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womb wisdom, aware parenting, menarche celebration, inner child healing

I’m chatting with Joss Golden, who is a Trauma Informed Parenting Consultant and Level Two Aware Parenting Instructor who is certified with the Aware Parenting Institute. Joss is a mother of two children aged 19 and 17, and she’s really passionate about supporting parents to raise children who are deeply connected to their authentic selves so they can process and heal from our trauma and so that we can be the parents that we want to be.

tune in to hear:

I absolutely love this conversation with Joss. She shares so much wisdom that is really suitable for parents but also people who are likely to be parents in the future. Joss invites us to let go of guilt and shame when we don’t need to hold it, and instead, to bring so much compassion to ourselves as we learn to be the parents that our children need us to be and to flow with the changes as our children develop and move into new stages of life and surprises. 

We talked about:

  1. What Aware Parenting is and how Joss found it, and why its different to other parenting frameworks,

  2. How we can be with ourselves and our feelings as we parent developing children, and are triggered by our children’s feelings and behaviours,

  3. How to honour our changing capacity for listening to feelings and doing life as our energy and resources wax and wane.

  4. Being with what comes up for us in our Inner Spring of the menstrual cycle, which is a mirror of the Maiden time of our lives, as well as the Inner Summer, which is a reflection of the Mother season of life, and how our children and menstrual cycle can show us where their is room for healing and growth. 

  5. How Joss held a beautiful Menarche celebration for her daughter when she had her first period, and how she educated and supported both of her children through puberty. 

  6. What Joss believes children should know beyond just the facts of life, so that they can become their most wise, joyful, connected, self aware and compassionate young people they can be.

Whether you have children now or not this is a really great listen as we’re talking about reparenting ourselves and inner child healing as well as supporting children through puberty adolescence and their rites of passages. 

[00:00] Joss: I was very disconnected from my cycle, but I knew I wanted it to be different for her. Coming back to that aware parenting perspective again, I was really looking at those, those three things. So the information piece, the needs piece, and the feelings piece, right from the beginning, always share honest information in an age appropriate way with my daughter in response to any questions and my son about what the cycles are. So the home was always a place where anybody could ask anything, and I always shared in response to any questions they had about anything, but particularly around their bodies. And particularly for my daughter, around menstruation. I was really clear that I wanted her needs to be met around this as much as possible, needs for celebration and for beauty and for choice and for connection and agency and trust and rest. And what we actually did was when she got her first period, we had a celebration.

[01:05] Charlotte: Welcome to Wild Flow Podcast with me, Charlotte Pointeaux. I’m an internationally award winning menstrual cycle and embodiment coach, Cycle Mysteries guide and founder of the first Moon Circle School of Menstrual Education for children. Tune in for deep, heartfelt conversations with wisdom keepers, embodied leaders and change makers on themes from cyclical living in flow with your menstrual cycle embodies wisdom, reclaiming rites of passages to normalize period positivity for you and the next generation, and exploring our embodied experiences, soulful transformations and intuitive wisdom guiding you to express and embody your full power in the change you want to see in the world. Are you ready? Let’s flow.

[01:54] Charlotte: Before we dive into this episode. If you’re passionate about empowering children, showing them how to listen to, love and respect their body’s intuition menstrual cycle as their superpowers, you might be interested in training with me to become a children’s menstrual educator and rites of passage facilitator in my first Moon Circle facilitator certification program, this course teaches you all that you need to know to be able to work with children aged nine to twelve, particularly to be able to share menstrual cycle awareness with that child in a really age appropriate and nurturing way, and to be able to support mother and child to both flourish through puberty and beyond, and also to be able to do the inner work yourself so you can release your own menarch. That’s your first period experiences your fears, the stories that you hold onto so that you can really embody and hold a safer, nurturing and inclusive space yourself. Applications for the 2024 training open on the 16 October for one month only applications will be made and places will be offered on a first come first serve basis and then once filled, the doors will close and the next training will, after the February round will be either at the end of 2024 or into 2025. It’s a four month online training program where you will receive all the teachings and made for you resources, absolutely everything that you need in order to be able to leave this training with your certification and start hosting your circles in your local community, either online or in person straight away. So if you’d like to find out more about this course, you can go to www.firstmoonsrcleschool.com and if you would like to join the email waitlist there, I’ll be able to send you an application form as soon as they open up on Monday the 16 October. I hope that you’ll join if you are passionate about supporting children and for now, enjoy this episode.

[04:12] Charlotte: It’s a beauty welcome to Wild Flow podcast. I’m chatting with Joss Goulden who is a trauma informed parenting consultant and level two aware parenting instructor who is certified with the Aware Parenting institute. Joss is a mother of two children aged 19 and 17 and she’s really passionate about supporting parents to raise children who are deeply connected to their authentic selves so they can process and heal from our trauma and so that we can be the parents that we want to be. Joss is host of the Aware Parenting Stories podcast and co host of the Aware Parenting and natural learning podcast with Marion Rose. Joss co facilitates aware parenting communities, runs courses and workshops, and offers one to one consultations for parents. She’s written many articles on aware parenting and natural learning and has been interviewed many times about her experiences having homeschooled her children from kindly to year twelve and beyond, and supporting families with homeschooling and natural learning for many years. I absolutely love this conversation with Joss. She’s sharing so much wisdom that is really suitable for parents, but also people who are likely to be parents in the future. There is just so much in this episode that really landed with me as a mother of three children and helped me to really connect with the way that I’ve experienced parenthood and to help me to have some tools to move closer to be the parent that I really want to be whilst also taking off the table this idea of the perfect motherhood myth. So letting go of guilt and shame when we don’t need to, and instead bringing so much compassion to ourselves as we learn to be the parents that our children need us to be and to flow with the changes as our children develop and move into new stages of life and surprises when we suddenly realize, oh, it’s a different child I’ve got in front of me today. So we talked about how to be with ourselves, how to be with our feelings as they come up, as we parent and perhaps are triggered as well by our children as they show us ways that we are holding wounding from our childhood and how we can be with the feelings, the emotions, the rage, the joy, the tears, the big feelings that our children have as well so that we can hold space for them, but whilst also honoring our capacity to do that, as that changes through life and through our menstrual cycle. Because no doubt our capacity does eb and flow. I found this really beautiful permission giving. I felt very witnessed and heard. I felt like I was able to be gentle with myself as well as I heard Josh sharing. And I really, really love the tools that she shared and see just such a deep crossover between aware parenting and between menstrual cycle wisdom. We also talked about being with what comes up for us in a spring, which is the maiden season of the menstrual cycle, as well as the inner summer, which is the mother season of our cycle. And I asked Joss about how she held a beautiful menarch celebration for her daughter when she had her first period, and how she navigated supporting her children through puberty to educate them about the facts that they need to know to help them be connected to themselves and their body and how they’re feeling, to be connected to their own choices that they have, and helping shape them into being wise and joyful and connected and self aware and compassionate teenagers that she has today. So whether you have got small children, whether you’ve got teenagers, whether you’ve got adult children, whether you’re pregnant or whether you might be a parent in the future, this is a really lovely conversation as we’re talking a lot about reparenting ourselves, doing some inner child healing as well as being embodied, connecting to what’s coming up for us in our menstrual cycle, as well as supporting children through puberty, adolescence and their rites of passages. So settle down and enjoy this beautiful episode as I speak to Joss golden about aware parenting, parenting ourselves, holding space for our children and menarch celebrations welcome Joss Goulden to the Wild Flow podcast. How are you today?

