I LOVE my menstrual cup!

My menstrual cup is a Keeper Cup.  I had a Diva cup, not sure what happened to it, think I passed it along to a friend.

For years I did not use it.  It was not comfortable, in my vagina, after the birth of my first son.  It was pushing, in weird ways, against the rectal and bladder prolapses I sustained (that is another story!) from child-birth.

Anyhow, guess I forgot about it.  I used my organic, non-chlorine bleached pads and my sea sponge tampon.

Ok, so recently I was inspired to try the Keeper again.  Funny, my son is now 15 years old!  Anyhow, love the thing.  So much nicer than cotton tampons AND a bit nicer than the sea sponge tampons.

Feels good, seals nicely (no leakage), and works like a charm.

Upsides to using a reusable menstrual product  Click this link and read on females!

Looking for education on all things female to do with the menstrual cycle?  Diva cup has much information.

Downside, public bathrooms with multiple stalls.  It is hard to pull it out, empty it, and rinse it off to re-insert when you are in a stall.  People do not appreciate you cleaning out your bloody cup in a public sink.  Solution:  Bring a bottle of water in to the stall with you (preferably in your reusable water bottle from home).  In a pinch, I have held it in my urine stream to rinse it off.  Urine is sterile and acidic. The vagina is acidic.  No problems here.  Rinse off in your pee stream then rinse off with your bottle water from home.  Uses less water!

Grab yourself a menstrual cup:

  • save money
  • use much less disposable paper products
  • help the environment with less waste
  • healthier for vaginal tissue that cotton tampons
  • comfort

Blessings, Paula

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Raising Daughters in the Red Tent

Raising Daughters in the Red Tent

Stefanie Miosga

Dresden, Germany

stefanie

Check out Stefanie on her German website, Google will translate! http://www.roteszelt.de/uumlber-mich.html

One of the biggest driving factors for me to work in the red tent movement is the fact that I have three young daughters. I want to contribute to their puberty, menarche, and budding femininity being reasons for joyful, excited anticipation. Our generation plays a wonderful part in that: we are the bridge, it is in our hands to initiate the transformation of femininity from shame to a power source.

It was two years ago that my mother took me aside. When two of my daughters were staying with my parents, my mother found one of my cloth pads. It must have slipped into the kids’ clothing after washing. She told me I had to be more careful and that it didn’t do that my kids noticed something like that. When my father entered the room, she even sent him out, as if we were talking about something illegal.

At that time I had only just heard of red tents on the internet. It dawned on me that, as long as women like her, after raising daughters and finishing their fertile years themselves, and are still so ashamed about something like cloth pads, our world is in desperate need of this work!

A while back, my oldest daughter (she’s almost 10) asked me loudly in the crowded school yard: “Mama, do you have a monthly bleeding?“ She had browsed through her science school book and her curiosity was aroused. Her 7 year-old sister was with us and all ears.

Thanks to DeAnna L’am’s wonderful Diva’s Guide to getting your Period, for young girls, which I translated into German last year (“Tanz mit dem Mond“, available in the shop at my website), I had a beautiful, sincere and pleasant explanation for the girls at my hands. Just like birds build a nest before laying their eggs, so our womb builds a nest out of uterus lining, for when a baby starts to grow there. If we don’t conceive, we shed the lining mixed with blood, which results in menstruation. We were not embarrassed. I didn’t embellish anything nor did I tell horror stories. All was clear; the girls were content. They asked what a woman is doing with the blood and I told them briefly about cloth pads vs. disposable pads.

Back when I got my first period, I was “informed” that this will happen because I have an older sister. Still, I didn’t dare tell my mother about it.  When she found out, it was an embarrassing, bleak affair when we talked about periods for almost the only time ever.

I hardly believe that my mother was welcomed into womanhood by her own mother, so how was she supposed to do things differently with her daughters? How was she supposed to know that there was another way? It wasn’t talked about, period (pun intended). Had I asked a question like my daughter did in public, I would probably have been silenced, and later we wouldn’t have talked about it either.

If we want to create a more open environment for our daughters, it is important to start with ourselves. How many of us carry around handed-down taboos, think of their menstruation as a curse and a burden, to only look forward to menopause because of the promise of no more bleeding, and would rather die than talk to anybody about periods?

The good news is: We can still recognize, honour, and welcome the girl we were at our menarche into womanhood today. We can give that to ourselves and each other. We need the company of other women to break the taboos, to celebrate our femininity, to honour, and give each other space to be ourselves.

We can call into being red tents, moon lodges, temple groups, or however we want to call our women’s circles. There we get in touch with our own womanhood. Let’s also bring our adolescent daughters into the groups, their energy gives us at least as much as the wisdom of age gives to them! Our smart daughters won’t buy make-believe joy about their first period from us and don’t suddenly feel like a real woman, as long as we can’t honestly model to them that being a woman is a thing of power, beauty and dignity.

