Our Stories, Ourselves

© 2009-2012 DeAnna L’am

My own transition into womanhood was painfully lacking in warmth or empowerment. How was the day of Your first period?
Was it an inspiring experience?
Or is there a knot at the pit of your stomach when you think about it?
Our Inner Maiden, the coming-of-age girl we once were, is left inside us hanging, often shamed, embarrasses, or afraid. Her story never told, her beauty never seen, she grew up considering her periods “nuisance,” “bother,” or “the curse.”
The story of Menarche, our first menstrual blood, is rarely told.
It is interesting to note that women, who tend to share everything with one another, (from first sexual encounters to stories of survival and recovery from abuse) are silent about this one… Adhering to the cultural taboo around menstruation, we silence not only the story of our first blood, but also all conversations around our relationship to our blood. Somehow we adopted the notion that “linear is good” and we often live our lives as if cyclicity is not at the heart of our beings. Yes, we reclaimed ourselves as strong women. We break through ‘glass ceilings’, we combine careers with motherhood, we choose not to become mothers, we can do it all… but do we honor our blood?
Breaking silence is only possible in the company of others.
The healing power of storytelling lies in being heard and witnessed…
Make time with one or more of your close women friends to tell the story of your first menstrual period. It is astounding to find the similarities we share. The details of our stories may differ, yet the feelings are almost identical. In a room full of women there is always a sense of being able to relate to every single story as if it were our own.
In conflicting regions, such as Israel (my country of origin), I was moved to tears helping Israeli & Arab women transcend religious and political divides by telling their first blood stories. The bond this created among them far exceeded the rip they felt for years.
I traveled a long way from seeing my period as a nuisance, to reclaiming my Moon Flow as sacred, my Moon Time as a spiritual wellspring. Telling my first blood story, and holding space for women around the world to tell theirs, is an essential component in healing one of the last missing pieces of our inner puzzles.
We can tell blood stories in our living rooms, in cafes, on park benches, or anywhere women get together to support one other through conversation. Sharing our stories we embark on a long overdue journey: that of quenching our Inner Maiden’s thirst, and of integrating cyclicity as a conscious part of our womanhood. At the same time we create the necessary steppingstone to authentically welcome our daughters, or other girls in our lives, into womanhood.

DeAnna L’am, (B.A.) speaker, coach, and trainer, is author of Becoming Peers – Mentoring Girls Into Womanhood and A Diva’s guide to Getting Your Period. She is founder of Red Moon School of Empowerment for Women & Girls™. Her pioneering work has been transforming women’s & girls’ lives around the world, for over 20 years.
DeAnna helps women & girls love themselves unconditionally! She specializes in helping women make peace with their cycle, instructs Moms in the art of welcoming girls to empowered womanhood, and trains women to hold RED TENTS in their communities. Visit her at: www.deannalam.com

4 Comments

Filed under DeAnna L'am, menstruation, moontime

4 responses to “Our Stories, Ourselves

  1. Ilyssa

    When I was a young girl, I couldn’t wait to get my first period. When it finally came, I was so excited, but the reactions of my parents and my friends (which ranged from apathy to disgust) changed my feelings of excitement to feelings of shame. It wasn’t until I discovered Goddess worship/Paganism that I began to heal and to honor my Moon Time as sacred, and even then it took me many years before I could look upon my blood as something sacred and meaningful, not dirty and shameful. We need to reconstruct the conversation around menstruation and bring back The Red Tent.

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  2. I agree whole heartedly, Ilyssa! And we ARE bringing back the conversation: in our own inner narratives, in women’s circles, in Red Tents everywhere, and in the world🙂 Thanks for sharing your story…

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    • Ilyssa

      Thank *you*, DeAnna, for helping to re-open a very sacred dialogue! I think it’s super important for women to share our stories…keeping them hidden perpetuates the belief that our experiences are something to be ashamed of…that they’re something not worth sharing, when the reality is that it’s exactly the opposite! I’m looking forward to passing on this dialogue to the young women in my life and making their first periods something to be excited about again.🙂

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