Civilization’s way of tracking time was born out of the lunar rhythms of a woman’s monthly cycle, or Moon cycle. The origins of the word, Moon, come from the word month and menses both in Old English and Greek. This is where we get the words month, menstruation, menarch, and many more words with “me”- to measure.
There was a time, before our mothers and our grandmothers and perhaps even their mothers, where all life and time was governed by the Menstrual cycle. Before artificial light, hormone disrupting diets and the rise of hormonal birth control, most all women would experience their period together on the New Moon and would ovulate at the Full Moon.
This cycle is our default setting and it’s only been until fairly recently that we have disrupted our own biology.
Rather than blame the generations that came before us, for allowing this ancient wisdom to be lost, many women are starting to reclaim this knowledge and are taking it upon themselves to dive deep into their cyclical nature. You are one of those women. You have taken the initiative upon yourself to be both a Mother and a Wise Woman for yourself and the little girl that still lives inside of you. What an honor it is to witness this brave act of self-love.
I am excited to initiate you as a Balanced Babe!
Welcome to a new society of ancient wisdom, being Reclaimed and Remembered. Before we travel to this place of Shakti (feminine energy) and pure awakening, let us set intentions together, for the Moon cycle that lies before us.
Watch the video below to set your intentions. Password is balancedmoonbabe
As the week goes by, continue to speak your intentions to yourself in "I am " statements.
You may also write them down and place them near your bed or a mirror, so that you are reminded of them each day and night.
The New Moon, or Wise Woman Phase is the first phase that the Moon experiences. In YOUR inner Moon (or menstrual) cycle, this is also your first phase! Each phase of your Moon cycle corresponds to a season. This time of menstruation, and bleeding, is the season of Winter, within your body.
Your body goes through many physical, emotional and even spiritual changes during each part of your cycle and, for many women, menstruation is often a painful and emotional experience. What if we could go from feeling negativity around our period, to looking forward to it and embracing the positivity that comes from it? It is in the knowledge that we find in our cycles that this change in outlook happens!
YOUR PHYSICAL BODY
Bloating, pelvic cramping, backaches, low energy, and cravings. Vaginal mucous is hard to monitor because of bleeding; the cervix is low and firm. During this time, our body is shedding the uterine lining and experiences a stop in progesterone production and an increase then a decrease in estrogen. These are our sex hormones that cause us to feel relaxation and emotions. A common side effect during menstruation is...poop. Like, diarrhea or constipation. This is because your body also produces a hormone called prostaglandin and this controls muscle contraction and relaxation causing not only cramps but also changes to your bowel movements ie. yes, they wreak havoc on your trips to the porcelain throne.
When you are in your Menstrual phase, your vital energy is at its lowest point. Imagine that your wombspace is a bowl. That bowl either gets filled or drained of energy. Some days we feel like we can do it all; other days we find ourselves not wanting to get off the couch. This is because of the ebb and flow of your vital energy. Because menstruation causes a drop in vital energy, it’s important to conserve it as much as you can during this time. When you are on your New Moon/ Menstrual phase, decrease the amount of vigorous exercise and switch to more nourishing forms of movement like Restorative Yoga or walking.
YOUR EMOTIONAL BODY
During bleeding, you may feel withdrawn, spiritual, still, sexual, low energy, not concerned with everyday details, emotional, creative, and clear-headed. Of course, every woman is different, so you may only feel some of these aspects or you may experience all, at full force. Even though four phases make up four weeks for the month, you may not experience each phase for exactly one week. This is a flowing cycle and changes for each woman from season to season and year to year. Typically, the Menstrual phase lasts anywhere from 3-7 days. It is the shortest phase of our cycle.
YOUR SOUL BODY
Historically, most women would begin their cycle on the same day and would retreat into moon lodges, where they would gather to rest, create and nurture themselves during this sacred time. The time of bleeding is the most spiritual phase of a woman’s cycle. Whether she bleeds on the actual new moon (outside) or whether her (inner) new moon comes at another time, she moves into an introspective, somber and clear energy space.
We embody a different archetype during each of the phases the Moon cycle. The Crone, Wise Woman, Baba Yaga; these are all archetypes for our new moon time. Embody your inner Wise Woman by not bothering yourself with social affairs, or new work projects. Use this time to be alone as your old cycle sheds and your new one begins. In folklore tales of the Crone, she is all knowing. There are no blinders of love or false notions; the Wise Woman sees clearly. Speaking the truth and seeing a deeper meaning can allow you to truly embody this goddess during your New Moon phase.
