Transcription of Wild Within Interview with Angie Northwood

Time: 33:26 minutes

Jessy: Okay, so we are now recording and this is a Wild Within Interview with the beautiful beautiful Angie. And Angie, I’ve met through a book writing process which I think, did we start last year? I think last September?

Angie: I have no idea.

Jessy: No. I think at the minute dates and timing and yeah, are out the window. But anyway, book writing process and I just love Angie. All your wellbeing kind of videos that you do, your moon meditations. You’re so in touch with who you are and when I think of Wild Within, you know, you really come to mind because I think you are the kind of the embodiment of it. And of course, you’re one of my beloved soul sisters and unbound soul sisters, and I don’t think I could have survived this year without your support and the support of the group and things but yeah, did you want to take a moment just to introduce yourself and yeah, I know you do a lot more than kind of what I’ve said.

Angie: Yeah. That was a very beautiful description. I’ll accept that very gratefully. Thank you. So, yes, so I’m Angie. And I’m 59, approaching 60, which is very exciting. And I’m also proud to call myself Crone being postmenopausal. And as you know, my work at the core of my work, well really is wound wisdom. And part of that wound wisdom is most definitely the alchemy of menopause. And that’s what my second book that I’m writing now is about. I live in beautiful rural West Wales, with my husband, Rob, and our two adult children, Jake and Molly. And I love where I live with all my soul and all of my heart, and it is what nourishes me. And we’ll be talking about this as you ask me the questions. But being here is absolutely what has aligned me to who I am at soul level.

Jessy: Oh, I love it. I love it. And when you share images of where you are, and oh gosh, that just fills my heart. You know, just nature and, you know, at its core, at its best.

Angie: Yeah.

Jessy: Really

Angie: Stunningly beautiful.

Jessy: Oh, definitely. So, tell us about your journey. Kind of what sort of got you to this point, what had you been doing before? And kind of, I guess, kind of what life were you living? Like what expectations were you trying to live up to and conditions and things?

Angie: It’s such a wonderful question, because it really has allowed me to follow that part of where I’ve come from to here. And it is something that I talked about in my book, which I know you’re yet to read. And so really, I suppose the kind of power moment happened when Rob and I were working at a festival in 20, ooh, gosh, what was it 2011, something like that. But before that, before I come to that, I was living in Brixton. We were all living in Brixton, which I loved. We’d lived in the house that we were in for nearly 20 years, which we love. We had a fantastic community. I worked within the heart of Brixton as well and it was fabulous. However, the work that I was doing, I ended up becoming very depleted and had a period of depression. And my body, bless my body had been trying to tell me for a long time that I needed to rethink what I was doing. But I ignored it for a very long time. Hence the depletion. Hence the depression. But I did eventually listen. And I chose to leave the job that I was doing, because I understood at that point, having had some counseling that something you know, that needed to change, I could no longer do that. So, that was a big decision to make. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at that point. But I looked to my partner, my husband, Rob and he had been a massage therapist already for a number of years and he loved his work and he had a pretty good life balance. I thought yeah, I’m gonna try that. So, I trained to be a massage therapist, and I was creating quite a good business for myself working from home. And then we were at the festival, both doing our massage treatments. Well, no, that’s a fib Rob and Jake were doing it. I was going to, that I got a really bad cold virus literally the morning of leaving. And so, I couldn’t work. And that was just such a beautiful gift from the universe because actually, I needed to stop and to do some really deep listening while I was there, which I did. And what opened up, what came in was a really clear message saying, you have to move now. It is time. Because Rob and I had thought about doing the move from the city to the countryside for a number of years on and off for many, many years. But this message came in, boom, it’s time. And when I shared that with Rob, he was like, Yes, let’s do this. And within seven months, we were living here.

Jessy: No way. That quick.

Angie: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It was yeah, we’ve made the decision. Let’s do this.

Jessy: But that’s so you though as well, isn’t it? It’s what I’ve seen of you in that like the past year. It’s like you make a decision. And then that’s it. It’s almost like you have the whole universe behind you. And it just happens. So that’s lovely.

