THE ROOTED WOMAN PROJECT | July 17, 2023

Audrey Gerber

EPISODE 5

In this episode, I get to introduce you to a dear friend, Audrey Gerber. She’s an integrative health coach that helps women struggling with PMS and period issues to balance their hormones naturally and holistically, and her desire is to empower women in their feminine journey and connection to their body so that they can live a radiant and energized life at any moment of their cycle.

 

WHO IS AUDREY GERBER

Audrey Gerber is an integrative health coach that helps women struggling with PMS and period issues to balance their hormones naturally and holistically. Her desire is to empower women in their feminine journey and connection to their body so they can live a radiant and energized life, at any moment of their cycle!

If you love this interview as much as I do, Audrey and I are co-creating a 6-week live course dedicated to liberating and empowering women to step into their fullest expression & deepest pleasure by connecting to seasons & cycles, spirit & sensuality, and it’s called, Wildering Woman.

We start August 1st, 2023. Check the link below for more information. We’d love to see you there!

Prefer reading over watching or listening? We’ve covered that for you with the full transcript version below. Enjoy! 🙂

LINKS AND RESOURCES

Tanicia:

Hello, and welcome to the Rooted Woman Project, where we are gathering together the modern and ancient wisdom being shared by the women who nourish the world.

Today, I get to introduce you to a dear friend, Audrey Gerber. She’s an integrative health coach that helps women struggling with PMS and period issues to balance their hormones naturally and holistically, and her desire is to empower women in their feminine journey and connection to their body so that they can live a radiant and energized life at any moment of their cycle.

I’m so excited to have you here today, because obviously, periods are a massive part of being in a woman’s body, and it’s not something that we are really taught about in any way that feels sacred to the act of what’s going on.

And I’m excited, especially because I think when you hear talking about the period, you think about something really in a certain box. And I’m excited because I think we’re going to shatter that box today.

Audrey:

Let’s do it.

Tanicia:

Thank you for being here.

I have the very special experience of being able to work alongside Audrey in the year-long Chrysalis program that we’re co-facilitating with two other women. So I know a little bit about the magic that she brings, and I’m gonna be sure to really amplify that for all of you guys watching today because it’s really quite special.

So first, I just want to give you a chance to just share. I was, you know, sneaking around on your website a long time ago, and like you mentioned on there your own personal journey with your body and how it kind of brought you to this place. So I would love to just first give you a chance to share a little bit about your story.

Audrey:

Sure. Thank you.

So, yes, I think, you know, the real reason I’m doing this is because I needed what I am doing now, way back when. And it would be unfair for me to not share what I’ve gained in this journey. And it would be unfair for me to let other women just have to go through the motions that I did.

But basically, I had hormonal issues from a very young age. Actually, from the moment I had my menstrual cycle. I was bleeding for nine days, every two weeks. So I was bleeding more than I wasn’t too bleeding. So I would bleed for nine days net, not bleed for seven days and then bleed again for nine days and I would lose a lot of blood. And you know, I was a teenager at school, I went to private school, so it was like, you have to and I couldn’t my body just following.

So my parents took me to the doctor. And the doctor, I remember this moment because the doctor said, “Oh, well, then you must not have like a normal cycle. So we’ll put you on the pill, and when your body has time to find a real cycle, we’ll figure that out.”

And so he gave me the pill. I never had to talk about what is the pill, and why am I taking it. What is it doing to my body? And the next in the system? And so I was in the pill, and I was on the pill, and I was on the pill, and there was never any follow-up to that.

And obviously, I stopped bleeding for nine days, and I started bleeding once a month, but I didn’t feel better. I felt worse my body was just going on this path. And by the end of my high school, I had depression, which was very, you know, “Where is this coming from?”. And I went to therapy, and therapy wasn’t helping. And I was you know, I was very, very disconnected from my body. And I can say now, I don’t remember sensations from this time of my life. I was so disconnected from my body that I don’t remember living in my body.

I can see pictures of myself back then. And my first reaction is, who is this? But then it’s me. And I felt at one point within my body, this, I cannot take the pill anymore. It was this morning, a morning where I was supposed to take it because you have to take it every day at the same time. Felt my body just go like, I don’t want this. I do not want this anymore. If you give me another pill, I will throw it up. Gut reaction. And I still took it, but that left this big imprint. And so I decided I would secretly stop taking the pill.

I was way too terrified of what will happen and what the adults in my life would tell me.

