Magic of Menstruation: Discover It
Our cycles are more than blood leaving our bodes.
Yes, it's very important for menstruating youth and adults to understand the biology of menstruation, and overall, the structure and function of our entire reproductive system.
Art by Alberto Seveso
But our moon cycle is more than biology. It's magic. It's an alive, responsive, ever-changing magic that is there for us every day.
Our moon cycle a constant reminder of the cycle nature of life and of our cyclic nature as women. Our moon cycle is a barometer of our health and overall well-being. Our moon cycle, if we're open to it, brings us deep insight.
It's the nudge to be present with our entire body-mind - our Whole Sacred Self.
Our cycle begs us to be curious and tender with ourselves
Each day, let us ask ourselves:
... What's real for me now?
... What am I receiving?
... What am I giving?
... What am I ready to release?
... What seeds shall I plant?
... Which seedlings need tending in order to ripen?
Art by Ronnie Biccard
If this sounds good - but is new to you - try this:
Simply tune into your cycle. Each day, pause, breathe and tune into your body for 3 to 5 minutes. Gently, with devotion, patience and love. Simply be present and curious about what you're experiencing in your body, physically and emotionally. What would your body like more or or less of?
Over time, notice what happens. How does your body respond? Does it appreciate the attention? What are its needs?
You may find that the shift in you is flat out amazing. Joy and empowerment and insight and health and, well, a book of poetry's worth of goodness.
Magic of Menstruation: Share it with Girls
Another lovely tuning-in practice is to chart your cycle, noting how your emotions, intuition, and activities change through your cycle. This is a lovely mother-child activity.
Mom and her young menstruator may each have her own chart. Or if the child has not begun to bleed yet or does not yet have a regular cycle, the child can help with their mother's chart.
If you begin charting your cycle, your daughter will inevitably become interested. You and she together can discover the magic of menstruation.
Art by Anne Dewailly
There are plenty of apps for cycle tracking, but all you need is a piece of paper. I prefer paper because one's spirit shines through - and one can pick up shifts over time visually.
Magic of Menstruation: Chart Cycles on Paper
On a large sheet of paper, write a series of well-spaced numbers in on the left. These are the days of your cycle, Day 1 being the day you begin to bleed. Across the top, label what you'd like to track, such as Physical and Emotional (for what you're experiencing physically and emotionally). You may also like to track food, activities, and the phase of the moon.
Then each day, record how you're doing. Post this on the fridge if you're feeling revolutionary - if you're tired of hiding menstruation and would like the people in your life to know how you're doing.
Here is a chart with the cycle days listed across the top and emotions, physicality and activities listed down the lefthand side.
Cycle Chart courtesy of Leslie Carol Botha of Holy Hormones Honey
This teen is fascinated by menstrual-lunar synchrony, so her chart is organized by the lunar cycle and explores how her body, moods and activities respond to both lunar and menstrual cycles.
Lunar Menstrual Cycle Chart from a JOYW Mother-Daughter Circle
How do you talk about menstruation with your children?
Cycle Literacy and Body Literacy for Youth
JOYW Mentor students and graduates meet in a Facebook group to support one another in developing ways to share Cycle Literacy and Body Literacy with children of all genders and their parents.
Our current project is creating a detailed chart of conversations and activities that will nourish children ages 2 to 16.
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JOYW Girls' Circle by JOYW artist Karen MacKenzie
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