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Inspiring Friends: Louise Greenstock on moon rhythms, your inner nutritionist and the journey of the self

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Louise and I first met five years ago on a very delayed flight towards Australia. We became friends and have kept in sporadic yet heartfelt contact ever since. A couple of weeks ago, Louise came to visit us in Dunedin. We reconnected under a full moon at equinox and spent a beautiful few days together. I called Louise after she returned to Melbourne to discuss further the concept of moon rhythm and cyclical living. The following is an edited transcript of our interview…..

Louise, I wondered if you could take us a little further into the idea of moon connection and cyclical living.

Absolutely. I think all of the pieces of the puzzle of what cyclical living is for me and how that relates to Wild and Good and our broader conversations have come to me in bits and pieces and at different times as different learnings and lessons. I think the core thread for me, though, is this amazing and magical, wondrous discovery of the true connection between my body, the planet and nature as a whole and how that connects to my cycles as a woman, the cycles of nature and how that then feeds into what I eat, how I feel in my body and knowing what I need on lots of different levels. It’s just been this amazing journey of discovery and my time with you guys really added another piece of that puzzle.

That’s fantastic! I love that you are on this incredible soul journey. In the past you have worked as an academic, a life coach, a business woman, but you yourself say that all those titles are gradually slipping away as you come to realize your life journey. Could you share with us where you are at now, and how an awareness of moon connection has integrated itself into your working life and your soul life?

I’d love to share that. Thank you! I think again there have been many stages and many different pieces of a puzzle that makes up my existence, and this is absolutely the same for everybody. What I’ve seen time and again is that every single part and element of my life – the things I’ve done, achieved and walked away from – they have all contributed to that journey. It’s been about raised awareness of the gifts and lessons hidden in everything.

Professionally, I have zigzagged around, been an academic, retrained as a lifecoach, run a business in that way for a while. All those things have contributed to my understanding of who I am, what it means to be a human and what I am here for – what I contribute. At the same time, that has involved for me less and less attachment to those different titles and the structures around them and more and more trust that just being with my self and my journey actually is it and is enough. That has shone a light on giving myself permission to just be with what I’m working with and see how that filters out into the world and how it leads to an income, to my health, my relationships, my knowing of my self, my truth and my spirituality.

It’s all just added up and there’s come a point now where I can say that it is all perfect and always will be because it somehow always unfolds into the next lesson.

So where I am now is in a very open space and energy where I really do have a high level of trust and it doesn’t mean I don’t get very scared sometimes about where the money’s going to come from or how things are going to turn out or how I’m going to be judged or whether I’m getting it right with my food or anything like that, but I’m in that space where I have so much more room to be with and support the different parts of myself. So that’s where I am now. It’s not about what I’m doing for work; it really is for me where I am right now with my self.

Absolutely and it’s about communication with your self through that process. Something that comes up for me about cyclical living is that nothing is ever a quick fix; everything is continually evolving. So it makes sense to observe the cycles of your own emotions and energy levels and how they are aligned with the cycles of the moon and the earth, with a compassionate sense towards yourself and a huge amount of trust. Thank you! Louise, when you feel moved to deeply express your connection with the moon, is there a particular medium you most often turn to?

I’d first like to say that connecting to the moon is a really new thing for me. My perspective I’m sharing from now is the result of doing a lot of work and introspection. For me it’s not an ‘out there’ concept, it’s very tangible and it’s come through my experience and what I’ve been guided to look at. When I say guided it may be somebody’s suggestion or an intuitive thing. But I haven’t always sat and meditated on the moon for example!

I guess the way that it came to me is I saw on Facebook – and this is how things are in 2014 – an invitation to a sweat lodge retreat. It was called ‘Sister Moon’ and it was about the Native American teachings around the lunar cycles and the female teachings. So I went along to that and I learned for the first time – and this was less than a year ago – some facts about when women are naturally designed to ovulate in the month depending on the moon and when they are designed to bleed. For me it really made me suddenly think: ‘Oh, that’s why I feel like that around full moon, which is ovulation time, and that’s why I feel like that around dark moon and new moon, which is bleeding time.’ It is my body and the moon and the planet mirroring the exact same cycle of fertility and release and then the new, and setting up intentions and creating and going through the whole cycle again.

In terms of a practice, it’s really just continuing to feel what my body’s doing, having an awareness of where we are in the month and paying mindful attention to that. So if it’s new moon, I’m ready to write new intentions, feel the new and take responsibility for stating to myself and outwardly what it is that I want this month to be about.

If it’s dark moon, bleeding time, it’s very much about releasing and I carry that intention. In terms of what else I draw on for that, I would come back to what my body is telling me and what I intuitively need in terms of nutrition. There are times when I do actually want sugar and times when I want a lot of food in general! Say around ovulation time, I’m being told from my body – not from my other conditioned patterns or coping mechanisms – I’m actually being told from my body to consume more calories. Other times I feel lighter and maybe the focus is on enough protein but I don’t feel I need much more than good nourishing sustenance. So the medium for me is myself.

And the process of being able to get these messages has been deep, long, at times complex, because I was very disconnected from my body for a long time. I had obsessive compulsive patterns with my weight and body image and that has now been cleared up, but with a lot of work, healing and commitment. Only since that healing have I been able to come back in and think ‘Oh, I don’t need to eat anymore, I’m still digesting,’ for example. Or ‘I’m really really feeling how fertile I am and how fertile the moon and planet is right now,’ and that then takes me into a whole other world of embodied sensation that is just divine and available to everybody. And is our natural state.

Yes, I’m glad you said that about availability to everybody, because this isn’t just a female conversation. Everybody, male and female, can hone an awareness of moon cycles and integrate that knowledge into their lives, for example, even when gardening. As a closing point, how might we gain a deeper awareness of their own bodily rhythms, our own emotional rhythms. cyclical living in our lives, regardless of gender?

I think the conditions in the environment and in energy in general are perfect for this kind of awareness. I feel a lot of things are aligning for that to happen. I can’t comment on how that would take form for everybody but really just bringing that focus inwards and centering and being willing to giving that time. That might be 30 seconds or might be half an hour of meditation and then noticing how in alignment you feel or don’t feel. I’m out of alignment for sometimes big chunks of the day and I’m learning what that feels like and how to come back in.

I think for anybody it just takes a genuine interest and curiosity, a willingness and readiness to commit to listening and to make space for that listening.

And absolute heaps and heaps and heaps of compassion and patience and understanding. And trusting that wherever you are, everything is perfect. There’s absolutely no need for any kind of hurry up or be like that person or be this way. I suffer from all of those. But my message when I was doing lots of life coaching was always, no matter what, come back to lightness and compassion. If the inner critic or inner bully is particularly yappy that day, you know, just drop it and come back to gentleness, because as a soul, as a human, all the parts of ourselves respond to that most.

Thank you, Louise, for your wisdom and for sharing with such generosity. You’re a real treasure in my life – thank you!x

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