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Embracing the cycles of Life

journey of a lifetime

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Time is a circle, without beginning or end. It moves in cycles, one flowing seamlessly into the next. Imagine your life as a mandala, the large outer rim making up the entirety of your lifecycle. Which is comprised of 28 year cycles, then 7 year cycles. The next layer inward represents just one year of your life, made up of 4 seasons. Each season contains 3 moon cycles. Each moon cycle is home to 4 weeks, each day of the week governed by a specific planet. Each day has 6 phases, moving through Vata, Pitta and Kalpha and back to Vata again. Many moments make a life and when we return to honouring every cycle and exactly what is has to offer, we Live a whole life. Embracing all stages, birth and death, all seasons, the light and dark.

DAILY FLOW  



The flow of each day is influenced by all the various cycles I explain below and has its own mini-cycles. Knowing what energy is in charge at the different times of day is going to help you create a schedule that you love and is fully supported by nature.  

The start of the day, from sunrise until 10am is Kalpha time. Kalpha loves consistency and routine which is why having this as your RITUAL time is key to setting the tone of your day. If you are not a routine lover, you are supported by Kalpha energy to establish a daily practice and commitment to yourself.

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From 10am - 2pm we move into Pitta time. The Sun is high in the sky, agni (heat) is increasing which means our digestive fire is strongest too. This is the best time to eat your main meal/s of the day. Pitta is motivated to get the job done so ride that wave of focus and direction. Take breaks to chill out rather than burning out.

The afternoon, from 2pm - sunset is connected to Vata. This energy is about movement and change. Mix up your environment, do something creative or spontaneous. Be aware of becoming scattred or overwhelmed, be sure to have snacks and get grounded.

After sunset,you move back into Kalpha time, as discussed in the SLEEP module. These hours are all about connection and reflection. If you have managed to drop into deep sleep by 10pm (when we move into Pitta time) that prana (energy) is put to use healing and purifying the body. If you aren’t in bed, the “second wind” comes in! Through the wee hours (2am - sunrise) Vata rules the show. Vivid dreams, insights and psychological healing all happen at this time. However, if we’re not in dreamland, we can fall into an anxious spiral or a whirlwind of ideas, both symptoms of excess Vata.

ACTION STEP: Mark out some white space between 10am - 2pm to be deliberately unproductive. Be still, listen inside (not to a podcast!) and notice what arises when you are not filling the void.


WEEKLY RHYTHM



Each day of the week is governed by a specific planet and every planet in our solar system has a specific flavour or energy to it. You are part of this epic solar system, your bones and blood are made up of the same minerals as these planets and we are affected by their energy, just like the moon. Whether you work from home, freelance or in an office you can utilize the energy of each day to create more ease and harmony with your work, colleagues and family. Monday-itis is a real thing, in most western countries the work week starts on Monday which is not the ideal energy to be in ‘doing’ mode (unlike in older and eastern countries, the weekend is Sunday-Monday) Here you will learn what each day is best for and potential challenges to be aware of.

ACTION STEP: Mark in your weekly planner the names of the planet or keyword that will remind you of the theme of each day, and schedule accordingly.

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SUNDAY

Sunday is ruled by the Sun. Sundays are all about celebration, being out in the world with friends, family and community. Enjoy what warms your heart, cook and create, be in nature and don’t give a second thought to your work or life admin.

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MONDAY

Monday is ruled by the moon, it is the day to go slow, reflect, take stock, get organised and incorporate something creative into the day. Hold off on communications, meetings and emails as much as you can and enjoy a more insular vibe.

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TUESDAY

Tuesday is ruled by Mars, it’s all forward momentum and movement. Harness this energy to engage in communications, execute your plans, put yourself out there and get the job done.

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WEDNESDAY

Wednesday is ruled by Mercury. Steady yourself with a solid routine, be aware of overthinking or worrying. Head down, bum up this the day to focus and incorporate some breaks to sit and be still through the day.

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THURSDAY

Thursday is ruled by Jupiter, the guru or teacher planet. A prime day for studying, learning or stretching yourself in some capacity. All about enquiry and growth. This is the day for professional development and absorbing inspiring content.

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FRIDAY

Friday is ruled by Venus, the planet of grace and beauty. It is time to cultivate love and generosity. Take yourself or workmate on a date. Do something that makes you feel beautiful and share what you love.

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SATURDAY

Saturday is ruled by the planet Saturn. This is the day to tend to your space (work or home) and garden. Saturn helps you to create sustainable structure in your life, wrap up deadlines and projects, plan for the week ahead.


