When it comes to your monthly cycle do you see it as a blessing or an inconvenience?
Is it a time of deep connection, restoration and reflection - or does life just go on as if nothing is different?
How do you choose to honour yourself when you bleed?
For many women the whole idea of 'honouring' this time may in itself bring up much.
Often our first experience of bleeding was stooped in shame, disconnect, ignorance or outright ignored.
The seed was planted early that our moon time was to be hidden away, not talked about and most definitely not something to be celebrated or revered.
My experience mirrors the many.
My first blood came when I was 13, now 30 years ago.
I came home from school with blood in my pants, totally unaware of what was going on.
My relationship with my mother was not at all what you might call 'open', and so we had never talked about what it is to be a woman.
I remember going to her with my knickers - her embarrassed face imprinted in my memory - before she hastily gave me a HUGE pad (those from my generation will know the 'surfboard' I am talking of), told me this would happen every month and to make sure I rinsed the blood out with hot water so it didn't stain.
That was it...
I didn't share it with my friends and there was no sacred 'rite of passage'.
Years of tampons (oh the initial difficulty of using one!), and large pads left me feeling completely disconnected to myself.
The girl's toilets in High School were rife with negative language - anyone got their 'rags' - oh I cringe even writing those words!
Add to that being forced to do sport when you were heavily bleeding and it's no surprise that so many girls grow up with a very mixed relationship around their cycle.
Once I left home at 18 my eyes were opened wide to a very different life view, and I embarked on a whole new way to approach my moon time - slowly starting to heal the deep wound within.
I dropped the tampons, went off the pill and took up using what were called 'rad pads' back then - reusable cloth pads that attached to your knickers.
I got all witchy too and would rinse out the pads, saving the blood as an offering to Mother Earth.
I still offer my blood each month as a way of honouring and giving back, but now I use a Moon Cup during the day and a newly improved moon pad at night.
I LOVE this ritual and feel grateful to now feel so deeply attuned to my body wisdom and the subtle signs that let me know it will soon be time to shed.
Does this all sound a little out there sister?
I guess it may - but I hope you are also curious too.
Having been such a doer and striver myself for so many years the last part of the healing journey for me has been on reclaiming this divine time as a space of rest and going within.
Though I was honouring my cycle in one way, for a very long time I was still stuck in a masculine 'suck it up and get on with it' mentality - even exhausted on my first day of bleeding I would hit the gym in the early hours of the day.
I had things to do!
DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?
There was no 'slowing down', or 'tuning in' for me - there was just go go go and push push push!
Not surprisingly, this long-term disconnect eventually led my body to a total burn-out break down, and I am still slowly finding a new - more gentle - way forward.
As I continue to heal and reconnect with my moon time and the essence of who I am as a woman, I am consciously committed to showing up in a way that aligns with my cycle rather than one that over-rides it.
This is how I experience my cycle:
+ Bleeding time - my immune system is at it's most vulnerable and I am called to take time for deep rest, cleansing, inner reflection and letting go of the old
+ New Growth - the time between the end of my bleeding cycle and ovulation is one of growing energy and creativity - a time for planning and nurturing new ideas, inspired action and harnessing the growing energy
+ Ovulation - energy reaches it's peak and I am out in the world shining my light. I feel more open, fertile, receptive, sensual and ready to bring my creative ideas into manifestation
+ Energy wanes - the fullness of energy begins to wane as my cycle moves again towards shedding and I prepare for bleeding. I am more reflective during this stage and my focus is generally on completing tasks begun in the pre-ovulation stage - though I can experience another surge of creativity just before I bleed.
During this stage it is imperative to heed and honour my needs so that deep exhaustion and burn-out are avoided.
I plan what I'm doing in my life and business around my moon cycle.
Knowing (approximately) when I will bleed and my energy will be at it's lowest means I avoid over-committing at that time.
It means I also know when to plan being out in the world running workshops and events.
The more I align with my cycle, the more ease and flow I feel in my life and business.
So beautiful sister - are you truly ready to heal the deep wound and disconnect you may have be carrying for years around your moon time?
Are you ready to embrace your cycle rather than deny it even exists?
Here a few simple ways to start the healing:
+ Track your cycle
So simple right? But how many of you actually do it?
Do you know the length of your cycle and when you ovulate?
Start tracking now by jotting down the first day of bleeding in your diary - you can use a symbol that means something to you but no one else (I use the female symbol)
+ Notice how you feel
Again it's not rocket science - but tuning in to how you feel not only when you bleed but for the whole month will start to show you a clearer picture of when energy is heightened, when it's at a lull and how this effects you on ALL levels - emotionally, mentally and physically.
Journalling is a great tool to reflect on what you reveal.
+ Explore other ways to collect your blood
It's no big secret that tampons and pads are not only not friendly for Mother Earth, but also not so good for your body either (think toxic chemicals to make them more absorbent and bleach to make them 'whiter')
Why not explore using a Moon Cup (plenty of great info online) and/or reusable moon pads.
After 20 years of using natural products that collect the blood in a way that allows me to 'give it back' if I choose (over discarding it without another thought), I can't imagine a better way of reclaiming this time as a blessing.
+ Let go of guilt around resting and create your own 'red tent'
The conditioning around taking time for rest is deeply ingrained in the collective (you can read more about my thoughts on rest and guilt HERE)
Space devoted for restoration at your time of shedding is crucial for how you will move forward through the rest of your month. Keep going now and you can head down the slippery slope of exhaustion and constantly playing 'catch up' with your energy.
Creating your own 'red tent' - a sacred space for your to retreat into whilst you bleed - will allow you to begin to feel the sacredness of this time and invite you to honour your self via divine Self Care practises.
Your Self Care time might be a nap, gentle restorative yoga practise or whatever allows you to change gears and slow things down - even if all you can mange are brief moments.
+ Open up over closing up
Sometimes the deepest healing comes from simply being heard and witnessed by another.
So if you've been in the habit of keeping things to yourself yet truly yearn to connect - then why not reach out.
This might be sharing your truth with soul sisters, or being totally real and vulnerable with your partner...
This space to be seen in ALL your vivid colours is a beautiful way to reconnect with and love ALL parts of yourself - especially your bleeding time.
It's time to create space for a new way sisters.
It's time to feel connected and deeply attuned to the power we hold within us at our moon time.
For we ARE powerful creatures, and the time has come to RECLAIM and OWN this power.
And it can all start with the simple act of tuning IN to our cycle...
Beautiful woman are you experiencing a deep disconnect with your moon cycle?
I'd love to hear how you journey at this time and if you have any special rituals or ways of honouring yourself - so please comment below.
Time for this topic to be out in the open and your sharing may help another sister to open up too...
May you find time for yourself today to simply BE...