Cultivating the Practice
How does one begin tracking their cycle?
How to embark on the journey of cyclical awareness?
There are so many different expressions that you can tune into when gazing into the complexity of your cycle. You can notice how your energy ebbs and flows through the seasons. How your emotional currents flow. When the juicy mucus of your cervix appears. How your temperature shifts. All the layers of your being echo each other in expression, as we tune into them, we see how they often speak the same stories in each moment. Like how, as your energy wans, perhaps your mental focus follows. This practice is as simple or vast as you make it.
Yet here I will offer some ways to begin. In the beginning it may feel like a daunting task. Yet it is just one step at a time. Remember, here we are tending to life long relationships. There is no place we need to get to. No finish line. Just the currents that guide us and that we flow through. This is a radical act of self love, slowing down into presence within each new moment of unfolding. So, let us dive into the whirlpool of the womb.
~ ENERGETICS ~
Emotions ~ your emotions, like the flowing waters of a river stream, sometimes swell and overflow into the meadows and banks that surround, and other times wan down to explore the bedrock underneath. It is the tides of your inner waters that express themselves. As you witness your emotional body throughout your cycle, you may begin to see patterns and tendencies in different moments, as you flow into your bleed and back out, as you near your ovulation and again wan. Tending to this relationship with your emotional body within the context of your cycle, you are given a deeper understanding of how you express yourself in each new phase. And what you are needing in each moment as well. When you see these patterns you begin to understand that perhaps, as you near your bleed your irritability is more bare, on the surface of your being ready to pounce on anyone crossing your tight boundaries. Or during the flow of ovulation there is an open, energetic longing to connect with others, a capacity to interact with others and be in the world. Or during your bleed a heart radiating a love for all beings, yet with a distance that longs for solitude. These complexities are the contains for your flowing rivers. They give you life and weave the threads of your being. Exploring these for yourself offers you an opportunity to bring presence into otherwise unconscious moments. Opening up into knowing yourself in more intimate ways. Revealing the raw untouched spaces of your soul and turning the lights on to what was once in the dark. Here we are asked then to bring in awareness to our emotional currents throughout our cycle. Tuning into how we feeling in each day, When we then lay these patterns out onto the context of our cycle, we many notice tendencies that we hold through each phase that we move through, and when we move forward we hold a clearer understand of what we need/ what we are moving through in each moment of our cycle.
Energy ~ All of these expressions that you witness through your cycle will reflect each other. Perhaps you notice that when you are feeling more low and still in energy your mood in a way matches those energetics. And when you are high, vibrating an electric energy that drives you to work, your mood is inspired and motivated in tune. As you continue this practice of cyclical awareness, you will see these synchronicities reflecting in many layers of your being. Within your energy levels, notice when you feel high, energized, motivated, driven, vibrant, and the times that you feel low, slow, empty, still, quiet. Laying this awareness over our cyclical flows you may notice at which points during your cycle you feel raved up and ready for life, and in which you are needing a time of slowness and solitude.
Mental clarity ~ Bring your awareness into the sphere of your mind. How it feels in each moment. How it moves. notice when it feels focused and clear. When it longs to work on creative projects and when it holds the capacity to interact with others. And notice when it is slow, scattered, chaotic, still. When its tolerance for high concentration is low and is longing for less restrictive work. In these ways we may see the patterns for when we are in alignment to work on projects, to create, and when our being is asking for less focus and more openness and being.
~ PHYSICALITY ~
Physically, a woman’s body has many queues that lets her know what phase she is moving through in each moment. These are the most reliable things to track when also working with this awareness for a natural and ancestral conscious contraceptive method. Some of these methods may sound complicated but really, they are simple. All they ask for is a certain level of commitment to the practice. A daily endeavour. A lifelong union. To begin with we start with a simple break down of the basic fertility methods . Don’t over think it, and see what you learn! With love
BLOOD~ our blood marks the beginning of a new cycle, the end of one that has passed. It is the most obvious sign that lets you know that you are within your menstrual phase. During your bleed, you are invited to explore its terrain as its own domain of expression. Tune into your energy during these days, your mental clarity, your energy levels. What you feel like or not feel like doing. Be guided by these prompts and notice. How do you feel within yourself during your bleeding moon? How many days do you bleed? How heavy/light in your flow? what colour is your blood? What emotions come up when you look at your blood? Do you enjoy this time or find it a nuisance?
MUCUS ~ After your bleed, there is the arrival of cervical mucus that begins to be secreted from your cervix. As you move towards the time of your ovulation, your womb begins to prepare by creating a hospitable and fertile environment for a sperm to arrive into. The PH levels of the vagina grow more alkaline and your pussy becomes wet, ripe and juicy. There are varying cervical mucus expressions starting from a sticky form and gradually getting more and more fertile as it moves through, getting to a more lotion texture and eventually a clear, stretchy egg-white like mucus. When you notice these shifts and changes through your mucus, you can get a clearer idea of how close to ovulating you are. Once mucus begins, you know you are moving in that direction, a few days away most likely. As it gets more abundant and creamier, you are growing more fertile. You know that when your mucus stops and you grow more dry again, you have most likely ovulated. As you explore what all of this looks life for you, you will grow more familiar with your own queues, how many days of mucus you usually have, notice what your most fertile mucus is for you. when it comes. how long it stays and so on. This is another layer of learning what these expressions and patterns look like for all of us. For it is a deeply individual and unique experience. Knowing yourself in these intimate ways. you can see how your body expresses itself, how it moves and changes ever so slightly. you will begin to notice whether or not you move through certain mucus forms. But mostly, it is an opportunity to nurture this relationship with our cycles, our wombs, our fertility.
