https://i0.wp.com/www.indianeye.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/yin_yang.pngIn a time where technology and science are second nature (pun very much intended), we often forget our connection to the natural world.  In our efforts for fortune or fame, we can ignore our bodies’ cries for rest or exercise, proper nutrition, creative expression, relationships, or spiritual growth and pay the price with chronic illnesses, imbalances and general dissatisfaction.  We can also utilize the wisdom found in nature where balance and proper timing produce success, abundant health, quality of life and experience, longevity and satisfaction.

Nature provides everything we need right when we need it.  It reminds us when to rest and when to be active, when to eat and when to cleanse, when to build and when to tear down. The greatest challenge comes with the choice to go with the proverbial flow or resist it at every turn because we think somehow we know better than nature does.   Its energy is constant, but constantly evolving inside/out, expanding/contracting, living/dying and so on.

Energy can only be changed, but never destroyed.  Jacob Atabet states, “Unused evolutionary energy is the matrix of pain.”  Put another way, what we nourish and nurture yields growth.  What we neglect and ignore yields growth also, but often in undesirable form (e.g. cancer, etc.).   Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and more specifically the application of its Five Phase Theory is a wonderful embodiment of this principle as it reveals through observation of nature and seasons information about what to do and when to do it.  We will look more closely in upcoming articles at seasons as they come, what energy they hold, herbs, foods and activities necessary to achieve balance and health.

For now, as we say goodbye to Winter and pry Spring from its cold dead fingers, we must give thanks for the time of necessary rest and stillness our bodies and earth have needed in preparation for the seeds of change and newness to come.

Advertisements

Phases_of_the_Moon

We are entering the Dark or Balsamic Moon.  The current moon phase is a crescent and tomorrow will be barely visible.  This is the Winter Phase of our lunar cycle and the end of the cultivation of our theme.  As we discussed in the beginning there are two cycles of expansion and two of contraction.  This cycle ends the final phase of contraction.  Continue going inward.  Allow time for stillness and quiet.  All that has been experienced over the course of the cycle will coalesce into the essence of the theme.  A new SEED is being formed.  As in the Winter season, all activity is far below the surface – all has been stripped away and all that is left is the essence within.  Time to reflect over the past.  Make notes in a journal about the things which have been learned or have been made manifest.  Take what was learned from the last cycle and claim new knowledge and growth.  The new seed will SPROUT with the New Moon in a few days and present a brand new theme for our learning and development.

In the next day or so, it will become time to focus on the future, no longer looking at the past.  Turn away from looking back completely and begin to look ahead, preparing for and anticipating the future cycle to come.  While the seed is planted and begins to germinate within silence and stillness, completing any lose ends is appropriate, but rest is critical.

Allow a new cycle to begin.

Check out the website below for specific dates and times of each of the four main cycles which each last approximately one week.  The sub-cycles occur half way between and last roughly 3.5 days.

http://mach.usno.navy.mil/cgi-bin/aa_moonphases.pl?year=2009

Phases_of_the_Moon

This last week of the cycle begins with the Last Quarter Moon.  We are deep into the Fall season of the cycle.  Staying with our seasonal analogy, the “harvest” is complete and it is time to prepare the soil for the coming Winter.  We are wrapping up Fall when it becomes necessary to acknowledge a sense of completion of the past scenario.  The theme has served its purpose and it is time to leave it behind.  The work is complete.  Just as the farmer must dig up his crops and prepare the soil for Winter, s/he must reflect on the past harvest and be aware of what is important and what is not…what worked and what didn’t…During this time of season, the trees are relinquishing their leaves back to the earth revealing their most basic structure.  We shed a lesser self as we withdraw from the activity of the cycle and the stage that served as the setting for our intended growth.

Reflecting on this past cycle and recognizing any inner need that may surface is essential to creating the changes in our lives on the outer. Look at this inner need as a challenge.  Again, remember that others are having their inner needs as well.  Do not demand that others change to suit your growth.  Allow space and share your realizations with mutual respect.

Plowing under the crops allows them to become the fertilizer for the next cycle. Let go of vested interests or attachments to the previous experience.  This is a transformational time, a time for personal change. Shed your mask, and free yourself from past ways of participating in life. LET GO.  Walk away from that which is no longer nourishing.  Time to live as you are NOW and not as you were. LIVE IT.  Doing so provides a choice for others to also live theirs.

If we refuse to make these changes we keep ourselves chained to old patterns which restrict growth.  Allowing the changes to manifest allows us a brand new, even higher level, of experience.

Phases_of_the_Moon

Disseminating Moon – also known as the Waning Gibbous and true to its energy, can wreak havoc on good intentions.  In our seasonal analogy, we have ended the fruit bearing phase and have officially entered the Fall Season of the cycle.  Time to harvest and share your fruit.  There is much movement and participation.

