It’s currently 1am and I can’t sleep. I’ve been tossing and turning for hours now and this is far from an often occurrence, I’m the sort of person who welcomes sleep and easily falls into a deep slumber that lasts until morning. But the last few nights I’ve noticed a restlessness. My body, or my consciousness, trying to tell me something. And I’m finally listening.
From the age of twelve, or maybe thirteen, or whenever my menstrual cycle began, as far back as I can remember I’ve had the most painful periods. I remember the first time it happened I thought I was ill with a bad case of food poisoning but wouldn't tell anyone because I was ashamed of having to frequently use the bathroom. Its been like that since I can remember, holding in natural urges out of embarrassment - I haven't quite gotten to the source of that conditioning yet. Before long I noticed my pale yellow shorts covered in a large light brown stain that spread out, clearly noticeable to everyone around me. I told the others I had sat in paint. I don't know what I would have done if we didn't happen to be painting that day, I think a part of me even believed that I had in fact accidentally sat in paint.
Since that first time, every month it would come and with it the cramps and pain and dreading. I’d wash down pain medication and feel the pain slowly numb away. When I travelled to remote Bhutan for a year I made sure to take a year supply of pain killers with me, to ensure I wouldn't have to endure it. Sometimes I’d even try to fight it, see how long I’d last before having to succumb to popping the pills. I remember one night when we were out of pain relievers and I woke in agony, I stayed up all night moaning and twisting in the most awful pain. Thankfully over the years I weaned myself off the hardcore prescription painkillers and onto a lighter over-the-counter headache pill.
After purifying most aspects of my life, I had this niggling feeling that the chemicals I was putting into my body had to go. I can’t explain why I had tried so many times before to resist the medication, the comfortableness, and failed. A few months ago I just decided I wouldn't take a pill for the pain again. I committed and that was it. I mean, maybe it wasn't the easiest thing I've ever had to do, but I realised I just needed to make it through once to know it was possible. I happened to be reading a book by Sadhguru, who spoke about having control over your mind and physical body so I decided I would have control over this pain. I could feel pain but not suffer, the suffering was a choice. I would no longer mask what naturally came to me, I would not hide its truth. I ran towards the pain, felt it and let it go. And I made it through. Each month I now go into the discomfort fully and feel it in its entirety, and it just is. I no longer feel it as something good or bad, it just is. I am no longer anxious when I feel the dull pain lurking. Each month is an opportunity for growth because of the pain.
An odd thing came along with this liberation. It seems as though it was at about the same time that I quit fighting the natural pain that this trance like writing stage began. It has been documented way back in history the link between a woman’s natural cycle, the moon and creativity, among other things. I won’t go too far into it all, you can find the information for yourself. But this experience awakened a deeper consciousness within me. I noticed subtle changes when I was no longer masking natural occurrences with medication, and I was able to get more in tune with the cycle that occurs within me. As soon as I began listening, there was an inclination to write. I can notice it almost immediately now, but in the beginning it would just feel as if there was a build up of energy, or a restlessness as I like to call it. It often feels as if the creative energy is trying to get out.
I noticed other changes as well, each month certain feelings or stages would come without fail - happening as if my body were in a cycle just like the moon waxes and wanes. Once a month I go through a time of reclusiveness, of needing to be alone, a hermit you might want to call it. There is also a time for wanting to connect with others and share, and say yes to new experiences. I go through a cleaning stage each month, where I feel a need to clean and sort out and fix my physical space, sometimes it is just making lists for everything and anything - those times where I unpack all of my things, get halfway through and regret the entire thing. Dylan couldn't understand why some days I'd wake up and start sweeping, then promptly spring the entire house. It would just be something I simply couldn't ignore, an urge that couldn't be ignored. And then there comes the creative, birthing of new ideas period.
I find this pretty magical. Its not “hippie” talk at all, but rather my truth for the past few months. Before I would have these phases of wanting to clean or be alone but I never connected them to my inner cycle, or noticed how spot on their occurrence operates within the month, each and every month. It is said that women used to be so in tune with nature that all of their cycles were connected to the moon, that each woman would get her period on the new moon each month. Obviously, our modern way of living and artificial everything has changed things entirely.
I would have creative times before, I’ve always enjoyed singing and making music and art, but lately since the medication ended something has shifted. I suppose the experience I am trying to describe is so simple, so true, that it can be hard to put it into a manmade language. In the same way that you cannot describe how you make your heart beat, you just do. An idea might come to me, possibly on a topic I have been exploring or sharing with others. Naturally I’ve been speaking about my writing lately and so the topic of “creativity” came to me tonight. It’s almost as if that word is whispered into my consciousness and suddenly I know I need to write about it. I open a new document and start typing WITHOUT THINKING. I melt away entirely during this process and its almost as if “I”, whoever I may be, don’t exist during this time. I can describe it as going into a deep meditation where everything else ceases to exist but at the same time I am so present and so in tune with everything that is. I type and type and type until I suddenly become aware that its all over. What’s crazy is then I get to read what I have just created. Every time I am completely blown away, not because I think my writing is good or bad, I don't attach any labels to it. It’s just amazing to read something created by yourself but have no real recollection of trying to think of words or trying to express the thoughts, they literally just pour out of my hands, or my mind, without thought.
It is such an effortless process. I can’t imagine having to create in on demand, I simply cannot at this stage. I haven’t done any other writing of late, I simply wait until it comes to me - my whole "life" section was created just for it. I am listening.
If you can relate to any of this through your creative process I’d love to hear from you and learn more about this as it is all very new to me! I can imagine painting, drawing and creating art could manifest similar experiences. I’ve truly valued the recent individuals who have been reaching out because of my recent posts, and I’d love to foster more meaningful connections with those who find truth in these words.