Boy, are we in the mother of all voids right now, collectively.
We wake up at the start of the week not knowing what we'll face. We're walking on constantly shifting sands. The future is a big unknown.
The interesting thing is that those of us who have been practicing menstrual cycle awareness have quietly been training for exactly this kind of moment!
Each menstrual month our cycle has prepared us for these times by guiding us through the building up and ‘buffering’ of the first half of the cycle, which is followed by the contraction and dissolution of the second half, until we enter our own personal void as we begin to bleed.
Through this rhythmic round we’ve been practicing the important process of activity and rest, of going out into the world, then coming back to ourselves and surrendering as we ‘drop our bundle’ and let the bleed take us where it will.
We have all been apprenticing in the art of resting into the unknown. And hard though these times may be for you, this is an important gift to acknowledge.
However, as a global community, both individually and collectively, we've tried to avoid what we refer to as the 'via negativa', the current of contraction, encounter, and relationality that governs the second half of our cycles.
One of the things that happens when we try and avoid the second half of the cycle is usually some kind of catastrophe that forces us to stop.
Many of us have experienced this with our health. If you push too much and go too fast, eventually your body will force you to stop by making you ill.
In many ways, we as a species have pushed ourselves into this forced shutdown we're experiencing.
In our experience of the cycle, this second half is where we reflect and come back home to ourselves and our inner authority. It invites us to question and re-evaluate what’s working and what’s not working. In that slow down and stopping, we’re brought deeper into connection with the reality of our situation and we ask the bigger, more difficult questions. We’re confronted by the more difficult truths.
And this is the place we’re finding ourselves in as a global community right now.
We're in the void!
Towards the end of the cycle, there’s a moment just before we bleed at menstruation, which we call the ‘void’. It’s the most vulnerable moment in the entire cycle. Our energy is at its lowest and it’s as though the ground goes from underneath us. We may have been managing and coping with the daily challenges of lockdown, and then BAM, we lose the thread.
This void moment can be a time of deep, deep darkness. Sometimes the hole is so deep it can even feel we’re going to be annihilated. A woman can have suicidal thoughts here, particularly if she has experienced trauma in her life. It can be a bleak place.
However, when you understand the void, it becomes the 'great unknown' - a place of new potential and possibility. It can be a gap in the fabric of life, where spiritual connection can enter. This moment of void is the most powerful place in the cycle, where we can experience a profound feeling of union.
Let’s take this to the world’s current situation. Collectively, we’ve all just tumbled into the void. It can feel hopeless and devoid of possibility, a massive hole of unknown and uncertainty. There are many people who are really struggling on many levels.
All our usual ways of coping no longer working.
We are, in many ways, powerless.
And that is the beginning of potential power - recognising that we’re powerless. It is initiatory. It makes us vulnerable, and in that vulnerability, we can learn new ways to hold ourselves and stabilise ourselves within the unknown. This may begin to open us up to the signals, the new lights emerging, the seeds of a new story trying to pulse us.
If we can learn how to pace this unknown territory, we enter the great opportunity of the void...
to let go of the old ways, to shed our skin, to drop our masks, and let life change us.
To come into a new conversation with the world.
Just like the moment when the blood begins to flow, and we feel the ground underneath our feet again, as well as the holding of the great ‘mother hug’ that is available at menstruation, so too will we find our feet through this great collective challenge.
We will see what is emerging, the new order that is implicate, but this requires us to be - as Oprah would say - ‘spiritually ripped’!
It requires that we listen loyally to our cycle as it works us.