I am from Colombia, South America

In June 2021, I was experiencing an abnormal uterine hemorrhage that was diagnosed as a “giant uterine myomatosis.” The medical recommendation was an immediate hysterectomy, but this was avoided after three months of inner reflection and art creation through the collection of menstrual blood stains. I collected the blood stains on cotton cloths and have continued to use them as a part of both my artistic and healing journey. The largest mass in my uterus measured 13 x 8 cm, and after three months of this creative practice, it reduced to 3 cm, before disappearing altogether.

every human being has."

"my story is the potential 

I am a product designer, innovator, meditator, and now, art explorer. 

Initially, when I was informed that my uterus could be extracted, I realized I didn't want this part of my life taken away, and I wanted to try some alternatives to heal naturally. I decided to find ancestral knowledge to navigate my own healing process. 

Having been born in Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia, I had the fortune to know some Indigenous communities called “Muiscas”, who have been working hard on recuperating and preserving the native traditions of the populations that lived in Bacatá (known as Bogotá since the Spanish colonization of Colombia.) It was through conversations within this community that Abuelo Suagagua, chief of the community, taught me about the tradition of “planting the moon.” This ritual is done by planting the menstrual blood on each cycle, bringing the blood back to the earth, recognizing the cycle that ends, acknowledging the evolution that took place, and longing for a closer connection to nature and the earth. I have now been practicing this ritual for a long time, and it has become a tool to reflect on my relations and habits, which have been very helpful in allowing me to know myself in a deeper way. 

Because this practice has become such a significant aspect of my life, I experienced fear and pain with the idea of having my uterus extracted. So during every menstrual period, I decided to collect my blood in pieces of cloth, to keep it as a valuable treasure, because every time might have been my “last moon stain.”

The idea of “the last moon stain” brought many fears, sadness, nostalgia, and reflections to my mind: What does it mean to come from a uterus? What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to have a uterus? What is motherhood? What is the creative potential? How have our relations shaped our lives? What is the importance of our ancestors?

While I reflected on these topics, I kept collecting the stains and began healing without knowing. By performing this ritual, I began to see the messages left by the blood stains and how they connected to my reflections about difficult emotions related to these topics. Each time I got my period, I would sit down in a meditation posture, letting the blood come naturally and collecting the stain as a message from my uterus. I would then let the blood stain dry on the cotton, and I was able to collect around six stains on each cycle. Once the cycle finished, I would sit down and look at the stains, finding clear connections between the shapes and the emotion or situation from which I was healing through this introspection process. Eventually, I became inspired to start doing embroidery on the stains. I now have eighty-eight images that came out of this work.

The most interesting part of this process is that by releasing the hope for healing, I collected and embellished my treasured “last drops of blood,” and by doing so, I found real healing. The doctors gave me three months to try natural methods, and in those three months the mass reduced its size from 13 cm to only 1 cm.

I avoided the surgery by healing naturally. This tumor was generated in my creative center, which is my uterus, and taught me so many things: This situation highlighted the fact that, as a society, we unconsciously hold patriarchal systemic behaviors that affect our potential and sovereignty. It taught me to understand the relationship between my hormones, my emotions, and my nutrition. It taught me the importance of being truly faithful to oneself. It taught me the importance of verbalizing when I am upset and that I do not have to be nice and quiet just because I am a woman. That I can be a complete woman without necessarily becoming a mom. That our creativity is affected by the peace we have in our relations. It taught me the importance of recognizing we are cyclic and we just need to rest and be alone sometimes. Now all these messages are just there, in the stains. This is why I want to bring it out and share this message because it is a very powerful one. Some may say miracles really can happen with our inner exploration, but it is actually the potential that every single human being has. This is 13 moons, deep messages from 13 menstrual cycles to inspire inner exploration, creative work, and communication. 


I'm Jimena

I am a Fulbright scholar with 17 years of experience as an industrial designer and entrepreneur. I am passionate about the human mind, potential, art and design. I work as a professor at Appalachian State University designing for persons with disabilities, fashion prosthetics, human factors, sustainability and teaching human centered creative processes. Having been born without my right hand drove these passions in my mind and brought value to experiences and inclusive practices. 

I had the fortune to take a sabbatical year in 2016 that changed my life scope and shaped my current interests. I lived between India and Nepal following and studying Tibetan Buddhism with Tibetan masters. Not only could I learn techniques to know the human mind's potential, but got time to establish my meditation practice as a habit and part of my life until today. 

With an integral scope of mind-human-object relationship and art, I have specialized in solving design problems related to well-being and inclusiveness. I am now entering spheres of transition design research through 13 Moons art projects and hoping to find this new trend in design as a way to serve human evolution through creativity.