Entries Tagged as 'Body'

Spotlight on a Cause + Interview with Molly Hayward – Founder of Cora

12/6/2014

I’m so thrilled to be able to introduce Molly and her fantastic venture Cora to you all today. Molly and I first met years ago when she interned at the Foundation for Development Cooperation, where I worked for just over four years. Molly added so much wisdom and value to a project I was running on women’s leadership in the Pacific, she absolutely blew me away with her capabilities.

And now just a few short years later it’s no surprise to me that this amazing lady has kick-started her own venture, Cora, which has a mission and vision so very close to my heart. I’m sure you’ll love what she’s doing just as much as I do!

Molly

Let’s dive in:

Let’s begin with Cora’s main message, distilled down to its essentials?

At Cora, we believe that every woman and girl, in every part of the world, has the right to safe, healthy, and positive experience of womanhood and menstruation.

In developed economies, women use products that are made with cotton and synthetics that are contaminated with toxic chemical residues, posing serious health risks. In developing economies, many girls and women who are poor are unable to access affordable menstrual products, so they resort to using old rags, mud, ash, and other materials that are ineffective and can cause serious infections. For this reason, many girls stay home from school for days each month during their periods, causing them to fall behind and often drop out completely.

Cora provides women in the U.S. with safe and healthy organic feminine hygiene products in a convenient and customizable monthly box. For every box shipped, a girl in a developing country is given a month’s supply of sustainable sanitary pads so she can stay in school, play with her friends, and be her radiant self, every day of the month.

What inspired you to embark on this journey with Cora?

Menstruation is as universal to women as breathing, yet it a largely negative and disempowering experience for most girls and women. When I learned that girls miss school for days each month because they can’t afford sanitary pads, and that the products used by women in my society were making us sick, I knew that I wanted to create a way to provide both groups with something better, and tie them to one another. I wanted to make our inherent interconnection tangible.

How do you integrate good development practices in to Cora’s activities?

Our model addresses safe and healthy menstrual management holistically on a global scale.We partner with organizations on the ground in developing countries to establish women-owned and operated manufacturing units to create sustainable, plant-based sanitary pads, which create jobs for women and support the local economy. Cora then purchases the pads from these units, creating a strong revenue stream, and provides the pads to a girl who would otherwise miss days of school during her period.

Cora image

Any particular achievements you’ve gained so far you’d like to tell us about?

We are currently crowdfunding to raise $28,000. Running the campaign has been very challenging, so it will be a great achievement to meet and hopefully surpass our goal so that we can launch our operations and our giving initiative in India.

How do you measure success in your venture?

By the number of lives we touch! I don’t think we’ll consider ourselves truly successful until the stigma around menstruation is history and no girl or woman is ever disempowered by her period.

Let’s get personal:

What are the top three best pieces of advice you’ve received?

  1. Start small and grow with your business
  2. Don’t wait for your product/service/offering to be perfect—just get it out there and course correct as you go
  3. Ask for what you need

Who are your five biggest heroes and give us a little insight as to why they’re so great:

  1. The young women I recently met at the New Light Soma Memorial Home for Girls in Kolkata —many of the girls are the children of sex workers in Kolkata’s red light district. In spite of being born into unthinkable circumstances, they are thoughtful, ambitious, warm and full of hope and love. They will be the first recipients of Cora’s pad-giving initiative in India.
  2. Simone DeBeauvoir – She looked womanhood from every angle of experience and asked questions that no one had asked before about what it means to be a woman.
  3. Danielle LaPorte — she is my high priestess of consciousness and soul-driven business and living.
  4. A two-way tie between Anita Roddick, Founder of The Body Shop, and Yvon Choinard, Founder of Patagonia. Both were among the first entrepreneurs to prove that for-profit companies can be used to solve environmental and social problems.
  5. Richard Branson — fearless entrepreneur who is constantly pushing the boundaries of what seems possible, and has fun in the process!

