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Txt: The Sheela Manifesto; three hands in a fist shape of different skin colours

The Sheela Manifesto

Feb 06, 2024

It's been about a year since we launched our website and social platforms and man, has it been a journey.

We've met some incredible people, built relationships with amazing practitioners who spend all day every day helping women improve their quality of life, learned a lot of new skills and a whole lot about how women's bodies work.

The journey so far has been inspiring, uplifting, shocking, and at times, exhausting. 

We've achieved a lot, including writing, recording and testing a brand new holistic pelvic floor health care course which we will release later this year (watch this space) and learned a ridiculous number of new skills ranging from video editing, accounting, and IT to physiotherapy, somatic practices and the lowdown on Diastasis Recti (more to follow on that one too).

But none of these numbers tell you what it feels like to start the conversation around these extremely common pelvic floor issues. 

Every time I mention to someone what I'm doing, they're moved to tell me their private personal stories - people I'm working with, older relatives, women I've just met - all open up to me and share what they've been through, what they're still going through, and how surprising it all is to them. 

Often, it's the first conversation they've had with someone outside of a medical office.

Hearing your personal stories about your pelvic floor health has reminded us just how heavy the burden of living in a female body can be. It is always a privilege to hear from you and an honour we don't take lightly.

One thing has become abundantly clear to us this year - most women just don't know.

They don't know how vital their pelvic floor is to their overall health. 

They don't know how to care for their pelvic floor

They don't know what's normal. 

They don't know their own bodies. 

So as we move forward into our second year, our goals are becoming clearer. 

At Sheela, we want to inspire women of all ages to get to know their own bodies.

To claim their bodily autonomy. To explore their individuality and what makes them different from anyone else. To choose how they want to feel, how they want to act, and what feels good for them.

We want women to live fully as their unique selves and empower them to do so by giving them the knowledge that is their birthright - the knowledge of how their bodies work. 

So we thought it might be a good plan to write our own manifesto setting out what we stand for, and what we don't. 

Sheela Manifesto 2024

1.We claim our bodies as our birthright.

My body is mine and no one else's. I claim my unique vessel for experiencing the world and celebrate the mental and physical pleasures that my body affords me.

2. We draw on the wisdom of all who have come before us.

We recognise the ancient wisdom passed down from woman to woman and affirmed by scientific research. Education about ourselves gives us choice.

3. We honour our bodies through the changes and challenges we encounter in our lives.

As we grow, we change. Our bodies, our activities and our attitudes change too. We honour these changes and give our bodies the support they need as they adjust.

4. We support our bodies with an attitude of gentle curiosity.

We listen to the signals our bodies send us and we bring an attitude of gentle curiosity to our enquiries. We don’t admonish or bring shame or judgement when we contemplate our bodies. We recognise we’re doing the best we can with what we know.

5. We choose to live fully as our unique selves.

Being a woman is not a homogenous experience. We recognise all women can choose what is right for them. We know no experience can make us ‘less than’. We honour our uniqueness.

6. We call on all women to turn their attitudes of care towards themselves.

Women have traditionally fallen into the role of caregivers, often at great personal cost. We call on women to put on their own oxygen masks before attending to the needs of others.

7. We give up ‘putting up with’ what makes us uncomfortable.

We call out injustices, microagressions, and issues around consent. We get help with what is bothering us instead of letting it slide, not making a fuss, and just putting up with it. 

8. We celebrate each other.

We recognise the challenges that are unique to women and unique to ourselves. We see what those around us achieve and endure. We champion each other - our successes, our failures, our joys and our struggles. 

As we move into spring, we aim to inspire you to get to know yourself and spend some of your valuable energy thinking about what you want from your 'one wild and precious life'.

So what do you think - do you agree with our manifesto? What else do you think we should include?

What do you stand for? 


Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down --
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver - The Summer Day

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