How’s That Working for Ya? 10 Things at the New Moon

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Ebb and Flow.

“Write down what’s working for you and get clear on what’s positive for you, then intensify it.”

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

That’s AngelSu’s sudden suggestion as we’re chatting on  a Dark  Moon  night.  Only  a few  hours  before,  I’d complained about how many good habits I’d let drop in the past month to make room for mundane and unloved work and how I plan to put those good habits back into practice when  I return  home  from  my  trip  to  Central Florida. Her suggestion is the other side of the coin—not what isn’t working but what is.

It’s a good enough suggestion  that I think I should incorporate   it   into  every  month’s  Dark  Moon/New Moon spiritual work. To look at what IS working and let it grow stronger as the moon continues through her cycle, intensifying by the full moon and leveling off into regular practice.

Ten of the things I’m noticing that ARE working for me in this past month, but by no means all….

1. Making eye contact. Unless I’m really wrapped up in my own thoughts at the moment, I try now in public to make eye contact with the people I pass. Every last one of them. Sometimes,  with men, it feels a little predatory, but it’s new territory that’s intriguing in the responses I get. I feel like for the first time I’m actually actively sending a bit of  myself out there into the world instead  of pulling the energies in to me. Like I’m not quite as self- contained.

2. I’m becoming  more comfortable  with how I look, body  image,  etc.  (yes,  in spite  of gaining  some  weight back this month and being off my regimen terribly)

Part of that sense of comfort has to do with taking more  pictures  of  myself  (clothed,  thanks)  and  playing with them artistically. I’m not  focusing on perfection or emulating a “Maxim girl,” etc. If anything, the pics aren’t necessarily  flattering,  but  I’m  finding  something  about them that I like.

I’ve also seen some recent artwork and photography by several  self-described  (accurately)  exhibitionists.  For everything  that  Hollywood   and  airbrushed  magazines have done for women’s view of perfection  and  the universal failure  of any  female  to achieve  ridiculous  standards that have 20-year-olds routinely seeking out surgical alterations as pre-requisites for minor league beauty pageants, well,  thank  goodness  there’s  good  old-fashioned exhibitionism on the  Internet  to show skin with flaws, blemishes,            scars,  stretch            marks, discolorations, and unique markings that make the inhabitant of that skin less plastic than a Barbie.

I’ve had the chance to see some other things, up close and  personal,  that  surprised  me,  too.  One  of  my  colleagues recently returned to work after about 15K in surgery, most of it between her collarbone  and  her pubic bone. We were  changing  clothes in the  bathroom  and talking about her extensive surgery and how happy she is with it. She wanted to show me. A few moments before, she’d been in the world’s cutest little outfit and looked so sexy  and  adorable.  I  tried  not  to  show  it  when  she stripped, but I was horrified.  Yes, with clothes on,  she looked great, and I was envious of her figure. Without the clothes, she  was all scars from the surgery.  Even well- placed by her surgeon, she was still all scars. For the first time ever, I realized that I’m approaching my mid-forties fast and I have no scars. Okay, 4 puncture wounds from the dog attack when I was little, once where I accidentally stabbed myself with scissors when I was 5, and a hidden spot where a mole was removed, but no roadmap under my  clothes.  No  major  scars.  That  seems  weird  to  me now. I guess I thought all the “work” my colleague had had done would make her 20 again. Instead, she appears thinner but with lots of…patches.

3. Surrounding  myself with supportive people. Some- times this  means  not having very many  people around me, but the ones who are believe in my dreams and push me to accomplish  them. The other side of it is that I’m also refraining from discussing certain issues with people I don’t know for certain will be supportive—and  especially not with ones I know for sure will nitpick and claw at me. That’s harder than it might seem. Some old friends and colleagues  occasionally  hunt me down  to find out things about my personal life so they can then find fault. I’m better at nipping that, even if it means I’m checking my watchless wrist two minutes into the conversation and saying, “Oh, look at the time! I have to run! Kiss, kiss!”

4. I’m not waiting  for other people to come rescue me. (Geez, I didn’t realize that verb was going to be rescue until I typed it.) I’ve always hated being unable to get a salesperson to help me. I know it’s the way I grew up… silently waiting for them to notice me and come fix some- thing or come help me while I stood by politely and let others interrupt and take precedence. I’m much more apt these days to walk in and grab a salesperson and tell them exactly what I need. In fact, it’s now rare that I don’t.

5. I’m not as responsive.  Funny. I’ve always  prided myself on  being  very responsive, but I don’t need to respond to everything or everyone.

6. I’m not letting myself get as wrapped up in how people think something should be and spending my time trying to defend it or—not change their minds but trying to stop them from trying to change MY mind.

7. I’m accepting gifts more. And I’m slowly getting a little more  inclined that I might could accept depending on someone  else  financially  while  I follow  my  not-so- lucrative dreams, travel, write, do philanthropic work, or just be a mom. Still not sure if I could do that, but several friends have raised the question of whether I could allow myself the possibility of a future with someone who gives me that kind of  financial freedom. There’s a lot of bag- gage with that idea, with trusting someone to support my dreams. But I’m starting small and accepting  gifts  now

without feeling I have to reciprocate with a gift of equal monetary  value and that it’s okay for a gift to just be a gift.

8. I’m sticking to prioritizing my projects according to my  life  purpose  and  not  taking on  any  new  resource- sapping projects that don’t fit my life purpose.

9. I’m allowing myself good things in the future and not automatically deciding that it can’t possibly happen or it won’t possibly turn out the way I’ve dreamed. I’m actively looking for the higher manifestations of all the possible futures  that branch  off of each life  event.  As for things in the present,  I’m enjoying  them more and actively creating my surroundings to be how I want them to be,  even  if  I  move  to  another  house  and  don’t  have brown floors and white walls for a quick sale.

10. I’m demanding respect. People who don’t know me—and those  who do—may think I’m being a bitch, but the first person I demand respect of for myself is me. I respect myself for what I do and how I live.

11. (Yeah, I know I said 10, but something  extra is good!) I’m  thinking a little less and doing a little more. More acting on instinct and intuition without questioning it. Even when it seems crazy. If it just suddenly seems the right thing to do, I’m doing it, no questions asked.  I’ve spent too many nights talking myself out of something wonderful because I analyzed it to death. Now, my intuition’s strong enough to know for certain what wonderful is, so when the opportunity presents itself, I won’t say no.