WHAT YOUR PERIOD BLOOD IS TRYING TO TELL YOU

When energy psychologist Alexia Traverse-Healy started her cycle one night, a flood of emotions came with it. She soon discovered what her period blood was actually trying to tell her …

Photo: Christal Yuen

Feeling a movement, a shift of tides, I tense a little and then spring up from the bed. My partner looks bewildered. Mid gallop to the bathroom I shout over my shoulder: “I’m bleeding.” He relaxes. Her period.

I run to the bathroom but we are out of loo paper upstairs. I turn back on my self to head to the downstairs bathroom, covering the light switch in menstrual blood as I flick it on, having tried to hold the blood in with my hand. I won’t make it down and back.

“I’ll get it,”says my boyfriend, coming from the bedroom. Gratefully, I sit on the loo upstairs, door open. And just as I am pulling my Mooncup out of my vagina, full of not just free-flowing red blood, but also strings of mucous and matter, he bounds back up and freezes for a moment. Hand outstretched but face away, he mutters something about “mystery” and walks off.

I recognise the wounded feeling straight away. Mystery? I know what he means. He means how I ask him not to poop with the door open or fart in our bed. “I know it’s not the same,”he has already muttered as he heads off back down the corridor, in preparation no doubt for what happens next. He knows me well.

>>>

Because it IS my mystery … 
Then comes my Leonine anger. The years of hearing “Are you having your period?” when I am fired up and passionate. I want him to understand what rages through me when my blood is denied or demands to be hidden, to be cleaner, to be prettier.

Because, to me, it IS my mystery. It is my essence and my strength, my sexiness, my womanhood, my core. The smell. The blood. The mess. It is me. And to be turned off by it, turned away from it, is painful and personal.

I didn’t always feel this way. After growing up learning to conceal and apologize for it, it has taken me until 38 years old to be proud of it. The Mooncup has been a big part of the transition. Now I handle my blood. There’s no hiding with a Mooncup.

I cut back to this moment and tune into the love I feel for this man.

His reaction is to the sight of the blood all over my hands, down the inside of my thighs, dripping from my vagina into the loo, pouring from the full Mooncup into the sink. It is slightly shocking, if it’s not yours. If it’s not beloved to you.

>>>

When your daughter wants to paint with it … 
But I want him to be fascinated by it. I want him to come over with wonder and be interested and slightly awed. Like my five-year-old daughter is: “Mummy can you not take your Mooncup out until I get back from school? I want to see.”

At first, her deep, deep interest freaked me out. What? Really? Is that even appropriate parenting? But she was insistent and so purely intrigued. It was her right, as a woman in the making. I’ve been raising her to question, to take interest, to be fearless – so why not here too? With minimal fuss or pomp, I showed her this everyday occurrence infused with a little wonderment. And she was joyful. Fascinated.

I wanted to give her the choice of always being easy with her body. A wild, artistic child, she’d ask if she could paint with it. Even I have my limits, but god I love her for wanting to.

>>>

I will continue to worship my blood … 
My boyfriend is in the kitchen making us Sunday breakfast. And as I come down off my adrenaline high, I see what he means when he compares seeing me in full flow to farting in bed. Though to me, it’s not the same. With the blood of my monthly moon comes the possibilities of life and death, the magic of future and past, and I doubt anyone can say that about a fart.

But what he means is that, to him, it is a bodily function, and he sees them all the same. In a way, it may be his version of equality.

As I drop down from my orbit of emotions, I remember him falling asleep last night, with his cool hand on my too-hot belly, holding the pain for me and with me, asking me if I wanted an ice pack from the kitchen. And I feel grateful. I breathe. I’m here

If he holds me through the pain of my bleeding, then maybe for now I am happy to leave the blood paintings, the roars of grace and gut, the dancing and the revelry, to my sisters, my daughters, and to the mothers.

