Did anyone else have a mad week last week after the solar eclipse? You may have felt exhausted, wiped out, in need of a lie in, and, if you're a woman you may have wondered just what was going on with your menstrual cycle.
I have been charting my cycle for about 3 years, and in the last 6 months, noticing the difference in my energy, mood and emotions when I bleed at full moon compared to new moon, and looking at how my dreams change as the moon moves though the astrological cycle. So, I'm into this stuff, Last week, I had arrived in Cornwall, ready for a week or so of dog/house/chicken sitting in one of my favourite places in the world. I felt rested, and ready to enter into my bleed time, due on the night of the new moon, leaving me kinda smug.
But, it didn't come. My back pain got worse. And it still didn't come. Many days later, and a 37 day cycle with pain that I hadn't experienced for a long time, and it finally arrived.
I was so frustrated. I felt like I had done all the 'right things', eaten the right things, done the right yoga, I'd even had a whole month away from teaching, so, by rights, I was due a dream-bleed time and what I got was pain.
So, what's the lesson? To stay present. To stay alert. To be prepared but also to acknowledge that you have no real idea of what is coming your way. To use the tools that aid you - good eating, joyful movement, friendships that nourish you - but be open to the idea that your needs, and therefore, your tools, will change.
Tim and time again I realise I totally need to take my own advice, and I know from the women that come to workshops and retreats and 1-2-1s with me how much inspiration there is to be drawn on if we can share our experiences, share our hopes, and share our vulnerabilities. Our pain at menstruation or the pre-menstruum is a blockage of energy, something we are resisting releasing, be it our busy lifestyles, our attitude towards rest, or a negative workload or relationship. The solar eclipse if nothing else represented a time to really let go, and move on. If your period came early, was late (like mine), was extra painful (uh, like mine), if you spotted, had 'unusual' mood swings or anything at all was different, pay attention. Use this time, one week on to reflect on if there is anything you want to try differently, be it how you start your day to who you spend your time (and therefore, life), with.
For me, it's day 5, 30 degrees, and I'm in spring mode, preparing to come back to Bristol with positive energy and hope, and an acknowledgement to myself that it is the darkness that allows the light, the spectrum of feelings that allow greater learning, and that my body is my friend. Can't wait to see you all back on the mat.