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May 20, 2017

Five Reasons to Fall in Love with Your Menstruation.

It’s time to unf*ck our periods.

Right now, people are raising lots of awareness around women’s rights and how our culture operates largely under patriarchal ideas.

The common narratives show men (or a group of men) oppressing women—or rather, how the values of a society that stem from masculine ideals oppress women by default of said ideals.

I don’t disagree. I love discovering and shedding light on all the subtle ways the patriarchy keeps women disconnected from their feminine essence. One of my favorite ways to do this is by looking at all the ways we have bought into our own oppression where we actually have more power and control than we give ourselves credit for. Maybe that thought doesn’t sound like it aligns with feminism, but hear me out:

If you ask women what they think and how they feel about their period, the majority will respond with an unfavorable, antagonistic answer. Some words that come to mind are annoyance, burden, punishment, curse, pain, women troubles, nuisance, inconvenience, and of course, cramps. We approach periods as something to push away and loathe, not something we accept with open arms and love the sh*t out of.

But what if we did? What if we looked forward to having our period every month? What if having your period could be about pleasure and connection and creativity?

I am of the opinion that at one time, a woman’s period was seen as a source of power and beauty. We have bought into the story that our bleeding is a burden. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. As a matter of fact, I think that totally reframing the way we speak of, experience, and view our periods is essential to the reclamation of our power as women.

Here are five reasons why you should love your period:

1. Nature is not the enemy.

Nature is our friend, and we love our friends. Actually, nature is you, and loving yourself is sexy AF.

One of the many problems with society is how much we’ve disconnected ourselves from the natural world. Being disconnected from our most natural, bodily cycles is a greater symptom of that. Living in a way that avoids that which makes us human has it be that our physical and emotional health suffers.

Many of our actions indicate that we think we are exempt from ecological principles, and there are studies that show what this does to our health. One of the biggest findings is increased stress hormones (cortisol) and blood pressure, both of which are gateways to greater issues.

So what does this have to do with loving your period? Not being intimate with something that is so natural to you is a greater reflection of how we are not intimate with the rest of the natural world. No, I am not suggesting we all leave civilization to go live in the forest, (but hey, if that’s your thing!) but, I am suggesting we go outside way more often and get really chummy with our periods.

It will benefit your health.

2. Pain is a kind messenger.

One of the biggest reasons women dislike their period is because it is painful. Avoiding pain at all costs in our culture is not only sought after, but also highly profitable. We push pain away everywhere. We drink it away, eat it away, Netflix it away, epidural it away, and even Midol it away during that time of the month.

I get it. Pain isn’t pleasurable (duh), and we are pleasure-seeking creatures. Why would anyone want to feel pain?

My answer is that feeling your pain is important because it can give you a greater understanding of your body and your emotions. You cannot release pain until you feel pain. The only way out is through, and when it comes to your period, it is an opportunity to look at why you might be experiencing this pain and to deeply feel and release it. It could be from past trauma (physical or emotional) or lifestyle choices. Many believe that our rejection of our feminine essence could also be the root of the pain that many women experience on their period.

The only way to know is to listen to it, feel it, and take note of any patterns in your life. For if we don’t, we don’t get to experience the extent of our bravery and strength.

I used to notice that my periods were more painful when I had eaten more of certain foods leading up to that cycle. When my diet consisted of healthier foods, I didn’t experience any pain. How could I have discovered that and changed my habits if I just kept numbing my pain with painkillers?

Pain continues to surface because it wants to be acknowledged so that it can be understood and remedied in whichever way is best.

3. It’s your body’s built-in mechanism to help you relax and rejuvenate.

In ancient times, women sought rest in moon houses (like the modern-day red tent) during their moon time. The human body and mind require periodic rest, as rest nurtures our creativity and spirituality. Periods used to be seen as a type of Sabbath for women.

Today, we live such fast-paced lifestyles that we often forget the importance of slowing down, which makes it harder to listen to our bodies and hear the subtle messages that the universe is trying to impart to us.

As women, we were given the gift (yes, a gift!) of bleeding as a reminder to slow down and connect to our bodies and the natural rhythms of the earth every month.

There’s a common belief in our culture that whoever busts the most ass is more deserving of things like wealth and resources. We no longer see rest as a necessary and vital part of the equation to success and vitality. Many people who work non-stop might have a lot of money, but they are lacking in things like energy and happiness—true, deep happiness, the kind most of us don’t even realize is possible.

When we allow ourselves to slow down, go inward, and rest, we cultivate an awareness for the creative process that comes from our soul as well as the liveliness to carry it out with passion.

Even as a mother, I have learned the art of worshiping my period time despite having a young child to care for. Not to mention, we get sick less often.

4. Your moon time is meant for cultivating your creativity and intuition.

“The menstrual cycle governs the flow not only of fluids but of information and creativity. We receive and process information differently at different times in our cycles.” ~ Christiane Northrup M.D.

This might get a little woo-woo for some of you, but I believe this lost wisdom is important to understand.

At one time, when humans were living in communities and tribes, all the women bled together, in sync with the cycles of the moon. There is an intelligence to the bleeding process that is deeply connected to the moon and its cycles (many of you might already understand this).

The whole community or tribe used to honor women who were bleeding because they understood how valuable their insights were to the whole group. Women would retreat to their sacred spaces with other women when they were bleeding and come back with their visions that would support and guide the whole community. Everyone knew the power of a bleeding woman.

This changed when the society shifted into more of a patriarchy and certain religions made claims that bleeding was dirty or impure—hence our ideas about periods in modern times.

“When women started to bleed, they left their homes and families to go to the sacred introspective space of the Bleeding Lodge. The Lodge was honored and respected by the entire community, for the dreams and visions of the bleeding women brought vital survival information such as planting and healing knowledge and guidance on community relations. When there were questions that needed to be answered, the women would go to the Lodge and ask the Ancestors. All questions were always answered by the Ancient Ancestors. The entire community benefited through the powerful gifts of the women’s bleeding cycle.” ~ Songs of Bleeding by Spider

5. Your blood is gold.

Our blood was never meant to be hidden away with synthetic drugs that stop our cycle or bleached, toxic tampons that inhibit the flow. We are not supposed to keep pushing on through our days despite our bleeding pussies and aching bodies telling us to slow down and listen.

At one time, our blood was seen as a gift. It was used to fertilize the plants and the earth, and people celebrated when a girl entered puberty. It is packed full of precursor and stem cells that research is finding to be beneficial in some cases. The consumption of blood was seen as a sacrament and done in rituals to conjoin with the Gods(ess) and spirits—and if you think this is gross or weird, remember that Catholics drink Jesus’ blood.

It represents the life/death cycle on the most primal level.

The beauty of constant change and renewal and rebirth, flowing right from your uterus every month, is an opportunity for growth and letting go of that which does not serve you.

Feel it. Feel all of it. Welcome it, and it will requite you in the most marvelous ways.

I get it. Periods aren’t exactly beneficial for our masculine principles of forceful work, productivity, schedules, and deadlines. I still believe that women can fully embrace their bleeding and be highly productive and auspicious co-creators of society.

As a matter of fact, I think listening to the natural rhythms of the body and slowing down to give reverence to that which is inherently you would influence society such that it would receive and experience more of what it is missing and in desperate need of.

So no, this approach to our periods many not meet the needs of a world run by machines, but it will meet the needs of love, intuition, inspiration, connection, and vulnerability that we are all dying to experience. We cannot have that with others if we are not willing to give it to ourselves.

How do you celebrate the power of menstruation?

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Author: Chantel Quick 
Image: Osaki-kun/Deviantart
Editor: Callie Rushton

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