I have spent a LOT o' my grown-up-girl life reading self-help books. In fact, until recently, I was a self-help book junkie.
Endless titles filled my book shelves. How to be a better person in 5 days. How to be enlightened in 10 easy steps. How to discover your dark side. How to make a shit ton of money. (yep, I'm spiritual and want to make a shit ton of money, but that, ladies is another feature entirely.)
My accountant told me on more than one occasion that I spend more money on books than I do on food, looking through endless pages on how to optimise my awesome. 'Cept there wasn't a book called that. So I spent 3 years working on a 'optimise your awesome' formula and wrote my own book: SASSY: The go-for-it Girl's Guide to Becoming Mistress of Your Destiny. Y'see, I knew I had awesome in me, we all do, I discovered that while writing SASSY, and I know from all the incredible feedback and letters I still get 18 months after publication that women are discovering their awesome using the SASSY - Spiritual, Authentic, Sensual & Sensational YOU - formula.
But now, as I write the follow up book, Untamed, I'm becoming aware that SASSY wasn't the optimiser, it was the activator of awesome. So what's the optimiser? Now, this ladies, is where it gets juicy. As women, we have a built in awesome optimiser, our menstrual cycle. Forget looking through the pages of self-help books for the answers, you have your own Awesome Optimisation map available on a daily basis in the form of your cycle. One of my most favourite teachings from Menstruality Maven, Alexandra Pope, is how nature's cyclic seasons can be applied to our menstrual cycle. Each month, and when I talk about month, I talk about the menstrual month - the time between each bleed - this can become a map for charting your life as a woman o' awesome.
FYI: Your menstrual cycle isn’t just the four, five, eight days that you bleed, it’s the entire menstrual month, and it makes total sense to get to know it, to understand it and then use it to optimise your awesome.
SPRING Spring is pre-ovulation. You’ve just bled, and now there’s potential to start a fresh. We are SO lucky, that each month, we get the opportunity to start over. After the heaviness of our bleed, there’s a freshness to this time of the month, it feels positive, we’re able to start planning with clearness and clarity. In the goddess archetype, Spring is the maiden, fresh, new, young full of hope and possibility and this is represented by the waxing moon phase in the cycle of the moon.
SUMMER This is our time of ovulation and is basically when you’re Queen o’ the Universe. You take things less personally, you’re able to get shit done with ease, you want to socialize, it’s a time in your cycle when you’re happy to be seen. This is the Great Mumma energy, you feel abundant and this is represented by the full moon.
Lady Landscape fact: There was a time when our menstrual cycles were in tune with the moon, so ovulation would align with the full moon, and our bleed would align with the dark moon, but because we no longer live by the cycles of nature, this happens less so.
AUTUMN Now, autumn gets a bad wrap. This is the season in which we might start to get a bit narky. If you’ve experienced PMT, this is the time o' the month it’ll show itself. It’s when we realize that we’re not ACTUALLY Queen o' the Universe. Just like in nature’s autumn, the light of the summer is dimming and we're called to spend more time inside. You may find yourself wanting to clean the house, or getting more mad than usual at a partner or a child for leaving their dirty clothes on the landing - yes hot Viking husband, I'm talking to you. Autumn is the goddess archetype of the enchantress – it’s a time when we can really tap into our womanly intuition. Autumn, represented by the waning moon, is our body’s feedback system letting us know how we’ve done in the previous seasons – for example I’m just coming into the autumn phase of my cycle today, and if I’m going to state my condition, I’m a li’l bit grouchy. And because I regularly chart my cycle, I know that this usually happens around Day 21 if I’ve gone at life too hard during my spring. If I track back, I rushed spring. I didn’t give ideas the chance to grow and be nurtured, I just bulldozed through spring straight into summer, into the 'doing' phase. Personally, I love my inner autumn as it gives me the chance to drop all the bullshit I might have acquired in my ‘doing’ and gives me the opportunity to be. It’s when I feel my most naked, truth wise.
WINTER Winter is the dark moon of our cycle, a time to retreat inwards, to honour this sacred time of bleeding. I know that’s really hard to do when we all live such busy lives, but acknowledging our bleed, if only for an hour, will give you such incredible insight into yourself.How we look after ourselves and be with ourselves during this time can really set the story for the rest of your cycle. Operating and functioning in the outside world at this time can become much more difficult. FYI: That’s because you’re not meant to.
We have our very own amazing inner teacher, guide, initiator and spiritual practice right here in our belly, in our womb - it's like a filofax - do they still exist? - o' wisdom, creativity and insight, an oracle o' awesome. Yet we barely pay it any attention. But, if we did, we'd start to discover the best days to schedule a big meeting, to launch a business, to start a book, we'd understand why we argue with our partner on day 21 of our cycle EVERY month, we'd be able to pinpoint why we feel a crazy need to fill a box for charity on day 25.
Your cycle is your very own YOU-nique-to-you treasure map. Hint: YOU are the treasure.
When you know this shiz, life is better. You're more creative, you're more successful. No self-help book has EVER taught me that. Just saying.
Registration for Explore Your Lady Landscape programme - where I will giving you everything you need to uncover and unfurl your SHE power ( including ALL the deets on Mensturality, our cyclic nature and how to rock your rhythms) ends this Friday. Click here to join a circle of awesome women to optimise your awesome and Explore your Lady Landscape.