In recent decades, women have gradually been on the road to freedom, moving away from men’s conditioning and escaping the patriarchy in which we are still living.
We have demanded economic independence through jobs, we have demanded our right to choose what we want in life freely, as well as championing sexual freedom. All of these achievements, however, are not enough if we don’t start becoming aware of who we are as women and why we are like this. With this in mind, we are seeing the birth of many groups formed by women who are proud of what they are and who believe that a feminine unity is essential for the development of the present and future society. One of the most debated topics in these kinds of groups is the menstrual cycle and the importance of being aware of the different phases this cycle has. Knowledge about how women’s bodies work deep inside is believed to be the key to understanding the reasons for menstrual and pre-menstrual pain as well as for irregular cycles. Once we know the reason and start being aware of it, then we can start to bring our cycles back into a normal pattern and rhythm.
This is the idea that Alexandra Pope, an English psycotherapist who is doing pioneering work in the physical, psychic and spiritual approach to the menstrual cycle, from menarche to menopause, is trying to spread wherever she goes. Last December we were lucky enough to have her in Málaga, leading a six-hour workshop in which we had the opportunity to experience the different phases of our cycle through conscious visualizations and creative activities. Alexandra Pope talked about the power of menstruation, involving three different levels: physical, creative and spiritual. On a physical level we can see that the cycle seems to talk to us, and menstrual problems can tell us that something is not quite right in our energetic or nutritional health. It is important to note that just as day and night indicate a duality of activity and rest, the menstrual cycle also has a more energetic half and a less active half. Not respecting this balance usually brings problems.
Alexandra sees the cycle as a circle divided into four parts, according to the different phases of the menstrual cycle (pre-ovulation, ovulation, pre-menstruation and menstruation), establishing an analogy with the four seasons of the year. Pre-ovulation is the inner spring, ovulation the summer, the pre-menstrual phase is the autumn and menstruation would be our inner winter. The seventeen women who attended the workshop understood the truth of this analogy, since it is during ovulation, for instance, when we are more active and cheerful and when we have more energy, like in the summer time; however, it is during menstruation when we appreciate being alone more, being calm and looking deep into our inner self, like when winter arrives.
Because of that, Alexandra Pope highlighted the importance of taking into account the phase of the cycle we are in. It is during the pre-ovulatory phase, for example, when we should initiate projects, which we will develop with the vital help that ovulation gives us. The pre-menstrual phase, however, is more related to liberation and criticism and it will be during these days when we hear the typical sentence “are you having your period?” It is during menstruation when we can feel misunderstood and exhausted, but we must understand that we are going through normal phases that will come round in a cyclical way. Men also change energetically and emotionally, but women are lucky enough to know when and why.
Menstruation is still a taboo subject in society and Alexandra emphasizes the importance of transmitting this knowledge from mother to daughter.
Having developed her techniques with women especially in Australia, Alexandra specialized in the menstrual cycle and now lives in United Kingdom and tries to spread her knowledge over Europe throght different workshops organized by and for women. She has written two books about this topic: “The Wild Genie”, out of stock, and “The Pill”, which will be soon translated into Spanish.
This post is also available in: Spanish