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Menstrual Cycle Awareness is an archetypal experience of inner seasonal strengths and shadows that can bring us into sharp focus of how we express and embody different variations of ourselves across the menstrual cycle. For many its a very powerful self-awareness and empowerment tool, yet there is a tendency for people to think they should experience their cycle just as the textbook tells them, leaving them feeling further disconnection to their body and cycle when it doesn’t fit the mould.

tune in to hear:

Today’s guest on Wild Flow is Joeli Caparco. Joeli is here to expand the horizons on who gets to participate in menstrual cycle awareness, and to specifically include people who identify as neurodivergent, queer and those who aren’t tapping into their body’s rhythm for fertility purposes.

Joeli and I chatted about:

  • How Joeli realised their neurodivergence was exacbated by their cycle and what it looks like for them with ADHD and Autism, in life and business,
  • What neuroqueering the menstrual cycle means, what it looks like in action, and why its important,
  • How the menstrual cycle awareness space usually excludes non cis-gendered and neuro-normative people (even if unintentionally), and how that feels for Joeli.
  • How coaches and space holders especially can be more inclusive of menstruation beyond charting fertility and connecting to the womb, by using better language and the ‘follow-through’, especially if you’re not sure of what the right wording or actions you can take are,
  • How Joeli links the astrological signs to expressions of the inner seasons of the cycle (hello Leo season!)

meet joeli

Joeli Carparco is a Mindset and Menstrual Cycle Coach for creatives, content creators, and coaches. She works to bring a neuroqueer lens to the menstrual cycle awareness space, by taking the focus off of fertility and even menstruation itself in order to expand the umbrella of who is included and to acknowledge different experiences of having a cycle. Through creating a practice of getting in touch with their body, Joeli helps her clients reconnect with their needs, wants, and desires so that they can have happier, healthier relationships with themselves, others, and their businesses.

Joeli’s pronouns are she/they, and she identifies as queer and neurodivergent and I am very grateful to Joeli for sharing so much insightful knowledge, wisdom and experience with us in this episode. Its one I hope everyone listens to whether you’re queer or neurodivergent yourself and are looking for examples and representation when it comes to understanding how you experience your cycle, whether you’re holding space for others in menstrual cycle awareness or wellness, and whether this is something you’re listening to and learning about for the first time. 

links

I got so much out of this conversation which I am really grateful for, I am sure you will too.

To follow Joeli and their inspiring and informative posts on Instagram check out @joelicaparco 

[00:00] Joeli: So the idea is like including the umbrella of who gets to participate in menstrual cycle awareness, including other experiences. For me, it’s a lot about, yeah, including the experiences of neurodivergent folks, but a lot for me of including the experiences of non cis women or even cis women who have differences that just mean they don’t experience menstruation in the stereotypical way. And so I think when we widen the lens of how we think about menstrual cycle awareness, we just get to include so many more experiences of having a cycle that just expand our own awareness of our own cycle.

[00:50] Charlotte: Welcome to Wild Flow Podcast with me, Charlotte Pointeaux. I’m an internationally award winning menstrual cycle and embodiment coach, Cycle Mysteries guide and founder of the first Moon Circle School of Menstrual Education for Children. Tune in for deep, heartfelt conversations with wisdom keepers, embodied leaders and change makers on themes from cyclical living in flow with your menstrual cycle embodies wisdom, reclaiming rites of passages to normalize period positivity for you and the next generation, and exploring our embodied experiences, soulful transformations and intuitive wisdom guiding you to express and embody your full power in the change you want to see in the world. Are you ready? Let’s flow.

 

Today’s guest, Jolie Capaco, is a mindset and menstrual cycle coach for creatives, content creators and coaches. She works to bring a neuroqueer lens to the menstrual cycle awareness space by taking the focus off of fertility and even menstruation itself in order to expand the umbrella of who is included and to acknowledge different experiences of having a cycle. Through creating a practice of getting in touch with their body, Jolie helps her clients reconnect with their needs, wants and desires so that they can have happier, healthier relationships with themselves, others and their businesses. Jolie’s pronouns are she, they, and she identifies as queer and neurodivergent. And I’m very grateful to Jolie for sharing so much insightful knowledge, wisdom and experience with us in this episode. It’s one I hope everyone listens to, whether you’re queer or neurodivergent yourself, or are looking for examples and representation when it comes to understanding how you experience your cycle and whether you’re holding space for others in menstrual cycle awareness or the wellness space, and even whether this is something you’re listening to and learning for the first time.

[02:49] Charlotte: Welcome to you all. Jolie and I chatted about how Jolie realized their neurodivergence was exacerbated by their cycle and what it looks like for them with ADHD and autism, specifically in life and business, what neuroquering the menstrual cycle means, what it looks like in action, and why it’s important how the menstrual cycle awareness space usually excludes non cisgendered and neuronormative people, even if unintentionally. And how that feels for Jolie.

How coaches and spaceholders especially can be more inclusive of menstruation beyond charting fertility and connecting to the womb by using better language and the follow through, especially if you’re not sure of what the right wording or actions you can take are how Jolie links the astrological signs to expressions of the inner seasons of the cycle hello Leo season.

[03:43] Charlotte: I got so much out of this conversation and I’m so grateful to Jolie for that. I’m sure you will too. To follow Jolie and their inspiring and informative posts on Instagram, check out at Jolie Capaco and grab a cuppa, get ready to listen into this really important and wise conversation and get ready to go with the flow.

[04:06] Charlotte: Welcome Jolie to wildflow. How are you today? I’m good, thank you. Good stuff. It’s really lovely to have you here. I’m really looking forward to chatting with you. So let’s start then, as always, with a cycle check in and we’ll just share where we are at in our bodies cycle if we have one, and if there’s any other seasons or cycles that are influencing us today and just share that, because I always find it shapes our conversation and it’s interesting to see where we’re both at, whether they’re similar or opposing parts of the cycle, just as a way to frame this conversation as well. So also, if you’re listening, then this is a good chance for you to do your own cycle check in as well. Think about where you’re at as you’re listening to us as well. So I’ll go first. So in my menstrual cycle, I’m on day four today. Thankfully, after a really long cycle that’s.

[05:13] Charlotte: Just ended, I’ve finally had my period.

[05:20] Charlotte: And it’s been really nice just to have a chance to slow down. I don’t believe in waiting for your period to slow down. Like you can slow down anytime, but it’s also when I feel like I really need it most. So just as I’m coming into it and then during, so it’s like the brakes get put on for me regardless. So just to really honor that and go with it and let it really slow me down has felt really nice and, yeah, day four today, still feeling quite vague and dreamy, actually, and tired. And I’m at the end of my school holidays here in Australia, so that’s definitely part of it. I’m pretty knackered. Can I just have a bit of space for me? And it’s also the new moon today, actually, so I feel like it’s like all of these kind of inward, dark, slower qualities. And we are in the middle of winter as well here. So everything is pointing towards, like, outer winter, inner winter. All of these are kind of aligning quieter, slower, reflective energies within me. So I’m coming to you today from that feeling a little bit like, where am I? What’s going on? But, like, in a nice, kind of chill way. So it feels quite nice. So, yeah, I think that’s me today. Just my blood is slowing down, but my body is still really, as I say, really slow.

[07:15] Charlotte: And it might take a little while to gear up.

[07:18] Charlotte: I feel like after such a big and long cycle, that’s just. Hmm, yeah, deep in winter over here. How about you, Jolie? Do you want to share a check in with us? How are you feeling, where are you at and what’s going on for you in your cycle?

[07:41] Joeli: Yeah. So in my menstrual cycle, I’m on day 24, which for me is in deep autumn. So I normally have about a 30 day cycle. So I specifically scheduled this recording knowing that I would be in my autumn. It’s a time when I’m a little bit more focused a little bit. Hopefully more on track with my thoughts, but we’ll see. But, yeah, a little bit. Just more able to be grounded and focused on tasks compared to other parts of my cycle. So I’m actually feeling really good and really mentally clear. And that’s funny. I felt that way about the new moon, which for me occurred late last night, but also just felt a lot of clarity about some things. I keep having dreams where I’m explaining what I do to people and I’m explaining it in a way that feels so clear and on point. And then I wake up and I can’t quite hang on to it, but I can feel like my brain is working behind the scenes to just really clarify and hone and revise thoughts around work and what I do and talking about what I do. So that’s been really interesting. And then, yeah, for us, my kids are finishing school this week. So there is a lot of like, as I come to the end of my cycle, they’re coming to the end of this cycle with school and we’re doing a lot of wrapping things up and tidying loose ends, but then we’re also moving into Leo season. Astrologically, that happens on Sunday for us, which as a Leo son, I just have a whole personality change come the month of Leo season where I’m like, it’s Leo season. I am on my throne and I want to be super visible and super princess, but I think it also just correlates to, for us in the northern hemisphere, having some more sunshine, having a little bit more summer, playful vibes. So I’m coming into that as well, where I’m like, yeah, more ready to play and be out.

[10:01] Charlotte: Yeah.

[10:04] Charlotte: Love that. Thank you for sharing. So Jolie’s in the UK and you’re coming into your school summer holidays and I love what you said about Leo season, as well as being an influence on you with your birthday being in that time, but also it corresponding with summer for you. So that’s interesting for us in the south, where it’s like we’re past midwinter, we’re coming up to in bulk here in two weeks, which is the first sabbath or point in the calendar, the wheel of the year, that’s past winter solstice. So it’s the first point that it’s like not spring yet, but it’s kind of like halfway between winter solstice and the start of spring. And it’s like that first kind of cusp of the lights just starting to come back a little bit and nothing’s growing yet, but it’s like planning time to plan out the garden. It’s like seeds are germinating under the soil even though you can’t see anything. So I’m just curious if you got any sense and you might not. I’m just asking off the top of my head whether Leo season. How could somebody in the southern hemisphere relate to Leo season? Is there or not so much?

[11:28] Joeli: Yeah, so my partner is australian and we’ve had conversations about one day in the future potentially moving to Australia and I’m like, how will I feel about my birthday being in winter? Because I am solar powered. Like, I am such a sun baby and I’m like, oh, what would this be like? So I’m very curious and like, would love experiences. If any of your listeners have Leo season, yeah, what do they feel? But the energy of Leo season, can we still embody it in the winter? As we move through. Yeah, well, there is welcoming back the light and I think that feels very Leo to me. Like, as you said of you’re coming cresting out of winter, still in it, headed towards in bulk. So that would be like the equivalent of our February 1. What is that energy there that’s present? What is wanting to come to the spotlight? What has been hibernating underground. That is like, I am yearning for the sun. You’ve kept me in the closet. You’ve tucked me away with all of your old summer clothes. What’s yearning to come out into the spotlight is kind of, I think, how I would be thinking about what in this time of, like, what needs to be playful, what needs to be held a little bit lighter. Yeah. Thinking about Leo for me is pure ovulation energy, which again, is associated with the season of summer. But I wonder how that would feel of, like I was like, can get the image of is like something that desperately wants to be birthed because it’s been underground for so long.

[13:28] Charlotte: Oh, my gosh. I love that. I think for me, that really hits on something that I identify with about this time. It’s like, okay, are we done with winter yet? Are we done? I’ve got these visions and these ideas and it’s like, and so I guess it’s like, which one of those ideas is really yearning and burgeoning rather than the ones that are like, oh, yeah, nice to have, but can kind of take their place and those elements within you as well, like what parts of you are wanting to be expressed, maybe this cycle. I think that’s awesome. Thank you for sharing. I think that’s. I’m going to really think about that. Yeah. I don’t really know so much about astrology, like, beyond just the kind of the basics. It’s not something that I’m, like, super kind of knowledgeable in, but I really love it and I’d love to kind of tie it more into the cycle, which I know is something that you’re into. So that’s really cool. Yeah.

[14:33] Joeli: Thank you.

[14:34] Charlotte: All right, well, thanks, Jolie. I’d love to, just before we dive into the depths of our conversation, just invite you to share with us what you do, and I guess a summary of why this is something that really speaks to you is really your passion. Why do you work in the menstrual cycle realm? And maybe it’s a bit about your story, your identity. Like, how has this come to be? Do you want to just share with us a bit about who you are and what’s brought you to here?

