Honouring the Wisdom of our Menstrual Cycles
What if we lived in a world where the wisdom of women was honoured? What if there were aspects of life that women were naturally tuned into? Emotional well-being of the tribe. Dissonance within the system. Deep guidance that meant to benefit the whole.
What if women were designed in a way that allowed the tribe to be constantly strengthening, and healing? What if this wisdom came once a month? In a similar cycle as the moon?
What if she couldn’t ignore it? What if it consumed her unless action was taken?
But what if society assumed that this time of frustrated wisdom meant that there was something wrong with the woman? What if we gave it a name and made women think that they were being crazy or over-emotional?
Can you imagine? Knowing something deep in your soul and being completely ignored… And this happening for generations and generations?
But the truth is that it isn’t “just emotions”. During our Premenstrual Cycle, there is wisdom to be heard and there is important action to be taken.
And it’s up to us, the women, to start honouring the wisdom that we can’t help but hear once a month. It’s time to take this time back… And start making changes.
The Dark Side of the Moon
A woman’s cycle is similar to the cycle of the moon. There is a “growing/waxing” time and a “dying/waning” time.
From the time a woman menstruates until she ovulates is her “growing” moon. During this time, her energy is outward. It is easy to focus on the outside world – projects, children, relationships, new ventures. Once she ovulates, her focus now starts to look toward the inner world. Her intuition is heightened. She becomes more aware of what is going on “under the surface” of everything – of the emotional health in her family, the intimacy in her relationships, longstanding grudges or issues with friends, family or at work, and all issues that are being pushed under the rug.
During the growth phase of her moon, it is easy to ignore all of these things. She might know that they are there, but her focus is naturally elsewhere. But after ovulation, it’s like her eyes are now turning inward. The closer she gets to menstruating, the less she can ignore the truth of what is going on around her. By the time, she is about to get her period, if she feels powerless to take action on the truths that she sees, she will go nearly insane with repressed frustration. There are no shortage of jokes about women either becoming so frustrated that they unleash their fury on those around them, or become so despairing that they curl up into a ball and cry.
But of course, it isn’t funny at all. Every month, we are actually witnessing the repression of every woman’s truest sight of what is going on around her.
Starting to Listen:
The first step is understanding that what you are feeling is very important. These things actually ALWAYS bother you. They are going on every day of the month. But during those last few days of your cycle, you can’t get away from the Truth. I will warn you that if you have been repressing what you feel for decades, it may be hard to separate the wisdom from the anger, frustration, and sadness that you are feeling. It’s OK. You have to start somewhere.
The most important thing is to not ignore it and fully accept that what you feel is not only Truth, but it is actually important for the health of everyone around you.
The feminine (in everyone) takes care of the web that connects us all. She feels when there is friction – when things are not going right. She feels when people are hiding and burying their emotions. This is all felt in the web. Her job is to maintain this web. (We often see this in families where the mother has died. Something big is often lost. The connective web disappears. This can happen whether the children are young or grown up and living their own lives. The death of the matriarch makes the gathering of the clan much more difficult.)
And so, we must listen inside.
Breathe and Witness:
When you find yourself in this emotionally-charged state, the most important thing to do is breathe deeply. When we are upset, we tend to restrict our breathing which puts us into a fight, flight or freeze state. If you are in any of these states, you will not be able to hear what is the Truth inside. You will only hear the anger, fear and frustration.
We must cultivate our “witness mind”. This witness mind is able to pull out of any situation and be truly neutral – like taking your foot off of both the gas pedal and the brake. Just letting the thoughts flow through without judgement.
In this state, we can write down what we hear inside. We can ask ourselves questions. Which of these issues can we look at this month? Are there any steps we can take to start making the changes needed? What is the root of this issue? When I look at the big picture, what has to change?
The key to listening to wisdom is that in this state, we are not “crazy, emotional, hormonal women on the rag”. We are wise women listening to what we know to be true during this sacred time of our cycle. So, regardless of what your emotional state might have been previously during your premenstrual time, allow this time to be different. Allow yourself to be introspective, kind, and wise.
