A personal note from our Head Coach, Sandra.
So I was wondering ... when did a woman’s cycle become something we ignored or pretended wasn’t happening and pushed through no matter how we felt?
When did menstruation and menopause become something we whispered about? The signs and symptoms are hidden as 'women's business' and 'women's problems' (whatever that means).
When did the information and knowledge become less accessible to everyday women so that they are left struggling with symptoms that they don’t expect or understand are a part of every woman’s cycle and are often left feeling like they are going crazy?
I’m sure we’ve all been subjected to being dismissed as ‘being on the rag’ or ‘it’s that time of the month’. We’ve been taught to stop being such drama queens and to just push through.
I’m thinking maybe about the time they started burning witches at the stake. My guess is they were really healers and empathic women. After all, strong, intuitive, confident women can be considered a threat to some.
My own experience, that of many of my friends and women I’ve spoken to, all said that if they knew more, they would have handled a lot of things differently. I know from my personal experience that if I knew what I now know, I would have been able to treat myself a lot differently and self-managed my symptoms so much better.
I believe knowledge is power.
Have you ever tracked your own cycle?
I’ve been very lucky throughout my life. Not really suffering too much with my cycle, it was 28 days regular and reasonably light. However, I wonder now how much was masked by the contraceptive pill.
I really noticed how the symptoms from my menstrual cycle came to the fore when I suffered surgically induced blood clots in my early 40’s. That meant I had to stop taking any hormonal medication, which meant for me at that time, the contraceptive pill.
Then add to that my lifestyle at the time of being career-focused, working long hours, high stress, Type A personality (including perfectionism), busy life, divorce, high-level sports. I was doing all the things which led to a major burnout in my early 50’s.
What nobody told me when I was constantly at the doctor's with many debilitating symptoms, during this time, was that I was probably in peri-menopause. A lot of the things I was experiencing and feeling, was from the long-term stress, however, a lot of the changes occurring in my body were also from the stage of my life cycle. If I had been more informed and knowledgeable at the time, or even known where to go to get help, I am certain that I would have been able to help myself a lot more.
I was doing so many things wrong. I was ignoring the signs my body was trying to send me. I was forcing myself and trying to push through. I was hiding how I was feeling in working more and harder. It was what I was taught was expected.
For me, my body finally made me stop because I was not paying attention. And it was right about when I hit menopause that I just couldn’t do it anymore, my body and mind just shut down. I dropped out of practically everything I was doing and retreated to heal. In this quiet time, I found the space to start to tune in to myself and listen to what my body was saying.
I learned all about rhythms and rituals, and how important cycles and seasons are for women. I love how I can now plan my workloads, my productivity, my creative flow, my workouts, my downtimes for rest, and my social life each month. And now I have that understanding, I’m so much gentler and kinder to myself. I can manage my expectations because I know when my energy levels are going to be high and when I will need to slow down and retreat.
Do you track your cycle?
Did you know that following and learning to respect your natural cycle, which is ruled by your hormones, can be a powerful tool to improve your lifestyle?
And that even if you have stopped bleeding, you can still track by following the moon’s cycle?
Learning to respect my own natural rhythms is one of the most life-changing tools that I found and now use my knowledge to help me adjust my lifestyle to follow my natural energetic and creative flows.
By following your cycle and adjusting your expectations, planning your month around this means you can take full advantage of the changing energy flows and use this to your benefit.
Want to know more?
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The Good Curves