I am writing within the time of the dark moon and into the new moon. I am up early and see only the dark expanse of the sky, shadowy and streaked with clouds across stars.
It is about to rain again, as it has done so on and off all night.
My mind is quieter and reflective, and my heart is stretching into the space of possibility. What happens now? What comes next?
I turn to the moon.
Breaking the Spell(s)
A month or so ago, I was co-teaching a class. We’d asked everyone to check in about their lives, and I started to talk about how I was craving quiet and space for stillness. Within eight hours, my voice was gone. Completely. It didn’t return for two days. It didn’t return until I’d sort of given up on it coming back for a while.
Words are spells.
Whenever we approach a new moon, I find myself remembering the value of rest. Of allowing myself to become new again. I like these spaces of possibility. I crave them, I move my body toward them. I want to take action, DO.
I also want to break the spell of always-moving/always-doing. I want to break the spell of illusion, where we are only valuable and worthy when our To Do lists are laughable and impossible. I want to break the spell of feeling righteous and important when saying, “Oh, I’m so busy” when someone asks how I’m doing.
(HOW am I doing. Not WHAT.)
Remembering the moon does not stay in the shadows forever. She is always there, just hidden more or less, depending on where she shifts. I follow her route, her patient knowing. Her willingness to leave and return.
A Mini-Rest Moment
Let’s break the spell together.
Just for a moment, be still. Allow yourself the gift of three deliberate breaths, expanding your lungs as far as it comfortable and then contracting as much as you can. Come back to your breath for the next hour. No matter what happens. No matter what you do — or don’t do. Just come back to your breath.
You don’t need to sit or close your eyes, unless you want to.
You don’t need to be alone, unless you want to.
Just come back to your breath and to your being as it is, without trying to change or to fix or to someone become something else.
Rest is a gift to our present and to our future selves.
Allow yourself, perhaps even promise yourself this new moon, to spend just a few moments at rest each day. Perhaps begin to notice how you too move through the phases of the moon during your day — from shadow to bright, and back again.
Always coming back to the breath, always coming back to stillness under the wide reach of the sky.