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Menstrual Cycle State of Mind


It’s a searing pain in a place you don’t really know exists till it begins. It happens in organs and spaces you can never really feel until you do feel them. Then it is hard to be aware of much else. It’s a push, a pull, and a contracting pressure that doesn’t let up for 24 – 48 hours if you’re one of the luckier ones. It is like a miniature orchestra with sharp instruments rented out the lowest part of your stomach to play an unending symphony that sets you on edge. It is a combination of little sharp knives and intrusion in uncomfortable places. It’s that time of the month again.

Being on your period is both icky and strange. It is both painful yet comforting. I’ve never really gotten used to bloating and bleeding every month, and it has been happening for more years than it hasn’t. Period pain is a… -___-  Deep down, beneath the aches and crankiness though you know it is for your own good. Whether you understand the ovulation and egg shedding process and appreciate the complexity of the female body, or you simply just tampon or pad up and grit your teeth and bear it; a period signifies a working female body. This is a blessing and a beautiful thing.


No matter how much your body is wracked with pain or how foul your mood certain things hold true:

1. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this too will pass. The pain will decrease, and then subside all together. The blood will flow in lesser amounts and then stop.

2. You will not die. A period might feel like it is ripping your midsection in half, but even when you finally manage to fall into a tormented sleep you know you will wake up.

3. It is for your own good. It signals that your reproductive system works. So no matter how inconvenient it is, you never wish it away altogether. And if it happens to not show up this will not go unnoticed.


The great thing about period pain is it trains us for life. No this is not a leap, it is a fact. As I’m sure we all know in life we face trials and troubles of different sorts. Sometimes they are regular growing pains, and other times they are surprisingly challenging incidents we might not have anticipated. Either way, beneath the pain and discomfort we know we’ll get through it. Why? Because our bodies have taught us that we are stronger than we think.

I know there are many incidences I look back on with a surreal shock, thinking so “that too [actually] passed.” At the time I was going through it, I knew I would make it out the other end by God’s grace, but the how or the when evaded me. In a similar fashion if we approach the growing out of our comfort zones, relationship challenges, steep learning curves at work, messy situations that require untangling, and instances where we have to dig deeper for more strength and resolve with ‘the period principle’ then mind over matter kicks in.


The Period Principle

Applying ‘the period principle’ involves assessing the situation objectively. Yes, this is uncomfortable, maybe even painful, but in the end it shall end. While I cannot whisk away the reality of this situation I can make it better. We all know our unique processes – be it a hot water bottle, pain killers, junk food, phoning a friend, etc. Similarly, while we face challenges there are means by which we can clear our heads, be encouraged, obtain excellent advice, and make informed decisions.

After all, why wouldn’t we be able to handle some discomfort and some prolonged pain? We have increased our pain tolerance since puberty. We have learned the art of multitasking and existing while it feels like our uterus (or whatever unidentified organ this is) is on fire. We have learned to be proactive about managing this recurring pain cycle.

If you assess who you really are and how many periods you have powered through – 189 and counting over here – it actually empowers you to amp up your staying power and push through your situation.

It is an excellent reminder of just what you are capable of and what you have the capacity to withstand. If you know that your end is good – which it is, then you know that the difficult situation is merely a comma on the way to a better period. Therefore using these same principles you apply monthly, you can get your mind focused where it matters.

Today I’m sat in my office, heat pack hidden under my cardigan, a cup of tea on my desk, and pain killers within arm’s reach. I am ready to manage my pain (as usual) and leverage these lessons across all areas of my life. What does your period-super-power inspire you to do?

Zeni St. John

  • SR St John

    THE PERIOD PRINCIPLE!!! Now Zen I can say that you’ve wisely come up with an excellent coinage, not the period mentality but The Period Principle.
    The comparison of applying this mindset to challenging situations in life is intuitive. As a menopausal women, I reflect on those fertile child bearing years and see how monthly periods equate on a deeper level to being “gutsy,” youthful power to do things, to be what you want to be.
    Brilliant angle. At my stage it’s the cool down period in more ways than one. The measured times of a slower pace with attendant wisdom and grace.

    July 25, 2016 at 2:43 pm Reply
  • Iphie

    I like the application of the period principle to real life events ….like you rightly pointed out the situations won’t last forever. I do sometimes ponder on situations that I have been through in the past and often amazed at how i managed to get out of those situations – our faith does help because God is definitely at work but just the sheer stress of trying to humanly figure out a solution…..

    February 17, 2017 at 12:17 am Reply

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