A deep inner wisdom resides in all of us. Menstruation can be an ideal time to tap into this knowledge and cultivate a deeper insight into our lives.
The menstrual phase is an opportunity to support and bring recognition to the physical and emotional strengths that are already within you.
In this article, we'll dive into the complexities of menstruation and learn tools that help cultivate deeper insight during this time. If you do not menstruate, you can follow the phases of the Moon, with the Dark and New Moon phase signifying a time to turn inwards and tap into your inner wisdom.
Why we need to turn inwards
The menstrual phase is often considered the 'winter' of our cycle. During this time, you may notice that you're more likely to feel introverted and pulled towards dark, warm places. You may feel vastly connected to your own inner world and spiritual self. It's also likely that you notice more mental stillness and a deep calling to rest and be alone.
The menstrual phase is a monthly reminder to rest, recharge and reconnect to the self. Ignoring this can mean we become burnt out and exhausted.
Physically, this isn't the phase to be active or to have the attitude of powering through life. It’s the time to be gentle with yourself and accept that you may not be as productive as usual. Clear your calendar of social events and listen to your body as you turn inwards.
Cultivate your insight
We can begin to cultivate deeper insight into the menstrual phase by slowing down and tuning in. Physically, you may feel lower in energy. We might notice feelings of tiredness or an increased urge to rest.
Emotionally, you may feel a desire to turn inwards and spend more time alone. Lean into this. See this time as a pit stop to help you rest and rejuvenate, ready for your internal spring (follicular phase) ahead.
You can spend time reflecting on what needs to shift in your personal and professional life for the month ahead of you. This thinking can be applied to your relationship, career, friendships, and more.
This monthly pause gives you the space to check in and notice if your life is going in the direction you want it to. You have the capacity to know fully and profoundly what you want to change and what your true goals and desires are for your life.
Start a journal
One of the best ways to utilise this self-reflection time is to start a period journal. This journal can help you to reflect on the previous month, while helping you to set intentions for your next cycle.
Journaling questions and prompts are a great way to reignite our imagination and seek all the creative ideas from our subconscious mind. If writing isn't your thing, you could also try talking directly into the voice memo app on your phone, or creating a vision board.
Set aside 10-15 minutes each day of your period to work through these thoughts.
Journal prompt ideas
Is what I’m doing day-to-day still making me happy and fulfilled?
The 10 things I love the most about my life.
Am I being too hard on myself? Where do these thoughts come from?
What is the most present thought on my mind right now, and what does it mean?
Five things I would like to accomplish next month.
What was the most inspiring thing that happened to me this week?
What left me feeling depleted and drained this month? How can I learn and heal from this, and avoid it happening again?
Create a period ritual
The more you slow down and tune into your monthly cycle, the more you'll learn how to honour your body and its instinctive rhythms.
Any practice that allows you to turn your awareness inwards is ideal during menstruation.
Prioritise longer meditation sittings. Burn incense and say prayers of gratitude. Practice yin or restorative yoga. Better still - nap!
Plan a lazy day off in honour of your menstruation. This is a day without your daily responsibilities and to-do-lists. A day when you can simply relax and just be. If this isn't possible, try to avoid tasks that are particularly extroverted in their nature. For example, that big, important meeting will be better to have during your follicular or ovulatory phase.
About Erica Breen
Erica is a life-long mover and forever student. Trained in Pilates, Yoga and Ayurveda, Erica has a breadth of knowledge when it comes to the human body and its inner workings. Leading a nomadic lifestyle, you'll find Erica sharing her work online from all over the world! Find out more at ericabreenpilates.com.