Welcome to Part 1 of this 4-part series to help you get to know your cycle (menstrual or moon) better and make sense of your cyclical experience, so you can journey this monthly process of inner death and rebirth with more ease, calm and confidence.

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In this four-part mini-series, I’ll walk you through each phase of your cycle and how it works you on a physical, emotional, mental-psychological and spiritual level every month. This is especially relevant if you are a woman, whether or not you’re bleeding and whether or not you have physcial organs present, or if you are a non-binary menstruator in pre-, peri- or post-menopause.

Because when you understand the processes going on inside of you and how to journey this steady death-and-rebirth process consciously, with awareness, you will feel more relaxed and grounded in yourself. You develop trust in this cyclical rhythm that might seem incontrollable and undependable at first, but that’s actually very dependable, just in a different rhythm than your mind would like.

Since a cycle is inherently regenerative, allowing for each phase/season to have its place will ensure that you spend your precious life force on the things that really matter to you and that you deeply care about.

I dive into:

  • What the “Inner Winter”-phase is
  • How it influences your body, heart, mind and soul every month
  • A journaling prompt to connect with the unique wisdom your “Inner Winter” holds
  • A practice to help you tap into the power of your own “Inner Winter” experience

Resources I mentioned:

My free Cycle Charting course to learn how to communicate with your body and cycle: Unlock the Power of your Cycle

My “Sacred Cycle Deep Dive” sessions

And if you experience conditions like painful periods, PMS/PMDD, endometriosis, PCOS, irregular cycles or symptoms associated with menopause, know that as a Menstrual and Menopausal Health Coach I help you address them in a natural and holistic way at their root cause (so without surgery or hormones), for a happy healthy bleeding or perimenopause experience.
If you want to take your menstrual or menopausal health into your own hands, book a call and let’s chat  or send me an email, if you prefer a written conversation.

[00:00:35] Hey, hello and welcome to today’s episode, which I’m really excited about. It is part of a four-part series and today is part one on the four phases of the cycle of the menstrual or the moon cycle. This idea popped into my head that it would be really fun, or just be helpful and supportive, to understand what’s going on in each of these phases over the course of a month so that you can make sense of your lived cyclical experience.

Me personally, today, I am on my day 25 as of the day of recording, which is my deep inner autumn. And you have to stay tuned for the third part of this series to find out what’s going on in autumn.

But yeah, these four phases, all of them, they actually show up in any cycle that we find out there. Life is inherently cyclical and all beings are cyclical and so we are surrounded by cycles and constantly worked by different kind of cycles. And whether that’s the menstrual cycle or the moon cycle or the yearly cycle or a pregnancy cycle, also connected to the life cycles and the planetary cycles or even project cycles at work, they all show the exact same four phases with similar characteristics. So each phase has a similar characteristic to the same phase in a different cycle.

And in my case, since I’m working mainly with women and menstruating folks, I’ll speak specifically about the menstrual and the moon cycle. So it’s for you if you are a woman or a menstruator, whether or not you are still bleeding, whether or not you have physical organs present, that doesn’t matter. You still have a cycle if you’re a woman or a menstruator, even if you’re in post-menopause or you don’t have physical organs present.

Of course, if you’re post-menopause or don’t have organs, you will not be influenced by the physical aspects of the cycle as much because the hormonal shifts aren’t as pronounced as if you had a menstrual cycle. But still, if you start paying attention to this, I’m pretty sure you will find more subtle energetic rhythms.

And yeah, I had this idea for a series because I often say that our cycle works us on all levels. So on a physical level, on an emotional level, on a mental-psychological level, and even on a spiritual level. And it works us on all of these every month in a steady rhythm. And when you know how to journey this death and rebirth process consciously with awareness, because the cycle is nothing but a death and rebirth process on a monthly basis, and when you know how to journey that with awareness, it becomes easier for you to navigate. And you move with more ease and clarity, and you are not so fazed or surprised when certain things happen at a certain time. You kind of go, “Ah, that again, I know what’s happening.” You develop more self-acceptance. And it can even make family situations easier, for example.

When your partner knows that on a certain cycle day or in a certain phase you need this kind of support, then they can prepare as well, so that you are well prepared. Or at least everyone knows what’s going on. And if, I mean, a very poignant example is when there is a certain day or phase where you tend to explode over nothing. Or not nothing, but if even the smallest things can make you explode, then at least if you know this is normal for this phase, then you can be a little bit more, maybe even humorous or playful about it. Or in any case, you can at least practice yourself in self-compassion and loving yourself no matter what. I know, easier said than done, but again, it’s a practice. It’s not something we need to excel at. It’s just something that we get better and better and better at.

