The best things in life usually happen outside. For me, like many, nature is one of the greatest inspirations and guides—in yoga and life. Ask, and you shall receive, seek, and you shall find. Like Thoreau, I go to the outdoors to live deliberately, find peace, experience joy, and rekindle wonder. To feel what it’s like for my senses to awaken. To feel alive.
I go to these depths outside to discover new worlds inside. To relearn an ancient language, to find the mental-emotional-spiritual vocabulary of my Being. I go to hear nature’s mantra to heal, grow, and adapt. I examine my rhythm with the natural cycles around me. I learn to dance along with the ebb and flow of energy all around me, thrilled with discovering my deepest dreams and desires. I stand strong and remain rooted regardless of what comes.
One of my greatest cyclical connections is with the moon. Our moon, constantly changing, can teach us so much about the universe, the celestial, and about the divine feminine. Our potential is limitless when we learn how to align our energies with the moon’s energetic changes.
Each phase of the moon is an opportune time to plan, pause, reflect, and reap the rewards each cycle, each month, has to offer. That’s 12 opportunities each year for goal setting, adjusting, tweaking, and achieving. If you don’t succeed at first, try again, right?
The new moon phase, representing new beginnings, is an opportunity to be introspective, a time to set clear intentions, refine goals, dream of the bounty, and the abundance to come. And to feel it without actually being able to see it yet. Just as the new moon is invisible in the midnight sky, we cannot see the energy, but we know and trust it is there.
The practice here is to believe: to believe in the dream, the power, the energy, the light, the Source of it all. This is what we call faith. The feeling is the proof.
Inhale, trust. Exhale, connect.
Of course, that Source behind it is pure, divine, holy love.
Wayne and Garth were wrong. You are worthy! Say the words. Write them down. Feel it.
I am blessed. Love is abundant in my life. I am full of joy, awe, and amazement as I admire the wonders of this world. I am worthy. I am safe. I hold eternal wisdom and truth. I am.
On a dark mid-summer night, the moon invisible, the stars and constellations as clear as ever, I sprinkle a layer of assorted wildflowers into large pots. An energetically fertile time, I also plant my own personal seed of intention to grow and to bloom.
As I read the instructions for the seed, I imagine the colorful array of flowers of all sizes, and shapes, attracting an assortment of hummingbirds, butterflies, buzzing bees, and songbirds. The instructions also advise to pull out any weeds, a good reminder that we all need some help to grow and prosper. I know I do.
First Quarter Moon
The halfway point from a new moon to a full moon is the first quarter. Here, the moon looks like a half-circle. We don’t see the nice soft curves of the crescent or the circularity of the full moon. When we tune into this phase, we can feel that sharp edge in our own existence.
The challenge of contrast is almost always present. Thank goodness. Without a little fear, a little doubt, a little uncertainty, how can we grow? It never ends, and we shouldn’t want it to. When we feel the edges, when we experience the sharpness, instead of fight or flight, we have the chance to reset and renew, relax, and re-evaluate. To re-read the dreams again, and to commit ourselves to our own expansion.
For example, my husband and I were in a thick argument recently. To be fair, it wasn’t really even an argument, but simply contrast. Some old issues arose. Both of us were hurt. Both of us are trying to light a way for the other to move from problem to solution. As if out of nowhere, I see a muskrat crawl out of the tall grass from the ravine in our backyard. We see a lot of wildlife where we live: deer and turkey trot daily through our backyard like clockwork each morning and evening. But never have I seen a muskrat in our space. In that moment of recognition, we both chuckled a bit, and the tension of our conversation immediately softened.
“It’s a sign,” he says. “Clearly,” I responded.
Now, in the moment, I didn’t fully understand what that muskrat was here to tell us, but I also had no doubt that the universe intended for us to experience this manifestation at that moment. As I researched muskrats, I learned that they can swim through the most turbulent waters and will always return home. The muskrat recycles and reuses what has been let go by others to build shelters. The survival of this species depends not only on adaptability, but its interconnection with other species.
The mantra arrives on my lips: I pause and reflect. I will not allow this swift and strong current to pull me backward. I move forward. I relate to all of those around me, and I know we depend on each other for survival. I have control of my emotions. My body is my sanctuary. My self-love is my focus. Peace in my heart, peace is in my home. Peace begins with me. I am.
The full moon is the highest point of the lunar cycle. With the light shining brightest, now is time for refinement. To tweak. To hone. Let go of what’s not working to make space to embrace what is.
And in this space of clarity, I see the seeds of my intentions in a bountiful boon of blessings. I weed my garden and listen to the buzzing swarms of bees tasting this sweet nectar of life. And I watch as a hummingbird zips from feeder to flower. I feel free. I let go of those negative emotions, the guilt, fear, and hate, as I toss the weeds out. More will come, I know; the same old stories will rear their ugly little heads again, but hopefully, now I have better tools, and I’m more prepared for what’s to come. I’ve allowed the beauty and love to suffocate long enough. Now it is about choices.
I choose to grow.
I say the words and watch the flowers bloom, the birds and bees dance, the internal petal opens. Now is the time to forgive. Now is the time to let go. Blessed be all my past failures. Gratitude for the lessons. My dreams aren’t coming true, they’ve always been true. I’m ready now to receive them.
And as that full moon begins to disseminate, I breathe and detox. I take what I’ve learned, and I use that wisdom to grow deeper and fuller into my true and authentic Self.
Third Quarter Moon
Cycles are called cycles because of repetitive phenomena. So, even though we take the right steps forward, sometimes we still get stuck stepping back. Times get tough, hard, and awkward again with the half-moon shining in the sky. This is an opportunity to use those conflicts as messages. Now is the time to finally break the bad habit of not being yourself, to find balance in the ups and downs, and to renew the internal trust that you are exactly where you need to be. Where things are okay. Where you are okay. In Sanskrit, we call this santosha, contentment, and its presence provides us the chance for beautiful, wonderful expansion.
I sit in this space to notice. I feel the beauty and the growth of the bloom and in the destruction and discarding of the weeds. I sit in my truth. I am perfectly imperfect.
Lao Tsu once said, “Be content with what you have: rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” It’s true. The world is ours to receive. Join me in the bounty!
By Meghan Nelson & Ryan Allen
|Lumin Therapy provides integrative health and education for the mind, body, and spirit to those suffering or struggling to step into and live their heartfelt mission and purpose. Through the practice of physical therapy, medical therapeutic yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and resiliency mentoring, Dr. Meghan Nelson, DPT, and Dr. Ryan Allen, Ph.D., bring their over forty-plus combined years of knowledge and experience serving others to learn and heal and live without boundaries.|
Place your thumb tips gently in your ears to block out any sounds and then spread your remaining fingers across your face and close your eyes to help you channel your focus inwards. Inhale deeply through the nose and then exhale with a buzzing sound for the duration of your breath out. Repeat 5-7 times. Feel the vibration within.
Standing in a high lunge position, with your front knee bent and your back leg extended with your heel up, breathe in and extend the arms overhead. Notice the sensations in your legs, chest, back, and arms. Exhale and bask in the afterglow of your brilliant inner moonlight. Repeat on the opposite side.