Menarche – the first milestone during the transition from girlhood to womanhood, the beginning of the reproductive years in a female.
Go back in time to the day when you had your first period.
How did you feel when you first saw your blood?
Did you have an idea of what was happening? Or were you completely in the dark?
How did your family respond to this milestone in your life?
And most importantly, how did you feel about it?
I grew up in an orthodox family that required women to be isolated during their period and to not come in contact with anything outside of their room. I had noticed my mother remained isolated in her room for three days each month. So, I had a vague idea that women had something to deal with for a few days every month. But what exactly that something was wasn’t very clear to me. And as a child, I didn’t think far ahead to imagine that one day I would experience that something too.
I remember feeling a bit shocked when I had my first period. I was a wee bit terrified too. I remember shedding tears as I realised my life would never be the same again. I possibly imagined I was taken over by an illness or something.
My mother told me this was something that happened to all women and that it was nothing to cry about.
My family was pretty comfortable with my new milestone. I remember my grandmother even did a small religious ritual to welcome it.
I discussed my menarche with my friends in school. I was surprised to know that they had all already gotten their first period months before me. But no one had ever spoken about it! I wondered why none of my friends had talked about this until I asked.
Some of my friends had no celebration to mark this milestone in their lives, while some others had huge celebrations.
Some of my friends laughed at other friends whose families hosted grand celebrations to mark their menarche. I remember that in my ignorance, l had laughed along too.
Most people I knew didn’t believe this was a thing to celebrate. Many believed it was a private affair and not something that required announcement to the world.
My perspective now has shifted of course.
Celebration is not about making an announcement to the world. It is a way to honour the significant moments of life. And I do now believe menarche is one of them.
How much one wants to celebrate is a personal choice.
Some may want to host a gala with family and friends.
Some may want to have a quiet celebration with their immediate family.
Some others like my grandma may prefer to perform a private religious ritual.
Whatever works for each person is perfect.
Honour Your Menarche – Exercise
Place your palms on your womb space and close your eyes.
Go back in time to the day of your menarche.
Recall the sight of your first blood and be with it for a minute or two.
Tell yourself, “Welcome To Womanhood, Beloved Haripriya (use your own name). This moment in time is priceless, for it opens up a whole new connection to a hidden miracle within your body. A miracle that will help you rise to great heights. A miracle that will help you see and experience your highest potential. A miracle that can help you create beauty of varied kinds, including the gift of life. You are carrying a powerhouse within you. And this miraculous powerhouse is called ‘The Womb.’ Celebrate it. Enjoy it. Bless it!”
Do try this exercise no matter how old you may be. Remember we are all on this journey because we have wombs that need healing. Time is no constraint as far as healing is concerned. We have the power to go back and forth in time and rewire our connections to various events in our lives.