Many women live their cycle as burden – painful periods, PMS, unpredictable mood swings…
I used to think pain and irritability were something we had to deal with. We have assumed this is normal but this is definitely not our natural state!
I spent so many years fighting my femininity, mainly because I had no idea what the female cycle actually involved.
But when I learnt how our cyclical nature works, and when I understood that there is nothing wrong with it and that our natural state is to have a healthy cycle and thrive with it, my mindset changed completely.
I finally reconciled with my femininity, and stopped fighting it to flow with it. When I flow with my cycle and I’m in tune with my body, I don’t suffer PMS and I make the most of each phase when I know certain skills will be naturally heightened.
What happens during our cycle?
There are two key moments in every woman’s cycle (assuming that you are in good health and have a natural menstrual cycle with no hormonal treatments like the pill).
The day we get our period (we will say this is day 1) and ovulation (normally around day 14, but it can be different for each woman).
These two key moments divide our cycle in two phases or two halves.
1st half – Expansive
Between our period and ovulation, our energy increases, peaking around ovulation (where we have the highest levels of estrogen and testosterone in our body).
It matches the energy of the waxing moon.
We naturally feel more confident, more active, wanting to start new projects and getting things done.
We love this phase, don’t we?
2nd half – Contracting
After ovulation, our energy starts to decrease, we might feel like we want slow down.
The week before our period, we might feel more sensitive, as our emotions come more easily to the surface.
The days around your period you might feel like you just want to retreat and leave the world behind.
Now here’s the problem: We all love the first phase, when we have a lot of energy to work, do activities and attend all commitments. It is aligned with what society values: getting things done, physical activity, achieving things, basically being in a state of doing, doing, doing.
Sadly, nowadays the world is disconnected from the feminine and the cyclical rhythm of nature. Things like intuition, internal cleansing, resting and inner work are not valued.
So we live our lives ignoring our cyclical nature and the rhythm of our body. We behave the same way throughout the month, without listening to our body.
When we do that, not only we are denying our own nature, we are basically fighting against a current. We take more coffee, and we continue like normal, ignoring our body’s signs. No wonder most women suffer from PMS!
PMS (assuming there are no health conditions) is basically the way our body has to tell us “You’re not listening to me. You’re fighting your nature and not taking care of yourself.”
So what can we do differently to live in harmony with our cycle and optimise our well-being and happiness?
This is how I change my routine depending on the phase of the cycle I’m in. These are suggestions that work for me, and although we follow very similar patterns, different women will experience their cycle in a different way.
So ultimately, pay attention to your cycle and see what feels right for you. That’s the best guidance you can get!
This is a phase of cleansing and renewal (according to Chinese medicine, each day we cleanse one organ system and its associated emotions).
So use these days to rest, charge batteries and clear your diary from unimportant commitments.
This is the perfect time for introspection and inner guidance as our intuition is highly heightened these days. It’s incredible how much clarity you can get these days, so spend time on your own and do some journaling to get inspiration.
Eat nurturing food and maybe book that massage or treatment you’ve been longing for!
Some months, one or two days before my period I already start to feel tired and wanting to retreat, so I start slowing down and paying attention to my body. This is normal as the hormones estrogen and progesterone are at minimum levels just before we get our period.
Between period and ovulation:
Your energy will be peaking so this is a great time to fit in more commitments and activities, start implementing new projects or do higher intensity workouts.
I know this week of the cycle I have a lot of energy so if I’m motivated I work longer hours and exercise more to make the most of this phase.
This is great time to do one of my favourite exercises: ‘The Power List’ where you write a list of all your skills, achievements and positive traits to get a confidence boost.
Around ovulation, you might notice an increase in your sex drive, as testosterone peaks – that’s your body trying to make you pregnant!
Right after ovulation:
These days are great to socialise and spend time with friends and family. Biologically, your body thinks you might be pregnant, so it’s trying help you build relationships and bonding with other people.
So I try to schedule meetings, gatherings or social events around these days because I know I will enjoy them more.
Week before period:
We feel more critical and we are more sensitive to our emotions. It’s like we are preparing to get rid of what we no longer to cleanse it and rebirth during our period.
It is very common to feel like cleaning or tidying up the house around these days, so save the monthly house tasks for these days.
Estrogen and progesterone are falling so it’s normal to feel less energised. Adjust your timetable accordingly.
These days are a great opportunity to assess what is not working in your life, review your projects and identify changes that need to be made. I normally take notes of my ideas but if I can, I will wait and implement them when I have the boost of energy and optimism that rising estrogen gives me around day 5 or 6.
Watch out for the inner critic! Our inner critic tends to be extremely loud around these days. These is great for reviews and assessments but it can get out of hand, so have some tools ready in case you need to deal with it! Read this article or watch this video if you want some ideas.
Implementing this was a game changer for me. I never understood why some days I would be so optimistic and energised while other days I would only want to be on my own and anything would annoy me.
Just being aware of what part of the cycle you are in can help you understand yourself better.
Flowing with it instead of fighting it will improve your well-being, happiness and fulfillment.
Try for a few months and let me know how it goes!
If you're interested in this topic, I'm holding an online workshop on the 11th of October: Awaken Your Inner Power - The Feminine Way. All the info is in this link!
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