The menstrual cycle women experience can lead to an array of heightened emotions that can leave us confused and upset.
Imagine if our emotions during this time were not just problematic triggers, but rather powerful inner compasses guiding us. Instead of feeling weak and emotional, our bodies can serve us to become more in tune with our sexuality.
Here is a new way to understand this powerful women’s cycle and shine some light on the purpose of menstruation on an emotional level. Learn to acknowledge, embrace, and engage each phase of this experience.
How lucky am I to experience all four seasons in one short month?
The ebb and flow of intrinsic change lives inside of me. I welcome the changes each time they come, for these seasons make me alive, wet, fertile. They bring new feelings, emotion and intuition with each shift of the winds. They offer new life. They connect me with my womanhood. My power.
Luteal Phase (PMS): Lasts about 14 days
In brisk autumn air, I sense the change well before the temperature dips. The leaves change colors in their ripe age, surrendering to the call of winter. At first, I become irritated with this new chilly world, as I had dreamt of an endless summer. I am quick to snap and easy to judge. My confidence dips as anxiety surges.
Self-Care Approach: Realizing that these feelings are simply due to the change of my internal weather, I look at them from an outside perspective with acceptance. Instead of letting my emotions win, I rise above and think up three things to be grateful for. I do my best to bask in this gratitude, pull a baggy sweater over my head, be gentle with myself, and prepare for hibernation embracing the things that I love and focusing on self-pleasure techniques to ease tension and stress.
Menstrual Phase: Lasts about 3-7 days
When the red winter comes, I welcome it with a smile, and melt into the discomfort. For I know that all this season requests is slow down so I can create life. I feel myself come alive. My body aches as my womb bleeds. Senses heighten as energy falls and emotions spike.
Self-Care Approach: I draw a bath, stoke the fire, and steep herbal tea. I taste sweet tears on my lips and thank them for falling. Releasing a month’s worth of built up emotion, I understand that when I slow down and curl up for the cold winter season, feelings arise that I had been stifling down. I invite them up and write them down. Spilling my darkness onto paper so I can face it in a mindful manner. I light a jasmine candle, rub lavender oil on my temples and sip hot cacao. I come home to myself as white crystals fall outside.
Follicular Phase: Lasts about 16 days
The spring sun’s rays melt dirty snow banks and slowly fill me with energy. As the world wakes up from its winter slumber, I kick off my fuzzy socks and replace them with running shoes. I race through the forest, getting lost in the trees, finally freed of hibernation. Budding flowers bring creativity, and I stay up with the moon and spill my soul onto white blank pages.
Self-Care Approach: I set intentions of what I want to accomplish and welcome into my life this month. I make to-do lists and prioritize creative projects. I organize my thoughts as incense burns next to speakers playing soulful jazz and electro-funk and classical piano. My heart dances in the moonlight.
Ovulation Phase: Happens around day 14 of your cycle
The summer heat rolls in; a wave washing over the blooming world. I kick off my sneakers and replace them with nothing, feeling soft Earth on my soles. A fresh coat of nail polish, oversized pair of earrings and satin skirt dress up my human suit. I dive into the world with an open heart. I feel beautiful, confident, radiant. I engage with strangers, make new friends, conquer fears. My increased energy levels make me move my body more than I have all month, boosting my workout regimen. I partake in inspiring conversations and connect with my community. Sun-kissed skin meets golden beaches, and I dance barefoot on the shore, swim naked in salt water. I return to the world.
In brisk autumn air, I sense the change well before the temperature dips. And I say hello to a new month once again to come face-to-face with this experience.
Article written by Kayla Murphy. Kayla is an artist, poet, yogi and coffee lover who is currently traveling the world. She is an equal lover of spontaneous adventure, and curling up with a good book in hand.