Break the Menstrual Matrix and Revolutionize Your Life and Business
In Episode 112 of the inhabit podcast, I had the privilege of sitting down with an inspiring friend from Instagram, Jacqueline Renee, the Menstrual Mogul. Our conversation unveiled the incredible power of menstrual cycles, a topic that, for too long, has been shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding. Today, we’re diving deep into the essence of cycle syncing and how understanding the four phases of our menstrual cycle can revolutionize not just our personal lives but our businesses too.
The Journey to Cycle Syncing
Jac’s journey into becoming the Menstrual Mogul is as fascinating as it is empowering. From her early days in network marketing to a profound realization about the disconnect between conventional health and fitness programs and the unique needs of women, Jac’s path has been one of discovery, learning, and empowerment. Her transition from a high-pressure, high-stakes environment to focusing on hormone health and cycle syncing is a testament to the transformative power of aligning with our natural rhythms.
The Four Phases of the Menstrual Cycle
Our conversation illuminated the four distinct phases of the menstrual cycle, each with its unique strengths and opportunities:
- The Menstrual Phase (Winter): A time for reflection, akin to the nurturing calm of winter. It’s when we’re invited to journal, plan, and set intentions, leveraging our hormones at their lowest to foster clear communication between the analytical and emotional sides of our brain.
- The Follicular Phase (Spring): This phase bursts with creativity and energy, mirroring the renewal and action-oriented nature of spring. It’s an ideal time for brainstorming, starting new projects, and embracing our social butterfly tendencies.
- The Ovulatory Phase (Summer): Characterized by heightened communication skills and confidence, the ovulatory phase is our ‘hot girl summer’—a period where we’re primed to attract not just mates but clients and opportunities, thanks to a boost in testosterone and a drop in self-control inhibitions.
- The Luteal Phase (Fall): As we prepare for the introspection of winter, the luteal phase is a period for detail-oriented tasks, decluttering, and preparation. It’s a time to focus on the behind-the-scenes work that supports the visible successes of the other phases.
Cycle Syncing: A Superpower for Personal and Professional Growth
Jac and I delved into how cycle syncing is not just about personal health but is a revolutionary approach to business and entrepreneurship. By aligning our work with the phases of our cycle, we can create a sustainable foundation for success, tapping into our innate strengths at each stage. From leveraging the reflective insights of the menstrual phase to harnessing the creative energy of the follicular phase, cycle syncing allows us to work smarter, not harder.
Why This Matters
Our discussion highlighted a critical gap in women’s education and empowerment. The fact that many of us reach adulthood without understanding the power of our menstrual cycles is a glaring oversight. Cycle syncing offers a path to reclaiming this power, transforming our cycles from a burden into a profound source of strength and insight.
Conclusion: Embracing Our Cycles, Embracing Our Power
The conversation with Jac the Menstrual Mogul is more than just a podcast episode; it’s a call to action for every woman to explore and embrace the power of her menstrual cycle. By understanding and aligning with our natural rhythms, we can unlock our true potential, in business and in life.
If you’re ready to harness the superpower of your menstrual cycle and transform the way you live and work, this episode is your gateway to a more empowered, balanced, and fulfilling life.
Listen to the full episode of the inhabit Podcast here:
Alessia Citro: Hello, friends. You’re going to love today’s episode. Before Christmas, I had the opportunity to sit down with my friend from Instagram, Jacqueline, the Menstrual Mogul. We talk all about the hidden superpower that women possess: our menstrual cycles. Jacqueline will break down the four phases of our cycles and what we should be doing in those phases to supercharge our life, and have our business and home life flow with more ease. So, if you’ve never heard of cycle syncing, you’re going to want to share this with all your friends and every woman you know. I hope you enjoy the episode. It was a really fun one, and it would mean so much if you shared it with anyone and everyone you know that would benefit from listening.
