It can be the start of a lifelong special relationship: PERIOD
As women we need to understand one very basic fact about ourselves, and for some this might come as a bit of a shock – it may never have been acknowledged before, let alone been something that you are comfortable with…….we, as women are cyclical beings. This is as a consequence of the hormones and neurotransmitters that are dominant at particular times of our menstrual cycle, our emotions, physical stamina and mental energies are deeply connected to this hormonal cocktail which can change dramatically from one day to the next. Another part to this picture is the ebb and flow of the central and autonomic nervous system. By working more closely with our cycle and understanding the changes that take place, we can start to appreciate the power of it and how we can use this fluctuating energy rather than living in a state of denial, pain and disconnection from ourselves and from our creative centre.
Let’s take a closer look at the science bit…
At menstruation, all the hormones, neurotransmitters and the central nervous system are set at lower than normal levels. This means that naturally energies are focused inwardly, and consequently we are more likely to feel reflective, quiet and in need of solitude and space. Insights into ourselves are heightened and we can begin to clear old patterns and behaviours. We seek solitude and stillness and feel a greater connection to spirit. We get the chance to bleed and clear and cleanse from everything that happened over the last month. Renew if you like. This is the beginning of the new cycle and equates to the new/dark moon and winter.
Days 1 – 5; archetype the Crone/Wise woman
After our bleed, in the follicular phase, oestrogen begins to rise which causes the follicles to mature (these contain the eggs). Endorphins and serotonin levels start to rise at this time too. Mentally this make us feel open, expansive, energised and focused. We can achieve great things during this phase and balance multiple “projects”…life is great, and anything seems possible, energy abounds.
Days 6 – 11; archetype the Maiden/Virgin
Around ovulation, for a 3 day period, we experience even higher oestrogen levels and testosterone mean we feel sexy, alluring, we want to go out and share with the world. Clothes become shorter, and tighter; we might wear more make-up; feel smart and savvy and everso social! As a consequence we are far more likely to get our mate. Hi libido at our most fertile time for conception to occur. We feel optimistic (serotonin), calm and relaxed (central nervous system depressed). Life is sweet. We are on FIRE, we are “SuperWoman” and we are happy for all to know it.
Days 12 – 16; archetype the Mother/Nurturer
But can this last? Is it meant to last? Unfortunately no, it won’t and it can’t. As the egg is released, oestrogen begins to take a back seat and progesterone rises as it is released from the ruptured follicle. As a consequence our mood starts to drop along with falling serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. We are in the luteal phase! The feeling is more inward again, but it has a sharper edge because neurotransmitters are lower than at menstruation and many women may start to feel uncomfortable, negative, obsessive, hostile and even paranoid and aggressive.
It is thought that PMT is not so much of a hormone imbalance (although this will certainly be part of the picture) as an emotional response to our lives and our cycles. One of the difficult aspects of this phase can be that progesterone is designed to make us feel nurturing to ourselves and others (and of course supportive of new life if conception has occurred). However, it can also mean that we are far more vulnerable to our emotions. If we have felt put upon, have felt rushed, have felt that we are constantly doing things for others and not for ourselves and have not been true to our own needs in the first half of the cycle, emotions that we have been able to keep a handle on under oestrogen suddenly erupt forth as a volatile volcano under progesterone. Suddenly, we are no longer in control. Sugar/carb cravings only worsen the picture. Binging on sugar and chocolate brings monumental swings and dips in blood sugar levels, acute low levels leaves some of us to wishing to throttle those nearest and dearest to us. There is no control, we feel fat, bloated, angry, sullen and guilty that we can’t do a better job. The “inner critic” has arrived in all her glory…..nothing feels good, not least ourselves…for many this is the most challenging of times and can start from anytime post ovulation right up to bleed time.
Days 17 – 28; archetype the Enchantress
And then with relief, we bleed, menstruation begins and like magic, our emotions fall away, driven by the dip in progesterone. The cycle begins afresh once more…… the question is, are we ready to work with our moon/menstrual cycles, and harness these powerful energies rather than reject?
Who knew? My mother never told me…
The thing is then – we are meant to feel different at different stages of our cycle. That’s right – it is all perfectly NORMAL!! Wow – so amazing as we’ve been lead to believe it’s wrong, we should just” get a grip”, “move on” and “keep ourselves in better check”. But that honestly is a man’s way to deal with it – but men are linear and we are cyclical and for us that approach just won’t work. We need to find another way.
So, if we can start to take the time to understand and honour our cycle and our body and needs; understand how it affects us personally and at work we can start to use some foresight and planning in work and life, so that instead of the “jarring” we get in each phase, we glide between and within them. We can start to sense when we need to be inward and when we are more productive, when we are more creative and when we are best on focused details. Forewarned is forearmed, and as a result we are likely to be far better prepared, and likely to be way more productive and honestly nicer to live with.
The best place to start? At your bleed – if you pay attention here, take time out, disconnect from the world even if it’s for a few hours (note: some women need days – and that’s ok too) then you’ll find that the rest of the cycle will fit into place a little bit better each and every month.
How much you are able to work with your cycle will depend on you and the life you have already created around you. But, nothing is set in stone; we can change, adapt and refocus.
Tools to reconnect accept and heal
o Journal/moon chart. Over a few months to start to connect with the cycle, and understand how it makes you feel – note periods of increased energy, clothes, emotions, general demeanour, anything hormone/female related. Write key words which express how you are feeling daily. Start to note the patterns each month (honestly this small step in itself is such a relief)
o Chart your cycle. So you get a firm idea of the length, regularity and any accompanying “symptoms” which might be hormone related, which might then indicate imbalance
o Abdominal massage to balance the cycle, hormones and help you to reconnect with your womb. It can also help realign “tilted” womb
o Castor oil packs to balance hormones and help dissolve scar tissue from surgery and endometriosis, cysts and fibroids
o Womb blessings: Miranda Gray hosts a worldwide womb blessing on 3 full moons per year and it’s FREE to register. There are local practitioners, like myself, throughout the world too
o Meditations/guided visualisations to help clear past trauma (check in and ask what your womb needs and spend some time connecting – one hand on the womb, one hand on the heart is a great way to start and end the day
o Books: Linda Crockett: “Healing Our Hormones Healing our Lives” a joyous book to read, packed full of great info! Lisa Listers’ Code Red: Superb!! Alexandra Pope’s “The Woman’s Quest” (love!), “Moon Time” by Lucy Pearce. “The Optimised Woman” by Miranda Gray and “Woman Code” by Alisa Vitti
I’m truly hoping that if this is new to you that you will give at least on the tools a go. I hope you feel inspired! It really is a joy to start to come home to yourself and start to understand your own needs.
I’d also love to connect with you and share more insights. We can connect via Skype and I can help you to gain some clarity and connection. You can email me at: [email protected] or we can connect via mama quilla fertility and natural health facebook page. I’m here waiting to connect
www.mamaquillafertility.com | women’s health & wellbeing | abdominal massage | fertility massage | reproductive reflexology | energy healing