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A search engine will return many blog posts related to how to do a ceremony at the full moon to let go of that which you no longer want to think about, carry, or have in your life. This is not an instructional post. This is a personal account of the impact and outcome of moon energy coupled with exquisite attention and commitment.

My last post was about the natural rhythm of the seasons vs the calendar. Natural rhythms ebb and flow and we observe cycles in their comings and goings: cycles of day and night, cycles of the seasons, cycles of the moon. We, as humans are such a curious mix of three brain types. We still have the responses of a reptile, albeit it tempered by a cortex with ever evolving consciousness. So, I maintain that there is something comforting for us in harmonizing our lives with natural rhythms rather than with time clocks and the dictates of the cubicle nation.

The moon will be full Tuesday, February 3rd. (You can find a calendar of moon phases here) If you like to align your commitment and energy with natural forces, then it is also a great day to do a release ceremony.

moon copyright(c)2012KJLoh
The premise is simple enough. When the moon is full, it is a good time to let go of things because its waning process will symbolically represent and encourage, the withering of, or gradual disengaging from, that which you release. When the moon is new, not visible in the night sky, it is a powerful time to invoke that which you want to see grow in yourself and your life. As the moon waxes, it mirrors the growth you intended.

The full moon illumines the dark, helps us see in the night. It empowers us to see with great clarity and humility that which we need to offer up, to surrender, in order to be and become more of our true selves.

Not long ago, I created a release ceremony for myself. I did so by writing names and things, I wanted to let go of, on pieces of paper and ceremonially burning them. Then I buried them in the ground next to my apacheta and stuck jay feathers in the mound of fresh dirt at the burial site. This is one example of what you can do for your own release ceremony.

I encourage you to create your own full moon ceremony, because it works.

Is it the moon? Maybe, maybe not. Certainly, as Goethe tells us, commitment is key:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”

If we don’t have commitment, then I would not expect the moon to do the heavy lifting for us. If we are willing and fully committed, then the moon may be an ally.

First, there is something powerful about inviting the power of nature, planets, moon, earth, whatever works for us, to join forces with is as we make our commitment.

Second, we will likely see the moon every night thereafter and when we do we will be reminded of our commitment.

Third, when we go to the effort of creating a ceremony and we go about it in a sacred manner, we lock it into the body, it takes on meaning.

Finally, as icing on the cake, there is power in others doing the same at the same time (when two or more are gathered) whether with us or in their own full moon ceremony.

One of the things I released in my last ceremony was the ghost of a man who had come and gone in my life in a powerful and disturbing way. Because he lived in another state, our entire relationship, as brief as it was, consisted of phone calls and visits that took place only at my house, on my property, in my town.

Ever since his abrupt departure, I have had trouble shaking the memory of him and his energy, from my space. There were so many reminders: the stain from his maca root tea in my coffee cup, the Tupperware top that no longer fit because he put it in the bottom rack of the dishwasher, the dreams we dreamed woven among the trees on my property and the path I walk with my dog every morning and evening. I could feel him watching me from the living room chair, as he had most mornings, while I did my stretches and Qi Gong. It did get better over time, but I still felt haunted.

I discarded some things that reminded me of him, but I was and am stubborn about the coffee mug. It was a gift a friend gave me that symbolized my emergence after divorce. I didn’t want to allow him to steal that away from me and somehow the mug became a symbol of that.

When we are ready to release something, the intention has more focus and the commitment more power. If we are not really ready yet, it will spring back like something attached to a bungee cord (more about the bungee cord in my post Bye-Bye Now). Call it the saboteur, call it our inner doubter, call it lack of readiness, call it neural wiring, it all has the same effect. But, when we feel our readiness and we have the self-respect, compassion and self-restraint to continue along the path of release, then attending to it with ceremony and adding the power of nature and her cycles may be just the extra kick (dare I say, in the rear) that is needed.

Between the last and this full moon, I began to notice that my first thought, when I saw the coffee mug, was less and less about him and more and more about my friend and her gift of acknowledgment. What really surprises me is that the stubborn stain is suddenly and almost magically disappearing. No elbow grease was involved. I assure you, but plenty of soul and moon grease came into play, for sure. Additionally, the dreams we dreamed sailed off with the winter winds and my living room chair is empty in the mornings.

photo of path copyright(c)20-14KathyJLoh

This morning, I stood on the pathway, in a slit of sunlight between the tree shadows and took in the warmth as I waited for my dog to catch up. The most incredible freedom came over me. I am no stranger to seeing energy in the forest and feeling the waves coming off the trees, but this was different. The ghost was gone. The memories had no substance.

I felt space, lots and lots of space all around me. My body relaxed and I was breathing a little more freely. I wasn’t pulling my skin in to protect myself and make myself small. Instead I was allowing myself to merge with and be touched by the space around me. I only knew my prior constriction and armor by contrast to this new-felt freedom.

The release was complete.

My inner doubter proclaimed “This s()(*& works!”

There is no continuum to be had going forward, no story about how damaged I am or was, rather the opportunity to start here, today, now, with no ghosts hanging around; no baggage to carry into new relationships. I have a blank canvas before me and I can splash the colors of the ghost all over it if I want to. Retracing my steps and bringing them forward again is an option, but I prefer and choose the colors of spaciousness, breath, and freedom.

