Don’t cry for the moon. Even when it shines with the glitter of the New Year, and pierces the cold gloom of winter like the promise of Spring, and begs you to believe that your luck has finally changed for the better.

Those are the words that open my novel Wolf Moon. When I wrote them, I was the happily employed working mom enjoying my last years of childrearing as my youngest finished high school.

Everything is different

Now, on this year’s Wolf Moon—always the first full moon of January—everything is different. I have no kids at home anymore, my youngest having gone off to college. And I have no job, my employer having laid me off last month.

Which means that I’ve got the time to ruminate on the significance of the Wolf Moon, so called by the Native Americans because that was when winter struck hard, and the hungry wolves came howling round the villages in search of food.

Talk about your first chakra issues

These are Survival, security, and safety.

The first chakra, called the muladhara or root chakra, is located at the base of the spine; it’s the energy vortex that is the seat of all manifestation. Block this grounding chakra—through fear, anxiety, insecurity—and you’ll be hard-pressed to manifest anything.

There goes that new job I want/need so much. So I screwed my courage to the sticking place, and did a lot of yoga including specific postures to unblock my first chakra—from standing postures such as Tadasana (mountain pose), Utkatasana (chair) and Utkana Konasana (goddess) to seated postures such as Padmasana (lotus), Supta Baddha Konasana (reclining bound angle pose), and Hanumanasana (monkey god pose).

Hanumanasana—which is basically doing the splits—is a challenge for me. I remember when at 21, pregnant with my first child, my doctor asked me if I was still feeling flexible and fit, and I responded by doing the splits on the floor of his office.

“Don’t do that again,” he said.

That was a long time ago

Now I must use a prop under my butt to ease myself into the stretch. It’s a loooooong stretch.

Thus far, 2012 has been a loooooong stretch, challenging me to reinvent myself from the ground up, pulling my old life out by the roots and unceremoniously sticking me in foreign soil. As if to say, “Survive here, if you can!”

It’s enough to make you howl at the moon. And why not? Howling is just another form of breathing. So go ahead, howl along with me at the Wolf Moon.

And keep on breathing.

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