Cycle day: 16 | Phase: Ovulation (Inner Summer) | Moon: Waxing (96%)
My heart vision is my true north ~ that which anchors me, guides me, and supports me in how I deeply desire my life to look, feel, and be experienced. It is also a beacon for when I am moving out of alignment.
In my first blog post for Menstrual Musings, I want to share with you my heart vision for my business and relationship with my clients and community.
I want to share with you:
~ my why ~ why I have made the conscious and intentional decision to work in the space of menstrual cycle awareness and cyclical living;
~ my heart and soul's desire ~ the driving force deep within to bring this work to my clients and community; and,
~ my biggest lesson (so far!).
Why I have made the conscious and intentional decision to work in the space of menstrual cycle awareness and cyclical living?
For a very long time, I lived my life disconnected from my body. I did not quite understand what my body needed; not only to function but to thrive. My only real connection to my menstrual cycle was feeling crappy a few days before my period (bleed) and having heavy, painful, cramping, clotting periods each cycle. I would feel a sense of dread when my period arrived, and a sigh of relief when my period finished. I would then go about my days without any consideration or connection to my body or cycle.
I was forced into reconnecting with my body, to learn what it meant to have a body that menstruates, and to understand and respect its cyclical nature. I say forced because a chronic illness diagnosis (Graves Disease) in 2014, followed by complete burn out by the end of 2018, was the ultimate way my body had finally said - ENOUGH!
Enough of forcing, instead of flowing!
Enough of surviving, instead of thriving!
Enough of giving away your energy, instead of replenishing your energy.
Enough of living in chronic stress, instead of calm.
However when I reflect on my life prior to my diagnosis, I realise that there were so many (so, so many!) times my body sent me subtle signs, symptoms, sensations that how I was living my life wasn't sustainable; and how I was treating my body was not supporting me to feel amazing!
Now, I will forever be grateful to my endocrinologist, naturopath, chiropractor, myotherapist and psychologist in how they supported me and helped me heal physically, mentally and emotionally from a significant period of being unwell. But in 2018, when I found myself burnt out, I knew there was something more I needed ~ I needed to go inward and heal my relationship with my body.
Working with a life coach, alongside my naturopath I discovered the wisdom and wonder of menstrual cycle awareness as a framework to support me to create a loving, nurturing, and nourishing relationship with my body, as well understand and heal my relationship with my cycle. Through menstrual cycle awareness I started to understand that my energy would ebb and flow at different parts of my cycle. I started to put some deliciously feel good cycle self care practices in place in each phase of my cycle, that supported me in the most nurturing way. I started to flow (pun intended!) through my cycle, and over time I developed an intuitive sense (an inner knowing) of where I was at in my cycle, and what my body needed to feel good. I became in sync with my natural rhythm.
I know firsthand the power and magic in reclaiming our natural cycle. This is why I made the conscious and intentional decision to work in the space of menstrual cycle awareness and cyclical living.
You are the expert in your lived experience. I am here to hold safe and sacred space for you to discover your inherent power and magic.
HEART + SOUL
The driving force deep within to bring this work to my clients and community!
Working with women and people who menstruate to create an intuitive relationship with their body, its natural rhythm and live their most vibrant, feel good life is heart and soul aligned work for me. So what fucks with your intuitive relationship? Society (the patriarchy) and the prevailing attitudes and beliefs it imprints and conditions upon us about our menstrual cycles.
When I have discussions about menstruation some of the prevailing attitudes are
~ that menstruation is one of inconvenience and burdensome,
~ unclean and something to be hidden,
~ you preserver even when in pain or discomfort, and
~ you perform at 100% capacity at all times throughout the cycle, otherwise you are considered less than, weak.
So many of us who menstruate have stories about
~ irregular, painful, or heavy periods are what we just have to put up with
(common, but not how a period if meant to be experienced)
~ turning up for work even on the days our period was making us feel really ill or making up a reason as to why we were calling in sick, other than because our period is making us feel ill
~ hiding a tampon up our sleeve so no-one at work would know you had your period, or
~ being referred to as 'cranky', 'moody', 'PMSing' when we were expressing ourselves, our thoughts or feelings
Thanks (but, really not!) to the patriarchy, women have been conditioned to reject their natural rhythm, to disconnect. There is a great deal of shame, stigma and taboo surrounding menstruation that is passed down. We inherent these from our mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers. We pass them onto our daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters.
So what lights my heart and soul up - rebellion!! Rebelling against the patriarchy, and reclaiming the narrative surrounding menstrual cycles and living in sync with our natural rhythm. Breaking down the stigma and taboo, healing from the shame.
Being cyclical beings is our superpower! Time to harness that power!
My biggest lesson I have come to learn (so far!) is that our menstrual cycle is full of wisdom and wonder! A sacred, wise communicator of our internal environment, as influenced by our external environment.
Full of insights, reflections and powerful lessons about our health, happiness and wellbeing. About where we are at physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually; as well as where we need more of something, less of, what is working and what requires tweaking.
So, how do we harness that wisdom and wonder for ourselves?
We create an intuitive relationship with our body and its natural rhythm, in this case, the menstrual cycle, through cultivating safety, connection, and trust.
We create safety in the body in order to deeply listen to what it needs to thrive.
We create connection with our body on a daily basis, to ensure we are honouring our body's needs, and re-aligning if required.
We create trust through a softening and surrendering that our body is wise, and will communicate with us ~ if we allow it.
We also get support. Support might look like seeing your GP, working with a naturopath, or working with a coach, like myself to create a loving, nurturing and nourishing relationship with your menstrual cycle. Or it may look like tracking your menstrual cycle, journaling our thoughts and feelings, or creating a cycle self care practice. Or, it could be a combination of all those and more. You will know what will best support you to harness the wisdom and wonder that your menstrual cycle has to offer you.
I wanted to share the following menstrual wisdom and wonder tidbits with you, that when I learnt them I found so fascinating.
How we experience our first menstruation/period (menarche) will greatly influence our menstruating years; and how we connect to and feel about our menstruation throughout those years.
How you experience your menstruation phase (period/bleed) of your cycle, will influence how you experience the rest of your cycle (pre-ovulation, ovulation, + pre-menstruation).
I mean, WOW!! I have been reflecting a lot lately on my experience of my menarche, and how it has influenced my now 25 years of menstruation. I am looking forward to sharing these reflections with you in a later post.