I was introduced to the QiGong practice of "Taming the Red Dragon," at a martial arts retreat in Costa Rica last December. This practice was passed down by Daoist Nuns to my Sensei Mike Ninomiya and from him to me. What a different world we were living in a year ago.
During the martial arts retreat in Costa Rica, I was spending several hours each day in training - Kata & Shamanic QiGong with trees at sunrise, sparring and throwing techniques into the waves at sunset. On the night of the full moon, engaged in QiGong while immersed in the sound of waves crashing around me, I realized - if the moon is powerful enough to change the tides of the ocean on this planet, it is certainly powerful enough to cause a migraine when the flow in my body is out of sync. And so, my journey began.
Navigating my cycle has often been turbulent, fraught with interpersonal clashes building up to the start of my flow. While partners called me crazy and emotional, I began to see a pattern. All the little things that were brushed under the rug throughout the month built up until I could no longer stuff anything down and would roar to the surface. The older I've gotten, my periods have become more intense -prolonged and heavy bleeding, fatigue, debilitating migraines leading up to the day of full flow, and a sense of shock at how intense my emotions had gotten when the release of the flow finally moved through.
Each cycle since Costa Rica has taught me something new. Over the past two months, the pandemic has filled my household with tumultuous change, pushing me to find new depths of self preservation and transform old beliefs overlaying my current life circumstances. This month, as my cycle began perfectly in sync with the new moon yet my life was feeling quite disharmonious, I leaned into my moon practice to stabilize and once again found revelations in the wisdom of the moon.
As my cycle harmonizes with the moon, I am finding a grounding source outside myself. When I journey in to face the build up of entanglements that need to release, it is easy to get lost. Historically, I've tended to go so deep that I lose faith I will come out the other side - that my energy will return, the migraine will recede, the bleeding and emotions surfacing will release and my happiness will return. As I practice my QiGong Moon Flow each month, my physical flow becomes gentler and I bleed with more ease. Some months my migraines are better than others and I'm learning how to manage them without medication. When I find my emotions swallowing me, I have a powerful practice to release from them and recenter.
But this month, on top of all of this, I also had an external guide. A source of stability. The moon always returns from the shadow. Every month. And when I hit my depths of uncertainty that I will return from my shadows, I can turn to her to guide me back. She is always resourced. She is ever present and available for me to connect with. She is predictable and consistent.
As I sync with her, I find resilience in a source outside of myself. I realize that I am not doing this alone. I don't have to figure out how to pull myself out of the depths or worry about whether I'll be able to. I can simply use the practice to purge and trust that I will return along with the moon.
My daughter is 10 and started her cycle three moons ago. I am excited to engage in a practice with her that can allow her to purge as she grows. I wonder, if she embraces her cycle and consciously releases each month, will the transition into menopause be less wild for her? With a monthly practice, will she not have to suffer from 30 years of suppression attempting to surface and release each month?
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