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Rediscovering the Divine Feminine: How Menstruation Relates To Moon Cycles, Nature & Diets

Michelle Blair

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When I first got my period, I was thrilled! I viewed it as a right of passage, marking my transition into womanhood, and I welcomed the opportunity to embrace my newfound femininity. However, like many women, over the years I eventually started to resent my time of the month, dreading my painful cramps and counting all of the things I felt I missed out on because of it. Society treats periods as though they’re dirty and shouldn’t be spoken of, and even women look down upon them as well; but, it wasn’t always like this.

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Menstruation used to be celebrated and seen as a gift, an element of the Divine feminine that deserved appreciation and recognition. It’s a beautiful form of detoxification only women get to enjoy and this process allows us to birth life, a miracle that can only be made possible through menstruation.

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Society used to refer to this sacred period as women’s “moon time,” as their cycle was actually synced with the moon. The word menstruation itself is derived from Greek and Latin words meaning month and moon. Menstruation not only ties us to nature, but it can also give women a better picture of their health and their chakra systems. So, how did we, as women, become so disconnected from the sacredness of our moon times, and how can we change the dialogue and the way we experience our periods?

The Divinity Behind Women’s Moon Cycles 

Those few days when women shed their menstrual blood used to be celebrated, as women were not permitted to be on their feet working; instead, they were encouraged to rest and nurture their bodies. Our cycles were naturally aligned with the rhythm of the moon as it waxed and waned. Menstruation would begin around the New Moon and ovulation would occur around the Full Moon.

The feminine energy in the villages was incredibly powerful, as women were experiencing their moon times together. Women were usually able to bond and relax during this time, so they could receive healing energy and appreciate this period of purification and rejuvenation.

To be clear, the fact that menstruation is a detoxification process does not imply women are dirty. In fact, it implies quite the opposite, as menstruation is a gift that only women were blessed with, which can help to detoxify them both physically and emotionally. Menstrual periods should be empowering for women, not embarrassing.

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The image of periods appearing to be “dirty” only gained popularity when we shifted towards patriarchy; but, now that the Divine feminine is coming into light, we’re starting to honour our moon cycles once again.

Toxins stored in the blood and liver have a chance to be flushed out as we menstruate. The liver is the primary detoxification organ of the body, as it’s the organ that’s responsible for filtering out toxins. Our cycles can also cleanse our reproductive systems, releasing bacteria from inside of it and helping the body to discharge excess iron.

This process is both natural and beautiful and it shouldn’t be shunned. There’s so much beauty within the dualistic nature of our moon cycles: The shedding of blood allows us to give life and benefit from the detoxification. However, our periods have shifted over the years, becoming far more painful and in many cases heavier. Many women are no longer connected to the moon, and they view their periods as something to dread rather than an event to get excited over. How did we, as women, arrive at this point?

Why Our Periods Have Drastically Shifted and Changed 

If your cycle isn’t synced with the Full Moon or New Moon, don’t stress! Just because your cycle isn’t in sync with the moon cycles doesn’t mean it’s not doing its job. There are many ways for you to sync it with the moon naturally, but the best part about menstruation is that it’s meant to flow, so it’s best not to try to control it.

This is one of the reasons why birth control is such a huge issue. Birth control literally controls when your period starts and finishes, and so it very rarely moves or experiences irregularities. There are a number of health issues with birth control, including a greater risk of certain types of cancer, depression, blood clots, heart disease, and more (read about it in our CE article here). Since your cycle cannot freely flow, you can’t learn from it in the same way you could if you weren’t on birth control.

Your period is such a gift; it communicates with your body and can tell you when something is wrong or when something needs to be looked at. When you experience PMS, irregular periods, a shift in start time, or any other symptom regarding your menstruation, that’s your body telling you that your health requires attention.

