The monthly flow can be perceived by women connected with their bodies and needs as a true gift and as insightful, beautiful time. Although society oftentimes still taboos menstruation, covers it with shame and sometimes even disgust, we are experiencing a powerful transitioning period. This subject is of great importance for all, no matter of gender – because the loving and strong connection with menstruation is really a connection with all life.
For women to establish a deeper relationship with their wombs and self-responsibly create health and well-being, for female concerns to further being taken importantly in our still patriarchal culture, for a true understanding of the cyclic nature of women: Let us shine a bright and tender light on menstruation, access this source of great strength and make use of the ever returning opportunity to let go.
Dear male readers: How beautiful that you are curious to learn more about the female menstrual cycle! So please, keep on following. Yet from here, let me directly address the mothers and daughters of this world.
Get in touch with your flow
Let’s start right where YOU are, dear sister. In times where the sacredness of the monthly flow not only has been forgotten but has been turned into its opposite, awareness is key to remember us of its beauty, importance, and divine purpose. I invite you to close your eyes for a moment. Place your hands on your lower belly and send a few breaths into your womb. Now please reflect on the associations, feelings, and thoughts you connect with your menstruation. You might also write them down if you wish…
So, what are your associations?
When I asked 20 women of different ages, mindsets, constitutions, and life experiences around me, I received the following words that might help you to identify energies also present within you. Try to take them in without judgement (like “desirable” or “unwanted”):
Amplification. Awake. Clarity. Cleansing. Connection (to life, to truth, to nature, to other women). Constraint. Discomfort. Energetic. Feeling. Fiery. Fluidity. Forced break. Fragile. Grief. Grounded. Introspection. Intuitive knowledge. Letting go. Listening. Me-time. Nurture. Open. Pain. Positive vulnerability. Primordial pain. Reflection. Release. Resting. Retreat. Sadness. Sensitivity. Self-care. Sisterhood. Slow rhythm. Stillness. Softness. Tiredness. Womb wisdom.
This is a beautiful mirror of the individuality of each woman’s experiences about her menstruation. We are all unique in our bodies, minds, and processes, hence our experience around our menses can be very different. A beautiful way to start connecting with your sacred cycle might be for you to consciously share more about it with your female friends. Make the processes visible through expressing them with curiosity and acceptance.
Learning to understand the language of the body
A growing number of women of different ages share that their period is mainly a time of strong physical pain, low energy levels, and emotional distress. While there is a necessity to shine light on those challenges individually for each woman to encounter her holistic way to find balance, oftentimes negative associations around the period or a disconnection from this natural and important process – and our womanhood – is the very root of those pains. “Your beliefs and thoughts are wired into your biology”, writes the OB/GYN, holistic women’s health expert and author Christiane Northrup in her book Goddesses Never Age. “They become your cells, tissues, and organs. There’s no supplement, no diet, no medicine, and no exercise regimen that can compare with the power of your thoughts and beliefs. That’s the very first place you need to look when anything goes wrong with your body.”
Our body is really our greatest ally. She speaks to us through emotions and sensations. It is in our own best interest to listen closely. Sometimes though, in the hustle and bustle of daily life, we rather overhear those callings, supress feelings or ignore our innate voice. Understandable, since the outer noises are loud these days. Yet, not paying attention of small aches or returning challenging feelings will over time turn into a forceful cry of the body – manifesting in different forms of pain. Pain is a gift, a gift for us to remember to slow down, be gentle, pay attention and show affection. What an extraordinary interplay between body, mind, and spirit! And more: The miracle that you call “I” is deeply connected with all life around.
Becoming and passing in the female cycle
The female monthly rhythm corresponds for many women with the rhythm of the moon. It goes far beyond the physical and if we look closely to mother nature, we see that all life moves in bigger and smaller cycles of growth and decay.
The menstrual cycle stands in direct connection with life and death through each mature egg that releases from the ovaries in the middle of an approximately 28-day long cycle (= bright full moon phase). Without this cycle, there would literally be no human life on this earth. The ripening of the egg and ovulation is accompanied for a lot of women with the rise of creative energy, expression in the outside world, and more sexual desire. No matter if this egg is fertilized with a man’s sperm or not, this is a time to give birth – to a child, idea, or project. “The menstrual cycle governs the flow not only of fluids but of information and creativity. We receive and process information differently at different times in our cycles”, Northrup continues. The time after ovulation and if the egg is not fertilized leads to the menses, where it is passed from the reproductive tract (= dark new moon phase). This is an invitation for retrospection, self-observation, gentleness, and retreat.
Each human’s existence is initiated with the birth process and transitions with the death process. This is the macrocosmic reality no one can deny or control. On a microcosmic level, with each 28-day cycle coming to completion, a woman has experienced and facilitated creation and moved through a dying phase, that then again merges into a new beginning. Let us acknowledge this important process, celebrate, mourn, embrace the opportunity to enter womb wisdom and learn more about who we are as women and as spiritual beings.
Gift yourself a day to retreat
Observing the monthly flow can inspire us every month to feel within and explore our inner universe. What powerful of a sign of this deep red blood releasing from our centre of creation!
Make time for this magic. If your schedule allows it, reserve each first day of your menstruation to be a day just for yourself, or reserve some hours of this day. Mark it in your calendar in advance and celebrate your cyclic nature. You might start your day with sleeping in without an alarm, simply resting. Then sitting some minutes in meditation while gently sending your breath into your womb. Drink a cup of tea with women’s herbs like Lady’s Mantle. Connect with and look at the blood you are releasing. Grab an inspiring book like Red Moon from Miranda Gray. Write in your diary what there is to celebrate and what there is to mourn.
Allowing our bloods to flow and embracing our bodies is not only a gift for us, but a service for all.
With gratitude for the women sharing their experiences
From Janine Schneider
Woman: Darius Bashar / Unsplash
Moon: Malith D Karunarathne / Unsplash