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Our Stories, Ourselves:
Honoring the Inner Maiden

By DeAnna L’am

red flowers

Editor’s note: We love how this piece not only opens a window to awareness and healing within and among women, but shines a light on the rarely mentioned yet deeply felt truth of the cyclical nature of our lives, as human beings in general, and as women in particular. The experience of menstruation binds women more closely to their bodies and to the earth; some cultures have vilified it, some have tried to ignore it, and others have revered or even feared the spiritual power of this blood as alternately sacred or wicked. Whatever your culture, and whatever your gender, if you search you may find the phenomenon of menstruation holds a powerful seat in your conscious or unconscious psyche; Ms. L’am’s recognition of it as an opportunity to know, love and empower ourselves and each other is nothing short of brilliant.

My own transition into womanhood was painfully lacking in warmth or empowerment. How was the day of Your first period? Was it an inspiring experience? Or is there a knot at the pit of your stomach when you think about it?

Our Inner Maiden, the coming-of-age girl we once were, is left inside us hanging, often shamed, embarrassed, or afraid. Her story never told, her beauty never seen, she grew up considering her periods a “nuisance,” a “bother,” or “the curse.”

The story of Menarche, our first menstrual blood, is rarely told. It is interesting to note that women, who tend to share everything with one another, from first sexual encounters to stories of survival and recovery from abuse, are silent about this one… Adhering to the cultural taboo around menstruation, we silence not only the story of our first blood, but also all conversations around our relationship to our blood. Somehow we adopted the notion that “linear is good” and we often live our lives as if cyclicity is not at the heart of our beings. Yes, we reclaimed ourselves as strong women. We break through “glass ceilings,” we combine careers with motherhood, we choose not to become mothers, we can do it all… but do we honor our blood?

Breaking silence is only possible in the company of others. The healing power of storytelling lies in being heard and witnessed…

mysterious full moon

Make time with one or more of your close women friends to tell the story of your first menstrual period. It is astounding to find the similarities we share. The details of our stories may differ, yet the feelings are almost identical. In a room full of women there is always a sense of being able to relate to every single story as if it were our own.

In conflicting regions such as Israel (my country of origin), I was moved to tears helping Israeli & Arab women transcend religious and political divides by telling their first blood stories. The bond this created among them far exceeded the rip they felt for years.

I traveled a long way from seeing my period as a nuisance, to reclaiming my Moon Flow as sacred, my Moon Time as a spiritual wellspring. Telling my first blood story, and holding space for women around the world to tell theirs, is an essential component in healing one of the last missing pieces of our inner puzzles.

We can tell blood stories in our living rooms, in cafes, on park benches, or anywhere women get together to support one other through conversation. Sharing our stories we embark on a long overdue journey: that of quenching our Inner Maiden’s thirst, and of integrating cyclicity as a conscious part of our womanhood. At the same time we create the necessary steppingstone to authentically welcome our daughters, or other girls in our lives, into womanhood.

Sunny Clime, Tahiti,  Nicholas Chevalier, 1883 Sunny Clime, Tahiti, Nicholas Chevalier, 1883

About the author

Amirah Counts

DeAnna L'am is an internationally established expert on Menstrual Wellness, the author of A Diva’s Guide to Getting Your Period, and the founder of Red Moon School of Empowerment for Women & Girls™ and Red Tents In Every Neighborhood – Global Network. For over 20 years, DeAnna has been helping women worldwide learn to love themselves unconditionally, welcome their daughters into empowered womanhood, and hold Red Tents in their communities. Visit her at

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