My period has always been synced with the New Moon, and the only time it changed since getting off birth control was after my grandmother passed away, when it synced with my cousins’ cycles on the Full Moon and didn’t shift back for months. I was experiencing other irregular symptoms during my period, forcing me to look inwards. I realized I not only had a health issue affecting my menstruation, but I also had a severe block on my sacral chakra, which was in turn affecting my period. Immediately after I dealt with these issues, my period returned to its regular cycle and started on the New Moon once again.

Everything happens for a reason, especially in our bodies! If you’re experiencing painful menstrual cramps, that’s not just a “regular” symptom of having your period. Whenever we have pain in our bodies, it’s always telling us that we need to look deeper and search for the root cause of the issue.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the liver is said to govern emotion and anger. Since the liver holds a strong relationship to menstruation, as it’s detoxified during this process, our periods can also reveal the health of our livers. Many women have an emotional reaction to their menstruation, often referred to as PMS, and they express anger or other extreme emotions. Since anger and emotions are connected to the liver, PMS could either mean that we’re experiencing changes within our livers, which is natural during our periods, or that we need to focus more on the health of our livers.

In addition, according to TCM, painful period cramps could actually be a symptom of a hormonal imbalance and a Qi deficiency. In TCM, Qi is believed to be everywhere on Earth, including our bodies. When you’re healthy, Qi is flowing freely through you, whereas when you’re unhealthy, you either have a blockage from Qi or your “Qi tank” is low. If there’s no Qi to move the blood out of your body during your moon time, the body is forced to cramp up and try to expel the blood out itself. You can learn more about this in an Organic Olivia video here.

If you do experience PMS and other symptoms society deems “regular” during menstruation, don’t stress too much. Yes, we need to learn to listen to our bodies more and look inwards more frequently, but to a certain degree, these phases of our cycle are normal.

Our cycles not only relate to the moon, but they also correlate to the seasons experienced in nature. For example, the week we have our period is related to winter, when we experience a little more darkness and feel the need to retreat. The following week, when our period is over, relates to spring, and then we experience summer when we’re ovulating, which is typically the time we feel best during the month. Lastly, the week before our menstruation, we enter into fall, a time when we experience heightened emotions as we start to let things go and fall away, otherwise when some women experience PMS symptoms.

I believe that, to a certain degree, many of these symptoms are meant to be felt, listened to, and learned from, but not to the extremes many women go through now. Many women are severely disconnected from their bodies, which is largely due to societal norms and beliefs and modern medicine.

Birth control is taken by many women, which not only hurts the body but prevents us from connecting with our periods. What’s more, women use toxic tampons and other feminine products that contain pesticides, we’re exposed to excessive amounts of toxins through our environment and our diets, and we suppress our emotional trauma, creating blockages on our chakras.

How Can We Rediscover and Reclaim Our Periods?

So, if you recognize that your period needs some extra attention, how can you give it the love it deserves? First of all, it’s about being gentle and compassionate towards your cycles. If you’re on birth control, experiencing extreme menstrual symptoms, have an irregular period, or whatever else, you must first be gentle with yourself. Recognize how this has served you in the past, and then figure out how you can positively change this.

Perhaps these extremities (severe PMS and cramps, disconnection from nature, etc.) were necessary in order for us to wake up and reclaim the sacredness surrounding women’s menstruation and the Divine feminine once again. Sometimes things need to get so bad that it’s almost a slap in the face, because it can trigger us and essentially force us to change.

There’s nothing wrong with having a period, but that doesn’t mean we need to suffer through it. As Dr. John A. McDougall says, “You should not look for defects in the ‘female design’ to explain the reasons for these epidemics of female troubles, but look rather to your own behavior.” How can you make changes in your own life in order to improve your menstruation cycle?

He explains:

Exercise and reduction in weight in obese women can also lower their levels of estrogens. The net result from reducing the exaggerated amounts of hormones found in too many American women down to healthier levels will be better general well-being all the time and relief from troublesome signs and symptoms during menstruation. For example, painful periods and copious bleeding become lighter and less painful.

