While the female body moves on the rhythm of the menstrual cycle, society’s infrastructure is cemented in five day working weeks and four weeks of holiday a year.
We’re expected to start work at 9am and finish at 6pm, no matter where we are in our own cycle. Mothers don’t get a retreat from the responsibility of child rearing when they’re bleeding, as ‘community’ has slid down the list of societal values, and families operate in isolation from each other.
These are generalisations of course, but there is truth here: we are cyclical beings, living in a non-cyclical world. Yes, there are conversations happening about menstrual leave in workplaces — and that’s exciting, of course! — but what I’m salivating at the thought of is reverence for the entirety of the cycle, and optimising each phase, rather than just handing out a ‘menstrual day off’ here and there to tick a diversity and inclusion box.
Your greatest ally then is your menstrual cycle awareness practice; your golden intimacy with your cycle and acceptance of its transient nature is what will hold you as you navigate the linear lands of the “real world”.
Just as we must surrender every time we menstruate, we must also surrender to the cyclic nature of the rhythm of the female body. It’s like sleep; we could pretend we don’t need to sleep every single night — and sure, we might get away with that for a night or two (maybe even three!) — but it will catch up with us.
Communicating and sharing your cycle with your partner, children, family and friends (and hey, maybe even your colleagues!) may feel uncomfortable at first, but it can only bring more ease into your life. Let them in on your shifting superpowers and vulnerabilities.
Some of my clients have their cycle calendar taped to their fridge, while others sync their cycle tracking app with their partner’s phone.
Speaking openly and positively about menstruation and the cycle in front of children helps to set up the next generation of humans with a positive menstruality consciousness, as well as hopefully making your life much easier if you have tiny humans in your life.
My friend Kate has her entire family’s schedule running on her cycle, ultimately teaching her partner and their children the importance of sustainable living; the ebb and the flow, the rest and the creation, the inhale and exhale. What a gift to grow up with this lens of Life.
Something that has been incredibly helpful for me in owning my cyclical nature is tapping into the power of intention setting when I’m bleeding. Living a life of intention has been important to me for many years, and I attribute it to much of the manifestations in my life. It feels good to live with conscious purpose, and every time I use the potency of menstruation to set intentions for the next cycle, I remember how powerful my cycle really is.
Which brings me to my final point: always come back to menstruation. Whenever you come off course, or forget to chart, or feel any confusion or frustration as you attempt to sync your self-care around your cycle, simply come back to your inner winter and start over. That’s another gift of cyclic living: the opportunity every cycle to begin again.
In my online course Radiate, we explore each phase of the menstrual cycle in detail, and I show you how to sync your life up with each phase. This way of living has brought so much more ease and flow to my life, and I absolutely LOVE teaching this framework to other women.
We explore rituals, the science, simple self-care strategies, and you’ll receive tools to help you feel more at ease in your own skin. This is information you’ll use for the rest of your cycling life. Learn more about the course here.