Monica Shepherd, Naturopath, women’s health advocate, and Our Seva Motherhood Circle community member has been called to work with women and bring us back to a state of bliss and internal balance through food, mental health advocacy, and the empowering the divine feminine within. I hope you enjoy Monica’s perspective on plant to human communication and her suggestions for finding sacredness within the mundane. <3
Q: Welcome, Monica! You and I both share a passion for connecting within the vulnerability of motherhood and womanhood – Can you share a little bit about how you started working with women, guiding us back to ourselves?
Absolutely! Going on my own journey and seeing other women share similar experiences, the empath in me felt a calling and responsibility to see women thrive and shine. I want to see women happy and successful. It has always been a key focus of mine to teach women simple hacks for getting their mental and physical health in top notch. It should be easy, what if it was all easy?
We are led to believe that life must be hard for women.
No, women are tough but let it be easy for us.
Q: One thing that I have always loved about your transformation and guidance is your eagerness to dive into the less common, “unspoken spaces” of womanhood – When it comes to the personal transformation process, what “unspoken spaces” do you feel deserve more attention & how can we make small steps to shift the cultural narrative?
An unspoken space I still see is the discomfort many of us have when talking about women’s bodies in context of menstrual blood and pleasure, not necessarily together. There are still the Madonna and Mary versions of women portrayed, where to talk about a woman experiencing pleasure, but not necessarily about women deserving pleasure. The mother and wife still deserve pleasure. We women must accept, feel comfort, and talk as we make choices about our body’s functions and feelings. This is a turn in history where more research is being done by females on the female body. With social media more women are openly expressing themselves in ways that feel right to them. Women can be all the archetypes in one, the maiden and the mother. Mothers are still exceptionally beautiful… just because.
Q: As a naturopath, I assume you believe in the colliding of inner and ancient wisdom as powerful tools for self-care and self discovery – How do you use the ancient wisdom of nature and natural rhythms to find steadiness within?
It is an emotional connection with nature that research suggests is the most profound. However, what I find particularly profound is how nature communicates with us. We are quite literally made up of trillions of bacteria that are acting as guests. We accommodate these guests by becoming reliant on them, hence the microbiome. We have a similar relationship with plants that was developed by our ancestors’ reliance on foraging for food. We have developed receptors throughout our body that need bitter components of herbs for example but it is deeper than that.
We are observing the way plants can communicate with each other in research and have found, for example, that when a cow in a paddock eats a particular plant continually over a period of time, the plant will change to make itself taste less appealing. It doesn’t stop there, the plants around it will also change. Understanding then what happens when these plant molecules are kept intact (and keep in mind many herbal medicine and essential oil companies remove molecules for mass production) is what we are still learning about.
But one thing is clear, using plants as medicine is powerful and that has been what I have witnessed as a naturopath on numerous occasions. It is my aim to impart this abundance of knowledge to everyone, and to bring back the medicine woman. I might have a complementary medicine degree but I really just want to see women using this medicine in their everyday lives.
Q: As a mother, have you established a consistent “tuning in” practice that allows you to settle into the sacredness of the mundane or find purpose in the pause? Share your secrets!
Yes, it is in the daily and weekly routines that we have made sacred. Nature time everyday, but more so on weekends. Meditation every night… These moments make our lives sacred. The key is to weave in quality time amongst the bust aspects of life.
Q: These have been very interesting and challenging times for the collective – what have you discovered about yourself as a woman and that of mother, that you didn’t realize pre-pandemic?
These challenging times have been a blessed time of growth and refinement for me. It’s been a great reminder of how the simplicity can be profound.
I have had time to tell my daughter stories of when I was a child and that nourished her. I have refined so much of what I do in my home and in my business, coming out more organized and with more clarity.
We often think we are doing all the right things that will take us where we want and need to do. A regular brain dump and forced rest are essential. Something I’m experimenting with is keeping new creative projects to a minimum during my period.
Q: Community is such a huge piece of the process as we become who we are becoming – How has community influenced your transformation process and where is the most unexpected place you’ve found rallying support?
What I have learned having lived in different communities all throughout Australia is that it doesn’t matter where you go in the country or the world, there are always beautiful people and people who will help you. Remember there are good trustworthy people surrounding you.
Q: Any resources (books, podcasts, groups, articles) you think are must see/reads?
Womb Awakening by Azra Bertrand is a must read.
Join Our Seva Motherhood Circle
Whether navigating personal transformation as a maiden or mother, the beauty of the journey is found by listening deeply to our heart’s desires and taking intuitive action. As a collective, the Our Seva Motherhood Circle private Facebook group is on a mission to help shift the cultural narrative around the unspoken spaces, no matter what stage you find yourself in. We focus our efforts with weekly themed discussions around shifting identities, inner and ancient wisdom, mental health, cultural narratives, and our sacred service to motherhood/womanhood. I’d love it if you would join us!