I'm day 28. I'm in my pre-menstrual phase, I've had an epsom salt-filled bath with delicious essential oils, I'm listening to the Devi prayer AND Taylor Swift on repeat, I've got an empty (ish) diary for the next few days, I've just done a delicious SHE Flow Yoga practice that involved me stirring my inner cauldron, and I actually can't wait to bleed.I tell you this because there was a time, in the not-so-distant-past when I'd have either been: - in bed eating jaffa cakes having taken a ton of Ibuprofen with a hot water on my belly and feeling a shit-ton of guilt because I'd just had to turn down another social event that I'd originally said 'yes' to, or had to apologise for not delivering on an assignment I said I'd get done because I feared that I'd bleed in public and when I say bleed, well...what I actually mean is gush. OR - feeling so rage-filled and wrathful at everyone and everything with no idea as to why, yet trying desperately to keep a lid on it, in case I got called 'crazy' and showing up with a pre-menstrual game face.
So many of us think that our menstrual cycle is just the days we bleed, but as anyone that's read Code Red will testify, it's an entire month-long - 28 to 35 ish day cycle - that allows us to fully experience the masculine AND the feminine, the light AND the dark, the solar and the lunar nature of being a woman. It’s hard to do initially, because as women, we’re programmed to act like we do in the first half of our cycle (pre-ovulation + ovulation - the masculine get-shit-done energy, the part of our cycle that is most representative of the society that we reside in on a daily basis) for the entire duration of our cycle, but the second half of our cycle, (pre-menstruation + menstruation, feminine energy, the call inwards) is an opportunity for us to tend to our personal needs, our inner selves, yet right now, a huge-ass amount of women are simply surviving the second half of their cycle. Trying to 'maintain' a masculine-like energy in a feminine phase of your cycle could mean that you're 'putting up' with pain + cramps, feeling angry, stressed, anxious, mad, on the verge of tears but brushing them all off as simply an irritation, or feeling like you have to show up to life with a ‘game face’ so as not to offend.
Eff you, game face.
This is NOT cool. We need to claim the ENTIRE cycle and ALL of it’s intricacies as our power source. Our SHE power source. The key to plugging into this power source is awareness and respect for the changing rhythm of your cycle.
Yep, our menstrual cycle, this incredible inner map, provides us with the opportunity each month to come into a place of darkness with ourselves, to allow these things that in other parts of the cycle we’d be afraid to see. Most of us grew up totally detached from our intuition, our innate feminine wisdom + intelligence system that resides in our belly + our womb, so it's REALLY easy for us to over-ride this pre-menstrual phase. But just because we can, doesn't mean we should.
We're so often told that looking to, and being the light is the answer, yet it's in the darkness where we truly grow. Now, I’m a Scorpio, so I LOVE the darkness of all things, if someone is super-perky + shiny, I want to know why, it’s such a Scorpio tendency (it’s not right by the way either, it’s just what I do) + also, since my parents have died, I always want to meet people on a deeper level, so I want to see their vulnerability, their anger, their truth in ALL it’s forms. I think our society is so susceptible to believing that simply going to a yoga class, seeing the practitioner who has a 'celebrity' client list, drinking a green juice each morning, is going to help them transcend darkness and bring them into the light – it’s bullshit. What actually happens is that they end up getting uptight + defensive about their path because they’re too busy fighting an inner battle trying to suppress their darkness and pretend that they're 'above' that.
It's in the darkness of the waning moon, of the pre-menstrual phase of our cycle, where the blood + guts of being a woman really comes into play.
During your pre-menstrual + menstrual phases, your body is literally a conduit for SHE. You are bombarded with downloads - what paths to take, what's going wrong, what needs to be let go of, old thought patterns + beliefs that are keeping you small - ALL of it. It's an opportunity to feel ALL the feelz. The flowing + swelling that occurs in this phase is your body’s way of bringing ALL of this to the surface as it demands to be seen, heard, loved + healed. This is how we become the wild + wise women that I speak about in Code Red, this is how we FULLY embrace our SHE power. We do the freaking work. We allow for those feelings to be FULLY experienced (I'll be sharing some of my favourite ways in which I do this in my own personal practice in the coming weeks) then we ask, 'what is there for me to learn here?' What is the ‘I’ve collapsed in tears in a total Eat Pray Love moment on the toilet floor’ actually trying to tell me? But unless we drop the game face, unless we create the space for this to occur each month, unless we start to REALLY listen to our inner GPS system - our intuition, our innate feminine intelligence system - and more importantly, allow it to be our guide-ess, we’ll miss it. And when we miss it, our SHE power lies dormant for another cycle and all the women that have gone before us take a deep sigh that we’ve missed yet another opportunity to tap into eons + eons o’ knowledge and insight.
How do you feel about the second half of your menstrual cycle? Did you even know that you had a second half of your cycle? Do you experience pain + discomfort here? I'd love for us to start a #bloodyconversation over on the facebook page about how you experience this part of your cycle, what shows up for you and if you DO use it to access your SHE Power, how?
FYI: If you didn't know I was day 28, you'd definitely know through my writing. No structure, liminal thought sharing, tangents, unedited truths. I LOVE how we can show up so differently to the page, to our relationships + to life in each phase, and when there's an awareness to that, we apologise less for it. Just saying.