I know the creative space well. Both my parents worked at a theatre, and I basically grew up backstage. I worked in Human Resources at a creative agency before starting my wellbeing practice. I loved sharing the studio with switched-on out-of-the-box thinkers. I love the unconventional, the wild, the queer, the rebels, the artists and creators. I feel at home with the ‘odd bunch’, the ones bringing their colour to the long white corridors of the corporate world, the ones hiding in their dens sharing their magic in their own small safe corners of the internet. If you’re brave enough to have taken the path to follow creativity’s calling, I bow to you.
My partner has been working in design agencies for the past 15 years and over the past seven years together we’ve been working and living all over the world: Bali, London, Europe, and now in New Zealand. It can sound like a dream. Working for ourselves can provide us with a lot of freedom. Yet, the lack of restrictions can also be overwhelming. We might try to change our outer circumstances but little changes. I realised that when I moved to Bali and brought the hectic speed of London and my frazzled nervous system with me. Moving countries or cities or jobs or relationships rarely solves these issues. In fact, it’s often a ‘flight response’ of our nervous system.
Instead, I’ve learned that I need to connect deeply to my inner rhythms and the rhythms of the natural environment around me – my breath, body, menstrual cycle, the moon, the sun, the seasons. As menstruators, our cycle can provide us with a sense of containment and pacing – and also with a tool for visioning, clarity, and direction, invaluable to stir our work in the right direction. Without a menstrual cycle, we can use the moon cycle in the same way. When we begin to structure our life and work with the support of these cycles – daily, monthly, and seasonally – we can connect to a deeper source of vitality and creativity.
When we begin to work with instead of against the cyclical energies of nature, we begin to feel nourished instead of burned out. It’s in learning to work with the powers of each phase of the cycle, that we can create sustainable rhythms that encompass periods of rest as well as creation, being as well as doing, retreating and being out there in the world, taking risks and playing it safe, experimenting and editing, celebrating ourselves and being humbled by our humanness. We get to come home to ourselves again and again before we’re completely run down and empty. We get to create in a sustainable, organic way that is providing a meaningful impact on our communities and the planet because it is aligned with the greater cyclical rhythms of nature.
What I had to learn is that creativity comes in many forms. For me, this is through my writing, the projects that I work on, how I find solutions in my business, creating food from foraged ingredients, making music, dancing, and designing workshops and retreats. We’re innately creative beings. And as menstruators, we carry the blueprint of the creative cycle within our menstrual cycles.
But we’re taught to work against these cycles. As if they were an inconvenience and not the source of power they truly are. Much of the taboo that menstruation still holds is due to the enormous power that is hidden within our female physiology and psychology. In my experience, the ‘issues’ many menstruators experience with their cycles are due to a suppression of this power, and it’s once we begin to access it and channel it into creative projects that are truly meaningful, that these issues begin to subside (plus there’s so much we can do to support our bodies in the healing process). The foundation lies in reconnecting to our bodies and nature’s cycles, and the power they hold for us.
Our wellbeing and our creativity are closely linked. They fuel each other. When we begin to understand that our bodies hold the blueprint of the creative cycles, a whole new world of possibility opens up. A unique way of working, creating, and being in the world.