Tanicia:

Right?

Audrey:

And then two months later, my therapist said, I don’t think you have depression anymore. And I was like, are you sure you didn’t take any of the medicine? I was like, yeah, I didn’t take what you said I should have to get and just, oh, well, it seems to be gone. Great. And we just parted ways. 

And things started to shift in my body, and I start to find sensations again, and I started to find a voice. And then I went to art school, and I started to and it was this whole thing of like, wait a minute. What’s happening within my body? I still didn’t know what was happening with me, and so I still struggled with so many symptoms, and I still felt something was wrong with me. And I was tired, and I was exhausted, and it was just heavy. And when I finally started to learn to pay attention to my body and to slow down and try to listen, then things got a little bit better. 

And then when somebody finally,  I heard from one of my teachers,  oh, by the way, if you have PMS, you should get your hormones check, because that’s not normal. That was kind of like the sentence that shattered my whole worldview. I was like, what do you mean? Are you saying pain is not part of the life I’m supposed to be having?

Tanicia:

Right. Right.

Audrey:

I just learned and learned and learned and learned. And I went on this journey of, what are my hormones? What is my body telling me? Why do I have what I have? And it was so quick.  My symptoms started disappearing one after the other, because my body had just been craving for these, for this knowledge, for this understanding, for the support that I just didn’t know it needed. And so as soon as I started giving it to him, my body just, fix, fix, fix. Everything is fine.

Tanicia:

Wow. So like after you got off the pill, did you start to have the same bleeding again?

Audrey:

No. So after I got off the pill, my bleeding was, you know, it got shorter. It was like every 19 days or 20 days. So it wasn’t as much and I wasn’t bleeding as intensely, but it came with all the symptoms of tiredness and mood swings and anxiety and insomnia and acne, bloating. And I was like, oh!

Tanicia:

Oh,  my gosh.  And so then you started to learn, like, okay, based on my hormones and what’s happening here versus here, I mean, that’s so interesting because this brings me into one of the questions, right? Like, we know that there’s I mean, I’m going to butcher it because this is why you’re here. 

There’s four distinct phases to a woman’s monthly cycle that’s already wrong, right? 

Audrey:

It’s right. But it’s slightly nuanced, but keep going, you know.

Tanicia:

So we’ve come to kind of expect that in each of those phases, there’s going to be certain physical sensations, or we’re going to feel certain ways in our body. So in your experience then, were these phases, like, one was lasting longer than the other, and all of that was being determined by your hormones?

Audrey:

Yes, exactly. So, actually, we have 28 phases because what the menstrual cycle really is, is a change of your brain structure.  So if I take a picture of your brain every day for the length of your cycle, for 28 days, I will have 28 different pictures. Because your brain is constantly changing, which is why we women need more sleep and more food than men do, it’s because our brains are taking so much energy and changing. 

And when we look at those pictures, we can see that, hey, for this particular time, these parts of the brain are heavily activated, while these ones are almost dormant. But when we look at these pictures, it seems like these parts have been activated. And these ones that were previously activated were deactivated. We’ve separated those pictures. Those changes in four categories should say, okay, in this phase of your cycle, these are the parts of your brain that are lit up. And these are the parts of your brain that are not…

Tanicia:

Interesting.

Audrey:

Not activated, or very little activated.

And that means all of your body is different. And that means you have very different sensations.  And it is caused by your menstrual cycle in the sense that this is what your menstrual cycle is. And for me, what was happening is I didn’t have the right hormones at the right time. 

And so you know, my body was sending me all of these signals of like, hey, I have way too much estrogens when I’m not supposed to have any. So I’m just going to wake you up in the middle of the night to detox that for you, and I’m going to send them in your skin to expose them instead of and you have acne, or I’m having way less progesterone than I’m supposed to be having at the time where I need it. So I can’t help you regulate your emotions, and I can’t give you the energy that you need, and I can’t help you digest the way that you need it. It was like, Wait, I’m not getting those needs fulfilled for that specific time of the month that you’re in.

Tanicia:

Got it. What? Wow. I never thought about it, in that way. That your brain is changing. I mean, it almost sounds like your brain is changing over the course of those 28 days, which then feeds that information to your cycle to shed or hold or what have you. Exactly. And so in that realm,  it’s like where I get the estrogen and the progesterone piece of it. Where would the pain come from?  The cramping and the debilitating pain? Where is that in the cycle and why?