Every time we are triggered, it is an invitation to learn and to go deeper. To peel off an onion layer. I love that this morning’s little wounding helped me to deepen my trust for my partner, helped me to articulate silent shadow feelings that I’d never even thought to express.

I will continue to worship my blood, to feel proud and stand strong in my SHEness – but I won’t blame my man for running from it. It is powerful after all.

He asks me, before I send this in, to change “he bolts” to “he heads off down the corridor.” “I know it doesn’t sound as good,” he says, “but it’s more like what happened.”

I concede, erase, replace, and eat my delicious breakfast, bleeding quietly.

Alexia Traverse-Healy is a London-based energy psychologist who works with clients on anxiety, stress, phobias, sexual issues, relationship crisis, family, fertility, finances, patterns of stuck behavior, and existential questions. To book a free 20 minute phone consultation go to www.sheworkswellness.com, where you can also find a free SHEness Audio visualisation.

 

 

PERIOD PRIDE: IT’S TIME TO LOVE YOUR LADY LANDSCAPE

Lisa Lister is the British witch and all around goddess at the forefront of the period pride movement. Ruby Warrington hears all about her new book, Love Your Lady LandscapeArtwork: Merakilabbe

The Numinous: Love Your Lady Landscape is a call to action for Now Age women. Tell us about it…
Lisa Lister: Well there was a time, roughly 5000 years ago, when the space between a woman’s thighs was considered a power portal with a direct hook up to Source. But for over 2,000 years now, the potent powers of our wombs, our cyclic nature and our menstrual cycles have been disregarded, and we’ve lost our daily connection to mumma earth, to the Moon, to the seasons and their cycles.

As a result, we often ignore our deepest needs as women because we no longer trust ourselves and our own body wisdom. We apologize for our tears, suppress our anger, and self-medicate with whatever will numb the pain of not being heard or telling our truth.

Worst of all, we have an epidemic of ‘down there’ pain and dis-ease—PMT, polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, fibroids. Overwhelm, anxiety and infertility are at an all-time high and we manage our menstrual bleed with synthetic hormones, denying ourselves the experience of living fully in our power.

So, Love Your Lady Landscape is about exploring, navigating and loving your lady parts. It’s about how to care for them, how to trust them and how to reclaim them.

TN: What is the number one thing a woman needs to understand about her period?
LL: That we are cyclic, not linear. Each month we try to maintain the same level of energy and productivity as our male counterparts throughout our whole cycle, so we can ‘compete’ and ‘keep up.’ But our energy, hormone levels and sex drive ebb and flow each month as we cycle through the four phases of the menstrual cycle—pre-ovulation, ovulation, pre-menstruation and menstruation.

Each of these phases hold super powers and hot spots and when we understand that we show up differently in each phase of our cycle, we are then able to use our menstrual cycle as a map to understanding ourselves better each and every month.

TN: Your previous book, Code Red was all about periods too. Why is this your pet subject?
LL: My entire 20’s were ruled by my menstrual cycle. I bled more days than I didn’t every cycle, I had to cancel social engagements ALL the time because I was too scared to bleed through my clothes, the pain was debilitating at times.

I also got myself a reputation as a total flake, because I was too embarrassed to say: ‘I can’t come out/to work/to the meeting because I’m bleeding through industrial super-size pads and my bed looks like a scene from the movie Carrie.’

So, when at 25 I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, there was a moment of relief. I had a name for it. Except in the very next breath the doctor said: ‘Endometriosis means that babies are no longer an option, so it makes sense that we whip out your womb and ovaries so you can function normally again.’

What???

For a moment I considered it, but, and I didn’t know the incredible power that we hold in our womb space at the time, this woke a fierce rage in me that meant I simply wasn’t going to let this happen. Instead, I read about other women who have endometriosis – each case was different – and most importantly, discovered that it didn’t necessarily mean I couldn’t have children. I then got extra mad at modern medicine’s quick fix ‘whip it out’ mentality, and for the last ten years I’ve been on an adventure to explore, navigate and most importantly, love my lady landscape.

