Cyclical Work Without a Cycle
Inclusive Cyclical Living
Cyclical living is not just the remit of bleeding women; with or without a visible monthly cycle, living in tune with your rhythms and the rhythms of nature is beneficial your mental, physical and emotional health.
There are many reasons why a woman might not have visible monthly cycle such as being born without a womb, having had a hysterectomy, menopause, early menopause, lactational amenorrhea, hypothalamic amenorrhea, eating disorders, hormonal contraception, being a trans woman and some health issues (to name but a few) and there are many ways to explore cyclicity beyond just menstrual cycle awareness.
Some of my work references the menstrual cycle but unless it is a specifically menstrual cycle related workshop or class (which would be explicitly mentioned) this does not and should not exclude women without a monthly bleed, we are all cyclical beings with or without a visible cycle and as such can benefit from learning to more fully and deeply listen to our bodies and rhythms.
CYCLICAL WORK WITHOUT A CYCLE
All of my work is open to all women whether bleeding or not. In women's circles, retreats, classes and events I seek to combine menstrual cycle awareness with lunar cycle and seasonal awareness for the benefit of all. I never explicitly ask about your cycling life, this is an entirely optional area of discussion. It is very important to me that women with and without wombs, with and without periods and with or without a positive relationship to menstruality are included and supported equally within these spaces.
If peri-menopausal, menopausal or in the post menopause wisdom years then you may have a life of cyclical wisdom to share with us and we welcome your wild wisdom. It is also said that at this time you become an expert of the inner autumn (the premenstrual phase). As typically one of the most challenging seasons of the cycle for many women, your wealth of wisdom on this is hugely welcomed. This work can also help to retrospectively shed light on a life of cycles and/or to deepen connection to the lunar cycles.
There are many reasons why a woman might have irregular cycles such as, PCOS, peri-menopause, lots of stress, travel, an underlying heath issue and more.
If your cycle is irregular, know that often there is a larger cycle within that. Years of talking about periods has shown me that anecdotally lots of women experience a change in cycle length around seasons change. Strange but seemingly true.
Charting and tracking can help to cope with the unknown aspect of irregular cycles because as you begin to learn the signs of ovulation you can predict your period fairly accurately because the luteal phase (premenstrual phase) is generally the most consistent phase in terms of duration for most women.
Irregular cycles can be a blessing in disguise because being unable to track and chart from within the confines of a fairly consistent structure instead you have to learn to surrender to the unpredictability, which requires even closer, more attentive inner listening. This is the ultimate training ground for surrendering to the unknown.
Menstrual cycle awareness is just as valuable for those with irregular cycles and in fact the very act of paying close attention to, accepting and cooperating with the cycle can sometimes iron out the very issues that made it irregular to begin with or help with the transition towards menopause.
Hormonal contraception means that you don't have periods (the bleeding is a withdrawal bleed from the drugs) so you don't be able to track your period as such but there's still a great depth of work that can be done. As far as I'm concerned tracking and charting are great mental health tools for everyone and a menstrual cycle is just one blueprint to follow.
Did you know that the bleeding you get on the pill between packs was actually added in because during the trials women were freaked out and thought they were pregnant without it. Mad.
Side point: There are lots of incredibly valid reasons for needing and/or wanting hormonal contraception so please know that there is never, ever any judgement from me and will never exclude you from any of the work I offer. I can't even begin to imagine how liberating it must have been to be liberated from having to have 10 kids and being able to have sex without the fear of pregnancy. So I respect the fact that the pill has played a major role in the liberation and sexual freedom of women in so many ways but I am also aware that hormonal contraception interrupts the natural cycle, can mask gynaecological and other health issues, disrupts the endocrine system, depletes the body of key nutrients, reduces libido and can cut you off from the depth of emotion that arises through the fluctuations of a natural menstrual cycle (to list just a few side affects).
Please do get in contact if you have any questions.