Late-Term Abortion Was the Right Choice for Me

Late-Term Abortion Was the Right Choice for Me


Kegel Exercises for Health and Improved Sexual Pleasure

Kegel Exercises

Why they are needed. Techniques of practice with and without equipment. Links to helpful resources.


“Kegels” are exercises to strengthen the pubococcygeal muscles, a benefit to both men and women. Healthy and strong pelvic floor muscles are needed to support the internal organs of the womb, the bladder, rectum and the bowels. They help to amplify sexual pleasure and orgasm too, this is true for solo pleasure and sex with a partner. Pelvic floor strength is needed for urinary control. The muscles involved can be isolated and felt when stopping the stream of urine. To start and stop the flow of urine by tightening the muscles, pulling up and in, is to understand you have activated the muscles involved. These internal muscles lose strength without use and activity. The saying, use it or lose it is apropos to the health of the pelvic floor muscles.

Muscle tone is lost with prolonged inactivity. In some cases, women’s vaginal strength weakens after pregnancy or during and after menopause. Celibacy without masturbation can also be a factor in the loss of vaginal tone. Practicing kegel exercises helps to strengthen these muscles. 

Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor muscle training can be practiced anytime. Directing attention inward to the pelvic floor and vaginal opening notice the sensations when pulling the muscles up and in, contracting and pulsing the clitoris, vaginal muscle near the opening, and the deeper layers of muscle inside the vagina. The contraction can be practiced as one strong pull of the internal muscles up and inward and/or as a flutter, with the parts of the vaginal wall contracted in steps – bottom, middle, top, and then in reverse.

The development of strong internal muscles helps with the intensity and pleasure of orgasm. Pulsing and contacting the clitoris and vaginal canal increases arousal and pleasure, combined with rocking the pelvis and breath awareness can lead to heightened sensations and even hands-free orgasm.

Pelvic floor exercise products designed to develop vaginal strength

In the early 1940’s a gynecologist named Dr. Arnold Kegel was helping women to overcome urinary incontinence through pelvic floor exercises instead of relying only on surgery. After several months, some of his clients reported having orgasms for the first time.


The muscles used in the toning exercises benefit the health of the bladder, rectum, the internal muscles, the wall between the bladder and uterus, and maintain vaginal health. Products to assist with the strengthening of the pelvic floor have been available for quite some time. They come in ancient and modern options in a range of materials and designs. Practice with these tools will enhance orgasmic experiences and overall health. Resources with website links are listed below. 

FREE-SHIPPING-100-natural-jade-egg-for-Kegel-Exercise-pelvic-floor-muscles-vaginal-exercise-ben-wa Jade Eggs for kegel exercises. A great number of  vaginal eggs are made from smooth jade and have a cord attached for withdrawal. They come in different weights and sizes for vaginal muscle training practice. The interior muscles are lifted and contracted, pulled up, held a moment and then released before repeating the cycle. In the same way that hand weights can be used to develop external muscle strength, kegels are done to develop internal strength. 

Here is a link. Jade Egg exercises from Taoist practices.


Ben Wa Balls are two weighted balls 41mDts0Uo6L inserted vaginally for kegel exercises. In recent years there have been updates with design, materials used, weights, and sizes.



The company Lelo sells The LUNA Beads Pleasure Bead System. Their web page states: “For women seeking stronger orgasms and more intense intimate sensations, LUNA Beads™ are the bestselling pleasure bead system in the world.”  This is an attractive Kegel balls set.


The package comes with 4 interchangeable beads and one harness. The beads themselves are large (1.5″ x 1.5″) spherical shells. Inside each shell lies a small free-roaming weight. Two of the beads (1 pink and 1 blue) They have a withdrawal cord attached to them. Three colour choices, black, pink, and blue. There is a smaller size option too. Details:

  LELO_Femme-Homme_LUNA-SMART-BEAD_product-1_deep-rose_0LUNA Smart Bead Lelo also offered this kegel product:

Discover Your True Orgasm-Potential

With touch-sensors that respond to every squeeze, the LUNA Smart Bead™ measures orgasm-potential and sets a routine for the wearer.


 imgresA popular option for pelvic floor training is the use of a weighted stainless steel vaginal bar.

Vaginal toning with stainless steel weighted bar.


From the company Adam and Eve another exercise option.



Kegel Assist Exerciser Pelvic Muscle Strengthening kit. 

Vagacare  is a kegel exercise system composed of varying weights that comes with a sturdy storage case. Details:


Additional links

from Dr. Laura Berman

Biofeedback pelvic muscle trainer:

Review of three internal kegel machines:




A Story for Women Who Have Miscarried

The story posted below uses images and words to help illustrate feelings of sorrow and confusion experienced by many women after a miscarriage. In my work with women and couples, I too have heard similar descriptions of feelings of loss, sorrow, and anger. Despite coming from people from different cultures and backgrounds, many personal stories of loss contain similarities.

Here is one example from the story.





The link at the bottom of this page will take you to the full story.


Excerpt from the story:

The media tends to depict pregnancy as a miraculous time during which giving up the occasional glass of wine is the worst thing that could happen. And for the most part, it ignores one devastating, but very common, potential aspect of pregnancy: miscarriage.

About 10% to 25% of all known pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. But the prevalence of miscarriages doesn’t mean that there is space to talk about it.

While the internet has certainly given women a place to discuss many aspects of motherhood, oftentimes, there’s a taboo around the topic of pregnancy loss. Women who miscarry often feel withdrawn and depressed, or worried that the people around them won’t know how to react or what to say. They might even experience problems in their relationships as a result of a miscarriage.

Ahead, we’ve rounded up 14 heartbreaking secrets, shared on the anonymous secret app, Whisper, from women who’ve dealt with miscarriages. The emotions described range from shame to guilt to embarrassment, but all of these secrets showcase the need to open up the conversation about this difficult subject.

