Reset your Rhythm

CONNECT with the Moon and with your Breath

What goes unnoticed in nature, goes unnoticed within the self.
— April McMurtry

Living in synch with the seasons and the cycles of the moon is a foundation to experiencing rhythm. The connection with many of nature's rhythms has been disrupted by so-called conveniences of our times: the availability of produce in supermarkets regardless of the season to the glowing screens and next day deliveries in cities that never sleep.

The body is an ecosystem, that the planet and body are one. Everything living breaks down into the same molecular structure. There is a reciprocity in nature that sustains life. When cycles are disrupted over and over, the ecosystem gets out of rhythm, out of synch, and gets sick.

We need rhythms that restore balance to the on-demand nature of modern life, indeed to insure that life can be sustained on the planet. Knowing the cycles of nature and the cycles within the self are one way to to align with rhythms.


Affirmation: I experience life as a rhythmic cycle and I navigate througH the transitions of each moment without resistance.  


The moon cycle can help point the way; the body knows this cycle like a familiar song, a lullaby from a great-great-great grandmother, perhaps being sung in a distant land. From mother earth herself. A call to remember.

La luna reminds us that change is constant and the opportunity for renewal is available at each phase. Aligning with lunar time can help the body, mind, spirit, and breath remember its rhythm of growing to fullness and letting go to emptiness.


 
Phases of the Moon #themoonismycalendar lunar artwork by April Miller McMurtry

Enter these turning points
In the play of respiration and expiration,
Where the rhythms of life transform
Into each other.

Breath flows in, then surrenders to flow out again.
In this moment, drink eternity.

Breath flows out, emptying, emptying, 
Offering itself to infinity.

- excerpt from The Radiance Sutras translated by Lorin Roche
 

 

Experiencing time as a cycle helps us understand rhythms in a way that linear times does not. We need time to connect with rhythm to experience ease of transitions throughout the day: breakfast time, work time, play time, nap time, tea time, closing time, supper time, bath time, bedtime ... and lunar time lights the way to not always be "on" the way that screen time may suggest.

Like the lunar cycle, the wheel of the year is always in motion; the path of light reaches its peak at Summer Solstice and then spirals inward to the depths of Winter Solstice. On a micro level this movement can be felt in the expansion and contraction of each breath. Every breath mirrors the unfolding and releasing of the seasons. 

The four major turning points of the year and the lunar cycle serve as reminders of these shifting rhythms: expansion through Spring Equinox to the Summer Solstice is similar to the energy of the waning crescent to the full moon, and the contraction from the Fall Equinox to Winter Solstice mirrors the waning of the last quarter to the dark of the moon. 

 

WHEN YOU NEED A RESET

Everything in the body communicates though rhythm. Sometimes it just takes being still enough to listen. This is especially true during the change of seasons when rhythms seem to shift most drastically: from the expansion and freedom of summer to the drawing inward of autumn.

Disruptions in rhythm are experienced as dis-ease. There is a reason that when babies are upset, caretakers begin rocking and rhythmically patting them - it helps to reset their rhythm.

Often when children go back to school after summer there is such an extreme change in rhythm, they become more prone to getting sick. When, as adults, we push through the fall months without taking a cue form the season to slow down, our bodies let us know we are out of synch. 

Abrupt changes in rhythm call for extra attention to anchoring practices to navigate transitions. Here are two ways to reset your rhythm: connecting with the Moon and with your Breath.

 

Reset your Rhythm with the Moon

The moon teaches how to flow with change and not feel pressure to be full all the time. Flowers are not always in bloom. There are phases and stages to growth and transformation that can be understood more intimately through observation.

Every 29.5 the lunar cycle resets, and the moon goes dark for about three days. Notice if it feels aligned to set intentions for a new practice at the new moon.

Make a list of potential practices like: Writing daily gratitudes, taking a walk after lunch, sketching for ten minutes in the morning, going to bed at the same time every night, meditating for five minutes before work - something that lights you up! 

Choose a practice that will help you create a rhythm. Do that thing everyday. Allow it to help you find your devotion. To be more fluid and steady, like circulation.

Charting with the moon can anchor your practice and help you to notice ebbs and flows with each changing phase.

Recording your emotional, physical, creative, and energetic "orbits" on a circular lunar calendar can bring more mindfulness to how you experience rhythm. The New Moon Calendar Journal is a tool designed to hold and nourish your awareness of inner and outer cycles. It is a container to host your light. 

 

Reset your Rhythm with the Breath

It’s relaxing for us human beings to be rhythmic
— Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa

Bringing awareness to the breath is a way to find rhythm, manage moods, calm stress in the mind and body, as well as enter into a space of stillness. Pranayam exercises and meditations can help direct the flow of prana - life force energy through guided breathing. The video below is a meditation called Tattva Balance Beyond Stress and Duality.

The deep inhale through the nose gives endurance and calmness. Exhaling through the mouth strengthens the parasympathetic nervous system which calms the reaction to stress. The pulse of the exhale stimulates the pituitary gland to optimize clarity, intuition, and decision making.

The mind follows the breath, and the body follows the mind.

 
 

 

BEYOND STRESS AND DUALITY

This meditation balances the brain and relieves stress. It takes only three minutes but can have a profound effect.

Benefits: If the five elements (tattvas) are strong, in balance, and located in their proper areas of the body, then you can resist stress, trauma, and illness. You do not get confused in conflicts between the two hemispheres of the brain as they compete for the right to make and direct decisions.

This meditation uses the hand mudra to pressure the 10 radiance points in the fingers that correlate to the zones of the brain in the two hemispheres. The equal pressure causes a kind of communication and coordination between the two hemispheres of the brain.

©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan source: 3HO.org  

Disclaimer: Not all yoga poses or meditations are suitable for all persons. Practicing under the direct supervision and guidance of a qualified instructor, in addition to the direction of your healthcare provider, can help determine what poses are suitable for your particular case.


 
Calendar Journal 2020  #themoonismycalendar

The 2020 edition of the New Moon Calendar Journal is available in thee shop! Order your copy today.

This simple and beautiful circular calendar and journal establishes the new moon as the starting point for each monthly cycle. By using a circular calendar you perceive time in relation to nature more clearly, and patterns in your own experience become more apparent. It provides a structure for connecting to your inner wisdom and natural rhythms. 

Cover artwork by Cosmic Collage