Although you might not realize it, you’re already living your life through cycles and routines. Throughout the year we experience the changing seasons of nature. Every morning and evening you have a routine to start and end your day (even if it’s as simple as brushing your teeth and setting your alarm). Even though it’s easy to get caught in the constant “busy” of our modern lives, tuning back into the cyclical ebb and flow of nature and our own female bodies can help us stay grounded, calm, and protect us from burning out or losing sight of our priorities. I’ve found that creating a regular journaling practice can be one of the easiest and most accessible ways to tap into the wisdom inside of us and gain a deeper understanding of our physical, mental, and emotional health.
Ever since I was a little girl I loved to journal. At first it was a way for me to record my thoughts about life, express my emotions, leave my fears and frustrations on the page, make sense of the craziness inside my creative, introverted, sensitive mind. After I quit the birth control pill, I was amazed to re-discover my body’s natural rhythms through the ebb and flow of my hormones and menstrual cycle.
We aren’t usually taught how to take advantage of these energetic shifts that we experience throughout the year or month, but when we pause to bring a deeper awareness to where we’re at in our cycle we can unlock so many hidden “superpowers” like an instant connection to our intuition, deeper relationships, the ability to clearly communicate our ideas and vision, an ability to rest and renew our energy, and more. It’s pretty much endless and completely mind blowing!
Instead of viewing our cycle as a curse or hormones as something to be managed and controlled, we can allow ourselves to truly embody what it means to be a woman, endlessly shifting and changing and YES, emotional and deep and wild.
Where to start?
It’s tempting to go down the rabbit hole of books and courses and apps, but I always recommend starting with where you’re at when it comes to tracking your cycle, since our bodies are all different. If you bleed on a semi-regular basis (whether or not you’re on the pill or using hormonal birth control), count the first day of bleeding as Day One, and track the days from there until your next bleed. After 2-3 cycles, you might start to notice patterns in your energy, mood, mindset, etc throughout the month, which you can use to inform your routine, self care, when you schedule social events or big work projects, etc.
In this post I’ll share some of my favorite journal prompts for every day, as well as for each “phase” or season of your cycle so you can tap deeper into your intuition and pull out insights and guidance.
The four inner seasons of your cycle
Our menstrual cycle can be compared to the 28 day cycle of the moon, although our bodies are more complex so you most likely won’t bleed like clockwork every time the moon is full or new, and that’s ok! I like drawing comparisons between our hormone cycle and the energetic attributes of the four seasons, or the phases of the moon.
>> you may or may not experience any or all of these “seasons” throughout the course of your own cycle. This is why it’s so important to track YOUR energy and get to know your own body. This practice is not exclusive to menstruating women. It is for anyone who identifies as female, anyone who experiences a cycle, or anyone who does not have a physical cycle but is interested in exploring their feminine (as in “yin,” not gendered) energy.
Winter // New Moon
When you’re on your period, you’re moving through the menstrual phase of your cycle, which can be compared to the season of winter, or the new moon. Your energy is drawn inward and it’s a season of rest and renewal before we emerge back into the world. This is a time to pause and slow down, and reflect on your goals or set new intentions for the cycle ahead.
Spring // Waxing Moon
After your period, you move into your follicular phase as your hormones start to kick back into gear to prepare your body to release another egg, and with that comes a surge of fresh energy much like the season of spring. This phase can be compared to the waxing moon or first quarter moon, the time that the moon is growing from new to full. It’s a transitional phase of new beginnings that can feel quite motivating or even overwhelming if you try to do too much too soon.
Summer // Full Moon
After the follicular phase comes ovulation, when your body releases an egg that will either be fertilized if you’re pregnant, or more likely travel down your fallopian tubes and be shed at your next period. This phase feels like summer - a time to pause again but in celebration of life and warm weather. It’s a great time to put your work into the world, socialize, and take advantage of the potent energy of the full moon.
