Embracing the Feminine
As I mentioned in my last post about the big changes in my health, I’ve had to change the way I see myself as my body has changed. In allowing my female bodily functions to work as they were intended (in coming off the pill), my mind has been able to follow.
What does this mean, in reality? Well let me share how I have treated my body over the years…
For much of my life, my medical condition, or any other perceived fault in my body was seen as something to be fixed. Something that was out of place with the rules on how a body should work. Yes, this includes my ugly bruising, the too long, too heavy, too painful periods. But it was also any headache, cold, flu or sore or achey part of me. Anything that didn’t fit with the plan I had for that day or year. I felt that it was my body being out of line, that it had messed up, failed me even. What I was aiming for in my mind was so much more important that what my physical self was undergoing.
Because a body is just a thing, right? Its your brain, your mind which is boss, that does all the decision making?
One of my favourite tools for working out exactly what is going on under all that mind chatter – journalling.
So I tried to force my body into doing what I thought was the right thing, the appropriate thing. I would go to school and work in horrifying pain and while loosing a lot of blood. I’d study through chest infections, push myself to socialise through iron deficiency, and generally just ignore what my body was going through.
Of course, my thinking about how life should work was missing one very vital and important perspective – what was actually happening!
Maybe you’ve done this too – got so caught up in your head you forget to look at what is really going on around you.
See what was actually happening in my body was it was sick, for a very long time. It was doing everything it knew how to tell me to stop, for the love of god rest you silly woman! But I thought I knew better.
Taking action, making plans, getting shit done and rationalising are awesome things (and for the most part, my brain’s happy place). These things are known as masculine traits – of course you don’t have to have a Y chromosome to exhibit these traits or appreciate them (we all have some of this inside us!). What I resisted and pushed away for so very long was the other way of doing things. Following my instinct, doing what I felt like, on a whim. Taking a nap, doing an afternoon workout instead of your regular morning one, eating dessert first and main course last. Listening, observing, taking someone (or something) else’s cues instead of needing to be so tightly in control all the time. Or at least think I was in control.
This more relaxed, less forced, or feminine way of approaching life is something I’ve only come to use in this last year. Or more accurately, come back to using.
I can see a very clear distinction in my life from when I started taking the contraceptive pill – that is when I stopped being able to follow my intuition, to not see things in extremes.
When my body stopped being able to express itself in the way it was designed, so did my mind.
And since taking that physical block away (because the pill blocks the body from being able to ovulate), my approach to life and the way my mind views things has felt so much more comfortable. I am at ease taking a step back, or jumping right in, logic be damned. I have noticed it every step of the way in 2015 – when learning about my cycles and how my individual body works, in recovering from a kidney stone, in learning to self infuse.
Even sticking a needle in your arm can feel like freedom with the right mindset (my own photo)
What has this shift in my thinking really achieved? My big lesson has been that when you take away the force, the impulse to try and put everything in a logical place and flow with what is happening right here, right now, you are much less stressed. You deal with setbacks and changes to the plan, because ultimately, the plan isn’t important. You become happy and excited to find out the next challenge because you want to see what marvellous way you’ll work around this one.