Yesterday afternoon my energy dropped so hard and fast it felt like an energetic collapse… I lay on the sofa feeling listless and flat – tell-tail signs of a drop in oestrogen as I move into the midst of the second half of my cycle.

Feeling into the layers of what was going on, I noticed a deep longing to be held. The last week, through the summer of my cycle, my heart has felt shiny and expanded, naturally in service and attuned to others and wanting to offer holding and support to those around me.

Although many of us with wombs do not have children, we are still biologically programmed to be finely attuned to the needs of others. This natural tendency peaks in the summer of our cycle – but if we keep going, we run the risk of overstepping our own boundaries and of falling into martyrdom and burn out.

Martyrdom is such a paradox in a way – if we don’t put ourselves and self-care and needs first, and run around taking care of everyone else, we end up becoming self-absorbed and entangled in our own unmeet, unconscious needs, not able to give from a clean place. With my own personal history of not being in touch with my own needs, I have increasingly noticed an ironic sense of my own self-absorbtion, that I am slowly dismantling.

And so as I listened to what was moving inside, I felt the call of my system that it is time for a shift and for me to begin being more attuned to myself for a while as I move towards my bleed.

The external support and holding my being longed for was not available – as nice as it would be, we can’t always rely on it – and so I flexed my self-parenting muscle and practised gently holding myself and being present with myself, surfing through waves of overwhelm and tiredness. I sat on the parched earth here in southern Portugal last night as the approaching storm sent flickers of lightening across the sky, and connected to the Big She, the divine mother whose presence is always available and allowed myself to bathe in her tender, unconditional love.

This morning I feel a beautiful sense of my own resilience and strength, and something so fragile and tender, within myself. After the last week of feeling so thick-skinned, confident and capable, I am welcoming this softer, more delicate and permeable part that will be working me over these next days…