Ever since I had Audrey, I have refused to go back on birth control. We are in no way planning on having another child at this point. I simply wanted to get to know my natural cycle and body rhythm. So every single month I track my ovulation, my menstruation and everything in between. And every month, my energy and moods flow just as naturally as the blood that flows at the beginning of each cycle.
For example, between the last days of my period right up until I ovulate is like an upward rise in momentum. Energy builds and builds until I reach my peak, which is usually right at the moment I feel my egg release. And I can feel it too, every time. Then begins the slowing down and turning inward until about 5 days before I flow, I climb into a deeper sadness. It's funny because you would think that by now I would always know that it's coming, but often it takes me by surprise, even after all these years of self study. A huge part of our human condition is that it is riddled with forgetting. Finally right before my cycle begins again, I rise into a bout of anxiety until finally, my body releases and I breathe deeply and get quiet for 5-6 days and begin again.
Why am I sharing all of this with you? The other day I was in conversation with some girlfriends of mine about this very subject. One of them asked for any suggestions in terms of how to cope with those down and low energy days. My response: Honor it. I got to thinking about how often as women we have been conditioned to think that when we feel low, unmotivated and in the need of rest, we must find a way out of it. We have been taught that there are seven days to a week and within the space of each of those days, we can create a schedule. And while there is a calendar that honors each month, rarely do we honor it as a legitimate cycle, focusing much more heartily on the day to day, often efforting to make one day look like the next.
So how is getting to know and honor your cycle as a woman a rebellion against patriarchy? Well, did you know that males assigned at birth have a hormone cycle too? However, theirs happens every 24 hours. This means that in healthy male bodies, their day in and day out experience in accordance to their hormones is likely very predictable. Of course there are variables and other factors that play into things, but for the most part the male testosterone cycle has an ebb and flow from morning to night and back again. The best way to think about it is like the sun. Just as it rises and sets each day, so does the male cycle. Women assigned at birth are more like the moon. We go through a journey that lasts over the course of 28-30 days and has much longer and more drawn out ebbs and flows.
The problem is that the 24 hour male cycle has more or less been treated as the default, by all human beings. In fact, we rarely even hear about a male cycle because it is simply accepted as what is. But we often hear about solutions to the female cycle as if it is a problem to be fixed or solved. It’s as if we asked the moon to hurry herself along and get back to being bright again like the sun, even though she has an entire process she must go through each month in order to find her fullness.
So Women, I say get to know your cycles and HONOR them. As you learn more about your own personal flow each month, make deliberate decisions on how you schedule and give of your time and energy. If you start to know and remember each month that you will have higher energy at one point over another, purposely schedule the work that requires you to have that energy present during that time. On the flip side, when you know that you will be ready to turn inward and rest a bit more, make sure you make time and space for that too. And here is the key: Make No Apologies for it! You have nothing to apologize for, because THIS IS YOUR CYCLE. You are as natural as the moon. And while the moon and sun must absolutely work together, one does not get to ask the other to be more like them because both are necessary in their offerings.
I know we all have obligations and requirements that have to be fulfilled. I am not saying to completely walk away from those and take a week long nap. But I am saying that it’s ok to ask for what you need and adjust accordingly. It's ok to give yourself the permission to listen to your body and the exact energy that you have to give in the moment. It’s ok to say yes to your own needs and ok to say no someone else’s if you do not have the capacity at that time to give of yourself. You will again because you are cycling through just as you do each month. And when that moment arrives, there you will be, I have no doubt, full and bright, shining and exquisite. And it will be exactly enough. Enough light, enough time, enough energy and enough contribution to last an entire month long until you come around again. And even when you are in your quieter time, you are still there, holding space for all that continues to evolve before you. Your shadow times are a gathering place for what you will show us next. It’s where you collect your beauty and your light. And dare I say, the moon even in her shadow is incredibly powerful. She continues to move the tides no matter what.
So women and female identifiers, I say let’s honor our cycles as an act of rebellion against patriarchal conditioning. No longer do I think to myself during my low times “what’s wrong with me?”. I am as natural as the moon. My inward times are as important as my outward doings and expressions. We do not need to hide or pretend any longer that we are just like the sun because WE are the goddamn Moon. We get to stand just as unapologetically in our shadow as we do our light.
Wanna honor our cycles together? Join me for an eMOTION class this month! We will move our bodies with great respect and honor exactly where we are. We will empower ourselves to show up unapologetically. Take your first class for free using the code: FIRSTFREE
Join me Tomorrow, Thursday at 9:30am ET and/or Sunday at 11am ET
is a Mama, Wife, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Coach, Writer and Activist. You can read more about her here.