Goddess Gathering

Next gathering in June 2018.

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Never outdated ~ Why pen and paper are still so beneficial.

 

Are you a pen and paper lover like me? There is something special about finding a pen that feels just right in your hand and that glides so smoothly over the paper as you excavate all of your inner thoughts and dreams. To then to be able to come back to that page and see your personality and inner most desires sprawled out so lovingly in a moment of bliss (or perhaps rage) is just so powerful. I’m a stationary lover and I strive to find the pens that feel like they were meant to be in my hand. I personally love to write in rainbow colours. I love those clicky pens with all the different colours in the one pen. Yep, I know, a stationary nerd. Can you relate?

 

But it’s not just about stationary when it comes to the real benefits of writing with old fashioned pen and paper. I say old-fashioned not at all because it is ‘out dated’ or that it has lost it’s place, but mostly because in this high-tech, fast paced, eco-conscious modern world many are opting to become more paperless. As a conscious ec- defender myself I love seeing everyone uniting to reduce our environmental impact, which includes our paper use. Many businesses are committed to being paperless and it is definitely beneficial for all of us and for Mama Earth.

 

However, there are still instances where paper is something that we need in our lives! Unlike plastic, paper comes from the earth and goes back into the earth. We can get really sustainable, recycled and eco friendly options to continue our commitment to the health and wellbeing of precious Mama Earth. Win!

 

Journalling, planning and cycle charting are definitely some of those things that benefit us greatly when we step back and switch off from our devices. Disconnected to the external, reconnecting to the internal. Hand on heart and pen in hand.

 

There are so many wonderful digital organisational, planning and charting programs and apps. I love them too! Who doesn’t have a device that can carry everything in one? It’s so easy and quick to access and makes life easier right? Definitely! There is absolutely a place for these. But there are also huge benefits for our mind, body and spirit from planning and charting on paper, in communion with our digital devices. Not to mention passing down to our children the very real-life love of holding a book containing our thoughts in our hand. The feeling of gliding ink and the creativity that can flow out of our heart and onto the page as time stands still is something worth passing down. There isn’t much else like it and you certainly can’t be as freely creative using your device.

 

Like many things in this world the feminine flow is continuously undervalued, completely disregarded even. As a society we very much value the yang, linear, masculine aspects. The feminine yin flow is seen as ‘too much,’ ‘too time consuming,’ ‘too unpredictable,’ ‘too emotional,’ and ‘not profitable’. But this disregard is leaving us forgetting about half of ourselves. As with everything in this world we have a light and a dark, we have a yin and a yang. You cannot have one without the other (without significant consequences) and with both, you make the whole.

 

Without acknowledging our flow we disregard a vital part of what makes us whole!

 

The consequences are everywhere around us; health issues, stress, mental illness, and the WHO even declared an epidemic of chronic sleep deprivation. Eeek.

 

So let’s consider the pure joy in slowing down. Let’s reconnect with our yin and reconnect with ways that can support our creativity, our inner deep diving and our flow.

 

One of those ways is by charting and planning with your favourite rainbow gel pen and eco friendly recycled paper.

 

10 ways that paper charting and planning can positively impact your body, mind, spirit.

 

 

  1. Handwriting assists our brain development and assists us to feel more invested in what we are writing about.

Writing with pen and paper positively changes your brain in a way that it ‘marks’ or ‘red flags’ handwritten information to get you to be more invested in what you are writing. Additionally, handwriting also generates more creativity and more flowing ideas, again allowing us to become more attached and invested in those ideas and keeps us coming back for more.

 

“Study after study suggests that handwriting is important for brain development and cognition,”  The Week, (citing work from psychologist Virginia Berninger).

 

  1. Using handwritten planning and goal setting increases your chances of reaching those goals.

Because we are more invested (as stated above) we are also more likely to work toward (and achieve) our goals and lists when they have been handwritten, as opposed to using an app or a device. When you chart on paper you are more likely to remember what you have written and be more creative and inspired. You are also more invested in the results due to the way the brain processes and stores the information.

