So, darling hearts the time has come. If you have been following me on Facebook or Twitter then you will know that my journey here has come to an end. This amazing journey that has changed and enriched my life in so many ways and helped me learn more about myself and the woman and mother I want to be, and see how much more there is still to discover. It has strengthened my voice, humbled me and brought me many beautiful friendships that I will be forever grateful for. Today I am closing one door in order to bravely step through another and my heart is hammering with both fear and excitement.
This is my last blog here at ‘The Red Box Company’ a little dream which turned into a beautiful reality and led me to so many of you. I can still remember the
anticipation that came with hitting the publish button on this website, lovingly created and my first experience of being 'online'. I have learnt so much since then and experienced so many new things and I am truly grateful for all your support and encouragement along the way. You have allowed me to take this dream and develop it into a new one. An even more beautiful one that will continue to serve the girls in our community but also support the women who need to learn how to prepare these precious girls in our care for life as cycling women. I hope you will join me on my new journey and that our paths will continue to flow together. However, if that isn’t possible then I send you huge love and thank you for travelling this far with me.
What is changing and why?
I am moving to a new website with more community space and support for women of all ages (www.jomacdonald.com
) which means that sadly the Red Boxes will no longer be available. It is hard to say goodbye to something that has been so special in my life but I feel that it is the right decision. My aim was always to keep this a sacred and special moment in a girl’s life free from the commercialism that has taken over most other areas of growing-up and to support the use of organic, hand-made products as much as possible. The reality is that in order to grow as a company I would need to become more commercial, use cheaper products manufactured in ways I don’t believe in and dilute many of my beliefs around menstruation and womanhood. The further along my own personal journey of discovery the more impossible it is to contemplate becoming a ‘commercial’ enterprise solely interested in ‘units sold’, ‘profit margins’ or welcoming girls to womanhood with lots of fluffy pink-ness and words like ‘secret’ and ‘discreet’. This is not what womanhood is about for me...but that is a whole other rant!
During my time working with mums and daughters I have come to believe that creating your own ‘Red Box’ is far more precious than buying one. Taking the time to collect things that will speak uniquely to your daughter and connect her with her female ancestors, feminine wisdom and welcome her to the world of menstruation is HUGELY important and I am thrilled to have inspired so many of you to do just this. In fact, discovering that I was far more excited to receive emails from mothers who had been inspired to create their own red box than to get a sales order made me realise that I wanted to make a change. So I encourage you all to get creative, make your own celebration/welcome gift for your daughter and fill it with organic, natural items that truly support her. Let us keep this rite-of-passage a beautiful moment free from commercialism.
What is not changing?
I will still be blogging about womanhood, menstruation, self-love etc. I am still committed to working with girls (and mothers) through my workshops and Ebooks but now have more in place to support all women who are on a journey to discover the power and beauty of the menstrual cycle, embrace mindful menstruation and ‘Awaken the Woman within’. There is more space to breathe, to explore all the different areas of womanhood, to support eachother on this journey and share our stories.
Learning about my own menstrual cycle has led me to a new, more authentic way of living and a new path in life full of new experiences and knowledge. I have connected with some truly remarkable and inspiring women around the world and am committed to sharing everything I have learnt, and continue to learn, about menstruation, self-love, creativity, and more with you so that you can live a more beautiful life and become a wonderful role-model for your daughter, showing her what being a woman is really about.
You can sign up below to get my new ‘Love Notes’ delivered to your inbox and follow my new Facebook page here.
The new website is www.jomacdonald.com
and I would love it if you came over to say hello and discover more about my new journey. You can also find me on Twitter
and if you are on Instagram I post my photos under @JoMacdonald
And so this chapter comes to an end and I am filled with sorrow at saying goodbye to one part of my life but filled with so much energy and love for the new path opening up ahead. I can’t wait to step onto this new road fully and see what it brings and what we will discover together.
I thank you so very much for all your support, beautiful messages and love, I am grateful for everyone of you.
If our journey together ends here then I wish you much happiness and love and thank you for joining me so far.
For those who wish to continue travelling this wonderful journey of womanhood and discovery with me Yippee!!! I can't wait to connect with you again on my new website and share stories and gifts with you and hear your tales and experiences.
Huge love and blessings,
'I don't think of all the misery
but of the beauty that still remains'
~ Anne Frank
I am so utterly blown away and excited that 'International Day of the Girl' is here. How amazing is it that right now all over the world people are celebrating girls and committing to make a difference in the lives of girls everywhere!
What an incredible world we live in.
It can be so easy to focus on the sadness and hardship faced by girls in this world and, whilst these hardships need to be highlighted, to only do this would be to forget the incredible resilience, strength and magical stories of girls everywhere who's lives are changing and being changed by campaigns such as this. Girls who rise up and live beautiful lives sharing their beauty and strength with others and inspire more girls to take a stand and more people everywhere to support their journey in any way they can. Today as we celebrate and campaign for girls everywhere let's take our lead from the amazing Anne Frank and think 'of the beauty that still remains'.
