I am sat here writing this, about to get my period. It is not my favourite time of the month when my time of the month is about to hit.
I feel grumpy, but actually super sensitive, easily overwhelmed, introverted and generally not so able to interact with the world and ‘grown-up things’. I just want to hide under my blanket and watch movies, with the curtains drawn.
This time of my cycle is actually that time to withdraw from the world, tend to my needs and go in. When I do not do that, things tend to go a bit askew.
My cycle is one of my favourite topics to talk about, and if you are a woman and have ever been coached by me, it surely will have come up.
Because as a woman, it is vital to befriend your cycle.
Did you know it has four phases which all have a radically different hormonal balance, energy focus and work focus? Did you know you can use food to balance out these different phases? Did you know that PMS is not normal, and a healthy cycle does not have premenstrual symptoms?
I did not know all these things 10 years ago. But my Shaolin Kungfu practice (which has a big overlap with Chinese medicine) taught me about the PMS thing. The lovely Alisa Vitti taught me about synching your food with your cycle. Lots of personal research, fascination and introspection has taught me what my cycle means to me: that different qualities of energy show up in each phase, that there are ways I can support myself best in each of those phases, what I need and what I do notneed.
My cycle has become my (girl)friend.
I have an amazing app that I use to track the different phases. I synch my workflow with the different energies: the week before my ovulation I plan a lot of new things, do exciting brainstorms, set intentions, look at the big picture and do creative work. I work with my energy levels that are going up and out: I am more extroverted, say yes to invites and go out more. During my ovulation I plan anything I want people to say yes to: first dates, important business conversations, negotiations. I am magnetic, it is easy to work together with other people and communication flows easily. The phase before my menstruation I slow down and go more inwards. I focus on detail oriented tasks such as my taxes, cleaning up the house or stocking my fridge. My energy is slowing down too: I take more rest, plan less social things and spend more time alone. And during my period I nap like a crazy person, really listen to what my body needs, and interestingly, the left and right side of my brain are in their best communication and it is a perfect time to reflect and evaluate the month. And then it starts all over again.
If I take all this into account I flow with my cycle. It works for me.
If I start racing during slowing-down week, or not taking enough rest, it comes back to bite me in the ass (one of the thing most women skip is the resting, since they feel they have to perform. What actually happens is that you will have less energy your whole cycle because you have depleted yourself). So I have learned the hard way how valuable it is to listen to my cycle, really well, and trust my body.
It might take some getting used to as it is different to what most of us are used to or trained to do / be. It is cyclical. It is feminine. It is a vital part of who you are as a woman. It is an amazing ‘tool’ we have as women that we derive much of our power from. Embrace it.
I firmly believe that to fully embrace your womanhood you have to embrace your cycle.
And I am so happy there are so many amazing women out there educating us, diving in and celebrating womanhood in all its forms.
And for you men: it is very useful to know where your woman is at. I imagine it is a beautiful way of deepening your understanding of the lady you chose to be with.
Here’s to our cycles,
PS: if you really want to start fully flowing with your cycle, hormonal birth control is a bad idea. It is a bad idea period (pun intended) in my opinion, as it throws your whole hormonal balance out of whack. But it also dissociates you from what is really going on in your body, and that is where your innate wisdom is. If you feel somewhat out of sorts or disconnected from your body, I highly recommend switching to an alternative method.