[11 min read 2799 words]
Menstrual Cycle = Magic?!
Before tracking my cycle, I never would have said Menstrual Cycle = Magic. I imagine that for most of you reading this article, the same can be said for you. However, you’re taking the time to read this anyway. Perhaps this shows that somewhere deep down, you do believe or you would like this to be true. If this is the case, you’re already one step closer to experiencing the magic of your menstrual cycle.
For many people, the menstrual cycle is a taboo subject. The cycle has been viewed as shameful and our blood as dirty. To some degree, this results in us ignoring our cycle which in time, puts psychological and physical stress on us. From a young age, we’re taught PMS is a normal part of our cycle and periods = pain. This very subtly perpetuates the narrative that there is something inherently wrong with us. We grow up thinking, consciously or unconsciously that we’re broken and our body and mind will fail us in time. I’m here to tell you that this is an untrue narrative and toxic for our psyche.
The aim of this article is to share my story in the hope you feel inspired and start to believe there is another way to experience your menstrual cycle. Tracking your cycle and innerstanding your cyclical nature will allow you to experience yourself in a different way. You’ll deeply feel the intelligence of your body and you will learn it has been designed to support you. In time, you will feel this in every fibre of your being and it will revolutionise your life. You will step away from the old paradigm of periods = pain and move to the new paradigm of Menstrual Cycle = Magic.
Leading up to cycle awareness
Having taken the Pill from 18–32, I was denied my own cycle. It wasn’t until I stopped taking the Pill that I realised how much my cycle affected me. But it was another three years before I fully realised this. (Read my article “Is the Pill good for our overall health and wellbeing?” to find out more of the dangers of the Pill.)
Wanting to fully innerstand myself, I dedicated my life to self inquiry. I visited the Amazonian Rainforest to sit with Ayahuasca, a powerful plant medicine long considered sacred by the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon. Known as the “vine of the soul”, it’s used for spiritual healing and personal growth. My Ayahuasca ceremonies were profound; I experienced my death and rebirth a thousand times over and I felt God everywhere. This opened the door to a new way of existing and I chose to leave the UK to live in small communities around the world to broaden my life experiences.
Having meditated since 2011, it started as a way for me to bring awareness to the present moment when my mind became busy. To dive deeper into my practice, I enrolled on two 10-day Vipassana meditation courses within 12 months. Vipassana which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient meditation techniques. Toward the end of both courses, my mind became so still that I was free from thought. Perhaps for a couple of minutes which resulted in a state of bliss similar to my Ayahuasca ceremoines.
Yoga became another key practice in my life. Travelling to Cambodia to study which allowed me to uncover some deep truths. Yoga taught me self discipline and showed me I’m able to move past many mental constructs and just ‘be’.
There’s something wrong with me
After all the plant medicines, consistent meditation, yoga and deep self inquiry, I was experiencing extreme highs and lows. My inner critic would take over at any moment and I couldn’t get a handle on her. I was following my heart and creating a life I truly wanted to live, and yet, I felt that there was something wrong with me.
These extremes became so strong that I thought I was suffering from Bipolar Disorder. In one moment I would be certain about the direction of my life and would be making plans for the future. The next moment I would be in a heap on my bedroom floor feeling beyond depressed and stuck in the past. It didn’t make sense because I felt like I was in alignment with my truth.
I brought the topic up with my sister and parents. Talking honestly about my feelings, explaining our views and listening to one another was helpful. While they acknowledged that I did have very high highs and very low lows, none of them felt that I presented as Bipolar. This helped me to see that this may not be the right diagnosis for what I was going through.
I had always felt deeply and put the extremes down to me being a sensitive and empathetic person. Accepting that these extremes were just a part of my personality, I decided to lean on all the resources I had acquired over the years. When those moments of struggle would appear, I would have a myriad of tools to help me cope.
There’s nothing wrong with me
Upon attending an Inner Yoga workshop with Bex Tyrer, I was introduced to menstrual cycle awareness. Within minutes of Bex talking about the two different energies within our cycle, it was as if an internal light switch had turned on. Listening to her speak of each season, it felt like she was explaining to the letter, how I had been experiencing life. This caused tears to well up in my eyes. Instantly she clocked that her words resonated with me deeply, she gave me the most sincere and heartfelt look and said ‘I know”.
Through practicing cycle awareness, I identified very clear patterns month after month after month. While these extreme ups and downs were part of my personality, they coincided with the rising and falling energy of the two parts of my cycle. I was shocked because I never thought my cycle affected me in this way. Then came this wave of relief because there was a reason why these extremes were happening. I was being called to dive deeper into my cycle to innerstand why they were occurring and to transform my experience of my cycle.
The lifestyle I was living was a non cyclical one so I was working against my inner nature rather than with it. As I became more cycle aware, I started to see glimpses of magic, but wasn’t quite ready to believe it just yet.
Our blood is medicine
During cuddling, orgasming and breastfeeding, oxytocin, known as the ‘love hormone’ is released. It’s released to help us bond with and fall in love with our partner and our child. Oxytocin is released when our womb contracts, which happens when we give birth. Therefore helping us to bond with and fall in love with our child. Our womb also contracts when we bleed, which means oxytocin is being released each cycle. Yes. When we bleed, our body is helping us to bond and fall in love with ourselves.
Once I gave myself time to rest during my bleed. To rest fully and deeply, I began to experience this wash of love from my fifth cycle into tracking. The self love I experienced was similar to the feeling I had when I sat with Ayahuasca and Vipassana. The difference was now all I had to do was drop into my body, deeply and fully to feel this.
