Woman of the Month: Jacqui O'Connor

Woman of the Month: Jacqui O'Connor

1.Tell us a bit about yourself. Explain both your jobs and Heart Place.

Kia Ora, I’m Jacqui O’Connor. I’ve been a Registered Nurse for 26 years, working with women & families & in psychosocial nurse management. Through my own lived experience, I’ve discovered the benefits of working with healing & mindset modalities & find joy in sharing the tools I’ve mastered with others.

My ultimate passion is to care for the Carer & young sensitives, as these wonderful individuals are the people who deal with our most vulnerable citizens–our children, the sick, & the elderly. I believe that with holistic support our carers will be better equipped to handle the demands of their vital roles.

And how much better would that be for both the Carer & the Recipient of their care?

I share my working time between the Wellness Room at an inner city Auckland girls high school where I support young women with their emotional, spiritual and physical needs and Heart Place, the space I have created to support others to navigate life's curve balls and milestones. These include the very popular Nurse Jacqui Mother/Daughter Empowered Period Workshop which takes the worst about being a woman and turns it into the best thing. I urge others to stop treating periods like the nauture’s consolation prize for woman, banishing the notion that hormones reduce us to being random emotional rollercoasters.

I’m mum to two teenage young women and love roller skating, macrameing, house plants, salt water swims, and flowers wrapped up in brown paper and tied up with string.

2. What does Dignity mean to you?

I believe Dignity are a amongst the very special change makers and lighter workers of the world. They are bravely breaking down barriers and opening up conversations that need to be had to allow the beauty of diversity and inclusion in our communities.

3. What was your experience with your period?

As young girls, most of us were given the talk about how to manage our periods. It’s the beginning of a tedious bloody grind, one of the last great taboos.

I learnt a lot from the Dolly magazine including posting in the vouchers to receive free period product samples. In my school days I spent a week a month wearing my scratchy woollen jumper tied around my waistband a tampon or thick ‘railway track’ pad shoved up my sleeve even with though I went to a girls school.

4. What is the best thing for you about being a woman and menstruation?

The truth is, the menstrual cycle has benefits - big fantastic, daily, monthly, even lifelong benefits.

Every month, you have four hormonal phases that keep coming around, just like seasons. Each phase bears its own gifts and ways of making us feel: a time to dream, a time to do, a time to give and a time to take. Once you know what these seasons are, you can predict them, plan for them and use them over and over again. In fact, harnessing your period superpowers will make you unstoppable.

5. What makes you feel empowered/comfortable in your skin?

Becoming an expert in recognising what you need at different times of the month, and learn how every cycle gives you a chance to cultivate the most important relationship of your life: the one with your precious self. It’s pretty bloody amazing.

6. What would you like to say to anyone getting their first period?

We live in a linear world however we are cyclical beings so come along to Nurse Jacqui Empowered Period Workshop and discover the truth and the amazing bloody benefits of the menstrual cycle.

Reading next

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If Jacinda Ardern wants to end period poverty she needs to take some lessons from abroad Jacinta Gulasekharam

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