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Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle: Getting Into Your Flow

Menstruation has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently. The controversy in India over women of menstruating age being allowed to enter Hindu temples shows that menstruation is misunderstood and even looked down on by many. Considering it’s part of the very process that allows life to come forth, it’s time we became more open and accepting about it and more tolerant of women and the journey they go through.

Coincidentally (or not, depending on how you view such things), we recorded a podcast episode on menstruation before the news erupted of the protest in India...

Menstruation can be difficult for some women, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. There are ways to calm the storms of menstruation so it doesn’t take over your life each month.

We’re covering this because I (Angie) used to struggle each month. I was like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I would be happy one minute and crying the next, and then angry and miserable, and then great again. My emotions were all over the place.

It’s the same for women all around the world - sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's not so good. We can all understand that.

I (Angie) feel really honoured to be married to Shane because he has always been supportive of me in those situations. For example, if I was feeling upset and stressed out but had no reason to be, Shane would say, “I'll just put on the raincoat and wait for the storm to pass”. It was great because it gave me the space to work on myself without feeling guilty.

Remember, everything follows a cycle and the sun always comes out after the rain...

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Learning from our ancestors

The beauty of menstruation is you more or less know when it’s coming so you can prepare yourself and should use that to your advantage.

We spoke about menstrual cycles and energy when we were publishing our book and did some research into how ancient cultures dealt with menstrual cycles.

Surely, it wasn't always as difficult? I (Angie) started thinking there must be something I could do to help make this more of a great experience rather than a miserable experience?

Little did we know that women are actually in tune with the bigger life cycles that occur. Our research revealed that ancient cultures believed the time of the month was a very sacred time for a woman. For whatever reason though, times have changed. Today’s cultures wrap a lot of shame and guilt around the menstrual cycle. It’s not bad at all; we must remember that it happens for a reason.

It was especially difficult for women during the Dark Ages when they were thought of as being unclean and were therefore ostracised from society whilst they were menstruating. Today, it’s obviously very different. I (Angie) love that in modern society, we can prepare for it each month and make it a better experience for ourselves

If you start to bring your internal menstrual cycle in tune with bigger cycles, you’ll see the magic happen.

Get into your flow

Rather than your menstrual cycle being a miserable time, it can be a very powerful time and very magical if you use it right.

The key to this is getting into your own flow (so to speak); getting in tune with your cycles. When you're in the flow, everything starts working the way you need it to.

What does menstruation actually mean? It means a month, but in some cultures, it means moon. Basically, it's a monthly moon lunar cycle. So menstruation is a 28-day cycle, roughly around four weeks, or 29.5 days if you go by lunar cycles.

How do you time your menstruation cycle with the moon cycle? Before the light bulb was invented, every woman used to ovulate on a full moon and bleed on a new moon. We were all in sync with each other.

It might be useful for men to learn this too because it’s “golden information”, as Shane calls it, for understanding a partner, wife, sister, or children.

Week one

When it’s time to bleed - or ‘winter time’ as we call it - technically, you're supposed to stop everything. We know in this society that can be quite difficult but if you can, you’ll become in tune with your intuition. It’s a time to look inwards, reassess, re-evaluate and plan.

Not only do I (Angie) do this with my body, but I also use that stage each month to focus my time and energy on my family and my business. Kind of like working on the business rather than in the business.

You may be thinking, “I can’t just stop everything”. Your body is forcing you to shift gears, at least. Think about what you can do to minimise your output and get in touch with your body.

We’ve even read in the past where wars have been put on hold while the female leader of one of the warring parties was menstruating. Perhaps the opposing party figured out it was in their best interests to do so :-).

To give you an example of how you might slow down at least, this might be a time where instead of exercising, you might switch to meditating. That way, you’re still doing something for yourself but it's more of internal activity.

And if and when the pain kicks in, here’s a simple breathing exercise to help with that - imagine you’re drawing air in through a straw and, taking as long as you can, fill from the bottom of the lungs to the middle to the top. Get to the fill point and then let it go.

Weeks two and three

Next, you’ll move into ‘spring and summer time’. During this time, when your uterus is preparing for fertilisation, your creativity will start to come out. You’ll notice you connect with people more, which is the result of a rise in life force energy within the body. This makes it the best time to get out, network with people and implement your new plans.

Week four

Then you’ll move into the ‘autumn’ phase. Believe it or not, this is probably one of the most important weeks out of all four weeks because autumn is a time of calibration and harvesting.

You should use this time to look at your personal rhythms and cycles, whether it be business, your relationships, or project, and reassess.

I (Angie) found if I felt like I had to go through it alone, I felt overwhelmed and stressed and would have a lot of period pain when ‘winter’ came during that cycle. I noticed in autumn if I was overwhelmed and stressed, it was an important time for me to stop and re-evaluate and prepare myself for winter.

I (Shane) think that that was one of the things we identified together. The week prior to the week of bleeding is probably the one where you need to be on your game. You should prepare yourself, slow things down, look inward and plan ahead.

Paying attention to your cycle

These rhythms are something that we see not only in menstruation cycles, but we see in life and in nature everywhere. Being prepared as you move into the next phase of the cycle is always key.

This is something that I (Angie) am continuously working on; timing my life around my cycles. For example, if we’re coming up to a new moon and we've got a lot going on, I know I have to work harder to create extra energy. When you start paying attention to your cycles and your time with the moon, you'll start being able to notice how you can change things.

For me, things started changing dramatically even when I started wearing blue-blocking glasses and blocking out bright lights at night time.

Your circadian rhythm has a lot to do with your menstrual cycle, So, if you do suffer in any way each month, the first thing you should do to make it better is check in with your circadian rhythm. The easiest way to fix your circadian rhythm is to get up early and see the morning sun.

It sounds simple, and it is. Even if you don't feel like it, make the effort to get up a little bit earlier each day. Start to wind down and get ready to sleep when the sun goes down, and get up when the sun rises.

That’s why it’s important that the cycles of any household are built around the matriarchs, or the mother’s, of the house. As the main female energy, we run the ship. Our cycles are built around Mother Nature's cycle.

Don't think that men don't have a cycle either. Even when you can time your energy cycles with your partner, you’ll feel the benefits of being in flow with one another.

Put simply, when the woman of the house starts getting in touch with her energy, everybody else will too. And when we're all in flow together, that's when the real magic starts to happen.

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