A Time to Be Strong:
But we aren’t always neutral. We cultivate that meditative, neutral mind in order to hear the wisdom. But it is very likely that change is needed. And the power behind your fury might be needed to make sure people hear you. It might be what gives you the strength to change the status quo.
For centuries, it has been important for women to keep the peace in the home. Even as recently as the 1960s, our Home Economic textbooks included things like “Top 10 Ways to Keep Your Husband Happy”. We have a deep history of keeping the peace by not drawing attention to what was wrong in the home. And even if we saw the need for change, our predecessors did not have the human rights to stand strong in what they saw. And so, you may also find yourself in a relationship, and family setting where what you see to be “wrong” will not be taken seriously.
You could be the “woman of the house” or a daughter. The premenstrual frustrations of a 16 year old girl are as important as the 40 or 80-year-old. The sooner we start listening, the better for everyone involved.
But know that that feminine strength is not fighting. You simply stand in your truth. Be kind and loving. Take action where you can. Communicate what you can.
And if you find yourself in a situation where this wisdom is not going to be honoured, bigger changes may be needed.
During this time, really take care of yourself.
Imagine what it is like for all of the emotions of the web coursing through your system. What kind of peaceful setting will you need to sort the wisdom from the anger? What can you do to put your body and mind in a state of relaxation and ease so that you can hear, process and be clear about what to do next.
Maybe it’s long baths with candles. Maybe it’s walking in the woods or by a lake. Maybe it’s getting more sleep, reading a book, meditating, or eating all the chocolate you want. (Note: I knew that J.K. Rowling was a genius when I read in Harry Potter that the only cure for a dementor attack was to eat chocolate.)
In our fight for equality with men, we ended up believing that we are THE SAME. We are not the same. Every day of the month, we are chemically different. Our focus changes. This is not within our control. It is how we are designed.
And so, during times of greater (and perhaps difficult) insights and challenge, listen to what you need to stay balanced. Sleep more. Take it easy. Breathe more. This increased self-care is in perfect balance with what is going on inside of you.
Each Month Will Get Easier
When we start listening, honour what we hear, and truly make change, our “time of the month” will become less loaded each cycle.
When something is wrong in our world, it causes problems in every aspect of our life. If there are issues in your relationship with your partner, there will be deeper roots that are actually getting triggered. The emotions, anger and frustration with each other (expressed or not) will ripple out into your relationships with your children, work and every aspect of your life. Similarly, if you’re unhappy at work or need to have a tough conversation with someone, whatever is underneath the issue is even bigger than the difficulty that you are experiencing.
When each of these things are unearthed, there are incredible ripple effects throughout everyone’s lives. It’s like that old saying “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine”. Every time something is resolved, you save all kinds of heartache.
By the following month, there might still be issues to look at, but at least whatever you dealt with last month is not needing to be unearthed for the first time… however, most things in our lives are interconnected and much more multi-dimensional than we’d like to believe… so it’s likely that you will revisit many issues a few times before they are blissfully forgotten.
The Shift from Crazy to Wise
The most important shift is from believing that you are crazy and “just PMS-ing” to recognizing it as an important time of listening for wisdom – personally and for the tribe.
We hear about “healing the feminine” and ”ending the oppression of women”. This is something that every woman can do right now. Even those who are post-menopausal. If there were things that bothered you every month about your life, then you can still take action and make change.
When we start listening to the wisdom within, then everyone will be able to – male and female. This intuition has been stifled in everyone… It’s just more acutely felt with women because we cannot escape our monthly cycles.
And going forward, why would we want to? Why would we give up the chance to make positive change in our lives and the lives of those around us?
Things are changing in the world. Women are speaking up and there are legions of men who support us.
The feminine will come into beautiful balance with the masculine again.
And ladies… it’s gonna start with us.