Phase One: Inner New Moon - Menstruation

understanding your cycle Sep 15, 2022

I know for a lot of us, the menstrual phase is probably the phase in our monthly cycle that we are most familiar with. In addition, it's likely the phase that we feel the most inconvenienced by, or even have been conditioned to have shame wrapped around. My hope is that I can provide you with more insight and respect to this part of your cycle, so that we can feel empowered by this phase, rather than disrupted by it.

We can think of our menstrual phase, our inner new moon, as the shedding of the old (literally, the uterine lining) and the starting fresh with the new hormonal cycle that follows. This is when the thickened endometrium or the uterine lining sheds as a result in the cyclical drop in estrogen and progesterone to their lowest levels. A normal length of a whole menstrual cycle varies anywhere from between 21 days to 35 days and what's considered a normal length of a period is anywhere between three to eight days. Now, interesting enough, during our period, not all the action is happening just in the uterus.

Within our pituitary gland, which is like a small area at the base of the brain that produces hormones, it produces the Follicle Stimulating Hormone or FSH. The FSH tells the ovaries to be in the process of preparing an egg for ovulation, which then gives way to the next phase of our cycle, the follicular phase (which not to worry, I will dive deeper into that phase in another blog post). With the decreased levels of estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, you may feel a decrease in energy, mood and libido. So give yourself some grace for not having the energy to run that 5k on day two of your period. 

However, with the hormonal levels being at their lowest point, it actually allows the right and left hemispheres of your brain to be in greater communication with each other, which allows you to judiciously evaluate aspects of your life. Therefore, this is the time when reviewing and analyzing things that are working and that aren't working in your life actually feels really good. With this, it allows you to be in greater connection with your intuition or your inner guidance system. You'll feel a greater connection to that voice in your head that knows what you really should do with your life, which you likely ignore the rest of the month. This is the time to tune into your intuition and listen to what your gut is telling you needs to change, or what you need more of in your life.

We all know that feeling of just being really acutely aware of our being, of our essence, during our period. We're very sensitive to sensation, sensitive to emotions, sensitive to our thoughts. You can use this time when you are more acutely aware of your intuition and needs to gain more clarity and begin to see how you can bring this through in the coming cycle. You use this acute awareness of your intuition and use it to gain clarity, to begin to see, "what do I actually want to see come forward in these next weeks?"

Of course, also lean into the inclination to rest, as recharging will help give you more energy for the coming phases in your cycle. You can look at this phase as your inner winter. Think of it this way - the Earth rests during winter, it is not perpetually producing and neither should you. You are cyclical just like the moon, just like the Earth, and your body needs appropriate rest too, to function and navigate life. Your body will tell you this, but it's up to you to actually listen to it. During your inner new moon phase with the hormonal drops and the increased prostaglandin, a necessary inflammatory chemical, you're actually more sensitive to pain the days leading up to, and the few days of your period. Use that sensitivity as this reminder to take it easy. Prioritize light movements, like a walk in nature, relaxing yoga asana practices such as restorative yoga or yin yoga, even just some gentle stretches and Pilates. While some movement is still very necessary to help boost your circulation and nourish your body, this just isn't the time to be crushing your workout goals. 

The mindset shift that you may notice during this time is one of letting go and calling in. You can think physically, we are letting go the old by shedding the uterine lining of the past cycle and recalling in the new hormonal cycle. In addition, mentally or emotionally, ask yourself, "what habits do I need to release or let go of right." Use your intuition to get clear on what isn't working in your life and simply be alone with your thoughts.

I get it. We can't always be alone. We're constantly navigating people and responsibilities in our life. If you can't be alone, give yourself plenty of breaks. Something as simple as stepping outside for one minute, taking three deep breaths to collect yourself. Use these opportunities to connect back inward and listen to your intuition so that you can set intentions for what you want more of in your life. You may notice that during your period, you may receive some really great divine insight or connect to your higher self in ways that the rest of the month you just can't or don't access. In times of deep inward focus, it can bring forward just greater clarity to different aspects of your life.

Now knowing all of this, I challenge you to ask yourself during your next inner new moon phase, ask yourself, "To make room for more of what I want, what am I ready to let go of?" If you want to call in more of some other aspect to your life, you need to make room for it. And to do just that, you need to allow yourself to let go of something in exchange. Perhaps it's letting go of old habits or belief patterns that are taking up space mentally or otherwise so that you can make room for what you actually want.

My hope is that this blog post helps you feel a little bit more empowered by your period  or your inner new moon phase. And that by feeling empowered as cyclical being, you carry that in your heart as you move forward in your days and give yourself grace. 

You.  Empowered by YOUR Female Biochemistry.

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