At what I see is a crossroads in my life I’m constantly looking for answers to what might help me piece myself back together. It’s like when Roger died, my future died too and it’s taking a hell of a long time to feel like I know what I want that new future to look like. I mean it’s taken a long time to even care what that future might look like, so consumed have I been with feeling his loss and just managing to keep on top of life.
I mean grief takes up a massive part of your brain power, leaving you feeling like you have a lot less space in there for other things. I’ll admit I am a bit of a dreamer and a romantic, I’d like to think there will be another stage to my life that is as happy as the one I had when my husband was alive and we were building our family. It is such a cliche but once we fell in love we both knew we were on the right path and made a fab little team. Without that, where will I go next?
I have my two lovely kids, and although single parenting is far from easy it’s a good job I have Sam and Flo to keep me busy. My future is with them and for them, but I don’t think motherhood needs to be all-consuming and I don’t feel selfish admitting I want something more that’s just for me. Guilty, yeah – but not enough to put my own needs on hold forever.
I’ve had many conversations with friends about this, and a few have talked to me about how important it is to set your intentions, to write down what you want in life, to let it go and to ask the universe to deliver.
So far, so woo-woo and I know, I was sceptical about the whole thing too. But not being one for sitting and waiting for things to happen, I figure asking the universe to bring me happiness is a better bet than staring into my tea as I sit on the sofa alone each night, feeling rubbish about where that happiness might be.
This is where the moon comes in.
New Moon: A new cycle. An energy of new possibilities. Time to set your intentions for what you want to bring into your life.
I have an old friend, Sara, who is a big believer in using the power of the moon to set intentions for a new cycle, rid yourself of things that no longer serve you and invite things that will right in.
She has invited me to a few of her ‘full moon burnings’ in the past, where she gathers a small group of women at her house and each writes down a list of things they want to get rid of from their life, and things they would like more of. They then light a fire outdoors and take it in turns to burn the lists, or objects that they feel represents the parts of their lives they no longer need.
She tells a story of how one friend once burnt an expensive Italian leather purse from an ex-boyfriend, to the shock of her fellow burners and amid cries of ‘are you sure?’ and ‘I could have it?!’
I’ve never made it to one of these evenings, but a few weeks ago when there was a new moon I asked if she was holding another one. She wasn’t but suggested we take ourselves out for a gin that night and write our lists together.
Writing the list was the hard part and involved being brutally honest with myself and what I wanted.
After struggling at first and then listening to Sara’s list and going, “yeah I want to get rid of that too!” I can tell you a lot of the things I want in the bin include a hell of a lot of guilt.
Guilt about not being the best parent, about thinking about having a new partner, about the fact that I am here on this earth and Roger is not.
There was a hell of a lot of guilt! And you know what? Any help in letting that lot go is most welcome.
As for the things I asked in, well I found that more difficult. Do I actually know what I want (or indeed need?)
Once I got going though, I found it no problem making my list grow and really enjoyed thinking selfishly for once about where I might want this unpredictable life to go.
I’m not about to spill what was in there, aside from it being super personal there is that superstition element that if I share it won’t come true. I can tell you though that the last word to burn away was ‘Tinder!’.
We didn’t burn our notes on the night we wrote them because it started to rain, and practicality won through. I also wanted to leave it a few days to settle, to see if I wanted to add anything and to read and digest it a bit so I could focus on what I really want.
Last night I set light to it in a saucepan in my back garden (I don’t have a cauldron) and I’m now fully ready to sit back and wait for the world to show me some joy.
This burning ritual has certainly made me focus my mind and make that list – something I can now work on (subconsciously) ticking off.
I’ll let you know how I get on.