Angie: Yeah, I definitely said there yes, yeah, there is that I do have that force when I yeah. Yeah. Which largely works for but sometimes that I have also learned within that, that actually, it’s quite good sometimes to step back and just kind of take a breath before I launch into something. But yes, but that was the moment where I absolutely knew, you know, that the alignment came in, and I you know, it didn’t need to be thought about and seven months later, we’ll sorry,

Jessy: Sorry, there is still a lag, but we’re talking over each other. They’re just gonna say just so important to have that pause and actually listen to what your body is saying to you. Because that’s messages, isn’t it?

Angie: Yeah. And interestingly, when we moved here it was my body again, that was you know, it was my womb, I discovered I had a uterine fibroid. And it was my womb saying, okay, you’re here now, this is where you need to be. Now, do your work, your inner work.

Jessy: Wow.

Angie: And that was also aligned to me becoming perimenopausal. So, everything was just, it was coming in. And you know, at the time that felt, oh, my goodness, it felt turbulent. It felt like you know, I was really in the eye of the storm, which you know, menopause is at that particular stage and phase. And so, I discovered I had a uterine fibroid. I was starting my menopausal journey and we connected in quite quickly to home education group, because we had been home educating Molly. And there was some wise women within that group who directed me to a woman who kind of became my mentor for the following five, six years. And she held sacred circles for women. And within this and I went to those circles every, how often did we do them, probably every month for about five years. And that was the container in which I was held, which was so potent and so powerful. And it really allowed me, enabled me to experience my menopause and my healing in safety, and with love and allowed me to deepen my connection to myself, to my soul, to who I no longer was, who I was becoming. Yeah, so that yes, that is the container in which I started the journey, I was held in the journey and

Jessy: Still your body was still almost like informing the way forward and you know, I love the work you do on menopause. Because I mean, I focus more on sort of, like perinatal mental health and that transition of when women become mothers and that in itself is a huge transition. But very few talk about menopause, and that side of it, even when they do it’s so negative and seen as kind of dry and grumpy and, like horrible. But I love when you say that, you know, I wear crone is a badge of honor aromas its brilliant.

Angie: Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. And it’s yeah, I mean, this second book that I’m writing, I’ve interviewed 10 women who are at some point in their menopausal journey, because we’re not hearing women’s voices to tell the story themselves. Other than that narrative that you’ve just described, which tends to be about hormonal replacement treatment, we’re washed up, we’re no longer relevant, you know, we need to be quiet and get into the background, please. And that’s the narrative that needs to be changed dramatically. And you know, it’s no accident that that’s what we have been led to believe it is, you know, we were burnt at the stake many years ago. Well, and actually, women are still, you know, in some parts of the world, women are still put to death for being a wise woman, or just for being a woman. And so, you know, and we will fill that in our bones, you know, which is another reason why we are resistant to becoming menopausal. So, you know, we have those different things going on, we have the ancestral piece, you know, that is in our bones that, you know, we know, subconsciously, that we were burned at the stake and ostracized for being the wise woman, that wasn’t acceptable in a patriarchal society. We then have the narrative that, as you say, you know, we’re dried up, we’re irrelevant, you know, all of that nonsense. And so, of course, we’re going to be scared of the menopause. And of course, we’re going to resist it. And of course, we’re going to say, yes, give me HRT, and I just, you know, I’ll pretend that it’s not happening. And, that needs to change for us because actually, the menopause is the most incredible, most magnificent, most beautiful transformation that we undergo. You know, it is that part of our lives, where we can really step into our authority, our power and our potency, in order to then give that back out into the world. I mean, it just makes me shiver and tingle every time because it’s just, I mean, how amazing is that?

Jessy: Yeah, and the way you say it, just with so much beauty and love and compassion in it, it’s like, it’s nothing to be feared, it is actually a stage we go through, where we can step into our power and almost like, shed all the years of, as a woman, this is what you have to do. And, you know, we don’t need to take that shit anymore. We’re not quiet women who we’re going to quiet our voices; and our bodies do inform us and lead us on this fantastic journey. But the modern society we live in, it’s just so kind of removed from that, isn’t it? And this is what I talked about with Wild Within we need to connect to us.

