Once upon a long time ago, we all sense that there wasn’t so much shame around our monthly bleeding. Although I have some serious issues about projecting the Red Tent movement into the past (like, if we all bled at the same time, who stayed outside of the tent and handled the women’s work for the community? The cooking, cleaning, gathering, mending, tending? Slaves? The elderly? I’m not comfortable with that and I think the social privilege of a Red Tent, whether modern or ancient, needs to be acknowledged.), I do believe that cultures all over the world at one time recognized the power, potency and magic that is present when we bleed.
At some point, Big Bad Patriarchy descended across the land and what was powerful and potent in women, became dirty and demonized. Under this new world order, women were removed from society when they were bleeding, not to rest and receive divine guidance on behalf of their community– that was now in the hands of “celibate” priests, or men who didn’t touch yucky women– but because they were dirty and cursed.
In this modern world, we are expected to bleed without anyone knowing. There are all sorts of hyper-feminine and hyper-adolescent products out there designed to help us bleed discreetly, while subtly reminding us that we are not powerful, not adults, and expected to be the same, day after day. I personally am sick of buying bright pink and green tampons. I’m not 14. (However! A few savvy business women have begun to create their own elegant and grown-ass tampon and pad products! Check out Cora for beautiful tampons delivered to your door.) You’ve seen those tampon/pad products that feature a woman dressed in white and playing tennis or something– the exact opposite of what she she probably feels like doing when she’s bleeding. Why?
Our bleed corresponds to the season of winter. It’s a time of turning inward, reflecting and resting. It’s a time to let go of the last cycle and to begin looking forward into the next cycle– what do we want to do? experience? It’s also a time to reflect on our life and the life of our community/family and think about what’s working and what’s not working and what to do about it. It is NOT the time to take action on any of this. It is NOT the time to work out, especially very aggressively (but hey– you do you. If you honestly feel like going to CrossFit everyday, even when bleeding, then do it. But I want you to have permission to rest for a few days if that feels better). Biologically, we are created to do this during this phase of our cycle because at this time there is more communication between the two hemispheres of our brain then there is at any other time. We are more capable of seeing a situation or a problem from many different perspectives (community) and coming up with a solution or plan of action based on these multiple perspectives. When we’re done bleeding and we enter into the GROWTH phase of our cycle, we would ideally have more focus, clarity and oomph behind our goals and plans because of the few days we spent resting, relaxing and receiving. This makes us powerful manifestors and creators. And a threat to the patriarchy.
(And now Jesus bleeds for all of us, thank you very much, so women please go stand over there and let the patriarchy get back to ruining- I mean running- the world.)
The truth is, we are ALL cyclical beings, men and women and everyone in between. Men operate on the circadian rhythm, or a 24 hour rhythm. They really are the same every day. The work day has been designed around men– hit the ground running in the morning, strategizing in a mid morning meeting, an afternoon break/ golf course time, winding down with a little socializing at the bar after work, going home to rest. Wake up and repeat. We women operate on a 28-40 DAY cycle, not hours. Days. And when we’re unpredictable and not the same as we were yesterday? We’re called bitchy, moody lunatics (luna= moon in Latin).
And yes, we women have a circadian rhythm too. It’s a micro layer of The Blueprint Cycles and is important to take into account as well (I’ll make is easy to navigate all of these layers, promise).
If you’d like to learn more, please join us for The Blueprint Cycles! Click on the image below to learn more. This virtual workshop is available on a sliding scale for a limited time.
The pre-menstrual phase of my cycle is my favorite part of my cycle.
Let me say that again: I love PMS. Yep. I really do.
But it wasn’t always this way.
For nearly two decades I suffered from intense knock-me-to-my-knees (in public spaces no less) menstrual cramps, embarrassing hormonal cystic acne and crushingly low levels of self-esteem in the week or so leading up to my period.
But not anymore.
Sure, part of it is just getting older and my body coming into itself and a more gentle rhythm. But a larger part of it has been intentionally developing and trusting my intuition and building a nourishing spiritual and personal practice that supports my intuition.
Today, as a 35 year old woman, my PMS symptoms include impatience and irritability– things I would take any day over debilitating cramps and painful, scarring, acne. Plus, I know exactly what my impatience and irritability are trying to tell me and what to do about it:
Seek more pleasure.
When you’re in the pre-menstrual/luteal phase of your cycle, your emotions are especially tuned. Each one is sending you a message about what is working in your life and what isn’t. If something is making you super grouchy, it’s a sure sign that that something needs to be addressed, changed or evicted from your life. If something, like chocolate and your favorite Netflix show, gives you pleasure, that sensation is telling you that now is the perfect time to indulge.