Read More Here

 

  1. Charting by hand brings our attention inwards and reinstates our autonomy.

When we rely on external apps and programs we tend to put a lot of responsibility and trust on to this external device to tell us what is happening inside ourselves. This can mean we forget to look at what is actually happening in our mind, in our body and in our overall life. Algorithms can predict but they are linear, black and white processes that don’t account for the rainbows and flow of life; especially as a flowing female. They also make us dependent and reliant as though we are not capable of harnessing their powers on our own; which really is the ultimate way. Connecting back to yourself means coming back to being completely trusting of you and only you. This is why pen and paper is still so vitally useful, and why it is so important to pass on to our modern Maidens who are growing up with a significant reliance on technology as a normal part of everyday life.

 

When it comes to connecting to the magic of our cycles, we have to re-frame and re-train our mind from the patriarchal and consumerist ideas that both pathologize and shame these experiences, and remove our confidence in our own autonomy. Instead we must reclaim the incredible power and gifts that reside within them and relearn to trust our own intuition. To harness these cycles instead of resisting or handing them over to someone/something else to chart. We are not linear nor are we fixed. By nature we are fluid creatures and we change day by day, week by week, year by year. What is missing is not the belief that we are inherently flawed, but that the rites of passage that honour the gifts and wild power that we all hold within us are celebrated and acknowledged. By honouring each phase and supporting others to do the same, we are able to not only achieve so much more, but we will be far more fulfilled, connected and satisfied with life.

 

“A woman can’t do her job of being a woman without her sensual brilliance engaged. She is working with a 25-watt bulb instead of the 100 watts that are her birthright. The reason women lag far behind men at Harvard Business School and other top institutions is not lack of brains or abilities, but because we are living in a crisis of confidence. Just as I sought the Goddess outside of myself we women are looking for our confidence in the wrong neighborhood. We think we’re flawed and we need to fix ourselves somehow. What we don’t recognize is that the only thing we’re missing is the sensual intelligence that come from a connection to our very source.” -Regena Thomashauer – Pussy, A Reclamation

 

  1. Handwriting reduces stress and increases pleasure.

This is partly to do with the fact that we are forced to slow down and we are limited in what distractions are present. There aren’t any pop ups or messages from facebook or our email when we’re sitting down to plan, journal or chart by hand. Instead we are encouraged to visualise, wander in our mind, daydream and get creative within our own head. This is not something we often make the time for in our busy lives, but something that can improve our mental and physical health by reducing stress and increasing pleasure.

 

Additionally, as stated above, the brain changes when we handwrite to feel more invested and to bring about creative thinking. Being creative and feeling excited about what we are working on can illicit feelings of pleasure and joy.

 

In a post for The Guardian Lee Rourke explained ( “Why Creative Writing Is Better With The Pen”): “For me, writing longhand is an utterly personal task where the outer world is closed off, just my thoughts and the movement of my hand across the page to keep me company. The whole process keeps me in touch with the craft of writing. It’s a deep-felt, uninterrupted connection between thought and language which technology seems to short circuit once I begin to use it.” Huff Post

 

Quentin Tarantino and Joyce Carol Oates are among many famous writers who boast that writing by hand is their preferred way to practice their craft and believe that it increases their creative flow.

 

Just as a seed needs soil, sun, and water in order to grow, your appetite requires a support system to really spring to life. The best fertilizers you can find for your sprouting desires are fun and pleasure- they are all-natural and you can never have too much of them, so sprinkle them daily throughout your life.” -Regena Thomashauer

 

  1. The time out to journal enables mindfulness which fosters increased happiness.

When we allow our mind to wander, daydream, practice daily gratitude and experience some creativity, we create the perfect environment to enter a state of mindfulness where we are fully present in our body and mind. We are not distracted and time becomes non existent and non important. This quantum time initiates a positive experience and fosters increased happiness in other parts of our life.

 

Mindfulness refers to a state of mind characterized by awareness and attention in the present moment, and by an accepting, curious, and non-judgmental attitude. A Buddhist concept now integrated into secular psychology and medicine, mindfulness is being cultivated by everyone from chronic pain patients to stressed out executives, often through courses in mindfulness meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction.

The idea behind modern mindfulness training is that we can decrease stress and increase well-being by changing our relationship to our experience. Mindfulness means being present no matter what we’re doing Berkeley Science Review

 

This is particularly important and yearned for during the creative/transformational and reflective phases of our cycle where our brain is literally in a state of meditation.

