As a kid, I didn’t quite have ‘period coach’ on my list of things I wanted to be when I grew up. But it doesn’t surprise me that I’ve ended up in the career I’m in. I always knew I wanted to help other people, to teach, to write, and yes — to be self-employed.
I’m often asked what I’ve studied to be able to do what I do.
How does one end up working with women who want to understand how to live more in flow with their body’s natural rhythm?
First of all, I want to be clear on what I do and the parameters involved. As a qualified and experienced health and life coach, I work with women who often want to develop a greater relationship with themselves, become more of an authority in their own lives, take better care of themselves, and want to fulfil a creative ambition or desire. They often feel called to explore more of their inner feminine energy, including their sensual, sexual and creative energy, and they (rightly so) feel that connecting to their menstrual cycle is important for their self-development. I am qualified to teach women how to get to know their own flow, and how to use this information to live a more positive and fulfilling life.
I am not at present qualified to give advice on hormonal regulation (besides general self-care and basic nutritional guidance), navigating deep trauma stored in the body, or medical advice on menstrual issues and disease. I will always refer my clients on to an appropriate therapist, consultant, holistic practitioner or integrative doctor if I feel that’s what they need. Often, it is a combination of healing modalities that works best for a client.
My work lives more in the realm of menstruality; unravelling the female life process of menarche, the menstrual cycle, menopause and beyond, and playing in the delightful intersection of menstrual cycle awareness and life coaching.
I narrowed my focus in on menstrual cycle awareness because I feel it is the missing piece when it comes to women’s wellbeing, creativity, self-care and spiritual practice. The female body is cyclical, and I couldn’t see anything out there in the world of personal development that acknowledged and celebrated that. So I decided to 🙂
Now, there is no degree (yet) in menstruality or menstrual cycle awareness or a piece of paper that is going to say ‘Certified Period Coach’. At least not yet. Societal understanding of the value of this work is still very new. Perhaps in time there will be!
Here’s a snapshot of what I have studied in my path of becoming a period coach:
- I spent 2013 studying with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified health and life coach. I heartily recommend this course. It was 100% the foundation for my career as a coach. My style has ultimately evolved over seven years of working with clients, but I still use much of the IIN approach.
- I trained with UK’s Red School in 2017, undertaking their Menstruality Leadership Program (formally the Women’s Quest Apprenticeship). This dual-residential course solidified and expanded my understanding of the psycho-spiritual aspect of the menstrual cycle in extraordinary ways. I still learn so much from my mentors Alexandra and Sjanie, pioneers in this field, and am soon to undergo supervision for another certification I am completing with them in the realm of Menstrual Medicine.
- And of course, coaching itself. From 2013 to today, I’ve worked 1:1 with hundreds and hundreds of women who are curious about transforming their relationship with their menstrual cycle, their bodies, and ultimately with themselves. I am so grateful to have worked with so many women who have felt the power and potential they hold within. There are hundreds more again who have taken my group courses and classes. All of my studies have been essential and invaluable, but the process of sitting down with women, and getting right into the gold of their cycle, together — that has nourished the core of my teachings like nothing else. I so deeply cherish my years of coaching. You can read a little more about how I started integrating cycle awareness into my coaching work here.
- I have completed various professional development trainings over the past years in the vast realm of relating and personal development, both offline and online. I believe it is important to continue to learn, to have a beginner’s mind, and stay a student forever so that you can be a terrific teacher. My next training will to become a natural fertility planning practitioner, which I’m really looking forward to!
- I also spent 2013 learning the ropes of self-employment through the miracle that is B-School. It’s one thing to have skills, passion and experience in your field, but if you want to have your own business, there is SO MUCH to learn. Seriously, I completed post-graduate university studies in business that didn’t teach me 1/4 of what I learned from Marie Forleo’s B-School. It’s meant I have a thriving business rather than an expensive hobby.
- It would be remiss of me to not mention my #1 biggest teacher of all: my own cycle. I am completely devoted to the ebb and flow of my body, and I do believe that my work is as rich and engaging as it is, because it comes from a truly genuine place. I walk my talk. I follow and chart my cycle daily. So much of what I teach comes from what my own body has shown me.
So — do you need to have a piece of paper to start sharing menstrual cycle awareness? Of course not. I think that sometimes we hold ourselves back by needing to get ‘another’ piece of paper before we just put ourselves out there.
Saying that, the wellness industry is so poorly regulated. It does concern me when I see people sharing information online that is simply not true, or outside the parameters of their qualification or experience. That’s unhelpful at best, and dangerous at worst. I believe in programs that will teach you how to show up for your clients with integrity, empathy, safety, structure, and of course — facts and knowledge!
Finally, if you choose to study fields like Gynaecology & Obstetrics, Chinese Medicine, or Naturopathy at a tertiary level, then the menstrual cycle will of course be covered, and there are some absolute angels doing important work for women in cyclic holistic health right now.
Who knows, maybe a degree in menstrual cycle awareness isn’t actually that far away!?
Tell me: do you have any more questions on this topic? How can I help?
To learning and serving!