Episode 10 - Learning to Love your Menses | Harnessing the Female Cycle and Learning to Live in Flow with Eleshia Harris and Mairi Taylor - Part 2 of 6Jun 16, 2021
Menstruation is one of the most difficult parts for us all every month. Not only do we have the mood swings, low energy levels, discomfort, and cramps to deal with, but we also feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, and even worried that we’ll bleed through.
Many of us try to push through, ignoring the messages that our body is giving us and believing that our periods are an issue- a problem that we need to struggle against and fight through.
It’s even harder when you’re a busy working girl, you have a family or you have other responsibilities that you need to take care of. We rarely see and appreciate how incredible our menstrual cycles are, forgetting that this is a superpower that we carry within us.
In the previous episode of this six-part podcast series ‘Harnessing Your Female Cycle and Learning to Live in Flow’, we discussed how we can maximize our productivity, harness our female energy, and boost all our skills throughout the four phases of our monthly cycles.
In this episode, Part Two of the series, Eleshia and guest Mairi Taylor focus more closely on menstruation itself and work towards understanding what is happening in our bodies so we can become more compassionate towards ourselves.
Hopefully, by learning how we can get connected and in tune with our menstrual phase in our monthly cycle, we can help women honour themselves, take care of their bodies, and learn to love their flow.
We’ll also be sharing more tricks and tips to help us manage our cycles and discussing food planning, essential oils, oestrogen detoxification strategies, and self-care tips.
Aside from empowering women, this is also an opportunity to educate and enlighten those people surrounding them, so don’t miss out on this episode!
P.S. Check out this Lunar Calendar that’s great for tracking your monthly cycle! and the Learn to Love your Menses checklist mentioned at the beginning of the show. Also, as an added, I'd like to share with you the ebook: Harnessing the Female Cycle and Learning to Live in Flow, an interactive resource that helps break down the female cycle and learning to live with it.
We’ve learned so many valuable lessons from our guest Mairi Taylor:
- Menstruation is one of the many messages our body is telling us where we really put on our superwoman cape.
- There's a place for masculine and divine masculine energy, but it ain't around the time of your period.
- It is very important to track your cycle through the use of a little calendar.
- If we can harness your flow and be more compassionate to ourselves during our menstrual phase, we can achieve so much more.
- It's all about rewriting our story, accepting, acknowledging, and honouring what we can achieve to appreciate the different energy as we go through these phases.
- We become very intuitive and very tuned into ourselves and the communication between the right and the left hemisphere of our brain is more than at any other time.
- We have different energy at different times of the month and when we really harness that and get in the flow, then we really do start to see some amazing results.
Mairi Taylor is an educated Home Economist, ex HR Manager, retired fitness professional, Menopause Rockstar, Women’s Wellbeing Guide, juice therapist, cacao medicine carrier, aromatherapist, and essential oil enthusiast. She walks with women to empower them to rewrite their menopause story and come home to themselves - by honouring, loving, and fully accepting the woman they are now.
Connect with Mairi:
About the Show:
The Eleshia Show is an exciting new podcast that helps empower female business owners to put their well-being first whilst building their businesses. Tune in every Wednesday as my inspiring guests and I discuss strategies, share stories and experiences and dive into how you can build your business whilst trying to navigate real life. The host, Eleshia Harris is here and ready to share her decades of project management and wellness experience to help you start saying ‘Yes!’ to your business and life.
Eleshia: Hi, and welcome back to The Eleshia Show. I am so glad that you're here for this series. I'm so excited to bring to you the Harness your female cycle and learn to love your flow series with Mairi Taylor, who is the friend of mine. If you haven't listened to the first episode of this series, go back and listen to it and it will give you a wealth of information about how Mairi and I met, what Mairi does, and it's just a great starting point to this whole series. Mairi goes by the menopause rockstar and she truly is so knowledgeable about all of this subject.
