A Guide to Cyclical Living
Written by Abi Adams - Prøject Wøman
Do you ever feel stuck? Like you’re pushing against a brick wall reinforced with steel? When this happens what do you do?
Attack yourself for not being good enough?
Is your approach supporting your long-term health and wellbeing? What if the most supportive approach was to take a step back and not do anything? This I know is one of the most difficult approaches to apply in a society that demands constant input on every level. But this is where the cyclical living can give you the permission to go hard and then really go home (and rest).
Cyclical living is a long lost approach to living life in harmony with ourselves and nature, whereby we attune our way of living to a longer biological rhythm than just the 24 hour clock.
We have 4 biological rhythms:
- Circadian rhythm: the 24 hour cycle that includes physiological and behavioural rhythms like sleeping
- Diurnal rhythms: the circadian rhythm synced with day and night
- Ultradian rhythms: biological rhythms with a shorter period and higher frequency than circadian rhythm
- Infradian Rhythm: biological rhythms that last more than 24 hours, such as a menstrual cycle
Rhythms are energy and energy needs to flow in accordance with its natural pattern, otherwise a stress response begins to build. We see this today in the many symptoms both men and women are experiencing at high levels. IBS, PMS, Endometriosis, all symptoms stemming from an autoimmune response to stress. The symptom is never the issue, the symptom is actually a communication that somewhere in your lifestyle something is working for you.
For every push there has to be a pull, otherwise life will be a constant imbalance of emotional reaction.
When we journey back before the industrial revolution, we saw how our ancestors lived in accordance with the land, seasons and nature. When the days were longer, the sun was higher, energy was more abundant and so more work was achieved, along with the joy of summer. When the nights drew shorter, sleep was longer and rest was an important aspect to life and living well. We moved with life, not against it as we do now with late nights supported by bright lights and TV’s.
Do you feel like you fully charge your battery, or is it running at a loss?
At the root of cyclical living is the opportunity to create adaptability that allows us to ebb and flow with life instead of against it. There are many ways of incorporating cyclical living into your life, with my favourite being that of the menstrual cycle whereby you move through the seasons of winter, spring, summer and autumn within your month (I apply the way I exercise, work and socialise with this).
Another way is by coinciding lifestyle with the lunar cycle, which although supports the female energy of the menstrual cycle, it’s also an approach that offers men the opportunity to focus on a bigger biological rhythm than the circadian rhythm they are always associated with. When approaching life on a 4-week approach instead of a single day, you have an opportunity to not only spread the load but build intensity and rest.
Could our disenchantment with the earth be a metaphor for the broken relationship between men and women?
My tips for incorporating cyclical living:
Day and night - start looking at placing all of your high energy stuff between 9 am and 2 pm, including exercise. Intense exercise past 6 pm can trip our cortisol response, which plays havoc with sleep and repair.
Month - spreading your lifestyle over 4 weeks can give you more time, especially for you. Break the 4 weeks down, look at where you feel more energetic and where you need more rest and apply your working/living needs across this. The menstrual cycle is great for this and the inner seasons.
Seasons - look at how you relate to the seasons and what they mean to you. Working on the grand scale works really well for long-term goals such as health and work, spreading out objectives with the ability to receive. Your approach will differ from those close, so try not to compare and copy as this is what see’s you fall off the wagon so to speak. There will be times when things don’t align and life gives you a bunch of lemons, but knowing you have the permission to rest when you need will always be in your toolkit going forwards.
Be kind to yourself my darling. Big love Abi x
If you would like deeper support in creating a fulfilling and sustainable cyclical approach to life, Abi offers 1:1 sessions through her remote or in-person clinic using the powerful art of kinesiology and movement that supports the mind, emotions and body.