Just know: If you’re struggling through a miscarriage, you’re not alone — and there’s help out there if you need it.






FUD: Female Urnination Device to Pee Standing Up

FUD: Female Urination Devices

Have you ever had to pee but when you find a bathroom you are disgusted by the unclean conditions? Have you been camping or hiking and wished there was a way “to go” without having to lower your pants, exposing more skin than desirable and needing to squat low to the ground with the possibility of stinging plants or insects getting in the way? There are products available to help make it easier to go when confronted with outdoor or unsanitary conditions. These products are portable and hygienic devices that give women the ability to pee while standing. The following is a list of products and website links which describe details about some of the F.U.D.s on the market.



FUDs are funnels that let women pee standing up.

These devices provide a hygienic option to women. They can protect against unsanitary restrooms, helpful if your body finds it too tough to squat over a dirty toilet seat.

F.U.D.’s work as a helpful solution for women when hiking or camping. They protect against the need to expose too much skin and body. They eliminate the need to squat low to the ground, protecting against insects, thorns, poison oak and ivy, gusts of wind, and uneven terrain.


imgres-1The P-Mate is another product that helps women pee while standing.




go-girl-urination-deviceThe Go Girl Go Kit.




Here is another: For medical, portable, sport and travel. Anatomically designed to contour the female body for freedom and ease of use. The Pee Pocket is a single-use urinary device that is perfect for athletes, travelers, the elderly, disabled, pregnancy, parents of young girls, post-surgery patients – anyone who might have to go while on the go!

The Pee Pocket® was developed by a team of doctors who were fed up with dirty and unsanitary public bathrooms for their families. These surgeons developed a single-use, disposable, biodegradable device so that everyone can finally take a stand®, avoid unsanitary conditions and the potential for skin infections.

How to Use

Hold The Pee Pocket® between your thumb and fingers and squeeze together to create a funnel.

Lower pants or lift skirt.

Place the large opening so it completely covers the flow of urine area and point the opposite tip down slightly.

Relax and go.

Clean with the hygienic tissue wipe.

Return The Pee Pocket® and wipe to the disposable bag, then toss.


The company says: The demand for The Pee Pocket® has been so great by patients that a larger 48-pack carton was developed for hospitals, clinics, acute and long-term care facilities. Elderly women, post-surgical patients, (hip, knee, etc.), pregnant women and men who have trouble squatting or bending down to pee have regained their independence to relieve themselves. Video:


Here is another link with a list of product reviews:


Women’s Arousal ~ Becoming Turned On

29Women’s sexual arousal is complex, there is a lot involved in the process.



By Terra Wise, July 2016

A blend of systems working together make pleasure and orgasm a possibility. For most women, sexual arousal involves a synergy of body, mind, and breath simultaneously interwoven. When a spark of arousal is below the surface of awareness, just a dim flicker without much glow or heat, it runs the risk of being easily extinguished. Arousal expands and intensifies with a woman’s awareness of its presence. There are certain steps can be taken to help fan the flame. Here are suggestions for increasing pleasure.

 FullSizeRender-2A woman’s vulva, the external genitals, and her vagina, the interior sheath that extends from the vaginal opening to the cervix, can be thought of as a flower. For the flower to blossom, to fully open to pleasure and orgasm certain conditions need to be met. Feelings of safety and trust in a partner is key for many women, Trust provides a solid ground for the pleasure puzzle to come together. In fact, most women describe their need for trust as a foundational starting point with a partner. Trust allows for and encourages feelings of happy sexual expression and bodily comfort and freedom. Trust allows women to surrender to pleasure.

Additionally, it is important to know that vaginal wetness is not always an indicator of female sexual arousal. It is not uncommon for women to feel quite turned on but not become wet. Some women flowed like a river at one time but their bodies may have changed and so too their lubrication. Possible reasons for a decrease in lubrication include side-effects from certain medicines that can cause vaginal dryness and diminished interest in sex at any age. Stress too can result in a lack of libido and inability to lubricate. However, it is important to note that fluctuations in the ability to become aroused do ebb and flow for a number of reasons, a diminished sexual response is not correlated to any specific age.

Vaginal dryness is not only an issue for or about mid-aged women and menopause. There are many shifts throughout a lifetime that influence how a woman will respond sexually, how long it takes to become aroused or orgasm. A woman’s body changes more often than might be understood. These changes happen inside and out over the course of her life. The things that were once of interest sexually, how she responds to touch, images, and the thoughts that used to turn her on and feel good can change. It’s also possible that something new becomes even more arousing. Physical and emotional shifts are never a sign of failure. Any number of causes can be a source of a decline in desire including medical and emotional challenges, many of which can be helped with therapeutic methods.


Happily, there are solutions for women who desire to reignite their passion, to feel sexual feelings whatever their age, no matter if they are single or in a relationship. Sexual lubricants make sex more comfortable and pleasing. They prevent tiny micro-tears when there is not enough body made vaginal lubrication. Lubes are beneficial for all. They provide cushioning and can be healing if the vulva and vaginal tissues tend to be dry and tender. The use of lubricants are encouraged no matter age, reason required or the level of wetness or dryness already present in the body. Using a lube can help make the body more comfortable for both solo and partner play. Lubricants often increase feelings of arousal and help to trigger more of the bodies natural wetness with their slip and slide pleasing sensations.

