A Woman’s Cycle:  Keeping present with “now.”

When a young adult, I remember asking my father for advice, hoping to receive some life changing nugget of wisdom.

I was told, “Never throw anything away that you think you might need.”

My mother, on the other hand succinctly replied, “When in doubt, pitch it.”

Both my parents were born during the depression.  My mother in the city and my father in rural America.  Their birth families knew want and they learned to salvage material goods many times over.  My mother witnessed the strangle-hold things could have on people when people served things instead of things serving people.  My father intuitively understood the value of a “junk pile” as a resource for invention (required by ranch life on a daily basis).

What on earth does the discussion of keeping things versus getting rid of things have to do with women?

Well, quite a bit actually.

Women intuitively understand seasons of holding and seasons of letting go because monthly, their bodies cycle through keeping and releasing.  We may not think of the whole process in that light, after all who wants to get philosophical about that monthly visit from Aunt Flo?

Let us consider the wonderful process of creation.

First, an idea is formed.  Maybe to meet a need or maybe in response to some inspiration.  The idea is fostered until one moment reveals its manifestation.  The manifestation is used until it wears out or is no longer needed and then is either recycled or thrown away.

Women spend three weeks preparing for the most wondrous creation and then release that potential.  An idea is presented which in the very real physical sense in the possibility of a new human being.  Metaphorically, women also incubate ideas of all kinds.

And then we clean up the old.  We cast out the past and embrace the new.  We clean house and release preparing for the new.  Perhaps that is why so many women follow trends in fashion, diets, etc.  It’s out with the old ad in with the new.

Our bodies recycle quite a bit of structures.  but when it comes to our creative side, we don’t recycle.  We release.

How can you release today?

female anatomy

The Anatomy of Being Female

Over the last fourteen years I have worked with a wide variety of women and I have seen one thing over and over again. Women lack a basic working knowledge of their own anatomy regardless of age or life experience.

This thought sent me on a quest to find what our physical female anatomy could teach us about what it means to be female.  There are beautiful lessons to be learned from our physical selves which into turn open the doors for mental, emotional and spiritual breakthroughs such as increased creativity and heightened problem-solving skills.

The Hidden Bias in Language

From the beginning, little girls are hidden from themselves, while little boys have access right away.  Boys are allowed to discover how their bodies work long before sexual taboos are imposed upon them.

For young women, by the time they hit adulthood, awareness of how their equipment works and the benefits it provides them is shrouded in all kinds of societal protocols often framed by how their body parts will be used by men.  So from the get go, women experience themselves as sexual beings long before they (if ever) experience themselves as female beings.

Think about it, we tell boys that they have a penis during potty training and we tell girls that they have a vagina.  This is highly incorrect because no urine passes through the vagina.  The vagina is not equivalent to penis nor is a penis equivalent to a vagina.  The vagina serves as a passage way for fluids, the penis and delivery of babies.  Why then are we using the term vagina during potty training.  Girls need to be grounded in their own identity as females before they are introduced to themselves being receptacles for penises.

Think about it, boys learn that they have a penis and that pee passes through it.  Suddenly, in very boy-like style, play includes target practice in the toilet, in the snow or on some obliging rock.  Because of the anatomy, boys develop awareness of their equipment long before sexual knowledge is attached to it.

Now think about little girls, where are they told pee passes through?  What sort of acceptable play is available to them, free from any and all sexual context?  Right from the beginning, we talk to girls with sexual language and they are denied access to themselves as simply female.

More than Sexual Currency

Many of our cultural traditions demand modesty in girls and women yet we don’t really address what is being protected or promoted in such a way that girls learn the value of being female.

If you listen closely you’ll hear that we address them in terms of sexual currency.  In very religious circles it may sound like, “To find and and honor a good man, it is important to stay a virgin until marriage.”  In other circles we might hear, “It’s bad for girls to share that part of themselves” or “don’t touch there, that’s for your husband,” or little girls are to be modest at all times” or “It’s okay for men to have a little experience before they get married but not so for women.”

When does the little girls get to discover herself separate from the dialogue of sexual intercourse?  When does she come to understand that her biology, her precious anatomy speaks to more than her sexual identity?

These questions pushed me to study and ask the anatomy what it’s hidden messages for women were and to tap into the wisdom of the body.  I discovered that female anatomy is far more than a set of tissues constructed to promote life.  Multiple aspects of our wonderfully constructed female anatomy promote creativity, relationship intelligence and opportunities for exuberant expressions of bliss.

