It’s a time to let go, a time to find what’s holding you back and, just as the blood moon does so spectacularly, it’s time to shine through your shadow.
I am enough, everything is just as it should be.
I tell myself this. I tell myself I believe it. I tell others I believe it. I even tell others to believe it of themselves! So why in the hell am I still afraid of judgement?
Sitting on a rock, watching the darkening undulating ocean, I felt a calm stillness. The water lapped the rocks just below me, immediately sending ripples diagonally across the incoming soft swell. It was mesmerising. Every now and then, the seagulls overhead shrieked, as if reiterating that it was time to retreat. They wanted their territory to themselves. I must admit, part of me agreed. It’s not often you’ll get me out past ten o’clock nowadays. Yet, here we were, an hour from midnight, waiting and watching, camera poised and angled just right. As we sat there waiting for the moon, to see her in the shadow of the Earth, I pondered her significance.
There was a lot of hype about this Blood Moon, it was to be the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st Century. Both scientists and spiritualists discussed the wonder of it all. Different perspectives. Myself, I often shift between the scientific and spiritual, between the logical and ethereal, not fully committing to either side. I lay somewhere between the two extremes. To me, this night was both a marvel of the natural world and a sign for new beginnings, for a cleansing, a shedding of shadows.
Scientifically, the Blood Moon lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is in the shadow of the Earth. Although most of the Sun’s light is blocked, some refracted light travels through the Earth’s atmosphere, causing the reddish effect. It seems a simple scientific explanation today, but you can imagine the terror this might have caused in ancient times. It is no wonder that myths and legends have evolved of Blood Moons being an ominous occurrence.
Today, in spiritual terms, the Blood Moon symbolises a ‘letting go’. The shadow represents the darkness that may be inside us, our fears, pains, limiting beliefs or behaviours that no longer serve us. It is a time to re-evaluate, to sit with our emotions, acknowledge them, release them and then to move on and embrace new opportunities. Once the shadow is passed, a new clear moon emerges, symbolising a fresh start.
This idea of a symbolic ‘letting go’, resonated with me. To do this now, in the wake of a Blood Moon and its connectivity to womanhood, seemed meaningful.
For centuries, women were in tune with the lunar phases. The moon takes about 28 days to circle the Earth and a menstruation cycle is based around a 28-day cycle. Of course, the modern-day environment is not conducive to enabling the phases of the moon to physically affect us so powerfully, but in ancient times women’s cycles matched up. As women, our emotions and energy change during our cycle, just as the moon cycle changes. At the end of each cycle, we let go of that which no longer serves us.
[For an interesting read on the historical and cultural context surrounding periods have a read of Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation, by Elissa Stein and Susan Kim]
Thoughts of the moon and the link to our femininity led me to contemplate the potential of womanhood and the connectedness we all have. A powerful book I read, which instilled a huge sense of sisterhood in me, was The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant. It was a book club choice, and not one I would have normally considered. It looked a little too religious for my tastes, but it became one of my most treasured and favourite reads.
The Red Tent, set in Biblical times, is a reference to the tent women stayed in during menstruation. The novel captures the strength, courage and tenacity of womankind. It captured my heart and I felt part of something greater than myself, part of a sisterhood, proud for what we have stood for throughout history and for what we stand for today.
So this whole womanhood, cleansing, new cycle thing pervaded my psyche. I chose to pay attention to this Blood Moon and to take time to reflect, to let go and to embrace new opportunities.
The Shadow within us
Many of us feel a darkness, negative energies or limiting behaviours inside, but it is often easier to bury them rather than address them. Over the years I’ve been pretty good at burying things but have also learnt, over time, how to release and let go. Somethings are easier than others. Through increased self-awareness, I now recognise when I need to reflect and make changes.
The blood moon arrived in the sky. The waves gently lapped the rocks below in a gentle rhythmic cycle. It was time…
As the moon rose higher, it looked like a shiny marble with hues of pink and blue. It took me back to my childhood. I’d spend hours admiring my marble collection, intrigued by the swirls and twisted colours inside. Turning them around and around in my small fingers, enjoying the smoothness and beauty of something so small. Occasionally I’d find one with a little chip, and I loved those even more.
My childhood wasn’t one I would choose. It was by no means the worst either. Often hearing other’s stories can put things into perspective; what seems so bad to us can pale into insignificance in comparison to other people’s hardships. This doesn’t make your own experiences insignificant but can help you appreciate that they could have been worse. I believe there is always a silver lining – just damn difficult to find at times.
Thinking about my childhood, led me to reflect on my life’s experiences. In turn, this brought to mind a problem I’d been mulling over for months. And there it was – as the moon began to shift out of the shadow and shine brighter above me, I’d found my own shadow that needed to be let go so that I could shine brighter too.
Finding My Shadow
I had struggled lately with what to share and what not to share on our blog in our ‘Life’s Journey’ section. One part of me wanted to share every detail of all my experiences (I’ve had a few). I have seen so many people have their own pressures and worries released because they had related to a blog article they’d read.
However, another part, which I think many bloggers, writers and speakers relate to, was being afraid of judgement. What will everyone think of my writing, my stories, and even what will they think about me writing about my experiences? But do you know what really irked me?? That I was still worrying about what other people think! I thought I knew ‘I was enough’. I’ve worked hard on that one let me tell you, lots of work on my mindset, and I had got there. At least, I thought I had.
I am enough, everything is just as it should be.
I tell myself this. I tell myself I believe it. I tell others I believe it. I even tell others to believe it of themselves! So why in the hell am I still afraid of judgement? Why do I still care what other people think?
Random possible responses of others to my stories play out in my head; “Why did she do that?” “I think of her differently now”, “Why is she even telling this story?”, “Does she just want sympathy?” “Good for her – she got over it, big deal.”
This thinking had me re-reading the book that helped me a few years ago (Mmm – realise I read a lot for answers to my questions!). I initially saw Brene Brown give a Ted Talk, which I watched whilst on my running machine – I always need something to take my mind off running. That talk inspired me to buy her book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.
She had researched vulnerability and shame and found that those who have a sense of love and belonging, have a few things in common. They have the courage to be imperfect, compassion to be kind to themselves first, embrace vulnerability and above all have a sense of being enough. She said, that in order for a connection to happen, we need to,
… let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen
true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.
Shine through your Shadow
So, with the moon doing its thing, I’m doing mine. I will shine through.
Maybe the moon and the aligning planets will help – still a little dubious about that one, but I’ll use the symbolism at least. I’m going to write my stories and I will be vulnerable. I am not perfect, but I am enough. I will write about things I have never had to put into words on paper. That in itself will be a cleansing for me. I hope my stories will resonate with others, particularly women, and build a trust so we can authentically relate and ultimately help build a connection between us all.
I challenge you to look inside yourself and find one thing that’s not serving you well. Let it go, make a change and move forward more empowered. Shine through your shadow.
Let me know what you are going to let go. Putting it out there helps it become real and helps you achieve what you are striving for. Let’s support each other to live our lives more fully.
We are all enough.
Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
– Brene Brown
Photography of the Blood Moon
Whilst I was pondering the symbolism of the moment, Lars was busy taking amazing shots. For more of his photography experience check out this post, Shooting For the Moon: An Amateur Photographers Challenge.
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After finishing my Law Degree I decided to become a teacher. I am passionate about teaching, learning and most of all, about inspiring others. Now, as a writer and blogger, I love sharing our travels and our musings on life’s journey. I hope, through these, we can play a part in inspiring you to do whatever ‘satisfies your soul’.