By the light of the moon

The light of the full moon illuminates the night. We can see more in the dark than at other times. Shadows are illuminated. The unseen becomes visible.

In magic, full moon and the waning moon that follows after it is the time for releasing, for paying attentions to our shadows, for letting go…

This full moon has definitely been a time of release for me.

I don’t find this easy to write about this, so please bear with me.

This full moon, I have been able to look deep into my shadows and see some of the patterns and habits that undermine me.

Fortunately, I have also been able to start letting go.

Let me explain further…

A few weeks ago, in the dark of the moon, I joined Gala Darling‘s online Radical Self Love Coven. I figured this would be an excellent way to fill in the gaps in my magical knowledge, connect with other like-minded people, and boost my spiritual and magical practice. And it’s certainly doing all that!

…of course, the seeds we plant at the new moon often start to grow and bloom by full moon…

The magic work we’ve been doing with the coven has included (perhaps unsurprisingly given the name) work on self-love. I think it is this work that has tipped the balance to make me look deeper into myself.

Anyway, I was talking about patterns and habits that undermine us…

My pattern for too long has been that of excessive personal responsibility.

Now, I’ll happily admit that personal responsibility is a good thing. It is important that we accept responsibility for ourself and our actions and how these can affect the world around us.

But like all good things, it has a shadow side – when taken to excess it can throw things out of balance. One ends up taking personal responsibility for things that aren’t things one is responsible for and then, because of this extra burden, letting the things one IS responsible for slide. This then leads to a nauseating spiral of guilt, shame and sometimes taking up even more responsibility as one desperately tries to fix things using the same methods that created the situation in the first place. And, of course, the attempted fix just deepens the spiral…

Yes, I know this spiral all too well…

Fortunately, it is possible to change.

The first step is identifying the issue. I would gently suggest that if you’re finding yourself buried in guilt, shame with hints of non-productive rebellion, you may be doing this to yourself, too. Or you may have a different spiral. In either case, you may find that taking some time to write down and chase down what is driving those feelings is time well spent. My tip is to look for the ‘thing’ that is the foundation – what lies behind the greatest number of yurk stuff?

That’s the first step. Next, we need to release the ‘thing’. I have found EFT tapping the simplest, quickest and most effective way of doing this. I was initially a complete sceptic, until life got so uncomfortable I thought I’d give it a try – and was almost alarmed by how well it worked! I follow this basic recipe. For most things I find three to four times through works. You may have other release methods. I do recommend something that is simple and quick. Now that you’ve identified the pattern you don’t need it hanging round your life any longer than necessary.

Then we need to fill the gap. Releasing is good, but patterns leave well-worn paths on our soul. If we don’t fill the gap, the old patterns will sneak back in. Ask yourself questions about how you truly want to live. What do you want your life to look like? What health-filled pattern could replace the old unhealthy pattern? This is not a time to introduce something completely unrelated to what you’ve just released. You’re looking for something that will fill that particular space in you. Then try to reduce this to an easily remembered phrase you can use like a mantra. My new phrase is “appropriate responsibility” – and so far it is keeping me nicely on track.

So that’s my learning so far this full moon. I’m curious to see what more I can release as the moon wanes to dark. Then there’s the fun of planting new seeds at new moon ❤

If you want to chat about anything in this post, feel free to comment or message me (I can be messaged privately through Facebook and Twitter). Just before Full Moon, I launched my shamanic coaching service, Cordyline. If you think this might be useful for you, please get in touch. I’d be honoured to work with you.

In the meantime, aroha nui!

And I trust the moon’s light will help guide your steps along your life’s journey.

❤ ❤ ❤

Risks

Following on from my post last week, let’s talk a bit about the risk areas that can threaten our self-discipline… because, you know, life happens!

While there will always be external risks that are outside our control (having to work overtime, sick children, transport hassles, family demands, personal illness…), it is worth spending some time assessing the internal risks arising from our patterns of behaviour, our habits, our tendencies… these we have some hope of managing.

For example, I’ve noticed over recent weeks that a huge risk for me is tiredness (and, yes, I’ve noticed this the hard way!)

When I get tired, my self-discipline goes out the window: I eat crappy food, waste time online, procrastinate, and find it hard to get motivated to do anything that matters to me. I over-sleep and have to dash round like a mad hare to get out the door on time. I get grumpy with myself and then with everyone else, because I’m not doing what I know I want and need to do. And all this feeds on itself to become a compounding cycle of destruction, which doesn’t help me (or anyone near me!)

So, it’s important for me to manage this: to aim for regular sleep patterns, and when that doesn’t happen (curse you, humidity!), to force myself to break the cycle and do what I need to do. My ‘ten minutes’ are really helping me with that.

Another risk area for me is school holidays. While these are an externally imposed event, I do have the power to choose how I manage the change to my routine. (Confession: in the past I’ve done this by abandoning attempts at self-discipline with similar results to those listed above.)

Summer break is coming up all too fast (school ends on 17 December). I’m determined this year to keep my habits: to keep blogging and to keep my ‘ten minutes’ going. While there will be times when this may not be possible (we are going away for a while), I am hopeful that having the habits and ideas to fall back into will help me weather the break in better shape.

Anyway, enough about me – what about you?

What derails your good intentions and stuffs up your self-discipline? Can you spot it before it gets really bad? Can you manage it or work round it? Do ‘ten minutes’ help you, too?

Let’s chat 🙂

The ‘D’ Word

If you’re anything like me and most of the rest of the world, you’ll have grand dreams and plans and visions of how you’ll live your life next week and what you’ll create when the stars align to perfection – which is lovely and good, but…

What about today? Right now?!

You may well have heard the saying: “your actions and decisions today are your habits next week”

It would be nice to write this off as trite Pinspiration. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much true.

Which brings me to the ‘D’ word – my bugbear – DISCIPLINE

Not the kinky kind (unless that’s your dream 😉 ), but what the Free Dictionary defines as:

Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.

AKA Self-discipline and its close cousin, self-control…

Now, if you’re still anything like me, you know that all those wonderful ideas we had at the start of this post are going to take hard work to reach.

And you’ll know that the best way to do this is disciplined (that word again) hard work.

And you’ll also know that the reality is that after you’ve worked your day job all you want to do is eat easy food in front of the telly and not be self-disciplined or self-controlled (unless it’s the kind of control that keeps you awake too late finishing that cool novel) because it’s too hard and you’re too tired…

… which gets us exactly nowhere nearer those dreams.

So, what to do?

I suggest “thinking small”.

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that we must devote hours of blood, sweat and tears towards our Art everyday, and if we can’t do that, then we might as well not bother. I’ve fallen into this trap more times than I like to confess to.

The truth is small steps work.

And it is from those small steps, those little regular choices, that our discipline is formed.

You may not be up for three hours of hard graft, but can you manage ten minutes (or even just five) of playing with your Art?

If you do that everyday, that’s over an hour of work each week – which is a whole heap better than none! And if you do that every week…

Having read this same advice many, many times and ignoring it (which means I won’t take it personally if you do the same – honest), I have now realised it in my bones and have decided to actually try following it.

I’ve realised that half an hour every afternoon gives me

  • ten minutes to dance,
  • ten minutes to paint, and
  • ten minutes to do some housework.

For me, that’s three important steps towards my goals every afternoon – in manageable, doable chunks. I’m not going to clock watch – my ‘ten minutes’ is more an encouragement to keep it small than it is a precise measure. I figure I’m more like to run over than under, because usually it’s getting started that’s my sticking point, but that’s another post…

So, while you can feel free to nag remind me about my good intentions (and I promise to report in), my challenge to you is:

What ten minutes each day will you do?