never has been. I am writing this article to share information that we ALL should have learned years ago. Maybe then something as natural and essential for life as menstruation wouldn’t be so taboo.

I will explain below what a healthy menstrual cycle can look like. This can serve as a baseline to reference. Please keep in mind that there is no ‘perfect’ cycle and that slight variabilities will occur due to stress levels and your health. I invite you to start noticing your own cycle and how you feel throughout the month. Take note when you notice something out of your ordinary. If it becomes a persistent issue, I urge you to seek to support from a trusted healthcare practitioner. Our bodies are giving us signals constantly on what they need in order to function optimally. We need to start listening with compassion and curiosity instead of judgment.

Let’s dive in!

The Phases

There are four phases to the menstrual cycle:

  • Menstruation (the bleeding part of the Follicular Phase)
  • Follicular phase (the non-bleeding part of the Follicular phase)
  • Ovulation
  • The Luteal phase

The menstrual cycle encompasses ALL of these phases, not just menstruation. In fact, a menstrual cycle is only considered healthy if ovulation has been confirmed (more on this below!) A healthy menstrual cycle should last between 24-35 days. It begins on day one of your flow (not spotting) and ends the day preceding your next first day of flow.

I want to mention hormonal birth control because many forms work by suppressing ovulation. If you are currently on the pill or some other form of hormonal BC, what I describe below may not be your current reality. We all have goals and maybe yours is to avoid getting pregnant because you are having heterosexual sex. I am providing this information because you or a loved one has female reproductive organs and therefore should have a basic understanding of how they work.

Here’s a closer look at the 4 phases:

Menstruation (Lasts 3-7 days)

  • Consistency and color of blood matter! Your period should resemble some variation of red from the color of cranberry juice to a deep burgundy. The consistency should resemble that of maple syrup with little (no larger than a dime) to no clots.
  • 25ml (roughly half a shot glass) to 80ml (roughly 2 shot glasses) is a normal volume of menstrual blood to lose each cycle.
  • Your key sex hormones (estrogen, testosterone and progesterone) are at their lowest, which can cause you to feel tired and low energy. If your schedule allows, take some time to rest. Perhaps a quiet night at home watching a movie or journaling.
  • Your cervix is at its lowest and feels like the tip of your nose.
  • Light pain or cramping is normal. Moderate to extreme levels of pain are not and could be caused by inflammation due to nutrition and lifestyle or another underlying health condition.
  • If you are experiencing pain, having an orgasm may help! When we orgasm, a hormone called oxytocin is released which has been found to suppress low levels of pain! And don’t fret if you’ve never had an orgasm before. Check out The O School ….. You’re welcome.

Follicular Phase (Lasts 7-10 days)

  • As estrogen and testosterone rise to peak levels, our energy increases.
  • Your mood may improve as you progress further into this phase due to the increase in estrogen. Estrogen supports the healthy production of serotonin and dopamine in the brain.
  • The increase in estrogen as you approach ovulation will also influence your cervical fluid to change from a drier or sticky consistency (not fertile mucus) to a more wet, slippery or egg white consistency (fertile).

Ovulation (3-5 days)

  • The mature follicle in one of your two ovaries bursts and releases an egg that travels into your fallopian tube. A temporary endocrine gland called the Corpus Luteum will grow on the follicle that burst. Yes, we are aliens. This temporary endocrine gland that grows and disintegrates every cycle is responsible for the progesterone surge that we will receive for the remaining two weeks of our cycle. If we conceive, then your progesterone will continue to rise. Without ovulation, we do not receive this surge of progesterone.
  • The actual event of ovulation takes seconds, but the physiological effects on mood, energy, and even appearance can last days.
  • Progesterone has a thermogenic effect which means that our body temperature is warmer during the second half of our menstrual cycle.
  • Estrogen and testosterone are at their peak levels which can contribute to increased sex drive, improved mood and high energy. Take advantage! Go on a date, hang out with friends or try something new!
  • Studies have shown that we have increased verbal skills during this time. Personally, I input my entire cycle into my google calendar and try to plan all my speaking engagements around ovulation.

How do we confirm ovulation?

  1. Your cervical fluid is a wet consistency, like egg whites, boogery, slippery, watery and clear in appearance. Fertility, regardless of whether you choose to use it or not, is a good indicator that you are healthy! So, let’s celebrate cervical fluid!
  2. Your cervix is soft, high, open and wide.
  3. Your basal body temperature, has increased and remained higher for three consecutive days. You can determine your BBT by taking your temperature first thing in the morning, ideally around the same time every day, before doing anything else.

