On my 12th birthday, at 7:12 pm God gave me the second greatest gift that any girl could ever want. I got my period. My first greatest gift was my boobs and I had already had them; so I was pretty damn happy. I read the book, “Are You There God it’s Me, Margaret,” twice and identified with the main character’s anguish over getting her period. To date, this is still one of my all time favorite books in the world. My mother told me that when my menstrual cycle started that would mean that I had blossomed into a woman capable of giving life and that I should never let a boy come near me. My father gave me a $20.00 increase in my weekly allowance the day my period started. “You are now a young lady and you need the extra money to buy special girlie things,” my daddy said. Ever since my period entered into my life; I have always loved her and she has always been my best friend.
When I was fifteen, she did not come home for two months. I was hoping that she had not run away with a boy– but unfortunately my instincts were right. After this incident I always tried to control her with synthetic hormones, fertility charts, sexual positions, and a variety of other barriers but she has always had a mind of her own. There were times that I really, really hated her too– like right before a hot date; a trip to the amusement park, and surprising me while I was wearing my white jeans in my seventh grade home economics class; not to mention the funk that she would put me in alerting me that she was on her way home. Thirty years later I have learned that my menstrual cycle is not simply designed to notify me of whether or not I am ovulating or pregnant; my menstrual cycle holds within it the key to healthy balance in my biological, psychological, and spiritual well-being. As women we are biologically designed to be the emotional givers and nurturers of life. We cook, clean and take care of other people and if it was not for our periods we would never know when to sit down and allow someone else to nurture us and bring us a cup of tea.
Most theorists, scientist, and researchers believe that the primary purpose of the menstrual cycle is to create and prepare a woman’s body for pregnancy. Due to groundbreaking new studies on the impact of hormonal changes on a the female brain and how this affects her behavior, I believe that the menstrual cycle is nature’s alarm system that provides women with the emotional, psychological, and cognitive adaptive skills and clues that allow them to function and survive in a male dominated society. A woman’s menstrual cycle is nature’s psychological and biological navigational map that is designed to guide and instruct her on how to improve her life and maximize her full potential.
The menstrual cycle’s ebb and flow is not only connected to the waxing and waning of the moon, each week of the cycle is symbolic of the weather cycle of winter, spring, summer and fall as well. Each season of the weather has secrets, rituals and responsibilities that must be utilized to maintain a harmonious flow of nature that stabilizes the environment to maintain and perpetuate the cycle of life. If squirrels do not hide food in the late summer and throughout fall, their species would cease to exist. The same natural wisdom that tells birds when to migrate, bears when to hibernate, and flowers when to blossom is encoded in the menstrual cycle of each woman. Modern women have been conditioned to curse and hate their menstrual cycle as interference in their daily life as opposed to embracing its innate knowledge, wisdom and practical common sense.
A woman’s mood, memory, and cognition are affected by her menstrual cycle. The first day of a woman’s period is day one of her menstrual cycle. During the two weeks before a woman releases an egg (before ovulating) her moods are dominated by estrogen. Estrogen is an antidepressant hormone that promotes bonding in sexual and non-sexual relationships. Estrogen gives women their secondary sex characteristics, lubricates the vagina and helps it to maintain a thick lining, causes the lining of the uterus to thicken, increases connections in the hippocampus the part of the brain responsible for long term memory, and regulates the liver’s production of cholesterol. Testosterone levels also rise within in the first half of the menstrual cycle. Testosterone is responsible for increased mental focus, better mood, increased spatial ability, more energy, muscle and bone growth, more risk-taking, increased orgasms and interest in sex. Testosterone increases your overall sense of well-being and self-esteem. Estrogen and testosterone reach a crescendo together during, spring the second week of the menstrual cycle. During winter and spring, the first two weeks of our menstrual cycle, our brains are more active, rational, focused, and we are better able to hear positive words.
After a woman ovulates her moods are dominated by progesterone which rises in the second half, third week of the menstrual cycle. A woman’s sex drive decreases after ovulation. Progesterone neutralizes the effect of estrogen and testosterone. Progesterone causes breast tenderness, sleepiness, fuzzy thinking and increased hunger and thirst. Progesterone lowers anxiety, diminishes anger and is an overall mood stabilizer. After ovulation progesterone causes a woman’s body temperature to rise just as the sun increases the heat during the summer. Progesterone is similar to valium; it has a sedative affect that creates a warm, fuzzy, environment to support a growing fetus. In the second half of your menstrual cycle, during late summer and fall, you are more likely to hear and talk about negative emotions. You are also more likely to hear negatively charged words, see yourself as fat, criticize yourself and others and be more intuitive.
