“Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and the stars mirrored in your own being.”
The fullness of the moon is our reminder to turn inward, to still ourselves, to receive. Learning to work with her rhythms rather than fighting them can be life-altering. Male or female, we all require this. We all have places that need to quiet and relinquish. We all have a yin-aspect that needs nourishing from time to time.
The beauty of taking time to quiet ourselves at the full moon is that it’s equal parts science and spirit. Where our intellects would interrupt and talk us out of taking time with the moon, we see the way it turns the tide. We see the way so many cycles are affected by the moon’s. It would be foolishness to call it irrelevant. In Ashtanga, there is a tradition of ceasing physical practice on full moons and new moons; hospitals and police stations know to gear up for more trouble than normal; even our word “lunacy” stems from the effects of the moon.
And yet, it is mysterious. It is part of the physical world that reminds us that we are more than just physical.
Bryonie and I specifically chose the full moon to host this juice feast because arriving at the fullness of the moon is a time when we can allow ourselves to truly embrace the things we planted at the beginning of the new year. Many people kicked off the year with new intentions or resolutions; many people have already had trouble keeping them. Think of this full moon as a check-in to allow yourself to breathe deeply and reexamine those intentions, see what’s shifted and allow them to sink in more deeply.
My own intentions this year were simple: Breathe, move, sing, dance, love, repeat.
As we move towards the first full moon of the year, I’m taking this time to look and see where I might take more time to breathe, where I need to move instead of feel stuck, where instead of stressing I could sing, where I need to take a break and dance (pretty much always)—and how to love (and how to love myself).
And then the moon will rise, and we’ll start it all again.
Today was a good, long hard day. The good thing about today is that it only comes once. The sad thing about today is that it only comes once. If you can, take time during this juice feast to just be quiet and breathe when you enjoy your meals. Nourishment isn’t just about what we take in; it’s also impacted by how we take it in. Take time and allow yourself to be nourished, physically and emotionally.
One of the mundane, yet wonderful parts of today’s juice feast was this Asian Pear Soup:
I tend to think of cooking more in terms of storytelling than recipe. Once, I moved from sunny Colorado to darkest rural Vermont in the middle of winter, and developed a cough I thought would never leave. I went to see a very old Chinese medicine doctor, who looked at me, took my pulse and looked at my tongue and listened to my cough and told me to start wearing socks and eat Asian pears, cooked.
I still don’t really like wearing socks, but I do cook up some Asian pears every time I get a cough.
For this, I dice three Asian pears, a carrot, a small piece of ginger and put it all in a saucepan with about a tablespoon of coconut oil until it started to sizzle. Then, cover with water, a little sea salt, and add a little bit of fermented miso. Let it simmer until everything is soft, but don’t let it boil. I like a little cayenne and a few minced green onions on top when I serve it.
Tomorrow will be more running around than I had planned on, and I’ll be bringing my juice and soup with me. But in the midst of the busyness, I have made some space for quiet, for feasting, for journaling, and just to breathe.
I have a confession to make: the day before we start a juice feast, I usually have a terrible tantrum of some kind.
It’s all in my head, of course, and it’s not like I lie on the ground kicking and screaming—but I’m grouchy (with myself and with my furbabes) and all I want to do is eat vegan donuts and other things that are good-for-us-every-once-and-a-blue-moon.
I scan my body for the ghost of old thought patterns—you know the ones that don’t serve any of us anymore but sometimes rear there four heads when we feel our most vulnerable? Yup, those come up every time—along with my relationship to food and my body and the list goes on.
And then I go to bed, dream of doing floating somersaults and wake up feeling quiet and grateful that I’m giving myself a break from everything that is “normal.”
These two places—the quiet and the fury—coexist in us always and when we strip away all of our safety nets, our go-tos, our vices—all that is left standing is us, our beating hearts—and the moon.
We are mysterious creatures and by taking the time to slow down, to watch each and every thing we put into our bodies and by aligning ourselves with the moon cycles, it’s like we have an ear to the heartbeat of the universe.
So, today, I embraced my quiet and my fury; I slowed down and let them dance and I allowed myself to hold space for whatever found it’s way to the surface. No distractions, no excuses, each moment in this day was an act of active kindness.
I feel it all, always, and today my senses were heightened and I felt sensitive to even the thought of a touch.
Two things kept me rooted in myself today—well, three actually.
For the first part of the day, I sustained myself on cup after cup of hot water with lemon and a cinnamon stick. Midday, after a walk with Win, I made a green juice that tasted like sunshine.
The third thing? Yoga.
Finding a way to practice physically is a vital way for me to stay to connected to the beating heart in my chest. I’m nursing a wounded shoulder lately, so an active practice is out of the question—so thank goodness for restorative yoga.
Drink this I-Feel-it-All-juice (kale, pear, apple, grapefruit and hemp seeds) with this zippy tune from Feist.
In the hustle and bustle and power of the full moon energy, we forget where the ground is—it takes a dedication to the unknown mystery that we are to find our way back to the place where we matter most.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Meryl Streep on the set of Sophie’s Choice
hot on elephant
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