I am a man. I grew up with sisters and a mother, yet the word period was something to be avoided, or more accurately, something I knew existed but never talked about.
Sadly in our culture, and worse in many others, a woman’s cycle is something to be ashamed of and/or just ignore. I am guilty of being part of this mindset, well I WAS part of this mindset. As you may know Kaitlin is a very open person, she blows me away with her ability to be vulnerable and honest with what she is experiencing. Although it took many years, she has taken her own lead and began to share her experience with her own cycle and how getting more intimate with it has truly changed her life. And mine.
As a man, the period has been a sort of secret, something we assume is the reason for a woman being emotional or irritable. Without putting much thought into it I have preconceived notions of what a period was, what it meant and that it was annoying. It didn’t help that for years I watched as my girlfriend and eventually my wife, struggle in pain every month, or sometimes just miss it completely. There was nothing cyclical about it in our house. It felt as though it was just this awful thing that got in the way of our sexlife, and Kaitlins ability to work inside of the paradigm our society has developed. A paradigm, unfortunately, which has been shaped and constructed by mostly men, who do not have a cycle.
Over the last few years I watch as Kaitlin first acknowledged her cycle, paid attention to it, and ultimately fell in love with it. Fell in love with how each and every week brought a different super power to the mix. Of course she still had cramps and it affected her ability to stay constant throughout the month, but this is exactly the point. I’ve learned that women are not steady throughout the month, not that they are unstable, they just fluctuate in what areas of their life they have the ability to thrive in from week to week.
An example of this is something Kaitlin has learned as the Dynamic Phase of her cycle. It’s the week after her period where she is full of energy, her mind is eager and clear, and she is a powerhouse for that week. Then she moves onto another phase with different strengths. The key for her was finding the power in each of these phases, becoming comfortable with each of them and using them to her benefit. Being quiet and slow when needed and exploding with exuberance when able.
It was remarkable to see.
I watched her become more comfortable in her own skin, I watched her become clearer on her objectives, I watched her become at peace being a woman, I watched her laugh at the idea fitting into the molds we have and I watched her get pregnant. None of these things are separate. She changed her relationship to her cycle, which in turn changed her life entirely. My hope is that as she moves through this new journey she continues to be an advocate for woman everywhere, to help the conversations about a woman’s cycle and how to use the rollercoaster as a strength, instead of it continuing to be viewed as a weakness.
She has written a great blog post, link below, about her journey to pregnancy and if you are interested please read. Even if you don’t have no menstrual cycle, it’s worth learning about. Trust me.