The last full moon of 2016 has set. So much has happened. We have dealt with a lot. Never has the phrase, what a difference a year makes, seemed so immense. There is still so much to be said. So many times that we’ve asked each other to read between the lines. Focusing on the holidays has let us focus a little less on the shakiness of the unknown. But we know that it is always unknown. Sometimes it’s just easier to pretend.
As the last full moon set behind my house, I knew she was already on her way to becoming new again. The transformation, as always, speaks volumes to me. I know that there is so much work to do in the time in-between. The journey. It is 5am and I am alone, it is quiet and I am able to remember who I am. Not the mother, the wife and not the person I feel expected to be. Here alone, coming apart is beautiful. Deconstructing is beautiful. The moon is bright and she is asking me to let the shift happen and to let the fall away feel good. She is asking if I may be open to the notion that it may even feel as natural to me as it is for her. I love this moon. I worship her. She is calling for my New Year to start now.
My challenge as an air sign is that I live within the realms of the mind. I seek independence and need freedom because I need time with my thoughts, they are like breath to me. I have been questioning dogma for as long as I can remember and was the thorn in the side of every nun in parochial school. Blind faith made no “sense” to me. I wanted to understand why Jesus really came here. To me, he was so beautiful and wise. Jesus was like my comrade, a companion. I could read the poetry of his teachings for hours. I wanted to know why the God who created me considered me a sinner. I never believed it!
The mind is brilliant. Our minds have countless survival mechanisms that in some “new age” circles are dismissed as the “monkey mind.” Well, my mind has protected me and helped me survive countless time and it has my full awe and gratitude. Always will. But as I continue to grow up I am seeing with tenderness this heart of mine that has been waiting patiently for me. In Debra Silverman’s The Missing Element, she writes, “Recent scientific studies reveal that the heart is hardwired to the brain, and the heart itself is composed largely of neural tissues. In fact it now appears that the brain is the seat of the intellect while the heart is the seat of wisdom.” Here in lies the yoga. The union of the heart and the mind. With all of the fierce tenderness and wisdom of the heart, the mind can continue to inform us. If we remain in a place not informed by the heart we run the risk of our mind in overdrive that tells us a story that isn’t exactly untrue, but is deeply flawed and fragmented. The heart and mind cannot be separate. They are like two lovers who cannot live without each other.
I go into the new year holding a space for those that are sad and hurt and scared. I am going to have empathy because sometimes ignoring it all hurts worse. I know, just as that little strong-willed girl did, that God gave me this particular mind and this particular heart to use them. I think that the best part about the end of the year, and a waning moon, is the opportunity to unpack our stories with awareness and presence.
I have felt like one of the lucky ones. Despite writing about grief and pain I understand the wild beauty in it. The beauty of watching last breaths. The beauty of loving so much you feel like you can’t breath. The beauty of struggling with infertility and then having that one baby boy that has forever destroyed the notion of loneliness. The vulnerability and the wildness of aging and of being in this body, this skin.
“The cure to pain is in the pain.” Rumi
It all confirms the words of my first great teacher. “Amy, who ever told you it was going to be easy?” Frank Ferrito
I find myself saying those words to my son, as if the biggest gift I can give him is reality. The reality and knowing that he will indeed hurt, life will feel unfair and have the power to knock the wind out of you and to take your breath away. And then hopefully, by my crazy practices, he will learn tools to deal with that reality. For me, Angels, the Moon, Jesus and Buddha, Mother Mary and Goddesses in all manner of form. They are all one. They are the portal through which I recognize the Divine. Faces of timelessness along this path. Real love to be found here. My son may think I am wacky and wild, he may become a Catholic to rebel against me! And it would be fine. As long as he knows how to search out love.
Take your time if you can, unpacking before the new year comes. Don’t rush past the disappointment you may have found in your marriage. Or the pain you felt when your child was sick. Or your concern about what’s to come. Feel. Feel. Feel. Let that inform your heart before you rush to move forward. You don’t need to dwell long there. But sometimes the gifts are in the pain. Devastating, I know. One takeaway from my Catholic school upbringing is the idea that all that is dark in us can be healed by the light. But the light needs to shine on the darkness for us to see it first. The holy spirit that burns in us just wants to draw us closer and closer and closer still. Our humanity is like poetry. These bodies, hearts and minds, they are beautiful works of art. Our anxiety all the way through to our unique ability to love, to create, to express, to be in joy and tears.
There is so much pressure here, expectation to be perfect. The reality is we come to this place for this. The Imperfection! “We are not bound beings trying to be free, we are free beings trying to be bound.” from the book Secrets of the Eternal Moon Phase Goddesses
I end this last post of the year saying I honor your joy, your heartache, your pain, losses and your triumphs. I honor the love, the powerlessness and the bravery. Don’t chase away your darkness. Remember the moon’s wisdom. The light will shine on you again.
Peace to you! Thank you for being on the journey with me.