Alessia Citro: Here we go. Welcome to Inhabit with Alessia Citro, a show dedicated to helping you expand your life and inhabit your dreams. After becoming a corporate dropout and faltering, I realized that the only thing keeping me from my big vision was not taking the small, consistent actions that compound and move the needle. Together, we’ll uncover and discuss the ways we stay stuck and how you can unlock potential.
Alessia Citro: Jacqueline, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for coming on.
Jacqueline: Thanks for having me. I’m honored.
Alessia Citro: I was completely sincere when we became friends on Instagram, and I saw your handle. I was like, the Menstrual Mogul? Yeah. You and I need to be friends. This is meant to be.
Jacqueline: I love that. Yes. I did a little rebrand about a year and a half ago. And once that name hit and landed, I’ve run with it, and it’s been my alter ego, my actual ego, and everything in between, and I love it.
Alessia Citro: Yes. I actually have been meaning to read The Alter Ego Effect. It’s a book about channeling this higher version of you, which is exactly what my book is about, except with habits and, yeah, Menstrual Mogul. That sounds like a really badass alter ego. I’m here for it. Yes. I love it. So today’s going to be fun.
Alessia Citro: I didn’t really prep you at all. We’re doing this conversationally, which is the new way of the show. We’re going to dive into some really delicious stuff today, particularly around well-kept secrets from women, like cycle syncing, how your cycle is a superpower versus this burden that many of us have been conditioned to think it is. So I’m excited to dive in and learn from you. I feel like I have only scratched the surface on this topic.
Jacqueline: Agreed. Yeah. Even though I am technically a cycle syncing coach, I find every day that there are new ways where you can optimize and tap into these superpowers that we possess as women in our menstruating years. So we can definitely delve into that, especially in the entrepreneurial space and everything.
Alessia Citro: Okay. You alluded to walking away from a six-figure business because it was just not aligned, and it sounds like I’m maybe projecting on you right now. Probably, like, close to blowing out your adrenals, super burned out, just not in alignment at all. Been there. Tell us your story. How did you get into this whole realm and begin serving women in this way?
Jacqueline: Yeah. If you had told me even just three or four years ago that I’d be talking about periods and helping entrepreneurs, I’d think you were silly because you couldn’t have predicted this if you tried. But I am originally from Pennsylvania and was in my early or mid-twenties, I guess, when I got involved in network marketing. That was my first multiple six-figure business that I ran. I had a lot of success with it. And I think because we’re talking about cycle syncing and our hormones and everything, it’s important to note that I grew up as a girl being told that my periods are just meant to be painful. Like, you’re supposed to be doubled over in pain. You are just supposed to deal with it, and it’s hereditary that there was nothing I could do about it. So I was thrown on the pill at a young age and wasn’t taught anything about my hormones or my cycle, nor did I really care. I just was settling for that expectation every month. And so in my mid-twenties, I got involved in network marketing and loved the idea of being an entrepreneur. I’m a rebel. I hate 9 to 5 jobs for me. It’s just so suffocating and not a vibe at all. So I loved the idea of being my own boss, of creating my own wealth, of running my own business, and I ran with that in my mid-twenties. This was probably around 2013 when the girlboss, the Gary V, everything was just getting started, so, you know, that was definitely a culprit of my burnout. But, basically, I was operating at the time in my business, and I don’t want to discredit this era of my life because I met some of the most amazing people. I learned what it meant to be your own boss and the freedoms that came with that, so it wasn’t like I regret this in any way. But I was definitely going at it in a way that wasn’t going to be sustainable long run, and you’ll know why in a second. We have this corporate company that tells you to do x, y, and z. We had workout programs that told you to do certain workouts in a certain sequence. We had nutrition programs that had you eating the same thing every day, and I just ate it all up. I gobbled it up because it was honestly something I needed at that time. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. I hated my 9 to 5. I just wanted to get out of it. And so I just went balls to the wall with it. I tried to show up the same way each and every day, doing the to-do list that the corporate company had given me, doing the workout that the male trainer had given me, the nutrition plan that someone made for me, not taking into account that I’m a woman in her menstruating years, and I just put this expectation to show up the same way every day. That’s how you do this. This is how you beat your competition. This is how you rank on top.