[15:16] Joeli: Yeah, so I have been running my own business since I graduated university. I never went down a path of traditional employment. So, yeah, I’ve always kind of been entrepreneurial, I think, because I’ve always been neurodivergent, but that wasn’t language I had at the time. And so I’ve journeyed through many different paths. But coming out of, let’s say, 2018, I found myself in life coaching spaces and really passionate about coaching because I could see that the people I was working with, helping folks start their own businesses, could really see, like, how much self doubt was holding people back. Like, we think it’s. I work a lot with perfectionists, people pleasers, and what I call kind of a plus students, so people who did really well in an academic setting. And the thing is, about those people, we were given rules about how to be, and we followed those rules. So we were given rules about, like, you can be perfect, you can study hard and work hard, and you can get 100. And then we go out into the real world and we’re like, okay, so if I study hard and I work hard and I follow the rules, I get to be perfect. But no one’s perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist. So I really love working with those people, people who are in their heads more than they’re in their bodies. We think about things, we overthink things. So real perfectionists, people pleasers, because we want to follow the rules. So I work a lot with those people, and I could see that they think they need another course about marketing. They think like, oh, I need to. Everything becomes kind of a personal failing. If you do a post on Instagram and you’re like, but I followed the rules about hashtags, and I did my call to action, and it’s like a really pretty post. Like, I followed the rules and I didn’t get the result. I must have not done it good enough. And that’s the core belief of the people I work with, is I’m not good enough because things aren’t working out or whatever. And so I could just see them like, but you don’t need another thing. You don’t need another rule. It’s these thoughts that I’m not good enough. That is actually the thing that’s holding us back. So I started googling because I didn’t know what a coach was. I didn’t come from a world in which I knew anything about coaching. So I started googling business therapists. Like, therapists for entrepreneurs. I was like, maybe I need to become a therapist, but someone needs to understand what it is to be an entrepreneur and what it is to be self employed or content creation, because it’s a whole different world, this world of being online all the I. Because of how long I’ve been doing business online. I started on Twitter. I was there when Instagram came out. I went through the rise of Instagram, through periscope, through. Now we’re on threads. I’ve just seen so much social media and the changes in social media, and I’m like, this is a whole different world. Like, if I go to my therapist and they start talking about whatever the things that we talk about in therapy, and I love therapy, I’m like, no, but you need to understand, I just can’t send this newsletter. I don’t want to talk about all that stuff. I just want to talk about my newsletter. I needed them to understand that, and they couldn’t. So finally found the world of coaching, and so I started coaching in 2018, and then we go through all that time in 20 19, 20, 20, 20, 21 really difficult years. I remember 2019. I don’t know if you’re listening to this. Think about where you were in 2019. It was a year in which I feel like so many people’s personal identities crumbled. Like, who they thought they were was just crumbling. And we all kind of went into 2020 being like, okay, I went through this massive thing. I had a split from my partner, and it was like, okay, I’m ready. 2021 or 2020 is going to be my year. Like, I figured stuff out, and then we went through global pandemic, and it was like, okay, cool. So now we’re not figuring stuff out. I guess not. We all had 2021, and we’re like, it’s going to be better. And then it wasn’t, and now we’re just. I never try to think of a year it’s going to be better anymore. So we kind of move through all that, and I have these massive personal awarenesses of my own stories of enoughness, my own stories about my own queerness and that I had been living. I thought I had unpacked my a plus box, and then I was like, oh, no, there was a box within a box that I was trying to live up to. And so I’d say probably last year, 2022, I was having, how do I describe them? I was having a really rough time, but I was having a rough time in waves. So I was just like, I had my partner, my ex husband, and I had fully separated. I was fully living by myself. And there’s something that happens as a neurodivergent person, where you use the people around you to give you structure. And I can chameleon into other people’s routines, other people’s rhythms, even other people’s emotions, so I never have to pay attention to myself. And then all of that went away, and it was just me. And I was like, I don’t really know who I am. I don’t always know what I’m feeling. But I was having days in which I just couldn’t get out of bed. I would call them depression. Whole days. I just had no executive functioning and I had no motivation to do things. And then I would come out of it and I would put back in my systems and I’d put back in my habits, and I would feel like, I’m getting this. I would feel so close to, I have my life together. And then it would all fall apart again. And I was going to therapy and I was like, I don’t know what’s happening. And we kind of discussed neurodivergence and ADHD and then stumbled across someone tracking their cycle and using that as their calendar for the month. So it meant bullet journaling fell down. A bullet journal, rabbit hole. Which then led me to cycle awareness rabbit hole, as you do. But instead of planning out their month with the calendar, they planned out their month with their cycle. And I was like, that sounds fun. I want to do that. And so as soon as I did that, literally the first month that I did that, and I started tracking my depression whole days and my executive functioning in alignment with my cycle, I was like, this is not random. This is predictable. Immediately could see, like, they’re happening post ovulation every single time. And then there’s like another one that’s like a week before my period is due where I’m like, the world is ending. I need to burn everything down. It sucks. I’m terrible. What am I doing? And when I was tracking it with the calendar month, they felt random. Tracked them with my cycles. Like, this lines up. This is not random at all. And it just was like the biggest light bulb moment for me of like, I’m not broken because it was like, oh, no, this is not. Like, I’m not. Yes, there’s a mental health thing that I can work on and improve, but it was like, these are predictable. I can prepare for it and I know it’s going to pass. And I was like, oh, okay. So then that kind of really started my journey into cycle awareness and really getting to know my own cycle and realizing how my self doubt matches up with my cycle and really started sharing this with friends. I’m the type of person that my girlfriend chokes. I track her cycle in my head and so she’ll be having something and I’ll be like, yeah, but babe, this happens every time you ovulate. And she’s like, how do you know that? You don’t see this? I acknowledge your problem and your feelings are valid and also we go through this every time you ovulate or you do this or whatever. So it’s this joke of like, is the world ending or is it day 20 of my cycle? Having that awareness has just like, it lightens how I feel about what I’m going through. It makes it so I can hold it less seriously because I’m really like, whoa. I used to be like, honestly, what is wrong with me? What do I need? What do I have to fix? I kept trying to fix things that it’s like, oh, actually, I don’t need to fix this. I just need to know what’s coming and prepare for it. And it completely changed my experience of this real up and down moods that I was going through. And so, yeah, that kind of led me to where I am today, where I realized as a coach, it’s really helpful for me to be like, okay, is this self doubt or is this a week before you bleed? Because if it’s self doubt, then we can coach around it, but if it’s a week before you bleed, I’m not going to argue with that brain. We’re just going to acknowledge the feelings, we’re going to sit with those feelings, but they’re going to change tomorrow. And so it’s not useful to give attention and validity to stories that your brain is coming up with because of hormones. They’re not real.

