Ixchel Lunar and I want to raise awareness about how the systems and structures we live in are heavily impacting our relationship to time and to the body, and how the pace of life is a social construct that works against us in so many different ways.

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The episodes of this four-part series are potentially activating to your nervous system, so please make sure that you are in a good space to absorb the information and have a soothing practice at hand that you can turn to, should your nervous system be activated!

We live in systems that aren’t set up for our benefit, but seek to separate us from ourselves, each other and the land we live on, so we extract from and exploit the Earth and our own bodies for other people’s gain. Ixchel Lunar and I want to raise awareness about how these systems and structures have really impacted our experience and perspective of time, and how the pace of life is a social construct that works against us in so many different ways.

In today’s episode, we dive into all things flow:

  • What a Flow state is and its benefits to your well-being
  • The Flow cycle with its four phases
  • How you can prepare and create the conditions to experience flow more often in your life
  • What Sloth Medicine teaches us
  • The importance of community and little steps
  • How to work further with Ixchel or me

Resources we mentioned:

The introductory episode to this series (available on Spotify, Apple podcast, Google Podcast and Amazon Music)

How to Decolonize Time (available on Spotify, Apple podcast, Google Podcast and Amazon Music)

How to Decolonize the Body (available on Spotify, Apple podcast, Google Podcast and Amazon Music)

Ixchel’s mentors whose book you might want to explore:

Mihály Csíkszentmihályi: “Flow”
Steven Kotler: “The Art of Impossible”
Dr. Sandra Dalton

Ixchel’s links:

Dragon Letters (including 23 Rituals for Dreaming in the Wild)

My links:

Mo(o)nday Musings

My free Cycle Charting course

Book a chat or send me a mail if you prefer a written conversation.

[00:00:35] Lisa: Hi and welcome everyone to the fourth and final episode of Decolonizing Time, Decolonizing the Body and Liberating Flow here on the Womb Whispers podcast. I’m Lisa, a Menstrual and Menopausal Health Coach and I’m here with Ixchel Lunar, Decolonial Time Mender and Cosmologist.

And today we are wrapping up this series by talking all about liberating flow, that can be in relationship to time, it can be in relationship to the body and to this feeling that we might all know, when we forget time and it’s just time out of time, or a space out of time.

To learn about who Ixchel and I am, please go and watch our introductory video, and to prepare for this episode, just have some kind of a nervous system soothing practice ready, because the content is potentially activating for your nervous system. We have given a few resources in this first introductory episode of the series so you can also have a look at that, but it can be just something simple like pausing the video, pausing the audio, stroking your skin gently to activate nerve endings that signal safety to your body or to get your feet on the ground or even out in the garden into nature and taking a few deep breaths.

Do whatever you need to do in order for you to be calm and open again and to continue our conversation.

And with that being said, Hi Ixchel, good to have you back and yeah, what you have to say about flow and liberating flow?

[00:02:27] Ixchel: Wonderful, thank you. Yeah, those prompts for caring for ourselves are so good when we’re doing this work, because it can be activating when you’re going through a paradigm shift and you’re seeing other ways of being and other perspectives. That can be jarring as well, and uncomfortable and so part of this process of decolonial work is really learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, as we’re sort of deconstructing and decolonizing and shifting our ways of being away from the dominant culture itself. And so these practices can be really really helpful for that, for sure, it’s a really good reminder.

Yeah so today it’s flow. It’s my favorite topic, I could go on and on about flow, how we can get into flow, talking about flow, but I want to go ahead and start with some definition. Just to help people if they haven’t heard that term before and they think they know what it might be, maybe they’ve had that experience in the past but they’re not sure or maybe they’re very familiar with it.

Some of my mentors like Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, who wrote the book on flow, gosh, I think it’s been over 30 years now, 32 years, that sent me deep into really getting a sense of and explaining so many experiences that I had growing up in a high flow household.

And he likes to describe flow as this place where you lose track of time. You lose a sense of yourself in some ways, we sort of de-center ourselves in the process and we merge with the world around us. We can either experience time speeding up or slowing down. And there seems to be a connection especially in the dominant culture around feeling your best and performing your best.

That performance or productivity aspect is such a multi-billion dollar industry. And Kotler, Steven Kotler, my mentor on flow also writes about that a lot and really gets into the neuroscience of that. And so those are two authors that, if you’re interested in exploring it from the Western perspective, that can be really helpful.

