“Frooooooooom West Philadelphia born and raised…” Good Ole Big Willy Yoh. This fab rap tune, reminiscent of my childhood and I’m sure many people’s childhoods (for me it was sitting in a rural village in Staffordshire UK, gazing in wonderment at the TV and seeing life in this very different and magical place, America) was reverberating in my head as we zoomed past the infamous sign to Bel Air. Yo!
The 4 hour bus ride from Washington DC went oh so smoothly and dreamily (and cost $1 which made me smile all the way)!! I was tired and still recovering from the horrible fluey bug that had made my time in Washington so snot-ridden, but when I got off the train and met with Rachel on the platform in the most beautiful suburb of Philadelphia I could imagine, I knew it was going to be wonderful! Especially when I discovered that good food was something we had in common. Rachel, that impeccable Italian takeaway was DIVINE!
North Philadelphia where Rachel lives is uh-huh beeeeeeautiful; there is a park with loads of turtles in the lake, many beautiful tall trees, and fab houses that we decided to pretend we lived at by posing for photos outside them…(!) awesome coffee shops, and an organic food shop outside which wowed me with it’s selection of beans and outside of which I sat happily for a while, sporting a rather fabulous crispy lettuce! Here are a few pre-workshop snaps of all the frivolities and the little turtle-dude…
The Magical Menstrual Tour workshop by now had blossomed into quite a well-oiled event, if I do say so myself, hahaha… But what was really cool about my time in Philly was that I got to speak to a very special couple about the menstrual cycle in a private workshop of their own. Having been in their loving and close relationship for many years, and with Rachel’s partner working as a Psychologist I thought it might be interesting to ask him if was interested in being included in the workshop. I was delighted when he said yes!
It was wonderful! To be able to give a visual presentation about the energy dynamics of the cycle and the archetypical energy patterns that people who menstruate go through. To describe how it all works; the ups and the downs and how they all have their value, and for the discussion to be opened up around Rachel’s unique cycle. I was so happy to hear feedback from a man’s perspective and also to be involved in the discussion around ideas Rachel could be more supported during the different weeks.
Of course it helped that he was kind sensitive and interested, but he completely resonated with the workshop and said that it made a lot of sense retrospectively with regards women in his family, friends, and previous relationships. I loved this opportunity to speak to a couple about the work and show them the products I have been carrying around in my bag. He later thanked me in an email for everything I shared both individually and as a couple to make the cycle more enjoyable and bearable for both of them. Words like these touch me deeply. Thank you 🙂
I can’t end this blog piece without sharing a little about Rachel’s work – she is a designer and an inventor and she has come up with a foldable bike helmet! Those of you who know me well are fully aware that I am actually allergic to bikes (unless they are motorbikes) but I definitely see the value in her work; getting people to work and back safely on the busy USA city roads without then having to lumber a helmet around with them. Rachel’s ingeniously squishes down to the size of a laptop. Her project is AnneeLondon and I wish her every success Xxx