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  • Writer's pictureSussana Christine

Exploring how as human beings we are biologically hardwired to be cyclical

Here’s a small, yet mighty fact … you are cyclical!

Now, I am no expert on human biology and I do not necessarily feel we need to be across all the intricacies of how the human body functions; however as human beings we are biologically hardwired to be cyclical.

Oh and just so we are clear, the term ‘cyclical’ refers to something that occurs in a pattern or cycle, and is recurrent.

As human beings we all have an internal 24-hour body clock, referred to as the circadian rhythm, whereby our bodies undergo physical, mental and behavioural changes in a 24-hour period - a prime example of the circadian rhythm is the sleep/wake cycle. The sleep/wake cycle involves our brain sensing darkness/night and releasing the hormone melatonin making us feel sleepy and ready for bed. On the other hand, when the optic nerve in our eyes senses morning light, it signals our brain to release cortisol and other hormones to help us wake up.

For humans assigned male at birth, they experience a hormonal cycle that is typically aligned with the circadian rhythm. In that they experience hormonal changes on a 24-hour cycle, whereby testosterone levels are higher in the morning and lower at night.

For humans assigned female at birth, they experience a hormonal cycle that is typically aligned with the infradian rhythm. The infradian rhythm is a biological clock that occurs longer than a 24-hour period and contains various phases - a prime example of the infradian rhythm is the menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is made up of four hormonal phases - menstruation, pre-ovulation, ovulation and pre-menstruation phase.

If we were to observe nature - we would notice that our circadian rhythm synchronises with the day/night cycle as the Earth rotates on its axis every 24 hours; whereas in contrast, the infradian rhythm, specifically the menstrual cycle relates to the Moon and its lunar cycle that occurs approximately every 29.5 days and contains four primary phases - new moon, first quarter moon, full moon and third quarter moon!

Then we have the yearly progression of changes in the environment - the seasonal cycle consisting of winter, spring, summer and autumn. As cyclical beings who menstruate, the qualities observed throughout the seasonal cycle are also reflected within us and our menstrual cycle experience - commonly referred to as the inner seasons*. Observing your cyclical experience from a seasonal perspective may support you to connect and understand your cyclical experience much more deeply.

To be human is to be cyclical, to be cyclical is to be human!

White person's hand holding tiny green fern leaf

When you acknowledge, observe and honour your cyclical self -

  • you are acknowledging your human experience

  • you are observing the qualities that make you, uniquely you

  • you are honouring all parts of you and your cyclical nature

This may lead to …

  • feeling empowered in the way you show up for yourself and for others,

  • going about your day-to-day in a way the feels aligned to where you are in your menstrual cycle, rather than fighting against it,

  • mindfully checking-in with how you are feeling within your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self,

  • having a greater connection and understanding of your body, how it functions and what it needs,

  • understanding how to adapt to your changing needs,

  • caring for your self with meaningful cyclical self-care practices,

  • leaning into any pain, discomfort or frustration experienced with compassion and understanding,

  • releasing the idea of a ‘perfect cycle’ and instead embracing the cycle that is unique to you, and

  • discovering parts of yourself that you're feeling called to release and/or embody.

How do you begin to acknowledge, observe and honour your cyclical self?

  • Lean into curiosity and begin observing your cyclical self by paying attention to where you are in your menstrual cycle and what you are experiencing within your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self. Be sure to have a way to collect and collate your cyclical observations.

  • Consider what other cycles may be present in your life, such as the seasonal cycle where you live, how does the current season impact your energy, thoughts and feelings?

  • Be mindful of your changing cyclical needs and consider how to best care for those changing needs.

  • If you're not menstruating and yet you feel drawn to acknowledging and honouring your cyclical self, you may consider using the lunar cycle as a framework to mindfully check-in with your cyclical experience and care for your changing needs.

At the heart 💙 of my signature 1:1 menstrual cycle coaching program, The Embodied Menstrual Cycle is acknowledging, observing and honouring YOU and YOUR cyclical human experience.

The Embodied Menstrual Cycle coaching program is all about supporting you to create a deeper connection and understanding of your menstruating body and its cyclical needs, so that you may embrace and embody a cyclical experience that works for you!

Within the coaching program we embrace

  1. exploring your unique menstrual cycle patterns and cyclical experience throughout the four phases of the cycle as they apply to you; and mindful tune into your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self,

  2. reflecting on how your thoughts, feelings and behaviours change throughout your menstrual cycle and how they may impact your daily life and overall wellbeing,

  3. creating a cyclical experience that works for you based on your personal understanding of your unique patterns, strengths, vulnerabilities, and cyclical needs, and

  4. expressing your cyclical self by embracing who you are and what you need, letting that guide your cyclical experience in an authentic and empowering way.

If you're interested in connecting with and understanding your menstrual cycle experience in a deeper and more meaningful way, I invite you to book a free, 30-min Exploration call with me to see if The Embodied Menstrual Cycle coaching program is the right fit.

Learn more about The Embodied Menstrual Cycle coaching program here.

🌀 Join the Menstrual Musings email community and receive a copy of Embrace Your Flow, a beginner's guide to menstrual cycle awareness and cyclical living, including printable resources to get you started - click here to join.

🌀 *The concept of the inner seasons of the menstrual cycle was first introduced by Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer, Founders of Red School -

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