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Full Moon in Gemini: The Path to JOMO

As I write this post, I am sitting next to a wide open window with fresh air and sunshine beaming through, sipping a cup of locally grown Kona coffee. For those of you following along on my Instagram stories, you know I am in Hawaii (and have been for a couple of weeks).

I traveled here to visit one of my mentors Debra Silverman, and when I made those plans, my husband decided to come too, and we made a holiday out of it. And, because Hawaii is so damn far from NY, I decided to stay as long as possible and work from here. I mean, who knows when I’ll get to come back. So I am embracing another couple of weeks of solo travel amidst a tropical paradise.

I know how tacky it is to share these work-from-anywhere success stories, laden with implications that somehow I’ve cracked the happiness/freedom code of life and you should aspire to have the same luxuries I enjoy because I have chosen a work from anywhere career. I get it. It’s annoying and certainly not why you’ve entrusted me with sacred space in your digital life.

My goal here though is not to push FOMO on you—no way José. I want to talk about something different…

JOMO—the Joy of Missing Out!

You see, as I’ve embraced and the latter half of my thirties, I’ve gone through an incredible topsy-turvy time reconciling my infertility. Having had gynecological cancer, a total hysterectomy, and an overnight entrance into menopause in the ’90s, I’ve lived almost two decades without sex hormones and reproductive organs. I thought I had reconciled infertility. But as my childbearing years came roaring in, an insatiable desire to mother hijacked my reality. I had to grieve my uterus and ovaries yet again.

When I say grieve, I don’t use the term lightly. I went through what felt like an inconsolable infertility dark night of the soul.

Let me paint a picture of what this looked like. Sometimes I couldn’t even go to certain events because they felt like way too big of triggers. (Baby showers often fell into this category.) When I did go out, I’d occasionally find myself in bathrooms at parties crying my face off. I buried my head in work, to exercise a sense of control over my life. I spent hours in therapy questioning whether I wanted to mother or if I just felt sad about not having the choice of conception. I went down multiple adoption trails to arrive at Destination Nowhere again and again.

Social media became a minefield. Every time I saw a happy, healthy pregnant friend boasting her belly, a newborn so precious I could actually smell it through my laptop, a spunky five-year-old child getting on the bus for the very first time, or a conversation about the bliss (and necessity) of breastfeeding, I felt like I didn’t belong to my gender!

Talk about FOMO!

Yet, as 2017 wraps itself up, I have to say, I am leaning into something entirely different. Rather than bone-chilling sadness, I am actively working on JOMO—or the Joy of Missing Out. (My friend Katie Den Ouden introduced me to this term a couple of weeks ago, I was like, yeah, that might just be my word for 2018!)

While 2017 didn’t deliver a child, I had explosive growth in other areas of my existence. I moved full-time upstate, experienced new levels of intimacy in my marriage. The revenue in my business substantially increased. Creative projects I’ve worked on for years started to blossom. I started writing professionally for Well+Good, and developed strong working relationships with people I strongly admire like Kate Northrup and Ruby Warrington, of the Numinous. I took long walks on a daily basis, felt more in touch with my spirituality, found my political voice, and set meaningful goals outside of work.

All of this happened while becoming a parent didn’t.

Despite the temptation to focus on that which isn’t working, I am super excited to look at what is working, because truth be told—things feel pretty damn good.

The Benefit of Honest Grief

Having grieved the limitations of my femininity over the last few years, I am at a point on this journey where I can see the joy in my situation (hello, month long work travel adventure in Hawaii!).

Yet, this wasn’t always the case.

For example, two years ago I visited Hawaii and stayed at the exact same place where I’m staying now. When I saw there was a waterslide at the pool, I felt teary because it reminded me of the kids I couldn’t have. Yesterday, while on a work break, I made some friends in the pool who happened to be six and eight years old, and they invited me to try out the waterslide. I went down the slide with a giant smile on my face, then said goodbye and went back to work. No tears involved.

How liberating!

