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.”
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.