It's dark, it's cold, reading the news feels like tumbling into the Bog of Eternal Stench, and you need to cobble together a creative side dish for your third Friendsgiving this week. Being a grownup during the holidays isn't always warm-and-fuzzy, but an opportunity to get back to the true spirit of Thanksgiving is on the horizon for all of us.
This Saturday, November 18, will see the new moon for the month completely arrive. As you may already know, this lunar phase is less eventful than its brighter, more expansive counterpart, the full moon. But it still serves a valuable spiritual purpose — one that hinges upon restoration, intention-setting, and gratitude. Sounds pretty seasonally appropriate, doesn't it?
During a time of year when we're already encouraged to count our blessings, the new moon is that additional nudge we need to look inward (even when it feels like we have a million things to do). You can spend any new moon thinking about what brought you happiness (and how that source of joy arrived in your life), but this month, make that the focus of your reflections. Then, put those realizations in the context of Thanksgiving.
Luckily, this year's November new moon falls on a day made for last-minute planning: The weekend before Thanksgiving. Your family probably hasn't gathered for holiday quite yet. You're still putting the finishing touches on your travel plans, picking out recipes, and finalizing your packing list. You may not have even started gift shopping yet. This is also a perfect time to determine how you can best show your thanks to the people and things you're grateful for over the next week.
Spend this Saturday writing notes to the family members you can't wait to see or calling your Thanksgiving host to discuss where they'll need the most help next Thursday. Giving back is as much a part of this new moon celebration as expressing gratitude, so commit to giving thanks through your actions. After personally attending to the positive influences in your life, you may feel more present this holiday season (and even a little warm and fuzzy).
After that, look forward to the December new moon and ask yourself: What do you want to be thankful for then? As is the case with the moon, the cycle is always beginning just as it comes to a close.