In our society we value the ability to get over things quickly. When something bad happens we immediately say, no it’s ok, don’t worry about me. Especially women (men, I believe aren’t even asked about what is wrong or allowed to go into it. Some don’t want to. I do not understand exactly why, though I can conjecture. While I think that some of this truly is personal preference regarding the way we all deal with trauma and grief differently, there is certainly also a societal standard put on men that is well documented and noted by many.) I have had countless conversations with friends who have expressed frustration with parents and loved ones who want to find the solution so quickly that they forget to take a moment to honour the grief and pain that resides within traumatic experiences. I also like to just get through it, and get to the other side
For me, when I am PMSing, the frustration and grief can become overwhelming. It can make even the slightest imposition or snarky remark feel deeply personal and unpleasant. So, frustrating. Magnesium supplements, I have found, have helped me to chill out a bit with those feelings. I have also tried anti-depressants at times, the right does of the right medication I found did wonders for me when I needed to no longer feel like the world was coming to an end. No matter how much a cajoled myself, be still, Ego, my love, be still. I love you. It is ok, it isn’t just about you. Take a breath, we are going to be ok. Usually this time is evident because of these feelings, double check the calendar and here we are, about four days to go. These are the moments when our practice is tested and utilised, right? The moments when we call upon our strongest highest selves to surmount all the negativity and frustration. But, this week has been one where glazing over the pain and just moving on never seemed to work. Everything went wrong or felt wrong. But, maybe that is actually just right.
After an insane morning that I don’t need to describe because I am sure that you have had one of those mornings where nothing goes right: the dog eats your homework for real. I couldn’t even settle into my own practice. But,I pushed through a practice anyway, mostly floating on the edges of each asana, managed to sit still through a minute of savasana before the devoirs (must dos) pulled me away and back to “adulting.” After putting out a few domestic fires in the afternoon and deciding not to push myself to my physical or emotional limits, I made my way home and decided today I needed to have no where to be.
Finding some quiet space, I gave over to the sounds of youtube in hopes of having someone else lead me into a more fulfilling somatic experience. The barre class began well for me. I got warm, moved, found my psoas, and then about a third of the way through I paused. I had to sit. Be still. My scar tissue was aflame in my pelvis (not with pain but with feeling). Tears were welling up in my eyes. Be still. And so I was. Being in my pelvis, this juncture I have been trying to “fix” for the past two years now after an attempted robbery turned into an assault on the streets of Casablanca. Be still. And so I was. I found the rivers of connective tissue running around and across my sacrum, rolled the bowl of my pelvis across the earth, shifting its contents first north to south then east to west. Tears still pressing to my eyes. And in this moment there was a sigh, not a complete release, but a sigh. There, now.
Perhaps this is the reason many women become so sensitive and aware of their frustrations at this time before we bleed. Perhaps this is the moment when we get to let go of all those things that are so pent up inside for so many days. The things we just let slide off our backs, the little trespasses and cruel gestures that we “didn’t let get to us”. This time when everything seems so personal and jarring is a gift. A time to turn in and release. In the same way that in autumn the trees allow their leaves to drop to the earth and are bare, vulnerable and focusing internally we prepare and shed and feel all the raw feelings that didn’t leave with a hopeful exhalation. This is our autumn as women. You are a deciduous beast, and now it is time for you to to prepare to shed what is not needed. So, this dreadful PMS or PMDD, should you be one who experiences such things, can serve you. Can be a time for you to be with you. To take care of you. To cry or rage and scream because things are not ok sometimes. This time is a tool to let go of those poisonous things that threaten you. Use it to your health instead of being fooled into thinking it is a sign of your own weakness.