Here in Utah, we've gotten snow for the past four days in a row, but the week before that, the sun was out and the weather balmy.
These seasonal in-between days (weeks!) can be pretty fraught with emotions--
Frustration that it's not springtime yet.
Grumpiness that it still feels like December in near-April.
Annoyance that you're wearing snow gear in the morning and stripping down to a t-shirt in the afternoon sun.
Impatience bordering on desperation waiting for the weather to lighten up already and deliver that vitamin-D sunshiney goodness.
We all know that the seasons don't have hard deadlines--spring doesn't arrive exactly on the vernal equinox, melting the snow and spontaneously budding the flowers on a set date.
There's a transition time.
An easing into--and easing out of--phase.
We see evidence of this every changing season, but did you know we also experience this transition time in our inner seasons as well?
In menstruality terms, these are called crossover days--
The transitioning days between inner winter and inner spring, inner spring and inner summer, inner summer and inner autumn, and inner autumn and inner winter.
Sometimes these crossover days can feel like a bit of an unhorsing:
Why am I not feeling the springtime rise of energy even though my blood stopped yesterday?
Why am I way more irritable today than I was yesterday?
Where am I in my cycle, again? I could have sworn I was right in the middle of inner summer.
Crossover days can feel a little murky, a little wobbly, a little off-kilter.
Not one way or another, not the full expression of the upcoming inner season yet.
Have you ever noticed this?
How do you experience the shifting of the seasons--both the outer seasons and your inner season?
Is this the time of year when you can't stomach being in winter a single day more and are ready to fly to wherever its warm?
(Not at ALL saying that's a bad thing!!)
Are you holding onto winter and cramming in as many ski days, cozy nights by the fire, or mugs of hot cocoa as you can before the season passes?
Are you in daydreaming mode, planning summer trips, fantasizing about being poolside and adventurous, ready to skip right over spring completely?
Or just feeling stuck in the here-and-now that's dragging on interminably?
To be very clear: None of these are bad or wrong or anything to judge--
Everything is information. And how you're feeling in the outer season may hold some insights for you as to how you experience the inner seasonal shifts, or crossover days, too.
In their book Wild Power, my mentors at Red School, Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer say this about crossover days:
"Think of your crossover days as mini 'gaps in the fabric of life' -- like a void moment. They potentially expose you to emptiness, a subtle sensation of the metaphorical ground giving way under you. This creates an emotional wobble or unease. Mostly this won't be strong--a mere blip on the screen that signals you're changing gear--but where it is intense it can tell you something of your deeper needs or current challenges."
So in this in-between time in the outer seasons, I invite you to bring curiosity to how you're navigating this shift.
Perhaps there are some insights for you, perhaps a parallel between how you experience the changing of the outer seasons and the shifting of your inner seasons.
The first step, of course, is to pay attention.
(That's what I love most about menstrual cycle awareness--it asks us to tune into our bodies and our lived experience with such loving, attentive dedication!)
If you haven't yet started tracking your menstrual cycle, it will likely be very hard to pinpoint your crossover days.
To learn more about how to start tracking your cycle, read this blog post I wrote that will give you a good introduction.
And if you're looking for a cycle tracking journal to house all your newfound personal body awareness, remember that My Club Red offers a few different Period Care Packages that include a menstrual cycle tracking journal!
This unique daily coloring mandala is a fun way to start paying attention to your cycle and collecting your highly personalized insights into your cycle and lived experience.
Peruse your options and discover which Care Package would be a welcome addition to help transform your next period into a mini-retreat--all while learning more about your full menstrual cycle!
And when you're ready to dive deeper into exploring how you navigate the changing inner and outer seasons, consider journaling your responses to these self-reflective prompts:
- How do I feel about the transition between the seasons each year?
- What do I do when I feel stuck between phases in life?
- During transition times, do I tend to look back, look forward, stay present, or something else?
- Have I noticed any similarities between how I feel when the outer seasons change and how I feel when my inner seasons change? Any differences?
- Which change in season is the hardest for me to navigate? Why might that be the case?
- Knowing that crossover days can be tricky times in my cycle, how might I provide better self-care and self-compassion when crossover days are ahead?