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Our Periods: Flowing with Moontime

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“Moontime is the period of menstruation; it is widely believed that women are more powerful or, in some tribes, contaminated during this particular period” (The Free Dictionary).

Since my years as a teenager, I’ve noticed that women generally do not see their time of menstruation as a blessing but instead an inconvenience, an obstacle or even a curse. I wonder how our experiences of our menstrual periods would be different if we saw this time of month as sacred, a blessing or maybe even to be revered and honored.

A woman once told me that she celebrated her daughter’s first menses with a garnet ring she gave her to ritualize entering into physical womanhood. I’ve often wondered how this celebratory handling of this rite of passage affected her daughter. I’ve pondered if this young woman experiences the same physical symptoms that so many of us share at this time: exhaustion, irritability, cravings, cramps and mood swings. My guess is she probably is better off than most.

Some women create deliberate and intentional sacred retreats during this time of the month. Some will focus on renewal and the art of breathing, being and meditating. Some spend this time in nature and in silence. For these women, it is a time to be with the sacred feminine in retreat, rather than the usual focus of doing, serving others and “getting things done”. Perhaps because of heightened sensitivities, some women report connecting with inspiration, insight and creativity, which may elude them at other times of the month.

Many women who work with me in life coaching and hypnosis sessions often report feeling guilty that they don’t get nearly as much done as they “should” during times of menstruation. I usually work with them on scheduling, as much as possible, fewer demands during this time, opting for less participation in emotionally taxing events and if desired, sleeping more. A simple way to respect the changes that our bodies ask of us at this time is to write down when our periods are each month so that we can anticipate our next period and plan or schedule accordingly. This may even help us schedule our eating and exercise plans to go with the energies and healthy desires of our bodies. For example, we may be more vigilant about eating regular protein based meals so we are less tempted to gorge on simple carbohydrates (processed junk foods).

In any case, if we embrace, go with or try to flow with our Moontimes, we may be more likely to have a positive experience as opposed to a negative, unwelcome or unpleasant one each month.

© 2010 Jeanine Marie Austin, Ph.D.

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