Mary Beth Bender (Mary Breath Yoga)
Current Season of Life or Cycle You Are In: Fall (current season of my cycle)
Relationship status and/or mothering/grandmothering status: In a relationship
- 1) My experience of my menarche was I was the last of my girlfriends growing up to start my moon cycle. I was 14 1/2 years old and it was easter sunday. I went to the country club for a coca-cola with my Father and remember going to the restroom and spotting in my panties. I had no clue what it was, but deep down I hoped it was the start of my period. I didn’t say anything to anyone until the next day when it got heavier. I then told my Mother and she assured me that it was the start of my cycle. I remember hiding it from my younger sister, who then figured it out eventually because we shared a bathroom at are parents house. My main emotions and feelings about myself at this time were that I was finally a grown girl. I didn’t see myself so much as a woman, but a grown girl. I felt more mature and I felt my breasts getting bigger, which was the most exciting part because all the boys had nicknames for me due to a flat chest..
- 2) If I could tell my daughter (or granddaughter or young women) one thing about her menses, it would be: To honor it as something sacred that will come every month. That it is a chance to rest, release and nurture your womanhood.
- 3) My favorite words for menses are “moon cycle” and my least favorite are “the rag”.
- 4) My cycle secretly empowers me to do what I do and be who I am in the world because: I have the chance every month to release what no longer serves me and to rejuvenate the sacred wise woman that I am.
- 5) To be honest, what I find most challenging about my cycle right now is: Allowing myself to stop, drop and listen to my body. It’s difficult because I can’t always take the day off to rest on my first day of my moon cycle. I may have to work or teach, which can be very tiresome to my body during this sacred time of the month.
- 6) My favorite ways to honor myself during my cycle (or to connect with the lunar rhythms) are: to meditate, do restorative yoga, lay in savasana, take walks, eat extra healthy, drink water and sleep!
- 7) I notice the effects of cultural shame and taboo about my cycles most strongly through past relationships with men who made me feel guilty for being moody or emotional during this time. Being called “bitchy” when really all I needed was extra love and nurturing.
- 8) To me, a world where women loved their moon cycles would be different because women would be more accepting of their femininity and more present with the needs of their bodies. Life would feel lighter because women would honor themselves more and take time to slow down and connect with the wisdom of their own menses.