Oh, the sweetness and delight of a New Moon!
The New Moon gets a bit underrated I feel. The Full Moon is there, we can all see her beauty, shining her light for all to see, but there's a special quality about the New Moon. Its there, but we can't see it! Its a mystery. And how lovely to have mystery.
The New Moon is a wonderful time to write down a wish or intention and begin to cultivate space for it to take hold. Over the years I've set many intentions, said a heap of prayers and had a bucket full of wishes. And this is what has worked for me.
Here's a little New Moon ritual:
Before the actual New Moon take some time for quiet.
Take a seat and perhaps close your eyes, settle into your space.
Begin to let the breath settle.
Place palm over palm on your heart.
Feel into the beat of your own heartspace.
Honour it. Listen to it. Respect your heart.
Perhaps reflect on where you are in life, what your priorities are and check in if they are clear for you?
From your values, and priorities check which ones might need some special devotion, maybe your intention might be to hold a value close to you and let it slowly permeate your days?
You might have quote that lately has taken you, for some reason. Perhaps let that quote be your compass for this new moon? What is it about that quote that compels you?
Is there a prayer or a mantra that you feel drawn toward? There's another choice for you.
So you can see if you look around, in your life, that you will most likely find existing material to work with. Check in that it is true for you first, does it really "spark joy" (thank you Marie Kondo!). Careful, your not inspired or distracted by what someone else is up to.
Double check that its in alignment for you, it will feel true, if its part of your dharma, your unique path.
Then take some time to write it out, into a journal or notebook. Maybe say it to yourself, check, try it on, so you can detect if its right and true for you. If it isn't, review the steps above. If it is, repeat it to yourself a few times, write it out, imagine how it might look/feel/smell/taste/sound. Use all your senses to really sink into the experience.
On the night of the New Moon, go lie down on the grass under the night sky. You of course can't see the New Moon, but like your intentions and wishes, they are most certainly present. Give them time to make their way to fullness, just like the moon.
Feel into them, say them to yourself, or out loud! Often.
Water them with your time, attention and take steps toward them.
Remember, we all need time to come into our fullness, the moon, the seasons, even your New Moon Wishes.
Om Namah Shivaya, may we honour our deepest hearts.
Happy happy, joy, joy! I love building practices that are simple and sweet that bring me into a state of reverence & devotion. This also leads to feeling a sense of contentment, which makes me feel so happy and joyous. And yes, you can find practices to bring these "feels" too.
My love of Ritual is pretty obvious if you know me, in reality or in social media (go to my instragrm page if you'd like some inspo, I'm sarasloves). I really enjoy taking things that are already in the house, or on the ground, and making little altars around my home. Thank goodness my husband "gets" me!
These little dots around my home, these little special arrangements encourage me to remember my practice and what and whom I hold dear. I read somewhere that if you don't live in an intentional way, that life will do it for you. There's certainly no shortage of choices; courses to do, books to buy and read, people to hang with, show's to watch, places to go, workshops to do. There's just a few for you, that I come across regularly.
And if you want to go a bit deeper, the Vedic text called the Bhagavad Gita encourages us to make the every day things we do sacred. That might be cooking, bathing, gardening. There's so many opportunities to practice life with some reverence and thread some of the sacred into it too.
Here's a few ideas for you, remembering its best to start with what your already "into" or "captured" by.
I love morning and evening ritual as they can set the scene for the start of the day, and the evening ritual is a nice way to wind off from the busyness of the day.
Here's a morning suggestion:
Find somewhere to sit, that feels nice.
Light a candle, signifying the illuminating of what you hold dear.
Place your hand on your heart, feel its warmth.
Take a handful of calm and easy breaths.
Read an inspiring quote, or passage from a book.
Sit with the words and impressions.
Place your palms together at your heart,
Smile, and take this into your day.
And an evening suggestion:
Go outside and lay beneath the night sky.
Cover yourself with blankets and get comfy.
Let your gaze rest on the evening sky,
and let the stars and landscape of the night come to you.
Inhale the evening air, breathing in the night sky.
Exhale and let go, release the the day away.
When you do these, flavour them with what you love. You may like to start the day lying down watching the morning sky change, with a cup of tea or coffee. Maybe you'd prefer to light incense instead of a candle. Or if your really into crystals, place one outside and let it soak up the night sky and then collect it in the morning and carry it with you during the day, reminding you of the qualities of the night; introspection, wonder, quiet.
I'd love to hear what your up to? What lights you up? What little practices bring a sense of joy and wonder into the everyday.
There are many ways in Yoga to nourish and fill your tank. Each person can probably find at least a handful of ways to feel good through the practice of Yoga.
Lately, I've taken time to just sit outside, enjoying a warm drink and soaking up the warmth and feel of this glorious sunshine. Simple.
Did you know by just doing that, your nourishing and tending to yourself. Yes! I know, so simple but so much more. The Yogi's put names to 5 layers of our being, called Koshas. Sitting and soaking up the sunshine and breathing in the fresh air, is nourishment for two of these, your Annamaya Kosha and your Pranamaya Kosha, thats your skin or your most gross physical layer and your vital energy in non Sanskrit terms.
These koshas are subtle layers of our being, and are a way of looking after and nourishing ourselves, beyond the common lingo of “mind, body & spirit”.
If your looking to dive a bit deeper into the Koshas here are a small handful of practices (some of which you may already do) to get you started:
1. Soak up the sunshine (ahem, yes as mentioned above)
2. Breathe in the fresh air (special times; dawn and dusk)
3. Practice the Hum Sa Mantra (quietly saying to yourself; inhale Ham, exhale Sa)
4. Pick a Yoga Sutra, a poem, a value, set an intention and really feel into that, soak it up, embody it and let it become part of who you are and how you are in the world.
5. Find something in nature to be with that helps you settle into a sense of awe, a sense of honour and or reverence, for this magical planet we live on. Let yourself be omazed!
So just there, above are 5 sweet & simple practices. If you’d like to know more about these, Light On Life by BKS Iyengar is a great read. He was a householder like us, managing homes, feeding dogs, cooking meals. He shows us how to nourish these in ourselves, in our daily life. No moving to an ashram required!!
Sweet hugs to you.