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Is Cycle Charting the answer you need?

Updated: Jan 12

This Blog first appeared as a feature article in Juno Magazine in June 2021.

It is also part of their Positive Period Magazine where it can be access in its entirety.

Joanne Callan reflects on whether ancient wisdom and connection to our cyclical feminine nature is the solution that many of today’s burnt out often caffeine, sugar, alcohol or excessive exercise fuelled ‘strong women’ have been seeking.

Joanne shares; Guided by ancient wisdom and led by modern-day revolutionaries, there is a new and emerging world of women daring enough to suggest that connecting to our cyclical nature(even peri or post menopause and with or without a bleed) could be the key to transforming our lives. Menstruation is our superpower.

In recent years, more and more women have been having this conversation: writing books, releasing podcasts, teaching workshops, organising Red Tents, sharing the knowledge that has changed their lives and the lives of the women who have been lucky enough to stumble upon their work.

Can we learn to come to a deeper understanding of our cyclical nature, working with rather than against ourselves? Can we learn to live in flow and to embrace our unique and powerful feminine energies? By embracing this movement, we get to write a different story, to share with the next generation information, wisdom and knowledge that will help them to navigate life in the best possible way, experiencing optimum success, fulfilment, pleasure and a sense of overall health and wellbeing.

Women often have little or no understanding of the power of their menstrual cycles. The only information they received during puberty was a very basic biology lesson with no information on the physical, emotional and energetic aspects, or indeed how to use the phases of their cycle to their advantage.

We have a prehistoric body living in a 21st-century world. The impact of this is very real, and we feel it physically, mentally, emotionally and energetically. Women’s lives have changed so much in the last 50 years. The 40-hour working week was designed for the industrial era: a time when someone else would have been taking care of all the household and childcare tasks.

Fast-forward to 2021 and many women now work those 40 hours (and more), and responsibility for carrying out the other roles often still lies at their feet. As a result, women are overworked, underpaid, stressed, reaching burnout, as they struggle with the expectation of being everything to everyone.

Our lives have become busier and we are expected to operate in a linear way, disconnected from our natural cycles and rhythms. If the adverts are anything to go by, we should be wearing skin tight white leggings and be ready to go skydiving when our bleeds arrive: a far cry from what most women feel like doing on day one of their cycles. On a physical level, everything from electric lighting to hormonal contraceptives have impacted our endocrine systems and we are feeling it.

We deserve better. The next generation deserves better. Knowledge is the key to change.

How do we make these changes?

The first and often only experience that women have of charting their cycles is usually connected to family planning or a fertility journey. Charting for wellness is for everyone, whether they have a bleeding cycle or not. For those that don’t bleed or who have an irregular cycle, using the moon and the lunar cycle as your point of reference can be really helpful.

As a Moon Mother®, much of my formal knowledge came originally from the teachings of Miranda Gray. In Miranda’s book The Optimised Woman, she details the key stages to understanding and optimising your cycle and learning to live in flow.

1. Awareness

2. Planning

3. Trust

4. Action

5. Flexibility

Many women will stay in Awareness for quite some time before progressing through the next stages. In fact, most women are already in Awareness; they know that there are days when certain tasks require little or no effort and other days when the same task feels like climbing Everest. It is learning to connect with these phases: resting when we need to rest; batch cooking when we are in our productive and nurturing phase. For me, it means scheduling presentations, if I can, for when I am in my summer ovulation phase, rather than my premenstrual or menstrual phase. If I prepare in summer and autumn, then I have some space to rest and hibernate in my winter menstrual phase. Resting with a hot water bottle and having an early night because I choose to nurture my body is very different from having to rest because I am in pain or exhausted. Prevention is always easier than cure.

When I was new to all this, I started by acknowledging my menstruation phase. On the first day of my bleed, I buy myself my favourite bar of organic dark chocolate and a bunch of flowers. It’s my own little celebration and ritual, and a message to my body that I hear her. I am supporting, honouring and nurturing her. I give myself the time to enjoy it mindfully. I have an early night and nourish myself with the extra nutrients needed to support my body. These simple actions make such a difference to my life and they were the beginning point of my living in flow journey: a journey that brought a sense of balance and greater physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

We are all on a journey of learning and unlearning. Life can and should be so much easier for us all. If we want our young people to experience menstruation differently, to navigate life with ease and flow, then a key part of this is educating, empowering and supporting parents, caregivers and all those involved in the lives of young people to understand menstruation and feminine energy in a way that empowers and enhances the life experience of all women, regardless of age and life stage.

Below you will find our Best Selling products to support your cyclical living journey.

If you are interested in knowing more keep an eye on our Social Media pages and make sure you are registered for our Newsletter to ensure you get details of our upcoming events. You may also want to consider our Monthly Moon Circle -

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