I am a 43 year-young woman and for most of my life I have had no relationship with my menstrual cycle. At some point, I found out that there was such a thing as ‘menstruation’ and at the age of 14, wearing white pants on that particular day (how convenient…), it started for me in the toilet at school. I had my first menstruation and I had no idea what to do. I felt awkward and embarrassed, especially because it was on a day that my father picked me up and suggested we go for a long walk with the dogs. That was the longest walk of my life. I asked my two older sisters for support and I was introduced into the world of sanitary pads. And having my monthly period.
And so my life continued…
At the age of 16 I had my first boyfriend and my mother suggested taking the pill. Not because I had difficulties with my period, but for birth control. After that, for many years to follow, and having several relationships, I took the pill, had my monthly ‘fake’ menstruation, put in a tampon (so much more convenient than those big sanitary towel ‘mattresses’), and I lived my life; A life without any connection to my cycle, my body, my uterus, my ovaries, my breasts, my menstruation, my ovulation – in other words, to the fact that I was a woman, with a menstrual cycle.
I never took a moment to ask myself what it actually means to be a woman, let alone what it means to live as a woman.
There were never conversations about menstrual cycles and how we as women live according to a cycle. Yes, there were the occasional talks with my female friends about our menstruation, but always from a negative point of view and how inconvenient it was. I have never heard a woman talk about her menstruation in a positive and joyful way. With my relationships, my menstruation was a no-go area. I had this strong belief that you don’t talk about those women’s things with partners and when it was ‘that time of the month’, I quietly mentioned something about having my period, there was no touching for a couple of days and that was it.
So much for being a woman…
By the time I wanted to have a child, around age 36, things changed completely. I stopped taking the pill, I got my regular periods back and my cycle was suddenly the main focus point. Getting my period became an emotional and stressful moment and I started counting the days to see when my ovulation would take place. I did this from my head, instead of truly making contact with my ovaries. The gynecologist had told me that ovulation normally takes place between day 12 and day 14 and she mentioned something about cervical mucus. I started to feel my ovaries and my ovulation and how my mucus did change around this time, but it was all with the focus on becoming pregnant. By the time I made the choice to go to hospital for support in getting pregnant, my ovulation and my menstruation had become a true obsession. Not only that, I also experienced that every woman’s body is different and that ovulation takes place when the egg is ready, so to speak. So many times I actually had my ovulation around day 9 or 10, which is seen as ‘not normal’.
During this time, there was a functional relationship with my cycle and my body, but only because I wanted to get pregnant. It had a reason, a purpose, and it came very much from my head. I only had this focus because I wanted a result, not because I wanted to connect with myself. I had no relationship with myself, or with my body. I was counting the days in my calendar, planning when to have sex and every month around day 28 there was this emotional tension whether I would menstruate or not.
Over the past five years, slowly letting go of my need to have a child, and making the choice to not go to the hospital any longer for support, I started to build a relationship with myself. I booked an Esoteric Healing session as I felt there were things to look at in my life and I wanted to understand what it was that I was missing. This has been a huge turn around for me and since that first session, I have been, with the help of Universal Medicine and Esoteric Women’s Health, exploring my relationship with myself, and my connection with my body.
I realised that my feeling of missing something had to do with me not having a relationship with myself and I also came to understand that I had never really accepted the fact that I am a woman. And not just a woman, but a beautiful, caring, loving and gorgeous woman. I realised I had no love for myself and I carried this huge lack of self-worth.
I learned that I had no true relationship with my body, and therefore no relationship with my menstrual cycle.
With the letting go of my need to become a mother, and building a relationship with myself, I started to get in touch with my body, slowly building a better understanding of what it means to be a woman through my body. I started to accept my body and the fact that I am a woman.
Today, I am very much aware of my menstrual cycle, knowing exactly where I am within it, and I love having my menstruation. I love to feel how my body changes during the month, how my breasts feel differently according to where I am in my cycle, how my menstruation has changed over the years, and how this is linked to the way I live. I can feel my ovulation more often and what affect this has on me, my surroundings and in how I feel. I can also see that there is no such thing as ‘being late or early’ with your menstruation. It is always at the right time for the body.
The way I live as a woman and the choices that I make every day, have an effect on my menstruation. This is something nobody had ever shared with me, until Universal Medicine and Natalie Benhayon came into my life.
Two things that Natalie taught me, which have changed my life completely are:
- How I live and the choices that I make have an impact on my menstruation. I always heard that painful periods were part of life and that we just have to deal with this. But this is not true. We as women have a choice in how we live from day to day and how we take care of ourselves. I have experienced that the more I take care of myself and the more I truly honour myself, the more positive the effect upon my menstruation. I don’t have heavy bleeding, no pain in my stomach and no emotional rollercoasters in the days beforehand. Some months I actually feel very powerful and great before my menstruation starts. So a painful period is not something we just have to put up with. It just reflects back how we live and offers us an opportunity to change.
- Menstruation is a time of reflection, a time of clearing and to deeply honour the body. When women talk about their periods, it is often talked about from a negative perspective – like a burden we have to carry. But could it be that our menstruation is actually a time for the body to clear itself from things that no longer support us in who we are and that those days are a beautiful time to slow down a bit and take it easy? Maybe sleep a bit longer, skip the gym, have a rest, take a bath and nurture ourselves a bit extra. Given that menstruating is part of being a woman, why not embrace it and reflect on how our month has been and if there are things we can do differently the next month.
My menstrual cycle is now my guide.
I have my own body and my body tells me everything I need to know. I live more and more in sync with my menstrual cycle and it is truly amazing how much my cycle is telling me: how I feel, my moods and emotions, what I want to eat and if I need more sleep for instance. I have not only built a deeper relationship with myself, but also with my breasts, my uterus and my ovaries. The beautiful thing is, I am not building this relationship to get pregnant or to avoid pregnancy, but because I care, appreciate and love myself. My menstrual cycle is a part of my life and the way I live. Every day I am deepening the relationship that I have with myself, knowing there is no end point or result. It is an ongoing journey that reveals new things to me each day.
The way I live today and everything I have learned is deeply inspired by Universal Medicine practitioners including Serge Benhayon, Natalie Benhayon, Sara Williams, Mary-Louise Myers, and all those beautiful women around me.
Without this inspiration, I would not be the woman that I am today: a woman that loves being in the world, connecting with people, who wakes up every day looking forward to what will come, vital, joyful, who enjoys living on her own in the heart of Amsterdam, self-caring, having fun, fulfilled and who loves to go to bed at 9pm.
My menstrual cycle is giving me a true understanding of what it actually means to be a woman and the fact that we as women, live in cycles. It is these cycles that allow me to continue exploring connecting to my body and myself as a woman.
by Mariette, Holland.
You may also enjoy:
Our Cycle App – Period and Moon Cycle Tracker
Women’s Periods 101
The Joy of Having my Period and Ovulation – Yes, it’s true! by Danna Elmalah