 

Miranda Gray in her book The Optimised Woman, writes

“…it came apparent to me that women can reach deeper levels of meditation with ease as they near the end of their creative/luteal phase. In fact for some of us we can almost find ourselves in a waking meditation… I called this experience being ‘between the worlds’, where although we can be aware and operate in the outside world, our perception and awareness of self is turned inward. A paper by David Noton PhD entitled PMS, EEG and Photic Stimulation printed in the Journal for Neurotherapy in 1977 states:

An EEG study of six women with PMS demonstrated that when they were premenstrual, their EEGs showed more slow (delta) activity… Delta brainwaves which occur when we slip from dreamin sleep into deep sleep. Advanced meditators are able to train their brain to produce delta waves without being asleep and experience profound peace, oneness and tranquility. Unfortunately David Noton goes on to say ‘it is concluded that PMS belongs to a group of disorders characterised by excessive slow brain wave activity” What he missed is something very profound and crucial. Women have a natural experience of deep meditation at this time… As women we have a natural ability during our monthly cycle to reach meditation depths that bring levels of restorative relaxation any male meditator would have to achieve. And it’s for free!” Miranda Gray, The Optimized Woman

 

Optimising this incredible super power by leaning into our own natural gifts at this time is surely going to assist in reducing stress and resistance and supporting you to find your flow; increasing happiness and pleasure.

 

  1. Handwriting improves memory and even IQ.

Studies and reports have shown that the brain and hand have a unique relationship that initiates increased IQ and memory. They indicate that writing is more than just a way to communicate as the practice assists in our learning, our ability to be creative and in composing and acting on our ideas. Not only does “writing as part of language learning {have} a positive correlation with intelligence”  but we become more invested in what we are writing and we are therefore also more likely to remember and then act on what we have written.

 

“Words are representations of ideas; the formation of letters and causes the mind to compose or re-compose ideas while journaling. This strengthens previously covered information and forces you to engage in cognitive recall.” Read More Here and Here

“Writing entails using the hand and fingers to form letters … the sequential finger movements activate multiple regions of the brain associated with processing and remembering information,” Huff Post.

 

  1. Writing is said to support both physical and emotional healing.

Dr James Pennebaker has written about the many benefits of writing for healing. While he reports physical benefits including improved immune function, he also believes that emotional pain and suffering can be the result of emotional blockages that can be released through writing. He explains, “When we translate an experience into language we essentially make the experience graspable.” Psychology Today

 

Additionally, an increasing number of women and bleeding people are expressing severe pain, suffering and turmoil from their periods each month. More women are being diagnosed with endometriosis, PCOS, menstrual ‘disorders’ and are suffering greatly from their periods. There are however a number of leading influencers in the area also suggesting that our disconnection from our cycles, from our bodies, from each other and from the earth are certainly contributing to the increased suffering.

There are numerous stories, (Lisa Lister’s being one of the most well known as she has based her books and life’s work on supporting others to heal after she healed herself), of women healing their menstrual pain and physical illnesses themselves. The first step to healing menstrual suffering is to chart, as well as fostering a deeply loving and nourishing relationship with one’s own body and cycles.

 

Jane Hardwicke Collings says:
The Menstrual cycle as an entity, the collective menstrual cycle perhaps, is calling for attention, very loudly. We know this as we see so many women with menstrual cycle ‘problems’.

The Menstrual cycle is in trouble, dysfunctional, hurting a lot of women and everybody else they live and work with, whether they realize it or not.

This manifests as PMT, PMS, dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, infertility, over use of The Pill etc.

Ignoring the menstrual cycle is reinforced in our culture’s approach to sex equality in the work place. , Women need to carry on regardless and not draw attention to their body’s processes, their menstrual cycles or their experience of menopause, lest they be seen as weak and not as capable as men and therefore not equal.

Further denial of the female body’s experience, to our collective peril.

The menstrual cycle needs healing and for that to happen she needs to be acknowledged, honoured and lived by, not drugged away or ignored.

 

  1. Writing increases love and self confidence

When we visualise something, our brain and our body live the experience, positive or negative. Thus by writing about something positive such as affirmations, gratitude, mantras or goals; our brain believes it to be true and releases positive hormones such as endorphins and dopamine to reaffirm it and create a positive association with those thoughts/words. Our body likes to feel good, this is how we strive to feel and where is what our path always re-calibrates toward. When we associate an activity with feeling good we are likely to want to come back to it and keep doing it regularly.

