To have or to not have a period?

“We don’t need to bleed” read a bold statement in a recently published article in British press.  

Apparently, women are opting to take a pill that stops them having periods. 

Why are women increasingly giving up on periods?  

Ask many women about their experiences of periods and they will tell you that they are painful, uncomfortable and a downright nuisance.  

Until very recently, I was one of the women giving up periods. I didn’t take any medication to stop them physically occurring in the body but my giving up was to have no understanding of the point of all this period stuff. I quietly believed that periods were an expensive biological occurrence costing me a balanced emotional outlook, sanity, comfort, ease, productivity around that time of the month and more. The list was long. I also thought it was par for the course to experience these things and so I suffered quietly through.  

I literally had no clue about what was happening during my menstrual cycle. I didn’t know what time of the month my periods occurred. If someone had asked me what a period was then, I wouldn’t have been able to say much. Up until a year or so ago, I would be at the doctors and not even be able to say where I was in my cycle. Not because I had forgotten, or didn’t have it recorded somewhere, but because I didn’t even know what that meant. What was a cycle? There was just your period every month, for about a week or so, and then there wasn’t.  

The article mentioned highlights the mental health impact of our relationship with our periods too. I used to feel awful, and quite recently I experienced the frustration of the PMS stage in an extreme way again. The tension was unbelievable. The emotional storm before my period was another disturbance and agony that I accepted as ‘normal’ for years. It would leave me feeling desolate and disconnected and it was never a case of one week of PMT or PMS, and the rest were golden weeks. I learnt that everything was connected and everything affects everything else. The discomfort and tension I was feeling before the bleeding phase was significantly impacting my work, my relationships, my sense of self-worth, my confidence.  

Writing about this now, I understand that the empty, lost feeling that I had was partly from feeling like I was walking around in nothing but an empty shell. I didn’t relate to this physical body that I was in and found it difficult to see – and feel – where I fitted into everything. Connecting to my cycle has been a great way to help feel myself again.  

So how have things changed? 

Inspired is exactly the word I would now use to describe the relationship that I have with my cycle and myself, through making the conscious choice to understand and connect to my cycle. Would I opt to no longer have periods now? Absolutely not. I hold them very dear to me, but if, and when, they go, they go. The beauty is that I will still know that my body is working intimately in cycles. We all live in cycles and the period cycle is just one of many that women experience. 

What I love about my periods now is that I have far greater understanding of my cycles and the different phases in a way where I can work together with my cycle and use it as an incredible support, rather than the former nemesis. I am getting more and more of a feeling for the grand support that the hormones estrogen and progesterone provide when I allow them to do their incredible and delicately designed jobs. I would never have discovered this had I not listened to the signals from my body. I now have the choice to sit back and allow estrogen and progesterone to do their jobs which requires me to be more sensitive to what I need in the moment in terms of rest, expression, food and drink etc.   

I now know when I am ovulating and it generally feels great. I notice how naturally confident I am, how I am more outgoing, enjoy working with or generally connecting with people, and I feel hugely inspired at this time in my cycle. It can often feel like the beginning of something new and I feel very inspired by who I am with an increased appetite for getting more involved and committed in life. And I just want to be around people, which isn’t always my experience at other times in the month.  

I now notice that a few days into my period, once the pain and discomfort have gone, then I have a similar feeling of get up and go, and connect to a purpose to get things up and running or finish things off so that I can have a fresh start with the next thing on the horizon. I feel more expressive and not just in how much I talk and say but also in the way I walk, in my footsteps and all my movements. Somehow, I have this feeling that there is more of me than what I can see, if that makes sense (?). 

Being aware of the different phases of my cycle helps me to look after myself more. I know that the more sensitive and aware I am of each part of the cycle then the more I can benefit from my body going through its processes of clearing and preparing for the next phases. I had an experience recently where I learned that if I am lost in anxiety, stress or struggle then I can completely miss feeling the inspiration that I described above, which is kind of sad to have that missed beautiful opportunity. 

My relationship with my cycle is just that. It’s a relationship I have with something and someone. Mostly with me. My body can be my best friend and adviser at every step, or I can opt not to see it or treat it that way. It requires me to be sensitive and aware, something I don’t always choose. It requires me to be honest. It asks that I trust the relationship, to commit to it and always appreciate what it offers. It asks for new and often unfamiliar levels of self-honouring and care to be chartered, which can at times feel uncomfortable. It asks me to be aware of how I may have been making things much harder for myself and my penchant for a struggle – a knowing not always easy to accept.  

