Charting with The Seasons
Being aware of your whole cycle, not just the bit where you bleed, can be an absolute game changer.
Throughout your menstrual cycle, your hormones will rise and fall, and so will your emotions and responses to life. Think of your cycle like any other cyclical process, such as the annual seasons, or the movement of the moon. You might have a burst of energy while you ovulate, followed by fatigue when you bleed.
Charting all month will help you to learn your own personal patterns. The more you chart, the more the patterns will reveal themselves to you.
How to Know What Stage You’re At?
Sometimes the different stages of your cycle might seem confusing. Here’s a simple explanation of the two phases of the menstrual cycle:
1. The First Phase:
Your cycle starts with the first day you bleed. The First Phase might be 9 days long, or it might be 21 days long, this will just depend on your body. A full menstrual cycle can be anywhere from 23 to 35 days long and may fluctuate slightly from cycle to cycle. This phase is also known as the follicular phase.
During this phase, your body is shedding the endometrial lining.
At about day 7, your ovaries will start getting ready to release an egg and the lining of your uterus will re-start the thickening process. This is what they call ovulation—and it can feel different for every woman. A lot of people have a gooey discharge during ovulation; if you find some mucus in your underwear, then it’s a pretty clear sign you’re ovulating!
2. The Second Phase:
Your egg is now released and actively searching around your fallopian tubes for some sperm. It’ll only live for around 24 hours! This phase is known as the luteal phase and it is almost always 14 days long.
If the egg isn’t fertilised, the endometrial lining will stop thickening and the uterus will contract and expel the lining – that is, your period will start again and you’ll move back into The First Phase of your cycle.
On the other hand, If the egg is fertilised, then your body will move into a whole new cycle where the endometrium will keep thickening and pregnancy will begin.
How You Feel During Your Cycle
Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo-Wurlitzer are the authors of Wild Power and the co-founders of Red School. They have created a way of seeing your cycle like the annual seasons. Each person will have different patterns within their cycle.
You could take note of the following:
- When you feel most excited
- When you feel your ‘best’ self
- When you feel clear
- When you feel creative
- When you feel focused and organised
- When you feel out of control
- When you feel expressive
- When you feel like you crave alone time
- When you feel like arguments are more likely
- When you feel like your communication is at its best or most challenging
After charting for a while and learning your own personal patterns, you’ll be able to decide when to book a job interview, go on a first date, or have a difficult conversation. You wouldn’t book a ski holiday in the height of summer, or a picnic when it was raining, so why book in a big social gathering on day 24 of your cycle, if you are more likely to want to dance the night away on day 14?
Charting with The Seasons
Some people find it can help to understand the movement of their cycle in line with the natural cycles of their environment. Here’s some questions to help you start figuring out how your body moves like those of spring, summer, autumn, and winter ...
Spring (approx. days 6–12)
Can you feel a sense of your energy rising again after you bleed? Do you feel ‘grounded’ in yourself? How do you feel during these days with your family relationships?
Summer (approx. days 13–20)
Perhaps this is the time when you feel most creative? Maybe you feel more confident in your own body, is your skin glowing!? Are you at your funniest at this time? Or perhaps you feel a sense of being ‘out of control’?
Autumn (approx. days 21–26)
Do you feel critical of yourself? Is this when you often overthink that thing you said last week, or beat yourself up for not being as consistent as you would have liked with your gym membership? Can this be a time that you feel empowered to speak your mind? Do you like to be around people during these days or not?
Winter (approx. days 27–5)
Perhaps this is a time where your energy levels are lower. A time to avoid big social gatherings. A time to create a sense of still and quiet for yourself. Maybe this is when you feel most in touch with your own truth, or when you feel most insightful? Perhaps this is a time when you can feel a little vulnerable or emotional.
You can download printable charts to track your cycle here.
There are charts for cycle lengths of 25-34 days. If you need a different length chart, get in touch and we will send you one print off for yourself.
We’re keen to hear about other people empowering themselves through learning about their bodies. Have you found that learning your natural cycles has helped you? Can you now clearly identify the natural cycles within your body? Contact us and let us know what you’ve learnt!
Written by Heather Sanderson and Nina Giblinwright on the 7 August 2020Updated: