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October 11, 2022

Body Literacy Book Recommendations


Any narrative you were taught about periods from family, teachers, religious teachings, society, etc. that resulted in negative thoughts/feelings is worth unpacking, unlearning, and rewriting. It may be difficult, but it’ll be worth it. The content and resources I share below will aid with this. ❤ (Even those who were assigned male at birth need to unlearn that periods are evil and unclean, because they’re not.)


"IF PEOPLE REACT NEGATIVELY WHEN YOU DISCUSS PERIODS. THIS IS A SIGN THAT YOUR WORK IS NEEDED. USE THAT NEGATIVE ENERGY TO FUEL YOU. THE TTS MENSTRUAL MOVEMENT EXISTS ABOUT BECAUSE THERE IS SOMETHING BLOODY TIME WORTH FIGHTING FOR: EQUALITY. ANY PUSHBACK YOU RECEIVE IS EVIDENCE THAT EQUALITY DOESN'T YET EXIST" - Nadia Okamoto from Period Power: A Manifesto For The Menstrual Movement


In 2020 I was called to learn more about myself, my body, and, most of all, reconnect to my period. It started when I came across Lindsey Sara, a Womb Healing Guide, on Instagram under the handle @FlowWithYourFlow. I learned about yoni/pelvic steams from Lindsay. She now has a wonderful podcast on Spotify that she debuted this year called Wombspace.

Soon after, I found Gina Frances, a Womb Based Business Coach. Through her work, I discovered the inner seasons of the menstrual cycle. You can learn about the inner seasons in the free content below.

Free Menstrual Content from Gina:


If you're interested in going deeper, Gina has the Menstrual Magick Bundle for $33.00. One dollar from each sale will go to Bloody Good Period, a UK-based charity. Bloody Good Period fights for "menstrual equality and the rights of all people to bleed."
Around the same time, I found Rosie Rees, the owner of Yoni Pleasure Palace, a sex-positive business that sells crystal pleasure wands, yoni eggs, and more.

I signed up for Rosie Rees' The Golden Yoni Membership and consumed ALL the modules that had been shared before I joined, as well as the new modules. I was a member for several months before I canceled my membership because of financial stress, but being a member and everything I learned was well-worth the cost, which is now $40.00 per month. This membership was a turning point for me. I am so grateful for it and Rosie and all the experts she hosted.



ANNOUNCEMENT:

I will be taking part in Cyclical Alchemy, run by Gina Frances, for 8 powerful and transformative weeks, beginning November 1st, 2022. Gina will give us "the blueprint to run a Womb Based Business," which means working with our menstrual cycles, not against them as the patriarchy has taught us to do. Join me on this transformative journey! 
Use my affiliate link above and my 10% off discount code: WOMBLED10
Email me ChrysFey (at) yahoo (dot) com if you'd like to hear about my experiences working with Gina so far.

The first body literacy books I saw recommended were written by Lisa Lister. I bought them, loved them, and continued my journey with more books, like the ones below that were recommended by the amazing women I mentioned above as well as Amy Rushworth, an unapologetic life coach who I previously shouted-out in my post Money Mindset Book Recommendations + WEALTH DATES.


Before I get to the books, I want to share four of my Spotify playlists with you.


Inner Autumn

A playlist to vibe to while in your Inner Autumn (premenstrual phase or during the waxing moon). 


You can also check out the playlist on the Spotify app here and add it to your library by clicking the ❤️.


Inner Winter

A playlist to vibe to during your menstruation (while you bleed or during the new moon).


You can also check out the playlist on the Spotify app here and add it to your library by clicking the ❤️.


Inner Spring

A playlist to vibe to during your Inner Spring (your follicular phase, right after your period, or during the waning moon).


You can also check out the playlist on the Spotify app here and add it to your library by clicking the ❤️.


Inner Summer

A playlist to vibe to during your Inner Summer (while you ovulate or during the full moon). 


You can also check out the playlist on the Spotify app here and add it to your library by clicking the ❤️.



Now...about those books...


Body Literacy Book Recommendations 


Period Power: A Manifesto For The Menstrual Movement

by Nadia Okamoto

Image by Chrys Fey

BUY @ BOOKSHOP

BLURB: Throughout history, periods have been hidden from the public. They're taboo. They're embarrassing. They're gross. And due to a crumbling or nonexistent national sex ed program, they are misunderstood. Because of these stigmas, a status quo has been established to exclude people who menstruate from the seat at the decision-making table, creating discriminations like the tampon tax, medicines that favor male biology, and more.

