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“Bleed On It!” With Kayla Alexander

    How do female cycles affect intimate relationship dynamics?

    How can we honor and respect the ancient wisdom and the natural cycles of the female body and integrate that embodiment into our modern masculine-driven western society?

    Kayla Alexander offers workshops on reclaiming the cyclical wisdom of the female body. She involves cultivating relationships with the natural living world i.e. the elements, with plants, and with our own unique ancestry. 

    Kayla has spent the last 8 years exploring and understanding her own body and how her cycles impact every other aspect of her life. She has taken a deep dive into exploring both somatic and spiritual traditions such as yoga, Vidanta, meditation, Tantra, organic farming, and circle work.

    In this episode we explore the 4 primary phases of the female cycle and how it can impact the dynamics of your intimate relationship.

    Resources mentioned in this episode:

    • Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler
    • Womancode or In the Flo from Alisa Vitti

    Visit Kayla’s website here and follow her on Instagram @daughterofwater_

    Audio Version

    Video Version

    Hi.

    Welcome back to our podcast RelationshipAlkemy. I’m Jordan Bessaignet.

    I’m Olivier Bessaignet.

    And today we have a guest on our show, and we’re going to be talking about a super juicy topic, as always. How do female cycles affect intimate relationship dynamics? And today, to go into more detail, we have the beautiful Ms. Kayla with us. I just want to give some background information real quick on Kayla. I actually had the pleasure of joining one of her women’s circles, and it was while I was pregnant, and it was a huge transformative experience. And I’m just so juiced to have you on our podcast today.

    I’m so honored. Thanks so much for asking me to be here.

    Yeah.

    So we’re friends. We know each other pretty well. And as we speak, you have your workshop, I mean, the new version of you, therefore, of your workshop going on. And yeah, if you can talk about for a minute about what this workshop is about and where does it come from for you, how is it meaningful for you? And then we’re going to transition it into the relationship dynamics since we’re relationship alchemy, we’re here for relationships. But what’s your approach?

    Yeah. So I’m currently offering a workshop on reclaiming the cyclical wisdom of our body as well as cultivating relationships with the natural living world, so with the elements, with plants, with our own unique ancestry. And yeah, I feel like the better part of the last eight years for me has been a really deep dive into exploring both somatic and spiritual traditions. And really through that exploration, something that I didn’t know that was missing for me, like through all the yoga, Vidanta, meditation, Tantra, organic farming, circle work, something that has become really alive for me in the last two years has been understanding my own body and how that impacts every other aspect of my life. My cap really got blown off for that reclamation. Last year, I took a three month course with Laura from Threaded Red. She’s an amazing facilitator, and she really gave me the crash course of, like, female health and also the mysteries around menstruation and how ancient civilizations everywhere really worshiped and revered and honored not only menstruation, but the womb and the blood and the connection that the womb has with the natural cycles. I’m really excited to dive in with you all.

    And also this reclamation for me has impacted my intimate relationship. So refunded dive more into that later.

    Yeah. And you’re kind of a mirror for us as you’re also very close to your partner. We do business together. We live together. We don’t want to have, like, separate jobs that we go to a nine to five job and then coming back together. We’re very in mesh with each other with everything our souls and everything that we do. And so as a Mayor, I’m also curious on how you manage your relationship with Zach through the lens of what you know, which is exactly what you just explained. So if you want first to talk about what’s the wisdom from your workshop and what are the main, like, the nutshell, the things to remember, and then we’ll tie into how that impact or affect your intimate relationship. And I’m curious on how that can mirror with us.

    Yeah. So I feel like a big core belief that the workshop is unpacking is that for women and wound bearing folks, that health does not mean that you need to look and feel the same way every single day. So how do we want to first understand that and know that there’s nothing wrong with us when we go through these very distinct cycles of growing and kind of decomposing or uplifting and kind of the lower, more shadowy aspects? And from a practical standpoint, how do we care for ourselves through food, through nourishment, through exercise? And. Yeah. Also, like, what are the superpowers of each part of our cycle? And what are the maybe potential things that we need to be careful of, especially if we have hormone imbalance? How can you work with hormone imbalance? So, yeah, this is a lot of what we’re unpacking in the Remember program that I offer. And for me, in relating with Zack, this has been, I don’t know, like, such a treasure because I think especially for male female relationships, there can be a kind of comparison that happens, especially from bodied folks, where it’s like, why does my male partner always look and feel the same way?

