Why does paying attention to the cycle of our bodies, and honoring our bleeding time matter? Why does even that word - bleeding - matter? If you’ve been raised with a female body in late-stage capitalism, you may have noticed that the dominant culture goes to great lengths to make menstruation invisible. Female bodies are sexual objects, they are not allowed to be breathing, sweating, bleeding bodies. Menstrual products are frequently hidden in stores, and euphemisms for bleeding abound. That time of the month, your moon, your cycle, the curse, aunt flo…
Simply calling it bleeding may make you uncomfortable. Of course it does. We all have internalized sexism, and we all have ways out of it. Claiming your body as a body that bleeds (regardless of what gender you identify as) is an act of reclaiming and decolonizing. They can only lay claim to the territory of your body if you let them. Begin looking at your own fears, discomforts, uneasiness, squeamishness, and anxieties about having a body that bleeds, a body that gets big feelings, a body that changes between high energy and expansiveness at ovulation, to inwardness, tiredness, and no tolerance for bullshit as bleeding time approaches. The tides of the ocean move and change, and we are no different. We are not immune to the pull of the moon, and the more we fight it and try to shut it down, the more that pull will come out as “symptoms” that demand our attention. Simply calling this time menstruation, or your bleeding time, is a revolutionary act that ripples out. Speaking out loud about it at all is a revolution. If you have children, I particularly encourage you to stretch your comfort zone and speak plainly with them about what your body is doing and how it affects you.
Almost all of us were raised without the birthright knowledge we should have had. We should have had mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and older female-bodied friends who lovingly demonstrated and taught us what our bodies would do each month, and how to take good loving care of ourselves. We didn’t have this, and now we seek that knowledge out, create those rituals for ourselves. Every moment that we turn towards honoring our bodies, we build relationship with ourselves. This is not about fancy accessories or expensive potions.
I'll be posting simple, accessible suggestions over the next week for reclaiming and honoring your bleeding time. If you want to get started right away, I have a free video for you here.
These suggestions mostly involve what you already have access to, in your home kitchen and the world around you and within you. There is no need to do all of these every month. Choose one or two, try them for a few months, see what resonates with you. Create your own (I would love to hear about them!) May they bring you into yourself, and blessings upon these steps in your journey.