Period Power aims to explain what menstruation is, shed light on the stigmas and resulting biases, and create a strategy to end the silence and prompt conversation about periods.


Code Red

by Lisa Lister

Gratitude Challenge Image by Chrys Fey

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BLURB: Your period has power. Embrace your natural cycle, work with your hormones and connect to the innate feminine wisdom of your menstrual cycle.

Your period is way more than PMS, carb cravings and lady rage - it's actually a 4-part lady code that, once cracked, will uncover a series of monthly superpowers that can be used to enhance your relationships with others, build a better business, have incredible sex and create a 'bloody' amazing life.

Code Red, from the Creatrix of www.thesassyshe.com, Lisa Lister, is a call to action. A rallying cry that dares you to explore, navigate and most importantly, love your lady landscape.

You'll learn how to live and work in complete alignment with the rhythms of nature, the moon and your menstrual cycle, be inspired by insights from Wise + Wild Women like Meggan Watterson, Alexandra Pope and Uma Dinsmore Tuli, and gain access to easy-to-follow strategies and SHE Flow yoga practices. You'll be invited to connect with your true nature as a woman, tap into the transformational power of your innate feminine wisdom and use your menstrual cycle as an ever-unfolding map to crack your lady code.


Love Your Lady Landscape

by Lisa Lister

Gratitude Challenge Image by Chrys Fey

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BLURB: Love Your Lady Landscape is a healing journey through the terrain of what it is to be a woman. When a woman isn't in alignment with her feminine essence, she may experience exhaustion and overwhelm, lack sexual desire or passion for life, and generally feel out of sync.

In this book, Lisa Lister uses a myriad of tools and practices such as Earth based spirituality, shamanic teachings, movement and dance, and breath and sound work to teach women how to reconnect to their feminine wisdom in order to start rebalancing all aspects of their lives.

Based on Lisa's own 11-year journey of healing and reconnecting with her body, this book will help you:

- release guilt and shame from the past

- explore self-pleasure and sensuality

- understand, read, and connect with your body's signs and signals

- learn about your menstrual cycle and its connection with the rhythms of nature and the universe

- discover the sacred art of receiving

- express your creativity

- find your voice to communicate your needs, wants, and desires

Love Your Lady Landscape will move women into a fiercely loving and healing relationship with their body and will teach them how to use its cycles and signs to create a life of vitality, fulfillment, and creation.


Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity

by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf

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BLURB: The first book to explore menstruation in the current cultural and political landscape and to investigate the new wave of period activism taking the world by storm.

After centuries of being shrouded in taboo and superstition, periods have gone mainstream. Seemingly overnight, a new, high-profile movement has emerged—one dedicated to bold activism, creative product innovation, and smart policy advocacy—to address the centrality of menstruation in relation to core issues of gender equality and equity.

In Periods Gone Public, Jennifer Weiss-Wolf—the woman Bustle dubbed one of the nation's “badass menstrual activists”— explores why periods have become a prominent political cause. From eliminating the tampon tax, to enacting new laws ensuring access to affordable, safe products, menstruation is no longer something to whisper about. Weiss-Wolf shares her firsthand account in the fight for “period equity” and introduces readers to the leaders, pioneers, and everyday people who are making change happen. From societal attitudes of periods throughout history—in the United States and around the world—to grassroots activism and product innovation, Weiss-Wolf challenges readers to face stigma head-on and elevate an agenda that recognizes both the power—and the absolute normalcy—of menstruation.


Her Blood is Gold

by Lara Owen

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BLURB: We menstruate more now than at any time in human history. Girls are starting to menstruate earlier due to protein-rich diets and hormones in food; women are less likely to die young; we have fewer children and therefore spend less time not menstruating. Increased work and family stresses, in addition to more periods, mean that women are more physically and psychologically vulnerable to negative attitudes to menstruation. So it is more important than ever that we investigate ways to make our periods physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy.


Pussy: A Reclamation

by Regena Thomashauer

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BLURB: Author, educator, and School of Womanly Arts founder Regena Thomashauer has been working with women for the past 25 years, and what began as just a few women in her living room has since grown into a global movement with thousands of graduates worldwide.

In her New York Times bestseller Pussy: A Reclamation, she reveals what no one taught you about the source of your feminine power and how to use it. This power is the part of a woman that she has been taught to ignore, push down, and despise. Indeed, the word that most viscerally sums it up is arguably the most powerful pejorative word in the English language.

