Connect With Your Menstrual Phase Cycles
Most women haven’t been taught the sacredness, power and wisdom of their menstrual cycle from a young age. Instead, for many, our monthly bleed is experienced as shameful, embarrassing and painful. Something to ignore or dread each month, leaving us detached from our own internal compass.
Everything in nature is cyclic and menstruation is a mirror of this, it’s our own personal creativity cycle. Just like a plant flowers, then fruits, bears its seed, sheds and then flowers again. We thrive when we align with nature, it holds the blueprint for ensuring we get all of our needs met in a way that is sustainable. Our ancestors connected to the natural cycles which meant that they could create lives that were truly fertile.
By observing the lesson of each stage of the seasonal, lunar and solar wheels you can recognise the ebb and flow of the natural cycles and learn to harness the energy of each phase. It’s a holistic approach that will help you work with your body rather than against it, enabling you to live a deeply aligned life. You will also experience a far greater acceptance and appreciation of your body, menstrual cycle and feminine nature and be able to tap into a deep well of inner wisdom.
When women used to commune together in tribes, without light pollution, their periods would be in sync and each month they would gather in the ‘red tent’ together to bleed. They would do rituals, share wisdom down the generations and listen to their inner voice to receive messages and guidance for themselves and their tribe. We have lost this tradition today and women are expected to just carry on as usual during their bleeding time.
Some of benefits menstrual cycle awareness are:
- Embracing womanhood and femininity.
- Time management.
- Reduced stress levels.
- Increased energy levels.
- Feeling healthier and happier and in control.
- Discovering a natural way to manage birth-control.
- Rekindling of the fire in their sexuality and creativity.
- Enhanced relationships at home and work.
- Increased intuition and problem solving skills.
- Reduced or eliminated period pain.
- Enhanced fertility.
Here is a breakdown of the four seasons of your cycle and how you can align your life to feel your best at each phase.
Season: Winter Phase
Archetype: Wise Woman/Crone (Crown)
Days 1-5: Menstruation
The first day of bleeding marks the ‘death’ phase of the death-rebirth cycle and can last between 3-7 days. The old lining is shed away to make room for the new healthy one. Hormone levels decline to their lowest concentration, creating the greatest communication between your two brain hemispheres: the left thinking side and right feeling side. It is believed to be a time when women are most ‘psychic’, when they are best able to synthesize feelings with facts. This time is associated with the Crone which means crown, so represents your inner queen or wise women archetype, as you embody and are most attuned to your inner wisdom.
Like winter, it is a time to go within and clear out emotional and physical baggage and let go of old thoughts or belief systems, that no longer serve you. A time for introspection and rest as your energy levels are at their lowest. Have a life review and evaluate what is and isn’t working for you.
-Curl up with a hot water bottle, read a book, meditate, create art, be in nature or write a journal, but most importantly give yourself full permission to rest and recharge so you can be ready for the month ahead.
-Have a relaxing bath by candlelight with essential oils. Try geranium and rose.
-Create your own moon lodge or red tent, this is as much a state of mind as a physical space. Create an altar and set intentions.
-Wear healing jewelry when bleeding or work with crystals. Carnelian is the womb stone, it relates specifically to the sacral chakra and our creative centre, it brings balance to the female sacred organs and empowers the feminine in its process. Moonstone balances the emotions and hormones. Garnet could also be worn purely because of its deep blood red hue and its resonance to our physical experience at this time. It also good for grounding, blood circulation and is an anti-inflammatory.
-Keep a dream journal and set an intentional question before sleep to have answered whilst you sleep.
-During this time you are more sensitive and vulnerable, so avoid harsh music, loud scenes and being around people who are not comforting.
– Ask for more support and set boundaries with your family and friends.
– Learn to be self-loving and nurturing during this time to yourselves.
– Pour your blood on the garden as an offering back to the earth, many women have a special rose plant to pour their blood around.
-Practive yin yoga, tai chi or qigong.
-As your body is going through the intense process of menstruation eat nutrient dense, iron rich foods. Protein, fats, vegetables and low GI foods to keep your blood sugar balanced. Extra fibre to mop up excess hormones. Soups and stews and mineral rich foods.
Days 6-12: Follicular Phase
Inner Spring is a re-emerging after a period of hibernation from the world. It is typically a time of growth, birth, renewal, energy and feeling open to new things. Hormone levels are low and slowly begin to increase in concentration and new fresh energy begins to emerge within. Your body matures eggs for ovulation, and your estrogen levels begin to rise and increase. After the lining has been shed, and all that old energy of last month has been removed, the body starts preparing to release an egg. This is the peak of feminine creativity. Women have increased sexual and an outward energy, increased intuition and this is a great time to tap into your Goddess archetype. Studies have been shown that men are subconsciously more attracted to women when they are in this phase.
-This phase is a perfect time to brainstorm and start new projects, give birth to new ideas or even create new life. To try new things and connect to your visions and goals.
-Connect to nature.
-This is an optimal time to dedicate focused time to projects, reading and researching, learning, and performing physical tasks.
-Try a new exercise routine or activity, or to take on a challenge.
-Eat fresh light foods to support your energy levels including lean proteins, vegetables and prana rich sprouted beans and seeds.
Days 13-18: Ovulation
During our inner summer phase a woman’s energy is more expressive and outward. The summer phase is all about connection and pleasure, community and communing. Your estrogen levels are peaking ready for the ovulation and testosterone begins to surge and then drops around ovulation. The rise in FSH, followed by the rising in luteinizing hormone stimulates the follicle to release an egg. A woman with a 29 day cycle may ovulate on the 14th day, though some will ovulate a bit earlier or later. The verbal and social centers of the brain are stimulated by these hormones so it is a great time to socialize and communicate. You may feel more social, and this is a great time to focus on community building, nurturing relationships, hosting, cooking or being of service for others. Embrace the mother archetype in full bloom. You may notice your skin is looking clear and radiant and you are feeling sexy, sassy and confident.
-Engage in passionate play.
-Collaborate, pitch ideas, launch projects, sell, negotiate and work in teams.
-Incorporate more high intensity exercise as you have energy to burn.
-Focus on fiber-rich veggies and antioxidant-rich fruit to increase glutathione and support further detoxification of rising hormones in the liver.
Archetype: Wild Woman/Priestess/Enchantress
Days 19-28: Luteal phase
Inner Autumn is the fourth week of your cycle when things start winding down. Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone reach their peak concentrations and then fall before bleeding begins. PMS is common, but not a necessary symptom in this phase. It results from too much estrogen in relation to progesterone production. It’s a time when you might feel more irritated than usual and become agitated by excessive demands placed upon you, craving more spaciousness and time alone.
This time is great to get your life in order. It’s time to cut back on your busy schedule and start to slow down and set relationship boundaries. To embrace your wild women archetype. Be gentle on yourself and manage your inner critic as our shadow sides can surface. This phase is about preparing to clear everything that has not been serving your greatest good. Choosing consciously to acknowledge this inward phase is a courageous act of self-love.
– Surrender and make yourself less emotionally available to others.
-Purposefully schedule days off leading up to your cycle, dedicating time to self-care. If we disown our own needs, PMS may intensify and wreak havoc in our lives.
– Support your liver that will be processing excess hormones at this time with herbs, supplements and a coffee enema is very helpful.
– Nurture your own creative insights, write poetry, draw, come up with strategic ideas for your business or career, and assert yourself.
-Start to imagine how you want your next cycle to go.
-Eat B vitamin rich foods to help prevent sugar cravings. Magnesium and zinc rich foods to balance hormones. Support your liver with root vegetables and bitter herbs and vegetables to flush out excess estrogen.