    Why are they so persistent and consistent? And is there something wrong with me? Because I don’t want to do the same things every single day. Like, I don’t want to work out the same way every day. I don’t want to eat the same way every day. And so for me, it’s been this process of, like, I know myself and I trust myself, and I don’t need to compare myself to my partner because he’s a healthy, vital man. And my version of being a healthy, vital, beautiful woman or wombare doesn’t look the same as somebody who has a penis and who’s in the testosterone hormone cycle.

    Wow. I definitely relate to that so much with Olivier. Like, sometimes I feel like, oh, my gosh, it’s admirable just the different cycle that he’s in. I like to think of it as, like, very linear energy of just like that straight and steady. Like, I’m going, I’m going, I’m going. And I’m like, yeah, I can keep up. I can keep up.

    Oh, no, I can’t. No, I can’t. Oh, my God, the world is burning.

    So I am so excited to hear more about these go in depth about the cycles, and hopefully we can get some tidbits out of this that will help our intimacy flourish more. And yeah, I’m Super excited.

    Yeah. Just to give it a small practical example, it’s going to be a little bit intimate, but we have an amazing flow and we just have some rough bumps around money and how to manage it and how to like the drive to make it. And we had a coaching session with a man who is a business coach. And she was saying, well, right now I’m getting into my period, which means for me, ideally. What did you say? Ideally.

    Oh, ideally, I wouldn’t be working right now. Yeah. For the next five to seven days, like, taking it super easy.

    And his response was like, this is completely unrealistic. Right. And so coming from the mail perspective as well. And like you said, well, I’m on this rail because I’m building something and I’m making things happen. For me, it’s like taking seven days off. It’s like, what in this mother in Western society, but at the same time, I love her and I want to respect her natural cycle and not force her into something that’s not natural. Right. Because I think it would be. I hate this. I hate how Western society is so masculine oriented and it’s this mold. Either you go with it or you’re judged. So how do we do it? Caleb, please help us understand.

    Yeah. I mean, even as you’re saying that, I feel like this comes back to a culture problem also, maybe not a problem, but a cultural priority preference that we have right now where we are in the shackles almost of capitalism. And so we need to be productive all the time. We need to be linear. We need to not take rest. We wear like, I’m busy as a badge of honor. When ancient Peoples and people who are living in cycles with the moon, with the sun, they knew that periods of rest and follow were just as necessary as those periods of blooming. And so, yeah, I feel like as a listener, like, as a male body listener, like, learning, we can just start diving right into, like, how can you support your partner with the menstrual phase, which is the first phase of a new cycle? So there’s four phases for a cycle for female physiology. And the first one is the menstrual phase, which archetypically is the inner winter. And it’s also the dark moon. And so traditionally in ancient cultures, this time of the dark moon would be this time where all the women and wound bears would retreat into a menstrual hut, and they would take this time of rest.

    And the entire village, not just wound bears, but men also would take rest from hunting, like, there was no moon in the sky to Hunt with, so they would have more periods of rest as well. And so in our modern day culture, how can we begin to reclaim this cyclical wisdom? So for the menstrual cycle, it’s good to know that the female is at her lowest, hormonal, all the hormones are at the absolute lowest that they’ll be at any point in the cycle. Estrogen progesterone and all the other small key players are at their lowest. And it’s actually this low amount of hormones that prompts the menstruation to occur. And so emotionally, it can be a really sensitive time. And so as a partner, there’s a lot of ways that we can approach menstruation to support our partner. One just acknowledging, like, dude, this is an intense freaking physical process. Your partner is literally shedding the uterine lining inside of her body. It’s like she’s literally part of her is dying. If you cut your thumb open and you were bleeding for four to five days, you would go to the hospital. You would feel really frightened.

    Like, I’m bleeding so much, and there’s so many people who are bleeding right now and just expected to go about their normal, everyday lives as a partner. Some things that have felt really supportive for me, giving your partner space to rest and doing that by one helping her with her food. During this time in the menstrual phase, we need really easy to digest food. So soups, broth, teas. Consider making a big batch of, like, some hearty, like a beef stew or a miso soup, some herbal tea that can help relieve some of her cramping, bringing her warm water, asking, does she need space, or would she like to have some kind of, like, physical touch massage? Yeah. Like, really learning to also honor the bleed with your partner. Like, when your partner is, can you also take a sacred pause in your life? Can you also make space for rest and feel like, my partner is not the only one going through this period of rest, but I’m going to consciously step into this kind of underworld of menstruation with her and allow myself to really just rest and do nothing and feel how necessary and important that is for both of us.

