After my 6 month intensive solo studying period I finally heard the news that the teacher training course was ready and open for application. I also got the opportunity to travel a couple hours away to take an intro class with the teacher (this was my first class! After I applied to become a teacher!).
When the program was announced it turned out to be longer than originally intended and very very close in price to the other program that I was afraid to do due to the price. By this point I had become committed, though. Through reading and studying so much I learned just how invaluable fertility awareness can be and how much it can encompass.
To me that meant that it was super important to have more information for people practicing fertility awareness and access for those wanting to learn (and I wanted to help provide that, damnit!), so I plodded on my intended path and applied for the course anyway with only the slightest of ideas of how I was going to pay for it.
Luckily, I got in (and figured the financials out, partially because of selling my car for a chunk of change. Whoop, whoop, who needs cars, anyway?).
And I will say, that even though It was a pain for me to find the course, to pay for it, and to spend 2 years in my parents garage (kill me now.), I am so glad I took the path I did to becoming a fertility awareness educator.
The reason is this: While reading a lot was super beneficial to having an understanding of what happens in a cycle normally and learning more about hormonal health, I was able to learn so much more about what happens in irregular cycles (which are SO COMMON), how to help women figure out what’s going on with their own individual body/chart by asking the right questions, and what the main charting problems were and how to help women with them.
And that was because I was able to learn not only from my teacher, but guest teachers that had also been teaching and refining their process for a long time.
Not everything about fertility awareness is in books or scientific journals yet (though I hope at some point in my life I can at least help with more stuff in scientific journals — yay research!). A lot of it is knowledge from people who have been doing it for 30+ years that have been so busy teaching they haven’t had the time or inclination to write a book (or even a blog).
The sad reality is one person’s experience of a cycle, or way to describe it doesn’t always match another person’s experience, so reading one book often leaves half (at least) of the people who do so confused.
I learned that I was so confused at the beginning both because my hormones were, in fact, kind of off, but also because almost all of my fluid has some stretch to it, and it took me until we had a guest teacher talking about different types of cervical fluid to really click into the fact that I didn’t actually start my fertile phase with egg-white cervical fluid, which is what I had thought based on cervical fluid descriptions and pictures in many of the books. It was just a dry less-fertile type of fluid that still had stretch to it.
I’m glad I understand my cervical fluid now, of course, but I’m kind of glad that it was so confusing for me in the beginning, because it led me to do more research and ask more questions and have a more through understanding of what different women see and what it means.
One of the reasons I am glad I went through so much trouble to understand my cervical fluid is that it has made me great at knowing what kind of questions to ask my clients when they are struggling with interpreting their own cervical fluid, and a really great understanding of the ranges of cervical fluid that are out there. And let me tell you, when you understand your cervical fluid you are basically an unstoppable human being ;)
So what if you don’t understand your cervical fluid? What if you also need to become an unstoppable human being?
Choice #1: Take a course with a qualified teacher! I’ll be talking about the course I developed a little more very very soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
Choice #2: Read multiple books on the subject, and if you still don’t get everything have a one on one follow-up with a qualified teacher.
Choice #3: Read one book and don’t do follow-up. Not the worst, but usually it takes you a while to fully understand everything and it can get discouraging :(
Choice #4: (not recommended): Download an app and keep track of your period and try to learn everything you need to know off the internet. That’s not birth control, it’s an app ;)
I’d love to hear from you if you are currently on your journey to figuring out your cycles and/or just learning fertility awareness. What has been a struggle for you and are you obsessed with fertility awareness even if it has been? Let me know in the comments!