Wellness Wednesday: Yoga for Bedtime with YOGAMOTIF

Navigating the Change has partnered with Alecia Dawn at YOGAMOTIF to offer everyone a natural remedy for insomnia: Yoga for Bedtime! In this 18-minute video, Alecia takes us through a gentle yoga practice that’s sure to prime you for a restful night. But remember, don’t have sugar and alcohol right before bed! That will be counterproductive.


YOGAMOTIF

Alecia Dawn is an arts worker and yoga guide who explores the creative process as an invitation to heal. She believes that creating art and creating life are connected and invests her time in people, projects, and communities that explore these practices. In 2018, she founded YOGAMOTIF, a creative wellness studio that offers art and yoga classes to youth, pregnant people, and the community at large. She makes space to center Black women in healing, and is honored to support the community with a joyful and breath-centered practice.

Alecia holds a Master of Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Alfred University, and is a registered prenatal yoga teacher. Learn more about her work at YOGAMOTIF.com

Follow YOGAMOTIF on IG: @yogamotif

Follow YOGAMOTIF on FB: @yogamotif

I Owe 3 Pregnancy Tests An Apology…They’ll Probably Never Get It

Under most circumstances, I’m usually pretty good at apologizing and admitting when I’m wrong. 

However, sixteen years ago, three different pregnancy tests accused me of being with child.

Though I strongly insisted that they were wrong, it turns out that they were, in fact, right. 

To this day, I have yet to proffer an apology for my error—and I probably never will. 

Yes, I’ll admit to calling every one of those tests gotdamned liars!

Yes, I’ll admit that they actually told the objective truth. 

No, I don’t feel bad for unfairly labeling them deceptive.

And no, I don’t give a shit. 

Anyway, I probably should explain—and I will—but before I do, allow me to introduce myself. 

I am LadyG, and I got caught up on the down-stroke some sixteen years ago when I was in my late thirties. 

How did that happen, you ask?

Shit, I wondered the same thing!

To be honest, I thought that my “baby-having” days were over. 

You see, I had already had a son, who was about to be twelve, and I figured he would be my sole contribution to the world’s population. 

For years, I had been lucky!

Even though I was sexually active, I somehow managed to escape any pregnancy scares—which is miraculous because your girl was getting the “up-stroke,”  “left- stroke,” “back-stroke,” and every other damn stroke in between. 

That said, I hadn’t even experienced one late period in all that time between my son’s birth and that unforgettable day in 2005 when those pregnancy tests started with their bullshit!

So, by the age of thirty-six, I thought I was in the clear!

I mean, I was a stone’s throw from my fortieth birthday, which to me, signified the last stop before menopause. Hell, I thought I was peri-menopausal.

Yeah chile, I thought I was in the clear, but as my Mama used to say, “Thought like the bitty—thought the hen’s titty was a city!”

LOL!  Go ahead and laugh at my troubles—the shit is funny now—but it wasn’t funny then. 

At any rate, I feel it’s important to give you some backstory in order to shed some light on my mindset at that particular point in time. 


One day I wasn’t feeling very well; I’d recently had some heavy bleeding during my periods—but nothing too scary. 

After about two weeks, I still felt ill so I decided to take a pregnancy test in order to rule that out.

I knew damn well pregnancy wasn’t the issue. 

So, I went to the drug store and bought a two-pack pregnancy test kit. 

Shortly thereafter, I went home, changed clothes, went to the bathroom, read the directions and peed on the little stick. 

Since I already “knew” that the test would be negative, I set the stick down on the sink, walked off, casually rummaged through some mail, and returned well beyond the amount of time required for the results to appear. 

Hell, I even stopped to mess around in my closet before looking at the test stick. 

Suffice it to say, your girl was not at all pressed!

Anyway, before approaching the stick, I glanced at a picture on the test box which illustrated that one line appearing in the little test window meant “not pregnant,” while two lines meant “pregnant.”

Well, I went ahead and picked up the stick—fully prepared to see one line. 

Chile, when I looked at that stick and saw two lines I screamed at the top of my lungs! 