Jacqueline: And I never felt satisfied, which is why I burned out eventually. But, like, on paper, I had a team of over a thousand coaches. I made six figures. I walked across stages. I earned free trips. Everything looked like it was okay. Right? But behind the scenes, I had no boundaries around my phone. I equated my worth to how much money I was making. I was living off of caffeine and adrenaline and really not taking care
of myself in a way that supported my hormones, and again, I just didn’t know any better back then. So I thought that this would be the career that I did forever, like some of the other top coaches in the industry. And I moved from Pennsylvania in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia to Wyoming in the middle of the woods to be with my now husband. I met him when I was on vacation out here. And that transition, moving literally leaving all of my family, all of my friends in Pennsylvania and moving into the middle of the woods with a guy I’d only known for 3 weeks, was a huge disruption to my life.
Alessia Citro: Kind of an important footnote.
Jacqueline: Yes. And so I basically tried to make what I was doing prior work once I moved out here, and I tried for 2 years probably to make it work. And I always think of Mean Girls where Regina George is like, “Gretchen, stop trying to make fetch work.” And that’s what I was being told in my inner dialogue. I was like, “You need to just stop. This is not working anymore.” And so I just burnt out, and I stopped hosting the team calls. I stopped doing the workouts, like, the way I thought I was supposed to. I didn’t go off the deep end and gain a bunch of weight and not do things, but I just was not proof of the product, if you will.
I eventually got a job here nannying to give myself that time to heal and to figure out what I wanted, not have to worry about anything else. And how did I get into hormone health and cycle syncing? I eventually, I think it was right at the beginning of the pandemic, I was walking with a friend, and she was a doula. And mind you, during all this time, I was like, on and off birth control, and I eventually got off completely because I just didn’t want anything foreign in my body. And I was experiencing some weird symptoms, and she was just like, “You know what? You should read this book, and it was called ‘Fix Your Period’ by Nicole Jardim.” And I started reading the book, and at the end, there was a chapter about how, according to traditional Chinese medicine, we can align our food and our movement depending on where we are in our cycle, and it makes us feel really great. And that just turned something on for me.
I’m like, “Oh my gosh. This is why I would try and follow these one-size-fits-all nutrition programs. And I sometimes felt like I could really stick to it and sometimes felt like a freaking failure, or workout programs felt like I could go hard one day and was depleted and dead the other.” So that put something in motion in the health and fitness realm since that was my background. And then once I felt like I got that down, I was like, light bulb moment. “Oh my gosh. If I had this information about how you could sync your entrepreneurial journey and your work to your cycle, I would have been unstoppable, but I know I had to go through that to learn that.” So that’s where I am now.
I do have the health component side of my business, but I also really love helping female entrepreneurs align and sync her work to her cycle so she has a really sustainable foundation to catapult off of.
Alessia Citro: Why are more women not having this conversation?
Jacqueline: Tell me about it. Sorry if you hear my dogs.
Alessia Citro: Oh, you’ll hear mine today too. Yeah. We love it. Come as you are. Yeah. It was honestly angering to me when I read “Do Less” by Kate Northrup. I’m like, how is it possible that I am, at the time, 35 or 36 years old, and I am just now learning about the different phases of my cycle and how I can cater my life to those so that it becomes like, yeah, a superpower versus operating like, when you said I’m doing the same thing every day. That is how men operate because they operate on a 24-hour cycle.
We don’t. We’re 28 days, and it’s just, when I found that out, I’m like, why has this been kept from me and us for so long?
Jacqueline: I totally agree. Yeah. So a man’s 24-hour hormone cycle has them waking up with a surge of testosterone, so they feel like they can just get up and go, and then they live Groundhog Day every single day. Whereas, us, as women, we have bursts of that, like, feeling and energy that maybe perhaps men feel. Like, we even get an uptick of testosterone around ovulation. So there’s about, like, half of our cycle where we feel that motivation, that gusto, that stamina. But then we’re trying to operate as if we’ll always be living that way, and that goes against us when we’re in the luteal phase slash menstrual phase of our cycle. And, yeah, it’s just setting us up for failure.