Observing how my body is feeling has brought a deeper level of understanding: rather than the pain of periods disturbing and wreaking havoc on my life. I can now see that it was more that the way I was living my life was wreaking havoc on the natural blessing that periods afford me. Until this understanding, I was trying to ignore if not fight against the healing and clearing out that my period gifted me every month. Some things just can’t be ignored or fought. 

My cycle can be my compass anytime I am willing to listen. This exploration has changed my life. To have felt lost and desolate, and resentful of my body, to now feel an inner confidence and be inspired by my body, is something I truly appreciate.

Do I never experience period pain? Not at all. I can still experience painful periods, but now I know that there is more to understand and more care and awareness to be expressed and communicated in the way that I am living. Knowing that there is always an expanding relationship to be had with my cycle will always be my inspiration.  

With heartfelt thanks and appreciation for Natalie Benhayon and the Ourcycles App, Sara Harris at Follow your Flow, and Serge Benhayon and his family for their livingness and presentation of a much richer relationship with ourselves and life.  

By Simone G (London, UK) 

For further inspiration…  

The PMS ‘Power Pass’ .. an excuse to indulge, or to step up our responsibility and listen to our bodies? 

One woman’s experience of developing a relationship with her body and herself, starting with simple observation. 

My Journey with my Periods – Discovering Cycles 

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. Continue reading “My Journey with my Periods – Discovering Cycles “

Finding the Gift in Menopause

Exploring how women in the past and in other cultures have approached menopause was fascinating to me, and I used it as a guide to open up and deepen my own experience.

Part of continuing to expand my understanding of menopause meant, for me, finding simple ways to keep it real and maintain lightness. I tend to learn more when I don’t get hooked into an intensity of trying to absorb knowledge and information. It has to make sense in my body so I can experience the feeling and mark that as a learning point to use as my guide to evolving. One of the examples of this was my choice associated with experiencing the hot flushes.

I decided to rename “hot flushes” as “my meeting with the Elders”.

Continue reading “Finding the Gift in Menopause”

The Awesome Foursome present in Melbourne

by Bianca Barban, Melbourne, Australia

At an Esoteric Women’s Group presentation earlier this month, the women of Melbourne were graced by a presentation on Women’s Health given by Sara Harris, Serryn O’Regan, Nina Stabey and Mary-Louise Myers. Each spoke with a strength and wisdom that was both very inspiring and deeply supportive, offering a reflection on how to take honouring ourselves to a deeper level. Continue reading “The Awesome Foursome present in Melbourne”

The Joy of Having my Period and Ovulation – Yes, it’s true!

by Danna Elmalah, 20 years old, student nurse, the Netherlands

Yes, it may sound really silly… but I love having my period and ovulation. The joy I now feel when having my period and ovulation is indescribable – I never thought I would be feeling like this about it.

In all the years that I have been having periods I had many ideas about how having periods would look like and I was not even aware of the fact that I was experiencing ovulation!

I will tell you how it all began.

Before I had my first period I spoke about it with friends and read a lot of stories in magazines about women’s experiences with it. With all this received information I thought that I would be ready for my first period; I got my first period when I was 15.

I remember that first moment when my period started, I was on vacation with my mum and of course I could not hold back to share this with her. At the same time I felt a little ashamed to tell others, feeling a need to keep it a secret.

Although I was pretty happy about finally getting my first period, I felt a little unsettled and actually disappointed. I had built up many expectations and when my period arrived it felt like I had missed something. I had thought the period would make me a woman… but surprisingly I did not really feel like a woman.

The way I was feeling about my period was actually not that great at all and having ovulation was nothing more then the cause of my period later that month. My periods were not regular and they were super, super painful. I felt ashamed of them, like there now was something that I needed to hide.

Over the years I became more and more tough and I desperately tried to escape what I was truly feeling. Having my period became more like a ‘bothering thing’ then a moment for myself to nurture my body. Nevertheless I did always feel more sensitive and fragile around the time of my periods but I did not give those feelings any attention. There were many signals my body was giving, but I did not listen to it.

