On January 31st, there was a Full Blue Moon Lunar Eclipse, meaning that it was the second full moon in one month (which is called a “blue moon”) and it was also a lunar eclipse.
In earth-based spirituality and astrology, eclipses are considered portals. Things are one way, and then they’re not. You are in one world, and then you awaken to find yourself in another. They’re excellent times to shed patterns that keep us stuck in meaningless patterns of suffering.
I went into this eclipse knowing that I wanted to work with it intentionally, and when I awoke at 5:00am that morning, I walked outside under the moon and begged to be free of the self-hatred that had so bitterly worn me down.
You see, for months, I’ve been asking for clarity about how to move forward in my life in a more aligned way. I’m still not sure what that will end up looking like, but during this blue moon period, the self-hating tape that plays in my mind was turned on full blast. Its resounding presence made it clear to me that this was the threshold I had to cross in order to continue moving toward change.
So I paid attention. I looked at my life and saw how many of my choices and behaviors were informed by a deep belief that I am bad. That I can’t. That I’m not good enough.
I felt this belief on a cellular level. I noticed how it made me stand, sit, walk, and talk. I noticed how it crept up on phone calls, how it appeared anytime I started feeling good about my work or when I was enjoying time with my family. I noticed how it made me want to self-soothe by checking email or scrolling Instagram.
My experience leading up to this full moon was extremely painful, but it was undeniably clear that I had no choice but to face my shadow head-on and ask the moon for help transforming it.
And you know what?
I think She did.
Later that morning, I noticed how raw and reborn I felt. On a perfectly-timed call with my therapist, I could hardly come up with words to explain how I was feeling, it was so new. I felt re-programmed and had no idea what to do next. It felt like waking up on an unfamiliar beach with nothing in sight except soft waves breaking against the sand.
For so long, I’ve been thinking hard about what to do in my career - how to support myself financially, how to contribute, who to collaborate with, etc. But after this blue moon, all I could do was stay present for one moment at a time and notice what it felt like to be alive.
I told my therapist that it felt like I had no direction to walk in now: on this new ocean shore I found myself on, there was no predetermined path or sign of where to go. With her help, I realized that there was a path, but it was almost imperceptible and it could only take me one step at a time.
The path was relief from self-hatred.
All I could do in each moment was choose that: relief. Relief from the deluge of cruel thoughts that tell me I can’t do this, that, or the other thing. I wondered what it would be like to take actions that aren’t guided by anything other than the question, “does this feel like relief from self-hatred?”
When I use this mantra as my guide instead of beliefs about what I thought I wanted in my career, my choices feel richer and truly like relief. They feel loving and exciting.
These steps feel awkward and it’s easy to lose track of my new path, but it’s all part of what I wrote about in my previous post, Thoughts on How to Clumsily Crawl Toward Change.
We may have no idea what shape we want our career to take this year, but we can go out under the light of the full moon and say, “please help me.”
Then we can take tiny, mindful steps in a new direction. We can choose relief instead of criticism. We can choose peace instead of drama. We can choose nourishment instead of numbness. We can choose to believe that work can be an embodiment of joy instead of an obligation.
We can breathe in the crisp Spring air and embrace the potential all around us.
I have no idea what comes after this awkward baby-step stage, but I do know that there will be a partial solar eclipse in Aquarius on Thursday, February 15th, which is another opportunity to set something beautiful into motion. You can read about this eclipse by following some of my favorite people on Instagram, @gottesss and @chaninicholas (and you’re welcome to connect with me there, too! (@mleather)).