[09:09] Joss: Thank you so much for having me, Charlote. I’m feeling great today, actually. I’m in a really good space. I feel amazing. So thank you for having me.

[09:16] Charlotte: Thank you so much for joining us. I’m really looking forward to chatting with you. There’s so much similarity, I think, between aware parenting and menstrual cycle awareness and how they can support each other and how they bring out elements of each process and practice and self awareness tools as well. So I’m really excited to chat with you about what aware parenting is and your journey, as well as how it can support us and listeners to be connected to themselves and their children as well. So before we dive in, I’d love to begin, as always, with a cycle check in and I’ll invite you, but I’ll share first, just to share with us where you’re at today. If you were to orient yourself to the seasons of life, or if you have a menstrual cycle where you’re at and the season of the year, perhaps just whatever that cycle wisdom means to you right now and how you’re just feeling today in relation to that. So I’ll go first, and I’ve just been counting where I’m at in my cycle because we’ve just come off a long week. Well, it’s a long weekend here and so I’ve been a bit busy and very immersed with my family and realized that I’d lost track of which cycle day I’m on. And so just realizing that I’m day 25 of a day, 28 of 28 day cycle so deeply in my luteal phase, my premenstrual phase, and today feeling a bit vague, actually. And like, my brain is definitely not super speedy with connecting all my thoughts just with that phase of my cycle. But also, we’ve just had our clocks change and so we’ve had wrestlers, children, and wasn’t a very good sleep last night. So I’ve just got a bit of space this morning during in the midst of our school holidays as well. So it feels quite nice to just be here with you and to drop back in. And I was just sharing with Joss beforehand that for this episode I’ve written out a list of questions and prompts just to remind me and to help my brain know where to go and to be held by that structure, which I don’t normally do. But for this part of my cycle, it’s something that I feel like I can just lean on if I need it. So, yeah, that’s really where I’m at in my menstrual cycle. Starting to feel that slowing and just turning a little bit to mush over the next few days and I’m deep in the mother season of life. My youngest daughter just had her birthday last weekend and she just turned four and my eldest turned eight. So yeah, it’s quite interesting just feeling a real sense of very much out of the baby stage. And over the last year my youngest daughter stopped breastfeeding. I think she was over three. Three. Perhaps not quite three and a half, but just kind of looking back and thinking, it seems like a lifetime ago, but at the same time, 5 minutes. So I feel like there’s Little subtle changes here, especially as my eldest daughter feels like she’s growing up a bit as well at the minute. It’s like things are changing. Yeah, that’s where I’m at in my life cycle. And here in AUsTRALIa, we are in midspring now and we’ve been having a heat wave. It’s been really hot over here where I live in the southern highlands, which is high altitude, it’s normally really cold until the start of October and then it will slowly warm up, but we get frosts right up until the end of October. So it’s been really hot and very strange and part of me is really enjoying the heat and it’s like, oh, it’s nice to put summer clothes on and kind of feel warmth in my body again, but the other part of me just feels a bit like, hang on, we’re not meant to be there yet. It’s like being rushed too soon. So it’s Kind of this interesting reflection on also how it feels very much to be in the spring of my menstrual cycle. I feel really excited to have energy and returning, but ALso don’t want to jump back into the busyness of life too soon. And we are just past full moon as well. We had full moon. What would be, I think it was Friday, so three days ago. So the moon is still very bright in the sky. We’re in that peak energy still, but just coming off the back of the wave of that full intensity. So, yeah, I’ve been thinking ABOut what’s been coming to fruition in my life this cycle, and also a way I like to think of the full moon is like, it illuminates the things that we need to see. It’s like a full beam shining on what’s working and not working. So I’ve been reflecting on that in the moments I’ve had to think over the last few days. So for, yeah, rather in depth cycle check in. I just really wanted to land us in that and just orient to where we’re at in the seasons and the cycles and where I’m at as well, where I’m coming from today. And so, joss, I’d just love to invite you to share similarly, or just in your own way, whatever feels true for you and how you are.

[15:07] Joss: No, thank you. And I loved hearing that. And I really loved when you came and talked on my podcast, too, this deep understanding and connection that you have to the cycles and the seasons around you. And I love that in depth clarity that you bring to explaining that to people, because I think it is so powerful to live in a way that is more connected. That’s how we were always designed to live. And I really see the disconnection that results from us not being connected in that way. So thank you for sharing like that. I really enjoyed listening to that. So where I’m at, I’m now in menopause. So I don’t have the same hormonal cycles anymore in my life. And I feel like in the last year, I’ve had this really profound transition, probably last 18 months, this really profound transition into menopause rather than perimenopause. And with that, it’s been so interesting, because initially, I came into menopause thinking it was going to be this awful thing that I had to endure. That just meant I was getting old and I was going to have all these horrible symptoms. And I really haven’t had any of that experience. And I found it to be this really beautiful transition. And I felt so much flow and creativity and deep, radical self acceptance and just a real embracing of the aging process and of stepping into this next chapter in my life and what that feels like. And it really has felt beautiful. And what’s also really interesting for me is that for the first time in my life, I don’t have the same hormonal and biological cycles in my body. And yet, for the first time in my life, I have felt really connected to a cycle, the cycle of the moon and the cycle of the seasons. And so that I found quite interesting that it wasn’t until I got to this stage in my life that I started to really learn this and to feel this connection to that. So that’s a broader picture of where I’m at. But in terms of now, I think, yeah, the moon cycle is. I’ve often been aware that I have a strong connection to the moon cycle, and I’ve always found the full moon to be a really intense time. And, of course, as you say, we’ve just been through this full moon. And it was interesting because on Saturday morning, my husband and I had to get up very early to make a long drive. So we actually woke up at four and left shortly after that. So we had this sort of amazing experience of really spending time in the full moon and all the illumination of the full moon. And I could really feel how that helped us both, actually, to get clarity about something that we were stepping into and to feel this real sense of excitement and clarity about it all. So that was quite interesting. And then to watch the sunrise as we were on this journey into this sort of. As we are stepping into this new thing that we’re doing in our life just felt really beautiful. So, yeah, that’s an overview. And in terms of where I’m at in my life, I think my children, my son is about to turn 20 in two weeks time, which feels like a big deal. And so it’s an opportunity to reflect back on 20 years of mothering that has just been the most extraordinary and rich and joyful and amazing experience of my life. Becoming a mother was just an extraordinary, heart opening transformation for me. And so it’s interesting, isn’t it, because like you’re saying about your daughter growing up, we see the days are long and the years are short. And that’s a true thing with parenting. I look back and part of me thinks it feels like yesterday that I became his mother. And yet here is this extraordinary man who is a man who I love so deeply. And, yes, so I’m really looking forward to. He doesn’t live at home anymore. He lives in the nearest city to us, which is 5 hours away. But we often spend time together. And I’m really looking forward to. We’re going to go up and see him for his birthday, and I’m looking forward to that celebration and all of the acknowledgment and reflection that comes for all of us in the family at that stage. And birthdays often bring up all kinds of things for all of us. They do, yeah, I’m really looking forward to that. So that’s sort of where I’m at. My daughter’s now 17, and, yeah, in, in a good space. And our relationships are just so closely connected. And I love being with my kids, and it feels like a good stage in life. We’re very excited about what the next step is and work wise, I’m really flowing and I just feel the sense of creativity and relaxation. I feel much more settled in myself than I’ve ever felt in my life. And I just feel much more, just much less stressed. Even though there’s lots going on, I just feel much more grounded and calm, and I just have so many more tools that I can use and lean into to help with that. So, yeah, it’s been an interesting transition process into this next phase. And I see the wisdom of the older woman as being something that is really beautiful. And I love this sense of the next step in just not being willing to accept the cultural conditioning around what it means to be a menopausal woman, and instead to see amazing possibilities and deep, valuable offerings and sharings in the world of this stage.

