Practical Steps towards Living Aligned with Your Cycle
Have you tapped into the magic and the mystery of the monthly cycle that lives inside of us as women? Whether you are in your bleeding years or not, this mystery is a part of the fabric that weaves all women together. It is what provides us the opportunity to create and grow a child inside of our bodies. It is what connects us to the Earth in such a tangible and energetic way. As women who experience the hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle, we are changed with every new day. Within our ever-changing nature, we are being invited into the quality of flow that is in its very nature - feminine. How beautiful that this intimate and sacred part of ourselves is the very thing that will lead us home to our power, to a deep sense of self, to the feeling of connection and community – within ourselves, with other women, and with our ultimate mother – the earth.
By taking the time to cultivate a relationship with our menstrual cycle (or the moon if you are not in your bleeding years), we plug ourselves in to the magic and the mystery that is within us and all around us. We feel both supported and guided by and through the phases of our cycle. I truly believe that by focusing on the relationship we wish to cultivate with our menstrual cycle, and not necessarily on the challenges we are having with it, our cycle will respond and our experience of our self and of the seasons of our life will transform.
(At the end of this post, I share about my own relationship to the menstrual cycle, and how and why I was led into this work)
Practical Steps towards Living Aligned with Your Cycle
1) First + Foremost is to begin to track and know your cycle in the simplest way. Day 1 = the first day of your bleed. Begin to track your cycle and get to know it – it could be that it’s not consistent at all, but that’s ok. Using a simple app tracker (like Kindara) just to track your bleeding days is very helpful; no need to answer all of the question if you don't feel to. Do this for a few months and you can begin to see your own cycle – whether it’s consistent or not.
2) Inform yourself. What are the different phases of the cycle? (I will go into greater detail in another blog post)
a. Winter Season (day 27 – day 5) First day of your bleed = 1
b. Spring (day 6 – day 11)
c. Summer (day 12 – day 19)
d. Autumn (day 20 – day 26)
3) Now, is the fun part! Self-inquiry on an experiential level. One person, or one book may say that you should feel one way and crave something during a certain time, but your body is unique and wise. Let this be the ultimate experiment with you.
4) As your awareness around your cycle grows, it’s a beautiful opportunity to begin to look at your calendar in a different way. The easiest thing to do is mark when you’re expected to bleed, and the days 10-14 days prior which is your ovulation time. If it’s possible to give yourself a retreat time the first two days of your bleed, then mark those days off and call them sacred. Your ovulation time is the most opportune time to meet people, explore, network, market a new project or venture.
5) Celebrate and share your experiences of your cycle with other women, with your partners and with your families. When we bring our cycles into our relationship, we allow ourselves to be seen, supported and celebrated for the phase of our cycle we are embodying. The wisdom of the cycle is not meant to be just for women, but also for our partners, our children, our families and our communities as well. When we connect to the profound wisdom that it carries and provides, we realize that it’s not something that happens to us, but its happening for us.
My Personal Story with the Menstrual Cycle
My deep respect for the menstrual cycle did not just happen because I was intrigued by it, it evolved because I was forced into it. My journey with my womb and menstrual cycle has been both challenging and deeply sacred, and it is the very reason I have such gratitude and appreciation for it. It is through my own experience, that I understand the transformation that is possible when we choose to develop a relationship with this intimate part of ourselves.
At the age of 18, I was rushed to the hospital one night after struggling to find my breath, and found out I had lungs filled with blood clots. It was then that I found out I have a rare blood condition that makes me predisposed to getting blood clots; I had just gone on birth control 3 months prior which is what activated the condition. I had to be on blood thinners for the next year and during this time my monthly cycle slowly faded away, and then eventually disappeared for almost 3 years. During this time, I visited doctors and gynecologists, and did many blood tests to find out why my cycle disappeared. Because of my predisposition towards blood clots, I wasn’t able to go on birth control, which it what every doctor recommended to me. I have deep gratitude for my mom, who was very much connected to my health and was initiating all of these appointments and inquiry. At the time, I myself felt pretty disconnected from it and recall feeling completely fine not having a cycle every month. Eventually, both at a loss of what to do, we just let it be.
In divine unfolding, I ended up being led into a year of travel, transformation and deep listening. All the while, while traveling in both Peru and Asia, I was being invited back into my body, into my femininity and into my sexuality. It was during this time where I started to learn about, and feel, the sacredness and importance of the menstrual cycle. I was moving from the masculine, mind centered way of living, to a feminine, heart and body-based way of living, which was both challenging and transformational. Within 6 months of beginning this journey, my cycle returned. One thing that really struck me through this experience was the sensitivity of our womb and of our body parts. There is a subtle yet profound communication that happens through our awareness and our intention. Our body feels when we are thinking about it, when we are feeling it, and it responds. Maybe not in an amount of time that makes sense to us, but we must remember – time doesn’t really exist. It was this very journey into my womb, my femininity and my menstrual cycle that initiated me into the life I am leading now. Since this time in my life, my relationship and respect for the cycle has continued to deepen and evolve. I focused many of my graduate school studies on the wisdom of the womb, have read countless books about the gifts of living aligned with our cycles, and have experienced the deep sense of calm that comes from syncing your calendar to your cycle.
I am beyond grateful for this dear and sacred relationship in my life, and feel so honored to hold this wisdom and this connection with the Earth inside of me.