The Cycle of Wisdom

 
How might it have been different for you if, on your first menstrual day, your mother had given you a bouquet of flowers and taken you to lunch, and then the two of you had gone to meet your father at the jeweler, where your ears were pierced, and your father bought you your first pair of earrings, and then you went with a few of your friends and your mother's friends to get your first lip coloring; and then you went, for the very first time, to the Women's lodge, to learn the wisdom of women? How might you be different?
-Judith Duerk, Circle of Stones

From "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom," by Christiane Northrup, M.D.:

We can reclaim the wisdom of the menstrual cycle by tuning in to our cyclic nature and celebrating it as a source of our female power. The ebb and flow of dreams, creativity, and hormones associated with different parts of the cycle offer us a profound opportunity to deepen our connection with our inner knowing. This is a gradual process for most women, one that involves unearthing our personal history and then, day by day, thinking differently about our cycles and living with them in a new way...

The menstrual cycle governs the flow not only of fluids but of information and creativity. We receive and process information differently at different times in our cycles. I like to describe menstrual cycle wisdom this way: From the onset of menstruation until ovulation, we're ripening an egg and-symbolically, at least-preparing to give birth to someone else, a role that society honors. Many women find that they are at their peak of expression in the outer world from the onset of their menstrual cycle until ovulation. Their energy is outgoing and upbeat. They are filled with enthusiasm and new ideas. At midcycle, we are naturally more receptive to others and to new ideas-more "fertile." Sexual desire also peaks for many women at midcycle, and our bodies secrete into the air hormones that have been associated with sexual attractiveness to others. (Our male-dominated society values this very highly, and we internalize it as a "good" stage of our cycle.) One patient, a waitress who works in a diner where many truckers stop to eat, has reported to me that her tips are highest at midcycle, around ovulation. Another man describes his wife as "very vital and electric" during this time of her cycle.

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