[21:28] Charlotte: Wow, what an incredible cycle. Check in and reflection on this huge transitional phase that you’re at right now. I’m really grateful to hear that. Thank you so much for sharing about this transition you’ve been through with menopause and how you felt about going into it and what you’re finding on the other side of it. And as you settle into postmenopausal life, and it’s interesting that you shared that there’s something new happening with you and your husband. Your eldest child is turning 20, which is such a milestone. Like, wow, I can imagine all the feels, and I totally agree that children’s birthdays, my three children all have their birthday about three or four weeks after the next. So I feel like it’s quite a rapid fire kind of experience because each of their birthdays really brings up who I was when I had them and how birthing them was and motherhood and how each of them shaped me. And they’re in age order as well. So my eldest has her birthday first and then my middle and then my. So I really relate to what you’re saying there. And I can just imagine how you’re feeling at this real transitional point in time. And it’s beautiful that you’re going to be able to spend that time together as a family and really honor that. And for you, for him, for all of you, but as a unit as well. And I’m really grateful to hear your experience of going through menopause and another example of somebody who’s not had all these symptoms that we hear a lot about and how it’s this dreaded change and like you said, this archetypal expression of the older woman and this cultural identity that is perpetuated about what it means to be in menopause and beyond. And I really feel this huge collective shift away from accepting that and just kind of falling into it instead of actually saying, well, this is this opportunity. And it feels like you’re really in the energy of that and this creativity and flow in your business and all these new beginnings, it’s like they’re all aligning at this time. When you did your journey the other day with the full moon and it’s like this peak kind of, it’s all coming together. It just feels like this real sense of that happening for you. So that’s really wonderful to feel the energy of that and to hear your sharing and your reflections and your experience of that. So I hope that as people keep listening to this podcast, and we’ve had quite a few women who’ve been sharing about their menopause experience as well. And I just think it’s so great for I personally, I’m like collecting all these examples of women who have had a more empowered experience. And I just think, of course this is possible, this is normal, this is natural, it’s a process, but it doesn’t need to be what we have always heard it to be. So I’m grateful for that as well. Thank you. My pleasure.

[24:52] Joss: I think it’s really interesting how women feel often a sense of invisibility as they age and their relevance and their role and the respect and the recognition that they get in our culture is very much reducing more and more as they get older. And I think as more women step into that phase with this deep sense of their power and the valuable contribution that they still have to make to the world, it’s going to really shift that. And I noticed a big transition for me from deciding I’m not willing to dye my hair anymore. I want to embrace the gray hairs that I have and to just feel more. I mean, obviously all the feelings that come up as part of that, too. Sorry, it’s really stormy here. I don’t know if you can hear.

[25:45] Charlotte: That, but no, it’s fine.

[25:46] Joss: All the feels that come up about that and giving space and having listening to that and also having connections with other women who are also in this phase. So my listening partner, which is something that we use in inaware parenting to get ongoing regular support for ourselves as women, is also in the same stage of her life as I am. And my wife’s deep friend and colleague and mentor is also in the same phase of life. So I think that really, really helps to have people who are also at the same stage in this journey to be able to support you, to express all the feelings that you might have there, and to explore the beliefs that you might have taken on from your cultural conditioning, and to unpack that so you can get really clear about what you want this stage to mean for you. So it’s kind of like aware parenting myself through menopause.

[26:38] Charlotte: Absolutely. I really feel that. And I was thinking how I’ve got a group, communities that I’m in in real life and online kind of thing, where I’m surrounded by women who are in the same phase of life and with motherhood, that’s very much what I’m doing and really need that and the power of shared support and being in that space where you can be heard and understood and supported as well, practically as well as emotionally. I think it’s so important, and I love that you’ve described that as aware parenting yourself through menopause. That’s very cool. Well, on that note, for anyone who doesn’t know what aware parenting is, I’d love you to explain to us what it is, because there are many parenting frameworks as well out there, and people might have heard of different styles of parenting or approaches and methods or techniques, for example. And so I’d love to hear from you what aware parenting is about and why you chose aware parenting as almost like your preferred parenting modality, if you can call it that.

