Womanhood + Ance-story

by: Devon Loftus

I struggled with feeling strong. It’s a hard thing to admit for someone who values confidence and self-love so deeply. But, that’s the point.

I struggle with feeling strong even when I know I am. I struggled with loving the woman I saw in the mirror, finding myself feeling overwhelmed with the idea of not being enough.

I ate the multiple mantras I created and cliche quotes for breakfast and still found myself hungry.

Stepping into puberty early didn’t help. My body grew fast leaving stretch marks and voluptuous curves I didn’t quite understand. Boys began to turn into cartoon characters around me with wide eyes and sagging tongues and all I wanted to do was feel satiated in my self.

Soon, I would do my best to omit my period. The stranger that so brightly and vividly turned an already self-conscious girl into an example. So I’d stop caring, stop taking care of myself, pretend it wasn’t happening.

One day, my Grandma and cousin noticed this and sat me down.

“You can’t run away,” they would tell me. “This is a part of you and you need to be here now.”

They soothed my mind as my mother made me a bath to soothe the painful cramps.

When I started getting ruptured ovarian cysts, my mom would hold my hand while the male doctor told me there was nothing wrong until I insisted on having an ultrasound.

He’d come back like a dog with his tail between his legs. Because there was the proof we both knew; he would never understand and I always would.

I never felt resentment. I never felt misunderstood or angry towards anyone who didn’t understand. I reveled in it.

My period and my hormones and being a woman became the biggest gift. I found myself more and more curious about it, more in awe of my body and what a miracle it is.

I ran my fingers over the curves and marks and sent love from my tips to my toes.

I found a tribe of women throughout my own family who would openly discuss the messiness with me and I found a family outside of my blood who would do the same.

And Moon Cycle Bakery is an extension of that.

Moon Cycle Bakery comes from a place of embracing. The dark + the light. The parts of ourselves we cower from + the parts of ourselves we run towards.

It’s built around celebration, self-love + self-care. And it’s rooted in empowerment.

Strength. The reminder that we as women are warriors — graceful and fluent in touch but fierce and lathered in primal instinct.

It believes in the power and right to choose. It fuels on knowledge and support. And nurtures throughout.

Soon, that love for myself grew and I found love in my ancestry, following the lines of my finger beds and realizing I had seen them before on my Grandma’s hands.

Recently, my Grandma passed and the deep truth of who I am surfaced even brighter, even bolder. The lessons she taught me about strength were now locked around my wrist in the form of a bracelet she once wore. I heard her reminding me of the long lineage of strong women I came from and to never forget I was one of them.

Strength in the shape of crying. Of doing whatever it is you feel you need to do in order to move through moments and doing your best not to judge it. Having self-compassion when you do.

Strength In the shape of acknowledgment, accepted fear and utter human-ness. Strength + beauty in the breakdown as much as the rebuilding. Strength in the choice to continue on, to learn more, to recalibrate, to accept, to love.

Strength in being a woman.

To my fellow she-wolves; you are enough. It is enough to not always be on. It is enough to breathe fire. It is enough to be in your body and to hold its hand through every phase that presents itself.

After all, you are a living miracle. Ask your Grandma. She'll tell you. 

Leave a comment below: What ancestors have you been blessed with in your life and what lessons have they taught you about your womanhood?

Devon Loftus