Audrey:

Yes, okay. Just talking about the pain.

Tanicia:

Yeah, I’m curious.

Audrey:

Here’s the thing. Every symptom has a story. Every symptom has a message to tell. Pain is a really common one. It’s not a normal one, but it’s very common and it has multiple layers to it. So if we only look at the physical components of pain, what is happening is, before your ovulation, your body sends out estrogens to make your uterine lining thick, and strong to get ready for maybe getting pregnant or maybe not, just to be healthy. 

Then when you ovulate, you shift from estrogens, being the main hormones, into progesterone. And then your estrogens, they go lower and lower. And so your lining, it goes thinner and thinner. 

 However, if you have too many estrogens, if you produce estrogens for longer than what you’re supposed to be producing them, then you have this really thick lining within your uterus, and it’s time to shed it. And it’s like it’s way too thick to get rid of. So your uterus starts to contract to try to create that movement, the same movement that you make when you give birth, to say, there’s something in here that will not go out on its own, and I need to help it.

Tanicia:

Oh, wow.

Audrey:

And because your body hasn’t had the opportunity to get rid of those estrogens, they’re all located down there in that lining, and it’s thick, and so it needs a lot of contraction. And those contractions are the ones that create the pain.

Tanicia:

Wow.

Audrey:

And then there’s the other layer of when your body has been needing,  needed, needing to get strong. The brain and your hormones, they work together. So if the brain is perceiving that the world in which you live is dangerous. As in I’m having a stressful time, as in I’m unhappy with the life circumstances, as in everything is dangerous for me. Your body will produce more of those estrogens because the purpose of them is to make you survive, to make you strong and healthy, and radiant. 

And so you produce a lot of them. And by the end of your cycle, your body has way too much and doesn’t know what to do with it. It can do that a couple of times, okay, we’ve had an extreme situation, so we get rid of those. But then it happens the next cycle again, and then it happens the next cycle again. And after the body goes, oh, I just have way too much estrogen all the time.  

There’s also this layer of the burden you carry your burden, and you have to brace yourself to face the world that adds to the pain.

Tanicia:

Wow.  So interesting.  Okay,  so, this is why it sounds like in your work, I know that you (do) work with herbs, you also do tapping and work. Somatically with the body. And what it sounds like is that there’s this way that we can kind of work with our entire body that will impact our menstrual cycle.  So it’s all woven together.

Audrey:

Yes,  because exactly like you said, the menstrual cycle, if we put that in a box and we think, oh, it’s just my period week, it’s not. It’s the change in your brain. And if your brain changes, your entire body changes. 

So the menstrual cycle has something to do with every part of your body in the healing, in the reclaiming of that, it includes all of you.

Tanicia:

Right. So it sounds like if the brain is shifting every 28 days, and we have conveniently categorized it in these four chunks, that would lead me to believe there’s gonna be four or more distinct ways of how to be in service of our body all throughout the cycle to maybe better prepare us for the bleeding stage. 

Can you talk about what someone might like? How would they want to interact with their body differently as they move through? I know we’re gonna talk about beyond the monthly stage, but just for this first part, that 28(-day) cycle.

Audrey:

Yeah. Okay. So I’m going to try to summarize this because this is like a whole, you know, week workshop, but basically, you can look at the body as if it is the seasons of the year. That’s very good to remember, menstrual. 

So your period week being the winter. A week after your period, that’s your spring. That’s when your hormones are rising up and you can feel that rising of the energy. And so that’s when you don’t need a lot of food, but you need it fresh and you might need it cold, and you might need to move your body a lot, and you might need to see friends, and you might have a lot of ideas, and you might want to brainstorm and create vision boards and really get into the creation mode.  

 And then you’re reaching the summer, which is your ovulation. And the summer is a very grounding moment in wellness and strength. You feeling warmer in your body. Just like in the summer, the inner temperature makes your body feel warmer. You’re very social. This is the time to communicate and it’s the time where your body is almost untouchable.  You can do whatever you want. You can do whatever you want on your ovulation your body has got you. You’re unbreakable.  

 If everything is going according to your inner seasons and so on that time you want to take super great care of your liver. Because that means all the estrogens that have been produced all the way until now, they’re gonna go and be detoxed, so for your liver to be able to welcome them and to get rid of them instead of sending them into your uterine lining. You know, you want to go and face the challenges that you want to face.

