Bugger self help, at Kate Codrington Massage

Cross-posted from: Kate Codrington Massage
Originally published: 23.05.17

I started on personal growth pretty young. When I was 13 my big sister was into the (frankly terrifying) Exegisis, a UK version of Est and though I was thankfully too young to participate (thank the Goddess). I was very influenced by listening to her new world view – so refreshing and different to my highly buttoned up middle-class mum and dad.

This went on through Chuck Spezzano workshops, way-out-there healing, voice dialogue, bodywork, Reiki, rolfing, meditation, massage not to mention £100’s of pounds on self-help books. Then the biggest investment of them all, not one but two body psychotherapy trainings with weekly therapy on top. Phew! What an investment!

But what if I was OK all along?

What if I didn’t really need fixing or changing or being better more open/loving/ stronger/clearer/insightful/vulnerable what if I was just fine as I was and had the answer within me all the time?

The Seasons of Menstruality

My recent training with Red School has taken me into the world of menstruality, where looking within at the emotional changes through the menstrual cycle is a practice all of its own. Ironically, I have really only immersed myself in this since I stopped menstruating and arrived at menopause; I mean, I had inklings before; I charted for years and truly loved the swing of my cycle, but it’s only now that I can see what a beautiful inbuilt tool we have for personal growth and healing.

I missed out. I am pissed off about that! But if you are menstruating, you don’t have to. Listen to this. It will be SO helpful to you for personal growth, but especially if you are in pain with your period, or because you want to have a baby, or have premenstrual raging.

Your cycle takes you through ALL aspects of yourself, every part; the mystic, the crazy girl, the predatory vixen, the raging harpy the sex goddess, the delicate child, spiritual mystic, vulnerable visionary… it’s all there all you, all available, EACH MONTH.

And also what’s there are your attitudes, positive and negative to each of these aspects of yourself. Now that, baby, is what I call personal growth. And it’s free. No cost. All you have to do is practice menstrual cycle awareness, charting your feelings every day. Which teaches us self-acceptance and kindness. Really the only thing we need, a kindness and acceptance of the parts of ourselves we want to reject, to push away.

Once you look into this you’ll see how obvious and simple it is, yet noticing the seasonal changes as you move through the cycle will give you access to all kinds of gifts and super-powers if you know the key. Curious to know more? Check out the infographic and the following description and see if it rings any bells for you.

 

seasonal-menstrual-cycle

Inner Spring

Duration

From the end of your period towards ovulation – approx. day 5 – day 10

What happens in spring

Like the emerging shoots of my seedlings, the inner spring is a delicate time which calls for careful self-nurturing and a gentle pace. You may find yourself full of new ideas and possibilities, which when you share them with a less-than-gentle friend, get squashed flat for being too idealistic or impossible.

Your spring super powers

  • New ideas
  • Experimentation with different ways of being
  • Fresh eyes

The Keys

    • Be gentle with yourself
    • Allow yourself to fail without judgment
    • Allow for and protect your vulnerability

Plan for

      • Walking in nature
      • Journalling and jotting down ideas
      • Creating protective space around yourself

Inner Summer

Duration

The time either side of ovulation. Approx day 11 – 20

What happens in summer

The inner summer is the most popular part of the cycle. For us, because we feel damn sexy and get loads of stuff done, and for our loves because we are damn sexy and get loads of stuff done with a smile. In Yoni Shakti, Uma Dinsmore-Tuli sites research done on lap dancers who earned nearly twice as much at the time they were ovulating, as they did in other parts of their cycle. In summer you are Being Lady Bountiful and loving it.

Your summer super-powers

      • Staying up all night
      • Productivity and creation
      • Natural beauty and kindness
      • Self-esteem and self-love

The Keys

      • Saying yes to yourself; giving yourself permission to do stuff
      • Flowing with ease
      • Letting yourself play
      • Enjoying your creativity

Plan for

      • Negotiating anything tricky
      • Lots of sex
      • Being super woman
      • Presentations
      • Working collaboratory
      • Parties

Inner Autumn

Duration

The pre-menstruum Approx day 21-27

What happens in autumn

You know this time. It’s when you suddenly start to rage and grump and it is NO LONGER OK to pick up socks and other peoples’ rubbish at all. Helpful partners ask if it’s your time of the month, if they dare. What has happened is that while the spring and summer are about being out there in the world. Autumn is the beginning of the retreat inside ourselves, heralding the need for more space and quiet. Autumn gets a bad press, but in fact there are some awesome super-powers you can use to your advantage…

Your autumn super-powers

      • Editing – it is clear what works and what does not
      • Holding the tension of conflict both inside yourself and with others
      • Establishing boundaries in relationships
      • Communicating powerfully and clearly

The Keys

      • Take more time alone.
      • Accepting that this is also a valuable part of yourself
      • Being gentle on yourself – managing your inner critic
      • Managing your blood sugar – eat regularly!

Plan for

      • De-cluttering
      • Assessing and reflecting on your life.
      • Working on solo projects
      • Doing accounts and detailed work

Inner Winter

Duration

From just before your period and while it lasts Approx days 27- 5

What happens in winter

Winter comes at about the time of your period, but can set in a day or more before then. Here’s how you know; you are tootling along and suddenly the ground disappears from under your feet. You either find yourself lost in an inner darkness of catastrophic proportions; the vicious self-criticism anyalating you or you are detached and dreamy, floating like a lots balloon in a blue sky. Either way, nothing in the real world makes any sense at all. Winter is the natural season for stopping, resting and being very still. Your need is to now be turned fully inward – it is the natural season for connecting with your spirituality.

Your winter super powers

      • Saying NO to the world
      • Spiritual connection
      • Dreamy –
      • Capturing fleeting visions and insights
      • Knowledge of your inner self

The Keys

      • Time alone
      • Going slowly (unless you can plan for staying in bed all day)
      • Quiet
      • Trusting that there’s gold in the emptiness

Plan for

      • Doing very little
      • Rest
      • Catching the tails of your visions

Chart your cycle

Each woman’s reaction to the different seasons will be different of course, and my description is only a guide. To find out your own unique seasonal varieties, you only have to chart your cycle.

Charting your cycle is simple, with this menstrual chart you can just jot down a word or two about how you are feeling each day and after a few months, patterns will start to emerge. Very often just observing your cycle brings changes all by itself.

Over time, you’ll see that you are not going mad every day 22. You are in fact just expressing another aspect of yourself. It’s the world that is mad my dear, not you. The world really only values the summer woman in her glory, but by noticing your other seasons, you have your own in-built self-help guide.

I missed out on it. But you don’t have to.

P.S. Except that it totally wasn’t too late, because all this seasonal awareness is also operating in the creative cycle. So I’m still going round and round, just in a different way!

P.P.S. Once exception to the self-help rule is Wild Power, now that book’s a keeper.

 

Kate Codrington Massage : I write about women’s health, massage,pregnancy, motherhood and how to look after ourselves in the face of impossible expectations.

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