Confession: I love my period.
Yes, you read that right. I LOVE bleeding.
I’m not trying to brag, and trust me, I realize that this is not the case for all women. (It wasn’t always the case for me, either.) Many of you might experience crazy cramps (been there), wild PMS (definitely been there), Red Sea-level flows (that was me), and so on. Physical and emotional issues with bleeding can be even more intense if you struggle with fibroids, PCOS, if you’ve been raped (#metoo), assaulted or molested, had miscarriages, abortions (sigh… yes), or were told that this natural bodily function is dirty, unhealthy (heard that one), or a punishment for sin (yep, that too).
And then there’s the fact that the culture we live in is both inherently and overtly disrespectful of the bleeding woman. Chances are you’ve experienced something like this before:
You: *Fuming mad, with EVERY reason to be. You take care to lay out your case rationally, but refuse to disguise the emotion in your voice.*
Him: *laughing* “Geez, what are you on your period or something?”
Oh, and there was also that time that patriarchy showed its whole ass on the internet when Rupi Kaur posted this picture on Instagram:
Basically, it’s hard out here for a bleeder.
Still, I love it.
Why? I’ve had the very good fortune of encountering some amazing, woman-affirming practices that have helped me 1. shift my perspective on the sacred cycle, 2. learn to heal the physical and emotional/spiritual issues I hold in my womb and yoni, and 3. experience less discomfort during that time of the month.
So now, I don’t lament my period; I celebrate my monthly Blood Rites (a term I learned in 2013 during my Womanhood Rite of Passage). Instead of lying in bed writhing with a hot water bottle strapped to my stomach and popping Motrin all day, I take eucalyptus showers, don my carnelian teardrop-shaped stone, and toast my grandmother ancestors with a glass of red wine. I bleed like a boss. Actually, scratch that – I bleed like a Goddess.
Intrigued? I’ll be sharing more of my practices and perspectives on this topic on the Conscious Bleeding portion of this site. If you have Blood Rites rituals that you’d like to share, leave them in the comments below!
Photo from CreateHerStock