The Feminine Energy Cycle is our body’s language for communicating with our heart and mind.
Let this definition be our foundation. As a culture, we are tragically disconnected from what our bodies are trying to tell us. Most women experience their period as an annoying, mysterious burden. I believe we can and must shift that understanding and slowly reveal the Feminine Energy Cycle as the power that it is.
Please note: if you are currently taking hormonal birth control, this energy cycle may not match up for you. Please don’t let that keep you from listening and learning.
My hope is that wherever we are in our relationship with our body, we will all learn something new and feel inspired to embrace a little more the miracle that is our womanhood, in all its messy, hormonal, bleeding, blossoming majesty.
The first step you should take on this journey is to begin tracking your period in your planner or in a Cycle Tracking app. Our cycle begins on Day One of our period, and it ends the day before our next period. If you don’t have a consistent period, don’t worry. We’ll talk about other ways to track your cycle soon. A couple (FREE!) apps we love for tracking are Flo and Life. There are dozens more. Now, let’s get started!
5 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Your Period
- Only 12.4% of women follow the classic 28 day hormonal cycle. The Energy Cycle I will outline is an excellent framework to get you started. The exact length of each phase of the cycle varies with every woman, and can vary from cycle to cycle within the same woman, depending on what’s going on in your everyday life (i.e. travel, work, stress, motherhood, eating habits, etc.)
- Your body goes through four phases a month, bleeding is only one of them. These phases make up the complete Feminine Energy Cycle. I love the imagery of seasons in naming these phases, but I’ve listed the scientific names as well for your information.
- Winter (Menstruation) // Our Winter begins on Day 1 of our period and goes through day 5-7, depending on the length of our cycle. During our Winter we are most connected to our inner wisdom. This is why our body craves space to rest, nourish, and listen.
- Spring (Follicular) // Our Spring begins when our period ends and goes through day 10-12 of our cycle. During our Spring we feel our energy rising slowly, easing open like a blooming flower.
- Summer (Ovulation) // Our Summer goes through day 19-21 depending when we reach ovulation. During our Summer our body ovulates which is when we release our egg. Most women experience summer as their most open, social, energetic time as their body tells them to make a baby.
When we ovulate our body releases pheromones that attract our mate. Simply, pheromones are the smell certain hormones give off. I kid you not, I don’t even need to track my cycle anymore (although, I still do) because Adam will tell me I’m ovulating based on my smell. I can’t make this stuff up.
- Autumn (Luteal) // Our Autumn begins after we ovulate and continues through day 28- 32, right up until our next period begins. During our Autumn we find ourselves slowing down, focusing, craving social retreat, and making to-do lists. Our awareness is heightened to the tasks that need to be accomplished. This can cause the rise of the negative energy often associated with PMS (PreMenstrual Symptom), but with the right attention and care, our bodies can thrive during this phase.
Autumn is my favorite phase of my cycle (currently there now). During my Autumn I feel most connected to my own inner voice. I have always struggled to decipher what my true desires are, but since leaning into this phase, I’ve been able to connect with this powerful time.
3. The human body is made to crave a seasonal harmony, and God made the feminine body to be our teacher. Every woman I’ve known has said they crave harmony in their life. When I first learned the Feminine Energy Cycle I heard an invitation into harmony. The definition of harmony delights me: “the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole; being in agreement.”
The “five days work, two days off, repeat” pattern has been described as the “masculine” energy pattern. Our culture is set up in this masculine pattern that is steady and unchanging. (More on this in Alissa Vitti’s book Womancode.) Not that men don’t ever change or evolve, but women have energy shifts every month that men don’t have. These differences can be positive for men and women but without acknowledging their existence, these differences could often become off-putting and frustrating.
Adam loves to joke that I have four personalities, and by “jokes” I mean he says it lovingly but he’s absolutely serious (and mostly correct). His steady masculine energy enables me to live more rooted, and my evolving feminine energy encourages him to embrace life in a new way.
Most women, myself included, still need to work five days a week, but the awareness of our shifting cycle of energy can serve as a weather radar for us. If it’s raining out, maybe we postpone our outing if we can, but if not, we grab an umbrella. This knowledge is power because it’s Flowing vs Forcing, Proactive vs Reactive. I love this intro to cycle syncing if you’re interested in learning more.
