These last few years of tuning in more to my own needs and prioritizing self-care has allowed me to rediscover my love for #nature, and really prioritize that connection. As a child I was always playing outside, wading through a creek, walking among the flowers and trees, imagining #friendships with forest fairies, collecting frogs and crawdads. I was in awe of the #moon, grateful for every season and their wonder, and passionate about protecting the earth and the animals that roamed the lands and the seas.
As I dive deeper into understanding nature and our connection with the #Earth, I am starting to recognize another misconception about Christianity I think I fell victim: my passion for Christ caused me to pull away from nature in fear that I may misappropriate my loyalties, that I may be perceived of creating idols of creation, or that I might be misunderstood when I acknowledge the integral relationship between all living things and Mother Earth. However, as a #midwife, it is really very undeniable how the moon pulls not only on the timing of #birth and the female cycle, but also our #moods and #sleep cycles. The moon guides the ocean tides and the behaviors of animals. What relationship might I be under-appreciating about the moon?
As a #yogi student, part of our work in transitioning into a teacher is to present on a topic of interest and creating a yoga flow that complements this topic. I chose to present on the Chandra Namaskar or the moon salutation. Like most all things in life, I dove in completely. I read books, blogs, watched nearly one hundred YouTube videos and I scanned the literature database at the university. There is no question in my mind that humans are dependent upon their relationship with the Earth for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Moon Cycles can Revolutionize Your Self-Care Routine
The waning moon, our current moon phase, is one of my more favorite phases because it's about slowing down and turning inward. Each night during this phase of the moon cycle grows darker and darker as the moon moves away from being full and more towards the new moon. The waning moon reminds us to let go, be still, and make space in our lives so we can connect with ourselves on a deeper level. We can become more reflective, considering what experiences we've endured this cycle and what we might learn from those, as well as what we need to let go and #heal.
As the moon grows and becomes brighter, there is a growing energy, but as the moon becomes darker, we are invited to #rest, release, and make space. It seems our culture really struggles to #balance our energy in this way. We fear if we slow down we will lose all progress. However, without stillness and reflection, we become #disembodied and soon enough, overwhelmed and burn-out.
Waning Moon Ritual
This looks different for everyone. For me, I really appreciate dedicating my yoga flow and meditations to this phase of the moon. Moon salutations are cooling. They are slower and focus more on opening the hips compared to the sun salutations which are more heating and work more on shoulder strengthening. The moon salutation perfectly balances the sun salutation; they have a yin and yang relationship.
The waning moon is traditionally when focus turns to things you may want to release such as illness, negative people or situations, or emotions you want to heal and release. This is when we acknowledge what we've accomplished and embrace the rest our bodies and souls require for #restoration. You may be lead to #declutter and clean your home and work spaces. Without a clean space, I am unable to process my thoughts so this is vital for me. I find during the waning moon, I clean a little deeper, seeking out cobwebs in the window seals, eliminating dust from the top of the fridge, and handprints on the walls. I evaluate the soil in my #plants and their pot sizes to see if they require more room for growth. Instantly after cleaning and reorganizing I feel the difference; my energy is lighter and more inviting, and my plants reward me with additional growth.
These are the days that I get picky about my material possessions. If they don't serve me or make me feel good, I move them out of my house. Typically I gift or donate these items. My windows are typically always open, but this is often the time that I especially focus on refreshing my home - sheets are cleaned, the refrigerator is emptied, the trash bins are cleaned, fresh flowers are brought in and the garden is well tended. Broken equipment is fixed and my home maintenance projects are completed. Any and all stagnant energy in my home is cleared. I invest in maintaining my home as my sanctuary.
It may very healing to create a #meditative space in your home. These care be very grounding, helping you to turn in to yourself, releasing #anxieties and toxic energies. Incense or essential oils may make this space even more inviting, or palo santo. My son really enjoys gems, crystals, and natural rocks in his space. Anointing oils rubbed on your wrists or pulse points on your neck and over your heart is perfect for the waning, and even the full moon. Candles and soft lightening also complement the energy of moon cycle.
Practice your deep meditative breaths and silencing your mind. Contemplate on any lessons you may have received during this last moon cycle. What comes up for you? What blocks challenged you? What random events surprised you? What is holding you back from manifesting your intentions? What might you need to heal? Are you attracting toxic people or situations? What intentions would you like to set for this next cycle? Don't think on the plan or worry about the details, just envision the end result as perfectly as you can imagine. Let the Divine take care of the plan and you release your grip on it. Have faith and let yourself be guided. Allow and receive. Open yourself up to being surprised and delighted.
What might you like to do differently in this next moon cycle? What might you want to prepare yourself for emotionally or physically? This week, ponder, but don't act. Just rest and reflect. Journal about where you see yourself currently and what you want to heal, let go of, focus on and any messages you feel you are receiving.