[25:08] Charlotte: Amazing. What a story. That’s fantastic. I love hearing that because I can one in part, like, I’m not neurodivergent, but relate to that sense of like, oh, my gosh, when you start to track your cycle and line things up by your cycle, you can be like, look at these patterns and how it’s shaping you. But I’m really interested as well, to hear, and I’m really glad that we’re having this conversation here, too, about specifically what that looks like for you as a neurodivergent person, where it’s coming up for you predictably and what it looks like and feels like and how you’ve learned to work with that. I think that’s just such valuable insight for anyone who’s listening, who’s like, oh, that’s me. This is something that you’re talking about, and we really need to be talking about because it is a different experience for somebody who is not neurodivergent. And I also think, and I’d love to ask you, do you find that this is something that is quite common for people with, say, you have a specific diagnosis, like, for example, do you find that, oh, okay, you have ADHD or you have autism, so therefore you’re likely to have experience your cycle this particular way? Or do you find, like, it’s really different person to person, we are all obviously different, different things going on in our lives and worlds. But do you find there’s these sort of predictable experiences that can be across.

[26:57] Charlotte: The board for people?

[26:59] Joeli: Yeah, I do find that when I talk to neurodivergent folks, just in general, they immediately resonate with a lot of things. And so obviously, like you said, it’s a spectrum and everyone’s different. And I’m not so sure about the difference between, like, oh, if you have adhd, it’s this, but if you have autism, it’s this I more think about. Because also there’s some talk about potentially adhd and autism are on their own spectrum. Maybe not even they’re definitely separate diagnosis, but more connected than we think. But what I think it is is if you are prone to overstimulation or if you are sensory processing differences, parts of your cycle in the same way, because that’s my experience of so just going through the cycle. I would say in my winter, when I’m bleeding, I actually find that to be a really calm time for me. And I don’t know if that’s universal, but whatever the hormones are doing at that time, which I know what they’re doing, but it’s not important. My body reacts really well to that, where I’m quite calm, quite creative. But what I have noticed is it’s a big picture thinking time. So don’t ask me to make small decisions. Give me literally a big piece of paper and a marker so I can draw out and dream big. And my thoughts are not linear, they are scattered. But that helps me with really big pictures and really big connections. So for me, in my winter, it’s a really good time to plan out the rest of my month or to plan out a workshop I want to do. But I’m not planning details, I’m just coming up with themes and, oh, this might play into this, but what I really had to give myself was the tool of big pieces of paper. Because I can’t make things line up. I can’t just write notes. I have to draw venn diagrams and spider webs and things like that. Moving into my spring, I start to be more chatty. So it’s a time of voice. Notes will be like ten minutes long, but I might be more chatty on social media. Social media posts might be easier to write, starting to feel good. But I can also have a lot of ups and downs in spring, and I know a lot of folks, and maybe this is neurodivergence, maybe this is not. But that anxiety, that overthinking can come in real hard in spring. And then as I move towards summer, as I move towards, through ovulation, that’s when for me specifically, adhd tendencies ramp up. So I have an attention span of like two minutes. It’s the time of like, I will be in the middle of a task and then I will get distracted and open another thing and then 2 hours later be like, oh my God, I was in the middle of grocery shopping and I never checked out the cart. It’s really hard. So I often don’t work. I book out my ovulation more than I’ll book out my bleed because I’m like, I just can’t sit at my computer. I just will not have any attention span. But what I have noticed recently that I’ve been tracking is I also get really excited about things, but I’ll want to start like ten different projects. And it’s actually something my partner and I have noticed where we have a tendency to really overestimate our capability in summer and be like, yeah, we can go to town and do this thing and do that thing and then come home and make like a four hour dinner that something super complicated, and then we’ll do this, then we get to the end of the day and if we’re not careful, we’ll feel bad that we didn’t get everything done objectively. I’ll be like, we were never going to get all of that done in a day. We can’t do all of that in a day. So there’s a real tendency to. For me especially, I really caught it this past summer or my past ovulation where I was like, oh my God, I want to start this and I want to launch this and I want to do this. And I was like, no. We made a commitment back at the beginning of the cycle that we were doing one thing. The closer I get to ovulation, the more prone to overstimulation. I am so going to shops. Everything’s too loud. So I become almost more withdrawn and more insular, and I can become. And this may be more of an autistic trait that people might recognize in themselves, more prone to shut down because everything’s so loud. I just won’t even want to talk because it’s so much. And then we move into post ovulation dip. And that is the hardest part of my cycle for me, in which those are the days I have no executive functioning. And so what that means for people who are unfamiliar, honestly, for me, it feels like having the flu, but physically, I feel well. But it’s that feeling of like, I’m lying on the couch and you could drop 200 pounds in front of me and be like, all you have to do is get up off the couch and you can have this money. And there is not a single thing I can do to get off the couch. I would look at it and be like, yeah, cool. I know I want to do this. I know I want to get up off the couch, but I just can’t. And so those are days where if I prepare for it and have compassion for myself, I’m like, cool. We’re just not going to get anything done today. But those are also days where actually, if I have a commitment on the calendar, so if I have to leave the house for something else that can help or ask a partner or ask supportive people to be like, hey, I just need someone else to help me get into motion. Those are also that time period I found giving myself physical tasks to do. Tasks which are geared towards, for example, cleaning, where it doesn’t quite matter if I start cleaning the sink and then get distracted because something has to get put away, actually, it helps get the job done. If I have that two minute focus, that can be really good for me. And like I said, yeah, I’ll clean the house. Something physical because it helps burn off some of that excess energy. And then as we move into autumn, super focused. This is my hyper focused time. I can work long hours again, something to also be careful of, because it can be like, oh, I worked a ten hour day and I didn’t give myself a break, but I’m just, like, in the zone hyper focus. So it’s a time of really implementation for me, of everything. Like, if I’m delivering a workshop, it’s the time where I’ll do all those last minute details. I’ll write up the notes, like, something that just needs just that focus, that drive, that, like, cool, we’re detailed, we’re getting this done. And then, yeah, as I move towards the end of autumn, I think that’s just when physical tiredness, it’s more like, I feel like less anything to do with neurodivergence and more just that normal physical tiredness comes in that really slowing down until my bleed starts, and then I’m like, oh, cool, hormones are coming back. I feel better again.

