Updated: Oct 9, 2020
There is an intelligence within your body, supreme and divine, that can never be fully understood by the mind, but the more we tune in, allow, and listen, the more we hear, and the more we can live in harmonious alignment with the body's natural flow.
The menstruation cycle can be one of the most confusing and disorienting additions to our life over the transition into womanhood both physically and emotionally, but also the most sacred.
And unfortunately, most school systems don't teach us about the second part; the sacristy, the divinity, the lifeforce. The monumental creative energy and power that runs through the rhythms of our menstrual flow. And most parents weren't taught either, so many have only limited understandings to share with you on the topic themselves.
Take a breath, a moment, an hour or a minute to consider or journal about your relationship with being a woman.
How do you feel when you see other woman's bodies? Do you judge? Criticize? Appreciate? How do the words womanhood, Menstruation, femininity make you feel? Empowered? Strong? Loving? Afraid? Intimidated? Neutral? Revolted? All these responses are valid, and normal depending on your upbringing and how you've been conditioned to respond to femininity by your environment.
Now take a breath out, and open your heart to all it can mean to experience this world in the form of a woman.
Like waves over the ocean, our emotions rise and fall with the tides of our cycle, intensifying and softening, enflaming and calming. Our feelings are often determined by the fluctuation of hormones in response to what stage of our menstrual cycle we're in. Many women complain and suffer under the ever-dancing and often erratic shifts in emotion, but instead of a burden, it can become a tool.
It comes down to how you choose to respond to your own feelings, and how intimately you acknowledge them. Do you judge certain feelings as better or worse than others? Right and wrong?
The truth of truths is that EVERY feeling is valid. They are naturally occurring beyond your control anyway, so let go of the judgements, and allow. Allow yourself to feel... Soften into whatever arises and in that softening, that gentleness, a sense of love and compassion can arise through it, for yourself, your body, your experience as a woman. You'll naturally become less reactive and snappy to others, because your feelings will no longer be whipping around in the wind. They will be held. Held by you.
Unshakable strength is often the product of true vulnerability
Each phase of the menstrual cycle is associated with a shift in certain hormones, which move in waves and work together in a feedback loop that occurs in both the brain and uterus simultaneously. When we tune in, it becomes obvious there's a pattern in the way our moods respond to the increase and decrease of each one.
When we can learn not to take our emotions so personally, and truly accept that no feeling is good or bad, they're just energy moving, they're just happening, we can maintain a sense of stability and inner stillness through it all, allowing the emotions to rise and fall like waves, while resting in the understanding that what we truly are is the vast ocean of deep, profound stillness beneath the wild surface.
During Bleeding, our hormones drop to their lowest, and naturally so do our moods. The Menstruation phase is very yin, feminine, passive, and in an age when women are taught we need to uphold a very masculine forward push to survive in this world, it can be difficult to surrender to the yin, especially during menstruation. Many women continue pushing forth, doing, doing, and ignore the body's call for gentleness, for rest and restoration, for letting go, and possibly retreating from the duties of the world for a few days. We ignore the body's call for nourishment and replenishment, because many women are never taught that it's ok to rest, to slow down sometimes. It natural. It's necessary!
I encourage you as you approach your next bleed to go inward. Take care. Feel. Allow yourself to heal. You are bleeding! Detoxifying. Shedding physically, emotionally and energetically all that's been building up over the month. This is where it can be experienced as a blessed opportunity! Every month we are gifted this opportunity to let go and heal. To examine where in our lives we're carrying the weight of locked, unspoken energies and emotions, and shed them with the blood of menstruation.
Some prefer solitude over this time, while others to connect with other women, or allow the gentle care of a man to hold them in this tender space. Tune in and discover what your personal needs are, moment to moment, cycle to cycle, and whatever they may be, remember to be gentle, be kind, and compassionate with yourself and others as your body re-mends itself.
Listen. Listen to the ancient, sacred intelligence of your cycle. Surrender to its wisdom, and allow it to guide you. Allow yourself to flow with the ever-changing rhythms.
I encourage you to tune in and start to notice your own body's signs, so you can honour more closely your sensitivities. Common sensitivities include an increase in appetite, (needing chocolate!) sensuality, fluid, cramps, unsettled moods and temperature changes in the lead up to menstruation. You can use these as your own personal indications that the bleeding phase is about to begin.
Below is a chart from a young women exploring the changes she experienced in relation to both her menstrual cycle and the moon over a month. Maybe you could do something similar? Over time you'll notice your own patterns, and be able to start to accommodate for them.
Image from Journey of young women, womens circles.
As always, I would loooove to hear about your relationship with your cycle, womanhood and the innate wisdom of your body. I'm also open to any questions, feel free to connect by email or in the comments below :)
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