Serious Moonlight

If we let it, the full moon tonight will work in perfect harmony with things we want to come true in 2015. I’m not one to make resolutions in the new year. I resolve to make changes, take actions and move forward with my life’s purpose every single morning.

But 2014 was an unusual year for me, so with this first 2015 new moon I thought it couldn’t hurt to ritualize my daily habit of trying to do my best. First, do you know what you want to accomplish with your life? Try to clarify that if you can. I want to love and be loved. That’s really it, although this love business manifests in a few different ways for me: writing, relationships, health.

Writing

My goals for writing have always been simple: to write the best books I can and to keep a daily writing routine. I feel that writing is a sacred gift that steers me through life, so I am humbled and grateful when anyone else reads and appreciates my words. I’d do it even if I was certain I was the only person in the world who’d ever see a word I wrote. Me and Emily Dickinson:) But even Em, with her carefully stitched manuscripts tucked into a box under her bed, sent some of her work out into the world.

This year’s first new moon calls for us to take action on our life goals, and in that spirit I have stretched a bit further this year, resolving, like Emily, to take my work out into the world by setting up readings, book signings and some other things truly out of my comfort zone. Too often with resolutions, we don’t do the footwork so much as make a wish. This new moon demands we put in real effort, something beyond saying the words. So what else can you do to forward your goals? Maybe something you’ve been hesitant to try? Now is the time to go for it, because success is in the stars.

Relationships

I have a new grandchild coming. I was blessed with little Owen last year, and now his cousin is set to come into this world in 2015, and that kind of love, well, you need to experience it to understand it. I certainly had no idea of the bigness that would be my love for Owen. It’s pure and it’s powerful. I’d like all my relationships to be that way, so effortlessly full of kindness and compassion.

So, for the action portion of this intention, I will use a mindful meditation that focuses on lovingkindness. I have meditated daily for many years, and only occasionally have I added this extra piece to the practice. You begin by summoning up a mental image of a particular person. There is a sequence some teachers recommend: such as a friend, an acquaintance, an enemy, a loved one, a stranger. If you need self-love, as I do, include yourself. In fact, start there. I kind of just let this part flow as far as the mental pictures, and there are words too. These can be any variation on one Spirit Rock mantra: “May I feel protected and safe/may I feel contented and pleased/may my physical body support me with strength/may my life unfold smoothly, with ease.”

And of course, through it all, breathe, notice thoughts, let them go.

Health

Self-love. Self-care. I have not done much of it in this life. Writing has taken care of the inner me. For most of my life, I kind of just let the outer Cindy fend for herself. She’s getting on in years. In 2015, I will be 60 years old. I want to be kind to my physical body this year by giving it what it needs and reversing or slowing down the habits that help me stay in false security. I’m talking about soothing substances…food, drink, chemicals…I put into my body and the frequency and enthusiasm with which I choose unhealthy stuff.

Actions here include keeping a food journal, working on a book about health and diet with my friend Lisa, and getting rid of the pounds accumulated since Thanksgiving by working Lisa’s plan and counting calories. I’m also focused on physical movement, yoga every day, and walking more, because we writers are not known to be a particularly active bunch.

So that’s my third intention and the actions I will take as this new moon comes into fullness tonight. To love myself, body and soul, and to treat this slightly tattered package with the care it deserves.

What about you? What will you do for your one vast and beautiful life in 2015? Whatever it is, do it now, with sacred intention, and you will see serious moonlight results.

Hunters’ Moon

Photo on 10-5-14 at 10.55 AMA total eclipse of a full moon is a big deal, and we’ve got one coming this week. Native Americans called this moon “Hunters Moon” because it was time to go out, aim arrows, and bring home the meat that would see the tribe through winter.

We still have our hunters, and they are out during this lunar eclipse. Just about everyone will feel a shot through the heart on October 8, with shocking news, the big feature of a total eclipse full moon, taking each of us by surprise.

This news could be business-related, romantic, or even concerning your health. What eclipses do is reveal information about a situation that you were not fully aware of … and now that you know the full story, it changes everything. There is no turning back, so you have to deal. Eclipse news is always final, but you have a choice about how to handle it and the new information will help you make the best decision for you.

One caveat: we are also in a period of Mercury Retrograde, and because Mercury rules communication, it would be easy for you to misinterpret the information you receive. Pay close attention, ruminate, take notes, think back to that last eclipse April 15. Whatever came up then is likely to be resolved now, one way or the other, forever.

This is why I’m lying low in October. I’m going to take the blast from the eclipse (because the news will be jarring, whatever it is) and think about it, reflect upon it, write about it. And I’m going to wait to act until I’m sure I have all the facts straight.

I don’t know what to expect. This news can be in any number of spheres: personal, work, or health. Things have been stirred up for me for awhile, and I can think of something in each of these areas that needs resolution, so anything can happen. I’m excited about it, though, because even if the news that comes from this hunters’ moon seems sad at first, the stars promise that it is beneficial in the long run.

Total lunar eclipses, which always mean the end of one thing and the beginning of another, are not to be feared. They are here to help us understand a situation close to our hearts more clearly, and in positive ways.

And who knows? If your heart is a lonely hunter, cupid may draw back his bow and let his arrow fly. If work has been stagnant, a shake up may initially worry you, but in the end it will be so good for your career. As for health, take care of any little thing immediately and all will be repaired before it gets big.

