Episode 11 - Tuning into Your Venus Week | Harnessing the Female Cycle and Learning to Live in Flow with Eleshia Harris and Mairi Taylor - Part 3 of 6Jun 23, 2021
For thousands of years, talking about menstruation and menopause was considered taboo.
If women ever did speak about these topics, they did so in code using words and phrases like ‘that time of the month’ or say that they were ‘going through the change’. They had to hide and mask these conversations for fear of being judged, discriminated against, or even outcast.
Thankfully, those days are over.
Today’s generation is more open, and maybe even bold enough to confront issues about femininity and women’s health. Although we still have a long way to go, more of us are having these conversations, embracing our femininity, and taking the steps towards empowering ourselves and others so we can all become healthier and happier.
In this episode of the series ‘Harnessing Your Female Cycle and Learning to Live in Flow’, Mairi and Eleshia tackle these topics, sharing the importance of having these honest conversations so we can overcome the sense of shame, break the stigma and learn to love our flow.
If you’re someone who has been feeling depleted during your menses, they are here to help you save your energy and build a stronger body and mind. You will have all the information you need during your Venus Week to optimize your productivity and maximize your time wisely.
They’ll also share some excellent practical recommendations such as which essential oil blends to use, business strategies you can put into place, and how women can support and empower other women to be the best version of themselves.
Don’t miss it!
P.S. Check out these resources:
- Lunar Calendar which is great for tracking your monthly cycle with the moon
- Cycle checklist mentioned at the beginning of the show
- 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.
The action phase is the part where you start to initiate, look at your plan, brainstorm, and start to initiate that plan to do things and start reaching out to people.
- Our female cycle is part of our life cycle and it’s part of who we are.
- It's really important to look at the whole timeline because our estrogen is rising and we have all of that energy. But realistically, you're going to be depleted in the next phase if you go all in and don't honour yourself to know how much you can really take on.
We also learned so many valuable lessons from our guest Mairi Taylor:
- Having your period three to seven days is normal. Less than three, whilst we might think it's a blessing, is potentially a red flag, and having more than seven, is definitely a red flag.
- One thing about a money mindset is if you look enough at your money every day and keeping that abundance flowing and honouring it, then everything is good.
- We're not saying don't make the big decisions. What we're just saying is to make sure you've done your risk assessment, your due diligence, and all that good stuff.
- Even though you're pushing yourself, you also need to assess how you're feeling and think about your recovery.
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.
Intro: Hi, and welcome back to The Eleshia Show. I really hope you're enjoying the Harnessing Your Female Cycle and Learning to Live in Flow series with Mairi and I. Last week, we talked about learning to love your mensies. And if you haven't listened to that episode, I would highly recommend that you go back, and do so, so that you can listen to each phase of your cycle so you can get a better understanding. Or just remind yourself of all of the things that you can be doing to help you move through those phases more smoothly.
So this week is all about the Venus week, and remember all of this information is still relevant even after you do not have your female cycle. And also it's relevant for the men in your lives too. So I just wanted to point that out because if we can get them on board as well, listening to these episodes, then one it's going to work in their favors because they're going to know when to ask for things, but also it's just really good from a communication perspective.
So this week we are talking about how to retire the superwoman and we're having enough open, honest conversation. And we're also discussing ways that you can just really work through some of your feelings, be it pre-menstrual or perimenopause feelings, or just, you know, the mental and emotional feelings that may come up around this time.
So we're going to discuss what's going on within your body at this time. And then like in the last episode, we are going to discuss the things that you could be doing that would be really beneficial for you in terms of your nutrition, your wellbeing, your exercise, how you can supplement, and also how you can use essential oils.
And then we'll also be discussing business strategies that you could be putting into place. Things from a business and a lifestyle perspective that you can leave out of this time so you can really find the benefits of working within your phases to help you.
So again, there's a lot of information here. Really enjoy listening. I have put together a checklist again for this episode. So you can download that in the show notes. Let's just get into it. Let's get into the Venus week. I hope you enjoy it.
Eleshia Harris: Welcome back, Mairi. I'm so excited that you're back. I'm always excited to have these conversations with you because you are one of my favorites, and you just bring so much information. Last week, I came off our conversation, just thinking, there's so much information. One, we don't share, but sometimes we just don't know the complexities of what's going on within our bodies and our cycle, and how we can use it to our best abilities.
It was just mind-blowing for me just to actually put everything together and to think, okay, these are some other things that I can scaffold onto my usual day-to-day practices. So, thank you.