[28:01] Joss: Yeah, sure. So aware parenting is approach to raising our children. That was created by Dr. Elisa Salter, who is a developmental psychologist and a researcher. And it is a form of conscious attachment style parenting. And it is a way that it gives us a framework, really for understanding our children and their behavior and their needs, and supporting them to heal from the challenges that they face in life. And supporting us to have really close, attuned, connected, powerful relationships in our families. And applying that same framework in a way, and supporting ourselves with all of those things too, to support our reparenting journey. And it has three main aspects, the first of which is attachment style parenting. So it’s very much about parenting the way we evolve to parent, as in the 250,000 years plus of human history. So close connection, attuned relationships, breastfeeding where you can, for long periods of time, co sleeping, lots of physical closeness, lots of prompt, responsive connections with the babies and young children, and meeting those needs for closeness and connection, and really prioritizing our relationships above all else. The second aspect is non punitive discipline, which means not having any forms of punishments or rewards in the family, and instead having this deep understanding that behavior is always communication and that whatever our children are doing, there’s always a very legitimate reason for them to be doing it. And trying to control children’s behavior and to teach them how to behave is not only unnecessary, it’s actually detrimental to your relationship. And instead, what we’re doing is looking underneath behavior to see what’s there and supporting our children, not with the symptoms of the struggles that they’re having, but with the real causes, so that they can come back to being what we see as their true loving, cooperative, beautiful selves. And so what we’re doing there is we’re looking underneath behavior. We’re looking at their understanding, their information, what they might need to know and understand about a situation, what their needs might be, what their unmet needs might be. And we really do respect these very legitimate, universal human needs that we all have to be seen to be understood, to be heard, to be unconditionally loved, to have choice and agency and autonomy over our lives, to be connected, to feel safe, to be trusted, and to be able to trust others. So all of these universal needs that we all have in different degrees, and really tuning into what the individual needs are of each of our children and finding ways to meet that. And then the last one is around understanding that our children will experience difficult and challenging things in their lives that will impact their nervous system, and that they also have these very powerful, innate biological mechanisms to return to balance when the circumstances are right for them to do that. And those mechanisms are crying with loving support, raging and tantrums, and also laughter and different forms of play. And so when we understand that these mechanisms are available to our children, we can then support them to release and to heal from stress and trauma, so that they are free of much of the burden of stress and trauma, and free to be liberated, I suppose, to be deeply connected to themselves, to be free of much of the stress and pain that many of us carry around as a result of not being raised this way. And I guess then we apply that same framework to ourselves when we start to reparent ourselves. And aware parenting is not about reparenting adults, but all of the tools that we have at our disposal. In aware parenting, we can also use for ourselves. And increasingly, we come to this way of parenting, often thinking it’s all about the children and what I’m going to do for the children. And then we realize that actually it’s all about us. So again, we can apply the same things to us. What’s our understandings? What are our needs for connection and closeness, and that kind of physical touch and nourishing of ourselves? What are our needs that are being unmet, which are, for most of us, living in this crazy world, in our nuclear families, or as single parents? Huge list, long, long list of unmet needs. And so being aware of that and that our needs matter just as much as everybody else in the family. And then finding small ways to meet that is deeply empowering for us. And then, yes, supporting our own healing through getting listening, through unpacking our cultural conditioning and our core beliefs about things, getting support, reaching out for support, normalizing the need for support, learning to ask for help, learning to speak this beautiful language of compassion and self compassion, laughter, joy, play, fun. So, yes, applying all that to ourselves for our own healing has also been deeply empowering. And I think I came to this way of parenting by accident, as is often the case. But I’d studied psychology and I had read the book the continuum concept by Jean Liedloff, which is based on her time living with the Yakuana people in the Amazon, where she describes really beautifully and in depth how humans evolve to live and what humans need in order to live and thrive and have this deep sense of well being. And when I read that book, she talks a lot about child care, how to support children in a way that is powerful and really meets their needs. And I was so struck by it and I was so touched by it, and I thought, if I have children, I really want to read this book again. So when I became pregnant, I read the book again. So I was very passionate about attachment parenting and all of the beautiful aspects of that. But when my son turned two, he started having tantrums and I was like, oh, okay, wow, what do I do here? And really didn’t understand having responded to him with closeness and connection, breastfeeding him whenever he was upset, always holding him lovingly in my arms. I really didn’t understand why he would have any need to express any feelings as a two year old. And at the same time, my second child was born and I’d had virtually no sleep for two and a half years and I was exhausted and I really wasn’t. None of the other approaches to sleep resonated for me at all. I really wasn’t willing to do any of those sort of sleep training type things. And I came across aware parenting through the work of Marion Rose, Dr. Marion Rose, who is an extraordinary wise woman, and learnt about all this and just dived deep in it. And it really, really made sense to me that, of course, regardless of how attuned we are and regardless of how much closeness and connection and breastfeeding we offer our children, they are going to have challenging experiences right from in utero and through that birth process that is often very stressful for our children. So, of course, there’s lots of feelings there. And, of course, when those feelings aren’t expressed, they’re going to be held inside the body. And so that is going to affect how our children behave and how our children feel. And so this piece around supporting, healing through loving, listening, through play, through laughter, through connection, really spoke to me at a deep, deep level. And I just saw straight away the powerful effect it had on my children to be connected with in this way and to be supported in this way. So I just dived into it more and more. And I just see every day the result of parenting this way, that my children have grown up and I’ve done a really imperfect job, of course, because I’ve had lots of my trauma come up and get in the way of me being the mother I want to be and aware. Parenting is not about perfect parenting at all. It’s not about having a conflict free home. It’s about navigating these inevitable challenges that we’re all going to face with as much love and connection as we can for ourselves and for our children. And so I just see that my children have been raised to be deeply connected to themselves, to know that it’s always safe to ask for support, to know that I’ll always be their ally and on their side, that I’ll always be there to listen when they have difficulties coming up in life. That when things go yucky and horrible in the family, I will always take time to tend to myself so that I can come back and apologize and repair and to know that they’re safe and that they’re trusted and that they’re loved. So, yeah, it’s pretty beautiful. Yeah.

[37:18] Charlotte: I mean, that’s the kind of outcome that you want, isn’t it, as a parent, you want so much for your children to feel all of those things connected and safe and held and heard and able to ask for their help and reach out for the connection that they need. So that’s incredible, and I really appreciate what you shared there. And the thing that stands out to me around aware parenting is that I think as a mother of three children, and they were born two years apart, and at the same time as I had children, a lot of my own trauma came up and my relationship with my own mother broke down. And we’ve now had five years of no contact. And so there’s been so much there that has come up for me. And I think a lot of the times I felt like a terrible parent and held quite a lot of shame about conflict or communicate, like, people’s feelings coming up. And the idea that parenting should mean that there’s harmony. And I really appreciate that aware parenting brings this perspective that actually rage is necessary in children for them to express it as much as joy. And these tools of reclaiming play and laughter are things that I think so many of us had just lost the ability to do in leaving childhood, but for many people as well, weren’t safe to do as children. So these tools of releasing the emotion, but having all this emotion and having this, what might be considered chaos from that archaic view of children, should be seen and not heard. And it feels like it’s really radically breaking away from those really unhealthy, traumatic styles of parenting and allowing us. Giving us permission to be kind of in the mess as it comes up. But to know that it’s not wrong and that it’s not harming our children, that it’s actually giving them permission to be with themselves and be with their emotions, and to express and release that, and to know that they’re safe to do that and that you’re there and that you can hold that. But I also recognize that from my experience, parenting can be very triggering over and over and over and over and over again. And no doubt it will continue to be as they grow up and move through milestones in their life that will perhaps remind me of milestones in my life, or their behaviors change as their development change. And I go, hang on, I just thought I’d got it figured out. And now what is this? I don’t know anymore. And so there’s this sense for me that as a parent, I realized, probably took me a couple of children to realize it, that how much I needed to hold myself as a parent and make time for myself and to have the support and to understand that the more I tended to myself and what was coming up for me, the more I could hold for them as well. But it’s very difficult to do, isn’t it? We want to be intentional, we want to do our inner work. We don’t want to pass our stuff on to our children. But yet holding their feelings and our feelings is extremely difficult. And I would love to just hear from you a bit about ways that we can be with what’s coming up for ourselves, for our children. And I’m also really curious from a cycle point of view. I think about there are definitely times in my cycle, and I think it’s true. I’m not generalizing, but I’m sure as people think about their own cycles and their own experiences just of life as well, our capacity varies. And there are certainly types of my cycle, or if I’ve not slept, or if the children are sick and we’re all depleted, for example, if there’s just more stress in the house, there are times when our capacity ebbs and flows. And so I’m curious to just hear from you about how we can be with these things, the energies, the emotions, our own stuff, and how we can do that safely, I guess, as our capacity ebbs and flows.

