Decoding the 28-Day Female Body Clock for Health, Business, & Love

Suz’s Musings

Ovulation: The Queen Bee

All is particularly peaceful at the pirate ship this morning. The quiet reward for living a little more ruggedly in a rural environment is the welcomed sound of the winged ones: the birds, the flying insects, and even a couple of roosters in the distance.

It’s 5 am and I open all doors and windows to allow the heat to escape in exchange for the relief of a respectable temperature. The downside is that a mosquito or two rushes in, but I take that as a gentle reminder to create my mosquito traps.

I’m tired. Super tired. Not the kind of tired where there is something to worry about, but the kind of tired that happens after too many big events in a row. It’s the kind that is necessary; a survival mechanism triggering a person to now take time to rejuvenate and regroup.

I specialize in the hormonal lunar rhythm of women and how it applies both realistically and symbolically to our day-to-day lives in order to be in harmony with it. If you were in a workshop with me right now, you’d hear me telling you that when a woman is tapped-in and practiced, she can feel the day after ovulation.

Today, for me, is exactly like the day after ovulation.

Ovulation is the zenith of the whole female operation and basically a 24-hr or so event. It’s the queen bee of the hive made up of female cycle days. It’s what the whole fuss is about: the party our bodies work so hard to prepare for every month. Symbolically, it represents full moon, full expression energy among many other things.

Once the event of ovulation is set into motion and parties in a raw and primal way all night, hormones dip as others begin to rise. This creates a dip in body energy that feels like relief, which activates reflection, as well as wisdom. One can also feel tired and not even realize why.

This scenario can happen metaphorically in one’s life as well.

Building toward a non-work-related production, I reached my symbolic ovulatory fullest expression yesterday and it came in the form of a dancing in Ashland’s 4th of July parade.

My friend, Wendy and I put a call out for fun-seekers and created a doable dance routine for people who dance well and who don’t dance so well in order to just have a great time and add our bit of spice to the parade. In 2007 we created the Firecracker Queens since our big local parade is the 4th of July. We hadn’t done it since then and didn’t have time to do it now, but we knew it was now or never.

Photo by Michelle Zundel

Photo by Michelle Zundel

Like ovulation, there is a tremendous amount of prep and build-up leading to the event. In many ways, preparing for the parade is a little like preparing for a half marathon. Training happens over several months and a huge amount of emphasis is placed on having the right personal set-up, hydration, and comfort to make it through without fainting. In our case, it was two months of dance practice in extreme heat temperatures, gathering and paying for the costumes and accessories, sound system, vehicles, etc., and constant communication with each other on our secret Facebook page. I personally got up at exactly 3:46 am yesterday morning to gather last minute items and race to get two vehicles in place at the front of our assigned street to hold our spot so as not to be at the end of the parade (first come, first serve is the short version of how this works).

Lots and lots of thought was put into planning every detail of our routine, including what a dancer would do if she felt she were going to pass out. The morning graced us with cooler temps and a slight breeze. Judging always happens before the actual parade and we won 1st place in our category. Once out on the parade route, we had a total blast, the crowd responded, and we nailed it. It felt incredibly magical. Every dancer made it through and did really, really well. Like the female cycle, the preparation takes many days and the actual act it is supporting only lasts a few hours. In the case of our parade routine, we put an enormous amount of effort into it and were probably out on the parade route for a total of 25 minutes. Then it was over.

After that, some of us walked over to the after-parade festivities at the park and then trekked all the way back to our cars, which were at the beginning of the parade route, still in full costume. It was super hot and we were exhausted. I went home, literally peeled my dress off my skin, removed my wig, made a cold bath, got out, and fell onto my bed. Later I went to a pool party and then another party – both very sweet. I ate decent snacks, a good dinner, and drank no alcohol, only hydrating stuff. I finished the day with watching fireworks going off at various parts of the valley from the 3rd floor deck of the pirate ship.