Mairi Taylor: You're really welcome. And again, you know, for me, obviously, yes, we're back. This is the kind of information I wish I had known in my 30s. And more importantly, this is for all the young women, the young entrepreneurs, the new businesswomen, the business managers.
I was having this conversation with another fabulous fempreneur who works in the wellness industry. She works with a lot of corporate clients, and we were having this conversation. And actually, it's not even about educating the men. We've got women of my age being managed by women in their 30s who've got no comprehension of menopause. And I know we're not just talking about menopause, but we've got women who don't know how to support and empower other women to get the best out of them.
And she was talking about the fact that while she was going through her perimenopause, she would be like, "What's up with you? When are we going to get the old ex back?" One of those questions should never, but they probably, are asked. But more importantly, we lose a lot of amazing female knowledge and experience because of their hormone cycles not being supported in the workplace, and more importantly them not knowing how to support themselves either so, the more we can share and get this message out, the better.
Eleshia Harris: Yeah.
I totally agree and that's such a good point. Just in those two minutes, because I didn't even think about that. I would have had bosses that were older than I was, going through perimenopause and menopause and wondering, why are you being like that?
Basically trying to hold their shit together.
Exactly. Trying to hold their shit together, and they're not getting supported. So they can't support us as a team as well.
Mairi Taylor: And then, you've got that brain fog, you're off-center, you start to think you've got dementia, you're going to the doctors, they're putting you on antidepressants. And that's not every doctor at all, but that's definitely a common theme from a lot of women that if they go, they're just put on antidepressants and that is not the answer for everybody. Obviously, in some cases, it can definitely help. Even for me, you know, I remember having a girl in my team, I know everyone's a girl in my eyes, and she was going through menopause, and we had a male manager above me, and he was actually quite enlightened. And he sort of tried to approach it, and she was like, "How dare you?".
When I look back at it now, one, he was enlightened and two, she was keeping it from us and we could of 'cause he was open and willing to support. I'm sure his wife had maybe had a challenging time or something, but she wouldn't allow it. And This for me is part of the message.
We talked before about the retiring "the superwoman." It's not a weakness. It's really not a weakness. And the more we can have open and honest conversations, the more all of us can feel empowered.
Eleshia Harris: Yeah. It's part of our life cycle.
Mairi Taylor: Yeah.
Eleshia Harris: It's part of who we are. So as you said, just trying to shy away from it, it's not doing anybody good at all. We can't pretend it's not going to happen because it does.
Mairi Taylor: Yeah. And we can't pretend we don't have periods either because we do. Less obviously for many women. Their contraception stops them from doing that. But they still have some energy shifts during the month, which is obviously what we're wanting to do with our series at the moment - it shows how we can really marry up the business project management or the skills and stuff that you share with your clients. If we align it, then wow. We can keep showing up without burning out. which is where many of us, end up. So should we jump into the Venus week?
Eleshia Harris: Yes, let's.
Mairi Taylor: So from a physiological perspective, we're still in the first half of the cycle. And, again, we'd already discussed that there are four phases, possibly five, some people might say two to the female cycle.
So in that first half of the follicular phase, we'd have menses. So again, remember. Three to seven days is normal. Less than three, whilst we might think it's a blessing, is potentially a red flag. More than seven, definitely a red flag. So in this phase of the cycle, we finished our period and we're starting to come out. So the hypothalamus, which is that part of the brain, signals to the pituitary gland to send follicle-stimulating hormone, a.k.a. FSH, to your ovaries to release another egg. So we start our cycle again. So if we think about it, the menses is that winter phase. It's that quiet, it's that still, it's that bringing everything in. And now, again, we've recorded this just after Easter, it's the eggs being released. And we see our estrogen starting to rise so that we can thicken the uterine lining to host the egg as it makes its little journey down. So what's fabulous about this phase, getting this beautiful link with nature as we come out of winter and into spring. And just like spring, the sap is rising. The shoots of hope are starting to show. There's a little bit of sparkle and blossom going around. We're putting down deeper roots. We're starting to grow. We're starting to expand. And we're getting the energetic-ness of the spring season. The lambs frolicking and so on and so forth.