Lubes come in many formulas with an abundance available on the shelves to choose from. Read up on your options,  explore adult themed shops online, or ask for assistance when shopping in-person. Choices include silicone, hybrids (blends of water and silicone) and water-based that come in a variety of consistencies and also in safe edible flavours. With water-based flavours some taste much better than others, it’s best to try sample packs first before investing in a large bottle. Flavoured lubes are used for oral sex, applied directly to the skin or on top of a condom. Lubes have also become cleaner over time with natural options versus the chemical ingredients that can cause irritation for sensitive people. Lubricants provide vaginal cushioning and prevent irritation from penetration from toys or a penis, especially if a sexual encounter is long lasting.

pink flower dewdrops

To boost arousal and sexual response certain herbs, plants and health supplements have been known to be helpful. Relatively new on the market for women are sexual sprays, suppositories, and lubricants made with THC, one of the compounds found in the cannabis plant. These medicines help women to experience localized arousal and bodily comfort, it is suggested to spray directly onto the clitoris or use the suppositories which are inserted internally. These products do not cause the same high that smoking marijuana does, although many women do combine the smoke with the topical or internal forms, it is not required. THC vaginal lubricants trigger the body to respond with arousal, wetness, pleasure, an interest in sex, and they help make orgasms more satisfying and intense.

THC-infused sprays and the plant leaves are available in America through a doctor’s prescription found in legal dispensaries in Colorado and Californa at this time (2016). For the women who are receptive to the idea of smoking a little weed, doing so will increases arousal and can lead to more satisfying orgasms. Marijuana acts an aphrodisiac for most women, creating pleasant feelings and body and mind relaxation, with skin sensitivity and heightened pleasure. The heightened sensations help the skin to feel vibrantly alive and receptive to pleasure and sensual touch. Some strains of the plant are created especially for enhancing erotic response. If you are interested in knowing more about THC lube you can research descriptions found at medical marijuana dispensaries, online websites or visit one in-person. I’ve included links for information about Foria, the THC spray. Also, some women are making your own THC lube. I’ve included the following links for that too.

THC lube during sex


Kegel-ExercisesKegel exercises, vaginal toning, best done with a weighted exercise tool, will help strengthen the pelvic floor and in doing so help with sexual pleasure, arousal and orgasm too. Much more is discussed in a separate post specifically about Kegels and pelvic floor health.


Sensual massage with a partner can be enticing and worth an exploration. Relaxation, comfort, clear soft communication will enhance the experience. Move slowly over the skin, teasing, cultivating and increasing pleasure. During self-pleasuring sessions take the time to erotically stroke your own skin, include your face, arms, legs, belly, and nipples. Slowly build the energy before diving into localized touch of the vulva or vagina. 35857c590cf4d15561cd6e5e4498121aStroke your skin softly, glide gently over the surface very lightly. Or press your muscles, legs and arms, back of the neck with a little more pressure and release to help with blood flow and relaxation. Take time to tease the sensations, allow the energy to build, breathe and make sounds! Let your imagination and breath take you into sexual fantasy, watch or read erotica and porn to help ignite sensations and ideas. Notice what turns you on.

When it comes to porn and sexuality everyone is unique and so too are erotic interests and sexual limits. The things that turn a person on might be considered simple for one person and much more wide-ranging for others. People’s interests can change too, no one is static. Watch, read, and listen to what you enjoy in the moment. The same is true when having sex with a lover, do what you like to do. Be mindful of your hard and soft limits. It doesn’t matter if a magazine article or a porn site proclaims that this is the only way to do such and such. You know yourself best.

 We fit differently with different partners. Some bodies just do not move well in certain positions. Sometimes angles need adjusting, they need to be tweaked for a better fit. Pillows, body rollers, and the use of furniture or a change of positioning can help with pleasure and comfort. But sometimes a position is not comfortable no matter what. reverse-cowgirl-300x300If your lover watches porn and believes, for example, that all women enjoy reverse cowboy because he sees it on porn sites, he might assume that you love it too. Or maybe he thinks that he should enjoy it (but does not) because it’s what his men friends like and talk about.  The solution is to be clear, be open, and communicate your likes and dislikes. Communicate the things you are willing to try. Do what you like. Do not put yourself into any situation or physical position that does not feel safe or good. If you are feeling afraid or uncomfortable, if you feel any pain, stop! Fear and discomfort will cause you to become emotionally and physically guarded and your arousal will retreat.

Do the things that feel pleasurable and fun, do what increases arousal. You know what you are comfortable with, you know what feels good and what does not. You know what you are willing to try with a lover. You are the one who knows what areas of your body you would like touched and how. If uncertain experiment carefully, communicate clearly, use a safe word for extra security. A safe word is a word agreed upon that when spoken indicates you want to slow down or stop immediately.

Breath awareness adds to sexual arousal 

 deep-breath-356x500Awareness of breath, often combined with body movement of the spine, hips and pelvis, will amplify sexual arousal. At times the breath will shift without full conscious awareness that it has done so. Something subtle has shifted below the surface. The body and breath are the first to know and give clues before the mind becomes fully aware. Somatic therapies focus on this kind of interconnection and integration. Sensations, thoughts, even memories can be felt in the body before the mind is fully aware of what’s going on. Trust that your body knows. Once you and your breath acknowledge each other there is a far greater chance for pleasure to be amplified. Pay attention to your breath. Stay focused on and with your breath and body movements, no matter how subtle.  Awareness of your breath and body will magnify arousal. Your breath will be heard, it will sound with excitement.

With breath comes sounds too. Let yourself sigh and make any noises that feel natural. When you notice your sounds and breath, when you are able to feel and hear yourself sigh and moan with pleasure, those are cues that increase your pleasure sensations. Play with stillness too, plus try very steady slow touches that give the body time to open like a flower, slow it waaaay down. When you are excited your breath will shift, you will hear the sound emerge from indie to out. Sometimes you may need to nudge your excitement by sounding and breathing before the spontaneous breath is ignited. You might feel as if the breath is coming from outside to in.  Slow your movements and notice what you like, how it feels, notice how stillness can be very penetrating and arousing. And then experiment with fast motions for contrast. Most women report their arousal increases with slow and steady motion. Slow and steady builds toward orgasm. Sensations need to become activated, warmed, and build intensity, this can take time for most women. All of the skin can be arousing for many women. Caresses and touches to the back, thighs, fingers, shoulders, all of the skin can become electrified. When the warm-up builds and arousal increases that’s when the energy, the potential for orgasm is near. 

