This time last week, I was sharing in a circle of women from across the globe in the incredible Sarah Durham Wilson's Coven Conversations, how a conversation with a dude in a white coat that went something like, 'you have endometriosis, you won't be able to have babies, we may as well whip it all out' led me to walk out of the hospital and embark on an incredible ten year adventure exploring my lady landscape.This story, which I share in detail in my book, Code Red, never fails to remind me how our womb + menstrual cycle experience can provide us with the most incredible SHE medicine, healing balm for our entire female experience, if we only let her.
Something that came up in the coven conversations that I really want to share here, is that there are NO rules regarding the cycle. Please do not let your cycle and HOW you bleed become yet another stick with which to beat yourself up with. Ladykind need NO MORE STICKS. While bleeding at the dark moon and ovulating at the full moon is something that happens for some women, for others, they may bleed during a waxing or waning moon. Some women bleed for three days while others bleed for eight. There are no rules. I repeat, NO rules. + while I may suggest that ovulation is a time to be sociable, once you begin to chart + pay attention to YOUR cycle, you may realise that being sociable at ovulation is the last thing you want to do. I also really dig on my pre-menstrual phase, because I'm a natural hermit who likes a LOT o' me-time, but you may find big love for pre-ovulation when you are super active and able to get shit done. It’s ALL good.
Everything I share in Code Red, and during the #sharemycycle series (I'm currently sharing my cycle daily over at Instagram @sassylisalister - come follow me!) is in broad brushstrokes and rough outlines, the details and the colouring in are all down to you.
While I’d love to do the work for you, because I'm a blood + guts geek, Your cycle is your exploration, your journey of self-discovery. Reading Code Red will definitely get you off to a good start, because simply knowing this information will start to change how you think about the cyclic nature of your life + female experience, but if you really want to experience the full awesomeness of your cycle, you have to do the work. And it is work. Sometimes it will break you open, sometimes it will be challenging, sometimes you’ll want to sack it off and wish you’d never even picked up Code Red or discovered Lisa Lister or The Sassy She during your lunch hour on FB, while other times you will be toasting Mary Magdalene with a glass of red wine in total appreciation for the self-discoveries that have unfurled for you.
This unfolding and monthly exploration of YOU can be as spiritual or as practical as you need it to be. It’s completely up to you whether you use it simply to find your super powers (the days when you will ace a presentation, the best day to ask for a raise, the days to have an argument and know that you’ll win, the days when you will want to go on top, the days when you need to work from home because there’s a chance you may say something you’ll regret – oh yes, they’re all in the book!) or whether your cycle becomes a deeply spiritual practice that brings you into a radical rememberence + reverence for the big SHE, like it is for me.
I used to be a total self-help junkie. My bookshelves were full-to-the-brim with variation-on-the-same-theme book titles. How to be better/do more/lose weight/gain pounds in 21/30/60/90 days – you know the ones, right? Then, as I got to know my flow, I realised that while all these books had their place, I didn’t need them. (A discovery my accountant is very happy about, what with me previously spending more money on books a year than I do on household essentials like food and clothes, but I digress.) Nope, self-development is not the goal, self-discovery is, and your cycle is an all-in-one self-care/spiritual/organisational/relationship tool that not only can be used as a super-practical daily life planner; it can also be used as a sacred daily devotional to the divine + to yourself.
Are you ready to explore your cycle? If you are, start by:
Joining me over at Instagram and following along with my #sharemycycle series. Each day I share my personal experience and a li'l insight as to how you can use the cycle energy of that day to fully maximise your period super powers.
Share your menstrual story. I want to know what it's like for you - share on the FB page, join the Code Red FB group, share in the comments below - tell me what you wish you'd known, tell me how you hate it and want to poke people in the eye with a fork on day 26, tell me how you wish you could take time out at your bleed but don't want to be seen as weak, tell me how it is for YOU.
Join me for SHE Flow Summer School - where I will be using movement + SHE medicine to introduce you to an online fierce + feminine, moon + menstrual-led yoga practice - it's SO juicy!
Ask me questions. I'm not a guru, but I am a geek. I'm going to start a Thursday SHE clinic, where I answer a reader's question about the menstrual experience each week - it can be anything from 'what are your 5 top tips for slaying pre-menstrual pain' to 'how can I use my cycle as a spiritual practice?' to 'I want a baby, how can I make my womb is ready?' Nothing is off bounds and if I don't know the answer you can be pretty sure I know someone that does. (I know some pretty awesome people!) Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with 'SHE Clinic' in the subject line.