You can listen to this instead in Episode 58 of my podcast The ExpandHer Podcast
If you have been around and in my space for a while, you will know that cycle syncing is not something new in my life at all, and actually was one of the first practices I incorporated into my life back in 2018. I spoke about it all the time on Instagram, and even though I don’t speak about it that much anymore, I can assure you it is still a huge part of my life, and I am so excited to share about it again here and right now....
So what is Cycle Syncing?
Cycle Syncing is the practice of working with the natural cycles that we have, it is learning and harmonising with the energy shifts throughout the monthly cycle. We can work with either our menstrual cycle, or the lunar cycle for those that are using hormonal birth control, have irregular cycles or, for whatever reason (including menopause) don’t have a monthly bleed. The Moon really is a great alternative and provides similar fluctuations of energy that we can work with instead!
If you are wondering why I included those on hormonal birth control there, it is because the hormones in BC actually hold you in a steady state during the month, therefore you don’t actually get the fluctuations of the natural cycle. If you do use hormonal birth control, I would normally suggest working with the Moon cycle instead
Like anything the more we start to become aware of the subtle changes in energy, mood and capacity, the more apparent it becomes, and the more it actually impacts you.
When it comes to cycles, like anything the more we start to become aware of our subtle changes in energy, mood and capacity, the more apparent it becomes, and the more it actually impacts you. As with anything the more we are focusing on something and giving our energy to it, the more attuned to it we become. A great example is astrology, if you study astrology regularly, then the planetary changes will affect you more than someone that does not (it will still affect them of course but not as much). This is because you are more aware of and attuned to the energy of the planets, and noticing and feeling the changes that occur. The same happens with your cycle, the more awareness and energy you give it, the more it affects you, and the more you can get out of it
Working with your cycle or the lunar cycle doesn't just impact your life, but if you have a business, it can be a huge asset to your business also. I truly believe the most ‘productive’ way of working, is when you work in accordance to your energy and the cycle you are in … it far outways any productivity hacks you can find out there!
Business and work is also an area that can hugely benefit from working with your DAILY cycles too .. this is an area I have only been recently introduced to and it has been a game changer for structuring my days! I will dive into this later in the post, but for now, I want to go through the four main phases/seasons of our monthly cycles with you first
So as I said earlier, if for whatever reason you do not get a monthly bleed, or you are on hormonal birth control, then you can use the Moon cycle instead. I will share which stage of the Moon refers to which stage of the menstrual cycle as I go through each. The four phases of cycle syncing are the same as the four seasons we all know well, Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn, and you will be pleased to know that the shifts and characteristics of each are also similar to those we see in nature … of course ... we are nature! Please also remember, the below is all just a guide, and actually, you may have a completely different experience of the phases ... I will go into that more at the end
Winter is day 1 of your bleed until about day 5 on a 28 day cycle. If you bleed longer than 5 days then this could be a little longer for you. If you are working with the Moon this would be the New Moon
The Winter phase brings us a deeply inward energy, and the reason for this is down to our hormones. At this stage we have actually bottomed out of most of our hormones, and actually, our body is now cleansing and clearing from excess hormones from the cycle before. Our estrogen and testosterone will be very gradually increasing from the moment of bleeding, but for the first few days at least their levels are very low.
This is a time of cleansing and purifying, it is a time of reflecting, of letting go, and contemplation, and is a time that we want (and should try) to spend as much time on our own (where possible)
This is a time for resting when we can (even if it's just 5 minutes more than we would usually). This is your cave time. If you work from home, this is a work-from-bed or duvet-on-sofa type time … or if you don’t have that privilege, or the ability to rest more, just doing what you can to honour this sacred time in any way you can, will help you feel more connected to this phase and get the most out of your cycle.
This is your time to let yourself be with the wonder of your body as it is clearing you from one cycle to the next. This is a great time for getting clarity on situations, projects or steps moving forward, making decisions and the best part … this is the most intuitive time of all!
Because you don’t have all this outward energy, and you naturally have a calmer state, it is easier to tap into your intuition and the spiritual world at this point of your cycle
If you have been battling with a decision or contemplating what to do next, this is the phase that brings that clarity to you ... There is even a little-known phase 'I need to bleed on it' meaning - you will wait for your next bleed to give you the clarity to know what to do!
