I was getting over an awful period ( the only kind I am used to) and during the lovely days where my body shows me how awesome and powerful it is, I was struggling to find grounding in the restlessness it brings. I've noticed that there is so much resistance to being on my cycle; I get angry at my body, I shut out the world (to avoid killing them all), every single month I say "this is so not fairrrrrr, I don't get it, how could this happennnnn whattttttttt ugggghhhh". Since I was also in a highly anxious state, I felt the familiar pull to try to connect to myself and find a different relationship with my cycle.
Way too long ago, I read the book Cunt by Inga Muscio and it changed my life. Really the best book I have read about..well, being a female. It taught me a lot about feminism and ashamedly, more than anything, it taught me about my period. Now why did it take reading a feminist book at the age of 20 to learn about my period?! It wasn't until then that I learned that our menstrual cycles are run by the cycles of the moon. And I bet the majority of women don't even know that. I'm sure my mother doesn't. How is that not taught in Being a Woman and Getting Your Period 101? Oh wait, that class wasn't offered to me. Sure, my mom presented vague positive associations toward the red sea - "it's what lets you have children" and "it's God's gift" etc...but other than that, the period was something to be tolerated. To tip-toe around, to be discreet about. Heaven forbid mentioning it like it's the weather, or you know, a natural part of your body and the reason everyone is on this Earth. I remember hiding my pads (and then tampons) in my pencil case at school and sneaking off to the bathroom. It felt like a curse. (WHY is everything natural about women treated as a CURSE?!?) Basically, if you are woman and your body functions - you have a period, your boobs make milk for your babies, you have cellulite, you grow hair (imagine!), and suddenly all of those things are the very things that are wrong with you, things that we must pay to correct or hide or diminish. I mean, that subject is far too big for this little blog post..but it drives me insane!!
Anyway. My point is that basically everything we as women are conditioned to believe about ourselves is formulated by men and corporations and sold to us under the disguise of "empowerment". I literally just watched a Midol commercial about "beating Mother Nature" - right, because that's the problem. Geez La Weez. In doing a five second google search, it's so easy to read about what really happens on our periods- psychologically as well as physically. When we are on our cycle, we are most connected to the flow (pun intended) and rhythm of life, of existence. We are plugged into the portal of creation, touching God. We yearn for stillness; we are called to turn inward and listen instead of abandoning ourselves in the outside world as usual. When we resist the pain, resist the ache of the earth, of life and of death brewing in our insides, we deny ourselves the ability to hear the sacred whispers coming from the Heart. As I was in lots of pain this past week, I tried changing the dialogue between myself and the pain. I tried gratitude. I placed my hand over the heart and gut and allowed the sadness, the pain, and the sorrow of being alive into my awareness. Yes, the shedding of the walls inside is painful, but looking at it in a ritualistic way changes the meaning I give it (or neglect to give it). It's begging for me to stop, to feel, to let go, and repeat. It's a cycle, a cleansing, a rebirth. And when I treat it as such the pain and I understand each other better. I know how she feels and I mourn with her as we prepare for new life, for clean eyes and renewed freedom once the cycle is over.
We don't need fixing. We need celebration. and the moon. and tacos, for me.