March 2009

Goddess Allsorts Day!

by Leonie Dawson on March 22, 2009

Hola gorgeous Goddesses!

It’s that happy day of the week… Goddess Allsorts day!
This is the day I share with you all kinds of scrummy inspiration I find around the place & want to share. Allsorts that don’t make much sense together, but are perfect anyway.

Video: The Graceful No

My beautiful man called me over to his computer earlier this week. “Sit. Watch.” he tells me, his arm reaching over and around my shoulders. I lean into him, and we sit. Listen.

This woman shares about the power of No, and saying it with love, grace, compassion and certainty. Without giving yourself away, and without causing harm. Just No. With love.

What touches my gigglesnort bone.

This site: Dear Old Love. Tiny little love letters to old loves that make me giggle, and occassionally snort.

Temporary favourite for the moment:

My love for you is like pi—irrational, never-ending…

Idea: The Cult of Done Manifesto (or, Perfectionism Thwarted!)

I’m a recovering Perfectionist, and dream sometimes about starting Perfectionists Anonymous. So when I fell upon Bre Pettis’ Done Manifesto, I was all a-*squeeeeeee* with possibilities. This is good. So very good.

And then a little bit of Bly.

My love once found a video of Robert Bly, the poet, running men’s workshops, and speaking of the importance of men returning home to their wild selves. I fell in love with him then. Here’s some of his beautiful words to fall in love with now.

Don’t go outside your house to see flowers. My friend, don’t bother with that excursion. Inside your body there are flowers. One flower has a thousand petals. That will do for a place to sit. Sitting there you will have a glimpse of beauty inside the body and out of it, before gardens and after gardens.
– Robert Bly

Hurrah!

Until next time gorgeous souls… be well and be loved.

You so fine,

_____
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Healing Goddess: How & Why to make a Herbal Poultice

by Leonie Dawson on March 20, 2009

Hola gorgeous Goddesses!

I wanted to share with you all the hows and whys of a gorgeous ancient healing practice I discovered this week. Exciting, no? I completely am :) I’m wedged between two sleeping puppehs, in my studio, with the afternoon light pouring in… ready to type type type about herbal healing. Hurrah!

First, story time!

So a few days before I was booked in for my ultrasound, I was out on our usual Saturday morning breakfast, library & shops tour with my beloved. (I don’t think I’ve mentioned in the last two days how much I adore that man. I really, utterly do.)

*Anywaysies*, we were out in the parking lot between Favourite Breakfast Hangout and Best Library Ever, and I said to Chris:

Hon, I need to find some books about herbs. I just keep getting this idea that I need to, like, warm up a herb, like chamomile or something, and put them in a warm cloth and wrap it over my boobs.

And he says
sounds good
like it’s the most normal thing on the earth for him to hear. (See why I adore him so big? He just thinks all my crazy ideas are perfectly normal.)

Collecting the wisdom

And so we go to the library, and I make him carry back to the car huge armfuls of herbal textbooks.

We get home, open all the curtains for the light to come in, and I curl up on our couch by the windows to do some study. I’ve never really looked into herbs before. I’ve got women sisters who are herbal healer women, and I drink a lot of herbal tea (I probably keep Celestial Seasonings afloat with my purchases of Tension Tamer tea) – but I’ve never really learned much more about them. Until now.

And I’m reading through the tomes (check out the GoddessGuidebook Book Recommendations place for the books), and I find this:

Herbal Poultices

Herbal Poultices are ground herbs that are placed in boiling water, strained, and placed in cotton or muslin. This fabric is then placed over painful areas for healing. Different herbs are used for the different kinds of healing needed.

And I started, and thought.. WTF? That’s exactly what I was thinking of! It’s got a name! It’s called a Poultice! I had to call Chris and read it out to him again.

My head was all aspin with the wonder of it all. I felt like I’d remembered something from a past life as a herbal woman or something. It was completely and utterly magical.

Chamomile

I read up on all the different herbs that can be used in poultices, and couldn’t find any reference to chamomile. Which I really wanted to find – partly because that’s what my intuition was saying, partly because I had a large amount of chamomile tea in the cupboard I could use.

So I ended up searching through a couple of books until I found this:

Chamomile can also be used as a drawing poultice to assist in tumours, cysts and lumps.

And then Leonie did a happy dance.

How I made my poultice

I boiled some water, and in a glass bottle (you can use a jar or bowl – any container is fine) I poured the hot water and some dried chamomile. With poultices you can use fresh or dried – you don’t need as much if it’s dried. I’d love to make a poultice out of fresh herbs sometime, but for now, I went with what I had. And what I had was chamomile tea bags. So I chopped open about ten chamomile tea bags, and poured them into the water, and sloshed them about. I left the bottle for about 10-15 minutes.

Then I went in search of some cloth. All I had was an old shirt that I don’t wear anymore. It wasn’t cotton or muslin, but I just went with what I had coz that’s how I roll ;). I put the shirt over the top of the bottle and used it to strain all the water from the bottle, letting all the wet chamomile fall onto the shirt, which I made into a ball. Then I went and laid down, placed it over my Magnificent Healthy Boobs for about twenty minutes.

Word of caution: Just be careful about the heat. It can be a bit warm, and we don’t want Magnificent Healthy But Slightly Scalded Boobs. When it doubt, let it all hang out in the cool air for a bit.

Otherwise, you can place a hot water bottle over the poultice to keep it warm, as it does lose heat fairly quickly.