With the help of ceremony and the moon, it is easier for me to hold this new resonance.

With great gratitude to the teachers before me who have passed down the ways of ceremony and to the moon and forces of nature and all the unseen helpers who assist us in our Earth walk, I now turn to you, dear readers.

What are you ready to release?
What will you create as your own unique ceremony?
How willing are you to be free?

Be it this full moon or the next, I send you my heart-felt wishes for powerful ceremony and blessed release!

Thank you for walking the full moon path with me.

Copyright(c) Feb 2014, Kathy J Loh, all rights reserved

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I love you.

The words we long to hear.

The words we hear and don’t believe.

The words we say to another to express the depth of our feelings.

The words we hope there’s time to say to someone (and to hear) before passing.

The words we often toss off as mindlessly as “I’ll have fries with that.”

Words have energy. The sounds alone are energy. Words spoken from mind, from heart, from spirit, from body….all have different impacts. The speaking and hearing of words is a cycle of giving and receiving.

Earlier this year, I posted a practice I call “I love you,” which is to simply say out loud to ourselves those very words. Today, my focus is on saying I love you to another.  I did not use quotations, because what I’m going to speak to is awareness of the impact of our words upon those we love and expressing appreciation.

Country singer-songwriter Hal Ketchum sings “It’s more than just I love you baby. It’s every little word.”

It all counts. You can’t whitewash a powerful shaming or belittling with “I love you.” There was a couple who attended a few dinner parties at which I was present. She noticeably made him the butt of every joke. She was cynical and ridiculed him at every opportunity. I laughed along with everyone else at first. Then, I had to wonder how it was that anyone could laugh at this cruelty. No matter how funny it was meant to be, it was at the cost of another human soul’s dignity. She was a teacher to me in that she made me aware of my own tendency to make jokes at the expense of another.

Love Connects (clipart)

Love Connects (clipart)

I teach my relationship clients to offer appreciations to one another at our first meeting and it is how we close every session. It’s a practice I learned in my training with both The Coaches Training Institute and  Center for Right Relationship.

Because this is a practice, it is something I ask my clients to do every day, whether they feel like it or not. It’s easy enough to offer appreciation to someone, to say “I love you,” and to receive these words when we are feeling good. It’s near impossible when we are distressed and that may be when it is needed most. Practicing during the comfortable times makes it easier to use during the tough times.

Here are the steps:

1. Face each other and take an ample and easy clearing breath.

2. Keep your eyes on each other’s eyes, windows to your souls.

3. Energetically drop into your heart and allow yourself to connect with love. Love does not imply approval or even like. It is love from the Source and no matter what is going on, we are all capable of connecting with that Source when we are willing.

4. Begin by saying the other person’s name. Saying our names out loud is powerful. It is an announcement to the Universe that we ARE.

5. Then, say “I appreciate” and follow it with a quality about the other person that you want to acknowledge.

This is KEY – find something about who they are BEING rather than what they are DOING. We want to be loved for who we are as much as, if not more than, for what we do.

Examples:

DOING – I appreciate you for helping John with his homework.

BEING – I appreciate your kindness, patience, willingness and love that is so evident when you are helping John.

DOING – I appreciate you for standing up to Jack.

BEING – I appreciate your courage.

If you are having trouble moving from doing to being, consider this. Take what it is that the person did that you appreciate. Then discover within your heart who that person had to be, what qualities of character they drew upon to create that action. Those qualities are your being words.

6. Finally, the recipient of the appreciation simply opens their heart and allows this gift of acknowledgment to sink in.  “Thank you” or “I feel  seen” is all that need be said.

Sometimes the more challenging of giving and receiving appreciations is receiving. We want to slough it off, make excuses for ourselves, hand off the credit to someone else.  So, as the one hearing the appreciation given to us, the practice is to be with the unfamiliarity of opening our hearts to receive.  It may be uncomfortable at first, like a first sip of water through sun-parched lips. If you are like me, you’ll get used to drinking it in pretty quickly.

If you practice this with another on a regular basis, you may find that you have a very small vocabulary for appreciative adjectives. It’s not surprising really. In my own search for a broader spectrum of words, I’ve looked through the dictionary. I’m certain there are many more negative words in the English language than there are positive. You can also build your positive vocabulary simply by looking into your heart and finding words that truly resonate with what you feel. Be patient with yourself and take time to let it come to you. And yes, there is always the dictionary or thesaurus.

Don’t be shy. Practice with the dog or the cat first, if you must. Then, invite your partner to practice with you. Soon enough, you’ll be offering your appreciations to sales clerks and postal workers in simple sentences creating smiles all around. Honestly, I’ve never met one that didn’t just beam with joy when offered an appreciation (sans hand-holding, of course, but looking them in the eyes is always good). By the way, have you ever noticed how little we actually make eye-to-eye contact with say, the grocery clerk?

More heart, smiles and positive words…soul to soul connections…I’m thinking the world can use a little more of this.

Closing note: The entire time I was writing this entry, two butterflies were dancing around outside my window. Symbols of beauty, aliveness and transformation….how might this practice enliven and transform your relationships?

If you need a little coaxing watch this: (Thanks to the soulful Lori Tuttle for finding this fun video)

Copyright (c) July 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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