I woke up this morning not being able to move very well, but in a good sort of way, kind of. I got up and went into the bathroom. I had a blue sparkly heart sticker stuck to my chest (maybe someone hugged me who had it on them?), traces of long-lasting red lipstick on the edges of my mouth, a bruised knot on my forehead, and my hair doing what I call its ratty toddler thing, along with not only one bobby pin but a small French clip still embedded in its twisty layers. I removed those, as well as the sticker, and left the rest to deal with after breakfast. Oh, and the bruise came from moving a poolside lounge chair by the arms yesterday and having the heavy metal backrest slam forward and down onto my forehead.

Standing out on the pirate ship deck totally naked this morning, screwed up hair and makeup, taking in what coolness I know is not going to stay for long, I reflected on this morning-after day.

I’ve been going full throttle for 6-weeks or so: too many hours of travel but loved a family wedding, held a 4-day retreat at a hot springs resort, worked a 3-day festival and held a workshop in extreme heat temps. Normally I might be able to rest the right amount and keep going. But in the middle of it all was the inevitable decision to put my cat down, which was the devastating low for all of this high energy.

My sweet friend, Darryl pointed out that sometimes we have animals that become our right-hand person. Todd the Loverboy Cat was that for me (for too many reasons to list), so in the midst of all of these metaphorically reproductive references, I am really only aware of one thing: I’m grieving right now. I know many people can’t understand why you would grieve an animal like a person, but we do for certain ones, and I am.

So, I’m going to continue with my work-related commitments and meetings, but am going to lay low in all other ways for a bit. Now that I’m on the other side of my symbolic full-throttle building and full expression ovulation phases of my right-now life rhythm, I am going to take the time to reflect, honor, and go inward. Love and thanks for all of your beautiful messages and your always lovely support. I’m going to step away from posting for a bit and be back when I’m ready. ~ Suz

Go Raw

let your hair down ~ forget your mask ~ find your primal ~ answer your indigenous

Release Your Raw.

Does your body image ~ lumps and bumps, out of shape, in shape but not happy, visible flaws, hair, skin, etc. keep you from getting into water or showing your vulnerabilities? We understand. This is a retreat where we invite you to forget about it and allow yourself to just enjoy. You don’t need makeup or your hair done at this place (it’s also OK if you do want these things).

Breitenbush is a clothing optional retreat center and often there are other retreats happening that have male attendees. We’ve never found it to be a problem—only freeing. The pools are serene, discreet, and separated out into different locations. We suggest bringing a bathrobe and towel. Disrobe, get in, get out, and cover up. All shapes and sizes take in the healing waters.

Women’s Annual Retreat @ Breitenbush Hot Springs, June 9-12, 2015

Corkscrew Jungle

Release Your Raw.

What would you give for relief from your hormones?

We all know that money is the stuff that pays the bills. We also know that there are many types of currency we can utilize to balance out what we receive for our services.

When I was a hairdresser from 1981 until 1995, I bartered a LOT. As long as I could get enough cash to pay my bills, I enjoyed trading because I actually got stuff that I loved but probably wouldn’t have spent money on myself because it might have felt too frivolous at the time. I got massages, healing work, and many, many beautiful pieces of art. My most unusual trade was when an entire family needed their hair cut, and they gave me about 7 chickens! I didn’t have any place for the chickens at the time, so I traded those for something else to someone else. I can’t remember what (maybe to my mother-in-law who had chickens?).

My first salon space lease, along with the equipment and set-up was sold/exchanged for a motorcycle, which was what the equipment was worth and what the new owner had to offer. The client list went with me to my new salon. It felt like a “good trade.”

Here and there, there is an event or festival where attendee money is tight, but enthusiasm is high for the music, art booths, dancing, and workshops, including mine. They want my book, so get creative:

“Will you trade”?
Most of the time I say, “Sure. What d’ya got”?
“Some weed and some crystals.”
“OK.”

I take the crystals and use them with my medicine bowl and hand off the weed to somebody who smokes or save it for someone in a little pain (which can often be the person you least expect, like your conservative grandfather).

Last year, from one woman with about 4 kids and a husband, I received a bottle of some amazing essential oil spray and some gorgeous temporary arm tattoos. And I think some weed.