I just want to remind the listeners that this is not just for ladies that are still having their cycles, this is for everybody. This information is key, and at the end of this episode I will be giving you an extra bonus so be sure to listen right through to get that. I cannot express my delight in bringing you this information. It helped me run my business, it helped me run my life and I am just happy to be able to pay that information forward. Happy listening.
Welcome back, Mairi. I'm so excited that we're going to get into it with regards to our flow and the four phases, and we are going to start with the menstrual phase. It's interesting because that's the phase where we try and push through.
Mairi: Hell yeah. Obviously, great to be back. I'm really excited and we're starting with menstruation. We're going to have a conversation about menstruation. This is where we definitely ignore many of the messages that the body is telling us where we really put on our superwoman cape.
We try and push through. We don't want to talk about it, we're embarrassed, we feel uncomfortable if we're bleeding through. We spend the whole day wondering whether or not anyone can see blood on our trousers or our skirts, and so on and so forth.
We don't sit here and say that everyone should go and sit in a red tent and doing the thing. We need to open the conversation and more importantly, I think for many of the ladies that are listening who are mothers or sisters or aunties, we need to be sharing this information with our young women as well because we have the information now.
My mom didn't have it. She knew about periods, but not to the extent that we now know and we can really be empowering these girls because we're not small men, and it's not the 1980s anymore. We can release ourselves from the pinstripe shoulder pads.
Eleshia: I've got to tell you, because I've got a picture of my mom and it was one of my favorite pictures in the kitchen, in her pink outfit with these big shoulders.
Mairi: Yes, absolutely. Shoulder pads, pinstripe, strap the boobs in, let's just all go and be very masculine. There's a place for masculine and divine masculine energy, but it ain't around the time of your period.
Eleshia: Let's get into some of those details then of what you would suggest.
Mairi: Yes. I think, first of all, let's just do a little bit of science. This phase of the menstrual cycle, and for those of us that don't know and maybe new to all of this, menses start on the first day of bleeding. So if anybody's listening and they're like, " I don't know where my periods are or what they've talked about tracking. "Really, simply get yourself a little calendar. Get yourself a little app. The first day of bleeding is day one of your full cycle, the first day of bleeding.
At this point, our progesterone productions dropped down, our estrogen levels are down and what's known as the Corpus luteum disappears and that then triggers the shredding or shedding even of your uterine lining, and that's when obviously, we move into the periods and the bleeding phase.
As we come out of our period and normal, as she says with those air quotes, she'll be anything between three to seven days. Less than three, even though we might think it's a blessing is a red flag, or more than seven is again, definitely a red flag. So anything between three and seven can be classed as normal.
As we move out of that bleeding phase, our estrogen then starts to rise and we move into the next phase of the cycle. But we're just going to hang around in the menstrual phase for this session because if we can harness, work with, understand, be more compassionate to ourselves at this phase of our cycle, we can actually achieve so much more as we move through into the next phase.
Mairi: From a body perspective, and this is where for all the boss babes and the side hustlers, and even if we don't want to use that language. Just for the women in business, women who've got to get on with, there may be possible pelvic cramping, low backache.
You are naturally going to be feeling tired, so heightened fatigue. At the end of the day, if we think about it, we are bleeding. We're shedding that uterine lining, particularly for those women listening who suffer from very heavy bleeding that can be very debilitating from the perspective of energy and just managing it mentally and physically.
But some people also will feel a sensation of relief and relaxation as you move into your bleed. So again, for those of us, I work very much with natural solutions so there're essential oils that I would recommend. They're essentially your blends. Nutrition is really important at this phase as well.
Just to understand what's going on now ideally, because of that fatigue, because we're in our bleeding phase, of course, we should all be lying in a red tent, in the little nest that we've made for ourselves. Legs up against the wall, and I could already hear the sound of the listeners throwing things at "Yes absolutely!"
It's throwing and swearing to go. Now, you two just need to get back in the real world and leave your woo woo woo to yourselves. There are definitely things that we can do that are going to support us so that we allow the body to replenish. We allow the mind to replenish because women have this 28-day cycle of replenishment.
