Last of a 3-part series about the hidden wisdom within our painful periods and the ‘me-time’ revolution (including reflections and exercises)
How the seasons, the moon, our menstrual cycle and our everyday life all fit together
“The Goddess is found in the cycle“
– Kate Northrup
In this final blog post, I want to move from theory and words to making it all real and sharing with you exercises and reflections to kick-start your own healing journey.
If you haven’t read the first and second blog posts to this series, I can wait while you refer to them, and when you come back, you can jump down the page to the exercises. For those of you who just want…
A short recap
In my life with Endometriosis, a real shift happened in my healing when I got a grasp of the knowledge and value of the Divine Feminine. Once I realized how the Goddess was worshiped in the past and then forcefully pushed aside, I couldn’t help but associate my own value vis-à-vis how the feminine in society was valued. Once I began to know the strengths of the Goddess and honour her, I could value her within myself. That gave me the foundation and the balance in my life to allow myself to slow down, sit with my darkness and slowly understand the value and action in inaction. My body, my moon-blood, my womb and my inner voice, which are linked to my menstrual cycle, became equal partners in my daily life and my business.
I deeply realized that instead of being a “condition to be lived with”, my menstruation was worth listening to and honouring as part of the natural cycle of life. My relationship with my menstruation and the pain which came with it changed from being a struggle to a friendship. I realized that my bleeding time was meant to be a quiet time, a bit of a “winter”, a time in stillness and reflection, cleansing and renewal. I understood how it is a part of our innate connection to the cycle of life which we have as women.
When we take the time to be still, to relax and listen, we can turn pain and emotional darkness into new light and insights, just the way winter turns into spring. When we try to keep going, pushing through those first days of our menstruation using maybe Advil to numb our body and emotions, we are actually and sadly taking away one of our most precious gifts we have as women.
Our moon blood still holds the same magical power the ancients believed in. It still holds the wisdom which guides us to our personal empowerment and helps us make changes in how we choose to live our lives, not just for ourselves, but for our family and communities. Because of how our hormones shift when we bleed, emotions which we might have suppressed during the previous weeks can bubble up to the surface giving us the opportunity to see them, speak-up about them, and transform them into healthy changes which support us during our next cycle. The sadness or anger we might feel, before our period, what we call PMS, hold real important information for us. Insights and change are to be found with these extra strong emotions when we listen to them and act on them. When we as women care for ourselves, we too heal our families, our communities, and the Earth. We are deeply connected.
Where are YOU with respect to the seasons, the moon and your menstrual cycle? And how do you bring that awareness as support?
I’m part of an online women’s group called Origin, which is founded by Kate Northrup, the daughter of the famous Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom, a must-read for all women of all ages, especially if you are struggling with any menstruation related conditions.
Being part of a community for women like this has been one of the ways I support myself in finding ways to integrate, health, family life and business.
What has helped me in so many aspects of my life has been to understand how the circular energy of our lives works, and how it can be harnessed.
This is how the 4 seasons relate to the phases of our life, the elements, the times of the day, our menstruation, the trimesters of pregnancy, and the moon’s phases:
Season – Spring (Maiden)
Energy – Excitement
Element – Air
Time of day – 6 AM to 12 noon
Menstrual cycle – The follicular phase of your menstruation, days 7 until 14 of your cycle, the week after your period stops, when most women have the most energy
Pregnancy – The 2nd trimester of pregnancy, as the baby bump emerges when you normally begin to have more energy
Moon’s phase – Waxing
This is the sunrise and a time of new beginnings; a time for planting seeds and sprouting new ideas. Your cortisol naturally rises around 6 AM to support you. It’s the time to do the “get up and go” things in your day when your mind is sharp and clear. It’s a time of activity and strong awareness. It’s also the best time for mental creativity, learning, concentration, researching, structural thinking, and physical stamina. Here’s a good time to head out to that Zumba class and then go to your favourite café and write that business plan!!
Season – Summer (Mother)
Energy – Manifesting
Element – Fire
Time of day – noon to 6 PM
Menstrual cycle – The ovulation phase of your cycle when you are most attractive to a mate. But this energy can be used to attract anything in life!
Pregnancy – Your third trimester when your belly is fully visible, and birth is on its way
Moon’s phase – Full
This could be described as the peak time when you are fully bloomed. You are ready to be seen, heard, you’re extroverted and expressive, most clear and receptive. It’s the best time for communication, teamwork, supporting others, emotional creativity, and relationships. It’s an exciting time!! Which is, of course, why most of us want to be here all the time!!
Season – Fall (Wild Woman)
Energy – Winding down
Element – Water
Time of day – 6 PM to midnight
Menstrual cycle – The week before your period when you might feel PMS, tired and heavy. Also when you’re most insightful and connected to yourself, that is, most able to listen to the body’s messages of pain and emotions
Pregnancy – 4th trimester, after birth, the postpartum phase when you are caring for your new baby or any other creative project
Moon’s phase – Waning
Here would be something like the culmination period, a cozy, inward and harvesting time where we move towards stillness. You clean up, store, make space and complete tasks. It’s the perfect time to ask “What have I learned?”. This is the time for inspired creativity, out of the box thinking, problem identification and solving.
Season – Winter (Wise Woman)
Energy – Receptive
Element – Earth
Time of day – Midnight to 6 AM
Menstrual cycle – This is when you have your Period. The veil between our world and the spirit world is thinned, leaving you feeling sensitive and naturally very inward. Take this time to be still, take the day off if possible, sleep, read, cry, listen to your inner voice, heal what needs to be healed, let your dreams come to you.