And the caveat that I’ll say is that a lot of the folks that write about flow tend to write about it in this what I like to call the ruthless practices of brutal productivity. So these systems of brutal productivity that are really meant to help us fill our cup up enough so that we are more productive for someone else’s capital and someone else’s profit.

And I really want to, you know, turn our perspective away from that kind of flow to liberating it in terms of connecting it to our relationship with the world and with the cosmos and our passions and our creativity. So my definition of flow is that it is a state of being, embodied with the cosmos and having a haptic experience.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term haptic, if you have a device that vibrates or an Apple Watch or some other kind of device that vibrates, they call that little vibration “haptic” because it reattunes you to the body. It gets your attention back. But we don’t want to use devices for that. We want to actually connect more deeply with flow and with the cosmos itself in the process of being in flow.

I think it’s this really beautiful unlocking of a whole suite of neurochemistry and experiences that are so helpful for helping us to become co-regulated with the world around us, with ourselves and really even with group flow with other people. So we can have individual flow, we can have group flow. We think about group flow as more in that creative vein around the arts and music and drama and things, where people are coming together. Of course, it can be team building and in the corporate world, that sort of thing is how group flow is looked at a lot.

It’s so connected to our creativity and this relationship that we end up having with the world and the cosmos around us, where we’re able to tap into these experiences of new ways of being and the creative flow itself where new insights and inspirations come through. It’s been written about in terms of the muse. People talk about the muse as another way, an entity of being in relationship with flow.

So hopefully that will give folks a sense of what flow is and for anybody listening or watching, I would really encourage folks to think about, “Have I been in flow?”. If that’s something that you’re unfamiliar with, maybe what that flow experience was and then think about what you were doing when you suddenly found yourself in flow and what that experience was like and how you felt afterwards.

And then the other thing that I would recommend folks to think about is “How long did that experience last?”

A lot of times people really notice it when they’re in flow and they are just in that state, that zone, that vibe where they just don’t want to leave it. And so they’ll go for hours and hours because it tends to be this rare thing that we experience. It just sort of happens. We find, “Oh, here I am. I’m just in the zone and I’m going to go with it.” And so people are afraid to leave it because it can be so rare.

And I just like to caution people, because what happens after those really long flow states is that it tends to really deplete that neurochemistry that’s so important for helping us get into flow and it can make it hard to come back to it later and more often.

So, yeah, I don’t know, I could share a little bit about the flow cycle just to give people a taste of how that works. There’s definitely some things to start to be aware of.

[00:09:36] Lisa: Before you do, though, I had something that I was reminded of and I totally did not plan to bring it here, but when you were describing your version of flow and your definition, it reminded me of something that I do, or we do in coaching. Because I’ve been trained in Soul-based Coaching and there has been a big article by Alan Fogel who talks about RESA, Restorative Embodied Self-Awareness.

And that is this state where you are so in the moment, so in tune with your body, so aware of what’s going on inside of yourself, your relation to different parts of your body in space, your relation to the space you’re in, your relation to others in the space that you’re in. And this attunement, and it sounded a little bit like when you talked about this haptic and this vibration that’s happening, and that is restorative because it’s an ultimate soothing of the nervous system and we’re present.

And what I often describe it as, is it’s a moment of eternity, where one single second feels like eternity. And that’s something that happens so often in our coaching sessions basically. And it’s amazing how restorative and rejuvenating it can be.

And also, I totally agree with you that when you intentionally prolong it too much, it can also leave you depleted and, as you say, harder to get back into next time. But it’s such a refreshing, nourishing state to be in.

[00:11:22] Ixchel: Yeah. Yeah, especially when we create a practice around it. And so that’s really the work that I do, is helping people to create rituals and practices based on how they get activated into flow. So one of the things that’s been, and I just want to couch all of this to say that these states of being are our birthright. We’re alive today because our ancestors hundreds of thousands of years ago were able to get into flow, specifically around hunting and gathering, being able to find food, to be able to focus on finding food and that attention that we bring to arts and crafts, for instance, what used to be vital activities for survival.

And so that practice of being able to be with flow is something that is so restorative when we look at it and honor it in the ways that don’t deplete us. And so the interesting thing is that we actually can’t get into flow without rest.

In a lot of the Western literature that talks about flow and the flow cycle, they talk about starting in the struggle phase. That it’s this, because it’s all based in productivity, you sit down to focus on the task at hand, the thing that you want to do. And usually it’s related to work, of course. And you have to be with that struggle to get comfortable with focus that’s different from the rest of our activities, because it’s really a centering and attuning process.

