Your Menstrual Cycle is Magic.
Yup, you read that right. Your menstrual cycle is Magic. Meaning, once you take the time to understand it, it’s a source of creativity, ease, more energy and intuition.
Oh yes, and pain is optional.
Growing up, the only thing I knew about my period was that tampons were uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous if you forgot you had one in, and you could stain your pants.
Later on, my period became a time of the month where I would fight with my boyfriends, cry for no reason, get pimples and feel bloated.
A few years ago, I stumbled across the myflo app, where I could enter day 1 of my menstrual phase, and after a couple months of tracking, it could predict when my next menstrual phase was starting, as well as I how I would be feeling during the weeks in between each period.
LEARNING THE FOUR PHASES
I learned that in one month, there are 4 different phases, and I’ll have different emotions, hormone levels, amounts of energy, sex drive and mental focus in each one.
I highly recommend myflo to someone who wants to start tracking their menstrual cycle. You can click on whichever phase you are in, and it will give you a summary about what to expect.
For example, in my Luteal phase (that’s right the 8 days leading up to your period, also known as PMS), the app will give me tips like:
“Organizing feels really satisfying. Focus on completing projects, rather than starting new ones.”
“Burn your energy with high intensity at the beginning of the week, then scale back to gentle yoga.”
“Emphasize foods rich in B vitamins to stave off sugar cravings.”
My favourite is their exercise tip for day one of your Menstrual cycle phase: “At the beginning of the week, consider napping a sport.”
A super cute feature is that you can have the app email your significant other (or a friend, or your boss lol!) to tell them what phase you’re entering, so they can be prepared.
My partner Chris will ask me: “Are you feeling a little more tired and sensitive today? I can clean up, you chill.” Hello? It’s so amazing to have the awareness before a meltdown happens.
DEEPENING AWARENESS WITH BLOOD MAGIC
I had been using the app for a couple years before I met Cyclical Living Coach, Menstrual Cycle Educator, and Founder of Blood Magic Stella Artuso.
She has a master’s in Public Health, is a certified Yoga teacher, and is based in Montreal, and she is one of the leading voices amongst educators teaching how menstrual cycles can provide deep insight, ritual, and freedom.
I participated in her 5-week Blood Magic series at the beginning of 2020, and have been reaping the benefits of aligning life with my cycle ever since.
The main piece that Stella offered me was linking the phases of our cycle to the seasons. This made the cycle phases make sense to me. I didn’t have to look at my app as much, because intuitively I understand how I feel in summer compared to winter. Here’s the breakdown:
- Inner Winter (Menstrual phase): 6-7 days
- Inner Spring (Follicular phase): 4-5 days
- Inner Summer (Ovulation phase): 4-5 days
- Inner Fall (Luteal phase): 9-10 days
These seasons reflect a Montreal/NYC climate. So think how you feel in Winter compared to summer? Winter, you want to cocoon, be cozy, move more slowly, have more hearty foods. In Summer, you feel glowy, and sexy, and flirty, and want to be out and social.
From dating, to planning presentations, to podcast interviews, you can make your life so much easier if you align your energy with your cycle. Yes it’s possible. Yes thousands of women are living their life like this. You have permission to as well.
A big part of Stella’s course teaches the ancient wisdom from matriarchal societies where periods were viewed as a source of wisdom. When women were menstruating, certain cultures would consider them highly intuitive, and they would be asked questions about making big decisions for their village.
Think of how opposite that is to how our current society views women who are menstruating? Too emotional. Non-logical. Explosive. These are beliefs held by the dominant patriarchal capitalism that is linear, and values productivity above all else. The more cyclical matriarchal society values a seasonal, and sustainable use of resources and energy.
I learned from Stella’s Blood Magic 5-week program, that if I truly give myself permission to rest, and nourish my body during Inner Fall and Inner Winter, I’ll be that much more creative and magnetic during my Inner Spring and Inner Summer.
Blood Magic includes meditations, and gentle yoga practices to accompany the different teachings from each cycle phase. Having women share their experiences is powerful. I highly recommend her work to anyone who wants to live with more ease, creativity and energy.
Participants have shared:
- Experiencing significantly less period pain, an ability to reduce or eliminate the use of painkillers,
- Being able to move through their premenstrual phase in a smoother, more mindful way,
- Experience a more balanced and regular cycle (no more spotting or missed periods),
- Feeling a deeper connection to their body, being more in tune with their own inner rhythm,
- Creating a ritual around their period and celebrating it,
- Getting off hormonal birth control to experience their cycle in a natural and healthy way,
- Improved interactions with their partners, family and friends,
- Feeling overall more rested, grounded and ready to move into their next cycle.
I hope this encourages you to learn more about your menstrual cycle, and cyclical living. I know you will discover joy and power in your process.