Thursday, August 27, 2009

Knowing the Power of the Feminine cycle

By power, I mean, the kind that comes from taking charge of your life and asserting yourself.

Women have ignored, denied, and bullied their way through the menstrual time for hundreds, if not thousands of years, due to the denigration and fear of female processes. I think it is more than time that we reclaim this power, this unique connection to our inner healing and physical healing.

Getting in touch with the power of the menstrual cycle mainly comes from what you don't do, according to Alexandra Pope, author of The Wild Genie. Now that you are in the menopausal journey, your periods may be very erratic, longer or shorter, come early or late. There is a change in the rhythm of your body. It's harder to predict when it's coming. It's time to listen in carefully.

In our home and work lives, we are accustomed to struggling, setting goals, being heroines or supermoms, but in this case, we must face into what we experience and embody it, not try and rise above it.

"If you are willing to court the rhythmical life of your body you are given access to something Other that happens naturally. And the very act of courting the inner life of your body itself builds an inner sweetness, surety and dignity - a spirit of sovereign authority that is priceless." From The Woman's Quest, Alexandra Pope.

Sounds good, you say, how do I do that? It's mostly about slowing down, practicing surrender, and paying attention to your cycle. A good way to start is by keeping track of your cycle in a journal or even on your calendar.

It feels empowering to know where you are in your cycle, and if you look up at the moon, you will discover how close you are to a pattern of fullness, waning and waxing in the universe. You will begin to recognize the shifts of mood and feeling, see the patterns in your dream life, and also, by charting your cycle says Pope, you build self-acceptance and an intimacy with yourself over time.

"A deep process of awareness, the first task is to get to know your cycle," says Pope. This is also useful for contraception purposes - you need to know when you ovulate and when you menstruate; believe it or not, the first calendars were invented by women for this very purpose. Especially if you are not ovulating every 28 days anymore, (after age 40 your cycle starts to change).

How to deal with the aches and pains that do arise? For me, the best place on the first day of my period was in bed with a hot water bottle getting some extra sleep. And feeling my way through the pain meant I exited on the other side, feeling less achy, less fearful and tense.

Our need for rest at this time is higher, and it is not a sign of weakness to take care of yourself, it is a sign of wisdom.

"Allow yourself a dose of the thirteen allies - silence, solitude, stillness, surrender, simplicity, slowness, softness, self-interest, serenity, sanctuary, sacred, support and sleep however small, as you come into and during menstruation."

If you want to learn more, check out for more information on this workbook.

take good care,

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