Tanicia:

Yeah.

Audrey:

Because then you’re going to transition into the fall, and the fall is usually the most problematic season for most of women. It’s the luteal phase. It’s the longest phase, and it’s the phase that is supposed to be enjoying the most that we’ve been stalling. 

 I have such a love relationship with the luteal phase because nature has meant for this phase to be the longest.

Tanicia:

Wow.

Audrey:

It’s the phase where we’re grounded and focused and we’re productive, but also shifting from outside world to inside world. And we’re needing more self-care, and we’re needing more food, and we’re needing slower, more gentle movements, but we have the brain capacity to do it all, in that phase. The peaceful phase. It’s the huh” phase. 

And then we arrive into the winter, which is we get colder, we need more food, we need to go slowly. We need more sleep. We need to process all the things that have happened. We need to let our bodies detoxify, and we need to support and nourish it back, right back.

Tanicia:

I could (hear) listen to you talk about this like for a week.  I mean, the thing I love about it is  this remembering that our bodies are these sacred vessels that are here to be in service of us and not these things that we’re just supposed to deal with the inconveniences of. That if we (like) really stop and listen, like you were saying at the beginning, listen to our bodies, they will offer up the solutions to the questions that we have. We just need to listen. Right? and it makes me, so…

One of the things I’m curious if you could talk about is, let’s say in this Western society that I live in and that a lot of the people watching live in, we weren’t taught as women to honor our bodies in this way. We weren’t taught to see our menstrual cycles as a sacred act or even a window and a portal into how to be of service to ourselves as women. Right. I mean, it brings in that duality of the masculine and the feminine. And it’s like our periods and our emotions and our hormones are, I think, sometimes seen as these inconveniences on the pathways of being more successful  in the way it’s said we should be successful.  

So. I’m curious, what are some ways that women starting out on this journey and wanting to connect more deeply with their bodies in this way? (like) What are some really simple things that they could just start doing on their own?

Audrey:

This is such a great question.

Okay, I will preface this by saying this.  One of the ways that we kind of lose touch with their Menstrual cycle is by believing that its main purpose is for us to get pregnant. 

And while that is a beautiful byproduct of the Menstrual cycle, it is an honor and a sacred thing. That’s not the main purpose of the Menstrual cycle. The main purpose of the Menstrual cycle is for you to be radiant.  That’s it. That’s why you have a cycle. 

The language your cycle always speaks is the language of how can you feel better. How can you be better? And it’s always going to be the first one to yell at you if something isn’t right.  If something isn’t the way for you to be and feel radiant, your cycle will be yelling at you. 

And so one of the ways that we lose this connection is by thinking, oh, I have a symptom. I suck or this sucks. This is “blah”.  But actually, the beautiful journey of radiance is to listen and try to understand what it is really saying. And obviously, the first thing that your body will tell you is, I’m hurt, don’t like this. And then we have to train ourselves to listen to a deeper layer until the body will say, okay, this is what need and this is what I want. 

So the answer to your question will depend on each woman, but it is all about listening. And there are things that every woman could do, like simple little things, like starting your day with warm water, a glass of water with lemon juice in it. That starts to, you know, that activates your endocrine system, that cleanses your digestive system, that helps regulate your circadian rhythm on a physical level. That’s great. Eating more broccoli because it contains all the nutrients that you need. 

Starting to slow down on your period, that’s a great small thing. But in reality, it’s going to depend on what your body is asking you, and it’s telling you what your pathway is to your radiance and your full well-being. So maybe the first thing, the most maybe important thing would be to start your day by asking your body, hey, is there anything that you need today?

Tanicia:

I love that. That’s so beautiful.  

Yeah.  It’s interesting that you started out by saying the intention of the period isn’t menstrual cycle isn’t to get pregnant, because that’s what we’ve been taught. Like, when you said that, I was like, what other purpose could there be? I don’t understand. Right?

Audrey:

In high school, they were trying to explain it to us in such a way that we can understand. And my teacher literally said to us, it’s kind of like, try to imagine your body wants to get pregnant, and it’s disappointing. It’s disappointed because you’re not. And so it flushes everything out. And I’m like,  how can you say that to my face? That my body is disappointed in me? Are you telling me that my body thinks I can get pregnant every month? No. My body is not stupid.

Tanicia:

Wow.

Audrey:

(It) knows I cannot get pregnant every month. That’s not what my body wants. 