Luteal Phase (10-16 days)

  • After ovulation estrogen and testosterone will slowly decline with a slight increase mid luteal phase. The predominant hormone in this half of our cycle is progesterone.
  • Progesterone keeps us feeling calm and peaceful.
  • 5-7 days out from menstruation we may begin to feel more withdrawn, tired and less social. This is NORMAL! If possible, make plans to incorporate more low-key activities: long walks, naps, baths or even saying “no” to one more social engagement. Your body and mind will thank you!

With a greater understanding of how your cycle impacts you on a daily basis, you can feel empowered to make daily decisions that feel nourishing to your mind, body and spirit. In addition, the increased awareness of your cycle will allow you to better advocate for your health if you notice something that is out of the norm.

Resources on Menstrual and Hormonal Health:

Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden
The Fifth Vital Sign by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack
The Period Party Podcast with Nicole Jardim (my mentor!) and Nat Kringoudis
Fertility Friday Podcast with Lisa Hendrickson-Jack


If you have questions or concerns about your menstrual cycle or are curious about working together, please set up a free 30-minute consultation on my website: www.lizzymoran.com

If you would like to dive even deeper into understanding your menstrual cycle and holistic ways you can support yourself throughout the month, please sign up for my newsletter. I am planning some exciting workshops around this topic for the Fall and would love to see you there! In addition, if you are interested in inviting me to lead a workshop at your place of work, book club or yoga studio please contact me at wellwomen@lizzymoran.com

Information in this post is provided for informational purposes only. The information is a result of practice experience and research by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem.

How to Master the Art of Listening

I have been working in the field of energy healing for a little over ten years. I became interested in energy work after I began to have repeated unusual experiences with my hands and my vision coupled by a total anxiety meltdown. This led me to receive my very first energy healing session where I was desperately looking for answers and resolve. My session did not disappoint and my path in energetics has continuously gained momentum ever since. What I love most about holding space for others, is witnessing the light bulb turn on inside illuminating intrinsic truth. We all hold the power to heal and to become more balanced and whole.

Through my work I have discovered that learning is a continuous journey, but the one thing I know for a fact is that mastering the art of listening is life changing. When we listen, we can recognize and hear what we need becoming more aware and more in tune with our needs emotionally, physically and energetically. This process also empowers us to understand others with expanded compassion and awareness. Every experience you have has learning in it if you look for it and take the learning and integrate it. Not only can you listen more deeply to your own needs but you can also listen and learn from nature. If you pay attention in nature, there is a teacher within all plants, trees, animals, the ocean, the mountains, EVERYTHING has teachings if you desire to listen. All that is required is creating space within you to listen.

This seems so simple but listening is a learned skill. It takes practice opening up the space inside you to listen, to honor how you are feeling what your body is saying to you. When we do things like deny our true selves, we miss messages and make mistakes in our choices. However, when we listen to emotional and physical cues, we become attuned to subtle spiritual and energetic signs. In this state we are primed to hear messages from guides, angels, loved ones who have passed on, our higher selves, and more. So, it is important to take the time to master the essential skill of listening.

Pay Attention

Begin by noticing the messages your body sends you and respond with an action that shows you heard. For example, if you are thirsty your mouth and throat will be dry, so drink water when those signs first appear. Also, take breaks when your body is tired, and eat foods that nourish you. Choose sleep over your to-do list when possible. Move your body through dance, walking, and stretching. Nourish yourself—try taking salt baths, give yourself a foot massage, or maybe buy yourself flowers or a special candle.

Embrace Your Emotions

When you are upset, slow down and get grounded. Allow yourself to fully feel your feelings and notice what is upsetting you. For example, if you are angry, embrace the anger instead of denying it. Ask it why it is here. Maybe you have a good reason to be mad. Cry when you are sad. We are conditioned to suppress our feelings, but if we bottle up emotions, these emotions will manifest themselves in our body in various unhealthy ways.

Explore Your Spirituality

In addition, begin to explore your energy field, your soul, and your higher self. Turn off your phone or computer. Try meditation, practicing visualization or simply lay your hands on your body and check in with how it feels. Connect with nature. Become familiar with your energy anatomy. Tune inward and connect where we are all one. Everything is energy, and everything is interconnected. Find that well of unconditional knowing and unconditional love inside you, in others, and in the earth. There are many ways to find this, the journey in finding this is part of the awakening process. Seek out support as needed and begin to listen to the messages that will change your life.

