Do you feel like you are at a crossroads in your life?
Have you had enough of living in a non-stop way that neglects your own needs and saps your resources?
Would you like to stop feeling you are swimming against the tide - and ending up ever further from what really matters to you (if you can even remember what that is)?
Whatever has brought you to this point, you know that the future cannot look like the past. But you do not not how to bring the change you long for and are struggling to access a positive vision for that future.
As a Yoga teacher specialising in female health and well-being, I meet many women at this crossroads.
Often they are feeling stuck, lost, empty, overwhelmed or utterly burned out.
Many have lived in line with the cultural messaging that they were brought up with: that the way to achieve our dreams and lead a fulfilling life is to push on through and keep on marching onward and upward in a linear way, ever faster, better, higher.
But so often women tell me they have ended up with a sense that they have spent their lives running around focused outwards and on the needs of others. And it has left them feeling wrung out and disconnected from their feminine selves, with a sense of powerlessness as mental and physical health symptoms spin out of control.
Take Jessica, a mum with a busy career who came to see me a few years ago.
Jessica was struggling with back pain, debilitating menstrual symptoms as she navigated peri-menopause. She told me she felt like she was "disintegrating" and going crazy - and often just wanted to "throw in the towel". And she felt an utter loss of connection with any feminine softness or rhythm in her life.
She acknowledged that she had never much liked her body or its female processes (menstruation - "just a nuisance"). Like so many of her friends, she had simply over-ridden with gritted teeth and medication any symptoms that threatened to slow down her busy life.
I totally related to her story! I spent my 20s in just that place while living in Beijing and running the catering company I had founded. My failure to pay any heed to my cyclical rhythms led me to what, in hindsight, seems like the logical conclusion - no menstrual cycles.
It took me those very painful two years of no menstruation and four years of infertility in my early 30s to wake me up to the fact that my striving linear ways were making me ill.
I've spent the past two decades exploring how to live in a more harmonious, meaningful and sustainable way. And I have found Yoga - practised in a self-reverent, cycle-centric way - to be my trusted ally in bringing me home to my female body, myself and my natural rhythms and in supporting my ongoing process of becoming.
My upbringing imprinted on my nervous system the idea that giving into impulses to slow down, step back, do nothing were not qualities to aspire to, but rather signs of laziness, low achievement and certaintly not the road to success.
Today, I deeply heed these impulses. I recognise that, far from being the enemy of moving forward in life, the cyclical call into stillness, reflection and rest is the key to staying connected to what matters, nurturing a fertile and smooth creative process and to getting where we want to go without burning up all our resources.
Just look at nature. Summer knows she cannot stay Summer all year - else all would overheat, dry out and wither. Instead, nature endlessly turns through and is worked by the vital processes of all four seasons.
To be well, to live well and to heal our planet, us humans need to remember that we too are the natural world.
The reality is that, if we fight against nature's flow, life becomes a struggle and we experience existence from a place of separation, not connection.
And living in a state of non-stop summertime busyness is particularly damaging for women, who embody nature's rhythmic dance in the menstrual cycles that turn in us for decades of our life.