Like any expletive used effectively, the title of this book is meant to be a wake-up call. It is a reclamation, in a world that desperately requires the feminine. Readers learn the secret ingredient every woman is missing; how to crack the confidence code; why sex appeal is an inside job; what's ahead on the next frontier of feminism--and how they can help make it happen; and much more.

By turns earthy and erudite, passionately argued and laugh-out-loud funny, Pussy delivers the tools and practices a woman requires to do and be whatever she wants in this life. It's a call for her to tune in, turn on, and not drop out--but live more richly, fully, and lusciously than she ever thought she could.


The Vagina Monologues

by Eve Ensler

Image by Chrys Fey

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MY REVIEW: Highly recommended for EVERYONE to read. Truly powerful. So many truths and lessons and awareness. Incredibly important, no matter your gender or age.

BLURB: It's been more than twenty years since Eve Ensler's international sensation The Vagina Monologues gave birth to V-Day, the radical, global grassroots movement to end violence against women and girls. This special edition features six never-before-published monologues, a new foreword by National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson, a new introduction by the author, and a new afterword by One Billion Rising director Monique Wilson on the stage phenomenon's global impact. Witty and irreverent, compassionate and wise, this award-winning masterpiece gives voice to real women's deepest fantasies, fears, anger, and pleasure, and calls for a world where all women are safe, equal, free, and alive in their bodies.

NOTE: I did this in my copy because, most of the time, when the word “vagina” was used, the correct term that should’ve been used is “vulva.” Vagina is a more “shocking” word, though, and more known, so I understand why it was used.


Quick Anatomy Lesson: 

Vulva: The vulva is the outer parts of female genitalia: the labia majora (outer lips), the labia minora (inner lips), the clitoris, the urethra, and the vaginal opening.

Yoni: Yoni, (pa Sanskrit word interpreted to mean “womb,” “source,” “abode,” and refers to all of the female sex organs (the vulva, vagina, and uterus). This is the word I use.

Vagina: The vagina is the internal part of female genitalia. The vagina is the birth canal, where babies and menstrual blood leave the body through.

Cervix: At the back of the vagina is the cervix, which separates the vagina and the uterus. It acts like a wall of sorts (a penis or sex toy stops here and can’t move past it into the uterus), and it looks like a donut with a tiny hole in the middle, where menstrual blood and sperm can pass through, as well as a baby after the dilation process during childbirth.

Uterus/Womb: This is where fetuses grow during pregnancy. The uterus’ lining thickens while preparing for pregnancy during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. If pregnancy does not occur, that lining breaks down, resulting in a womb-holder’s menstruation (“period,” “bleed,” and “moon” are other names commonly used).

Menstrual Cycle: Many people believe that only the days you bleed are your menstrual cycle, but that’s just one part of the menstrual cycle. In fact, a womb-holder is ALWAYS “on” their menstrual cycle, whether bleeding or not. The menstrual cycle phases include: menstruation, the follicular phase (pre-ovulation), ovulation (when pregnancy is possible), and the luteal phase (pre-menstrual).


Vagina

by Naomi Wolf



BLURB: When an unexpected medical crisis sends Naomi Wolf on a journey to tease out the intersections between sexuality and creativity, she discovers—much to her own astonishment—an increasing body of scientific evidence that documents new insights about female sexual response. These breakthrough discoveries show that the vagina, clitoris, and labia—the female sexual centers—are not "merely flesh," but directly affect the female brain, and that the female brain directly affects, in newly documented ways, the vagina and female sexual centers. The vagina thus has a fundamental relationship to female consciousness itself. Utterly enthralling and totally fascinating, Vagina draws on this set of insights about "the mind-vagina connection" to reveal new information about what women really need, on many different levels, and considers what sexual relationships—and a woman's relationship to her self, as well as to her own desire and pleasure—transformed by these insights, may look like.

A brilliant and nuanced synthesis of physiology, history, and cultural criticism, Vagina explores the physical, political, and spiritual implications for women—and for society as a whole—in this startling series of new scientific breakthroughs from a writer whose conviction and keen intelligence have propelled her works to the tops of bestseller lists, and firmly into the realm of modern classics.