And that has been something very disconnected for modern culture in particular in the ways that Indigenous cultures were so connected to themselves, their body and the world around them. So I’d like to sort of preface it with that so much of what we learn in the modern culture and the dominant culture is really existing, you know, in past Indigenous practices. [Lisa: Yeah, absolutely.]

And so, the cycle in the Western literature is the struggle phase, the relaxation phase, the flow state, and then the active recovery and rest.

And what I found working with my clients, who are especially people that have struggled with modernity and, you know, trying to live up to this achievement sort of rat race existence, is that you can’t actually … if we arrive at the struggle phase depleted, we’re not ever going to get through that phase. And then we actually have to back up and start with rest.

And so that’s been sort of my flag that I have planted in the flow world, that we must start with rest. If we’re not rested, we can’t be present with ourselves and with the world around us in a way that will help us to attune with the things that excite us and that are motivating and passionate for us.

And so for me, the flow cycle starts in rest, you know, sleep, taking care of the body, making sure we’re well fed and well rested, have tended our relationships, all of those things that are really beneficial for being able to really be present. And then we can drop into the struggle phase. And, you know, for a lot of folks this is actually where they give up. So people unintentionally find themselves in the struggle phase and they don’t stick with it because they don’t realize that it’s actually part of the process to get into flow and people want sort of immediate results.

And so they don’t understand that if you just stay with it a little bit more, you’re going to relax. And so people that are unfamiliar with the flow process …

[00:15:47] Lisa: It’s so fun. Sorry, but you are enlightening me big time right now, because that’s sometimes where I find myself when I want to write to my community, for example, or create something.

And then I’m like, “I know roughly what I want to say. Why can’t I get this done?” And then I’m struggling and struggling. And when I keep at it, at some point I start relaxing and then this piece gets written by itself. Wow. Thank you.

[00:16:14] Ixchel: Yeah. Where so many people get derailed and give up, and so I always like to say, stay with it. Some folks that can take 20 to 40 minutes to really stick with it at the beginning. But there are things that I’ll share on the back end of the flow cycle that will help you to be able to shorten that time more and more to, you know, five or ten minutes most.

And that relaxation, the key piece of relaxation is to be able to have enough nitric oxide in the body to relax. And so having some practices, breath work or movement are the kinds of things that I really recommend folks be able to have that, to upcharge that nitric oxide. When we are breathing, especially through the nose frequently, it produces and makes available nitric oxide that we then breathe deeply into our lungs and becomes available in the bloodstream.

And these are precursors to some of these neurochemicals that we will access in the flow state, but we can’t get there without the nitric oxide. And so movement and breath work can be really supportive practices, like pre-flow practices, that I recommend folks to be able to have, to get into that state of relaxation.

And then, you know, we just sort of find ourselves in flow. And during the flow state, it can go for for hours and hours if we let it. There’s a number of neurochemicals that come on board, they reduce pain, they increase happiness and contentment. And so it’s really important to be able to make those available on an ongoing basis.

If we stay in flow for hours and hours, we will deplete them, especially dopamine, because there’s only so many dopamine receptors that are available. The more we sort of attach those molecules to the receptors, the more we’re depleting our dopamine availability. And so, to protect your dopamine, being able to let go of the attention economy, our devices, you know, those kinds of things, keeping your phone in the other room, checking email less often, social media.

All of those things are actual dopamine stealers. They are built to take our dopamine for our attention to make money for these various platforms. So that’s one way that you can have that reserve of dopamine, for the things that are really passionate for you and that you really want to put your time and attention into.

And so I highly recommend for folks that they cap their flow state at around 90 minutes to two hours. If you generally are well rested and you’re not in a maybe burnout recovery state, that could be beneficial for the body. Going three or four hours, you’re really going to start to deplete that neurochemistry and the energy that you have, your capacity for the flow state.

And here’s what’s really interesting in terms of embodiment. When we do flow states for hours and hours on end, there is that, “Oh my gosh, this feels so good. I don’t want to leave it. I might not get back here, I haven’t been here for months.” You know, it’s sort of the scarcity mindset. And so really I like to shift people out of that into that abundant mindset that “It will be here if you honor the body.” Because what happens when we don’t honor the body is the body starts to distrust the experience itself. And then you set up this very disparate relationship with flow.