And if you don’t menstruate? No worries. That’s what we have the waning moon for.
When I was younger my body was trying to tell me that I wasn’t being true to it. I was running around trying to perform for a masculine world in a way that would garner male approval– and for the most part it worked. But it wasn’t until I started intentionally cultivating more feminine ways of being, and ending a few toxic relationships along the way, that my body started to calm down and give herself over to the pleasures of being a woman. No more cramps. No more acne.
What is your body trying to tell you?
If you’d like to learn more about the Pleasure Cycle, including how I used the macro and micro layers of this cycle to turn my sex life around (yep! PMS saved my sex life!), check out my upcoming two-part workshop on The Blueprint Cycles by clicking on the image below.
As I’m working on the launch of my new website, I’ve been thinking about my vision for my business and the world . . . a lot. Please note that you do not have to agree with me to be in this space. And I’m not interested in trying to get you to see things the way I do. However, I believe it’s important, for you and for me, to be transparent about what motivates my work.
14 things I’d like to see happen and that I want this space to stand for:
- I want to see an end to spiritual bypassing and light-washing and to see spiritual entrepreneurs step into true leadership by spearheading tough conversations– not just prescribing a full moon ritual to “let it all go.”
- I want to see ancestral healing become part of the spiritual mainstream– we can help heal many of the modern world maladies by addressing their root causes, which often began taking form in the lives of our recent and distant ancestors. I believe that until we address the ancestral beliefs and behaviors that began to form a certain modern malady (white supremacy, racism, hoarding of resources, pollution, disconnection from nature, etc.) we can’t effectively open or hold the space to address and change these behaviors in the present.
- I want to see people thoughtfully and purposefully connect with their ancestral lineage as a source of spiritual power and knowledge.
- I want to see people, especially white people, STOP culturally appropriating certain spiritual traditions.
- I want to see people who are called to a spiritual tradition that does not belong to them ancestrally to first: heal their ancestral lineage and receive a blessing from their ancestors to pursue said outside spiritual tradition. Second: to do due diligence and fully comprehend the grievances their ancestral lineage may have imparted on their chosen/adopted cultural and spiritual tradition. And third: To make appropriate and sincere reparations. What this might look like: If you are a white woman who has mostly a British Isles lineage and you feel especially attracted to Hinduism, you might first connect with your own rich lineage for suggestions on spiritual practices and/or to receive a blessing to pursue Hinduism (you do NOT want to piss off or neglect your ancestors here). Then, dive deep into the cultural and religious history of Hinduism, including how the colonization of India by the British has impacted the past and present world of Hinduism. Finally, find a meaningful cause and donate time and/or money to it in the name of ancestral reparation. Do this annually. Repeatedly show up to help support the world of Hinduism, not to just take the pretty and sparkly things. Likewise, if you are a woman of color and a devout Catholic (for example) do due diligence and understand the grievances and crusades the Church has imparted on your lineage. Seek to understand and heal what you can. Don’t just blindly follow.
- I want the voices of people of color and those across the gender spectrum uplifted and honored, especially in conversations around spiritual healing and well being.
- I want to see all of us tap into the blessings of our lineage to help direct our life and our missions.
- I want to see a world where food and physical health are no longer separated from the world of spirituality. Food is a spiritual gateway. You can’t track or count your way through it.
- I want a world where spiritual carnivores aren’t demonized. There’s room at the table. Veganism is no synonymous with #crueltyfree but it might be synonymous with a disconnect with the circle of life and right relationship with death– just as cruel animal harvesting techniques is.
- I want women to embrace the story and role food has played out in their lineage– with a 21st century feminist angle.
- I want higher spiritual standards for all of us. Don’t just follow someone because they make you feel light and pretty and entertained with fluffy rituals. Find at least one spiritual teacher who pushes you to learn and do more with your spirituality.
- I want it to become standard practice for spiritual leaders to list out the educations, people and experiences who have influenced their path and their practice.
- I want spiritual entrepreneurs to examine their offerings and coaching packages for subtle or overt expressions of oppression, the white gaze, the male gaze or other practices of homogenization and indoctrination. ESPECIALLY in the areas of health, spirituality and in creating a “success”-orientated mindset.
- I want spiritual seekers to examine the courses and coaching packages they are considering purchasing for subtle or overt expressions of oppression, the white gaze, the male gaze or other practices of homogenization and indoctrination. ESPECIALLY in the areas of health, spirituality and in creating a “success”-orientated mindset.