Free Your Inner Woman Workshop

What we have been denied because of our anatomical ignorance shocked me and prompted the development of the Free Your Inner Woman workshop. The workshop is a two-day exploration of what it means to be female. Learn more about the workshop here.


Free Your Inner Woman

Free Your Inner Woman Retreat Experience in November

The Free Your Inner Woman Retreat Experience is a two-day exploration of what it means to be female.

Ever wondered where Western Civilization obtained it’s views on women?  Whether or not you come from a religious background, concepts of Dualism and the Doctrine of Original Sin influence how we relate to our bodies and core identity.  These influences yield a weird disconnect between our brain, our heart and our lady parts.  As we consider the discomfort, shame and ‘hush, hush’ when it comes to anatomical terms, opportunities for ownership and empowerment are sure to unfold.

The experience consists of the following sections:

  1. History of Woman
  2. Inside Anatomy
  3. Outside Anatomy
  4. “Getting to Know You” Art Project: The Archway – The Uterus
  5. Meditative Castor Oil Pack
  6. Neurology – The Brain Vagina Connection
  7. Self-Care Routines
  8. Nourishing Routines
  9. “Mandorlae: The Gateway to the Feminine” Art Project
  10. Meditative Breath Work

Healthy, nourishing foods will be provided for both days during breaks and lunchtime.  Foods specifically known to support female anatomy will be included. A donation of $200 for the retreat experience is suggested.

The Free Your Inner Woman Retreat Experience is provided by Ea Institute and Interwoven Eight. The class has been developed and will be taught by Heide Elsworth. Please register online at The next Free Your Inner Woman Retreat Experience will be held November 12th and 13th.

True to her company’s name, Interwoven Eight, Heide Elsworth seeks wellness from a wholistic perspective.  Developed over thirty years, “Free your  inner woman” comes to you from Heide’s personal motto: “ Love in service to humanity through nourishing roots.”  Lessons from the ranch, homeschooling and her twelve-year therapeutic massage practice offer unique possibilities for what it means to be female.

i8_Logo_webColorsInterwoven Eight provides state-of-the-art therapeutic care through the following modalities:

  • Neurological Assessments for Bodywork
  • Neuromuscular Therapy
  • Cranio-Sacral Therapy
  • Lymph Drainage Therapy
  • Myofascial Therapy, specializing in Bowen Therapy (MRS Technique)
  • Thalassotherapy / Hydro-Therapy / Thermal Therapy

bv-ea-institute100Ea Institute provides hands on, experiential learning to assist individuals in co-creating authentic and fulfilling lives, congruent with their intuitive knowing, analytical reasoning, and awareness of their highest potential. You can find out more about Ea Institute and register for classes at their website:




Mandorlae: Gateway to Feminine Genius


Myths Abound

Ever wondered where Western Civilization obtained it’s views on women?  Whether or not you come from a religious background, concepts of Dualism and the Doctrine of Original Sin influence how we relate to our bodies and core identity.  These influences yield a weird disconnect between our brain, our heart and our lady parts.  As we consider the discomfort, shame and ‘hush, hush’ when it comes to anatomical terms, opportunities for ownership and empowerment are sure to unfold.

Anatomy Unveiled

Knowing our anatomy empowers us.  Far too long, female anatomy has been taboo.  Society tends to use euphemisms that distance us from the beauty and sheer genius of the feminine.  Introductions to the external and internal structures between our hips invite us to embrace the sacred, the captivating and the profound qualities that are at our core.

bv-reserveThe Womb is Heart Work

Art opens doors for the brain to integrate concepts with the body, laying new pathways to support transformation. The first of two art projects, participants will use collage work to reinvent their relationship to the Womb.  The heart work art project lays the foundation for session five.

Movement is Life

Based on ‘The Womb is Heart Work’ collage, this session invites discovery, appreciation and mind-body integration of the feminine.  An abdominal castor oil pack will accompany a series of gentle, supportive exercises specifically for the womb and pelvic floor muscle groups.  Activating the rest and digest part of the nervous system, this closing session offers refreshment to mind, body, soul and spirit preparing participants for a restful night’s sleep.

Syncing Aunt Flo and My Brain

Following a peaceful night’s sleep, we’ll dive into female innervation and hormonal cycles to connect the dots between the brain, the uterus and creativity.  This session reveals new awareness and understanding around issues of relationships, trauma, sexuality, fulfillment, power and voice.  A complement of ancient self-care techniques will be offered to strengthen synergy and balance.