    I love that advice. We will definitely be integrating some of that. I love that.

    It’s beautiful.

    It’s really beautiful.

    Yeah. It felt really supportive to have Zach be connected with my cycle. And when my bleed comes, he’s like, oh, your moon is here. And he makes me a pot of ginger tea. And it’s like, there’s this reverence in our household, and I think as a partner who’s trying to support an intimate bleeding partner, like, can you invoke this reverence that, like, wow. Like, the power of my partner? Like, she is literally bleeding right now and going through such a process and also invoking this, like, respect for that. And, yeah, it can be a really powerful time for both people.

    That’s so beautiful.

    Yeah.

    I feel so touched.

    The ceremonial or connection, mystical connection that you bring into day to day life. Very inspiring.

    Yeah. You guys want me to keep grooving on some?

    Yes.

    Cool. So from the inner winter, from menstruation, once the bleeding ends, so no more spotting. That first day without any spotting begins the Follicular phase, which is the inner spring. And it’s called the follicular phase because at this time, a new egg is growing inside a follicle in the ovary. And so during this phase, estrogen is steadily rising. So there’s starting to be this uplifting, kind of like you’re coming out of this winter cocoon of energy, of menstruation. And as the follicular begins, it’s like this renewal, this uplifting. And so it can feel like such a breath of fresh air from the last half of the last cycle, like the luteal phase into the bleed. And now we’re here at the spring again. During this time, female physiology allows for neural connections to be formed most easily. So the brain is so active. This is a really good time to try something new in partnership, like invite your partner to maybe a new communication game with Jordan and Olivier. Go check it out or Dakini a dance class or an art class or something that’s new. And, like, menstruation can be a really intense experience for some bleeding people.

    And so a way to kind of, like celebrate this inner spring with your partner could be to dive into something new, encourage your partner to kind of shake off that winter energy and remember that they are alive and remember that there’s a chance to feel that new rising of life again.

    Yeah. I definitely relate so heavy to that inner spring. And I noticed following my own creative patterns, which are tied directly to your life force, I always get such good ideas in my cellicular phase. I’m like, maybe we should do this next, or like, maybe we should do this. And then this is when I start to notice after the death of winter, so to say, the drive for life comes back. And I’m like, okay, I’m okay. That was just my period. Like, life is good, you know, just like you said, shaking off that winter feeling.

    Yeah. It’s interesting for me because my creative flow is a little different in the terms of maybe this space for me would be more activation or implementation phase, and during the winter, it would be more listening to audiobooks or taking a course or like, okay, I’m not active. So now I’m a sponge. So during the winter, I would be more sponge, and during the spring, I would be more creating myself. So outwards. But when I’m hearing and therefore it’s easier for me to judge her during her winter, at least you could read a couple of books or learn something new. Right. But what I’m hearing is that it’s true that if I was depleted in terms of all my hormones, I would not even want to open a book or learn anything new. Right?

    Yeah.

    Thank you for that distinction.

    Yeah. Something that’s coming up, too, is also like a neurochemistry thing that’s really cool is actually during menstruation, the left and the right hemisphere of the brain are in the most communication that they’ll be of any part of the cycle. And so it’s not really a time of forming new neural connections, but really a time of reflection and feeling like, how do I actually feel about something and really taking note of our lives instead of taking in new things? It’s such a, like, digestion phase of, like, this is how my life cycle was. What are the things that I’m celebrating? What are the things that I want to call in for my next cycle? This is like, a really ripe time to kind of be in that just, like, reflective, quiet, introverted state, which we definitely don’t value as a society.

    Okay. Yeah, that makes sense.

    Okay. I’m just sitting here, like, tell me more, tell us more, tell us more.

    Yeah. So we went into the inner spring a bit.

    Is that what you would call the evolution phase?

    No. Okay.

    Yeah, we just were in the follicular phase. So the first phase of the cycle is the menstrual phase, which lasts anywhere from three to five. Some bleed a bit longer, maybe three to seven days. And now we’re in the follicular phase, which usually lasts around seven to ten days. And that’s the inner spring, because you guys are relationship alchemy. It feels fun to say that this follicular phase after menstruation for the cervical fluid is usually a dry phase. It’s usually a naturally more dry part of the cycle. And so that’s completely normal. And so as far as intimate connection during this part of the cycle, giving more space and time to really get the other juices flowing, because there’s not really this natural supply during the follicular phase that makes a lot of sense.

