Dress To Compliment Your Cycle
Did you ever wonder why you choose particular coloured clothes to wear on a particular day? There was a time when I would lay out my clothes the night before in readiness for the next day. Time is precious when you have a young family, juggling a career and making sure you are a good Mum at the same time. This can mean you are compelled to put efficient processes in place to reduce the rush in the morning. It’s a good coping mechanism but the down side is it does not allow for spontaneous and intuitive decisions to be made. Our busy lives do not allow for space; space to allow connection between our minds, hearts and souls. Instead we make practical decisions based on previous experiences or fast decisions which are pressure prompted.
Colour Therapy & Energy
Since my family has grown up a little and my career has changed to accommodate a more fluid way of being, I have realised the benefit in making ‘in the moment decisions’. A few years ago I attended a colour therapy workshop and it opened my eyes to the therapeutic qualities of light and colour. Colour is an expression of the universe we live in, just as sound has frequency, so does colour. We know this by looking at how light is refracted through rain drops when a beautiful rainbow arches across our skies. Each colour has it’s own resonance and much like in nature, it attracts certain qualities or energies along with it. Why are certain insects attracted to certain flowers? It’s not just scent..it’s colour. So the vibration that is associated with particular colours also holds particular attractions for us and also healing qualities. If any of you have ever stumbled into a crystal shop you will no doubt have found yourself attracted to certain colour stones. This too is an example of how we as humans resonate with particular colours, frequencies and healing energies.
Our own genetic make-up, our personalities and our energy (or aura) on a particular day, will send out signals and resonate with complimentary colours. So when you next stand in front of your wardrobe, don’t pull out that ‘old and faithful’ outfit, instead pause, and ask yourself ‘what colour do I need today’. I love doing this exercise now, I’m often surprised at what my body chooses! Sometimes it may be a grounding colour like brown and I check in and ask ‘Is my head spinning with thoughts today, which is why I need to feel more grounded?’. Sometimes I reach for the colour blue and I wonder ‘What do I need to communicate today that I might not have already expressed?’. Occasionally I may find it difficult to even decide and that says something even more profound! Then I know more time is needed to check in to my personal sense of self and seek out the colour I need to replenish and balance myself.
Chakras & Colour Therapy
If you are interested in learning more about what specific colours may mean, try searching chakra colours on the internet. These are your energy centres in your body which maintain organs and functions in particular areas of the body and all 7 of these chakras resonate with corresponding colours. You can apply colour in the form of clothes, crystals or just intention to help balance your chakras. So for example, if you’ve had a particularly busy or stressful day at work juggling lots of ideas and demands, you may find purple will help you to sleep better as it will balance your third eye chakra. This energy centre is positioned in between your eyes in the centre of your forehead and it manages your mind (purple and anything associated with it such as lavender and amethyst crystals will help calm mind chatter).
I prefer to act intuitively when selecting colour as if you know too much it can sometimes get in the way of trusting your gut response or first reaction. In some ways it’s better to choose the colour first and then look up the meaning. Also be aware that what may resonate with one person will likely be different for another. One person may find yellow lifting and energising while another person may find it strengthening or too overpowering. You will also resonate with different colours on different days depending on your stress levels and colour therapy needs.
Colour, I believe, also holds another healing dimension for women in particular. As a woman, I am constantly aware of my hormonal changes every month and this has become more significant as I approach the menopause. This cyclical flux in energy means I can be proactive and use colour as a tool to balance and support my changing hormonal balance. One way of tapping into the healing quality of colour is to select your clothes based on the phase of your cycle. This is not just about colour, but style and comfort also. I certainly know I have a need to wear softer fabrics which have more ‘give’ during the week before my period is due. I become more sensitive to touch and stimuli around me so I choose clothes that will allow me to flow and relax. I also choose subtle colour that may allow me to merge with my environment, so I can almost become invisible and camouflaged! This is a reflection of my emotional state as well as my physical state.
The Four Archetypes
There are 4 main stages or archetypes in the female reproductive cycle which I list below. These archetypes are great templates which you can use as guidelines for your emotional, physical and spiritual state. They typify how most women may feel during a 28 day period, almost like a blueprint relating to hormonal changes and their manifestation in behaviour. As we know all women are unique, showing subtle differences in their cycles so it’s important you recognise your own unique cycle and you may even like to start keeping a journal of symptoms so you can start to see the patterns that manifest. Some women will resonate with the archetypes below and some may not so much, in which case you can tweak the four archetypes to suit your individual needs, but the main aspects will hopefully apply. The archetypes help us to remember the different stages so we can master them in our lives. This is an empowering tool, because instead of feeling you are at the mercy of your hormonal changes you can start to tap into their innate gifts and work with the positive elements that each one holds.
