New Year, New Moon

It’s that time of year again. People are committing to dropping pounds, buying flashy cars, and signing up for dating apps to find their soulmates. However, as a person who has quite some reservation around the notion of New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve decided to take a slightly different approach. 

For the next year of my life, I’ve decided to tune in a little more to the lunar cycle and create a series of intentions all throughout the year. As a woman, I’ve always felt a special connection to the moon. In many cultures and faith backgrounds, it’s posited that our menstrual cycles are synced with the moon. The moon is also considered a feminine symbol itself, in contrast to the sun, which many regard as masculine. It moon represents intuition, healing, and mysticism. It has a quiet strength, power, and calm, which I greatly admire and wish to embody with my own presence in this world. On a personal note, I’ve also frequently noticed an energetic shift within myself during full moons, particularly with respect to sleep and mood. Before you think this moon power is all in my head, I’d like to remind you that Seasonal Affective Disorder or the “winter blues” make up about 10% of all depression cases. Also, people who suffer with certain autoimmune disorders like arthritis often attribute the worsening of their pain to things like rainy weather. As humans, it’s really undeniable that we are fundamentally tied to nature, being made up of 70% water, ourselves. So, it’s funny when people think talk of the moon is weird or “witchy.” Why wouldn’t we be connected to the moon and all of its “yin” glory? 

Okay, rambly context aside, I should probably get into why I’ve decided to embark on this journey of tracking new and full moons, and why I’ve decided to tie that to my goals – or better yet, intentions, which I see as way more meaningful and heartfelt than something like a “SMART” goal that often comes and goes with the changing of the tides. 

Well, for starters, I’ve been thinking a lot about the art of manifestation lately. I used to have a difficult time with this subject, as I associated it with the “law of attraction,” which I’ve always felt was overly simplified and a bit victim-blamy. “Put the picture of a million dollars on your vision board. Stare at it until you get it. If you don’t, you must not want it badly enough,” or “oh, you survived that natural disaster, but can’t rebuild?? Are you sure you’re visualizing as much as you could?” Thankfully, this year I heard Wayne Dyer explain the difference between the law of attraction and manifestation in a way that really resonated with me. He said the former was about attracting in what you want, while the latter was about attracting in what you are. And that was a lightbulb moment for me. The realization ultimately encouraged me to become what I want to cultivate. Since full moons are about shedding, letting go, and releasing, while new moons are about generating new life, I thought this would be the perfect way to hold myself accountable and develop new ways of existing in a way that was easy to track and still had some type of spiritual meaning for me, which has become increasingly important for my overall wellness. 

So this idea was born: with every new moon in 2022, I’ll be starting my day with some solo time, either at home or at a place that brings me some serenity. I’ll be doing things that “fill my cup” like listening to mindfulness podcasts or reading, and journaling an intention or two for the month ahead. Likewise, during the full moon, I’ll be doing the same, but instead of creating a whole new intention, I’ll be sitting with my progress on whatever I had set two weeks earlier. As part of that process, I’ll be questioning if there’s anything that’s been blocking my ability to become that intention truly, and therefore, making my manifesting all the more difficult. From there, I’ll decide to let something go. To be honest, even if nothing is overtly holding me back, I’m still going to reflect on something during the full moon that I can surrender. I think the very idea of shedding is beautiful, and again, it’s very much tied to what women experience naturally each month with our reproductive systems. In reality, there’s always something we need to let go of in life if we want to embrace something else… self-criticism, a toxic relationship, a need to be right, a desire to accumulate stuff, etc. By choosing to “let go,” we can release energy that isn’t making us our best selves and we can free up time and mental space to funnel towards the present moment or a vision for the future. For instance, can you imagine how much power we would feel if we never compared ourselves to one another again? We might be able to transfer that energy into self-love or boosting up someone else in need. Similarily, if we decide to cut ties with someone who depleted us now or previously, we could  cultivate friendships or relationships that were more beneficial to our spirits. The examples are endless.

Don’t get me wrong – that’s not to say that what we let go of will always be easy. Sometimes, we might have to let go of things (or people) that brought us some joy at one point. It’s just that very often, I find we all cling to things in an effort to salvage some type of expired joy and we live in blissful ignorance about the downsides to that messy part of our lives, which we really just need to say goodbye to; I have made a very personal decision this last year that this will not be my own destiny while I occupy physical space on this Earth. I choose to be a person who can stomach goodbyes without fear of losing an attachment. I know that in doing so, the fulfillment of my true intentions in life will be that much closer to fruition.

Finally, you might be wondering why I’m choosing to begin my days with this mindfulness work, rather than at nighttime when the moon is more visible. The answer is twofold. Firstly, I wanted to set myself up for success and I know that kickstarting my days will just be more sensible for me. Secondly, I already contemplate a lot during night, generally. During these periods, I’ll commit to ensuring I am reflecting on these nights for sure, but it may just come in the form of sitting and being. This type of quiet reflection, I think, will be a nice balance to the more structured questions I’ll be starting those days with. I guess when you get right down to it, there’s no right or wrong here and this is just what I thought would be fun and productive for me.
So, with all of this talk of fresh beginnings and overdue partings, I welcome you to join me on this new moon/full moon, intention-setting journey! Here, you can see a listing of important dates to put into your calendar ahead of time. You may also want to do some research on that moon connection to feminine energy. There are a zillion resources online that outline the beautiful history of women coming together in community and engaging in deep spiritual reflection, in accordance with the phases of the moon. All of this said, if this all still seems a bit too big or hokey for you, I’d encourage you to simply pick even just one day a month where you take time out for yourself and tap into whatever your inner being is compelling you to listen to. Ask yourself what you want to embody in this world, and what you need to leave behind in the pursuit of meeting who you fundamentally are.

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