Today I want to share with you some thoughts on women’s wisdom. This is an interesting topic partly because it is so rich, and partly because it is so under-communicated.
One of the most useful things my mother taught me was to keep my feet warm. For some reason, this both prevents and alleviates period pain.
When she first told me it sounded random and silly. I mean, my feet are a long way from my uterus. How could it possibly even have an impact? But it worked, and I incorporated this piece of advice into my life. It has become something of a principle for me – I always, always keep my feet warm. Not only was this very practical advice, but it is also a fond memory of wisdom and knowledge being shared between the generations.
We women are as varied and different as we are many. We experience menstruation differently.
For some it is a random bleeding once or twice a year that is hardly noticeable, and for others it is a debilitating torrent once every couple of weeks. The only common denominator is that we experience some form of menstruation. For some women, there is tremendous pain for weeks connected with their menstruation, others have none at all. In the middle of all this we each need to learn what is normal for us, what is our own individual cycle.
My mother suggested I mark my calendar so that it would help predict my next menstruation.
This was before Jing’s amazing period calendar, which tells you so much more. Over the years I was able to notice connections such as the manic “I need chocolate”-moment and the saddest day of the month-feeling. I was able to see how they all connected with this magical cycle that I have.
Menstruation tends to become a topic when I speak with women.
It has been extremely enlightening for me, learning that we really are this different in our womanhood. Sharing of this wisdom with women from all over the world and of all ages has taught me that we are supposed to be different. Just like the advice given to me by my mother, other women carry with them wisdom from their own mothers, grandmothers, aunts and friends.
This women’s wisdom becomes part of the great Herstory (for those of you who are familiar with the feminist term) that is women’s unwritten history.
These stories are unwritten because they are best shared in sincere conversation. It is really important to acknowledge the importance of this unwritten wisdom, but equally important to contribute to it.
One reason I speak with women about menstruation is so that we keep this women’s wisdom alive.
We share our stories, feel the bond of sisterhood and honour each other’s experiences. Part of the reason these stories are unwritten is that they need to be experienced, they need to be lived. It is only when you feel the changes in your own body that you can understand the full depth of another woman’s story and appreciate her wisdom. I hope you will share your stories too. I’m going to write a series of posts on variations on this theme over the next few weeks, and look forward to hearing what you think.
Vild Prestegard is an anthropologist, holistic therapist, Reiki master and public speaker based in Norway. She is a regular blogger for Cycle Harmony. You’re welcome to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and comments.