As a huge supporter of girls' rights I want to do my bit too so for the next 48 hrs you can get 25% off my book 'Note to Self: The Secret to becoming your own Best Friend'
which features over 30 stunning 'love notes to self' from inspiring women around the world such as Tabby Biddle
, Tara Mohr
and Jane Hardwicke Collings
. So, honoured to share their words and wisdom with you!
As always 10% of all profits go straight to the fabulous 'Because I am a Girl'
campaign by Plan
. Click the picture below to get your copy and don't forget the sale ends tomorrow.
Here are just a couple of reasons why International Day of the Girl is so important:
~ 'Worldwide, girls carry the burden of poverty more than anyone and 75 million girls are currently denied an education. This isn’t fair and it isn’t right' ~ Plan UK
~ 'One in three girls around the world is denied an education by the daily realities of poverty, conflict and discrimination. Every day, girls are taken out of school and forced into work, or married off to strangers where they risk isolation and abuse. Missing out on school can mark the end of a girl having any choice over her own future'
~ Because I am A Girl
Spread the word about this wonderful day by sharing this post, writing your own blog post, tweeting using the hashtag #dayofthegirl and let's make a difference in the lives of girls everywhere.
Why, as a menstrual cycle educator, do I talk so often about self-love? Afterall, isn’t the menstrual cycle simply a biological function to enable women to have babies? And if so then what on earth could loving yourself more possibly have to do with anything cycle related?
Our menstrual cycle is inside us.
Pulsating and permeating through us, inside us, with us, for us.
Guiding us gently.
Sometimes pushing harder to be noticed. Wanting us to see that it is there, that our power is just waiting for us to acknowledge and claim it as our own.
When self-love is not a part of our life, we stop noticing.
We dull our senses.
We ignore the calling within.
We grow uneasy with this deep power residing inside us and may even begin to battle against it. To remove it altogether.
When self-love is not a part of our life we suffer from dis-ease and live in our heads rather than our body and soul. Pre-menstrual syndrome/stress becomes our constant companion and default setting as our cycle begins to behave like an unhappy child desperate for attention and doing anything to get it.
We turn to the wrong things seeking comfort and try to blot out the pain of the ever growing feeling that things are not quite right.
We don’t like ourself or our body,
We decide that we are not enough.
We ignore our own intuition and listen ever more to the incessant noise outside our soul.
Instead of being guided by our menstrual cycle and feminine power we become locked into a cycle of negativity and disconnect further and further from our true nature.
This is not the way.
We deserve more.
You deserve more.
When self-love is part of our everyday life things change.
There is a shift with each day that we go deeper into the practice of self-love. We notice ourself more, how we feel, what we really need to feel nourished, cared for, alive.
We tap into our true energy, listen to our intuition more, reconnect with the voice inside. We eat better, sleep better, live better and our menstrual cycle stops shouting for attention.
Instead it basks in the knowledge that it is loved.
That you are loved.
PMS eases as we take more care of ourself. Moodswings disappear as time out becomes part of every day life; aches and pains are relieved by nurturing our body and soul with exercise and time in nature. Bloating and irregular cycles are a thing of the past when healthy eating and cycle charting become a natural part of life.
So why do I talk so much about self-love?
Because self-love is the key to a healthy menstrual cycle.
It is the key to a balanced life.
It is the key to everything.
This week Jamie Ridler
asks what our Autumn/Fall wish is.
This is an interesting one for me as it shows how much my life has changed over the last two years since I started working more deeply with the menstrual cycle.
I have always loved Autumn with it's spectacular leaves like a sunset on every tree, cosy evenings in front of a log fire, giant mugs of hot chocolate, yummy nourishing soups and oversized floppy jumpers.
But it is only since working with my menstrual cycle and more deeply embracing my own rhythms that I have come to realise how important this time of year is for true well-being.
I used to feel a bit panicked as the year came to a close. 'But my to-do list isn't finished yet' I would exclaim seeing my life flash before my eyes in a sea of handwritten lists that went on for miles and miles as though the Andrex puppy had got his teeth into them. I would feel as though the last 3 months should be crammed full of all the things i hadn't mananged to fit in yet in a whirlwind of chaotic activity mixed in with the panic of an ever nearer Christmas to prepare for.
But now I know that this is not how it should be. Just as during each cycle we need time to rest and nourish oursleves so we need to do this during the year. Autumn is the time to prepare for a quiet winter, to look back and acknowledge the goals achieved, the tasks well done and the beautiful changes that have taken place.
This is the time to release goals not met and ask whether they still serve or not. This is the time to prepare to go into ourselves, to refill the well, to settle in to where we are right now and know that that is okay. To journal, to reconnect with our authentic voice and reflect on how we feel about our life journey.