There is a clear relationship between diet and menstruation; this can be seen when an anorexic woman’s periods stop, or when vegans report experiencing less period pain or lighter bleeding. Dr. McDougall further elaborates on this, saying “Vegetarian women, compared with those who eat meats, excrete 2 to 3 times more estrogen in their feces. Furthermore, the blood levels of certain powerful estrogens are 50% lower than are those in meat-eaters.”

Since periods are a way to detoxify the body, it would make sense that the symptoms associated with menstruation could improve if we’re intaking less toxins. When it all comes down to it, rediscovering our periods means rediscovering ourselves. It means improving the health of your body, reconnecting with nature, and looking inward.

Odds are that through this process, you’ll find that your period does sync with the Full Moon or the New Moon, as many women have reported this for centuries, including myself. So, what’s the difference between having your period sync with the Full Moon versus the New Moon?

Author Miranda Gray says:

A woman with the White Moon cycle, bleeding with the dark (new) Moon, becomes linked to the deepest levels of her awareness, reminding her that there exists more than just the world she sees, because she is the carrier of the seed of life. A woman with a Red Moon cycle, bleeding with the full moon, brings the energies and mysteries of her inner darkness out into the world around her as a gift and an offering of the depths of her learning.

I personally resonate with this answer, as I can see when these trends emerged in my own life. But, then again, every woman’s period is different, so if this article doesn’t resonate with you, then trust your own intuition. That’s the beauty of menstruation: It’s free flowing and changing, and has something different to teach each and every woman.

Additionally, if you’re interested in learning more about the Divine feminine and the sacredness of menstruation, I’d recommend the books Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell and The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. Much love!

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3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Reflect On:

    If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try these suggestions before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies.

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every news cycle paralyzes us with fear of a new variant. Some feel grief over who or what they have lost or continue to have feelings of social disconnectedness. Despite what we have all been through, we need to start moving forward with our lives and truly live again. We must recognize that we have more control over our physical and mental health than advertised. The truth is that there are many helpful things that we can do.

PTSD is a stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm was a threat or occurred. Those with PTSD may experience agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, depression, attention difficulty, loneliness, insomnia, or nightmares.

Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness, but powerlessness can also keep us trapped in a PTSD cycle. The psychological imprint of trauma rewires the brain. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brain neurons begin firing in the amygdala, the emotional part of our brains, during a traumatic event. People can get stuck in an emotional loop, and the rational voice in their heads does not weigh in. This looping can cause a person to respond disproportionately to stress – freezing, panicking, or acting out in anger. Some dissociate or enter a trance-like state. Maladaptive coping skills can sometimes develop. Cutting, burning, overeating, drinking, drugs, overspending, etc., is all an attempt to dampen our painful emotional feelings. So, to avoid getting stuck in a PTSD cycle, we must act and take our power back.

Time to seek out the most effective help so that we can feel calm and in control again. What can we do?

1. Boost Your Immune System

If you fear getting sick, it’s time to live a healthier lifestyle and boost your immune system. Sadly, we are taught (with the help of pharmaceutical dollars) that health comes from a needle or a pill. Our “experts” recommend masks, hand-washing, social distancing, and mRNA vaccines. Still, they seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to help improve our health and support the body to fight off illness and disease. Click here for my article that includes 16 Tips on Boosting Immunity.

2. Embrace Spirituality

Over the last 20 years, I have been honored to have worked with many great therapists, healers, spiritual leaders, and trauma survivors to witness the power of Spirituality in healing. Spirituality is an inner belief system providing an individual with meaning and purpose in life. Whether it involves a higher power, nature, religious rituals, meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, the premise is to stay connected to the core of who we are. That place of stillness within us holding the memory of wholeness, peace, inner strength, and balance – despite what has happened. A spiritual philosophy or practice can provide us with a bigger context for our experiences and clarify our purpose. Spiritual methods also connect us with a sense of community and support. Finding our tribe is essential in the face of trauma and loss. The spiritual journey often allows us to go inside ourselves and listen to our inner guidance and “knowingness.” The inner voice may know, for instance, that the virus will not hurt us, or what we are being told by the media is untrue. Spirituality also helps us shift our perspective from “why me” to “what can I do about it. It brings us a sense of power and control.

