It’s officially May! Amongst all the “It’s gonna be May” NSYNC memes today, I wanted to point out my favourite part about May – Women’s Health Month! May has Mother’s Day so naturally is going to be female-focused. There’s a lot going on in the cultural and social environment regarding genderism, feminism, and equality. It’s become a more polarized society which has created a defensive, and sometimes destructive, disresonance. This energy takes us away from the constructive energy of celebrating who we are and the beauty that resides within. Interesting enough “beauty” has somehow become a bad word. Women reject the word “beauty” thinking being beautiful will make them only be viewed as a physical object. Beauty is not purely physical. It’s a feeling, an emotion, a descriptive adjective used to depict love and joy. Beauty is seeing a sibling give their ice-cream to their other sibling because they dropped it. Beauty is watching a flower grow and blossom. Beauty is smiling at a stranger and not expecting anything in return. It’s connecting to yourself and communicating your amazing to the world. “Physical” beauty is in the eye of the beholder. True beauty is in the mind’s eye of the perceiver. You see it, you feel it, you embrace it, and it inspires you to emit your own beauty. A woman, a man, a child, all humans and living things are beautiful. When they see and radiate their own beauty – that is the most magical (and beautiful) moment.
Now back to Women’s Health. Many women’s health “conditions” consist of menstrual issues, weight issues, skin and aging, or fertility issues. The energy behind these issues are a metaphysical rejection of femininity, or not feeling “enough”. Of course there are physical implications – hormonal imbalance, stress and cortisol exhaustion, thyroid dysfunction, autoimmunity, environmental sensitivities, etc. Irregular or heavy menses are common in women, but it’s not normal – it’s a sign of hormonal imbalance. As women we don’t talk a lot about our menstrual cycles, because there is embarrassment or shame attached. I remember being in 7th grade and there was this huge uproar amongst the class. Guys were freaking out, pointing, jumping on chairs, acting crazy. I thought it was a mouse or some sort of grotesque creature. Then upon looking closer at the floor I was able to make out their object of induced chaos – an unused menstrual pad. They were freaking out over a pad! Sighing (insert “face palm” emoji here), I picked up the pad, shook my head, and put it in the garbage. This reaction is a common one. The disappointing fact is that men, well some men, are much older yet having the same “grossed out” reaction.
When I ask women details about their menstrual cycle they become embarrassed as they’ve never truly analyzed nor discussed it before. Yet information about the menstrual cycle, the length, the quality, the consistency, or any PMS-like symptoms are important in determining what hormones are imbalanced and how.
Having a regular menstrual cycle is a blessing bestowed upon us. It’s something we should embrace and celebrate (fact* an irregular menstrual cycle is the most common sign of fertility issues and is the first thing we aim to correct with Naturopathic treatment). I remember being in Catholic School and being outraged, even as a child, when I heard the story of Adam and Eve, and that’s Eve’s punishment for wanting to have knowledge was a painful menses every month. Seriously! Period shame is rampant in our stories, our culture, and our society (I’m sure there are many other examples but that was the first one that came to mind). When the menstruation “leaves” us and we enter menopause, that’s a different stage in life to embrace our identity and beauty. Being a woman (whether you are biologically a woman or identify with being female) is a beautiful thing – it’s time to embrace our femininity and embrace our beauty!
What do I like about being a woman? What does it mean to be a woman?
What does beauty mean to me? Am I beautiful? Do I see my beauty?
Do you use the same words to describe a “woman” as you do to describe “beautiful”?
When I think beauty I think strength, love, compassion, creativity, resilience, care, joy and laughter. Beauty bewilders me and it inspires me. As do teaching and treating women’s health. A beautiful harmonious combination between who I am and the job that I love. In future posts this month I’ll talk more about women’s health conditions and the physical and metaphysical reasons contributing to them. It’s going be a beautiful month.
Happy May Everyone!
Note – Beautiful painting taken from Bridgit 2015