This is a topic I love so much, that I decided to write a book ( ) about it! However, despite my passion for this I am mindful that it is still unknown territory for most women, so this month’s blog will introduce you to what it is and how it can benefit you!

How I became aware of MCA

In my past life I was senior manager within youth justice, so I was no stranger to the demands of needing to show up as the best version of myself daily! However, during my time in this role, despite following ALLLL of the health advice, my period vanished. I knew that this was a red flag for my health, but I did not understand why (something us ADHD’ers need to know – why why why)!! So, I began a journey of discovery to truly understand my needs, as a woman, to feel great.

The first training I undertook was with an international lead on this topic, Miranda Gray (Miranda Gray). What she taught me blew my mind! Despite having been raised to understand the cycles of the moon and the earth, I had literally never considered the impact of my own inner rhythms – my menstrual cycle! Miranda taught me all about the four phases of the cycle, how differently women show up in each of these phases, and why the “same thing every day” approach does NOT work for women’s health!

At this point my inner feminist was activated and ready to learn more!

Applying this to my life

As with everything I teach my clients, I needed to see how this worked in practice, so I began tracking my own cycle to capture data about my unique rhythms and cycles throughout the month.

After several months of gathering this information, I began to see patterns – some weeks I was on fire and others I wanted to retreat under a blanket…and best of all? This was all 100% normal!!! When I took the time to listen, I could hear my feminine intelligence guiding me with what my body needed. This is when EVERYTHING began to change for the better.

I started to apply the data I had gathered from my tracking and apply this to my diary….this is known as menstrual cycle awareness (MCA).

I began to mark out in my diary the optimal times for me to socialise, rest, work in certain ways, what to eat, how much sleep and what rest I needed…this allowed me to be in much greater flow rather than pushing against the tide, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

But why do we do this?

As the risk of stating the obvious, we are different to men. Men’s hormonal cycle is basically the same from puberty to death! They do not have monthly fluctuations so therefore doing the “same thing every day” approach to their lifestyle works really well….hello 9-5 Monday-Friday working pattern!

However, for women it is rather a different story. Every day, from a hormonal perspective, things are changing when we are naturally cycling (if we have shut our cycle down with contraception, it is perhaps easier to live like men as we do not ebb & flow with fluctuating hormones).

Our menstrual cycle is broken down into four distinct biological phases and the energy of these phases align beautifully with the female archetypes, earth’s season, and moon phases, which is what you track against if you do not bleed e.g., pregnancy, menopause.

These are the four phases:

  1. Follicular – Maiden/ Spring/ Waxing Moon
  2. Ovulation – Mother/ Summer/ Full Moon
  3. Luteal – Enchantress/ Autumns/ Waning Moon
  4. Menstruation – Crone/ Winer/ Dark Moon

Our hormones do SO much more than make us pregnant or have a period….they affect EVERYTHING – our energy, cognitive function, mood regulation, inflammatory response, libido, immunity…you get the picture. So, it would make sense that adopting a lifestyle that supports our hormonal fluctuations make us feel better! As women we are designed to ebb & flow, fluctuating with our seasons.

How does this look in practice?

The reality is, we do live in a masculine world, so it is not always that easy to put this into practice.

The first step however is to track your cycle – you can use an app or if you are a pen & paper kinda gal you can download my free trackers here (Tracking – Harmonise You). Once you have at least 3 months of data, spend some time analysing what you have learnt about yourself – what clothes do you like wearing in each season, what are your energy levels, how sociable do you feel, what is your libido like?

Once you have seen these patterns, spend some time with your diary, marking in when you need to slow down, when you need to be still, when you are sociable, when you are energised etc….these notes will act as a trigger to think about what you fill your time with. Then put it into practice and watch the magic happen!

For those days where you can’t avoid tasks that do not align with your particular phase, be sure to buffer some time to fill your cup, so that you do not feel depleted.

Why now?

Eons ago, we would have sat in red tents together as we bled, sharing stories, resting, teaching each other by handing down stories. This way of living would have been normal. Unfortunately this is now missing from our culture, thanks to our old friend patriarchy…although there is now a reawakening to this knowledge to enable us to harness the power of our cyclical nature. Women are burnt out, exhausted and quite frankly knackered…it is time to take a different approach to our lifestyle as women deserve to feel good!

If you would like to learn more, I share lots about this and how essential oils help to harness the power of each pahse in my book Essential Feminine Wisdom. I also weave this into the work I do with women in my hormone clinic, bridging the science and the woo.