From the time girls hit puberty, we’re taught to hate our periods. We’re taught to hide it (just shove a tampon in),complain about it when it comes and dread the cramps, cravings and cranky moods.
Well, here's a thought: imagine we were taught to embrace — even love — our periods. Imagine if we saw our periods as something lucky, a unique opportunity we get to experience once a month? Imagine if our periods were celebrated and honored instead of dreaded and cast away as an unnecessary evil.
Well I have come to see "that time of the month" as a sacred time, and here are five reasons you should love your period too:
1. It's a natural time for detox.
As women, we are exceptionally lucky to have a monthly detox built into our biology: each month, we get to through a physical shedding of the old.
During menstruation, we not only shed the lining of our uterus but often women talk about finding their bowel movements to be more frequent. While this detox happens on a physical level, it can also be thought of as a mirror to what’s happening on the emotional and spiritual level too. Your period can also be a time of "emotional detox" — a window for introspection, self-care and emotional catharsis.
2. It's a great time to rest.
Western society is particularly well-trained to be constantly in Go-Mode. This is not only exhausting, but it’s not really all that natural. We need rest, and often more than we allow ourselves.
That's why our monthly cycle is a reminder to slow down. The physical weakness we may endure as we lose blood (our vital life force) is also a voice telling us, "Hey, take this time to slow down!"
The truth is every person on the planet could benefit from taking a monthly time out: a few days a month where we are gentler with ourselves and cut ourselves a little slack from the constant push of daily demands. Our period is can be thought of as an obvious voice reminding us to take these few days and invite deeper relaxation, and to allow a softer approach to our overbooked schedules by mindfully scheduling in more downtime.
3. Sensitivity can also be thought of as heightened intuition — and that's a good thing.
What many women blame as crankiness or pass off as PMs-ING can actually be thought of as a time of heightened intuition. Right before and during our period, our hormones fluctuate, which often means we tend feel more emotionally sensitive.
We don't often think in these terms, but heightened sensitivity is basically a state of heightened awareness, a keener sense about things we experience — heightened intuition.
So if a certain person or place is bothering you more than usual — don’t just pass it off as PMS. Recognize that your senses are stronger and your intuition is speaking to you a little louder. Listen to it.
4. You have an awesome excuse to want chocolate.
I’m not kidding. During our period our uterine muscles are undergoing a lot of work: a lot of muscular contractions and you know what helps muscles relax? Magnesium. And pure dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) can be the perfect dose of magnesium in a very enjoyable way.
5. It's a great time for reflection.
It’s common to wait for New Year’s to reflect on your life’s goals and dreams for the year ahead. Unfortunately, if you want to see progress, waiting for New Year’s to reflect on your goals and direction of life doesn’t cut it. Your period is the perfect time to reflect on the month that’s passed and assess what you want to let go of, and what you want to bring anew. Just as your body is physically releasing the old and preparing for the new — so should you.
And since your intuition is at its peak, it’s the perfect time to journal about and visualize what you want more of in your life, and how you want to bring in your new month. Yes — your period marks your own personal new month. It’s a perfect time to reflect, and sharpen the vision for creating your dream life.
It’s time for women around the world to embrace our period as a welcome monthly experience where we are reminded to nurture ourselves, listen to our inner voice, and create a better life each and every month.