New Moon Self-Care Series – Inner Child Letter

This month brings darkness mixed with celebration. It then doesn’t come as a surprise that this feelings get internalized in us. It’s a perfect time to turn inward intentionally and take care of the shadows and darkness that lingers in you.

As this is the final Fall New Moon Self-Care Series month, i wanted to give you a gift to yourself that is all about connecting to this new moon and planting a seed of future wisdom and self-compassion. This is a time to set an intention of a new path and time to get closure from last month.

This New Moon falls in a busy week – December 6 is the Montreal Massacre, December 7 is National Letter Writing Day and the New Moon in December. In a few weeks, we celebrate the Winter Solstice which is the longest night of the year. With this in mind, I’m hoping you can spend a few minutes this week in a letter you write to yourself.

As this month seems to be catered to the young and young at heart, it brings up hard feelings for us as adults, especially for those of us that have childhood traumas or more recent traumatic experiences in our life. The holiday season definitely comes with some hard/mixed feelings for a lot of us. Mothers especially need to balance their own needs while nurturing all the wishes and hopes of their wee ones.

So, this month, I’m encouraging you to write a letter to that Inner Child – that version of you that you want to recall or create. Whether they exist only in a memory or a hope, write a letter to that young version of yourself and what you hope for them to receive this month. Think about ideas that allow space for joy, happiness, surprise, eager excitement. You may not have these memories stored as real ones, and that’S okay. This is a time to recreate the memory you wished you had as well.

Steps to Intentional Journal Writing

1) Get into a cozy spot that allows you to writing uninterrupted for a about 10-20 minutes. Light a candle or incense for some mindful soothing smells. It’s now time to slow down a bit. Sit comfortably and chose a writing medium that shakes to you – it can be a journal or piece of paper and good writing pen.

One thing that may help you get in the best writing zone is to listen to a guided meditation on Inner Child work. I like this one a lot – thought it is longer and not just on Inner Child, she calls upon our inner council.

2) Take some deep cleansing breaths and then visualize yourself at a door. The door has some festive greenery and smells like a Pine forest. Knock on the door and see a young child answer. This is the young you. She is excited to see you and grabs your hand, pulling you inside. Once on the other side, you notice the room is covered in silks, trees and the space feels more like an enchanted forest than a room. Everything about it feels right and that it is where you belong.

Your Inner Child gives you a tour and asks you to sit and join her. She is ready for play and to celebrate this time of year with you. What is it that you are doing? What is it that she is excited to show you? Listen without judgement, vulnerability and shyness. You are eager to participate. Finish the visualization by thanking your Inner Child when it is time to leave. Give her a hug and walk back through the threshold.

3) Immediately after this, write a letter to this version of you. Thank her for the visit and time together. Think of words that are an extension of what you just did with her. Recount what she told you, and how you felt as you played with her. What is it that brought you joy, happiness and a youthful spirit? Do not stop to question it rationally or with a logical brain. Stay in the flow of emotional free writing. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling mistakes. Feel free to sketch or draw what you saw. It may be a fun further challenge to write this letter with your non-dominant hand. There is something cathartic about doing the exercise this way.

4) Finish the letter by signing it, and enclosing it in an envelope. Place it somewhere it can be seen by you so that you can give yourself the first gift of Winter – a moment to play and be joyfully present.

I believe that journaling can be a very therapeutic tool and a lot of struggle with it. This exercise is just a suggestion – if you don’t feel safe or ready to meet your Inner Child, feel free to journal about what you hope to do this winter. It is a great tool to plant seeds like this on a New Moon – especially as Winter begins later this month.

New Moon Self-Care Series – Sea Change Salts

In November, the New Moon falls on November 7, a week after All Hallows Eve and a few days before Martinmas. This month, the New Moon is in Scorpio, which is a time for transformation – in with the new and out with the old – so there is no better time to cleanse and clear space for this new Energy and Magick of the Scorpio New Moon. Further still, as this month also symbolizes an even darker month (with Daylight Savings, All Saints Day), it is an especially crucial time to turn inwards and allow yourself some solitude and quiet.

As we are embarking on the darker season of Winter, it is also a perfect time to start bringing on our Hygge vibe. The season of Vata in Ayurveda medicine is one that is dedicated to coziness, warmth, and cocooning ourselves to prepare for the coming months of cold Winter. With this in mind, let’s spend some time for ourselves as we prepare for the darkness and cold of the coming months.

In keeping with my own self-care traditions that connect the senses and simple DIY crafts to make at home, this month I’m sharing an activity that you can do at home with just a few simple ingredients: Sea Change Bath Salts. It’s a homemade salt bath mix that you can either put in a long, luxurious bath for yourself, or even have in a shower while your drain the water out.

