By © 2011-2012 DeAnna L’am
The ‘Red Tent’ hit a nerve.
Published over a decade ago by Anita Diamant, “The Red Tent” became a best seller. Almost every woman who hears of my Red Tent events typically says: “Oh, I read the book years ago and I LOVED it!” or: “This is my favorite book!”
Why is the ‘Red tent’ such a phenomenon?
It seems that women around the world are touched to their core by this story of the biblical Hebrew tribe of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, told through the lens and voice of its women. At the center of these women’s experience is the “Red Tent”: a space set apart from the hustle and bustle of daily life, where women go to when they menstruate, or get ready to give birth. This is a place where women are allowed to Be rather than continually Do…
Any cycling woman knows the deep yearning for quietude during her Flow time. Every ounce of our body and soul calls for rest, while our culture calls us to keep going, no matter what. The ‘Red Tent,’ ‘Moon Hut,’ or ‘Moon Lodge,’ as they were known in indigenous cultures around the world, was a place of respite for women of old. Contemporary women deeply relate when they read of this. Much more of a fictional novel, “The Red Tent” by Anita Dimant evokes in women a cellular memory of an experience we all shared, for millenniums, around the globe. Once awakened, this memory becomes a need, a yearning, a birthright… We recognize that having a place to go to when we flow, monthly, will make our lives different in profound ways, as well as change the lives of those living close to us, and the world at large! When women have a sacred space to go to when they menstruate, they don’t need to be irritable with their spouse, children, co-workers, or the world. The irritability, which is only a signal from our body that we need to rest and replenish, is no longer needed. Instead, women can nap, dream, draw, journal, knit, bead, sing, paint, dance, sleep, stretch, read, curl up into a ball and shut the world out… Not being expected to tend to others’ needs, for a little window of time, monthly, will contribute to women’s inner peace, and to the harmony in their environment more than anything else I could think of! Yes, I know, women work full time, are single Moms, and would be unable to go to a Red Tent even if there was one in their neighborhood… True. But changing our consciousness around this is a first step, to be followed by little acts which go a long way. Instead of “all-or-nothing” why not start by acknowledging that your body, mind, and heart need to rest (whether you can do it this very moment or not). Acknowledging the need will lead to creative solutions (which can never come when we are not looking for them). It will also lead you to see the benefit of taking as little as 10 minutes in the morning; an hour when the baby naps; or half of your lunch break, in which to create sacred space for yourself. Light a candle, or just lay down and breath. Recognize that a Moon Cycle has passed since your last menstrual period. Exhale deeply, and let go of this cycle, its challenges, and anything in it that no longer serves you… Inhale deeply, and take-in the freshness of this moment, Now. Close your eyes and let your mind drift… Let yourself daydream. Yawn. Stretch. Listen to your body… If a thought surfaces to remind you of your chores or errands, smile and let it go. There will be plenty of time for it later. This moment is for You. This is your own, internal, Red Tent moment, which no one can take away from you (only you, by depriving yourself from it…) Once you start experiencing the well being brought by the consciousness, and practice, of taking some time for yourself at the onset of your Flow, you will never want to go back. Who knows, you may even come up with creative ways for having more and more every month… You deserve it!
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
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