#NATIVEweek No. 85 • Navigating Our Moon Times
We all experience our “moon time” or our periods in various intensities, emotional states and approach this time with our own unique practices. The F&N team shares how they manage, embrace and deal with our moon time monthly.
Man, getting my cycles perfected has been a conscious practice for about five years now. I finally have it all down to a T.
i. I perfected my cycles and banished PMS by following Woman Code. They would literally just show up with a small bit of fatigue and be perfect color, consistency, flow. However, when I began working with a fertility acupuncturist, the herbs sent my hormones into a spiral because I had an enzyme mutation that couldn't break down the hormones quick enough. Still recovering from that so needless to say I have PMS now. It's almost totally gone after nine months of consciously healing it. However, Max used to get the worst of it. Mood swings, emotions, inward energy, bloating... I had been wanting my own version of the indigenous practice of the red tent for years. Where women would all go into the tent together and rest, nourish themselves and lean into their heightened intuition. The Retreat house has given me just this. I spend my luteal phase and menstrual phase at it alone when it aligns with my schedule and it has changed everything! Last month, I even had bright red blood without clots signaling that my progesterone is finally in balance and I don't have stagnation!!! And whoa to TMI, but I was down by the creek and I felt the overwhelming primitive impulse to bleed a tiny bit onto the earth in the same way that the indigenous and pagan cultures did as an offering for thanks and fertility! It just naturally came over me and felt like the most normal thing ever. So yeah, let's just say, that I'm very in touch with my cycle.
ii. When my cycle would arrive, I used to be the OG zerowaster in the sense that I only shifted black panties throughout the day and let it flow because it was light. But the acupuncture herbs changed my flow, so now I wear reusable organic cotton pads as often as possible. I'll use the Lunett cup when I have to go out and wear white or swim. And I rotate between Thinx panties as well. No waste feels really good and saves loads of money in the long run. It's become mindless.
iii. My huge hack is that I try to rest as much as possible during this time. Also, healer Chloe Garcia Ponce EXPANDED me into not taking any clients during my cycle so that I can nourish my own energy entirely. I live in very chic, cozy PJs such as this Matteo's house coat, pants, robe, and hemp hand-loomed socks from my favorite Japanese store in Los Feliz New High Mart, so that I don't get depressed about lying around and resting.
v. My other hack is to take a lot of deeply nourishing mineral flake baths. AND to wear really chic loose fitting clothing when I do have to go out into the world. My favorite lately has been this jumper!
Ever since I’ve gotten the IUD, my period has ceased. I’ve experienced this throughout my life ever since getting my cycle - going from super heavy bleeding, very irregular periods, debilitating cramps and then nothing for months. I first got on birth control per recommendation of a doctor because I had lost my period for over a year and a half. Although resistant to the idea, I followed her suggestion and was on a LoLoEstrin (the lowest dose) for nearly 2 years as it threw me back into depression and made my period come and go irregularly. I stopped taking it for a few months and didn’t have a period. A few friends had started on Mirena (the IUD I have now), so I did as well. Although I’d prefer to go absolutely natural and not have any synthetic substance in my body, I’ve decided to stay with the Mirena until I truly feel it’s a diservice to my body.
It’s strange not having a cycle - although with my tendency towards super heavy bleeding, I have to admit I do love not having to deal with it and everything that comes with it. Finding a natural rhythm within my body as a woman, however, has been very difficult. I try to find that rhythm in other ways - like cycling exercise routines, self love and listening to what my body is saying each day.
I would love to hear how any of you who may lack their monthly cycle deals finds their own rhythms.
