The 30th November (at 9:34 am to be precise) welcomes the Full ‘Beaver’ Moon (apparently named beaver because beavers actively prepare for winter during this time, Dam! I didn’t know that :)).
So with it being that time of the month again, I want to talk about the full moon. Well, it’s not really about the full moon. Well, it is and it isn’t, bear with me.
Is there a link between the full moon and how you feel?
Do you feel like lots of stuff is coming up at the moment and like your feelings are intensified? It may not be a coincidence. A lot of my clients report feeling out of sorts like they get stuck in their head and like things can just spiral downwards around this time of the month. This can show up as:
- A full head or headache that pain killers don’t seem to budge
- Aching stiff shoulders and neck
- Feeling tired but wired
Feeling more emotional than usual – these can be extreme emotional changes – rage, anger, frustration, sadness that comes up in waves (like your inner werewolf has awoken!)
- Less patience and tolerance with your partner and kids
- Teary without really knowing why
- Heightened PMS symptoms
- Feeling down or just a bit flat and bleurgh
- Struggling to switch off and sleep
Do any of these resonate?
Since becoming a mum, something I’ve become massively aware of is how I feel over the course of the month. As women, we are attuned to a 28-day rhythm that is in sync with our hormonal cycle, unlike men who’s hormones tend to fluctuate over a 24 hr period.
Something that has become really apparent to me now is how this pattern played out during the first couple of years of my motherhood experience. Everything felt so extreme, extreme love, exhaustion, overwhelm, joy, anxiety, worry, besotted-ness. It’s like every emotion was pushed to its limit and I didn’t have the headspace to correlate a pattern or rhythm to my symptoms at the time. It just felt like someone had tipped out one of those 1000 piece jigsaws and I needed to figure it out.
However over time, following slowing down a little and tuning in I did begin to notice a pattern. To help me get more connected to me, how I was feeling and my symptoms I invested in a moon calendar. I had become really interested in the moon phases in relation to female hormone cycles, mood and productivity and just felt drawn to nature in a bid to find my own rhythm and flow! So I started to log (by log I drew a happy face or sad face) how I felt over the course of the month. The patterns became really clear.
I found a relationship between:
- My menstrual cycle – (when it returned) I would have my period with the full moon and ovulate with the new moon
- Sleep – sleep was less restful and restorative over the full moon – for me and Bonnie and actually, we both felt/behaved like we were kind of wired!
- Mood – Now here’s the really interesting one, not only did I notice changes/dips in my mood but repetitive cycles of familiar patterns coming to the surface.
My familiar patterns are:
The fear of not being enough
The fear of not knowing who I am – my identity. Which made me feel lost in the unknown.
And if I’m honest, on reflection these are patterns and beliefs I’d been running since childhood but felt polarized and magnified in Motherhood now my life wasn’t just about me and I had my little Boo to care for.
To give some context: When you experience a stressful or lifechanging event(s) that changes who you are and leaves you feeling unsafe, either a big bang event like the loss of a loved one, a health diagnosis in the family, a breakup, an abusive relationship, bullying or, you experience drip-fed events, which are like little grains of sand that build weight over time. You’re not necessarily going to know how to deal with this stuff so you shut it away, suppress, numb, drown it out and in response to hard stuff, you adopt behaviours, which I like to call ‘safety behaviours’ or survival behaviours to help you push on and keep going.
Just a note: stressful or lifechanging events don’t always come in the form of bad things happening to you but often, not enough good stuff happening to you. Maybe you grew up in a big household and had to Hussle for attention, maybe you had a parent who had experienced trauma and didn’t have the emotional resources to nurture and hold your emotional needs, maybe you grew up with parents who worked around the clock to provide and were highly stressed and not very available. There is no blame or shame here it’s just about understanding your needs and how they were or were not met when you were growing up.
So back to the safety behaviours you adopt (usually unconsciously) in response to these experiences. These safety behaviours usually show up in the form of:
- People-pleasing and going out of your way to help others in a bid to be liked and accepted
- Fitting in and doing what you feel you should in a bid to be included instead of listening to your heart and trusting your gut
- Keeping busy in a bid to distract yourself from the pain or uncomfortable emotions
- High achieving – perfectionism in a bid to find and prove your self-worth.
And just to clarify, we all do this and it’s not always fully conscious. Often life and modern motherhood is so bloody fast, you don’t always get the time to slow down and process it. So you stuff what the brain can’t handle – the emotional overflow down into your body (unconsciously) for another time.
If you think that EMOTIONS are E-N-E-R-G-Y I-N M-O-T-I-O-N. When you experience a ‘heavy’ emotion such as sadness, anger, frustration, shame, helplessness, embarrassment, vulnerability or disappointment, for example, you are essentially stuffing heavy emotions down into the body. This can cause you to feel like your dragging an emotional anchor around and can make you feel like you’re stuck in the emotion because simply the energy has got stuck, it’s not flowing.