    Like, reflecting that, because I always thought, like, oh, I’m heading into ovulation. I should be like, now it makes sense. But I always felt like there is a lag, like, When’s ovulation coming anytime. Come on. But now I know I was just in my cellicular phase.

    Yeah. And then the follicular phase is really, like, this building energy, just like springtime is. We start to get those warmer days, and then we’re in the peak of summer, which is a short flash in the female hormone cycle. It’s usually only around. It’s actually one single moment ovulation, but people consider it usually three days or so. And so from our follicular. Now, estrogen is at its peak. In the ovulatory phase, you get a slight spike of testosterone, and all your other hormones have this little spike which releases the egg from your ovary. And this peak of energy is really this, like, for some can be this really juicy, magnetic, beautiful feeling, creative time. It’s really like this inner summer of feeling our own radiance feeling, like who we are. And for others who have hormone imbalance, ovulation can be painful. There can be anxiety around this time. So it’s definitely not a one size fits all with the hormone cycle. It’s like a whole other podcast on hormone and mouth from the archetypal standard ovulation. It’s basically the peak of it. You’re at your highest high at this point. Your immune system is at your strongest.

    Your brain is really strong. And so for a partner to support, like, what are some activities and things that would be. Nourishing, for somebody who’s ovulating.

    Sex.

    All the sex and be careful.

    But wait.

    Yeah. If you want to transition from hormonal birth control, for instance, and use a natural method, which is a total possible 99.6% effective way of birth control, is the fertility awareness method. And it’s a really simple, accessible method. So much cheaper than birth control, which involves taking your temperature each day and being connected with your cervical fluid. You’ll actually be able to know the exact day that you ovulate. And you know, one of the rules around FAM is, like, either being extra, extra careful, like condom and pull out method, careful with sex around ovulation, or completely abstaining to make the method of a good form of birth control, which is kind of like the universe is, I don’t know, some sick joke where we’re the most primed for sex and for a biological purpose, to recreate a baby. Obviously, that’s rough.

    The time that you wanted the most is the time to be the most careful.

    Which we definitely were.

    Actually.

    I think my egg released a little bit early.

    And I think my sperm didn’t die. That.

    Yeah, we had that conversation of like, okay, it’s been seven days. We should cool it off with more pulling out. And it was too late. Theater saw his chance, and he was like.

    Yeah, cervical fluid is, like, so beautiful. Like, the right kind of cervical fluid can keep sperm alive for five days inside.

    Now we have this scientific explanation.

    My cervix said hello.

    Yeah, I’m here at the party. Yes. Other than love making during ovulation, this is a time to kind of support your partner and then being really seen and celebrated, go out dancing, go to the social event. Consider going on like a double or a triple date. It’s like, not really this time. It could be this time for really, like, one on one connection. But it actually may feel more supportive to kind of get your partner out of their shell and, like, they’re feeling bubbly and social, and you may even feel more attracted to them watching them just radiate in a group of people. And there was some experiment of kind of side by side photos of the same people. And it was like a photo when they were in their luteal phase and a photo when they were ovulating. And it was like, 90% of people thought that the people that were ovulating looked more beautiful in that photo. Like, this natural juice and beauty that’s coming out. Also, like, if you’re a workout kind of person, you like to sweat. For me, Zach is, like, very physically active. He’s a long distance runner. He likes to move weight around and really loves to be in his body during this part of the cycle as a partner, to encourage your partner to work out with you.

    This can be a really fun way to connect. Like she’s in her most vital physical strength. It’s like, invite her to the gym, connect over sweating. Estrogen is at its peak here as well. And so a lot of estrogen dominance runs rampant in our culture, which is a key player in so many of the hormonal symptoms that unfortunately, so many of us know of. And a good way to flush that excess estrogen is through sweat and opening up the skin. And so why not help your partner’s hormone balance by inviting them to the gym or getting sweaty in the sheets? Whatever.

    It’s like, I would prefer our bedroom to each their own.

    Beautiful. Yeah. I love it. I love that. As you go through cycles, the name relationship alchemy comes into really substance because relationship alchemy, alchemy, the female cycle is such a drive for that. It’s the magma fire, the magma that can re, melt and recreate.

