Women's Health

How to Maximize Your Menses

BY Nicole Brenny TIMEMay 6, 2022 PRINT

As women living in modernity, we spend more time refreshing our inbox than we do checking in with our bodies. In a world where productivity reigns supreme, how could the menstrual cycle be regarded as anything but an inconvenience?

What many don’t realize is that by understanding the ebb and flow of our energies throughout the month, we can increase productivity, enhance our ability to communicate our needs, and enhance our romantic lives.

In her book “Red Moon,” U.K.-based author and artist Miranda Gray has made a road map for this journey. For years, Gray struggled through an emotional and physical roller coaster each month; tribulations, which she eventually learned to turn into opportunities.

How to Start

While there is much to learn from reading “Red Moon” in its entirety, there are some simple steps you can take today to help you begin to maximize the potential of your own flow.

The best way to start tuning into your cycle, Gray said in an interview, is to take a little time every day to notice how you feel and write it down. Over the course of about three cycles, you will start to notice patterns in your energy levels and can plan your activities accordingly.

“After one cycle you will see how you change during the month. After two cycles you will see days when you experience similar energies, needs, and skills. After three months you will know when to plan activities to meet your needs and create happiness and well-being in your life.”

The easiest way to begin planning activities around your flow is to think of the month in four phases or “weeks.” What you do in each week is determined by your personal energy level and natural inclination.

During each week you may notice that you can accomplish some activities with more ease or that you are driven toward more social or perhaps more solitary situations.

Premenstrual Week
(creative time)

For Gray, creativity comes the week before menses. “I love the creativity of the pre-menstrual phase with a passion! I think 90 percent of all my creative projects are done in this phase. This is my time to write my books and to paint spiritual paintings.”

Menstrual Week
(quiet time)

The menstrual phase is a much quieter time for most women. Gray says about her menstrual week: “I love to simply ‘be,’ to curl up on the sofa with a blanket around me and a cup of tea, and to look out at the garden. [It is my] time to reflect on what I am doing and to listen to my heart about where I should be going in life.”

Pre-Ovulation Week
(get-it-done time)

“In my pre-ovulation phase everything changes—I have a long list of jobs to do, and I love doing everything from starting new projects to doing mundane chores.”

Ovulation Week
(nurturing time)

“In my ovulation phase my energies soften and I love to garden, cook, and connect with friends.”

Organizing your life so that it is in sync with your body’s natural energy levels and your natural volition to partake in certain tasks is easier said than done, yet the benefits are well worth it.

Tuning into ourselves can be the key to making our dreams happen, Gray says.

“Our cycles bring us the gift of opportunities for creating well-being, achieving our dreams, and for enhancing our everyday work. So rather than our cycle being something that stops us from achieving what we wish to do in life, it is there to help us.”

To learn more about connecting with your cycle and finding empowerment through your menses visit: MirandaGray.co.uk/.

Read the full interview with Gray conducted by the author here: http://bit.ly/TUnurn. She provides even more insight on the female cycle and offers additional resources for learning.

Nicole Brenny writes about holistic living, fashion, and spirituality from her home base in New York City. With a background in Tibetan medicine, reiki, yoga, and meditation, Nicole shares wisdom and insight gained from her studies and personal experience. Her articles have been published on Thought Catalog and AskMen.com. nicolebrenny@gmail.com

Menstruation in Native American Societies

The Lakota and Ojibwe referred to menses as “moon time,” because their women menstruated in sync with the phases of the moon.

These Native American women would connect with their bodies during their “moon time” by gathering together, separated from the men and children of the tribe, to bleed in special lodges. During this time elders exchanged wisdom with younger female members, nurtured each other, and experienced their cycle without any undue stress.

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