by Rhonda Factor
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is what we call the group of physical and emotional symptoms that some women experience on a regular basis, a few days before their period. PMS expresses itself at times as pain, uneasiness, over-emotionality, nervousness, bloating, and sometimes mood swings; all or any of which can worsen as menstruation approaches. PMS, to many of us, is a pain.
But is this really our pain or is it perhaps a hidden gift? Let’s think about this a bit differently. It is certainly true that many women really suffer before and during their monthly period. But can there be a larger purpose behind these symptoms?
Let’s now take a journey to other cultures and/or other times, away from our modern western minds. In ancient times (and perhaps in some cultures today) women would gather together during their monthly period, during birth, and for a recuperative time afterward. These gatherings would most likely take place outside of the tribal camp. Were these women expelled from the community or was there a higher, more focused purpose to this seclusion?
It is known that women who live in close proximity to one another usually have synchronous menstruation cycles, assuming their cycles are not being artificially altered by birth control pills. Could it be that the monthly gathering of women in ancient times had a reason behind it? Is it possible that these gatherings served to pool a collective sensitivity to women to one another? In this way, they could further connect to humanity, the earth, and the changing needs and messages of the collective.
If we women consider how our premenstrual days and our period sometimes cause us to be overwhelmed and ï¿½oversensitiveï¿½ï¿½maybe, just maybe, thatï¿½s exactly the point. One way to interpret these symptoms is to use and exercise our sensitive feminine abilities so we can connect to our inner selves, with each other, and with Gaia (Mother Earth) herself, our earthly home.
Itï¿½s quite possible that our ancestral mothers functioned as place-keepers of wisdom and as conscious connections to the earth and the human family. Letï¿½s imagine how, at any one time, there was at least one group of women doing this sacred place-keeping work, creating a continuous chain within the tribe and all over the planet, encompassing and embracing Her, Mother Earth.
PMS and “low” times during our monthlies may actually be a kind of ancient calling to remember our true place in the feminine collective. This can be an opportunity to enter the “inner cave” of deep consciousness. Just as our folklore reflects the connection between a woman’s period and the monthly cycle of and rhythm of the moon and tides on earth, our own PMS may be a calling to us as women to go inwards and to create a space for the cyclical changes affecting us and the planet.
These natural changes, in some places long forgotten, can serve to connect us and humanity to the needs of the planet. Mother Earth is a living, breathing consciousness and we humans mirror her. As women, we can mirror Gaia, as she interacts with the pull of the moon and with the ever-changing cosmos. We can allow ourselves to surrender to this pull and see what thoughts or emotions emerge. These intuitive thoughts, emotions and sensations can help us be more attuned to this ebb and flow, so we can more fully intertwine with and enjoy the everyday stream of life along with its pain.
Some of us women must be at home and, at times, even stay in bed for a day or two during the month. Let’s use this time to consciously connect to that ancient inner power we as women–all hold within our beings, to our feminine psyche that is so intricately connected to our bodies. Let’s turn PMS into an opportunity to take time to slow down; winding down the mental chatter that plays such a major part in our modern lives.
Take a few minutes for yourself and breathe into your true, inner rhythm and listen. Do it while taking a shower, on your lunch break, or just before going to sleep. Feel what sensations arise just from giving yourself this time and space. Feel into your body, your being, and see what messages come up. Breathe. Flow. Allow yourself to expand beyond the confines of your body. Be expansive. Be wide. Observe what a great container you naturally are and how this ties into the earth’s ability to hold and contain us all.
We, as women, can make a new contract between ourselves as keepers of this feminine energy, the Earth, our Mother, and all of mankind (both genders ) to begin a new era of connection to the cyclical ebb and flow of ourselves, the planet, and the universe.
Once connected to this movement of ebb and flow, high and low tide, we can more fully enjoy and engage the fullness and rhythm of life.
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