Growing up I had a vague understanding of my period. I was told briefly by my mother that something would happen and one day it did. She was out of town and my dad was cooking dinner. I didn't retain much from health and sex ed classes. Leaving me to my own devices and at the mercy of my 12-14 year old friends. Around 14 I was introduced to tampons but mortified of using one. I finally grasped the concept at 16 because the appeal of concealing what was happening each month to my body was high. 

At 24 I was introduced to the cup and fell madly in love. No annoying string, no reoccurring purchases, and freedom to move my body anyway without feeling exposed. I wanted in. It took me a while to figure it out, as it usual does, but, once I understood the exact positioning I felt like I conquered the one thing that slowed me down.

With time I slowly learned more about my cycle. I started tracking my days, my mood and noting what phase I was in. I also learned how it aligns with various moon cycles, what that means spiritually, and that I should, at least on day one, take it easy. Majority of this information came from the team at Rising Woman

week one: menstrual phase (inner winter) think turning inward
week two: follicular phase (inner spring) think blooming
week three: ovulatory phase (inner summer) think energetic 
week four: luteal phase (inner fall) think slowing down

My relationship with my period has changed. 

Some things I've learned recently that are worth sharing...

Most importantly, let your body fully release everything it wants to. 
Meaning, no suppressing of it's natural flow with cups, tampons or other inserted devices. 
Period underwear like Hannah are a great option or organic cotton pads without additives, bleach, and fragrance. I like Natracare for single use pads, they can be found at most health food stores. If you are looking for a reusable pad, I like Marley's Monsters.
If you need a mess free option here are some nontoxic tampon recommendations:
These can be found at Target and do not have titanium dioxide, chlorine, bleach, or other chemicals in them.
Or use a cup for a reusable option! I have a Diva Cup. I would only use a Diva Cup for a short amount of time however because the cup does put pressure on your cervix. 

Secondly, anything besides organic cotton and the people of your choice should not be allowed access to this magical place. No fragrances, no dyes, no bleach, no plastics. Here are small changes you can incorporate in your lifestyle.

If you can, only use organic cotton for your intimates or cotton (however cotton tends to be sprayed with pesticides so organic cotton is preferred). Let your precious organs breathe.
Sleep without clothing, remove wet clothing asap, remove tight fitting clothing asap, or don't wear underwear if it's a comfortable option. 
Bathing in chemicals can cause irritation and infection downstairs so ditch the smelly bath salts and bombs. Opt for PLAIN Epsom salts.
Excessive and/or deep cleaning this area can cause infection. She is a self cleaning organ after all.
Try bamboo toilet paper like, Plant Paper. Most commercial toilet paper is laced with bleach and formaldehyde. Two things we don't need overexposure to. 

If this overwhelms you, you are not alone. Small changes have a big impact.  

Thanks for reading!



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