First of all, thank you for letting me come into your world for six weeks and talk about periods. I certainly enjoyed it and I hope you learned something.
Today I want to talk about my theories about the emotional, psychological, and philosophical side of the cycle. What do the behavior changes throughout the month mean and why might your cycle be offering out helpful information.
These are my theories from years of keeping a vast network of female friends all of whom are very in touch with their bodies. See what resonates with your body and what doesn’t.
About four years ago I realized I have a significant mind shift with ovulation. Right before ovulation I have two or three days of fuzziness. I become very affectionate, full of love, happy, easy-going and a little sleepy. And then I wake up on the morning of ovulation and I turn into a soldier. I became highly rational, clear headed and certain. Every month the checkbook comes out and I re-organize our finances. I make up a new payment strategy on how to pay off my student loans and I decide to cut back on expenses. I also clean the house from top to bottom. I very often do three or four loads of laundry in one day. Everything goes back in order. If you haven’t realized it yet, I’m nesting.
Our bodies, as menstruating women are designed to get pregnant and prepare our world for carrying a baby. Every month if you allow yourself to notice, there are little preparations that happen.
I find the bleeding cycle to be a rather irresponsible time of the cycle. I eat poorly. I rest a lot. I try to get out of social engagements. I give in to laziness more than usual. Our bodies think they have very little at stake during our bleeding period. In Chinese Medicine we know that this is actually a very vulnerable point in the cycle and women should be protected from strong wind, cold and dampening foods that weaken the Spleen or Liver.
This is the euphoric time of the cycle. Our bodies are meant to be vital, attractive, juicy and fertile. We want to be social and soft around the edges. We have enough energy to take care of ourselves and make good decisions. We are usually clear-headed and content. Ideally there is an increase in libido and a higher awareness of your partner’s attractiveness or of everyone’s attractiveness.
Post ovulation the body goes into protective mood. It becomes more efficient about how you spend your energy. The body wants you to take control of your life. Getting finances in order, cleaning the house, paying more attention to details and planning for the future are very characteristic of this time of the month. Sometimes I think the irritability from this week is a desire to organize but without the support or encouragement. Instead we get grumpy and resentful and feel out of control of our lives.
I’ve heard countless women complain about partners the week before the period and before my husband and I got married we would fight about commitment every month before I would bleed. The body now is working under the assumption that it is in fact pregnant and if the other person in the house isn’t filling all the needs of the “pregnant” woman they need to get out. I find I am most decisive about all the people in my life and all the commitments in my life right before I bleed. This week can really be a cleansing and prioritizing time if you let it. For those of you in committed relationships be open to the suggestions and brutal honesty that presents itself at this time (ie don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater). There is usually useful information that can be integrated rationally through the rest of the month. If changes need to be made be careful to get things moving before you bleed because as soon as the blood starts the rose-colored glasses come back on and everything just seems fine enough.
I’m sure I’m not the only woman out there who has a weird post-ovulation pattern. What have you noticed? Write in to share and help empower women to notice the little ways they are taking care of themselves and their families (or future families) every month.
Other posts in this series
Week Three: Duration and Frequency
Week Six: Female Intuition During the Cycle
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