And that work starts with the most powerful game-changer of all—knowing ourselves through our cycle.

 

TN: Why are periods a feminine ‘super power’?
LL: Our blood is GOLD. The actual act of bleeding used to be considered sacred and it was honoured by both men and women, from the first day you bleed through to the day you stop bleeding, you are a witch, a sorceress, an all powerful woman. You are a lightening rod for the divine, your womb is an oracle.

And when we work WITH our cycle and not against it, we have access to a series of feminine super powers all month, all of which can be leveraged and used to create a bloody amazing business, relationship and life. A concept I go into in detail in Love Your Lady Landscape!

Book

TN: So many women have irregular cycles. Why do you think this is?
LL: Many reasons, but some of the top ones are:

– As I said previously, when we try to do life in a linear way, we work against our cyclic nature and we suffer for it. Sometimes that will manifest instantly in the form of PMS, irregular cycles, cramps, heavy bleeding (all of which are our body’s way of trying to slow us down and pay attention) or over time in the form of anxiety, stress, depression and ‘lady-parts’ dis-eases like Endometriosis, PCOS, fibroids.
– We’re not listening to the wisdom of our bodies and our monthly cycle because we’re medicating her with synthetic hormones—the pill, implants, coils.
– We’ve not been taught what a ‘regular’ flow looks and feels like because menstruation is still seen as taboo subject. It’s spoken about in hushed tones and advertising teaches us to ‘stuff up’ our bleed with tampons so we can ‘carry on as usual’ partying, riding on boats and rollerskating in white jeans – this is shown as ‘normal’ when it’s anything but for most women.

TN: I love your term ‘called girl’ for a woman who’s in touch with her cycle—can you give an example of how this looks from your life?
LL: The Called Girl experiences life moment-to-moment. She’s in tune with the feminine cycles, rhythms and seasons that allow her to fully own her divine power. She works in, not out. She trusts herself and thoroughly enjoys inhabiting a female body.

A Called Girl doesn’t hold on too tight to a defined and specific outcome. Instead she shows up, roots into mumma earth, listens to her pussy, trusts her gut, raises her heart and boobs to the sun and remains open to the infinite possibilities that occur when you collaborate with what I call SHE.

I trust my body’s wisdom and the way that SHE (divine/source/goddess) uses my cycle to work through me. Each and every month in each and every phase, I unravel and unfold more and more understanding about the woman that I am.

This means I can grow strong and powerful roots in the truth of why I’m here, what I need to learn, who I’m here to serve and how I’m meant to do it—meaning I can fully rise as a woman who trusts herself and is fiercely in her SHE power. Rarrrr!

Crowned ‘the defender of female awesomeness’ by Cooler magazine, Lisa Lister is the author of Love Your Lady Landscape and Code Red. She’s a menstrual, fertility and reproductive health practitioner and founder of the SHE Flow system; a personal invite to celebrate the fiercely feminine, sensual pleasure of being a woman through movement, massage, mysteries and magic. Discover more at www.thesassyshe.com

 

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: WHY WE ALL NEED AN INNER WORK BREAK

Taking an inner work break is fun—and also give you space to BE the transformations you’re experiencing in your life…

Fresh off my #innerworkbreak

:: MONDAY + TUESDAY ::
A month or so ago I noticed that my friend Valerie Oula had tagged a couple of her IG posts #innerworkbreak. There was one about a night in with Pretty Woman and some fro-yo, another simply titled: “Jenga + beer.” Valerie is the brains behind these beautiful intention candles and mists and works as a kundalini yoga teacher, meaning she’s usually up at 4.30am for sadhana (her daily spiritual practice), meditates with the best of them, and generally lives about as “clean” an NYC existence as you can get.

But, a fashion industry veteran like me, her posts showed that embracing a more mystical path has not meant totally forsaking her inner “material girl.”

