I normally focus on the inner winter of your cycle--menstruation--in my blog posts, but today I want to talk about the other anchor in your menstrual cycle:
This is the point in your cycle where the egg is released from the follicle it's been maturing inside within your ovary.
The egg is released in anticipation of either being fertilized (resulting in pregnancy) or shed (resulting in a period).
There is a lot going on biologically and hormonally at this time in your cycle--estrogen is at its peak and estrogen is a hormone that ignites energy, socialization, sensuality, productivity, generosity, and much more.
This is the point in the cycle where some menstruators feel pretty dang invincible.
Strong, resilient, attractive, capable, creative, energized.
Just fully on.
(Not everyone feels this way at ovulation, though, or maybe not every cycle, depending on lots of individual factors. But these are archetypal ovulatory hallmarks.)
And as more people have become aware of the power of menstrual cycle awareness, I've seen the conversation morph into something that's making me increasingly uncomfortable and wary:
It's the idea that this is the phase where we can "get the most" out of ourselves.
We can get the most done, have the best thoughts, feel the most, have all the sex, work the hardest, be the best parent, partner, friend, entrepreneur, employee, etc.
This is the best time to schedule speaking engagements, ask for a raise, jam-pack your planner, capitalize on all your energy from dawn to dusk.
Can you see why this is making me uncomfy?
We do not exist to be farmed, mined, exploited.
While some aspects of this growing narrative around ovulatory energy may be true (it's a great time in your cycle to do lots of these things!), ovulation is not the ONLY time of your cycle that matters.
We don't exist in order to be productive.
Today I just want to caution us to beware of planning our lives around our cycles in a way that ultimately harms us and de-values us.
Every phase of our cycle is valuable.
Every phase comes with different strengths, weaknesses, capacities, and challenges.
If we view every other phase of the cycle as simply a warm-up for the sprinting main event at ovulation, that's still a path to burnout.
If we rest at menstruation only in order to be able to work harder than ever before at ovulation, we're still exploiting our bodies and viewing them as commodities.
And probably those of you reading this blog post aren't doing this.
But I just needed to point this out--and this tendency and line of thought goes beyond just the cycle-syncing conversation:
Our worth is not dependent upon what we produce.
Even though the patriarchal culture that most of us are living in would love to tell us otherwise, and would absolutely love to capitalize on our labor, productivity, ability to be of service to others.
This is what I want to tell all of us that are or have been conditioned as females and women and menstruators in a patriarchal, capitalistic culture:
We are so, so much more than what we do.
So how do we push back against this narrative?
Here are a few ideas (and I'm sure you have your own thoughts and brilliant ideas!):
Let's get to know the value of each phase of our menstrual cycles.
Honestly, reclaiming menstruation and embracing our cyclical nature is huge.
And one other idea:
Try to balance prioritizing productivity with pleasure at ovulation.
Beware of spending all of your time and energy on others, on work, on chores, on getting ahead, on everything and everyone beyond yourself at ovulation.
Give a healthy portion of your energy toward yourself, your pleasure, your relaxation, your favorite way to spend time, your passions.
Maybe dive into your My Club Red products at both menstruation and ovulation for some loving self-nurture time.
I would absolutely love to hear from you if this strikes a chord with you. Don't hesitate to leave a comment and let me know what you think of this whole deal.
My Club Red exists in the world because I want to help shape our world into one that's kinder and more informed toward women and menstruators.
And I'm so glad we're all here doing this work together.