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For a good portion of my now 26 years on earth, I didn’t see myself as a very feminine person. I’ve always preferred comfortable, practical clothing over skirts, blouses and high heels, I had more guy friends than girlfriends in high school, and I used to play the drums in metal bands where I would be the only female member. On top of that, my period came to a halt when I was 16, supposedly due to too many male hormones in my body…

Looking back, I now understand that I’m a VERY feminine person indeed, but that I was afraid of my intense feelings, of being seen as weak, overly sensitive and difficult, of being taken advantage of by “stronger” men. In the end, I have been taken advantage of anyway, and my need to appear easy-going (“It’s not a big deal!”) has probably contributed to some complex behavior and intense emotional outbreaks. I tried to avoid these things by appearing all cool, tough and masculine – but by repressing my emotions and my natural softness, I’ve caused much frustration and many misunderstandings.

I’ve also gone through the other extreme: Letting my emotions and my sensitivity run wild and free without any guidance whatsoever. I probably don’t have to explain that that didn’t work out too well either…

In our culture, it is taught that masculine traits such as rational thinking, logic, strength, determination and willpower are very valuable. Female traits have a little more mixed messages around them: You ought to be caring, empathic and understanding, but not overly emotional. You should be confident, sexy and sassy, but not too aggressive or powerful. There’s a very fine line between being sexy or being a slut, being confident or bossy, being sensitive or being hysterical, being adorable and being naive and stupid.

No wonder I tried to avoid this “feminine chaos” as an already overwhelmed teenager and tried to stick to the more “straightforward” masculine traits!

So when my period stopped, instead of a taking a holistic inventory of my physical, emotional and spiritual health, I got the typical prescription of western medicine: Birth control pills. Logic, math and science instead of understanding,  intuition and emotional wisdom.

At first, I thought they were great: My period came and went like clockwork, my boobs grew to one cup size bigger, and I didn’t have to worry about getting pregnant. The downside: Frequent migraines that soon became chronic, mood swings, anxiety and painful periods.

I was 22 when I finally decided to get off of birth control and regain my period with the help of Ayurveda. After one year of healing my digestion, learning about my energetic make-up and taking Ayurvedic herbs I had my first natural period in over 6 years! It made me feel so proud and gave me so much confidence to know that I could trust my own body again, and that I didn’t need to rely on artificially produced chemicals from the outside to take care of my natural physical processes!

Healing your reproductive system always, ALWAYS has a highly emotional component, as the second chakra is the seat of our emotional balance, creativity and sensuality. Over the past four years, I’ve slowly worked on healing my femininity. I learned about emotional balance, spiritual growth, communication skills, hormonal health – and natural birth control.

I take my temperature every morning and monitor my cervical mucus, so I can identify my ovulation day and my fertile days. I use this website to enter my data and keep track of my cycles. It’s such a simple yet empowering process, getting to know your own body, understanding the “mystery” of your own cycles better, knowing when you need to have protected sex and at what times you don’t have to worry about getting pregnant. I really wish I had learned about this in school as a young girl!!!

The feminine reproductive system is such a taboo topic, just as confusing as the mixed messages about female character traits I mentioned earlier: Menstrual blood is dirty and disgusting, strong emotions are snarkily labeled as PMS, birth control is an annoying inconvenience, if you get pregnant, it’s your own fault. There’s so much shame and judgement around that taboo area between our legs, when really, it needs so much love and healing!

Learning more about my cycle and my reproductive system as well as my chakras has helped me to feel more whole, more complete and more empowered. Our strength as women lies in our body wisdom: Emotions can become teachers, intuition can become our greatest guide, physical sensation can lead us to make better decisions.

As long as you shame one area of yourself, be it a body part or a character trait, you can’t fully step into your power. You have to embrace all of yourself in order to feel fulfilled, healed and confident. I have learned to nurture and appreciate what I now call my “feminine superpowers”: Intuition, empathy, compassion, grace, understanding, gentleness, openness, creativity, sensuality and connection. And it all started by connecting with my female body and its complex, but amazing functions and processes.

Please share in the comments below:

What are your feminine superpowers?
What is one action you can take today to connect to and heal your feminine side?

With love and grace,

Paula