I hollered, “WHAT?”

Baby, I was FRANTIC!

Despite the shock, I remembered that I had gotten a double pack. 

I recall thinking that the first test was clearly mistaken.

So, I decided to go ahead and pee on the second stick so I could get that negative result and go on about my normal affairs. 

Half nervous, I peed on the second stick, sat it down, then commenced to pace back and forth in front of the toilet.

A couple of minutes later, I looked at the stick which displayed extra dark double lines.

Chile, it was as if the tests were saying, “Bitch you’re pregnant…Why doth thou keep testing us?”

RUDE!

So very RUDE!

At any rate, do you think I called the father?

Oh hell naw! 

I called my bestie and said, “Bitch, if you’re not already sitting down, you better!”

She responded, very cautiously, “Okay…”

To which I immediately blurted, “I’m pregnant!”

After the initial shock, she was somehow able to talk my ass off the imaginary ledge that I had constructed in my mind. 

Real talk, I don’t know what I would have done without her. 

My next call was to my partner–who was surprisingly calm. 

He advised me not to worry and ensured me that everything would be fine. 

Later that evening, he came over so that we could discuss next steps. 

I asked him to bring a third test—just to be absolutely sure.

To my chagrin, I failed that one too!

To be honest, I felt some kinda way because my partner was a bit too relaxed and upbeat about the situation. 

I felt like he was making light of things. 

Freshly pregnant, I was all up in my feelings!

So, after I’d had all the playfulness that I could stand, I hollered, “It’s funny to you because you ain’t gotta do nothin’ but stand there looking stupid while death walks around my bed ninety-nine times…I’m looking at pushing a baby out at damn near forty!”

By the way, folks in the South often talk about death walking around your bed during childbirth—but that’s another story. 

Anyway, let’s just say that I got his ass together real quick, and he ended up apologizing. 

Ah, but let me tell you the strangest part to LadyG’s pregnancy drama. 

I ended up getting pregnant, unexpectedly, while there were several family members and friends who were trying desperately to have a child—to no avail.

No doubt, I felt weird sharing this news with them.

Of course, that’s also another story for a different day.

Either way, I finally came to terms with the pregnancy and began looking forward to the birth of my baby. 

Unfortunately, it was a very complex and rocky pregnancy. 

I was sick almost the entire time. 

I was also anxious, to some degree, about all of the prenatal testing that was recommended due to my age. 

Honestly, I declined most of them believing that whatever was meant to be would be.

I simply decided not to let all of those scary potentialities bother me. 

In fact, I was bound and determined that me and my child would go through this like two champs! 

So, everyday, I followed my mother’s advice to take things “day-by-day” and to keep praying.

And, alas, I’m happy to report that we both made it through the pregnancy, and sure enough, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl—thus beginning another chapter of motherhood.

In parting, I’d like to thank YOU for checking out my story.

To those three rude-ass pregnancy tests, I bid you “Good day!”


LadyG is the founder of Seek the Best Blog where she is a passionate writer and storyteller who tinkers around with multiple forms of artistic expression. Whether she is producing encouraging videos, making humorous audio posts, writing thought provoking short stories, or taking photos of light in nature, LadyG strives to create and share content to edify a growing community of followers.

Follow LadyG on Instagram: ladyg_living_life

Follow LadyG on WordPress: Seek the Best Blog

Subscribe to to LadyG’s YouTube channel and listen to her early menopause/fibroid tumor story: Fibroid Tumors and Pregnancy

Listen to the audio version of LadyG’s story on SoundCloud: I Owe 3 Pregnancy Tests an Apology


Write for Navigating the Change.

Wellness Wednesday: Shiitake Mushroom and Jackfruit Tacos by Chef Cedric

by Chef Cedric

Cedric stops by to share his Asian fusion vegan taco recipe.

Ingredients for Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut in half, seeds and stems removed

Marinate anywhere between 30 minutes and 24 hours.

