When was the last time you sat under the moon’s soothing glow? Do you ever notice the moonlight and its changing shape and size as we cycle through the month?
Paying attention to the moon cycle is not something new or hokey. Farmers, present and past, have been known to plant based on the moon – lunar planting is a longtime old Farmer’s Almanac tradition.
The moon affects the ocean tides and while there is no hard science on whether or not the moon affects human behavior – good, bad or otherwise – I do believe when we are more in tune with our natural surroundings, we invite more ease and peace into our lives. Spending time outdoors has its own meditative quality that can help us recharge.
My childhood was spent primarily outdoors in nature with other children from our neighborhood. We explored, rode bikes, built forts, learned about plants (which ones we could eat and which ones we shouldn’t). We roamed free and spent all day in the fresh air.
Being outside was the norm. Having to go inside meant you were sick or in trouble. I believe our bodies were in tune because of the fresh air and constant connection with nature’s changing landscape. Today paints a different story for children.
Sure, kids still play outside (mine do) but there are stricter rules and parameters and distractions (often technology) that equal more screen time and less time connecting in nature. This holds true for adults too.
In today’s fast paced lifestyle, sometimes we need gentle reminders to see how wound up we have become. We must remember how important it is to get back to basics and experience pure, uncontrived ease. Our natural environments and inner wisdom contain everything we need to get on track. We simply must start to notice, hear and be open to experiencing nature’s brilliant offering each day.
When we are in sync with ourselves and our natural environment, we are more apt to make choices that consider our well-being and the well-being of humanity at large. When we move with life’s rhythms, we are less likely to push ourselves to the point of overwhelm. The moon is the perfect daily source of inspiration to begin noticing the cyclical nature of life and how interconnected we all are.
Tracking the lunar cycle and creating rituals around the moon, can be a fun and powerful way to get more in tune with nature and your own ebbs and flows. I’ve found tracking the moon has helped me move from experiencing life in a linear fashion to a more cyclical way.
Living life in a linear way is kind of like saying life is black or white – there is a striving “Type A” quality about it that doesn’t allow for much variability. Whereas, living life in a more cyclical way makes room for unpredictability and fluidity to move with life – to be okay with what is before you.
There are different traditions and rituals we can create for ourselves on the new moon and full moon. These practices can help us become more aware of the cyclical nature of life. New moon and full moon rituals can become quite complex and involved, or you can follow a much simpler model like I’ve been doing for the past year.
On the new moon, I create a bit of space for myself in the evening and listen to some quiet calm music. I write down my intentions for the coming month, mostly how I want to feel and how I want to show up in the world. The new moon is the time for setting new intentions and hopes for your life (much like the farmers planting their seeds).
The full moon is a powerful time for letting go of what isn’t serving you, or letting go of a part of yourself (habit or otherwise) that you’ve outgrown. I like to think of it as clearing clutter in order to continue experiencing ease of mind and spirit.
Usually on a full moon, I try to get outside to be under the moon’s glow (with others if possible). Before I go to sleep, I think about one or two things I’m ready and willing to release from my life or from my way of being. I set a silent intention around that and then I drift off to sleep.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to tune into your surroundings – it’s truly yours by design. The same goes for how we choose to set intentions, let things go, and decide to guide our lives – that too is by our own design.
So whether or not you decide to create a ritual for yourself around the moon, I invite you to see where there is room to connect with your natural environment. See what changes you experience with less screen time and more fresh air and green time – you may be pleasantly surprised.