I’m up each day before it’s light. My wife wakes up before I do, and I quickly follow suit. We’ve got jobs to get to and a 70 pound sheepadoodle that’s gotta do his business. While standing in our back yard in the predawn darkness, I’ll sometimes look up through the trees to the still-barely-night-time sky and find the moon, if its visible at all.
The phase of the moon I saw this morning is one of my favorite phases. Have you ever seen something in the sky that you find beautiful, or awe inspiring, or just plain interesting and try and take a picture of it with your phone? It’s almost ALWAYS a huge let down. If you’ve been able to capture an amazing photo of the moon, I’d love it if you’d share it in the comments, because I just can’t. Maybe because its 2021 and I’m rocking an iPhone 8, but I’d guess that’s usually the story for most phone-tographers.
Here are a couple pictures I took this morning…
The current moon phase is the “Waning Crescent” and the reason I find it so mesmerizing is because the entire circumference of the moon can be seen, but only part of it is brightly reflecting the Sun.
I can hear you saying, “Thanks for the super crappy photos of the moon, Jerry.”
The thought that crossed my mind as I looked up at that big beautiful orb this morning was really all about perspective. Stick with me.
In your life right now there are places of brightness that you’d say are going okay, or going well, or going great. Maybe its an aspect of your job, or maybe its a relationship you’re enjoying, or maybe you’re hitting a stride in new found hobby, or maybe that side hustle is even more fun than you thought it would be, or maybe there’s love in the air and your mind is on that someone you recently started chatting with, or maybe you just got a promotion, or maybe you just reached that goal you’ve been working toward. In some way and in some area, there’s a celebration-worthy angle, be it ever so slight.
But most of us don’t decide to start our day on that bright side of the moon. I’d dare say that many if not most open their eyes each day with a sense of weight over that decision to be made, that bill to be paid, or that difficult conversation that needs to happen. We start off with thoughts of what we’re behind on, ways in which we’re falling short, or the weight of the day ahead.
What would it take for you to meet each day with a sense of brightness and lightness that comes from the realization that while there certainly is a dark side of the moon, you and I can choose to begin on the bright side of it?
There is and will always be a side of the moon facing away from the Sun. In fact, we here on earth every only see no more than 59% of the moon’s surface. The temperature of the unlit “dark side” of the moon is -387F degrees. While the temperature on the lit side of the moon reaches a toasty 260F degrees! While neither is inhabitable by humans, the point is that there’s a huge difference between them. And just like that, an incredible distance lies between a day begun on the light side and a day begun on the dark side. Same moon, different sides. Same day, different mindsets.
In order to make this practical, let me suggest a few steps to take before heading out the door to tackle your day:
- Before your feet hit the floor breathe deeply and whisper a prayer of gratitude. I’m a believer in God and His Son Jesus Christ is my best friend but even if you’re not, the discipline of gratitude is guaranteed to make a dramatic difference in your life. Start with a mindset of thankfulness for this new day and the opportunities and challenges it holds.
- Immediately after your feet hit the floor, stretch your arms straight up for several seconds, slowly moving them side to side above your head. I’m no yoga guru, but when I’ve done this, it always seems to bring an alertness and a much quicker sense of “I’m awake!”
- After your readiness routine (teeth, shower, getting dressed, etc.) make a short list of what you are determined to accomplish today. Writing your goals–even small ones–is a habit that the vast minority of people maintain but those who do represent those who are getting to where they want to go. (I married a list maker, so I’ve loved learning the art of a good list.)
- Within your first hour awake, do one thing that brings you joy. It might be standing on your porch with a cup of hot coffee, breathing in the morning air. It might be sitting down with one of your children, discussing the weird dreams you had last night. It might be taking the dog for a walk. It might be reading a spiritual devotional before hitting the more hectic parts of your day. It might be crankin’ that 80s hair band’s power ballad on your commute to work. You choose.
What are YOUR best tips on how to begin on the “light side of the moon” each day? I’d love to hear them. And if you’ve ever done anything of these things I’ve mentioned or are willing to start one, I’d also love to hear the difference it makes.