It’s like, “Oh, I can’t do that because I’ll do it for five hours and then I’m going to be exhausted for two weeks.”” And we don’t have to have that kind of relationship with flow. We can actually find it to be a very sustainable place when we honor the experience and our body and we build that body trust for the experience. It’s really, I think, a piece that gets overlooked in a lot of the literature around flow.

[00:20:50] Lisa: Yeah. What came to mind, to relate back to that example I gave, is that when I find myself in that kind of flow and I’m writing and I’m writing and it’s going and it’s going, I can catch myself at some point feeling, sensing that my energy is waning and then I know, “Okay, I can go on for maybe another 10, 15 minutes, but I have to bring this to a close now because the wave is over.” I’ve ridden the wave.

[00:21:16] Ixchel: And let me tell you, if you actually stop before you complete, this is where the magic happens.

So when we leave a sentence hanging, for instance, a lot of times we’re writing or we’re doing something artistic or creative and you’re like, “I’m going to bring this to a close, I know I’m getting tired”, instead just walk away. Because what happens is it leaves this anticipation, sort of this hanging anticipation.

When you come back around to the struggle phase, that’s where the struggle phase shortens because your body and your mind are already geared towards finishing what you left hanging in the last piece. And there’s much less struggle that happens in the struggle phase the next time that you come back. Plus you haven’t depleted yourself so completely.

[00:22:15] Lisa: I will for sure try that. Although, I dare to say that I catch myself really towards the end of the wave and I will let it conclude with the last flush of the wave.

But that’s, the wave sounded so, because you said like we get so so easily scared that “Oh, what if there is no other flow state to be had ever again?” and I was reminded of the ocean. There is always going to be another wave to ride. And that’s how we can think of flow states.

[00:22:45]: Ixchel: Yeah. And then the way to really complete the cycle for yourself and for your body, and the way that I like to orient people to this work in a decolonial way, is through what in the Western literature is called active recovery. But it’s really another phase of rest, we start and end with rest.

And people tend to think of rest as either napping, sleeping or zoning out on some video or the endless scroll and what I want to suggest is that you know, Dr. Sandra … I’m forgetting her last name. We can link to it, I have a great post from her about the seven types of rest. So there’s many many different types of rest. Physical rest is just one of them.

But the active rest of actually being in relationship with the world around us is how we do the decolonial work. Because again, the decolonial work is all about repairing and restoring our relationships with ourselves and with the world around us. And so I really encourage folks to do something related to plants, people, pets or place.

So you know, not everybody has children, for instance, or partners. But you may have relationships with plants or trees. If you have a pet, being in relationship with your pet, going for a walk with your dog or playing with your cat or your lizard or something like that.

Being in relationship with someone you love, sharing your experience and chatting and that sort of thing or just getting outside, to the world around you and being connected with place around you. So those are sort of four relational ways that you can really ground in the experience of flow.

When we do that, what happens is, at the end of flow, we get this bath of serotonin and oxytocin. If we go to our devices, we are not going to lock that into our body. We’re not going to embody that neurochemistry. We’re going to lose it. It’s like a flow state that’s interrupted, because it doesn’t finish with being in flow, it actually finishes with the rest.

And you know, serotonin, oxytocin, oxytocin is the bath that mothers get when they give birth. [Lisa: Right.] It’s that thing that connects us, that love molecule. They talk about it as a love molecule. And then serotonin, you know, is all in our gut and we really ground it into our gut and we feel satiated.

So don’t complete the flow, you haven’t completed the flow unless you’ve done this relational piece. And that’s a practice and a way of being that can really shift away from colonial time and into a more decolonial way of being.

[00:26:02] Lisa: Ahhh, it’s such music to my ears. And I hope you can say that in English, but it’s music to my ears that you say everything starts with rest and it ends with rest. Because that’s what, coming from my perspective of the body and the cycles and decolonizing the body, it’s also, it doesn’t start with inner spring and the follicular phase. It starts in in our winter.

It starts with letting go, releasing in menstruation and resting. The practice of inner winter is rest. And that’s where it all starts because the more rested your body is, the more capacity it has for more energy during the rest of the cycle. And similarly, the more capacity it has to be in flow and to be open and receptive.

[Ixchel: I love it.]

And also there was something else I wanted to share, is that when we are in this state that I call Restorative Embodied Self-Awareness, but that you described in the flow state, it’s this connection to self, connection to one’s tissue, connection to one’s blood and bones, and in that to the collective wisdom that is stored in our cells and our bones.

