[guest post] Vulnerability by Amber Bates

Rachael CrowGuest Writings, Menstrual Health, Moon Lodge/Red Tent, Musings

Here I sit today writing on day 27 of my Menstrual cycle. The call inward through my own inner landscape toward the Holy Temple of Menstruation is well under way. The boundaries and the layers I wear in the outer world have been slowly dropping away.I sit here at the door of menstruation, waiting patiently to be granted entry. I’m revelling in the time and space I have at last have to be with myself and the delicious qualities I love so much at this time of my cycle. The beautiful qualities of vulnerability and tenderness I experience here allowing me to open to the ecstatic forces of love at menstruation.

 

As a younger woman I spent many years in drug and alcohol addiction, then later eating disorders. I particularly medicated with my substance of choice at this point in the cycle. The sacredness of this Spiritual passage of crossing from my outer world into my inner realms had never been named or modelled for me, and I just couldn’t handle the vulnerability I experienced here. I found it terrifying. I felt incredibly unsafe and acted out, desperately trying to defend the most wounded parts of myself that felt laid bare for the world to see as my boundaries dropped away.

 

It was only in my mid thirties when I I came upon this work that my understanding of these behaviours truly started to deepen. The first time the seasons of my cycle were laid before me was,in that very moment, profoundly life changing. I just couldn’t believe that I had not been given this information before. It was my birthright! So was the beginning of many years reclaiming those lost parts of my Womansoul.

One of my most treasured gifts of all has been the ongoing restoration of my relationship with the beauty of vulnerability. As I’ve deepened into myself and my cycle work I have learned, as a woman,one of the most powerful gifts I will ever hold in the world is my ability to hold and care for this beautiful quality. When I allow myself the gift of being able to be held by Her,I feel it is one of the only times I am ever truly at rest and at home. Such a precious,precious balm for a woman’s soul in a world that can often feel so harsh and demanding of her.

 

I have come to love, not always mind you, those beautiful tender places in my cycle where vulnerability appears. The tender crossing to meet my young Inner Maiden as I emerge from the Inner Temple of my Moontime, surely one of the most vulnerable and tender places a Woman will experience. How many of us were met here with tenderness in our own emerging maidenhood? I’m guessing if you are of a similar age to me, not many. What a gift to be able to arrive in this place again in our menstruating years,month after month, and offer our own inner girl blooming the chance to make this passage as we hold a space for her in her.

Though it is not always an easy space for a woman to hold. Our culture loves to give value to the drive and achievement of yang, but seems happy to deny the power and beauty of the receptivity of Yin. This piece is being written by me after what felt a month of extremes. The powerful energies of this months full and dark moon, a lunar eclipse and the almighty Autumn Equinox have given my poor adrenal and nervous system a run for its money. Marrying that with supporting my children back to school and landlords doing building work in my home during my moontime, this single Mama reached premenstruam pretty much a wreck.

After sitting in council with the discernment of my Autumn I came to some powerful home truths. Never mind placing the blame on a culture who did not value my feminine process, though that does need to be acknowledged. I had somehow become complacent about recognising the value my own feminine worth. Again, I had allowed myself to fall back into some sort of amnesia around how vital and important it is to care for these most sacred parts of myself, and hadn’t given them value enough to put the boundaries in place that I needed. Again, I had placed more value in another’s needs rather than my own. One of the greatest challenges for modern menstruating women.

As I finish writing now, my blood has started to flow. I am alone in my own home, fire on, cup of Love tea in hand. Life doesn’t feel it could get much better. As I transition from one cycle to the next, I allow the wisdom of last month settle in me. I feel an ever deepening sense vulnerability and permeability, delivering me into the arms of love and bliss. I am poised ready to dive into my own sacred waters. Blessed be.

Amber is a Mama, Moon Mother and Menstruality Mentor. She is available for workshops,menstrual medicine circles and mentoring, in person, West Wales, or via Skype. She can be contacted at kinstara@gmail.com