It’s Menna Jones’ second year of swimming under every full moon – a challenge that for her has now become a way of life. She shares her journey with us, and what she’s learned along the way.
As I enter my third year of swimming under each full moon, I cannot help but reflect on how something that started as a challenge for my 40th year, has become a way of life. Tuning into the moon’s energy has helped me to make positive life changes over the last 2 years.
Living by the lunar cycles is nothing new, humans have been living this way for many years. Quite simply put, the new moon can be a time of retreat and renewal for setting intentions and goals. As we lead up to the crescendo of the full moon where her energy is full and illuminating, it’s a great time to harness that energy by identifying and letting go of all that stands in our way.
Here is what my second year of full moon swimming has taught me.
Enjoy the little things
During my first year of full moon swimming, there wasn’t a night that I didn’t see the full moon. Last year, there were three months in a row (and strangely this was in the summer months) when the sightings of the moon were fleeting. This taught me a good lesson in faith. Believe that something is waiting in the wings, even when you cannot see it. It also reminded me that the little things (or moments) are often the big things. When these moments present themselves, drink them in and be present.
It’s OK to take a moment for yourself
Full moons have become quite a social occasion and I love this. The friendships that I’ve formed through my love of full moon swimming are very special and I’ll forever be grateful to my lunar loving pals for being part of this community and taking part in this ritual that we all know and love. As an ambivert who characteristically displays both extrovert and introverted qualities, there have been times when being with a large group of people can feel too much; where I crave solitude and silence and just need to immerse myself in nature. I took more moments like this for myself this year and gained a larger spectrum of experiences from my full moon dips, each one memorable and wonderful. My group of friends supported and encouraged me to do this which felt extremely validating.
Letting go makes room for more of what you want
The full moon offers a perfect opportunity to let go of things which are no longer helpful to you. I’m not just talking about physical clutter but also spiritual and mental clutter. For me accepting that certain things do not define who I am has been extremely powerful. It’s a great time to go inwards and consider what things you want to let go of. Whether it’s a relationship, a project, a job, an unhelpful habit, physical possessions, behaviours or simply the unhelpful things we tell ourselves. It’s also a good time to forgive yourself and others and let go of those unhelpful negative emotions we harbour, which only serve to self-sabotage. We lit a fire almost every full moon dip and tossed the lists we made into the fire before or after our dip. Doing this before the dip felt symbolic. We entered the water and washed away the things we wish to let go of and emerged anew.
We are constantly evolving
The moon does not stand still. She is constantly moving and the energy and light which she radiates is constantly changing. Last year, I moved on from a role that I had carried out for many years. I had gained a large part of my identity from this. The epiphany moment of realising that a job is just a job was very freeing and empowering. The future is unknown and that can be scary but sensible risk taking, stepping out of our comfort zones and making changes is how we evolve, grow and step into new and often improved versions of ourselves.
We do not always have to shine bright
Just like the moon, we cannot shine bright all the time. There will be moments where our light is dim, there will be moments that we feel overshadowed, equally there will be moments where we cannot hide our light. Accepting each of life’s phases for what they are can be helpful and take the pressure off. This analogy reminds me of the term ‘wintering’ when our bodies and souls slow down and seek rest and recouperation. This can be likened to the moon’s phases; with the new or dark moon being a time of retreat and a chance to take stock and the full moon being a time to feel energised and radiant.
A note on affirmations
Lunar speaking, I’m not sure if the full moon is the optimum time to create affirmations but making up my own rules, I find affirmations to be a helpful and empowering tool at any time. Once I jot down (and throw into the fire) all the things I want to let go of, I like to recall (or write down) affirmations and I encourage you to try this. Who do you want to be? Tell the moon. ‘I am capable of …’, ‘I am worthy of…’, are the openers I often use, others might work better for you. Find your ‘I am’s’ and tell yourself over and over until you believe it. Believe it and you will become it. Give it a go.
I am so grateful to those who have joined me on this journey and most of all, I will forever be grateful to the full moon, for she has shone a light on not only who I am, but who I can become.
Read about Menna’s first year of full moon swimming.
Want to swim under a full moon? Here’s how to do it safely.