Self-understanding, Evolution and PMS

Are you feeling different every day?  Some days light, breezy and want to socialise hard, wearing all your favourite clothes and jewellery?  Other days you regret making those plans for coffee and gym trip, as all you want to do is eat mashed potato in your trackies and read a book?  For some women this variance in energy, habits and mood can be extreme.  Without knowing why it’s happening, worry about the ‘down-side’ of emotions can mean that it becomes a constant vibe, hard to drag yourself out of.

Things like feeling a sadness, anxiety, wanting to be away from everyone, wondering if you are going crazy when overnight you gain 5kg and lose confidence!   Its a common female experience to go from 2000% drive and capability at work/home/social, to times of “laziness”, and needing no company except DVDs, chippies and chocolate..  One minute your Partner is your best friend, and the becomes the cause of your discontent!   Does any of this sound familiar? 

Is It Like This For You?…

One example is with PMS and food.  You eat more before your period, especially carbs, then you think you’ve blown your healthy eating and continue to eat like a woman possessed for most of the month, even though the deep body call for sugar has long passes.  You get tired, self-loathe and frustrated.  Gahhhhhh!  This is a sure sign of hormonal imbalance that has gone to far.

Another example is sex.  Most women feel super-horny in the middle of their cycle and not quite so much at other times.  When the vixen in them starts to shine they put the brakes on it, as they have come to identify with the more placid, less animalistic woman of the rest of the month.  The chance to explore that side of yourself and share it with a very-happy-to-receive partner is lost!

And how about socialising?  You’re out with your friends, having a ball,  You seem to have boundless energy and enthusiasm!  You feel great and can’t imagine ever feeling anything different.  So you make heaps of plans for outings and adventures and nights out that jam pack your evenings for the next few months!  Two weeks later it feels like a bad idea and you find yourself cancelling plans at the last-minute, and feeling suck and guilty about it too.  You decide not to make any more plans just in case you end up cancelling again!  Either that or you fulfil your plans and end up burnt out, sick and resentful.  

Your Cycles, Brain and Evolution

But what if there was a rhythm to this, and it was more than just “I feel angry and tearful before my period, tired in pain when I have it, and then ‘normal’ for a week or two before it all begins again”?

What if you could predict this over the course of your whole month?  And what if predicting and planning with your cycle in mind made your more relaxed all month-long and could even lessen your experience of PMS and painful periods?  Could you benefit from that?  Do your partner and family like the sound of that?  Could it even help you shine at work and in your life passions?

When women come to me with painful periods, endometriosis, trouble conceiving, digestive trouble and PMS, there is one glaring piece of vital information that they are all missing.  Until six years ago, I was the same.  Due to some super healthy habits, I never really had very painful periods, nothing that needed more than a few ibuprofen, but I’ve certainly known my fair share of emotional and energy ups and downs…haven’t we all ladies?!

The worst thing was, thanks to an archaic mechanism we all have built-in to presume the worst (a survival feature of all animals brains that will get you hurtling away from a potential danger instead of killed), I started to believe that these experiences were the totality of me, and that’s how I felt, that’s how I was, and Sisters,that’s going to pull anyone down! 

Thanks even more to the updated hardware of our brains…the frontal lobe, we are capable of imagining and reflecting upon ourselves and others as well.  Animals wouldn’t ponder some suspected flaw about themselves and imagine it to be worse than it is.  Animals instinctively react to a danger and then it’s done. How often have you caught you cat wondering if it was inferior due to its skinny tail?  A skinny tail could indeed mean it is the runt of the litter and least able to survive, but little kitty doesn’t ponder this…it just is.  We however, see the danger everywhere.  And one of those dangers is being different, not like all the other happy, cheery, got-it-all-together-women out there.  In an evolutionary sense, if we didn’t fit in, we could have been ostracised from the group.  Cue one of our biggest obstacles to self-worth; comparison to others.  And our biggest fears; rejection from the group and death; alone.  Much of this is automatic, but the human brain can make it seem so real. Most of our worst fears only happen in our minds!

The Light Of Self Understanding!

The one thing that all the women who come to see me have In common, is a lack of insight about their feminine cycles.  Your period, or flow as I call it, happens on a monthly cycle.  A lot of women don’t even realise that the moon is also going in a monthly cycle.  Just as the shape of the moon ebbs and flows during a month, her brightness, fullness and energy, so does ours.  I don’t ever remember giving the moon a hard time for only appearing as a sliver of a crescent instead of full, so it’s a little insane that we can judge ourselves for this.

If you haven’t noticed the moon cycles, then chances are you haven’t noticed your own cycles either.  THE ONE THING YOU CAN DO FROM TODAY?  Get a journal, diary or notebook and start writing each day.  Note your energy levels, emotional state, how social you feel, things that please or annoy you, need for sleep and rest, cravings.  Begin to notice that at times you are super keen to try a new yoga class, and others you cannot imagine it ever happening!  You’ll start to see that sometimes you are super horny, and at others a cuddle is enough.  Some days you want to do a five-hour hike AND go to the gym, others you feel like getting a pizza and having a DVD marathon!  Some days you want only eggs and avocado, other days bread, other days a few green smoothies is enough. 

The Magic Of Noticing

After a month or three of journalling, you’ll realise that you have your very own natural rhythm and you can start to plan life accordingly.  This might mean that instead of having a girl’s night a few days before your flow, you invite a few besties over to watch DVDs.  When it comes to planning a holiday, you get smart and book your adventure tour of Borneo for the middle of your cycle when your energy levels are highest. 

Taking the Pressure Off

Most women are trying to be the same every day.  We expect ourselves to eat the same healthy food, be available for friends and family at any time, be able to have late night study sessions at any time of the month and workout in the same way every other day.  When we don’t feel like it, or fail to meet our demands, that’s when the feeling of frustration with ourselves and letting ourselves down can start to come in.  By knowing and allowing your own feminine rhythms, you soon know when to prioritise demanding g physical or mental tasks, and when to back off.  And in this way, everything still gets done, without the angst.  In a way, this is one way of practicing self-acceptance.  We aren’t trying to change how we feel at any time, whether it be sad or delighted; we are noticing, allowing and being with it.  And with self-acceptance comes that amazing gift to be treasured… a peaceful, relaxed mind!

So what are you waiting for, get started, get your pen to paper and away you go!

Not sure about your cycles or done have a regular cycle? Start noticing anyway.  If you take a pill then you will still be having a monthly cycle, or you can use the full moon as a mid-cycle indicator, and a new moon (dark moon) as a flow (period) indicator.

About Claire Bhavani

www.thesistahood.org

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