[00:00:46] Hi and welcome. Today I’m not walking. I am sitting at home on a day 12 and I feel tender, tired and with a sliver of hope. And the reason I’m tired is that these last few days, two or three days, have been an emotional rollercoaster ride for me. And not because anything specific has happened, it hasn’t, but they have just been really intense. [00:01:36] I don’t know how many felt litres of tears I’ve shed, how often I felt like I can’t go on anymore, like everything was tearing me apart. I know that I can hold myself through these times, but when you’re in the midst of it, that thought doesn’t help. And I am slowly, slowly coming out of that. And the reason why I even share it with you is that I want you to see that everybody experiences these days. And I’m sure that you’ve felt really shitty and hopeless, maybe even utterly lost and alone yourself, because this is part of our human experience. And I sincerely hope that by me sharing this with you, it will allow you to feel less alone in that experience because we don’t talk a lot about these shitty days, but everybody has them. [00:03:06] As I said, they are not comfortable at all, and yet we are allowed to support ourselves through them as best we can. And we are never really as alone as we feel. I mean, yes, I do have a support system, I do have friends and other people I could have reached out to, but I still felt so alone. And I kind of needed that episode to remind myself that yes, I can hold myself through it, I am able to. [00:04:04] And I thought this is a good opportunity to let you know why I start every episode with a cycle check in. Because every time I tell you the day of my cycle that I’m on and how I feel or how I am on that day, and that has a reason. And part of that reason is to show you that it’s okay to not be the same every day. That we simply aren’t the same every day. Sometimes we aren’t even the same that we were a minute ago, a few seconds ago, and that’s okay. [00:04:49] How I personally do that cycle check-in in the morning is, I state the day of my cycle, with the first day of my bleed being day one. If you don’t menstruate anymore or you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or you don’t have a menstrual cycle for any reason, then your day one would be the dark moon, so when the moon is invisible in the sky. And from there on, you just number the days consecutively. So each day I remind myself of the day I’m on and I find one, two, or three words that express how I am on that day. Today as I shared, I feel tender, tired and have a sliver of hope. On other days, I might feel inward or scattered or joyful and energetic. [00:06:00] And the most important question that I ask myself after I have checked in is “And how can I honour that today?” Today, I feel tired and vulnerable and tender, and for me, I have decided that whatever task I get to, because I do have a schedule after all, we all have, I will take it just a little bit more slowly than I usually would. [00:06:38] And when something happens, I am more gentle and compassionate with myself, that’s the intention I set for today, anyway. That does not mean that the critical thoughts will not slip in. They will, they most probably will, but I’ve decided that whenever I pick up on them and I catch myself, I will talk in a more soothing voice with me today, to honour the tenderness and vulnerability I feel. [00:07:14] And as I shared, I do this as a daily reminder to myself that I am not the same, that I don’t have to be the same, because we are cyclical beings. All beings are cyclical beings, and we can’t be the same every day. We can’t perform the same every day, and I hope that this practice or me just telling you about it, will give you the permission to be exactly as you are on any given day as well. Because it is just part of life that we have a whole spectrum of emotions and stuff we go through, and whatever is present today is okay. [00:08:17] And it’s also a reminder to myself that I can bring the way I am today to the tasks at hand. So, yes, as I’m very aware of my cycle and the cycles around me, I try to plan my days or set up my days in a way that suit my cycle. But life happens. And so this, especially the question of “How can I honour that today?” serves me as a reminder to go “Okay, with everything I’ve got on my plate today and feeling the way I do, how can I honour that and make sure that I take care of my own needs, even within that full schedule? “ [00:09:10] And I believe this practice is very important, especially in our society, because we so often try to suppress or push away what’s present, especially when it’s difficult or uncomfortable emotions and situations. We try to push that away, but that usually just makes it worse. And I believe it’s so important to honour that we’re just present, because we usually try to push it away and numb out, but that doesn’t serve us. That doesn’t lead us anywhere. But if we instead can look at “Okay, what’s here right now? And what does it need? What do I need? How can I support myself today? Can I ask someone to lend a hand? Can I take a five-minute dancing break to get back into my body? Can I do something small for myself that shows my system, my whole body, heart, mind, and soul system that I care? And can I incorporate that into my day?” [00:10:29] Because this cycle check-in also helps us to get in touch with our needs. Especially when we are socialised as women in this society, we are so used to overriding our own needs, to dismissing them, to simply not taking care of them. I mean, I know women who try to not drink so much so that don’t have to go to the bathroom all the time, and that is not good for our body. That’s not good for our health. [00:11:01] But when we check in like this, we become more attuned to what’s going on inside of us and what we truly need. And usually it’s just little things, little tweaks that we can do throughout the day that make all the difference. As I said, having a five-minute dancing break to maybe get your body moving, to get back in touch with your body, to maybe even bring a little bit of joy into your day. And through this we learn to be much gentler and more compassionate with ourselves. [00:11:40] Usually, it’s us who is our harshest critic, and if we can take care of what’s right here and take care of what we actually need, not only do we become more compassionate with ourselves, but of course also with others. And we learn how to care for ourselves. And I believe it’s so important for all of us to take good care of our own needs because we are cyclical beings, but we live in a world that is set up in a linear fashion. That is set up for progression, constant linear progression, for faster, higher, better, improvement. [00:12:33] And checking in with our cycle and where we are at any given day shows us that, yes, there are days where this progression or this evolution happens naturally. And there are days where we need to retreat back and we are on this – if you take it as a spiral – on this backwards journey. And all of them are okay because all of them, the ebbs and the flows, are part of life, of any form of life on this planet. And we as humans aren’t an exception. [00:13:14] And so I do encourage you, or invite you, to try it out. To try this practice of checking in with your cycle every day, of either stating the day of your cycle or the day of the moon and one, two or three words for how you are on that day. And then asking yourself how you can honour that during that day. And maybe you would like to set a reminder in your phone, or you write the words on a piece of paper that you take out every now and again over the course of a day, whatever way works for you. But this ensures that you stay connected to how you are, to what’s present, to the beautiful and full expression of yourself in all phases and in the whole range of emotions that a human can experience. [00:14:15] Because even though in the uncomfortable moments it doesn’t feel that way, life is beautiful. And I hope that you feel inspired by this. If you try this practice or if you are already doing this, feel free to reach out and let me know, tell me how it’s going for you. If you’ve got any questions, I’m here, my inbox is always open. I’d love to get in touch, and for now I wish you a beautiful day. Much love.