Have you ever read a book at JUST the right time and then it’s stuck with you for, like, always?
From the moment I picked up Sarah’s book The Way of the Happy Woman, I knew it would be a keeper. A classic.
Here’s why in a nutshell, and then Ima break it down for ya.
The Way of the Happy Woman is like a blueprint for the “well life.” Living well, honoring your rhythms and otherwise embracing your womanhood, your connection to nature and your own divinity.
I straightup love it.
One of the most amazing things was to hear how she approaches her Moon Days (the first days of her menstrual cycle). Basically, she was saying that we as women kinda follow the rhythms of the waxing and waning moon.
When the moon is full we have more yang going on, more externally-focused energy and it’s a great time for outward-facing stuff. It’s also when we’re ovulating and fertile. (Get it?)
However, when the moon is a new moon or waning, that tends to be when we start our cycles (if we’re in sync with tides/moons/nature) and it’s when we naturally want to turn inward and chill out and be in our version of the Red Tent.
Now, this is SO fascinating to me because for the past year or so, I have avoided doing ANYthing on the first morning of my cycle. I have felt the need for R&R. So I loved that Sarah defined this for me and gave me that much more permission to take it easy on that day each and every month.
I seriously cannot imagine what it’d be like to have to go to work on those days (you know, like an office) and I don’t even have huge symptoms like cramps and such that other ladies have to deal with. For me, I just feel tired and bloated and want to nap and read and sit on the toilet. (Yeah, it’s very, ahem, cleansing. Sorry if that’s TMI.)
I discovered this book through Lesley over at Wisteria Sunshine (the most lovely membership group ever), who said that she would hang a red scarf over the kitchen doorway during the first days of her cycle so that her hubs and sons would know to be more gentle with her on those days. I LOVE that concept and think it’s a beautiful way to acknowledge the gift of our New Moon.
Here are the other reasons I love it:
1. She’s a yogini who got me to embrace yin yoga. For a lot of the recent path, I’d been avoiding hard, sweaty exercise (and hard sweaty yoga) like the plague. The LAST thing I felt like doing was getting all hot and working my muscles til they felt like jell-o. Nope. I was all about a gentler way of being. And Sarah gave me permission to embrace that. So I’ve been doing yin yoga.*
2. I have a new autumn smoothie recipe. I have a video with the instructions on how to make it. It’s inspired by Sarah’s recipe.
3. I now no longer feel lazy/self-indulgent when I take the day off during my period. I love not having to be superwoman. Bomb. I love this as a sustainability non-negotiable for myself, my health and my business.
4. There’s a plan for the whole year! Yeah- she spells out how to care for yourself during each part of the year. I love that! Now it’s rinse and repeat (mindfully of course), but this is a model for year round, day-to-day living that rocks.
*In yin yoga, you pretty much hold a pose for 3 to 10 minutes. Yeah, its’ the hardest yoga I’ve ever done.