New Moon: Where to Begin
when you're working with complexity?
As we cycle through time the way we do, New Moon is always a beginning. We begin the cycle over and over again. This is a process oriented way of living. There’s no real endings and no true beginnings. I post here as if time is moving ever forward. As if what I do here is linear, but in truth we circle and loop on our orbits through space.
We are working with complexity here.
Working with the moon cycle is an acknowledgement that we don’t know where beginnings will lead and along with each beginning are necessarily endings. And working with the moon is a pledge to stay in touch with both where we have been and where we are going.
As I sit down to write today — as we begin this new moon journey and end the old one — I know of many loved ones experiencing losses, changes in circumstance, new and uncertain developments. Which is the same for me.
Whatever is going on for you, the practice of impermanence is important. We often need to remind ourselves that tomorrow will be different. Impermanence is a truth of nature, whether we like what is happening or not, the only certainty is that things change. Holding this truth allows us to be present with what is going on, whatever it is. It is this presence that allows wounds to heal, allows us to bring more love and gratitude into each moment.
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Also, practice self-compassion. The research says that practicing self-compassion brings in a lot of resiliency when things are hard, studies have shown that it is a form of resourcing ourselves so we are better able to do the things that take courage. According to Kristin Neff, the premier researcher on self-compassion, it is a skill that needs to be cultivated. Humans have a tendency to be harsh with themselves as a mistaken survival instinct when things go wrong, even when being compassionate to others may come naturally. She suggests practicing with what she calls a Self-Compassion Break, take a moment to do this 3 step process when we need it. Start with whatever is causing you stress 1) turn towards your anxiety or despair with mindfulness, 2) remember that you are not alone — this is a part of being human, and 3) bring in kindness — what would you say to a good friend experiencing the same thing? say something like that to yourself.
At the beginning of a lunation, as we are returning to our desires and beginning again, know that there’s no shame in starting over.
That is how people eventually succeed.
It’s the way of continuous improvement. Stop, assess, adjust, keep going, get better at it.
Also, ask yourself if your intentions are reasonable. Unlike goal setting, which has a very specific end result in mind, setting intentions are more about the path. Are you heading the direction you want to go? Which way do you want to grow? You are creating a pathway here, so reality check, what’s in this present moment and what’s the next best step?
Finally, don’t accept binaries, in yourself or others, this is a complex world with many shades in between. Openness to that allows for more options and resists polarization.
Getting back to Yoga Poetry Yoga with a short (10 minute) new moon meditation. Free to listen to this week and then I will put it behind the paywall next week.
Click below to listen—
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