Then what tends to happen, is overtime in the place of exhaustion, lack of sleep, lack of you time and time to process life, poor or inflammatory dietary choices, a stressful event, a parenting battle, your inner motherload accumulates and builds up, then you have your period and or the full moon hits and boom! All this ‘unresolved emotion’ comes back up to bite you on the bum…..like a werewolf!
So what does this look, or more to the point, feel like?
Survival ‘physiology’ leads to survival ‘psychology’ – The belief systems that led to the safety behaviours get loud!
Back to the MOON
What’s really interesting is it’s better understood that certain lunar phases, such as during a full moon, highlight emotional cycles that have run their course. How interesting is that!? So actually bringing these patterns to the surface is an opportunity to let go of attachments and belief systems, that are no longer serving you. Yessss!
In fact, the heart of my work – helping Mums mother themselves from inside out so they can reclaim their energy and sense of self, is helping them to update their story, inner script and belief systems. Remember emotions are energy in motion. It’s usually your emotional load and the inner hidden stress that drains your energy and magic.
Change your story, change your life
What I see in pretty much every exhausted, overwhelmed mum I work with is outdated belief systems that are driving ‘sabotage’ or safety type behaviours that are keeping them stuck and looping survival mode and holding them back from achieving their true energy and potential. Can you see what I mean? This is not really about the moon!?
If you fail to acknowledge, understand and update these lifelong patterns that no longer serve us, they will keep repeating in various ways throughout your life. The full moon is merely a magnified glass that pops up every 28 days to help highlight where you are not free
Just to clarify, there’s not necessarily the science to show that the moon or nature’s rhythms have an impact on your health, and I don’t think they are at the cause. But I do believe mother nature has a way of bringing up suppressed stuff so that you can grow, transform and re-write a more health-promoting and fulfilling script.
So here is my little approach for when uncomfortable or overwhelming stuff comes up
AWARENESS = WISDOM
Get connected – invest in a moon calendar, get connected with your feelings, symptoms and flow over the course of the month.
Allow yourself to feel what you feel – lean into discomfort, your inner werewolf. Understand that these are not bad behaviours but behaviours and beliefs that once kept you safe and helped you survive a difficult, life changing event(s).
Get curious – What are these emotions trying to tell me? What is behind them? There is a brilliant podcast with Dr Joan Rosenburg on the 8 main emotions that come up daily and the importance of moving through them to build resilience
Soulful Journalling – I’m a big believer in the universe and the law of attraction and what you put out you get back. Write down any emotions that come up, whatever is on your mind. Then after the problem I like to write “I’m ready to see things differently” then ask for help, “please give me clarity with this…”, “please help me focus on…”, “Please help me resolve….” whatever it is. Acknowledge the thought, be open to a new perspective and then ask for help and welcome it in!
MOVEMENT + ACTION
Move your body – emotions are energy in motion – when you feel stuck in your head, move your body. By shifting your physiology, you shift your psychology. I also see a huge correlation between mother wellness and time in Mother Nature. If you can take a walk somewhere that recharges your soul, then that’s the perfect medicine for moving through and emotional pothole.
Reduce inflammatory foods – you get out what you put in! If you’re putting in inflammatory foods you are essentially adding to your load. And during this time you definitely don’t want to be doing that. Think lightening your load – colourful rainbow of veg, eat light salads with quality omega 3 fats and protein. I have personally made an extra effort to do this during my period and oh boy has there been a difference. Calm mind, lighter body.
RELEASE AND LET GO
Breathwork – I’m a huge fan. Do check out Jessie Laute, transformational breathwork coach. She ran a session for my Energised Mother Programme which has been truly transformational. How often do you hold your breath? Generally, as mothers, we’re on the go and when busy we don’t breathe properly. You actually breathe quite shallowly most of the time, which tells the body we’re under threat. By breathing more consciously not only do we put our selves in a relaxed, parasympathetic state, but we also release emotion rather than hold on to it. Try breathing in for 4 seconds through the nose then out for 8 seconds through the mouth. And really let go of that breath. Try it for 1 minute, yes one minute a day for 21 days.
Release old belief systems which cause unhelpful behaviours by replacing them with new ones. Ok, this may not happen overnight, I have some powerful NLP exercises I use with my clients to help them see their true magic and resourcefulness, but here is a little exercise you can try now:
Ask 5 people who know you well:
- What’s my superpower?
- Share 3 words that best describe me?
Go on, give it a go! Then write down all the compliments that come back somewhere you can access them regularly – compliments are like little mirrors – they are a reflection of you, back to you. They shine back the truth.
When you take in (properly take in) compliments it allows you to update your self-image and experience of yourself which allows you to feel more confident in your own skin.
So it’s not really about the moon but about honouring you! All of you! There are no bad or wrong parts of you. When you feel stuck or overwhelmed by emotions tune in, keep a diary or moon calendar, allow the stuff to come up, approach it with curiosity, what can you learn from this? And be open of new ways of moving through and releasing the old outdated patterns which take up too much of your precious energy and allow room for the new, which reflects your sparkle, brings out your magic and elevates your true ENERGY!
I’m off to release and howl at the moon!
Energy = Freedom