Hi and welcome to my blog. I've been involved in natural health for over two decades and I've had the privilege of sharing my wellness knowledge with millions of people. And I look forward to sharing my knowledge here with you. Some of these posts will be education, some entertaining and some touching. But my intention is that you will walk away from every one with some insight into your own life, inspired to make a small change that will lead you to better health. Thanks for joining and please let me know how I can help you in your journey to improved health.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Back to Nature for Women

       Back to Nature for Women, 
by Barbara Hannelore

There is an aspect of getting “back to nature” that is uniquely valuable for women;  getting back to the rhythms of nature. and building more of that rhythm into the way we approach our lives and care for ourselves.

Women have an internal rhythm that closely reflects the phases of the moon or the seasons...this can help us to pace ourselves, and to take that time to “refresh and renew” that we so desperately need in order to avoid burnout.

We’re not used to thinking of our menstrual cycle in this way -  as being a helpful influence in our lives! We haven’t been told anything good about it - and yet it operates at the center of our bodies and our lives for decades! What a difference it would make for women to know a better way of living with our monthly rhythms! 

What if we knew how to work WITH our cycle, all month long, instead of trying to distance ourselves from any of the changes that it might bring? When we try to ignore our own phases and changes from week to week, or when we resent them and see them as a weakness, we are literally fighting ourselves!  How could that be empowering or healthy?

Even those of us who have done a lot of healing work are often not in touch with the possibilities for an entirely different way to relate to the rhythms of our own bodies!


What if there were a model for menstruation that was based on positive associations and images?  Instead of being a joke, a burden, or an embarrassment, what if your monthly cycle could be a personal rhythm, a meaningful experience, or even a blessing?

This is what we can gain by looking to nature for inspiration and guidance.

Everything in nature has a pulse or a pattern of expansion and return. This is how all of nature works! This pulse is what causes movement to happen, as the flow of energy circulates, from the tiniest waves of light and sound, out to the largest galaxies in their rotation. 

The moon and seasons are easy models for us to consider, because we are familiar with their predictable changes: the Full Moon that follows New Moon, the brighter days of Summer that wane to Winter again. We don’t think of one phase as being “better” than the other.

It’s easy to see how the phases of the moon or seasons balance each other, but this can be harder to appreciate for ourselves! We expect ourselves to be going at full speed all the time - we consider it a waste or a failure when we can’t keep up, and we often feel ourselves falling behind. This is an exhausting and discouraging way to live, and this is why reminding ourselves of the predictable patterns of nature can be so reassuring, and can offer us such guidance and insight.

I call it a “Nature-Based System of Self Care,” as we begin to see how all of the phases of our own month work together for our benefit, too.

We have our own time of growing “light” or energy, as we approach ovulation, which is like our own Full Moon or Summer. Ovulation is when we are most likely to feel radiant and bright; estrogen is at its peak now, and estrogen like to make us appealing! Our attention is focused outward, like the radiant Full Moon; we feel more social, energetic, and engaged with our community.

Then begins our “waning” time, our own seasons of Autumn and Winter, as we move toward completion and integration of the month. We, too, begin to draw inward again after our fullest phase, as we approach menstruation. The waning time of our month is when our attention turns back toward ourselves, toward our own feelings and needs. The waning light is the time of release and evaluation, of doing things we may have neglected, and of shaking off what no longer serves us.

Our premenstrual time is our own personal Autumn, and this is a time of month when we may need to slow our pace, become less social and available to others, care for ourselves, do things that fulfill us, or have some time alone to decompress and recharge.

Then the darkest days of all, our own personal Winter, are associated with our menstrual phase - a time of renewal, intuition, gestation and deep dreaming. It is a restorative time, for pausing to nourish ourselves on many levels, before we charge out into the next cycle of busy activity!

When we take this step back - when we DO these things - we can emerge into the next month feeling refreshed and deeply fulfilled instead of tired, resentful and unconnected.
We can easily catch up for the time we spent away from our regular routine. It is a real “Aha!” moment when women realize this simple concept: the fact that certain times of the month invite us to care for and replenish ourselves!
The final half of our month is the most challenging part of our cycle, because, like the moon, we change, but our culture does not welcome that change. Modern culture would prefer for us to remain busy, approachable and agreeable ALL the time, but self-care requires us to follow that inner wisdom that knows when we need to take a step back.

This is timeless women’s wisdom that has been passed through generations for thousands of years - only recently has this natural pace of life been lost and forgotten. When we reclaim it, we come home to ourselves in a deeper way; to be truly empowered is to feel comfortable with our own biology, our own unique abilities. 