So, my wish for Autumn? I wish to enjoy long walks in the swirling leaves, to hang out in my kitchen cooking up steaming bowls of soup and fresh bread, to enjoy cosy evenings in front of the fire reading and snuggling with my husband and children, to refill the well on every level. And as for goals...well my only goal for this season is to focus on how I want to feel. No more getting, no more doing. Just being and feeling.
What is your Autumn/Fall wish?
On Tuesday I shared how a painful family situation had left me feeling broken open
. Today I am feeling better, still a bit tender but more at peace and ready to move on. The knot in my stomach has gone, I can breathe more easily and feel as though I have taken another step along my path.
Being broken open or left feeling vulnerable and hurt is something that we all go through and something we have to experience time and time again - unless we are going to live in a cave by ourselves all the time!
Everyone has their own way of dealing with things but I wanted to share how the healing process went for me (this is pretty much my 7-step process anytime something painful happens). Step 1
– I cried…a lot. Then I went to bed. This is like going into my cave for me, I need it if I'm going to recover quickly. I just switched off, left the rest of the family to get on with it and went to sleep for several hours. I could have pushed through and pretended that all was fine but it would have taken me much longer to process my feelings etc. Step 2
– I ate comforting food. Normally I am big on eating nourishing food but sometimes you just need to go with old comfort favourites, in my case that means chinese takeaway and giant mugs of steaming hot chocolate. I let myself cry a little more, watched repeat episodes of Friends…and took regular naps. Step 3
– I shared my feeling of pain on my blog.
This helped me to start getting the pain out of my head and where I could properly deal with it.Step 4
– I began to take more active steps and did a smudging ceremony to cleanse myself and my home of the negative energy that had built up. Then I did an oracle card reading to help me get focussed on what I needed to remember about myself, this situation etc. Step 5
– I checked where in my menstrual cycle I was
to see what influence that may be having on my feelings about this situation, journalled about why I felt so hurt and upset and then I wrote myself a letter
acknowledging the pain and reminding myself that I can move on from this, that I have my own life now, a good life full of love and friendship and I do not have to let pain from old wounds continue to hurt me. Lighting a candle I made a conscious decision to acknowledge the pain I was feeling as valid and okay and then, as I blew the candle out, I chose to release that pain. Step 6
– I revisited the fabulous ‘Strong and Vital Voice with Whale'
course with Pixie Campbell
whose voice and teachings always make me feel calm and held in this world. Then I clicked over to Leonie Dawson
who brings such joyous, alive energy to everything and always motivates me to get the heck on with things again. Step 7
– Finally I cooked myself a yummy, nourishing veggie casserole, walked outside, felt the sun and wind on my face and took some deep soulful breaths. Oh, and then I bought myself flowers...because after all that I totally deserved some!
This 7 step process helps me move on from extreme pain in a much shorter time than years ago when I would have stayed in steps 1 & 2 for days on end.
I would love to hear how you help yourself heal from painful moments in your life.
Love and blessings, Jo ♥
p.s. thank you for all the beautiful comments you left on my blog they made me feel supported and grateful to be part of such a warm and loving community of women xx
again and this week Jamie asks 'What do you wish to do one day'
Yet again this is something that has been playing around in my creative mind for a while, still forming and growing and waiting until the time is right to come into this beautiful world.
One day I wish to offer a gathering place for women.
A place where women can connect with their tribe.
A place where women can heal their spirit and soul.
Where they can feel the beauty of being a woman.
Where they can learn the secrets that have been kept from us for too long.
A place where they can just be.
A place that nourishes them on every level.
Where they are deeply supported.
Where they can learn to love themselves again and revitalise their spirit and energy.
A place of sacred gatherings.
Of love and laughter.
Of friendship and support.
Of renewal, education and growth.
Of beauty and womanhood.
One day I wish to offer this to all women who need a place to go to sink into the beautiful soul that they are and to know that they matter, that their story is important and that their journey is a gift to us all.
Today is a hard day.
A painful situation with my family has left me feeling broken open and hurt.
Like a wounded animal I want to lash out at those who hurt me and those who want to help. I know this is not the way and so I am trying to heal gently. To be silent until the words come more clearly. Until my authentic voice can speak without breaking, and my truth can be shared without more tears.
This passage calls to me today as a timely and gentle reminder:
'Over and over, we are broken on the shore of life. Our stubborn egos are knocked around, and our frightened hearts are broken open- not once, and not in predictable patterns, but in surprising ways and for as long as we live. The promise of being broken and the possibility of being opened are written into the contract of human life. Certainly this tumultuous journey on the waves can be tiresome. When the sea is rough, and when we are suffering, we may want to give up hope and give in to despair. But brave pilgrims have gone before us. They tell us to venture forth with faith and vision. Rumi speaks for them all when he says:
Drum sounds rise on the air,
and with them, my heart.