And you said that there is this, like we have all these ancestral practices and we can access that right here, right now, without having those things being sold back to us by an industry that’s making money off it. Because we know there is a knowing inside that we can access when we are in these kinds of flow states.

[00:27:37] Ixchel: Yeah, it’s that interconnectedness that has really been hijacked in so many ways by the industry, the productivity and peak performance industry. And it’s so dangerous because in the neuroscience kind of sense, when we drop in the flow, our prefrontal cortex or sense of self turns off, which allows us to be porous to the rest of the world. And that place of losing oneself in one’s work is divine.

But yet, capitalism has really put its fingers and its claws into that and stolen that from us. And so really being able to come back to not just the things that we can monetize, but the things that light us up, the passions that we have for life and really doing a survey of where are the places that you find yourself in flow that are, yes, maybe for work because you enjoy it, but also for other ways of being.

So whether it’s playing with your kids or it’s some kind of artistic endeavor like writing or painting or music, being able to to recenter those activities, because those are the things that are going to fill your soul and your spirit in ways that flow just for the monetization are not always going to do.

So I really encourage folks to to look at what your primary flow activities are, but also your secondary and tertiary. Because one of the things that happens is that sometimes these flow activities can be very physical, right? Maybe we like running or skiing or bouldering or something very physical that at some point in your life may become inaccessible.

And if you lose your primary flow activity, it can be detrimental to the body because of all that beneficial neurochemistry that’s happening and all the feel good states that we get from that experience. And so really being able to identify some secondary and tertiary activities that you can also get really good at, so if you lose your primary flow activity, then you have some backups that that also drop you in right away as well.

So that’s something else that I highly recommend for folks.

[00:30:18] Lisa: So now we do know that flow has, actually the whole experience, has four different phases, which I find beautiful since the cycles also have four phases and they begin with rest and they come back to rest and you’ve described different ways of how to rest, how do we prepare ourselves for flow now?

How can we access it more easily apart from resting because as you already explained, that’s having this anchored as a positive experience that is not depleting is the first piece.

[00:30:55] Ixchel: Yeah. So I really like to bring in the sloth medicine, or perezoso in Spanish, perezoso medicine, medicina de perezoso, because of the time that I spent in Nicaragua. The property that I lived on and cared for, the sloths would come through and it was the most magical thing to have these creatures come through.

I’d only ever seen them in zoos where they just sort of slept all the time and didn’t really move. And so I wasn’t really prepared to see how they were in their natural setting in the trees. And one of the things that I learned from sloths is this very deliberate nature that they have, as they’re moving and gliding through the trees. It’s very fascinating.

So I’m wearing this necklace, for anybody that’s in the video, these are sloth claws, these little hooked claws here. They need these claws to be able to hang with all four of their paws from a tree. They sleep hanging, holding on, and they’re just sort of locked in there very deliberately.

As they’re moving through the trees, they need to check each and every branch, ensuring that the weight of their body will not break that branch before they let go of the branch behind them. It’s very deliberate, and it looks slow when you’re hyper focused on it, but if you turn your head for a moment, they will be on the other side of two trees away. They’re actually much faster than we expect.

And the locals actually are superstitious, because they look very slow, because it’s the deliberate way that they’re ensuring that they don’t fall.

But they get into a flow in doing this. So like check, check, branch is good, branch is good, moving all four hands, problem solving their way through the canopy to find the route that they need to go to. You know, in our case, we had an allspice tree, which was their favorite tree in the neighborhood. They would come and chew on their leaves. They’re very fragrant. And they would leave this beautiful fragrance in the forest jungle when they would eat them.

But it was that, what seems slow and deliberate can really turn into sort of an exponential speed of movement for them. And I think, you know, it’s just the same way with flow. When we are doing these things that we love, and at first when we’re learning something new, for instance, it is a struggle. It’s hard to do it. We’re learning. We’re not very good at it. We have to be very deliberate in that process.

But as we keep going with that practice, we come to it day after day, we get this exponential growth of ability that happens. And before we know it, we were crawling and now we’re running, right? In terms of the the mastery of what we’re bringing to the thing that we love. So I really think that sloths are just amazing creatures in what they have to teach us.

And so I just think it’s a really helpful way of being able to be patient with ourselves and to notice how the way that they’re so deliberate and slow and yet can quickly move to where they want to go, have their delicious snack, and then spend four to six hours sleeping and resting. And I think if we bring that to our own lives, we’ll find that that’s where our ability to open up and expand our sense of time really comes about, as we grow in our capability and our mastery of the things that we love, then we were able to expand that place of rest and recovery and repair that is so vital and we’ve been so disconnected from.