This acceptance of ourselves, or lack of it, affects our health over a lifetime! Imagine what a difference it will make in the lives of our daughters, as we share these new traditions of self-care, based on the rhythms of nature around and within us.


You can begin this practice by using personal calendar pages to approach your cycle in a new way, with curiosity and interest. As you start to track your weekly changes and anticipate your needs in the weeks to come, you’ll be treating your month as a whole, with downtime when you need it most, followed by renewed energy and new insights as your new cycle begins. You’ll find a whole new comfort and appreciation for yourself, a way to optimize your time and give yourself love and support, with benefits that you never thought possible!

“Understanding my cycle changed everything.”

“I only wish I had known this easy system sooner.”

“It’s in your very stature - you don’t even need to say a word.”


Download your free Personal Calendar Pages, with instructions,

About Barbara:

Barbara HannelorĂ© is founder of Women's Way Moon Cycles, sharing a new paradigm of the menstrual cycle for women who want to develop radical new habits of self care and self love! She has supported women to re-discover the power of their inner rhythms for over 20 years. Barbara is author of the award-winning book, The Moon and You, a Woman's Guide to an Easier Monthly Cycle, and hosts her talks and courses both locally and online to a growing global community. She is a Wellness Coach with training in Expressive Arts, and has studied many healing modalities and sacred traditions throughout her life. Barbara lives in Southern California and can be reached at www.womenswaymooncycles.com.

Monday, May 11, 2015

England Journey Part II. Off to Glastonbury

When I left off with the last post about the four hedges of England, I was off to Glastonbury.

I waited my entire life to see this amazing place and I took off in my rented Audi for the 22-mile journey. I was relaxed, ecstatic and expectant to see the amazing things in Glastonbury. I was driving on very narrow roads, listening to the radio, getting ready to watch the sunset, planning my hike up to the Tor when around the corner came a very large truck. It ran me off the road and my car slammed into the low wall that was on the side of the road. The car wouldn't move. I had not only blown the tire but bent the rim.
Bed and Breakfast in Glastonbury
I had a moment of freaking out and I was pissed. "How could this happen to me? I'm on vacation, this is my dream. This is so unfair!!!!" Luckily I was smart enough to get a global cell phone and called England's version of AAA. They said it could be up to 40 minutes. Again I had a meltdown."I can't believe this is happening to me! Life sucks, this is the worst thing ever!" I had been instructed to tell the woman at the bed-and-breakfast my exact arrival time so she could be ready for me. I hunted down her phone number in my stack of things and called to let her know I would be late. But what I actually wanted to do was complain. This is so unfair! I called her and told her I had been run off the road and I had a flat tire. She asked if I was safe? I said, "What!? What do you mean?" She asked if I was safe. "Um, yeah, I guess, but this is awful, now I'm going to be behind schedule and I wanted to be there on time so I could hike the Tor...." And I went on for a few minutes more. Then she said something I never could have expected. "Are you looking at something pretty?" WHAT? What does that even mean? I said, "I don't know, I haven't even looked around." She said, "So, you sit, you wait, you look at something pretty, you'll get here when you get here." And with that, the call was over.


I was furious. Well, isn't she just all mind/body zen balanced crap. (This was years before my current career) But I did realize she was right. I had no other choice but to sit and wait. And while I did that, I might as well look at something pretty. So I did. I turned and looked behind me and through the sparse trees was a golden field, with hills in the background. Little tuffs of plants dotted the landscape. I concentrated on the light hitting the hills as the sun started to set. I listened to the birds, birds that I couldn't identify because they are unique to the English Countryside. I breathed deeply to see what I could smell. And eventually the mechanic came, informed me that the rim was bent and I would have to go to a repair shop before I drove too much farther. He put on the little donut spare and I headed to my bed and breakfast, calmly. And you know what? I got there. When I got there and not a moment sooner or later.

The famed Tor in Glastonbury, thought to be ancient Avalon

I love this story because it illustrates that we have control over where we put our focus. I could either sit there and be miserable or I could, like she said, look at something pretty. And I spent 3 days sitting on the Tor, enjoying the town, walking their labyrinth and exploring the ruins of the abbey.

Glastonbury Abbey

I visited Chalice Well and allowed the cool water to cleanse my stress away even more. Then I spent several actually awesome hours in a repair shop joking with the mechanics. It was one of the highlights. And for a trip that was meant to be a spiritual journey, it's purpose was fulfilled. Not from just the environment, but from the wise words of my inn keep.

Chalice Well

Enjoy your journey, wherever it will lead and if you find yourself stressed, just look at something pretty.

View from the Tor, overlooking Glastonbury

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Got Pain? I have a solution.