From that point on, I innerstood my cycle, to be my direct link to God(dess). Gifted with my own innate ability to have a ceremony each month allowed me to realise that there is nothing wrong with me. I had been living in a world where our menstrual cycle is largely misunderstood, denied and ignored.
Once I innerstood this, I began opening up to the possibility that those extreme lows I had been feeling were for a reason. I started to sit with and acknowledge my inner critic rather than allowing her to take over. I realised that she had been trying to give me a message all these years but I hadn’t been able to decipher what she was saying. Until now. It was at this moment that I realised our Menstrual Cycle = Magic.
Menstruality Leadership Programme
Speaking about my cycle journey resulted in many women reaching out to ask me to teach them what I had learnt. Cycle awareness reignited my passion for empowering others and my calling to share menstruality consciousness with women was born.
I applied for the Menstruality Leadership Programme at the start of 2020 and initially, I was placed on a waiting list. As divine timing would have it, there was a last minute cancellation and I was offered a spot on the course one week before. I’ve spent the whole of this year working intimately with my cycle to help me innerstand myself on the deepest of levels.
The practice has made me face myself in a way that I had never done before. I’ve taken responsibility for my own life and I don’t feel like my overwhelming emotions control me anymore. I truly listen to my Self and I feel more rooted and conscious than ever before.
It’s been a journey of revelations, recognition and reverence. Not only do I feel fully equipped to deal with my own mind, body and spirit, I finally feel ready to be the teacher I was always meant to be. Teaching, sharing knowledge and wisdom has been in my bones, but due to fear of not being good enough and being too much, I played small for much of my life.
Cycle awareness has allowed me to get out of my own way. Not only have I realised my full authority and leadership through my cycle, but my calling has been solidified too. To step up in becoming a Menstruality Mentor and to be able to teach this critical work to people is an honour. It is also necessary for the sake of humanity.
Where I am now
Today marks 12 months of tracking my menstrual cycle and also the end of the Menstruality Leadership Programme. In our closing circle, Alexandra asked us ‘What are you feeling right now?’ Closing my eyes, I dropped into my body to feel and listen. The word that came to me was peace. Finally at peace.
Not just today, during my inner summer. But at any point during my cycle. Even when I’ve not practiced enough self care and my inner critic has reared her head. I now know that she’s passing me a message in order for me to live in alignment with my truth. If I’m not being authentic to my Self, it will show up by way of mental health issues for me. Now I innerstand what my body is doing on any given day and I know how to read myself. I know what my spirit is telling me and I finally feel that I have full autonomy over myself.
My biggest take away from the Menstruality Leadership Programme is that my inner critic is in fact, my greatest ally. Through cycle awareness, I’ve been able to transform my extreme highs and lows, which I thought was Bi Polar Disorder. This gave way to me realising my calling. As I type, tears are flowing because I genuinely thought I would suffer with this for my entire life. Menstrual cycle awareness has been a pivotal point in which I’ve remembered who I am and it gave me my life back. Our Menstrual Cycle = Magic.
The Cycle of Transformation
Having transformed my extreme highs and lows into a more stable energy, I wanted to see this on paper. Days 18, 19, 20 and 21 were always my most challenging days. They would reduce me to that heap on my bedroom floor each and every cycle. Comparing a year’s worth of menstrual cycle awareness shows what we can achieve when we accept and love our menstrual cycle. I call this “The Cycle of Transformation.”
I’d like to point out that my inner critic is always there. Always waiting to pull me back into line if I’m not living in alignment with my truth. But the difference between now and before MCA, is the way in which she presents herself to me. No longer does she scream at me to get my attention. Now, she speaks to me with a kind, yet firm tone, helping me to refine my life. She’s my own inbuilt life coach whom I would never want to leave my side.
A vision for the future
We’re being called to reject the narrative that our menstrual cycle is something to be ashamed of and is dirty. It is where all life comes from so how can it be anything but sacred? Thousands of years of suppression and oppression against the feminine and women has resulted in us not innerstanding and being able to express ourselves as God(dess) intended. Hearing our entire lives that our periods = pain creates the very pain we’re suffering from. Repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. This is what has happened with our menstrual cycle.
We’re now being called to go inward to learn about our bodies in a way we have never done before. This practice starts the healing process and when this happens, God(dess) reveals it’s Divinity to us on a very individual and personal level. Rather than continuing the status quo and believing we have been given the short straw because we are women, I’d like to offer a different perspective. What if we started to believe that our cycle is here to serve us and is in fact, a women’s original spiritual practice? We could learn much from the Native American tradition as they experienced that menstruation was a link between humanity and spirituality. Read my article “Red tents and their link to spirituality” to find out more.
I’ve experienced a sustainable internal shift which has had a ripple effect around me. If I’m able to experience this, every women is able to experience this. There is nothing special about me and yet I am special. Just like you. Realising that we need not do anything or go anywhere to experience God(dess) could potentially be life changing on an individual and collective level. It is for this reason I invite us to change the way our menstrual cycle is viewed. I’m calling for us to move away from the lie that periods = pain. Instead, as a society, please join me in creating the new and true narrative of Menstrual Cycle = Magic.
If you feel called to explore menstrual cycle awareness with me, I would be honoured to be your guide. I’ve created a 12-week group Homecoming Course. Once the foundations of MCA has been laid, you will also adopt a new lexicon for your cycle. My aim is that you will start to (re)build trust with your cycle and over time, you will learn more about yourself. As a result, you should be able to navigate your life with more confidence, grace, and precision. In time, I hope this will open the door for you to connect to God(dess) and to realise the unlimited potential that lay within you.