[00:35:19] Lisa: Yeah. And also this intentionality, like living with this intentionality is what I believe gives our life meaning or that we derive a lot of meaning from. When we are so immersed in our actions, and it can even be in our day to day actions.

Like if we are mindful while, I don’t know, washing the dishes, but if we do it from this intentional perspective of “I’m fully here and now and doing this.”, there can be a sense of meaning in this experience that is as mundane as washing the dishes. And what if we brought that kind of intentionality to every aspect of our life?

[00:36:05] Ixchel: It reminds me of a quote from the Buddha, you know, a student, they were talking about enlightenment and there was this question of, well, what after enlightenment=? And the Buddha says, “Chop would, carry water before enlightenment, chop would, carry water after enlightenment.”

Like, it’s that presence absolutely that is so vital for being connected to the world around us and being able to drop into these states that are so beautiful and eloquent and poetic.

[00:36:42] Lisa: Yeah. And I mean, our body lives in the here and now, so where else should we feel truly alive other than being connected to our body, through our body to the world around us, in the here and now? And I think so many people we are all, like, I myself included, I’ve been craving to feel alive, to feel like I’m living my life.

And yet where I need to look is right here right now, and not what to do next or finding other ways of hoping to one day feel alive or not, that industries and capitalism and all that BS is trying to sell us.

[00:37:24] Ixchel: And they they’re really good at selling.

[00:37:26] Lisa: Yeah, they are. And it’s here and we all can get to that state more and more easily as you just described.

[00:37:38] Ixchel: Yeah. So thank you to the slots for everything that they’ve taught.

[00:37:42] Lisa: Yeah. And thank you for thank you for sharing the slow medicine with us.

Is there anything else you would like to add to liberating flow?

[00:37:54] Ixchel: I don’t know. Do you have any questions as anything emerged while we were talking?

Dr. Sandra Dalton. I remember her name.

[00:38:06] Lisa: The pause, the resting is where the information comes through, right? [Ixchel: Exactly.] Folks, that was the example. And as I like to say with like, of course, rest in menstruation or rest at dark moon, whether you cycle by the blood or you cycle by the moon, it’s your way of resting. It’s the amount of rest you can get. So what’s the 1% shift to rest that you can give yourself?

My favorite example is as a parent of two toddlers, your rest will look much different to someone who is on their own or without kids or whatever who can schedule three days off. But finding these moments where you even just for 10 seconds, take a deep breath. And that’s your rest.

[00:39:03] Ixchel: Yeah, you know, I think especially for parents who come to this work and, you know, they think that it’s completely impossible and unachievable to build in these practices, I always like to highlight that the way that we live our lives in dominator culture is structured to be very individualistic versus collective. And that these practices existed within collective and that there were, you know, not just one or two parents caring for children, but many, many, many.

And that one of the ways to support your practices and to find some of that rest can be building up your own collective as much as possible. You know, a big piece of decolonial work is really letting go of the individual way of being and finding ourselves more into the collective way of being. Because in order for these structures to change, it’s not any one individual that’s going to change it, it really is the collective.

And they were structured on purpose to keep us separated. But even still, parents can find five minutes somewhere to close your eyes and be still and listen or to sit and read a book with your child or that sort of thing, to be able to just have some of those quiet pauses, if that’s something that’s restorative as well.

I’ve heard people say that rest is a privilege and it’s not, it’s our birthright. But our society is structured to keep us moving constantly. And so to be able to resist that, and Audrey Lord says, “Rest is resistance.” and so we have to work in collective to reshape and restructure our societies.

And it took us hundreds of years to get to where we are and so we just have to keep remembering and I always come back to this, that it’s going to take hundreds of years to bring us back to where we can be able to have rest as the central way of being.

When we were connected to the land, the majority of our time was in rest, to be able to put into our pursuits and enjoying fiestas and gatherings and eating and libations with our loved ones. And that is a birthright, it’s not a privilege. But it’s going to take time to get back to that place that we all can do it, bringing ourselves into these practices.

[00:41:44] Lisa: Yes. And also, what happens in community is this mirroring, reflecting one’s light, one back to the other, to remind each other over and over again of what’s truly important in life.

And it’s okay to forget. And I believe it’s a process of remembering and forgetting, and remembering and forgetting. Over time, we will remember faster and with community, which is essential key, like you say, to it all. It’s so much easier. And it’s not the burden of anyone alone, although it can often feel like that.

