My moon blood has arrived, with pain and discomfort this time. I noticed quite a bit of water retention in the week leading up to my period starting, and felt sluggish and tired. This bleed is a purge, I can feel it. Now the heaviest day of bleeding is over, I am feeling lighter and cleansed.
I have made sure I have taken time to rest, to be with friends and family, and to look after myself. Eating nourishing food, making fresh juices and meditating are a must for me, especially when I have my moon blood.
I have noticed that I seem more comfortable with this aspect of being a woman than some of my friends. To me, the monthly time of bleeding helps keep me tuned into the world and the universe of which I am a part. It may be painful or uncomfortable at times, but for me it is a blessing. I wonder if it is because of how I think about my menstruation and the fact that I have a positive attitude to it. I have heard many older women say they are thankful for this time of their lives being over, and that they are grateful they do no longer bleed.
In The Second Sex, (first published in 1949) Simone de Beauvoir writes about the pain and awkwardness of menstruation, as well as the cultural taboos (did you know menstruating women in France were not allowed to milk cattle as they were thought to turn the milk?) that sometimes emerge and the humiliation that can follow. Her book is a Must-Read for anyone who hasn’t already.
At the same time I find that my own reality is very different from Ms. Beauvoir’s – and this is good. I live in a time and place where there is much greater respect and equality for women, we have far more choice and options than Ms. Beauvoir and her generation ever did.
I recently met a post-menopausal woman who spoke about how she misses her menses. This was the first time I had heard someone say that, and I was intrigued.
As we talked, it became evident that this was a woman who had embraced her womanhood and had enjoyed being who she was. It wasn’t that she didn’t also do that now, but the time of monthly bleeding had been a punctuation mark in her life, a way to measure her time. For a time, since her menses had ceased, she had found herself unable to measure her time and this had been a disorienting experience for her. As she was becoming used to her post-menopausal life, she was finding other rhythms to measure her life by.
As my own moon blood flows, I sit back and think of how my own life is punctuated by my menses. I do measure my time according to my womanly rhythms and it orients me in my everyday life. My menstrual cycle is as much a part of me as the ebb and tide is a part of the sea.
I don’t know who I will feel when it ceases, but for now I enjoy it. I savour how it takes me to different places in myself, as my mood and understanding alters and as my life-experience accumulates. Because I am so tuned into my menstrual cycle, it is one of my main resources on my quest to becoming the best person I know how to be.
Finding the community of Cycle Harmony has made a huge difference to me. I am delighted to be writing to you from the Red Tent and hope to share thoughts and experiences you recognise, or find useful to ponder upon. I look forward to working with you all in exploring what it is to be women, and hope to hear from you. ~ Vild