Lunar New Year Intentions

For several years now, I've been experimenting with an extended New Year awareness.  I don't set a January 1st resolution (full disclosure - I haven't been up at midnight for several years now, but that has more to do with motherhood).   I've tied many of my daily rhythms to lunar cycle awareness, which includes celebrating the lunar new year.  Between Jan 1 and the next new moon I sit with ideas for intentions and let them percolate.  By the lunar new year, I’m ready to commit to a few ideas for shaking up my daily life.

It's taken me longer to settle on intentions this year.  But yesterday things clicked and I chose three lunar new year resolutions based on the theme of conscious living.

Pay Attention   I used to regularly set aside time to be tech free - nightly before bed and a weekly ritual silence for a few hours of family time with devices shut off.  As I slip further into motherhood, I've neglected this practice, spinning my wheels faster and faster to try and keep up and keep moving.  I try my best to say off computer and phone when my son is around, but am more hooked than ever in the time I have without him - eating breakfast alone, walking to and from appointments or meetings, sitting on the couch with my husband after our boy has gone to bed.  I'm equally disappointed with myself and addicted.  New year intention number one - conscious eating and walking.  I (re) commit, starting today, to just walk when I am walking and just eat when I am eating.  I will (try and) resist the urge to pick up my phone at the table alone and walking to and fro.  I commit to connecting with myself and the city around me. 

Moon Angels I love staying in tune with the lunar cycle through daily inspiration from Ryan Rebekah Erev's Moon Angels.  These cards provide thought provoking art and guiding descriptions for each day of the cycle from waxing to waning moon.  I've drifted from including these in my morning practice and have missed the ritual.  Today they are back and not a moment too soon.  Many of the systems in our country - political, corporate to name a couple - are dominated by a deeply ingrained patriarchy.  In itself, this solar powered energy we often associate with masculine qualities is not wrong.  But over centuries this way of living and governing has taken root to the exclusion of other ways of functioning and our systems are out of balance, serving only a few rather than all.  Lunar energy is linked to the feminine, to qualities of creativity, calm, and intuition.  Power is expressed in a very different way than we've come to know in our culture.  When we who live in a society dominated by the masculine/sun energy start to pay attention to the feminine/moon energy, we invite a shift towards balancing these two opposites.

Activism  Eight years ago I was inspired, like many, to go into public service following the election of Barack Obama.  I pursued a job with a councilmember at Seattle City Hall.  Two years later I left to pursue a Masters Degree in Sustainable Food Systems and, disillusioned with shortcomings, bureaucracy, and lack of creativity in government, never returned.  I stopped following local politics and grew complacent about (and took for granted) a national progressive agenda.  Eight years later I feel despair and anger at the election results and the decisions currently being made in Washington DC by mostly white, male political leaders.  I am inspired to activism, to an awake and conscious life that comes out of being and living according to a feminine, creative, compassionate rhythm.  

Conscious living - that's my motto for 2017.  Perhaps you'd like to join me?


i suppose most people take the opportunity on New Year's Eve to reflect back on the year. tonight i find myself flooded with memories reaching way back to when i was a little girl and at the same time i'm drawing inspiration from two amazing ladies in my life - my grandmothers. last winter i welcomed 2012 surrounded by family in the Bay Area as we celebrated my mother's mother's 80th birthday. my Gram is quite dear to me, more so the older i get and appreciate her love and wisdom. how does she inspire me? a few years back i discovered the secret of her vitality. every winter she goes into a determined hybernation. she slows down, drops some of her regular activities for a few months, sleeps a word, she rests. what a novel idea in our culture today! ever since she told me about this annual ritual, i have given myself permission to try and do the same, sans guilt.  it takes a special kind of strength to embrace stillness and i deeply admire Gram for modeling this way of life.

i'm welcoming 2013 on the beach of my childhood in la jolla. when i was young, my grandparents had all 10 of my cousins and 3 of my siblings and i for a few weeks in the summer to "Camp La Jolla." It was full of swimming, sun, sand and seaworld outings. i usually think fondly of my grandfather when i'm back here, but tonight i'm letting myself sit with a sense of admiration for my Baba. she was quietly behind the scenes those many years, making sure everything ran like clockwork - not an easy feat with 14 kids underfoot i'd imagine! she coordinated our much loved beach dinner parties, and so much more. i walked into our room this afternoon and there it was - the unmistakeable scent of La Jolla. i have just a drop of it at home, in the leather playing-card box my grandmother gave me a few years ago to remember this place by. when i'm feeling a bit blue, that earthy smell fills my body with sunshine and grand-love. my Baba has lived a full life. she inspires me to see the world, to live near the sea and to take care of myself.

tonight i'm raising my glass of champagne to my grandmothers -- to these strong women who guide me.  for inspiring me to live, as appropriate to seasons of life and of the year, both a bold and quiet life of love.