What’s going on in your life right now? Is there anything connected with the sign of Cancer that’s a major focus in your life? Here’s a short list to help you identify those things:
If any of these is currently a prevalent situation in your life, you already have your focus for this New Moon and Solar Eclipse.
If there’s not anything on this list that’s center stage for you right now, does anything feel “missing” or do you feel that adding it would enhance your everyday functioning in the world? That missing element could serve as your New Moon focus.
Since eclipses are said to have effects for a year, you can set a timeframe of one year to accomplish any goal on your New Moon list. There’s no need to rush. Think of this New Moon as a stroll on the shore ~ there’s no rush, so slow down a bit. Some of your efforts will be visible and others will be washed away. Even though the footprints of your journey may fade from view, the memory will be etched forever in your heart. With this New Moon, like the crab we will exist both on land and sea ~ bridging the inner world of our emotions and the outer world of practical results.
If anything on the short list is a major irritant to you, you are also given the opportunity to heal and soothe the pain that you are experiencing. You don’t have to limit yourself to this list. Anything that is an irritant to you at this time can serve as your New Moon focus because you will be nurturing its healing process and giving it a safe home ~ a haven for recovery. Just as a tiny granule of sand is the catalyst for the emerging pearl, you can take any irritant in your life and transform it into a polished jewel. You are the craftsman, the artisan, the mother of this pearl.
Tools for the Journey
You may have someone to share this journey with and to help you in the process, but it is quite possible that you will be walking this path alone. Either way, you will need periods of solitude to collect your thoughts, look back on the path travelled so far, and ponder the possibilities of that which is yet to come. Here are a few ways to renew yourself:
- Take care of yourself first
- Find some solitude
- Add something enjoyable and relaxing to every day
- Create a personal ritual
- Give yourself time
Take Care of Yourself
You cannot get anything done well if you are neglecting yourself. You’ve heard it a million times ~ eat well, exercise regularly, and get plenty of rest. You know it’s true, but do you practice it? A bad diet of junk food and empty calories will not give you the fuel you need to get through the day. Make sure that at least one meal each day is nourishing. A little exercise rejuvenates your body and gets your blood flowing bringing oxygen to your cells. They can breathe. Have you ever been so tired and exhausted that you can’t sleep? Try some of the tools for relaxation to help unwind. Sleep is the great healer and without it, we will only decline in health.
No matter what your New Moon project may be ~ putting a new deck on your house, revamping your boudoir, testing a new cookbook, or overhauling the kids’ routine ~ you need to stay healthy. You cannot give a 100% to others when you give 0% to yourself.
If you are a caretaker, I’ve taken a deeper look into that situation at the end of this post.
Solitude lets us go within, to find our authentic answers. While venting with friends or hearing stories in support groups can be quite helpful, it is only by searching your own heart that you can find a solution for your particular irritant. It is in the heart that your pearl is formed ~ solid, strong, shining. Sometimes our friends can give us very bad advice even though they believe they have our best interests at heart. They may be angry at what you’re going through or at someone who is making life difficult for you. Anger rarely solves a problem. It is only with a clear head and a heart that isn’t hurting that wise decisions can be made. When the anger and heartbreak have calmed, you are more likely to see a solution to your problems and you are less likely to be wrapped up in the final outcome.
Joy and Relaxation
This may be the most difficult tool to access. If you’ve lost your sense of humor or interest in hobbies or activities that used to give you great joy, you are probably depressed. Perhaps your emotions feel flat and nothing really interests you now. Your concentration may be lacking and you feel pulled in a million different directions. Find a focusing activity that is also relaxing.
A great tool for this is coloring a simple mandala. Coloring can be completely mindless or seriously focused. What it will do is draw you out of the world of chaos and into the inner realms. Use colors that you like and that soothe you. See my post on Mandala Art as a Healing Tool and download mandalas that you can color. Or just stare into one that you find soothing. Clare Goodwin and Sandra and David Mosley have some truly stunning mandalas on their websites. Color your intentions into a mandala for each New Moon. The colors you choose will give you great insights on your emotions.