Dressing as an Oracle (approx Day 1-7):
From day 1 of your period until about day 7, we are said to be in ‘Crone Phase’ or as I like to call it ‘Oracle Phase’ (this was my own tweak on the process as I tend to feel I can offer more wisdom at this time of the month). This is where our energies are heightened and receptive to the more ethereal aspects of our world. We may be more responsive to intuition, able to read other peoples’ energy, predict things happening ahead of time and we feel able to tap into our sixth sense more readily. In days gone by this phase was revered and wise women of the tribe would be called upon to make predictions which could influence the longevity of the tribal community. This phase may require a level of introversion, a retraction from the busyness of every day life in order to tap into this sixth sense.
It’s easy in today’s society to be drawn in to the belief that this phase is about being hidden away and in some instances seen as ‘dirty’ because we loose blood. Some religions even banish women from being seen until their bleed is complete. We have suffered and continue to suffer so much suppression in society and this has meant we hold negative beliefs about our own feminine power. We need to reclaim this power and start to learn again about our innate gifts which are harnessed inside, waiting to be freed.
One way we can start to do this is recognise and honour the wisdom we hold at this time in our cycle. We must also allow ourselves ‘alone time’ during this phase to reconcile our emotions, collate our reflections and in doing so assimilate our wisdom. If this need is not met then you may feel frustrated and become more insular or even retaliatory. Living consciously as a woman means understanding these phases and asserting ourselves, so we can attain what we need in order to realise our innate gifts as emotionally intelligent and intuitive beings.
This phase may mean you feel a need to dress accordingly and in doing so you can support this more introverted existence. You may find yourself drawn to lighter fabrics with a more fluid, mysterious quality; layers of chiffon, with subtle colours and draped style. Possibly light colours too, depending on your unique personality. Some women may respond to pastel shades whereas some may find they need to wear more black. Either way, it will typically require a more understated and introverted colour, fabric and style choice. Dressing this way will support the ‘Oracle’ persona within you and allow your intuitive gifts to shine. You will consequently be able to emerge into the later stages of your cycle with more ease, as if you honour each part of the phase, so will your whole cycle feel more fluent and congruent.
Dressing as a Maiden (approx Day 7-14):
Now this phase is not so introverted! This phase describes a woman’s evolution from loosing blood and preparing the body for conception. Hormone releases mean that skin and hair become glossy and plump in order to attract a mate. The name maiden suggests just this…a bountiful and glowing female…probably in the films this would be depicted by a young attractive woman running through the corn fields! We may not all feel this way but, this is how our body prepares us – in the best possible light for finding a mate and conceiving. With this in mind, our energy typically moves to a more extravert and flamboyant phase. You may find yourself being drawn to brighter more vivacious colours, maybe even tighter clothing that shows off your curves, and fabrics that allow for this. I’ve noticed in the past that although I may weigh the same, my perception of myself is so much more positive when I am in this phase – so I am happy to show my curves off a little more and maybe get the skinny jeans out! In comparison, I have tested my weight at different times of the month and although it’s the same, I feel so much more ‘unattractive’ at other times and so prefer to hide my figure away. Isn’t this interesting? Hormones have a psychological effect on us even when physically we may be the same! When I realised this, it gave me some level of relief as now when I feel podgy I accept it, recognise that it’s just my hormones playing tricks with my mind and I put on my comfortable, looser clothing for a few days. For this ‘Maiden’ phase embrace colour, style and show off all your assets! Be a beautiful, bountiful woman and enjoy being creative and expressive with your personal style! You will find yourself being more flirtatious too so enjoy tapping into your femininity and having some fun – it’s always good to exercise your playful heart!
Dressing as a Mother (approx Day 14-21):
As soon as I typed this, I could feel the energy drop – not in a negative way but in response to the way in which society perceives us at this stage in our lives. Many of us have been brought up to believe that as mothers we need to be sensible, responsible and dress accordingly. Because of the role and it’s demands, yes we need to be responsible, but that doesn’t mean you need to dilute your personal style so you blend in with the ‘Mother Persona’. Hormonally this stage is about preparing your body either for bearing a child or preparing for the ovum to die and a decline in hormone levels. Over the years I have journaled and realised that I get a dip in energy at day 17. Interestingly from a scientific point of view, this is when progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone all drop from the peak we had enjoyed while being a ‘Maiden’. So, this quick decline can often bring on a real flatness in mood and sometimes even ‘rock bottom’ energy for a couple of days, until the body adjusts to the new lower hormone levels. Dressing to accommodate this phase will therefore depend on where you are in your role as a mother. If you are pregnant, you will have a surge of feel good hormones (with or without the morning sickness) and this may mean you want to celebrate your growing belly with beautiful colours and clothing. If you already have children, you will benefit in recognising this drop in hormone levels and dressing comfortably to accommodate. You will also probably want to dress in a more practical way to match your busy lifestyle as Mum. Colours will tend to be warm and nurturing for this phase and even if your children have grown up and you are approaching menopause, you will want to be kind to yourself with your colour and clothing choices. I often resonate with soft, warm, accommodating fabrics. Scarves, and flowing trousers or skirts. Colours will typically be warm and pastel although again different personalities will resonate with different colour energies so it’s up to you to understand how you personally respond and what you need to support you during this phase. This phase is very feminine, yet a little more subdued compared to ‘Maiden’ and ‘Enchantress’ which follows.