Ingredients for Asian Pear Salsa:

  • 2 medium Asian pears, diced (skin on or off) or 1 large
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped

Ingredients for Gochujang Crema:

  • 1/2 cup of vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp of lime juice
  • 2 tsp of Gochujang

Cooking Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the marinade.
  2. Once the sugar has dissolved, pour the marinade onto a shallow baking sheet or into a plastic bag.
  3. Add the mushrooms, turning to coat.
  4. Marinate for for 30 minutes up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.
  5. While the mushrooms marinate, whisk together the ingredients for the Gochujang Crema in a small bowl. Cover and set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the salsa together.

  1. Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high.
  2. Remove the mushrooms from the marinade, but keep the marinade.
  3. Cook mushrooms for 5 minutes per side or until lightly charred on both sides.
  4. Slice each mushroom into 5-6 strips. Set aside.
  5. Grill the peppers for 1-2 minutes per side, brushing with the remaining marinade.
  6. Slice each pepper half into 5-6 strips.
  7. Spread the Gochujang Crema on each warmed tortilla. Add shredded lettuce and a few strips of portobello and red pepper. Top with Asian pear salsa, slices of avocado, sesame seeds, green onions, and cilantro (if desired).

Creativity Heats up during Menopause

Myriad uncomfortable and difficult changes happen during the menopause transition. Sometimes negative aspects can overshadow the fact that positive changes occur too. Our menopause goddess group was delightfully surprised to discover that while we may have lost the ability to procreate, our energies morphed into newfound desires to create.

Creativity blossoms during menopause and post-menopause. The desire to ‘make’ something, to create, to collage, or to cultivate an artistic endeavor feels like an itch we just have to scratch. We take up beading, musical instruments, knitting, photography, painting, calligraphy, pottery, gourmet cooking, poetry, handmade books, gardening, fabric arts, dance, stamping, and scrapbooking.

Once we tap into our creative urges, we wonder what took us so long. We overflow with inspiration and we aren’t afraid to fail. The “not afraid to fail” may be the most important piece. After all, the creativity police won’t come and take us away if we suck at something. And I can attest that if you find something you enjoy and stick with it, eventually you won’t suck. I danced hula for two years with a pair of left feet before it all clicked.

But it really matters not if we are “good” at what we choose as our creative outlet. It’s important that we jump in with both feet, both arms, and a whole heart. We need it because it nourishes us. We are fertile in a whole new way. We are growing into the women we wish to be.

So dance, draw, paint, photograph, knit, write. Don’t wait—the house doesn’t need to be cleaner, dinner can be eggs, and the laundry will rest in the hamper another day. As poet Mary Oliver asks, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Giving in to our creative urges, in whatever modality or art we choose, is a nurturing, fulfilling process. Schedule an “art day” soon, alone or with a best girlfriend. Usher in your “second adulthood.” If not now, when?


Lynette Sheppard, RN is the author of Becoming A Menopause Goddess and moderates the popular Menopause Goddess Blog.


Write for Navigating the Change.

Photo Feature: Lisa Frechette

Lisa Frechette

Lisa Frechette is a sixty-year-old artist, designer, educator, and author. Her design company Lisa L Designs focuses on empowering women through beautiful free-flowing clothing pieces that represent affirmations and states of being. Her book Transforming to Joy: Responding To My Son’s Struggle With Addiction explores how painful challenges taught her to shift from reacting with fear to responding with love in all areas of life.

Connect with Lisa and her designs: Lisa L Designs

Follow Lisa on IG: @lisaldesigns


Navigating the Change has partnered with photographer, Sorcha Augustine to curate images of women who are thirty-five or older being their full selves.

Sorcha Augustine is a dance and theatre photographer from Sarasota, Florida. She creates dynamic stage and promotional photography for performing arts organizations, as well as authentic portraiture of performing and visual artists, helping them communicate their skill, personality, and passion to their audiences.

Follow Sorcha on IG: @sorcha_augustine

Book Sorcha for your photos: https://sorchaaugustine.com/


Do you want to partner with Navigating the Change to curate photos of women who are thirty-five years or older? Submit your idea below:

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