On my 12th birthday, at 7:12 pm God gave me the second greatest gift that any girl could ever want. I got my period. My first greatest gift was my boobs and I had already had them; so I was pretty damn happy. I read the book, “Are You There God it’s Me, Margaret,” twice and identified with the main character’s anguish over getting her period. To date, this is still one of my all time favorite books in the world. My mother told me that when my menstrual cycle started that would mean that I had blossomed into a woman capable of giving life and that I should never let a boy come near me. My father gave me a $20.00 increase in my weekly allowance the day my period started. “You are now a young lady and you need the extra money to buy special girlie things,” my daddy said. Ever since my period entered into my life; I have always loved her and she has always been my best friend.
When I was fifteen, she did not come home for two months. I was hoping that she had not run away with a boy– but unfortunately my instincts were right. After this incident I always tried to control her with synthetic hormones, fertility charts, sexual positions, and a variety of other barriers but she has always had a mind of her own. There were times that I really, really hated her too– like right before a hot date; a trip to the amusement park, and surprising me while I was wearing my white jeans in my seventh grade home economics class; not to mention the funk that she would put me in alerting me that she was on her way home. Thirty years later I have learned that my menstrual cycle is not simply designed to notify me of whether or not I am ovulating or pregnant; my menstrual cycle holds within it the key to healthy balance in my biological, psychological, and spiritual well-being. As women we are biologically designed to be the emotional givers and nurturers of life. We cook, clean and take care of other people and if it was not for our periods we would never know when to sit down and allow someone else to nurture us and bring us a cup of tea.
Most theorists, scientist, and researchers believe that the primary purpose of the menstrual cycle is to create and prepare a woman’s body for pregnancy. Due to groundbreaking new studies on the impact of hormonal changes on a the female brain and how this affects her behavior, I believe that the menstrual cycle is nature’s alarm system that provides women with the emotional, psychological, and cognitive adaptive skills and clues that allow them to function and survive in a male dominated society. A woman’s menstrual cycle is nature’s psychological and biological navigational map that is designed to guide and instruct her on how to improve her life and maximize her full potential.
The menstrual cycle’s ebb and flow is not only connected to the waxing and waning of the moon, each week of the cycle is symbolic of the weather cycle of winter, spring, summer and fall as well. Each season of the weather has secrets, rituals and responsibilities that must be utilized to maintain a harmonious flow of nature that stabilizes the environment to maintain and perpetuate the cycle of life. If squirrels do not hide food in the late summer and throughout fall, their species would cease to exist. The same natural wisdom that tells birds when to migrate, bears when to hibernate, and flowers when to blossom is encoded in the menstrual cycle of each woman. Modern women have been conditioned to curse and hate their menstrual cycle as interference in their daily life as opposed to embracing its innate knowledge, wisdom and practical common sense.
A woman’s mood, memory, and cognition are affected by her menstrual cycle. The first day of a woman’s period is day one of her menstrual cycle. During the two weeks before a woman releases an egg (before ovulating) her moods are dominated by estrogen. Estrogen is an antidepressant hormone that promotes bonding in sexual and non-sexual relationships. Estrogen gives women their secondary sex characteristics, lubricates the vagina and helps it to maintain a thick lining, causes the lining of the uterus to thicken, increases connections in the hippocampus the part of the brain responsible for long term memory, and regulates the liver’s production of cholesterol. Testosterone levels also rise within in the first half of the menstrual cycle. Testosterone is responsible for increased mental focus, better mood, increased spatial ability, more energy, muscle and bone growth, more risk-taking, increased orgasms and interest in sex. Testosterone increases your overall sense of well-being and self-esteem. Estrogen and testosterone reach a crescendo together during, spring the second week of the menstrual cycle. During winter and spring, the first two weeks of our menstrual cycle, our brains are more active, rational, focused, and we are better able to hear positive words.
After a woman ovulates her moods are dominated by progesterone which rises in the second half, third week of the menstrual cycle. A woman’s sex drive decreases after ovulation. Progesterone neutralizes the effect of estrogen and testosterone. Progesterone causes breast tenderness, sleepiness, fuzzy thinking and increased hunger and thirst. Progesterone lowers anxiety, diminishes anger and is an overall mood stabilizer. After ovulation progesterone causes a woman’s body temperature to rise just as the sun increases the heat during the summer. Progesterone is similar to valium; it has a sedative affect that creates a warm, fuzzy, environment to support a growing fetus. In the second half of your menstrual cycle, during late summer and fall, you are more likely to hear and talk about negative emotions. You are also more likely to hear negatively charged words, see yourself as fat, criticize yourself and others and be more intuitive.
Most women tend to be social beings interested in relationships and pleasing others. One of the primary purposes of a woman’s menstrual cycle is nature’s way of helping her to look inward and take notice of her own needs, desires, strengths, weakness and overall biological and psychological well-being. Do you know the perfect week during the month of your menstrual cycle to travel to unknown destinations, take an exam, end a relationship, clean the garage, be creative, get a pedicure, take a vacation or hang out with your girlfriends? Each week of the menstrual cycle is broken down into a season that correlates with its biological and psychological characteristics. Each season of the menstrual cycle will give suggestions that will help you utilize nature’s energy force to maximize your full potential.
Winter 1st Week Release Reflect Week
Like winter, the uterus is barren and empty. The uterus relieves the pain of the past by physically drawing a woman’s attention to her body, her emotions and her surroundings. Winter provides the opportunity for renewal.
The first day of your period begins the menstrual cycle. This is the best time of the month to go within and nurture your soul. This is the perfect time for painting, drawing, journaling, meditating, beading, knitting, crocheting, and reading. Be selfish with your time, energy and resources. Don’t censure your tears, you need quiet time and space to renew your spirit and become whole again. Connect with yourself and ponder what things, projects or people that are working in your life. Release all things that are not good for you emotionally and psychologically, as natures is doing physically.