While grieving may feel completely indulgent, and even petulant, I assure you, it’s not. Grief, a necessary alchemical elixir, absolutely serves as potent (and necessary) medicine. While it can feel isolating and destructive, learning how to grieve is a sacred art!

In my experience, the only way to get through it, is to go through it.

For me, that meant embracing shadow emotions like anger, rage, intensity, and lots of tears. I had the good fortune of working with an amazing therapist. I journaled. Opened up to a few very close friends. I took excellent care of my health. And, for the love of God, I slept… a lot!

It humbled me. I learned that grief comes in cycles. Waves. It has a rhythm. It’s worth making peace with. And that even though today I feel total joy, tomorrow I may need to cry again. It’s all part of the path!

Embracing Grief During the Holidays

As we embrace the holiday season, I understand that you may have your own topsy-turvy situation going on:

  • Family drama looms
  • The crazy recognition of how fast time flies
  • The brutal reality that it’s just damn cold and dark for most in the Northern Hemisphere this time of year
  • Financial hardship
  • Health problems
  • Having suffered a breakup or death in your family
  • Not having a partner
  • Feeling isolated from community
  • Postpartum depression
  • Crazy hardship in other areas of your life

Ugh. The list goes on and on.

Despite the fact that the Sun travels through jovial Sagittarius, this time of year doesn’t necessarily scream joy. Yet, there are somethings we can do to practice excellent self-care, even if it doesn’t feel exceptionally easy.

This particular holiday season happens with Mercury Retrograde afoot, and Saturn—the planet that rules life lessons—getting ready to switch signs.

Like a broom sweeping away the dust of our internal world, the next few weeks cosmically ask us to evaluate our life vision, as we prepare for an entrance into an entirely new reality.

I assure you 2018 is not more of the same.

So as we approach the end of 2017, the Gemini Full Moon, the upcoming Mercury Retrograde, and the end of Saturn in Sagittarius, I encourage you to get honest and real about what’s up in your life!

Illuminate, Integrate, and Release

The Gemini full moon on December 3rd, 2017 helps you illuminate, integrate, and release the lessons of the year. This Gemini full moon happens with Mercury, the planet of communication, snuggling up next to Saturn while stationing retrograde. Mercury travels retrograde between December 3rd and 22nd, while Saturn simultaneously wraps up his roughly two-and-a-half-year journey through Sagittarius.

Meanwhile, Neptune (the planet of spirituality) squares the Sun and Moon to form a T-square. While this formation may feel agitating and confusing, there is good news: Jupiter makes an auspicious angle to Neptune, so despite the confusion in the cosmos, you can expect a breakthrough regardless. But rather than relying on brute ambition to get through it, settle into reflection instead! This full moon delivers intense year-end medicine, and I encourage you to have an open mind about what it might be.

While Mercury Retrograde usually means tech glitches and miscommunication issues, this particular retrograde—in fire sign, Sagittarius—asks you to look at the trials and triumphs you experienced over the last two years or so since Saturn, the planet of lessons, traveled through Sagittarius. It’s asking you to own your vision for your life.

Later this month, Saturn moves into Capricorn, but before doing so, Mercury beckons you to review what you learned.

Now’s not the time to charge forward with new work but instead settle into soul reflection.

A Ritual for the Full Moon in Gemini

Since this full moon happens in the sign of Gemini—a sign that famously loves to write—now is the time to bust out your writing utensil (nope, this should not be done digitally). Instead, go ahead and take out your journal, or just some blank paper and get a pen.

Light a candle and say a prayer. Ask for guidance to connect with your higher self.

Then set a timer for 20 minutes and permit yourself to brain-dump what’s going on in your heart.

Consider these questions:

  • How do I feel about 2017 coming to a close?
  • What am I aching for? What am I longing for?

The goal is to download what’s in your heart and mind without judgment.

Once 20 minutes has passed, stop. Take a breather. Give yourself a moment or two to disconnect. Go to the bathroom, take a sip of water.

Then come back to your writing, read what you just wrote, and circle what feels most provocative. Now set your timer again, this time for five minutes.

Ask yourself if there is anything else you need to say about this? See what comes up.

