Nicole Brenny: What led to your curiosity about your menstrual cycle?
Miranda Gray: My interest in my cycle developed out of a need to be able to function in the everyday world. My experiences of my cycle often overwhelmed me physically, emotionally and mentally, and I found it very difficult to fit in with what society expected of me—a woman with the same energies, abilities, and needs all the time.
Ms. Brenny: Was there a specific moment that really started you on your path of research and writing about the female cycle?
Ms. Gray: My journey of exploration began when I started artcollege after I completed my science degree. When you are expected to be creative 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, you soon learn how your creativity changes, and I discovered that I had two very different natural painting styles dependent on the phases of my cycle.
I went on to work as a freelance illustrator and when you work for yourself you soon find out what is easy or difficult for you. I found that there were weeks when I felt very confident, would agree to new contracts, ring up my agent, and work long hours, and then there would be weeks when my concentration levels would drop, working was challenging, my self-confidence and self-belief would plummet, and I was overwhelmed by life. My cycle was a real emotional and physical rollercoaster ride.
I felt something was wrong with me but as I started sharing my experiences with other women, I realized that although our cycles are unique to us, we share many things in common. I realized that many women had the same difficulties I had.
I knew that my observations about the cycle could not be a modern discovery and that women in the past would not only have known about their cycle’s energies, but they would also have passed that wisdom on through myths and legends. So I started researching mythology not only to find understanding from the past but also to create a language of words and images that modern women could use to understand who they are and to share and express their cyclic nature.
Ms. Brenny: How did your life shift once you started paying attention to your cycle?
Ms. Gray: By noting how I felt in each of the phases I noticed a wonderful aspect to the cycle that women are simply unaware of—the menstrual cycle is a ‘happiness tool’!
In each phase we experience different needs and when we meet these needs, we feel wellbeing, contentment and happiness. We women have the power to make ourselves feel happy at any time during the month!
I found out by accident that if I did small things towards meeting my needs in a phase, I felt good. Silly little things like cleaning in my pre-menstrual phase, baking in my ovulation phase, doing my accounts in the pre-ovulation phase, and sleeping more in my menstrual phase, all made me feel good. My view of the cycle changed from one of survival to one of opportunities to feel good.
Ms. Brenny: Can women who take birth control still benefit from the teachings in your books?
Ms. Gray: Women on birth control medication tell me that sometimes they are aware of a slight change in their energies depending on their response to the type of contraception they are taking.
Women without a cycle can still connect to the authentic cyclic nature and spirituality of women by connecting with the moon’s cycle.
Whether a woman is menopausal, has had her ovaries and womb removed, or suppresses her physical cycle, she can connect to the rhythm of the feminine through the lunar phases or seasons.
Everything I write about the four phases of the menstrual cycle also applies to the influence of the four phases of the moon as there is a deep connection between the lunar phases, the minds and wombs of women. However the experience is not completely the same as experiencing your own physical cyclic nature.
Ms. Brenny: Can men take from the lessons of your books, specifically “Red Moon” and “The Optimized Woman”?
Ms. Gray: I can only write from the awareness of the female body and energy system, and it would take a man working with my material to answer your question.
My books certainly help men to understand female nature. They have been raised, just as we have, in a society that expects women to be like men and so they can have as much confusion about what a woman is as women are.
My books can help men to understand that we are not the same as they are and, most importantly, provide them with the information that they need to create strong and positive relationships with women, whether personal relationships or work relationships. My book “The Optimized Woman” contains a short chapter written specifically for men to read.
Ms. Brenny: What are the top three things that you want all women to know about their menstrual cycle?
Ms. Gray: Good question!
We are cyclic in nature. This means that our body, mind, emotions, abilities, needs, sexuality, creativity, and spirituality can all change with the phases of our cycle. When we understand this, we stop fighting ourselves and our bodies, and we feel more inner peace, more self-acceptance and more self-empowerment.
When we live more in-tune with this cyclic nature we release a lot of stress and guilt about not being what society expects us to be and we become free to love, express and celebrate all aspects of our female energies. And this feels good!
Our cycles bring us the gift of opportunities for creating well being, achieving our dreams and for enhancing our everyday work. So rather than our cycle being something that stops us achieving what we wish to do in life, it is there to help us.
Ms. Brenny: What is one thing women can do today to become more aware of their natural cycles?
Ms. Gray: Notice how you feel and write it down. After one cycle you will see how you change during the month. After two cycles you will see days when you experience similar energies, needs and skills. After three months you will know when to plan activities to meet your needs and create happiness and well being in your life.
Ms. Brenny: Are your books and teaching based in any sort of religious or philosophical background?
Ms. Gray: The spirituality that lies in my work originates in the female body and the experiences it brings.
During our cycles we experience different levels of dominant thinking which affect how we perceive ourselves and the universe. Through these levels of thinking we have a natural spirituality that each month takes us deeper than everyday awareness to connect with the divine.