Download the free app called “Insight Timer” and try my free yoga meditations. These meditations are designed to encourage listening, developing a better sense of self and have integrated energy healing visualizations.


Sharlean Windus is a local energy healer and intuitive development guide. If you are interested in learning more, you can find her at www.classiquespa.com where she practices energy healing and offers reiki mentorship classes. Or visit www.sharleanwindus.com to find classes and events such as sound baths, meditation, reiki certification, and more!

Wellness Around the World: Latvian Summer Solstice

latvian summer solstice celebrationMy name is Datza and I was born and raised in Latvia. I’m currently a teacher and owner of Datza Studios here in cozy Eastlake neighborhood. Latvia is a tiny country by the Baltic Sea, just across from Sweden, east of Poland and west of Russia. Yasss, we were part of Soviet Union but we have way a different language and culture. Proud to be pagans, proud to be Latvians!

I love love my country but somehow life brought be me to US. First, it was east coast for a few summers and a little over 15 years ago – Seattle. Change is constant and life thrives on change; it is the essence of the 2nd chakra and the story of my life. It’s also one the main teachings of Yoga (union of mind, body and soul).

Yoga for me is more than just asanas, yoga is the practice through which we are able to liberate ourselves and create the freedom we desire (in the yoga universe we call it Moksha). I’m more than grateful for my Yoga Teacher Training at Samadhi where most of the teachings were about yoga philosophy and most of the practice teaching was done after the regular hours with friends, other trainees and our mentor. Shout out to Jennifer Isaacson, Kathleen Hunt and Steve Shiva!

garden yogaIt’s been over 10 years since I was introduced to yoga and I constantly find similarities between yoga and my upbringings in Latvia. As pagans, we believe that there are higher spirits and nature Gods who guide us, who help us, and who can also destroy us, if we are ignorant to their messages. Yoga sutras states:  “Ignorance is the seed of the suffering.” We have our Earth, Wind, Sun and other gods similar to Hinduism where there is Kali, Shakti, Shiva etc. We have Latvian mythology symbols weaved into our clothing, put in our houses, and even on our bodies. We accept that mood and energy levels change, and when we get sick the first treatment would be natural remedy – herb tea, mixture etc. Ayurveda would be the word we know here and is a sister of yoga!

We have always been taught to live in the moment – the power of NOW. We believe that happiness is freedom and you become more free by getting together and singing and dancing (which is pretty much a must for every event), whether it’s a name day, birthday or other festivity. Every 4 years we have a National Song and Folk festival when Latvians from our country and abroad come together for a week and express themselves through singing and movement.

Did you know that Latvian language is one of the closest languages to Sanskrit? Did you know that we still celebrate summer solstice and it’s a national holiday? Summer solstice celebration is the biggest festivity in Latvian culture, same as the Deities celebration in Hinduism (celebrating deities like Kali, Shiva etc.)

latvian summer solstice attireIn Latvia we call it “Jani” and it is always the night from June 23 to June 24 when all Latvians participate in joyous festivities just like the ancestors did centuries ago. “Jani” celebration dates back to middle ages and is a celebration of nature and the changing of seasons mixed with all traditions.

Yes, it is a national holiday!  Everyone tries to get out in the country to their relatives and our friends and just eat, drink, dance and sing.

I can tell you for hours and go in details but to keep it short yet sweet, there are few things which are just plain mandatory and you will find during the celebration:

  1. Bonfire – definitely the hallmark of the festivities. We sit by the bonfire and wait for the sun to come up. Late in the evening when the bonfire becomes smaller, we jump over it which signifies ridding people of their burdens. Couples jump together and the magical force of the flames binds them for life. The bonfire also helps to keep the insects away.
  2. Latvian food– must have “Jani”cheese (a sour cheese made with caraway seeds) and beer. Gotta keep our bodies alive all night long!
  3. Garlands for everyone made of oak leaves or wild flowers – they were believed to have magic powers during the summer solstice. Houses are also decorated with birch oak and rowan branches to keep the evil spirits away.
  4. “Field Trip Into the Woods” – it is believed that the Summer Solstice night is the only night when one can see the mysterious and mythical fern flower. No one really has seen it yet, but it is a great excuse for couples to wander into the unknown. The fact is, 9 month later there are lots of newborns.
  5. Stay up till the Sunrise – we are up in the North and daylight on the “Jani” night is only a few hours. If you end up falling asleep by the time the sun rises, you will be sleepy all summer long and who wants that? At dawn, one should find water and wash their face in order to have a fresh glow all summer long. Walking through the morning dew is said to bring wealth.

summer solstice bonfireSummer Solstice from early childhood has been the highlight of the year because finally we could stay up all night, wander around in nature and see family and friends getting silly, yet happy.

