Close your eyes and draw your awareness inside your incredible body. For a moment, as you inhale, exhale, imagine the divine source of power surging throughout your entire system. Your blood. Imagine it’s consistency, it’s flow, it’s power to heal you, feed you and detoxify you. Imagine your red blood cells carrying oxygen all through your body and your white blood cells powerfully fighting against sickness and disease. Imagine your blood intelligently carrying nutrients to your cells without you needing to do anything, imagine it detoxifying waste without you feeling anything. Take a moment to flood your thoughts with immense gratitude for this magical and healing liquid that runs through your veins and keeps you alive and well.
If you have listened to my Sacred Cycles episode of my podcast you will know I have a love affair with my monthly cycles, my blood flow and all of the divine sensations that swirl through my body each month. I can only claim this deep passion for my inner wisdom because I have spent decades releasing blocks, shame, pain and society’s taboos around periods, bleeding and all of the wonder that comes with it.
This week I want to share with you a supremely connected and beautiful practice that I have been devoted to for many years. I only recently heard that it has a label and that is Free Bleeding. Yes, let your blood run free during your moon time or menstruation.
But wait, no, I am not suggesting you go and bleed all over your office floor or drip down the aisles of the supermarket (unless that feels like a celebratory act) Free bleeding is a sacred and very personal ritual, not because it is shameful or disgusting but because the beauty and liberation it brings you is about building a deeper connection with yourself. By opening up to all parts of your miraculous cycle you are calling in empowering self-love and in many ways it is a rebellious and super sexy act to declare that you will not hide away or ignore the sensations of one of the most powerful gifts you have been given. A connection with your blood is the ultimate peaceful protest that says
“I am divine feminine power and flow and I claim my space and freedom in this world. I bleed and I am in love with my body for its capacity to cycle in co-creation with the muthaeffin’ cosmos. I am a woman. I am worthy of all that I desire”
For me Free Bleeding is not about accidentally bleeding on anything, through anything. Free Bleeding is the act of choosing not to wear period products of any kind, feeling into when the blood is flowing and releasing that flow in the toilet, on the earth or collecting it in a cup or other vessel. I have practiced this for many years because I have worked from home for over a decade and I have had the time and space to experiment and get very familiar with all of the sensations of my bleed. I have never stained anything, bleed onto anything or caused any awkwardness in any way. When I first started this practice I was not as sensitive to the feelings and sometimes I would have a wave of blood flow unexpectedly but I was always close to a toilet or shower. Most months I free bleed for my whole period other months I use a moon cup or organic tampon if I am teaching or going to meetings and Free Bleed for the rest of the time. If I am at home, the shops, friends house, on a plane, in the ocean or somewhere where I can be close to a toilet or the earth I free bleed, always. The practice has become so familiar to me that my blood flow comes in waves, I feel a gentle downward pressure or warmth that urges me to go and release my blood, it flows out freely in one beautiful motion until the next wave anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 or 3 hours later. I have never stained anything, dripped blood on anything or had any smell because of blood settling anywhere other than in my uterus or the toilet or earth. Free Bleeding to me is the ultimate devotional practice to the sensuality of my blood flow, witnessing its colour and texture and a divine way to heighten sensation and connection to my uterus and yoni.
If you are a little worried about the idea of Free Bleeding being messy or embarrassing then I encourage you to think about it in the same way that you would think about going to the bathroom. When was the last time you peed your pants? The difference is that you were taught to hold on or go to the bathroom when your bladder activated, for me Free Bleeding is the same and when I feel my blood activate I simply go to the bathroom.
If this makes you feel a bit uneasy or sick remember that we are unlearning much of the build up and ickiness around the miracle that is menstruation so it’s ok to take it slow. A little at a time. If you catch yourself resorting to old feelings that it is gross or inconvenient just watch those thoughts and reflect on them, perhaps remember back to times when bleeding did bring inconvenience or embarrassment. I can recount many times when I was in high school when bleeding was totally inconvenient and so heavy that I would often be worried it was flooding out, I often felt uncomfortable and nervous. It is ok to give compassion to those moments and imagine a new scenario where you were proud to be a healthy, strong and vibrant woman with a rich and flowing river of wonder coming from your uterus each month.
Reimagine a time when you felt discomfort or shame around your time of bleeding, when you wanted to hide it or stop it and transform that memory into a sensation of gratitude for the life force that makes herself present and known to remind you of your lady powers, your health and incredible internal wisdom. I know this is not always easy but I can guarantee you that building this relationship and love with your body will have incredible healing powers and soften much of the discomfort you might hold around the time of your bleed. For most of us, we bleed every month, that is 12 times a year and I heard somewhere recently that a woman will likely bleed for a sum total of 6 – 8 years of her life. With that much time dedicated to shedding our insides I personally think it is worth celebrating and connecting to rather than hating it and trying to ignore it.
Free bleeding has changed my period
- zero waste or less waste
I have almost zero waste periods. I was never a huge fan of moon cups, I never got used to the feeling so I would use organic tampons but even that felt like it was contributing to a lot of waste each month. When I was much younger and using mainstream period products including pads, liners and tampons I was left with a huge amount of waste each month. Not to mention the toxic waste that would have been produced during the manufacturing of these bleached and plastic wrapped products. By free bleeding I create almost zero waste, most months none at all. It also costs me next to nothing and I am paying no ridiculous taxes or purchasing products from companies I don’t feel aligned with.
