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Menstrual Cycle Awareness: 'The Umbilical Cord to the Deeper Self"

I recently had an enriching conversation with Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer, the authors of "Wild Power" and the founders Red School, on the Depths of Motherhood podcast. Their book, "Wild Power," serves as a guiding light, illuminating my first jewel in understanding myself more deeply through the lens of the menstrual cycle. Alexandra eloquently likened knowing one's menstrual cycle to an umbilical cord connecting us to our deeper inner selves – a sentiment that resonated deeply with me.

Today, I'm excited to delve into my personal interpretation of the inner seasons, a topic that holds immense significance. You can also explore this further in the MCA workshops within our membership.

Distinguishing between wisdom and mere knowledge is powerful. Wisdom lies in embodying and living out the knowledge we acquire. Simply absorbing information without taking action denies us access to the true essence of wisdom. This rings particularly true when it comes to understanding the menstrual cycle.

For years, I found myself trapped in societal beliefs and lifestyles that failed to honor the cyclical nature of being. Consequently, I overlooked the profound beauty and significance in my natural rhythm. Through this journey, I've come to realize that embracing every phase of the menstrual cycle is so important. It's not just about cherishing the highs; it's about finding love and understanding in every aspect, even the challanges.

Before I delve further, it's important to acknowledge that these are guides, not boxes. Your experience may differ from mine, as we are all unique individuals following the ebbs and flows of our hormones and how they impact us on various levels of our being. If your hormones are imbalanced, you might not experience the typical "social butterfly" feeling during ovulation; instead, you might feel overly sensitive to social interactions and crave solitude. Perhaps you've pushed yourself too hard, or maybe your go-getter personality prevents you from resting during menstruation. As we transition from springtime (post-ovulation), it might feel like you want to retreat to a cave. This is all part of an exploration, so it's essential to stay open and curious about the journey.

Inner Winter - Menstruation

During the winter phase, also known as the menstruation phase, it begins with the first day of your bleed marking the start of your follicular phase.

At this point, estrogen and progesterone levels are at their lowest as conception hasn't occurred, resulting in the shedding of the uterine lining, the endometrium.

Picture this time as the space in between, where the veil between worlds is thin. As you offer your blood to the earth, it's a moment to rest and slow down, a period for receiving inner guidance as you embrace stillness to listen. This is when your inner wisdom emerges—the medicine woman, the seer—collecting gems to bring back to the surface.

As you open up, things may surface, presenting you with an opportunity to heal wounds that need your loving attention. If you've been pushing yourself too hard in the previous month or if you're navigating emotional or physical healing, you may find this time to be more intense, either physically or emotionally.

If you've planned ahead, you might have created space to delve into these depths by stocking up the fridge and making your home cozy. However, if the demands of the world have you running in circles or unexpected events have arisen, especially if you're a mother or juggling work, carving out time to go inward becomes crucial. Perhaps you can allocate time before bed to sip on a warm tea and breathe into your womb.

  • Consider your relationship with your menstrual blood. How do you honor it?

  • How do you make time to rest and replenish during this phase?

These questions invite reflection and can guide you toward a deeper connection with yourself and your cyclical nature.

Inner Spring - Pre - Ovulation

As you transition into the spring phase, also known as the pre-ovulation phase, estrogen levels begin to rise, ushering in a sense of maiden energy.

This maiden energy is characterized by curiosity, creativity, and a gentle exploration of ideas. It's a time to keep your foot off the gas pedal and instead, navigate with a light touch, allowing yourself to wander down new paths and discover fresh perspectives.

With the maiden energy guiding you, you may feel a natural inclination to explore various aspects of your life, embracing new projects, and nurturing your creativity. However, it's important to be mindful of not becoming too caught up in the excitement and risking burnout. Take moments to pause, reflect on your energy levels, and ensure you're taking breaks to recharge as needed.

