Yes, you can still do the course. Chart the rhythm of the cycle you are having however strange and erratic it might be. You might have to be a little patient if your cycles are especially long. Attention itself can help to regulate the cycle more or, at the very least, help you to see the pattern in the cycle you do have. We would recommend you make a clear intention at the beginning of the course for how you'd like to experience your cycle and then dive in and see what unfolds. There are also many other self-care remedies that can help to improve cycle regularity. A few of our favourites are the Deer Exercise (instructions in The Pill: are you sure it's for you, page 229) , Maya Abdominal Massage, diet, and castor oil packs (instructions in our e–book From Pain to Power: your self–care guide for healing menstrual problems).
Assuming you are not post menopause, we recommend you check out the health recommendations in the previous question on irregular cycles. Also we'd like to direct you to the organisation Floliving for excellent dietary guidance for recovering your cycle. Although you cannot chart your actual menstrual cycle yet you can chart your feelings and energy in conjunction with the phases of the moon. Regard the new moon as day one of your cycle process. We'd encourage you to do as much of the Menstrual Cycle Literacy course as you can charting with the phases of the moon until your own cycle returns. Looking at your attitudes to menstruation in Lesson 4 may also be very beneficial. And if your life is a little chaotic do also focus on putting more rhythm back in to your day such as regular meals and sleep. They are crucial for restoring menstrual cycle harmony. Notice the pattern of the high and low moments in the day and cooperate with them. Rather than bullying yourself to push through the tiredness, take a 10 minute nap or break, then come back to your focussed work. Be kind with yourself.
This presents a dilemma because the pill and other hormonal contraception such as implants, injections and the patch stop your normal cycle. The ‘bleed’, when on the pill, is not a normal menstrual bleed but rather a result of withdrawal from the drug. You may be using the pill for contraception and/or managing your symptoms. To learn more about the dangers of hormonal contraception and viable alternative contraception check out Alexandra’s co-authored book The Pill: are you sure it’s for you? (Allen & Unwin, 2008) and also the website www.nfmcontraception.com for excellent guidelines. To heal your menstrual problems you will need to come off the drug and work with self–care practices and natural therapies outlined in our e–book From Pain to Power: your self–care guide for healing menstrual problems. Read this through and take your time to feel into what’s right for you. And while you are thinking through your options we strongly recommend you still do the MCL course charting your pill–induced–cycle. This won’t be the same as a real cycle but the act of awareness and experience of the reflective processes will be useful, potentially healing and may help you to get clear about your next step.
I don’t really know what all the fuss is about menstruation. I don’t suffer and don’t really experience much in the way of changes. Is it worth me exploring further?
How great that you don’t experience any problems with your cycle. You can experience all the pleasure and power of its process with more ease. Attention is everything. As you bring greater attention to your cycle we suspect you'll begin to discover all sorts of things. And so we want to encourage you to give it a go. We don't think you'll be disappointed.
It’s hard to answer this as we don’t know what you know. However, what we do know is you can’t learn enough about this work and, that as long as you are menstruating, there’s always more to discover. We recommend you do the courses anyway. Become a beginner again. The process endlessly rewards because we are always changing and evolving. And we do feel our courses are original...but then we would!
No, you are in a very different and wonderful cycle process right now. One day your menstrual cycle will return. At that moment it would be ideal to come back and join our programmes. We hope to see you then. And may your pregnancy and birth process be a blessed experience.
Yes, it is possible and potentially healing for your body and soul. If you have had your womb removed but still have your ovaries you may notice the same cyclic pattern. If this is clear to you and you can establish the moment in the cycle when menstruation would have happened, then you can try to practice cycle awareness as we describe. If you don’t have your ovaries or it’s too hard to feel that pattern, you won’t be able to follow your menstrual cycle pattern. However you can chart your emotional cycle in relationship to the moon phases. New moon corresponds to Day 1 of the menstrual cycle, the first day of bleeding. It won’t have the intensity of a menstrual cycle but you might enjoy seeing the same rhythm played out over the moon cycle ‘month’ however subtle.
Yes, yes, yes! Can we be any clearer?! Many women discover our work after they have crossed the menopause. They come to our menstrual workshops anyway to get the 'back story' as we like to say, and often feel a mix of anger and grief at not knowing all this before. Don't let this happen to you. Even if your cycle is erratic engage with it anyway. Many women have commented that it has helped them to make sense of the life they have lived to date and the menstrual journey they have had. And feel more prepared for menopause.
If you have lived your life unaware of the power of your menstruality then you may enjoy participating in the courses using the moon cycle as your rhythmic guide. New moon corresponds to Day 1 of the menstrual cycle, the first day of bleeding.The experience is more subtle but will give you a way to explore the power of cyclical consciousness. Many women comment that this information often puts their whole life into a new, kinder and more meaningful perspective that can be genuinely healing and empowering, and therefore really assist the passage of menopause itself. We will in due course be offering a menopause course as part of this programme but it’s a little way off yet.
While we don't specifically offer a course for post-menopause woman, if you have lived your life unaware of the power of your menstruality then you may enjoy participating in the courses charting with the moon's cycle in place of your menstrual cycle. New moon corresponds to Day 1 of the menstrual cycle, the first day of bleeding. The changes in energy and mood won't be as intense or intimate but you will notice shifts nonetheless. Learning about menstruality can be very healing and empowering whatever life stage you are. And it will give you deeper insight into your feminine power, and it's relational nature. So we heartily recommend you explore this journey of your cyclical consciousness.