an all-gender friendly post about periods, & a moon ritual recipe

since i got my moon phase tattoo down my spine a year ago, my period has come on the full moon. this is totally awesome and very different for me.

i have been blessed in terms of the level of pain i face during my period, i don’t have the monthly internal torture sessions of some folks i love. i do have a day or two of heightened emotions and some groaning discomfort. but i generally take the opportunity to rest and disconnect.

i have noticed that regardless of the gender of my loved ones, there tends to be a need at least once a month for humans to turn inward, to focus on restoring the self. and if we don’t listen for that time and try to power through with life, we can be awful to ourselves and others.

i read the red tent and got into the idea of making my period a monthly time for ritual and self-care. separately, i learned a beautiful full moon bath ritual and started learning about the relationship between moons and periods.

as far back as i can remember i’ve always loved the moon, which led to my tattoo. the alignment of my cycle with the moon for this whole past year makes that love feel reciprocal, however unlikely it may be. i feel like i soak up the reflective power of the moon, the power to orbit, to stay, to be simple, to be imperfect, to always be full but rarely be fully seen.

this past week, i decided to approach my period and the full moon with total celebration. and, unsurprisingly, i had one of the best week’s of my life.

i realized that with or without my period, the combination of things i did last week, which i am about to share with you, would make anyone’s life incredible. when i reflect i can see i have been increasing all of this good stuff in my life since before my sabbatical, and it’s working.

doing this sort of ritual once a month, even once a quarter, is deeply restorative and rebalancing without having to go away on a vacation. and it wasn’t a financially expensive week – i went for the most affordable options and lots of the activities i was able to do in my home or with my community.

i notice that when i share stuff with y’all, it contributes to the echo chamber of good behavior, self-care and transformation in my life, because y’all share back, and when we see each other in person we check in on all this self-loving, which reminds me to do it more often.

so in that spirit, here’s a recipe for an incredible restoration week (a moon ritual):

1 dose mindfulness. have a sense of when this period of restoration is coming. this is an area where surprises are no fun.

1 session community acupuncture early in the week.

7 days yoga (a minimum of 5 sun salutations, including warrior, triangle and tree poses. you can do an immense amount for the body and spirit in even 10 minutes of yoga and or stretching.)

1 pelvic balancing massage (if no one in your community currently offers this, i recommend getting a group together and taking a class to offer to each other – some places now offer variations on this ancient practice which has health benefits for reproductive processes as well as digestion and overall system cleansing.)

7 days meditation, including but not limited to:
– solo meditation as often as possible (start small, follow your breath – you really can’t overdose here).
– community meditation to taste. ‘community’ just means meditating with one or more other people.
– and orgasmic meditation of course! this method helps with cramps…and everything else 🙂

2 sessions dancing as freely as possible, ideally becoming one with the music.

1 spa day with a friend (if you are going to splurge anytime during the week, this is the place. check out my page on spas and feel free to alert me to places you know of that are affordable and delicious for all kinds of bodies).

7 days of healthy food, with local organic vegetables for at least half of every meal (and ideally protein the other half).

and water. i recently read that to calculate the ideal water intake, drink half your weight in ounces of water. i have rarely been able to drink that much but aiming for it is having delightful impact on my whole system, skin and health.

so i am lit up and rested…and i found myself immensely productive throughout the week. i am already looking forward to my next period.

do you have rituals around your moon? what would you add?

healthcare vs. healing

last week i hurt my knee while i was in ny. i’ve had issues with my knees in the past – thickness impacts if you know what i mean. i’m working on it.

anyway, while helping our hostess, the elegant super fabulous dj rimarkable, with some groceries for a gig she was catering (she’s the pam the funkstress of the east), i slipped on a patch of ice. i thought i was fine, but within a few hours my leg was swollen, hurting, my back felt lopsided and like it might have a knife in it, and i could hardly walk.

a breakdancer friend hooked me up with her doctor, but he was busy that day, so sent me to an orthopedic immediate care unit. and the immediate care unit did everything but touch my knee and actually figure out what was wrong with it. i told them all i knew, that it felt twisted or sprained – not broken. i told them i just needed some pain relief, some guidelines on how to not make it worse. they gave me an ultrasound, an x-ray, and some percoset (with a brief reference to constipation and drowsiness, bad combo…).

it amazed me to sit with health professionals who clearly cared and wanted to help, but didn’t even examine my injury over the 5 hours i was with them.

the next night i went to see dj rimarkable spin and chairdanced all night. at the end of the night a woman who had actually held it down on the dance floor asked what was up, and i explained about my knee. she said – i am an acupuncturist, and i can do something about that.

the next day i met her at the brooklyn acupuncture project and she physically examined my knee, tracing all the rivers of pain flowing up and down my leg and back. and then she pinned me from head to toe.

after about 15 minutes, i felt a release in my back that led me to giggle. after another half hour, as i was drifting in that magical sleep that comes with acupuncture, i felt a massive boom through my whole body which rachel the acupuncturist told me was a chi boom, and a good thing. after she pulled out the needles, she rubbed an analgesic oil on my knee and said it was better than ice, which can put a chill into the joint that keeps it from healing. an hour after i walked in feeling broken, i walked out feeling aligned and healed, barely limping.

when i got home i went to the detroit community acupuncture clinic and got another treatment with nora, who also hooked me up with some kind of magical tiger balm patches to keep on my joints.

i just facilitated the whole weekend and could actively feel my body attending to itself, healing faster than i ever have from a knee (or ankle, or back) injury.

it felt like the exclamation mark on a train of thought i’ve been having – i want to always choose the traditional healing methods, the methods that rely on touch and turning the body’s healing properties on itself.

and i have to remember that, even in emergencies, when it feels like the ER is the best move. i don’t need health systems that start off asking about my insurance and give me the most expensive tests they have without leaving me in better condition.

i need healing.