Dressing as an Enchantress (approx Day 21-28):
Around day 20 of your cycle (it may be slightly earlier or later depending on your unique cycle) you will have either conceived or the ovum will have died and your body will be preparing to shed the lining of the womb in the final menstrual stage around day 28. An ovum or egg holds the potential for new life and with it creation. If we do not conceive, that potential of creation is not met and so in the enchantress phase it is crucial that we put our unrealised creative potential in to some other task or project. If we do not, the ‘Enchantress’ can lash out and become frustrated. When I realised this, it was a revelation. I often wondered why my insecurities, lack of patience and sometimes anger would get the better of me during days 20-28. Pre-menstrual tension is the phrase our society uses…but I like to frame it differently and I think the ‘Enchantress’ is much more positive. She holds all the potential for new ideas to be born and she can be extremely creative and forthright. She will drive things through and make things happen! You may therefore find a need to dress more assertively, with shaper, stronger colours and a more tailored style. Colours will follow this change in energy too. I find I need to wear more confident colours to feel in balance – the stronger colours somehow feed me. Enjoy exploring this phase as if you allow yourself to create – in whatever form (cooking, painting, writing, singing, making) then you will experience the fruits of the Enchantress and avoid her whip lash! Your partner and family will also thank you for listening and satisfying her needs!
The Gifts In Each Phase
All these phases hold real gifts if you look and listen. Learning how you respond as a unique woman is crucial. It’s a really good idea to share your findings with the people you live with, and if you are in a relationship I would highly recommend you discuss your findings with your partner. I have even shared my diary with my partner showing the phases in my cycle and likely type of ‘energy’ I will be exhibiting so he can be informed and primed! This has allowed our intimacy to grow and it has also fostered a genuine respect for our differences as male and female. He has learnt that in order to gain the fruits of our partnership and my willingness to be intimate there needs to be a knowing of the ebb and flow of my hormones and response each month. Men tend to be more hormonally constant, and women have an undulating flow of change in their lives so if you can, work together to reap the benefits of this natural process instead of seeing it as a set of monthly hurdles.
I would also encourage you to start a journal or diary where you can plot your cycle both in terms of your hormones and mood, dress sense, general energy, intuition, introversion vs extroversion, sensitivity etc. You will find it illuminating. After all, I believe the most important thing in life is to know oneself. Then everyone else can respond from that place where your wisdom and knowledge has been allowed to flourish. You will start to notice the people around you reacting to you in accordance with your new found integrity and authenticity.
Menopause – Embodying The Oracle
Please also know that even if you have reached menopause you will still have an underlying cycle, an echo if you like of the cycle you had when you were bleeding. So this article is just as relevant for you. In fact, a recognition of the relationship between colour therapy and your wellness can be ever more important when you reach the dizzy heights of menopause – yes I said dizzy heights because you have reached the potential for enlightenment and transformation. I believe menopause in itself is a life cycle representation of the Oracle phase. If you imagine the four archetypes inhabiting our menstrual cycle each month, so too do they inhabit our whole lifetime cycle. So ‘Maiden’ represents when we transform during puberty and into our most fertile years; ‘Mother’ when we become mothers or carers to those we love in our many roles; ‘Enchantress’ when we rise out of motherhood to reclaim creative time for ourselves and further development of self and finally ‘Oracle’ when we come to truly know ourselves later in life and can act as conduits for wisdom and enlightenment. Never undermine your power as a female, your transformative influence is profound both within yourself and to those around you. Your whole life cycle is one to embrace. So learn, then reap the benefits and sew the seeds for transformative change.
In A Nutshell…
I hope you enjoy experimenting with your dress sense and colour choice in order to gain a better holistic balance and hormonal harmony. Use the four archetypes of Oracle, Maiden, Mother and Enchantress to inject real life into these dynamic phases that you can tailor and truly know and own.
Do also let me know how you get on and share your stories of discovery! Tweet #dress4thearchetypes or message me on firstname.lastname@example.org