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  • Sussana Christine

Menstrual Musings: How do you want to feel in your cyclical experience?

Updated: 3 days ago

One thing I became aware of in 2022 is my menstrual cycle is changing - the biggest indicator for me is I have moved from having a 32 - 35-day cycle, to a 28 - 30-day cycle; the other indicator is a feeling deep within my body, an inner knowing and one that I could never articulate into actual words, other than I just know it's changing. This has since prompted personal questions for myself, such as is this early signs of peri-menopause? (possibly - I am 38 years old) or is this a sign my nervous system is *finally* resetting itself, and is no longer is a constant state of fight-or-flight and stress (fuck, I hope so) - mostly likely it is both!


How do I want to feel in my cyclical experience?


Alongside this awareness that my cycle is changing, came the above question! It dropped in one morning on cycle day 27 of my November 2022 cycle (my pre-menstruation phase/inner autumn). Through my cycle tracking I know that the lead up to my bleed I am deeply reflective, and big questions drop in - although, I also know that I am never ever ready to answer them until about day 2 or 3 of my bleed (menstruation phase/inner winter). So I quickly wrote this question down in my notebook and there is has sat, unanswered.


With the festive/holiday season upon us at the end of 2022, I knew that my December cycle was not the cycle I could sit with this question. So I parked it and committed to answering it during my first bleed of 2023. Although I am yet to experience my first menstrual cycle of 2023, at various times throughout my cycle this question has popped up to the forefront of my mind, so I noted the thoughts that came through, knowing that when I am ready I will reflect on and answer the question of how do I want to feel in my cyclical experience?

 

Dear cyclical reader,


You're invited to create a deeper connection, awareness and understanding of your cyclical experience through reflection and intention setting, and ask yourself how do I want to feel in my cyclical experience?


Happy reflecting x


BEFORE YOU BEGIN


Consider setting yourself and your environment up in a way that feels comfortable to you.


Be sure to have a way to record your reflections and insights (pen + paper / voice notes / drawing - whatever feels most true and aligned for you).


Give yourself time and space to sit with the below prompts, to reflect on them and to gather what insights appear. This may be something you complete in one sitting, or do over a few days or cycles even - there is no one way to be reflective, this is a completely individual experience.

As the menstruation phase is said to be a time of greater inwards focus and reflection, you may choose to complete your cycle reflections and intention setting during your first bleed of 2023, whenever that may be; or you may also choose a point in your cycle that you feel you are most reflective and inwards focused.

If you do not currently have a menstrual cycle, the new moon is also a great time to reflect and set intentions. Unsure when the next new moon is? Click here to find out when based on your location.

 

REFLECTIVE PROMPTS


My current cyclical experience looks and feels ...


Menstrual cycle: reflect on the different phases in your cycle and how you feel physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually during each phase.


How do I experience my bleed/period?

How do I experience the half way point of my cycle (around ovulation)?

How do I experience the week leading up to my bleed/period?

What comes easy for me during each phase; what do I struggle with?


Lunar cycle: reflect on how your energy shifts and changes throughout the day or week; how do you feel physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually during these energy shifts.


How do I experience my mornings - afternoons - evenings - weeks?

When do I feel most energised, and what makes me feel this way?

When do I feel my energy start to dip?

How does my energy influence and impact my days?

Note: the above reflective questions may feel enormous to do, or you may find yourself unable to connect to how you feel beyond your current phase/energy. If this is the case, you may like to consider keeping notes (a few words or more - whatever feels good for you) on how you're feeling each day from day 1 of your cycle to the day before your next bleed OR from the new moon to the day before the next new moon - then returning to this reflection and intention setting exercise with more knowledge about how your feel throughout your cyclical experience.


My vision for my cyclical experience is ...


Regardless of where you on your menstrual path - at the beginning of your menstruating years, in the middle, in peri-menopause or on the cusp of menopause, I invite you to consider the 'Big Red Rule'.


"The Big Red Rule asks you to really feel and experience the cycle you have - with all its complexity, challenge and eccentricity - and to craft meaning from that. There is no perfect cycle. There is no right way to 'do' the cycle. It is your experience of your own cycle - your process of engagement with it - that overtime generates the real magic"

- Alexander Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer, Founders of Red School (https://www.redschool.net/)


... and with the 'Big Red Rule' in mind ask yourself, how do I want my cyclical experience to look and feel - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.


I want my cyclical experience to look and feel ...


Connect with your heart + womb space in a way that feels safe and supportive, for example touch, movement, breath, stillness or sound.

Tune into how you want to feel throughout your cycle.

Let the words, thoughts and insights flow: be curious and judgement free - note down what comes up.


What will support me to begin cultivating and expanding into these feelings?


Examples of supportive actions:


: start tracking your menstrual cycle,

: structure your month around the lunar cycle

: movement, even if its for 5mins a day,

: sitting in nature for 10mins a day,

: planning less commitments leading up to and during your bleed/period;

: book an appointment with your health care provider

: lean into the power of 'no'

: create stronger boundaries

: unapologetic, guilt free rest

: ask for support


Set your cyclical intention for 2023


To set your cyclical intention/s, you may summarise your reflections (words, thoughts and insights) into one word - a few words or a simple statement. Whatever feels true and aligned for you.


When setting an intention/s for the year, what may be helpful is to consider your overall vision for your cyclical experience and ask yourself when 2024 arrives and I reflect back on the past 12 months of cycles and cyclical living, how would I like to reflect on this experience? What would I like to acknowledge? Who did I have to be to reach this place? What reflections would I like to note?


As you set your intention/s for the year ahead - whether its a 'word for the year', a guiding statement or something else, I invite you to think of your intention/s as anchor points, there to support, guide and ground you and your decisions and actions, as your move towards your vision for your cyclical experience.


What will support keep me on track?


Fact is: life happens to all of us, and during those times that life happens and you feel extra stretched due to the realities of day-to-day life, I invite you to ask yourself: what may support me to reconnect to my intention/s and re-energise me to continue in a forward momentum towards my vision. What do I need most right now to get back on track?


Reflect and review between cycles


As you move through each cycle, reflect, review and ask yourself: do I still feel connected to my cyclical intention/s; what feels supportive and what requires tweaking? Pre-menstruation phase or waning moon phase are considered a powerful times to reflect and review in preparation to close out your current cycle, before your next cycle begins.

 

🐚 This reflective and intention setting exercise is not intended to be a set and forget; rather something your come back to time and time again throughout your cyclical experience - daily - weekly or monthly. Perhaps consider getting creative and make a meaningful and fun way to display your intention/s, such as creating a vision board or making it a daily reminder in your phone.


🌀 You may also be interested in '22 Journal prompts for the 4 phases of the menstrual + lunar cycle'


I would love to hear about your cyclical reflections, your vision for your cyclical experience and the intention/s you set for 2023 - if you feel called to share, please reach out via email or send me a DM on Instagram.


You're invited to join to Menstrual Musings email community and receive Embrace Your Flow - a beginner's guide to menstrual cycle awareness and cyclical living, with printable resources to get you started.


Join here.


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