At school and in work we have been taught to take a Linear approach- do the same thing each week day and each week – work set hours, and take a 24-hour cycle approach. This works generally for men or people with more masculine ‘yang’ energy, but not for women, or those with a more feminine ‘ying’ energy.
Taking a cyclical approach is like going back to our roots. Our ancestors were so much more connected to the cycles of nature as they’d watch the Moon wax and wane, watch the stars move through the sky, and live a life much more aligned with the changing of the seasons. With our current lifestyles we have lost this connection. Yes we are taught about Moon Phases at school, but my experience of this was very theoretical and tick-box kind of exercise. The same is true for my experience of menstrual cycle education- learn the names of the hormones involved, learn about tampons and contraceptives, be scared about how easy it is to get pregnant and be sent on our way.
This was my experience and it wasn’t until 2012 – I was 29 when I had a health scare after an abnormal smear test result and a minor operation that I really started to appreciate the magic of my cycle. Before this I was taking the pill – often for months back to back, and complaining about PMT and how annoying it was to deal with the bleeding each month.
In a world where being ‘consistent’ and taking action is recognised above all else, it’s no wonder we haven’t been keen to embrace our cycle with the phase of planning, phases of action, phases analysis and then often the hardest of all, the phase of rest. Period adverts don’t help when they all imply we should simply carry on- “look how easy it is to stick up a tampon and just do whatever you want to do!” Well actually when I’m bleeding I don’t want to do much and I don’t appreciate the pressure to carry on and pretend it’s not happening.
By ‘pushing through’ and ignoring cues from our body to rest, we are losing access to our innate power of intuition, creativity and wisdom. By trying to always be in the ‘summer’ part of the cycle that our society most recognises, we actually diminish it’s power because we didn’t rest during the ‘winter’ part.
I created this visual to show what I mean:
The menstrual cycle reflects the cycles all around us- the Moon Cycle, the seasonal cycle, and even breathing. The cycles all involve a starting point, a building up, a reaching to a culmination of energy, then a decline back to another starting point.
When we move with this instead of pushing against it, we can go deeper into our natural wisdom and come up with ideas, insights and concepts that wouldn’t be possible without holding that space for the second half of the cycle which is the more feminine ‘yin’ declining of energy. Without this part of the cycle, the first part wouldn’t be possible. It would be like trying to eat all the time and not allowing any time for digestion. Nothing can be properly absorbed.
We need both the masculine ‘yang’ and feminine ‘yin’ (this isn’t a gender thing but a kind of energy). We need a balance to operate effectively. Living too much in the feminine energy means nothing would get done and we wouldn’t have any strategy to use the amazing insights the feminine can bring. The Moon cycle demonstrates this perfectly too- for half of the 29.5 days it is growing in size as it moves away from the sun to the other side of the earth and pulls us into action culminating with the Full Moon. For the other half of the cycle, it is declining in size and it feels a bit like a release and downward slide back to stillness, darkness and reflection.
I’m all about the practical application! So I use a combination of Trello and Monday.com as my planning tools to help run my business in a cyclical way.
At the start of each Lunar cycle, I reset my cyclical Trello board and plan out the upcoming cycle
I set my tasks for each week to align with the sort of energy of the week-
This is also the approach we take in my membership the Intuitive Business Academy– each month we plan at the start of the Lunar cycle, and by doing this we overcome overwhelm- we know there is a time for everything and it all feels ‘contained’ instead of taking a linear approach which often feels overwhelming, non-ending and simply not enjoyable! Especially if you run your own business- why not find your version of a cyclical approach that works- it will be slightly different for everyone. If you have a regular reliable cycle you could time it more with your cycle than the moon, or simply adapt what you do in each week to look at:
Through taking this approach, I have massively reduced my sense of overwhelm and the sense of joy within my work. I’ve also actually become more productive- I create reels for Instagram when I have the energy (typically only a window of around 3-4 days – the rest of the time I simply don’t!) I write content when it flows, and take rest when I need to.
I am still very much a work in progress- it takes a while to unlearn many years of ingrained habits of how we ‘should’ work. My resolution for the Spring Equinox is to bring more movement into my weeks as the energy of the sun increases I feel a sense of unfurling and excitement to continue deepening my learnings of this cyclical natural approach.
I am currently offering a free 2 week trial of my cyclical-based membership the Intuitive Business Academy- if you want to pop in and give it a go and see if it’s your vibe, come and check it out!