What books are on your bedside table at the moment?

  • Women Who Run with the Wolves (Pinkola Estes) (Oooh – this is on my list! – C xx)
  • Total Freedom (Krishnamurti)
  • Her Blood is Gold (Owens)

How do you cultivate peace in your daily life?

Prayer, meditation, time in nature, and long talks with great friends.

Please let us know how we can connect with Cora:

Website: www.corawomen.com

Twitter: @corawomen

Facebook: facebook.com/CoraWomen

 Support Cora’s crowd-funding campaign

Thrilling Me!

06/5/2014

It’s been a wee little while between drinks for my Thrilling Me posts, but at the moment there is just TOO MUCH good stuff floating about that I absolutely cannot keep quiet about. I hope you enjoy!

Susana’s Sacred Dance Party

I was out of the country for the last dance party Susana presided over, and by golly did I feel like I missed out. Everyone who was there heaped praise on this event, and the amazingly curated tune list. My beautiful friend is on absolute fire putting this glorious shindig together. Susana is seriously in. her. element. It’s so wonderful to behold. I’ve had a sneaky little peak in to what she has planned, and I absolutely know we’re all in for a treat this coming Friday night.

Susana Dance Party

We jammed our way back up the coast in the car to a few of the night’s tunes a couple of weekends ago, and I was ecstatic just dancing in my seat. I cannot wait to experience the theme of this sacred dance party – Love Sex Desire Embodied. It’s all about going from the head and in to the body – and igniting your soul. Sound delicious to you? Thought so. Grab your tix here, if there are any left that is! And I’ll see you there.

Make Art Monday – Brisbane Meetup

Is it just me or is there something in the water in Brisbane? SO many amazing things going on at the moment, I’m finding it hard to keep up.

Make Art Monday

Beautiful Jo from Maps to Herself has initiated a weekly artistic challenge to her community called Make Art Monday. Following her creations on Instagram has me absolutely itching to get my paints out and unleash a bit of colourful creativity. I haven’t been keeping up with it on a weekly basis, but Jo’s just created an In Real Life monthly meet-up for anyone who’s interested in creating together, with or without a sneaky little vino. And I am in, in, in.

The first one is at Cork and Chroma in South Brisbane on 26 May, and it’s only 15 lil’ clams for hours of fun. All of the details are just a click away.

Inspired COACH – and BYC Academy Fundraising Initiative

I had the absolute pleasure of being in the April edition of Inspired COACH Magazine – a stunning bi-monthly publication initiated by Julie Parker of the Beautiful You Coaching Academy. In this edition I’m chatting about the Importance of Giving for coaches, but it’s also applicable to people with businesses in general. Being generous, adding value and giving back are all pillars I try to build my life upon, and it was such a joy to be able to share this with the Inspired COACH community.

Inspired Coach

I’m equally thrilled to see that beautiful Julie has initiated her own super generous ‘giving’ initiative. For the month of May, Julie is hosting a ‘pay what you can’ sale for her fantastic eBook Build Your Biz + Blog With Love, with all proceeds going to her charity partner YGAP and their 5cent campaign. So brilliant. This eBook has featured on a Thrilling Me post previously because it is chock-a-block full of fantastic advice, tips and resources for anyone in the business or blogging world. Get your copy now, and give generously!

Health Points Acupuncture

So a couple of weeks ago I ended up with a pinch in my back that I just couldn’t shake. It was the result of a heap of strenuous activity (e.g. just waking up in the morning) and it was giving me the irits. So as I was in the vicinity of West End I traipsed along Boundary St to find myself somewhere to fix it. Which is when I stumbled on a clinic that’s now become my mecca of healing and respite.

This wonderful clinic is called Health Points Acupuncture, and operates using a communal clinic model, which allows economies of scale to kick in with its precious cost-saving nature, delivering super affordable acupuncture to everyone – no matter their ability to afford it. People on a pension can get hour long sessions for as little as $10. For everyone else, each session is between $25-$35, depending on the frequency of your visits.