Autumn // Waning Moon
After the peak of ovulation, your hormones will do a bit of a rollercoaster which can cause physical or emotional turbulence we call PMS. Like the season of autumn, this time can feel messy and stormy as we release what’s no longer serving us just as the leaves fall from the trees in preperation for winter to come. This season relates to the waning moon, the transition between full to new, as the earth’s shadow starts to cover the surface of the moon and it appears to shrink in the sky. This is a potent and magical time that can be full of insights and creativity if we channel our turbulent energy in productive ways, but we also have to make sure to start slowing down so we can rest during our coming winter. You might notice that if you push yourself too hard during this time, you’ll burn out or breakdown. It’s all part of the process!
We tend to focus on the new moon and full moon, but the transitional times in between are just as powerful (if not more so).. Lots of turbulent energy. That's why I've provided extensive journal prompts for inner spring and especially inner autumn, a wonderful time to dig deep and release since we tend to feel more emotionally turbulent in the week before our period.
How to use these prompts
You might be thinking either “yay, I love journaling!” or “ugh, I hate journaling.”
Either way, approach this practice with a beginner’s mind, because it’s a different kind of writing than you may have done before.
I recommend taking a stream-of-conscious approach to these prompts. Don’t overthink, don’t judge or censor yourself, and remember that you’re collecting data like a scientist. This journaling isn’t meant to be read by anyone other than you.
It might be helpful to create a bedtime routine so you can reflect back on the previous day. Keep a notebook next to your bed and set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes if you need some structure to stay accountable for getting it done. Remember that this isn’t an “all or nothing” thing, even 1-2 minutes counts!
Start with the daily prompts, and then once you start to recognize the ebb and flow of your own inner seasons, you can add in the seasonal prompts, or use them during the phases of the moon to bring more intention to your work and life!
What cycle day is it? (first day of bleeding is day 1)
How do I feel physically?
How do I feel mentally?
How do I feel energetically?
What is my body telling me?
What is my intuition telling me
What do I need right now?
Inner Winter/New Moon Prompts
What can I let go of?
What new intentions am I planting?
Where is life taking me right now?
What is pulling on my heart?
Anything else I need to know?
How can I give myself 1% more compassion and grace?
What does my inner Wise Woman (80 year old self) want me to know?
Inner Spring // Waxing Moon Prompts
What do you want to make happen this cycle? (brainstorm your plan!)
What new opportunities or projects do you feel called to begin?
Create some positive affirmations that resonate with you
How do you want to define “success” this cycle? This year? This season of life?
What are your top 3 business priorities right now?
Top 3 personal priorities?
How can you show up this week and honor your priorities?
How can you move your business forward in alignment with your new energy?
How can you pace yourself and surrender control over the outcome?
Imagine yourself as a little girl - happy and free. What does she want you to know?
Inner Summer // Full Moon Prompts
What can I celebrate right now?
What or who am I grateful for?
What does the concept of “open hearted” mean to me?
What do I desire right now?
What can I receive right now?
How can I slow down and trust that everything I am manifesting and creating is already on its way?
Connect with your inner Mother or Goddess archetype, the nurturing and expansive creative force inside of you. What does she want you to know?
Inner Autumn // Waning Moon Prompts
Connect with your inner Wild Woman archetype. What does she want you to know?
What is no longer working?
What can I release?
What fears or limiting beliefs am I holding?
What open projects or conversations are draining my energy? What can I bring to completion right now?
How can I surrender?
What self-sabotaging behaviors keep coming back to haunt you (the ones you’ve been “working on” for years but can’t seem to “get rid of”)?
Where are you doing something that doesn’t feel like you?
What do you fear is the worst that could happen if you allow the world to see who you “really” are?
What are you angry about?
What are your needs? What’s yours to own, and what isn’t? Where do you need to stand firm and set a boundary?
What are you ashamed about?
What fears are manifesting for you right now?
What is your inner critic saying to you? What is the underlying message?
Adore Your Cycle e-book by Claire Baker (Claire also has amazing e-courses for connecting with your cycle and creativity!)
Red Moon by Miranda Gray
Lunar Abundance by Ezzie Spencer
(this post contains affiliate links, so if you end up ordering a book I may receive a small kickback at no extra cost to you! yah abundance!)