Moon Lesson • Dam(n)…that’s Brilliant!
This month’s moon marks the beautiful moment just before the swamps in northern America freeze. The beavers are really active and in high gear as they prepare their homes for winter. If you were a trapper, this would be the time to set beaver traps to ensure a supple of warm winter furs. So the name given to the full moon this month is the Beaver Moon. Some tribes also referred to as the Full Frost Moon. This is the time of year the evenings are still just temperate enough to sit outside and watch the quiet but breath-taking dance of the frost as it sparkles and glistens under the moonlight. The balance of silence against the movement of this dance has a calming meditative effect. But as we know, not all dances are so soothing.
Our Moon Lesson this month focuses on the dance between distraction and determination. Distractions are like craft glitter—fun, playful, and attractive…until it’s time to clean it up. Cleaning up glitter is painstaking work that seems to never really end. And this is precisely what happens when we loose sight of our goals and dreams. Something seemingly brilliant dances before us and draws our attention away from our true aim and then it takes us quite a bit more time to get back on track after the detour. So how do we stay focused on our dreams?
Well, let’s look to our Eight Limbed Path at the practice of Ahimsa. Ahimsa means to “do no harm” to self or others. To live in a manner keeping with Ahimsa, we must consider not only the physical implications of our actions but the effect of our words and choices. I’ve been physically hurt and it was painful, but the bruising was a short lived reminder of the event compared to the weight of the words that have shaped who I am today. I’ve certainly played a conversation or two over and over again in my head trying to suss out where it went “wrong”. I’ve held on to the words of my parents, my friends, and people who probably have no idea their words had such an impact on me. As for harmful choices? Going into relationships with rose-colored glasses on, enabling someone’s unhealthy habits, the list goes on. These are not only the antithesis of Ahimsa, these choices take on a life of their own and become distractions that detour you from the straight road toward your dreams.
Under the light of this Full Beaver Moon, I invite you to turn up the volume on your dreams and get busy rebuilding them.
Consider the spirit of the Beaver. Beaver is industrious and independent at the core, but Beaver recognizes the importance of teamwork. In general, spirit Beaver is reminding you to act on your dreams to make them a reality. It’s one thing to wonder at the beauty or fantasy of a dream and quite another to make it real — it takes focus, goals and effort to actualize what you desire to create. But more importantly, Beaver reminds us to align our dream building with friends and/or family. This is not only to streamline the process, but because Beaver symbolizes long-term protection and care of family. Please recognize that when I say ‘family’, I am including the family that you choose…this is not a blood relationship situation here.
So back to our spirit guide this month, Beaver reminds us to shore up our relationships through common efforts. This doesn’t mean to you alter your dream to suit your support network but rather you enroll them in your aims and practices. Finally, spirit Beaver reminds us to deal with our physical house as well as our emotional house. If you’re holding back your feelings and emotions, it’s time to deal with those feelings by either expressing them or releasing them, before your dam bursts. And we all know that when a dam bursts, it explodes on those closest (near and dear) to you…aka your friends and family. So address your true feelings head on before they become a part of your detour. Feel free to go back to the 5 min journal exercise in October to clear some emotional and energetic baggage. Then dive back in and reconnect to the determination to live into your dreams.
This month you will explore and acknowledge what has truly gotten in the way of living the life of your dreams. Is it money? Time? Support? Vision? Direction? These obstacles…well, any obstacles really…whether real or imagined, have a work-around if you’re truly ready to move beyond them. The key lays in your determination to slow down and work through the solution.
Now consider the Wise Woman/Sage archetype. The Wise Woman or Sage represents a woman’s pursuit of worldly knowledge, strategy, and objectivity. The Sage encourages discipline, knowledge, and goal-orientation. A woman who embodies this archetype is capable of being a brilliant strategist; seeing situations from an objective perspective is her gift. This archetype is practical, competent, and competitive. The characteristics of this Wise woman/Sage archetype reside within each of us to some degree…sometimes she steps forward and leads the charge while for others she might be working quietly in the background. Either way, she is there and this month we aim to wake her up.
Wise Woman and Beaver walk hand in hand. Both are industrious and aim to engineer the most stable outcome. Both maintain a focus on the task at hand, using all of their resources (friends and family and collective knowledge) to reach their goals. Consider the Hindu goddess Durga as inspiration.