Regarding herbs. If and when possible I try something first before making a recommendation, that way I am better informed and know first-hand how or if it works. I have experimented over the years with a number of supplements, remedies, vitamin/minerals, amino acids, powders, liquids, and capsules for various body-mind concerns. Plus libido enhancing formulas too. I am able to make recommendations to clients, family, and friends from my personal experience plus the research I do about supplements and medical trials to stay informed. I have also found that some individual and multi-ingredient formulas can be more effective than others, even the same ingredients manufactured from a different company can have different or better results.

Clients ask me what are the physical/behavioral changes they can make or what they can take to help improve their personal sensual/sexual health for themselves and their relationships. Is there something they can take or do to increase feelings of sensuality and libido? Recently I tried an herbal formula called, Zenofem.  Zenofem is a multi-herb formula that has blended many herbs together known to enhance sexual health and vitality. Zenofem recommends a daily dosage of 3-capsules. I started by taking one for a few days and then two capsules a day. Even the lower dose created enhanced sensations. I noticed an increase in sexual thoughts and fantasy, an increase in sexual libido and intensity of orgasm. When trying herbal formulas I suggest starting with less and adding more if you feel a need. Some people are quite sensitive and should pace themselves when trying something new. I will post a fuller report after I’ve tried the recommended 3 a day dosage. The company claims their formula only needs to be taken for 3-6 months to make a lasting and noticeable improvement. There are reports that some women noticed positive responses as soon as 2-4 weeks after starting.


Use Lube: Try different kinds until you find what you like best. Lube makes all sexual experiences more comfortable, use it for solo and partner play with or without toys.

Explore different types of touch: Soft sensual massage, firmer touches, Entice the senses. Fragment oils, silk pillows.

Build sexual energy: Use your breath, make sounds, sighs, moans and body movement, pelvic hip rocking, etc.

Communicate clearly with a lover: Say what interests you. Learn what you like when playing solo and with a partner.

Discuss openly and clearly what you are curious about and your likes and dislikes.

Be clear about limits and discomfort.

Experiment with angles to make yourself comfortable and to help connect the pleasure spots. Tip the pelvis with use of pillows and props, lean over the edge of the bed, use chairs, or lean over the arm of a sofa.

Follow through, when something you’re doing feels good, stay with it, when masturbating or when with a partner. If it feels good then continue doing the same thing, do not suddenly change. Do follow through, especially if an orgasm is building. Do follow your intuitive sense of when and how to shift your touch or whether or not a toy would be helpful (vibrator, dildo, clit stimulator) would be to something if you. If you are experiencing the good feeling with a lover, say so, tell them to keep doing that, don’t change. A majority of women like the feeling of energy building with slow and steady motion

Herbs, Nutrients, Supplements, THC suppositories and spray.

Do Kegel exercises: Link to page with many resources here

Enjoy this fun song about female pleasuring, by Macy Gray.

“B.O.B.” by Macy Gray

“He fits like a glove
Always up for love
Steady like a caterpillar
Rabbit from a hat
He knows just where it’s at
Give me what I want
and I want that”









A Sex Toy for Couples







There are many options when it comes to adult sex toys with designs of different shapes, sizes, and materials. Some toys are intended for internal play others for external. Many are battery operated, which will be less powerful compared to the electric models that plug into a wall outlet and vibrate at stronger intensities. There are also waterproof toys designed for fun in the shower or bath. Adult toys are available for women, for men, and in recent years more have been designed for couples. A new sex toy called, Lovely is one of those that has been created for couples. Its unique selling point, the feature that is supposed to make it different or better than others, is it comes with an accompanying app. 

Lovely is a vibrating toy that fits around the base of the penis and is angled to stimulate the clitoris during penetrative sex.

Lovely sits tight on the base of the penis, it’s stretchy and fits easily. Doing so slows blood circulation making an erection stronger and last longer, the developers say.

I watched their video and I was left wondering, does everything have to be monitored? I’m not sure about this, do I celebrate or mock this toy. Maybe in the name of science I’ll do a test run at some point but as of this moment, I’m not in a hurry to get one.

This toy will appeal to people who feel something is missing and want to add a vibrating cock-ring/clit stimulation toy – with app telling the wearer what’s up and what to do next. A computer sex overseer of sorts.

I think cock rings have their place in adult play as do vibrating toys that can be placed against the clitoris during penetrative/couples sex.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I like the idea of  humans communicating with one another during love-making. Sexy talk is more compelling to me than an app gathering data.

The Lovely website says: The Lovely & Lovely App provide you with unparalleled ways to make your sex even better. Lovely sits tight on a base of the penis and monitors your body movements during sex. This data is used to provide you and your partner with highly personalized tips and ideas that make your sex life even better.
If this toy is of interest to you this link will take you to their website to learn more.

Update from Lovely:

It comes down to personal choice and clear communication with your lover(s). Have fun on your own or with your partner… with or without toys. 



Tips To Ease Stress


Techniques To Help Reduce Stress

In many cases, stress and tension can be managed in a number of ways that do not require medication. One or more of the following suggestions can help reduce stress and anxiety. The methods listed have a calming, clearing, and uplifting effect on mood as well as productivity. Not every possibility is listed here but from my experience, these suggestions do indeed help. The methods described transform stress and frustration, they move stuck energy in the body as well as in an environment where stale, stagnant, dull atmosphere can cause a space to feel gloomy and depressing. It helps to be mindful that a cluttered room can be one of the visible stimuli that can trigger anxiety for some people. The bedroom is another important area to tend to when looking to create a calm and peaceful environment, Read through the suggestions here, personalize them as you like to better suit your own needs. Perhaps you will be inspired to create your own method best suited to your liking.


