I did it again. I told myself I wouldn’t. I told myself: “It’s time to stop. I’ve done it enough times. Stop it.” I asked myself: “Aren’t you tired of it? Just sitting there and dumping into it all that you feel again and again? Sometimes, you don’t even know what you are feeling exactly, but you do it anyway. Once these feelings are there, they become so obvious, don’t they? It becomes crystal clear: Oh, that is what was bothering me? That is what I miss? I thought I let go of that, so how come I’m still thinking about it? The truth is, you couldn’t stop it if you wanted to, could you?”
It all started as part of an art project. I called it #DAILYCONCEPTIVE. After 12 years of birth control pills, I decided to give it up, and in order to get in tune with the phases of my female cycles, I started to collect imagery and words on Pinterest and Twitter. My intention was to share it in social media, and open an invitation to other women to do the same. That they too would connect with their female cycles and express it.
It worked. It is happening. Others are connecting with me via Pinterest and Twitter. They react to this imagery and they add their own. What was mine becomes theirs, and what was theirs, mine. It’s a mere curatorial process. Some say curation is useless, but not when it’s done collectively. You can call it: collective selection. What is being said is not spoken in words, but there are thousands of them on each image. And it is so powerful.
It was supposed to last 13 moons. The equivalent to 1 year of a woman’s cycle. The moons came and went. And I’ve now fulfilled my commitment. But I’m not done. I am still there. The imagery and lexicon are still there. And they keep coming. Just like my cycles: fluid and in volumes. It helps me understand my internal process. That confusing, intense and dark process that us women go through — being lead by unseeable hormonal waves. What a lonely mental and physical process that can be! But now these waves can be seen, and shared, and I am not riding it alone.
#DAILYCONCEPTIVE became a map. It shows me where I’ve been, where I am, and where I am headed. So I keep adding into it. Sometimes once a week. Sometimes every hour. All I know is that I am there often. Too often. It is a habit now. No, it’s a compulsion. If I am anxious and it’s hard to define where it is coming from, I have to go there. If the pressure is coming in waves or, the peace is so immense I just don’t want to let go of it, that’s how I do it. I put it there. I collect each emotion, each feeling, each day into this board. I can look back and it’s all there in one continuous page. This board now carries my past and present. And, although it can’t tell the future it tells me one thing: the search is infinite, limitless and continuous. And it must go on. And, so does #DAILYCONCEPTIVE. For as many moons as necessary #DAILYCONCEPTIVE will go on.
You can see my entire CONCEPTIVES Art Project at www.conceptives.jennifercabral.com
This self-discovery wouldn’t have happened without the wisdom of three inspiring authors I used to guide me through my own cycle awareness process. They are Christiane Northup, MD; Alisa Vitti and Sara Avant Stover THANK YOU, Dear Teachers!