But I think it was very important that we touched on this piece because so often, and I know that from myself, I tell myself the story of, “Oh, I don’t have time for this. I don’t have time to calm down. These things need to get finished.” Hello, capitalist productivity culture, thank you very much. Okay, rest is what I should do now. [Ixchel: Definitely.]

And finding ways of negotiating, “Hey, I need this, I need rest now. My child has a different need. So how can we make space for both and find something where we both get what we need instead of either or gets their needs met?”

[00:43:06] Ixchel: Yeah, either or is such a trap. And then being able to honor the body is where we build capacity versus pushing outside of our capacity.

If I just keep going and get this done, that’s where we’re building that body distrust. We’re depleting our capacity. But when we stay within our capacity, when we honor the body’s needs, that definitely is where we end up expanding our capacity.

[00:43:35] Lisa: Thank you, Ixchel. That was a lovely conversation, a lovely series of conversations.

If people are interested in working further with you, for example, well, you said your big piece is about rest, the Rest Revolt and starting there with the flow, but also reconnecting to flow. Where can folks find you and what different ways of working with you do you offer?

[00:44:05] Ixchel: Yeah, so really, getting a sense of decolonial time is where people can start that work. There’s a course and an expanded course in progress that’ll be dropping soon, so folks can kind of start to work with those practices on a daily basis.

When folks work one on one with me, we’re able to explore the Rest Revolt as well as some other practices, what I call the Radical Rest Retreat. But really it’s like a reset for the body, for the dopamine, for the endocrine and adrenaline system and all of that. It’s like really get into some embodiment practices.

Some folks like to look at, you know, connecting through cycle work, especially around Human Design or astrology. And so sometimes I’ll work with people around those cycles, the lunar cycle or some big heavy transits people are experiencing that, you know, they just need some orientation to kind of find their way back to flow and that sort of thing. And then I have a sort of perspective shift around what could be archetypal influencing their lives.

And then I have a big container called Wild Presence Collective and I open that a couple times a year and we do small cohorts, where we are really looking at those daily ways of integrating flow and creating practices that are very geared towards people’s own stellar imprints and their own bodies and their way of being. Because every body’s different and experiences time and flow differently.

And so we have 27 activators, we didn’t chat about that, but there’s different ways of dropping into flow and so we’re finding what ways people naturally find themselves in flow and if you’re curious about that I do have a freebie on the website that I have for those activators, so you can start to think about, “Oh yeah when I’m doing these things I find myself in flow.” and that’s a really good thing to follow and to notice because we’re all sort of oriented to different ways of getting into flow and being able to utilize those will help us get there more quickly.

And so that opens up a couple times a year, I have a couple spots open now, and then I’ll be opening a new cohort in January as well but there’s a wait list that folks can hop into. Let me know if you’re interested, if there happens to be interest enough to open a cohort, the cohorts are four people, so when I have four people we will open a cohort or we’ll wait till the new year.

[00:46:58] Lisa: I will definitely link to that below and also to your Dragon Letters, which are your fortnightly I believe, letters at least

[00:47:08] Ixchel: Actually I’ve been doing them almost weekly now, Substack has been really wonderful.

[00:47:15] Lisa: Yeah, I’ve received them more often recently. Because I remember that when we started knowing about each other, you wrote them with your, the moons that you are most connected to, so when the moon was in the two signs.

[00:47:27] Ixchel: Yeah, so when I first started them, I was doing them at the Capricorn moon, because, you know, Capricorn is such a earthly based sign and I just always found myself being able to do that. And then I found, “Oh, Cancer is also very helpful.”, it’s the opposition and so that was a way for me to find my rhythm and get into doing this new thing of writing more regularly versus sort of randomly.

And Substack has been really helpful to really be able to see people’s interests and then also letting me know how many people don’t write so often and I’m doing it more regularly and people like that, and so I’ve been doing it, I think weekly now, which is unusual for me, so it’s been really fun. I like Substack.

[00:48:20] Lisa: Well, I enjoy them. So, everybody who is just faintly interested please subscribe.

[00:48:26] Ixchel: Yeah, I do too. It’s a good writing outlet for me and then I also, it’s, you know, I call it your “dose of decolonization”, so many of the links or articles that I’ll curate within the Dragon Letters are TikToks that I find to be really helpful and so they’re like little tiny doses of shifting your perspective or your paradigm to a more decolonial way of being.

