It began just fine. In fact, I was feeling great. With the exception of the weather. The overcast sky seemed to forecast what I forgot was coming.
It happens within an hour. The sudden change. The skies mirror the state of my heart and cloud my mind. It then cries down on me, my small, cheap $5 NYC umbrella, a poor excuse for shelter. Yet, even inside, I am unsafe from the storm.
I feel hopeless. All of the thoughts running through my mind exhaust me to the point of apathy. The amount of energy it takes to fix it, to fix all of the things. I want to sit on my couch. Wishing I wasn’t surrounded by all the things I should accomplish. But here they are, taunting me. And here I am. Feeling helpless and overwhelmed. Wondering, why do I even try? Is all I do worth it?
And then I remember. I look at the calendar. My entire body sighs with relief. Ah, yes. I know what this is. And what this is, is temporary.
The lunar cycle is 28 days, the average length of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The moon is known to represent the receptive feminine energy and it shows that as women, we strongly relate. Within these 28 days, there is a dramatic shift in our happy hormone, estrogen. Beginning at the time of ovulation, our estrogen level is on a steady incline. This is what supports our mood and feelings of normalcy every day. When the time of ovulation returns, our estrogen level drops entirely and begins its slow build once again over the next 28 days. It does so all in the course of an hour.
In the course of an HOUR.
Any logical being could assume the emotional effects this could have on a person. For some, it can be more extreme than for others. It can be devastating. The sudden change can lead us to question our sanity, sudden mood changes similar to symptoms of bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety. And all the nightmarish thoughts that accompany them.
Men also relate with the 28 day lunar cycle although generally, not as severe. Their happy hormones also drop and resume their incline, however the depletion is not nearly as extreme and hardly noticeable to most. It often causes a disconnect between genders or within relationships. Whereas most women aren’t even aware of what is happening in their bodies at this time, men usually aren’t aware and certainly can’t relate.
We often hear negative judgments about ourselves during this time from others and even repeating them to ourselves; “You’re just being emotional,” “You’re hormonal,’ “Are you on your period?”
It isn’t that we are hormonal. It is a lack of hormones. These are not unfounded emotions. They are very real. It’s the boogey man jumping out of the closet. It’s our demons crawling out from under our beds. It is white noise blasted at high volume. And it happens, in the course of an hour.
It is not that we are “on our periods.” It is ovulation. It is the possibility of life, a safe and reserved space to transform stardust into consciousness. It is the most beautiful and powerful thing a human body is capable of. This is the female body, our womb space and the potential of the universe that we hold in the core of our being. It is painful because it is powerful.
There is no more demeaning thing a world can do than shame a woman for this experience, to write off her feelings, her emotions, her fears. Perhaps, these emotions are real because we have the potential to see the world more clearly than any one else.
During this time, we become extremely sensitive. Sensitivity is receptivity. Receptivity is a window to our intuition.
We are sensitive to our emotions, yes but what of the rest? We also become sensitive to others. We absorb their energies, we feel their emotions, we sense stranger’s stories. We literally and tangibly feel more as our skin is more sensitive. Our hearing, our eyes, our sense of smell, taste and touch, all absorbing information at a quicker rate.
Isn’t it amazing that at a point when we feel we are at our lowest, we also possess our highest potential?
Isn’t it unfortunate that we waste so much energy defending ourselves from the ignorance from society rather taking notice of an untapped strength?
After learning about the existence of this change in hormones, I began to track it in my body, predict it. I began to take back control and I no longer cared if someone didn’t understand. I was too fascinated to care. With all of the negativity dispersed, I began to see clearly.
Women are incredibly powerful human beings. We are the givers of life. We are the nurturers. We are the healers. As long as the shame and misunderstanding that exists in society continues to cloud us in our most powerful moments, the world will continue to suffer from the lack of balance in the feminine and masculine.
If you do not understand, be compassionate.
If you do not relate, be kind.
If you are in it, breathe through it.
If you can see through it, own it.