Meditation and being in states of silence are incredibly powerful at this time to help bring clarity and guidance to you
What I love about this phase, is it is normally very apparent when you move out of it and into Spring, this helps with really knowing what stage you are in! You move from this feeling of being in a cocoon, and you are met with an injection of energy and a desire to go back into the world again
So Spring is the next phase after you have finished bleeding, this phase would be the same as the waxing first quarter Moon.
This shift in energy can be felt by many as this surge of physical energy again and curiosity and willingness to go out into the world. If you were not able to rest much during your Winter this feeling may be a lot more subtle.
Here it feels like you have that zest for life back, that spring in your step and this is where creativity is usually at its peak! This is when ideas and inspiration are coming through with ease and effortlessness, and you have the energy and drive to start entertaining the ideas and planning your moves forward. In the analogy of a plant, the Winter stage is when you look after the soil, clearing it of toxins and debris and creating a beautiful and fertile ground, Spring is then the stage where you plant the seeds and the first few shoots start to pop out the soil
This is a great time to start to plan, and utilise your creativity, and if you are a business owner and have to create content for a living, this is the time to do that! This is a time to plan your next moves and put your ideas together. Your energy is also more outward now, so this is a great time to start booking in meetings, social events, and/or dates.
It is the BEST time to start trying new things, going shopping, start a new job or begin a new habit .. and actually, if I was to go shopping for new outfits, this would be the prime time to go!
This is the week leading to ovulation, so roughly day 13-20 depending on when ovulation is in your cycle. This phase brings us the same energy as the Full Moon
This is your fertile phase, where estrogen and testosterone are peaking giving you all the physical energy, confidence, and desire to be out and about and with and connecting to people
On a primitive level (remember we are just mammals at the end of the day), it is at this time when we normally have a much higher sex drive, and if you are single, then this phase can make you feel so much more interested and eager to find a ‘mate’, so you may find yourself wanting to go on dates, go out socially more, and just put yourself in places where you will be seen so much more
There have actually been studies previously that show we are more symmetrical at this time - ultimately to make us more 'attractive' to a potential partner … as much as our cycles are energetic and hormonal, they really are also at their foundation primal, instinctive, and nature!
You can get the most out of this time in a business sense by booking in meetings during this phase, having busy schedules, filming content if you do that, doing sales calls or meetings, presentations, holding workshops or doing all the social events … this is the time you can do all of the things and not get burnt out!
Because of the outward-focused energy, this can also make many (like myself) feel quite scattered and ungrounded, and so at this time it is important to keep some practices in your day for grounding, recentering and coming back to yourself
Another thing to remember with Summer is to bear in mind this outward energy is short-lived, and to not go crazy booking in all the things for the following week … where your energy will be very different .. which brings me to Autumn …
This is the time dreaded by most, and known as the phase where we experience PMS. This is a similar energy to that of the Waning and third-quarter Moon
Firstly, I want to reassure you that this is the cycle most impacted and improved and utilised when you start working with your cycles, and actually can very quickly go from your least favourite to your favourite … trust me!
So once you ovulate your hormones completely bottom out. So the feelings of confidence and physical energy and strength they gave you quite simply disappear … and quickly, and so the transition into Autumn can normally feel like 1-2 days of ‘what am I doing with my life’ type energy!
The good news is, now you are aware of that and the transition, you don't have to believe the stories that your mind creates quite so much during that time, and therefore it gets to remain just a couple of days of giving yourself compassion and grace, vs getting carried away and letting it get you down!
After a couple of days, your estrogen starts to build slowly and then has a dip again towards the end of this luteal phase, but thankfully you are given the yummy hormone of progesterone instead. This starts rising from the moment of ovulation until right before you bleed.
This hormone gives us the feeling of wanting to nest, to be inward, to be in solitude, to move slowly, and have those ‘yummy nourishing’ kind of days.
We naturally want to nest and make our home tidy, we naturally clean and clear and throw things we no longer want, we naturally puff up pillows and make our home feel more homely. This is the return of those instinctual habits that come incase we did actually conceive. It is all quite amazing when you think about it.
This is also a time when you get your to-do list cleared with so much ease. Your focus is able to just get everything ticked off and completed, tying up loose ends and just getting sh*t done basically. It is perfect for problem-solving, creating things like systems, and also articulating things well so things like writing (or editing) can be done easier here!