[00:48:54] Lisa: Wonderful. So, as for me, for everyone who is interested in getting to know their body better understanding their body because, as we know by now, in this society we have not really been set up for a good relationship with our body, but rather been separated from all of that. And that has led to a lot of problems in, especially female pelvic health.

So in case you do experience anything from irregular cycles, painful bleeds, PMS (PreMenstrual Syndrome) and PMDD (PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) which is PMS on steroids, wanting to jump off the balcony two weeks in a month, basically, but also endometriosis, PCOS, any type of menopause associated symptoms, going through menopause, not sure whether or not you’re starting to go into perimenopause.

I love working with people to encourage their bodies to create the conditions that are needed for healing to happen, because I believe that you and your body you’ve got everything within already, you just might need some guidance on what to look out for and how to balance it and really work on all these levels.

We look at the body, but we also look at the emotions, we look at the mental, psychological things that might be present for you. Definitely a lot of decolonial work as well. And also, of course, your spiritual connection. And with all of this, you don’t need hormones, you don’t need surgery, there’s nothing wrong with you, there’s nothing to be fixed about you or your body.

And that’s a big part of my form of decolonizing the body, also, is that we don’t have to believe everything these people in white coats tell us, because very often they feel like they have to have an answer for us because they “should” be the experts. And so they just tell us something random or they tell us, “Oh sorry, there’s nothing you can do.” which is not a diagnosis or nothing I want to subscribe to.

There is always things that you can do to support your body, starting with getting intimately acquainted with your body and your body’s language. And I have a free cycle charting course, it’s called “Unlock the Power of Your Cycle” and if you are a menstruator, whether you are in pre-, peri- or post-menopause, or if you’re a woman with or without physical organs present, go take that course because it really will help you reconnect to that body and that cycle of yours and start this beautiful relationship and communication, and that alone can alleviate lots of symptoms and problems.

Of course, this is not a healing diagnosis or therapy kind of thing, but your body will be so grateful by you just starting to listen, to stop and listen and find out what might be underneath it all. That alone might shift your perspective and you might find different ways of relating to your pain or to your symptoms.

And then of course I offer 1:1 coaching support, because there are some things that need to be tweaked to you uniquely and your situation and there might be something, that we have to work on the lymphatic system, which is a major contributor to any sort of chronic pain in the body. And, of course, also on the digestive and the nervous system level because all of those three make the immune system.

And with everything we see on the rise, with pesticides in the foods and all sorts of toxins in the cleaners we use and in hygiene products we use, we have a toxic overload in our body that also contributes big time to many diseases or discomfort that we experience, so if you want to find a natural solution that’s holistic and tailored to you, book a chat with me or send me an email whichever is your preferred way to get in touch.

But, and if you just want to be updated and learn about menstrual health menopausal health, how to take your menstrual or menopausal health into your own hands, then subscribe to Moonday Musings, my weekly e-letter that I send on Mondays for you to start the week with more groundedness and connection to yourself.

[00:53:36] Ixchel: Beautiful. Movement is so vital. It’s, you know, my top three recommendations include movement, you know, moving the lymph and moving your limbs is definitely overlooked in so many different ways and is so helpful for the body so I love that.

[00:53:57] Lisa: And there are actually just very few basic simple lifestyle habits that will change the whole trajectory of your health. They are breathing in a way that’s supportive for your body; that’s chewing your food well, so the digestion starts already in the mouth; that’s moving, as you say, to move the lymph; and resting well is definitely one that I added into that because that will soothe your nervous system and that already helps to reduce inflammation and everything.

[00:54:29] Ixchel: Yes, our culture is so adrenalized. So definitely …

[00:54:33] Lisa: And we forget to do the simple things that we can turn to the simple things. Slop medicine. Keep it intentional and simple.

[00:54:41] Ixchel: Yeah, I love it. Beautiful.

[00:54:45] Lisa: Okay, Ixchel, thank you so much for agreeing to go for this whole series with me. It was such a pleasure to have you here.

[00:54:53] Ixchel: Thank you so much, Lisa. It has just been a delight to chat with you all things flow and decolonial time and all the ways that we’ve been able to connect these things together. Thank you so much.

[00:55:07] Lisa: And folks, whether you listen to this or you watch this, please let us know what is your biggest takeaway either from just today or from the whole series. And if you haven’t listened to the other parts yet, I will link them down below as well. So go listen to them and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast.

And with all of that, I wish all of you a beautiful day and speak to you next time. Bye.