MANY MOONS MAKE A LIFE



The cycles you observe in the natural world are mirrored by your inner ecosystem. Women are regulated by the monthly lunar cycles, whereas men run on the solar cycle of day and night.  I can’t talk about the moon without talking about menstruation. Ladies have had a special connected to the lunar cycles since the beginning of time and our ancestors had rituals and ways of understanding the magic of the moon that we are now beginning to remember.  The body of planet Earth is made up of mostly water, and so is your body. The tides of the ocean rise and fall according to the proximity of the moon (it’s all about magnetism) The tides of your inner waters are also affected by the moon.

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Just like the seasons, and the planets, the moon has a particular energetic quality you can attune to. The new moon, when the sky is darkest, is the time to rest. As you tune in, you might feel quieter or notice your energy levels lower than usual, this is natural. The new moon is the perfect time to lay low, go inward and receive.

The full moon has the opposite energetic quality. The sky is bright, lunar light pours onto the earth and illuminates all that needs to be seen. You might notice your sleep pattern distrurbed at this time (totally normal) This is the perfect time to sing, dance and release!

The moon cycle that occurs in the natural world is reflected by women’s menstrual moon cycle. When tracking your cycle, new moon is associated with the first day of bleeding, the time when you are ultra receptive and needing rest. The full moon is associated with ovulation, the release of an egg, when your hormones and energy levels peak. We will discuss in more detail how to track your moon cycle in relation to the inner seasons in the next section.

If you are not experiencing a regular bleed cycle (only 10% of women do) or are not synced up with the astrological lunar cycle, It does not indicate something is wrong. Do track your unique cycle and use the ritual below to honour the moon and your womb.

ACTION STEP: On the new and full moon, create a ritual for yourself, including your partner and children. Clean your space, light a candle and sit quietly. Write, sing a prayer or declare your intention that is meaningful to you.

New moon prompt: what am I ready to receive?

Full moon prompt: what am I ready to release?

“The soul, like the moon, is new, and always new again.”

Lalla, a 14th century Hindu mystic


As you can recognise with the moon cycle, the seasons that play out in nature are also happening within you. Each season is also related to one or two doshas and you can use this understanding of dosha energy to navigate the annual flow. Let’s begin this conversation with understanding how each season is reflected in your body and mind on a monthly basis. I’m going to use the language of seasons to explain the 4 different phases of the menstrual cycle and this will inform the way you eat, sleep, move and work. If you are not already tracking your cycle, begin right now. If you are not sure which day you are on, count back to your last period and go from there.

EXTERNAL + INTERNAL SEASONS


 

+ INNER WINTER

Starting at day 1, your first ‘proper’ day of bleeding through to day 6 is your inner winter. During this week, honour the pull to hibernate, map out your plans for the month ahead and rest as much as you can. Stay warm and cosy. Pull back from social and work commitments, eat comforting and nutritious food and let your movement practice be gentle and slow.

+ INNER SUMMER

Just like the environmental summer, day 14 -20 is the peak of energy and lightness. As we move through ovulation we have an increased capacity to give, nurture others and do it all. Again, your diet can be on the lighter side, your movement in full expression and you may find you need less rest or down time. Perfect time to see and be seen, be a social butterfly or give that presentation!

+ INNER SPRING

Day 7-13 is your Spring time, we experience a bursting forth of fresh energy as hormones start to build again. Enjoy this rejuvenated feeling by stepping up your dynamic yoga and movement, your appetite will decrease and you’ll feel lighter in your body. Be aware of doing too much too soon, no need to go from 0-100 in one week.

+ INNER AUTUMN

Maybe the most misunderstood week, day 21-28 is our inner autumn. Like leaves falling from the trees, your hormones and energy levels plummmet. Appetite increases (alot!) as the body calls for more nutrient dense food (chocolate is medicine at this time) and your tolerance for people and places might dwindle. Put this inner critic energy to good use by doing a life sudit, cancelling in advance the commitments that don’t ‘spark joy’ declutter your schedule, work and home.

 

If you are not currently experiencing a regular period (due to pregnancy or menopause) you can use the full and new moon as your markers of day 1 and 14 and if you would like support in balancing hormones please get in touch, as having a healthy, regular menstrual cycle and fertility is marker of optimal health. If your cycle if longer than 28 days, through tracking your own cycle and energy you will learn where these seasons fall for you.

