Every other Thursday I profile a new incredible woman, each from a different walk of life. Different professions, causes, backgrounds, ethnicities, orientations, and anything/everything else!
So without further delay, let me introduce the wonderful Amy Sedgwick…
Amy Sedgwick has a passion for women’s health and wants them to be informed. With a goal “to provide a home, a safe space for women to develop a positive and healthy relationship to their bodies - a task that is becoming increasingly challenging in our culture,” Amy, along with her sister Kimberley, started Red Tent Sisters. Combining their visions to offer women services, programs, and a retail store, Amy takes time to answer our questions as this week’s Shameless Woman.
What drives you to do what you do?
The desire to ensure women, especially young women, know their options when it comes to reproductive health. Many women are put on pharmaceuticals at a young age to address reproductive or contraceptive concerns. It is my personal and clinical experience that these drugs have adverse short-term and long-term effects on women’s physical and emotional health and I want women to know there are other options. Or, at the very least, I want women to come to their decisions from a place of informed consent. I regret many of the decisions I made as a young woman with respect to my health and my work comes from a desire to heal the part of myself that was dishonoured by those choices.
How does being a woman empower / challenge you?
Being a woman empowers me because women are by nature creative. Our ability to create life extends to giving birth to community and ideas and our cyclical nature ties us deeply to the earth, the seasons, and the moon so that we feel like co-creators in the cycle of life. Being a woman challenges me because our society as it stands does not honour this constant movement – the naturalness of birth and death – we tend to fight it all the way. We want things to be always the same – predictable, controlled, constant - always in a state of “full bloom,” “optimal performance,” and “utter perfection.” Being true to our womanhood is hard in this context and challenges us to work hard at continually remembering who we are. Honouring the dark because it gives rise to the light. Honouring the inward as it brings a more authentic self outward.
What advice would you give to young women who want to follow in your footsteps?
Follow your intuition. There is no other way. Be true to your deepest most authentic self and you won’t go wrong.
Name one person, place, or thing every young woman should know about?
Every woman should know the events of her menstrual cycle like she knows the details of her own face. Whether you read the Justisse Guide to Fertility Management, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, or Cycle Savvy, you should be able to know how, why and when we ovulate, how, why and when we menstruate, how, why and when we can get pregnant – and when we cannot. We should use this intimate knowledge the way we use an awareness of our heart rate or our breath – as an indicator of our general state of health and wellbeing. Having charted my cycles in detail for over three years, I can now recognize hidden signs of stress, nutritional deprivation, self-love or lack thereof, and more. No woman, in my opinion, should be without this sacred and intimate knowledge.
What is the most important thing we can do in order to change the world?
Follow your intuition. When you are in a doctor’s office and they say you need something and a voice in your heart says “why?” or “that doesn’t feel right” – listen. As much as possible be aware of where your decisions are coming from – decisions about your spending, your health choices, your career choices – are they coming from society (commercial advertising, family members, friends, the government) or are they coming from your authentic self? I honestly believe most of the world’s pain comes simply from people not listening to their own authentic wisdom. Surround yourself with friends, professionals and practitioners who will validate your inner voice.
You can find out more about Amy and Red Tent Sisters at www.redtentsisters.com.