Beaches, trips around New England (I love Maine!), cat naps, picnics, and a bright, blue eyed babe. I love it all.
Also! Follow my blog with Bloglovin - I am so happy to have a blog feed reader again!
With the moon moving into my sun and moon sign, I thought it was a good day (and high time) I wrote an actual blog post. A new baby and new house makes for bad blogging. And the truth is, I have never been very good blogger. Its actually one of those deceiving things, that seems so simple and yet is quite difficult in practice. I salute those of you who do it with seeming ease and grace.
I've also been a bad blog reader, which is perhaps even more distressing. After google got rid of their blog reader, I was lost on how to keep up with all my favorite blogs (I finally found Bloglovin' and hope it will be a good replacement)
That said, the Moon Woman Rising facebook community is growing everyday and is quite active. I love offering up bits of moon guidance there and I am excited by the vibe we've got going on!
The summer has been incredibly kind to me and the months ahead are looking full of exciting projects, teaching and workshops. And time spent with my growing babe, knitting projects and cooking tasty things in big pots.
With today's New Moon (and the Sun too!) in the sign Cancer, the hot summer energy is swirling around our relationship to family, home and nurturing. The New Moon supports releasing old familial patterns that are harmful and making room for new, expansive and personal definitions of family and home. Ah family. These relationships occupy some of the most vulnerable spaces in our hearts. Some respond to the challenges by hardening those spots, often understandably in order to survive and keep on. But surviving is not enough for the soul, and when safety can be found, it is time to go deep into those spaces and open them wide. Healing is not only the absence of pain, it is also the presence of love.
"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." -Jane Howard
“Close your eyes & imagine the best version of you possible. That’s who you really are, let go of any part of you that doesn't believe it.” -C. Assaad
Sister Moon is in Scorpio today and tomorrow, on the Solstice, moves into Sagittarius. And then on Saturday its a Full Moon. That's a lot of moon and earth energy to harness! The Summer Solstice bursts forth with energy and light - its the longest day of the year. This abundance of sun and daylight hours both literally and symbolically gives us the support we need to manifest whatever it is we are trying to grow in our lives.
When looking at the Summer Solstice as part of the larger seasonal rhythms that nourish and support our body and souls, this is a time when we may need some extra support to see our intentions for the year become a reality.
Its time to let go of any part of you that doesn't believe in the best version of yourself.
Its a time to pause and release those accumulated trappings that hold us back and weigh us down, weights we may have been slowly, unconsciously picking up over the past 6 months, until we find ourselves out of touch with our deepest, most sacred intentions. This is a great time to let the sun cleanse and invigorate us, so we can move forward with the lightness of showing up at our fullest selves, which often allows for the fullest expressions of joyful living.
"You know, this is this thing you do when you get really busy. When you have tons on your plate, you start to pile on more," my sweetheart observed. I opened my mouth to object, but knew it was true.
"Well, why would I do that? That just sounds crazy", I wondered out loud.
He just shook his head at the nuttiness of it.
"Honey, I have no idea."
In my last post, I wrote about feeling as though "my best just isn't good enough right now" and in the Full Moon days since, I've come to understand the nature of that feeling more clearly and what I suspected is indeed true - its not that I need to supply more, but rather the demand is too high. The candy is coming faster down the line than Lucy and Ethel can get those wrappers on (who doesn't love Lucy?)
I feel like I hear a lot of folks say "Do less" and it sounds so simple doesn't it? Doing less sounds as if you don't have to do anything at all. But, and I think any busy woman will agree, its just not that easy. Why? Because for most of us, we feel as though we have no control over the demand, and so, we are stuck trying to let those bon-bons go past us and resist the urge to wrap them. That takes a lot of energy, so even in not doing the work, we often feel depleted from all that not doing.
Our Sister Moon moves from Aquarius to Pisces today, so perhaps in honor of those dreamy, utopian energies, I am proposing a shift of thinking for myself - rather than doing less or more right now, I am going to start with order itself. Rather than react to what's coming down the line, I will place an order my supply can fulfill. True, sometimes we have no control over what shows up in our lives - from golden opportunities to family emergencies - sometime we must react to what is thrown into the fold. But often the too-high demands come from ourselves.
Saving the why I do this for another time, I am choosing to put less on my plate. Put in a smaller order. Demand less. In fact, I am going demand exactly what I have in me to supply right now. It feels like a radical act and I think I know why - because it honors exactly where I am at right now. It honors my abilities, my desires, my needs. I don't think this will always be easy. It means saying "NO" more often (the horror!) It means sitting with contentment. It means, and this is a hard one, being real with myself and letting go of judgement and expectations.
I suspect it also means a new level of everyday peace. It means that I believe my energies are sacred and worth honoring.
And I believe that about your energies too.