Tanicia:

My mind is kind of shattering right now because that’s literally what everyone I’ve ever talked to about our periods has been taught, which is.  We have our periods because we’re meant to have babies, right? Like, the eggs drop, there’s no egg fertilized, so things get flushed.  The idea of the radiance, I’m like, I don’t get it.

Audrey:

Yeah! You know, the fact that your menstrual cycle isn’t about what happens in your uterus, it’s what happens in your brain. And what happens in your brain has an impact on everything that happens in your body. It’s a whole experience.

Tanicia:

Right.

Audrey:

Tip of the iceberg. And so,  yeah, your uterus is the main. It’s the place of honor. It’s the sacred, you know, it’s the sacred seat. It’s where the queen is seated. She’s like, this is what I want. This is what I don’t want. This is where everything is happening, but it’s not happening just for a baby to grow within you, which, by the way, is a miracle. And that is so sacred and beautiful that your body can do that. HO! But your body also can do so much more.

Tanicia:

Yeah. Yeah.

Audrey:

To reduce a woman to motherhood is objectifying. It’s one of the ways that we’ve objectified women. We say, your period is only here for  children making.

Tanicia:

Right.

Audrey:

And that’s not the case. Your period was here, is here started happening in generations of women because your body knows that this is the safest and best way to make you feel good.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t be having a cycle anymore. As soon as women started to have one or two children per lifetime, the body would be like, oh, there’s no need for a cycle. But the opposite started happening. We’re having way more cycles than our ancestors have.

Tanicia:

Wow.

Audrey:

Our bodies are like, okay, there’s some work to do here.

Tanicia:

Yeah. So I have to ask the most obvious question. If our cycles aren’t here to create children, to create babies, and they’re here to help us feel radiant, in what ways does our cycle make us feel radiant?

Audrey:

Okay, great question.  So your cycle enables you to go through the complexity of human life. By allowing you to experience deeply and intensely things one after the other. 

So  I’m just going to use the example of a relationship because that’s one that we all relate to. You know how, like, there’s a time where you’re just so excited and you want to see all of your friends and there’s a time where you’re face to face with your partner and you just want to talk and talk and connect, and like it’s so easy. You have an idea and it just rolls off your tongue.

And then there’s a shift that’s happening with suddenly you have an idea, but the way out of your mouth is a little bit like, wait, no, I have to think about this and I have to correct myself. And then people are like, can we come over? And you’re like,  yeah, okay. 

So society seems to be thinking being social is higher than being introvert. It’s like extroverts are higher than introverts.

Tanicia:

Right?

Audrey:

But that’s not the truth. You feel really, really good when you can delight in connection in communion. And when you can delight in taking care of yourself and be self-centered. There’s a really deep and profound beauty in the external world that has no meaning to me.  There is only time for me.  The cycle does that for you. So it’s actually the part of your brain that’s like, I’m looking for connection. I’m being fed by people around me, and there’s another time where I need to be fed by myself. 

And so in this, you’re becoming a better woman because you learn how to be in communion with other people, and you learn how to be in communion with yourself. You learn to be fed by relationships, and you learn to be fed by your own self. You learn to be dependent on others, and you learn to be dependent on yourself. 

It’s like this fullness, this wholeness that if you have one, you cannot be satisfied.  You need both. And it’s things like that all the time. You need different kinds of food, and your body will digest them differently depending on where your cycle is. You need waves of rest and a boost of energy, and your body is giving you that naturally. So in this way, the cycle supports your radiance because it gives you different times, a lot of times for different things. And it goes full in.

Tanicia:

As you were speaking, I got this vision of, like it’s like we’re like the most perfect universe in and of ourselves. Like  every cycle, we’re given this opportunity,  if we choose to accept the invitation, to come into such deep communion with either our in internal self or the world around us in a way that feels really present and intentional and supported by our bodies in this way, that is so different than  I’m a 13-year-old girl who got my period. And that sucks because now I feel shame and I feel dirty. Right?

Audrey:

Yeah. How much powerful do you feel when you realize that your body is here to serve you and to let you experience the world in a way that is so much more profound than cycle?

Tanicia:

Yeah.  Wow.  

Okay. I have so many questions. Okay.  

Before we started the call,  I asked you the question about cycle, and you were like, oh, well, the 28 days or so, the women’s life. So let’s zoom the camera out and go into the women’s life, because I want to hear more about okay, this is that little window into the body. What can we view if we come out a little bit?

