I've been trying to be pay more attention to the cycles of the moon for the past few months...and there's one thing I've realized...I seem to be "lunar powered" just as much as I've always been "solar powered." On a sunny day I feel like a super-hero - I can accomplish astonishing things with the greatest of ease, I have limitless energy, and am completely in love with life. On a cloudy/rainy/snowy day you can usually find me curled up on the couch with a cup of tea reading Proust, battling with a migraine while dirty dishes pile up, emails are left unanswered and task lists are completely abandoned.
For a while I thought that my energy levels were solely linked to the amount of sunlight I was exposed to in a day, but my recent lunar-cycle studies have taught me that I'm equally effected by exposure to moonlight. During the waxing gibbous/full moon/waning gibbous part of the lunar cycle I have a lot more spring in my step than during the waning crescent/new moon/waxing crescent portion. Instead of trying to fight against nature, I've decided to embrace these fluctuations.
So, for the three evenings surrounding the new moon when the lack of lunar illumination tends to make me lethargic, especially after the sun goes down, I let myself relax - I meditate and take baths and go to bed early (if my ten-month-old son Dylan lets me)...and I create bulletin boards like this:
I call it my "Inspiration Board." I collect magazine clippings and photos and mementos and all sorts of pretty little things. During the new moon, I'll take down the previous Inspiration Board, look through my collection of images and select new ones to go up on the board. Some of the clippings are merely decorative...like the flowers on this board...but most of the images I put up represent things I hope to manifest in my life during the course of the next moon cycle.
This may sound like new-age/hippie/granola nonsense to you, but there are numerous cultures throughout history that have believed that the period of the waxing moon is a nifty time to start new projects...that you can use the energy of the growing moon to help you grow things in your life. I happen to be a new-age/hippie/granola-type person, and have really connected with this concept. So, here's a peek at my current Inspiration Board...
My baby boy is growing up so fast...his first birthday will be on April 4th. Soon he won't be a baby, he'll be a rambunctious toddler. This picture is a reminder to cherish these moments of "baby-hood" before they're gone.
There'll probably always be at least one inspirational quote/picture from Yoga Journal on the board...it helps keep me committed to developing a serious home practice.
This quote totally resonated with me and my current struggle with chronic migraines...too often I neglect to give myself the things I need to get better - adequate sleep, regular exercise, avoidance of trigger foods, taking my vitamins and supplements. I don't have a way to completely eliminate my migraines, but I have enough tools to make things more manageable...I just need to remember to use them.
I'm a terrible sleeper...always have been. Now that Dylan's sleeping through the night on a regular basis I need to work on learning how to sleep through the night myself.
I literally dream about running on a regular basis. I haven't been running since before I was pregnant and I miss it terribly. I'm really looking forward springtime, to buying a jogging stroller and taking Dylan out for runs around town.
I also haven't played my guitar since before Dylan was born...I think it's about time to dust it off and tune it up...
I'll probably always have a picture of delicious looking food on my board...I hope to spend more time this month cooking things from scratch, finding new healthy non-migraine-triggering recipes for my family, and baking terribly decadent things to share with the people I love.
And finally my main focus for this moon cycle...I like to pick one thing to pour most of my energy into, and this time it's my art. I pinned up an old photocopy of a drawing I'm working on as a reminder that I'm an artist, and that I should be working on art every day.
Now that the images are on the board, and the moon is starting to wax I'll spend the next few days planning and organizing, devising a way to turn inspiration into action.