March 5, 2009

Our Stories, Ourselves

My own transition into womanhood was painfully lacking in warmth or empowerment. How was the day of your first period?

Was it an inspiring experience?

Or is there a knot at the pit of your stomach when you think about it?

Our Inner Maiden, the coming-of-age girl we once were, is left inside us hanging, often shamed, embarrasses, or afraid. Her story never told, her beauty never seen, she grew up considering her periods “nuisance,” “bother,” or “the curse.”

The story of Menarche, our first menstrual blood, is rarely told.

It is interesting to note that women, who tend to share everything with one another, (from first sexual encounters to stories of survival and recovery from abuse) are silent about this one… Adhering to the cultural taboo around menstruation, we silence not only the story of our first blood, but also all conversations around our relationship to our blood. Somehow we adopted the notion that “linear is good” and we often live our lives as if cyclicity is not at the heart of our beings. Yes, we reclaimed ourselves as strong women. We break through ‘glass ceilings’, we combine careers with motherhood, we choose not to become mothers, we can do it all… but do we honor our blood?

Breaking silence is only possible in the company of others.

The healing power of storytelling lies in being heard and witnessed…

Make time with one or more of your close women friends to tell the story of your first menstrual period. It is astounding to find the similarities we share. The details of our stories may differ, yet the feelings are almost identical. In a room full of women there is always a sense of being able to relate to every single story as if it were our own.

In conflicting regions, such as the Middle East, I was moved to tears when Palestinian and Jewish women transcended religious and political divide by telling their first blood stories. The bond this created among them far exceeded the rip they felt for years.

I traveled a long way from seeing my period as a nuisance, to reclaiming my Moon Flow as sacred, my Moon Time as a spiritual wellspring. Telling my first blood story, and holding space for women around the world to tell theirs, is an essential component in healing one of the last missing pieces of our inner puzzles.

We can tell blood stories in our living rooms, in cafes, on park benches, or anywhere women get together to support one other through conversation. Sharing our stories we embark on a long overdue journey: that of quenching our Inner Maiden’s thirst, and of integrating cyclicity as a conscious part of our womanhood. At the same time we create the necessary steppingstone to authentically welcome our daughters, or other girls in our lives, into womanhood.


Yarrow said...

I love your blog and look forward to each new post. You are inspirational to me and my work with the Red Tent Temple movement. Thanks and belly blessings.

Yarrow said...

I would love to collaborate. I have seen the video of your red tent on youtube and I was so inspired. I love your book and am working towards getting copies for myself and our RTT library. Any way that we can collaborate would be wonderful. Blessings.