4 Things I’ve Learned From My Period

As a fertility advocate, I often think about all the parts of being a woman. For much of our lives as women, we are ruled by biological cycles. Our menstruation is based on an approximately twenty-eight day cycle and can often influence how we react to the world around us. I love Dr. Christine Northrop and what she has to say about the wisdom that women can get by tuning into their menstrual cycles.

Dr. Northrop believes that menstruation is a time for women to let go of all of their emotional junk for the month. It is a clearing out time, and a time for letting go. Dr. Northrop also believes that peri-menopause is also a time for women to complete many of our lifelong issues – that it is a time to really listen to our bodies and ourselves.

The problem is that most of us don’t really listen to our bodies. We don’t allow a time for physically turning in during menstruation. We often do not slow down – and take the time to listen to what our bodies are telling us. And some of us chemically alter our bodies through birth control pills – so we don’t even get the opportunity to tune into the wisdom of our bodies-because we alter the cycles. Often there is no menstruation for women on the pill. Menstruation is seen as something to avoid instead of nature’s way of letting us take stock of where we are, and then letting go.

For those of us struggling with infertility – menstruation can also be a reminder of failure. A sign of loss, instead of a chance to begin again with something fresh. We begin to view our menstruation as something awful and full of pain.

I have begun to tune into my body in a new way. So much of how we manage the cycles of our bodies is how we frame things in our minds. So, instead of thinking about menstruation as an inconvenience or a marker of some kind of failure – try thinking of that time of the month as a meditation of the mind and body. A spring cleaning that our bodies gift us with to renew our spirits and start fresh. Perhaps if we made time to rest during our menstruation and to take long walks instead of powering through our menstruation and ignoring it – we would gain great wisdom from our bodies.

Article by Pamela Madsen for DivineCaroline. First published January 2010.

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Image: Dmitry Skurnyagin