I use this time to do the tasks like taxes, finances, admin … things that require concentration and laser focus
If you can honour your alone time more here, then you will find your PMS is drastically reduced if not removed. You will notice through this work how the anger, frustration and resentment, and sharp tongue usually only arises from interactions with others …. and that is because quite simply our energy here is inward, and so the more we can honour that where we possibly can, we will notice a huge difference in those challenging PMS symptoms
Your health is also another place that can drastically alter your PMS symptoms. Our menstrual cycles have been used as a vital sign of good health by many cultures for many years, and if there are any imbalances or disharmony in our health then our cycle is quite often going to reflect that, and it is this lutual stage - the stage between ovulation and bleeding, that can show us many signs of physical ailments (PMS being one of them).
I have never had ‘bad’ cycles since doing this work, but since being made aware by a psychic medium I had an allergy to wheat, I cut it out of my diet. I kid you not, ALL physical symptoms of my bleed and PMS completely disappeared after doing so. My mood was so much more stable, and my body just felt completely in balance the entire time. After 6 months of 0 wheat, I introduced it in small amounts again (I really missed Sourdough)! And like clockwork, all the symptoms came back again. Now whether this is just a general gluten or wheat thing, or just to do with my sensitivity to it I am not sure, but it is crazy how much diet impacts those PMS symptoms
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies also show up here, and can cause us to have more symptoms than we should, as well as diet, intolerances, inflammation and the big one - stress!
It is insane how much these things impact our hormones, and so if you do feel you struggle during this time mentally or physically, or with your bleed itself, then I would hugely suggest speaking to someone (ask me for some recommendations if you would like) to help support you bring your body back into balance.
Despite what society tells us, your period should not be painful to the point you can't do things, it shouldn't make you feel sick, and many of the physical symptoms of this Autumn phase are also not normal. Common yes, but not normal. They are not the same
The other thing that can show up during the Autumn phase, is a lot of limiting beliefs can rise to the surface, purely because you no longer have the mask of the confidence-giving hormones. It is like you are laid bare and your inner fears can pop up and show themselves. This can be useful for healing and seen as a tool to help show you where you can work on your beliefs, but also remember that if you don't attach to the stories that pop up, you won't be led down a spiral of doom and gloom and feeling really crap about yourself. Let yourself be aware of what is showing, without getting taken by the thoughts
Now, despite all I have just said, believe it or not, Autumn can be such a yummy time (thanks to progesterone). It can feel so soul nourishing and like a hot pumpkin soup with vegan buttered gluten-free bread on the side on a cold winter day. It is easy to be 'in the body' during this stage, to be less consumed with thoughts and the outside world and expectations, and so much more in tune with yourself, and your body. It really can be a beautiful phase and actually is probably my favourite now when it was the hardest for me for so long!
Now, this is a new official concept for me because until only recently I thought it was just me and my weird ways that led me to having very different stages of energy throughout the day, but since doing a small course in Feng Shui, I have actually learned this is very much an energetic cycle that we all have or all could be impacted by during the day
Daily shifts first showed up for me when I was super young and studying my GCSE’s from home (I was home-schooled from 13). I realised at this age, that it did not matter what time I sat at my desk, I wouldn't actually start focusing on studying until about 4 o clock in the afternoon. And even though some days I would sit down at 8 am and others 3 pm, it didn't make a difference to when I would actually begin focusing.
I also had this at my work when I was working in the fashion industry in London in my twenties. I would have to plan the big focus tasks for the afternoons, and allow the mornings to be this scattered, flicking between 100 tasks but not really doing anything well kinda energy.
It meant that I worked extremely late most days because back then I didn't know how to shift energy or even that energy was a thing, so I was very much a victim to this energy and certainly not empowered by it, but I was at least aware of these patterns I had
Even now as someone with my own business, I have encountered different challenges with these cycles. I always used to have my mornings as my own personal practice, and so no matter what ideas were flooding in during the morning, or inspiration of content to write, I would not let myself write the post or say the thing because I was in my 'morning practice space'. The problem with that was by the time I had finished, my energy was no longer the same and it took me much longer to write the post or create content.
