Let me share a lil’ secret with you.
Never in my life did I think I’d be talking about periods for a living.
For almost two decades, I HATED my period with a vengeance. It was little more than an inconvenience to me – an unwelcome monthly visitor I wish would just bugger off.
I’d spend days wailing about my womb; I even seriously considered getting it surgically removed just to get some peace.
And yet, here we are.
I’ve discovered the pure magic – yes, MAGIC – of the menstrual cycle, and I share it with pride in the hope that you will too.
Because, all things considered, it has been the biggest game-changer for me in terms of:
- Losing weight – and keeping it off
- Balancing my mood
- Boosting my productivity
- Managing stress and anxiety
- Cultivating deep self-love
It’s completely changed my life.
I now know that our bodies are actually an incredible source of wisdom. We just need to learn to listen.
Tuning in to your cycle
Not only is the menstrual cycle a miracle of nature that helps us to – you know – populate the planet… it’s also our direct connection to our inner wisdom.
When we understand what’s happening in our body at each phase throughout the month, we start to see predictable patterns in our mood, energy, creativity, and productivity.
As soon as I understood my cycle, it was like my whole life made sense.
Before, I couldn’t get my head around why I sometimes felt like I could take on the world, achieve anything I wanted to, and give everything to everybody – and then at other times, I just wanted to retreat from the world, not let anyone see me, and basically burn it all to the ground.
Turns out, it’s my hormones!
If we can really slow down and listen to our inner rhythm, we can also give our body what it needs… which, most often, is just to rest.
We might even start to receive incredible ‘divine’ downloads during our period (yes, really).
The 4 “inner seasons”
Let’s go on a brief whistle-stop tour of the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle – commonly referred to as the 4 ‘inner seasons’.
Be aware that the essence of these phases might not apply directly to you.
Each woman has her own unique pattern and individual experience of the menstrual cycle, so the major rule here is to listen to your own body (your best teacher!).
Here’s a brief overview of what’s happening in each phase:
Winter (menstrual phase): this phase roughly covers days 27-5 of your cycle. Day 1 would be the start of your period. During this time, you’ll likely just want to chill out and do nothing – and if you do get enough rest, you might receive spontaneous creative inspiration and be able to problem-solve incredibly effectively. The communication between your right and left brain hemispheres is at its most powerful during this phase.
Spring (follicular phase): this phase roughly covers days 6-11 of your cycle. You might feel the urge and confidence to reinvent yourself, start fresh, explore, and experiment. This is when most of us go into ‘planning’ mode, coming up with grand ideas for how we want to live our lives. Estrogen levels rise during this phase, boosting your working memory and ability to handle complex processing tasks.
Summer (ovulatory phase): this phase roughly covers days 12-19 of your cycle. It’s likely that your energy will surge and you might well become an unstoppable powerhouse – this is a great time to create, socialise, and make your dreams happen. It could also mean that anxiety levels rise, so it’s super important to continue practicing self-care, even if you don’t feel like it. Estrogen levels are at their highest, boosting your mental sharpness, creativity, and communication.
Autumn (luteal phase): this phase roughly covers days 20-26 of our cycle. This is the time most of us dread – our energy levels drop pretty drastically, we might feel edgy or irritable (to say the least) and our BS-meter is basically non-existent. You might see the world with more clarity, focus, and become a brutal truth-speaker. The ratio of estrogen to progesterone in your body may make you notice what you didn’t see before.
How to start tracking your cycle
The easiest way to get started is to download an app, or get a dedicated notebook, where you can start tracking which ‘day’ of your cycle you’re on.
Day 1 is usually the first day of your period – so if you know when your last bleed was, you can work backward from there (or wait until your next one starts).
From there, I recommend tracking your mood and energy levels on a daily basis; getting a ‘feel’ for which inner season you think you might be in.
Just becoming aware of your inner rhythm can be deeply healing in and of itself. It’s the ultimate women’s mindfulness and self-care tool.