I’m so, so excited about today’s interview, because I have the amazing Sarah Blake as my guest. I’ve always been curious to understand and learn what working in flow has to do with your hormonal cycle. This is why I invited Sarah as she’s able to share with us about what cycle syncing has to do with productivity in our business. Sarah Blake is a cyclical living guide and she teaches female entrepreneurs how to harness their hormonal cycle and the cycles of nature. So, they can create lives and businesses with less force and more flow. 

Hi Sarah, so excited to interview you today. Tell us about yourself and your business 

I am a cyclical living guide. What this means is that I help women to connect to their menstrual cycle and also the cycles of nature to understand how their energetic ebbs and flows work. For them use that to plan their lives and businesses with more flow. 

It takes a lot of energy to start or even run a business on a full-time basis or as a side hustle. And it can get to a point where you really resent your business, if you are not being smart about the way you use your energy. This is why it’s vital to understand how your energy works in a cycle. I think this is just such important and powerful information and it’s really what I teach, share and guide people through.

What exactly is cycle syncing in relation to productivity?

Cycle syncing with your productivity and business is all about, first of all, understanding how you personally feel in each phase of the cycle. Then adjusting your activities around that. Overall, the cycle that we experience; we have a low energy phase, a rising energy phase, a peak energy phase, and then a decreasing energy phase. Of course, the low energy phase is when we’re menstruating. 

The ovulation phase is our highest energy phase. And so, what we can do when we understand that roadmap is that we can plan our highest energy activities. Activities such as interviews, running launches and doing promotions. We can do all of that when we know we have our highest energy. 

Then we can plan ahead so that in our lower energy time, we’re doing more inner work. We’re doing more big picture visioning and everything that comes in between. 

It all starts with the awareness of the phases. Then it goes to understanding how you personally feel, because I can’t tell you exactly how you’re going to feel and what your energetic capacity is going to be. I can only give you an overall picture of it. 

But what I’ve found is really powerful with my clients, students and my programs is that they make it personalized. Because we all have different businesses. Some of us have these really big, energetic launches maybe like a few times a year. While others are selling things regularly, because let’s say we have more of an evergreen model. And so it’s all about figuring out what works best for you, but with the foundation of knowledge about our bodies. 

How exactly does the level of our different hormones impact our creativity and productivity? 

Let’s start with the menstrual phase, cause we’re all familiar with that.

Menstrual phase

We all know what it feels like to get our periods. And for some of us we have a better or worse relationship depending on our health history and things like that. But most of us are familiar with being a little bit more tired, being a little bit less interested in doing the heavier work. What’s actually happening in this phase is we have our lowest concentration of hormones. And that actually is why we experience these energetic lows. 

And so what that means is when we have really low hormone levels which is natural in that phase. We’re more tired, so we’re not drawn to productivity. We’re drawn to rest. What’s so interesting is that in our brains, we have this unique connection between both hemispheres of our brains. Which are the thinking side and the feeling side and that allows us to be really intuitive at that time. 

What’s so beautiful about this phase is that we have the ability to really go inwards.

Create visions and think about what we really want and not necessarily take action. But just do an evaluation because we have these low hormones supporting us.

Follicular phase

And then in the next phase, as estrogen rises, estrogen is really that like creative juice that we run on. A couple of days after our period, you’ve probably experienced this where you feel your energy returning, right? YES YES! And, and you suddenly are like, okay, I’m ready to start things. A lot of people characterize this as feeling like spring. It’s like springtime, energy coming to life again. 

What’s so wonderful about estrogen is it allows us to be really good at starting and taking action and putting that energetic output out there. It’s also really good for some of the more spatial activities such as design and planning things. It’s really good for us to kind of see the whole picture and figure out how the pieces go together. So that’s really useful because it’s like we have this beginning, low energy phase. We’ve had our evaluation and now we’re ready to start projects.

Ovulation phase

During the ovulation phase, we have testosterone come in at this time. Testosterone is what we usually see as a more masculine hormone. But it allows us to be a bit more of a go-getter. And this is a great time to sell. Because we are very good at communicating. We have these high communication powers and we’re also a little bit more assertive. 

