Updated: Aug 3, 2021
She is your companion. For most of your life.
Yet we treat her like the black sheep of the body.
We talk poorly of her, she is discredited in public, mostly she is hidden. There is shame, avoidance, tolerance and sometimes dread as she approaches. She is called names. She is blamed for illnesses. She is seen as a function of reproduction only. She is plugged and drugged.
We say things like "it has arrived" as if she comes from some outer regions of the universe or another planet.
You already know this though.
What if instead you could view her as your companion? A companion that is giving you messages about your emotional, physical and mental health? What if you knew that the anger, anxiousness or lethargy you feel before your period, is actually your body letting you know she is in angst? That she is asking you to slow time and tend to her as if you would with a 6 year old girl?
Our bleed time is a time to detox and cleanse. Every day we experience small and big emotions - love, laughter, disappointment, irritation, stress, anxiety, loss. When we bleed we get to release those experiences. Rather than storing them in the body. Storing emotions, or foods that do not suit your body, or absorbing external toxins, leads to your body and mind being in pain and discomfort over time.
I know from my own experience I used to have a lot of irritation before my period. I now recognise this as too much pushing, unexpressed emotions, over stimulation and doing work that wasn't making me happy.
When I finally understood that my menstrual health IS MY HEALTH it completely turned me on my head. It felt like moving a juggernaut initially. What?? My period is not to blame for me feeling bloated!?!? My period pains and irritability is not because I am about to bleed??? That PMS is a term given by some dude that wants to then sell you prescriptions or across the counter drugs? Rather than address the root cause! By the way I am not saying the symptoms do not exist, or woman I know they do! I am saying it doesn't have to be this way.
When I turned inwards and learned that my symptoms are whispers from my body - some waaaay too loud and others more subtle. It immediately eased the cramps, migraines and PMS a little. Just enough to allow me to explore and start noticing. Slowly month by month I learned more about my body, made the changes that were right for me and in less than 6 months I was free of my symptoms.
Now she is my companion.
Every morning, day and night she is my companion. Every week we cycle together through the season's (check out here if you want to know more on the seasons). I am so grateful to her. Especially if I lose connection again and start going too fast or not speaking my truth, subtle symptoms will return. Like a headache or a really heavy period because I haven't been physically moving enough that month. Now I know what to do to heal myself. I feel so empowered within myself. I thank my body for these symptoms. And I thank myself for listening to her.
What if you accepted the messages and said thank you for letting me know? How about then getting curious? How would it shift the emotion and/or the pain? What would you do next?
Your intuition will be become clearer as you accept and communicate with your body.
I wish this for you. She can be your companion also. Your friend.
Susan Sheehan supports, guides and mentors women to understand, nourish and embrace your body, mind and heart. Radiating Wisdom is an annual programme that Susan invites women on. It cycles through the wisdom of Ayurveda, Yoga and women's cycles with habits for the modern women. When you create rhythm in your life you can tune into your desires, give a voice to them and take action to live aligned to them. All with other women and a great big dollop of kindness to yourself.