We asked people to contribute their candid thoughts on menstruation. These are the results! Welcome to our Cycledork Letters series. This is letter #13. Read all of the letters here.
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Cycledork Letters: #13
by Barbara Hanneloré
Women are designed with a powerful and obvious rhythm in our lives – our menstrual cycle – but we have been taught to ignore and resent it. Any time we acknowledge that our cycle is affecting us, it is seen as a weakness. This is crazy, and such a total reversal of the respect that should be shown for this profound, life-giving process! It is just one aspect of the way modern culture has divorced itself from nature, and I am SO GLAD that women are stepping back to take another look at this whole huge part of our lives, from OUR OWN perspective, and re-frame it in a way that actually works for us.
Cycles are not some burden that only women carry. Cycles are part of nature, and they are how EVERYTHING works. Think of the moon or the seasons or even a single breath. There is a pulse and a rhythm to everything. Modern culture has lost touch with this natural rhythm, but the rhythm is eternal.
Once we begin to understand the power and purpose of our cycles, everything changes. We can begin to approach them in a whole new way – with interest and curiosity, to learn what they are, what they need, and what they have to offer us. These monthly rhythms are not only a normal part of being female – they are valuable!!
What is the value in cycles? They provide balance. They help us avoid burnout.
They help us stay in touch with ourselves, tune in to our intuition, slow down and catch up with ourselves once in awhile, evaluate where we are going and what we need, pause to nourish ourselves – and also to charge ahead into the next big project, or race out to the next big social event, when the timing is right! The benefits are endless!
Our monthly “energetic cycle,” which accompanies our physical cycle, has rhythms that carry us out into the world and then it returns us to ourselves, to catch up with our own feelings and needs.
Typically, you will find that the first half of your month, including ovulation, is a more social, energetic time for you. It is a brighter, more radiant time, and your energy is focused outward. Then the premenstrual and menstrual phases may draw you more inward, causing you to feel less social, eager to complete projects, and craving some time alone – or just time away from the usual routines! It is a waning time for you, a time of pulling in. (By observing yourself, you’ll learn what the rhythm is for YOU – and how to interpret it in a positive way!)
This rhythm is normal and valuable. It is similar to the seasons or the phases of the moon – Summer and Full Moon are very different from Winter and Dark Moon. No one expects them to be the same. What is the advantage of trying to stay the same all the time, anyway? Modern culture would prefer for women to be focused on other people all the time – but that is not how nature works.
Keeping personal calendars is one of the best ways for you to begin to observe your entire month and appreciate the patterns in your own life. Things become predictable, and you begin to notice how each phase compliments the others. Then you can plan ahead, anticipate your changing needs throughout the month, and also you can plan to really make good use of your menstrual time as a time to re-charge and prepare for the next month.
You’ll learn so much about your own rhythm, and you’ll notice the difference in your month almost immediately. I wish you the very best as you re-claim the “force of nature” that is your menstrual cycle!
You may download your own personal calendar pages at www.womenswaymooncycles.com.