I live in Scotland. It has been getting progressively more cold here and the nights have becoming so long that they seem to begin in the afternoon! However we know that this is not permanent. It is part of the cycle of seasons. We are at the time of the Winter Solstice when the axis of the earth means that the part of the planet that I am on experiences these changes, going into the dark and knowing that the lighter times will return.
We are part of this planet on which we live. We each have systems within our body that operate within cycles.
As women our hormones ebb and flow. There are delicate yet powerful interactions between that can be observed easily and plotted on graphs. I love reading research into the small hours about fertility and I’m fortunate as there is a lot of it to digest.
I have shown how our planet makes the journey around the sun with the axis degree in place, how this results in changes on the earth. I have also shown an average woman’s cycle, menstruation moving through to ovulation and back around again, albeit that these cycles are of differing length there is a pattern. See how this is reflected in average scientific observations of hormonal change underneath.
So what do I make of this? Well I think that we have things to learn from both cycles that can be applied to each.
During winter we get as comfortable as we can be in the warmth, we withdraw for a short time and take time for ourselves. Perhaps we ought to make a conscious decision to do the very same when we experience menstruation. Rather than fight against our very own natural system and attempt to carry on without acknowledgement of this ebb, exhausting ourselves in that process.
Let’s focus on comfort, feasting if the need is felt, a longer sleep, listening to our loved one’s stories or even watching endless episodes of Lord Ragnar and Lagertha, just something nurturing for yourself. I say this from the perspective of a mother of young children. I appreciate the wise women that have given me “license to rest”, even if that rest has to fit in around other obligations and within resources. I realise that we cannot all do everything we would like all of the time, for example sleep is a rarity here. I recognise that we all have busy lives however if we want to work WITH our systems rather than against then we would take note and make a point of doing something nurturing. A Scottish farmer wouldn’t get cross that they weren’t able to pick brilliant strawberries in winter, there’s a time for everything.
Looking at this from the other aspect, we have things to learn from the womb to apply to our winter time. The body tells us to slow down as it approaches the womb gets more heavy and then sheds layers of endometrium, perhaps we need to take time to reflect, take stock and shed all that no longer works for us during winter time so that we can move on to a fresh and more successful new year.
We only need to look out of our windows to see that this is what nature does, why fight it when we can be more successful by utilising it. When the womb is not fully healthy, when the hormones don’t ebb and flow, when we have occlusions and imbalances this is when life becomes hard. I see this in life too. In our relationships, our homes, our work. I think there is an outer and inner wisdom to this. Also know that you do not have to do this work alone. There is support.