How flowing with natural cycles,
can help us enter each month with intention and focus -
so that we can work less and play more.
So much of the natural world around us works in cycles. The seasons, the moon, the tides, life cycles. Everything works in a cyclical way that keeps it not only coming back around again, but also constantly and efficiently moving forward.
As humans, our lives operate within these cycles as well. We wake up and go to bed in accordance with the sun and moon. Our activities and choice of clothes change with the seasons. But when it comes to our working life, things are not centered around cycles, but rather around a constant forward motion. We are always pushing not o the next project, the next big idea, the next breakthrough. Much of that way our lives work seem to follow some un0drawn straight line; as if arrows are leading us down a never ending forward looking path.
So why is it that even though the very planet we live on works in cycles, that we insist on the idea of always pushing forward?
Recently I have really gotten into the idea of Moon Cycles. Even as I say this, I can see my husband rolling is practical thinking eyes. I give credit to this new found interest to that of Dr. Ezzie Spencer, with Lunar Abundance. Ezzie is absolutely brilliant and has found so many vital insights about the moon cycles, and how to apply them to our daily lives.
One of the big takeaways that I have had recently is how the moon is cyclical. I know, nothing new there. But the moon can greatly effect our lives, and in we flow with its cycles, we can see a great benefit. Ultimately, throughout a moon's cycle, it flows from states of yin and yang. States of rest or reflection (yin) an states of action (yang). Now this is all my interpretation, I encourage you all to check out Ezzie at Lunar Abundance for a much deeper understanding. But, I am going to do my best to share some of her concepts with you here, today.
There is a back and forth pull between rest and action throughout the moon cycles. The cycles start with a Yang phase, in which you set your intention for that moon cycle. That may be launching a new product, starting a podcast, just getting organized, or finding some moments of rest in your life. This first phases is action based, when you set your intention to work towards that month. The next phase is a Yin phase, that of rest. In this phases you relax into the intention that you have, and breathe. Moving into the coming cycles you take action to assert your intention (yang), trust that the perfect intention is coming to you at the perfect time (yin), move forward with your intention or realize you intention was not right for this time and release it and correct your course (yang), feel grateful that your intention is coming to you (yin), you are now receiving your set intention so you give back from a place of abundance (yang), and finally you reflect with thanks and begin to rest and restore (yin). Ezzie has a free cheat sheet on her site that covers all of these phases.
I know that was a lot to take in, especially if you were like me and have never thought about how the cycles of the moon could have an effect on our lives. But like I said, my biggest take away was this cyclical nature of moving from a time of action to a time of rest. How often do we honestly give ourselves those times of grace to rest, restore, and most importantly, reflect? Too often we are just stuck in the forward motion of action, that we rarely take the time to slow down. For most of us, it s a fear of falling behind. How can you possibly just stop?
Being a business owner, this idea of moving between periods of action and grace as been a hard pill to swallow. There is always something to be done, and finding time to actually rest can be overwhelming. The idea of rest becomes stressful (quite contradictory, huh?)
But how could our flow of life and work change if we stopped forcing out work and instead began to flow in a more cyclical nature, like all of the natural cycles around us? This idea of work, rest, work, rest, could be wildly beneficial.
We all want to work less and play more, so what is stopping you? I am a big believer that waling away from work is important for forward movement. If you are constantly in a state of force, you will approach burnout and ultimately not have the productivity level that you need to be successful. So what if we worked less, but in those times of work, we worked with intention and focused concentration, knowing that a time of rest and reflection was to follow?
I can say personally that I would get more done/ And I have been since I started flowing in this way. Now, I am not saying that I take half of the month off. I see the periods of rest as more times to reflect, and make connections. Many of my ideas, blog posts, and thoughts to carry me forward in my work come during those times. And then, I have set times to work with clear intention, goals, and ultimately outcomes. I can see the end result before I begin, and only have to focus on one thing at a time. It is an immensely refreshing way to work.
I am breaking down my tasks, so that I do not have to do #allthethings right now. I come up with tangible tasks to complete each month, all focused around one core topic or goal, and set the intention of getting them done. I am able to give myself periods of grace and reflection, so that I am able to start each day well rested, refreshed, and excited about what is to come. I am no longer getting overwhelmed by my never ending to-do list, or getting burnt out from constant stress and pressure.
I am not saying you have to start working with moon cycles - although if you want to, check out Lunar Abundance - but I am give you permission to give yourself times of grace and reflection. Know that rest is a part of growth. And without taking times of rest to recover, we will only push ourselves into inevitable states of burnout. So this month, breathe into your most important intention, and give yourself permission to rest, restore, and grow.