And I can totally relate this week, having just come off a similar “inner work break” myself (also a break from this column, you might have noticed). Two weeks visiting friends and family in Europe found me setting aside my usual Numinous tools (besides my morning TM session) and dipping a toe back into my old life—which essentially became an exercise in honoring myself as a unified, material-mystical woman.

And fuck it’s been FUN! Not just the eating a bunch of pizza, drinking a bunch of beer, dancing until 7am at an outdoor rave in Poland, or investing in a new pair of summer kicks from Alexander McQueen (see below). But also the giving my numinous soul an opportunity to just be, for the inner work I’m so invested in to settle into my physical body, and to witness how my internal transformations are impacting my outer experience of the world.

Yes, they’re from Alexander McQueen

A lot of what we cover on this site—and therefore what I’m invested in personally—is about excavating the depths. It’s about investigating who “I” am, with the aim of bringing this “true” self to the world. BUT please please not to the extent that we forget we’re still human-freaking-beings!

Human beings who are here to forge meaningful relationships, to do meaningful work, and to hopefully be of service in some way—easy to forget if we spend so much time looking “in,” diligently monitoring our progress on our personal journey, we’re never “out” there, shining our light in the world. Which might look a lot like eating pizza, drinking beer, and simply being a loving daughter, sister, auntie and friend to people who don’t necessarily give a fuck what planets are conjunct your moon this week, since they’re got more pressing “real world” concerns they need to talk to you about.

Because: all this against the backdrop of the devastating news of the Orlando shooting, and frankly medieval talk of Britain’s potential exit from the EU. If ever there was a moment to simply embody the changes your inner work has brought about, then NOW could be a good time to step away from the crystals—and be out there living the changes our world needs to see.

My beautiful brother and his beautiful family…let’s make a more beautiful world for baby Henry!

:: WEDNESDAY ::
In love with Alexandra Derby’s new four-part gem + flower essence system, which is designed to support your system holistically during every stage of your moon (yes menstrual) cycle. The idea is you take one of four tinctures depending where you’re at—Visionary for week one, Manifestation for week two (ovulation), Serenity for week three (a.k.a. PMS), and Womb Wisdom when you’re actually bleeding.

My cycle is generally pretty irregular (something I’ve been working on with Aly for a while now), so I just made a note in my diary what days I should perhaps switch up this past month. And wouldn’t you know. Coinciding with my touch-down back in NYC, today I began to bleed as the “Womb Wisdom” notification popped up. I might have felt like I was on an inner work break in Europe—but something inside is working. The Cosmic Cycle Elixirs go on sale Monday June 20 at Alexandraderby.com. A percentage of proceeds will go to Femme International—supplying girls in east Africa with reusable menstrual cups.

Cosmic Cycle Elixirs by Prophetessa, available June 20 2016

:: THURSDAY ::
Planning details of a FREE virtual Full Moon + Summer Solstice ritual I’ll be hosting with Numi contributors Alexandra Roxo and Elyssa Jakim next Monday, June 20. You can join anywhere in the world, and the idea is to celebrate and give thanks for the manifestations we are brining into the world, and set a solstice intention for the summer. Think: an overview of the current cosmic climate, self-inquiry for the Solstice, and a guided meditation connected to like-minded spirits around the world. Spaces are limited—click here to sign up

:: FRIDAY ::
And looking forward to our Club SÖDA NYC Solstice Picnic in McCarren park in Williamsburg this Sunday too! As mentioned above, there’s been some (very high-vibe) beer-drinking going on these past couple of months, but I’m now almost two weeks into my latest EPS—my dad’s term for the “extended periods of sobriety” I launched Club SÖDA NYC to help people navigate—and FEELING IT. The feeling of being high on life, that is, that I get when I get booze out of my system for a while. The picnic is gonna be a super low-key “friends of the Numinous” type thing, but if you’re in the hood, swing by and say hi!