Mairi: Men are 24.
Eleshia: Do you know that every time I say it, I'm still like, "What the F?"
Mairi: Yes. Again, for me, it's not about a fairness thing. It's about that as nature intended because, at the end of the day, we're the ones that grow the babies. We're the ones that have the cycle, and again, it's all about rewriting the story. Accept and acknowledge and honor, we can actually achieve more because as we go through these phases, we're going to appreciate the different energy that each phase of the cycle brings.
From a lifestyle perspective, this is very much about self-analysis and course correction. We become very intuitive and very, very tuned into ourselves. The communication between the right and the left hemisphere of our brain is more powerful than at any other time.
So it's a really good time for evaluating how you're doing in your life, how you're doing in your business because obviously, we're doing business coaching as well, thinking about the course corrections that will reposition you in the direction that you want to be headed.
It's very much about that time of the secret source of rest. We're really in tune and really connecting with ourselves in calling on a lot of that sort of feminine wisdom that we may not be hearing at other times of the month. You're most likely as I say, to get the clear, intuitive gut messages, but we don't want to be acting on them at this stage. This is the problem.
Eleshia: Yes, so I like to say to my clients, "This is your review time. This is for you to do your reviews and your reflections, and some planning, but no action. This is not about implementing. This is just getting all of the clarity out of your brain onto paper so you know where you're going for the rest of the month but you're not actioning.
Mairi: Yes, and really like you said, intuitively listening to the subtle messages that you've maybe been getting and they coming up every month again and again and again because if they are a little bit like that red light on the dashboard that we talked about last time, stop ignoring it.
Mairi: What is your subconscious, your soul, your heart, whatever it is, what is it trying to tell you that you can then just get really quiet and listen to? It's also a really, really good time to be saying no to RSVPs. Now, I know none of us have had RSVPs for a year because we are recording.
Yes, I know. We are recording this in March 2021. For anybody who listens to it in 10 years' time, and really thinks, "What on earth are they talking about?" Because one of the things that you're going to find is with our low energy and that needs to be introspective to make the nest to hold ourselves safely.
We don't want to be last-minute let-downs, because then we are in the extra layer of guilt. So as we recommended, and again, maybe any of the listeners haven't done it yet, day one of your bleeds start tracking. Now, for those listeners who are using any kind of contraception or don't have a bleed, work with the moon.
Eleshia: Yes. Yes.
Mairi: I always invite people to start on a new moon because that's about setting intentions. It's about personal growth. It's about healing and it's also about new projects. So beautiful link is obviously for the work that you're doing, Eleshia, with your wonderful clients, is harness some of these natural energies around you.
If you don't have a bleed then just start tracking with a new moon, and we can put a little new moon calendar in the show notes and so on and so forth. But just start tracking it in what other way either on day one of the menses or on the next new moon, and start to see, "Oh, I don't want to be going out," and again from a business perspective, this isn't a great time to be networking or doing big presentations, going on a roadshow or any of those kinds of things.
It's really like you said, is almost like the self admin, the review part of maybe been working on or what's on for the last month. A month doesn't have to follow from the 31st, you could make your business months flow with your cycle.
Eleshia: Thank you for saying that because I was going to point that out too. We're on the same page.
Mairi: As always. So we could be intention setting and planning and reviewing at this phase of the cycle, and then we've got creative, we've got the go out and speaking network element and we'll share all of that over the coming sessions.
One of the things as well, to be aware of, and this again is what makes us women and we're obviously inviting the listeners to honor is that it's perfectly normal at this time of the month to feel restless and maybe some dissatisfaction. It can be a relief to know that it's okay to feel those feels. We want to be feeling and aware of all of our emotions, so instead of feeling overwhelmed, again, take advantage of this phase to identify which areas you feel your life needs attention and then you can use other weeks in your cycle to address the issues in lots of different ways.