Breath of Life, Birth of Life

Women are universally known for their ability to cultivate relationships.  During this session, participants will cultivate relationships with their own lovely female anatomy.  Breath work combined with therapeutic dialoguing equips the body with new neural pathways for healthy self-talk.

bv-uterusflowerMandorlae Heartwork Art Work

Participants will create their own interpretation of “Beautiful Vulvas” as we explore the meaning of ‘mandorlae.’  This multicultural symbol offers positive historic expressions from around the world.  Various textiles will be available for each woman to create her personal gateway to feminine genius.  Again, art opens the door for full-body integration, further supporting transformation.

Gratitude for Femininity

From uncomfortable words to empowered words, we’ll reflect on the female anatomy with new acceptance and appreciation.


Healthy, nourishing foods will be provided for both days during breaks and lunchtime.  Foods specifically known to support female anatomy will be included.




Three years ago my beloved father passed away, resulting from injuries suffered in an auto accident. During the eighteen months that followed, my family experienced the loss of eleven loved ones. The three most influential men in my life are gone and four family members have passed to the other side. The losses were heavy and the succession of deaths left little time to grieve the previous loss. When someone comes into my office struggling with the loss of a loved one or loss of a job or a dream, I understand the anguish and pain. I also understand the tremendous comfort of another human being willing to stand alongside in that dark place called grief.

Like a dark shadow, grief can completely cover our lives until we find the very act of living difficult. For some it is a struggle to rise in morning while others strive for a few hours sleep.

Depending on the relationship, the one left in the land of living can wrestle with “what ifs”, “could have beens” and “should have dones.” For me personally, I confronted a list of “what were they thinking?” and a longer list of “how shall I move forward?”

My gracious colleagues reminded me when I forgot things or mistakingly double-booked clients that these were part of grieving. They reminded me to take care of myself even in the midst of settling an estate and attending more memorial services.

Bodywork is a uniquely powerful gift to the grieving heart. Lying there on the table, having a therapist’s hand gently release tension from my distraught being allowed trapped tears to vacate.

I found myself able to breath; and, in that, forgiveness and despair gave way to hope and courage. For one hour several times each month, my being was embraced with nurturing care.

And, for that one hour I was not alone in my grief. There was another just waiting beside me for the anguish to leave my tissues, for the anger to soften into acceptance and for my heart to receive what the loss was there to teach me.

Grief is a journey from what we knew to be so in a relationship to what can be created from the relationship we held so dear. A colleague and friend put it this way, “What we experienced as normal comes to an end with death and now we must find a new normal.” Massage therapy worked with my body as my mind sought the new normal.

In memory of my beloved father, I publicly thank him for his support. He was a great sport in allowing me to practice massage techniques on him and on behalf of all my respected clients, I thank him.



I was not quite three when my grandfather passed away in a tragic car accident.  Those few years and months with him, though, had a lifelong impact on me.  Were he alive today, we would call him a horse-whisperer.  When it came to animals, his talent knew no end.  Horses, in particular, were his love and of the many stories told in the ranching community, the one that I most admired was of him talking a pair of teamhorses up an icy hill while pulling a wagon loaded with hay.  He spoke the team up the hill using his gentle strong confident voice.  We don’t always appreciate moments like that but in my heart I’m always striving to develop that gentle strength.

He loved me dearly and how he delighted in me!  Often I would sit on his lap in his big brown chair, at least it was big to me.  I remember his laughter and joyous looks towards me.  They tell me that he would feed me strawberries and then I would “feed” him, more accurately, I would squish strawberries in his lips.  None-the-less, those sweet tender moments embedded the possibility of true intimacy between two human beings cherishing one another.

Probably my fondest memory with my grandfather were the times he would take to the corrals.  His horses loved and respected him and it was a treat to be near them with him beside me.  I was allowed to toddle around the big team horse’s front legs.  A vague conversation comes to mind of a visitor questioning my grandfather’s allowance of having me so near the gentle beast.  What I knew was that the horse knew grandfather loved me and that to harm me would mean being in trouble with their master.  The horse was going to remain still as I touch his white speckled fur with my little tiny fingers.  We both were under my grandfather’s care.

When I close my eyes tight and breath slowly, I remember that big old horse’s coat and how her hair felt beneath my hands.  I remember her gentleness and strength as she towered over me.  Animals have a great deal to say when we listen and we have a great deal to learn when we touch them.  Such experiences invited me to the world of therapeutic touch and everyday I bring them to my practice.  I listen with my hands.  I listen like that gentle giant taught me and in that my grandfather is always nearby.

Therapeutic touch is more than a physical interaction; it is the act of honoring another’s being, their worth in this world.  It is listening passed the expectations and roles and pressures of what life is requiring.  Therapeutic touch is giving permission for someone to be and in that being discover what wellness looks like for them.