I was simply working against my cycle
Now, I have learned more, I am aware my mornings are actually a really creative time for me, I naturally and easily have ideas and inspiration and naturally want to share them. Since allowing myself to change my day around slightly so I let myself flow with this energy … my work day and the daily tasks I do in my business have become so much more easeful and the most important part - more enjoyable because I am working WITH my energy
In the same way our monthly cycles go through the 4 stages and cycles, so do our days
So our daily cycles are like a mini month all in one. Early in the morning, we have our Winter energy, this is inward but also focused, it then moves into the Spring energy as the sun rises and gets stronger, and we feel more creative and outward, and as the sun reaches its peak during the day is when the Summer energy is in full bloom. Here our energy is more outward, potentially distracted, higher energy and strong. Then once the sun has reached its peak the energy reduces and Autumn starts to kick in around late afternoon …. Bringing the energy of focus, concentration, getting things done and a lot more inward again.
I recently realised that night owls and early birds are actually just utilising the same energy when you really think about it, both are the fully inward, focused, no distractions energy, and I know as a night owl myself … how much I can get done in that energy … compared to midday, there is quite literally no comparison
What I really need to add here, is that cycle syncing whether daily or monthly is meant to be an empowering practice. It can be easy to say 'well it is the morning and so I can't focus', or 'well I am in my Autumn so I can't do that meeting' etc etc. … but that is not the point of such a sacred tool and practice. It is meant to be empowering, it is meant to allow you to work with these energies when you can, to enhance your energy and your state and get the most out of yourself ultimately, but there has to be the knowing inside of you that although we are INFLUENCED by these inner and outer energies, we are at all times in full control of our energy. We can shift and change our energy and state - that is in our power, and if and when we have to, we absolutely can. We are not victims to energy, we are in full control
Although we are INFLUENCED by these inner and outer energies, we are at all times in full control of our energy
I also really want to highlight and it is important to say, that the phases and common characteristics I have mentioned above are just that - common characteristics. They are not for everyone, and actually the only and the best way you can start to understand YOUR cycle and how your energy fluctuates (or responds to the Moon) is by tracking your own cycle
Track your cycle
This is super easy - In a journal each day, just write down a few words for how you are feeling, what you naturally did well, maybe not so well, and what day of your cycle you are on (day 1 being the day you bleed). Over time you will start to see patterns and you will be able to see YOUR cycle.
Natural Cycles is an app that I personally use to track and record my cycle, and it changed so much of how I related to my cycles and understood my body. You can easily track your mood and physical shifts with the app, and as it uses a thermometer, you can actually find out exactly when you ovulated which is a great tool for natural contraception or as an aid for getting pregnant- it can be used for either! I am obviously not an affiliate or in partnership with Natural Cycles in any way but it is a tool I personally love and have used for 6 years now tracking my cycle … and it has been invaluable. (I have shared my refer-a-friend link at the bottom of this page which I believe provides 20% discount)
Don't forget, as I mentioned way back at the start, the more you work with your cycles, the more attuned to them you become, the more you will be impacted by them, and the same goes for the Moon. If you are feeling like you don't get affected by the Moon right now, and how can this work for you, I can assure you, after a few months of tracking the Moon and your energy, you will notice the subtle shifts getting stronger, and before you ask 'but why would I want to be affected if I could always just be the same' …. Great question to end with, and with a very simple answer ….
We (as women) are not meant to be linear. We are cyclical beings. We are not meant to be the same all the time. We will thrive, and our lives will be enhanced, and we will feel more in harmony and balanced, when we allow ourselves to fluctuate with our inner or outer energy. Just like the seasons and Mother Earth, we are meant to have inward, bare and solitude time, as well as outward, full power, social, connected, and everything in between time. We are all just nature at the end of the day, and the more we can embrace that, harmonise with that, and embody that, we are going to feel more equilibrium in our body's and lives
What you may also find if you do not honour these fluctuations willingly, is that your body may force you to rest in order to rebalance (hello burnout or physical health issues). Our body's are incredibly intelligent and will always try and keep trying to find a way to come back to harmony ... you can count on that!
If you are new to this practice and sacred tool, I cannot WAIT for you to start noticing your cycle shifts, and working with these phases ... your life is quite simply about to change!
I would love to hear your biggest insights and takeaways from this, and if you have any questions about this subject or about working with me … please just get in touch through my email email@example.com or through my Instagram @sarah.louise.sutton ... I love hearing from you!
Thank you for being here and reading these words - I know this was a long one but hopefully so worth it!
And as always sending you so much love! XO
Helpful related links:
Wild Power Book by Alexandra Pope & Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer
Code Red book by Lisa Lister
Period Power by Massie Hil