Health_Points_Acupuncture_banner-1200x198

You get your own comfy recliner, in a super-relaxing environment with chilled out tunes playing. I’m particularly fussy about acupuncture (I like it REALLY gentle as I’m pretty sensitive to any energy healing modality), and I absolutely love the gentle approach taken by Jemma at Health Points. If your body is craving a little energy medicine at an amazingly affordable price – get thee to Health Points at West End. It’s sublime.

How about you gorgeous one? What’s lighting up your world? I’d love to hear from you below. xx

My life’s secret sauce

20/3/2014

“Be responsible for the energy you bring in to this space.” – Jill Bolte-Taylor, Brain Scientist, author of My Stroke of Insight.

“We are a way for the Universe to know itself. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff.” – Carl Sagan, Scientist.

Energy. And being aware of it. Being responsible for it. Knowing the importance of its flow both out of me and in to me. That’s my life’s secret sauce.

If any of my loved ones are in need of a boost, increased clarity, or just a handle on what’s going on in their external world, invariably I’ll suggest they choof themselves off to an energy healing asap, or do one on them myself (namely Reiki, which I’m certified to practice). I also suggested it as one of the best ways to generally ‘feel better’ in one of my most popular posts 7 Ways to Feel Better.

I truly believe once people make the connection between their inner energy and outer worlds, a whole lot of insight and wisdom comes in to their awareness. I know this because it happened to me.

7-chakras-beginners

I’ve dabbled in awareness of energy flows for about 10+ years, doing yoga on and off, getting my Reiki attunements, reading a few books here and there. But it wasn’t until I began a committed practice to meditation and yoga several years ago that I really began an earnest quest to not only understand how it all works, but integrate it in to my lived experience. Then, and only then, did I truly begin to see its absolute importance.

One of the crowning moments in my learning so far has without a doubt been Belinda Davidson’s online School of the Modern Mystic, which I did over six months at the end of last year. I’ve already recommended Belinda’s Chakra Cleanse Meditation to many friends (and on this here blog a little while back), who I know are now using it regularly and seeing great results in their inner and outer worlds. A few friends have also already registered for the next level one course, after hearing me bang on about it so much, and seeing the effects it’s had on me.

Chakras

The School of the Modern Mystic took my knowledge of energy and our energy centres, or chakras, to a whole new level. The first three months or so of the course were dedicated to thoroughly learning about each of the seven chakras that reside in our bodies (there are also quite a few outside our bodies, but that’s for another time). And let me tell you, it’s absolutely fascinating when you’re given the time to hone in on and focus on one chakra at a time. The things that end up happening in your outer world as you do the exercises to strengthen and balance each are quite literally, mind-blowing.

In case you’re a chakra newbie, here’s a short rundown of each of our bodily chakras and what aspects of our lives they govern, taken from this great little Mind Body Green article:

1. Root Chakra (Coloured Red)

Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded.

Location: Base of spine in tailbone area.

Emotional issues: Survival issues such as financial independence, money, and food.


2. Sacral Chakra (Coloured Orange)

Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences.

Location: Lower abdomen, about two inches below the navel and two inches in.

Emotional issues: Sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure, sexuality.

3
. Solar Plexus Chakra (Coloured Yellow)

Our ability to be confident and in control of our lives.

Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area.

Emotional issues: Self-worth, self-confidence, self-esteem.


4. Heart Chakra (Coloured Green)

Our ability to love.

Location: Center of chest just above heart.

Emotional issues: Love, joy, inner peace.


5. Throat Chakra (Coloured Blue)

Our ability to communicate.

Location: Throat.

Emotional issues: Communication, self-expression of feelings, the truth.


6. Third Eye Chakra (Coloured Indigo)

Our ability to focus on and see the big picture.

Location: Forehead, between the eyes.

