This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ. This month our participants have shared their experiences of mindfulness and the natural world. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
I remember the first time I really saw the stars.
I was seven, visiting my cousins in America - and the summer sky seemed alive with a million twinkling dots, awe inspiring in their infinitude. The moon floated in glory and I felt so full of life. Amazed that I had never really seen the night sky.
As a child the night was for being inside, for bedtime. I wasn't afraid of the dark, but nor was I shown its majesty.
And as an adult I seem to continue this pattern. As the darkness falls we retreat inside into our own cosy cocoons, forgetting the celestrial display of the skies above our heads. The nightly reminder of our position in the universe and the beauty of nature, of our precarious position on a tiny spinning globe of rock dancing amongst millions of others, of the pure chance or design, whichever your belief, of the very existence of life itself, let alone our own individual lives.
And so I commit to two things this summer to bring the night into our lives.
The first is to bring our children out and lie on our backs and look up at the stars. Just to be and to see.
And the second is to celebrate the full moon with other women every month.
Since making the connection between the moon and my cycles when writing my book Moon Time: A guide to celebrating your menstrual cycle,
I now find that I really feel the lack of the full moon in my life if I miss it one month. I find the full moon energising, illuminating even.
And I have, for a whole host of reasons, missed it now for a few months in a row. As a result my cycle shifted totally and my energy seemed to sink.
A few months back a couple of friends and I met down on the beach on the full moon and did a gentle mindfulness ceremony - breathing in, feeling the sand beneath our feet, the wind in our hair, washing away the past month and visioning the new, blessing ourselves and each other (via a mama water fight!!) with an icy cold ocean blessing. The moon hid herself that night, but we all left the beach feeling connected to each other, ourselves and our place in the universe. Revitalised and invigorated from being together, from taking time for ourselves, in nature and with sisters.
So I am calling out to all mindful mamas far and near, to mark the full moon in whatever way speaks to you.
|(You will notice that there are TWO full moons in August. This is a Blue Moon - the second full moon in a given month, this gives rise to the phrase "once in a blue moon" as it is very rare to have two full moons in a month!)|
- make and walk a labyrinth on the beach,
- light a bonfire and dance around it,
- lie on the grass on your back,
- sing together in harmony,
- go for a walk with your lover,
- breathe mindfully by yourself,
- pick flowers for yourself by moonlight,
- have a bubble bath by moonlight.
I am making a commitment to myself, and all women in my local area to be out on our local beach, Shanagarry strand at moon rise for every full moon of the year from now on. Please do join me, spread the word - it would be so exciting for it to grow every month!
Moon Time: a guide to celebrating your menstrual cycle - Lucy H Pearce
The Stargazers Handbook: an atlas of the night sky - Giles Sparrow
Earth Child - Games Stories, Activities, Experiments and Ideas about Living Lightly on Planet Earth - Kathryn Sheehad, and Mary Waidner
The Green Hour - Todd Christopher
Visit The Mindful Mama Homepage to find out how you can participate in the next Mindful Mama Carnival!
On Carnival day, please follow along on Twitter using the handy #MindMaCar hashtag. You can also subscribe to the Mindful Mama Twitter List and Mindful Mama Participant Feed.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Zen and the Art of Raising Chickens Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction has found a connection to nature in her very own backyard, thanks to her chickens.
- Healing Gemstones and Crystals for Children Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama discusses which genstones and crystals are best used by children to support physical, emotional, and/or spiritual healing.
- A Gardener’s Meditation Andrea at Tales of Goodness shares how she finds peace and renewal through gardening.
- Weeding My Thoughts Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro discusses how nature keeps her in the moment and stops her endless stream of thoughts.
- Grounded in Nature Rani at OmSheSaid shares her walk in nature, and through expressive words, shares this journey to coming home.
- Embracing the Magic of Moonlit Nights Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares ways to embrace the magic of moonlit nights with your children and as a woman.
- Meditation for a Mindful Mama Alinka at Baby Web guides you through her research on the science of meditation, its numerous benefits, and presents to you a life changing meditation exercise.
- The Wild Within Naturemummy at Motherhood: My Latest Adventure reflects on the soothing qualities of wild places.
- Nature’s Lessons in Mindfulness Tat at Mum in Search wants to bring the same mindfulness that comes so easily in nature to her relationships.
- On Manicured Nature: We Roam in Small Spaces Featherstory at The Aniweda Dream shares her gratitude for her limited natural settings and her plans to expand her children's experience with the natural world.
- Garden (Time Out) Meditation Do you ever need a time out for yourself? Amy at Anktangle finds that during a difficult parenting moment, taking pause to spend a few minutes outside is just the thing she needs to be able to experience renewed patience, focus, and energy.
- Nature Makes Me a Better Mother Terri at Child of the Nature Isle could not imagine parenting without Mother Nature.
- The Healing Power of Sunshine Karen at Playful Planet shares her experiences of reneweal in the natural world.
- Natural History Kenna at A Million Tiny Things gets out into nature, 200 years ago, and isn't sure she likes it there.
- Nurtured by Nature Darcel at The Mahogany Way shares with us how being in nature helps her feel centered and connected.
- Mindfulness and Nature Zoie at TouchstoneZ explores the connection between mindfulness and the natural world.
- A Sense of Awe and Wonder Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares the feeling she never fails to get from the natural world and how it guides her to the mindfulness she craves.