I’m more than stoked to announce that we will be celebrating the Summer Solstice and National Yoga Day on Friday, June 21st at our Studio – Datza Studios.

Most of our studio teachers will be there to guide you through their own variation of Sun Salutations since the Sun is what we celebrate on Summer Solstice. In between, Teju (professional story teller from India who is going back on her travels after the event) will educate us on Creator (Brahma), Preserver (Vishnu) and Destroyer (Shiva) and how it is linked with the summer solstice even though down in India they don’t celebrate it (too close to the equator).

The best part – you will feel and look good since after the practice there will be a Nordstrom beauty pop-up with oxygen facials and other goodies.

For more info & to register, follow this link.


Datza Telmane is a local yoga teacher and owner of Datza Studios in Eastlake.

Wellness: Create Your Own Definition

Wellness is a buzzy word these days.

It’s an umbrella term that we can apply to almost anything, and the amount of wellness modalities, practices, and rituals that are out there is frankly overwhelming.

So how exactly do we define wellness for ourselves? Some people might think that wellness is waking up at sunrise and meditating or practicing yoga. If this is your version of wellness, that’s amazing! For me, it’s not at all realistic. But for a long time (and until just very recently!) I thought that this early-rising, lengthy ritual of morning wellness was THE epitome of wellness and what I needed to do in order to consider myself a “well” person.

The truth is, we are not allowed to beat ourselves up with things that are good for us (learned this from a former life coach). If we read self-help books, we can’t punish ourselves for not following their guidance. If we practice yoga occasionally, we can’t berate ourselves in class for not coming more often. If we buy into this cycle of negativity, our vision of self-care and attainable wellness practices will become narrower, and narrower, until we’d rather just call the whole thing off.

What I’d like to propose, is instead of viewing wellness as something that we are grasping for, to view wellness as something that we already do (!) and can layer on to. I have a few suggestions on how to do so below, but above all I want to give you permission to create a new definition of wellness for yourself. One that is free of any outside influence, unique to you, and that you actually enjoy!

food as wellness“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

This is the simple motto of US-based journalist Michael Pollan who explores this idea in his book and accompanying show, “In Defense of Food.” When it comes to nutritional wellness, keeping it simple is the way to go. I also no longer force myself to eat “healthy” foods that I don’t like. If you don’t like the currently trending “super food,” don’t eat it! It’s much easier for me to nourish my body when I eat foods I enjoy.

Add movement to your meditation.

A seated meditation practice has always been difficult for me, so I was really excited when I was recently introduced to Kundalini Yoga / Meditation. It’s weird, but the repetitive movements that you perform in sets or “kriyas,” are incredibly powerful for moving stagnant energy and uniting mind and body. I would highly recommend going to a class for the full experience, but you can also find short and impactful Kundalini meditations on Insight Timer, Youtube, or Alo Moves

wellness teaUp-level the ways you already take care of yourself.

Some days, I wake up late and seem to move straight into my day without even taking a moment to be intentional or breathe deeply. But what do I always do before leaving the house? Brush my teeth and go through my skin care routine. These are ways I already care for my body (but didn’t really count as wellness), and by adding an extra layer of intention like adding a drop of essential oil to my dry brush, or lovingly massaging lotion onto my body, or even listening to my favorite song while brushing my teeth, has allowed me to practice self-care without adding a lot of extra time or steps. What are the things you always do that you could add a little intention to? Here’s a list of 45 small self-care practices if you need some inspiration.

 

Reinvent your definition of wellness.

I will assume that because you are here, you most likely have an interest in wellness. But if any of my words don’t resonate, that is totally okay because I am not for everyone and even more importantly, everyone is not for you! As you chart your own wellness path, you get to choose who your teachers are, where you attend class, and what kind of inspiration you take from those around you. Wellness is incredibly personal, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. My mission through Three Moon Collective is to introduce and share many kinds of wellness in hopes that they resonate with our community. If you’re interested in being part of this community and exploring wellness with us, I’d encourage you to sign up for our weekly newsletter here, or explore our Collective of diverse wellness practitioners.

For a daily dose of wellness, follow us at @threemooncollective on Instagram. 


Hannah Exner is the founder of Three Moon Collective and still creating her own personal definition of wellness. Follow her at @hannahexner or send her an email at hello@threemooncollective.com. This blog post originally appeared on Head + Heart