Most women tend to be social beings interested in relationships and pleasing others. One of the primary purposes of a woman’s menstrual cycle is nature’s way of helping her to look inward and take notice of her own needs, desires, strengths, weakness and overall biological and psychological well-being. Do you know the perfect week during the month of your menstrual cycle to travel to unknown destinations, take an exam, end a relationship, clean the garage, be creative, get a pedicure, take a vacation or hang out with your girlfriends? Each week of the menstrual cycle is broken down into a season that correlates with its biological and psychological characteristics. Each season of the menstrual cycle will give suggestions that will help you utilize nature’s energy force to maximize your full potential.
Winter 1st Week Release Reflect Week
Like winter, the uterus is barren and empty. The uterus relieves the pain of the past by physically drawing a woman’s attention to her body, her emotions and her surroundings. Winter provides the opportunity for renewal.
The first day of your period begins the menstrual cycle. This is the best time of the month to go within and nurture your soul. This is the perfect time for painting, drawing, journaling, meditating, beading, knitting, crocheting, and reading. Be selfish with your time, energy and resources. Don’t censure your tears, you need quiet time and space to renew your spirit and become whole again. Connect with yourself and ponder what things, projects or people that are working in your life. Release all things that are not good for you emotionally and psychologically, as natures is doing physically.
This is a good time to work on projects already in progress, and brainstorm new ideas. Watch what you say and how you communicate with others. Your words may be perceived as brutally, icy-cold, brisk, crisp and straight to the point like a freezing winter morning. Your words may be truthful and honest, but without estrogen and testosterone fully restored you lack the hormonal cushion to soften the cold blow of words and emotions that were held back during spring and summer. Spiritually, this time of release, urges you to say things that you would never say so that you can cleanse your psyche and maintain emotional and psychological balance in your life. This is the perfect season of your menstrual cycle to ponder whether or not you should break up with your boyfriend or divorce your husband. You should also ask yourself whether or not you are genuinely happy with your job, school or other endeavors in your life. Wisdom of winter is self-reflection without judgment.
A couple days into winter is a good time to have a heart to heart talk about what is ailing you, just remember to be cautious about how it comes out. What is good about this season of the month is that it connects you to the truth of your heart and soul. Don’t be afraid of this truth let it guide you and blossom in spring. Take care not to say something that you may regret in the spring, after the ice melts.
Go to the movies, coffee shop, or book store drink a warm of cup of tea and relax. Aaaah!
Spring 2nd Week Sexy Power Week
Ruled by Estrogen which causes the lining of the uterus to grow and thicken, and promotes growth and development of all parts of the reproduction system and breasts.
In spring time the ground is moist from the melting snow and pouring rain falls. The flowers are blossoming, the grass begins to grow and birds and other creatures are singing mating calls. Mother Nature is extremely busy creating, procreating and dancing. Nature is wet, buoyant, and flourishing.
This is the best week of your menstrual cycle to clean your garage, do laundry, any activity that requires a lot of physical energy. Due to estrogen’s affect on the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is responsible for long term memory, this is the perfect time of the month to take standardized tests, written exams, and go on job interviews. Your verbal ability is at sharpest; you will not be at a loss for words during this week. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Rationally, this could be the perfect week to break up with your boyfriend; hormonally this may not be the best week if you are simply attracted to your work colleague. Look at your assessment during the winter season to determine if you are speaking from your soul of libido.
Due to an increase in testosterone this improves your spatial ability. If you are traveling to an unknown destination, this is the best week of the month to go. Your brain is better able to read maps. Thanks to testosterone and estrogen this is your sexy, flirty season. If you are unhappy in your relationship, this is the week that you are more likely to cheat on your mate. If you are in a happy relationship, this is the week that you will feel more attracted to your mate and want to engage in sex. The mucus in your vagina is wet, stretchy and slippery. You body is creating the perfect environment to conceive new life physically, spiritually, and psychologically. The wisdom of spring is, “I can do anything, I am confident, beautiful and successful.” This is your season of power.
This is the perfect time to shop for new clothes and shoes, try on new make-up, dye your hair, go on vacation with your mate; visit your in-laws (especially if you don’t have a good relationship with them–you are emotionally stable and capable of overlooking negative comments and judgments). If you are going to host a party and you want to look and feel your absolute best plan it during the spring week of your menstrual cycle.
Late spring, early summer is when you are most fertile.
