The menstrual cycle is a deep and nuanced process. However, it doesn’t have to be such a mystery to you or your loved ones. In my last post I wrote about starting to track your cycle & pay attention to your body’s rhythm. In this follow up post I’m going to deepen into the themes of each phase of the cycle and give you a few tips about my most favorite tools to use in relationship to this process.
This is the time to turn inward, like during the winter. Many teachings say that the bleeding time is really supposed to be about meditation & deep embodied experience. Others say it’s about being taken care of. I like both, myself 🙂 A few of the powers of this time are a deep sense of your inner world, the capacity for altered states, and much more. The challenge of this time is often symptoms or pain (I believe a huge part of this is because society does not support people to take time for their natural rhythm, nor does it support people to have balanced bodies, pain isn’t “how it’s supposed to be” and learning this piece was one of the biggest influences on me). The other challenge can be simply to make time for yourself. One of my most favorite things to do is to give myself a menstrual retreat where I do everything in my power to make sure I have nothing on my calendar during my heavier days of bleeding. The more we take care, the more the bleeding time can begin to feel like an important journey of release versus a burden.
** If you go deeply into this process, there are actually phases of the bleeding time that each have their own power and challenge.
If you think of one end an egg as the bleed time and the other end of an egg as ovulation, there is a transition time between bleeding & ovulation….this is the pre-ovulatory phase. The powers of this phase are curiosity and desire among others. This is a great time to begin not come out of the shell of menstruation but not going from 0-100 all at once. One of the challenges here is to allow ourselves to be just coming out of our internal world and to reserve some of ourselves, for ourselves.
This is the peak. If bleeding time is the most internal point, this is the most external polar end. The power of this time is potent! This is a time when we may be particularly gifted at loving others among a slew of other potent powers (many that have a lot of stereotypes about them). I find that a lot of generalizations & stereotypes come in about all of these phases when really, it’s unique process for each individual. The challenges here, in addition to owning your sexual power, can be bountiful for some. Some people really struggle with the level of energy in this phase, sometimes it can feel like anxiety. There can also be tendencies to be less in touch with oneself.
We all know this one. I sometimes refer to this phase as the buildup. This is where we begin to build toward the other polarity. If I forget to take care or pay attention, I often feel like I’m going to explode during this phase. This phase is actually a powerful and potent time, if we can learn to ride the wave. One of the powers of this time is saying no. One of the biggest challenge is to face ourselves and begin to meet our own shadows. There is much depth and gold here if we’re willing to go there.
Curious about the depth of the gifts & challenges? This is a vast world and can’t all fit into a blog post. I teach this practice and model in depth in my programs. I’m always curious to hear what you experience during these phases if you want to write to me. With love, Alicia