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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Listening to our Menstrual Cycle

The Importance of Listening to Our Menstrual Cycle

As a woman - your menstrual cycle is in so many ways an internal compass. Yet instead of teaching women about tuning into our own internal barometers - we have sent messages that our internal cycle is not important and can be ignored. There are no messages that women should for example rest during their periods - and allow time for introspection. There isn't room in our society for that. But perhaps we should consider looking at how women who came before us treated themselves during their cycles for some helpful pointers.

After all, we are doing so much of that in our industrialized lives. Going back - and reconnecting with how we once did things - realizing that in so many ways - we have thrown the baby out with the bath water. The more we teach woman about our menstrual cycle - not only will they be able to understand their bodies - they also will have a better relationship with their sexuality
and their fertility.

It is easy in today's world to forget that our menstrual cycle is all about reproduction. Mostly - young women are given information about cleaning up their cycles from tampons to deodorants. Many are given birth control pills which in some cases stops their monthly bleeding all together. There are not many mothers who teach their daughters about the Rhythms of their Cycles - and instill a sense of true self care and honoring as opposed to a fear of pregnancy, inconvenience and cleaning up. It is important for us to reconsider our relationship with our cycles - and take the time to not only understand our bodies - but connect with our inner compass.

A woman's monthly cycle has an emotional and sexual landscape whether we are trying to conceive in that month or not. Instead of walking over these natural patterns - let's try to understand them.

In the first week of our cycle - we begin counting on the first day of menstruation - which we will call "Day One". If you were trying to conceive it is a time of releasing hope of a new life. Even if you were not trying to conceive - this can be a dark time emotionally. Dr. Christiane Northrup talks about this being a time of letting go and releasing what does not serve us. It is a time where we let go of death and welcoming new life. Again - even if we are not literally thinking about creating a baby - it is very helpful emotionally to tune into this primal and biologically based emotions and see how they can be used to further your own experiences in your daily life. Some women use this time to turn inwards and grieve the losses in their life - you may cry easily as you let go of thoughts that no longer serve you. In many traditional cultures this time was honored in a woman's cycle and she was given the time to do her spiritual, private - internal work. In some societies - bleeding women gathered in a special place and did healing Ritual work. In many cultures the bleeding women gathered together during this time in a Moonlodge - it was not because they were dirty - they gathered because they were seen as powerful during this time of the month, and they had spiritual work to do. They were excused from their daily tasks so that they could the work that could only happen during this time of bleeding. In contrast - in today's culture - it is frowned on to take "Time off" to take care of ourselves during this time. There is no honoring of this time - instead it is seen as an inconvenience.

 We would like to encourage women to revisit this in your own life - see what happens if you can create some space around your time of menstruation.
Try taking some time off around taking care of others, and reduce the time you give work. What might you be able to let go of that no longer serves you?

In the second week of our cycles - we are starting to feel better. We may have a new spring to our step - and start to feel sexual again. This is the part of cycle where we get closer to ovulation - and whether or not you are actually wanting to have a baby or not - your body is building towards creating a new life again. Our internal dance encourages us to be more social, more outgoing - and flirty with the world. Women send out signals whether we are aware or not - about our ability to breed (again - this happens whether or not we are trying to conceive or going through infertility). This is our most shameless part of the month! Our bodies are hopeful and want to attract men. There have been numerous scientific studies on this - and this is the time of the month that women dress sexier, are more likely to be approached by men as we lead up to what might be our peak fertility of the month. Our libidos may also be at the highest point of our monthly cycles as we approach ovulation. We are more likely to want sex during this week! Evolution is so smart.

Week Three of our cycle is the when we feel like slowing down. The time of the ovulation is passed - and the energy that we were sending out into the world to attract the bees to our flower has started to ebb - and starts to flow down and inward. As we move closer to menstruation our mood darkens and our energy continues to decline. Many women start to look inward at their lives - and check in with themselves about what is not working in their lives. Husbands calls this "Bitchiness" and teasingly will call ahead and ask if it is safe to come home from work! But it is normal for women to be more depressed, sad, tired and generally uninterested in social things. If we tuned into our own monthly calendar more - we might be more honoring of this place in our lives - and make room for it instead of dismissing our feelings as a passing mood. This is a time for self care - and working on creating less stress in your life. If you are in a relationship - it would be ideal if your partner could know that this could be a time you need more tenderness and love.

Week Four is when we go even deeper into that dark time - it might not be the best time to try and solve the problems that may come up for you - even if you may be very aware of them. This is not the best time for you to charge the castle even if you feel like it. The good news is that soon you will feel the relief and release of your menstruation - and the cycle starts again. This is a special dance that only women do. It's primal and is not served by being "cleaned up" and ignored. When we tune into our internal rhythm and honor it - we can only enhance our relationship to our sexuality, our fertility and our beautifully complex emotional landscape..
 
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Author: Pam Madsen

Women, we should embrace our Sacredness and learn about our own cycle so we can tune in and anticipate on our self-Knowledge. 
 
 
Books to read HERE

Taking Charge of Your Fertility
 

 
 

 
 
 





17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for writing this.

I have found what you have said to be deeply true for myself, but I had never been able to say to my daughter.

Alice, What she said.

It's so important to know and so hard to discuss

Anonymous said...