- pain free
I have talked about having completely pain free periods several times on Instagram and in my other podcasts and one of the things I attribute that to is free bleeding. My internal muscles are relaxed and supple because I am not using tampons or moon cups so I am causing no stress or pressure. I believe this has an impact on my pelvic health and muscles tension.
- shorter periods
Up until I started free bleeding I had a tendency to always be “holding on” and restricting the flow of blood making the bleeding process go for longer. With Free Bleeding I gently relax and let all of the blood flow out in waves so I believe the lining of my uterus releases more cleanly and quickly. I am never left with dark or old blood in my body, Free Bleeding allows me a complete and clean bleed.
- no chemicals or perfumes being inserted
Because I rarely use period products, and if I do they are unbleached and organic, I am not inserting any harmful chemicals or toxins that might be part of the products and can leech into my body in any way. Free bleeding contributes to my low tox lifestyle.
- deeper more connected orgasms
I believe that because I am so in tune with the sensations of my uterus, pelvic area and yoni I am also more connected to my pleasure, I am more relaxed and open. A beautiful bonus is deeper, more nourishing and full body orgasms that flood my body with oxytocin and allow the release of stress and increase my daily energy levels.
Of course, these are all just benefits that I have noticed. If you do choose to practice free bleeding for part or all of your next period I would love to hear about any of the changes and benefits you feel.
Some ways that you can start to build a connection with your blood if this is something that you are curious about but you would like to take it slow.
In the shower. You can try free bleeding in the shower. Try to not wear a tampon or moon cup for a while before your shower and let the blood build up and ready to flow, when you step into the shower release the tension you might be holding and watch as your blood streams down your legs, marvel at the art work it creates and the patterns that naturally form. This is life force flowing from you. It always makes me smile, it is one of my favorite sensations.
At the beach. If you are somewhere fairly private you can sit on the water’s edge and allow your blood to run out onto the sand and be cleansed away by the water.
Period pants. While I have not tried them myself, I have noticed many reusable Period Pants on the market recently. They are just like regular undies but have a leakage-proof inner gusset and could be a comfortable and safe way to get used to the sensations of free bleeding.
Squat in the garden. If you have a garden area where you feel you can create some privacy for yourself you can squat in the garden and allow a wave of your blood and life force flow from you. I have also done this camping and at festivals when I have my own private area and sacred space to bleed onto the earth. You can combine this with some meditation, gentle dance or prayer time.
Capture it in a bowl or cup at home. If you are interested in connecting with your blood, seeing what it looks like or perhaps using it to nourish your house plants or use it for ceremony or creating art work you can capture it in a glass container or cup. This is a simple and clean way to collect it just for curiosity to witness its color and texture.
Use a Moon cup. Using a moon cup is a great way to connect with your blood, you can take a moment while cleaning your cup to feel your blood, rub it on your skin, look at its colour and texture.
Some sprinkles that might bring new light to any darkness surrounding bleeding.
In many ancient cultures women who were bleeding were seen to hold supernatural powers. It was accepted that during the time of bleeding each month women could tap into powerful states of expanded consciousness and healing. They would take time out and seclude themselves during the time of their bleeding to connect more deeply with themselves and the states they would enter.
Menstrual blood contains many powerful properties including DMT, also known as the spirit molecule, a powerful compound that creates altered states and expands consciousness. A woman’s body is miraculously designed to enter into expanded states and heightened awareness and sensitivity during her time of bleeding. One possible reason for high rates of discomfort and pain during menstruation is the ignorance surrounding the power of bleeding and the magical properties of blood. What if you embraced that you bleed magical molecule. How might that transform your feelings?
Just like the cycles of the moon, a woman’s menstrual cycle is a symbol of death and rebirth. Each month the shifting physical and emotional phases of the cycle allows deep purification and detoxification urging the release of old habits and patterns and the birth of new ideas and wisdom.
Native American traditions honored the link between humanity and spirituality during menstruation time. They would celebrate with different rituals to honor blood. Menstruating women would retreat to sacred caves and bleed onto the earth as a symbol of connection with Mother Earth and Great Spirit.
The Red Tent was, and still is in some communities, a safe environment for women to circle and bleed together. It was also where women learned sacred arts like healing, channeling and dream analysis. Coming together to bleed in the Red Tent gave women a sense of alignment as a community and with the cycles of nature, it also helped them to deepen their inner wisdom and connection with the moon. It was a time to share secrets and stories as a way of feeling supported as a woman.
Connect with girlfriends during your moon time. Do you know who you are cycling with? Have you synched up with any of your girlfriends? Making a devoted effort to connect with other women in your life while you are both bleeding is a powerful practice. Nourishing and caring for each other at this time, releasing emotions and tension together is a supreme way of sharing wisdom and feeling supported during your bleed.
We have a choice to reclaim our innate wisdom to reconnect with the higher intelligence that flows through us, to be empowered with knowledge and ignited by ritual and devotion to ourselves once again. We may live in a hectic and face paced society that forgotten the power of bleeding but we have a choice in small and big ways to reconnect for the sake of healing and female empowerment. We can take back our magic.
What was that mantra?
“I am divine feminine power and flow. I claim my space and freedom in this world. I bleed and I am in love with my body for its capacity to cycle in co-creation with the whole freaking cosmos. I am a woman. I am worthy of all that I desire. I am free. ”