As we heal ourselves, we heal the next generation, healing half of the world’s population one woman at a time.  This healed half radiates healing to the other half!  Ambitious? Yes, and it works when we start with ourselves.

Thank you Stefanie for sharing your story, your journey, a journey many of us lived as well.  I am raising 2 beautiful male souls.  They have always known what my moon cycle is.  Kids ask questions.  Kids hang out with mom in the bathroom (along with the cats, and the dog…).  I never excluded them because I was “bleeding” and they should not know, see, be aware.  They know and they will, hopefully, be better men prepared to embrace strong, powerful, divine women who are thrilled with their feminine energy and cycle!

Red Tent Rising – A Resource-Full Post

Posted on March 5th, 2014 by Lucy H. Pearce of www.thehappywomb.com

I am just getting the supplies ready for our very first red tent gathering… a box of womancraft books for the red tent library, a piece of embroidery for the centre piece, a welcome sign, some futons for resting and reading…. It will be the first I know of in the south of Ireland… I am very excited.

Held on the dark moon, a red tent is a women’s circle which is open to all women in the community and offers a place to rest during menstruation, to connect with other women, share wisdom and be held in every stage of our female unfolding.

(Want to know more about what a red tent is? Watch my short video which I made for the red tent summit or grab a copy of my free red tent booklet – Password= love.)

I planted the seed of this red tent when I wrote Moon Time.  I had never been to a red tent, and there was little information out there about them. I was hungry for knowledge… so I reached out to some of the movement’s leaders, gathered all the information I could lay my hands on, and shared it in the book. That’s how I roll! Mine was the first print book to explore the phenomenon and support women in setting up their own. I have been told that it has inspired and supported the creation of red tents in the UK, Canada and Australia as well as an online one which I am a member of.

And now we will have our own real one, in our community.

My stomach is churning and I am being a little short with my family as my brain goes into tables and chairs mode. But the excitement is overriding it… the fact that this long held dream is being born, that so many women are curious about it, that this work, and a dedicated women’s space is opening up for our community… I just think of the growth, love, support, magic, empowerment, connection and healing that will emerge from the very existence of this space and shivers run down my spine…

More women sitting in circle together than ever have before in our community. Learning to speak their truth openly and be heard. From learning to listen with an open heart and without judgement. In having a place to come and be held, to rest and recharge. A place where new ideas can take seed, new books found, new friendships formed. Where women can learn to understand and trust and even celebrate their bodies.

How it came about…

I set myself a challenge out loud – which meant I couldn’t go back on it, by promising the proceeds of the e-versions of Moon Time would go towards establishing a local red tent! And since then I have researched and reflected and waited. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own, I was waiting for conspirators… and when I met them I knew right away… I did not say anything to them at all about it –  I was in the midst of launching The Rainbow Way and I had only just met them… I just held the vision consistently affirming it, and gently released the women’s group I had run for 5 1/2 years which had run its course. Numbers were dwindling and we couldn’t find any more new participants…

And then two months later, the time was right for us all.  One of the women asked on Facebook if anyone knew of a women’s group or red tent in the area… and the flame was lit. Within an hour we had a FB group. And the other woman jumped right in as an admin, unbidden. Within a week we had a date and venue. In a month we have gotten over 100 women to our group, organically. We only invited 35 between us… the rest were just drawn to us.
We have had minor bumps in the road naturally, including our first venue cancelling only days before. But we have a new, better space now.

And our first meeting tonight and are expecting about 25 women…. many of whom I know personally, some I have only met online, one I taught blogging to, and others are completely new to me. For some it will be their first time doing women’s work with me… others have done much before having been part of our long running women’s group … there is an excitement tinged with deep nervousness, as no one knows quite what to expect. What is a red tent any way, they wonder… will it be for me? Will I be expected to sit around talking about their periods, will I know anyone else?

I try to allay the nervousness with information – links to the red tent summit which I have just spoken at, my booklet on starting a red tent, with reassurance and love…  but this is new, uncharted territory… of course there is apprehension.

Some are travelling nearly an hour to join us… others are following by Facebook – we hope to inspire them to start their own in their own community.

Are you ready for a red tent in YOUR neighbourhood? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have one in your city, town, village, or community?

Imagine not having to wait any longer…

Imagine knowing exactly how to create a Red Tent, monthly, where you, and your women friends, can simply BE, rather than DO…

DeAnna L’am who created the Red Tent Summit has created an Online Class designed to inspire, motivate, support and equip you, to start your own Red Tent.

The Global Tele-Tent Class starts on March 12, but you can register today.

I believe that the vision of a red tent in every neighbourhood – is possible in our life time!

And I want to help you make it a reality in YOUR neighbourhood!

Please join me, and women from all over the world, to make it so!

If you are looking for more resources I would recommend: