Q: What do your first period and childbirth have in common?
A: They are the first two Rites of Passage that you experience as a woman.
The Rites of Woman:
Menarche - Becoming a Woman, First Blood
Pregnancy + Childbirth- Becoming a Mother (not always physical but can be energetic as in nurturing a project and birthing it into the world).
Menopause- Becoming a Wise Woman/Elder
Moving through the Rites of Passage is like walking through a door to a new role within your community. A Rite is likely challenging. It's a test of your inner strength and character.
What you learn at the first Rite of Passage is what you will bring to the second. How you feel about becoming a woman is what you bring to your experience of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood.
The way you were treated at your first period is more important than you think. It determines how you relate to being a woman.
Was your first period hush-hush? Was it just a quiet thing between you and your mom? Was it acceptable to talk about at the dinner table? Were you celebrated in any way? What was your Father’s role? How did you feel about it?
Did you feel blessed, cursed, or indifferent?
Women of native cultures are honored with celebrations at menarche that involve the entire community. Everyone together celebrates the bleeding women. Can you imagine that or is it a s t r e t c h?
The way we treat the menstruating women is directly related to the way we treat Mother Earth, Gaia, Pachamama, the Planet that we inhabit. Are we honoring Her for her life-giving ability and abundance?
We are learning to celebrate Her again in the same way that we are learning to celebrate young girls as they become women.
How could not honoring a woman affect our society, culture, and lives so much? There was no actual harm done, right?
Not honoring her sets her up for lifelong dependency on a man to provide & to decide. (Nothing against the beautiful men just sayin' we need strong & independent women).
Not celebrating her diminishes her well-spring of creative power.
Not honoring her erodes her self-trust and unhindered intuition.
Because Menstruation Matters I encourage you to Rethink the following:
1. Pain killers for menstrual cramps
Numbing yourself during your period can lead to easily accepting that epidural during labor. Allowing yourself to feel the pain, go into it, and work with the pain can be tremendously powerful, revealing, and help prepare you.
If you’re having bad cramps during your period it’s a signal that your uterus could be misaligned or need to release old menstrual fluid. Maya massage & herbs can help. Yoni steams, too.
2. Tossing your blood in the trash
It can be easy to just toss tampons and pads away. But, where does it end up and where is the honor? When you pay attention to your blood you connect more deeply to your body and your needs.
The toxins used to make scented tampons and pads are endocrine disrupting and not womb-friendly for the long-term. Cloth pads don't fill land-fills and menstrual cups are mini miracles.
Tossing your blood leads to routinely tossing the placenta after birth (the miraculous and under celebrated organ that nourishes and supports the growth of your babe).
3. Disregarding your premenstrual + period emotions
What you feel when you are bleeding is very important. You are experiencing a time of release so that your system can renew itself.
You’re a creative miracle. Just because you feel intensely emotional before or during your period does not mean your feelings are invalid. Disregarding your feelings when you bleed leads to down-playing your instincts during pregnancy, labor, and childbirth.
It’s useful, practical, and productive to face your feelings before you bleed so that you can let it go and get a fresh start. That’s why things surface when they do. It’s a blessing and can accelerate your spiritual growth.
4. Synthetic hormonal birth control
Controlling when you do and don't conceive is mega essential.
Did you know there are other ways to prevent pregnancy that are safe and effective long-term that don't have the same risks as the hormonal methods?
The truth: you don't have a real period on hormonal contraception. Your entire cycle including menstruation and ovulation is actually suppressed by foreign hormones.
When you're accustomed to your menstrual cycle being regulated by an outside force you're more likely to fall into the system of (well-meaning but harmful) regulation during pregnancy, labor, and childbirth.
Rethink your period to redefine your relationship to being a woman. You deserve to be celebrated and honored.
I'd love to hear from you:
If you had (or do have) a daughter how would you celebrate her first period?
This topic is very close to my heart. If you have any questions or comments don't hesitate to send them my way.
Love & Gratitude,