There is a sense of urgency and lots of activity.  You feel the urge to get things wrapped up and finish last minute details.  It can be a time of confusion and you may seem out of sorts, losing keys, dropping things, doing silly things like leaving your house while talking on your portable home telephone not realizing it isn’t your cell phone.  In these moments it is important to keep calm and especially maintain a sense of humor, but keep moving forward with your theme.  Again, like the anticipation of a newborn, a BIRTHing is at hand.  In clearer terms, whatever project, idea, relationship, lesson, etc., was made known to you in the beginning is now about to become its fullest form of manifestation.  What began as an inspiration is now a real entity.  The FRUITS of your labor are real and ready to be plucked from the vine and shared with the world.   Your fruit can be inner growth or outer manifestation and either will allow you to reveal the truest essence of yourself and those around you.  Share the gift of your fruit.  Give forth of what was created or learned and be open to receiving from others as well.

With that said, it is important to keep in mind that while you are enjoying the ebb and flow of this process which can be a rich and exciting time for you, others are experiencing this energy also.  Some of them are manifesting their inspirations and some are not.  Be sensitive to both…

Phases_of_the_Moon

It’s here.  The beauty of the full moon in all its glory!

We ended the pollinating phase of the cycle.  Our efforts on the current theme mature into vision and enthusiasm of what is to come.  How will the theme manifest into a reality? The “Summer Season” of the cycle is at its peak.   This is the climax of the cycle and the end of expansion.  It is a time of celebration.   ENJOY!  Tomorrow we begin the fruit bearing phase and just as summer comes to an end we have realization and manifestation of the theme.   If we were on a roller coaster this is where the ride seems to rise up, up, up until it seems to then come almost to a halt just before its descent. The theme is realized and manifest. All the work of the first half of the cycle has been leading up to this moment and what we have learned.  Relax and allow this realization to occur. There is no need to force it as it surfaces on its own.

Sit back and relax and enjoy the energy of the next few days.

Next phase begins when we prepare for the harvest phase.   As stated above the flower has produced fruit and it will soon be time to harvest and share your bounty with the world.  Like the anticipation of a unborn child, there will be much preparation and last minute details so for now, bask in the beauty of the light which embraces the darkness.

Phases_of_the_Moon

Ok, so we have entered the Gibbous Moon phase of the lunar cycle.  This current few days will wrap up the first half of the lunar as we approach the Full Moon.  The moon appears almost full.  Gibbous moon means greater than a semi circle and less than a circle.

Approaching the Gibbous Moon, we ended the “flowering” phase of the cycle.  Think of the flower that has burst forth from the seed and is now bursting through to the surface.  We must persevere and push on, through, or push open.  We are still EXPANDING until the full moon when we PEAK then begin to CONTRACT.  This is the time of ACTION.  Stay committed to the theme.

Just as a flower must push through the earth and may encounter rocks or hard earth we can expect what seem like obstacles at every turn. Press on.  The flower opens on the Gibbous Moon.  The theme of the days leading up to the Full Moon are that of attraction & involvement.

“The outer and opposite is alluring. It is a time of exploration and involvement with others. Flowers not only blossom to reveal their beauty, but their functional purpose is to provide the pollination required to bear fruit.”  The flower is not the end, but a prelude…  There is a clarity of purpose and enthusiasm and the required energy to fulfill that which was inspired at the beginning of the cycle.  Share your vision and direction, what you have been working on.  This is a social time.

We are beginning to wrap up the Summer season of the lunar cycle.  The “summer heat” will begin to cool once Full Moon appears and begins to wane and we begin the Fall season of the cycle next week.

Phases of the Moon

Phases of the Moon

During first quarter, the moon is visible as half dark and half light, and we officially enter the “SUMMER season” of the lunar cycle.  This is the time when things really start heating up and ACTIVITY, WORK, and EXPANSION are at their utmost.

So we wrapped up “Spring” with the idea and growing phase – CONCEPTION, if you will.  An external stimulus presented itself – something on which to create or upon which to act – the evolution of a creative idea.

Now we move from INSPIRATION to ACTION.  Pay close attention.  This is also the time when FEAR, DOUBT and “I CAN’T” are most likely to surface.  Whatever it is that has presented itself, did not come to tell you “No, no…don’t get up.”  Listen to the self-talk and take it as information.  To look at self-talk without judgment is moving through self-imposed limitations and can lead to rediscovery of personal power.

If you decide to pass up this opportunity, not stepping into action results in opportunity lost and no growth.  If you need help working through the stuff in your head, try this daily exercise.  First thing in the morning, sit down and write three pages of whatever comes to your head.  Even if you write, “I can’t think of anything to write,” do THAT for three pages! (borrowed from Julia Cameron, author The Artist’s Way).  It just gets all the junk out and opens the channels of imagination.

The seed now is becoming the flower.  The idea is taking shape.  Drop all hesitation and take the steps to move forth on what you were inspired about.  Trust in the process by taking physical action and you will be supported. Opportunity and time for practical application of your talents. This time is stressful or traumatic only if action is ignored. Time to WORK in order to MANIFEST.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined…”

Henry David Thoreau