September 27 2015 we got to witness a sight that hasn't be here since 1982 and won't be back until 2033, the Super Blood Moon solar eclipse. In this time of speed and lack of novelty the blood moon stopped a lot of people in their tracks. Patience and stillness are required to watch a solar eclipse. It simply takes time. The planets move at the pace they move at.
What can we learn from this event; how about perspective? The moon is small compared to the earth and the earth is small compared to the sun. How big are human beings in all of this? Right, we are pretty small physically. Sadly we often make ourselves smaller psychologically when we close off and recoil from the things that frighten us. We all do this instinctively.
Maybe what we can learn from the Blood Moon solar eclipse is to remember to expand. When we look out at the planets we could tell ourselves that the universe is vase so that maybe, just maybe, we could try to extend ourselves instead of hold back. Perhaps we could be kind to ourselves instead of denigrate. Perhaps we could smile at the shop clerk instead of texting someone while we wait for our order. Maybe we could offer someone a hand instead of a closed fist.
This would be a good time to reflect on the areas of our lives where we hold back or recoil. Maybe we could set a goal of trying to work with this tendency. We could start by noting that we are not open with certain people or situations. We could challenge ourselves to meet this closed place by being kind to ourselves. Then maybe we could find other ways to expand. We might note that we tend to think negative thoughts about certain people or events. We could then try to open and let go instead.
Sometimes expanding starts as a trickle. We make a decision to walk more slowly or stop and savor our coffee. We could make a point of listening for the birds as we head off to work. We can feel the air on our skin or smell the earth after the rain. We don't need to start with grand gestures. The little things matter. They add up. All we have to do is change one thing.
Sometimes the easiest and most immediate thing to change is to note or pay attention to certain habits. We can notice which circumstances make us zone out or frustrate us and make us feel impatient. We can become a witness to our lives, not judging but noting. "Ah I'm irritated every time this person calls me." Then we can get curious about it. "Why do I feel this way with this person but not that person?"
Even just keeping in mind that we want to find ways to expand is a way of expanding. There are always lots of opportunities to learn in life. In fact, often the same circumstances present themselves until we finally "get" it. Maybe we could use the Blood Moon as a reminder to step back, pause and take note. Like viewing this latest solar eclipse, this kind of perspective is often a gift.