Book Review: The Optimized Woman

As I’ve  got older I have become more aware of the role of hormones in how I feel.  I’m particularly interested in the changes I have experienced personally, and seen in others, after having children as it seems to unleash creativity in women.

And have you ever let rip in the week before your period? Some people may call that PMT, but it can also be a useful way of addressing lurking issues and clearing the air.

You may or may not feel that your hormones change the way you work but I’d certainly recommend The Optimized Woman: Using Your Menstrual Cycle to Achieve Success and Fulfillment: If You Want to Get Ahead, Get a Cycle to help you find out more.

I spoke to Miranda Gray about her personal experiences which lead her to write this book. Miranda says, “After doing a science degree at university I did an illustration course and half way through it I set up as a freelance illustrator. It was very obvious to me, painting 24/7, that my creativity changed with the phases of my cycle. Also I found it easier to do some things towards running the business at certain times of the month than others. From discussing these experiences with other women and looking for images of women from the past to find a system to relate to, I wrote my fist book Red Moon: Understanding and Using the Gifts of the Menstrual Cycle back in 1994. It was very successful, translated into 5 languages, and I gave talks and workshops on the contents. It is about to be reprinted too.

Miranda then moved on from traditional illustration into electronic graphic design and set up a multimedia company with her husband. She explains, “Over the last 15 years I have worked for clients ranging from large international corporates to small startup businesses. A few years ago it occured to me that although I work to my strengths in my cycle that there was no knowledge of this practice in mainstream work and the menstrual cycle is still as much of a taboo in mainstream society as it was back in the early 1990s. Also, having finished a course on life-coaching and having tested a range of different success and goal achievement  methods, it became obvious to me that they were based on a consistency of experience, motivation and ability that women do not have, making it difficult for women to use them to achieve their full potential.”

This moved Miranda to develop The Optimized Woman . She says, ” The Optimized Woman is designed to show women how to recognise their Optimum Time abilities and to apply them practically to three main areas of their lives: well-being, goal-achievement and work enhancement. It answers the question ‘What use is my menstrual cycle?’ and shows it as a powerful resource when we adapt activities, expectations, motivation, and success and goal-achievement methods, in line with our changing phases.

Miranda is in her 40s and lives in Southampton, England, in a scheduled ancient monument. As well as running a multimedia business with her husband, she paints children’s book illustrations, teaches Reiki, runs women’s workshops and facilitates an online women’s course. She has a degree in Geophysics and has written a correspondence course on using crystals for well-being. Find out more about the Optimized Woman at or buy The Optimized Woman book for £10.79 here.

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