Ever heard the saying ‘four seasons in one day’? Imagine experiencing this on a physical, mental and emotional level over a four week ‘period’ (pardon the pun). And, then on repeat every month until you reach menopause and a whole new set of physical, mental and emotional challenges emerge.
Welcome to life as a woman!
I was 31 when I began physically and mentally forming a real connection to my monthly cycles. I had just made the decision to go off the pill and it was life changing.
Like many teens I got my period at around 13, but it was never that consistent and when it still hadn’t settled by 16 and I’d started having sex, my GP and my Mum suggested I go on the pill to “regulate things” – a popular and widely accepted choice at the time. While it did its job as a contraceptive, it didn’t do me any favours as far as my long-term cycle was concerned.
When I quit the pill, I intuitively knew it was also time for me to start working with my feminine energy instead of against it.
I began to temperature track with an app called Kindara, recommended to me by a good friend who’s a Naturopath. It took me a solid year to learn about my cycles and ovulation and gain some consistency.
Throughout this process I began to notice two things… my hormones and my libido. Suddenly, I was so aware of my desires and how they matched up with my cycle, it was a complete revelation.
Let me explain the seasons of your cycle:
Days 1-6: This is when we have our flow (menstruation) best described as winter. Our energy is low, we’re more inclined to hibernate than socialise. It’s time to slow down, take on less, say no more than yes and work solo if you can.
Days 7-13: Heading towards ovulation, our energy returns as we emerge from hibernation and feel productive again. We start to crave connection and workflow, inspiration and creativity are encouraged over rigid structure and lists.
Days 14-21: Ovulation takes place, you feel vivacious and you’re bursting with energy. You can take on more with ease, and you exude joy and playfulness. This is one of the most magic phases of your cycle. Embrace it on every level.
Days 22-28: We prepare for another winter via the autumn phase. Summer’s been great, but we’re ready to wind down now, be more still, consider things more deliberately and get clear and comfy for the possible winter that lies ahead.
I’ve found that the more I become aware of my own cycles, the harder it is to go against them.
And I believe as women it’s time for us to fully embrace our cycles. This is about women knowing their limits and using our downtime to embrace creativity, making extra time for our loved ones and for spiritual growth.
And while this can be hard to do when women have an equal share in generating the household income, while still managing traditionally female roles, I believe we need to make time to honour our female energy on a monthly basis.
We also need to be kinder to ourselves, ask for and accept help more often and stop trying to be everything to everyone… it just doesn’t work.
I’ve embraced exercising in accordance with my energy levels, getting outside to connect with nature when I need to, hibernating when my cycle calls for it and seeing people when the energy is right, I also cook if I want to, or order UberEats if I’m tired.
It’s time to make it okay for us to embrace what it is to be a woman and no longer have to feel sorry for it or ashamed about it.
I want us to feel good about the seasons of our cycle because we know how to harness them and lean into the magic each one of them brings.
Carla Thomas is a Perth-based holistic health coach who specialises in the mind-body connection. You can follow her on Instagram here.