Moon Cycle. Flow. Menstruation. Period.
As women, the way we approach this process can really change our experience around it for the better. If we are willing to make shifts in our relationship to our cycles, not only can the process be easier and even enjoyable, it can also deepen our relationship to life itself.
Whether you just got your period for the first time last month or you’ve been celebrating your moon cycle for 20 years, here are a few key reminders on how we can bring intention, respect and self-love to our cycles.
1. Rest and decompress.
I can already hear the : since when is resting a ritual? rebuttal. I’m not surprised this comes up for many of us when we are advised to rest, because that’s what I used to tell myself too—until I realized that rest is a vital part of the natural rejuvenation process that comes with menstruation. During a time when the body is working to cleanse and prepare for a new cycle, it doesn’t serve it well to have additional physical, mental or emotional stress. It can feel supportive to find a way to incorporate more down time during menstruation. That means avoiding strenuous activity as much as possible, yoga included. It means going to bed earlier, taking a nap or sleeping in. Sometimes it means saying no to people, social gatherings or other commitments, so we can say yes to being at home, creating a cozy space for ourselves and trusting that we will emerge feeling rejuvenated. This is isn’t so easy to do and it may not even be the societal norm, but it’s so worth it.
Some of us may already experience heightened intuition around menstruation. During this time, it is possible to gain greater access to our depths of being. We can even choose to reflect on what’s occurred in the previous cycle and be creative to gain deeper insight into ourselves. The menstrual cycle itself is a very tangible aspect of our natural creative capacity, revealing our capacity to create life itself. As we experience this flow of creativity, we can use it consciously for deeper understanding of our rich inner life. So find time to write in your journal, sketch, paint, knit, bake, dream. Do that one thing that lingers in the back of your mind throughout the rest of the month, that thing that you don’t always make a priority. Make it a priority during this sacred window and you may soon find yourself including it at other times as well. Create something just for yourself, just for the sake of creating and experiencing life in this moment. Need inspiration to help you get started? I recommend looking into the work of Swati Jr Jyotish for more insight.
3. Nurture the physical body.
According to Chinese Medicine, menstruation is an intimate reflection of our health and can provide a lot of information about the physical body. How we feel physically during this time can help inform us how to better care for ourselves throughout the month. Are you feeling exhausted during your moon cycle? Maybe it’s time to incorporate more of #1 into your daily life. Are you feeling frustrated and stuck or experiencing physical pain? Maybe it’s time to find some gentle physical movement for the body.
We all have different preferences and needs when it comes to the physical body, especially during menstruation. The intention here is to find something that works for you and return to it each month with love and attention.
Some of my favorites to return to are: a guided, relaxing meditation, abhyanga (self-massage with warm oil), applying a favorite essential oil and enjoying a cup of hot herbal tea.
So: Rest. Create. Nurture. Repeat. These small steps done with great self-love and compassion can change the way we relate to our cycles and help promote wellbeing in body, mind and spirit.
Author: Kristin Hauser
Editor: Alli Sarazen