Did you know that we experience the season of fall in our bodies, every month through our cycle?
If you know me, you know I LOVE to geek out on this subject. But it’s not just some fluffy woo-woo information. This information can be a really practical tool to help you understand your body better.
So why is it helpful to associate the seasons with our monthly cycle?
The short answer is, it can help us understand what our bodies are calling us to do/be in each phase (and also demystifies why we sometimes feel crazy or experience unexplainable emotions)…
Think about it… Are you the same person in the spring as you are in the fall? Do you do the same activities, wear the same clothes, eat the same foods? Do your feelings/emotions stay the same? The answer is, probably not…
Your body goes through a similar cycle, except EVERY month. That is why one week you may feel like the queen of the world and then the next week you literally want to scream at everyone.
As women, we are cyclical and go through four phases in each cycle. Each phase represents a moon phase AND a season. The beginning of your cycle starts on the first day of your period- the menstrual phase. After, your body transitions into the follicular phase and then the ovulatory phase.
Once you release an egg and ovulate, your body moves into the luteal phase. This phase generally lasts for 10-14 days. The corpus luteum (the follicle from which the egg was released) grows on the surface of the ovary and begins to produce progesterone. This rise in progesterone is what signals the body to keep your uterine lining intact (aka what becomes your period every month). Progesterone is a heat-inducing hormone that raises your body’s temperature. It’s also known as the anti-anxiety hormone, a kind of natural valium.
The luteal phase is when your body experiences the season of fall (and the waning moon). When fall arrives, the temperature cools down and it’s time to prep for the winter. Intuitively, people slow down, warm up indoors and in big sweaters, have less energy, and may experience symptoms of melancholy or sadness. Shit usually comes up during this time and it might not be comfortable. With all the shifts of fall, we are naturally pulled to stay inside, focus on more inward activities and nest.
Your body has the same desire during the luteal phase, every month. Your physical energy may drop and premenstrual symptoms tend to develop like bloating, irritability, mood swings and cravings. What this time is calling you to do is focus on more administratively detail-drive activities. You will naturally want to rest more and take care of things that don’t take up too much brain power, like cleaning out the closet, laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking all day. It’s also good to increase the self-care like taking long baths or reading a good book.
Dr. Christine Northrup says in her book, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, that, “The luteal phase, from ovulation until the onset of menstruation, is when women are most in tune with their inner knowing and with what isn’t working in their lives.”
This may be part of why we feel irritability and mood instability. Things we suppress that don’t serve us rise to the surface. We may feel overwhelmed, angry or emotional. Whatever is coming up though can be a doorway to rebirth. If shit is coming up, it’s best to be present with it, slow down, and feel it without try to numb it out. Give yourself permission to feel. It can be painful, there may be tears, but you will feel relief and lightness on the other side of it (AKA hello SPRING!).
Our society today is so disconnected from the rhythms of nature and the woman’s body when in truth, our bodies are just like the natural environments around us. As a result, our happiness and health begins to blossom when we honor our own cyclical nature. That is why the seasons are great teachers for the phases of the monthly cycle.
It helps you feel less crazy and feel more accepting of the darker sides of being a woman. We FEEL so much and our cycle gives us superpowers, but ONLY when we work with our cycles and honor her phases.
Next time you are in your luteal phase, how can you slow down and listen to your body more?
What comes up for your during that time?
What do you do during the season of fall that might help you move more gracefully through the time between ovulation and your period?