As you've already said, it's the reviewing and maybe starting to put a plan together or thinking about when am I going to talk to my business partner? When am I going to talk to my partner? Because there are things that need to be resolved or talked through. No point in doing them at this phase where we're feeling depleted or low in energy, or maybe a little bit resentful or angry because it's not going to come from a heart-led place.
Again, if you then come up with your thoughts, you're going to get better solutions and improvements for you and your life moving on. Again because of the work that I do, I use a lot of essential oils to help people with getting in tune with their intuition, for managing, the crumping or the discomfort but also if you've got repeated fears coming up, there are essential oils that you can use for all of that.
Eleshia: Just to put you on the spot, what's one of your favorite blends?
Mairi: For this phase, there's a blend, always for complete transparency. I partner with doTERRA of the other essential oil brands that are available. At this time of the month, my favorite always used to be a blend called Clary calm. Simply because it helps to balance the hormones. It's really good for soothing and calming, and it's a blend of Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Geranium. It got oils in there that soothing the work with the endocrine system and we all know about lavender for a little bit, I am calm.
But the other blend that I really like is one that's called Balance. It's very grounding and it's a beautiful combination of wood oils and some floral oils. It really helps you just calm things down. From an overwhelmed perspective, there's a blend called Zengest, which is a digestive blend. If you think about it, we get overwhelmed when we consume too much of life.
Eleshia: Yes, exactly. This is, again going back full circle, this is the time when you try and be a still as possible but obviously, it has to work within your lifestyle.
Mairi: Absolutely. One of the things that I was taught as part of my learning was to look at a concept called scaffolding. This is where all the working mamas, all the women out there. It may be in the corporate world or working you and I are very lucky. can turn the day off, turn the noise off and, come back tomorrow and, fully appreciating that not everybody is in that situation.
The scaffolding concept is all about helping to retire superwoman to minimize the amount of push through because for a lot of women when they push through this phase, they deplete themselves even more and we end up in an ever decreasing circle. Whereas if we can scaffold, if we can get some quiet, if we can do the no to the RSVPs, we can move into an upward spiral as we come through this month because as nature intended, we have different energy at different times of the month. When we really harness that and get in the flow, then we really do start to see some amazing results. Things that we would include in scaffolding are meal planning. If you're tracking and you know when your next period is, have you got the freezer full of some meals or you've bought in hello fresh or mindful or whomever, because what we want to be doing is minimizing the overwhelm. Because particularly if you're a woman who finds their period, that menses phase quite tiring or maybe even debilitating which is where I was, you do not have the mental capacity after a full day at work and maybe looking after the kids or whoever, to then come home and start thinking about what are we cooking for dinner.
Eleshia: You don't. But this is one of the reasons I say to my clients that it's really important to, I do my food planning on a Sunday because I just like to be in that constant flow of ensuring that, as you've said, I've got some quick wins. But yes, I definitely agree with you that if you can get that in and just know that you've got some things that you can just fall upon, it's going to make life a lot easier.
Mairi: That isn't chocolate and sandwiches, I'm really sorry. Both of us are huge, huge fans of good quality cacao because it is magnesium-rich. Magnesium is vital for over 300 hormonal systems in the body, so rich in antioxidants which helps reduce that inflammation, and I will talk about food as well for this time of the month. But yes, we want to be bags-packed. Maybe looking at your gym program because we will be getting back into the gyms, or you're coming for your reformer one-to-one and you're going to do a lighter session. Maybe something a bit more restorative, more stretching although obviously, we want to be aware that we're not overstretching at this time of the month as well.
You certainly do not want to be doing high intensity and all the rest of it in the initial phase. Like me, my energy came back after about day three.
Eleshia: I was going to say that, and you probably won't have the energy to do it anyway.
Mairi: Exactly, so don't push through. I always used to be the person when I was used to going to group exercise, I'm working out next to someone and they'd be like, "Oh, I can't do any press-ups." and I'd be like, "Where are you in your period cycle?" and they'll look at me like I was crazy because this week you'll be like a kitten. Two weeks later, you're going to be smashing it out, as they say.