There is much evidence and mainstream discussion about the benefits of journalling, daily gratitude practice and looking at our feelings and core desires before making plans or goal setting. Incorporating these practices in our daily life has proves to offer a myriad of positive benefits including better sleep, less stress, are kinder and more compassionate outlook, feeling more alive and excited about life, and improving immune systems.

As women we are wired to always re-calibrate toward pleasure and desire. No matter what we do, we are pleasure seekers. Having a daily practice where we can reflect, without distraction, on our deepest desires and what brings us the most pleasure, is the epitomy of #ultimateflow

 

Our bodies were built for pleasure. How do I know this? Because function follows form. Why else would we have an organ that packs 8000 nerve endings dedicated to pleasure, with no other discernible function? … eight thousand nerve endings teach a woman freedom, self reliance and an experience of her purpose in life. Eight thousand nerve endings teach her that her joy is serious business, and that for the sake of fulfilling the gift of being a woman, she must not overlook her pleasure. Rather she must be guided and informed by it as she makes her way in the world. When she ignores her pleasure, a woman can mistake her purpose and believe her function is to enslave herself to her job, or live only to serve her husband, her kids, her family. This misapprehension can turn into a life where she is utterly starved.

-Regena Thomashauser

 

 

  1. Charting, journalling and planning is a memory bank of your dreams and achievements.

Charting and journalling are not a one-off practice. They are a life long journey that will evolve and go deeper each year. As we continue this practice over the years, we will have a collection of our inner most feelings and dreams, as well as catalogue of our achievements and personal stories. These can useful in increasing confidence and self esteem as we will be able to go back and clearly see how things were going in our mind, body, spirit and our external life. We can better understand or become aware of long held patterns and any possible triggers for illness. This can be important to be able to refer back to.

 

  1. We get to be part of the change we wish to see.

As I have mentioned before, cycle charting is vital not just for us adults, but as a means to support our younger generation to reconnect with their cycles. We are incredibly disconnected and the disconnection is being passed down to future generations. The wisdom of our cycles is endangered of being lost completely. We cannot let this happen.

 

Cycle charting is for everyone! Yes, men, women, children, binary, non binary, trans, fluid. Everyone experiences cycles that we flow through each and every month. If you happen to also experience a menstrual cycle then that is a wonderful bonus (powerfully potent in what it can tell you). When we as adults, particularly as bleeding women and mothers prioritise charting as part of our non negotiable daily practice, our children will observe and take it on board as something important. Our children learn by example. If we prioritise our health and wellbeing from a wholistic approach, our children will do the same. My gosh can kids use more examples of things that allow flow, reflection and self nourishement.

 

Interestingly, children are proven to have the same benefits for journaling as adults do, so even more reason to set up the positive foundations from very young. These are practices that will be vital for accessing stillness, positive self love, mindfulness and happiness over their entire life time, so the earlier the better.

 

Child development experts such as Steve Biddulph are often talking about how important older people (like aunties/uncles and grandparents) are in young people’s lives. Charting is a practice that could be practiced together with up to 3 or 4 generations, passing down wisdom and stories, just as women have always done.  Stories are the foundations of our survival, and yet we continue to isolate ourselves from connection and thoughtful listening. If we can share our own experiences with our children and chart and journal together, imagine how much more impact and power they will hold going into the future. If we can talk openly with our children about the power their bleeding and cycles hold, we set them up for greater self confidence where shame cannot survive. Being vulnerable, open and creative together will allow us to form a stronger bond as we walk side by side navigating all that life can offer. we will also release oxytocin, and reduce cortisol from spending that time together, and we will heal the red thread together. Not just for yourselves, but for the collective; past, present and future

 

If you want to understand any woman you must first ask about her mother and then listen carefully. Stories about food show a strong connection. Wistful silences demonstrate unfinished business. The more a daughter knows about the details of her mother’s life – without flinching or whining – the stronger the daughter.”

Anita Diamant, The Red Tent

What a gift.

 

“Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change….. If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” Brene Brown.

 

Go Gently:

 

As you form new habits and rituals, it is important to take one step at a time and go gently.  Strive to make it a non-negotiable daily practice that assists in reinforcing the positive aspects you wish to change or modify.

 

Want to feel more happy, more healthy, less stressed and disconnected and find your flow to abundance and joy?

 

Get your favourite pens ready! Try charting by hand! Download your free cycle charts HERE

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