[42:02] Joss: Well, I think part of it is just acknowledging the fact that there are always going to be many, many times when we don’t have capacity to be there for our children and we are not able to be the mother that we want to be. And I think a big piece of that is around this radical self acceptance of imperfection, which I think is so, so important. And this leaning into when we are finding ourselves judging, shaming, guilting, harshing ourselves, shoulding ourselves. And I think just becoming aware of that is really powerful in itself. And just not being willing to do that to ourselves anymore. I was full of judgment and harshness and criticism and guilting and beating myself up and having completely unrealistic, unachievable expectations of what I was going to do. And as I discovered aware parenting, I thought, this is wonderful. I’m always going to listen to all the feelings and my children are never going to have any problems. And very quickly it became obvious that that’s not how this looks. And so I think taking time to explore for ourselves, either with support or on our own, these things that are coming up for us and just inviting some curiosity about that and where that voice has come from, and whether that is our voice, or whether that is an external voice that we’ve internalized, and to increasingly then become clear about what our internal voice actually wants to say in this moment. And what I’ve found again and again, is that when I start going into catastrophizing, judging, worrying, blaming, guilting, shaming, and I take a moment to actually reflect on that what I truly believe is the exact opposite of what I’m telling myself. And so I found that to be like this really powerful process to have at my disposal, and often not in the moment, because often in the moment we are deeply in our pain and triggered back into our younger parts, or very overwhelmed and stressed in the moment. But after the event, to take time to reflect into that is really, really helpful. And I love this deep acknowledgment that when we understand that we are supporting our children by listening to their feelings and we see that they require hours and hours of listening and hours and hours of play and connection and laughter. We see that we didn’t receive any of that. I mean, with the first time I held my daughter in my arms and I listened to her feelings, and I was just there while she cried as a baby in my arms. At the end of that process, she was like this angelic, bliss filled being. And I just had this moment of awareness that never in my life, even though I’d had lots of therapy, lots of counseling, even though I had a beautiful relationship with my husband, I had never experienced that sense of safety and unconditional holding, to be able to freely express whatever was in my heart and to have that met with love and acknowledgement. And so we realize that there’s hours and hours and hours of unheard pain that we carry inside us. So, of course it’s going to be difficult. Of course we’re going to be activated and triggered by our children’s behavior. And there’s a beautiful quote by Scott Noel, which I’m going to try not to butcher, but it says something like, you know, that you are face to face with the unfinished business of your childhood when you have strong reactions to your children’s behavior. And so, again, I think having that awareness offers us this real compassion about. Of course it’s hard. Of course we have moments where we’re going to have this immense rage in response to our children. Of course there’s going to be so many times we’re going to have no capacity to listen and no capacity to play. And that’s okay because we have these beautiful tools of repair, and we are modeling to our children and showing them that it’s okay to be imperfect and it’s okay to make mistakes. And that our relationship matters more than anything else. And we’re going to keep coming back to that. And that we are going to reach out for support when we need support, because we acknowledge how vital that is for us to be in a space where we’re getting listening, where we’re getting our handheld, where we’re getting to offload and share the pain that comes up for us, so that we have capacity to listen to our children and to be there and have the relationships that we want. But, yeah, there’s often lots of stuff that comes up, like you say, in motherhood in relation to our relationships with our own parents, which is also a painful journey. And often when we’re choosing to parent in very different ways, it can be really challenging, and it can be quite fraught sometimes in that relationship. So again, having spaces to go and explore our feelings, to explore our beliefs and our thoughts about that process allows us increasingly to come to a space where we’re very clear about what we want in that relationship. And it might be that we don’t want to have any connection anymore. That’s not possible for us at this moment in our lives. But we’re making that decision from an informed clarity about what we need and what our boundaries are, which is, again, something that we often have to relearn as mothers. And we also can get to a stage where we feel deep compassion for ourselves and the wounds and the struggles that we experienced in our childhood and the trauma that was there, and deep compassion for our parents at the same time. And an understanding that they were doing the best that they knew how to do and that they, of course, had their own unhealed trauma and were navigating all of their pain themselves without the language around it in our culture, without an understanding about attachment and all of the needs of children. So, yes, it’s a big process and it’s a big journey with lots of big, big feelings for everybody and really learning to welcome feelings, not just to say, yes, I can listen to feelings, mine and my children, but actually to really welcome, oh, wow, I’m having a huge moment here. There’s big, big feelings here. Yeah, bring it on. Because I know at the other side of this, I’m going to feel a sense of peace and a sense of calm and a sense of balance, and my children will, too. So it’s a really beautiful parallel journey, I think.

[48:32] Charlotte: Incredible. Yeah, that really feels really beautiful in my heart and in myself. Just hearing that, I think it’s so beautiful to have that understanding, that life can be really challenging. And like you said, for me, becoming a mother was the first time I really had to assert some strong boundaries and then follow through on that. And it’s been incredibly difficult, but I feel so much freer for it. And I know that the benefit of that is that I can role model that to my children, for example. And I think that for anyone listening who’s sort of questioning about how they can be with their own children and their feelings and their own feelings and parent in this way that is really connected, it can seem like, oh, I’m too far in, or I wish I’d known that earlier, or how can I start now? Or, oh, I’ve already done the damage, how do you go back? Kind of thing? And what I’m just really hearing from you is that it’s not about perfection. We are completely taking that off the table. It’s about doing your best and increasing your capacity as you can and holding as you can. And that repairing is really important. So even if something does come up, that it’s that repair later where you’re reconnecting. And I think that that just gives so much permission for us to just take that ideal mother label idea off the table, because I just don’t think it’s ever existed. And it’s just a way to cripple women and to make us feel like we’re just failing at something else. So I really feel that. And yeah, I’m really interested as well about the ancestral stuff, like the way that we’re doing this inner work in ourselves in the present moment, and with our children, which will benefit them for the future and their children and the future to come. But we’re also looking at our relationship with our parents and understanding with compassion that we might not have been parented the way that we wanted. And like you say, most likely they have been dealing with their own stuff that they didn’t have the capacity to do. And so I feel like doing this now, we can bring compassion, and it kind of releases what’s inherited down the ancestral line as well. And something that I think is a parallel that I have seen with this understanding in aware parenting, with the understanding that we have in menstrual cycle awareness, is that different seasons or phases of our menstrual cycles, the different hormonal phases, can really be quite linked to different times of our life. And I think it’s fascinating because I think when I first heard about it, I thought it seemed very esoteric and woo and was like, well, how? But what I’ve seen to be true over working with women and my own experience for years is that there really is something in it. And it’s quite incredible that, for example, our pre ovulatory phase, so when we finish our period, we move into that phase of growing energy, and it’s often referred to as an inner spring, is tied energetically to the child or maiden phase of our life. Because it’s beginnings, it’s emergence, it’s how we come back out into the world and how we relate to ourself and see ourself and fit into the world around us. And so many of our imprints of beginning and emerging come up. And so we can see lots of different patterns that are playing out here. Coping mechanisms, control behaviors, stories that we’re telling ourselves. It’s just really fascinating to me that that comes up, and I see it so often that it really does. And then this sense of the summer phase of the menstrual cycle, which is the ovulation phase, which is said to be the mother phase of the cycle. And it can really bring up, as we step into, as our hormonal profile changes, we can be in this really nurturing, caring, kind of giving, more tolerant, perhaps kind of energy. And that it’s said to be like a representation of the mother qualities. But also, if we don’t have that beautiful eye that we’re maybe expecting to have or we used to have, and some things happened where our hormones are a bit out of kilter and so we don’t get that energy in that summertime of our cycle, we can feel really disappointed and let down and kind of betrayed almost, where if we don’t have the resources that we need to thrive in that season and then continue on through the rest of the cycle as well. And so it really can bring up a lot about how we mother, how we mother our children, how we mother ourselves, how we feel about our mothers as well. And it’s so interesting to see that this is connected, maybe if it doesn’t make logical sense, but there’s this energy around it. And so I feel like when you work with the menstrual cycle, so after ovulation and we move into the premenstrual phase, it’s this wild woman, post menopause and even grandmother kind of energy. And then right before and during the bleed time is said to be like the crone, like the older elder, this wise woman, just to complete that. Boop. But I think it’s so interesting to recognize through both of these modalities what’s there within us and to be with what is, and to use these tools that you’ve suggested and just having this self awareness to tap into our body and be in the present moment and then to notice this is how I’m reacting to this situation. And maybe having that sense of if it is cyclical, for example, if you are having a menstrual cycle and some of these things are cyclical, but just having that compassion and that awareness can be the first and foremost really great tool to have. But then the deeper work that you’ve described and particularly around having support, I think, is just so integral. And being guided through this to nurture yourself and to connect these dots can be really therapeutic. And like you say, with counseling, I’ve had counseling and therapy before as well, but being with my body in this way is something that you don’t get when you go to traditional therapy. So this more embodied style of tuning in and listening to what’s coming up for you has been like a missing piece for me in many ways, where it’s sort of like, oh, yeah, I can rationalize things, but this feeling and being with the embodied feelings is incredibly powerful and something that I think more and more of us are coming to. And so I’m just curious, from your point of view in your journey as well, how was it that you came to be able to connect into your body and listen to or cultivate this relationship with yourself, to be embodied and to relate to the feelings that are coming up for you? How’s that been for you?