We feel good about it! Because we feel like we have the hormonal support to talk to people, to communicate, to sell our offers and promote ourselves. 

Luteal phase

Next, we have progesterone come at the end. After we ovulate, progesterone is the hormone that comes in. This is also known as our luteal phase. This is that fall energy. Because it’s about shutting things down as we prepare for another menstrual phase and our energy decreases. Well, progesterone is really wonderful at helping us to be focused and detail oriented.

What’s great about that is all the projects we started in our follicular phase, in that springtime energy, now we have hormonal support to help us finish things. And we finish them right before we go back to our resting phase, which is the menstrual phase. It’s so beautiful. We have this entire roadmap of resting, starting, communicating, and selling and promoting, and then completing. And that’s built into our bodies! 

What’s the best way to balance our masculine ways of working with structure and femininity, where we work more in flow and with less force?

Here, the key is that your structures are supporting you. Not that your structures are just another way to tick off a bunch of boxes. Sometimes we feel very beholden to our structures. Like if I don’t do these five things today, then I’m a failure. And the reality is. The reason we have systems and structures and processes is to make things easier! Actually, the structures are there to support the flow.

Whether your structure is a certain way that you organize your day or whether it’s an automation set up, or you have a way that you plan out your launches, all of those things are there to help you. 

I really believe that we’re not there to support our structures. Our structures are there to support us. When thinking about creating plans and containers for the way you approach your day and business, you always want to be thinking of it from an angle of, is this going to help me to be in my flow? It’s not about just doing a thing to do a thing. There are those of us who haven’t heard about this and are used to hearing about the masculine hustle kind of way of approaching things. 

We may just be used to achieving to achieve. Just to show ourselves that we’re doing things. I know you talk about this in your content too. Just because you’re doing something doesn’t mean you’re actually being productive. You have to figure out which activities are really helping move the needle and with the highest leverage for you. And I think that’s where we align really well. It’s about, is the structure making things easier for me or is it making things more stressful? 

How do you balance the traditional ways of working and doing business around your menstrual phase? Most of the times, the ways of working are structured around the male ‘cycle’ where you are expected to be at peak productivity and performance all day, every day?

This is a really good question because it’s so grounded in reality. 

I think sometimes when people “just bring more flow into your life”. 

They think “How is that possible?”

It can feel like it’s so out of reach. What I’d like to say about the corporate culture and the corporate aspect is; Some of us have this expectation to perform at the same level every day. What I think is really important and something I teach is at least structuring your self-care around your cycle. Meaning that you’re sleeping more. Or you’re having more restful, nurturing self-care in your lower energy phases. 

And then in your higher energy phases, you’re allowing yourself to be more social. Maybe to get on sales calls. Because you might find that in your ovulation phase even at the end of the day, you still have some energy left in the tank. Maybe you could go live on Instagram. Or write a blog post or whatever it is that’s helpful. It’s really important first to just make sure that you’re aware of your phases, and that your self-care and expectations are around your cycle. 

Something else to note is having support from your partner and family are really important too. If you have your partner or husband let them know you are at a lower energy phase. Meaning you’re going to need more help because, you have to prioritize your time and energy. A lot of men don’t really know about these phases they don’t experience them. They’re not really clued in unless we communicate it. I think that the support is really important.

Finally, you can structure your business, like we were talking about earlier. Where you allow yourself to do more inward and sort of relaxed, low energy work in those low energy phases. Then do most of your high energy work in your higher energy phases. What can happen is that, you naturally go along with your body and you just show up at the level of energy you have that day. Some days you’re not going to have high energy. That doesn’t mean you don’t show up for your business. You just show up for your business at 50%.

I have also been a piano teacher for several years. This is something I do in addition to my work with cyclical living. I teach piano in the same schedule every single week, no matter what phase I’m in. And sometimes my students get the highest, most enthusiastic version of me. And sometimes they get me at my lower energy phase. 

The reality about that is I think it’s actually beautiful. Because it sets up an expectation for my students and for your communities and everybody that we serve that we don’t have to be so on fire all the time. Sometimes we can still show up and we can still be in our lower energy state and allow that to be enough. It’s all about just feeling like what we’re doing is enough.

