RHYTHM AND FLOW

"I am rooted, but I flow."
Virginia Woolf - The Waves

 

Tuning into the rhythm and flow of life is a forgotten yet natural way of living, rather than resisting change or forcing change we can all relearn to ride this wave as we unlearn our cultural expectations to fall in line. This article is about accessing this rhythm and flow by honouring the tides of women’s menstrual cycles. Women can easily tune into the flow of life around us by tuning into the flow of life within us. The purpose in doing this is to feel a sense of ease and harmony in our lives, as well as an acceptance of the ebbs and flows.

 

In our culture we are taught to live in a linear fashion rather than a cyclical rhythm. This results in us wasting our energy trying to force things to happen when what is needed is rest, or in resisting change when what is needed is flow. As human animals, we are intrinsically connected to nature and therefore our lives can be lived more easefully when we flow with the cyclical rhythms of nature. That means living according to the seasons, both the annual cyclical seasons outside of us and the monthly cyclical seasons inside of us.

 

Even if you are no longer menstruating, or if your menstruation is irregular, the purpose of tuning into the rhythm and flow of your inner cycles is to honour yourself exactly as you are. That means not trying to fit into anyone else’s schedule, be it work, family or cultural schedules, but listening to what you need and making the choice to do what you need for you. That may seem easier said than done, as many of us must conform in some way to work, family and cultural expectations, however, what I am suggesting here is subtle.

 

It may simply be that when you are bleeding you decide to take a day off work – without feeling guilty about it. It may be that you decide to say no to a social event last minute simply because you don’t feel like – and know that, that is absolutely OK. It may be that instead of tending to the laundry or cleaning or cooking you decide to have an afternoon of swanning around in your pjs – and actually let the pleasure of that sink in.

 

No matter who you are or where you are at in your life, if you have a woman’s body then you can tune into your womb space, and if you don’t have a woman’s body then you can tune into the earth herself as a guide to validate your experience of life, and trust your innate wisdom. The following seasons are a guide to how we can honour the ebbs and flows of our bodily juices, our changing weather systems in our emotions and our fluctuations in conscious awareness throughout our menstrual cycles. 

 

SPRING
Pre-ovulation | Waxing Moon | Adolescence
You may be feeling renewed, enthusiastic, tentative.
Spring is a time of vulnerability, courage, curiosity.
Inhale
 
SUMMER
Ovulation | Full Moon | Womanhood
You may be feeling energized, aroused, liberated.
Summer is a time of play, creation, action.
Fullness
 
AUTUMN
Pre-menstrual | Waning Moon | Perimenopausal
You may be feeling chaotic, uncertain, volatile.
Autumn is a time of change, letting go, surrender.
Exhale
 
WINTER
Menstruation | Dark Moon | Post-Menopause
You may be feeling introspective, self-sovereign, grounded.
Winter is a time of stillness, contemplation, restoration.
Emptiness
 

 

This guide can give us more acceptance of our powerful women’s bodies and more access to our liberated women’s wisdom. When we listen and trust our bodies, cycles and seasons, and bravely live by our innate wisdom, we give others permission to honour their innate wisdom too. The seasonal guide above is not set in stone or the correct way of living, it is a symbolic guide to how you might be feeling and what you might like to do to honour where you are at. 

 

"Through listening within and studying the different phases and qualities of our menstrual cycle, we can begin to appreciate the intelligence of living cyclically... This has profound implications for our self-care and our connection to our bodies, for our sense of being at ease in our own skin and of being in flow."
Ruby May - Know Your Flow 

 

 

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