Happy huntingJ

Lying Low in October

FrontCoverfinalMA14197642-0001Mercury retrograde almost all month. Hunters out stalking prey. Novel deadline looming. Papers and exams multiply, spilling from my book bag as if by evil magic. Homework! Mine AND theirs. Other stuff. One order of Quiet Reflection to go, please.

I have a plan for this month that involves nothing more than stillness and quiet as often as possible amid all the crazy. At one point, I almost went away to achieve it. Then I decided to find peace right where I’m at, in the middle of more stress than I can manage on my own. So I called in the troops.

Dinner? Maybe. It’s still harvest time here in Michigan and slicing fresh tomatoes is easy. Stirring up acorn squash soup soothes me. Roasting the last of the corn, slicing apples and eating them raw. No shortage of food in the fridge, but if dinner in the traditional sense doesn’t happen, I’m not stressing about it. I need to get over that forever and this month is the perfect time to begin. It’s not like I have children to feed anymore. More like an inner directive “Thou shall make dinner every night.” New memo to self: don’t sweat over stove duty.

Also booked a massage and a reflexology treatment. I’ll do that a couple of times this month. I crave the soothing touch of a person trained to ease every muscle in my body. Today, instead of hitting the yoga studio, I’m going to practice in the quiet of my own home. Morning meditation already met. Thoughtful reflection in diary instead of dashing off final chapters of novel. I’m seeing someone, a therapist. She’s given me a writing assignment to help sort out a personal mess.

If I can get things to slow down, find time to just be, I think what I will be is fine.

*Photo by Debra Bressman from a limited edition short story that eventually became Gypsy.

My Stars

star9Astrology gets it so right so often. If we are stardust (and we are, 94% to be exact), if the moon controls ocean tides (it does, and so does the sun),  then why does it seem so silly to check out sun signs and moon signs (aka horoscopes)?

I know, it’s a big leap. But if the events of this winter prove anything, then watching the stars and their movement in the sky is kind of like doing your homework. It’s good to know when Mercury retrogrades, several times this year. We’re coming to the end of a long one now. I cannot tell you how many times I had to cancel meetings during this current Mercury retrograde (February 6-28). Yes, some of that is the weather, but other things, like communication, mess up during MercRetro.

For star-gazing beginners, ever notice how the stars in the sky appear to move as the world turns? Well, in retrograde periods, stars appear to move backward.

This retrograde, I rescheduled a workshop three times. Last time, I made sure the date was after Mercury moves forward again. Also, had a huge blow up in communication with one of the organizations I belong to…I wasn’t in the hot seat, but close enough. I shook my head in sadness and thought ‘Mercury retrograde.’

My laptop has been going haywire all month. (Expect electronics to act up during MercRetro.) Yesterday I turned it on and it made a very loud noise. I called my husband and put the phone to the laptop. “Hear that?” He did. We have our routine down now. Unplug laptop. (It has not been shutting off by itself, but freezes.) Take out batteries. Let the machine rest. Then do everything in reverse order.

Yes, it works, and I’m lucky. I don’t want to buy a new laptop, or any electronics, during MercRetro. It will be a lemon or at least a sour grape. Did I say my husband (who does not believe this stuff) got me a new phone? And it’s the top brand in the universe? And I cannot get voice mail? I have missed many voice mails and pissed many people off. “I left you an message…” they say.

I could go on and on with examples, but the point is, it pays to know your stars. What they’re doing, where they’re headed, when you should keep your head down and when you should blow full steam ahead.

Just looked out the window. It’s snowing. Hard. Looks like the luncheon I am supposed to host tomorrow might get cancelled. Already received an email from one friend asking if the ice storm that’s supposed to come tonight happens, which was nowhere in the picture when I extended the invitation, will it be okay to reschedule? Sure, after Mecury retrograde.

 

Monster Moon

Today the full moon has an added bit of madness to the usual lunations. Susan Milller calls this “The Monster Moon” (she’s tweeting about it via #MonsterMoon) and I am very glad I was prepared for it. Yesterday was a great day for me. My birthday, showered with love and feel-good emotions. Got a great email from my editor, am reading a terrific book, heard from my sons and the rest of my beloved family, my husband and I are in sync. And that last one, well, it’s a miracle. We are moving out of the house we’ve lived in for 25 years, and we seem to be on the same page as we look for new homes. We are so often NOT on the same page or even reading the same book, so this is a welcome change of the status quo.

Today, not so much. Woke up to an insensitive email from a friend that sent me straight into a funk. But because of the Monster Moon, I was ready for it and deleted the sharp email I was ready to shoot back. Had I taken that step, and sent the email, our friendship would have been compromised. Instead, I wrote to an understanding and sympathetic friend, and it felt good just to get the heavy off my chest. If that’s all the Monster Moon throws at me today, I can handle it.

Full moons always bring things to completion and so I am thinking about this friendship and if it has run its course. I am thinking of ways to bow out gracefully or find other means of taking several steps back. For me, if a friendship is going to work, it needs to go both ways. This one is not doing that and it bothers me. There would be much fall out if I stepped back a few paces. Other friends I dearly love would be hurt and anxious. I’m not sure what to do or how to do it, but one thing I know for sure, I should not do it during the Monster Moon!

On top of that issue, I also feel general pressure. I have not had time to write for several days in a row and that bothers me, but I made plans with a friend for lunch today, plans with another friend for lunch Friday, and I am just wanting to crawl into my writer cave and work. If you find things in your life have reached a rolling boil today, blame it on the moon. And move forward with caution. Don’t say or do anything that you might regret later.