Emotional issues: Intuition, imagination, wisdom, ability to think and make decisions.


7. Crown Chakra (Coloured Violet)

The highest bodily Chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually.

Location: The very top of the head.

Emotional issues: Inner and outer beauty, our connection to spirituality, pure bliss.

Belinda currently has a number of comprehensive and free resources available on the Course Level 1 site, for you to learn more about why healthy chakras are so important to our lives.

White Light

After learning about chakras back to front, comes the introduction to working with white light, which again I’ve previously played around with since I was a child, but Belinda’s insight and utter expertise in this arena blew me away. She teaches how to work with, channel, and raise your energy vibration levels with white light.

Belinda’s white light healing retreats (which you get to experience during the white light modules) are simply beyond amazing. Get ready to have your socks knocked right off when you up-level energetically over three days.

After mine I began to more rapidly and effortlessly manifest desired experiences and things in to my life. I began to draw things to me that had previously been kind of ‘stuck’.

And my healing wish for the intensive came forth before the three days was even up.

The lucky little witches and warlocks who get to do level one this time around get not one but TWO white light intensives included (which is worth it in and of itself).

Mindfulness

The final modules for the school cover off on the extremely important topic of Mindfulness. Being present. One of my fave books, Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now is part of the curriculum. Any excuse to read and reread that book is a good one!

Living in the past and in the future is an affliction many of us suffer from. The more we can learn to stay anchored in the present moment, the less stressed we are and the more magical our lives become. Presence also wrests the power of our egos away, and replaces it with our highest selves.

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The course is, literally, life changing. I’m vibrating at a whole new level, my intuition has deepened significantly,  my awareness of energy has grown, and I have a far more attuned understanding of what my soul purpose is.

If any of this resonates with you at all, I suggest you click on over through to the School of Modern Mystic and check out what it’s all about.

Belinda currently has some hugely generous sneak peeks and resources on the site available for ZERO CLAMS, people. Worth checking out for sure.

Level two of the school starts in June for those who’ve successfully completed level one and I will be lining up with my bells on. I’m so excited. Stoopidly so. Like a giddy little nerdy student – I cannot wait to get back to school!

*Full disclosure – I’m a proud ambassador and affiliate for this program, so if you click through my link to register I’ll receive a portion of the fees. Please be assured, as per the integrity of my entire site, I wholeheartedly only ever endorse things I truly believe in.

What your life’s secret sauce? Or maybe you have a favourite energy healing modality? I’d love to hear from you below.

Image source

My Spring/Summer Cleanse

20/12/2013

Okay so the timing of this post is probably a little off, as many of us are about to prepare for one of the most over-induglent times of the year – festive feasting.  But hey, why not bookmark it for the new year?

Before I begin though, here is a huge, nay MASSIVE disclaimer, in bright blinking lights with dancing girls and a big booming circus announcer voice: I am NOT a healthcare professional. The practices I engage with below have been tested by me, on me, with the guidance and recommendations I have sought from my very own healthcare professionals. We are all different, and bioindividuality dictates that what works for one person, may not work for another. So I encourage you to explore what works well for your body (and of course conversely what doesn’t work well), and hone your very own amazing self-care program.

I think our bodies do an awesome job at detoxing us, everyday. That’s how it’s designed. But I do believe, and have personally experienced, that our bodies can sometimes struggle with toxin overload and imbalanced gut bacteria issues, particularly if we’re frequently exposed to nasties.

I’ve had a few viruses pass through me in the last few months, and as I travel through developing countries with relative frequency I certainly pick up my fair share of bugs and other such pleasantries. So I wanted to have a bit of a general clean out, help my good gut bacteria flourish and get everything ticking over nicely, digestion wise.

I don’t believe in using cleanses or detoxing as a temporary appeasement for general binging and treating our bodies like sh*t. I don’t see the point, frankly. When they go hand in hand with a general holistic commitment to health and wellness, I  think they’re worth the time and effort.