Angie: Yeah. Then as you say, yeah, absolutely. And of course, you know, it’s not just menopause, that we’re told to suppress that, and, you know, just don’t allow that to come up, you know, it happens. From when we’re little girls, you know, we’re, you know, told to zip it and don’t be too much. And, you know, and then when we start to bleed, you know, we’re ashamed about that. And, you know, we’re ashamed about our sexuality and what we desire and, you know, heaven forbid, that we, you know, we get pleasure from who we are as women. Yeah, I mean, [crosstalk at 14:14] the extremes and, you know, of course, many of us women experience beautiful things as we grew up, however, underlying in that are those negative things about being a woman. And part of my process of healing and being able to experience the menopause as I have, was because I looked back at those other parts of my life, I mean, menopause demands that you do that. It absolutely demands that you do that. And so, you know, looking back at my first blood, looking back at being a young woman, looking back at becoming a mother, looking back at my working pathways that I took all helped me to let go of false beliefs, to let go of what wasn’t mine and to reclaim, actually, you know, through ritual or ceremonial rites, you know, whatever way suits each individual. But to reclaim those moments, for the significance of beauty and the power that they give us to get to this point.

Jessy: I love it so much. But it’s so true, isn’t it? It’s, and you were talking about how, like, we know ancestrally, you know, we were burned at the stake and stuff. But also, you know, it’s like, women have been going through this process since the start of humans. Do you know what I mean? And that is a, I believe we’ve almost got that memory. We remember that. But we forgotten how to access it.

Angie: Yes, yeah. But to activate it and to access you’re absolutely right. Because, you know, there was a point in history or herstory, perhaps we should call it that. You know, we were revered you know, crone was revered. Crone was meant wise woman. Now it means a has been, you know, an ugly woman, a haggard, well, you know, all this nonsense, which is why I’m reclaiming the word crone because it means wise woman and women that were revered, so you know, red tents where women gathered together to celebrate their bloods, and within the red tents with the elders of the communities who shared their wisdom. And you know, that is happening, you know, red tents are popping up, and have been around all over the place. You know, there’s a reemergence of the potent powerful woman in relation to our blood and our transformations.

Jessy: And I think especially this year, it’s almost like 2020 is a year of clarity. And it’s been disruptive for absolutely everybody, but it’s also shown us there’s a different way of living. And this kind of modern, materialistic consumeristic way of living is just not right. For us as human beings. We’re not designed to live like this. And your journey is really showing that. You know, just the pressures we put on our bodies, the way we work, the way we live. So, your move to the countryside is kind of my dream. That’s where I want to be in time. So, what kind of things do you do? Because it’s not easy, is it? To kind of overstay on this path? I mean, perhaps easier for you being in the countryside and things but what are your practices or strategies to stay aligned to your true self, to your Wild Within?

Angie: Well, you know, this year as you say, you know, has been, it is an awakening. And has been deeply challenging. And it’s been interesting because staying aligned and keeping myself well and vibrant, in the sense of my creativity, and just being aware of my needs has been challenged this year, of course. And every time I come to a place of, I mean, I was saying before you started recording, you know, in the last couple of weeks, I felt stagnant and stuck and resistant to those things, no, to writing my book, those things that I know actually align me to who I am. And so, in answer to that, really, it’s always coming back to nature, you know, coming back to nature. And I know I’m surrounded by it all the time but one can still, you know, become disconnected through the other stuff that comes in.

Jessy: Exactly. Yeah

Angie: Nature always. And sisterhood always.

Jessy: Yes.

Angie: Yeah. You know connecting to other women, being with other women. And of course, you know, we haven’t been able to do that in person and that’s what my work largely was. You know, part of what I did before lockdown was holding space for other women in person. And that hasn’t happened. We haven’t been able to do that, you know, doing it online. Which of course, is deeply valuable in what that does, but it is different. And so, you know, this year, it has been even more important to nurture that and to maintain that. And for me personally to learn to connect through this medium. You know, I can’t do it in the other, I can’t do it in the live medium. So, I’ve been relearning how to use my energy, but also protect my energy because of course, you know, being online and there was a period where there was so much going on, which I got drawn into, because I think, you know, well, I’ll only speak for myself, but I was feeling sort of a, almost a desperateness to maintain that connection.

Jessy: I hear you. Yeah.

