menstrual cycle

Are Puberty and Perimenopause Powerful?

I am often asked why in the world I chose to call the workshops that I teach Powerful Puberty or Powerful Perimenopause.  How can a stage of life that can feel so unearthing, so confusing, so shaking in every way, be called powerful.  Am I spreading a false hope? 

Powerful by the dictionary definition means "to do, to act, the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events, political force or might".  I don't know about you but this sounds like a very one sided and masculine version of the word power.  I am NOT dogging on masculinity or even masculine power...let me say it again NOT doing that.  However, I believe that this version is one dimensional, leaving a whole lot out of what power means and looks like.  In the end it disconnects many of us women AND men from this other type of power.

Invisible Power is what I am talking about.

Invisible power is found in strong connections to others and to ourselves:  true love for another, connection to another, connection to yourself, love for yourself, an expression of who you are and your gifts, your inner knowing and acting from that.  These are ALL also power!  Flowing, intuition, nurture, connection, creation these are invisible power sources that aren't valued or included in the current definition.  They also happen to be feminine in nature and tie into our life cycles, although that does not mean that they aren't housed within men.  They live in both of us in varying degrees and as a culture, these power values aren't included.  This disconnects us from ourselves, from nature and from ways of being that are POWERFUL and connecting and I believe can change the way we experience the world and interact with it. 

Power is being embodied, discovering and uncovering who you are and showing that person to the world. Power includes vulnerability!

 The process of these time periods of life is that you are becoming you.  You are connecting with your inner wisdom. Brain scans show that the intuitive parts of our brain are more active during this time.  For perimenopause it is said that we are becoming "stupid" our brains are shrinking, yes we do tend to lose words and that is f**ing frustrating however we are also diving into our intuitive knowing, our feminine knowing which is VERY different than our logical knowing.  Our society has said one is better than the other and many of us have accepted that. 

The story that we have been told culturally is that these stages of life: puberty and perimenopause are anything but powerful; they are a curse! 

We have been told and therefore may have experienced them as SUCK!  Cultural neuroscience has shown that our brains are literally patterned by our culture and that patterning can also affect our biochemical nature.  This is why in cultures that have different stories there are different experiences of these time periods.  Another way of thinking about puberty is that it is the beginning of the cyclical nature/connection of our lives as women.  In my opinion HOW POWERFUL IS THAT!!!!  However, our world is VERY linear and doesn't allow much for the power of cycles in fact we try and control cycles to "get things done".  Culturally we don't honor cycles and in most ways we ignore them.  Of course girls who begin to cycle hate it!  Forget about the pain and inconvenience they hate what they see about what it means to be a woman, how not valued the cycle is.  Many of us weren't taught anything about that side of it, or even the health benefits and clues for our lives; our 6th vital sign of health.  We definitely weren't taught that it is something to be honored and even that we can live into it and when we do we are more productive than if we worked in a linear, full on all the time way.  Girls don't learn about the emotional, mental, physical aspects of this time. Most of us didn't when we were younger either and that carries forward into the end of our cycling.  Most women don't even know what perimenopause is, dismissing it at that horrible thing that happens when you are "old" and lose your period.

For many of you reading this who have been through puberty and found it to be anything but powerful, I get it!!!

It wasn't powerful for most of us but that isn't because it isn't, it doesn't make that story we were told true.  It means from the very beginning of the turning on of the connection we become disconnected.  From the very beginning, we saw our bodies in some ways as our enemy: the cramps, the headaches, the PMS is the curse and lets control it because CONTROL IS POWER.  OR what if we connect with it, honor it and listen to it?  What if that changes all the symptoms?  A headache is telling you something, so are cramps and all the rest...do you listen.  If you did would it be powerful?  Would that knowledge, that CONNECTION help you feel powerful?

Both of these time periods are for going within, being all mixed up and then figuring out and yes that can feel anything but our current dictionary definition of powerful. We can’t control it and we can’t overcome it, although we certainly try.

We have to be within it and let it do it's magic.  We need to listen.  What if this is what we were taught?  What if as a culture we went through these time periods in these ways, with these ideas as explorers?  THIS IS what I am talking about this is powerful.  Having a relationship with it and not labeling it as puberty hell, or temper tantrums but as moments of growing and changing.  If we are given the knowledge about what is actually happening in our bodies and we be open with them and with ourselves about these time periods.  

