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Welcome back to The Leak for 2023, our first blog features a poem from Didi Ananda Rashmika, enjoy!

I know you don’t understand and so didn’t I, until I no longer could
ignore what my body was telling me. I cannot be the same every
day, the same favourite version of me, the one that helps, gives,
serves and pleases,
the one that has no personal needs or desires,
that keeps everyone happy, smilingly.
Believe me, I have tried and for a while it seemed to work. As long
as I ignored the soft voice within. As long as I assumed the
premenstrual emotions to be normal.
As long as my irritability was just a character flaw of mine. As long
as I could cry at night and not think more of it than “something is
wrong with ME”. But “as long as” has limits too and I reached
there a few years ago.
I can no longer can avoid my inner voice. I can no longer accept
emotional suffering as normal. I can no longer label my cyclical
symptoms as personal weaknesses. And I don’t want to any
longer. There’s nothing wrong with me. Nor with the millions of
women who share the same nature. We are more-so much more-
than the helpful hands that keep the family, society and world
running and functioning
We are the embodiment of the life force Fluctuating, ever-
changing… cyclical.

Now that I know, there’s no way back and that doesn’t make it
easier since you and most others do not yet understand. So I need
to teach you with all the patience I can muster – even in my most
sensitive times. It is hard – being misunderstood and yet being the
key to the change that we need. Yes WE, not I. You too need the
world to understand, for until then our society is only limping
ahead, one leg weakened by shame and ignorance.
There’s nothing wrong with me Nor with the millions of women who
share the same nature
We are the embodiment of the life force Fluctuating, ever-
changing. . . We are cyclical.

Didi Ananda Rashmika

Menstrual educator, Celebration Day for Girls facilitator

Shortly after Didi was introduced to Menstrual Cycle Awareness, inspired by all it had brought to her life and wellbeing, she started sharing this newly discovered wisdom with women around her and on the online community she guides as leader of the PanaceAM Foundation and its ‘Mujer Despierta’ (Awakened Woman) movement. The reaction was always the same: “Why did we not learn this before?”

After hosting the Celebration Day for Girls as Outreach programs – free of charge – to underserved communities, mainly in rural Colombia, Didi organized and hosted the first Facilitator training in South America in 2023 and is beyond pleased that the team of facilitators in Latin America is ever growing.

Because, although she loves hiking with her dogs, regular classes of Capoeira and every now and then training for a half marathon, there is nothing that fulfils Didi more than seeing girls and women grow and transform their lives, becoming their wonderfully feminine, strong and happy selves.