I often get asked what I ‘do’ in the world.
I used to tailor the response depending on who was asking; to most I was an author and freelance journalist, to others I was a plus-size yoga teacher, and to the more spiritually inclined, I’d share that I was a tarot reader, intuitive + spiritual guide-ess. Last week I shared how, if I’d had my way, I wouldn’t have chosen to talk about menstruation, but when you work directly with SHE, she lets you know – in a gazillion different ways - that the heroine’s journey is not about what you want, it’s about what you need.
It’s not outward facing; it’s a spiral inwards. It makes you shine a light in the dark areas, it urges you to walk, balance and then dance at your edges + then it dares you to show up in the world imperfect + messy with your heart, gut + womb wide open. For a while, I tried to make what I ‘do’ more palatable for the people asking. I was basically the human equivalent of the Always advert where they pour blue water on the pad to represent blood. I sanitized my response. ‘I teach menstrual awareness,’ I’d say. WTF?
So now when people ask what it is that I ‘do’, I tell them I talk about the blood and guts of being a woman.
It wasn’t until I was writing Code Red, and I was deep in my own story sharing about miscarriages + pain and spiritual awakenings, that I realised Menstruation cannot and should not be sanitized. I was perpetuating the myth that we talk about menstruation in hushed tones; I was trying to make it easier for others by not mentioning it at all.
So now when people ask what it is that I ‘do’, I tell them I talk about the blood and guts of being a woman. I work with women to explore their lady landscape, to understand + harness the power of their menstrual cycle and find love for their lady parts and yep, I’m talking vulvas + vaginas. This usually meets with surprise, embarrassment, curiosity, disgust, and shame and then back to embarrassment, which is crazy when just over 50% of the population bleed or have bled from their vagina each month.
Over on Instagram at the weekend, a reader shared her story of how she left a copy of Code Red out on the coffee table when a friend came round, the friend was all ‘I don’t think I’ll be borrowing that somehow’ and then ten minutes later was confiding in her about moon cup disasters and other more intimate problems. This happens to me ALL the time.
When I was testing out how the brand new Explore Your Lady Landscape programme – coming this September – could be EVEN better and be of MORE service to the women that sign up, I asked in my mistress-mind group for volunteers, the response I got from two totally badass women who I love + admire was along the lines of ‘women hate their periods, you will never get them to find love for them, there is nothing you can do to make them sexy.’ Ten minutes later, one of the women emailed me asking ‘are there REALLY days each month when I’m more effective and able to get shit done? And how can I have better sex? I’m REALLY interested, but just couldn’t face talking about this publicly.’ She then went on to tell me in great depth about all the period pain she suffered from and how hard she works. I could see the correlation, we hooked up for a 90 minute SHE session where we discussed lifestyle + spiritual practices, I showed her self-massage techniques, we created a work schedule that was totally in tune with her menstrual cycle – example: she now writes all her blogs in her pre-ovulation phase, and does all her web copy editing in her pre-menstrual phase - and she now has a non-negotiable time-out of two hours for baths, book reading + nail painting on the first three days of her bleed. Oh, and thanks to some lady landscape exploration too, her sex life is HOT.
Sharing #bloodstories can change your life.
So let’s have a totally non-judge-y, #bloodyconversation. Let’s share our #bloodstories – if you feel shame + disgust about menstruation, spill in a blog post (please hook me up with a link because I’d love to read it). If you have a heart-on for all things cyclic, share it in a status or instagram pic. Start a conversation with co-workers, talk to your mum about how it was for her, if you have daughters, sisters, girlfriends talk to them about their #bloodstories – No judgment, just push yourself out of your comfy zone and experience what it feels like to talk openly about menstruation.
GIVEAWAY: There are five signed copies of my new book Code Red each sent with love and a mini-SHE reading up for grabs for those that dare to have a #bloodyconversation or share #bloodstories – don’t forget to use the hashtags, obv.
FYI: If you find yourself digging on the #bloodyconversation + the sharing of #bloodstories, we are having LOTS o’ them over in the Code Red FB group, come join us!