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I was raised, like a lot of us, believing that my menstrual cycle was a burden.
I had wanted from an early age to do everything boys and men could do, without limits, because I did not find it fair that girls and women were believed not to be capable of doing things men were allowed to do.
In many ways, I found my feminine parts were a hindrance. I grew to value mainly the intellectual, the “doing” and “achieving” part of being a human, and rejected the more emotional, slower, creative, intuitive parts of myself or others. I became an engineer, worked in research and development, in companies and environments that were very masculine. I was often the only woman in a room full of men, and I was proud of it. I enjoyed it, for a while.
The creative, artistic, slower, reflective parts of myself were still present in me, but somehow dormant. I was enjoying those as a side gig, playing music, going to an art show, but definitely not to be taken too seriously. I was sensitive and emotional but was rejecting and resisting this yin, feminine, beautiful part of myself. I never thought of integrating both my masculine and feminine sides, and I never connected to my cycle as something worth connecting with.
So often, as women, we leave our womb, our sexuality, and menstrual cycle out of the conversation. For many reasons, but deeply, because we have been told not to talk about it, or we haven’t had a proper introduction and discussion about it with our mothers.
Also, often, if we have had a conversation about it, we have been taught and come to believe that our cycle is a burden that we have to deal with (unfairly compared to the opposite gender) every month. The cycle has often been made fun of or named as something shameful to hide every month. Overall, the menstrual cycle has been demeaned for centuries, and if something so intrinsic to women has been demeaned, then womenkind and its divine power has been demeaned and thought to be inferior than the other sex.
Women are rising, and it’s time to embrace our cycle proudly—to talk about it, to connect with its intelligence at a deeper level. It is time to change the narrative around the menstrual cycle and therefore change the narrative for womenkind in general.
The cycle is such a beautiful, powerful tool that we are lucky to have as women, as it connects us deeply to our changing needs, to guide us through our days, weeks, and months. This cycle is what divinely enables us to create life. I am just so damn in awe with that. It blows my mind that the female body can create an entire other magnificent human being.
It took me years—reading, learning, going to many trainings and workshops—to learn to recognise and enjoy every part of my cycle as I started to change my body and life rhythm throughout the month.
This is how I experience my cycle through the metaphorical seasons:
1. The winter (or the bleed): I find myself retrieving, needing to slow down, cocoon, to give my body the rest it deserves, and to release stuck energy and patterns. During the winter, I find myself being more aware and connected to my needs, desires, and to my higher self. I have greater clarity of what I need to do for the rest of the month and clarity on my life path; my intuition is enlivened. It is beautiful and sometimes even ecstatic. But only if I take the time to slow down and listen. Meditations are the deepest during that time.
2. In spring (or preovulation): After a few days of rest, I find myself full of energy to start working on any creative ideas I have that resonate with my inner self. I am so energized to get things done. Again, resisting this urge feels very dissatisfying, and therefore, I find myself struggling if my cycle is not listened to, especially at that time.
3. During summer (or ovulation): I find myself longing for movement, fun, connection with the outside world and with my husband and kids. I find myself to be the most patient parent in this season of the cycle. Again, by listening to that need, my whole body and soul feel satisfied—less resistance, fewer struggles. I feel full of energy; I feel beautiful; I feel sensual and sexual. I feel an expansion of my energy, ready to give to the world.
4. In autumn (precycle): I find myself needing to slow down, to finish the projects I started, to start retrieving in my cocoon. If this slow down does not happen, I can get frustrated and angry. With deep listening to my body (which is getting a bit tired at that stage), I get ready and excited for the start of my new cycle, where I will allow myself to rest, where I will find a new wave of inspiration.
I have two kids, my own yoga and coaching business, and consulting work I do in the healthcare industry. So, my schedule is full. I have intentionally created a life where I am able, to a large extent, to schedule my month according to the rhythms of my feminine body. I finish my cycles feeling connected to myself and inspired.
Here are a few things I do to work around all that:
>> Every day, I listen to my body and its needs by taking a break. I wake up and bring awareness to how my body is feeling, bring gratitude for all the things I have. I continue listening to my body throughout the day, taking a few moments to breathe and listen to what it needs and what wisdom it has to offer.
>> During the winter (or the bleed), I do not schedule big travel, long workshops, or presentations.
>> If I can’t get out of a busy week during the winter phase, I still take things slower (for example, I create a slower sequence in yoga classes or don’t demonstrate as much, and I don’t schedule as many meetings), and I discipline myself to sit and meditate even when things feel too busy.
>> I now use the menstrual cup instead of pads and tampons, and this has very much improved my relationship with my cycle. I don’t see it as a smelly, dirty pad to throw in the garbage anymore. It is also better for the environment.
>> I schedule a lot of self-care moments throughout my cycle, especially before and during cycle (some can be as simple as taking 15 minutes to put my bare feet in the grass in my garden and lay in the sun, or it could be a walk in nature, or a massage, acupuncture, a run, hugging a tree, massaging my head and shoulders, taking a bath with Epsom salt and lavender oil, or watching a movie).
>> I listen to my social needs in the summer phase, and this is where I meet more people, friends, plan talks, and workshops.
>> My husband is very aware and supportive of me listening to my divine, womanly body. So he supports me in those moments I need to rest, or those moments I feel very creative and introspective, and he takes care of the kids. He is also game for the summer phase, the connection that comes with it, and the cuddles. You need an incredible, supportive partner to make it work if you have kids and no family around, but then again, what partner would not want a happy, creative, intuitive, connected, divine, sensual woman to spend their life with? Listening to your cycle is a win-win for your relationship!
Wouldn’t it be amazing to see the next generation of women connected to their divine, feminine consciousness? To their beautifully feminine and masculine power—fully integrated? To teach our girls that our cycle is powerful, that it is a gift to cherish and to listen to as it gives us the divine power of wisdom, intuition, connection, creation of life, creation in general, vitality, and self-love?
Wouldn’t it be so fantastic to help them enter the realm of womankind, feeling it is a divine world to belong to? Wouldn’t it be blissful if the next generation of men respect and value the cycle as it deserves to be respected, and with that, give the wholesome respect women deserve? I certainly raise my two boys with this in mind.
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