This full moon, leading up to the autumn equinox is not only a time of reflection, but of shifting from external expansiveness into a time of inward quietness. I don’t know about you but 2021 has been a steady flow of new beginnings, unwinding tangled webs, finding out who I am and what I’m capable of. A realization of my own inner power and strength. It has been exciting and incredibly difficult as well. I share this, as part of my own personal testimony and hope that you may feel some benefit too. I’ve come to realize that often my struggles and misgivings are most often not exclusive to me or my situation, but more often inclusive of the people around me, my greater community, who are going in through similar struggles and times of difficulty and who are seeking support and reassurance, just as I am.
The full moon, and the lunar cycle in general, gives us moments within our busy schedules to remind us to stop, to be still, to reflect and have a time in which we can show our gratitude for just how much we do have.
Unlike the new moon, where we take the time to plant new seeds, to begin new adventures or chapters or projects, the full moon is a time of illumination, bringing into light and expanding what is already in front of you. This full moon in Pisces illuminates the shadowy depths of our inner being, the deep waters that are often left unseen. For many of us, these depths are quite scary, uncharted territory that we often avoid because diving too deep may bring out something in us that we don’t want to face. In astrology, the moon symbolizes our emotions. How we process our emotions, how we nurture ourselves emotionally, how we connect with others on an emotional level. This full moon reminds us to look deep within ourselves and see in one self, those things which we often overlook, but that is our deepest and greatest strength. During this full moon, we are energetically supported on a cosmic level to take this risk of self reflection, because this helps us grow, it nourishes us, it helps us expand such that we can become stronger within ourselves and in turn strengthens our families and our community with light and truth that is universal.
Self reflection does not have to be deep, time consuming or serious. In fact, self reflection takes on so many forms, it’s simply a matter of finding what resonates with you. I offer up to you three ways of self reflection, in which I personally have used and find value in. Perhaps they will resonate with you, perhaps not. Perhaps you already have a self reflection ritual that has gotten dusty. I encourage you to let this be a time to start diving in, because in those deepest depths, are the most amazing treasures and sparkling gems, just waiting to shine in the light above.
Free style journaling - a daily reflection. Grab a pen and paper - old school! Or grab your iPad. Let your thoughts just flow, don’t go back and spell correct, don’t re-read whatever you have written before writing more, just let it all out, the way it comes out. This is for you and you alone. You’ll be amazed at just how much you can process when you give yourself permission to just keep going, without the judgement of others or yourself. Daily reflection may be a stretch for most, even me! But I always find a deep sense of release and expansion on days that I fit it in.
Use your senses and offer up gratitude. What in the heck do I mean by this?! Well, let’s look at the human senses - hearing, sight, touch, taste, smell. Begin with a phrase such as, “ I am grateful for…” and choose something that comes to mind that you are grateful for, such as, “ sunshine”. Now end that phrase with how that sensorially feels for you, such as, “warm on my skin”. So your sensorial gratitude may come out this way, “I am grateful for the sunshine today that is warming on my skin”. Alternatively it can sound something like this: Today I am grateful for the sweet sounds of birds chirping in the morning as I drink my coffee. By practicing gratitude with reflection, we naturally release serotonin and dopamine into our systems. Added bonus! I have really enjoyed doing this activity each morning as I drive my kiddos to school. It sets a nice tone for the day, even if it was hectic getting out the door.
Contemplate. Wow, this one sounds serious. It’s not! While pulling cards for a self session, I use the Tao Oracle deck by Ma Deva Padma, I was reminded that taking time for contemplation is as important as the body’s need to pause between the body’s breath of inhalation and exhalation. You can not do both at the same time, your body must pause, even for a moment before performing it’s opposite action. Similarly, it is to our own benefit to align ourselves with nature, by allowing a pause in our minds. Our days and weeks are spent “doing, doing, doing”, but often not prioritizing the art of “not doing”. It is as important, dare I say critical, to allow our minds those moments of pause. Going into nature is a great way to contemplate and take time for self reflection. Simply go outside and give yourself permission to observe nature in its surroundings, uninhibited. Your favorite hiking spot, a stroll in the park or even your backyard or porch. For me this is a fail safe way to get out of my head, declutter my mind and allow for the possibility of true uninhibited reflection. Another way is to sit and listen to music. Your choice! Any track! Throw those headphones on and allow yourself to be fully immersed in all of the richness of the sound. I generally prefer instrumental beats with a hint of electronica.
Whatever you choose, know that the practice of self reflection is not only necessary, but natural. By following the rhythms of nature, we are more in line with our highest selves and create opportunities for genuine connection with others.