[35:24] Charlotte: Here we go again. Yeah, thank you so much for that breakdown. That’s so helpful. And, yeah, it’s interesting. As I was listening, there were parts where I’m like, oh, I recognize that quality in myself at that time. But then obviously other parts where it’s like something that is very much not something I experience and obviously something that is part of your experience, and then also times where it’s like, yeah, I can kind of relate to that, but yours is like a real amplification of that quality. So it’s really obvious that having a cycle awareness as a neurodivergent person or someone who’s holding space for neurodivergent people as well, because, you know, a lot of people listening to this are doing that. Having that awareness of, one, very broadly, again, everyone experiences the cycle differently, but two, how differently and where? And maybe it’s not like where you expect it to be or what you expect it to look like and how it can vary, as you said, based on a spectrum approach, and just simply each person is going to.

[36:49] Charlotte: Feel it.

[36:49] Charlotte: Differently, and then it will be different in the application as well, depending on who you are and what you’re doing in your life. I’m really loving the examples you’ve shared of both in your personal life, but also in the work you do and how that shows up for you. I think I’m hearing in you that it’s just like a really powerful tool. So, yeah, it’s really great to hear just what that’s like for you. Thanks for sharing, Jolie. And I love the term that you’ve shared with me, which is neuroqueer. Could you just share for anyone who’s like, what’s that not heard of? Like, what does that mean to you as an identity?

[37:36] Joeli: So neuroquearing, or neuroqueer is a term that came from Nick Walker in her 2008 grad paper. And so it expands on the idea of queer theory or queering something, and kind of combines the experience of being neurodivergent and being queer, which there is a very big ven diagram of those identities like neurodiversity in queer people. It’s so much more common than in non queer people. But for the kind of vibe of the term, or how I think about it is, and also part of Nick’s definition, it’s the idea of expanding beyond the standards of neuronormativity and heteronormativity in order to give more. In the definition, Nick says, give more full expression to one’s uniquely weird potentials and inclinations. And I kind of love that. It’s the idea of expanding just beyond the norms. There is a very heteronormative and neuronormative way to look at the menstrual cycle. And that’s the typical. There’s a man and a woman in a relationship. The woman has a menstrual cycle she’s probably tracking because she wants to get pregnant. Now, we might talk about not wanting to avoid pregnancy, but that’s even in of itself, like almost querying of it. The very norm is like, we use this to track our fertility and that’s how we speak about a lot of things. And so the idea is including the umbrella of who gets to participate in menstrual cycle awareness, including other experiences. For me, it’s a lot about including the experiences of neurodivergent folks, but a lot for me, of including the experiences of non cis women or even cis women who have differences that just mean they don’t experience menstruation in the stereotypical way. And so I think when we widen the lens of how we think about menstrual cycle awareness, we just get to include so many more experiences of having a cycle that just expand our own awareness of our own cycle.

[40:04] Charlotte: Yeah, I agree. That’s awesome. And I love the definition that you shared. Thanks for sharing that. I think that that’s really interesting to hear. And then I love what you’re saying about just broadening the lens and including more people who get to participate in menstrual cycle awareness beyond fertility and also obviously beyond, just like the standard experience. Like if you pick up a book on menstrual cycle awareness, it’s like for anyone, it’s like, here’s how you’re going to experience your Bleed time, here’s how you’re going to experience your ovulation time. And actually it’s really wide. And then add on the lens or the experiences of different identities as well. And I’m just hearing how broad and different that can be. And also, obviously that it can feel quite exclusive to people who are cisgendered neuro normative? Is that the right way of saying, like, I guess, the dominant identities in culture? Is it okay for me to ask you, Jolie, how have you felt or found these narrow definitions or descriptions or the kind of archetypal. This is what menstrual cycle awareness is like, how has that excluded you?

[41:43] Joeli: Yeah. And I think that’s tricky because there’s a part of me that wants to people please and be like, I felt excluded, it’s fine. But letting that part take a backseat, there’s a lot that when I explore particularly menstrual cycle awareness spaces where I’m like, oh, you don’t want me here. This is not for me. This information is not for me or specifically, you don’t want people like me in here. And by that, I mean I’m still playing with labels, and there’s, like, a piece in me that feels maybe nervous to claim, like, a non binary label. I tend to think of myself as, like, gender agnostic, where I’m just like, I just don’t buy into the concept of gender as prescribed by society. And I think I experience what’s called social dysphoria sometimes with my gender, which means that I feel so comfortable in my body. Like, I don’t have any body dysphoria. I feel very comfortable with calling myself a woman with my girlfriend or calling me her girlfriend. I feel very comfortable with that. But then when I’m in a group of what reads as cis straight women particularly, and they’re like, oh, I’m so happy to be in this group of women. There’s something in me that feels like then I’m not. That. When you say in those groups, when they’re using the word women, I’m like, I don’t know that you’re including. If your definition of women is as expansive as my definition of women. And so then that can feel. It feels essentially very dysphoric, where I’m just like, oh, I’m not comfortable with you calling me that. So the best way I can describe this is I previously was in a relationship with a man, a hetero relationship, kind of, I guess. But I really didn’t like the term wife. And I was like, I just don’t know about this. I just feel kind of weird, like being called a wife. And what it was is because my box of wife, what I thought what a wife should be, was married to a man, cis, straight, kind of even, still have some ideas of being the primary caregiver, putting family first and I was like, but I’m quite ambitious, and I love the work I do so much, and that’s kind of my priority. And I’m not always very soft and maternal, and I love my kids. Don’t get me wrong. Of course I love them beyond anything. But I’m not a person who’s like, my kids are my whole life, because I’m just like, that’s just not how I feel. So there were a lot of ways. I was just like, oh, I just don’t feel like I fit in this box of wife. The minute wife became married to a woman, and that wife was a woman married to another woman, I’m like, okay, that feels fine. The minute wife became a queer term, it fit me. And so it’s, like, less about. I don’t know what the question was. It’s like, less about the words and more about the feeling and the box. And so menstrual cycle awareness feels like the box is very small of who we’re talking about. We’re talking about women who have wombs. We’re talking about women who want to access the feminine. We’re talking about women who just have this very sometimes very soft, very pastel. There’s a very particular. A lot of times she’s white, a lot of times she’s thin, and a lot of times she’s this. She’s straight. And it’s a very small box of who gets to be included in that wellness space that then I can just, like, I’m too big for this space. Yeah, you just feel like, oh, you’re not talking to me. You don’t know my experience. You don’t recognize my experience. And, yeah, that’s kind of how I feel about traditional hyper feminine mental psych awareness spaces.

