What’s the Meaning of Your Moon Flow

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

photo by: Jake Hills

Do you ever hear women reference their period/menstrual cycle to their moon flow?

I didn’t understand the connection so I recently started navigating the magic of my inner world by diving deeper into the cycles of my menstruation. For starters, I discovered that the terms “menstruation” and “menses” are derived from Latin (month), which in turn relates to the Greek mene (moon) and to the roots of the English words month and moon.

It’s amazing that we didn’t learn any of this when we were younger so hopefully this is helpful to you and others in your life. I remember in elementary school, the PE teacher separated the boys and girls to have a “talk”. In the girls room, they discussed the physical process of ovulation and that we should be prepared to bleed and be moody during that “time of the month”. PMSing has been seen as women being bitchy and has held this negative connotation. As young women, we accepted it and didn’t dig deeper into the power of our cycle (moon flow). Like others, I feel I was deprived the knowledge of how magical our bodies really are.

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Terrible Two’s…and Adult Conflict

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Toddler in the jungle

Sassy Haven

My daughter is two and a half and beginning to experience her new found independence as a tiny human.  There are days when everything is so easy – she’s agreeable, follows directions, very happy. And, there are days when everything is a struggle – from putting on clothes, to eating, to emotional outbursts over me putting blueberries in her oatmeal.  It’s tough not to take it personally, but they are just toddlers and they are just doing what every toddler does – testing the limits to see your reaction.  It’s how kids learn to operate in this world.  “If I do this, what will happen next?”  “Does mama respond the same way EVERY time I do this?”

There are probably zillions of child development books focused on behavior.  This dizzying array of advice is often contradictory, many times leaving you with more questions than when you set out.  When Haven was about a year old, I set out to find some gentle, effective methods for dealing with this burgeoning independence.  That’s when I discovered RIE (pronounced “wry”) and the basic idea that infants are whole, competent humans from birth and they should be treated with respect and trust.  It sounds straightforward and obvious enough, but once you start looking around you realize that many parents don’t do this and kids are often told to just “be quiet and don’t touch” or “big kids don’t cry”or are held from knowing the truth so as to not upset them.  These subtle messages can actually negatively shape a child’s psyche by telling them that their feelings don’t matter, or not to show emotion, or  even to be mistrustful.  Our goal is to help our children grow into confident, autonomous individuals!

In doing my research I discovered Janet Lansbury.  She has a blog with all kinds of advice on how to be an effective, loving caregiver to children of all ages, taking into account the developmental milestones at every age.  In addition she has written two books, which I HIGHLY recommend to parents both new and experienced – Elevating Child Care:  A Guide to Respectful Parenting and No Bad Kids:  Toddler Discipline Without Shame.  The former is targeted more for children under 1 year of age and the latter is for children over on year.

Here’s how Janet recommends you help a toddler through a tantrum.  In a calm, unemotional voice…

  1. Verbally acknowledge why the child is upset:  “I see you’re upset, you really want that toy.”
  2. Reiterate the way things have to be:  “You can’t have this toy right now”
  3. Console the child, if necessary:  Sometimes there are big emotions.  Offer some consolation “you’re so upset, take a deep breath”, hug the child and be gentle.  Let the emotions run their course.
  4. Carry on and/or offer an alternative:  “You can’t have that toy, but I have one of our yours here in my purse.”  or “I know you’re upset, we have to go home now” and follow through.

Every single time your toddler will experience the emotion and move on, trust me.  That’s the beauty of this method.  It may take longer sometimes than others, but it always works.  The key is acknowledging, consoling and then moving on.  The worst thing you can do is minimize the child’s feelings or make them embarrassed that they are emoting.  That will have long lasting negative effects for years to come.  Going through the process with allow your toddler to learn how to deal with emotions and understand that they won’t always get their way and they will survive!

Here’s the funny part.  The entire time I was reading this book, I’m thinking to myself, “Wow, this is a pretty effective method to deal with all kinds of adult conflict, not just toddlers!”  HAHAHAHAHA.  Shocking, I know.  I guess that’s an added benefit of the book as you can unlock how to deal with emotional toddlers AND emotional spouses all at once.  Efficiency at it’s best.  It’s funny how something that seems so glaringly obvious is sometimes difficult to remember and put into practice.  It’s something we can all do a better job at practicing and something that will definitely produce healthy, respectful relationships with spouses, children , and friends.


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