This article was first published as a guest post for The Ladies Coach in 2016. I’ve since edited and updated it to publish here.
So often as women, we leave our womanly, cyclic bodies out of the conversation on creating lives and businesses we love. Yet your body, and most especially your menstrual cycle, is an amazing resource for living a life true to you. But if you are like most women, you are probably not using this inner resource to your fullest potential.
Our menstrual cycle prepares us for living a life of balanced wholeness. It’s an on-going guide and resource for checking in with your deepest self. For making sure you are nourishing yourself on all levels, each day of the week, each day of the month.
From pre-ovulation and ovulation through to your premenstrual and bleeding phases, you are guided by the different needs that your body has. You are guided by the fluid ways your Inner Woman™ wants to express herself, the many flavors of your sensuality and sexuality enlivening you at different times and in harmony with each day of your cycle. This is a daily practice of connecting with yourself. It anchors you in your feminine center and keeps you in an on-going relationship with your desires, needs, and dreams for your life.
Imagine completing your period each month feeling revitalized, at home in yourself, and inspired by new insights you’ve gained! Imagine knowing exactly what steps you need to take as you move into a new cycle, maximizing the sensual and creative energies of your pre-ovulation and ovulation phase to fuel what you are most passionate about. And later shifting with your body’s rhythm and moving into your premenstrual phase, savoring the emotional wisdom and focused awareness that can support you to create an outer life that reflects your inner life. Then finally, slowing down to once again become still with your period, listening deeply to what’s calling you.
The more we understand our feminine rhythms, the more we can use the seasons within our cyclic body to nurture balance in our lives physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Many women suppress, ignore or try to conquer their menstruation, PMS, and signs of menopause. Hormonal birth control is one common example. When we do that, we lose access to this very unique and powerful doorway to pleasure, wisdom, and intuition through our cyclic body. For many women it is the pain and discomfort around their cycle that creates this disconnect with their body. And since so many women experience pain and discomfort around their premenstrual phase, or bleeding time, it is easy to for it to appear that pain and discomfort is an undeniable part of having your period.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Strong pain and discomfort is a sign of imbalance calling our attention. Again and again, I’ve seen women rediscovering their menstrual cycle with more pleasure, balance, and radiance when they begin to work with their natural womanly bodies and listen to their feminine center.
How to work with the 4 phases of your menstrual cycle
When we talk about the menstrual cycle, often our first thought and main focus of attention is on the period itself, the phase I lovingly call my ‘moontime’. When we break it down, our bleeding phase is only one phase out of four phases that we journey through in our monthly cycle. There’s also your pre-ovulation, ovulation, and premenstrual phases that make up your menstrual cycle. Each phase comes with its own needs and wisdom. Each phase awakens your body and your Inner Woman™ in a different way.
Phase 1: Your bleeding phase
This is your inner winter, a time of the month for focusing inward. Slowing down during your period is essential for restoring hormone balance and vitality. Schedule in some additional downtime, nourish yourself on all levels, and build your energy for the new cycle ahead. Listen closely, and plant your seeds for what you want to create in your next cycle. Let go of what no longer serves, and give yourself the time for restitution.
Phase 2: Pre-ovulation
This is your inner spring. Use this phase for taking action on the inspiration you gathered when you were resting during your bleeding. The more you rested during your period, the more energy you will have available now. You rest to rise.
Phase 3: Ovulation
This is your inner summer; your creative energy is at its peak. It is important to awaken and express your sexual and creative energy. Use this energy to connect with your family, friends, and loved ones. Get some extra work done on things you are passionate about and try new things. Your body and energy is more robust and strong at this time, so you can go a little crazier without it draining you.
Phase 4: Your premenstrual phase
This is your inner fall. It is time to complete projects, tie up loose ends, make time for additional self-care, and schedule in some space to rest during your period. It is important that you listen to any emotions that peak at this time, they are wise guides in creating a life in inner alignment. Nourish yourself with sensual practices and pay attention to what your intuition and dreams tell you.
Perimenopause and menopause
Your menstrual cycle, and the completion of this in menopause, is so much more than biology and fertility. In my own experience it is a unique part of the spiritual journey in a female body. And the feminine rhythms of pregnancy, early mothering, perimenopause, and menopause are just as powerful to work with as the menstrual cycle. Perimenopause and menopause is another overlooked initiation. It is another phase in your feminine life cycles, and a time to continue the daily practice of connecting with your feminine center.
Ideally, in a world where womanly wisdom was the norm, we would meet the season of perimenopause and menopause having gained all the inner wisdom and knowledge that emerges from living and learning directly from our cyclic wisdom in the many years since our cycles started. We would arrive as ripened women, having worked deeply with our bodies, emotions, sexuality, and used every menstrual cycle to come home to ourselves. And having been through the initiations that we were awakened to and worked with through our menstrual cycle and feminine body, we are now prepared to dive into the perimenopause phase, as another step and deep journey into what this season is awakening in us.
Instead, many women in our world today meet menopause (and motherhood) without having awakened to their own feminine wisdom to guide them through life’s great initiations, changes, and challenges.
Creating an amazing life from your feminine center
Through this journey into your own feminine rhythms and cycles you will find your inner wisdom and guidance throughout your lifetime. You will create inner spaciousness for being with the heavy challenges in life without losing yourself. You will create space in your body for more power, mojo, and sensuality. By connecting with your body and feminine center every day, over time you will build an unwavering presence that can support you to live life as the woman you came here to be.
By taking the journey home to your body, your feminine center, by fully arriving in your womanly landscape every day, you will come face to face with your own truth and way in life. It is here, day by day, where you will find the ingredients for creating your version of an amazing life.