Watch simple movies and stay away from the ones that require your full attention. These movies may make you laugh or cry ~ it doesn’t matter. You need to laugh. You need to cry. These simple movies let you process some emotions that you might continue to repress otherwise. They offer a little lightheartedness and their simplicity is refreshing. A sad movie can release some tears that help rid your body of the toxins that stress brings. Are you in the middle of remodeling your house? Watch The Money Pit for some great laughs and some insights on what remodeling can do to your relationship. Has childrearing worn you out? Try Kindergarten Cop. Is Mom making you crazy? Try Throw Mama from the Train. These are all in good fun, and everyone needs a laugh.
A Personal Ritual
Whether it’s preparing tea for one, a few moments to pull a tarot card for inspiration or to walk through your garden or neighborhood, or a prayer before bedtime, personal rituals give us a bit of tranquility that may otherwise elude us completely. They are soothing because they are repetitive, giving us a feeling of continuity and security. These rituals are not obsessive-compulsive behaviors which can create more havoc than calm. These little rituals are like offerings on the altar of peace.
You’ve probably heard it said that time heals all wounds. I don’t know if that’s true, but time will (at the very least) change the wounded. I truly believe that time is in charge of itself. We can neither rush nor delay the process of any emotional or spiritual healing. If you need a mantra that will really help you with time, remind yourself that “This too shall pass.” Pearls aren’t formed overnight and it will take some time before you are able to clearly see the change that a wound has brought you. Ask yourself regularly if you are bitter or better.
Special Care for the Caretaker
We cannot do a good job of caretaking if we are mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually exhausted. As you move more deeply into your caretaking, it’s the little irritants that can overwhelm you ~ the day-to-day care for someone who is elderly or ailing, your children who have you at your wit’s end, or the endless ball-and-chain drudgery of everyday chores that are necessary to keep a home a peaceful haven, a refuge from the harsh, demanding world out there or inside your own home. The laundry is piled to the ceiling, there are more dishes in the sink than in the cupboards, the floor is covered with dustbunnies and other things that just may have been alive at one time, cobwebs are in the corners, the refrigerator is virtually empty except for all those unidentifiable green things that didn’t used to be green.
You give up for one more day because you just don’t have the energy to deal with it. You need some time out. You’ve never felt more alone in your life. You just need someone to take care of you for a little while. What are you supposed to do?
- Relinquish some control. You may feel that you’re the only one capable of performing your duties, but you really don’t have to do it absolutely alone. You really don’t. There’s someone ~ a relative, a friend, an agency that can help you.
- Become less house-proud if cleaning is a major burden to you. Does anyone notice but you?
- Ask your physician for help with some of your caretaking duties if you are caring for someone who is ill. You may be able to get a prescription for an aid for a few hours a week. Those few hours are golden and can give you the opportunity to access the other tools for the journey. Perhaps four hours of uninterrupted sleep is only a fond memory. If that’s the case for you, you have lost access to one of the most healing tools of all. Sleep is essential.
- Use some ready-to-go meals from your supermarket or local restaurants. Unless a special diet is a requirement, these meals are usually fast and affordable. They also reduce that pile of dishes in the sink and give you a few more minutes to focus on something else.
- Hire a sitter. Hospitals and nursing homes have lists of available sitters. Ask around ~ you’ll learn quickly who the good ones are.
- Attend seminars or meetings at support group gatherings. Local newspapers frequently list meeting times or contact numbers for various support groups. Just hearing about someone’s similar situation can relieve some of your anxiety and guilt about failing your loved one ~ or yourself.
- No one will ever judge you more harshly than you judge yourself. You are tied up with emotions ~ love, hate, guilt, anger, sorrow, feelings of incompetency and of not doing enough. You are overwhelmed and may not have a clear picture of the extent or quality of the care you are giving. You’ll make mistakes, but few of them are irreparable. Be gentle with yourself.
- Know when to hand it over. If you are at the point of considering placing your loved one in nursing home care, you are faced with one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make. It implies failure and seems to say “I don’t love you anymore.” You know that’s not true. Remember ~ no one will ever judge you more harshly than you judge yourself. At some point we all have to “let go and let God.”