Effective Self Crafting is a deep experiential (and intellectual) study of the cyclical tapestry of life.
Nature is cycles and we (humans) are nature. The cycles, although they differ in length and breadth, have a distinct rhythm that is replicated over and over again, in the forever changing world.
Embedded in nature – all of the layers make us human. Outside of the context we are nothing. You can’t take a tree out of its environment and it still be a tree. It will be dry wood, a dry wooden.. tree. Not separate.
To live a life of ease align yourself to ebb and flow of The Rhythm. Plant your visions and dreams, let them grow! Seeds sprout form the dark, light brings forth growth, flowering… bearing fruit as the light is strongest… actualised… harvest, the leaves fall as darkness returns… cultivating, fertilising… seeds form, darkness,,, the Rhythm continues…
The importance of cycles
The Rhythm is made up of peaks and troughs that are replicated over and over again, in all the threads of life.
All things that experience a growth period must also have a phase of lessening; rest; recovery in order to return once again to another phase of expansion.
Where there is an out-breath there must have first been an in-breath. All things happen as parts of a whole – never standalone, never isolated.
Growth may only occur where sufficient resources have already been collected and maintained. Like the seed that takes resources from its own internal store before switching to soak up minerals from the soil from which it grows, a healthy growth phase must have a nourished internal environment to draw from before calling on the external world.
Once it grows beyond seed state the little plant is out and abounding, drawing from every element; the sun, water, air and the soil… This abundance phase chews through every possible resource and produces bountiful fruit in response.
After a phase of growth, comes a harvest; otherwise, what was the growth for?
Harvest is a gathering of the past and a moment of reflection – the balance point between the breath out (external) and the breath in (internal). At this phase the cycle provides a flow state for rebuilding internal resource.
In this regeneration phase the crucial reorganisation of the internal store room occurs. Taking stock, reordering and repleting the stores. For the plant, seeds are spared from the harvested fruit to regenerate new cycles.
In our human tapestries, regeneration can be in the form of physical recovery, intrarelational reflection, and resource recouping.
Lengths of the cycles
Some harvests last the time it takes to pick them from the bush, a day or two; and others can be stored for a longer season. As you become aware of your own relationship to the cycles you can learn which parts of your life require more or less storage, and how you will secure those resources to be drawn upon later.
Cycles matter to living Well
Without retreat and recovery there will be no resources for the next round. Without foundational planning, using the resources effectively, the building will be weakened. Intensity and abundance may not be supported without steady building first. If growth is not supported by nourishing external resources there may not be abundant fruits. A poor harvest means less resources to draw upon for the ongoing phases… every part is important to the whole.
A blueprint for living well
The cycles help us know ourselves, know the world and move with a flow that is supportive and nurturing even in times of stress or sadness.
There is not one cycle. There are many, as shown in the video and book (and there are so many more unmentioned). A cyclic measurement could be the moment of one full breath, or the length of an entire life between birth and death.
The unbreaking pattern is the ebb and flow of the Rhythm.
Marked by an internal/external, dark/light, cool/warm, silence/noise, self/other beating of nature’s drum, weaving the fabric of life on every possible level.
Not only menstruation
We have relationship to many cycles : internally and externally. For women, it can be easy to fall into the belief that our personal Rhythm is influenced solely by your menstrual cycle, but that’s just not true. (See my article Menstruation, menstruation, menstruation)
Women’s “cycle” is not ONLY menstruation. Menstruation is one of many cycles we can use to track and maintain our relationship with the Rhythm. That’s the issue with referring to our menstrual cycle as “My Cycle.” (See article) Your Menstrual Cycle is only one of many in a rich tapestry of cycles that make up your experience.
Here’s the men’s part
People often ask about men’s cycles. “If women’s cycle is menstruation, how do we know what our cycle is?”
And actually if you can reframe that filter to understand that a woman’s menstrual cycle is only one way to reflect on personal Rhythm, it’s easy to see that men have access to plenty of cycles to help you learn about your own Rhythm.