Once you feel complete processing via writing, consider what you need to release. What’s holding you back right now? What do you need to surrender to have more joy in your situation?

With the full moon upon us, now’s the time to let go of that which isn’t working.

This may mean you need to grieve. If so, let the tears fall. You may need to get angry. If so, close the door and pound a pillow. You may need to go deeper than what I described here. Trust your guidance to take yourself where you need to go.

You may want to write down exactly what you are releasing and then destroy the paper upon which you wrote it via fire—if so do it!

Whatever you do, don’t forget to get outside under the moonlight. Let the moon whisper her wisdom in your ear. Let her truth permeate through your third eye. Accept the guidance she’s making available to you. Listen.

My prayer for you: May you experience the bliss of JOMO. May you know that what’s most meant to be yours can not escape you. May you have the courage to grieve in all honesty that which you need to. May your tears powerfully wash you clean. And may these next few weeks feel sacred and blessed!

I’d love to hear from you—what’s been coming up for you around this Gemini full moon? Do you have a special ritual that’s calling to you? Let me know in the comments! As always, I send you all of my love.

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  • Brandi

    Love this, Jenn! My JOMO is that while I “had” to slow myself down for my health this year, it allowed me to see where I wasn’t in alignment with my work and where I could do things differently. You helped me through this a lot, and I am grateful! xo

    • jracioppi

      I am so glad Brandi! I adore you and your work. You are a force with so much healing. Thank you for reading and commenting. All of my love:)

  • Kat dever

    Jen what a great post- insightful, beautifully written and so transparent. I so honor your work to shed light and share your deep wisdom with us. Congrats on all that’s unfolded for you in 2017 and thankyou for your light! X

    • jracioppi

      Thank you, Kat! I am so happy you found this a useful post. I adore you and your work. Thank you for reading and commenting. Big hugs.

  • Linsey Rose

    Thank you so much for this Jenn! This morning I awoke with such intense grief for a loss I had this year. Thank you for reminding me that grief comes in waves and cycles. Phew! I almost get ticked with myself for being so emotional but you reminded me that it is valid to feel this again, still.
    And thank you so much for declaring that 2018 is not going to be more of the same, it allows me to remain hopeful as I really prefer to not have a rerun of 2017. See ya later intensely crazy year!
    So glad you shared this writing ritual and all of this information, I feel like I am heading into the end of this year empowered and open. Hugs!! Linsey Rose

    • jracioppi

      Hi Linsey, Yes, grief is valid, legitimate, and it does come in waves. Take your time, and be patient. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I send you all of my love, always… Here’s to a fresh start in 2018. Big hugs!

  • Mendy

    Jenn, I really love your openness & vulnerability in this blog post. By far my favorite moon report! I went through a similar journey during my years of infertility. I know your telling your story of healing will help so many. I really resonate with “what’s meant to be yours will not escape you” and the idea of JOMO. Sending you so much love, compassion and appreciation.

    • jracioppi

      Right back at ya, Mendy. Thank you for reading and for your feedback. I am honored to have you read my writing. I send you all of my love! Happy full moon.

  • elena

    THANK YOU Jenn for your love, support and generous gifts that you bestow upon us out of the goodness of your heart. I am extremely grateful to you for all your support during my arduous journey in the last couple of years. I could not have managed without you. Hopefully, the end will be soon indeed.
    Love, hugs and deepest gratitude.

    • jracioppi

      Hi Elena, I send you so much love and adoration. Thank you for reading and commenting. You are a light! Big hugs…. Happy full moon. Love, Jenn

  • Leann

    Wow, I am so glad i read this today. I’ve been journaling a ton today and really feeling a new wave of grief recently about my divorce earlier this year. It’s felt so hard to move forward on new things. I love this permission to be in grief, to look at all the lessons, both beautiful and painful of the past year and look ahead at vision, even if it’s not action time yet. Thank you!

    • jracioppi

      Hi Leann, Permission granted. Take your time. No rush. Thank you for reading and writing. I appreciate you tremendously. All of my love… Big hugs!