Amidst the blossoming creativity of the spring phase, remember to listen to your inner voice and discern what truly resonates with you. By honoring your maiden energy and nurturing your creative impulses in a sustainable manner, you can harness the full potential of this phase while maintaining a sense of balance.

For some, the spring phase can feel overwhelming, especially if the cozy and safe cocoon of the winter phase still calls. Venturing out into the world too soon might seem daunting, and that's perfectly okay. It's important not to rush but instead to listen attentively to your body's cues. You may discover that you need more rest than you initially thought, especially if you've been accumulating years of depletion.

Curiosity becomes your ally during this time. Instead of forcing yourself into action, embrace a gentle approach and allow your curiosity to guide you. Nature offers a wonderful starting point for this exploration. Sit with the trees, listen to the birdsong, and let the natural world nourish your spirit.

Inner Summer - Fertile Phase / Ovulation

Welcome to the summer phase, also known as the ovulation or fertile phase. This is the time when ovulation occurs, typically lasting around 24 hours. The egg released during this period has a narrow window for fertilization, around 12-24 hours. Estrogen levels peak, signaling the release of the egg into the uterine tube.

One notable change during this phase is the consistency of cervical mucus, resembling egg whites, which may last for approximately four days. I often refer to Inner Summer as my fertile period over ovulation, as previously mentioned ovulatin is around 24 hours.

This phase embodies the energy of the mother, nurturing and nourishing. Your body is highly sensitive, actively seeking a mate and evaluating signs of health in potential partners. You may find yourself brimming with life, exuding confidence, and feeling outgoing and quick-witted.

However, if there are underlying emotional or physical issues, you might notice tendencies of jealousy or judgment. Your heightened sensitivity may lead you to scrutinize micro-expressions and gather information, which, under certain circumstances, could be perceived as a threat. If you're in a relationship or seeking connection during this phase, you may feel overprotective or experience jealousy and attachment.

This is a peak time for engagement in social events, pursuing new opportunities, or bringing something innovative into the world. But if you're feeling the urge to retreat from the world, it's worth reflecting on the preceding week.

  • Did you adequately rest during your bleed?

  • How was the previous month overall?

Take a moment to consider what would truly serve you in this moment, whether it's rest, self-care, or simply honoring your body's needs.

Inner Autumn - Pre-Menstruation Phase

Welcome to the inner autumn, also known as the pre-menstruation phase, as we transition into the luteal phase. During this time, estrogen takes a dramatic drop while progesterone rises, resulting in an increase in body temperature. If you're tracking your basal body temperature, this shift signals that ovulation has passed. However, remember that you can still be fertile as the egg survives for around 12-24 hours, and sperm can live in the cervical mucus for up to five days (see our Fertility Awareness workshop for more details).

Progesterone, often referred to as the "zen hormone," begins preparing your body and womb for the potential fertilized egg, creating a cozy and warm environment. A few days after ovulation, you may notice a resurgence of energy as estrogen rises slightly to continue nourishing the womb and potential fertilized egg.

This time, dominated by progesterone, can offer clarity and insight. The wise woman within may emerge, revealing patterns, beliefs, and behaviors that no longer serve you. You might feel compelled to engage in a full-on clear-out, nesting and preparing your environment by eliminating anything that depletes you.

However, if you're feeling out of balance, you may encounter the inner critic. Instead of offering helpful reflections, you might hear voices telling you that you're doing everything wrong, making it challenging to see the call to action to make space. This may lead to a sense of heaviness, accompanied by typical PMS symptoms such as mood swings, physical discomfort, and cravings. Yet, these symptoms are gifts, signaling that balance can be achieved by honoring your cycle.

Take this time to reflect on the past month. What aspects of your lifestyle would be more nourishing for you?

This was a very brisk walk through menstrual cycle awareness, you can find lots more in our Menstruation Evolution Programme

Thank you for reading, Love,


PS Next event is this Sunday 'Decolonising Healing' see events

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