Then on top of this there were the comments made about periods; I used to react to them either by not saying anything or when a comment was made I would laugh along.

Comments such as:

  • Oh you are emotional today, are you having your period again?
  • It’s really gross to have a period, don’t you think?

This made it even worse to talk about periods or share feelings about them. As long as you were using tampons and did not talk about it much, it was fine. It felt to me that I had to cover up my periods.

The idea I had about having a period – that I would become a woman – made me wonder how was it that there was nothing that really changed after my first period; that I did not become more beautiful or more womanly.

Why did I not feel like a woman, I started to ask myself? There was something not right, but what was it?

A few years ago I came across Universal Medicine (UniMed) and Serge Benhayon and after attending many workshops and teachings it became very clear for me that it was time to change. The teachings presented that there is a way of life – a simple and loving way for one to live.

As I became more aware of how I was living and how that old way did not work for me, I decided to start new. With the support of Serge Benhayon, the Unimed Team and especially Natalie Benhayon, I started to get to know myself more. This was all in revelation to the relationship I had with myself.

It was really confronting to see how I had lived and to than accept it. Nevertheless it has been an absolute gift to see and be aware of, as I started a true way of living that has changed my life incredibly. I started to look honestly at where I was at, how I was living my life and to listen and trust what I was feeling. I can say it has been a miracle to be part of this process.

I started to look at why I was having such extreme pain during my periods. I found out that my monthly living was very much influencing my period every single month. The way I was living with myself then got reflected back to me while having my period. The more racy, stressed, emotional, anxious and contracted I was during the month than the more pain I had during my period. This was a real revelation.

It was like a package of how I had lived that month that said ‘Here for you to consider’, so I decided to observe. I started to change the way I was living, as it felt that I had no other choice if I were to change my life.

I found out that being a woman is not a role you take on, through a period or any other way, but by connecting to who you are – the woman is naturally within. I just wasn’t aware of this, as I never really made a true connection with myself before.

I started to appreciate my body and myself and boy oh boy I could not believe – the more I felt who I truly was the more ‘feeling like a woman’ started to make sense to me.

It felt to me it didn’t matter if we got a period or not, we are that beauty, we are women. The most important thing is to accept how beautiful we are and that we are made to nurture and honor ourselves in full. Never were we meant to be judgmental, unloving, disrespectful or anything like that about ourselves.

I started to accept more of who I am and it became simpler to truly love myself and also truly love others.

My pains during my periods have decreased so much that they are not common anymore, however, if there are occasional pains I hold myself lovingly. In the past I would have never dreamt of looking at my periods in such a loving way. My periods each month become more of a loving reflection. I started to even notice body changes while having my period and ovulation, whereas before I would have not been aware of having an ovulation in the first place.

I got to see how powerful my livingness – the way I live every day – is and how much responsibility I have to life as a human being here on earth in a true and loving way.

I started to use the Our Cycles App created by Natalie Benhayon and it has been a beautiful App that inspires me to write about my daily living and how I am feeling. I even started to write about how my body feels and about my periods/ovulation. I do highly recommend this App for women to use (also if you are in menopause) and even for men.

My periods have become a time of the month to love and to be playful with. These days are not hard anymore, like they had been before. I no longer have thoughts like “Oh no, here we go again, got my period!” but instead “YES, I have got my period again”.

I would have never thought that I would feel so joyful about having my periods and ovulation or the joy and love that I feel when I connect to who I truly am – which is amazing. The woman I was looking for all that time was already within me… a very loving and nurturing woman.

Men, Periods and the Our Cycles Period App

by Lee Green, Business Owner, Perth

Until recently there has been a game played the world over that men and periods are two very separate things. Until recently I subscribed to the same belief – men and periods did not exist. Periods were a women’s subject.

In my life as a man I had always seen one long pathway that never had a stop sign on it. I was always trudging through life with no vitality, no love of me or the life I was living. Along the way I found things to use and numb me from this drudgery, but for all the immediate relief there was still the heaviness rooting me almost to the spot.

WOMEN AND PERIODS… WHERE IS THE REST FOR MEN? Continue reading “Men, Periods and the Our Cycles Period App”

Our Cycles App – Period and Full Moon Diary – Tracking My Expectations

by Sarah Cloutier, Animation Producer, London, UK

“Expectation is the root of all heartache” – William Shakespeare

Wise words Will Shakespeare.

