It has been nearly 7 years since my first period at the age of 13 and since then I have been on an amazing journey in my relationship with myself as a woman. During those years there were many changes taking place – it is generally known and accepted that puberty is a big time for teenagers as their physical body and hormones shift, but with the support of Esoteric Women’s Health and Universal Medicine practitioners, this time has been far more than a biological change for me – it has been an amazing journey where I have blossomed from a girl into a woman.
From almost my very first period, I suffered with extreme crippling pain and sickness. For the first few years my periods would be very heavy and would have me flat on my back in bed for several days, unable to stand, let alone go to school – I simply couldn’t function normally because of the pain I was in, and the sickness, shaking and fatigue that went along with the pain. Some months whilst screaming in agony, my mum seriously considered taking me to hospital to get some morphine to help with the pain.
I often worried what would happen if my periods never got any better and I wondered how so many women carried on their normal lives with painful periods. At the time, the only solution I was given by the doctors was to take the contraceptive pill – I wouldn’t be in any pain, but then again I also wouldn’t have periods. It might sound strange, but despite the pain and the sickness, I didn’t want to take medication to completely stop an innate and natural part of me being a woman – I wanted to find a way for my periods to be naturally less painful, and so I decided to seek some help from some of the women in my life. In particular, I decided to book myself in for some sessions with Natalie Benhayon, who is a practitioner that specialises in Esoteric Women’s Health.
Natalie is an amazingly wise young woman, and her support was very practical, sharing from her own experiences, not only as a young woman herself, but also from the hundreds of women she treats and supports on a daily basis in her work as a practitioner. Esoteric Women’s Health to me simply means reconnecting back to what it means to be and live as a woman from within me – not based on all the measures and pictures in life, but from a connection with myself.
Through her support, and the support of other practitioners, I began to look at and take responsibility for the way I was living on a daily basis as a woman – and in a nut shell what it showed me was that I wasn’t living as a woman, I was just walking around as a human, totally ignoring and overlooking the fact I have a woman’s body, and I am a woman first and foremost in all that I do.
When I look at some of the role models in my life of amazing women like Natalie Benhayon, I can see that in every way, from how they dress, do their hair, talk, walk or work they bring qualities to life of the woman they are.
It is not about what they looked like, but more the fact that how they live is with an awareness of and a connection to the fact that they are women.
How often does it simply become auto-pilot to wear makeup and do our hair? How often do we dress ourselves and choose clothes that make us feel amazing, and because we feel amazing we naturally look it? I can’t count the number of times I have painted my nails because it’s just another thing you do, and because I am not really taking any time or care I always rush and smudge the polish.
But did it go deeper than that?
Was there a part of me that was rejecting living as a woman in life?
I was at the point in my life where I was growing from a girl to a woman, and in me I could feel a lot of resistance to this transition – I wanted to stay the little girl, not responsible and not on the receiving end of all the attention, comparison and measuring I was already feeling in the world – measuring myself to other girls at school, to pictures in the media, feeling the eyes of men on me and the pressure to be in a relationship. I could feel I didn’t want to grow up and become the woman that I was seeing modelled by society and so there was an inner tug of war going on between the natural call and transition to being a woman and the part of me that was applying the brakes and not wanting to go there.
I realized that this way of living, so disconnected and resistant to myself as a woman and just ticking the boxes, was bound to have an effect – could it be the intense pain and sickness of my period was showing me a month lived disconnected to and fighting myself?
Could it be possible that my period was having to clear the build-up of tension and lack of care in my body from the month?
As I became more aware of the way I lived I decided to start to track my cycles and symptoms using a period diary app called Our Cycles. The very simple act of actually recording when my periods started and ended every month, which days were heavier and which were lighter and what days I got cramps or other symptoms, slowly built a very uncomplicated and practical connection with this aspect of myself as a woman. As the months passed and my awareness built I would know when my period was due from the way my body was feeling, because I had taken the time to feel and track the symptoms in my diary. No longer was I left wondering why I suddenly felt more tired than normal, or why I was really craving sugar out of nowhere, or why my breasts or lower back was sore. When I felt these things I could connect them back to where I was in my cycle, and see them as the symptom or end product of how I had been living up till that point.
What I discovered was that, over time, my periods got lighter, shorter and less painful – I could tell you one week before and the day before my period started that it was coming, based off this new found relationship with my body – it was amazing!
Through this very simple tool of keeping track of my cycle, I had developed the beginnings of a very practical relationship with myself as a woman and in doing that, it eased some of the tension in me around growing up and becoming a woman… but there was still far more to go.
For several years I lived with periods that were so far improved from the pain I had experienced before, that a little pain here and there didn’t worry me – I could take some painkillers and get through it, and occasionally if I had a bad period it would typically only be for the first day.
I then attended some presentations delivered by Natalie Benhayon, who presented something deeper for me and other women to consider … Natalie spoke about ovulation, and for me it was one of the first times I had heard it discussed outside sex ed. or biology.
Did I know when I ovulated? The answer was a complete no; in fact I didn’t even know what ovulating really looked like or felt like on a purely physical level.
Natalie shared about ovulation openly and honestly so that it totally demystified it and in the end I was actually able to say that I did experience symptoms of ovulating, I had just never known enough to connect the dots and know that was what was happening.
And so I implemented the same program as with my periods, a very simple recording every month of this other aspect of my cycle, just to purely learn what my body’s normal was, and then from several months’ observation I could begin to tell when it was different. I tentatively began to explore the relationship between the kind of ovulation I had, how aware of it I was, and the kind of period that followed. How did I live in the cycle of the month, that may have affected my physical cycle?
What I discovered was that no part of my life was separate or disconnected from any other part – the physical cycle of my body was not separate to the cycle of the month or the day and how I lived in those cycles – I couldn’t push hard and just get everything done, placing myself second in life and not feel the fact in my period.
As time passed I realised that becoming a woman is far more than a physical change – that is a part of it but I also feel I have grown into a woman on many other levels. It has taken time, and through my teenage years I have learnt a lot about what it means to me to be a woman and how I express – I have tried fitting in and matching the pressure of school or the media, I have pulled away and tried to be more masculine, going hard and pushing through but in the end, the foundation I had with me the whole time was a very simple but profound connection to myself and my cycle. Around me I had amazing reflections from women like Natalie, showing me it was possible to be a beautiful, powerful woman without having to toe the line and fit the picture.
For someone who started off their journey with their periods shaking and crying on the bathroom floor in utter agony, to have come so far where having deepened and developed my relationship with myself as a woman has lead me to not only have relatively painless and symptomless periods, but a point where I feel I can say that I know who I am as a woman is amazing.
Thanks to the support of Natalie Benhayon and other practitioners, puberty for me has not just been a biological process, or a struggle – it has been an unfoldment out from within me what was already there, and in that process I have healed my own physical symptoms in the way that I live.
I look forward to a life spent unfolding my relationship with myself and the world as a woman.
By Rebecca, UK
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