Mairi: I'm running and doing PB's but again, if we can nourish it at this phase, this is a time for getting your sleep right, catching up with your girlfriends, you're cheerleaders, not the ones that drag you down and make you feel like you've got zero energy. Maybe as I say, time to rest for gathering your focus, dry skin brushing, get your Epsom salt baths going. Again, you're getting your magnesium coming in, you're using the water therapy to support and heal you in a way.
Maybe it's a time for a massage. Just honoring the whole snuggle with the duvet and just watch some movies. Do what you have to do because as we say, we appreciate women are working and things need to be done, but if you can just find a way to minimize what you're doing at this phase and support your life. Get the kids to make their breakfast if they're old enough. Bags packed, ready because you are not going to be able to manage all the mental and the physical and emotional overwhelm at this stage.
From a food focus, what we want to be making sure of is that because we've got the uterine lining being released, we really want to be adding nutrients and lots of anti-inflammatory foods. This isn't a time for all the processed foods and just grabbing the chocolate even though we feel like that. Again, really starting your day with a nourishing cup of cacao which is not cocoa, it's not the stuff that you get in the supermarkets.
It's pure cacao so it's much less processed. If you can get ceremonial that's got the fat in it as well, that's really going to help. Putting cinnamon in your drinks or in your smoothies helps to balance your blood sugars, and lots of herbs and spices so all your turmerics.
Eleshia: You're literally just about to say that, your turmeric lattes.
Mairi: Your turmeric lattes, absolutely. Getting good omega in. I liked to take good fish oil and when I was menstruating, I would add it, I would have more just at the time bleeding. So I'd only take about 2000 milligrams a day whilst there was bleeding, I'd go up to 3000 and then drop it back down again. You want to be looking at your estrogen detoxification strategies, particularly the heavy bleeders that all are listening. Making sure you're getting your cruciferous vegetables in so your broccolis, your cabbages, your sprouts. If you can't eat them, drink them.
That's how Eleshia and I met is through our love of juicing. It can be as simple as well. I've just done a little Insta reel for one of my favorite smoothies which is basically frozen spinach, frozen avocado, frozen berries, coconut milk, water, some wheatgrass powder which is really nutrient-rich, it has got that magnesium in it, protein powder of choice. I'm a collagen girl, which is really good for supporting gut health and my hair and my nails, and so on and so forth.
Cinnamon for balancing the blood sugars. If I was bleeding at that time maybe, I'd add a little bit of banana so I'm getting a little bit of extra carb in there. Whiz it all up, and there you go. You could add in things like chia or flax seeds if you're into seed cycling and things like that.
So simple, easy scaffolding to support you and to ensure that you're getting those nutrients in. Again, this could be a time for a lot of women where they've got gas and bloating and they're feeling really heavy, there are oils that we can use or having apple and ginger just to calm the digestive system down. A little rub with them, ginger oil in it, which is peppermint oil really supportive of the digestive system.
Eleshia: Would you recommend that in a shot, or would you recommend that to people like a hot kind of toddy without the alcohol, I should say?
Mairi: Yes, that could work beautifully as well. For some women, the heat treatment definitely used to be a hot water bottle on the tummy, but again, yes you can make warming drinks like that. Just a really nice one with apple and cinnamon and turmeric, a little bit of apple cider vinegar. Just mix that all up. Lemon, lots of lemons to help keep everything cleansed, it's really important for any phase of the menstrual cycle to stay super hydrated.
Thinking about your gut health, so how is it doing? Are you getting your fibers in? Are you getting all your prebiotic food? For me, those things like onions and garlic, I'm absolutely addicted at the moment to cauliflower rice. Coconut oil, sautee some onions, I've got this beautiful pilaf spice mix that goes in, and then I add the cauliflower rice, and then with your protein of choice.