3. Guided Imagery & Bilateral Stimulation

Both tools are essential for the trauma therapy toolbox. They are noninvasive and helpful for overcoming the effects of trauma. Guided imagery can help us alter the negative or stressful pictures and thoughts in our minds and help us create new, more peaceful ones—a form of instilling positive affirmations. Before you read on, I thought you might like to download my 10-minute exercise. This science-based, comprehensive video will help you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and give you a way to help overcome the effects of this pandemic – GET IT HERE

Is There Science Behind This?

Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.

A Look At The Research

Guided imagery is a behavioral technique using a series of verbal suggestions to guide oneself or others in visualizing an image in the mind to bring a desired response in the way of a reduction in stress, anxiety, or pain. A growing list of empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in various physical and emotional conditions. Guided imagery resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active-duty military population. Positive affirmations can positively affect the brain’s circuitry. There is MRI evidence suggesting that specific neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks.

Numerous research articles have established that bilateral stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some therapists practice Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a combination of psychotherapy and bilateral stimulation. EMDR is very effective for treating a wide range of mental health issues due to emotional and physical trauma. During bilateral stimulation, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. And, often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self.

“Bilateral Stimulation induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry, similar to what happens in REM sleep. It allows the person undergoing treatment to process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This therapy helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of their life experience.” – Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Takeaway

If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try the above suggestions and download my helpful video before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies. Also, you can discover the many mind-body practices you can do at home to help manage stress more successfully and so much more. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. To purchase my book Healing Without Hurting, click here.

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Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

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Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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General

Are Lockdowns Affecting Children?

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We spoke to activist and mother Stephanie Sibbio about her co-creation of an organization called 100 Million Moms which seeks to empower women to stand up against injustices.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we choosing virus mitigation methods that are short sighted and harmful over the long term? Are they more harmful than the virus itself?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The potential downsides of lockdowns during pandemics have been explored quite a bit – and the truth is the scientific community is quite divided on whether it’s the right move. On one hand a case can be made for effectiveness of lockdowns, but at quite a cost, while on the other hand many have shown lockdowns to be ineffective in slowing spread. How a study is organized and conducted can also dramatically change results.

Interestingly a study in Nature showed that “less disruptive and costly NPIs can be as effective as more intrusive, drastic, ones (for example, a national lockdown).” This essentially states that governments could choose effective ways to mitigate virus spread effectively without inducing unwanted and long term side effects on society as a whole via lockdowns – regardless, lockdowns are still widely being used.

One question we might have is, what about factors that are not so easy to measure right away? Things like long term psychological damage of being constantly stressed, out of touch with community and friends, and confined to our homes. What affects are children experiencing in their development and learning? We may not know exactly for quite some time.

I felt inspired to speak to a mother who has not only be asking this question with regards to her child, but who has decided to do something to push back against government measures, like lockdowns, that many citizens and scientist don’t agree with.

Along with another activist, Stephanie Sibbio created a movement called 100 Million Moms who, as their Instagram states, are a rights-based movement empowering moms all over the world to stand up against injustice. We advocate for natural health & medical freedom.

I spoke to Stephanie about how she has seen lockdowns affecting children, and her story in co-creating 100 Million Moms. In this discussion you will learn how you can get involved as well.

Further Discussion

A large meta analysis on mask wearing has shown that children are having physiological issues and learning challenges with prolonged mask wearing.

A group of doctors did a panel worth considering that discusses the potential harms of lockdowns and the science that supports the idea.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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