    Yeah. It definitely takes a willingness from both people to like one as a woman or a wombbearer, like taking the responsibility that you want to be an active participant in your hormone cycle and you want to know your body, you want to reclaim that for yourself. It takes a willingness to do that. And there are so many resources out there to begin that journey and then also to learn that and then invite your partner and to be like, I want you to know where I’m at in my cycle so that we have more understanding. There’s this deeper level of intimacy that’s very primal almost, and animalistic and kind of, like, obvious also that we’ve just lost touch with. And so, yeah, it feels really beautiful to be talking about it and feel how do more of us not already know about this?

    Yeah, totally. I mean, we were just listening to was it fully secure that was talking about? No, it was six at dawn.

    Oh, yeah.

    It was saying, well, the only ape or mammal that does not have. They’re only like us in the bonobos. Bonobos.

    Yeah.

    That don’t display the female does not display when she’s ovulating in season.

    Yeah. When she’s ovulating.

    Yeah. Right. Because every other mammals.

    Like their genital swell, even change color. And it’s really side note, but it’s really interesting because humans and bonobos are the only primates that have sex during their whole cycle versus other animals and primates that are when they’re ovulating. That’s the only time that they’ll have sex.

    So how come we don’t know? Well, it’s not obvious, so we have to learn about it. I don’t know. I’m just saying as it’s coming through, but it’s such a social skill, actually, to cultivate and to integrate. That’s why we need you.

    Yeah. A really good place to start is charting your basic fertility signs for any wound. Bear listening. Who’s like, how do I even get started connecting with my cycle? Knowing that the very first day of your cycle is the first day that you bleed and then beginning to take your temperature upon rising, you’ll need a basal body thermometer and then also just getting connected with your cervical fluid. And the cervical fluid goes through a very distinct pattern throughout your cycle. So does your temperature. And these two biomarkers are enough for us to know when we’ve ovulated, they’ll be able to help detect hormone imbalance. You’ll be able to feel connected like, oh, estrogen is rising. Like, I see that directly in my cervical fluid. Like, I’m having more cervical fluid. And so, yeah, taking charge of your fertility is a really good book recommendation that I’ll offer just for anyone listening. Like, wow, I really want to know more about my cycle. That’s a really good place to start.

    Sweet. I’ll have to add that to the show notes.

    Yeah. Okay.

    So what’s next after?

    So before we go to the next, what I’ve noticed in terms of communication, couple of communication is that if I have things that trigger me and I have issues that I want to bring up, if I bring them up during the bleeding phase, usually she’s not receptive. She’s like, don’t bother me with that. I don’t want to think about that. I don’t want to respond to that. And now I understand that since her elements are all depleted, I understand more why she’s more in the. Okay, I’m going to say it a grouchy space phase or a mindset. She looks uncomfortable with herself. And so if I bring things that are challenging, usually I don’t want to address that. But if I bring things up during her ovulation phase, usually she’s very open and we don’t get into conflict, and she doesn’t take it personally. And she’s way more flexible for finding win win solutions or thinking outside of the box or being open to. Okay. I want to learn that, too, and I want to figure out as well. And I don’t get the same resistance.

    Yeah. One of my teachers says that estrogen is a social lubricant. During ovulation, we kind of have these rose colored glasses on, which is nice. It’s like a natural high. It’s kind of like buzzy and social. But then as we’re moving into our next phase, the luteal phase, those rose colored glasses kind of start to come off. And that doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad thing. I think personally, I think we have a lot of negative connotation, even, like, using this word grouchy to describe the bleeding phase instead of just like my partner is experiencing a low. I feel like we just have this connotation, like I said in the beginning, that health means that we look and feel the same way every day.

    Well, I’m sorry. She’s more grouchy in our communication. But now that I understand what’s behind it and where it comes from, I don’t need to give it a negative connotation.

    Totally. Okay. I hear you. Yeah. So I think communication during the if you’re wanting to have a really big conversation, it’s like, okay, my partner is ovulating. This could be a really supportive time and moving into the luteal phase, as there’s this rise in progesterone. So estrogen dips right after ovulation, you get a really big spike downward, and your other neurochemical progesterone, which is like our relaxing grounding. It promotes good sleep and good feelings. It starts to build for the first week of the luteal phase, which is the longest phase of the menstrual cycle and of the menstrual ovulatory cycle, and I would argue, the most misunderstood and the most, like, kind of desecrated and one that is the biggest reclamation, I think, for both wound bears and for partners who are trying to support their female partners. Yeah. As progesterone begins to rise up during this phase, this can actually be a really good time to have really big communication things, because all that social lubricant of estrogen has begun to drop, and your partner is going to be a lot more grounded. She’s going to be in her body. She’s going to be, like, thinking a bit more critically as well.