Angie: And it became overwhelming. So, there’s also been learning how to protect myself from too much of that, because, you know, it saps our energy, you know, all this electronic.

Jessy: Massively.

Angie: So, I guess it’s been, you know, in this last year, very specifically, it’s been a balance of being within containers of sisterhood.

Jessy: Yeah.

Angie: I do not want to be without, I cannot be without. And staying in connection with nature, which is, just so deeply nourishes me.

Jessy: It really, nature just reminds you of source, doesn’t it? Kind of where you’re from, what we’re made of, just everything and I mean, we’ve only got a tiny garden compared to your countryside. But I get so much just from being in the garden and almost like obsessively growing one thing but to see it grow from seed or being outside like when it’s windy or raining and it’s just like nature is there to remind us, really, isn’t it?

Angie: Absolutely and when I was still in the city we had a garden and that was absolutely our oasis, you know, that is where we stayed connected to soul. And it helped us to balance out the layers of, you know, because the layers of protection that I needed in the city, I didn’t even know I had until I came to the country side.

Jessy: Exactly.

Angie: Until I came here and I suddenly went, boy did I have layers. And of course, we do because there is so much going on in built-up environments.

Jessy: Yeah definitely and I love what you say about sisterhood. I mean, I feel so grateful that we were able to meet last February, this February. Time is just a concept that’s gone out of my head as well. Yeah in February for that writer’s retreat. That in itself was just so magical. And I hear what you say about the in-person connection because like we did the most magical book ceremony and I know we did one recently online but it was different. Being in person is just so so different, isn’t it? And your words that you said about sisterhood and honoring, oh, that poem was just so heartwarming. And I think it’s on your website now, isn’t it?

Angie: It was. I’ve actually noticed it’s not at the moment. Because I’ve been playing around with my website

Angie: Yeah, but it will definitely be in the book. And I’m happy, you know, if you want to use it within the context of these recordings, Jessy.

Jessy: Fantastic. I think I’ll put a copy of it. Because it just completely moved me. And I’ve written a little bit about my personal journey about not fitting in and sisterhood and that kind of connection. But your… is it okay to call it a poem? Was it a poem?

Angie: Yeah.

Jessy: That just really moved me, it touched something, within yeah, oh, there was so many tears at that ceremony. So, it’s not

Angie: I remember. Yeah. And that is the beauty for me of being in person in circle because there is and you know, and we did it over several days, of course, you know, that deepness. Is even more potent, isn’t it? And interestingly, I too am so grateful that we had that in February just before everything went tits up, because that actually has continued to nourish me throughout this period of time. You know, I do refer back to that kind of energetically and from my heart and from my soul. And for me the poem as well because that was a real channeling and you know, perhaps an awareness of what was going to be coming for all of us and yeah.

Jessy: Yeah. And it’s so true isn’t it? It’s almost like a sensitive people we kind of, but we were saying this, then weren’t we? That society needs to change, things need to change because, you know, as a society we’re kind of ill with depression, anxiety, all sorts because we’re just not connected to ourselves and the simplicity of that connection. You know it is there. It’s just the case of we need to do it, don’t we?

Angie: We need to learn how to do it because we’ve forgotten. We, you know, we’ve been made to forget, we’ve been taught to forget. So, it’s relearning.

Jessy: Yeah. It’s almost like a brainwashing of, actually, no, the latest bone is more important than catching your breath, you know. Yeah. But no, like, I love your work, and I hope that in time you can do in-person and retreats again. Because, you know, I’ve certainly signed up for that, and I’m waiting, right. It will happen, but just when, exactly. When you know, we leave it to fate, won’t we?

Jessy: Well, you know, I think it’s more than that.

Angie: I think we’re weaving the web for, you know, for that to happen. It’s, you know, with all of the work that each of us is doing is creating the change that needs to happen and you know, and that’s happening all over. There’s so much of that happening. And that’s what we need to stay in touch with. Because all the other stuff is fear mongering.

Jessy: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Angie: Which keeps us disconnected, quite deliberately keeps us disconnected.

Jessy: Oh, of course, it’s a good way of control isn’t it? Keep you disconnected so you don’t know what’s going on.

Angie: Yeah.

