Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Power of the Cycle - the power of doing nothing

How do you get in touch with the power of the cycle?

(Power in the sense of taking charge of one's life and asserting oneself)

Getting in touch with the power of menstruation mainly comes from what you don't do, according to Alexandra Pope, author of The Wild Genie.

We are used to struggling, setting goals, being heroines, but in this case, we must face into what we experience and embody it. "If you are willing to court the rhythmical life of your body you are given access to something Other than happens naturally. And the very act of courting the inner life of your body itself builds an inner sweetness, surety and dignity - a spirit of sovereign authority that is priceless." From The Woman's Quest, Alexandra Pope.

Sounds good, you say, how do I do that? It's mostly about slowing down, practicing surrender, and paying attention to your cycle by keeping track of it in a journal.

It's much easier to pop a painkiller, but menstruation is not supposed to hurt! I have heard this from many sources, and yesterday my homeopath said the same thing. If it hurts, it's a signal you need to pay attention to.

Pope uses 13 allies in her Quest workbook to help women get in touch with their reality around the cycle. Remember, this is technique-less, so there is nothing to 'do', just alot to be learned by observation and stillness, staying close to your center.

When I had aching menstrual cycles, the best advice I ever received was to go into the pain, feel my way into the belly, not try and escape it or deny it. For me, the best place on the first day was in my bed, with a hot water bottle, or warm comforter, and sleep. And feeling my way, meant I exited on the other side, feeling less achey, less fearful and tense.

"A deep process of awareness, the first task is to get to know your cycle." This is also useful for contraception purposes - you need to know when you ovulate and when you menstruate, and believe it or not, the first calendars were invented by women for this very purpose.

It feels empowering to know where you are in your cycle, and if you look up at the moon, you will discover how close you are to a pattern of fullness, waning and waxing in the universe. you will begin to recognize the shifts of mood and feeling, see the patterns in your dream life, and also, by charting your cycle, says Pope, you build self-acceptance and an intimacy with yourself over time.

Women have ignored, denied, and bullied their way through the menstrual time for hundreds, if not thousands of years, due to the denigration and fear of female processes by men. It is more than time that we reclaim this power, this unique connecton to our inner healing and physical healing.

"Allow yourself a dose of the thirteen allies - silence, solitude, stillness, surrender, simplicity, slowness, softness, self-interest, serenity, sanctuary, sacred, support and sleep however small, as you come into and during menstruation." And if you want to learn more, check out for more information on this workbook.

top of the morning to you,

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