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just-let-go-resizedToday I’m celebrating the first day of my period.

Hold it right there – did you say CELEBRATING?!

Yep, you heard that right! ūüôā Let me explain…

First of all Рand this may be an obvious one Рtoday marks the end of some uncomfortable PMS symptoms, such as migraines and a terrible mood. That alone is a big relief!

I¬†do firmly believe though that¬†pain free, harmonious cycles are possible when a woman is in tune with her body’s wisdom and treats herself with¬†kindness and love…for me, that’s definitely a work in progress, but still I’m not willing to believe the common story that PMS and painful periods are¬†normal and unavoidable.

You see, just as the moon goes through a cycle of waxing and waning, our bodies have more energy in the first half of the menstrual cycle, and the urge to slow down in the second half. If we keep running around  and being incredibly busy without ever taking a break, our bodies develop stronger and stronger symptoms to force us to slow down. If we keep ignoring the little nudges, we find ourselves sick in bed with headaches, cramps, moodiness and back pain.

Now I don’t suggest that we don’t go to work or fulfill our regular responsibilities for two weeks out of¬†the month!¬†But a¬†little attention, a little more self-care and the power of¬†our intention¬†go a long way in making our period not only less painful, but even more enjoyable.

¬†(graphic taken from “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” by Christiane Northrup, M.D.)

As soon as I started paying closer attention to my cycle and its messages, I noticed something interesting: On the first day of my period, I feel more in tune with my feminine wisdom than on any other day. I feel graceful, light and full of compassion for myself and others, and my intuition is peaking.

I take this day to slow down and pamper myself. I don’t do yoga or exercise and I indulge in warm and nourishing foods my body wants to eat (Chocolate? Muffin? Mocha? Pad Thai? Fennel Tea? Chicken Tacos? Yes, please!). ¬†I paint my nails, give myself an oil massage and take a hot shower. I take it slow, and I pay close attention to my inner voice¬†that is just overflowing with insights and wisdom today.

This morning I felt the urge to buy an essential oil to support the process of turning inward and letting go. I found this beautiful blend, and I thought about how powerful scents and smells are in helping us get grounded and release old gunk. Why is that so?

Our sense of smell is one of our most primal senses, and it is connected to the root chakra at the base of the spine. The root chakra is our connection to the earth and of a beautiful blood red color. Surrounding yourself with comforting scents (essential oils, incense, scented candles or apple pie baking in the oven) is a great way to connect with this energy center, get grounded and start sending some excess energy downwards.

We women are lucky that once a month our bodies have this built-in cleansing and grounding mechanism. There is so much joy in supporting this process by practicing some extra self-care on these days. (I don’t know about you, but I always welcome an excuse to slow down and take it easy!)

I know we often curse at our period and the challenging week before it…but if we could just see this part of our cycle as a sacred time of introspection, intuitive guidance and graceful letting go, we’d be well on our way to healing not just our bodies and our monthly cycles. We’d also be taking back the power of being a woman, embracing all of her parts, all strengths and weaknesses, the darkness as well as the light. We are only truly powerful when we are complete, and just as the moon dwells in its shadow side for part of the month, so do we. And that’s nothing to be afraid of: We can make it¬†a phase¬†of beauty, inner wisdom¬†and unconditional self-love.

Much love,

Paula

*This post was first published on http://www.energiesinmotion.com on July 11th, 2016