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Lessons from the Moon

I have always had a fascination with the moon, but as I have made it part of my brand, I spend even more time thinking about it. I’m constantly questioning what it represents and what it has to teach me. Maybe this will become a series where I share what I’m learning and new ways I’m connecting with that big, beautiful rock in the sky, but today I want to focus on one specific lesson – equally embracing the dark and the light.

Growing up, especially as a teenager, I felt a draw to darkness. Not just literal darkness, as those are the years we can easily sleep until noon on the weekends, but the darkness of humanity. I wanted to try to understand it. When I started reading for fun in high school, I almost exclusively read true crime novels. I sped through In Cold Blood, which still remains one of my favorite books, then went onto Zodiac and Helter Skelter. I found it all fascinating, yet incredibly perplexing. What led these people to want to kill others? I constantly questioned how people could be so cruel, but I never got an answer from my research. And I probably never will.

I also went through body image issues that cultivated a lot of negative thoughts within myself. I gave them power. Sometimes I even gave them full reign of my life.

Over the past month, I’ve started writing my book, which is a memoir about my relationship with my body. I’m writing chronologically (as best I can), so at the moment I am deep into my struggles as a teenager. It hasn’t been easy revisiting my hurt, my pain, but it has also felt important, and even necessary. Even though I have spent plenty of time over the years reflecting on that period of my life, because my relationship with my body is constantly changing, I take away something new every time. And right now, I feel pretty great in my body. Even deeper than that, my body, my mind, and my soul are closer in alignment than ever before. Thank you yoga and therapy!

While going through this process of revisiting and writing is very difficult and sometimes painful, I have gained a stronger understanding of who I was then, who I am now, and the journey I went on to get from point A to point B (feels more like point Z). I’m able to look at my past with a good head on my shoulders. I know where I went wrong, I can see where I allowed myself to be unhealthy, but most importantly, I’m starting to understand the why and how’s. How did I get there? Why did I feel the need to do that to myself?

It’s been humbling to embrace the darkness I carry. My curiosity with the dark in others hasn’t stopped either, it’s just not as extreme as serial killers and murderers. (Although, with recent events, the question of how can someone take away another’s life comes up far too often). We all possess both light and dark. It’s part of the human experience. I have loved reading memoirs this year to see how it shows up in others, trying to understand their personal struggles. I’ve been learning more about mental illness. I’ve been trying to be open about my issues in hopes of presenting a case that it’s okay to dive into things that are tough to deal with, and even harder to talk about.

But I’m not forgetting to acknowledge the light either. I tend to only deeply focus on one thing at a time, so I’m working on finding the balance of light and dark. I allow myself to write once a week for a couple of hours, leaving me with plenty of time to recalibrate and process everything I just wrote. I’m meditating more (or at least trying to). I’m embracing the beautiful moments that bring me happiness – buying myself flowers, reading outside, receiving sweet text messages, and of course every time I look at my dog. Those eyes, man.

Just like the moon goes through it’s phases of light and dark, so do we as humans. I feel like I’m coming out of a new moon that lasted for months. Now everything is growing brighter and brighter each day. Life wasn’t easy, but I’m in a better place than I was before this cycle.

Don’t be scared when darkness shows up. We can’t run from it. We can’t hide. We all have to go through tough times and hardships at some point or another. So feel your feelings. Do what you need to get through it and survive. But then learn from it. Turn into yourself and reflect on what you can take away from the experience.

And of course, don’t forget that the moon, just like you, is beautiful no matter what phase it’s in. Whether it’s full and bright, perfectly split down the middle, with only a tiny sliver of light, or covered by the clouds, it’s all still there. Magnificent, as ever.

“stay strong through your pain, grow flowers from it, you have helped me, grow flowers out of mine so, bloom beautifully, dangerously, loudly, bloom softly, however you need, just bloom”                

– rupi kaur

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