I realise I have been nurturing my expectations.

Not at all what I had expected to reveal while I am being more nurturing to myself with many other loving actions and thoughts. I am writing every day in the Our Cycles App about the small nurturing moments in my day: this could be talking with a friend, walking gently to the tube, smiling just for myself, allowing myself to make mistakes, being silly, dancing with myself, taking time to lay out my clothes before my shower or bath, not comparing myself to other women … a long list that grows every day! The loving ritual of writing down these loving actions means I can now see when I love myself even more: what is not love is even more obvious.

I have been using constant energy that has been invested in outcomes, from conversations, meetings, friends, acquaintances, people on the tube – everyone! I expect a certain type of response from people and I am then disappointed when they don’t come through. I expect colleagues at work to respond the way they did yesterday and when they don’t, I feel let down. I expect the young guy on the tube to get up and let me sit down on the way home from work, but when he doesn’t, I feel let down. I expect the person on the checkout to be friendly and when they are not, I feel disappointed. I’m also realising that when I see someone gloomy, I try to make them feel ‘better’ – to make them see they don’t have to be gloomy! I impose my expectations then I don’t understand when they don’t ‘get it’. Continue reading “Our Cycles App – Period and Full Moon Diary – Tracking My Expectations”

Our Cycles – Period and Full Moon Diary App – Celebrating My Period

by Rosie Bason, Mullumbimby, NSW

Attending a Women’s Group meeting

Recently I attended a women’s group and it was so supportive in so many ways. One of the things I have come away with and really put into practice is the use of Our Cycles – Period and Full Moon Diary App.

My observations from the meeting

I downloaded the Our Cycles App when it first came out and I had been using it every now and then… when I gave myself the permission and time to write things into it. It’s such a great App; the problem was I didn’t really feel that I was great enough to give myself the time each day to jot things down.

Women at the meeting shared how they used it – or their lack of use – and it really exposed my own. Since then I have been enjoying taking the time for me, to write down how my day was, and with all the different options for moods and feelings I have become aware of how awesome I feel most of the time… instead of heavy, sad, needy or such.

Ahhh….. the day before my period! Continue reading “Our Cycles – Period and Full Moon Diary App – Celebrating My Period”

Painful Periods – Nurturing Doesn’t Always mean Horizontal!

by Leonne 

During my last cycle I had a very painful and heavy period. Thankfully, the most painful day of this period fell on a weekend and I did not have to work. Over the last year, I have been tracking my period using the OurCycles period diary app. Prior to this I had taken a contraceptive pill for 12 years to control a skin condition, so consequently I was very out of touch with my body’s natural rhythm (See my Blog: Acne, My Skin, My Diet and Me). As I have tracked my period I have found that when I have an intense month prior to my period, it is often more painful and heavier. Many things had come up for me in the month prior to my painful period, so I understood that my body was telling me something.

On the Saturday morning when I woke in pain, I was gentle and loving with myself.

  • I had a warm shower
  • dressed myself in soft comfortable clothing
  • got myself a blanket and snuggled up on the couch to watch some of my favourite TV shows.

Usually this course of action would make me feel better, however the pain seemed to intensify the more I ‘rested’. Continue reading “Painful Periods – Nurturing Doesn’t Always mean Horizontal!”

Our Cycles App – The day BEFORE my Period Revelation

by Rosie Bason, Mullumbimby, NSW

Recently I attended a women’s group and it was so supportive in so many ways. One of the things I have come away with and really put into practice is the use of Our Cycles – Period and Full Moon Diary App.

I downloaded the Our Cycles App when it first came out and I had been using it every now and then… when I gave myself the permission and time to write things into it. It’s such a great App; the problem was I didn’t really feel that I was great enough to give myself the time each day to jot things down.

Women at the meeting shared how they used it – or their lack of use – and it really exposed my own. Since then I have been enjoying taking the time for me, to write down how my day was, and with all the different options for moods and feelings I have become aware of how awesome I feel most of the time… instead of heavy, sad, needy or such.

Ahhh….. the day before my period! Continue reading “Our Cycles App – The day BEFORE my Period Revelation”