This path of female spirituality is not new but it has been hidden. We find its wisdom in folk stories, and in myths and legends of women and goddesses, and in religions that honour the sacredness of the female.
The images and titles we give to the divine, and the way we express our relationship with the divine, can change with the phases of our cycle. It means that our natural spiritual path can be a blend of many types of spiritual teaching.
Ms. Brenny: What are a few of your favorite activities to do during your own cycle? What have you noticed optimizes each particular phase of your cycle the most?
Ms. Gray: I love the creativity of the pre-menstrual phase with a passion! I think 90 percent of all my creative projects are done in this phase. This is my time to write my books, to paint spiritual paintings, and create space and order by having a good clean out! In my menstrual phase I love to simply ‘be’—to curl up on the sofa with a blanket around me and a cup of tea, and to look out at the garden.
These moments of mental quiet are special and full of sacred beauty for me. They are my time to reflect on what I am doing and to listen to my heart about where I should be going in life. In my pre-ovulation phase everything changes—I have a long list of jobs to do and I love doing everything from starting new projects to doing mundane chores.
In my ovulation phase my energies soften and I love to garden and cook, and to connect with friends.
Ms. Brenny: Is there any good scientific research to support the findings in your books or that relate directly to the myths and legends that surround menstruation?
Ms. Gray: There are a number of menstrual cycle projects but science has yet to catch up with the full range of influences the cycle can have on women.
Although I have a science background I feel that we shouldn’t wait for science to give things ‘validation’ before starting to understand our cyclic nature and living in harmony with it.
My approach to the cycle has always been focused on the experience rather than the biology and on finding the positive gifts that lie within our cycles.
Ms. Brenny: You give workshops all over the world. How can people stay connected and get involved in the communities that you lead?
Ms. Gray: Two years ago I offered the first Worldwide Womb Blessing as a way to help women not just to heal but to awaken to the full range of their female energies and natural female spirituality.
Since the first Blessing we now have five distant Womb Blessings a year and a family of 65,000 women from 130 countries. The youngest woman is 9-years-old and the eldest is 91-years-old.
I also teach women to give the Womb Blessing in person and we now have trained Moon Mothers in countries in Europe and worldwide, including Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Venezuela, USA, Canada, and Australia.
Each Blessing opens and connects more deeply a woman’s conscious to the divine feminine, awakens more repressed or dormant aspects of her female energies, and energizes her womb energy center returning it to sacredness. The Womb Blessing helps women to quickly awaken and grow in their female nature, and my books “Red Moon” and “Optimised Woman” help them to actively live this nature so they stay connected to it.
To join with thousands of women worldwide in the next free, distant Worldwide Womb blessing, simply go to www.wombblessing.com to register. After registration you will be sent a link to a download page containing instructions for the day.
You can find more information on the website and a list of Moon Mother Representatives for your country who are happy to answer questions and provide help.
If you would like to become a Moon Mother, you can also find a list of countries and dates for the Womb Blessing workshops on the website.
There are many Womb Blessing Facebook pages around the world to join and also a Ning community www.wombblessing.ning.com. You can also stay in contact with me through my facebook page www.facebook.com/mirandagrayhome
Ms. Brenny: Can you tell us about the new book you have coming out?
Ms. Gray: My most recent book “Spiritual Messages for women. Ancient female wisdom for modern women,” provides messages from each of the four female archetypes—energies and symbols which are accessible to all women regardless of culture—to be read in their associated phase.
They bring messages of love and acceptance, of support and wisdom, and how to accept, love and express their nature in women’s lives.
The messages may be chosen at random during the day or can be worked through every day in the month of energy integration after receiving a Womb Blessing. You can order the book directly from the publisher http://cyclicwoman.webnode.com/
There will also be a new book about the Womb Blessing coming soon!
Ms. Brenny: Aside from your workshops and books, what are other resources, you recommend for women who want to learn more?
Ms. Gray: There is a free download from me called ‘Let’s go menstrual!’ available from www.revealwomenssecret.com
If they would like to see images of the Red Moon and Womb Blessing workshop they are on www.flickr.com/photos/95356905@N06/
Ms. Brenny: How long have you been compiling research and studying the subject of menstruation?
Ms. Gray: My research led to my first book “Red Moon,” which celebrates its 20th anniversary of being in print this year.
Ms. Brenny: Do you think there is still a stigma attached to menstruation?
Ms. Gray: Yes.
Ms. Brenny: Anything else you’d like to mention?
Ms. Gray: We live at a time when women are responding to a call in their hearts to awaken and embrace their authentic female nature in all aspects of their lives. This call reaches across language and countries, and across cultures and religion. Through the Worldwide Womb Blessing we can embrace this call and become part of a global community of women who connect together and grow together. We are not alone.
And when a large number of women all do something small towards awakening their authentic femininity and that of other women, then we will make big changes not only in our own lives, but in the world.