Thats all nice, but what, when your menstrual cycle is becoming a trubble in your Life. For exammple when you are having Endometrios?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this article.
I am grateful for it.
At the same time, there is also sadness... You're words show me once more that I am way ahead of my time. I journeyed through all that 20 years ago and didn't meet a woman REALLY READY to dive in with me.
Yet, it shows me once more: IT IS DEFINITELY TIME TO TURN ME "WEAKNESS" INTO MY STRENGTH. May my being avant-garde and visionary within the realm of the Sexual be a blessing to me, my Self, Life, and others.

Deborah said...

Thanks for this article Pam!

I am 100% positive that if men had menstrual cycles, they would be allowed to stay home from work for the time it takes and sanitary pads and tampons would be paid for by national health services, or via tax returns.
Personally, I always hope my period will start on weekends, because it's true: I have a strong desire to withdraw and take time to look within at those times. Instead I take heavy pain medication (I have very painful periods), get up early and go to work.

I prefer to speak in phases when referring to my menstrual cycle rather than in weeks. This is because not all cycles are 28 days long (mine have varied from 26 days to up to 75 days, with an average of 32 days), and phase one is always significantly longer than phase two (22 days - 8 days).

You say that in week 2, women do things to attract men, but what about lesbians? Do their bodies also want to attract men? If so, does that mean that being gay is a political choice? Looking forward to your views on this.

Wild Woman Sisterhood said...

Hi Deborah, thank you for your comment. Interesting question.. How is this for lesbian women?

This is really interesting to investigate. Unfortunately we can not give you the answer here, not yet. However, we accompanied intrested. Would you be willing to keep up a diary, on the basis of this text, to see what the comparisons and differences are?

We would be happy to share it here.

Thank you and blessings!

Anonymous said...

I liked this article!
Too bad that nowadays everything have to go so fast and we often forget about what is important. This is a great way to remember and teach us that. Thank you!

Ange Foster said...

What perfect timing in your article, being Day 1 for me. I have been trying to implement these changes for sometime now and feel I am starting to get into the habit of at least going inwards on the first day. My goal is to be able to build the time into my life for the entire moontime. Thank you for sharing such an informative article. The more we can remember this sacred knowledge for our daughters the future has hope.

Erica said...

I saw this post this morning but didn't want to read it until tonight. I no longer have a menstrual cycle due to the fact that I have an IUD. I have had an IUD for the better part of 10 years now. My exhusband asked me for a divorce, my son later developed autism, and I haven't had a long term relationship in these 10 years. The idea of having another child (especially an unplanned pregnancy) is more of a burden than what I could bear. And most of the time I revel in the fact that I don't have a period anymore. I always wanted more children, but never found a partner. Since my son's 10th birthday I have been feeling the 'emptiness' of my home more profoundly then I have before. I wonder how much the lack of my cycle effects my hormones and the imbalance that I feel in my life. I remember being in tune with my cycles before I had my son. I wonder if a matter of convenience has robbed me of something all these years. Are there any other women here who have experienced the same thing? I know there is another woman that mentioned endometriosis. I don't have an issue with that, but I have friends that have. And as for the woman who questioned what a lesbian woman feels during her 2nd week, I would assume that she just feels more sexual, right along with heterosexuals. Or bisexual women. I think that is the point. I would not suspect anyone who is writing for a blog like this to be homophobic.

Tais Bueno Vidotto said...

Deborah, I'm just like you! where are you from? I suggest this book: Ancient Healing for Modern Women: Traditional Chinese Medicine for All Phases of a Woman's Life. by Xiaolan Zhao, Zhao Xiolan
She explain about the sex with another woman too :)
This book was the thing that REALLY helps me!!! And the acupuncture! And the meditation in full moon that was a initiative of the Wild Woman Sisterhood. Helps too.

I'm not agree in so many parts of this post ... It would amazing if the autors of this blog read that book too, before publish some thing else ...

Sorry about my english ^^

Anonymous said...

So one good week and the rest varying degrees of darkness, bitchiness or depression? Not me. I don't know if I'm atypical, but I really don't get that moody before my period. I think my body releases toxins just before my period, because I get a zit or two and I get bloated. I find my sex drive is fairly constant during my whole cycle- and I sometimes get even more interested in sex and more orgasmic when I'm on my period. Maybe I'm just weird :P

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post. We rally need to be more open about such topics. I have been blessed that I have found a therapy that focuses on just this subject. The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy (ATMAT) teaches many of the things you discussed in this post. It goes a step further to actually helping women naturally heal uterine pathologies such as endometriosis, PCOS and much more. It teaches regular self care massage which reminds us to nurture the most creative organ in our beautiful female bodies.

Anu Verma said...

Now Plan your Good Pregnancy as you like with Homecheck Ovulation kit. It tracks right time for conception when you want.

Brigantia said...

I had a hysterectomy 5 years ago, & have since grieved the loss of my womb & monthly bleeding....but I have found that if I pay attention to my body that I am still part of the Feminine Dance, although I don't bleed. This article is beautiful & much needed by today's Women. I have endeavored over the past few years to instill these concepts to my daughter's as they reached womanhood & they have been so liberated by it....they are more able to embrace their Femininity.
Blessings!

Tal Hason said...

I think all women above the age of 18 should know all about the ovulation cycle
It can easily prevent many problems!

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Travis Gilliard said...

I'm not a woman at all but this information about menstruation seems to benefit us guys as well.

Anonymous said...

I am a happily married woman 34 years old.being a virgin when I got married at 19 I didn't know to much about sex. but after a few months of marriage I soon learned the benefits of charting your menstrual cycle. charting has so many benefits, you know when you are going to start your next period so to avoid any swimming,tennis,going on trips,or any thing else that being on your period may effect.

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