So lots of increased energy in this phase. So if anybody's been feeling depleted during menses, they should save their energy. Conversely, if we advise that we shared in our last session together of truly replenishing, even if for some women, that just means a couple of early nights and some Epsom salts bath, but just slowing things down for a little bit for one or two days, you will really see the sap rising and the energy coming up in force. And this is wherein the coaching model that I'm working with, we call this the "warrioresque" phase. So, we want to think about that expanded awareness, that warrioresque, that Amazonian, but she's also fun. She brings fun to the party. But what she also does is defend boundaries as well, but she'll fight for justice, fight for a cause, incredibly creative, and this is one of the things about this phase as our energy rises from a physical perspective. This is when we can start doing more intense exercise. Maybe starting to look at pushing ourselves a little bit more, lifting heavier, all the work that we were doing, thinking about and reflecting in our menses phase. We can start thinking about, well, how am I going to do this? We're sort of moving more into an action phase. Now, lots of creativity. A new beginning. So because of that rise in estrogen, this is a great time for brainstorming, getting everyone together, so on and so forth,
Eleshia Harris: Because that's the part where I usually say, this is the part where you start to initiate. So you've looked at your plan and you're brainstorming, and now you start to initiate that plan. To do things and start reaching out to people.
Mairi Taylor: Yeah, absolutely. So drawing in, who do you need on board? So again, it's about directing your energy into stimulating projects at work and home.
So, if we've got this right, we don't need to be doing our admin because we know we're going to catch that up at the right time of the month when that's what fixing with our energetics. That doesn't mean a little bit like me. You jump on zero every morning and just do a couple of blah-la-la just to keep it flowing.
And that for me is one of those things about a money mindset is if you look enough to your money every day and keeping that abundance flowing and honoring it, then everything is good. So, this is when you're really working with a fabulous business coach like yourself, or in your workplace, or maybe even with your partner, you're brainstorming. And this is when you keep your most challenging assignments for this week because you're going to be really predisposed to problem-solving.
Eleshia Harris: Good point.
Mairi Taylor: Yeah. So anything that came up before your period that was really pissing you off, you sit on it, you reflect on it, you review it, and now you'll start thinking right. Was the problem solved? Even take this out of the business context, this is where you have that conversation with your partner that says, "I don't like showing up like that in the last week of my cycle.", "What can we do? How can we work as a family? What systems do we need to put in place and so on and so forth?" You are now much more outgoing, much more upbeat, you're revitalized and more open to socializing and new experiences. So, this really is our "party-party" networking, get out there, social media, do your reels, or whatever the latest TikTok. Whatever your thing is, you got to be really up for it. And I don't know about you, I've really noticed, you know, one week I'm wanting to do like a reel and stories every day. And then, two weeks later, I'm like, I've got nothing to say.
Eleshia Harris: Yes. Always.
Mairi Taylor: And I know a great social media planner would say, plan your content and have it for those weeks.
Eleshia Harris: Life is not always like that.
Mairi Taylor: Absolutely. And sometimes, I think just again, go with the flow. Go with the flow. One big caveat though is as we move through this phase, as we come up to ovulation, we get a testosterone spike. So we need to be very, very aware of risk-taking. Because that testosterone can make us just throw caution to the wind and maybe implement or do things or make changes that we aren't ready to do or make.
Eleshia Harris: Such a good point. And you see that.
Mairi Taylor: Yeah.
Eleshia Harris: And then you reflect on it and you think I should have never have made that choice, but you go all in. And then it's too late. Just knowing that this is not the time to do that. I think then you can reassess in your mind that, on your timeline, when is the best time to do that? So, I like that. That's a really good tip.
Mairi Taylor: Or just really being aware of it. If all of a sudden you find yourself saying yes to everything and like, caution to the wind, jumping in and making some big decisions. We're not saying don't make the big decisions. We're just saying, make sure you've done your risk assessment. You've done your due diligence. All that good stuff.
Eleshia Harris: I love that we talk in the same language.
Mairi Taylor: Well, that's why we're talking. And that for me is always, you know when I learned this stuff, you know, I'm an ex HR manager. It was like, Oh my God, this just makes so much sense. When I think about it, I've taught people how to do project management, la-la-la-la-la-la, and then it was like, yeah, but what we've never done is taken that feminine energy and layered it in because, both of us, we work with female entrepreneurs, even if they're not entrepreneurs, business execs, et cetera, et cetera. I'm probably the same as you. I can reflect and think I've definitely made some decisions when I've been in this phase. And as we say, we call it the Venus week. This is when we're truly standing in our power. We're almost unstoppable. You think about that Amazonian running through the forest, aware of the danger, picking up everything, and so on and so forth. Everything's fun. We've got the strength, we've got the agility, the flexibility. We just need to make sure we're dotting I's and crossing T's. So, you know, All great stuff.