Skin on skin poultice action

You can apply the poultice directly onto the skin (with fabric over the top) for greater healing effect. If the herbal mixture contains irritants like mustard though, keep it all in the fabric.

I ended up putting the chamomile (which had turned into a porridge-like mush) directly onto the skin. Chamomile is very mild and soothing for the skin anyway, and I could feel it was having a greater effect with direct contact. Yum!

The results

Obviously, I’m not a doctor. Obviously, this doesn’t constitute medical advice. I don’t want to get all legal disclaimery here.

But this is my experience:
I could feel a difference immediately after applying the poultice. One of my breasts has been swollen and in pain for about a month now, with pangs of sharpness on and off. I’ve only felt glimmers of that since using poultices. When I didn’t poultice both breasts, I could feel the difference afterwards – Magnificent Healthy Poulticed Boob’s tissue was softer, less swollen and felt calmer. Obviously Magnificent Healthy Non-Poulticed Boob was missing out on the warm soothing chamomile healing goodness and was staging a revoke! No fair! Spread the poultice love, lady! So I’ve been much more attentive to poultice both boobs now.

And here’s the thing. I’m the expert on my own body here. And I can categorically say that the lump has gotten smaller and less hard since poulticing. Happy, happy healthy boob days.

And the best-ever side effect: It feels lovely. Deeply nourishing. Nurturing. Like a great act of self-care. It is diiiivine. It’s a healing hot water bottle for the boobs! Hurrah!

I wish…

I wish I’d known about herbal poultices years ago. I wish more women knew about poultices. A lot of the information I found was for women who were breastfeeding – obviously breast health becomes a lot more in focus once they are working horse boobs instead of just show pony boobs (as a breastfeeding friend of mine puts it). It would just be so wonderful for women to know that so much healing is available for us and our bodies in our gardens and in our tea boxes. My boobs have been in pain for a month now – and I had what I needed to heal it in my cupboard. I just didn’t know.

But now I do. And I’m really, really excited about what other herbal healing possibilities are to come from this.

More readings on herbal healing, poultices, and what you can use in poultices:

* Ladies Blend Thyme
* MoonDragon’s Health & Wellness
* Tea Bag Poultices

So much love, healing, Magnificent Healthy Boobs and happiness to you…

_____
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More from the Healing Journey

by Leonie Dawson on March 18, 2009


In the Healing Circle. From my Day of Delight Retreat.


Hola gorgeous Goddesses!

I want to thank you so deeply for your love, prayers, kindnesses, comments & emails. One of the biggest things I’ve learned over the last couple of weeks is how to Receive. I can be so enthusiastic & excited about giving that I forget to leave space & room in my life to be held & given to.

Thank you for giving. Thank you for believing. Thank you for sharing when you were called. Thank you for being you.

My heart feels like it is receiving love into it.

The Healing Journey

Yesterday I had a breast ultrasound, and watched the waves and lakes of my boobs melting over the television screen. Ultrasounds are such magical things. Oceans of boob, seas of tissue. It’s all organic and liquid and living. Magical, magical, magical. There ended up being a boob-group meeting in that little room: me, my love by my side, lovely ultrasound lady, and then she went and got the doctor on staff. This is the third time I’ve been ultrasounded, but the first time they got a doctor in.

He was Irish, with the most beautiful accent and ginger hair. He wore green suspenders. He made me smile. And he went through and diagnosed the ultrasound *live* as it wafted and waned all over the screen. He showed me where my ribs were, what each part meant, how it all sung together in a lovely symphony of body.

And then we got to my lump. My lump, my lump, my lump on my lovely lady lumps. (Sing it with me now).

And this, he said, is all breast. There’s nothing – no cancer, no growth, not even a cyst. It’s all just breast. Breast tissue can form into harder ridges and lumps, and this is what that is. It’s all good.

And Chris squeezed my hand. And I grinned.

I’ve never been so happy to be all boob in my life.

Sing it with me now

Ceeeeellllebrate good times, come on! Do-do-do-do-do-dooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

So that is one big elephant-sized worry no longer standing in the corner of my room. I’m so very, very glad to be the bearer of happy, healthy breasts.

I think my shoulders have come down about a foot. I’m glad. And grateful. And sinking into that feeling of grace.

With one big elephant-sized worry gone, there’s still healing to do. I’m still exhausted and anxious. In the backyard at sunset yesterday, my love said: It’s understandable honey. The last few months have been really, really big for you. It’s going to take some time to come back again. It’s going to take time to get your juice back.

That it will. My new superhero skill I am in training for is this:

Gentleness.

And what have I learned in the process of the lump?

A shit load.

A bugger load about healing, receiving, rest and self kindness. I’ve remembered exactly what’s important to me (My sweet self, my holy-amazing-batman lover, my puppehs, my ridunkulously cool family and endearing friends. Notable things missing from this list: How well my business is doing, how much I’ve blogged this week, how to value myself based on my outputs, how my to-do list is looking and just how productive I’ve been this week).

And I also managed to learn some really wonderful things about herbal healing.
And tomorrow/soon/when I get there I’ll share with you one of the most woah-amazing remedies I’ve discovered on the healing journey.

For now though…

It’s party-time & healing-time all at once.

Time to go watch some Ellen & Oprah and spend the rest of the day in sweet bliss of be-kind-to-self-and-do-nothings.

Love, healing, good news, gentleness,

_____
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