[56:37] Joss: It’s a painful and long process and often very messy and often frustrating. It’s not easy by any means to do that. And I think the key thing is to have support, to have external people to guide you, to hold your hand, to help you, to offer you spaces. Most of us grew up knowing that it wasn’t safe to express our feelings, and we shut them down. And of course, to heal, we have to reconnect. We can’t heal without reconnecting. And for many of us, that’s a difficult process because we have deeply held, tightly held all of our feelings inside for our life. And so I think the really important thing is finding spaces where you have people who you resonate with, who understand this perspective, who are passionate also about this. For our children as well as for ourselves, to be able to offer you this sense of safety and this compassion, because learning to speak self compassionately and learning to offer compassion to our children is very hard. Most of us didn’t hear this language. So it really is like learning a new language that we’ve never heard spoken before. So practicing that, receiving that ourselves and then practicing offering that to others is really, really helpful in this process. And this piece around needs, I think, is really helpful from aware parenting, too, because I had no understanding of needs. I didn’t know that I actually had any needs. And when I look back at what needs are and what needs for children are, I see how really none of those needs were met for me as a child. And so I completely disconnected from my needs because I didn’t know what they were and nobody was going to meet them anyway. And so as an adult, I had to really relearn what my needs were and how I might meet them. And I remember having this moment where I was having a session with somebody and they were talking about needs and I had this realization that that analogy about being on an aeroplane and the oxygen masks, if I’d been on a plane with my children and the oxygen masks had fallen, I would have put them on my children first, not on me. And that was a real wake up moment for me, of how can we offer this way of being with our children, not punishing them, of meeting their needs, of caring about how they feel, of offering them support if we’re not doing the same for ourselves and we just can’t. And so I realized that I was trying to offer non punitive discipline for my children whilst I was punishing myself and beating myself up all the times I didn’t do anything right, in inverted commas, that I was trying to meet their needs and recognize how important it was for them to have their needs met, but not doing any of that for myself, that I was trying to support their nervous systems, to go through these cycles of releasing trauma and coming back through stress to balance, but never offering myself that opportunity. So, yeah, it’s been a journey, and I now really value taking care of myself. And I really see that I can’t support my children. And I’ve known this for many years now, can’t support my children in this way that I’m deeply passionate about unless I’m also supporting myself. So finding spaces to get that support has just been really transformational. And I’d like to mention Marion Rose again. Her work around this has been really powerful for me and just have. I have a listening partner who I speak to pretty much every week. And it’s a really beautiful tool in aware parenting. So we have half an hour each on the phone and we just hold space. So no advice, no dismissing, no distracting, just holding space to share whatever’s in our heart. And that’s really beautiful. And at the end of that, we’ve known each other for years. And at the end of that process, we often offer each other reflections, which is really helpful. And I do ongoing voice note sharing and Zoom meetings with two other of my beautiful, aware parenting colleagues who I just adore, where we can share anything that is in our hearts and be met with absolute, unconditional love and compassion. And then I can bring that back to my family. So it really is about us taking steps to meet our needs and to know that our needs matter, reconnecting with our feelings and our needs and finding space to get support for that. And it’s then just going through the messy process and trusting that sometimes it’s really, really painful and very messy and yuck. And then we can trust that we’ll ride the wave and we’ll come out the other side of it.

[01:01:49] Charlotte: Amazing. Thank you for sharing that. And I think that’s really powerful wisdom and I hope really supportive for people listening as well, especially if you found yourself in a place without support or this is a really difficult experience of being with your feelings, your emotions, what’s coming up for you, or everything we’ve talked about here. So that’s really great to hear. Thank you for sharing from your experience, Joss. Okay, I’d like to just change tack now, because when I was a guest on your podcast recently, which is the aware Parenting stories podcast with Joss, I was talking about menstrual wisdom there. Josh shared with me that her daughter had had a lovely menarch celebration, and I thought that was really wonderful. And I really wanted to hear more about it because I don’t hear of many people who have done this, I think, more and more, it’s certainly happening, but to hear examples, to hear stories about it, I think is absolutely wonderful. And so I really wanted to ask Joss today on this podcast to share with us about this experience. And particularly, I’d love to know what you did and whether your daughter wanted to do this as well and just how it was and what the benefit of acknowledging this beautiful rite of passage, how that’s played out for you and your family.