Audrey:

Yes. Okay.

This is such a topic that’s, like, on my heart. So  you’re born and you have a 24 hour-ish cycle in your body, and then you hit puberty, and suddenly something happens and you switch into a 28 day cycle.

Tanicia:

Oh! So before you start menstruating, you’re on a 24 hour-cycle, which is what men are on, right? Yes. Interesting. Okay, go on.

Audrey:

Hmmh.. So, Until puberty, everyone’s on a plane  level, and  then suddenly something happens and a little girl is introduced, used to the world of the 28 day cycle, and that profoundly shifts everything within her and profoundly differentiates her from her male counterparts. It  is vital to go through this transition with all the support that you need, because, in this moment of life, you’re about to see the world completely differently. You’re about to bring something to the world completely differently. And your ability to transition from 24 hours to 28 days will give your body the ability to go through any life transition from one in a good way. 

Like, the way that you experience this first transition marks how you will experience all other transitions, because there is no other bigger transition. I mean, for 24 hours to 28 days, that’s a big shift. That’s huge.  So it starts there, and then the first year is your body adapting and learning and enjoying the world. And it’s such important and we miss that. We miss that stage because we’re convinced that the cycle is just meant for fertility.

Tanicia:

Right?

Audrey:

And so we’re like, okay, so there’s puberty, and then there’s pregnancy. And it’s like, no, there’s a whole window of time before that.  In which you get to experience the world and you get to experience your body for yourself.  

And then that, I love to see it kind of like a garden of love. There is a love relationship that is happening between you and your body in a perfect world between you and your body in which your body feeds you so much that at one point you can no longer contain it. And you overflow and you give life. And that’s the stage of life that is just as important. That’s the transition into motherhood. And it doesn’t happen physically to every woman, but it happens to every woman. 

This,  I suddenly start to give life. It just comes right out of me. It comes out of my pores and nobody can avoid it.  And that’s a huge transition just as much within because suddenly the cycle supports not only you, but you and  a community.

Tanicia:

Yeah.

Audrey:

You and another human being. You and another family. You and a community. So the cycle’s purpose starts to shift from my radiance to our radiance. 

And then, you know as a mother or as an adult, this is a big chunk of life where most women kind of settle into their cycle. And the US is very important and the menopause arrives and I have so many things to say about menopause because the city makes us believe that it’s a decline.

Tanicia:

Right.

Audrey:

It’s kind of like oh, you peak, and then you go down. It’s like mid-thirties, Forties. That’s your peak. And then you go down. And I just want to  scream at the top of my lungs to say this is bullshit. I’m so sorry, but you’re going up. There’s no going down. And menopause is an entering into a new level in which the quality of what you have to offer to the world is what our society lives on. 

Tanicia:

Wow.

Audrey:

Society was created by older women.  These are the actual leaders of our world. And so. It sometimes gets misunderstood as, oh, they’re declining. So they need more time for themselves, or they need more time for, no, no no. They need more time for themselves because  the higher the quality of what they give, the higher the quality of what they need to take in.  And  so the menopause becomes this honoring of, like I said, my cycle, my radiance, my cycle, our radiance. And then you come into the stage of life where it’s your Radiance. And the  woman’s focus starts to be on just they really lift the society.

Tanicia:

Wow.

Audrey:

And their cycle stops because it is no longer required for the well-being of that woman. She has it. It’s part of her now. Now she can  serve everyone’s well-being. 

And menopause can be difficult when it hasn’t happened this way. The cycle hasn’t been a source of nourishment. And a lot of women will feel like, hey, this is like a freedom from the cycle when reality is just. You’re entering into a new stage of life where you no longer require your cycle in order to feel radiant and you can hope someone else’s radiant.

Tanicia:

Right. Wow. It’s really.  Ah, so many, so many thoughts. It’s really interesting, this last bit because you do hear about women who reach their 50s, which is, you know,  from the little I know, menopause usually starts around that age.  And  you hear women a lot at that age who say they feel so much more connected to themselves. They feel more confident, they feel more at peace with their bodies, they feel more joy about who they are like they’re no longer looking for that outside validation or, like, living outside of themselves. And so  it’s like this beautiful time where a woman has blossomed and she’s owning the beauty of who she is, and then it’s through the owning of that radiance and the integration of that radiance that she’s able to really support the radiance of those around her.

Audrey:

Exactly.