+ OUTER SEASONS

Let’s talk about how the doshas relate to each season, the energy of Vata, Pitta and Kalpha rise and fall through the year and having an overview will help you understand how each season affects you and how to mitigate any potential imbalance. According to the laws of nature (rather than the patriarchal colander) the seasons are marked by the equinox and solstice twice per year. These are sacred junction of time, that our ancestors have been honoring since time began, they knew that respecting the rhythm and energy of each season is what makes us resilient. The spring and autumn equinox’s are the point of equal light, meaning equal parts day and night and they fall on 21st March and 21st September each year, depending on which hemisphere you are in. The summer and winter solstice is the still-point, the point in the year where there is the most or least light, which peaks on 21st December and 21st June each year.

Winter season is mainly ruled by Kalpha, the cool, damp and heavy energy. While you do want to honour the natural urge to hibernate and conserve your resources, you also want to ensure you don’t become sick, stagnant or lethargic and we can do this by stoking the inner fire through fiery yoga practice, enjoying sauna and eating warming, spicy food. Because of the dominant kalpah energy we are more likely to have symptoms of kalpha excess like an overdrive of mucus production, chest congestion and weight gain.

Spring is where new life and energy bursts upward and outward. There is still some Kalpha energy lingering but we also see Pitta rising as the days get longer and lighter. Just like in the ‘inner spring’ you must pace yourself and not force your energy to bloom or creations to birth before they are ripe and ready. Ride the wave of fresh motivation and move forward with ease and grace. Summer season is ruled by Pitta power. While there is abundant light and energy, we tend to burn the candle at both ends during summer so be sure not to burn out by cultivating cool, calm and surrendered states. As autumn rolls in the winds of Vata begin to blow. The drying effect of Vata means more oils should be used, topically and internally as well as staying juicy and nourished with appropriate yoga and diet.

ACTION STEP: Download the Clue app and begin tracking your cycle today!


The feminine lifecycle is understood in three distinct phases; the Maiden or as it’s said in India, the student-hood cycle, the Mother or the householder and the Crone, or the wisdom keeper. Women's identities  die and are reborn within a lifetime and we undergo mini cycles of release and renewal on a monthly basis. It is our nature to reinvent, to endlessly change and evolve but often these sacred cycles are denied or dishonoured in our culture. It is our responsibility now to reclaim the power in feminine cycles, to celebrate the junctions of time when girls experience their first period, the transition from maiden to motherhood, the wisdom that must be revered in post-menopausal women and the embrace of the crone as an essential aspect of the family and community.

a woman whole

 

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Astrology is an inseparable aspect of ayurveda and the return of planet Saturn in your birth chart, occurs at age 28-30 and again at 58-60. Saturn’s return is another sacred junction where you will undergo massive change, evolution and move into a new chapter. These long 30 year cycles are marked by a shift in the dominant dosha that rules each cycle. The first phase of life (the maiden, the student) is dominant in Kalpha energy, you are working with the earth element, literally learning how to walk, eat and embody life on this planet. As well as working with the water element, learning how to feel and express emotions, create and be in relationship with other beings.

Then at the first return of Saturn (age 28-30) your energy will transition into predominantly Pitta. You could also call this chapter the mother or the householder and this is where you are typically out doing your thing in the world, possibly starting a family or community of our own and feeling your fire for life. If your inner fire is feeling dim, it may result in, or be a result of not fully activating your gifts, core strengths and soul’s purpose.

At the second Saturn’s return (age 58-60) you will go through yet another huge transitional opportunity to reinvent yourself and shake off the accumulated identities that no longer fit. This chapter is also known as the crone, or wisdom keeper and since it is dominated by Vata, there will be a fresh zephyr of inspiration, creativity and practical insights that should be shared and used to support the family and community.

Since the planet Saturn is in charge of all things Structure, it means that every 28-30 years you can completely dissolve outdated structures in your life and create space for what is aligned for your soul in the coming chapter. These times are very powerful and magnetic but can often be experienced as tumulchous if change and transformation is resisted. Practice embracing your feminine power to change and release on the monthly moon phase or menstrual cycle and this will provide ease and knowing when the bigger re-structures unfold.


All 4 Action Steps

  • Mark out some white space between 10am - 2pm to be deliberately unproductive. Be still, listen inside (not to a podcast!) and notice what arises when you are not filling the void.

  • Mark in your weekly planner the names of the planet or keyword that will remind you of the theme of each day, and schedule accordingly.

  • On the new and full moon, create a ritual for yourself, including your partner and children. Clean your space, light a candle and sit quietly. Write, sing a prayer or declare your intention that is meaningful to you.

  • Download the Clue app and begin tracking your cycle today!


Seasonal lifestyle guides

 

Next steps could be …

SLEEP

sleep hygiene and evening routine

GLOW

practises for your inner and outer seasons