Overall, I wanted my cleanse to be gentle and mild, nothing overly taxing and something that I could incorporate in to my life pretty easily.

Juice Cleanse

I did a 3 day juice cleanse through the lovely ladies at Sol Cleanse. I approached the juice cleanse with a little trepidation. After all, I’m from Singapore, where eating is practically a national sport. I have a very healthy appetite and have been known to out-compete some very large men in the eating stakes.

SOL

I have to say though, I felt entirely nourished during the cleanse. I did have one moment of craving hot chips at about eight o’clock in the morning (?) but it passed when I tucked in to another of my morning juices. Sol Cleanse have designed an awesome menu that keeps up the variety and loads you up with loads of fantastic nutrients. I did level one (of three), which also includes a delicious dhal for dinner, and chia filled smoothies. My faves were definitely the beetroot and carrot juice, and their green juice was absolutely delicious too.

They’ve closed up for the year now, but in the new year Sol Cleanse have kindly offered a discount to Pockets of Peace readers – you can use the discount code word ‘peace’ for 20% off any of their cleanses. Thanks, ladies!

Colonic + Infrared Sauna

Mention colonics in a conversation and you generally get either one of two reactions – immense curiosity and an immediate demand to ‘tell all’, or a weird look of disdain as though you’ve just announced you’re selling all your earthly belongings to join a nudist colony cult in the hinterland of Northern New South Wales.

Each to their own when it comes to this form of detoxing, and there are many contraindications, especially relating to any digestive tract conditions, so get that all checked out if you fancy giving it a go. It’s an entirely non-dramatic experience, especially if you have a generally healthy diet.

The reason I’m so thankful for colonics is due to its ability to really show what you aren’t digesting properly, and it’s made me so much more connected to what I put in to my mouth and its subsequent effects on my body. I credit my first colonic years ago with starting me on a rock solid commitment to health and wellness.

I highly recommend A1 Colon Hydrotherapy, they are absolutely ace – before you go in for your session they pop you in to their infrared sauna which is great at commencing the detox process.

Seriously amping up my probiotics

I completely maxed out on my probiotics capsules in the morning (I currently take Floramax), especially after my colonic, which tends to really flush you out. I also supported this with other fermented foods like coconut kefir, kim chi, saurkraut (important that these are bought from a health food shop where they’re not ultra-heat treated, ’cause the good bacteria dies, yo) – I buy the Peace, Love and Vegetables range of fermented products.

Acupuncture + Massage

I highly recommend having a gentle acupuncture and massage session to help your body with the cleansing process. We worked on several points on my body that helped move toxins out and through my liver and other excretory organs. I found it to be super supportive for my body and the process it was going through. Plus, this time was dedicated to being kind to my body, and I absolutely love me some acupuncture.

Bentonite Clay

So, I may have fallen in love with this stuff. I was completely dubious at first, especially as ‘eating clay’ conjures up images of taking wads of lumpen clay from a pottery wheel and chowing down. But I really wanted to try it because the purported benefits sounded amazing: cleansing the liver, colon and skin, balancing gut bacteria in the digestive tract, eliminating heavy metals, getting rid of parasites/worms, improving nutrient assimilation, and strengthening the immune system – amongst other positive health effects.

The clay’s negatively charged molecules pass through your digestive tract and bind to the toxins and other positively charged nasties in your system. These then do a merry little dance through your body and out in to the wild blue yonder.

I noticed a dramatic difference in my skin within a day or two of using it. It is the shiz, truly. And thankfully, it doesn’t taste like aforementioned shiz.

Bentonite

Taking it is as easy as putting a (plastic, not metal) teaspoonful of clay powder in to a cup of purified water and stirring, then knocking it back. It’s important to not take medication or vitamins within two hours of downing clay, as it will reduce their effectiveness. Again, see your healthcare professional for advice!

