Second of a 3-part series about the hidden wisdom within our painful periods and the ‘me-time’ revolution
What goes on down there, stays down there…
I’m sure many of you can relate. When we first experienced our period, it wasn’t uncommon to nervously giggle our way through it. When we were taught about the reproductive system in school, we squirmed, looked away, joked with our girlfriends while falling back to that default nervous giggle. The way we’ve been brought up to view menstruation has fostered a common state of mind where we tend to be grossed out by our period and hide it from others.
Many of our mothers rarely shared any additional knowledge except to tell us to vigilantly stay clean “down there” and not to get pregnant. And this account may, in fact, be a best-case scenario. And this is almost the best scenario… Some girls are not able to attend school when they bleed. They might be beaten or punished in so many cruel ways if their fathers see menstrual blood. The girls may be suspected of having had sex or considered filthy, and are not permitted to stay in the community during their menstruation.
Forgotten, cursed or ignored, our uterus, with the exception of getting pregnant, is considered by most of us either as problematic or insignificant. The crazy truth is that the uterus is for each and every one of us, our first home. It’s magical and sacred, no less today than it was in ancient history. And yet, we don’t give it the time, support or understanding that it warrants. I don’t know how to emphasize that last sentence enough. I need to repeat it…
WE DON’T GIVE OUR UTERUS THE TIME, SUPPORT OR UNDERSTANDING THAT IT WARRANTS!
And as such, during menstruation, it isn’t uncommon for us to move through the days disconnected to the changes in our body and emotions, seeing them as wrong, rather than wise, rather than natural.
The context of a modern industrial society, especially one that worships a male god, has fostered in us a denial and outright ignorance of our natural feminine processes. The idea of honouring and learning from them is seen as even outrageous. Anybody up for a menstrual face mask?!! This is very different from nonindustrial indigenous societies where they worship many deities both male and female. Women are naturally encouraged to take time together in ritual or meditation, to delve inward and develop their connection to their body and its wisdom and power. In these societies, pain in connection with menstruation and infertility is rare. Need I repeat that last sentence?!!
We have moved from feeling sacred, powerful, insightful and creative while bleeding, to a place where problems with menstruation, fertility, and birthing are perfectly normal. Cyclical pain and suffering today are deemed an inherent and unavoidable part of being a woman.
I think it’s about time to stop feeding that belief. It’s not true and it’s not healthy… for us, our daughters and our society as a whole. Yes, you too guys!! It’s not about gender. It’s about energy. Women just happen to be more susceptible physically to these imbalances.
Instead of being a “curse”, menstruation as part of the natural cycle of life is meant to be a quiet time, a bit of a “winter”, a time in stillness and reflection, cleansing and renewal. It’s part of our innate connection to the cycle of life which we have as women. When we take the time to be still, to relax and listen, we can turn our pain and emotional darkness into new light and insights, just the way winter turns into spring. When we try to keep going, pushing through those first days of our menstruation using maybe Advil to numb our body and emotions, we are actually and sadly taking away one of our most precious gifts we have as women.
Our moon blood still holds the same magical power the ancients believed in. It still holds the wisdom which guides us to our personal empowerment and helps us make changes in how we choose to live our lives, not just for ourself, but for our family and communities. Because of how our hormones shift when we bleed, emotions which we might have suppressed during the previous weeks, bubble up to the surface giving us the opportunity to see them, speak-up about them, and transform them into healthy changes which support us during our next cycle. The sadness or anger we might feel, before our period, what we call PMS, hold real important information for us. Insights and change are to be found with these extra strong emotions when we listen to them and act on them. I believe that our moon blood holds some of the core pieces to the questions we as women are needing to ask ourselves today:
Who am I?
What is the purpose of my life?
What needs to be healed within myself and in the world today?
We modern women who suffer from a wide range of imbalances in our productive system can benefit so much from answering these questions. Unlike the way it’s been taught to us, our moon blood is our own best friend. The blood arrives every month offering us an opportunity to reconnect to and take back the power to heal that which was taken away from us.
The connection between our heart’s desire and our womb’s ability to birth what we want to create, all depends on knowing what we deeply long for, and once again begin to trust that we can birth from within. This means re-cultivating the awareness to remember our purpose as women, connecting to what we are truly passionate about, living our truth, and letting this bring forth the best in us.
When we find it hard to live in balance with what we deeply long for when we have forgotten who we are, we feel a sense of disconnect, and a block in our energy flow happens. Therein lies a dis-ease in our body, which makes it hard for us to rest in our hearts and minds.
The creative energy stops flowing freely, and this affects our reproductive organs, our nervous, digestion and immune systems. Our creative center stops working the way it was indented to do.
History has of course also impacted our sense of self. We’ve been conditioned to deny our inner power, to not speak up, to feel small and ashamed, all in order to survive. It’s time we allowed ourselves to follow our innate cyclical energy, so we can feel powerful and insightful when we bleed rather than crazy and shameful.
It’s time we taught our daughters to be aware of their natural rhythm so that they can follow it, gain insights, a sense of connection, focus, balance and strength, and most of all, feel safe doing so. They should know the amazing superpower that they possess.
It’s time we remind women going through menopause of the ancient belief that when we stop bleeding, we become the “wisest of mortals” because, at this point, we permanently retain our ‘wise blood”. We are now filled with magic power because the menstrual blood remains in our veins.
It’s time we remember the magic of our blood, which made women the highly respected members of ancient clans!
Yes, the Church banned the Goddess and burned the Witches and the Wise Women changed the Luna-Calendar and shamed the Blood of Life. Yet the Divine Feminine energy is of course still there within us, flowing through us, speaking to us and guiding us.
Yes, we are disconnected and even scared to trust our inner voice, to be the Goddess, to trust the medicine from Mother Earth. Yet to fully heal and bring our own bodies and the body of Mother Earth back to balance, we have to re-connect to and bring back our Shakti energy!
Just like Christianity rests on the foundation of Paganism, so do our lives today still rest on the energy of the Goddess. I hear people say all the time that autumn really feels much more like the end of the year. And that may be because the Solar Calendar never really replaced the Lunar Calendar, deep within us. We still feel and follow the energy and the rhythm of the Moon.
When we as women care for ourself, we too heal our families, our communities and the Earth. We are one and the same.
I believe it’s part of our evolution as women to learn again to feel good about slowing down and moving within, receiving energy, love, pleasure, and support without feeling guilt, fear, and worry.
Me-time for women today is not a luxury.
It’s a much-needed revolution of re-balancing and an opportunity to be mindful of our inherent superpowers.
Watch out for the last installment on my website or Facebook page, where we bring this all to life with fun and easy exercises.
Missed the previous blog post? Now to worry. Read it here.