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Womb walls are the container for process. The nesting and holding. If the womb is a glass, womb space (which we explored last week) is the taste inside the glass. Womb walls is the glass itself, the basket, the nest. Womb walls relates to the holding space of the ideas - holding - birth - pleasure system I have introduced you to.
There is a shedding, cleansing element to the womb walls as well which allows us to maximise the power of our cycles. This is what I really want to introduce this week. The walls of our womb are related to the renewal and clearing of our body. Maintenance of this space relates to the seasons, the cycles. Spring cleaning and hibernation.
Our menstrual cycle, otherwise known as our moon cycle, syncs with the moon. There is a potent connection with nature which occurs in our bodies. Womb walls can call us back into this. Our own nature. Not only are we affected by the immediate space around us. We are also affected by the greater dynamics of the universe we’re in. The way the moon pulls the tides, she pulls us too.
The solar system is made up of cycles which generate cycles. The sun and moon have cycles. Mother Earth moves through the seasons and we have cycles and seasons within our body too too.
There are four seasons to our monthly cycle. Four stages we can harness for our smooth functioning. Every phase has its benefits. Working with the phases allows us to align our actions to the perfect time. Knowing when to plant seeds, when to let them grow, when to reap and when to eat is key to wholesome living.
Note: 'Planting, growing, reaping and eating' mirrors the 'Ideas - holding - birthing - pleasure' system too.
Menstruation - Reflective - Winter
Our menstrual cycle starts the first day we bleed. This takes us into the menstruation phase. Also known as the Reflective phase, or the winter of our body. This is the time when we fall into total surrender. You know that menstruation feeling of "I... just... can't... even... think"? That's you being slowed down to process, to release, to rejuvinate and to reflect. It's the hibernation which happens over winter. The deep exhale of the land inside. The egg we had built a home for in our body, which we biologically had invested time into serving, is leaving for good. The darker the blood, the older the blood, the older the emotions and trauma being processed. When we allow ourselves to move with the motions of this phase and honour our needs in this phase we release in big ways. Release emotions, release trauma, release all we need to for clarity in the next phase.
Deep rest takes us into our internal worlds where the veil is thinner. We become highly intuitive, our senses heighten, so we are more susceptible to the fine tuned messages calling to us.
Some cultural traditions believe in women being away from the tribe whilst bleeding. This was always for her to connect with spirit. In moon lodges she channeled wisdom for the tribe. She would share the messages she received with the community upon her return.
It is a perfect time for reflection and resting and being gentle.
Trying to deny our body's rest will result in our body fighting for it. We will get cramps, we will space out and eventually we will get ill. This illness will carry on throughout our month ahead if we do not give ourselves the rest which is due.
Honouring the rest our body needs in this phase takes us into a healthy version of the next season…
Pre Ovulation - Dynamic - Spring
Pre Ovulation is the spring of our bodies. Also known as the dynamic phase, it's a reawakening phase. Breathing in new energy after the deep rest and release of bleeding. At this point the egg is yet to be present. It’s a me myself and I moment to do all the fiercely independent woman good things.
During pre-ovulation, cervical mucus is produced by glands in the cervix. A healthy vagina is acidic. Sperm thrives in an alkaline environment and so cervical mucus serves conception time by alcalizing the vagina.
As well as having just bled, this mucus is an indicator that we are in pre-ovulation.
Throughout pre-ovulation, the cervical mucus thins, transforming from a thick white substance, to that which resembles egg white. The thicker mucus blocks the cervix and prevents sperm from entering the womb. The thinner mucus towards ovulation aids the sperm. We can observe this substance in our bodies to track our pre-ovulation phase.
Think of spring. New born life. Fresh excitement about the flowers blooming in our life. It’s a time when we feel energetic, and outgoing. For self, rather than for the world. It is empowering and productive.
Note thought that we’ll only reap the benefits of this phase if we honour our need to rest during the menstruation winter, reflective phase.
Healthily entering this Spring timeof our body brings an invigoration. A readiness for the next process ahead.
This powerful go getter energy comes paired with a lack of sensitivity and empathy at times. Strong action taking confidence comes and we can feel the permission to build the life we want. We feel like we can handle anything in this space. We power through to conquer our goals, without concerns for the obstacles before us.
Obstacles sometimes show in the form of people. People speaking against our goals, standing in the way of our path, or not keeping up to meet our resillience. From this perspective, pre-ovulation can bring about a disregard for other people's positions and feelings.