When all of this is going on, I feel so touched and here’s why: These young women who are finding relief in just hearing about my approach to the hormones and are in need of support (what my book is about) have a stash of trade-ables, but it’s not an endless supply. Their trades are just as precious as money to them. They turn to their partners, and together they dip into their satchel and come up with an appropriate equal exchange. I feel honored that what I have to offer feels valuable enough to part with their goods.

What would you give for relief from your hormones?

This evening I was at the Co-op, our local organic food store. I was standing in an aisle looking for grainless crackers when a young family standing next to me was commenting on the cheap prices compared to where they lived. Our co-op isn’t cheap, so I asked them where they lived. Mendocino. Ah yes. Gorgeous and expensive, indeed.

Anyhow, the woman looked at me and said,
“You look familiar. Do we know each other? Do I look familiar to you?”

I admitted that she did look familiar, so asked her her name. It didn’t ring a bell.

Then she said, “Are you…? Did you…write a book, 4 Seasons….Is your name Ssss…?

“4 Seasons in 4 Weeks. Suzanne. Yes! Geez! How did you know that? Did you attend a workshop last year or festival?”

“YES! And I have your book!” (No—she hadn’t given me weed for it).

“Really?” (Of course that is the best thing anyone can say to me. Super wonderful to hear).

Then she did something that surprised the heck out of me. She said,

“Can I hug you?” She was super excited and beginning to get a little emotional.

“Sure!”

Then she said,

“I just have to hug you and want to thank you for writing the book. It has really helped me. And it has helped him too” (Pointing to her man).

Me, stunned, shocked, relieved, grateful. Again.

A little more small talk and we went our separate ways for groceries.

Compliments like that don’t pay the bills directly, but believe-you-me, they are a high dollar exchange. In this case for me, her desire to let me know her appreciation was a generous, caring boost of high powered fuel which will motivate and keep me and the whole operation going for a very long time. I can’t even put a value on that.

Thank you, Samantha. I wish I had gotten your last name.

We have to remember as a local, national and global community that money is only one form of exchange. We can’t forget to allow the beauty and heart of all kinds of currency to flow in and out of our personal support and wellbeing bank account.

 

Easter and Ovulation: Rebirthing into Your Divinity

 

OvulationEaster symbolizes rebirth ~ being born again into your divinity.

Perhaps for you it is Passover. Please translate with what resonates.

Today is the best day of the year for asking yourself whether you are stepping into the world in your truest nature.

Today is the day to shed the things that are dead—that no longer apply. Old stories, habits, and ways that weigh heavy on your ability to move forward with what you know to be true and that you need to bring to this world.

Today is the day to rise to, recognize, and honor your higher self; your authentic self.

Today is the day to claim the gifts of who you really are.

Shed the old skin. Bring forth the new, healthy glow.

Step into the world.

In the 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks approach to the hormones, springtime and the full moon are the energies that best represent Ovulation and its subsequent days. Just as the most mature and healthiest egg bursts out of its follicle in the hope of creating someone new, spring is the time to burst out of your shell, stepping into your purest form, birthing a new, healthier version of you. Like the full moon, this is the time to shine your grandest expression of light and love.

You are both innocent and experienced. Birthed or Rebirthed. Each rebirthing is a more experienced and refined version of you. It is perfect earth/spirit alignment.

It’s the Moment of Truth.

Because we women are lunar rhythmic and go through 4 seasons in a month’s time, every female, each month, has the opportunity to revisit this question at Ovulation time: Are you stepping in to your gifts? Are you representing your authentic self? Are you claiming the truth of who you really are and standing in it, walking in it, expressing it in its clean and clear self?

For both men and women, the full moon gives us this opportunity as well, every month. And Easter provides the grandest opening to rebirth, each year.

Does this all make sense? Symbolism teaches us, helps us, reminds us, in this moment, to shed the chaos of the world in order focus inward on the basics. Return to your center where the calm place is.

Full Moon represents fullest expression of light and love: the most magnificent version of you.

The Spring Equinox represents the perfect balance of light and dark, of innocent and experienced, of standing in balance which will always be your strongest and truest, most confident nature.

Easter represents the shedding of the dark to step into the light of who you really are. Who you are meant to be. The gifts that have been inside all along.

The Easter Egg represents Ovulation and bursting out of your shell to possibly create a new life.