Jessy: So, as a last cheeky question, if you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Angie: I would be a wolf. Yeah, I’d be a wolf. I work with spirit of wolf. And I love how they are as a pack. The way they care for their young and their elders.  And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that beautiful film footage of A Pack of Wolves, and the eldest is at the front, and they all go at the pace of the eldest. And as you know, for me, you know, kind of that type of inclusion, you have a whole tribe of the whole community is also what needs to change for us. I mean, that’s a whole nother conversation. So yeah, so a wolf and they’re just such beautiful, majestic, powerful, but I also see, you know, the gentleness and again, I think they’ve been much maligned, haven’t they, in what type of creature they are. So, I’d be happy to be a wolf to come back as a wolf.

Jessy: Oh, I could so see you as like the alpha female keeping an eye on the whole pack. And just, like, the nourishing, the loving and I mean, I think already, it’s like, we come to you anyways. Like, you even said it, it’s like, mother with a capital M. It’s like, you know, you hold such a beautiful space for it. And I could so see you as embodying the essence of wolf. And you know, I’m crazy about wolves as well.

Angie: I know. Yeah.

Jessy: Kind of a lot of the similar reasons that you said. But as, you know, their complexity in the pack and of the family, I think that that’s the main thing, isn’t it? But the nourishing

Angie: Yeah, yeah, yeah for sure. Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. And I’ve also, you know, when I’ve journeyed, I’ve also spent many, many moments just snuggled into a wolf, you know, just lying by a fire with a wolf. And it’s yeah, I can’t beat that really.

Jessy: Definitely not. I mean, I’ve got like, second best I’ve got my dogs who are the equivalent and you’ve got your

Angie: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely.

Jessy: But it’s true isn’t? It’s that understanding of actually, and you know, what animal is and we’ve got that in us as well and the way we can communicate with animals. Actually, we don’t need words and things they know. They’re more connected to the deep knowing than we are. And, you know, that’s why I asked this sort of cheeky question because it tells so much about a person as well and I love you anyway but I love you even more now your wolf.

Angie: Oh, I love it.

Jessy: The wolf in me resonate with the wolf in you

Angie: *howling sound*

Jessy: Oh gosh. Are we going to start howling now *laughter* I’ll get the dogs going if I do that.

Angie: I sometimes end my women’s circles with a howl

Jessy: Oh, I love it.

Angie: You know when we do a full moon circle, we’ll end with holding hands and we’ll just *howling sounds*

Jessy: Fantastic. Did you hear that Alfie? We’re howling. He’s asleep?  Brilliant. Thank you. So, is there anything at the moment that you want to promote or that I can add to the video?

Angie: Well, I’d love to direct people to my book, Take Off Your Armor and Have a Cup of Tea, which tells in more detail some of that which I’ve spoken about today. So, being a mother of a disabled child and the menopausal woman and how those two stories for me are inseparable, because the learning of being a menopausal woman, the creation of inclusive community, that’s all bound together. So, you can get that on Amazon, to Amazon but, you know, that’s where it’s getting. But you can also get them directly from me, and I’ll sign it for you. So, if you go to my website, which is www.spiralsofwellbeing.co.uk you can get in touch with me and order a book directly from me. And it also of course tells you about the work that I’m doing and what I’m offering here and online. And I also do a monthly menopause wisdom online circle, which you can connect to through my Facebook page as far as a well-being.

Jessy: So, I will go through the recording again and put all the links around it. So, there is a copy. I’ve been scribbling away but I probably can’t read my writing.

Angie: And just to say on the website as well. I do a free 20-minute consultation. So, if anybody is interested in having a conversation with me, you know, having a chat about all things woman, womb, menopause, Wild Within, you know, rewilding, as I call it, then just put that up. I’d love to talk with you.

Jessy: Oh, fantastic. Brilliant. Thank you so so much, Angie.

Angie: Thank you Jessy.

Jessy: Wonderfulness in your wolf mama magic.

Angie: I love that.

Jessy: Oh, thank you so much for the interview.

Angie: Thank you so much Jessy. It’s just so great to be activated by a sister, a soul sister, a circle sister, a writing sister. So, thank you.

Jessy: Oh, I will stop the recording now.

Angie: Okay, my love.

Jessy: Take care.