The Fifth Vital Sign: Master Your Cycles & Optimize Your Fertility

by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack



BLURB: Your menstrual cycle is a vital sign, just like your pulse, temperature, respiration rate, and blood pressure. And it provides you with essential information about your health.The Fifth Vital Sign: Master Your Cycles and Optimize Your Fertility brings together over 1,000 meticulously researched scientific references in a textbook-quality guide to understanding your menstrual cycle. In this book you'll learn:

What a normal cycle looks like;

The best way to chart your cycle and increase your fertility awareness;

How best to manage critical aspects of your health, including better sleep, exercise and a healthier diet;
Natural methods for managing period pain and PMS;

How to successfully avoid pregnancy without the pill; and

How to plan ahead if you do want to get pregnant.

The Fifth Vital Sign aims to better connect women with their menstrual cycles, to break the myth that ovulation is only important when you're ready to have a baby.


Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life

by Emily Nagoski



BLURB: An essential exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works—based on groundbreaking research and brain science—that will radically transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy.

Researchers have spent the last decade trying to develop a “pink pill” for women to function like Viagra does for men. So where is it? Well, for reasons this book makes crystal clear, that pill will never be the answer—but as a result of the research that’s gone into it, scientists in the last few years have learned more about how women’s sexuality works than we ever thought possible, and Come as You Are explains it all.

The first lesson in this essential, transformative book by Dr. Emily Nagoski is that every woman has her own unique sexuality, like a fingerprint, and that women vary more than men in our anatomy, our sexual response mechanisms, and the way our bodies respond to the sexual world. So we never need to judge ourselves based on others’ experiences. Because women vary, and that’s normal.

Second lesson: sex happens in a context. And all the complications of everyday life influence the context surrounding a woman’s arousal, desire, and orgasm.

Cutting-edge research across multiple disciplines tells us that the most important factor for women in creating and sustaining a fulfilling sex life, is not what you do in bed or how you do it, but how you feel about it. Which means that stress, mood, trust, and body image are not peripheral factors in a woman’s sexual wellbeing; they are central to it. Once you understand these factors, and how to influence them, you can create for yourself better sex and more profound pleasure than you ever thought possible.

And Emily Nagoski can prove it.


**** FICTION ****


NOTE: For this post, I wanted to focus on non-fiction, but I had to spotlight these two fiction books. One is for adults and the other for young readers. Both have a special emphasis on periods.

The Red Tent

by Anita Diamant

Image by Chrys Fey

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BLURB: In the Bible, Dinah's life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that tell of her father, Jacob, and his twelve sons.

The Red Tent begins with the story of the mothers--Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah--the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through childhood, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past.

Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling and the valuable achievement of presenting a new view of biblical women's lives.


The Moon Within

by Aida Salazar

Image by Chrys Fey

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BLURB: Celi Rivera's life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. And her best friend's exploration of what it means to be genderfluid.

But most of all, her mother's insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It's an ancestral Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi promises she will NOT be participating. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?

A dazzling story told with the sensitivity, humor, and brilliant verse of debut talent Aida Salazar.


“The need for period talk and menstrual equity is a necessary one. Whether people like it or not, life is made possible because menstruation exists—it is literally the reason why pregnancy is possible and why we are all here.” - Nadia Okamoto from Period Power: A Manifesto For The Menstrual Movement






QUESTIONS: Do any of those titles look/sound interesting to you? Are you adding any to your TBR list? Have you read any of these titles?


CONTENT BELOW: Below is an illustration that I hand-colored of a vulva. I got it from LoveYourLadyLandscape.com. I’m adding it to go with the anatomy lesson above. Anyone who may be uncomfortable with it can scroll past to the comments. I did not, however, want to censor it in any way, because it shouldn’t have to be censored. Which is also why I didn’t label this as a “Content Warning.” It's educational illustrations, and it’s important to normalize not only periods but female reproductive organs in general.



Anatomy Illustration:




6 comments:

  1. @Liz, thanks. An important topic deserves quite a list. 😀

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Chrys - this is an incredibly full list ... you've done a ton of research for each item .. you're so thorough in your approach. I applaud you ... I haven't read any of them, and am unlikely to ... though have heard of a couple. Congratulations - a worthy blog-post ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Hilary, thank you! I greatly appreciate your comment. ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  4. Don't know if I'll ever get to everything on this list, but I'll definitely pick up a few.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Toi, that’s great! I’m really glad you’ll pick up a few. I’ve read four of the non-fiction books and both of the fiction books, but I do hope to read the rest eventually. 🙂

    ReplyDelete

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