Tanicia:

Wow. I mean, this is so,  I wish, you could go into high schools and talk to kids about this stuff. I mean, the thing I love about it is that you’re taking something that has been so traditionally seen from a very procreation,  scientific standpoint and really wrapping it into this place of being a spiritual and holistic experience that we as women get to have with our bodies.  That is a unique gift in how we’re able to be in relationship with ourselves in the world.  It’s so fucking amazing.

Audrey:

It is. It’s a gift. It’s a divine gift. For people to say, like, I have this within me, this journey laid up in front of me, and I didn’t do anything to get it. I just received it. 

Tanicia:

Yeah.

Audrey:

Like, from the moment I was formed  in my mother’s womb, it was given.  This beautiful path in which I can just radiate.

Tanicia:

Right? Wow.  Okay. There are two other big questions that I have, and I want to be mindful of your time, and so maybe we touch on them, and then if people want us to expand, we can come back and do this again, but well, I definitely want to come back and do this again anyways. But the two pillars that I’m thinking about are  when you said, like, in my mother’s womb,  I was already given this gift. Right. And it really brings to mind that part of the energetics that is passed down through our lineage and through our bodies and how that plays out, not just in our menstrual cycle, but in our bodies in general.  I’d just love to hear your thoughts on that because you have beautiful thoughts.

Audrey:

Thank you. Okay, this one is very, very big, because, your body, your body keeps the score if you’ve ever read the book. But your body stores the information, and there is something that happens within a woman. The eggs that you currently have within your body, they were already in your grandmother’s body.

Tanicia:

 So mind-blowing.

Audrey:

So the information that her body stored is in your body. And the information that is stored in your body will go to your granddaughter’s body  because it gets passed down. And so sometimes we feel like we almost feel like, oh, is it a past life? Because I didn’t experience these traumas, but they’re definitely here. What’s happening? No, it’s just that it’s written in the DNA.

Tanicia:

Right.

Audrey:

And you carry this thing this energetic. It is very malleable. It’s one of the most beautiful experiences of healing you can have. When you actually feel it doesn’t condemn you,  the information is there, activated and deactivated. And so the way, this is why we say the way that the baby is in the mother’s womb, the way the mother feels will impact the baby, of course, because that will activate and deactivate some of that DNA that’s within.

Tanicia:

Right.

Audrey:

My mother. Like my grandmother lived horrors. Like, I, you know, I come from Europe so you can kind of get an idea of the time period of my grandmother. It’s horrible. It’s really, really horrible. And my mother had to do so much work to cut the patterns, cut the trauma, cut. I still inherited some of those things, but a lot of those things my mother in her lifetime deactivated through her lifestyle, through her thoughts, through her experience, through her energies. So when my grandmother was pregnant, it was the most horrible thing ever. When my mother was pregnant, she thought it was God’s gift. 

Just in that shift, everything  pregnancy went so well  because she had activated that  information within the body. And I carry that message just as much as I carry my grandmother’s traumas.

Tanicia:

Right.

Audrey:

It’s right there. So you carry the messages that they give you. And then I’m feeding, what I’m feeding are messages.  I’m creating new messages that will be passed down to the next generations.

Tanicia:

Wow, that’s so beautiful. And so  this is really the circle that you do in your work with people that you serve, is that you get to know what’s going on in the body,  and then you do the energetic piece of helping to release through the EFT.  And then you also are an herbalist, right? So it’s like you’re using the earth, the beauty of the earth, of the natural world, to support the woman’s body,  to help create that balance.  I mean.

Audrey:

My practice is based on the Jewish concept of shalom, which we think means peace, but it doesn’t mean peace. It means reconnection to self,  nature, others and God. 

And from what I’ve seen,  that’s the pathway to reclamation and to healing. And so the whole basis of what I do is this. Can I help you reconnect with yourself? Can we bring it all back together? Because we live in a society that tends to isolate and separate things into separate issues. My work is to bring it all back together.

Can we get the relationships with the outside world, with your grandmother, your mother, but also with the relationships around you?  How is that impacting your body? Can we reconnect you back to your body, your entire body, not just the period week, but everything that’s happening? Can we reconnect you with nature, who has the greatest treasures and is the biggest supporter to your well-being,  all of these things? Can we bring it all back home? Can we bring that all back to wellness and radiance?