Sweep! Grab a Broom



Myths and magical lore from cross-cultural traditions describe something akin to a power that is found in a broom’s ability to shift energy via intention. The physical motion, the bodily activity of sweeping, cleansing negativity from a space, is believed possible when using a broom to sweep away elements that are not harmonious to a person or place. A broom is oftentimes used to cleanse an area prior to a ritual. This idea of cleansing is not limited to ancient customs. Some modern people will cleanse a space with specific intention, whereas some people do so by instinct and only afterward do they notice they feel lighter, happier, calmer. After cleaning or sweeping people describe that their minds are less cluttered, they feel less agitated and more peaceful. Brooms represent clean spaces, even if simply hanging on a wall or leaning against a corner evoke images of cleanliness. The combination of intention to clean plus the active physical motion of using a broom to sweep, combine as a powerful method for removing stuck, stagnant, and distressful energy.

Sweeping enlivens physical energy too. The arms, shoulder, back and chest muscles are needed to move the broom, even the abdominal muscles are activated. When sweeping is done with some vigor the breath will respond too. The action of sweeping stimulates circulation in the body and shifts the physical and energetic atmosphere of a room. It’s no secret that lots of people sweep and clean when they are feeling stressed or when waves of strong emotions such as anger or sorrow are present. I have heard from clients and friends that they felt so much better after cleaning.

In addition to sweeping the interior walls, ceilings, floors, and thresholds, it is beneficial to sweep outside too whenever possible. Pass the broom over the walkway, stairs, balconies, window frames, and the thresholds between the outside and inside, also the thresholds between interior rooms. Sometimes uncomfortable energy can be sensed, a gut feeling, a heaviness felt somatically. Negative events and emotions create a build-up of stress. While sweeping imagine clearing the air in the room and send it outside. Open windows and doors to help clear the space. Sweep any and all uncomfortable associations away from you with your intention. Clear out your thoughts, memories, anxiety, and distressing issues that worry you. The cardio workout is a bonus too, emphasize the sweeping motion with arms fully engaged as if you are pushing against something sluggish and heavy, visualize you are sweeping the debris away! Imagine that all the stress is pushed out an open window or doorway. Use a regular kitchen broom or if desired find yourself a special broom that you set aside just for such projects.  A small broom can work well, but sometimes a longer handle is helpful if you want to sweep the ceiling too. Whatever size or style you do choose, make sure it’s something that is comfortable for your body to maneuver, not too cumbersome so you can lift and direct it easily to get to all the spaces you want to sweep clean.





The healing work of aromatherapy and its many benefits is an entire field of study in itself, a few suggestions for decreasing stress are made here. Scent can transform a mood, inhaled or when essential oils are added to a cream or carrier oil and massaged into the skin. Scent can also trigger memories and recollection of people and events that come to the surface of the mind just from inhaling. The spices used in certain foods have an association for some people. Thoughts of community and emotional warmth, delicious flavours and good feelings emerge when memory is ignited from familiar and pleasing smells. Scent can help lower stress. For me personally, when I inhale any of my favorite natural (non-chemical) fragrances I immediately feel a positive emotional improvement. Some scents create a soothing calming atmosphere, others a fresh invigorating one. Think about the experience of inhaling the fresh brightening scent of a grapefruit, lemon or lime, it is quickly noticed, right? Scents can make a difference to our moods in no time at all. Fresh flowers placed nearby so they can be seen and inhaled do the trick too. Flowers in a vase with a pleasing scent, such as freshia, roses, lilacs are beautiful to look and delicious to inhale. Dried herbs, fruits, essential oils, such as lavender, orange, grapefruit, plus resins like myrrh and frankincense create a wonderful scent when burned or sprayed throughout a room. A few drops of essential oil can be added to a spray bottle with water, shaken and spritzed around a room where a pleasing scent creates a positive shift right away. Scented sprays can be used in a bedroom, around a bed, on the pillows and the linens too. They can also be misted over the body. Essential oils dropped in a diffuser with a small tea candle to heat the oils is a nice method for adding scent to a room. Incense sticks or cones provide another option.


Teething Ring





A fantastic method for reducing stress is to bite down on a soft safe teething ring! For many people, stressful tension is stored in the jaw muscles. The ache and tightness can be noticeable during the day but at night clenching and grinding of teeth is often intensified during sleep, sometimes bad enough to wake a person, and certainly felt in the morning by most people. By consciously releasing the tightness and over activation of the jaw muscles, including the temporomandibular joint, much of the tension is released and relief is felt immediately. A teething ring is safe for babies, they gnaw on it with gums and baby teeth to ease discomfort. Adults can do the same with a strong teething ring and experience the therapeutic benefit. Clench down hard, growl and snarl, let all sounds out, exaggerating grunting or growling sounds can be quite helpful, at the very least the laughter is fun. Allow your clenching muscles to do all they can on that teething ring, bite down with a strong grip. Exhausting the over-tightened muscle on a teething ring helps the jaw to deeply relax. The relief is more than physical it is emotional too, there is a feeling of satisfaction that comes from this exercise!  You can also bite down hard on the ring and use a hand to try to pull the toy away, as some people do when playing with their puppies, it really does work well for releasing muscle tension in the jaw.

Clients often describe that they feel they are holding a deeper layer of stress inside certain areas of the body, the jaw is one of those areas. The throat can feel tight, the brow knitted together, the jaws ache. Teeth grinders love this teething ring technique for releasing chronic tension. They find it provides more than immediate relief, they report less grinding for a number of days afterward. Clench down as hard as you want without worry if you use a teething ring designed for this purpose.  



