Updated: Dec 14, 2020
Your body is wild.
The word wild comes from the Old English wilde which means "in the natural state, uncultivated, untamed, undomesticated, uncontrolled."
Sounds pretty good right? Especially that untamed part.
When you're not suppressing ovulation with hormonal-contraceptives, your body will cycle in it's own uncontrolled, natural, wild way.
Your cycle is your source of magic, giving you an opportunity for transformation and personal alchemy over and over again.
Your cycle is your sage, reflecting back to you your deepest knowings, longings, needs and desires.
Your cycle is integral to your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.
But so often we're taught to disregard our bodies wisdom.
To value rationality over intuition.
To ignore the subtle language of signs and symptoms that tells you: something is not right.
There are four distinct phases of your menstrual cycle and each phase has unique gifts and challenges.
When you learn to work with the shifting energy of your cycle, you enter a deep dialogue with your body, which allows you to engage your creative process and live more aligned with your own ebbs and flows.
Each phase of your cycle reflects a season of the earth, and so we call these seasons;
THE SEASONS OF YOUR CYCLE
Inner-winter / Menstruation
Your creative process begins in your unconscious - in the dark, and this is also where your cycle starts.
Your winter season begins on the first day of bright red bleeding. Where you find yourself pulled deeply into your body.
This is where the subtle magic of your cycle resides, in the quiet, unconscious self.
As much as your life will allow move slowly.
Rest as much as possible, and tend to your own needs first.
Your energy is contracted, called inward and you may feel introverted, tired and requiring downtime.
As your body releases, you make space for new opportunities, insights and dreams to come forth.
The gift of winter is clarity.
With everything blanketed in snow, you can see clearly everything you dream of doing come spring and summer.
Tend to your dream world, listen, ask questions and receive guidance.
In the quiet darkness, you are most in tune with your intuition.
The challenge of winter is prioritizing rest.
Accepting winters peace and taking time to restore fully without feeling guilty about not making progress.
Rest, sip nourishing broths, enjoy gentle soups, journal and dream.
Affirmation: "From my highest-self, I receive clarity and insight."
Inner-spring / Pre-ovulation
As your flow slows you emerge from winters sleep, refreshed and inspired.
As estrogen rises, your motivation and enthusiasm returns.
You begin to sprout new ideas.
You feel energized and invigorated- oh my gosh it's spring !
There is so much to do, and you want to do it all.
The gift of spring is the fresh start.
A chance to begin again, to dive back into your passions with fresh perspective and drive.
To appreciate the people you love.
To support the causes you care about.
The challenge of spring is staying grounded.
A sudden rush of spring - is dizzying.
When you feel inspired to dig into all your work at once, it's important to remember which seeds you really need to plant.
Engage your rising creative energy and bring more movement into your day, moving your body helps direct the extra energy and keeps your feet on the ground.
Affirmation: "With grounded intention, I sprout the seeds of new beginnings."
Inner-summer / Ovulation
Ovulation is the peak of your bodies creative, generative cycle.
Summer-time holds the BIG outward energy of your cycle.
In balance to winters quiet introversion, summer is expressive, social and enthusiastic.
Creativity is at your finger-tips and you have the energy to complete anything that you wish.
Your inner-summer season is about feeling radiant, achieving your goals and sharing your energy.
This is the season to commit to your work, go the extra mile and dig deep.
This is the time to fully show up and channel your big creative energy toward the work you want to see happen in the world.
The gift of summer is creative energy.
You are dancing with abundant, creative, generative power.
What will you do with it?
The challenge of summer is in channeling it.
The trick is to stay focused.
Check in with the intention you set during your winter time, and commit to the things that are aligned with that purpose.
And give - a little of your time, energy or creativity to something or someone who needs it.
Giving is as much of a gift as receiving and keeps you connected to feelings of abundance, joy and pleasure.
Affirmation: "With an open heart, I channel my creativity and share my abundance."
Inner-fall / Pre-menstruum
You begin your Fall season by celebrating the harvest.
There is so much joy in gathering the fruits of your hard work and dedication.
As the leaves begin to change, consider the tasks you need to finish.
Finalizing your work now, means you can fully rest when winter comes.
As the first frost arrives, your energy shifts - it's late in your Fall now - time to let go and retreat.
This final week of your cycle can be the most challenging of all.
It's here that the shadows are greater than the light.
It's the realm of your inner-demons, and given too much focus - they'll wreak havoc on your heart and mind.
The gift of Fall is letting go.
Letting go of the parts of your process that no longer work for you.
Letting go of old habits, beliefs and practices that are no longer supportive.
Letting go means making space for new sprouts next spring - when you aren't sure what they are yet.
And letting go can make you vulnerable... and uncomfortable.
The challenge of Fall is criticism.
Your inner-critic is the shadow side of your inspired, motivated, spring self.
Your inner-critics job is to help you refine your creative process.
Given too much energy however, your inner-critic takes over, casting shadows that lead to doubt, anxiety, hopelessness, fear, grief and rage.
The way to work through the darkness is with self-compassion and kindness.
Instead of running from your demons - invite them in, ask for their insight and remember that small steps is the way to big change.
Affirmation: "With self-compassion, I shed my old skin."
As darkness creeps over the land, it's time, once again, for your winter retreat.
WHY CYCLE LIKE THE SEASONS?
Working with the seasons of your cycle is empowering.
It nurtures deep relationship with your intuition and creative process.
And it's a language we all should have been given growing-up.
Allie and Gabrielle want to make this information easier to access and fun to learn.
So we made a zine!
YOUR WILD BODY:
A GUIDE TO THE SEASONS OF YOUR CYCLE
A collaboration of art and magic by Gabrielle Jansen (words) & Allie Yacina (images).
Limited edition print zine
- or -
Gratitude and recognition
I first learned about the concept of 'seasons' of my cycle from Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer, and Alexandra Pope and their book Wild Body.
The deeper I take this practice, the more I remember that this is a very old way of being in relation to my cycle.
I wish to acknowledge that Indigenous cultures across the globe carry rich traditions that celebrate the interconnection of our bodies, cycles and the earth.
As we in the west work to remember our own stories and traditions, we offer gratitude to the Indigenous Grandmothers who have held on to theirs.
It's their remembering that makes it possible for us to reconnect with ours.