From a food perspective, vibrant light foods. We still want to be making sure that we're in these anti-inflammatory foods. And again, lots of good fats going in as well. Particularly because, again, if we're working with anybody that's looking from a fertility perspective or you know, optimum ovulation, we want to be nourishing everything and making sure it's all good.
I've already talked about exercising. Exercise and the business kind of go hand in hand. But this is when you can really be in that masculine energy. That lifting heavy, that pushing hard, like going for the PBS. But again, just make sure you're not over pushing yourself or doing something way beyond because of the testosterone.
Eleshia Harris: Yes. And that's another good point to touch on. And just remember also that this is the time to really, even though you're pushing yourself, you need to also assess how you're feeling. So you have to think about your recovery. So if you're really going for it and after your exercises, you're thinking, I really feel depleted, then don't push yourself more. Think about it, or maybe I can do 30 minutes. Don't push yourself to 45 minutes or an hour. Just to start to think about how your body feels when you're doing those power exercises.
Mairi Taylor: Absolutely. And definitely, there is still a need for nourishment, replenishment, sleep, and scaffolding. So again, one of the problems I would be facing is I would push, push, push. And like you say, I would be so depleted. Well, I power through, I looked amazing, but I was crying in the corner every five minutes.
And I just was like, literally hitting Instagram-worthy image. And then I'd just be like, I have got no energy and I genuinely think part of that is the depletion of me coming into my perimenopause. And one of the problems for me, and I had a good personal trainer and gave me all the right advice and everything, I couldn't eat enough to manage the training loads that I was doing.
Eleshia Harris: And it goes back to what I just said, doesn't it? Because yes, you may have had a great personal trainer. But was that personal trainer thinking about your whole lifestyle?
Mairi Taylor: And even though again, they were a "female-specific specialist," what was really interesting is I would go in sometimes and say, I just want to do a 30-minute workout today. And they'd be like, no, you're going to do more. And I, would just be depleted and crying and all the rest of it. And with what I now know, they should have honored that I wasn't being lazy. And this is the other thing.
Eleshia Harris: Say it. Say it.
Mairi Taylor: I wasn't being lazy.
Eleshia Harris: The honoring bit. You were honoring your own body.
Mairi Taylor: But someone else was telling me that I was being lazy or making up an excuse. So I was going to do the workout that they have planned for me.
Eleshia Harris: Yeah. And that's just where Mairi and I are both here permitting you to say "I can't do anymore. My body is telling me I can't do anymore. So I think that's going to be enough for today." Because for me, if I can see that my clients are pushing through when they come to me for one-to-one or so forth, you have to train them to actually dial it back. Because as a client, they won't always tell you. Because again, you don't want to feel like you're letting that person down.
Mairi Taylor: Yeah.
Eleshia Harris: Equally, as Mairi said, you have to honor your body.
Mairi Taylor: Yeah. And if you're constantly in that place, Eleshia, then take a step back and review. Because this should be your Venus goddess, Amazonian warrioresque time. And if you aren't feeling like that, then review. Is it your food? Is it your sleep? Are you doing too much? Is it you're not protecting your boundaries? And we're going to talk about the queen phase where you set your boundaries. Have you set boundaries and allowed them to be crossed and broken? Are you saying yes to everybody else and no to yourself? Because that was one of the things for me. I don't give a hoo-ha what everyone else is doing. If I don't feel like doing it anymore, I don't do it anymore. There was no competition.
I've been working with an online trainer, He always says it's about rest-based training. And he always says, Notices the girls, notices the girls." It's Jade Teta, by the way. He's like, "Notice the girls. I love it when you rest." And he says, "And they're not in a fitness competition. They're building a better body and mind." And we need to learn to own ourselves.
Eleshia Harris: Yes.
Mairi Taylor: And don't get me wrong. I will hit it out the park when it's hit-it-out-the-park time and I'll just keep going. But when I know that it's time to dial back, and I'm lucky I'm not a mom, I'm self-employed and I can work through Zoom and so on and so forth, we can still go into the workplace and we can manage outside. And this again is where the scaffolding comes in.
But this is also quite a good time as we're moving in this Venus week. We're starting to think. We'll talk about it maybe next time in the ovulatory phase. This is when a lot of women get the best tips. Because you really are sort of attracting, getting into the most powerful and enigmatic phase of your cycle.