Listen to music that makes you feel good. Listen to music that soothes you and makes you happy. On certain days sounds of nature and meditation type of music might work best on other days your music choices might be the opposite. My own energy shifts when I play upbeat danceable music, especially at the gym, it makes me happy. There are times when very slow, quiet and peaceful music works best. Classical music, nature sounds, and brainwave neurologic music therapy reduces stress. Binaural sounds with patterns created for calming brian-waves are designed to relax mind and body. These meditation options significantly reduce stress and enhance the depth of a meditation experience. Soundwave music requires earphones (to learn more research on binaural music). Making sounds yourself can release tension too. Inhale fully and then let the breath go with a loud long exaggerated sigh, make it a long sigh. Hum with lips closed and feel the vibration inside your head. Another technique is to make a sound using any word, for example, the word peace, sounded as, peacccccccce or the word calm (calmmmmm). Or vocalize any vowel and use your breath to carry the sound smoothly from inside your body to outside. Examples: aaaaaaaa, ahhhhhh, oooooooo, eeeeee. When you hum, sigh, hiss like a snake, laugh and giggle, make a sound, you release tension! Simply exhale long loud sounds to release stress.


Playful Art for Fun



Creative expression, either a first time attempt at playful abandon or  something more refined from a focused artist, another method helpful for releasing stress.  

Coloring books for adults are a trend now but certainly not required to be able to play with crayons or pencils. Find a sketch, a design or create one yourself and colour it in. Colouring outside the lines is rebellious fun… Putting crayons, pencils or pastels to paper or canvas is creative fun. Finger painting is playful and therapeutic fun for all ages. Exploring with colours, clay, paints, painting on fabric or glass, can provide an emotional release and a calming effect. Art is another way to release stress and create a pleasing sensation, or inspire insight. Draw, paint, sculpt, play with putty, scribble on paper, use crayons, pastels, write feelings in a journal, or write and burn pages describing the things that cause frustration, light candles with lovely scents and colours. Gaze at soothing healing colors,  wear clothing that helps you feel better. Listen to music or play music. Imagine scenes that are calming and uplifting for you.



Be out in nature, even if only for 10-minutes. Pay attention to the beauty of the colour and scent of flowers and plants. Notice the sunlight, the moon, the sound and feel of the wind, the sound of water, the scent of fresh-cut grass, the quiet stillness after a snowfall,  the freshness in the air after a rain shower. Listen to sounds of the ocean, bird songs, the rustle of the wind through the leaves of trees. Imagine nature if you are unable to spend time in it, even looking at images and listening to sounds can have a positive effect on the body and mood.



Laugh! Read jokes, watch funny movies, listen to sounds of laughter!  Humour is a fantastic way to release stress.

A man was having a reoccurring weird dream so he went to an analyst. 

Doctor: What was your dream about?

 Man: I was being chased by a vampire or a monster.

Doctor: And what else is happening, what is the environment or scenery like?

Man: I’m  running down a hallway.

Doctor: Then what happened?

Man: Well that’s the weird thing. In every single dream, the same thing happened. I always come to this door, but I can’t open it. I keep pushing the door and pushing the door, but it wouldn’t budge!

Doctor: Does the door have any letters on it?

Man: Yes it did.

Doctor: And what did these letters spell?

Man: It said “Pull”







Move Your Body


Go for a walk, work out at the gym, make love, garden, dance, swim, hula-hoop, just move!

Move your body and energy any way that releases pent-up frustration. Do the things that make you smile, breathe deeply, and feel better.




Don’t isolate yourself. Be around friends, community, family. Call people, call one person, stay connected. If you don’t have any friends consider exploring a support group or joining a class, cooking, art, photography class.



Animals and Pets


Animals can be a comfort. They help trauma victims, vets, people in hospital to feel soothed. Many people are calmed and soothed by being close to animals. Visit friends who have animals if you do not have a pet. Look at images of  puppies and kittens. If you like bigger animals go for a horse ride. Listen to the sounds of dolphins/whales. Comfort pets can make a difference to emotional well-being.




Drink water! Get  enough of it, soak in a tub, soak your feet in a foot bath with salts.



Supplements and Nutrients

Fruits-and-VeggiesThere are many options of herbs, teas, and nutrients that are known to ease stress. The family of B-vitamins have been researched and are known to be good for the nervous system. Vitamin B6 can help the body manufacture neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which helps the body’s ability to cope with depression, stress, and anxiety. Experiment to learn what works best for you, not everyone will respond in the same way or to products from the same company. It is possible the same nutrient will work better for a person from a different company.  The form it is taken in can make a difference too. Powders are more quickly absorbed as are capsules. Nutrients are offered as liquids, powders, capsules, tablets (some more easily digested than others), and as chewables. Do some research on the nutrients that are best suited to your own specific needs. Chamomile tea, a soothing herb tea without caffeine is known for its calming benefits. Some versions have lavender flower in them, known to have a calming effect. Passionflower in another. Magnesium helps the body relax. Supplements can be found with powdered versions that can be mixed with water or juice and taken at bedtime to help with sleep and relaxation of muscles. When muscles cramp magnesium helps relax the tightness. It can be helpul  in lowering blood pressure and reducing stress.


Pace yourself

Taking on more than you can handle is a recipe for stress.

Take time to stop and rest when needed, 10-20 minutes rests can help.

Avoid people who stress you out.

Seek help when you needed. Allow your community, family, friends, and pets to help you. Find people who you can talk with, people who listen to you, who soothe you.









My Father’s Alzheimer’s disease led to my Natural Hair

2-months after this writing my father passed away.

Note: Posts about natural hair, white/silver are from my own personal experiences, conversations, and learning as this adventure unfolds This is my own transition from dyed hair to natural “virgin” hair. If you are thinking about taking the dye-free plunge you might find useful tips here to help you start and carry-on.



No matter my hair colour or style, I knew when I was no longer recognized by my dad–who was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease–that the time had come… I was free and ready to ditch the hair dye and go natural.