I just say it all the time to my clients that society doesn’t want us to win at all. So this is how this is one of the ways. Like, 9 to 5 work weeks, like, all of these calendar dates and everything like that, they don’t take a woman’s cycle into account. It’s something you really have to challenge and think about.
Alessia Citro: The fucking patriarchy yet again. Mhmm. And I say that as a woman who loves healthy masculine men.
Alessia Citro: Nevertheless, the fucking patriarchy. One thing that I read in “Do Less” that was, like, shocking to me was that the calendar was probably invented by a woman because it was like 28 notches on a stick or something was like the first calendar. Why would a man have needed to do that? And yet we find ourselves in this construct that’s not for us at all. It’s frustrating.
Jacqueline: Yeah. And if you want, I can break down the four phases because I actually do it in the seasons of the year. Again, like, something that makes so much sense and seems so natural and organic. Even the moon phases, I know some people like to align and sync with that. But, yeah. So do you want me to go over the four phases?
Alessia Citro: All of it. So because most people, including me, only know about the menstrual part. And you call it like, oh, like, my menstrual cycle. That’s one phase of the whole Shebang. There are three other ones people don’t know about. So, anyway, with that, please proceed.
Jacqueline: Exactly. Again, the stuff we should have been taught in school. Right? Yeah. And just so your listeners know, my goal is never to make someone feel like they’re in a doctor’s office or a classroom setting because, personally, I’ve never had that great of an interaction that led me to feel empowered and, like, I could practically take away knowledge around certain topics. So I always try to explain, especially something as complicated as our cycle because we
are complicated humans, in a really practical form so women can not only retain it for themselves but pass it down to future generations, to daughters, to any young lady in their lives. So I love to start with the menstrual phase of your cycle, and we’re in this season now. I know you’re in Arizona, and it’s a little warmer there, but we’re in the physical season of winter. So if you think about the physical season of winter, this is a time where you’re, like, retreating. You’re wanting to be a little bit cozier, less social. You’re at home, and you’re really just in this, like, nurturing state or, like, state of the calendar year, and this can be embodied during the phase of your cycle, the menstrual phase, or the week of your period. Can last anywhere from 3 to 7 days. It’s completely unique to each and every woman. So I find it interesting. I talk about this on my own podcast, I find it interesting that right now, we’re in the thick of the holiday season, and we’re expected to be the most social butterfly beings ever. Right?
Alessia Citro: Yes.
Jacqueline: And I totally am on board with the reflective part of this time of year, but when it comes to the high energy social stuff, that kinda goes against that feeling that we have the week of our period, and I do think it’s important to note that or I’ll get into that in a second when I am done explaining things. But so, basically, this is a time where you really wanna get reflective and analyze stuff about your life, about your work, about your goals. Reason being is, like, your hormones are actually lowest during the week of your period. Many women are told that they’re raging with hormones and are feeble and incapable of any decisions the week of their period. And the fact of the matter is we actually our hormones are our lowest. And so because of that, our left and right side of our brain, so the analytical and, like, the emotional side, can communicate on a much clearer level. So for some women who are still dealing and struggling with painful periods, they might not feel this feeling until a day or two into their period. But for my clients and myself, we’ve rectified and gotten painless periods now.
So we’re, like, journaling. We’re doing vision boards. We’re reflecting on who our clients are, what our offers are, who are everything within our business and our personal life. I always joke that maybe during the week of your period, you have some red flags stand out about someone you’re dating, and let’s not ignore them if they come up during that week. Okay? It’s there’s more like a gut feeling that you should listen to as long as you’re having a healthy period when you’re not dealing with PMDD or anything like that. After the week of our period, our winter phase of our cycle, we enter the spring phase, which is called the follicular phase, and this can range anywhere from 7 to 10 days. And when you think about spring, for me, personally, I always think about that first day that you can finally wear a T-shirt or maybe flip-flops, or there’s just the cold has left, and you’re excited to get outside and take action and do stuff. And you can feel this during the follicular phase of your cycle too.
