As people who menstruate we go through 4 distinct menstrual cycle phases each month. Often referred to as the inner seasons. You can read about the inner seasons of the menstrual cycle here if it’s a new concept to you.
As we cycle through those different phases we are met with different energies, motivation levels, desires and powers.
These same four phases can be witnessed in many different cycles throughout our world – the yearly cycle of the seasons, the life cycle, the cycle of nature etc and it’s also layered upon the cycle of creativity.
Once you have the intellectual knowledge of how the creative process plays out you’ll start to notice which phase you’re in during any creative endeavour you currently have in your life. Right from the process of baking a cake, to birthing a child, to running a business. No matter what the subject matter is, the creative process follows the same cycle. I’ll explain about those different phases below so that once you know where you’re at in the process you can tap into the powers of that season to assist you along the creative journey.
Inner winter (menstrual phase in the menstrual cycle) – this part of the cycle is all about inward focus. Your connection to your intuition is heightened and you have a deeper/more open connection to the divine which means a direct line to your purpose and the dreams that will lead you to a purposeful life. This is the phase of the creative process where the inspiration lands – the intuitive downloads that seemingly arrive from nowhere.
The power of the inner winter is stillness and doing nothing; so this time of the creative process is not about ‘doing’ but about allowing those seeds to be planted. Meditate, journal, spend time in nature and let your intentions land in your body without having to ‘do’ anything to grasp at them.
Inner spring (follicular phase of the menstrual cycle) – as you arrive to the inner spring your energy starts to rise. It’s the perfect time to follow the threads of inspiration you’ve encountered during the inner winter. Of course you won’t be following every idea but if you go slowly and remain open as you emerge from your menstrual time you’ll notice signs and clarity come to you for how to move forward. This time still requires a dance between doing and being. Your creative idea is just starting to hatch so treat it with gentleness. No pushing, forcing or judging.
Take your time to brainstorm ideas, try new things, see what fits and the biggy – don’t beat yourself up if something you try fails. This part of your cycle relates to childhood and adolescence, so just as you wouldn’t expect a child to walk the first time they try don’t put expectations on yourself to get everything right. This is a time of experimentation.
Inner summer (ovulation phase of the menstrual cycle) – this phase is all about being seen. It’s a time of peak energy where you have the capacity to show up for other people in your life and to serve. In terms of the creative process, this is when you’ll put your creative endeavours out into the world.
The cake is eaten, the business is launched, the book is read. The energy of the inner summer means that you have more tolerance for others and feel unstoppable, confident and empowered (no wonder its the fertile part of your cycle). Remember that this is not a time to judge yourself or let the voice of doubt creep in – otherwise you’d never get to launch any creative projects you have! So own your uniqueness and use the fullness of inner summer to let your creative babies fly.
Inner autumn (pre-menstrual phase of the menstrual cycle) – I know that the pre menstrum gets a bad rap but this phase is vital when it comes to the creative process. Once your creation is out in the world there comes a time that you need to reflect on how things have gone. Did the ingredients work together in that cake you made? How did people respond to you business launch? How could you have improved?
Regardless of what your creative endeavour is you need to take time to look back and potentially make plans for the future. This is what happens during the inner autumn. Your trusty side kick the inner critic lives in this phase so give her full permission to speak and let you know where you went wrong (this is not to slam you with a barrage of hate, but to give you her seeds of truth so you can improve – don’t take it personally).
If your creation is something ongoing then you’ll take what you’ve learned from this process and carry it back into inner winter – where more insights will land and the process begins again, getting more potent as you learn, grow and evolve!
I know I’ve spoken about this process in relation to the menstrual cycle but that doesn’t mean each phase will be synched to your own cycle. You may be in the ‘inner spring’ of a project for months – brainstorming, trying things on etc. Or in the case of baking a cake, it’s likely this whole 4 part process will be done in a few hours.
The point is, seeing your creative process through this lens gives you permission to fully embrace each stage. Maybe you’re a person who races through to the inner summer and puts things out in the world before they’re ready? or the opposite – you have lots of grand plans and brainstorming charts but your creations never get to be seen by the world?
Having this understanding allows you to name which phase you’re in in any creative project so you can see which phase comes next, or which phase you find difficult. It allows for more clarity and can hopefully help you take the pressure off.
As you learn to embody each phase of your menstrual cycle you can utilise the powers of the 4 phases in other areas of your life. For example that buzz you feel during ovulation can be a superpower when you’re in launch mode for your business. That friendly voice of the inner critic during inner autumn can give you pointers on how you can improve for next time.
Your cycle can be a sacred tool to understand yourself in new ways and guide you to find more ease. Not just with your periods or with pms symptoms but for how you live your life in general. How you create, how you work, how you show up for yourself and others. The amount of wisdom available to us via our cycles is endless and never ceases to astound me.
I hope this helps! Do let me know if it resonates with you and what phase you’re in for your own creative projects, I’d love to hear.
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