It's not too late to create a ritual of self-devotion in 2021

The Journey towards Body Literacy

In our busy lives we tend to forget to pay attention to our bodies and the cycles within and around us. I often find that the stress of everyday life often deters me from giving myself true care and attention, especially during my menstrual cycle. And usually my brain makes me shrug alongside society and think “no big deal, who has time for deeper self-care than the minimal efforts of changing my menstrual products and showering?” This mindset is not only harmful, but not our own - it is one ingrained with much of our upbringing around having a menstrual cycle. 


We are often taught that our periods are something to just deal with, hide from others, not discuss and sometimes even dread (unless of course you had some awesome matriarchal figure in your life teaching you otherwise). And while our cycles may not always be fun during cleaning up bleeding and monitoring cramps, or trying to navigate mood swings that come preemptively, they are a HUGE part of our lives. 

 

  • Shouldn’t something so big be understood, talked about, and maybe even celebrated? 

  • What if we treated our cycles more as the rite of passage it once was considered within red tents and ceremonies? 

  • What if we celebrated the magical side of our cycles linking us to the rhythm of life and cycles of the moon, and came together with our fellow bleeders instead of isolating ourselves in dissatisfaction? 

  • And what if we learned to understand our patterns and symptoms so that we can better deal with them and prepare, instead of dreading and ignoring them?

     

We can be the change and choose to celebrate and understand our cycles instead of dread them!

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So how do we make the switch from cycle-loathing to self-loving?

There are many ways - including joining groups, talking to friends and family and other things that do help. But I believe the true change begins within, and when you start giving more attention to your body and cycles. 

For me, tracking & journaling about it was the answer, or at least the first step into unity with my mind, body, spirit and outer world. 

Tracking your menstrual cycle in a physical journal is the key to unlocking your inner flow.

Tracking & charting are just words for paying attention. Self-care through understanding, acknowledgement, and intentional action. Giving time and space to notice, tune in, reflect, rest and connect. From this, we can heal and learn to work with our bodies instead of fight the flow.

 

Charting your cycle is empowerment. Charting your cycle is hope. Charting is learning what we can and cannot control. Charting your cycle is finding understanding and learning how to flow with what we cannot fully control. Charting is a pact with your body and self saying "I want to get to know you better, so I can love you instead of misunderstand and dislike you". Charting is a step onto the path to self-knowing, self-understanding, self-caring and self-loving.

 

Our cycles are not just something we endure - they are a part of us. I believe that by being more aware of cycles in our lives, we can be better versions of ourselves.

 

Rather than viewing our cycles as burdensome, we can learn to celebrate the beauty of our own nature. If we cannot control our own tides, then we must learn to flow with instead of against them.

It is so important to give ourselves this space where we could track all of the possible components and influential factors to figure out our own patterns and bodily functions. 

 

 

Tracking helped me:

  • Feel more in-control of my life

  • Become friends with my body again

  • See my cycle as sacred instead of horrible

  • Feel more prepared for the difficult parts of my cycle

  • Prioritize self-care and rituals

  • Take some of the self-blame off of myself for the outside factors I cannot control but instead choose to work with

  • Feel empowered

  • Open up

  • Release worries

  • Love myself deeper

  • Connect deeper in my relationships

     

I want this same solace for everyone else. And so, I have a heart-driven mission to create this journal that is an everyday companion for one to use. As someone who experiences difficult and varied menstrual cycles sprinkled with life-impairing mood swings, I feel called to create this not just for myself, but for all others who seek a sense of equilibrium and wish to have a better grip on their own cycles. I want to give others this space I found for myself. 

 

I always felt scattered trying to track all the different factors I felt influenced my cycle in many different places between multiple apps, notebooks and charts. So I figured, why not make it easier and put it all in one place? And leave room for journaling, intention setting and creating ways to view our cycles as beautiful rituals to celebrate instead of shame as society sometimes does! I knew that I wasn’t alone in feeling disconnected from myself and sometimes at war with my cycle and body. I made it my mission to create something that could help all of us feeling this way.

 

And so, I birthed Cycles Journal! A companion to tracking your menstrual cycle alongside the moon’s phases, in the form of an illustrated journal & calendar. This tool is for anyone who experiences a cycle and struggles to keep track of their symptoms and influences. 

 

 

 

The moon’s phases are a milestones & check-in points that help us stay on track. The moon is our reliable and comforting guide when we may have irregular cycles, hormone imbalances or use hormonal birth controls methods.

 

In the journal, one can gain self-understanding and more peace within their cycles through the journal's integrated methods of:

  • Pattern-tracking

  • Cathartic journaling space

  • Intention-setting

  • Moon phase following

  • Check-ins and reminders

  • Suggestions of natural remedies

  • Suggestions of rituals

  • Shared wisdom & health knowledge 

  • Safe & sustainable product options

  • Intention-setting per quarterly moon phase

  • Astrological influence

 

My intent for Cycles Journal is to create a safe space to empower everyone who experiences any form of a menstrual cycle to gain a deeper understanding of the way their unique body operates, so that they can then use the knowledge to become their best selves.

 

We are infinite and flowing and cyclical. 

 

You can learn more about the journal or get your own at www.cyclesjournal.com

Contact Rachael with any questions or comments at cyclesjournal@gmail.com

View behind the scenes at www.instagram.com/cyclesjournal

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