This is a time where within your business, especially, you’re feeling very creative, much more social. You have ideas, content pouring out of your fingertips, and this is a great time to double down on that within your business if that’s important to you. And so this is a time where you just feel like you have higher energy, and I personally think, like, New Year’s should start during the spring equinox of the season of the year because we have that feeling. January 1st is the dead of winter. Think of that could be horrible. Right? Yes. So that’s kinda piggyback on that real quick? Yeah. Absolutely.
Alessia Citro: It annoys me to no end now that I know this that everyone is, like, in New Year’s resolution mode, January 1st because our bodies don’t feel like that’s the beginning of the year. March 21st, the spring equinox is when we start to feel that way. So if you are someone and, actually, I strategically have my book coming out in the spring for this reason because the worst time, I think, to start new habits and a whole new routine is January 1st. Mhmm. You need to just be, like, chilling Yeah. And reflecting.
Jacqueline: Yeah. And I think, like, from because I know entrepreneurs are listening, and it’s how do I reach my goals, and how do I do this? I would say, like, at the very least, if your period or luteal phase, which I’ll get into the luteal phase in a second, land on January 1st. Do not worry about it. Use the week of your period or the follicular phase, the momentum that comes with that, as a starting point instead of those 2 phases or letting society influence you in that way. Because I always believe there is a way to get stuff done and achieve your goals. Just because we’re women and go through these 4 phases, it makes us more powerful and not less. But, yeah, I definitely agree. As far as the New Year momentum and catapult, definitely love that for this spring equinox.
Alessia Citro: Yeah. And you just don’t feel like you’re swimming upstream as much. It just feels more less resistant, more in the flow, not to use a pun. Anyway Yeah. Sorry.
Jacqueline: No. Absolutely. Absolutely. So after spring comes summer, and this is the ovulatory phase of your cycle. It can be around 3 to 5 days depending on what your unique cycle is like, but this is definitely the hot girl summer phase of your cycle. This is where, primally, you’re trying to attract a mate whether you want to or not. But if you read your brain during that week, you’d be, like, eyeing up people left and right. You would be feeling hot, dressing sexy, or making purchases that enhance your look.
There’s a whole, like, science and data to this. But, also, this means that you can be attracting clients into your life. There’s a reason why we’re having this conversation right now. I’m in my ovulatory phase, and I’m hosting a masterclass tomorrow. I assign everything to be with this, like, cocky amount of confidence, if that makes sense. You have a dubious shake going on, Turner. That’s because the frontal cortex, that part of your brain is real which is in charge of self-control. So things where you’re like, “oh, I wish I could say that, but I really don’t know if I could say that.”
That kinda goes out the window during your ovulatory phase of your cycle. So you’re ballsy, you’re confident, you’re speaking with conviction, and you really feel like a social butterfly. Communication skills are really high during this phase of your cycle. And so this is, again, a great time to attract new people into your life, to really just run with that feeling that comes with the hot girl summer vibes of your cycle. And then lastly, we have the luteal phase of your cycle, which is around 10 to 14 days, and this is the fall phase of your cycle. If you think about the physical season of summer, we’re, like, going on vacations. The kids are out of school. We’re, like, just doing stuff.
We’re taking action. You wanna do anything that them be stuck inside and not playing. That can be in your business, personal life, whatever. But then back to school vibes happen in the fall. Right? We gotta, like, get back on a routine. We gotta clean things up, organize, nest, and, like, just get things back together and making sense and working. So during the luteal phase within your business, this could look like being, like, decluttering within your business, whether that’s digitally, physically, nesting with it like, for me, I have to clean my car and my cabin during this phase of my cycle because I can’t stand looking at things anymore because my brain’s picking up details that I was too busy to notice because I was taking action during the previous 2 phases. And this is a really powerful time within your cycle to do things behind the scenes and get things like that done that maybe, again, you were just too high energy to do during other phases of your cycle.