So for this series, I thought I’ll explain a bit how each phase or each inner season works you on these four levels, on the physical, emotional, mental-psychological, and spiritual level, and a practice that you can do to connect with the energetic quality of the respective phase, the medicine that it brings to you. Because in total, a cycle is inherently regenerative. And when you allow each phase to have its space with its particular flavour and its particular power and energy, you will have more energy available to you over the course of a whole cycle.

And today is going to be all about winter, Inner Winter, this phase, that if you menstruate, it’s the point of menstruation, so the bleeding time. And if you do not menstruate, for example if you’re breastfeeding, pregnant, post-menopause, or don’t have organs present, then this is akin to the Dark Moon phase, which is when the moon is not visible at all in the sky. And that’s usually an energetic phase of three days, so the Dark Moon day and the day before and after.

And just to say this aloud, it doesn’t mean you have to bleed on a Dark Moon just because these energies are similar. It’s just about what you take as reference points. So either it’s menstruation when you have a menstrual cycle, and when you don’t have a menstrual cycle for any reason, then it’s Dark Moon.

And in terms of a life cycle, this is the same quality or characteristic as the Crone or the Wise Elder. So the wisdom phase towards the end of life. That’s also why the theme of this time is death, but while rebirth is preparing, because a death is always a rebirth of sorts. It’s a transformation from one thing into something else. And this process of dying happens in menstruation or around Dark Moon on several levels in us, that parts of ourselves fall away, that we release what no longer serves, maybe an old identity or a way of being that is being shed.

And shedding is indeed the name of the game, because especially when you’ve got a menstrual cycle, your body is occupied with shedding. Literally, it’s shedding the endometrial lining in the uterus, because when no egg is fertilised, it’s not needed, and so it gets shed. But also, if you do not have a menstrual cycle, I believe there is a sort of physical release happening on an energetic level. It can be emotions that you process and allow to flow through, and that partly happens on the physical plane as well.

And so it’s all about shedding. That’s why the energy is low, possibly at the lowest in the course of a whole cycle. You might be tired or in the need of rest. The reproductive hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, are at a very low level. And if you menstruate, it can of course also be that there are symptoms like pain and cramps. And all of this is happening on a physical level.

On an emotional level, there is also some shedding happening. Shedding emotions, processing, releasing emotions, they are basically coming up for us to look at and then release. So during this phase, it can be helpful depending on what you enjoy, to journal, to do tapping or EFT, or possibly even some sort of hypnosis or meditation to help you shed these emotions that you may not have allowed yourself to feel and experience during the other phases. Sometimes we tend to push these away, and often in our winter, because we don’t have the amount of energy, they start to come up to be shed, processed, released.

And you can also inquire and go into almost a relationship, a conversation with the emotions, and ask what kind of emotion is it? Where do I sense this emotion? Where is it located? What would I like to have happen with it? What would the emotion like to have happen? And then through this inquiry, you can start releasing.

And sometimes I believe you don’t even have to know what exactly it is, what kind of emotion, where it’s coming from. Our brain easily goes into this “We have to know exactly what’s happening.”. but maybe it’s enough to just focus on the sensation that this emotion brings and releasing. And also on an emotional level, we can feel more grounded and calm, certainly after we’ve processed and released emotions. But also if maybe we had an easeful month before, then we might just feel more grounded and calm in general, very connected to ourself on a deep level.

On a mental and psychological level, again, shedding is happening. We have the unique opportunity to shed old beliefs that we no longer wish to carry, the shadows, anything that doesn’t serve us anymore, anything that we find is outdated, that isn’t us, that we might have taken on when we were children, that may have served us for a time, but now no longer. And so it’s a time to process that as well.

We can feel more drawn inwards, more reflective, also present. And so again, it can be helpful to do a form of hypnosis or meditation or journaling and reframing those beliefs that we no longer wish to carry into something that we want to invite in and believe instead. It’s not as easy as it sounds, I am totally aware of that, but we can set intentions to reframe our belief system.

On a spiritual level, we are or we tend to be in a more dreamy state because we are so deeply connected and inward and present. It can sometimes even be hard to focus. And there is this inner connection, this feeling of belonging, belonging to ourselves and also belonging to something that is bigger than us. So it might be the Divine or God, Goddess, Source, whatever it is for you, this loving presence in the Universe or your ancestors, whoever you connect with, you can feel this deep connection. And you’re possibly also more intuitive, almost like you’re plugged into yourself.