It’s also completely AMAZING as a face masque treatment and in the bath. Ultra nourishing and detoxifying.

Lots of herbal tea

Sol Cleanse sends a beautiful herbal tea to support the cleansing process, which is delicious. I drank copious amounts of this, and supplemented it with delicious Slim Bliss tea.

In addition, I did a lot of:

Dry body brushing – a fantastic way to get lymph moving through the body, which helps the detox process.

Taking Psyllium Husks – these highly fibrous little suckers help to clean out your digestive tract. The key to taking them is to shake, not stir, in to a glass of water. Kind of like how James Bond takes his martini. Stirring psyllium husks in to water will result in a gloopy gross mess. Shake it up, in a little jar or some such and they’ll be easily absorbed.

Loads of water – purified and with a bit of lemon in the morning, and sip on water all day.

Gentle exercise – I did a lot of yoga and walking. Now is generally not the time to bash out a 10 km run. Take it easy with your body, listen to it and be gentle.

Generally clean eating – for a week or so either side. I ate lots of brown rice, a rainbow of veggies, and a reasonable amount of fruit. No alcohol, gluten, dairy, caffeine, red meat during this time.

The Results?

Both during and after the cleanse I felt pretty gosh darn magnificent. I didn’t have any completely awful ‘detox’ days that I’ve heard people can have. The only waves of detox ickness I experienced was a little after my infrared sauna, and during my colonic – but these feelings passed fairly rapidly and I felt amazing afterwards.

I’ve had so much energy (I’m automatically waking up early, feeling refreshed), my skin has been a rude shade of health, my eyes are brighter, and my digestion is humming along beautifully.

I’ll definitely be doing it again, and will also be keeping up a few aspects of the cleanse on a consistent basis.

So some (healthy) food for thought as we enter the festive season! Would love to hear whether you’ve done a cleanse or are thinking of doing one at any point. Please pop your thoughts in to the comments below.

I’ll be taking a mini-break from blogging for a couple of weeks, as I’m about to head on over to Singapore for Christmas with my family and a bit of R + R + R (that last R is Retail – I’m pretty sure it’s against the law to go to Singapore and not buy anything).

Wishing you a stupendously happy festive season, full of love, joy and laughter. xx

Nat Kringoudis Brisbane Event Giveaway!

03/9/2013

I’ve received some fabulous news from Nat Kringoudis ahead of her upcoming event here in Brisbane on Saturday 26 October, Debunking Ovulation. Nat has offered a freebie ticket to one lucky reader of Pockets of Peace! Wahey! The ticket is valued at $69 and includes morning tea.

Nat’s message is fantastic, she’s on a mission to help women reclaim the beauty of their bodies, learn about and accept their cycles (which house the miracle of life), and help everyone to get their hormones humming happily. Like she says, “fertility isn’t just about babies”.

Nat Bris

At Nat’s event, you’re going to get a thorough run down on your fertility and hormones, and you’ll learn about:

  • How to understand your body on a new level for conception OR contraception
  • How to get ovulation right, every time.
  • Diet and lifestyle factors that affect hormones
  • Contraception alternatives
  • Understanding PCOS, Endometriosis, Thyroid issues and other hormone disorders that may be affecting you.

You will leave feeling empowered, inspired, and with a new found level of respect for your body’s intelligence.

I had Nat on the blog recently, chatting all things hormone and inner peace related, and the interview was chock full of wisdom on how you can ensure your hormones are working with you to create an inner state of zen. All you need to do to enter the competition is to pop on over to Nat’s post (if you haven’t read it already) and let me know in the comments below what advice of hers resonated with you most, and how you might start implementing this in your own life.

The competition closes on Tuesday September 10 and the winner will be announced via the Pockets of Peace Facebook page. It’s open to South East Queensland readers, or anyone who is going to be here on the date of the event (26 October). If you can’t make it, pass this on to someone you know who would love to go!

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