THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE STOPPED BLEEDING, WHOSE CYCLE IS IRREGULAR, AND WHO ARE ON BIRTH CONTROL
THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE STOPPED BLEEDING, WHOSE CYCLE IS IRREGULAR, AND WHO ARE ON BIRTH CONTROL
We’ve inhabited our body our entire life, but for many, our body can feel very foreign and our relationship to it very mechanical. We can feel out of control and without any knowing of how to take care of ourselves, at the mercy of our hormones and fluctuating energy levels and emotions.
As women, our hormones, energy levels, moods and physical health are changing with every new day… but we’ve never seemed to acknowledge or be supported in this reality of our womanhood. It’s like we’ve been trained to live our life in a mans body, creating a personal reality that can feel like we’re at war with, rather than at one with our cycling body and life.
What if we understood that the menstrual cycle is not merely about surviving, it is the key to thriving as a species. That we as women have the opportunity to take the most epic adventure of all. And it’s not one that requires any flights, but is rather much closer to home: the Journey into the depths of your being, your beautiful body and your own deep womb wisdom.
As times have become more heady and quick to pass, now more than ever, we need a guide to live a rooted and nourished life, and understand ourselves in a deeper more intimate way than ever before. So if you’ve never had a relationship with your menstrual cycle, I invite you into an open space of possibility. Part of the wisdom of the menstrual cycle is that it speaks a subtle language. Just by welcoming this information into your awareness, huge shifts can happen, and life becomes much more graceful and in flow.
The menstrual cycle is not just a 3-5 ‘period’, it is a roughly 4 week, 28 day, span of time where 5 different hormones (estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)) are at play in the body. Every month rising and falling in their own particular wise way to support the process of pregnancy.. or not… and to prepare for another cycle. Depending on where these hormones are at at different times of your cycle, they influence how you feel in a myriad of ways. They affect your mood, the sharpness of your brain, the foods your crave, how you sleep, how you relate to people, the activities that come easy to you, and overall how you feel in your body and your being.
Having an understanding of the phases of your cycle, and the states of being that are natural in the different phases of the 4 week cycle is transformational in how you relate to yourself.
Imagine: Everyone can understand the difference in how one expects to feel in the morning versus in the evening. What you expect plays such an influential role in how you experience it and relate to it. Imagine being in the ‘night time’ phase of your cycle, and expecting yourself to be in the morning time? It can feel like you’re at war, and trying to will your body to stay up all night. Imagine what happens when, month after month, you will yourself to never relax into the energy of the night? Knowing when you're in the morning versus when you're in the evening, and vice versa influences how you relate to yourself and your day.
When you are tuned in to the information around the menstrual cycle and take the time to learn how you operate during the month, you can take your self-care to the next level, really scheduling your calendar to support your energy levels, to foster the sharpness of your mind at the beginning of your cycle, provide time for rest and reflection during your bleeding days, and understand yourself more deeply as you cycle throughout the month.
For some women, hearing about the menstrual cycle feels exciting. As if it’s a doorway to a new possibility of how to live and relate to themselves.
For others it can feel exclusive.
Women who have stopped bleeding, whose cycle is irregular, and who are on birth control, I’m speaking to you!
Women who are passed their bleeding years:
Imagine: being raised as very small baby in a pack of wolves. While you were so loved and accepted as one of them, you really struggled because you felt deep down that you didn’t fit in. Then one day, someone holds a mirror to your face and shares with you who you really are. You take a deep breath and start to cry – it all makes sense – there is a grieving for all the years you didn’t know, but also an excitement and appreciation in finally knowing. It feels like a deep healing. You’ve been given a gift of coming home more deeply to yourself, and maybe, just maybe, a gift to share with others.
This is a very comparable story to what it’s like to finally awaken to your truth as a cycling woman, even if you’ve stopped bleeding.
At her first bleeding a woman meets her power.
During her bleeding years she practices it.
At menopause she becomes it.
Traditional Native American saying
For a woman who is not bleeding, and has remembered the wisdom of the cycle, she cycles with the outer moon, as opposed to the inner moon. In doing so, she creates a map for her month, which not only connects her with the Earth, with the community of women, but also the importance of surrender and rest. Although, you may not have the personal experience that bleeding women can have as they navigate their hormones and their effect throughout the cycle, it is a sweet exhale and a return home. It is also a beautiful opportunity to support the younger generation as they remember this wisdom. Many wise women are in a beautiful position to provide the red tent for women to let go and receive, as well as to be the teachers of really embodying the honor of being a woman with grace.
Women who are on birth control:
First off, what does birth control do?
(excerpt taken from Moon Times)
“Many women don’t realize that when you are on the pill you are actually suppressing menstruation. The contraceptive pill does not give you a natural bleed, it’s what is called a breakthough bleed and is due to chemical withdrawal. It is not a period at all. The pill works by fooling your body into thinking you are pregnant, it thickens cervical fluid making the vagina inhospitable for sperm and also prevents you ovulating. In my experience many women are not told this when being prescribed pill, so are unaware.”
Birth control unfortunately masks much of the fluctuating reality of our female experience, and prevents us from feeling what could be true for us in each moment. The pill is an artificial state of being, and is a new addition to our culture, and to our bodies, and doctors have been simply taught to prescribe it, not to address the underlying emotional and generational concerns that have created the prescription in the first place. It is so important to inform yourself, and if you feel a call, dive into learning about womb wisdom and the menstrual phases. I choose not to say that the pill is bad or good... it simply is, and it just might be playing an important role in your own journey to your feminine freedom. As you learn more you will feel more what is the path ahead for you.
My personal journey began with birth control. (Will share more about my personal journey in another blog post). The deeper I dove into womb wisdom and into my relationship with my body and my femininity, the father away I got from any outside form of ‘protection.’
Let yourself have your own evolution. Follow what you feel, continue to learn about what is possible, and stay true to you.
Women who have irregular cycles.
First off, I feel you.
Secondly, I’m curious. I wonder if you were to start to track your cycle, if you would notice a pattern amidst the irregularity and perceived chaos. Not only may one already exist that may share valuable information, but also, just by giving your cycle newfound attention, your body and womb may rejoice in the wonder of recognition and share more of itself with you. The womb speaks a subtle and spiritual language (while at the same time knows how to get physical and speak to you via symptoms!) and wants nothing more than to be acknowledged, to be heard, and to share its wisdom with you.
For those who have irregular cycles, I imagine western medicine has advised you to go on birth control as a means to regulate your cycle. I believe that your body is asking for your attention through the irregularity, and that by moving our awareness to our body, to our feelings, and to the patterns of our monthly cycle, the body will respond in seemingly miraculous ways. Your body desires nothing more than to sync into it’s natural rhythm.
So why not try an experiment. Instead of focusing on the fact that you haven’t bled, what if you instead learned all about the magic of the menstrual cycle and began tracking how you did feel in different phases of the outer moon cycle. What if you placed your hand on your lower belly every night and told your womb you love her and you’re here to listen. Visualize yourself bleeding normally every month, and feeling at ease with your body and your mind. After 1 year of unknowingly doing all these things, my cycle returned after being completely absent for 3 years, and it’s become a deeply sacred and special relationship in my life since.
We must not forget, we are living a powerfully creative and magical Universe. The womb shows us show...
Do you have a relationship with your menstrual cycle? Take a moment, close your eyes, and feel what words come to mind when you think about your cycle. Be honest.
If you are passed your bleeding years, what do you feel about not bleeding? Or what did you feel about your cycle when you were bleeding?
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