Ok so let’s be frank, we all dread PMS. Whether you are someone who just gets occasionally irritable or if you are suffer from pain so severe it makes you nauseous, we all have some form of our own luteal hell we go through. This happened to me just this last cycle and I want to share with you how I was able to mine some gems out of my own personal hell.
If you’re not aware of what luteal means, it’s the phase before your menstruation.
We have 4 phases in our cycle.
Menstruation is the first.
Follicular is the second. This is where FSH is released and the follicles in your ovaries start to mature.
Ovulation is third. This is when the egg is released.
And then luteal is that phase where you body preps for menstruation again. And this is what I want to talk about today.
The beginning half of this phase isn’t so bad, its really when estrogen and testosterone drop and progesterone rises that we start to get the “PMS” signs.
When estrogen drops, a variety of symptoms appear: from fatigue to brain fogginess to aches and pains and a general flu-like feeling. And we always focus on that. We’ve been conditioned as women to hate on this.
We also start to feel out of it, which is because progesterone sort of numbs you out and makes you so slow and spacey.
And don’t get me wrong I get it. It can be incredibly frustrating! But part of the reason it’s so frustrating is because we are conditioned to believe that we must show up as women the same every day no matter where we are in our cycle. We are taught through corporate jobs and patriarchal systems that we are the same person each week. Truth is – we are not. We have different geniuses each week because our hormones completely change from one week to the next.
Just last month, I had a 37 day cycle. Something that hasn’t happened to me in YEARS! And what irony, that I, the one who helps women bleed more regularly, got a 37 day cycle.
I kept asking myself why on earth my period was so late. Did I eat more soy than usual? Did I have more of an emotional release this month? Did I travel too much?
I was driving myself crazy thinking about it. I was also finding myself so angry about it because I had a plan and the plan included getting a lot of calls done and strategy and tasks that simply were not happening because here I was stuck in luteal hell. The luteal hell that just kept going and going and going…
After having a call with my coach, Nisha Moodley, I was reminded that I was trying to control it and I just couldn’t. What I could do is sink into it.
And so I did.
And what I discovered was amazing!
Yes, I was absolutely no good at the tasks on my to-do list. I was emotional and sensitive and a big blubbering mess. But I was also connected, and intuitive and highly perceptive….so I used that. I used that to create a new dance class format which I’ve been stuck on for months!
I used that to lead a beautiful sister circle
I used that to delve deep in an ecstatic dance class
I used it to observe what is and isn’t working in my life.
And then I just sat with it.
And so when I finally bled, which of course was right after the sister circle (of course you put women together and that happens…)
When I finally bled, I felt that I had picked up a few gems during my luteal that I could now take into my next phase, where my estrogen starts to rise and I have a lot more focused clarity and energy to take those observations, to take those breakthroughs and turn them into a plan.
And so the reason I tell you about my period woes is because I’d like you to know that there is so much wisdom in your luteal phase. Yes, it might suck while you’re in it but the less you resist it, the more you can find amazing little lessons in there, and the more you start to realize what you’re genius at during this phase.
Stop putting pressure on yourself to be the same person all month long. It’s just not how our bodies work and that’s a beautiful gift. Not a curse.