Menstruation – The time of the month that almost every second woman in today’s world sees as a pain.
A time that makes you want to retreat and not do much – provided you are in tune with your body.
Women in many indigenous cultures are said to have been so in tune with their bodies that they had no trouble retreating into a quiet space during menstruation and returning to the world of activity when their bleeding stopped.
They also saw a correlation between the menstrual cycle and the cycles of the moon. The average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days which is a similar span of time as a moon cycle (27 to 29.5 days).
They also believed that the moon has an impact on women’s menstrual cycles, and that if a woman is in sync with the moon, the pivotal points in her cycle coincide with the full and new moons. Some women may ovulate around the full moon. And if conception doesn’t happen, their uterine lining sheds, and they bleed around the new moon. And for others, it may be reversed – they ovulate around the new moon and bleed around the full moon.
For this reason, the menstrual cycle is often referred to as the ‘Moon Cycle’ and the days of bleeding are referred to as ‘Moon Time.’
I am not certain this ‘Moon Cycle’ theory would be validated by science.
However, I personally connect to it and I know a lot of other women do as well.
Ever since I began my ‘Womb Healing’ journey, I have observed some resonance between my menstrual cycles and the cycles of the moon.
I won’t say my cycles are perfectly in sync with the moon every single month. But very often, they are.
I like to believe I am connected to the moon through my cycles for I see the healing value it brings to me.
Now, this brings us another question to ponder.
Is the practice of retreating during menstruation possible in today’s faster-paced world?
It may be possible for some women. But for others, it may be harder.
- We are disconnected from the body – Being inactive is not always seen as a positive thing in today’s world. With more and more women taking on different roles in the outside world, long days packed with activity have become a normal part of life for many of us. So, any phenomenon that hinders the flow of activity is seen as a nuisance.
- Practical Constraints – Even those amongst us who recognise the value of taking time off every month may not always be able to implement it with ease. We may have full-time jobs that support us financially. So, taking days off every month may not be practically possible. Also, with families becoming more nuclear in nature, it may not be feasible for a woman to retreat completely during her moon time. Her presence may be required at least for some part of the day or even for most of the day if she has children that are dependent on her.
Let’s look at some simple ways in which we can address these challenges so we can come into greater harmony with our moon cycles in the modern era that we are a part of.
Connection to Body
Connecting to our body requires us to first drop the notion that inactivity is futile.
We all have Masculine and Feminine energies within us and we tap into each of them at different times. While the Masculine energy represents ‘doing,’ the Feminine represents ‘Being.’ In order to achieve wholeness, we must see and understand that there is value in doing and there is value in being.
As women, being in tune with our bodies and our cycles requires us to tap into our Feminine and to recognise the value in just ‘Being’ at times.
Retreating is a quality of being. Silence is a quality of being.
If we can just ‘be’ when required, we feel more energised when the time arrives for us to ‘do’ again – just like a good night’s sleep recharges us and equips us to take on a new day with tons of energy.
Imagine what would happen if you never allowed yourself to sleep.
Beyond a point, you would become unproductive and not be able to accomplish much.
So also with ‘Being’ and ‘Doing.’
When you learn to ‘Be,’ ironically, you also get to ‘Do’ so much more!
For women who menstruate, this time of the month provides an opportunity to connect to the Being state.
Your body is naturally low on energy when you bleed and calls out for you to take it easy. So, this is a great time to practice the art of ‘Being.’
This is the essence of connecting to your body – honouring the body’s messages and living in accordance with its needs.
Practical Constraints – The Art Of Doing Your Best
If you recognise the value of retreating during your moon time but cannot do it fully because of your life’s circumstances, don’t worry.
The solution is simple – just do your best.
Cannot take an entire day to be by yourself?
Take at least an hour, two hours, or whatever works best for you, depending on your unique life situation.
Slow down wherever you can.
Maybe the laundry can wait a day longer?
Maybe you can skip your morning walk for a couple of days and stay in bed longer?
Maybe you can prepare simple meals instead of the elaborate three-course meals you always cook?
If you have friends or family nearby, maybe you can ask them to watch over the kids for a couple of hours while you rest?
Maybe you can treat yourself to a relaxing massage at the local spa?
There are many ways in which you can just be, for some time of the day, no matter how busy your schedule may be.
A lot can be accomplished in as less as an hour – healing-wise. And you doing your best is sufficient.
Be easy on yourself, stay flexible, and go with the flow.
There are no hard and fast rules here.
Menstruation Is Dirty: Breaking The Myth
Many people have the belief that menstrual blood is dirty and that women are impure when they bleed. This is the reason some societies require women to be isolated during their Moon Time.
I myself grew up in an orthodox family that believed in this practice of isolation.
Ever since I moved out of my ancestral home, I don’t practise isolation during Moon Time.
I have never been able to resonate with the belief that menstrual blood is dirty or that women are impure when they bleed. To be sure, I checked with experts in science and medicine and they confirmed there is nothing dirty or impure about menstrual blood.
While everyone is free to believe as they choose and I respect the choice of anyone who isolates, I personally feel the notion that women must isolate because they are impure when they bleed is not very helpful. While this belief may prove to be harmless for some women, it can bring on feelings of shame and stigma for others.