_ When my period is approaching, I notice a gentle shift in my mood. I like the feeling – I feel more in tune with my surroundings and more grounded in my body. I also rely on my body to slow me down – the better to ride the waves of emotions I feel.
But it wasn’t always like that. In fact, PMS almost destroyed my relationships with those I love most.
For years I would dread my approaching PMS. The week before my period it was like a unsuspecting wildfire came raging through our home. My mood would suddenly change without warning and I would fly off the handle at the smallest things. The unpredictability and intensity would frighten my family. While I was in it, I felt so out of control. I didn’t know how to put the fire out. As I didn’t follow my cycles, I couldn’t predict when it would be coming, and I didn’t know how to bring myself down or coach myself out of the intensity of the rage.
I thought I was going crazy. I couldn’t understand why I would suddenly blow up, especially at the people closest to me. This was certainly not the peaceful loving environment I wanted my children to grow up in.
Being so out of control made me very afraid. I was afraid for my relationship with my partner. I was deeply disturbed to think of the effect it was having on my children because in my non-PMS moments I was a very committed and loving mother.
And I felt so much shame about what was happening, I couldn’t tell anyone about it. I would just wait for it to pass, and when it did, something in my brain switched off and I went into denial about what had just happened. Since I felt so helpless to do anything about it, I just lived with the flip flopping and tried to clean up the mess afterwards.
No one knew how to help me without putting me on medication. I knew it had something to do with hormones, so in my desperate attempt to understand what was happening to me, I began researching everything I could about my hormonal cycle.
I started tracking these cycles, searching for a connection between my body and these emotional outbursts. Patterns began to emerge and at last I could tell when to expect my PMS.
As I became more aware of where I was in my cycle, and which hormones were which, I began to track how the different hormones were making me feel. And I noticed something really surprising: the more I understood what was happening, the less intense my symptoms were.
I also began to study Hakomi, a body-based self-awareness method. Hakomi taught me how to understand my emotions and connect with my strengths. Now I had the resources to look at my experience objectively, and more importantly, with compassion. I stopped blaming myself and realized I couldn't do this alone--it was time to ask for help.
So I found both a therapist and a herbalist who supported me emotionally and physically to get more balance in my life. I also reached out to other women, to learn from their experiences, get support and enjoy their friendship. From all these women I learned how to use my cyclic rhythms to pace my life, achieve balance and integrate my healing through my body.
As soon as I realized what I really needed and wasn't so afraid any more, I could tend to my family and repair the damage that had come before. My relationship became more loving, my kids relaxed, and the atmosphere in our home became harmonious and fun. As I became more skilled at handling my own emotions, all my relationships deepened and became much more juicy and nourishing. I felt so blessed. Finally, I was in control of my life.
I now see my PMS as an incredible gift that forced me to look at the imbalances in my life that were expressing themselves through my emotions. I didn't want other women to suffer like I did, so I began to teach women what I had learned. Since then, I have dedicated my life to empowering women, to help them befriend their body and be free of unnecessary struggle with PMS. I want every woman to get the support and guidance she needs to understand what's happening in her body.
Through this journey I have discovered the joy and harmony that come from the richness of living in a woman's body. I love the depth and delight that come with riding the waves. I have been honored and blessed to share this journey with thousands of women, and I hope to share it with you as well.
How we experience our bodies depends on what we believe about our bodies. By introducing awareness, we can change our experience and with that, our beliefs that aren’t working for us anymore.