As most of you know I am not a big pusher of products. I don't really sell anything in my office, and if anything, I'm constantly giving stuff away. One of the things I have found the most useful in my personal life and my practice are Salon Pas patches. I do not like to take medication however sometimes you have pain right? Especially with my lifestyle of dance and flying trapeze. 

Salonpas Fabulous Lineup of Products

I found that topical analgesics are a great solution. I have been using pain medication patches since I was in college. My mentor, Dr. Pat introduced me to the Salonpas patches and I've been using them since. I've also found the company to be upstanding and have tons of integrity. It's not just about the bottom line for them. They keep creating products that really help people.  

The great thing about the Salonpas patches is they help your pain go away. I have used them post trapeze on my neck and shoulders, low back and even feet to help those aches from standing all day go away. They come in so many different forms and versatile products. You can get them as a gel patch, a regular patch, spray on or gel. They have it down. 

Post Trapeze Relief

I know there are a lot of other pain patches on the market now but Salon Pas was one of the first and I think the best. They didn't ask me to write this post and I get nothing for it. I just wanted to share information with you to help you in your life. Check them out when you have aches and pains and let me know how they work for you!  http://www.salonpas.us

Thursday, January 15, 2015

3 Actions Happy People Do Every Day

I had the privilege of learning about Laughter Yoga at Harvard and then again at the 2014 ANMA Conference with Brittney. I asked her to write a post because I loved her energy and passion for educating others about Laughter Yoga, living life to its fullest and her great knowledge. We had a blast. Please enjoy her guest post and check out her info at the bottom. 

And keep on laughing!   
Laughter is truly the best medicine. Me and my husband. 

You know that feeling when you wake up in the morning and you must make the decision – is today going to be good or bad?  I often awake with the thought, “How can today unfold better than I ever imagine?” Thankfully inspired by a dear friend and B.E.S.T Life Coach, Martha O’Reagan.  She mentioned that when we begin each day or each big event in our life with this question we open up the possibility to allow it to unfold as such – better than we ever imagined. 

One such day, I awoke and asked this question and later received the idea to create a 30 Days of Happiness online program that offers my clients the ability to receive inspiration into their inbox, daily.  I took action on this idea and am thrilled with the results.

Through the creation of this program I have been researching happiness and ways that we can incorporate it more into our lives.  Enjoy this list of three actions that happy people do everyday.

1. Happy People Are Grateful.
One of the unique aspects I have learned is that most people who seem naturally happy are genuinely grateful.  You may begin this simply by offering gratitude each day spoken to yourself while looking at your reflection in the mirror. Enjoy what you have now and express your gratitude. Write down three things about your life and all that you have in it - all that you are grateful for.  The more you show gratitude toward what you have now the more you will begin to want less and find that you have all you need in this moment.

2. Happy People Remember The Good Times.
Keep a journal of one positive event that happened each day.  This may be placed under your list of gratitude’s.  Often we make the mistake of giving the negative aspects of our day the most attention. Begin shifting your vision by writing down a positive experience. The act of writing makes the experience more real for us. We will have the simple pleasure of going back after a year and reading every good aspect of our lives.

3. Happy People Move and Laugh
When we move our body we open our mind. Exercise naturally releases endorphins that make us feel good.  Aside from the already spectacular benefits of exercise we begin to notice our physical body and appreciate it more as we move. Like exercise, laughter releases endorphins – which create a positive state of the mind and boost optimism.  When we laugh we not only feed our body with life giving oxygen, we help our body to heal through the boost in our immune system as laughter increases the levels of anti-viral cells. Laughter increases the levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) that is the first line of defense protecting us against viral infections such as the common cold.

A wonderful way to exercise laughter in a group setting is through Laughter Yoga.  Cardiologist, Dr. Madan Kataria in 1995, created Laughter Yoga.  What began with a small group laughing at jokes became a worldwide practice utilizing breath, child-like playfulness, clapping, and eye contact within a group. The simple act of unconditional laughter within a group helps activate compassion, connection, and helpfulness while participants actively seek the happiness of others. Laughter Yoga was developed as a simple and fun way to spread peace.

I invite you to attempt one of these steps daily and begin to notice how you feel after just one week.  I trust the simple act of awakening to a new day will seem brighter and happier.

Brittany Hiller

Brittney Hiller is known as one of the happiest yogini’s. Certified in Laughter Yoga and a Registered Yoga Instructor with over 1000 hours of teaching, she is delighted to share her love of yoga with others. As a Licensed Massage Therapist she offers a simple understanding of anatomy during her classes. Learn more about Laughter Yoga, 30 Days of Happiness, and Brittney here: www.brittneyhilleryoga.com