Looking at life it is quite clear that cycles influence our environment on very obvious and detailed levels. From day to night there is a cycle that is governed by the sunrise and sunset and those daily events are influenced by a seasonal cycle. These cycles we know well as they shape our holiday and festive seasons, days to celebrate and days to rest. In the summer we have longer days and in the winter shorter and in these times the sun is changing its angle as it moves across the sky to set. Trees lose their leaves only to gather strength to flourish once more when a new cycle of spring calls them to be. Animals know when to rest, collect food and energy and hibernate and when to be active. Some more active at night and some during the day, and while all this is going on constantly, the moon is governing our tides and the light in the sky at night.
As we can see, it’s very obvious that there are cycles taking place each and every day. Some are large cycles like the four seasons in a year while others are smaller and more frequent. All of nature knows and is very obedient to cycles – so why is it that we, as humans, are a little behind the times with listening to and moving with our own internal cycles? We are aware of them to a point – for example, it’s a no-brainer that you need to dress more warmly in the winter months and buy a new pair of bathers for the summer. Some people use the night to sleep and regenerate, others may be in reverse and use the night to work while the day is for sleeping. Whichever way we go about it, we are in cycles and are to a point, living within them whether we like it or not.
If our whole world, from our orbit around the sun, to the moons orbit around us, is in a cycle, then it makes sense that there are inner cycles that are going on for us all, as well as the outer more obvious ones.
A prime and very relevant example of this is the menstrual and menopausal cycles for women. Whatever the length of this personal cycle, we know we are in one as most of the symptoms are physical and difficult to mask, although there are technologies, drugs and industries that are very devoted to enabling women to handle the effects of their menstrual and menopausal cycles. But what if there is more going on than just a painful period that needs to be pacified? What if, due to the nature of cycles and how they work on a macro more worldly level and the detail they express on a micro more bodily level, each month we are returning to a point that is showing us the way we have been living during the cycle which may or may not have been honouring for a woman’s body to live?
We are seldom taught about, and it is not really spoken about, how we can use cycles to support us to have a deeper relationship with our bodies as women. And not to exclude the men in this either, as we are all under the governing of cycles as everything in this world is, but for the purpose of this article we will stick to discussing detailing of women’s cycles. When we are young girls we learn about periods and this sort of idea that some girls and women just get painful periods and others don’t. Some girls need to take the day off school, and some women from work because they are so sick from their menstruating and they need to rest or physically cannot get up. Why are we led to believe that this only happens to some women by chance, because they are unfortunate? Or some women go through extremely uncomfortable and symptomatic menopause cycles where other women seem to get away with barely a hot flush!
In a world where everything has an order and cycle to adhere to and there is such a clear purpose to that cycle, what if our bodies are communicating to us during these cycles?
And if so, could what they are saying be worth listening to? Could the detail and awareness of cycles be a very valuable part of women’s health and well-being? In short, the answer is YES.
By Rachael Evans and Josephine Bell