In a few days, well into spring and cruising speedily into the warmer months, a full Sister Moon will come as close as possible to the earth. I think this is why many of us are feeling an abundance of energies lately. This moon isn't whispering her insights, but rather coming in close to give us a good talking to. Called a Super Moon because of this close proximity, it can feel a bit like we are being shouted at. Last night I was hearing it all loud and clear, in the wee hours of the morning, when my eyes desperately wanted sleep, but my mind was more than receptive to all the deep unconscious unearthings these Full Moons bring. When the energies get this rich and full (i.e. overwhelming), its tempting to pull the blankets over our heads and try to ignore the messages, but then we would miss out on the authenticity of our own wisdom, because of course, the messages aren't coming from outside us, but rather from deep within. Sister Moon just shines the light.
Sometimes these messages come at unexpected times and can flash across the screens of our minds in an instant. Sometimes its an in-articulated feeling, while at other times we say something aloud that rings of truth, yet we haven't actually felt the sentiment in our hearts yet. This Full Moon is in Sagittarius and this mutable fire sign is full of ideas, energy and intuition. Sagittarius is a truth-loving and truth-telling sign, often known for telling it like it is, in a tact-be-damned way. So pay attention to your words over the next week, as they may ring truer than you know.
The other day, I heard myself say something I didn't initially understand. It was in a difficult moment of pure overwhelming anxiety, when not one thing, but many little things had finally added up to an overcrowding in my mind and heart. A loved one asked with concern "What's wrong?" and without missing a beat I said "My best just isn't good enough right now" and as soon as I said it, I knew it was true, but didn't exactly know what that meant. It has taken me a few days of sitting with those words, saying them over and over again in my mind, before I came to understand the truth in them. There was a pearl of wisdom in those words and it was not that I am not good enough. I realized that I am doing my best and yet given the intensity of demands, schedules and responsibilities, it still feels as though its not enough. I began to see it as a supply-and-demand issue: the demand is more than I can supply and the answer isn't to supply more, but rather, to create less demand. A revelation, a relief and my deeper truth - all from those words uttered without thought or filter.
I suppose in many ways, its no wonder than many of us are feeling the pressures of life squeeze in right now. Spring is such a rich time of growth. Remember back in January and February when we were setting intentions for the months to come in 2013? You may be starting to see, or better yet, feel, the effects of those intentions coming to fruition - blooming and blossoming into being. It was author Anais Nin who said "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Staying tight is painful, but blossoming is not without risk, not without growing pains. Spring is the time of moving through the blossoming and into the bloom.
This (Super) Sister Moon is on your side. Listen up, she says. Or better yet, listen inside.
Joining the lovely Taryn of Wooly Moss Roots for the soul charging practice of counting your blessings from the past week.
My recent gratitudes and blessings...
:: that little scrap of paper with one of my favorite quotes. Its moved with me from place to place and always helps me feel settled.
:: the way the buds on the trees are poised to burst, the funny mating song of male cardinals, seeing our neighborhood come to life with daffodils, crocus and tulips everywhere.
:: homemade coconut toasted almonds. I've got quite a sweet tooth (but love eating healthy, whole foods) and these are so delicious.
:: slowly unpacking and getting our home in order - it sure does take awhile doesn't it? Everyday we try and accomplish something, even if its just one box. It gives me hope that we will get there eventually.
:: the kindness of neighbors. One of our new neighbords stopped by with a bottle of wine and welcomed us to the neighborhood. We feel so loved!
:: taking my sweet baby girl to the beach for the first time.
:: living within walking distance of a library and all those wonderful books. I confess, I've read a book or two on an e-reader, but nothing compares to turning over each page of a book.
:: nursing my babe for over 3 months. This is so huge for me, as I can only nurse from one breast. I had a lumpectomy in my 20s that severed my ducts on one side, so I can only use the one. I call it Megaboob. Its hasn't been easy, but Megaboob rose to the challen ge, doing double time and nourishing my little one. We have survived blocked ducts, milk blisters and more. Megaboob, I salute you.
:: cabbage. I think I ate a whole head by myself last night. Sauteed with olive oil and lots of fresh dill, I just can't just enough.
:: my new music obsession: Nigerian blues from the 1970s. Gets me moving and shakin'.
:: seeing one of my former yoga students rise above her challenges and become a yoga teacher, at the tender age of 18. So proud of you Aria!
When we found out there was a chance we would have to move, I was a month away from my due date. It was just a few days before Thanksgiving and the first thing I thought was what are we going to do? But I also held out hope that it would work out and we could stay. I loved our apartment. We didn't own it, we were renters, or tenants as they say out here on the east coast, but that didn't lessen our love of the place. Filled with art and objects and most importantly, the humans and animals I loved most, it was home. Leaving it, especially at 9 months pregnant, seemed overwhelmingly at best and unimaginable at worst.
