Sunday, May 5, 2019

May New Moon Renewal

New Moon Renewal: A 20 minute personal retreat made just for you

Do you ever feel like your drowning? Tossing back and forth in the waves of your menstrual cycle? Riding the high waves when you ovulate can be jarring when you crash down two weeks later as your progesterone starts to rise. Caught by surprise, a period, can leave you bemoaning your womb. Begging to brush off all duties, and throw everything either in the trash, or at least out of sight. ‘Why even try?’ you ask yourself, ‘I’m a mess.’  

Deciding you don’t have any choice but to push forward, you proceed to do just as much bleeding as you do during the rest of your cycle. Except with the lovely additions of stress, guilt, frustration, and a dash of good old fashioned frazzleness.

Girl, you need a minute to breathe. You’re in the right place.

This stage of your cycle does not have to be a mad dash to the other side each month. Yes, you are bleeding. However, you also have a higher intuition during this time, a sense of what is dissonant in your life. If you are willing to tune in, and use this time for rest, your body can recuperate from the speed of life. Letting you emerge from your period recharged, and with a new vision.

How does this work? Through a New Moon Renewal. Think of this as your personal retreat to pause and center in to how you are actually doing. An average woman’s cycle is 28 days, just like the average moon cycle. Historically new moons have been linked to a woman’s period. Whether or not your period lands on the new moon, doesn’t matter for these renewals. This is for the new moon each month in your life. Where you need a little light, a slight pause. To bathe in the stillness, and remember who you are. You can do the renewal below whether or not you are bleeding, and regardless of your beliefs.

First, set the mood: During this time of rest, what is your intention? Time alone? Time to check in with yourself? Learn something new? Turn your phone on silent, or on vibrate. If you can, leave it in another room entirely.  Light incense or a favorite candle. Wear clothes that make you feel at home in your body. Set aside 20 minutes to focus on your personal retreat. Find a journal, some markers or crayons, and a favorite pen! Maybe it’s a sparkle gel pen like you had in 7th grade, or a skinny marker, because why not. Let’s all live our best lives.

Centering: Take a couple of minutes to sit in quiet. Quiet spa music can also help set the tone. Check in with yourself. How does your body feel? Try to breathe from your stomach instead of your chest. By placing your hands on your womb space it is easier to know when you are breathing deeply, as your hands will move with your breath. Any thoughts that come into your mind, acknowledge them and let them pass. Refocusing on your breath.

When you feel centered in your body you can read on:

Question to mull: What are a few words to describe your relationship with your cycle? What do you call your time of the month? Has what you call it that changed throughout your life?

Quote to savor:“The movements of the cycle are like the breath catching like the snagging of threads in a garment. A sudden shift in gear, a cloud scuttling across the sun, a small irritation, a distraction. Quiet, subtle, demanding your attention. Tripping you into different realities, perspectives and understandings. Breaking the mold of the cultural mind set. Stopping you from becoming an endless doing machine. Reminding you of yourself and making you sensitive to the world -Alexandra Pope

Journal: How does this quote make you feel?
Read it again and make a list, writing down the phrases that peak your attention while reading it. Once you have these phrases, for each phrase, ask yourself: what feels like this in your life? Is it something you long for? Is it something you feel is currently happening? It could be a good or bad thing, write it all down. Don’t judge what comes up, bring grace and awareness to what you put on the paper. Maybe scuttling across the sun struck a chord. For me, that feels like resting in my hammock and also doing so much busy work that I’m not productive, and I simply burn out, as if I’m squinting in the bright sun.

Creative Endeavor: Draw a stick figure of yourself, approximately a little smaller than the size of your hand. About half your page. If you would like to draw a more elaborate person you can, but keep it simple. With those bits of the quote, draw onto or nearby your person the things that you feel. Perhaps in the example I gave above where the sun feels like rest in my hammock, I draw sun rays on my face, and also jagged lines coming towards my eyes. Draw each piece of quote onto your person, in a visual way.

Journal: When you are finished with your person. Take an honest look at them. How do they look to you? How does this feel? What do you want to change? If your best friend looked at this drawing, what would they say to you? What are some action steps you could take to shift something in your drawing?
Pick one of those action steps to implement this upcoming cycle. Maybe it’s adding 5 minutes to read in the sunlight, or to remembering to say no next time you are asked to volunteer, because you can’t this month, and you can see that you are overloaded.

Closing: Our cycles have us constantly changing throughout the months and years. Don’t hold yourself to a linear fashion because you feel that’s how you have to be. Start keeping track in your journal or your planner. The days you bleed, days you feel low, or high, and you’ll be able to see when the tide is rising. It is okay to take a step back and check in with how you feel, and adjust course.

Each month we’ll release a New Moon Renewal for you to discover something new about yourself, learn about your cycle, and take a moment to pause, breathe, and reflect.
To being laced with grace, and radiant in moonlight,

Epilogue”, Wild Genie:The Healing Power of Menstruation, by Alexandra Pope, 2nd ed., New Generation Publishing, 2014, pp. 190.