Ditch It: A Lesson From The Moon

Last Saturday night I was driving home late, and I saw the moon up in the sky. It looked like a giant orange ball hovering just over the tree line. I pulled over onto the side of the country gravel road I was on, turned on my blinkers, and got out of my car to take a decent picture. That’s when inspiration struck. I pulled out my phone to see when the full moon for this month had taken place because I was almost positive it was that very night. Turns out it was the night before, Friday night.

I had thought about writing something about spring cleaning, but I wanted to offer more than just tips on how to organize belongings or re-purpose old junk. I haven’t even done my own spring cleaning yet because honestly Spring didn’t actually start in my area on March 20th as it was promised to us. It just started feeling less like Winter about two weeks ago.

In some religious traditions people like to celebrate the full moon. They use it as an opportunity to rid themselves of things or people they don’t need anymore. It’s like a Spring cleaning every month, but it addresses the internal need for cleanliness as well as the external.

I’ll try to keep the explanation short and simple so you have a better idea of what I’m talking about. The moon goes through phases of waxing and waning. Waxing is where the moon is starting to fill in every night leading up to a full moon. Waning is after the full moon, when the moon starts getting smaller and smaller until it reaches the stage of the new moon.

New Moon – Waxing – Full Moon – Waning – New Moon

This is symbolic of the life cycle.

Here’s a good analogy:

New Moon – A baby is born.

Waxing – Baby is growing up, learning new things, and grabbing life by the horns.

Full Moon – Baby turns 40 years old. He’s lived half of his life and it’s time for some adjustments. His kids are grown, he’s planning for retirement, and he just doesn’t have time for bullshit. He’s a man. A grown man who’s taking care of business.

Waning – Man is inching his way towards death, shedding the things that are useless to him, and optimizing his life, until he finally dies and is reborn into the new moon.

Some of the traditions take the moon phases more literally and seriously than other’s do, but I mostly take it as symbolism. Whether we believe that moon phases do anything for our lives or not, let’s do some smart stuff. Like getting rid of crap we don’t need anymore!

Here’s a few things we can all think about, and ideally put into practice.

People

Read this list:

  • You just don’t know how to get them to go away, so you put up with them anyways.
  • You get stressed or annoyed every time you see a new text or e-mail from them.
  • You know they talk smack about you when you aren’t around, but you’re too nice to cut them from your life.
  • They routinely make life choices that could effect you negatively (partying, doing drugs, drinking, etc).
  • You can’t trust anything they say.
  • They are super negative and they bring you down every time you’re around them.

Pop quiz! Who did you think of? Multiple people? One person? Or did that not apply to you at all? Maybe take some time to think about whoever might fit into these categories, and don’t feel bad about either putting more space between you or cutting them out all together.

One good push should do the trick.

Obviously that’s much harder to do with co-workers or family members. If it’s possible though, do what you need to do to keep yourself sane and happy. Why keep going the same route with the same people if there’s no good outcome?

Habits

Smoking, carbohydrates, Diet Coke, Netflix, and phone apps. Those are my main bad habits. Ideally I would give them all up today, but I just don’t see that happening. What I have been really thinking about is starting to just use my cell phone for calls and texts. No games. No apps. I find myself staring at my phone way too often, and my kids deserve eye contact sometimes.

I’m sure they’re probably missing me by now.

We all have our vices whether it be video games, YouTube, or being a workaholic. We know which of these habits are bad for us and which ones we can manage in a healthy way. We have to personally decide what we need to change and what can be put on the back-burner. So maybe take some time to evaluate how you spend your free time and what no longer serves you.

Things

My husband thinks I throw too many things away, but I think I throw precisely the right amount of things away. So here are my ground rules on what needs to go:

  • papers that haven’t been touched in three weeks and aren’t important documents (important documents: courthouse paperwork, tax information, passwords, birth certificate, etc)
  • The decorations you keep on the back of the shelf or in boxes that aren’t pictures of family or holiday related
  • Any pictures or paintings from your young kids (unless you really think they’re worth money) that are over two weeks old, except maybe one or two really good ones
  • Old clothes that you haven’t worn for over a year except wedding dresses or clothing from dead relatives
  • Cords, keys, or locks that go to things from your past that you don’t have access to anymore
  • Broken items that you swear you’re going to fix, even though it’s been more than six months and you only remember it when you see it
“But honey, how am I supposed to build my trash castle if we don’t save this garbage?”

These things absolutely don’t serve you. They probably never will. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that you’re eventually going to turn those two liter bottles (the ones that are piled in a huge tub in the garage, probably like 40 of them) into bird feeders. They’ve been sitting there for over a year. Throw them away.

The Take-Away (pun intended)

Are you living life the way you really want to, right now? There are a few people who really have their shit together, but it’s hard for me to believe that there is anyone alive who doesn’t need to change at least one thing. The full moon just passed a few days ago, and as it’s waning it’s getting rid of it’s unnecessary layers. Let’s make sure we’re living to our fullest when we reach our own death-beds.

What do you need to take away from your life? Tell me your story! I really am curious to hear what other people have struggled with, and maybe we can find solutions together. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!

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