A voice inside the beat says,
I know you are tired,
This is the way.'
~ Elizabeth Lesser 'Broken Open'
May you heal gently today from anything causing distress, and know that you are not alone, but are held and loved.
I first discovered this passage in Pixie Campbell's
incredible and healing course 'Strong and vital voice with Whale' from her beautiful SouLodge circle.
You can download a free PDF copy here.
This week Jamie
asks 'What do you wish to reflect on?'
It didn't take me too long to answer this question. 'I wish to reflect on my soul purpose and releasing ego'.
On the 1st of this month I launched my new book and life got a little crazy. First was the euphoria of achieving a lifetime goal of writing a book - I've been published in magazines before but this was the big one, a book, an actual book, written by me, with my name on it and everything! Blog posts popped up, tweets were flying, copies were selling - life was good. My ego was having a fine time, trust me.
Then came the crash.
A week after the launch a huge wave of insecurity washed over me. A tsunami of self-doubt. My inner critic took my ego by the scruff of her neck and relentlessy battered her until not much was left despite her best efforts to fight back. I felt exposed, totally vulnerable and unsure of myself.
And then two things happened.
First a friend told me how much she had loved the book and how she liked the way that the letters were the focal point, that the writing I had done in each chapter worked well to bring the book together and showcase these beautiful gifts from women all over the world. And I humbly remembered why I had written this book in the first place, that this book is not about me at all, it is about gifting these letters to the world and sharing the deep healing and wisdom. Both my inner critic and ego blushed with embarrassment and stopped throttling each other.
And then my computer decided not to play ball. My email ceased to work, my internet connection was choosing its own hours and my iphone was throwing a tantrum. After several hours of frustration, banging keys randomly to make things work I gave up. I just shut everything down and switched off. I accepted that the universe knows infinitely better than me and I sank down into its loving plan
I walked barefoot in my garden feeling the damp evening earth between my toes. I read my book in the park enjoying morning sunshine on my face. I discovered a new shop in my town selling crystals and gorgeous goodies and treated myself to a smudging stick and some oracle cards. And as I switched off from the nonsense in my head I switched back on to who I really am. I took some deep breaths and remembered what my purpose is, why I am here and doing what I do. I laughed at myself for forgetting all I have learnt over the years and allowing myself to become caught up in 'the hype'. I cried over how blessed I have been to achieve a dream with the help of so many amazing women, and how lucky I am to be supported by so many beautiful souls in such a loving community. I embraced my ego gently and reminded her to chill the heck out, thanked my inner critic for trying to help and asked her to back off a bit. And I continued to breathe. Deeply, slowly, soulfully, humbly.
And, as my computer slowly begins to come back to life so I wish to keep breathing, to keep reflecting on my soul purpose and to lovingly remember that I am human and will no doubt have to keep working on releasing the ego.
What do you wish to reflect on today?Jo ♥
It's Wishcasting Wednesday again, yay! I love this! Every Wednesday Jamie Ridler
posts a wish and women from all over the world answer it on their blogs. Then we visit each others blogs and supprot those wishes. It is beautiful and powerful, why not join in
I haven't taken part in Wishcasting Wednesday for a while as I have been finishing and launching my book
but coming back to it is like coming back to an old friend and realising how much you missed them. I often think that Jamie has super-human powers or a hotline to my soul as her prompts are always spot on for where I am in my life.
so...what step do I wish to take?
This is the exact question that has been incessantly tapping at my mind and heart over the last few months and getting louder everyday.
What do I need?
What is my soul crying out for?
How can I fully embrace a more authentic life and business?
What step do I need to take...tomorrow, this week, this precise moment?
And so the quiet wish has grown into a loud heartfelt, passionate statement:
I WISH TO STEP FULLY INTO MYSELF
I wish to stop comparing myself to others and judging my journey with theirs.
I wish to realease things that no longer serve me to make way for new and beautiful things in my life.
I wish to trust that this is the right thing to do and to remember that my voice is the only one that will serve me, I am the only person I can ever be...and that is ENOUGH. It is okay to JUST BE ME.
And so I am working my way through the steps I need to take to make this happen. And, along the way, I am wishing, and hoping, that as I keep moving towards my dream the path will become clearer to me, opening up it's magic and secrets.
I have taken small steps (creating a new business plan), big steps (writing & launching my book) and a zillion steps inbetween (a lot of walking, daydreaming and playing 'what if...?').
There are still more steps to come and I am excited about sharing them when the time is right.
And so that is my wish, to step fully into myself. What step do you wish to take?
More posts you might enjoy:
Launching my first print book 'Note to Self: The Secret to Becoming your own Best Friend'
Wishcasting Wednesday: How do you wish to grow?
I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW...