#002 Secret Lessons From the Moon

a practice in mindfulness

Upsplash: I wanted a photo with a full moon and a wolf. Instead we get a guy on a bike. Please use your imagination.

Welcoming in January 1, 2018 with a super moon. How cool is that?

Not only is it a super moon but a wolf moon. Guess what?

Super and Wolf designations are not based on science they are based on folk lore. A super moon is when the moon orbits about 10,000 miles give or take a 1000 closer to the earth. “Objects may appear bigger than they are . . . “. The moon doesn’t change size, but it does appear bigger and brighter.

Wolf?

Dexter is not a wolf, but he does howl when I play the harmonica.

According to Native American lore, this is when wolves would come into the villages seeking food. Next month will be a Full Snow Moon because the heaviest snow falls in February. The imaginary of hungry wolves entering camp is chilling and gives us a moment to pause, what hungry wolves are in our lives? What will we feed them? How will we feed them?

Moon Phases

The moon navigates itself slowly and deliberately giving us a peek into a month long transformation. It cycles through new to full. Stop to think about that — from “nothing” and darkness to full and illuminating. Repeat.

A metaphor for full living through the transformations/phases.

Mindful Moon Watching

When I was a little girl at the cabin, I would sneak outside and watch the moon rise. As it made its way out of the pines — I thought I could reach out and touch it! I remember teasing the moon saying “I’m gonna get you next month.” That personification of the moon began our relationship, and “Moon” has been with me ever since.

A Moon Ritual

With the Moon as my friend, just like any friend, we do a lot together. I’m sharing with you now one activity the moon, and I share.

Each month on the full moon

As a practice, I release what is NOT serving me on a full moon. (If I’m lucky enough to be at the cabin I write it down and burn it in the campfire.)

Think full and you gotta make room.

This release of what isn’t serving me is a mental practice. Sometimes I write it down, but often I just think about it the day of the full moon or the day after — I don’t allow myself to get stuck in the weeds and not have a personal private mental activity because I’m off by 12 hours. Full Moon reminds but does not demand.

Take a moment to think of how good you feel when you walk into a hotel room, with the bare necessities. Clean, clear, refreshing, everything has a place.

Your mind needs times to be like a hotel room when you first enter.

Instead, our minds are like the hotel room when we leave — towels on the floor, the pillows are no longer plumped up, and the toilet paper isn’t folded into a V shape.

Do you want your mind to look like the hotel room when you walk in or check out?

Resist the temptation to empty and fill at the same time.

(often we buy containers to organize our stuff. Buying something more in our efforts to have less . . . resist that desire.)

With each exhale a new idea can come and go until the perfect one stays.
Clear out, empty, release, make space — -and leave it. Sit with it. Be mindful of how you feel when you give it, leave it behind. It may not have been yours to have in the first place.

Whenever I say this, people tell me they want to get rid of the spouse, kids, job and laugh then never do the deeper work. Don’t do that. Have the courage to dig a little deeper. Maybe?

I release this romantic idea of what a marriage is. I choose to love in a new way that is meaningful to both of us.
I release the bitter feelings I have for my boss because I know the same loving Divinity that created me, created him — we come from the same place.
I release the expectations and judgments I place on my children. I will simply love them and support them. (this is a frigging daily mantra!!! Parenting with love, compassion and curiosity is the hardest thing I have ever done.)

Release, let go, be OK with that empty feeling — understand you are making room for what will really serve you.

Guys — if female reproduction is not something you can handle — stop reading now.

Women with a monthly cycle also have an opportunity to use this practice. Each month our bodies naturally let go of what isn’t needed to grow a child. Think about that.

What if when your cycle comes, you use that as another opportunity to let go and make room for a new opportunity?

I did this for years. It became vital when I struggled with infertility. Each month that I didn’t get pregnant, I would spiral into a doom loop of never, ever being a mother. I had forgotten my practice. I let my wants and desires interfere with the natural flow.

Desiring motherhood was a blinding force in my life.

My monthly cycle became a curse rather than a blessing. New life isn’t always a baby; new life is how you approach each day, each moment — with mindfulness.


Renee is a mindfulness essayist, taking everyday life and finding the lesson. She writes for you daily at → renee.love.