[46:04] Charlotte: Yeah, thank you for sharing that. It’s really important to hear. And thank you so much for that part of you who wanted to be like, no, it’s fine.

[46:12] Joeli: It’s fine.

[46:14] Charlotte: Letting that part of you just take a seat and go, it’s okay. I’m glad that you felt able to share with us your truth. That’s really powerful to hear and to witness and to learn from as well. And, yeah, so I’m hearing, then it’s almost like the. I heard this said about inclusion is that if you don’t actively include, you’re automatically excluding. I think what I’m hearing is that unless somebody is making a stand, like, defining the box as a broader box, then it can come across as this narrow, like, oh, I’m not sure if I’m welcome here. I’m not sure if you have an understanding here of the fact there are people here who have bigger and broader experiences and identities and because you haven’t actively included, I’m not sure I’m safe. And I’m not sure I’m included, and therefore I’m not sure I’m safe.

[47:30] Joeli: Yeah. Does that feel true? Yeah, it feels exactly that of just kind of just. And sometimes I feel like, oh, well, this might be unfair. And I also want to say there’s nothing wrong with those spaces. I’m not being like, oh, my God, no space can be like that. Of course they can. It’s just that I’m going to then make the assumption that it’s not a space for me and I’m absolutely fine not having spaces that are for me. Of course there are going to be a lot of people who don’t feel like they fit in in the spaces that I create. And that’s totally okay. But I think what my thing is, honestly, I don’t really see any spaces where I’m like, oh, you’re coming at this from a really queer lens. And so, yeah, it is that thing of like, okay, you’re not actively trying to be inclusive with anything. So I’m just kind of going to assume that I’m not probably going to feel very comfortable in that space.

[48:34] Charlotte: Yeah. Okay. And so what would help you to feel included, genuinely and not just like tokenistic wording or is there something that people can be aware of, I guess is what I’m thinking of. Like you say, not all people are going to be right to hold spaces for identities other than their own, simply because they won’t be able to do it justice and hold that safe space for you. But what can people be aware of if they’re wanting to really let people know that they’re there, they’re doing the work, they’re able to, or whatever that is. Yeah, I’d love to hear from you.

[49:29] Joeli: Yeah, definitely. I think the first thing is just check in with yourself about what do I mean when I say the words I’m saying and who do I want to hold a space for? So one of the things that I see a lot is, let’s say you say I help women with their menstrual cycles, or, no, that’s not quite right. Let me think. I hold women’s spaces where we reconnect with our cycles. That’s a little bit more broader language, right? And then she’s like, okay, cool. So trans women are women and a trans woman comes to that space. But then if you’re in that space, if you’re holding that space, and then you’re using you making assumptions like that everyone here has a womb or everyone here has an experience of having a menstrual cycle. You can say the right words, but then when we go into the space, are you still holding that really inclusive lens? So that’s often what I see. I’ll read people’s sales pages and they’ll use language like, oh, I help women and people who bleed, but then go on later to use very specific language that I’m like, oh, no, you don’t. I saw one sales page when I was browsing for cycle certification, cycle coach certification, and they said, this experience is open to women and any people who. No, it said all women. I think maybe people who bleed or something like that, non binary folks. But then their prerequisite was, you have to have experience of a menstrual cycle. And I was like, so you don’t mean you’re open to all women because there are so many women who for whatever reason, have not experienced a menstrual cycle. And so I’m like, why don’t you just say, oh, I really just want to work with cis women? So there’s things about that where I just get so wound up, where I’m like, oh, you’re trying. You’re using the right language, but you’re not really following through on that. So that’s more of like a what not to do. I think the things that make me feel included is using who is this for? Language in your copy or sales page or what we believe in this space. So things like, we believe that all women are women and that having this certain experience doesn’t qualify you or disqualify you. We acknowledge trans rights, actually stating really clearly this is what I believe, and being willing to lose followers or turn away right people or something like in these spaces, we respect all gender identities and then following through. So when someone is in your space and then being like, oh, I’m so happy to be in this group of women, just having a gentle, hey, just a gentle reminder that not everyone in the space might identify as women. And so we’re going to try and avoid that language. Those are the things like that follow through, making it a habit that in your groups people introduce themselves with pronouns because often what can happen is no one does. And then the one person who maybe doesn’t use she, her pronouns has to stand out. I’ve been in that place where I will fall back into people pleasing and just be like. And not introduce myself with pronouns because no one else did it. And it’s things like that of being an advocate for acknowledging, not making assumptions about the people in your spaces and what their experience is. I think, yeah, makes a really big difference. So it’s like less for me about, oh, using this specific language or always using the phrase women and people who bleed and more just about really being clear about your values and being willing to. I know there can be people who get pushback if they use the phrase women and people who bleed. And you’ll get your keyboard warriors who are like, blah, blah, blah, blah, being willing to be like, yeah, okay, this is fine. I know some people are going to disagree with this, but I actually am using this language, not because I should, but because this is how it is.