    So it may not just be this full fuck, yes. But she may actually have more insight during this phase. The first week of the luteal phase, progesterone goes up, and this is in case you got pregnant during ovulation. So progesterone keeping your uterine lining intact in case you got pregnant. And so the first half of the luteal phase, you’re still feeling okay. You may feel this afterglow of ovulation, and then once your body determines, like, okay, you’re not pregnant, then all the hormones begin their slow descent down until they get to their lowest point, which would cue menstruation again, cue the whole cycle over. And so this second half of the luteal phase is typically two weeks long, usually, like, the first week right after ovulation, and then the second week, which is, like leading up to your bleed, which we’ve determined as PMS time, the pre menstrual. So many things are going on during this time, and I think this part of the cycle needs, I would say, before menstruation, this part of the cycle needs the most care from partners and also self care as a wombbearer. Yeah. During this phase, women and womb bears are burning, on average, 100 to 300 more calories a day, just naturally from a metabolic level where we’re hungry, we’re hungry.

    And this combination of the metabolic rate being up, as well as the hormones starting to drop and get to their lowest, this creates this food craving. Like, so many disempowered choices happen during this time. I’m going to eat the whole box of doughnuts. I’m going to eat nachos or, like, whatever your crazy I need dopamine food is as a partner. Some food recommendations during this time is to feed your partner deeply satiating foods, make her a pot of bone broth, get some grass raised grass finished beef and make burgers for her and feed her food that is nutrient dense and that will take the edge off and leave her feeling really satisfied. For a lot of wound bears this time of this part of the cycle, we can be expressing a lot of hormonal imbalance depending on where we’re at our experience of PMS, this may be a time as a partner to one of my teachers says she’s reclaimed PMS to please make space.

    Oh, I love that.

    And for me, I’ve reclaimed this as prioritizing myself, prioritizing my sustenance, and prioritizing my space. So I want to be fed, I want to prioritize myself. And as a partner, this is like a time to be like, not taking shit personally. Like your partner is becoming very raw emotionally. It’s the inner autumn, like things are falling away. Things are not as sparkly as they once were. And it can be really intense. The inner critic comes out, she starts to judge herself. All her insecurities are coming to the surface. Like, how can you be a supportive friend when she’s in the middle of the storm? That can be that deep blue deal right before the bleed.

    So I have a question with that because I totally understand the inner turbulences. But the problem, like you said, is when we make choices out of that. So as a Mayor in my communication classes, I say you might have judgments, you might have things that value differences. And if you acknowledge those differences, you don’t need necessary to act on firing your partner. But acknowledging there are differences, acknowledging your judgments and speaking for your judgment instead of from your judgments. For example, I have a judgment that and not necessarily acting on it. So how do you say for yourself and can you give me a tip? How can I say, you know, like I hear everything that you’re questioning, but can we not act on it? Because of this phase and because of the negative communication, if somebody says, oh, you just be missing, that’s going to be like, because then you’re crazy. Anything you say has no value. So how do you communicate that? And first, how do you hold it for yourself? And how can you partner communicate that to you so that you receive the message? Positively.

    Really sweet question. As a wound bearer, I think the first we have to make this personal before we can relate over it. And so as a woman, as someone with a womb, if you’re feeling as you begin to learn your cycle and you observe in the luteal phase that you’re really angry or insecure or you’re having all these really intense, overwhelming expressions that are connected with your hormone system, this can be a really big indicator of hormone imbalance. And until we get our hormones back into a state of balance, this may not be the best time to try to be relating really intimately with another person. It’s kind of asking the question, like, am I in a place where I can communicate lovingly? And maybe I have some really intense things going on, but I can still communicate with integrity and love. This can be a really powerful time to have those dialogues and conversations, like when there’s this really beautiful critical voice. And if there’s a lot of hormone imbalance, it can be this thing of personal responsibility of like, hey, I’m feeling really uncomfortable right now, and I don’t think I’m in the right space to talk about this with you and taking space.

