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Rejecting the menstrual cycle is a rejection of ourselves

When we are taught to suppress, deny and ignore our menstrual cycles it serves only to reinforce the already ever-present feeling within so many women that something is wrong with us, that suffering and discomfort are a normal part of being a woman and should be expected and endured.

‘Imagine a doctor telling you to ignore your circadian rhythm. Ignore the natural inclination to sleep at night, just keep going until you drop. Not only would it be difficult to order society, it would be madness for your wellbeing. But in essence that’s what’s happening to women when we’re told to ignore the rhythm of menstruation.’ ~ Alexandra Pope, The Wild Genie

Rejecting the menstrual cycle is a rejection of ourselves, our bodies and our emotions and acceptance of a lack of congruency as our status quo. It perpetuates the idea that women’s needs don’t matter. To ignore and deny a natural menstrual cycle is to accept suffering as a normal experience, to suppress it with medication is to feel that numbness is the only option.

Imagine if we told men that we needed to suppress their hormones for their own good... that testosterone shouldn’t rule their lives and needs to be dampened and denied taking any hint of libido with it. Imagine how they might respond if we asked them to take a pill every day that would disrupt their entire mental, physical and emotional experience so that we could enjoy sex with them more (of course we take the pill for many more reasons than this but I couldn’t help but enjoy that sentence). I’m not sure that would fly and I’m not sure why it has for so long with us. It's important not to forget that the pill has been an incredible liberator of women and I will always celebrate it for that but as we begin to gain more autonomy and as more choices open us for us it is important that we have the information and options!

‘Limits do not equate limitation. The real limitation comes from not having any limits.’

~ Wild Power, Alexandra Pope

I often hear the argument that if we accept that we shift and change with the menstrual cycle then we are admitting to weakness and in so doing exposing ourselves as being lesser than men but the way I see it is that to reside within a lifetime of secret, shameful suffering and not acknowledge the power that exists within the menstrual cycle leaves us feeling that we are lesser, it creates a nagging feeling that we are not equal and it is this insidious feeling of being less than that can stop us from fulfilling our potential. Whereas to come to know, accept and cooperate with the powerful elemental force that is the menstrual cycle is to step into sync with nature and to learn how to wield our own incredible power as women.

‘The menstrual cycle is not the problem rather it’s a culture that says women should be a certain way and not another.’ ~ Wild Power, Alexandra Pope

Few women get to experience the ecstatic, blissful and immense visionary powers of menstruation itself because we aren’t initiated into our power, we aren’t told of the great depths of feeling and possibility that reside beyond our relentless pushing through. We aren’t told of the huge surge of oxytocin that can come through when we surrender to our natural impulse to rest at menstruation, a surge that has the capacity to fill us with almost overwhelming feelings of love and connection, that can allow us to fall into an effortless state of deep meditation every time we lie down, that heals and repairs our body systems and often fills us with creative visions for our lives and our communities. We aren’t taught that our premenstrual symptoms are not a problem in and of themselves but rather revealing a problem; that these symptoms hold clear clues for the aspects of our health and life that need to be addressed, we just need to know how to read them. We are referred to as ‘crazy’ when in fact we are fierce and fiery forces of nature with immense power to speak the uncomfortable truths and shake up the status quo and many of us never fully harness our creative potential, sexual potency and emotional vibrancy and instead accept a dulled and dampened version augmented by drugs or unavailable beyond the fog of exhaustion that comes through not harnessing the crucial respite of the waning of our bodies.

‘The emotional messiness of menstruation is the antidote to too much order and predictability. It brings colour, makes us tender. It stops us from being an endless ‘doing machine’ reminding us of our inner life and of the softer, more subtle qualities of life. It brings us down to earth, strongly connecting us with our bodies through the flow of the blood, leading us to the earth.’ ~ Alexandra Pope, The Wild Genie

We have accepted the shame, the silence and the suffering for too long and now the time has come to bring menstruation out of the dark and to reclaim our power as women. To come to deeply know our cyclical nature and to remember what it feels like to feel congruent, potent, ecstatic and vibrant. To remember the depth of trust that arises in our bodies, minds and emotions when our inner world matches our outer experience. To time has come to assert our needs and desires out in the world including our non-negotiable need for space to rest at menstruation and our desire for the fullness of emotion and feeling. The time has come to speak openly and fearlessly about periods and women's health in general. And i know it can feel scary at first to speak about something that has been deemed embarrassing, unimportant and unspeakable for so long and we will encounter eye rolling, piss taking, belittling and a lot of resistance along the way but let us dare to be unstoppable in our reclamation and celebration of our cyclical nature, let us be fearless in the face of inequality and outspoken on behalf of those who have no voice.

Carly x


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Carly holding a re-usable sanitary pad and Wild Power

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