[01:03:32] Joss: Yeah, I love sharing about this because I loved this process so much, and I found it deeply healing for myself as well to go through this with my daughter, because I’d had a very different experience of entry into through puberty without the information and the support I needed. So I was really clear that I wanted to do it differently for my daughter. And I think coming back to that aware parenting perspective again, I was really looking at those three things, the information piece, the needs piece, and the feelings piece. And so what I was trying to do was, right from the beginning, always share honest information in an age appropriate way with my daughter in response to any questions and my son about what the cycles are and about menstruation and about our bodies. And so the home was always a place where anybody could ask anything. There was no topic that was off the table. And I always shared, in sometimes an uncomfortably honest way for me with my children in response to any questions they had about anything, but particularly around their bodies, and particularly for my daughter, around menstruation. So my daughter, and I have to say, as well, really, honestly, I was very disconnected from my cycle right up and I mean, I was never really connected with my cycle. I didn’t have this understanding and this wisdom about it, but I knew I wanted it to be different for her. So, yeah, the first piece around information, I just gave her lots of information. I bought some books and was always able to answer questions. She knew she was often in the bathroom with me when I was menstruating. So she knew from a very early age about menstrual cups and about bleeding and about period pain. I wish now, looking back, that I’d given her more positive information about period two because I was still very much, as I said, not connected to the cycles. I would have loved to have had to have shared more with her about that, but just giving her lots of information and wisdom when she was, I think, twelve, I think it was her twelveth birthday, I gave her a beautiful sort of toiletries bag full of beautiful things related to menarch. So I gave her some reusable pads, I gave her some organic pads, some organic tampons. I gave her a menstrual cup, a child’s menstrual cup. I gave her some massage oil for period pain from this beautiful company near us in Australia. I gave her a bracelet where you go through and track your cycle by moving a little thing along through each of the beads and various other things, some period underwear and that kind of thing. And I gave that to her as her birthday, part of her birthday present for her twelveth birthday. And she loved it. It was beautiful. She really loved it. And it was all about beauty and information and celebration and acknowledgment. And we had lots of conversations about what it means to be a woman and answered all of her questions. And then looking at the needs piece, I was really clear that I wanted her needs to be met around this as much as possible. So needs for celebration and for beauty and for choice and for connection and agency and trust and rest and self acceptance and community and nurturing and play and all of these different things. So what we actually did was when she got her first period, we had a celebration, a big celebration. And I gave her some gifts which I had prepared because I knew it was coming. So some of them were sort of celebration gifts, and some of them were more practical gifts. So I gave her, for example, I gave her a red beach towel so that she could always go swimming and go to the beach without ever sensing any shame if she leaked or anything like that. Because I remember being there was so much shame around it all in my days, back in the day when I got my period and all the conversation around, it was shame based and full of judgment and yuckiness. And so we gave her lots of other gifts. Everything had a theme of red. So there was a red candle, there was a red mug, there was this red towel. There were various other things. And then we cooked a beautiful meal. I cooked her favorite dinner, and we sat around the table, all four of us in the family, and we lit a candle, and we just shared about what it meant for us to be, for her to be in this next chapter of her life. And my son made some funny jokes about the fact that it was really unfair that he hadn’t had such a celebration. But yes, it was a really beautiful day and a beautiful sharing. And I know that my daughter, she just loved it. She felt the love, she felt the celebration. She felt the specialness of what was happening for her. And, yeah, it was really joyful and connecting. And then, of course, the feelings part was around explaining to her that there would be times in the months where she felt more emotionally sensitive, and again, that her feelings are always welcome, whatever they are. We’re always going to try to be there to listen for her and to bring in play and laughter around it, too. So, yes, lots of opportunity to share how she was feeling and the hard stuff as well as the joyful stuff. So that’s just been an ongoing theme. And I think she has this deep sense of connection to her body, and her cycle is often quite hard. And she has had a few challenges in relation to her cycle, definitely. But she also lives in this culture, which is incredibly stressful for young girls. Realistic, unachievable standards of beauty and that mattering more than anything else, sexual objectification of young girls and all of the challenges that are part of the culture and being a young woman and a young girl in our culture. And I think she navigates that really beautifully, even though it is stressful and difficult for her. And I think she has this connection to her body and an acceptance of her body and an appreciation of the wisdom of her body that is beautiful. Even though, as I said, it’s been imperfect. I would have loved to have modeled to her more self care. I just pushed through. When I had my cycle, I never stopped for a moment to consider what my needs were or what was really going on for me. So I wish I’d modeled that differently for her. But I can see how, even though I didn’t do that, by giving her all this information and this understanding, she does have a different understanding. And I know that, for example, on the day one of her bleed, she often spends the day in bed, and I take her hot water bottle and all her favorite foods, and we hang out together and we’ll watch movies and really honor that in her and give permission, well, give her the understanding so that she can give herself permission to tune into what her body needs. So I think that’s just profound.

[01:11:21] Charlotte: Oh, so do I. I think that’s incredible. I’m so happy hearing that story. Thank you so much for sharing. That’s really beautiful and really inspiring. And you’ve given me some ideas of what I’ll take with me as well, for my children. But I just really want to acknowledge that you have done so much work there to change things from your experience to her experience. Even if you have come to this wisdom later, you have given her all of that permission and that honoring and given her that full support and guidance to be able to do that for herself as well. So I love hearing how she takes her day one now and the way that she feels empowered in herself to be who she is and to look after herself and to listen to herself as she needs to. And that’s very much, obviously, through the beautiful, aware parenting that you have done. But that piece, particularly around menstruation, I just think is so special. So I really celebrate you for that. And thank you so much. And I think it’s hilarious that your son said, why can’t I have this kind of celebration? That’s great, because he sees the beauty and the power and the wisdom and sees that positivity of it. So bringing him in, and as you said, sharing the knowledge with him as well, not just her, like it’s secret women’s business, really bringing it into the open. And I think that’s incredibly special and powerful and transformational. And if we can all do little pieces of this, then the collective impact of that is phenomenal. And I just want to ask really quickly, just for any boy mums out there, whether your son did have any. I know you said he’s older, whether there was any kind of shift or acknowledgment or kind of celebration or anything that you noticed that you did, intentionally or not intentionally, even as he shifted through puberty in your aware parenting style.

[01:13:44] Joss: Yeah, I think that’s, again, a thing that if I could go back and do things differently, I would do differently. I didn’t have a specific ceremony for him around this. We did offer for him to go on a sort of boys to men retreat thing with my husband, but he wasn’t interested in doing that, and we really respected his choice around that. I don’t think it really would have been that helpful for him to do that. And I do see the missing piece in our culture around what it means now to be a man and around rites of passage for our boys. I can see the real value in doing that, having not done that. But I would say, too, that again, it was a safe place. Our home was a safe place, so he could always ask anything he wanted to ask. We talked through all kinds of things. All questions were welcomed. It was always safe for him to express any feelings that he was having in the transitions of his life. I always made a point of acknowledging what they were going through and the challenge of those moments and reminded them again and again that I was always there to listen and to be able to share if they had things that they wanted to share. And I think having exposure to menstruation and the power of menstruation as a young boy and as a man was really powerful for him. I also had my second child at home in a home birth, beautiful home birth on my birthday, actually. So Jada was born on my birthday. So we’ve always had this really incredible connection through that. But my son was there as well for that process. So he saw all of that going on and he witnessed that, and he saw the placenta. And we always made a point of having these ceremonies. We planted the placenta under trees, and he was part of that, too. He’s always been involved right from the beginning in all of these things about what it means to be a human and what it means to be a woman. And so there’s none of that shame for him, either, around puberty, around becoming a man, around sexuality, all of that. He was free to explore with our support and to understand and to learn. We had lots of honest and frank conversations about all kinds of things, often in the car. I found that really helpful. So it was a really beautiful space to have lots of these conversations, but again, to understand around our bodies and around emsturbation and around pleasure and consent and all of these things. So whilst we didn’t have a specific ceremony for him, and I wish we had, we had lots and lots of. All of the really powerful things that were part of his experience.

