archetypes, Female Empowerment, Menstrual Cycle, Sexuality, Symbols

Symbolisms

Many of the processes in our body are cyclical. The circadian (circa= approximately, dies = day) rhythm underlies a whole host of physiological functions, including the release of certain hormones (e.g., testosterone) and our sleep cycle (which, of course, is also governed in part by hormones).

The menstrual cycle is just another one of these cyclical events in a human body. Curiously, this cycle is adapted to a monthly rhythm; a cycle that was modeled roughly around one full cycle of the moon. Though this may seem esoteric at first, the moon is actually responsible for a number of physical events, not least of all the ebb and flow of the ocean’s tides; a phenomenon which has been used variously as metaphor for menstruation.

Unsurprisingly then, the moon is an ancient symbol for the feminine and cultural traditions surrounding menstruation include the moon as symbol in many ways (moon time: time of bleeding; moon lodges: ; or, more recently, moon cups: reusable silicone cups used to collect menstrual blood). Interestingly, the different stages of the menstrual cycle and the fluctuations in energy associated with them can be mapped onto the different stages of the moon (new moon/ waxing moon/ full moon/ waning moon) quite well.

Over time, other symbols have joined the moon in describing the changes in a person’s physical and mental state as we move through our menstrual cycle.

Some examples of these are:

* The seasons (Winter/Spring/Summer/Autumn)
* The archetypes (The Wise Woman/ The Maiden/ The Mother/ The Enchantress)

I have decided to share with you, over the course of the next few weeks, the various embodiments or symbols of the stages of the menstrual cycle.

As always, not everything will resonate with everyone equally and that is perfectly fine! This is why it’s so wonderful and so important that there are many voices, offering different approaches and perspectives on the same knowledge.

I invite you to choose the symbols that work for you, and leave the other ones aside. Or, if you prefer, take the opportunity as you move through the stages of your cycle, too look deeply within yourself and discover your own personal symbols to support yourself through the ebb and flow of your hormonal changes.

If you find that you need inspiration or advice, do let me know.
I would be happy to work with you on this journey of discovery!

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Female Empowerment, self-care

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Female Empowerment

In Sickness and In Health

I have been at home with bronchitis for over a week now. My energy levels are low. My lungs feel heavy. My need for sleep seems endless.

I am also one of those women* afflicted with the ‘superwoman syndrome‘ — the feeling of needing to be super-productive, super-happy, super-beautiful and super-kind-to-everyone, all the time (check out Dr. Mary Pritchard’s Blog if you’re interested in learing more about what she calls the superwoman syndrome and enoughness issues!).

Cue: Bronchitis!

If you relate to the SuperwomanSyndrome, you may know how difficult it is to be limited to a fraction of your mental and physical capacities… For me, the first few days I was torn between wanting to crawl up a wall and being paralyzed by self-loathing for not being healthy (and able to be productive!). Because, of course, I was blaming myself for becoming sick. Even worse, my inner critic (who likes to rear her head at these kinds of occasions) jumped at the chance and suggested that I might only be “faking it”.

Hello Self-Doubt!

Well, they say that in every challenge lies an opportunity to learn. So here is what I am in the process of learning:

Recovery is slow.

Recovery takes energy.

If I choose to throw that energy into hating myself, I have less energy to recover.

Recovery is a mindset.

And the most important one:

Slow is beautiful!

Constant availability has become the norm, but my body is simply putting a physiological limitation on that demand. I now take this as a beautiful gift. A gift which has made me realize how little activities fit into my waking hours, if I do them mindfully. And how rewarding it can be, to just sit on my couch, a cup of coffee in hand and know:

I have no where to go. Nothing to do. Everything IS. I can simply BE.

Female Empowerment

WE starts with ME

This is my mantra for the new year!

I invite you to join me in thinking about the following sentence for a minute. To let it sink into the depth of your consciousness:

**I have permanent permission to stop and determine how I feel about what I am doing at any given moment**

It is terribly easy — too easy — to drain oneself of all energy by pouring it freely into other people or tasks or objects. Especially in times like these, when constant availability has become a necessity not only in the workplace (bad enough!) but also in our social lives.

We deserve rest. We deserve to create nurturing and loving environments for ourselves. We deserve to be compassionate with ourselves and our limits.

I wish you a beautiful new year filled with compassion and kindness, firstly towards YOU. Then everyone else.

We deserve it.