The purpose of my work is to restore the psychological and spiritual power of the menstrual cycle, and how it unfolds in the journey from menarche to menopause. It is a work with ancient roots freshly articulated for twenty–first century women offering a model of development that is woman–centred, refreshing and genuinely liberating.
This model can transform how women experience themselves,
their wellbeing and capacity to achieve in the world.
The woman’s body holds a template for evolution—the menstrual cycle. It has an intelligence and power that goes beyond its role of baby–making. When a woman is in touch with her cycle she opens doors to different levels of awareness and authority:
Alexandra brings a lived richness and wholesome spirituality to her workshops from a depth of honouring woman and self. Rarely have I felt so held and safe in a workshop. Over a year on and I am still raving about the workshop.
I have been moved on a deep level.
Shally Gadhoke, psychotherapist and social care consultant, London.
Lifting the taboo
Menstruation is still largely a taboo subject, which today has been safely relegated to the realms of 'just a biological process' that women have to learn to 'manage'. As long as we hold to this view we will be censoring a vital part of our intelligence and power as women, which is a loss for all. It’s time to respect the menstrual cycle as a key dynamic in our personal and spiritual evolution.
It may feel really hard to value menstruation when we suffer from menstrual problems such as period pain, endometriosis, or PMS. They can easily obliterate any capacity to enter menstruation's imaginative depths. However, the irony is that we suffer in part because we have lost the knowledge of the power of the cycle. From my experience women who begin to embrace this knowledge experience significant changes in their symptoms. For example it makes it easier for women to feel OK about and take a stand for their needs around menstruation. This reduces stress levels and in turn reduces period pain and the premenstrual distress. This change of attitude also alters a woman's perspective on what she is experiencing. Some symptoms stop looking like symptoms and become more like interesting if challenging states that need to be lived out rather than medicated. (For more information on menstrual health click here)
I believe that, regardless of whether you personally care to engage with these ideas or not, to live in a menstrual positive world would be immensely healing and dignifying for all of us.
The beauty of this work of imagination is that it costs nothing to experiment with. You can become your own researcher. There may indeed be side effects such as others having a little trouble adapting to your new approach or way of being in the world. But fortunately these are not toxic to the body as modern pharmaceutical drugs can be. So try re–visioning menstruation anyway.
We also need to remember that the loss of this menstrual wisdom affects relationships between women and men. In effect men are deprived of an opportunity for greater richness too. With the restoration of this knowledge will come a quiet (and possibly not so quiet!) transformation in the spirit of women, relationships between men and women, and with our children, and in turn the culture.
I have had the benefit of attending one of Alexandra's workshops and of her one on one support and advice. I can say without hesitation that it's added a whole new dimension to my life. It's fair to say that I spent my life until now ignoring my instincts. I would override various warning signs and push on through; in order to achieve what I thought had to be achieved, in the often-limited time I had allocated. There was no give or take. Alexandra has shown me how to tap into another level of awareness. It makes me more flexible with myself, more aware of when to push myself or when to pull back. I am certainly mentally healthier, and believe I may also be physically healthier as a result. I am enjoying listening to a much kinder voice–my own–for the first time.
KM, Owner, Publicity Agency, Australia
Menstrual cycle awareness is central to many aspects of a girl’s and a woman’s life and how she ‘does business’ in the world. For example:
The deep research began with a personal experience of severe menstrual problems that seemed to erupt out of nowhere at the beginning of my thirties. Having both an imaginative intelligence, a probing mind and capacity to understand the interconnectedness of things, I knew there was something deeper to be explored. (To read more about my menstrual experience click here).
My journey of healing included not just physical remedies. It began with an exploration of ‘the story’ of menstruation in the fields of anthropology, cultural studies, feminist theory, and psychology. While the knowledge I gathered was useful, I found the academic approach ultimately limiting because the means of research distanced me from rather than engaged me with the material, deadening the spirit within menstruation. I needed to pursue a more engaged, passionate way of knowing, allowing intuition, feeling and imagination to deepen into and fill out the story.
At the heart is women's experience: a story distilled from my own and the many I have heard over the years through teaching, counselling and conversation. And like an archaeologist, I have slowly pieced a bigger story together.
My contribution is a research of the heart, a deeply embodied engagement that I encourage each woman to do for herself. The prima materia is our monthly cycling. With attention and love it can be a constant process of discovery and recovery.