Updated: May 27
In the previous blog, I shared my feelings, suggestions, and reality of living this time during my inner spring (preovulatory phase). It was a time of planting seeds and drawing the first draft of my cycle map for future projects. It was a light phase; unlike this fiery inner summer I am living through. Globally, a big portion of people get lost in the maze of productivity. Hustle culture. Work. Work. Work. Taking care of family/children/parents/friends/others... putting themselves at the bottom of that to-do list. This system of constant “doing” seems to be what is praised by the society and therefore one’s self-worth can be evaluated by what we “do” rather than what we “are”.
This global praising of the hustle culture and the fast-paced lifestyle turned millions of women to fall in love with their ovulatory phase. How wouldn’t we with that level of energy? During our ovulatory phase (inner summer), we are Super Women; we can show up to serve others consciously, work for hours and hours without getting tired, and our bodies are preparing for a new life.. That jump of energy happens until we start treat every phase of the cycle like it’s our ovulatory phase. Our candle is long burned as we forget to blow it off at night for rest. What I know is that each phase has its own characteristics and special traits, and for us to reach the balance we thrive for in the inside, all we have to do is have a look at Earth today as it rests before blooming once more. To feel that surge of energy during our ovulatory phase, we must recharge and fill our cups in other phases.
It has been 41 days since I have been practicing social distancing at my family’s home. What about you? You might have a sense of longing to hanging out with family and friends. You might also feel a sense of loss to your personal space if you live with others. This time in life might be the most isolated from people, yet the most intermingling at the same time. You might have noticed that some people seem to be adapting to this new norm like a piece of cake; they wake up with a smile on their faces, do their workouts, work remotely, or discover new hobbies, while you struggle convincing yourself to leave the bed. It is okay to remind ourselves that each of us has her/his own experiences. And our perspective of this “new norm” is only determined by those experiences. If you are a social butterfly and struggling through these days, I see you. I am trying to see life through your lens, and would love to listen to your experiences. Whichever emotions you show up with today, they are all valid, and acceptable. This too, shall pass.
Ovulatory Phase (Inner Summer)
I am writing this blog post as I am living my inner summer, when I usually feel as if I am at the top of the highest mountain, owning this world. Sensing the flowery crown on my head. A woman who announces to the world and its inhibitors, “I have arrived”. I put my feet on the map I drew in my inner spring, and I take the leap. I jump. I take risks. I trust the body that had guided me out of my cycle’s cave when “me” was dominant to a place where nothing is impossible. I allow myself to whisper, “Yes”, as I accept opportunities, challenges, relationships, and new emotions. I pick the fruits of the seeds I planted during my inner spring and celebrate my successes. This time is not one that I prefer to blend in among my peers, but rather a time to shine and show up as I am, The real Zainab: with her spontaneous laugh, her self-love, her wavy free hair, her compassion towards others, her love towards them, by being her.
“In essence, each menstrual month, we are shifting from an egoic worldview, in which the emphasis is on 'me', to a sense of our self and the world as one: to feeling of 'us'" - Wild Power, P. 47
This phase is prefect to ask ourselves how do we want to spend this time? How can we show up emotionally and spiritually to others? It is an ideal time to fill our social bank accounts in various ways: Playing games or reading stories with children and siblings, virtual meetings with family and friends, cooking a meal to our elderly neighbor and leaving it by their door, allowing people we live with to express their emotions without judging them, and taking care of groceries for this week. We can support local businesses by purchasing their products, and donation our money or time to support non-profits that are helping families’ in need. We can take a moment and send an email of encouragement and support to our gym, yoga studios, and local cafes. If you were a person who serves a community online, how can you show up to them now? A product? A course? A blog? A giveaway? Our inner summer is the perfect time for this!
Although it is true that estrogen –the dominating hormone during this phase- can give us an energy that lasts to take care of a whole tribe, this phase is not exclusive to showing up for others, but showing up for ourselves too. Right here shines the light of celebrating ourselves and value our small successes. Even super woman has her limits at her best time, and these are not the best of times, my friends. We do not have infinite resources now, so let’s try to be kinder to ourselves more than any time before.
This is the phase to strut stuff, flirt, and experiment with our sexuality. The essence of our inner summer is pleasure, yet some people might notice a lower libido these days due to extreme stress. Don’t push yourselves to be intimate, and stop for a moment and check with yourself. How am I feeling in my body right now? Building our way to orgasm without the pressure to achieve it is one of the most healing practices you can practice now.
As we are limiting our movement and travel, we might find pleasure in the smallest of details, in things we used to take for granted like: cooking a plant-based meal with our partner, stepping out to the garden to take a few conscious breathes, watching the sunrise, swinging on a swing. Allow yourself to feel those pleasures when they arrive. Our friend estrogen is a builder, and it supports and stimulates the building of muscle during our inner summer. It is a great idea to move our bodies in a way that honors that with heavy muscle-building workouts, as our bodies are capable of doing so. I have attended a Pilates class run by my sister-in-law through a virtual call, and I could not believe what my body was capable of.
What are you grateful for? Write a list of things that spark your light today, and know that the cyclic balance we seek is going to provide us with the spiritual guidance in our inner winter (menstruation) and the pleasure in our inner summer (ovulation), and we need both. This phase might show up as a challenge to many people, especially those who found their pleasure in working, social gatherings, and productivity. Let’s all remember that pleasure comes in various ways, and it does not only mean partying loud or producing huge projects. It can look like a cool conversation with a friend, or a meal prepared with a parent. To each their own.. Find yours!
Wild Power Book
Periods & pandemics: Menstrual cycle awareness for this moment in time podcast
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