© photo Terra Wise, March 2014
Photo on 2014-04-02 at 18_fotor










The turning point for me in my decision to transition to gray was the realization that my father, who has advanced Alzheimer’s disease, no longer recognized me. My life-long brunette hair makes no difference to his knowing who I am now. It did not matter if I wore it down in the familiar style he knew best or pulled back. All my rationalizations, all the stories I told myself about why I should keep colouring were falling away– falling almost as fast as my shedding hair…

I was 16, sitting in a hair salon getting my shoulder length brunette hair trimmed when my stylist found gray hair, lots of it. Not only did he find gray, he called over the entire salon staff pointing at my head saying, “Look at this, she must be 50% gray already!”

I interpreted his words in such a way that I felt unattractive and old. I was not the most secure teen to begin with and his words and actions embarrassed me terribly. I started using henna to cover the gray, and then salon dyes, and eventually  drugstore box-dye for the next decades.I’m now 56 and well into my transition and quite enjoying the freedom.

Hiding my roots had become an utterly exhausting chore for me. Every 10-days my white hair would peek through. I felt trapped in a loop, a victim to my peek-a-boo roots and yet uncertain of how to go natural.I had given plenty of thought to going gray over the years, always wondering how to do it? How do I stop colouring without getting a buzz cut? I wondered if I could ever transition in an elegant no-one-will-notice-way?

 place collage photo here

In November 2013, two months prior to my 56th birthday I simply stopped. I couldn’t stand to cover the white again and again. The condition of my hair was straw dry and I’m not getting younger – the brown dye colour was not going to hide that reality, in fact it seemed to highlight it.

And so I accepted there is no elegant way to go gray-AND-still keep my hair long while growing out short choppy layers. The only option I saw was to just take a leap and let it happen, both the gray and the growing length.

As the white hair comes in and the permanent dye grows out I’m more committed to this transition each and every day. The last time I coloured was for a dinner party early in October 2013. I didn’t want to, but I was worried about how unattractive the skunk stripe would look if I did nothing. But at the same time I didn’t want to fall victim to feeling a need to colour for other people’s comfort.

Maintaining a lie was getting to be a huge nuisance. I didn’t like my self-imposed internal pressure to colour ever time there was an event, a family get-together or for any other possibilities that might occur someday in the future (romance perhaps).

whitehead May 21, 2014


All those feelings, the exhaustion, the powerful hold that colour had on me was wearing me down. I didn’t like the secret, did not like hiding my authentic self. I became tired of the worry about traveling, that I might need to colour while on a trip, or if the wind blew my roots would be seen. I was just damn tired of the effort to hide my own hair, my own truth. I was done hiding. The willingness to change required self-reflection. I’d always loved my dark hair, it felt most like me.

But then I asked myself, if my hair was now white was that not truly most like me? Everything coalesced one day as I looked in the mirror at my white roots with a box of colour in hand when I heard a loud clear voice in my head say, Stop! Don’t do it! That was in November 2013.

That inner voice had a lot of good advice. I’m doing this for me, I’m single, I have no one but me to answer to and if I do meet someone down the road, the truth of being authentically myself is most powerfully liberating. Plus, for me personally I don’t want to be 80-years of age still dying my hair, or dealing with the grow-out at years from now.


We each do what is right when it is the right time. It was the right moment in time for me to embrace my white hair and to allow my uninhibited self to shine true.



Final thoughts: A couple of people said I am brave. In my opinion brave is running into a burning building to save lives. I am only providing myself the right to be natural. More than this being about bravery it is about self-empowerment!

On occasion I miss my youthful brunette hair, but I realized it was time to let go of illusions. I am ready to stand proud and step forward into my white-head authenticity. None of us can hold on to a look that comes from decades earlier in life and expect to look the same. I feel free in shedding the past and letting go of impossible expectations. I’m eager to see the final reveal, but even the day-to-day experience is an exciting adventure.

As of this writing, I currently have a few shades of hair, similar to a Calico cat. Eventually I hope to be something like Daenerys  Targaryen, ‘The Mother of Dragons’ from the HBO show The Game of Thrones with her long white waves.

It is a slow process to transition from dyed hair to natural while keeping the length long, but that was my choice. Many women look great with a short pixie cut and will see their silver much sooner. In my case, my virgin hair is coming in, but the top layers of old dye still hide much of the white roots.
Happily the new virgin growth looks shiny and healthy. Yes, I’m a virgin again!
– Terra

Personal & Archetypal Symbolism of Snakes & Serpents

Serpents, Snakes and Archetypal Symbols

by, Terra Wise

We let go in order to grow into the next phase 

A snake sheds its skin when its insides grow bigger than its outside. Some snakes shed more than once a year as new skin is formed beneath the old layer. Shedding is necessary because it allows for growth and is crucial for survival.

During its shedding cycle, a snake is vulnerable to injury and disease. Often it must rub its body against a hard rough rock to create a rip in the old skin to help begin the shedding process. The snake continues to work on the tear until it can shed the layer cleanly and completely. The eyes of a snake shed too, they become2snakes cloudy with a layer of old skin, a time when the snake is vulnerable to attack until they are clear again. 

Experts who work with snakes say that the sloughing of old skin, though natural and needed, is not an easy process for a snake, especially with the risk of wounds and disease if old fragments of skin become stuck. But despite the discomfort and danger, the process of shedding the old is necessary for growth and a healthy life. The snake has no choice but to let go of the old form or it will die.

Photo, Two Snakes. 1996 © Terra Wise

The symbolism of a snake’s shedding, the sloughing of the old as a necessity for interior growth, reminds us that the same type of process can occur for humans. We grow, we need to let go. Releasing what is no longer needed is not an easy task but it is an important part growth and development. The insights discovered and feelings of renewal are well worth it. 