[01:16:46] Charlotte: Yeah, exactly. I think we don’t need to have necessarily the kind of formal ceremony style, but to acknowledge it. I think everything you’ve described is that you’ve acknowledged it and you’ve been there for him and given him that guidance and that holding all the way through and the cumulative effect of that is phenomenal, I’m sure. And so I really love hearing about that, too. And the approach that you’ve taken and the way that you’ve been there and guided and held him and the opportunities that you gave to him and respected his decision to not participate with that trip, for example. I think that in itself is really special because I think that so many people don’t. We think we know what’s best. We want things for them that we want them to have and not necessarily giving or letting them make their own choices. And I think that’s so much part of puberty as well, and growing up, and it’s to have that sovereignty as well. So love hearing about all of that and also hearing you and holding you in the feelings of where you wanted to or you would have liked to have gone back, but really just acknowledging all that you have done. And it’s incredible. And I just think how special to hear your journey and your experiences and for us to have the benefit of that understanding as well. And no doubt, as your son turns 20, you can see this parenting journey that you’ve been on and all these ways that you’ve shaped each other and held him through. And I’m sure you can see the benefit of all of that in him. I’m sure he’s a wonderful person. I just think that people listening can take. I think we can all just take so much from everything you’ve shared here, Joss, and I really appreciate the benefit of your wisdom and your experiences here, both with aware parenting and in your own journey, and what you’ve shared as well about being with your children through their transitions through puberty and into adolescence and the teenage years. And I think that’s just really wonderful for us to all here as the role model that you are and to think about how we want to approach these things maybe differently to what we had, but also to know that we can co create something with our children and invite them into that. So, yeah, that really just wraps up for me just such a beautiful conversation. So much deep wisdom in there, so many tools and things to think about. And so I just love to ask for someone who’s there thinking, this sounds really interesting. I’d love to learn more. Is it too late to begin? Can I jump in where I’m at? I hear you speaking about support like I need support, but how do I get support? Maybe spouses or partners aren’t interested in the same style of parenting, or there’s parents or parents, in laws, for example, or friends even, who are just not on this same page. I know that you offer incredible programs and community around this. Would you like to share how people could connect with you and connect with aware parenting and follow this path, explore it for themselves?

[01:20:26] Joss: Thank you so much. Yes. So if this resonates for you, Dr. Lisa Salter has written six books, which I highly recommend, and they’re all available in the usual places. In addition, Marion Rose has written books as well. She’s most recently just written a book called the Emotional Life of Babies, which is an incredible book. So anybody with young children, I would highly recommend that. She also wrote a book with Lail Stone called Raising Resilient and compassionate Children, which is also really powerful. So I recommend all of those resources. If you want to connect with me, I have a website which is awareparenting.com au, and on there I share all my offerings. I have courses for aware parenting with teenagers. I have a course that is almost ready to be released, which is bringing this kind of aware parenting to your partnership with either your husband or your partner or your co parent if you’re separated or if you’re in a blended family. So how to navigate all this within the challenges of unique circumstances of our families? I also have communities that I run to support people that I run with my colleagues, Danny Willow and Marion Rose. One is for aware parenting and one is for aware parenting and natural learning and homeschooling, which is something that I’m also really passionate about. And I offer one to one sessions. And in terms of whether it’s too late, I have clients whose children are 19, so it’s never too late to start offering this for our children and for ourselves. So yeah, of course I do one to one sessions if you I share on social media at aware parenting with Joss. So yeah, reach out, connect with me. I’d love to support you. I’ve also got lots of articles on my website, so lots of free information. I’ve got a free introduction to a web parenting course, and I have my podcasts as well, which share lots of stuff about this, too. So there’s lots of free stuff to be able to start exploring if this resonates for you.

[01:22:27] Charlotte: Wonderful. Thank you. And I’ll pop all of those links into the show notes, all of your courses and your work and the books that you recommended and your teachers as well. So everyone can find that all in the show notes. And how exciting about the new course coming through. I think that’s going to be a really popular one. I can just imagine because I feel like in a partnership, navigating parenting can be a real challenge and being on the same page. So yes, that sounds wonderful. You’ve got everything covered. So like you say, so much to learn about and to find through you. So thank you so much for being with us and for sharing so generously. I really appreciate it and I’ve loved connecting with you. So thanks so much. Joss thank you.

[01:23:18] Joss: Charlote, it’s beautiful.

[01:23:22] Charlotte: Thanks so much for listening to wildflow. I love having you here. If you’re loving this podcast, why not leave a rating and review and share your favorite episodes with those you think would love to listen? And if you share on Instagram, tag me at Charlotte.pointeaux.coach to take the next step in your own journey of learning how to live, love and lead and flow with your cyclical nature. And for deeper guidance and support in your cycle embodiment journey, you can discover my freebies and join my wildflow coven, my new cycle wisdom membership, or even discover my group programs, private cycle coaching and courses all on my website. Until next time, go well with the flow of your body’s cyclic nature.

womb wisdom, aware parenting, menarche celebration, inner child healing

meet joss

Joss is host of the Aware Parenting Stories Podcast and co host of the Aware Parenting and Natural Learning podcast with Marion Rose. Joss co facilitates aware parenting communities, runs courses and workshops, and offers one to one consultations for parents. She’s written many articles on aware parenting and natural learning and has been interviewed many times about her experiences having homeschooled her children from kindly to year twelve and beyond, and supporting families with homeschooling and natural learning for many years.

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Charlotte Pointeaux

Charlotte Pointeaux is an Internationally Award-Winning triple-Certified Coach, Youth Mentor, Host of Wild Flow Podcast, a sought-after guest menstrual educator and speaker. She is a Shamanic Womancrafter, a Priestess of the Cycle Mysteries.

Charlotte’s work as a Wild Feminine Cycle Coach weaves together shamanic womb healing and rite of passage work with menstrual cycle awareness and feminine embodiment tools, to guide women through their transformational journey of reclaiming their wild feminine cyclic powers to expressing their big magick as a sacred leader.

Charlotte founded First Moon Circles®, a renowned facilitator training program, to train new menstrual educators to prepare, honour and celebrate children and their care-givers at menarche (their first period). To date, she has trained almost 100 facilitators across 5 continents and is on a mission to infuse families, friendships, classrooms and communities with period positivity and menstrually inclusive practices.

Download your free menstrual magick guide by subscribing to my newsletter, and discover my coaching, courses and short classes at www.charlottepointeaux.com/coaching.

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