Last year, I suffered from ovarian cysts and since then have been on a holistic rampage to heal my body and normalize my moon cycles. Here's everything I've tried and LOVED:
i. Herbs, herbs, herbs. These were suggestions for Lacy's angel healer. Myomin to balance hormones and T10 to L1 Fem to increase female reproductive health. I take these daily and it makes a huge difference.
ii. Isolation & Reprogram. I need time alone, to rest, to reset and this playlist is everything. If I'm not able to completely shut off work on the first day of my cycle, I limit the amount in meetings, on calls or doing too much. I'll simply block out this day or less involvement. This is also a great time for me to get down and real with the deep inner workings of the workshops. I'm currently navigating the Integrated Roadmap and am currently in the Reparent Phase -- tons of uncovering here that needs the isolation to integrate into my system as well.
iii. Nourish. I've been implementing intuitive eating, especially during my cycle. I've been intrigued by seed cycling but haven't committed to this yet but I absolutely love starting and ending my day with my dear friends' GRACE tea.
I still have a long way to go in balancing my moon cycle. When my autoimmune issues flare up, I either lose my period entirely or it goes into overdrive and I get it way too often. I’m just starting to learn about using light from the moon to sync your cycle and balance hormones, so I’ll report back on how that goes.
For cramps, I like using castor oil packs on my stomach.
I’m a bit of a hermit, especially around my cycle, so frequent escapes to solo camp or hike are essential for me. For local LA hikes, I love Malibu Creek and Solstice Canyon, but if I have the time, I head further north. Armed with bare minimum camping gear, a moleskine, and maybe some poetry, I just drive up the coast until I feel my mind start to slow down.
The bleeding days are the Vata phase of our cycle, so nourishing and grounding the body is especially important during this time. Here’s a recipe for a sleep and PMS relief tonic: Simmer a few chaga chunks with water in a slow cooker for several hours. In a blender, combine about 1 cup warm chaga infusion with 1 tsp ghee, 1/2 tsp manjistha, 1tsp honey, and a dash each of cardamom and cinnamon.
i. While I would love to say that I do all the things to make my moon cycle more sacred and bearable, in all honesty, I'm not quite there yet! Being the busy bee that I am, it's so hard for me to slow down, but I do have a few things that I do each month.
ii. I always grab a fair trade dark chocolate bar like this one or this one. I get the highest percentage of cocoa I can find so I don't go overboard when I eat it. Also, you're supporting the health of your brain. You're welcome.
iii. This CBD oil helps me sleep off the cramps.
iv. One night during my cycle, I try to use a mask like the Enliven Mask by Ona Organics to rebalance any flare-ups with my skin.
Although I have a short 3-day cycle, I’ve had very painful periods in the past so I'm serious about being comfortable and prepared. I’ve tried almost everything and these are holy grail go-tos for a happy period.
i. My Moon Phase: I am synced up with the full moon so I always consult the moon phases app for the most accurate prediction of when it will arrive. I love My Moon Phase for this.
ii. De Lune: The day before my period and the day it arrives I use De Lune. It’s an herbal supplement with cramp bark, magnesium, ginger (etc) and is amazing at warding off cramps and menstrual pain.
iii. Cramp Ease Infusion: I brew this the first day of my cycle to easy any pain. This blend is reiki-charged chamomile, cramp bark, calendula, and rose.
iv. Thinx: I remember thinking how weird these period panties seemed when they first hit the market, but out of curiosity I tried and they changed my life. I’ve always been heavier the first few days of my flow and ruined all of my clothes. Thinx are super absorbent and have replaced pads for me so I no longer have to worry. After you wear them, rise and cold water and then wash them in the laundry like normal. I can’t live without these, I have 6 pairs of the hiphuggers (I’ve tried all the styles and like these the best) and wear them every day of my cycle. I recommend sizing up so they are super comfortable, especially if you are feeling more bloated than usual.
v. Lunette: Along with my Thinx, I also use the Lunette menstrual cup. I tend to start using it on the second day because on the first day, it feels better to me to just let things flow. I haven’t bought tampons or pads in 3+ years. I recommend getting a colored one so that it doesn’t get discolored (I have blue) and boil mine after every cycle to keep it clean.
vi. Hot Water Bottle: This is also 100% essential for me. I use it on my stomach and lower back when I’m feeling uncomfortable.