And the first week, you definitely still have a little bit more of that higher energy from the ovulatory phase. Then the week before your period, that’s what I call the danger zone. This is where women wanna burn their business to the ground if they don’t have the right health habits in place. We’re predisposed to more cortisol during this phase of our cycle. We require 200 to 300 more calories during this phase of our cycle, so women are hangry. They’re stressed, and if they don’t have the right boundaries and habits in place, it’s gonna show in their business, in their calls, and everything. I see it all the time, and I used to experience that too. So the health and the business stuff goes hand in hand.
They can’t not at all because of stuff like this, because of our hormones and how they fluctuate throughout our cycle. So this is a time to really double down on, like, self-care and, again, boundaries, not scheduling freaking calls, like 10,000,000 calls during this week of our cycle if we can help it, and having stuff prepared so that you can still be present and get what you need to done, but you’re really just taking that time to restore and replenish yourself too. Society wants us to be living as if we’re perpetually in our spring and summer phases, our follicular and ovulatory phases. That’s, like, where it mimics a man’s calendar more, but as you can tell, we have a whole other half of our cycle with the luteal and menstrual phase of our cycle that needs to be compensated for. But what I love about it is that we use the term superpower earlier is that I think women, they keep looking at their day in a 24-hour day and their productivity within it as their means of, like, consistency, of success, of whatever. They lay their heads down at night. How much did I get done today? And they evaluate it and think about it in that way. But if we start to look at our cycle as a whole, as a 28-day cycle or however long your unique cycle is, and we start to evaluate our productivity, our success, our consistency on that scale, we’re going to feel a whole lot better about ourselves because we’re going to see that there are times where we’re meant to take massive action and be social butterflies and get stuff done. And then there are times where we’re meant to retreat, reflect, analyze, and plan. And so it’s just shifting that perspective from a day-to-day evaluation to a cycle evaluation, and it just makes so much more sense for us as women.
Alessia Citro: Absolutely. It’s like giving ourselves permission to be in whatever phase we’re in and not fight it, which I think is where a lot of the stress and the burnout comes from because we’re trying to be in a phase that we’re not currently in, and it’s like swimming upstream.
Jacqueline: Exactly. And I think, too, it’s important to note that, like, just because we’re in our luteal phase or menstrual phase, it doesn’t mean we can’t get stuff done. It doesn’t mean we’re not capable. It just means we might have to go about it in a different way, and that’s okay. And the more that we can lean into that and honor that, the better off we’ll be, the more sustainable our energy will be, the more sustainable our business will be. And it’s just, it’s a game-changer. It really is.
Alessia Citro: It really is. And I think it’s such an important conversation for us to be having, especially as entrepreneurs, but really, any woman. Understanding this about ourselves is just so empowering and so freeing, and it just, it changes everything. It changes the game.
Jacqueline: It really does. And I think, too, it’s like, once you start to understand this about yourself and you start to live in alignment with your cycle, it’s like you can’t unsee it. You can’t go back. You just, you know too much now, and it’s like, why would you want to? Why would you want to go back to feeling like you’re constantly fighting against yourself? It just, it doesn’t make sense.
Alessia Citro: No, it doesn’t. And I think that’s such a beautiful place to wrap up our conversation today. Jacqueline, thank you so much for coming on and sharing all of this incredible wisdom with us. I know I’ve learned so much, and I’m sure our listeners have too.
Jacqueline: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been an absolute pleasure, and I just, I hope that this conversation sparks something in someone out there and that they start to explore this for themselves because it really is life-changing.
Alessia Citro: Absolutely. And to all of our listeners, if you’re feeling inspired to dive deeper into understanding your menstrual cycle and how you can start cycle syncing, I encourage you to reach out to Jacqueline, the Menstrual Mogul. She’s an incredible resource, and I know she would be more than happy to support you on your journey. Thank you all for tuning in, and remember, your menstrual cycle is not a burden; it’s a superpower. Embrace it.