The Pink Moon on April 18th came and went without my writing here. At that time, I was plowing full moon energy into family matters––––celebrating my husband’s birthday with a party, honoring the rites of spring with a daughter, and having another daughter and her three school-aged children here in Maine for spring break. What fun we had! But now it’s quiet in the house as the full moon wanes into the new moon, a Black Moon.
A Black Moon can mean when more than one new moon occurs in the same calendar month. These are fairly rare, occurring once every two or three years, but this year there are three! On April 30th, at 4:28 EST, we'll have the third one. April’s Black Moon occurs on the same day as a solar eclipse, visible in the southern hemisphere.
What a new moon and a solar eclipse mean for me is that the energies are slowing doubly at this time, so I get to welcome even more time to turn inwards, to rest, restore, in preparation for the merry month of May––––new beginnings in the garden, in my studio, and at my writing desk.
Spring is not summer. We do not need to jostle awake from our winter dens to a full-on state of awake. If we care to, we can take our time to uncurl, stretch, step out tentatively, and stand squinting for a moment in the light. As May unfolds, the moon will wax again. Energy will build momentum. Seeds will sprout through the soil. But for now, I am content to use this slowing moon time to charge my batteries and assess how I want to move forward carefully and with intention. Here's a tool I find helpful in my work with myself and with clients.
(Wheel of Life, Photo by Jodi Paloni) Creativity Prompts ~ Download and print out a copy of the attached worksheet, Wheel of Life. Or create your own. ~ Gather up some colored pencils, crayons, Sharpie markers, whatever you have on hand. ~ Brew a cup of coffee or tea or crack open a can of your favorite seltzer. ~ Find a quiet space and a moment to yourself to honor this introspective process. Here's where I contemplated mine.
(Pemaquid Beach, photo by Jodi Paloni) ~ Consider your level of satisfaction in each of the 10 areas of The Wheel. Each concentric circle represents a level of satisfaction. The center ring = 1. The outer ring = 10. For each area of life, fill in the space that represents the level of satisfaction you feel. Use a different color for each area of life. This gives you a bar graph of sorts. ~ Another way of scoring is to make a dot in the space that represents the level of satisfaction you feel. And then connect the dots. What you’re left with is a shape. The shape you see can be very effective at expressing the shape of balance in your life.
(Creativity, Photo by Jodi Paloni) ~ A third way is to give yourself a number score. That way, if you do these charts again and again, you can compare your numbers to see how you are meeting goals for finding more balance. ~ Make this your own…If I look at this through the Gateless Method lens, I’d say keep in mind that there is no right or wrong shape or score. It all depends on what you are looking for. Some people might want to tip the balance in a certain area one way or another. To them, a “higher score” in the area of health might serve the person at this time. ~ You can also change up the titles of the areas, and make them more specific to your needs. You could make a whole chart just about your writing, your cooking, or your garden. You name it. ~ Now set your timer for 20 minutes and write about your findings. For my wheel, I began with a question. If career and creativity rank so high on my chart this month, why am I only feeling 50% joyful? The question prompted me to look at the other areas. Perhaps a healthier lifestyle could help. Do I give the stock market to have too much power over my emotions? Maybe spending more time meditating and walking in nature will remind me that there is more to life than the things money buys. NOTE: Some folks find it helpful to keep a folder or a journal of the wheels when they do them now and again, or when they do them often. It’s fun to go back and track progress with this tool. I hope you find this activity useful and fun.