Burnout is all too common for modern mamas at the moment – but what if there was a way to work at a different pace, that allowed time to move forward and a time to rest?
The single biggest struggle for the mamas who connect with Happy Mama is this:
It just never stops.
The pace of life, the demands on our time and energy, our to-do lists, the washing. Modern mamahood is a treadmill so many of us are wanting to step off, but we just can’t seem to find that stop button.
We know meditation would help. We know we need to prioritise and clear out the judgement, fear and perfectionism so we can be more present with our family. We know, we know!
And yet, we struggle.
But what if you could pause, mama, every couple of weeks and give yourself what your exhausted spirit really needed? What if there was a support system already in place for you to stop, breathe, connect with yourself, and feel more aligned again? And what if tuning into this way of doing things only took two nights a month?
Welcome to the power of the moon.
After years of talking about the importance of mindfulness, meditation and self-care, we know how much you want to embrace these ideas, but struggle to make it a reality. We’ve been searching for a way to simplify it, to make it easy to work with, and to make it fit with our modern lives – while still getting the benefit. Ritual, reflection, simplicity, beauty: we need this, mamas. As women, we need these things in our lives. It’s how we connect back in with ourselves, and show up the way we want to.
And so, let us introduce you to Yasmin Boland.
Yasmin is a mama to a ten year old boy “who I love with all my heart.” She’s also an Aussie living in London, and is the Hay House best-selling author of Moonology. Her work and insights on astrology and the moon appear pretty much everywhere – online, in magazines and now, here. Yasmin shared with us how to start tuning into the cycles of the moon, and why it is such an important part of reconnecting as mamas.
“More and more people, especially women, are waking up to the fact that we create our reality with our thoughts and our emotions. We need to live consciously if we want to have the best life possible. And the reason why so many people are starting to acknowledge the moon cycles is because the new moon is instinctively the time when we know we should be setting our intentions. We’ve learnt that we need to set intentions in our life if we’re going to make a difference to how we live, and if we only do it once a month, that’s still so much better than what most people do which is either never, or on January 1st each year.
“Then, at the full moon, it’s the time to focus on forgiveness. This is something I have created and which I believe makes complete and utter sense because on an energetic and spiritual level we have to forgive all of the time . We have to give up anger and resentment and bitterness if we are to live in alignment. Otherwise we become toxic, and we have no way of manifesting what we had set in motion on the new moon. Plus, – and most of your readers would know this – all the emotions come up at the full moon so they are much easier to access and heal. It’s so widely acknowledged now that our emotions are so much stronger at the full moon, so when better to work through them and forgive what you need to forgive!
“Seriously – what’s not to love about this? None of us as mothers have time to do all the things we used to do for ourselves before our children arrived. I used to do 3am meditations for the eclipse and all of these beautiful practices, and now I just can’t. I’m a mother and a wife and I work and I have other commitments.
“That’s why this is so important in our modern world. It’s like meditation or yoga – everyone knows they should be doing this sort of thing nowadays, but this is a way of diving into this without having to leave the house or get up at 5am everyday! There was a 21 days of yoga special at the local yoga school last year and I went with some of the school mamas, and it was too much! I did it, but it was too much! I really admire those mamas who can go to a yoga class at 6am before the school run, but I can’t. However, working with the moon like this – this is how I make it work.
“And to get started, all you need to do is start noticing at what stage the moon is at. You can start with just understanding whether the moon is waxing or waning – meaning whether we’re moving from the new moon to the full moon, or back again. And if you just know that, then you’ll start to naturally work with the cycles. Because, although it is great to declare your intentions to yourself once a month, we need to do more. If we really want to make this work, we also need to understand where the moon is after that. When we understand that, we’re more likely to get clear on what we need to be doing to make our intentions come to life.
“When the moon is waxing, it’s time to be in action. It’s time to show up and do the work. But we can’t be on 100% – any business person or mama will tell you that! We can’t just push on every single day. We’ll burn out. But if we start to use the natural cycle of the moon, we can follow a pattern of moving forward and then resting. In the time between the new moon and the full moon, we put our foot down and go for it. And then when the full moon comes round and it all comes to a head, and then we should be able to step back a little and let it flow.
“Of course, we can’t always just step back from all the action needed after the full moon. We still have jobs to do, households to run, things to do. But what this is about is the energy we bring to it – how we’re feeling, what we’re telling ourselves, and what we’re focusing your attention on.
“If we can do this, then we can be in a flow with the Universe. We can give ourselves what we really desire. And we can show up as much better mamas, partners and women.”
WORKING WITH THE MOON:
As Yasmin suggests, there are two key points in the lunar cycle we can use to start to connect to ourselves, the energy of the moon, and our intentions.
NEW MOON: Traditionally, the new moon is when new seeds were planted, and similarly, this is when we want to plant the new seeds of our lives. Use this time to get clear on what you want for the coming month – whether it be really practical, like clean out the garage and de-clutter the house, or more feelings-based, such as ‘to be feel more calm with my children’.
Always phrase your intentions in the positive, never focusing on what you don’t want to happen.
FULL MOON: This is the time to let go of anything you’re hanging onto in your life – whether it is related to your intention of the month or in general. It’s often a time of big emotions anyway, so you’re likely to know exactly what it is you need to forgive and release. Writing it down, burning it, releasing it in a symbolic way can really help too. Self-forgiveness is a big part of self-care, especially for women, so make sure you include yourself and your own actions in there too. Let the past go so you can welcome in a beautiful new future.
WAXING: This is the time the moon ‘grows’ – between the new moon and the full moon. A good way to remember it is: as the moon moves forward to full, so too do you. What do you need to do to make those intentions happen? Need to allocate an hour a day to the garage clean out? Want to try a meditation practice in the mornings to see if it helps with the 5pm chaos with the kids? This is when you get into action, mama. Planned, organised, divine action, knowing that the energy around you is encouraging and supporting you to move forward.
WANING: And this is the time of the cycle that you come back to rest. No-one can go all of the time – even though that’s what is expected of us. But working with the lunar cycle like this means that as the moon moves back from full to new again, we too can move back into a more supported, slow and connected space. This doesn’t mean we spend two weeks napping (although if you can, your nervous system will thank you!), but it’s about being kind to yourself – and your to-do list. Allow yourself to go at a different pace. Give yourself this time to just enjoy what you have. Take your foot of the pedal a little. This is how we refill before the next cycle begins again.
If you’d like to start to work with the cycles of the moon, the New Moon Mama Circle is about to begin. A monthly membership circle with meditation, ritual and a strong community of women, this is your simple yet powerful way to start to connect with yourself again. Find out more here.
Yasmin Boland’s book ‘Moonology‘ can be bought here.
Moon artwork by Rebecca Morganfinch.