Menstrual Cycle Awareness

Know

 

  • Biology ~ Reclaim your body literacy and get to know biology of your cycle, the hormonal shifts and how they impact you and the  symptoms and what they mean

 

  • Charting ~ get to know your individual cycle in terms of the physical shifts and changes as well as the mental and emotional ones

  • Methods ~ find a charting method that suits your nature and constitution. It can be useful to have more than one method such as an app to record basal body temps and a paper chart for your notes but less is more! Better to have a sustainable practice rather than a laborious one you won’t be able to stick to.

  • Fertility signs for health ~ I didn't start tracking my fertility signs until I wanted to use them but now I wouldn't do without them! Fertility isn't just about making babies. Understanding your fertile signs can provide a window into the state of your health and as such can be gold dust aspects to add to your chart. It might sound like a faff but it becomes second nature really fast.

  • Inspiration ~ It can be difficult at first to know what to track and chart, to some this comes very naturally to others less so. I have some prompts that I share with my private clients. You can also find these in my Know, Grow, Flow workbook.

  • Inner attention ~ This practice invites you to pay quiet, close attention throughout each day to your moods, emotions, energy levels, behaviours, needs, wants and tendencies. Over time you may begin to notice patterns and discover the parts of your cycle that you find more enjoyable or challenging than others.

  • Review ~ This is the real gold dust. At the end of each cycle take a little time to review your chart and any notes and reflect on what has arisen and shown up through your cycle. This can be a time to reflect on any changes you might need to make and how you might be better prepared for the next. The Excel/data nerds I work with and I use an Excel template I created for cycle analysis. 

  • Share ~ Having a cycle tracking buddy can be incredible useful and can help with validating your experience and uncovering insights and patterns through talking it through. The Wild Woman Club community group is a great source of menstrual cycle awareness inspiration and insight and of course I am always available for sessions if you want to delve in more deeply

Grow

  • Understand . Accept . Cooperate ~ As you start to build some data around your own cycle you might discover that there are days where you feel great, days where you struggle and days where you don't really notice much at all. This knowledge is empowering but more powerful still is coming to accept and cooperate with your body in a way that you may never have been invited to before.

  • Elemental Not Mental ~ The simple act of understanding, accepting and cooperating with how your cycle impacts you and your life can be game changing. To realise we are not mental but elemental can bolster self confidence and provide a powerful sense of inner knowing and inner strength. In the words of Zahra Haji of yogagoddess.ca 'self understanding is a precursor to self love' and acceptance is powerful.

  • From Problematic to Powerful ~ In the next part of the course we are going to dive into each phase of the menstrual cycle in more depth. We'll be looking at what is happening in the body during each phase and how that might impact us physically, mentally and emotionally, as well as looking at some of the typical tendencies, powers and watch points.

    I think it's important to be real about the challenges of the menstrual cycles but also all too often this is the bit that most women already notice. When women come to this work they often say that they never really noticed their menstrual cycle before except when it was causing them problems, which leads to only seeing menstrual cycles as an inconvenience rather than the source of strength and power they can be. Menstrual Cycle Awareness invites you to explore both ends of the spectrum and the calm spaces in between.

  • Pragmatic and Wild: Power Animals ~ This is why I've chosen a power animal for each phase! Each creature provides a creative, visual reference for the vibe ushered in by the shifting and changing hormones. I love science, facts and data but I also love to explore the less concrete, creative realms; one half logical, pragmatic, cynic, one half wild hippy and this presentation of the cycle is a reflection of that.

Flow

  • Uphill Struggle vs. Downstream Flow ~ The way many of us (though I'm pleased to say not all!) have been raised, socialised and schooled means that we may have come to view the menstrual cycle as an uphill struggle to be fought against rather than a helpful current to be followed, a downstream flow guiding us back home to ourselves and our power. Flipping that script is a profound act of social rebellion for women and people with periods everywhere.
     

