A woman’s moon cycle is a beautiful thing. It provides the opportunity for a monthly detox and an inward journey.
I lost my periods for over two years. I began my cycle at a young age and was always very regular with minimal discomfort over and above usual cramps and aches. Then, I took off in a plane to the other side of the world; travelled and lived in Australia, back packed through South East Asia, returned to live in Australia and topped it all off with a roadtrip through America. Two years and two months later I returned home; two weeks later, my period came back.
I had spent two years dreaming of the day my flow would return and throughout that time I learned so much about my body, about the female body as a collective and about the art of menstruation.
Firstly, I want to mention The Pill. While I was in my second year of university I lived in a house of eight girls and every single one of us took it. Now I see that as crazy but at the time it was perceived as totally ‘normal’. The Pill totally alters your inside makeup, releasing chemicals into your precious reproductive system, causing a totally unnatural cycle. Bleeding while on The Pill is not a ‘real’ period but is instead a withdrawal bleeding. Therefore, many of us have gone years completely detached from our cycles. Our bodies are so clever and each system works in a specific way for a reason, to tamper with that can be detrimental to our health.
Throughout my time devoid of periods, I dug deep. I saw doctors, nurses and a whole host of healers including: reiki masters, naturopaths, Ayurvedic practitioners, a TCM practitioner many times and even attended a whole day workshop on ‘Balancing the Female Hormones’ at the Yoga Barn in Bali. I was tested through blood, urine, stool, swab, ultrasound, and was treated with herbs, tinctures, acupuncture, yoga, and even reintroduced a little high quality red meat into my diet for a short while until I realised it was to have no effect. It turned out that the only way my body was going to be truly soothed, nourished and able to let go, was to come home.
A large part of my journey was focused around me connecting to my feminine energy. This is really important and is a beautiful way to honour your cycle.
1. Turn inward. This is not a time for expelling your energy outward, it’s a time to conserve the energy within. You might like to get creative with artwork by painting, sewing, baking, writing, music, or perhaps switch off and lie in your bed with a good book or your favourite series; whatever allows you to best relax in divine peace.
2. Be gentle. This is also not a time for raising your heart rate and temperature. Menstruation is already a heating natural process, therefore you want to cool the system. Perhaps take an extra day or two off your usual workout and go for a walk instead; switch your vinyasa practice for a restorative practice; make whatever provisions allow you to draw your energy in and down, rather than up and out.
3. Allow yourself to feel. During that time of the month it’s common to feel more irritable and agitated with a lack of sympathy and even hot headed anger. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you’re a bad person! It’s important to recognise this happening and lovingly remind yourself that it’s ok. Recognise this as a symptom of your hormonal upheaval, take a deep breath and let the pent up tightness be released from your body. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like roaring, roar (in a private place). Try not to push down your feelings even if you recognise their supposed ‘unwarranted’ nature, instead allow them to move through you so that they can be released.