  • Carla

    Jenn, thank you so much for this. I can relate very deeply and your writing gave words to something I’ve felt and struggled with for years now. Thank you for that gift and sense of validation and community. Truly.

    • jracioppi

      Hi Carla, Thank you for reading and commenting. I am honored that you are a part of this community. I appreciate you to the moon and back… all of my love. Happy full moon.

  • Kim

    Perfect timing as usual, Jenn! I so appreciate your honesty, your insight, your ritual suggestions and help in knowing what the stars are doing (and how that affects me)! And I am thrilled that you are able to spend healing and spiritual work in Hawaii. Aloha, my fellow mermaid!

    • jracioppi

      Aloha from my mermaid heart. (I really do connect with that archetype.) Sending you so much love! Big hugs to you and happy full moon. xxoo

  • JJ

    Thank you so much for sharing such a tough story and the lessons it brought. It’s so easy to get caught up in what we don’t have and feel we’re missing out on rather so I don’t think we can be reminded enough to look at where life has taken us and the blessing’s it’s provided.

    Always look forward to your posts! X

    • jracioppi

      JJ, Here’s to all of the blessing present, past, and future! Thank you for reading, commenting and being a part of this community. Big hugs, all of my love, and so so much appreciation.

  • Michelle

    Thank you Jenn!
    I am looking forward to Monday even more now!!!

    • jracioppi

      Hi Michelle! Thank you for reading and commenting. Here’s to a great week ahead. All of my love, Jenn

  • Kirsten

    Spot on Jenn! Exactly what I needed to hear today as I have been grappling with my own flavor of grief. Thank you for sharing your journey here and for illuminating the complexities of the galaxies so mere mortals like myself can benefit from such ancient wisdom.

    • jracioppi

      Hi Kristen, I am so sorry to hear you’ve been going through it with your own grief… but trust it’s taking you exactly where you need to go. Thank you for your sweet compliment. I am grateful you are a part of this community. Big hugs to you.

  • Jessica Martinez

    I needed this! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and for just being you.

    • jracioppi

      Hi Jessica, My pleasure. Thank you for being you. I appreciate you reading and commenting. All of my love….

  • Gay

    I’m so glad I found you and thank you for sharing your wisdom. Getting back to working with the lunar phases through your work has been a blessing.

    • jracioppi

      Oh Gay, this makes me so happy! Thank you. I am thrilled you are here. Big hugs to you and all of my love.

  • Jasjot

    I appreciate your poignant post. Thanks for sharing your honest journey and strength you have empowers us all to keep moving forward.

    • jracioppi

      My pleasure! Excited for you… More soon. And a big hug from my heart to yours. Love, Jenn

  • Helen

    A beautiful post to end the year on, Jennifer. Your experience resonates. It’s the second time in one day the idea of JOMO came to me. There’s a message for me, for sure. Collateral beauty – there is beauty in everything, even death and grieving.

    • jracioppi

      Helen, I love this! Collateral beauty– even in death and grieving. The truth is no one has exclusive access to the secret world of awesome. We all experience pain, loss and suffering. It requires a great deal of humility to just be with what is… but it’s powerful medicine. I send you all of my love. Thank you for reading and commenting. Big hugs, Jenn

  • Kimberley

    Thank you for this beautiful and inspiring post! Since my Dad passed away 5 years ago in December, this time of year is a time of grief for me while I also try and make it a wonderful season for my children. Your insights have certainly helped me frame this in a way that helps me understand my self and my husband better, so that we can navigate with more grounding and connection. Thank you!

  • Kierce

    Jen, everyone-
    I too, get into this season (and these emotions seem to be on repeat each year) where I feel like such a victim of circumstance. I look out and see/feel like everyones got it more together than I do, and is more taken care of, supported than me. My JOMO is that I am not partnered and parent alone, It works a lot better when I own it!
    Thanks for sharing your burdens and your delights~

  • 2017 Year In Review – melanie velazquez

    […] 4. I unsubscribed. I unfollowed. I unfriended. I left the group. #JOMO […]

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