Humans are capable of so much more than just surface sloughing of skin cells, hair shedding, and nail clippings. If we are to evolve we need to let go of what no longer works in our lives including old beliefs and patterns, attachments, closed-minded  biases and opinions and so on.

Most of us experience the ups and downs of life. We encounter struggles and cycles of development that create a type of friction urging us to respond. Some situations push us to transform, to cross a life threshold. These cycles help to shape who we are and who we can become. We look back on our lives and reflect on the many ways we have been challenged by events and emotions and how we are have changed over the years. We have grown and outgrown the old ways of life and living, we outgrow our former ways of perceiving to become who we are meant to be, for a time, in the current moment.


When we grow on the inside we need room to expand. Despite the discomfort, the process of shedding the old self is encouraged as a necessity for new growth and a healthy life to unfold.

By releasing what does not nourish us, including our thoughts and actions – those things that no longer support inner growth and well-being, we create an improved environment for a new refreshed self to emerge and thrive


Most people change as the years go by, one way or another we transform many times during a lifetime. No matter how hard the process, no matter how wounded we feel at the time of self-inquiry, eventually something shifts and the old way of being, the old skin, sloughs away in its entirety and we are freed.

Letting go of outdated and distressful patterns of behavior allows for the inner growth to move outward into the world. In this way we are similar to a snake in that as we grow bigger on the inside we must release all that is unhealthy so we make room to thrive.


 Snakes and Serpents: Archetypal & Mythic Symbolism

Serpents are the name given to a snake-like creature as described in religious and mythological stories. In the Judeo-Christian tradition of the West, the snake in the Garden story is associated with manipulation and sin for Adam and Eve, whereas in  many other cultures, snakes and serpents are aligned with healing, mystical and psychic powers, and regeneration.

Serpent themes are visible in architecture, in myth, and initiation rites from certain cultures. Healing power and mysticism are ascribed to snakes due to their ability to shed skin. The snake represents youthful vitality, an archetypal power of transmutation and immortality. Images of snakes appear in alchemical symbols representing vitality, healing and transformation, and the death/rebirth cycle of renewal. This similar symbolism is also seen in-depth psychology.

 Ancient and Esoteric Symbols

The alchemical image of the Ouroboros, the snake eating its own tail, is a symbol of wisdom. It is a symbol of the conjunctio, the union and wholeness of the divine marriage of the female and male principles.

The Ouroboros is associated with Alchemy. It represents the cyclical nature of things, eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end.

In some representations the serpent is shown as half-light and half-dark, echoing symbols such as the Yin Yang, which illustrates the dual nature of all things, but more importantly, that these opposites are not in conflict.

The Ouroboros can represent self-reflection, or something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as one ends Something like the Phoenix who rises from the ashes.

It can also represent the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting from the beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished. The ouroboros has been important in religious and mythological symbolism but has also been frequently used in alchemical illustrations, where it symbolizes the circular nature of the alchemist’s opus.


The uraeus is the royal headdress of the Egyptian pharaohs with the cobra image worn at the brow. It signifies a connection with divine power and protection.

Naga is Sanskrit word for a deity or a group of beings that take the form of ‘the Great Snake’ the King Cobra. These entities are found in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Hindu iconography includes the cobra as a symbol of awakened consciousness surrounding the head of many deities. The yogic concept of Kundalini Shakti, sexuality, power, elevation of consciousness, the serpent energy rising up the spinal centers emerging from the crown chakra in divine union with pure Shiva consciousness.

Tibetan and Chinese traditions, including feng shui theory and the wisdom of the snake, serpent and dragon as symbols of protection, good fortune and health.

The ritual rattlesnake dance of the Hopi Snake Clan people is done as an invocation to bring the rains.

We also have stories of the Dragon (a relative of the snake/serpent) in Merlin Lore we have the dragon, medieval stories and around the world.


The feathered winged serpent-god of Central America, a supernatural deity. It is said the feathered aspect represents its ability to fly as a sign of its divine nature and the serpent aspect represents its human aspect, the ability to move on the ground.


Asclepius, the ancient Greek god of medicine, healing, and dreams,  known for his staff, the single snake coiled around it. It was believed that a dream of a snake signaled healing and a union with god. Python was sacred to his cult.


 The caduceus is a symbol of modern Western medicine. Two snakes entwined around the winged wand of Hermes, the messenger of the gods, implying healing, harmony, and symmetry.


A Snake Charmer





Family Stories of Survival


Have you ever discovered something unexpected about a family member, a secret, a talent, a mystery uncovered?

When my mother was 3-months pregnant with me her grandmother, my great-grandmother passed away. Sadly, I never got to meet her but as the years passed I heard stories about her personal strength, courage, and ingenuity during hard times. I learned as a new-comer to a foreign country she managed to make ends meet through a creative endeavor.

My great-grandmother left Europe when she was a teen to come to Canada. After a few years she began to develop a reputation as a very talented baker. Everyone loved her cakes, pies, and cookies, all the baked goodies were a hit with the entire neighborhood.

Prohibition: From 1916 until 1927 the prohibition of alcohol was enacted and enforced in Toronto, Canada.  


During those early years, when she was still fairly new to Canada she and her husband struggled financially. And so to make ends meet Great-granny had a plan. 

She baked pies, cakes, cookies, breads, rolls, fruit danish, and more.  She invited the neighbors and their friends to her kitchen and offered the goodies for free––as long as they paid for shots of her home-made Bathtub Gin! Brilliant solution!

Because of this was she was able to pay the rent and buy groceries. Her little “business” thrived and the community had a happy glow about them as a result.

There is strength and fortitude that some people carry within their bones and if/when hit by hard times or misfortune they find a way to carry on and make the necessary adjustments to ease through the challenge. 

Do you have stories?

What are the gems told about family, ancestral stories that stand out as something special? What have you learned about your family that gives you pride, brings a smile to your face, or makes you blush?