I have become obsessed with my menstrual cycle. Not just in that usual way where we log the dates in our diary and maybe check the consistency (which lets be honest is enough). I mean totally, deeply and utterly engrossed in it. Clearly my interest was piqued a year ago when I wrote about difficult periods but this interest has deepened to become a way of really identifying with myself.
This isn't some random obsession I am halfway through a year long self development course delving deeply into all aspects of the sacred feminine run by the incredible Jewels Wingfield and in parts it draws on the work of Alexandra Pope.
In her extensive work on women's menstrual cycles she talks about how the time span of one period (approx 28 days) can be split into 4 sections and energetically these can be associated with the 4 seasons.
Winter is the first stage, when we bleed. Characteristically it's the time of wanting to hibernate (or just hide under a duvet and eat chocolate). We are withdrawn and inward and it's tough to focus and find a lot of energy, contrary to the images forced on us by the Bodyform adverts.
Spring is the week after when the bleeding has stopped and we suddenly feel more energised and sociable. We want to get on and often we get stuff done quickly and with grace and ease.
Summer is characterised by our really coming into fullness, it's when we are ovulating and energetically we are fully blooming and really advancing.
Autumn is when we start the decline back into ourselves. Typically now we may experience some PMT, being a bit snappy or less tolerant than we were in spring and summer.
When we look at the month broken into seasons it becomes clear that there are times when we are more productive and times when our energy is best spent being inward. I, for one, know unequivocally that there are days I am better spent doing admin than supporting people in the clinic because my energy is more inward.
The tendency to "push through" is a very masculine one. Men don't have cyclical energy, theirs is linear and the only way to truly step out from a patriarchal society is to honour the fact that we are cyclical.
When we work in our spring and summer we are doubly productive making up for the fact that we are more inward in our autumn and winter. But to get this productivity and energy we have to really honour our winter and go within. That, ultimately is truly trusting in the sacred feminine