22 Aug Netherlands
Throughout the years in which I tried to find the perfect course to study to pursue a career, many things have changed but one thing has always been present for me: my passion for holistic health and wellbeing. Within this anything that makes being a woman special intrigues me.
I’ve studied several western and eastern holistic health methods and am currently studying Ayurveda, specializing in gynecology and obstetrics.
Observing youth now makes me want to stand up for the sake of our future, for our next generations. Entering puberty comes with many changes, many of which can be challenging. Proper guidance is of utmost importance during this time but is so very often overlooked.
The importance of having a good sense of self is still underrated in today’s society. Understanding the beautiful mechanism of our magical bodies – the influence of hormones, how our mind functions, our bio-chemistry and our incredible capacity as fertile beings, will help us tp attain compassion, confidence, trust, and self-love.
Together with Zaira Roemer, I established Girls Tribe as an empowering community for girls from all backgrounds. We believe in the enriching effect of celebrating girls, as they stand on the threshold of womanhood, and restoring forgotten rites around menarche. We are here to support girls, alongside their mothers, during this sensitive and transformative stage of life and to help them build resilience with empowering tools. It is our wish to inspire young women and help them to feel free, joyful, and comfortable with themselves so that they can live a fulfilling life accordingly.
Girls empowerment for the betterment of all!
After struggling with my menstruating body for over twenty years, in 2018 I decided to make a big shift. I sat in a silent meditation retreat and had visions of women in red dresses, dancing and singing around a fire. Tinkling bracelets and veils, uteruses and ovaries. I am practical and grounded and I didn’t know what to do with this information.
What did become clear was the fact that I wanted to celebrate my soft and round body. I wanted to celebrate my cycle. I was looking for a way to work with the nature instead of resorting to artificial hormones for contraception. I felt there had to be a way to feel joy and calm in menstruating instead of agony. I was done trying to hide and ignore my periods. I wanted to learn how to work with my heavy bleeding and not against it.
I was standing at a crossroad: Talk to a psychologist or heal by doing. I chose the latter. I had the deep urge to let my body follow her natural rhythm.
I found Sensiplan, a symptothermal method of fertility awareness for either avoiding pregnancy or know better how to time intercourse to conceive, and I started to understand how my cycling body works. Wild Power by Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo-Wurlitzer became my bible and I started practicing selfcare in the different seasons of the cycle and felt SO much better doing that.
I still have PCOS. My bleeds are still (very) heavy. My weight still isn’t as stable or ‘healthy’ as I had hoped it would be. But I can say I am much more at ease in my body and in every stage of the menstrual cycle than I have ever been. I even look forward to menstruating. I don’t have to hide it anymore and it is now a topic that I can talk openly about. This has given me so much peace of mind – I know how my body works and how to take care of myself.
Now I am passionate about spreading this message, spreading the love. I relish the days I support girls and their mothers through Celebration Day for Girls workshops. Through these days girls start their journey with the support and awareness to enjoy a positive experience of their changing body and menstrucl cycle, and the confidence and knowledge to find the help they need if and when they need it.
Professionally I am a social cultural worker and am now a Natural Family Planning/Fertility Awareness Method consultant for Sensiplan.
Mirella van Staveren
I live with my husband and daughter in Culemborg, Holland from early 2018. Since 2004 I lived in Israel, where I established a small center for personal development and was involved in peace work. We moved to Wales where our daughter was born in 2009 and the last 7 years we lived in Spain at the Suryalila Retreat Center. I’m teaching Menstrual Cycle Awareness since 2016.
My development started in 2002 at Centrum Venwoude, where I lived for a year of intense personal and spiritual development. Since then I have followed and trained with various (spiritual) teachers and facilitators. My interest in womanhood started later. First with the understanding of the dynamics between man and woman, and then the deepening of womanhood and femininity at the School of Womanly Arts in New York.
I have been very fortunate to encounter the work of Alexandra Pope and Menstrual Cycle Awareness, with this work I discovered the strength, depth and love for my cycle. Today it is my passion to share this essential part of being a woman. When I heard that Jane Bennett came to Belgium to train women, I couldn’t believe my luck. It is a big honor to share this work with young girls and mothers during the sweet and intimate Celebration day so that they are prepared for their upcoming menstrual cycle and womanhood and feel empowered and confident in their body and joyous and proud about being a girl!
With a keen interest in the anatomy of radiant health and how our bodily cells work, I studied several medical disciplines. I started with biomedical science with a master specialization in oncology (cancer research). I subsequently studied holistic nutrition as well as the movement art form of Traditional Chinese Medicine, qigong. I have absolutely loved studying the universe that occurs inside each single cell, and am still in awe of the resilience within the human body.
I know how crucial support, acknowledgement and encouragement can be in the tender early years, both from a biological perspective as well as from personal experience. Guidance surrounding menarche is so painfully lacking in today’s society and educational platforms. However menarche is the ideal opportunity to start becoming aware of the brilliance and magic of being in cyclical relation with nature and our body’s biology!
My wish is that young girls and women may shine brightly and become more and more fully themselves by discovering the blueprint unique to them.
Together with Talyah Donker, I co-own and run the organisation Girls Tribe, where we offer the Celebration Day for Girls workshop. We are here to support girls, and their mothers, during this sensitive and transformative stage of life and to help them build resilience with empowering tools. It’s our wish to inspire young women and help them to feel free, joyful, and comfortable with themselves so that they can live a fulfilling life accordingly.
With the right guidance, girls can become self-assured and confident young women who can uplift themselves and each other and impact their communities positively. Girl’s empowerment is for the betterment of all!
Together we rise!
I have returned to my homeland of Surinam and now run Celebration Day for Girls there, as well as in the Netherlands.