April 5, 2015:

The Full Moon’s light, like Ovulation, BURST into its fullest expression last night.

Spring is HERE.

Passover is NOW.

Easter is TODAY.

Your time is THIS MOMENT.

Remove the boulders and other obstacles. Crack the egg open. Step into it. Claim it.

Take the time today to sit quietly for just a few moments. Ask yourself these questions:

1) Am I walking in my authentic self, everyday?
2) If not, what am I presenting to the world?
3) Does it feel good?
4) Where am I squirmy and uncomfortable?
5) What do I know to be true?
6) What is missing?
7) What can I shed that is weighing me down?
8) What wants to come into the light?

See what rises to the surface. How does that make you feel? If the feeling is relaxed, if the feeling opens your heart, it is time to bring this gift forward. It has been waiting a very long time to come out.

Don’t worry about what others think. They have been waiting for this gift of yours to express itself. They just didn’t know it.

The feeling is truth and unconditional love for self, others, and your deepest source. It is perfect earth/spirit alignment. It is Easter.

May you shine your light and love for all to see today and from here on out. Rebirth your unconditional love. Step into the Truth of who you really are. Claim it.

With love and thanks,

Suz xoxoxo

 

Are your friends good for you?

I feel good about myself when I am working with this team!

I hope this message finds you well and feeling fully loved after Valentine’s Day!

Whether by an intimate partner, your family and friends, or a new found way to accept yourself, this juncture of the year provides an opportunity to analyze how much love flows in and out of your being. The question primarily is: How much self-love (or even self-like) is present in you? A good way to evaluate whether those around you are good for you or not is to observe whether you like who you are when with them, or if you find your more frustrated or darker side coming out.

You’ll notice that when around certain people, you feel smarter, more attractive, and peaceful. When with others, you may feel less intelligent or inferior. Perhaps you feel you are always in survival mode, in constant resistance or defensiveness.

Choosing which friends or family members to be around has little to do with what you think of them. It has to do with what you think of yourself when you are around them. Tap in and take note. If your body and mind feel relaxed and comfortable, your thoughts and contributions will flow easily. If you’re on guard, your body will constrict, and your gifts, your better thoughts, and your health will not flow smoothly.

Our relationships are directional indicators (act as compasses) for showing us when we are getting closer or getting further away from alignment with our core truths and authenticity. It’s like playing the “you’re getting hotter, you’re getting colder” game. When in alignment, your core essence and gifts for the world will come out more often until they become your way of life. Here, doors open and abundance flows to you as effortlessly as breathing in and out.

Find the calm and you’ll find the love.

When Santa was a woman — five Christmas histories you want to know

Thank you to iPinion Syndicate for this great post:

When Santa was a woman — five Christmas histories you want to know

 

The Storm

An earlier post introduced My New Pad, as in “abode”.  I call it “The Pirate Ship.”  I received a lot of email on it, so here’s an update. Every thought, action, and experience is exactly as it happened.

And btw, none of this has anything to do with 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks except that this is the place from which I am now creating everything for my 4s4w followers. This is the only reason I place this post on this particular website blog. In addition, The Pirate Ship is where I’ll do my private, one-on-one, 4s4w all day coaching sessions in good weather.

 

The Pirate Ship Chronicles ~ Dec. 11, 2014

By Suzanne Mathis McQueen

 The Storm

The Pirate Ship indeed, is on a ghostly adventure in these wee hours of the morn, being tossed and turned in the vast open seas of rolling hills and vineyards.

Exposed to near hurricane winds like a palm on deserted island, this skinny 4-story Beverly Hillbilly’s shack-teau is hanging on tooth and nail to keep its roots from disengaging and being overtaken by supernatural 50-foot waves. So far, earth and ship are clinging tightly to one another for support, in the same way that Todd the Loverboy Cat is hunkered down on top of my head and positioned pillow. All feels firmly attached for now. Writing keeps me focused and my fear at bay.

Sitting up slightly in bed next to a window is probably a bad idea. I mean, Dorothy got bonked on the head by a glass pane during the tornado that took her Kansas house sailing into the whirlwind of her black and white existence before landing over the rainbow. Maybe my world is about to get very colorful.

