Welcome to Episode 46 Curious Friends! Today, we are joined today by healing arts teacher Kara Maria Ananda to discuss how you can harness our monthly cycles for self-empowerment and flow with who you are, and what you wish to create in the world.
In today’s episode we see periods from a more holistic perspective, rather than the narrow perspective we are used to: how it influences our mood, our productivity, our hormonal balance, flow with our creations, our thoughts and beliefs, our peace of mind, to name a few.
Generally speaking, women are used to speaking about their period in hushed voices or in frustration. Kara invites you to overcome the shame and thousands of years of conditioning and learn to embrace and love your cycles. This will allow you to flow with ease through your experiences throughout the month.
It starts with tuning into our cycles and coming to understand how our mood fluctuates throughout the month and working as best we can with them, rather than trying to fight against or through them. We also talk about clearing our out-dated stories about the feminine cycle, connecting with and protecting our hormonal balance and taking charge of our cycles in a natural way.
This episode is perfect for you if you:
Time-Stamped Show Notes
[4:19] Kara has been involved in the healing arts specifically focusing on women’s health, cycles and stages of life for over twenty years.
She started off as a massage therapist and became very interested in learning the deeper levels of women’s health. While she was in massage school, she learned all about the anatomy of all the systems of the body except for the reproductive system, because it’s traditionally not massaged in the service. This didn’t make sense to Kara as she felt there needs to be an understanding of the entire body.
As a young woman, she really wanted to also know how to feel empowered around her health. She felt like during our fertile years, women spend so much time thinking and worrying about our cycles, for example:
“Am I about to get my period?”;
“Do I have sanitary products with me?”;
“Urgh, I’m feeling really crampy”;
“I’m feeling irritable, am I going to be able to do this thing today”;
“How am I going to get pregnant?”;
“How am I going to avoid becoming pregnant”;
“What happens if I do become pregnant?”
So much of our mind is consumed with all of these thoughts and worries and concerns and decisions about our fertility and our sexuality! It uses up a lot of brain space that could be used for more focused creative work.
[8:07] Women have been oppressed for thousands of years and, as a consequence, most women today have some level of shame and guilt and fear around their sexuality.
Women have female organs, give birth to babies, have multiple orgasms – it is so “mysterious”, which is why women are treated differently. However, these are amazing things! We have this incredible power in our sexuality, we can engage in sexual energy and relations and have multiple orgasms, which is already pretty profound. Beyond the act of procreation, the fact that we can create life is absolutely amazing.
Women have the power of co-creation. We can channel that energy when we are in control of it, when we have respect for it, and when we love it and use it. It enables us to create whatever we want in our life.
[15:08] Kara’s upbringing as a Catholic were very conservative, so a lot of shame was attached to her experiences. After going through a lot of challenges in high school and her teen years, including depression, she moved to New Hampshire from New England after high school. She felt like she needed physical space to focus on her own healing, and claim her own power (as well as to pursue her education).
She deeply immersed herself into her own healing journey, and what brought her a sense of joy and authenticity. She always felt like her feminine sexual energy was powerful, yet she was upset that more widely in the world this gift in women was not being honoured.
[21:40] The first thing to do if you feel like you’ve never really tuned into your cycles is to start journaling. Get a special journal or calendar and start paying attention to your experiences on the day that you start your period. Try to pay attention to when you think you’re ovulating and you start feeling more juicy and fertile. Start writing down how you’re feeling: your emotions and moods.
After a couple months you will notice that there are correlations between how you feel at different points in your cycle, regardless if you are on the pill or not.
Look at your sexual health history, and how your outlook has been influenced by your upbringing. What were the messages that you received growing up from your parents, television, religion, school, other kids? Start creating clarity around stories from when you were a child, and how your family and school friends perceived your cycles. It’s incredibly powerful to know, and we can use that information to manifest better in our lives.
Our hormones change during our cycles, which trigger different brainwave states. These different states allow us to access different kinds of information that enable us to get into the flow. When you recognise where you are in your cycle – particularly if you are able to balance your hormones, and have a regular cycle – you can plan specific events at times that you’re going to be most optimally tuned into that experience.
For example, when a woman is ovulating your brain is tuned into the beta brainwave state, which allows us to tap into higher levels of critical reasoning and learning as you have increased cortisol. Kara goes on to explain different times you can use this schedule to prepare for important things in your day-to-day life.
[29:24] Sometimes you’re tied into activities that don’t necessarily match where you are in your cycle, so you need to adapt. People really respect women who are busy, so capitalise on this and ensure that activity does not take up the whole day, if possible.
You must be more mindful if you’re on your cycle or you’re feeling premenstrual and you’re in an environment where people are wanting you to delivery for them, for example a corporate job. Allow yourself some time to tune into yourself. It could be as simple as closing your eyes every now and then for a moment so you can shift even momentarily out of beta and into the alpha of theta, allowing your to create more dopamine. Or take a couple deep breaths to help you to relax your mind.
[32:41] Many women believe they must be readily available for others, at all times. Yet, it’s important to know how to appropriately say no, and draw boundaries. We need to focus on one thing at a time to bring ourselves the most success. It’s ok to ask people to schedule an appointment. Kara talks through some tips on how you can begin to draw boundaries.
[39:01] Two thirds of teenage girls are put on birth control pills to regulate their cycle, even before their sexually active. There are too many toxins in our environment that act as xenoestrogens, creating irregular cycles. In other words, the world around us is messing with our hormones. It is important to find ways to clean out these toxins from our body.
In high school, a lot of girls have equal grades up until 14 – but beyond they lose the willingness to take risks. Kara believes this is linked to not experiencing the peak energy and confidence that comes with being connected with ovulation and cycles.
Many women stay on the pill into their 20’s and 30’s. We can take charge of this in a natural way, reduce the negative symptoms, feel juicer, and enjoy sex more.
[45:11] Kara has created an online school which trains and supports women to become educators, advocates, and coaches. This empowers them to make more natural and healthy choices for their cycle, and inspires them to help other people. It covers, for example, nutrition (eating organic), natural healing methods, and movement to be able to take charge of their life and feel confident.
[52:58] Take charge of your cycles. Take time everyday, perhaps before bed, and put your hands over your uterus, tune in, and send love. It sounds silly, but it’s amazing and really powerful. We need to start healing that guilt and shame and recognizing that your cycle does a lot to support your health. Rather than thinking about it as a nuisance, send love to your body, yourself and your uterus. It’s a really powerful way to start clearing the shame and guilt.
Kara Maria Ananda is a Women’s Healing Arts Mentor, Visionary Business Coach, Speaker and Writer. She is the founder of Maia University, a holistic online global school for visionary women to manifest the highest level of health, abundance and well-being.
Kara’s recommended books:
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Women’s Body, Women’s Wisdom: The Complette Guide to Women’s Health and Well-Being by Dr Christiane Northram
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Thank you for tuning in curious friends, and thank you Kara for joining us on the show this week and allowing us to explore our dormant super-power: our feminine cycles!
Until the next episode, take care of yourself.