BLEEDING IS BLESSING

arunima dutta
Posted May 15, 2019 from India
BLEEDING IS BLESSING
Dr. Christiane Northrup talks about this being a time of letting go and releasing what does not serve us. It is a time where we let go of death and welcoming new life.

 

As a woman, our menstrual cycle is in so many ways an internal compass.

Yet instead of teaching women about tuning into our own internal barometers,  we have sent messages that our internal cycle is not important and can be ignored. There are no messages that women should rest during their periods and allow time for introspection. There isn't room in our society for that. But perhaps we should consider looking at how women who came before us treated themselves during their cycles for some helpful pointers.

Should women get Menstrual leave? Yes. Ideally as a fair option to those who want to avail of it. It’s simply an act of giving human needs and human health priority over corporate profitability. It should be a no brainer. Isn’t that regressive thinking? Why can’t a woman work during periods? Somehow, I don’t know any woman who feels energetic enough to work during periods, though most of them still do. Almost everyone I know closely either suffers in pain or is highly uncomfortable. There must be women who are fortunate enough to get through the cycle without any discomfort but they seem to be the exception rather than the norm.  

It is easy in today's world to forget that our menstrual cycle is all about reproduction.  I would love for us to reconsider our relationship with our cycles - and take the time to not only understand our bodies but connect with our inner compass. In the first week of our cycle  we begin counting on the first day of menstruation which we will call "Day One". If you were trying to conceive it is a time of releasing hope of a new life. Even if you were not trying to conceive  this can be a dark time emotionally. Dr. Christiane Northrup talks about this being a time of letting go and releasing what does not serve us. It is a time where we let go of death and welcoming new life. Again - even if we are not literally thinking about creating a baby - it is very helpful emotionally to tune into this primal and biologically based emotions and see how they can be used to further your own experiences in your daily life. 

Some women use this time to turn inwards and grieve the losses in their life; you may cry easily as you let go of thoughts that no longer serve you. In many traditional cultures this time was honored in a woman's cycle and she was given the time to do her spiritual, private - internal work. 

 

 

What does Ayurveda or Yoga have to say about this? The most common symptoms observed during periods are diarrhoea, vomiting, cramps, emotional upheavals, lower back pain and so on. In Ayurvedic terms all of these are signs of the *elimination* processes of the body firing up, specifically the Apana Vayu. It is the wind element or Vata Dosha over-acting. Body just starts to throw stuff out whether physically or emotionally. If we carefully observe, it’s blatantly obvious. Now how do we calm down the wind element (vata) in Ayurveda? Basic Ayurvedic principles suggest we counter the excess of wind by bringing stability and by creating warmth. That is why we don’t use a packet of ice to soothe our menstrual pain but may use a hot water bottle. Some people even feel very cold and lying under a blanket counters the coolness of wind. Stability can come through rest, sleep or grounding yoga postures or just being in a quiet environment without too much activity. Intuitively that’s what I feel like doing anyway. What about you?

 

In today's culture it is frowned on to take "Time off" to take care of ourselves during this time.There is no honoring of this time; instead it is seen as an inconvenience.

I would like to encourage you to revisit that in your own life ; see what happens if you can create some space around your time of menstruation. Try taking some time off around taking care of others, and reduce the time you give work. What might you be able to let go of that no longer serves you?

PS: this is a generic view on periods. Every individuals needs will differ.

 

This story was submitted in response to Menstruation Matters.

Comments 8

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Sis. Salifu
May 15
May 15

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about "period". Off its a blessing and we need not shy away from a blessing.

arunima dutta
May 15
May 15

So true..

Olutosin
May 15
May 15

Thanks so much for reminding us. I ALWAYS rest during my MENSTRUATION.

arunima dutta
May 15
May 15

Love and grace to you...

Corine Milano
May 15
May 15

This is a lovely sentiment and reminder. Thanks for sharing this powerful piece!

arunima dutta
May 15
May 15

Thank you so much for reading. Much love..

Jill Langhus
May 16
May 16

Hello Arunima,

Welcome back! What a great post. I totally agree with you, and yet, I'm so guilty of pushing through my periods, and finding them rather inconvenient. Most months I think, Oh, I'll honor myself more next month by taking it easy. Sometimes I do okay, but most times not so much. I love Dr. Northrup and her teachings, too. To me, honoring our periods is really an extension of self care and self love, so if we don't have much of that we probably aren't going to be honoring this time so much, and of course, society doesn't help much either, with the reasons that you've stated above.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and information as well. I'm looking forward to seeing more posts from you!

maeann
May 17
May 17

Hi, thanks for reminding... I sometimes ignore resting that I also need to respect this body during periods... thanks much.

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