This week's guest: Erin Telford
Erin Telford believes your light is just as informative and valuable as your shadow and holds space for both. Her mission is to help people heal their relationships with themselves. She pulls from a toolbox of therapeutic conversation, lifestyle and spiritual counseling, essential oils, crystals, mantra and other healing tools. She is a healer, acupuncturist, herbalist and Reiki Master and leads individual and group Breathwork sessions.
She was recently featured in Refinery 29 as one of “6 Women Who Are Redefining Wellness in New York City.” She is also a regular contributor to The Numinous online magazine. Her private practice is located in Chelsea in New York City. Click here to sign up for her newsletter and receive a free instant download of her Radiant Heart sound healing meditation to sooth your heart!
Click below to watch our video!
Breath work Meditation for Menstrual Health
Dreamtime is most important during this phase. Because the veil is lifted between the spirit and earthly worlds, you can really tune into your deep unconscious.
As the week goes by, really tune into your dreams! Journal what you remember and see what you discover!
New Moon Guidance
Now that you've begun to become more aware of the physical and emotional changes in your body, it's time to start to shift your daily habit patterns to focus around YOUR unique cycle. Your bleeding time can be one of great sensitivity, and also great pain. Be gentle on yourself, however you experience this New Moon time. If you have irregular cycles and are not bleeding regularly, begin to set an intention each month. This intention could be as simple as journaling why you would like to experience this Wise Woman Phase. You could even list the things that you don't mind about your period and the things that bother you. Start to tune into your deepest womb-space and know that all is coming and all is well. You are amazing and strong and are taking a beautiful step towards empowerment and reclaiming your cycles.
Your Endocrine System
Each of us has a specific make-up of energy in our body. You may have heard of these as your chakras; perhaps you've heard of the 3 different "doshas" in Ayurveda, or perhaps you are just aware of your own body and can tell which days you have a high energy and which days you have a low energy. As we learn more about your body's system as a healing mechanism, we will dive deep into your Endocrine System. This is your body's system of checks and balances; when your endocrine system is in balance, the rest of your body functions at a healthy level. Your Endocrine System is a system of glands that control the production of hormones in your body. Hormones send messages to your brain. Essentially, most of what we feel, both physically and emotionally, is because of our body's Endocrine System.
For example, your body's stress hormone, called cortisol, is secreted by your adrenal glands. When you wake up in the morning, you have the most cortisol that you'll have throughout the entire day. Most of us add to that stress hormone by drinking caffeine or eating sugary foods for breakfast. This causes an overwhelming amount of cortisol and thus a feeling of stress or anxiety in the body. This is just one tiny example of how your body's endocrine system's functioning affects you on a mental, physical and emotional level. We will keep learning more about this system as the course progresses!
HORMONES ARE EVERYTHING
During the end of your PMS phase and the beginning of your menstrual phase, your levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are are pretty low- this causes you to feel foggy headed or off balance (both physically and emotionally!) After the first couple of days of bleeding, estrogen levels rise, flooding you with endorphins. This is often why it can feel like a relief once you begin your period! Despite perhaps being told that bleeding women are emotional, this is actually a very clear time, mentally, in the cycle since that fog has lifted. Estrogen is the hormone linked with emotions and this hormone also reduces the stress hormone, cortisol. So, once your hormones are balanced and you allow this estrogen to increase, your period can be a time of heightened creativity and even joy.
HORMONE BALANCING NUTRITION
As you probably know, shedding the uterine lining ain't always pretty. It's a hard job, and it really takes a toll on your energy and your body's store of nutrients. Because the body is losing blood, it's best to eat iron-rich and nutrient dense foods during this time, such as seafood, beets, mushrooms, and kidney beans.
Wild Rice with Steamed Kale, Roasted Beets and Sauteed Shitake Mushrooms with a Miso/Tamarind Sauce (see below for directions to make sauce)
Seafood is mineral rich so if you aren’t vegetarian, add a sustainable seafood of your choice during this phase of your cycle.
How to make the sauce:
1 teaspoon miso paste | 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate | 3 cloves finely minced garlic | 1 tablespoon minced ginger | Braggs liquid aminos to taste.
Combine ingredients. Mix sauce; add olive oil if it's too thick.
"We all wait for a mirror to show us who we are, to validate us. When we hear something about ourselves that we have never heard before, it feels like a blessing, and it gives power."
~Clarissa Pinkola Estes