A idea came to me in the shower, as they tend to do.
It started with a question: How would it be to have a community of women wear their hormones 'on their sleeves'? And then I remembered I was going to two of my favorite summertime gatherings - the Northern California Women's Herbal Symposium and the Honeyroot Women's Embodiment Retreat - where there will be hundreds of women. Plus these are women who are interested in bodies and health and new realities and such. I know they will be game to participate in this never-been-tried-before (as far as I know) collective experiment.
The visual came next. Women with different colored yarn on their arms - symbolizing where they are in their monthly cycle (left) and in their life cycle (right). Some suggestions of ice-breakers to whet their appetites and the fun begins ...
You see a woman is premenstrual (increased sensitivity) and you ask her to help you be more attuned.
You see an elder (a wise woman whose blood is now being held within her) and you ask if there is anything she’s seeing that will be helpful for you to know.
You see a premenstrual (contemplative, reflective) woman, and you tell her about a wonderful quiet spot by the creek where no-one will bother her (ditto a perimenopausal woman).
You see a menstruating woman and ask if she needs a back rub with some delicious smelling oil.
You see an ovulating woman (lots of energy, willing to connect) and you have a new friend.
You see a perimenopause woman and ask her to show you how to stop worrying so much about what others think.
Introducing ... The Cycles of Life Project
Now that it's manifesting, I think this idea has been incubating for many, many years. Possibly since my own struggle with PMS in my 30's, when my self-care took a nosedive - taking my self-esteem with it. Perhaps while watching my daughters traverse the rough waters of menarche and adolescence without much support or compassion for their fluctuating emotions. Certainly as I sit with women learning to chart their cycles and I see the dots being connected before my eyes. (Ka-ching!) And now, in my late 40's, as my friends transform from sweet, accommodating self-sacrificing young women into boundaried, strong no-bullshit purveyors of Truth, it makes sense that now's the time to ask these questions out loud.
If our hormones were transparent, out in the open, for all to see, would we relate to each other differently?
Would we feel more at ease in our bodies, and with that, would some of our hormone related symptoms diminish?
How would it be to live in a world where our hormonal/cyclic nature is regarded as an asset? What if our hormones were not only respected, but actually honored for the variety, color and richness they possess?
We're about to find out. I've devised a questionnaire for the participants in this exciting experiment. And I will use this blog to let you all know what happens ...
Stay tuned ...