4. The female body releases one egg per month (during our summer). This egg only lives for 12-24 hours.
I don’t know about you, but I believed for a long time that women are full of eggs, able to get pregnant at any moment. This assumption is consistent with the fact that generally it’s women who are responsible for taking birth control.
However, the truth is, we only release one egg a month. On that day is when women become pregnant. Our fertile window begins 3-6 days before our egg is released because sperm can live in your body for up to five days.
5. Women who don’t have a regular bleed week can still track their cycle. Their cycles are simply longer. Remember many women don’t have a textbook 28 day cycle!
Many women have an inconsistent cycle length. Monitoring your cervical fluid is another way to track your cycle, and actually gives the most information. Cervical fluid is secreted by the cervix, the production of which is stimulated by the hormone estrogen.
- After period – cervical fluid is tacky/sticky.
- During ovulation – cervical fluid develops an egg white consistency – clear and stretchy.
BONUS NUMBER 6. Your Period is a Gift From God
I believe so strongly that learning about your cycle is to love the Lord with all your Mind, Soul, and Strength. However, most of the information you’ll find on Feminine Energy is written from the perspective of our “sex-obsessed, self-love is everything, I am god” culture. I don’t know what irritates me more – that the feminine body is being praised with no mention of her Creator, or that Christians aren’t the leaders in these conversations. I hope today marks the beginning of the end of that reality.
How can we be present in the body we reside in if it feels like a foreign language? Jesus wants to make His home with us, and He wants us to learn to be at home in ourselves. I don’t believe there is any more important step to take towards presence than to learn the energy flow our body follows each month. I pray that His loving-kindness toward us will be deeply felt as we continue to learn the stunning miracle that is our body.
Thank you so much for being here with me. Thank you for trusting me and giving me a outlet for this nerdy little passion of mine. If you made it all the way to the end, I cherish and commend you. Can we pretend we were just sipping cappuccinos together? I’d like that.
**Please reply to this email with any questions, comments, or reflections. I will read and respond to every one. 🙂
Feminine Energy Cycle FAQs:
Q1. Why should I track my cycle?
- It can be used as birth control (Fertility Awareness Method) or help you conceive naturally (also a huge money saver).
- Doctors don’t have time to learn each women’s cycle, but if we learn, we can actually equip doctors to us find accurate medical answers to meet our needs.
- Make choices that flow with our bodies natural rhythm and achieve greater peace and productivity.
Q2. How much time should I commit to learning the Feminine Energy Cycle?
- As much
time as you choose to budget (30 sec-30 mins):
- A couple seconds for a quick note for the day and a brief mind/heart/body check-in (i.e. Why am I craving so much chocolate; For some reason I really just want to curl up and read a book; I am feeling so energized today, etc.) It may take more time in the beginning as you’re learning but once practiced it’s simply like having a conversation with your body: “Hey just checking in, everything okay?”
Q3. Where can I find more information about Fertility Awareness Method of birth control?
- The book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler is a fantastic resource. Also, feel free to continue this conversation with me. I’m happy to help you find answers.
Q4. My Doctor says I should take birth control to help regulate my cycle. Does this mean there’s no point in tracking my cycle?
- Many hormonal issues women face need medical attention. However, artificial hormones aren’t our only option. Foreign hormones could be forcing your body into seasons it’s not prepared to take on. By listening to our bodies, we can begin to understand that many times our cycles don’t need regulating because our bodies are already regulating our ‘seasons’ according to our lifestyle.
- For example: If we’re traveling a lot for work, getting little sleep, not eating well and stressed, our body knows it’s not a good time to create a baby so chances are we won’t ovulate at the typical time. Thus, creating a slightly longer cycle.
- If we know how to listen to our bodies we will hear that ovulation should wait instead of forcing it to happen or “tricking” our bodies into thinking it happened through artificial hormones leading to more stress on the body.
- Your body is already equipped with the right hormones to control birth without adding foreign ones. The long list of side effects and risk factors to many forms of hormonal birth control are the main reason couples choose Fertility Awareness.
(in addition to those linked throughout)
- Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH
- Fertility Friday YouTube Podcast
- FemmeHead – Menstural Magic YouTube Play List
- Why Every Woman Should Chart (YouTube)
- Must follow on Instagram: @_maisiehill_