Today I want to share with you a little more about the magic of our Inner Spring - the Follicular phase. I will touch on the physical changes of this beautiful inner season, its energetic properties, and some tips on how to best get in sink with it.
I love this time of the month… so let’s explore it more!
THE PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION
The follicular phase starts right after menstruation, the day after you stop bleeding, usually lasting between 6 to 10 days. (remember, your cycle is unique to you, so as you get to know your rhythms, you will learn your own personal window for each inner season).
At this point of your cycle, your uterus has just finished shedding the uterine lining that you’ve built up throughout your last cycle and it finds itself anew.
As you enter this beautiful inner season, through the amazing connection between the brain and the womb, your pituitary gland produces a hormone called Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH) which alerts your ovaries to start preparing for ovulation.
By this point in your cycle, a few eggs in your ovaries have started to mature, and through this process, they produce estrogen, which will arrive at its peak just before ovulation when one or two eggs are released into your fallopian tubes towards the uterus.
Simultaneously, the “blank canvas” that was left in your uterus after your bleed (when the endometrium - your uterus lining - is at its thinnest) responds to the estrogen by thickening its lining again, as it prepares itself to be a strong and supportive environment for an egg to implant and grow if conception would happen.
Also, a mucus plug is created at the entrance of the cervix, which prevents sperm from entering the uterus and die within a few hours. This means that in this phase of your cycle you are not fertile. (It’s important to note that if a woman has a very short cycle (26 days or short) she might skip this process meaning she would go from menstruation straight to ovulation.)
So, in a nutshell, through your inner spring, you are literally growing life inside your body as the eggs in your ovaries begin to mature, and your uterus is getting ready for a potential pregnancy.
Isn’t it amazing?? ...I find it spectacular.
THE ENERGIES OF INNER SPRING
Through the intricate and powerful physical changes that your body experiences in this phase of your cycle, your emotional, mental, and energetic bodies respond to all of it quite appropriately.
You know that feeling of the first rays of warm sun on your skin once the winter starts fading away?... watching the vulnerable blossoms cracking through the hard, cold soil and stretching towards the light?... this is what this inner season is all about.
As estrogen starts rising, we feel a sense of stimulating energy starting to stir deep inside ourselves.
We have been inwards, internal, and in the depth of our shedding, but as we come out of winter and into our inner spring, we feel a sense of rebirth.
At this stage of my cycle, the beginning of my inner spring, I get that feeling of butterflies in my stomach… I love this time of the month.
Just like the spring blossoms, this is when we start to stretch from the juicy, dark, revelatory chambers of our inner world, out towards the light of our outer world.
It’s a time in which we feel our energy building up again, and we starting to be able to be more outward, and expressive.
In Chinese Medicine, this time of the cycle is when the Yang energy (masculine, active energy) starts to build up again, after the embodiment of Yin energy (feminine, inactive energy) after menstruation.
Although at first we could feel a little emotionally vulnerable, as we get deeper into our inner spring we feel a new sense of courage, and willingness to try new things.
Some studies have shown that the rise in estrogen that happens through this phase also coincides with a rise in testosterone production. This dual hormonal rise stimulates both the left-brain (verbal fluency) as well as enhancing our visual-spatial ability and increase in libido.
With this exquisite rise in energy, we are ready to take on new tasks, organize the seeds of ideas we received in our inner winter, and start planning the month ahead.
This is a great time to get creative and allow yourself to follow the natural flow of creation that is happening within yourself.
MONITORING AND BALANCING YOUR ENERGY
While we can get super excited about the feeling of new beginnings that this season gives to us, we must also make sure that we take it easy.
Our new seeds of projects and ideas have just cracked through the soil and they are still small and vulnerable. So as we start sprouting from the inside out, we must also remember to protect ourselves from the strong energies of the outer world.
In this phase, our task is to grow, yet keep grounded. It’s important we take it easy, and not blow our energy all at once.
Inner spring encourages us to get creative, which is a state between our inner and outer worlds.
As we transition into our inner spring and we draw energy from our inner world, we are called to take a balanced approach. Start with a few strokes on the canvas, connect to your creativity, and then allow yourself to be fully in your flow.
I like to think of Inner Spring as the time in which I’m immersed in my art studio, preparing for the exhibition ahead, coming in the summer!
EMBODYING YOUR INNER SPRING
Alright, let’s get to the practical!
Your follicular phase is a great time for the following tasks:
Make your wish list for the month ahead! As a Virgo artist… a love lists. They give organization to my overflow of creative ideas and ground them in a place where I can realize in more logistic terms what's possible to achieve within this month and what's not.
Get your calendar out and get planning. When are you going to work on your projects? When will you share them with the world? Are you planning some romantic dates?
Allow yourself to be in your creative flow. Do not worry about what anyone thinks! This is not the time to necessarily share your ideas, but rather develop them, grow them, and make them stable.
If you haven’t got the Lunar Chart yet, It can help you track your inner seasons and help you in your planning process. It’s free for anyone to download and comes with a beautiful Guide explaining how to use it.
I hope this gave you a deeper understanding of one of the four phases of our menstrual cycle.
It can be so empowering to gain and embody this knowledge in our lives and become activists of our true way of being.
Stay tuned as in the next weeks to come I’ll share more about the qualities of the other Inner seasons!
With love and devotion,