How are you feeling today?
Take a moment to check in and notice the sensations in your mind and body.
What are you working with right now?
Last week was Mental Health Awareness week and I didn’t post my weekly blog. I just didn’t have the capacity to write it with my other obligations. Usually I would have pushed myself and somehow slotted the work in but I decided to give myself a break and I just did the work I could.
We all have a limit, the breaking point at which we realise we should stop and rest but often just push on regardless. Perhaps we don’t realise until our nervous systems pushes back and overwhelm kicks in.
I have a question for you.
Do you enjoy the ‘rest’ pose of Savasana or do you find it really difficult? In online classes are you skipping relaxation at the end? Are you giving your body sufficient time to recover and fill your cup?
In his book, “When the Body Says No”, Dr Gabor Maté points out that in the increasingly industrialised world:
“We no longer sense what is happening in our bodies and cannot therefore act in self-preserving ways. The physiology of stress eats away at our bodies not because it has outlived its usefulness but because we may no longer have the competence to recognise its signals.”
How can we take back our power?
To regain awareness and take back responsibility for our own body we need information.
As women our monthly cycle often dictates how we feel and there is a familiar pattern in the phases, a contraction where we need to rest and and a rising where we feel creative and vital.
Are we acknowledging our phases? Are we actually in tune with our most productive times of our cycle and of our day? Are we reflecting during our natural phase of rest? Are we working when we feel most creative?
I highly recommend the book, “Period Power” by Maisie Hill which sets out a clear explanation of what happens in our body each month and why we feel the way we do.
She sets out clear ‘seasons’ of our cycle – Winter (menstruation), Spring (pre-ovulation), Summer (ovulation) and Autumn (pre-menstrual) and explains how they evolve and how we can use each phase to its full advantage.
I found it so interesting that menstruation can be a magical time to reconnect with our body, to reflect and simply notice what comes up.
This is an essential stage of our phase, the contraction before the rising.
Rising often looks like resting. Resting isn’t doing nothing, it is filling your cup so that you are stronger and have more energy to be your most creative, vital self.
The past few months, we have been in an artificially induced contraction. As women, we may not have had the time and space to honour our monthly cycle of contraction and rising and it is no wonder we feel confused and fatigued.
Honouring your cycle
Information is key.
Track your cycle and note down how you feel every day. You will soon see a pattern emerging.
You can do this in a journal or there are many tracker apps available right now, which can predict what stage in your cycle you are entering.
Here is a recent article reviewing the best tracker apps available right now.
Maisie Hill also has a free cycle tracking kit if you sign up on her website.
With an awareness of how you feel during each phase, you can take responsibility and plan your month accordingly. Slow down before and during menstruation and plan less activity at this time. Schedule in creative time during the pre-ovulation and ovulation phase and note any low points of your month where you may need support.
Honour your contraction.
Honour your rising.
Honour your amazing body.