On my way to work, totally unaware 🙂
It was 2017, Casablanca, Morocco. I was working with C-Suite executives whose companies paid my company to do language and soft skills coaching with them. These guys needed to express themselves in English as effectively as they did in their first languages. Anyone that has tried to learn a foreign language knows that is no small feat.
Thus, my obsession with habits began. I read and consumed and watched and learned everything I could about habit stacking and habit hacking. I had already begun to dig into the concept of a cyclical year, dictated by themes a la Gretchen Ruben’s ‘The Happiness Project’.
The stage was set for me to finally uncover my own cyclical nature and still, it happened quite unexpectedly. The reason for this is because no where, in all of the learning, did I find a representation of my own cyclical nature…and I didn’t know to look for it.
I had lived my entire life, up to that moment, carrying around guilt and self doubt about my ability to be a disciplined and productive member of society – ALL OF THE TIME. I knew I could do it some of the time. I knew I “showed up” in a way that was conductive to the demands in my life for SOME of the time. I also knew that I showed up very differently for my the demands in my life, MOST OF THE TIME.
Sometimes I was a runner, sometimes I was an early riser that made my bed and made green smoothies before 7am. Sometimes I baked cookies with my children and was a model parent and business owner, scratching off to-do lists and all around, killing it. Other times it was a different story. There were days when I couldn’t get my out of bed, couldn’t care less about green smoothies and the only thing I would run from was the idea of the mess that baking with 5 years olds would create.
So there I am, learning all about habits and on a mission to help my customers, by any means necessary. Even if that meant drastically changing my own life so I could say “LOOK, I did it and this is how you can do it”.
I started to bullet journal, track my food intake, track my sleep patterns, keep an exercise log, keep a habit tracker, etc.
It was in all of this habit doing and habit tracking that I began to see a much more accurate image of myself.
I saw that I was incredibly dependable, incredibly disciplined, and incredibly PREDICTABLE.
The thing was, I had to zoom out from the daily and weekly patterns in my habits and examine my own patterns through the lens of a larger cycle than I had ever been challenged to do before.
I found there was nothing wrong with me, nothing wrong in my exercise, sleep, food, and self care patterns. I was just operating in a cyclical way that, surprise surprise, mirrored the larger pattern of my 28ish day cycle.
I was always productive at work, on the same week of my cycle. I was always doing the same kind of cardio exercise, on the same week of my cycle. I was always unable to take crap from people, on the same week of my cycle. You get the drift.
From that point on, I began to partner with my cycle, instead of work against it.
I began to post a daily photo with my cycle day in the caption and explain how the photo was relating to my vibe for the day. I guess it was my very own version of “Be Real”.
This was the beginning of my awareness of my cyclical nature. It was also the beginning of the end for a lot of shame and guilt and self-doubting that I had been conditioned into by the society I grew up in. I began to see my cycle as the hero of my story, instead of a monthly inconvenience. I began to try and understand my hormones and how they were driving the bus.
I can’t imagine going back to a time when I didn’t track my cycle and when I didn’t partner with my cycle to run my businesses and help me set boundaries in my personal life.
28ish was founded with this as its north star. We are here to help you partner with your cycle. The 28ish app is designed to help you partner with your cycle.
Your cycle will be rolling forever onward for the years that you menstruate and you will either learn to work with it, uncover the power in it, partner with it…or fight against it.
Either way, I think we both know it won’t be ignored.