Your life probably has many routines and rhythms that you’re responsible for implementing, for yourself and your children.
- meal and snack times
- waking and getting going in the morning
- bedtime routine
- school/after-school/homework routines
What about rhythms that you’re not responsible for? Do you pay attention to rhythms in nature?
Besides the big ones, like the changes of seasons, there are other natural events that occur at predictable times:
- the tide coming in and going out
- inhaling and exhaling all day long
- the moon waxing and waning every 28 days or so
I like to notice the moon in the sky (when it’s not overcast and rainy here in the Pacific Northwest) because I find it beautiful, and I like the quirkiness of its comings and goings in the sky. It doesn’t always rise at the same time – after a full moon it rises the next night a full hour after it rose the night before. The moon is changeable – it looks a little different from night to night (and day to day), but it’s also reliable – it changes in a dependable fashion. I’ve always liked noticing and following the changes, because at different points in time, my life has been so unpredictable.
Don’t you find life with small children unpredictable?
Leaning on the breath is one of my most used tools, and the one that I recommend the most.
The waxing and waning of the moon is similar to the inhale and exhale of your breath. The moon ‘grows’ larger in the sky until it’s full, and then gradually gets smaller until it ‘disappears.’ In a similar way you inhale air until your lungs are F U L L and then you exhale . . . until at the bottom of your breath there’s no oxygen left and you have to inhale again.
People have long used the cycle of the moon to set intentions at the New Moon (the beginning of its ‘growth’) and then releasing what isn’t serving them anymore at the Full Moon, after which the moon gets ‘smaller.’
This can be an ideal rhythm for adding or subtracting from your mothering duties, and a way to be more deliberate in making positive changes in your mothering. Here’s a suggestion you might find helpful – if it feels doable.
If it feels like too much, just read on and think about it for a while.
At the New Moon…
– most calendars have this date marked – decide on something you’d like to see or do more of in your relationship with your child.
- Do you want to notice more often what your child is doing right?
- Do you want to go to the park more often to let your child run off energy?
- Do you want to print a few of those fun photos on your phone that show your child off?
Intend to do that.
Write your intention on your calendar, in your planner or journal, or on a Post-it note to go on the bathroom mirror.
Then live your life for the next month. It doesn’t matter whether you’re as successful with your intention as you think you should be. Chances are that the act of writing it down and making it conscious will help you do it more often than you would have otherwise. That’s a win!
At the Full Moon…
take a few quiet minutes to decide on something you’re going to let go of. What’s placing a burden on you? What do you wish you didn’t have to deal with anymore? What’s bringing you down?
- feeling defeated because your house isn’t as neat as you think it should be
- feeling frustrated because your preschooler isn’t toilet trained yet and ‘everyone’ says they should be
- getting angry over little things your children do because you aren’t taking care of your own needs
Write it down on a piece of paper and burn it (or crumple it and throw it away, or bury it – you decide)
Whatever it is, decide to let it go.
Release feeling bad about your house’s state – if you can’t keep a standard that’s unrealistic at this point in your life, then allow yourself to stop feeling bad about it.
Release the notion that your preschooler must be toilet trained today. Do you know any teens who aren’t toilet trained? It will happen, but it won’t be today, it might not be this month, and that can be okay.
Release taking care of everyone else and decide to pick one thing you’ll start doing for yourself. Fill your own cup so you can fill the cups of everyone else from your overflow.
The Full Moon is perfect for releasing unrealistic expectations, bad feelings, habits that hurt you or thoughts you no longer want to have.
Keep up the Rhythm of Intend….Release
You won’t be successful at this pattern of Intention and Release at first, or even for quite a while. Perform this routine every month, if you can, or whenever you remember. The practice will help you get better and better at making intentions that stick and releasing things that aren’t serving you.
The practice will make your wishes and realizations conscious, bringing them from the unconscious to the possible.
See if using the rhythm of the moon’s cycle is helpful in your mothering journey!
Stay Safe, Be Well,