BASAL BODY TEMPERATURE ~ your basal body temperate is the temperature of your body when you are fully at rest. This temp shifts ever so slightly -.00 of a degree- as one moves through ovulation. This is a method that you may look to, for an even more precise practice of birth control, for it allows one to know with more assurance when ovulation has occurred. You hold a certain temperature throughout your cycle, as you move through your bleed and follicular phase. Right after the moment of ovulation, when the egg is released, the follicle that once held the egg quickly turns into a corpus luteum that releases progesterone. Progesterone being a pro-gestation hormone, it ever so slightly raises the temperature in the body to create a warm environment within the womb for potential conception. This hormone continues to be released until the corpus luteum eventually wilts away and you get your bleed. What this looks like for your temperature is that you have a certain, slightly fluctuating temperature from your bleed on through your follicular phase and ovulation. After you ovulate however, when progesterone begins, your temperature rises. You notice this with a fine turned thermometer that measures .00 to a degree. This rise in temperature, if you have ovulated, will stay high for the remainder of your cycle until once again it drops during your bleed. When you see this rise in temp, and it remains high consistently for more than 6 days, you know that the day before your temperature rose was likely your day of ovulation. If it rose for one or two days and dropped again, this isn’t your ovulation time, continue to track and see when it comes. If however you track your temp and notice that you don’t have a significant rise in your temperature that lasts, then you know that you are not ovulating. This can be a very important indicating for underlying dis-ease that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. Through tracking your temperature you can begin to witness those fertility expressions of your womb. combined with mucus tracking, you have a pretty thorough practice for witnessing when you are most fertile and when you are not. This is powerful. Allowing you to claim once again the power of your own conscious contraception. Being able to take measures accordingly. A deeply valuable tool that actually nourishing your body and your relationship to it rather than depleting it like so many other birth control methods. This practice does require a thermometer, like a mentioned. As well as a daily commitment to take your temp every day, at more or less the same time, as soon as you wake up in the rising. This temperature that you are measuring here is your resting temp, so it is also important to not move around much before measuring. There are some habitual adjustments that are asked here, yet is a simple practice that only requires 2 minutes every day. Once established it is another nourishing part of your daily routine.
CERVICAL POSITION ~ Your cervix also sways like the tides of the ocean through your cycle. When you are bleeding, it is low, firm to the touch and more or less closed, open enough to allow blood to drip through. This continues as you enter your follicular phase. During your ovulation however, your cervix rises higher into the vagina, becoming open and soft to the touch. This is another indicator of where you are at within our cycle, signalling that you are about to ovulate. After ovulation, once again your cervix drops lower, becoming firm and closed. This is a practice that invites you to explore the inner terrain of your pussy. Inserting a finger to touch the cervix and see what expression it is moving through. Through this you can physically see again how your womb holds such an innate intelligence. Communicating to you, if you choose to listen, what is going down within that space. Your cervix is the gatekeeper into the realm of your womb. this is another practice that allows you to expand your perspective and understanding of the way you cycle, full bodied. What that can truly look like and feel like.
PHYSICAL SENSATIONS ~ As well as what I just mentioned about the 3 main fertility tracking methods, you can also explore the different sensations that come up for you through your cycle. Where there is a tender back, firm breasts, cramps, or anything else that comes through. As you tune into when those expression come up through your cycle, you may be able to support ourselves more fully during those times, and create another channel through which you may nourish you self. Notice when you have physical sensations moving through you like the ones mentioned. and notice when they tend to come through in your cycle.
I invite you now that take what feels resonate through all that I have shared here. The practices that feel true for you. Take them now and begin to cultivate a practice to nourish them. I have created a template you can work will, or gain inspiration from, that can support a daily cycle journal practice for you. A daily moon journal is a sacred space that opens up for you to gaze into your womb, and be in reverence to the energies that you are moving through in each day. It is a deeply nourishing and vital aspect of cyclical awareness. Offering gratitude for it all. Being in witness to them. And in these ways knowing yourself, loving yourself, in ever deepening ways. It is all with love and reverence that your true holiness is remembered and claimed.
Pick out a journal for yourself, with the intention of it holding the devotional work of your cyclical awareness practice
Pick a few, or maybe even just one from the above focus points, and devote your awareness to tracking it through the cycles of your womb.
Notice how it shifts and flows through your cycle, what stories does it begin to share. Take time every day to fill out the spaces of inquiry.
Sync up your awareness of your cycle with the cycle of the moon, perhaps holding a space within your journal that may witness the stages of each moon phase, and where you find yourself in your cycle. In what ways is your cycle in sync with the moons? How does she affect you and your cycle?
As you continue, and your capacity opens, overlap those focus points with others as you notice more layers that begin to come through.
Notice how each space overlaps with each other, how they are tied together. for example, perhaps when you have a lot of mucus flowing, and especially egg-white mucus, you notice how your energy rises as well, and propels you in your work. or maybe how when your energy is low, your mental focus also isn’t as clear. Whatever it looks like for you, you are piecing together the threads, the entirety of this tapestry.