  •  Flow with your flow ~ Over time you may discover the phases of your cycle that are best for particular activities and approaches, when you want to be out in the world, when you want to retreat, when you are creative, productive and when you are unstoppable, boundaried and powerful
     

  • Patterns not predictors ~ One of the pitfalls of MCA can be trying to predict the future, so it's important to remember to learn about your patterns without letting them become predictors, a bit like stepping out to test the weather rather than checking the weather app
     

  • Taming the wild Cycle ~ Another of the pitfalls is trying to tame the wild cycle - the cycle is wild and dynamic and responds to our environment and as frustrating as it is it will not be tamed. Nothing wild enjoys being in captivity. The menstrual cycle is the ultimate teacher of surrendering to the flow.

  • Lie Down before you Break Down ~ The menstrual cycle doesn't give a shit about our commitments, deadlines and duties and when we choose or are pressured, forced, coerced or encouraged to ignore the rhythms of our bodies our cycle will have something to say about it and so often it takes getting to breaking point before we choose to listen.
     

  • Take a stand for rhythm ~ This is where the menstrual cycle can be the ultimate tool for avoiding burnout and breakdown by providing the framework within which to work with your energy efficiently and to take the rest that you need to live well. In the words of Alexandra Pope ~ 'never let your need for rest be regarded as a weakness'

Menstrual Cycle Awareness Chart

 
Embodying Nature's Cycles - Menstrual Cy

How To Use

 

Working from the middle out...

  • The inner segment with the round circle is for marking the lunar day Lunarium and Time and Date are great for this
     

  • The next segment with the numbers is the days of the menstrual cycle (print the chart double sided for cycles longer than 30 days side two becomes 31)
     

  • The next long blank segment is for noting significant symptoms, moods, emotions, events, energy levels or whatever you feel will help you gain a better understanding of your cycle
     

  • The next small blank segment is for the date 
     

  • The outermost segment that runs as a circle around the whole chart has many different uses. A friend of mine uses colour coding, I do something similar. You may wish to mark the seasons of your cycle and transition at the end during your cycle analysis or you might like to use it for additional notes
     

  • I often have much more to write then fits in these small segments so as you will see in the example chart I write around the edge and sometimes on the back!
     

  • I also like to use the inner segment to mark my menstrual cycle flow rate, cervical mucus and moon phase zodiac and usually keep a tally in the corner of sexual contact, times I cried, creative days, conflict and masturbation as a measure of my emotional wellbeing each cycle. The options for tracking are endless!

Below is an example chart for a 26 day cycle...

Know, Grow, Flow Workbook

An Introduction to Wild and Cyclical Living Through Menstrual Cycle Awareness


Coming soon online and in print!

A workbook style introduction to the basics of Menstrual Cycle Awareness including:

  • What is the menstrual cycle - a deep dive into the biology, hormonal shifts and what is happening in your body when

  • Journal prompts to unearth subconscious attitudes, stories and conditioning around periods

  • Gorgeous illustrations by my friend and amazing artist Laura Trinder

  • Finding your charting style and method based on your nature and constitution

  • Charting fertility signs for health

  • Suggestions on physical, psychological and emotional shifts and changes to chart 

  • Power animals - a creative way of exploring and comparing female human behaviour at the different phases

  • A simple breakdown of common symptoms and issues and what they might mean

  • Exploring what 'normal' looks like and the myths around the cycle

  • The seasons of the cycle

  • Practices to help you explore your cycle in more depth

  • Some personal stories 

  • Testimonials from people I've worked with over the years

  • A resources link with access to exclusive yoga nidras, meditations and audio content

 

Work With Me


Private 1:1 Menstrual Cycle Awareness Mentoring Sessions

I offer private sessions in person if you're local to MK or online via Zoom.

 

The sessions are bespoke to you and guided by your experience of the cycle and your current knowledge and practice.

 

They are a mix of informative and experiential and predominantly focus on sharing and exploring practices and information to build understanding and insight.