Summer 3rd Week Laid-back Relax Week
Just like the summer months your temperature rises. Progesterone makes the lining of the uterus stronger and spongy, just like the thick, lush, grass that covers the ground in summer. Summer is ruled by progesterone which causes breast tenderness, sleepiness, fuzzy thinking and increased hunger and thirst. Progesterone lowers anxiety, diminishes anger and is an overall mood stabilizer.
Summer is the week of your menstrual cycle when you are tired and sleepy no matter how much sleep you get during the night. If while driving home from work you can barely focus on the road or keep your eyes open, after 8 hours of sleep, it’s just your summer season injecting your body with valium, nature’s chill pill. Your body just wants to sleep, eat and drink. It’s not your imagination that you are extra tired and sleepy, it’s the summer heat sedating you, stealing all of your energy and ambition. Go to bed earlier than usual and eat breakfast in the morning. Drink plenty of water, herbal teas, and eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
This is the perfect week to get a pedicure and manicure, a body message, and relax on the beach. This is the best season of the month to take an all girl vacation for two primary reasons. Now that you have ovulated there is a decrease in your sex drive, therefore you are not looking at the romantic scene from the beach wishing your boyfriend was there to cuddle with you. Secondly, your sense of taste is heightened and you and your girlfriends can pig out at the buffet bar, when hormonally food could not taste any better. Summer is the perfect time to chill out with your girl friends, drink ice teas, ice cream sundaes and watch chick flicks in between naps. The wisdom of summer is to live in the moment and take time to enjoy life.
The challenge of this week is remaining focused, organized and energetic. Try to get your work clothes together the night before, cook meals for the week in advance and do not schedule any projects or events that require an extra expenditure of energy and time.
Fall 4th Week Wise Wacky Week
The ground is dry and covered with leaves this is an infertile season. Fall can be a beautiful season if your body is balanced in winter, spring and summer with a balance of exercise, nutrients, vitamins and rest. If you have been exercising and eating a well-balanced diet, fall is a breeze. It’s like going outside and being prepared for snow, rain or heat all in the same day. You know in advance that the weather is unpredictable due to climatic changes and you are prepared for Mother Nature’s myriad of possibilities.
The fourth week, of the menstrual cycle is when women experience premenstrual syndrome. Think of hormones as having many of the same capabilities as the sun. When the sun begins to withdraw in the fall, this causes unpredictable weather and it affects chlorophyll’s ability to use sunlight to turn carbon dioxide and water into a tree’s food. This causes the leaves to change colors, die and eventually fall from the tree branches. Progesterone’s laid-back effect withdraws 2-3 few days before your period, leaving your brain susceptible to stress. This is why you may cry easily, be argumentative, combative and feel depressed. This causes a hormonal imbalance that is responsible for many of the mood swings that some women experience before their periods. If you are crying over greeting cards, commercials, or someone not liking your new lipstick color, you are probably in the fall season.
Due to a decrease in hormones, your chemicals are imbalanced. This is not the best week to break up with your boyfriend, ask your husband for a divorce, kick your children out your home or try to put them up for adoption, or quit your job. Watch what you say because under stable hormonal weather conditions, you may have a totally different perspective or viewpoint. Your chemicals are imbalanced therefore you are more likely to be negative and critical of yourself and suffer from low self- esteem. Remember to tell yourself that your thoughts and negative self-talk are colored by the reduced sun light and changing weather conditions–these are not your true colors. You should not shop for clothes, new makeup or a new hairstyle during the fall season of your menstrual cycle because your estrogen levels are low and you are less likely to be analytical, rational and positive. In addition, you may have retained water and feel achy; this is not the best time to really see how beautiful you will look in a new sexy outfit.
Fall is a very special season because it is a reflection of your overall physical and psychological health. Fall brings you the spiritual lesson of being grounded and rooted in good health and sound mind; otherwise you will be susceptible to high winds blowing you in several directions like falling leaves. The most important lesson of this season is to postpone making any life changing major decisions until the sun returns.
The wisdom of fall brings two lessons: The first lesson is that you should pay close attention to what is missing or out of balance in your life. The second lesson is for women to learn to be patient and loving with them selves.
Herewith listed are some suggestions that will make fall a bearable season: Exercise, stretch, do yoga, or meditate daily. Take vitamin supplements, increase your intake of B6 found in bananas, soybeans, fish, bean, leafy green vegetables, raisins. Increase your intake of magnesium which is found in cashews, almonds, buckwheat. Boost your calcium intake found in milk products, tofu, okra and broccoli. Watch your diet by cutting back on caffeine, sugar, salt, sugar and white flour. Drink herbal teas and plenty of water.
When progesterone subsides this induces menstrual bleeding, a woman’s body releases the uterine lining, thus turning fall into winter, the first week of the cycle.