    And at this point, I really am an advocate for radical self care during this time. If you can ask your partner, like, I don’t think I can talk about this with you right now. Would you be open to watching our child for an hour so that I can take a luxurious bath? Or would you be open to connecting in a nonverbal way? Like, would you be open to exchanging some massage or grounding each other’s nervous systems? And if you notice, there’s a lot of this intensity in the luteal phase, creating space for that mutual grounding and coming back, and then maybe from there, there’s space for talking, but it’s obviously going to be circumstantial depending on the moment. But I think making space for mutual care together would be a really good way if there’s a lot of intensity and as a partner advocating for that and being like, you know what? I think we need to stop fighting right now, how we’re doing. And maybe at that point, you just need some space if things get really hot and heavy. I know for me, like, asking for space and not feeling bad about that with my partner.

    Like, with Zack, I feel really angry and uncomfortable today, and I just need some space. And I noticed that I’m taking things out on you. I noticed that I want to take things out on you. Yeah. Asking for space and feeling like I can hold myself too sometimes.

    I love it.

    Definitely relate heavy to that hormonal imbalances. I’m really diving into that for myself after having a child and then also stopping breastfeeding. You go through another hormonal change as your body stops making milk. So, yeah, I’m really navigating that myself, and I just love PMS is turned into this, like, oh, my gosh. Yeah, it has a really negative connotation. Like, oh, you’re just PMSing. You’re just being bitchy because you’re about to have your period. And I learned about that through the way my parents modeled their relationship. Yeah, actually, I feel really emotional about it, but, yeah, my dad would just say, like, oh, not only to my mom, but eventually to my sister and me and you’re just PMSing. And it became this, like, negative shameful thing, like, oh, the way you’re acting is because of your period and, like, just this really negative.

    Yeah, I hear you so much. It’s almost like a curse that gets passed on us. Pms.

    Yeah, I hear you.

    For me, it’s, like, so hard and heavy. When somebody’s criticized for something, they can’t change. You’re bad because you’re a woman or a man or something. It’s the one thing I can’t change. Right. And that’s hard. I hate it.

    Yeah. And also, too, just, like, learning, like, okay, this part of my cycle is supposed to be like this, these super intense emotions. And yes, it can be like that. But upon further exploration of Hormonal Imbalances learning this other way, it can be. And so I’ve been slowly making the steps towards this cycle that doesn’t take me out all the time where I’m able to still manage our businesses and take care of our son and remain a loving partner for my partner. And it’s been a really fun journey of like. Yeah, journeying with my cycle, I guess, of like, switching, I guess, from a maiden to a mom where there’s more responsibility. You can’t just. Okay, I’m bleeding peace. I mean, you can. And also considering our child and figuring out all these things, I guess I relate it to a game. Like, okay, the game changed, and now I have to have this interchange and let’s figure out the steps and figure out the puzzle. Yeah. That’s just my personal experience with Hormonal Imbalances and PMSing.

    Yeah. I haven’t experienced anything negative, like the way you and therefore we navigate that phase has been so far, I haven’t felt that period of time from you more the other one when you start bleeding that one, I feel clearly. But the PMS face, I don’t because I’ve been working on my horses.

    Wow.

    I’m impressed.

    Yeah.

    But I do have experiences with previous partners, especially that woman who also was a top teacher. And the way she reclaimed it was like, well, this is my PMS phase, which is my face to reconsider everything, see what’s working for me, what’s not working for me. I like that approach. But then she was unfiltered in the way our relationship was not working right. Therefore, my question earlier, I get the questioning, and I’m totally cool with the questioning. But when the questioning comes into making decisions and into action right now, based on that, this is where it was too much for me. And I was like, you can definitely reconsider everything, including our relationship. But if that means do your process, but don’t bring me into it or don’t ask me to make commitments and decisions based on that makes sense.

    Yeah, for sure. I have this rule where I just call it I bleed on it. If I have a big decision or I have some kind of thing with my relationships or a project I want to burst. And I noticed that I’m in this really critical stage of my luteal phase. I’m like, this is not the time for me to make a big decision, and I really feel that way. It’s like I’m going to bleed on this. And when I start coming out of menstruation, like that inner spring again, that renewal. It’s like the mind is clear to make decisions. And so, yeah, I definitely prescribe the bleed on it method.