Pregnancy – First trimester of pregnancy, tired, all is happening underneath the surface.
Moon’s phase – New
This is the time to rest, digest and restore. You are in the fertile void, fields are bare, healing is happening. It is the best time for inner processing, going to the core of things, re-framing, letting go, detoxing both inside your body and in your mind and emotions, making space for new ideas for the next cycle. It’s a time for intuitive creativity.
We all know that all birth begins in the darkness. This is the phase when the hidden growth happens long before any sign of it rises into the light.
We have gotten so used to feeling that our menstruation is a difficult, painful, irritating part of being a woman, a time we have to overcome so that we can move on. But in doing so, we miss this natural inbuilt opportunity every month to take stock, heal and cleanse the old (and what didn’t work!!) to prepare for the new.
We really need to consciously allow ourselves to be in the fall and winter part every day, week, month and year. The choices we make, impact us deeply. We need this downtime to turn off. If we don’t give this to ourselves, the body risks getting sick.
It is in the fertile void of stillness and darkness that energy and ideas are born. It is here that healing for the next cycle happens. When you give yourself that time, you wake up potentially ready for the next day, the next cycle, next year, feeling like a million bucks! Surrender to the time of stillness offered to you every night time, every menstruation, every new moon and every winter.
A simple way to invite this into your day is to allow yourself 15 minutes of rest and deep breathing in the afternoon instead of fighting the downward cycle by drinking a coffee or eating sugar. If possible, begin to allow yourself to slow down and go inward during your first day of your menstruation too. Remember in the first blog post how beautifully the trees honour winter?!
Know and honour the gifts and opportunities in the different phases of the cycle. Every part of the cycle feels different, and that’s ok! In fact, that’s our superpower! Schedule your time and your actions according to this wise cycle.
If your menstrual and lunar cycles don’t match up, always put your body first, asking: What day am in the cycle? How do I feel? Then you can look into where the moon is in your cycle, and where you are in the year.
If I’m having my period on a full moon, let’s say, then I know I most likely will have a bit more energy. So I might, as a result, do a little less work, maybe spend time with a girlfriend, and try resting and restoring.
To work with the energy of the day while writing this blog post, I decided to do my research in the evenings while in bed reading. All the information could percolate so that the next morning, during my Yoga routine, I could let the ideas flow through me. Around 9 AM, when my family would be out of the house, I could start writing. By the late afternoon, I could edit. By the evening, I could meditate and let it all settle, feeling into what I had created. The next morning, I could embrace new ideas, make changes and then… a new cycle starts!
Now to the fun part. Get yourself a calendar!! In my calendar, I spend time on the first day of the month planning out the big things I have to do so they fit in around my cycle. Then I take a few minutes every morning writing down where I am in my cycle, how I feel, a few keywords around what powers my cycle is offering me that day so I am aware of my energy and how I best use what is offered to me naturally rather than fighting it. I also write down what moon phase we’re in and what energy this offered to me. I try to plan my day, week and month accordingly whenever possible.
You can get lots of great apps for tracking your cycle and the moon. I personally like to do it the old-fashioned way, in my paper calendar.
Exercises to go deeper:
This is a beautiful full Moon Womb Blessing which I often use this for myself and in my Yoga classes. It offers you a beautiful way to connect to yourself, your womb and mother earth, bringing in support, balance and the awareness that we are all one. www.wombblessings.com .
2) HATHA YOGA
Stand in the mountain pose, ground yourself down into mother earth, breath deeply into your body, letting go of the world around you, coming back home to yourself for a moment. Then ask yourself:
Where do I stand, where do I want to go?
How can I create space in my life?
What do I want to create, manifest?
Listening to what is going on, what needs to be cared for or expressed?
Listening to your inner wisdom, write down what comes forward in a journal, act from that place.
Make this part of your day to stay focused and connected to your energy and purpose.
3) TAPPING INTO THE WISDOM OF YOUR MENSTURATION
If you are in pain or sad during your menstrual cycle, allow yourself to sit or lie with this feeling for just 5 minutes and feel it fully.
To begin with and most importantly, simply listen, feel and be present with yourself. In time, when and if it feels right, you can then ask your body and your emotions if they have a message for you.
This is a start of a lifelong conversation, a friendship with your body, heart, and cycle. Over time, it will help you tap into your inner wisdom and you will begin to understand what the pains and emotions are trying to tell you in connection with your menstrual condition.
Taking action from what your wisdom is offering is the next step. You can do this simply by writing down what comes forward in your journal and then choose two steps that you could take immediately that would make the greatest difference in your situation right now. Make them small and manageable. Don’t end up with a long to-do list which will only leave you feeling disappointed with yourself.
To manage the constant need to do (That love of Summer!), try and take one thing away from your calendar every week. Make time for life to meet you! See what it feels like when you stop rushing, which means you can still move quickly when needed… but without the agitation.
With this, I would like to wish you all a belated Happy and Balanced New Year!!
If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you below in the comments. Don’t be afraid to express yourself! 🙂
If this 3-part blog series left you all excited and ready to tap into your own cycles’ wisdom and learn from it rather than fight with it, then let’s talk, girl! Contact me for a 30 min Free Discovery session right here.
If you are simply just curious about who I am and what I do, then please come visit me at trineveissmikkelsen.com (or if you happens to live in Montreal, let’s go for tea!)
We all deserve to create a life where we feel free, powerful, insightful, healthy and deeply cared for.
Big relaxing hug
Missed the previous blog posts? Now to worry. See them here.