Ingredients
1 cup sea salt – i like the bigger pink Himalayan salt
1 cup Epson salts
¼ cup dried lavender buds
¼ cup dried rose petals
10 drops each essential oils of your choice (i love lavender, ylang ylang, bergamot)
Vessel of your choosing – empty glass jar, small bag, fabric remnant to keep salts in
Optional – crystal to bathe with (just place in water and soak up its energy): i like citrine, pyrite or peridot during the New Moon

Steps
1) Combine salts in stainless steel bowl – mix well
2) Add dried flowers – can use others if preferred
3) When complete, add drops of oil and mix well. Let dry for a few minutes to absorb the oil
4) Add to a container. You can use muslin to keep the dried flowers in the net, or just give the flower petals room to swim in the water

Now the fun part: On the New Moon or just after, take some intentional time to yourself and have a bath. Add the Sea Change mix and let it melt into the water. Linger in the water as long as you can, making sure that the salt is since absorbed in your skin. Allow yourself this time as the salts are a great tool to help sore muscles to release. Find where in your body you need that extra release – breathe into it and send love to that part. This part that needs releasing can be a sore muscle or even negative self-talk – what would happen if you took a moment to release that?

Use your senses: Allow yourself time to notice the relaxing comfort of the water, the lovely smell of the oils, and notice when your thoughts wander away from the moment in the bath and gently come back to the space. Play some music that honours your need to s l o w down. Maybe take a skin brush or loofah over your body. Light a candle and otherwise have a quiet, subtlety lit space.

I love the concept of “sea change.” I got the children’s book Sea Change from the library and the title really resonated with me – it’s such a helpful reminder that we can be in charge of the change we need in our life – that the sea is powerful itself, and there is an equal force inside us too. It is a way to change our perspective: We can make a shift happen in ourselves, cleanse out the toxins and unwanted thoughts and get a break – even if for just a few moments.

We are all works in progress after all.

New Moon Series of Self-Care

I can’t believe it’s been over two months since my last post. Clearly life has gotten in the way of blog writing. Now that the Fall season is in full swing, I was able to look back at my last couple of months and notice what’s important to me, what’s missing in my life, what are some things I want to focus on.

So with that in mind, I wanted to bring some intention around my blog writing here – ways that I can both share a bit of me and what i find helpful. Since i focus on how to build a wellness toolkit for trauma survivors and people who are in the throes of new parenthood, I thought I could bring a focus to that.

So I give you the New Moon Self-Care Series. Each month during this Fall season, on the new moon, I’m going to share some ideas and thoughts for that moon cycle as well as an expressive arts-based prompt that can help you bring more self-care practice in your daily life. Expressive Arts Therapy is a great way for our bodies to feel the shift in relationship to what our mind is thinking. Because we are actually doing the work of making something with our hands and bodies, it can help feel like you’re integrating those parts of us that can feel so separate. We do not have to be artists in order to do these activities, nor do we need to spend a lot of money on any of the supplies. You can do this from the comfort from your own home, whether it’s in your bed, on your couch or at a table.

As the inaugural month falls on the month of All Hallows Eve, as well as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month, I thought we could do a simple activity that can help us when we need some self-compassion. Take a moment this week to hold space for yourselves in your grief. Sometimes it can be hard to escape that inner voice, so a visual reminder can help. As this new moon falls on a Monday that also happens to be Thanksgiving here in Ontario, it’s a fitting time to take notice of both what we were thankful for as well as what we might need forgiveness for. As we notice the leaves changing just like the cycle of the moon, this starting point of our month can be a great guide to help us take stock in what is changing for us – what do we can change as well as what is evolving around us.

One thing we can control is the messages we keep in our mind about ourselves. I know that sounds easy to do and yet the reality can be so hard. This activity provides you with a simple watercolour practice as well as an opportunity to put down a mantra that could help you heal and find comfort. By making it yourself, your body and mind both can hold its message longer than if you were to buy a set of coasters.

Self-Compassion Coaster
Supplies:
Coaster or thick paper cut to size
Watercolour paints and brushes, bowl of water
Decoupage glue and brush
Magazine and scissors (optional)

Steps:
1) Before you start it can be helpful to help you set your mind and stage at ease. Listen to a guided visualization or meditation to help centre yourself and feel more connected to the activity.
2) Once you’ve done that, now spend a moment thinking about an affirmation, a quote, or a lyric that really speaks to you. It can be simple, a word, or something you’ve heard said again and again.
3) Once you’ve thought of the saying, now get your watercolours out and think about what feels like the right colour and motion you’d like to put down on the coaster. It could be swirls or an actual image – whatever speaks to you. Feel free to combine and colours or just stick to one.
4) Leave it to dry for a few minutes and have a cup of tea. Once the coaster is dry, you can now add the saying. I like to use permanent marker with a fine point instead of paint as I find that’s neater for me, but you can use whatever you like. Feel free to get creative – you could also use magazine cut-outs as a collage or use letters as a way to put your saying down.
5) Leave the coaster to dry completely. Once dry, add some decoupage glue to help seal your work and this also can help make it waterproof. And you’re done! Find a good place to keep this coaster is a nice reminder to you for those moments you need some extra love and self-compassion.