A Different kind of Season
Hi I’m Jane, a menstrual educator, menstrual activist, and also Alison’s sister!
I really want to share a little about my little known line of work, as it’s helped countless women to develop a better relationship with their menstrual cycle healing many problems along the way.
As a menstrual educator I work with women and menstruators who experience monthly disturbances in their cycles, such as PMT or period pain. The menstrual cycle is stress sensitive, meaning it’s linked to our overall health, and it responds very well to excellent self-care. However as all our bodies are unique, my work is about helping a person identify what’s needed which part of their cycle, for effective healing and change.
Many of us have been taught that the menstrual cycle is just the period and possibly the pre-menstruum that comes before it. However the cycle is actually a fascinating and complex feedback system made of four distinct phases, during which our behaviour, energy levels, creativity and moods rise and fall quite distinctly and predictably.
The cycle is most easily likened to the four seasons of the year, where spring and summer indicate the expanding energy and autumn and winter indicate the contracting energy. So each person who menstruates has within them inner winter (menstruation), inner spring (pre-ovulation), inner summer (ovulation) and inner autumn (pre-menstruum) on a monthly basis, and will probably have many behavioural patterns abilities and needs reflecting these inner seasons. Responding to these often unacknowledged needs, whether they be more rest, personal space, better food, or down-time are crucial to a healthy energised effective whole.
So how to tap into your own patterns, needs and abilities? I’d encourage you to first start charting your cycle; a daily mindful practice called Menstrual Cycle Awareness. I talk about it in detail on my blog and also offer a free tracking chart here.
I’d also recommend you read the book Wild Power by Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer of Red School, where I received the teachings and currently work as a Menstruality Mentor. Of course you can also connect directly with me if you have any issues you would like to work with one to one (online sessions).
As a menstrual activist and am really passionate about promoting sustainable menstrual products such as cloth pads and menstrual cups as I believe they are better for our health, the environment, and cheaper than disposables too. Information about my work and the impact these products can make can be found here.