How can we start putting all this great information about cycle syncing and our productivity, into practice?

It’s so important, to get started by really understanding your cycle and tracking it. There are different apps that people use. Some people still like to use some sort of calendar system. Whatever system you use, I often find that what women do is. They use it to know when their period is coming up or when they’re ovulating. But they don’t use it to check in about how they feel. What I really encourage women to do at the beginning is; to not only track what phase you’re in, what day of your cycle you’re in, but also make a note at the end of the day of how you felt that day. And specifically which tasks felt really good and felt like, yes, I can handle this. And which tasks, maybe you had some resistance towards. 

But you need to figure out for yourself. I highly suggest spending one cycle, taking note of how you felt that day. That way, you can at least start to see the pattern. Then with this information what’s really helpful is that we plan to do our launches and release important projects into the world in those high energy phases. What I really like to encourage my students and clients is that they take the rest during their menstrual phase. And then they get into promotion mode right after.

Often people do launches for one to two weeks. So, what you can do is that you do all of your pre-launch activity is in the high energy phase beforehand. For instance, let’s say we have a six-week plan; So, you’re putting all the content out and you’re promoting in your high energy phase currently. And then you take a little bit of a break. 

Maybe you still have content going up, but it’s already been created and automated, take a little break. Then when you open the cart, try to have that open cart time or open doors time during your high energy phase. 

Essentially, you have one high energy phase for warming people up and pre promoting things and just getting people aware. Then allow yourself a little break in between where, you just have automated posts.  Or maybe you have your team helping you or a virtual assistant. And then have the doors open again during that follicular and ovulation phase and then close the doors at the end! What’s so beautiful is that you’ll be in your luteal phase. Which is the time that’s all about finishing things. In that time, you’re just welcoming people into the program, closing things down, you’re slowing down a little bit.

I think planning the peaks of our energy in our launches around those high energy phases. Then take time to evaluate what went well, what didn’t go well. A lot of us miss the evaluation. A lot of us kind of jumped to the next thing without evaluating, and sometimes we have really important information there. Take the time to evaluate. 

During the next cycle again, you can choose what kind of promotion high energy activity or creation you’re going to do.  If you’re creating a course, think about the course during your menstrual phase. Then start planning it out during your follicular phase and then maybe fill in the content during your ovulation phase. This is also a great time to show up on video, doing Instagram lives or anything that requires us to be visible. Since we also have a beautiful glow that often happens during ovulation because our skin has higher collagen. Then in your luteal phase, you can finish things up. Maybe put them all into your course platform and then you’re done!

We can use this whole process to plan anything. So it’s just about, knowing when is that going to happen for you? When are those different phases and what project are you working on and what different activities are required to execute that project? How are they going to fit in with your energy at that time?

I think it’s so beautiful because it’s such a clear framework. Yes, it does require at least one cycle of just getting used to tracking and noticing and paying attention to how you feel. And, and then it allows you to anticipate for the future. 

I love the way I launched because I’m pretty much always launching during my ovulation phase. It makes it so much easier. I’ve had like the most easy and fun launches. Because I plan them at a time when my energy is high. So, I don’t feel stressed or burnt out. And that’s been so supportive. And I think a lot of the time we may have the strategy and the mindset of what we need, but if we don’t have the physical energy…That’s something missing. That’s why the energetic support and what I teach is, is really one of the missing pieces. It’s like the final thing we put into place to really feel aligned with our business. 

Thank you! Where can our audience learn more about you?

Instagram: The best place to connect with me is on Instagram. I am there at Sarah0blake

Website & Program: I also have a link to my website there, and there’s a button to the waitlist for my program; Flow create. It’s a program where I really walk women through this whole process of understanding their cycle. Also understanding things like nutrition and exercise. And how that goes along with sync cycle support. 

Then I actually help them to plan their next project or launch in a very interactive way. I love this program because I do run it live, which I think is so important because a lot of the time this can be confusing if you’ve never done it before. Getting someone’s support and helping someone to walk through it with you is, has been really beneficial. If it’s not open when you read this, you can get on the waitlist and you can get more information there. 

Listen to the podcast interview here