No individual human is directed by just one type of cycle. We are a constantly turning, spiralling, patterning woven, artistic tapestry that will reflect differently depending on the light that we’re exposed to (or the shadows).
Remember, it’s not the individual cycles that hold the blueprint, it’s the overall Rhythm.
Menstruation is but one way to get to know your personal Rhythm. The lunar cycle, the seasons, the time of day… these are other cyclical layers that can inform how your unique Rhythm maps your reality.
Tracking menstruation is easy, so it’s often represented by other facilitators as THE cycle for exploration. There are plenty of other ways to track your personal cycles and deepen your understanding of your own Rhythm.
Other ways to track your personal cycles
Map your personal Rhythm by tracking various internal cycles, then layer those with the external cycles (like seasons, lunar, time of day) to increase your awareness of your Rhythm.
Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
Track your body temperature on waking each day. We know that changes of body temperature can indicate where a woman is within her reproductive cycle (eg. ovulation or pregnancy), and basal body temperature can also represent changes in fitness, metabolic health and aging.
Basal body temperature refers to the dropped core temperature in sleep or deep relaxation, so it’s important you take the measurement as soon as you wake up before you do anything else, including talking or getting up for a pee.
Write down your result each day over a few months and track it alongside your other measurements. Compare your energy levels with each day’s BBT and take down any notable information. Over time you will see a pattern – there is your bbt cycle.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
HRV was discovered by modern day super hero Stephen Porges., and is the physiological phenomenon of variation in the time interval between heartbeats. It is measured by the variation in the beat-to-beat and is simple to measure with an app on your phone.
Like BBT it is useful to track at the same time each day, before you get out of bed and before you’ve thought about all the things you’ve got to do today.
If you’re using an app to track your HRV you will be able to see your results over a period of time. Track for a few months and notice where you have peaks and troughs. Higher or lower HRV is linked to changes in parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system activity.
Generally, a low HRV (or less variability in the heart beats) indicates that the body is under stress from exercise, psychological events, or other internal or external stressors. This is the part of a cycle where your body is asking for physical rest and recovery. Higher HRV (or greater variability between heart beats) usually means that the body has a strong ability to tolerate stress or is strongly recovering from prior accumulated stress. This is your intensity-friendly part of the HRV cycle.
Track HRV for a few months and you will gather information about your base level (average) HRV along with particular times where peaks and troughs occur. Compare your HRV scores with other significant cyclical events and take down any notable information. Over time you will see a pattern – there is your HRV cycle.
Do you notice that your sleep cycles change through the month or through the year? Tracking sleep can tell you a lot about how you relate both internally and externally to the Rhythm. Do you wake more during a full moon or a new moon? Do you sleep longer in winter or summer? What happens around specific celestially charged dates, like equinoxes or solstices? Does your sleep change near your birthday or around your children’s birthdays?
Sleep cycle measurements might also include information about your dreams, how you sleep next to someone else, like your partner, or whether you even want to sleep near another person.
So many cycles
The various cycles are merely layers of the map, or threads that make up an entire interwoven, rich, complex tapestry of your entire relationship with the Great Mystery that is the universe.
Each cycle informs the relationships you hold with your culture, the land, the celestial world and your internal landscape. You are you because of your interwoven relationships with all of these things.
Together, they make up the map of your unique Rhythm and the more you pay attention to the weaving between and within the many parts, the more ease you will have to create a life that sets you free.
Want to talk more about your cycles?
If you’re interested in using the Rhythm to get the most out of the quality of your life (the definition of Wellness), you might like to book a session. I can help you disrupt problematic patterns and upregulate the beneficial ones so that you can be all you can be. Book here >>>
The article Cycles generate The Rhythm was published by Hollie B., for the Institute for Self Crafting.
Feel free to share this article with your friends, by using the url : https://instituteforselfcrafting.com/cycles/.
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