I recall times when I was given devestating, deeply hurtful news during pre-ovulation and responding with a near nonchalant “yeah, I’ll be cool” - only for this to come crashing down in pre-menstruation… We’ll get to that…
After spring, comes
Ovulation - Expressive - Summer
Ovulation. The summer phase, also known as the Expressive phase of our cycle.
This is where we embody the epitome of a “good woman” - you know that stereotype - Intuitive, loving, giving, empathetic, reaching out to the world. The biological intention here is to attract, attract a lover for the baby our body is preparing for.
Our womb walls are building a home for our baby. We build a home for our ideas, our dreams, our desires, our loved ones.
Here we are expressive, we are radiant. It’s summer!
Note that in this phase we can set clear intentions for this ovulation energy. We can ask for our energy to feed a different kind of baby. We can state that we are ready for something different. That really we want to harness connection and investment in something else. A creative project of sorts, or the ability to nurture and care for those around us.
I often get a slight tweaking in my ovary at this stage which calls me into setting my intentions.
That tweaking says "What are you creating, Yana? What is this process ahead aiming to serve?"
Ovulation is a great time to reach out and connect.
We smell better, we feel more attractive - we ARE more attractive. We’re less sensitive to people’s criticism and so we’re able to hold space better for the needs of people around us. It’s a great time to be supporting, compromising, and negotiating.
Giving to others and sharing the love.
Communication. Flexiblity. Generosity. That summer thing.
The downfall of this phase is that we’re not so great at considering our own needs. It takes extra effort to communicate our own boundaries. We brush off our own upset and overlook the wounds within. So the next phase comes to serve us...
Pre Menstruation - Creative - Autumn
Pre-menstruation is the Autumn phase of our body. Also known as the Creative phase. This autumn fires up concerned messages that “the egg is about to die.” The rest of our body pitches in with messages of all the other things we need to face and let die with it. The pain, the wounds, the triggers. Think of autumn leaves and how the develop fire colours as they fall to the floor.
This phase is probably the most misunderstood phase of them all.
As though our body spent time during ovulation to make a list of what we need to address. All the boundaries we have dishonoured, all the needs we have overlooked, It's now our body's chance to yell saying, “Hey! You’ve gotta address these things!”
This yelling often comes in the form of cramping, mood swings, unexplainable triggers.
To receive these messages a new susceptibility comes in. We are easily affected by small things. Simple things. This leads to us appearing to blow small matters out of proportion. We are sensitive to what bothers us. The small matters activate the big matters. Our body is doing everything that it can to show you what you need to deal with.
For your wellbeing, for your health, for your ability to maximise the menstrual phase.
As a coping mechanism for the death and the triggers, we get creative. We plan and figure out a way to deal with the death of our egg, and also deal with the list of problems before us. We can channel this into our creative projects. Our writing, our drawing, our dance can all benefit from this creative premenstraul phase.
A task I like to take on is writing down all the things I’m triggered by. Facing what I need to release, and burning the list on the first day I bleed. The burning honours the cleansing that winter brings.
We’re exposed to very little education around pre-mensturation. Because of this we can find it difficult to claim this phase for ourselves.
The wider world rolls their eyes at the crazy pmsing woman. In the face of this we must be careful to not shun and shut down our needs. It’s important to give attention and time to the anger, the rage and the sensitivity. Stay with it and claim it. Rejecting and pushing this down will lead to it playing out in very unhealthy ways - emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, energetically.
If we shun this phase, the emotions needing to release stay in our bodies, waiting for attention. Cramping comes to tell us what we need to honour. It’s an inner voice calling our name, screaming louder and louder the longer we ignore it.
Popping pain tablets in this stage is telling your inner voice to shut up. A voice which devotes herself to serving your deepest needs. Here I encourage you to listen.
Reaping the messages of this phase allows us to harness the release power of winter. Returning to the start of the cycle. Surrendering to menstruation again with clear intention. To honour and release the stories and emotions our body has been holding. To optimize the way our system works and come into a closer relationship with ourself.
Understanding these phases and working with them, engages a deeper relationship with the voice of your pelvic bowl. It can take months to identify your own patterns. I encourage you to write down observations. Become aware of the way that your body responds. Different women have different versions of each of these phases. Ultimately, tuning into them brings you into a deep inner knowing.