Durga means she who takes us beyond all difficulties. She is the divine energy that protects the soul from duality, adversity and opposition, known and unknown.
Durga arises from agni, our inner flame of immortal life, awakening our motivation to reach the highest bliss. She is born from the power of tapas, the wholehearted concentration of our aspiration to immutable truth. She is the spiritual fire on Earth who removes all impurities for the soul to shine. - excerpt from American Institute of Vedic Studies
Moon Time Exploration
This month, pay attention to what often distracts or derails you from your focus. This is the glitter in your life (beautiful, but messy and a pain the ass to clean up). Make note of these distractions and obstacles in your journal. Some of them you can easily address by simply not giving your time to them. But others require action and purposeful attention to remove them. Chose just one to consider this month. Is there a solution to these distractions/obstacles that you might garner from a friend or family member to help keep you on track?
Once you have a solution that sounds reasonable, it’s time to make an action plan that will make this solution attainable. A single action step taken each day toward this solution gets you one step closer to your greater vision.
The Wise Woman in you already knows that it’s a journey not a race. So don’t be discouraged by the amount of time it might take to back up and do something the “right” way. Beaver builds her dam one branch at a time.
Read through the entire exercise before putting it into action. Materials needed: your journal and a pen
Journey Practice - Groundwork
STEP ONE: At the BOTTOM of a clean page, write down one goal. It doesn't need to be a big fat hairy seemingly unattainable goal. I'm talking about something you might be able to accomplish within the next 6 months or less. Maybe it's to lead a new workshop. Maybe it's to step out of your comfort zone and try karoke. Maybe it's to plan an affordable weekend getaway with your partner. Learn to cook a meal from a difference culture.
This exercise is not necessarily about the goal itself, so smaller and even silly is just fine. This is about laying the groundwork (walking through a few steps) to prove to yourself that you have the tools to reach your goals and live into your dreams. It's about reinforcing your belief in your abilities. So write down your simple goal at the BOTTOM of a clean page.
STEP TWO: On the TOP of the same page, write the single most pressing obstacle that might prevent you from reaching the goal. If the obstacle is money...this goal might be too large for the time frame we are working with. Money certainly has a work around but the number of steps required to generate income are often longer term actions. So money aside, write down your number 1 obstacle. Is it a mental block? Is it lack of information? What's in your way? What do you really need to remove this obstacle and reach your goal?
STEP TWO (b): Get clear on what you need and then enroll your friendly in one on one conversations. Be precise in your aim. Rambling is an indication of a lack of clarity. So get clear on what you are trying to do. Here's an example, "I am looking for a Technology Partner to help me with my app." Note that for this short time period, my goal is not "I need help building my app"— this is too general and too big. Getting a Technology Partner though is a smaller step that will ultimately lead to developing my app. So be very clear in what it is that you're looking for or might need.
STEP THREE: Beneath your Obstacle, write down at least one resource (a person or a website or a library) that might be able to help you with reaching this goal. Each resource gets a new line all to itself.
STEP THREE (b): Connect with your first resource. As you connect, set aside the expectation that the solution will simply be handed to you. If it were that simple, you would have reached this goal long ago. Stretch your thinking. Help comes in many forms. It could be a suggestion for a book that can help. It could be a suggestion to speak with someone else. Your help might come from a YouTube video. Your help might come from a particularly rich moment of meditation. Try to avoid thinking "I don't think any of my friends/family know/understand/can help". The moment we say "I don't think..." is the moment we've lost our connection to our inner Wise Woman. Reel her in and get creative.
Posting a huge request for help on FB is not the way to go with this exercise. You may, though, send a personal message or email to carefully selected individuals. But truly, you only need to come up with one resource. Start there and see where it leads you. Then move on to the next...
Each request for guidance on your goals is a breadcrumb that leads to your end goal. Follow each crumb with fierce determination but without expectation. Each time you "clear" a resource/breadcrumb, write the next best lead/resource on the next line. By the time you reach the bottom of the page, you should have a clear list of how you got from Obstacle to Goal. If you need more lines to reach your goal, simply write your Goal on the bottom on the next clean page and keep going. This practice is about action, perseverance, and making notable progress...one branch at a time.
Feel free to share your groundwork with our private group on Facebook.