A couple of years ago I spent 18 months tracking my cycle.
I had read a couple of books, including spiritual ones, talking about the sacredness of the menstrual cycle.
I wanted to celebrate my womanhood more.
I wanted to not feel shame for being a woman and bleeding.
Growing up Catholic with the idea that women bleed due to sin has obviously left its mark.
For years I shunned my cycle with hormone drugs.
It was an inconvenience.
It stopped me living my best life.
It held me back.
The risk of getting pregnant was a turn off for men. And so were condoms. So the pill it was.
For years I was disconnected from my womb.
From the rhythm of nature.
And only after coming off the pill did I realise the affect not only it had had on my womb but my mental health. It took me a year to recover from it.
But I needed to return to my bleed to create a new life in my body.
That was worth the celebration.
That my bleed could be the fountain of new life.
Two births later, another trip down anxiety lane (triggered by a traumatic event, which you can read about here) and there I was, starting my self-healing journey, reconnecting to my lost self and my lost womb.
I tracked my cycle in a journal. I looked at apps but they share your information to social media, like the one you’re on now so they can sell you different things that you are more likely to buy at different stages in your cycle.
Wait a minute… what was that?
Yes, you read that right. I saw an article about it in The Guardian. Menstrual apps and social media ad profiling most likely know more about you and your habits during your cycle than you do!
So why is it important for YOU to know about YOUR cycle?
Because throughout the month our moods and energy levels can change. Our discharge changes. Breasts change. We fluctuate. Like the moon waxes and wanes. So too, do you.
Knowing this and harnessing this power enables you to more effectively manage your life.
Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer compare the various stages of the cycle to the seasons.
Inner Autumn - when you are pre-menstrual Inner Winter - when you menstruate Inner Spring - heading out of menstruation towards ovulation Inner Summer - ovulation
To very much simplify it, when you are at a constant ‘run’ your body and brain are more likely to get overwhelmed. Following the rhythm of your cycle and listening to your body will enable you to have more power when you naturally have it, and encourage you to rest when your body is requesting it. So Inner Autumn and Inner Winter are times of reflection of going in, of saying ‘no’ and slowing down. Your Inner Spring and Inner Summer is when you feel more active and able to say ‘yes’ to everything. Knowing this means that when you are in your Inner Summer and on top of the world with energy, saying ‘yes’ to a hectic schedule in a week’s time might affect your energy level and mood as you are then heading into your Inner Autumn. Being in tune with yourself means you can (if possible) shuffle your diary round to suit you. Because the problem is, if you are constantly on ‘go’, you will suffer more with PMS and menstrual cramps.
Following my cycle and adapting my time accordingly enabled me to understand the days where I felt a bit tender emotionally and physically; the days where I had less patience; and the days where I was like the Duracell bunny.
And do you know why this is important? So you know you aren’t going crazy! So you aren’t thinking ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I was fine about this problem last week but this week I’m really upset about it’.
I communicate with my partner my cycle too. So that he is aware of what’s happening for me. So if I’m a little short or emotional, he can check the dates and see if I need extra care.
Recording my cycle in my journal and writing about my feelings and bodily changes, has also enabled me to pick up some things that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. I saw a pattern in my body in relation to my cycle so my functional doctor was able to immediately get me the right tests.
Your body knows how to heal.
Your body is always communicating with you.
What’s yours telling you?
Carla Crivaro is a trauma-informed and certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, she works with men and women internationally to reach their goals in delicious sex, profound love and authentic relationships. Carla helps men and women understand themselves and each other, sexually and relationally, in and out of the bedroom. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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