[53:59] Charlotte: Yeah, that’s brilliant advice. I really appreciate that. I love the specific examples you’ve given as well of what you’ve noticed on sales pages, in groups and how then that’s influenced your behavior and what it takes to actually do this with integrity and not just token gestures. I think that’s super helpful. I appreciate that. Thank you. I was just thinking when you said that I had an experience only a couple of weeks ago where someone said, I think you spelt women wrong. And I’d written people in relation to people who bleed, and it was like, you spelled women wrong. I’m like, no, not. Let me state it again.

[54:51] Joeli: But there be bell at their back.

[54:55] Charlotte: A woman, and not all women bleed, that kind of thing. And it’s know. Okay. And it seems to be like a real. I don’t know if this is UK based, but I’ve been hearing stories, particularly out of the UK, and perhaps more so there, than what I’ve noticed here in Australia, where there’s a lot of heat in the moment about gender and women’s spaces and the use of the word moving away from women and being more inclusive beyond that. And yeah, I’m just curious as well, because I know there are people who, and there are people who I’ve worked with who want to do the right thing, who want to do this work, who want to really learn to hold these inclusive spaces, but are also picking up on what’s happening culturally, where there’s this real panic about the erosion of women’s spaces. And I’ve got my opinion on that, I guess. But I would just love to hear what it means when we use language beyond just woman and women and what’s going on in that kind of sense, you’ve said women and. And it’s like we don’t need to stop using the word woman altogether because people do identify that way. But it’s not just limiting it. It’s like taking this more additive approach of beyond just that. But do you have any thoughts on if someone’s listening and curious or kind of sitting on this place of how do I kind of reconcile this? Maybe? What are your thoughts on this?

[56:55] Joeli: Yeah, so I have a real nerdy response to this. I feel like I should preference like I’m a virgo rising sometimes. I’m just very practical with my language. So I come at this from just a very practical approach where if I mean people who bleed, I’m going to say people who bleed. If I mean people who have uteruses, that’s what I’m going to say. If I say women and people who bleed, then I have confusion about that phrase because I’m like, do you mean women with uteruses and people with uteruses? Or do you mean all women and then just people with uteruses? And why are we talking to all women but then only people with uteruses? Like, not, let’s say, non binary folks? So you mean you work with all women but just non binary folks that have uteruses? It gets more confusing when you try and dissect it. Just say the thing you mean. But I also think about. If you think about math and we have, like, rectangles and squares, right? All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. But if I just talk about rectangles, no one’s out there going, oh, my God, that’s square erasure. Squares still exist even when I’m just like, oh, okay, rectangles this. People who bleed is a bigger box. It’s not erasure. It’s just a bigger box. Under the category of people who bleed are women who bleed and non women who bleed. It’s just a widening of the box. There’s nothing about it that feels like erasure to me. What do I want to say about this topic? Because it’s such. I think what can happen is people feel like the opposite of patriarchy is feminine rising, and so we have to reconnect with the feminine and that we have to. Women need to rise. But that’s not the opposite of a patriarchy. The gender binary comes from patriarchy. The idea that women are soft and men are hard. It’s still patriarchy nonsense. The more you buy into women only spaces in the sense that any non binary focused folks are threatening to that the more you’re buying into old standards of gender. If you really want to subvert the current systems, expanding those lenses is how we do that. But I think there can be an attachment, and this is such a conversation, like a whole other conversation that I don’t want to go down to, but I think what I feel is when we attach so much to one specific lens of a woman, and this is how I feel honestly, about things like reconnecting with the womb when we attach, that’s where our power is. Then of course we’re threatened by a woman who doesn’t have that same thing. We’re like, well, how can you come take our power? Because you don’t. So we need to just let go a little bit and be like, no, it’s not this binary. And like you said, it’s not taking anything from women only spaces, which are still fine, you can still have them. No one’s saying you can’t. But, yeah, we’re not taking from that experience by being like, hey, some of us are non binary and we still have periods, and that’s cool too. We’re just really subverting the same systems like that. We’re all on the same team as. I guess what I want to say about that.

[01:00:58] Charlotte: Yeah, thank you. I feel like I’ve just learned a lot from that as well. Like really hearing that, I’ve sort of struggled with the language as well. It’s like, how do I take this approach that is inclusive and I do welcome people, all people who want to come along to a particular space, but doing that in a way that is going to feel welcome to someone rather than like, oh, I think getting it wrong. I think a lot of people are worried about getting it wrong as well. I hear that a lot. And so I really love what you just said there almost, if you’ve got like a hierarchy or like a subcategory kind of thing where you’ve got people who bleed and then, like you say with underneath that you’ve got women who bleed and then non women who bleed, and it’s like, take that zoomed out or higher level approach. I’m just visualizing in my head. It’s kind of like zooming out. That’s probably the right expression. And I just feel like that. Yeah, I was just going to say.

[01:02:12] Joeli: I always ask people to think about what you’re saying when people are in a group and they say like, oh, I’m so happy to be in this group. Of women. What do you mean by that? By women, do you mean, I’m happy to be in a group of women who have vulvas or people who have vulvas? Because that’s kind of weird. Like, why are we happy to be in a room with the same genitalia? So what are you actually saying? I’m happy to be in a room of people who have the same lived experience as me. I’m happy to be in the same room with people who understand what it is to not be respected, to feel less than that’s such a more powerful. Like, if I’m in a space and someone says, I feel so comfortable being in a space of all of you people who have the same experience as me, then we’re connecting over something. But when you just say, oh, I’m so happy to be in a group of women, I don’t know what you mean by that. It’s just not specific. So just really think about what is it? I’m trying to say, what is it? I’m trying to communicate. And I think you’ll find you connect better with people. When we go beyond a binary gender label, that doesn’t mean anything, because the word even, yeah. What falls under the umbrella of women is so wide and so vast, and even in terms of body parts that we have, it’s still so wide and so vast. And the thing that I always think about is, okay, so we say we have this definition of women, and then she goes and gets a hysterectomy. She’s still a woman. She goes and she has breast cancer and she gets her ******* removed. She’s still a woman. So what are you really saying when you’re like, oh, this counts, but this doesn’t. And how does that then affect your own experience of going through menopause, going through uterine or breast cancer? God forbid, when we attach to specific things, those things are going to unravel. So, yeah, that’s kind of my thing. It’s just think about what you really mean.