I am asking us to evolve and reclaim these time periods in a powerful way.  Not of control, force but of connection and embodiment of becoming.  It is a process of becoming and through the breakdowns that occur; the growth that occurs a more solid and powerful version of you emerges. 

 


Would you like to learn more about your menstrual cycle?  Then download this free copy of Menstrual Cycle Wisdom 

Self Care for Your Menstrual Cycle

It can’t always be summer!

So many of us live packed lives with our foot on the accelerator at all times. We want or think we have to do all the things and be all the things for all the people.

We need to remember life is made up of cycles and seasons for reason!

There is no better way to demonstrate this than the menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is indeed a cycle with 4 distinct phases, that very much can be connected to the phases of the seasons. When you begin to pay attention and recognize this in your own life and then live in balance with this you start to accept and even embrace what each phase offers and you may even begin to enjoy and appreciate your cycle.

Our bodies tells us what they desire each season of the year. In the summer we all have more energy. We want to be outside. The abundance of sunlight affords us extra day time and we take advantage by being more extroverted and active. In the winter our bodies slow down as does the amount of daylight. We crave inner depth, warmth and slow.

When we are in the bleeding part of our menstrual cycle, we are in the proverbial winter and yet many of us continue to act as though it’s summer.

Your body is asking you to slow down. Your hormones are at their lowest (like daylight) of the cycle. You may get mad, “bitchy” during this phase. Of course! One of the reasons might be because you aren’t allowing yourself the slow down. You are judging yourself, your feelings and resisting what your body is asking. You aren’t alone many of us do this!

The winter of your period is all about reflection. The left and right sides of your brain chemistry are speaking to each other maximally at this time, something that only occurs in menstruating adults. This chemistry invites us to see the bigger picture. To take stock of our life and evaluate. Have you ever had that thought or complaint that comes often or even repetitively during your moon cycle? You think that you are being grumpy, “your on your period”, it’s not really that big of a deal. Yet each and every month the thought returns? It is because deep down you want a change and your cycle is reminding you of that. It is “getting real” with you.

So what if you tapped in and honored your bodies rhythms?

Yes I know that you have a life to live, a to do list to cross off and that you don’t live in a society that has red tents. I too live in the modern real world!

what CAN you do to make this time slower?

Here are some ideas:

  1. Go into rest and reflection mode: Each moon cycle is meant to act like clean slate. The hormonal dance is at it’s end and a reset occurs. Get yourself a journal and each and every moon reflect on areas of your life: family, work, business, friendships. Use the natural change that occurs within your brain chemistry during this part of your cycle and marry critical thinking and reflection. Think of your period as a monthly chance to connect with important aspects of your life; what is working and what needs to shift. Get real with your self! Spend 15 minutes, pour a cuppa tea and let the realness of your period connect on a page.

  2. Stop being one long to do list: Let the laundry go, the dishes pile up a bit or the emails go unanswered for just a full day. Do the bare minimum! Take a nice bath, go to bed early and let it all go. It will still be there tomorrow. It doesn’t affect your worth! It shows you that you care about yourself and will listen to your body!

  3. Create your own moon basket of goodies: A special candle, bath balm, yummy smelling essential oils, a hot rice pack, a good book and then use them!

  4. Create a ritual: Ritual is a way that we can honor this time. It doesn’t have to be a big and elaborate thing just something. Buy a special tea that you love and take time to drink it. Choose a special outfit that you wear and can feel good in (ditch the tight jeans). Buy yourself a journal or take a nightly bath with epsom salts. Commit to something that you will do each and every bleed.

  5. Prep: Make a pot of soup full of micronutrients and freeze it ahead of time, rather than junking out as so many of us do during this time. Do any lingering projects or things that you can do in advance so that you feel more at ease slowing down.

  6. Reframe by looking forward to a bit of a slow down: I hear all the time that people are bummed that this time of the month slows them down whether they want to or not. Try for a cycle or two to simply entertain the possibility that you may look forward to a bit of a slow down.

  7. Become a visionary: Chart your cycles so that you know when they are coming and create space to allow yourself to slow down. That means that if you are asked to attend an event or make a commitment you say NO. The no is not based on your love or desire to be there or help but rather on a love and desire for yourself and an acceptance to let yourself be in winter. We all think that if we say no we are missing a chance to x,y or z, we will disappoint someone or that we are selfish. Every other women bleeds and just gets on with it so why are you special right? The thing is we are all special and we all have this right. Choose to take it!

Over to you! What do you do or plan on doing to slow down and take care of yourself during your period? Comment below.


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