Your inner-winter, energetically, is the most complex season to navigate if you wish to receive its medicine. It’s the time of return. The final place and the first place. It’s the most yin point in your cycle. The veil between the conscious and subconscious is at its thinnest, and states of stillness and bliss are but a movement away. The knowing in your bones and womb can be felt, and profound insight can emerge from its watery depths.
It’s the time where your intuition is heightened and an even better time to listen, as what you learn can guide you through your next cycle. You need to trust that you’ll find the path down there and be receptive to receive its gifts.
As you begin to bleed you’re drawn further toward the yin and your intuition continues to heighten. It will be different for every woman, but typically 1–3 days in, the furthest edge of the yin is reached. It’s the stillest point in the cycle. The winter solstice. And then a flicker of yang ignites a spark, and potentially, a new idea arrives. But you must be ready to let go and surrender to allow this something new to come to you.
There are three stages of this process…
Stage 1: Let go, surrender and do nothing
Practically, this means clearing your calendar and responsibilities as much as possible. If this isn’t possible, then go as slow as you can and put some protected, non-negotiable time aside to rest, meditate or journal. Approach the stillness with an open heart and anything that feels too burdensome, heavy or requires effort – say no.
Resting doesn’t necessarily mean Netflix in bed (that’s a lot of stimulation!). It means quietude and nothingness. This can be hard and scary,but this is the point. Go in with no expectations and allow yourself to be careened.
Stage 2: Return, untangle and receive
If you’re able to let go, you’ll be pulled to the turning point. The cycle’s winter solstice. I like to see this as the return to the Wellspring. The quiet pool that allows you to reflect, connect and see matters in new ways.
The Taoist’s refer to the ‘yin fire’, which is when the spark of yang returns. It’s not bright, it’s like a glow of phosphorescent plankton or algae. I like to imagine them as phosphorescent seeds that contain a whole new plant within. This can be in the form of an insight, idea, dream or “download” from something larger than you.
But be warned, often the ego may come charging in with reason and excuse. The task of this stage is to ignore the ego and trust that your inner wisdom will emerge to guide you to sense and learn new ways.
Stage 3: Planting yourself back in the universe
If the seed has come, it’s up to you and your free will if you wish to plant it or not. This can often bring up a lot of fear. Fear of embarking on something new, fear of having to sacrifice something to make room for it and with no guarantee that anything will come back to you. But know that whatever arises is what can open the door to healing.
What’s happening physiologically during menstruation?
Fertility status: Potentially fertile
Hormones: Hormone levels at their lowest as bleeding begins, oestrogen increases throughout the week.
If no conception occurred in the previous month, your period will almost always follow ovulation 11–17 days later. The first day of bright coloured bleeding counts as day one of your menstrual cycle.
The cervix is open (see diagram). The lining of the womb begins to shed. Two-thirds of the lining of your uterus isn’t shed during menstruation but reabsorbed back into your body. Menstrual blood itself is a combination of blood, cervical mucus and uterine lining. Typically you bleed between 25 to 80 mls of blood. Less than 25 mls is considered light, and more than 80 mls is deemed to be heavy. Healthy menstruation will last between two to seven days including a day or two of spotting before and after.
As menstruation comes to an end, the cervix closes and a mucus plug forms within it. When this plug is in place, no sperm can enter the womb.