The sessions can be tailored to fit your particular needs, interests and issues. 

More information on these sessions can be found on my private sessions page

Menstrual cycle awareness is one of my life's biggest passion and I live and breathe this work. I have acquired many tools, tips and techniques over the years of my own practice, work with my mentors and with other women and people with periods and would be so glad to share those with you should that be what you are looking for but as well as empowering you with information I also intend for these sessions to be a method of connecting to your wild wisdom and intuition to discover the deep current of insights, clarity and wisdom that you hold within.

Patreon 

By signing up to the 'Flow' membership tier on my Patreon and making a commitment to the practice you will receive a monthly session for $20 a month (cancel anytime). 

 

This package includes...

  • 1:1 session - A monthly bespoke menstrual cycle awareness 1:1 session via Zoom (in person is an option too if I know you and you live nearby). In these sessions we will work with the principles of Know, Grow & Flow to build a practice and explore your cycle
     

  • Cycle analysis - at the end of each cycle we'll get together to review your data and insights (if you're into Excel I have a spreadsheet I can share with you otherwise we'll find your way). An opportunity to pick up on patterns, explore power days and how to take care of your sensitive and challenging days

  • Regular follow up - open door policy in my inbox to share your cycle insights and to ask any questions you might have
     

  • A one time 20% discount code - to use against any of my events

How I found this work...
 

My grandma gave me my first journal at the age of 11, the same age I had my first bleed. I always wondered if this wasn’t as much of a coincidence as it later seemed. Whether she intended this or not, I instinctively began marking the first day of my period in my journal with a star and always made a note of my mood each day. Little did I know that these simple and innocent mood notes were in fact the basis for the menstrual cycle awareness techniques that I now use and were creating a lifetime of information about my early cycles and menstrual experience. An absolute treasure trove for me now as an adult.

 

My introduction to menstrual life wasn’t marked with any magic and I suffered incredible pain and mood swings my entire life. The only suggestion by doctors and friends was to go on the pill, something I instinctively never felt I wanted to do. The pain became so bad in my late 20s that twice I had to pull over on the side of the road to be sick; whilst wailing and moaning with pains I had never felt before and the mood swings were so bad I was regularly lashing out and feeling suicidal in the premenstruum. Despite all of this, I still felt I didn’t want pain medication or hormonal contraception. I felt deep in my bones that this pain was a message and I just needed to learn how to hear it.

 

I finally heard the message in November 2017 during my Well Woman Yoga Therapy Training with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli and had my first pain free bleed during that training. This was a message I couldn’t unhear and transformed the way I live my life, plan my work and manage my relationships. Cooperating with my body rather than working against it has become my life's work.

Training and Credentials

As my friend and fellow Menstrual Cycle Awareness enthusiast, Vickie Williams, once said. 'I'm a woman, that's my training' and I wholeheartedly agree. I also live and breathe this work each and every day of my life. My menstrual cycle is the foundation from which the rest of my life grows. I have facilitated women's circles since 2016, regular Well Woman Yoga classes since 2017 and have seen many women 1:1 to discuss their periods which over time has exposed me to the  goldmine of many different experiences of menstruation and the menstrual cycle. 

Wild Power Course with Red School and TreeSisters ~ February - April 2018, Online

Well Woman Yoga Therapy with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli ~ November 2017

Menstrual Cycle Awareness practice since 2012, cycle tracking since 1999

I am forever grateful to Red School, Claire Baker, Lisa Hendrickson-Jack and Maisie Hill for their incredible work in this area and for Uma Dinsmore-Tuli for bringing them to my attention.

 
 

Site designed by and © Moon Forest Flow. All Rights Reserved.

Artwork by my dear friend and incredible illustrator Laura Wildgoose
Logo by the immensely talented artist Anna Jane Searle

Inclusivity and Diversity Statement and Policy

Cyclical living & Wildness