I don't take the spaces I live in for granted. I love the power a space holds over its inhabitants, how a space can hold its own memories. Living in the boiler room of an old rubber mill, our space certainly held its own memories. We had added to them with our own three years worth of experiences and were planning on a homebirth. Already feeling primal late in my pregnancy, the threat of having to move made me feel even more like a mama bear wanting to protect my den. In the end, we had to move because the apartment was sold to new owners. In the first few weeks of the new year and with our daughter just days old, we went and looked at houses and tried to imagine our new little family in these spaces.
I had heard people say that when you walk into the right house for you, you just know. You just know if its the right fit, if its meant to be. Part of me has always thought that sort of sentiment was a privilege. I once tallied up all the houses I lived in while growing up - at least 10 different houses before I was out on my own. Moving that much, it was more about trying to make the spaces feel like home, no matter what is was or what was happening within it. When we pulled up to this house, I saw the historical marker sign first. Nellie Barlow House, 1906. A woman's name, which I thought was unique. I wondered who she was. Once inside, I had that feeling...I just knew.
Living in a home that is safe, peaceful and comfortable is no small feat - it takes so many ingredients coming together. Although its the people inside the home that contribute most to this sense of soulful living, the space itself plays an important role.
Just days after moving in, an older gentleman from our insurance company came by to do some inspections. Ed introduced himself and told us how he grew up in the neighborhood and as a young boy, would come over to this very house and get watched by the nanny who lived in with the Barlow family. He had such fond memories of the home and left telling us "that house just has a good feel to it." When we had a painter come by to talk about possibly painting some rooms, he asked if we were going to leave the front door red and I said absolutely. He said "oh good, its got great feng shui." Friends and family have come by and everyone walks in and after minutes of being in the house, they remark at the good vibes. I feel them too. Sometimes when I am up at the middle of the night with the baby, I think I hear sounds, like the house is sharing its memories. I hear parties and laughter and music. All joyous things.
Cleansing Your Space
Even with the greatest vibes in a home, I still like to cleanse a new space. Its also good to cleanse a space at seasonal holidays or really anytime you feel you need a fresh start within a space. In the native american tradition, you can burn dried sage, or I really love pinon pine. Amber is a great stone to use for its cleansing properties - its absorbs negative energy. Lavender, thyme and rosemary works well as sacred herbs to cleanses spaces. I like to put out bowls of lavender in each room. If you are sensitive to incense smoke, aroma-therapeutic sprays work great too. Just combine thyme and sage essential oils with some water in a spray bottle and spritz throughout your home.
Of course, the best way to ensure good vibes into a space is to create them yourself - enjoy meals with loved ones, sing and dance your way through each space, fill your home with laughter.
Here are some ideas for celebrating the Equinox and bringing the joy of the changing seasons into your life:
After a long break (I think folks call it a baby-moon?) its good to be back joining Wooly Moss Roots in sharing my recent gratitudes from the past week.
:: the first smiles and babbles from Viela Roy, who is ten weeks old now. She is such a joy and I really enjoy everything I learn from being her mama.
:: a free moment, even though its late in the evening, to be writing this list. My little one is fast asleep and the house is quiet.
:: our new home! Right at the end of my pregnancy, it unexpectedly came up that we would have to move from our current place, so although it was crazy timing, there was a silver lining and we got lucky, having stumbled upon an old, beautiful historic home that we love. Ever since moving to New England, I always loved the old historic homes with their name placards that had old names like Jedediah and Ebenezier. This house was owned by Nellie Barlow and built in 1906 - the vibes of this home are so good. And I can't help but LOVE that it has a woman's name on the outside.
:: my tummy tea blend that I have been drinking all week - fennel tea with fresh lemon and a slice of ginger. I was never a fan of fennel until my pregnancy, now I love it!
:: some really wonderful herbal consultations recently - where my clients have reported great results and success. I love helping people heal.
:: my new blog look! Its still a work in process but I love where its headed (and hope you do too)
:: sunshine on cold, crisp days. I took a walk today and felt like my skin was drinking in the sun.
:: my Dad, who is now known around here as Poppi, flying in for a visit to help us with some projects around the new house before we move in next week.
:: a recent splurge: my new Addi Click set of knitting needles. I took the plunge and decided to make the investment and I am so glad I did. Now I have all the needle sizes I need, after some really frustrating moments of needing a size I didn't have.
:: my sweetheart: for reminding me that its ok to leave dirty dishes in the sink over night (which drives me nuts), for his reluctant but faithful support of my cloth diapering addiction, for being able to soothe our over-tired babe and get her to sleep tonight after my mama tricks weren't working, and for just being a solid, reliable, and awesome dude.
:: chamomile, a common, but undervalued herb that is wonderful for frayed nerves, upset tummies and great for kiddos.
:: the New Moon tomorrow! Its a fresh start, a new beginning and another opportunity to show up at our best.