The Dark Side

“For each of us as women, there is a dark place within where, hidden and growing, our true spirit rises… These places of possibility within ourselves are dark because they are ancient and hidden; they have survived and grown strong through that darkness. Within these deep places, each one of us holds an incredible reserve of creativity and power, of unexamined and unrecorded emotion and feeling. The woman’s place of power within each of us is neither white nor surface; it is dark, it is ancient, and it is deep.”

– Audre Lorde

These are powerful words to end and begin another year, another month, another cycle.

In this blog I will focus on self-care, that deep dark place where I rest and rejuvenate myself. I’ve come to see my period as that time and place. I began my journey at odds with my body, full of PMS rage. Month after month I found creative ways to explore and meditate on my menstrual blood. As I approach my last decade or so of menstruation, I am so much more at ease with my body and my period. I’m sure many more changes are afoot, but I have grown in experience and patience with my body. I have “an incredible reserve of creativity and power.”

So here is my list of how I can better care for myself on my period in 2016. Feel free to do it, too.

  1. Sleep. I fight this all the time. There is so much more to do, I tell myself. But sleep is that deep dark place that holds our dreams, our creative energy, our power.
  2. Eat more mindfully. I reposted Nutrition and Care for the Menstruating Woman as a guide. I still think the whole of it is unattainable. I admit, I do love my chocolate and sugar fix. But I’ll put in greater effort this year.
  3. Take control of the screen. Staring into a monitor can’t be good for a woman who needs her dark time. Flowers bloom in the dark. So do we. Be more efficient with the use of the computer and devices. Be clear with tasks. Set a timer when surfing.
  4. Exercise. For me it’s house and yard work, going on photo walks/hikes, Wii Fit, yoga. You do you.
  5. Listen to and play more music. Every time I do, I wonder why I don’t do it more often. Also, listen with headphones, eyes closed. Motherhood has made me put away the headphones in favor of being available to every call of “Mama,” but now that we’re all grown, I need to put the headphones back on and treat myself to music I love.

Happy New Year to all!

A toast to the dark side, menstruation, and being a woman. Cheers!

Super Blood Moon

Super Blood Moon 27 September 2015

What a spectacle Mother Nature treated us to on Sunday night. We built a fire in the backyard, got sleeping bags out on the lawn and watched the super moon get totally eclipsed and turn red. I felt a personal connection to her, as close as could be and bleeding beautifully for us. So like a woman.

Now if only the rest of the world would celebrate menstruation the way they celebrate the Super Blood Moon. Here are a handful of links to what the world thinks of menstruation:

The U.N. is still afraid of the “M” word. It’s 2015, and the U.N.’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals still only alludes to addressing the needs of menstruating girls and women. We’ve only been menstruating for the entire history of human existence. How about a source of clean water and a private place to wash ourselves and our linens in?

Swedish teens’ menstruation-theme photo goes viral after principal bans it from high school yearbook. When will grown-ups learn? Banning something is the best way to have a global news article explode in your face. Also, the kids used fake blood, no different from a Halloween costume. Nervous much?

Women around the world are challenging menstruation stigma. This article is an excellent wrap up of current events that bring the topic of menstruation front and center in the public consciousness.

Menstruation 101 for Men. Or a refresher course, depending on your knowledge and level of experience.

“Period Barbie” misses the target. Let’s start with the target user: girls approaching menstruation, approximately 10 to 15 years old. I don’t want to generalize, and if you or someone you know is an exception, more power to you, but I don’t personally know any girl this age who still plays with dolls. And I know because my daughter falls in this age bracket. (My husband, on the other hand, loves dolls. Go figure.) So if you want to look like an idiot in front of your tween, like the parents in their ad, then you’re the target market for the Lammily Period Party doll. Or you can just be real, communicate openly and honestly, so that your daughters can trust you to be a supportive resource for information about all the physical and social changes that are about to take place.