Checking In

Underlay in red by Andrius Kovelinas

‘Underlay in Red’ by Andrius Kovelinas

How often do you drop into your lower belly, your pelvis, your womb space?

Just to check in and see what emotions, what energy you might be holding there?

Often when I’m menstruating and it’s uncomfortable or painful, I’m avoiding it. Can you relate?

I don’t want to feel the pain so I check out in whatever way I can: distractions, groaning & complaining, medicating, and so on.

Often this makes the situation worse. If I can bring my awareness to my womb even and especially when it’s hurting, my experience can change. Have you ever tried to feel the pain and discomfort of something? It’s not usually our approach because it feels awful to feel pain. It can be debilitating. Yet, until we can be in the pain, we can’t actually transform it. We can medicate and numb and this may work in the short-term to have us feel better but it merely masks the root of the problem.

There are other times when I find I’m not in my womb. Being nervous or anxious is always a tip-off that I’m disconnected. And if I clue in and drop into my pelvis, I will typically note what I would describe as a crunchy feeling. Something has been brewing and I haven’t been listening.

And therein is the other thing I notice. If there is some guidance, some wisdom I am avoiding because it means that something in my life has to change. Like I know this but I don’t know this and the frightened part of me wants to keep it that way.

And again, all there is really to do is bring my compassionate awareness to it; remind myself to drop my awareness and my attention inside, be quiet and be with it. Just be.

Because the truth is, it is our space, our wisdom, our intuition. Sometimes having to act on it is scary but it’s actually far, far worse to keep ignoring it.

I’d love to hear from you, what keeps you from accessing your womb space wisdom regularly?

Art: “Underlay in Red” by Andrius Kovelinas


30 Years of Blood

Final Entry by Freydoon Rassouli

“Final Entry” by Freydoon Rassouli

This month marked a full 30 years as a menstruating woman for me. I This works out to something like 400 periods (having never been pregnant), totaling close to four and a half years of my life…bleeding.

That’s a lot of time to spend ‘cursed’. And for most of my life, it was just that.

I’ve been a bleeding woman for more time than some of my younger friends have been around.

I am clear that I’m fully in the latter half of my procreative life and that brings up a lot of questions and feelings.

Am I sure I don’t want to have children? Could I have one now even if I tried? What is the next phase of life going to be like for me? What was it like for mom…? (I remember only bits and pieces and she isn’t around for me to ask anymore) How many more bleeding years are available to me and how do I make the most out of them?

I remember the first time it came; I was 11 year old exuberance, running, when all of a sudden, I felt something strange happening and I just knew that I had gotten my first period.

I remember the awe quickly turning to a kind of dread when I began feeling pain and getting present to how uncomfortable it was (and this was going to be a monthly reality for decades). I remember feeling so awkward with the thick pads I had to use and being certain that everyone at school could see their bulge.

I remember the first time the blood stained my pants and the overwhelming embarrassment. I remember subsequent ones too.

I remember some horrid periods, profuse sweating, being doubled over in agony, nauseated. I remember being sent home from school and waiting for the bus, not sure how I was going to make it home. I remember near fainting from the pain. I remember sleepless night, hollering and moaning.

I remember how I began to notice the changes in my openness and tolerance to life’s circumstances and situations as I approached my cycle. And I began to see through PMS. I was not in the wrong at this time; I wasn’t crazy. I just couldn’t tolerate any BS; I couldn’t and wouldn’t play nice and polite when it wasn’t warranted. And I began to see how conditioned I was to tolerating and accepting things that didn’t work for me. I began to see this pre-bleeding time as such a gift of insight! I began to listen for, acknowledge, appreciate and ask for what I needed. I took the time when I needed it. I said ‘no’ when it was the right thing to do even when it was scary. And somewhere along the lines, the pain ceased.

It took many, many years but finally a curse became a blessing and a miracle.

And it’s actually an ongoing process. Being a woman is wildly beautiful; the gifts keeps unfolding. Do you know what I mean…?

Sometimes, I’m sad it took so long to get here. But really, there is no expiry date on healing. When I began bleeding 30 years ago, I couldn’t have conceived of where and who I would be right now.

When I look at it, it’s pretty amazing and I’m so curious and excited about what’s still to come…

~~ At any rate, this is how it all occurred to me on this day ~~

Art: ‘Final Entry’ by Freydoon Rassouli


Of Men and Bleeding

Art: by Alain Bonnefoit

Art: by Alain Bonnefoit

I was 24 and just a few weeks into a new relationship. When my blood started, he rented some videos for us to watch. He went to pick up supplies and comfort foods. And he held my hurting belly and rubbed my aching back as we curled up and watched the kind of rom-com movies I only enjoy at this time.

It was like a dream come true. His loving gestures made for the most exquisite experience of a period I’d ever had up until that time. It was probably that day I really fell in love with him…

A few months in, it got even better. He wanted to make love to me on my period and get as intimate as he could with my blood. I was reluctant, squeamish, concerned, self-conscious.

Not him. It was a level of intimacy that he craved. And I did too but maybe never dreamed believe it was possible.

See, the guy I had been seeing right before was the polar opposite. He was squeamish, ignorant, judgmental about blood. He would comment on it being that time of the month if I was standing my ground. The one time he dared experiment with sex, he ended it about after a minute when he saw my blood on his belly. I knew from the start it was doomed…

But I stayed longer than I should have. I didn’t have a lot of experience with more enlightened males. I had no brothers so very few male figures in my life save my father. And that man was a relic from an older time. One time I got into SERIOUS trouble when I forgot to toss out a pad and my father went into the bathroom after me to discover it there. Lying there. Exposed and offending his eyes and his maleness. As if I did it deliberately. As if it did personal harm to him. Like, no kidding.

So it’s how I grew up. These things were not to be mentioned! And if and when they were, there would be scorn, mockery, derision. No wonder my periods growing up and for much of my adult life were so excruciating and painful.

So it was such a gift to encounter this man in my adult life. He allowed me to see that there could be beauty and joy during my bleeding. I felt loved. I felt that this blood was sacred, beautiful. This gift changed the course and experience of my life and I am so very grateful.

It’s the manner in which men have impacted my experience with menstruation. How has it been for you?

Art: by Alain Bonnefoit