So from a business perspective, how would that fit in with what you're sharing?
Eleshia Harris: So it will fit in really well because as I said, we would start to look at initiating your plans and working through what needs to be done, but not actually taking a whole deep dive. So where you've actually said, not taking big risks. We would look at the whole timeline and think, okay, what needs to be done to get us to the place that we need to get to. Let's start to initiate those things. Let's start to set up those meetings, make those decisions. But let's not be too hasty in saying yes to, as you said, all of the asks. So for example, I'm not going to say yes to 5 or 10 different networking sessions, maybe I'll do two, to ensure that I still have the energy to do everything else.
And remember, I'm like yourself, we're working with different business owners, we're working with the female entrepreneurs, we're working with the solopreneurs, we're working with all different business owners. So for me, I look at everyone's lifestyle holistically and how we can fit everything in, not just business. So, like we're having this conversation now if we are talking about business, I want to make sure that you have enough space to get all of the business elements done, but also are you looking after your self-care? And what about time? Family time and friendship times and so forth. That's the stance that I take.
Mairi Taylor: Yeah, nice. And we're going to look at the ovulatory phase and it's quite interesting because it becomes a little bit of a merge. After all, as we come to the end of the Venus phase, which is like this warrioresque phase, we then move into the ovulatory. So I've got two different models that I'm sort of passing over each other. So one model is like, there's the Venus week. There's ovulation. Then we've got the luteal phase. And then another model that I work with is we've got this warrioresque phase. Then we go into ovulatory. And then we've got like what we call early summer and late summer.
So ovulation is the summer phase. And when we're in our mother energy, which is sort of late summer, that's when we're in the best state. When we're in that sort of devoted. We're listening and we're nourishing and so on. So we're not far away from having those important decisions being made. We're just not quite there yet.
And it's funny as you were talking, hands up to all the listeners who can think when they're going, yep, yep, yep, yep, yep to all of these networking meetings or talks. And then you put them all in your diary because you've got that energy. But when you look at where they are in your diary, it's like, "Oh my gosh."
Eleshia Harris: And then the overwhelm hits. And then the self-doubt conversations that you start having with yourself and then you freeze. So that's why for me, it's really important that, as you said, we look at the whole timeline because we have that energy. As you said, the estrogen is rising. We have all of that energy. We're like, "Yeah, let's go." But realistically, "let's go" in this phrase means that you're going to be depleted in the next phase. If you go all in and you don't honor yourself to know how much you can really take on.
Mairi Taylor: Absolutely. And when we're saying "let's go," it's let's go with brainstorming. I used to work for Toyota. It's that whole PDCA. It's that plan-do-check-action. It's that Kaizen of you've gathered all the knowledge, all the information, the reviewing, the reflecting, the what was working, what wasn't working. Now, we're going to use all that creative juice that we've got, all that youthful, vibrant energy, and say, right, how are we going to change this? Then, we put the plans in place, then we do it, and then we just go round. No difference.
Eleshia Harris: Before we finish, is there anything else from a wellbeing perspective that you would recommend, AKA essential oils to layer on at this time?
Mairi Taylor: Oh, yeah. There are all kinds of goodies that you could be using at this time. we've got some blends for creativity. One's called Motivate. So again, like peppermint and cinnamon and lemon for focus. We've got some blends with lots of citrus oils in them for abundance. Some oils are really good, like cedarwood for you know, bringing in community, marjoram, and geranium, which is the oil of love and trust, because there's that element as well of, am I loving on myself? Am I trusting in myself and other people? Because maybe you do need to bring other people in and just have that creativity and brainstorm, but it always starts with yourself.
Eleshia Harris: Exactly. But we're just being kind to ourselves while we do it.
Mairi Taylor: Absolutely. That's a brilliant note to finish on. I'm not going to say anymore because that was just so eloquent.
Eleshia Harris: Brilliant. Brilliant. So again, lots of good takeaways, Mairi, as usual, thank you so much. And I am looking forward to having you back next week. Okay, listeners. See you next week.
Mairi Taylor: Bye.
Eleshia Harris: So I really hope you enjoyed that episode and like always, please share, please let me know what your "a-ha!" moments were or your biggest takeaways. Mairi and I are here for any questions also. So get in touch via Instagram or email. I will leave all our information in the show notes and we will see you again next week.
Next, we will be discussing ovulation. Take care.