It's really important ladies that we've got the good protein going in of your choice. We need that protein to help our detoxification pathways because particularly again if you're a heavy bleeder, it could be that you are in what we call "estrogen dominance", and therefore we need to be helping to get it out of the system. You also want to be thinking about iron and zinc-rich foods, so it could be seed food, that could be nuts and seeds going in there. This is real-time to get the roasting thing out and get the sweet potatoes and the butternut squash and the beetroots, roasting them all up because you all going to get that yummy sweetness, as well.
But all of those beta carotenes, all of that really nourishing food and things like berries are very, very you know. If you think about the colors, you want the deep reds and the purples, think about the color of the blood and restoring in that way. Kidneys will need a lot of help at this point in time, so again, make sure you're drinking plenty of water.
Maybe putting a little bit of sea salt into the water to support the kidneys. Just warming, nourishing, delicious food, and you're going to feel amazing and life will never be the same again.
Eleshia: No, but seriously, you will feel a lot better if you do take some of these steps. Remember ladies, you don't have to take all of the steps at the same time. If you feel like it is overwhelming, you can choose a couple of things to try each month and swap them out and see which ones work for you, and just go with the flow.
But as we've said previously, it's really good to actually think about not suppressing it, because I know it's easy just to pick up some medication to feel better because you still feel like you have to go, go, go, go, go. But if we start to investigate what's actually going on within, then we can fix it.
Mairi: Absolutely. Again, neither of us is anti-medication whereas absolutely essential. Please don't anyone has ever take that away from us.
Yes, a big disclaimer. But also If we start putting all of the systems and really looking after ourselves in the same way, again, I cannot find anything better than a car analogy in the same way that we look after our car. If we looked after ourselves like that all month, seriously, for all of the women in here that are working with you on their businesses, or whoever's listening, it doesn't matter what aspect of your life. You are going to feel so much more productive, so much more vibrant, so much more mental clarity because your system isn't being overloaded by busyness, nor is it being overloaded by food which just makes us feel sluggish and unable to think.
Eleshia: Yes, so much good information there.
Mairi: I'm here to nourish every time.
Eleshia: We are, definitely. Mairi, tell the listeners where they can find you in between our series.
Mairi: Yes, absolutely. I hang out on Instagram, it's Mairi Taylor Menopause Rockstar. I'm on Facebook as Mairi Taylor as well, and again, Menopause Rockstar. You can find me on my website which is very simple, Mairi Taylor, M-A-I-R- I taylor.com. I keep it really simple. That's where you're going to find me. If anybody's interested in working or finding out how the oils could support them, or coming and trying some cacao.
A cacao ceremony as a little bit of timeout for you, then we've got lots of options for supporting you with the coaching that you've been doing with Eleshia, and making sure that you really can show up the best version of yourself every day. Sometimes the best version of you is the one that wants to lay under the duvet and just watch chick-flicks.
Eleshia: We're going to leave you on that lovely note because as you said, there's nothing wrong with lying and doing nothing and watching chick flicks at that time of the month. So, listeners, we'll be back with you for the next three weeks discussing the other phases of our cycle. In between that, if you have any questions for Mairi or me, please DM us. My handle is eleshia_ lifestyle, and I also hang out on Instagram, or you can email me. I'll make sure our details are in the show notes and have a great, great week. We will see you again really soon.
Mairi: Buh-bye, happy scaffolding.
Eleshia: I really hope you enjoyed this episode, and if you know somebody who would also benefit from the information shared then go ahead and share this episode with them. I would also love for you to rate the podcast. That really helps me know what you guys are enjoying. As a bonus, I have put together a checklist for each of the phases so that all of the important information that Mairi and I have shared is in one place for you.
To get that checklist in your inbox each week, all you need to do is hit the link in the show notes to be able to sign up for that information. I really hope you're enjoying this series so far. Next week, we will be talking about tuning into your Venus week, and you are going to love this information, so stay tuned. I'll see you then.