Fully alert, thoughts are swirling in opposite synchronization with the whistling, whipping gusts. Once in awhile, absolute stillness steps in and fools me into believing it’s over—but my mind, instead, becomes more active. I begin to understand things that don’t matter: Why lighthouses are built out of rock or concrete (as opposed to the recycled barn wood of the Ship); how the pig who’s house was built out of sticks must have felt completely traumatized, needing grief counseling after it was all blown down; thinking that all the kids who belonged to the old-woman-who-lived-in-a-shoe must have piled into bed with her when things got scary; how spooky it must have felt to explore a damp, stone castle wearing only a long nightshirt and lantern in hand.

After the calm comes the storm—harsher than the time before it. Mother Nature goes rogue, dressed as Maleficent—sudden, swift, relentless, releasing, howling, laughing, rising, scaring—proving who rules. Should I hide under a desk or doorway? Perhaps out in the vineyards with the coyotes. Bigger than life, the Ship groans, creaks, and shakes in a darkly orgasmic “shiver me timbers” fullest expression. I get that term now.

I’m feeling sorry for the Pirate Ship. It’s being mightily tested and so am I. But I think I’m good.

I have to pee but don’t want to budge. I’d like some coffee but not sure I should be turning on anything electrical. I decide to finally brave up and go for it, which means I have to pull the thick rope on a pulley to open the hatch that leads me down the spiral wooden steps and into the cold, but very cool bathroom (it has a beautiful clawfoot tub). I notice that the playground swing that is hooked up to my entry porch is wrapped around the front of the house. I’m wondering where I’m going to find my yoga mat in the morning that I left on top of a box under the carport. I shine-on the coffee and follow the vines of heavy chains that line the stairs back up to my cozy nest. The structure and my bones sway and rattle. I brace myself midway. A symphony of sounds is composing outside. I call on my ancestors and the greater love force to keep me solid.

I step up and onto the 2nd floor to find that one of the many big, heavy doors to the outside had blown open in my absence (Insert scary movie music and momentary heart-attack). Really? Are you kidding me? I take a quick peek onto the side deck, along with a hit from the cold blustery air, and then slam and bolt the door. I find Todd under the bed now. Smart boy. Perhaps I’ll join him.

I think pirates must have been nervous, jittery insomniacs. I now understand why they looked so bad, drank too much, and went around shooting each other’s eyeballs out and hence, the patches. I have a radio interview in the morning and I’m grateful it’s over the phone and not on Skype or Hangout.

It’s still dark and I hear a chainsaw at the main house (which is just a bit away from me). A tree must have fallen and sitting precariously. Hoping things will settle down with the light of dawn when otherworldly swashbucklers are supposed to go back through the portals from whence they came.

The Pirate Ship

The Pirate Ship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pirate Ship's Partial View.

The Pirate Ship’s Partial View.

New York ~ How It All Went

Deb and Suz

New author friend, Deb from Toronto, and Suz

WOW is what I can say about New York.

Last newsletter I told you about going to New York to be part of a media/publicity summit. There were about 100 of us (just a guess) and we pitched what “we do” to national television producers, radio hosts, magazine editors, and freelance writers (for major magazines). I’ve added some pics here of the wonderful authors and coaches I met at this event. We signed an agreement to not take pictures or share info about the media who attended. I’m thinking there were about 125 of them. We had one practice day with our coaches and each other, and then 3 full days of pitching.

This is something that an author or coach buys into and in return receives phenomenal coaching from phenomenal media experts and a chance to pitch to the producers directly.* These producers get anywhere from 100-500 email pitches in their inboxes daily, with most going unopened. So speaking with one of them directly basically doesn’t happen unless you know someone who knows someone, or you’ve made a huge splash on YouTube or some other platform and they happened to catch it.

This was more like a first audition. We had 30 seconds to make our pitch, which consisted of our name, what we do, and what our show/story idea is. Then, depending on who they were, we had 1-2 minutes to answer questions from them. They would then ask us to follow-up (kind of like a callback) or they would tell us that (no offense) we weren’t quite right for their audience.