    I love it. I love it. I will remember that. Definitely. It’s not so much. I mean, I don’t feel a problem in our relationship with that, but I wish I had it ten years ago.

    I feel like we should change the name of this episode to just bleed on it. So that’s all of the phases.

    Yeah, we went through the four phases. Yeah. Some other just kind of general recommendations. There is fertility awareness method courses that are actually designed for partners as well. So they kind of talk to this also to both partners. So that can be a really beautiful way to learn about fertility, like learn the ins and outs. We kind of just touch the surface of the hormone cycle here and like more practical ways to apply that. But I think learning really the ins and outs of the hormones and being able to objectify them with your partner can be really powerful. The Fertility Awareness Method Alyssa, VTS research and work has been really insightful for me and Zach in our relationship and our process. She has a book called in the Flow. And also, what would an embodied lifestyle look like if it was guided from the wisdom of a cyclical body? And she really is a pioneer of research in that way. And so, yeah, just continuing to be curious and not think there’s something wrong with our partner. They look different each and every day, like, acknowledging their beauty in all their seasons and all their phases and starting to see, like, okay, what are their superpowers during this part of the cycle?

    Yes.

    How can I appreciate this other flavor and texture? And there’s a meme that goes around, like, if you don’t love me at my Ludio, you don’t deserve it. But I feel that so much. I’m like, if you’re not attracted to your partner when they’re in their deep depths, in their shadow and their insecurity, I think there could be some underlying things that your partner is a full spectrum human being and having a cyclical body just, like exemplifies that even more. And so it’s a really beautiful way to look at our own judgments and preferences and learn how to love even more fully, even more unconditionally. Yeah.

    I personally love my luteal phase. It’s actually the time I prefer to have sex the most because you get that nice progesterone. Like, I’m chilling, which actually is throughout pregnancy. Your progesterone is, like, crazy off the charts. So I definitely enjoy that phase of my cycle a lot. Yeah. I really admire all the work that you’re doing, Kayla. It’s really beautiful the way that you’re facilitating women into examining these narratives and these stories that we’ve been told. That may not necessarily be true. And it makes my job easier as a birth worker when women come in with this understanding of their body and themselves, and then that’s when I can go, okay, you think, you know, it, have the baby, and then we’ll go back to that. And if you guys are interested in working with Kayla, checking out any of her courses, any of her retreats, she does have her website daughterofwater.com. We’ll link it in our show notes as well. And you can find her information there. You can check out her gorgeous web page.

    Yeah. And you’re pretty active on Instagram as well. So to follow you, I suppose that’s mostly the place.

    Yeah, it’s the same handle Daughter of Water Underscore. Yeah, pretty active. And I announced all my offerings there as well. But, yeah, I should have another cohort of my current program called Remember, coming up in the fall. And I’m also hoping to have a more intensive five day retreat somewhere on the West Coast in the late summer. Other than that, I also have a cookbook coming out if you want to know how to Cook and Nourish and feed your female partners called I Am Nourished. It has recipes that are specific for each phase, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and just some of my favorite recipes. So really excited to share that, too.

    I’m so excited to buy that.

    We had a sample.

    We had a sample. Someone made us a sample. Who’s in your course? And oh, my God.

    I mean, so good. Almost all our friends are in your course.

    Thanks for having me, you guys. It’s been a real treat to dive in. And I really appreciate what you guys do in our community. And, yeah, it’s so important to learn how to relate and be more human and more loving and deepen our intimacy with our friends and our relationships. And I feel like half of our population goes through this really interesting, beautiful, dynamic process. And so learning to dive into that and be curious is really sweet to know that folks are ready for that.

    One of my keyword is integration. How do we integrate all the parts of our lives? And what I love is that you’re helping us or teaching us how to integrate ancient wisdom in our modern day society that we have to integrate because we live in it. But how do we reclaim and integrate more of ourselves through those ancient wisdom? Because this is where we come from. Agriculture is like 10,000 years old compared to the 2 million years old of Homo sapiens. How do we integrate who we are with this new environment? And how do we integrate communication and having a baby and the transformation the season of our lives together. So you gave us a big piece today. I love it. Yeah.

    Thank you so much. We’re going to wrap it up here and just reminder if you love our podcast, please share it with anyone that you think could benefit give us a five star rating. If you think we deserve it which we do.

    We do.

    And leave us the review. It’ll be so helpful for helping us with the algorithm. So thank you guys. Be kind and be well and we’ll see you next time.

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