One Door Closes, Another One Opens…
The Wisdom of the Balsamic Moon
Does it ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels? Putting one foot in front of the other and doing something with your time, but at the end of the day wondering what it is that you actually accomplished?
It’s amazing the difference a week can make.
Last week I was blazing through my to-do lists, ruling the world, and finding enjoyable downtime to boot.
This week I can’t seem to fully flip the switch into on OR off mode. I can’t quite make it through my to-do lists; I start in one direction only to find myself distractedly going in another; I’m moving forward yet standing still. And then feeling guilty about my low productivity, I can’t seem to allow myself to carve out that really meaningful downtime to relax.
There’s always going to be that balancing act between “doing” and “being.” But there’s something so satisfying about just picking a lane and being fully in it – whether that’s fully slaying tasks and to-dos, or fully laying on the ground in corpse pose.
This in between stuff is productivity purgatory.
As an introvert, and an INFJ at that, I am used to this constant pull of opposing forces. Wanting to be fully engaged in this world so I can connect deeply with others and make a real difference. Yet also constantly toying with the idea of packing it all up and drawing it all inward and becoming a monk living in a cave.
Although I’m not very skilled at camping, let alone cave dwelling, so I don’t think that’s going to work.
But sometimes it feels different than this internal pull of needing to retreat inwards. Sometimes it feels like perhaps the forces are bigger than me, outside of me, something going on energetically around us encouraging us to slow down – not a pull, but a gentle push inwards.
A couple evenings ago, at the end of a day like this, I crawled into bed an hour earlier than usual (which alone is a HUGE feat for this Night Owl).
I dug out my moon journal and two moon books, did some quick cross-referencing, and pinpointed the current phase of the moon: The Balsamic Moon, also known as a waning crescent, the last phase before the darkness of the New Moon.
Normally I write to you on the New and Full Moons, so I’m throwing off our pattern by a day here. The New Moon won’t happen until tomorrow (Saturday 8/11/18). As we know by now, the New Moon is that all-important time for taking stock, setting intentions, and beginning anew.
But the Balsamic Moon takes us back even a step further. As Ezzie Spencer says in her book Lunar Abundance:
“The Balsamic Moon phase can be one of the most challenging phases to navigate.”
This is the time when the moon begins to return to darkness, the final phase before the complete dark of the New Moon.
Metaphorically speaking, this is the time of death before rebirth.
As we follow the cycling phases of the moon, we are constantly reminded of these similar cycles of life. Our spirit is birthed onto this Earth, lives, dies, and returns to Spirit. So it is with nature and the cycling of the seasons – the rebirth of spring waxes into summer, wanes into fall, dies in the winter, only to be reborn with new beginnings in the spring. So it is with everything in our lives – one chapter closes so the next one may begin.
The Balsamic Moon brings us face to face with the idea that we must let go of the old in order to make space for the new. It reminds us that new beginnings are fresh and exciting – but they also require a dying (metaphorically perhaps), a closing, a letting go of something that no longer serves us.
As you prepare for the New Moon and the new beginning it ushers in over this weekend, take a moment today to reflect on any endings in your own life. These might be tangible – a relationship, a job, an amazing summer vacation. Or intangible – a feeling, a thought, a set of beliefs that aren’t serving you anymore.
Allow yourself to feel the feelings that arise with that. The most beautiful thing about life is the ability for beauty and sorrow to exist at the same time, at the same moment, even in the same breath. The realization and experience of this makes us human, makes us whole.
So if you, too, have been feeling for the last few days like it’s not the right time for starting something new, like you’re spinning your wheels just trying to get your regular stuff accomplished – you’re right.
We’re in a very yin phase of the month and it’s a wonderful time to allow yourself some extra space to breathe.
Be kind to yourself if you’re not getting everything done. Fully allow yourself some time to just “be” instead.
Ponder what you’re ready to let go of. And appreciate that a new beginning is just around the corner.