Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The feminine flow

I subscribe to the belief that we begin again anew in myriad ways, big and small, in our daily lives: with the dawn of every day, the intake of each breath, the momentum inherent in choosing to turn left instead of right and so on. Yet even with all these amazing opportunities to start fresh, for me none packs quite the same potency as the arrival of a new moon.

The more I've connected to the flow of Shakti, the Divine feminine energy that animates us all, the more I've become aware of the cycles of the moon. My moods and patterns rotate along with Mother Moon's trajectory, and they are colored in the full spectrum of the rainbow. I find myself more introverted at times, playful at others, moving from muted mauve tones to bright oranges. Some days I crave space and solitude, the color of a clear blue sky, others I need the presence of others around me, vibrant yellows filling me with light. My energy is buoyant during certain phases, far more subdued during others. And when the moon comes around to start a new cycle each month, I naturally do the same, pure white.

I shed what does not serve me, both literally and figuratively, as I run red, and marvel at how many of my sisters around me do the same. Energetic beings that we are, when we allow ourselves to connect to the flow and patterns of nature, we automatically align. Our bodies harmonize to the Universal body, our hearts to the Universal heart, and in this natural rhythm we engage in the sacred act of beginning again. It’s the gift of being a goddess.

In many societies, women on their moon cycle would enter into the Red Tent where they would honor this period with ritual and community. It was a time to rest, reflect and reset for the start of a new month. This tradition of sisterhood and reverence got largely lost in our culture somewhere along the way, and, very thankfully, is now being revived by women all over. What a beautiful testament to Shakti.

It happens that as I first began to write this, April 29, 2014, it was a new moon day, and I entered into it so very ready for the clean slate it brings. I'd spent the few weeks prior sifting through a lot of emotions and swinging through a lot of moods as I got situated in my new home in Alabama. The rose-colored vision I had of country living in anticipation of my arrival failed to include quite a few of the stark contrasts to the way I've lived my life in the city for all my years.  My vision became tinged with gray. It didn't account for the isolation I'd feel being so far from my sisters, the lack of easy access to many of the comforts and conveniences I'm used to having at my fingertips, to living with another after years of living alone. 

In fact, my rose-colored vision quickly gave way from that gray to a particular shade of green. In many moments I found myself green with envy for the life I'd led "back at home" even as I was meant to be settling into my new home. Green may be my favorite color, but this shade just does not look good on me. It's really not flattering on anyone.

Had I been surrounded by the women in my Red Tent, I know they would have pointed this out to me. That’s what sisters do. They certainly don’t let you walk out the door wearing something that doesn’t fit just right, and attitudes and emotions are no different. We are there for each other in countless ways, among them to hold mirrors up to one another and reflect back the lesson we need to receive at that moment. I’d be pouring out my heart to them over cups of tea on cozy couches or chatting in the locker room after sweating it out on the mat together in a yoga class. And as I let the colors of my pain and fear run from my lips, I’d be filled again by the words of reassurance and wisdom pouring from theirs.

But I was not with my sisters right then, not even with my beloved. I was with my Self, away on a business trip, and it was cold and rainy, bleak and gray outside, no different from how I’d felt inside at moments over the last few weeks. On this day it was just me and Mother Moon. 

The lesson I needed to receive was being reflected back at me through the mirror of my own heart, and in that space are all the colors of the rainbow. As glorious and important as it is to be in the company of my sister goddesses, and to have their colors wash over me, there are times when the Universe places us on our own to do our work. We must see the full spectrum of colors for ourselves, create the comfort and company our heart is calling for within our own being and in whatever physical space we inhabit.

So I did. Instead of feeling sad to not have a Red Tent to join in, I created one for myself . . . A bath drawn with lavender-scented Epsom salt. And fresh strawberries and chocolate too, because why not? I chose to commune with Shakti in me, to be my own healer, my own mirror and to provide myself with the pampering and nurturing I needed, creating a conscious ritual all my own.

As the energy of the new moon washed over me, I honored all that I’d lived during this prior cycle, and washed it away with the bath water. I recognized that every fear that surfaced and tear that fell during the past weeks were necessary for my evolution. Reds, blues, grays, whatever didn’t serve me, down the drain it went. Then I stood beneath the shower, envisioning all the colors of the rainbow pouring over the blank white canvas I’d just created of myself. I felt as connected as I ever had in the Red Tent, alone with the Shakti in me, and happier than ever to be an embodiment of the feminine flow. 

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