Of the many excellent people Suzanne and I met on a recent trip to Las Vegas for the ABC Kids Expo trade show, Karen Wells, co-host (along with the fabulous Erica Matteson) of Pregnancy Place Radio, was a standout. Karen and Erica are doulas with a thriving practice and a keen interest in women’s health and natural products that they have charismatically taken to the airwaves. They thoughtfully interviewed a ton of the many manufacturers represented at the show, ourselves included (click here to hear it!)
We had a fabulous connection with them, and Karen had the guts to launch the “Lunarevolution” on air as she challenged her listeners to try Lunapads. The revolution then carried over to Twitter (search #lunarevolution to see all the tweets), and was joined by the lovely and awesome Melissa Moog of Itsabelly Baby Planners fame and longstanding supporter Alicia Land Voorhies of The Soft Landing. To sum it up, these brave ladies really put the Lunapads newbie experience out there in all its imperfect glory, sharing their fears and reservations, and pulling no punches about learning what worked when (and didn’t). Long story short: after a bit of a learning curve, we’ve got ourselves some converts!
At the time of the interview Karen expressed that she thought that Lunapads might be a useful tool for some women for healing around sexual abuse and birth trauma, a conversation that we are continuing to have and I will post about later at the greater length the topic deserves.
Her thoughts in turn inspired me to think about other kinds of healing benefits that Lunapads have brought to women, and my first thought was menarche. This topic is a fitting followup to my recent post about Dr. Christiane Northrup’s inspirational visit to Vancouver, and thoughts that came up for me as a result about the connection between how we treat our vulva/vaginas during menstruation and how happy they are in other respects. In my case, losing the tampon habit brought about a revolution for me with respect to sexuality, creativity and personal power.
Here are some thoughts about menarche I had in response to one of Karen’s emails:
|“How many of us were ever properly honored, informed or cared for as menarchal girls? What wounds do many of us carry to this day around it that we may not even be aware of?
A customer once told us that discovering Lunapads was “like a second, healed version of menarche”: this expresses on a deeply meaningful level for me personally why I got into all of this in the first place. My 11 year old self knew that becoming a woman was going to be amazing… until it actually happened, then it seemed like nobody else really thought so.
To go a bit deeper here: whether we view it this way consciously or not, in using disposable products we are essentially treating our blood as garbage (hence the classic notion of menstruation as being “dirty”). There are other powerful symbolic links to disease (“sanitary” pads look a lot like bandages, cramps and PMS are totally pathologized) and even toxic waste in the practice as well – we are so not at peace with our bodies here.
This treatment (throwing “away”, hiding the evidence of our bleeding, the secrecy), for what represents our ability to give life, our time to let go and go inside, speak our truths, our connection with the tides, the seasons, the cycles of the moon – is profoundly negative and totally inconsistent with honoring ourselves in these ways – there is nothing gentle or nurturing about it. To me, it’s nothing short of (symbolically, at least) shutting down our inner goddess, especially since she was never honored in our communities when we were girls.”
As it happens, following Dr. Northrup’s presentation I had a great conversation with our dear friend and colleague Nikiah Seeds (check out her post about the evening’s goings on) about how we can better support and honor menarchal girls.
What was menarche like for you? If it was a positive experience, what made it that way? Moms and daughters out there, what can you share with us about your journeys? Have any of you found healing around it or other issues as part of switching to Lunapads?