Pitching is not easy and not for sissies. First off, the pitch and show idea has to be just right for the individual media person. So I was constantly customizing my pitches. We also had to present ourselves well (of course). I’m happy to say that my clothes turned out to be the right look, which was a relief, as shallow as it sounds. However, the rest was up to me to simply have my act together and  if not, there wasn’t a darn thing a great pair of boots could do to fix that.

I don’t Broadway Bitesknow how my peers did. Comparing numbers would not have been cool. Many people looked happy (believe it or not it was a fun process) and others had long, discouraged faces at times. I had great energy up to the last day. That’s when my lack of sleep along with hyper-ness from the New York energy vortex must have caught up with me. I pulled it together anyway, even though I did flub my first pitch because I just couldn’t spit it out.

But here’s the thing—the bottomline: Over the course of 3 days, I pitched to somewhere around 60 media people and I only received PS 14 “no’s”. The rest were “yes’s”. It was a combo of extreme interest, decent interest, and only a few with lukewarm interest but still wanted to know more in case my book and topic were actually going to take off.

I had to have been in the top 5 of success stories there.

The thing is, is that 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks has many markets: Women, men, couples, relationships/sex, fitness/athletes, career, girls, parents of girls, politics, and global impact/conditions of women. So I was able to basically talk to anyone and come up with how the female cycle fits into his or her niche. Most importantly, so many of them actually “got it” – the importance of it. One extremely successful media persoSunny Day NY 2n told me that he thought it was possibly the most important topic today and thanked me for addressing it. I felt grateful and shocked all at the same time.

So now my real work begins. It’s all about the follow-up and further developing those relationships. I feel greatly encouraged.

PS 4

*And no, I didn’t just have the money. Making it as an author these days requires taking all kinds of risks, financially and energy-wise, that I would not have taken in my prior businesses. I simply believe in 4s4w so strongly that I know it’s going to get there. I’m determined to change the way the world views women by helping to change the way women view themselves. 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks is helping them to stand in their power. When women stand in their power, everything changes for the better.

PS 5

 

 

NY 1The Girls - PS

My New Pad

Upon finding out that my house, which has been up for sale since August, is indeed going to close on a sale mid-November, I had to get busy getting serious about where I was moving.

You might wonder why I hadn’t already figured that out. Yes, I’d been looking for a long time. But one can’t move forward until one knows whether they are actually moving or not. It’s a nerve-wracking system. But that’s another future blog.

I had many choices on where to go—stay in Ashland or go out of town—live alone or with a group of other project-oriented friends and share resources. I decided the best thing to do was to expand my view, stay open, and see which one showed itself to be the one.

I looked on Craigslist again and saw something amazing. How did I miss this a few days ago? I replied immediately  and then looked early in the morning to see if they responded, even though it was unreasonable to think that they would have seen my correspondence already.

Eventually I found a phone number and was able to get an appointment. An hour later I was out at the place and spent the whole time convincing the guy that he had to let ME be the one to rent it. Eventually he gave in.

My friend, Sierra, and I have been trying to come up with descriptives to do this place justice. It’s a combination of pirate ship, treehouse fort, playground/jungle gym, earthship/tiny house, and cat tree condo. I’m totally serious. House

The owner built this place out of recycled everything. It has 4 stories and only 400 sq. ft. of living space, but feels like much more. In addition to decks off of just about every opportunity, the first story has a kitchen, wood stove, and bathroom with clawfoot tub/shower and compact washer/dryer. The second has an office, bedroom, and secret hiding space. The 3rd level is a deck with big porch swing, and the 4th is a crow’s nest/tower for looking out 360 degrees. It’s got to be the best view in Southern Oregon.

But wait! There’s more! It has pulleys everywhere which open trap doors and has steam punk features throughout! Attached outside to the structure are 2 (or 3) fire poles, a playground slide from the 2nd to 1st floor decks, a playground swing at the front door porch, and, get this: a ZIP LINE that flies from the 3rd floor deck—above and across the vineyard—to the other side of the property!

And best of all, I can take Todd the Loverboy Cat there. I think he’s going to love it. Look for many video blogs from my new abode.

Front door swing

Stairs