Part One: Oops I did it again
I did it again. There I was, standing in our kitchen. My husband was on the other side of our kitchen island, our son in his highchair between us. Tears streaming down my face, voice shrill, and my words… Let’s just say I was behaving less than Gracefully.
I don’t know what we were arguing about. It doesn’t even matter. Maybe he was being unfair. Maybe I was being triggered. He was right I was wrong. Oh no wait… I was right, he was definitely wrong. Does it matter?
What matters is that a charged conversation got waaaaay worse because *I* lost my shit. And why did I lose my shit? Hormones. Is that an excuse? Hell no. Explanation? Maybe. But with all of the self work I’ve done over the years it is categorically NOT ok that I lose my cool, in front of my son, onto my loving husband, because of hormones. I should know better. I have tools and resources to help me stay calm, and to behave Gracefully in the face of conflict.
Or so I thought.
I was out of practice. I had spent over a year without a period due to pregnancy and breastfeeding. While being pregnant, and in those first weeks after my son was born, while my hormones kept me pretty emotional and tender, I had nonetheless become accustomed to a certain evenness in my state of being. From one week to the next I more or less felt the same – just like a man does.
Once my periods returned I began to notice (as did my husband) that I was starting to get more defensive in some of our conversations. It was time for me to Harness my Feminine Power again.
Unlike men, women with more or less healthy cycles do NOT typically feel the same from week to week. In fact some of us experience dramatic shifts in our feelings, physiology, and energy. To the untrained eye this can look erratic, volatile, and undesirable. But with the right awareness and learning how to work WITH it all, dissolving our resistance to our true nature, we begin to see just how powerful and magical we really are.
In short, a woman has an approximately 28 day cycle that is comprised of 4 distinct phases:
Menstruation: We know this time – it’s when we bleed. A time of deep insight, intuition, self reflection and inspired change. Your body needs rest, and slower movement. This is the best time for you to reflect on where you are, where you are going, and if you feel in alignment with your highest values. Your instincts are running HIGH showing you the way forward.
Follicular: It’s a time for new beginnings, creativity and inspiration. Your energy is rising, you feel motivated and mentally sharp. Creativity and ideas are surging through you. This is the ideal time to solve problems, try new things, and reach out beyond your comfort zone. You feel social again, and up to taking on a challenge.
Ovulation: Your energy is high, you’re feeling social and everyone is drawn to you! Your social interactions are easy and flowy, and your thoughts are clear and focused. Not only do you feel fantastic, but those around you enjoy your company and are more drawn to you. You feel attractive and extra social.
Luteal: At the beginning of your Luteal phase you’re now feeling ready to get down to business. It’s time to tackle piles of laundry, scratch items off of your to do list and clean out your closets (literal or metaphorical!) As you come into the second half of this phase approaching Menstruation, you start to feel more sensitive, your energy begins to drop, and self care starts feeling like a sweet and natural practice.
It’s great to know all this about ourselves – but what are we supposed to DO with this information? Well one tangible way, is to know and respect your capacity to communicate gracefully, clearly, and persuasively during some moments of the month, and to honour the moments when you may need to zip it, and just listen with an open heart.
To learn more about these phases check out this interview with Nicole Jardim from the archives of my group program “Sister Circles: 8-Week s to Connect to your Feminine Wisdom”. Nicole Jardim is a Certified Women’s Health Coach and author of her new book Fix Your Period (my copy is in the mail!)
In part 2 of this 3 part blog series, I’ll share with you how knowing and embracing your monthly rhythms can be your super power to having difficult conversations that actually go somewhere loving and productive.
In part 3 of this series, I’ll share with you a handy tool that we’ve been using in our household that helps my husband work with me no matter where in my cycle I’m at. It’s been such a blessing to have him as an ally as I connect more deeply to my bodies deep feminine wisdom. Now when he’s wrong – KIDDING! Rather, when our conversations are charged and challenged, they don’t blow up like that day in our kitchen. They happen with much more Grace, and I’m not worried about my son seeing me act in a way I’m not proud of.
If you find this helpful, and know a woman (or three!) who would benefit from having this conversation, please share it with them!