Tanicia:

Yeah,  I love that. And  all these questions keep coming, and I’m like, okay, we have to do this again because I also want to hear your take on menstrual products. And I also want to hear the thing I was wanting to bring up a little bit was, because I grew up in a culture that didn’t celebrate this part of my body, I have fully integrated a feeling of I mean, this is a strong word, and it’s a lot better now, but of grossness. Right. 

I remember the first time, what’s that factor? Yeah, I remember the first time I put a bare hand  on my yoni, and I was like.  Like, oh, I didn’t like it. Or, I’ve been trying to use period cups. And the idea, like, every time I have to reach up there and take it out, I’m like, I will avoid it because I don’t feel comfortable connecting with my body in that way. It’s like this whole new territory. And so  I feel like this is just such a deep conversation for women to dismantle so much of our condition, thinking around this.  I guess  this is why we need to keep having these kinds of conversations.

Audrey:

Yeah. I think the yuck factors,  the grossness, the shame, really,  is part of the reason we have pain and we have discomfort, and it’s part of the reason we have a hormonal imbalance, because, as you know, more than anyone, shame is an obstacle to your well being. It’s one of those that stop you, and so your cycle will yell about that. And so it’s kind of this visual cycle because you’re like, I’m feeling ashamed of my cycle. Who is trying to tell me, to get rid of the shame so you can feel good?

Tanicia:

Yeah.

Audrey:

And it’s so normal because this is what we grew up with. This is the message that was given to us. And there’s so much work to be done. And if I want to find freedom in my health, I’m going to have to find freedom in my perception of what my cycle is. The first time I even looked at it, I was like, OOH, yeah. What is this?

Tanicia:

Right? Yeah.

Audrey:

It doesn’t look great at all.

Tanicia:

I’ve come to really find her so beautiful. She looks like an orchid.

Audrey:

And it’s like, you know, I don’t spend time looking at my nose. I don’t spend time thinking, like, is my nose beautiful? Isn’t the inside of my nose beautiful? I don’t take time to really explore my armpits. This is a part of the body. It’s part of a whole thing, and it deserves just as much appreciation and love as any other part of my body. But this particular part of my body, I would allow myself to be like…

Tanicia:

Yeah, up why? Right? Like, we didn’t come into this body being grossed out by that at all. Like, it’s something we acquired from outside and I’m just like, much like my blood, I am ready to shed that.  Okay, well,  two things.  We can find you at your website, which I will make sure to put in the notes in your bio  when this is brought to the public. So you’ll be able to find her from her website. You’ll be able to find Audrey on Instagram. We’ll make sure you have all access to all of her offerings, because  this is something that we need.  

I didn’t check in with you about this first, but, I mean, I feel like it’s so important to also say that Audrey and I are cooking up something together.

Audrey:

Yes, we are.

Tanicia:

We are, like, so excited. And I feel like everything that we talked about in this interview today, we’re going to expand on, and we’re going to bring it home to your bodies and your personal experience and we’re going to partner it with all the things like the herbs and the energy work and the healing and the ancestral lineages and creating sisterhood and connecting with your body and your cycle.

Like, we’re going to basically make this what, we just drop bombs on you today into, like, an experience that you can come be a part of. So I just wanted to say that because this was, like, what you shared today was so powerful, and I’m already like, I want to sign up, I want to sign up.

Audrey:

We want to do this thing. Yes. It’s going to be amazing. I’m excited for it. It’s going to be so good.

Tanicia:

Okay, so  thank you so much for being here. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I already can’t wait for all the things that we’re going to co-create in this world together. And I just think you’re an amazing human and everyone watching go, like, hunt her down. She is 100% one of the most magical fairy witchy humans you can have in your corner. Her support is unwavering. Until next time.

Audrey:

Thank you so, so much. You’re wonderful and a gift to this world. Thank you.

Tanicia:

Thank you, everyone, for watching.

Abou t The Blogger

Tanicia Baynes

I am a meditating mama, the Indiana Jones of unconscious spaces, your biggest fan and a tell-it-like-it-is maven. Here you can read the latest musing by me or fellow healers and artists.

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The Rooted Woman Project: Holly Burling (Episode 9)

The Rooted Woman Project: Holly Burling (Episode 9)

Holly Burling is a spiritual intuitive, classical acupuncturist, Feeding Your Demons facilitator, teacher and writer. She brings a lifetime of tools—rooted in her own healing journey and in extensive study and training in Taoist and Tibetan Buddhist lineages—to her practice.

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