And if you enjoy this, there is a question that you can ponder or journal on that is “Who am I?”

So set yourself a timer and then either just ponder on or journal on this question of “Who am I?”, because this Inner Winter time is the moment where we are closest in connection with our truth. So in the whole cycle, we will never be as close to our essence, to ourselves as we are in Inner Winter. So it’s actually the perfect time to ask yourself this question, “Who am I?”, because your Inner Winter shows you your True North. If you dare to listen.

That’s why I sometimes call the cycle your compass. Because the winter shows you who you are, what you’re here to do, what you want to bring into this world, your passions, your desires, but also just your being. This underlying essence and truth of who you are, that is, I know, pretty much indescribable. But just see what happens, what wants to bubble up when you ask yourself this question in this dreamy and inward and connected state that you are in in your Inner Winter.

And then lastly, as a practice, rest. Take time to yourself.

I am totally aware that in our society, rest is not celebrated because it’s not productive, at least not outwardly productive. But believe me, it is very productive over the course of the cycle. Because when you have rested well, it will influence every other phase and give you the energy that you want for the rest of the cycle. So depending on your life situation, rest will look totally different. If you are a mother with two toddlers, then maybe closing the bathroom door when you go to the bathroom for, I don’t know, 20-30 seconds is all the rest you can get. And that’s okay.

Or if you feel so inclined, schedule an hour in your day that you take to yourself and, I don’t know, laze (derived from “lazyness” as a positive refraim, h/t Lauren Elizabeth) on the couch, allow your brain to sort itself out, basically. Allow the inner decomposing and composting to happen. Or if you want to, you can schedule a day off if you want, and have a day to yourself, of course.

But again, in your situation, what is 1% of rest that you can give yourself? It can also be taking the elevator instead of the stairs during that time, or having the lunch break with yourself and not with your colleagues. But just try to find your moment of rest and allow this composting to happen in the background.

Because your body is shedding, your whole system is shedding on all levels, as I explained. And you do not need to know what exactly is being released and shed. I know that the brain wants to do it because the brain wants to do it “right”, as if there was a right or wrong. The brain wants to control the process, but there is no such thing as control. And it’s about learning to surrender and trust that your body knows, your whole system knows what it’s doing and that it will release what needs to be released at this point in time.

This was a lot on the Inner Winter alone, and I just want to give a heads up that this was a basic overview. When I present you these, it’s like an archetypal cycle. And your experience can be completely different. Your experience is unique, and this is just a starting point to give you some ideas what to look out for, what can happen.

And it’s really about what is menstruation like for you, or what is the Dark Moon phase like for you. What do you experience in Inner Winter? What’s your focus? Are you more dreamy or are you more inspired?

And as an entry point, I invite you to start charting your cycle, so that you know what your energy is like when you are in Inner Winter. And you can do that, for example, with my free cycle charting course that I’ll link to below. I includes short explanations of the phases and a cycle chart that you can use to connect and communicate with your cycle and a few bonus videos on how to track in, for example, perimenopause or post menopause.

Or if you want to dive a step deeper, I offer a Sacred Cycle Deep Dive. It’s basically a heart-to-heart with your cycle. Because you know, I can teach you all you want about this cycle and experience, but your cycle can teach you better. I firmly believe that. Because it can in fact support and guide you through life. It’s about your personal cyclical experience. And especially, but not only if you experience challenges, like menstrual health challenges, I know that your cycle has messages for you. And I will ask you and your cycle some very specific questions that will help you understand and make sense of these messages, because that’s often the problem. We aren’t taught how to communicate with our body.

And while there is value in me explaining what’s going on inside the body and providing some context for it all, it’s infinitely more powerful for you to experience that you’ve got the answers, that your cycle has got the answers, that it is indeed already in your blood and bones. And that will help you form a much stronger bond with your cycle and really see how your cycle isn’t here to annoy you or play tricks on you, but to be your best friend and ally.

Because I want you to build this unique and beautiful relationship. And a relationship is always an ongoing communication. And in this Sacred Cycle Deep Dive you will of course also receive a practice to foster and strengthen this communication once we’ve started it.

But in any case, whether you want to just start charting your cycle or you want to dive deeper with me, subscribe to this podcast and to my Moonday Musings, which is my weekly e-letter to help you start the week more grounded, connected to yourself, more inspired.

And also be sure to check out the other three podcast episodes in this series, so you understand how your cycle works you on all levels throughout the month.

Speak to you next time and have a beautiful day.

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