[01:04:12] Charlotte: That’s brilliant advice. Because what comes to mind is it’s like, values based as well. Like lived experience, yes. Shared interest, maybe, but you’re usually in a space because you have the same values as the people there, and that’s what’s connecting. And that goes across gender, because just because you’ve got two women in a room doesn’t mean that they remotely get on with each other or relate in any way or share the same values. So, yeah, I’m sort of feeling into that. For me, as well, and. Yeah, just that point about tying gender to having periods, menstruation being cyclical, all those things. Like tying it to gender. I see it a lot as well in the menarch space, like supporting children. It’s like when we talk about it as becoming a woman, entering womanhood. That for me is such an example of where we’re really tying a child turns a certain age and they have a period and now they’re a woman and all that loaded meaning, but yet it’s.

[01:05:20] Joeli: And we’re giving that to twelve year olds.

[01:05:22] Charlotte: Totally. I know. Yeah. And I don’t agree with that. I don’t agree that you become a woman at twelve or whatever age you have your first period. I feel like I’ve only just become a woman in the last, I think when I had children, and not again to gender it, but in that sense of maturation. And when I say woman, I mean adult, like grown up. So I think when we’re tying it to puberty. Yeah, I think it’s almost like a cop out of like it’s like a one word or you know, a quick, almost lazy way of saying, you know, like this person is entering like a different. Like they’re transitioning in a way, rather than again saying what you mean by it. So I can just see all these different examples that I think we can be really mindful of working in this space, being in this space, like existing in our bodies, and just being really thoughtful about how we can actively include a border definition. Because I think when we resist this as well, children, I’m really noticing, are really. They share pronouns, they understand gender is on a spectrum as well as neurodiversity and all these other things. It’s like we’re the ones who need to keep up with the times that. It’s kind of like when you look at the elderly now and they’re like, I have no idea how to work this computer. Can you do this for me? It’s kind of like we’re that generation of going, can you just explain this whole thing to me? And the kids are like rolling their eyes going, come on, keep up. Thanks for sharing that. Because like I say, I think it’s something that we could need to be learning about if it’s not something we’ve lived the experience of. But also, I hope that this conversation really helps anyone listening who’s trying to maybe express their particular experience or identity or make space for themselves in this, I don’t want to say industry, but in this space of, like you said, well being or more narrowed down like menstrual cycle awareness because it is offered as a very gendered thing. So, yeah, I hope it’s helpful for people as well. Yeah. So I think that’s just been an awesome conversation. Jolie, I really appreciate your time. I appreciate so much you’re sharing. You’re teaching us. I’m really glad that we’ve been able to have that chat. Is there anything else that you would like to leave people with that hasn’t been said?

[01:08:38] Joeli: No. I think we covered so much ground and yeah, I welcome anyone to reach out if they have questions or if something came up for them that they need holding space for. Like, I am open to. And even if it’s just I don’t understand anything you talked about, I am open if you’re open. I am open to having those conversations. So, yeah, I hope this gave some.

[01:09:03] Charlotte: People some things to think about. Thank you. Where can people find you, Jolie? Where’s the best place for them to get in touch?

[01:09:14] Joeli: Yeah, so you can message me on Instagram. It’s at Jolie Caparco. Or you can email me jolie@queercyclecoach.com. The website is coming, which will be queercyclecoach.com, but that’s not in my zone of genius. So the best place is, honestly, just email me or find me on social media and have a chat in my dms.

[01:09:36] Charlotte: Amazing. Thank you. So I’ll pop those links in the show notes so you can go and chat with Jogli and follow her. Beautiful and really inspiring. And really, I feel like you really bring a real level of truth.

[01:09:55] Joeli: To.

[01:09:55] Charlotte: Your posts on Instagram. And I read it and I’m like, I learn from it. But then I also just get this real strong sense of, you really know yourself and you know.

[01:10:08] Joeli: Who you are.

[01:10:09] Charlotte: And how you experience not just your cycle, but all things. And I think that you’re doing amazing things. So, yeah, go check out Jolie’s work and follow along and give her a message if you want to. All right, well, thank you.

[01:10:28] Charlotte: And on that note, for having me.

[01:10:30] Charlotte: Yeah, we’ll wrap up. Thank you.

[01:10:33] Joeli: Bye.

[01:10:36] Charlotte: Thanks so much for listening to Worldflow. I love having you here. If you’re loving this podcast, please show your love by leaving a review and a rating and share your favorite episodes with those you think would love to listen to. To help share this passion project of.

[01:10:51] Charlotte: Mine with the world far and wide.

[01:10:54] Charlotte: To take the next step and learn how to live, love, and lead and flow with your cyclical nature. Or for deep guidance and support in your cycle embodiment journey. Discover my freebies online journeys, trainings and coaching on my website. Until next time, go well with the flow of your body’s cyclic nature.

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Charlotte Pointeaux

Charlotte Pointeaux is an Internationally Award-Winning triple-Certified Coach, Youth Mentor, Host of Wild Flow Podcast, a sought-after guest menstrual educator and speaker. She is a Shamanic Womancrafter, a Priestess of the Cycle Mysteries.

Charlotte’s work as a Wild Feminine Cycle Coach weaves together shamanic womb healing and rite of passage work with menstrual cycle awareness and feminine embodiment tools, to guide women through their transformational journey of reclaiming their wild feminine cyclic powers to expressing their big magick as a sacred leader.

Charlotte founded First Moon Circles®, a renowned facilitator training program, to train new menstrual educators to prepare, honour and celebrate children and their care-givers at menarche (their first period). To date, she has trained almost 100 facilitators across 5 continents and is on a mission to infuse families, friendships, classrooms and communities with period positivity and menstrually inclusive practices.

Download your free menstrual magick guide by subscribing to my newsletter, and discover my coaching, courses and short classes at www.charlottepointeaux.com/coaching.

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