Monday, July 29, 2013

Shapes in the Sky

Thought of you, Mary...

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly."
Richard Bach Illusions

A sacred geometry of water and earth elementals connect on July 29th as various planetary energies align to form a "Star of David" or a Star Tetrahedron. This is a potent geometric form that rarely occurs. Consider it a portal of awareness, providing a forum for refection and intention setting for the next 3 months. Here's the chart for this sacred geometry (set for the Moon opposing Saturn at 4:41 AM in Hawaii, 7:41 am on the West Coast, and 2:41 pm GMT; occurs on the 30th from Japan east to the International Date Line).

  • On the 29th, create uplifting personal and global intentions for the next 3 months. Attune to the Tetrahedron energy. Create quiet space for reflection and contemplation.
  • Ongoing ...each day, pay attention to cosmic "stop signs". If the energy feels difficult or heavy, either rest/reflect, change plans, or move in an easier direction
  • Be creative. Despite the intensity, there is a lot of creative potential in the field. Use it with grace and awareness
  • Be discerning about who, what, when, where and how you choose to connect with others
  • Receive nurturing body care therapies such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, etc.
  • A short, epsom salt baths (5 - 7 minutes max) at the end of the day can help you purge energies accumulated during the day. This is particularly helpful if you consider yourself "sensitive". Of particular import: staying too long in epson salt water is counter-productive to its benefits, as you'll reabsorb that which you released. If you like a long bath, add the salt at the end. Again...5 to 7 minutes max in salt water.
  • Channel any pent up energy into personal exercise. Mental debates/arguments are not your friends
  • Eat wholesome, organic foods and minimize over stimulating beverages, such as soda, coffee, and alcohol 
  • Avoid recreational drugs. Creating illusions about illusions diminishes clarity and conscious awareness.
I was discussing with my mama last night the merits of being present, yet having intentions. I tend to get caught up in the granular, and used to not be able to breathe if I didn't know every detail of a plan, every action and reaction. I wasn't living, I was rigidly existing. Now, instead of exacting each step and wildly flailing when something falls out of place, I have intentions. I speak my intentions, I take the necessary steps, and I let go of the outcome. 

What are your intentions for the next three months? 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Paying Attention to the Signs

Like I said in this post, just because I've made a few changes in my life does not guarantee that it will be perfect. Recently, shifts have occurred in my world that make me question what I thought my future would be. I've gotten good at letting go of outcomes, but what do I do when the unexpected erupts?

On the morning after I received this news, I saw this writing on the wall on my walk to work:

This gave me pause, and it zapped me back to the present moment. It didn't say everything will be fine, it concluded that right now, in this moment, everything is fine. And that is the truth. My future tripping about the situation did nothing but foster fear. Heeding to the sign, I was able to pause, recognize, breath, and relinquish control. 

I also recognized that the sign did not say "everything is good." Reality is the full spectrum of human emotion, and not everything is all great all the time. What comes next is how I choose to respond.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fake It 'Til You Make It

You've got to get up every morning 
With a smile on your face and show the world
All the love in your heart. 
– Carole King 

Every morning, my alarm clock is this song, Beautiful by Carole King. While I am generally a pretty happy person (if you had told me three years ago I would write that sentence, I would have called you a liar and scowled), there are some days when smiling and showing the world my love is the furthest thing from my mind. 

The days when I swear I am the world's spit bucket. When everyone around me seems to be at odds with my intentions, or aren't listening, or are willfully pushing me. And those days are real. They happen, and will continue to happen. So what to do when my nerves are raw and the slightest bristle sets them on fire? 

I fake it. I slap on that smile; I got through the motions of my content self; my voice mimics a more positive tone; I ask the universe for a reprieve. Eventually, I slip into my regular self. Whatever was wringing me gets lifted and I let it go. 

It took years to develop this practice, and I'm nowhere near having this be my default. But a shift in perspective is helpful in almost any situation, because like Ms. King says, you're beautiful as you feel. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Learning to Live

Me with my 30 day coin — My sponsor has my 1 year coin

So a year has passed since admitting I was powerless over alcohol, and I have learned so, so much. Here are just a few of the lessons (mostly captured for my own benefit—in the darkness, I tend to forget).

1. My goal is serenity, not happiness.

While happiness has certainly been a by-product of this decision (since my serotonin and dopamine levels are not constantly chemically altered), I'm learning that it is okay to feel the spectrum of human emotion. As long as my serenity is the touch stone, I can experience what is real.

2. Just because I made this one change does not guarantee my life will be perfect.

In the same vein, I imagined nothing bad would ever happen again because of this one decision I made. Reality is that bad things will happen, and I have the tools to deal, but there is more potential for joy, peace, exhilaration.

3. Future tripping is not as fun as it sounds.

I used alcohol as a balm because I was so, so afraid of the future. I would try to control people, places, and things, and when one element fell out of place, I assumed the worst and would detail how this one thing would make the rest of my life a shit show. I know now you can never, ever predict the future. We can actionable intentions, and nothing ever happens by mistake.

4. FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real

Before, so much of my life was ruled by fear. Now, fear still appears, but I know most of it is exactly the acronym above. I can convince myself of almost anything, and it was often easier to live in a place of fear, self doubt, and worry. Those are my defaults. Shifting my focus from the imagined to the actual, and learning to identify the difference, is pretty powerful.

Today, I am full of gratitude. A girl couldn't ask for more supportive friends, family, and fellowship. I'm going to keep coming back.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Social Media Validation Trap

"All we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. 
What we think we become." –Gautama Buddha 

I've been a creature of comparison for as long as I can remember. I've written about my struggles with imagined self-worth based on my job, my relationship status, my degree. And while I'm no longer living in that den of thieves, I still vacation there every once in a while, and have fallen into the trap of pivoting my happiness on how people look like they're doing on Facebook.

I deliberately say "look like" here, because I cannot believe people's lives are all sepia-toned pancakes and soft-focus chuppahs (honestly, you got married over a year ago, it's time to change your profile picture, and not to yet another wedding photo). Below is a great Portlandia sketch to illustrate my point.

I am all for sharing celebrations, successes, beautiful images, and important news on social media. That's what it should be for—spreading a little joy. The problem is not in what people post, it's how I choose to react to it. Shifting my perspective from, "Fuck, look at what all these beautiful people are doing 24/7 without me!" to, "Look at what these beautiful people are doing!" anchors what I'm seeing in a little reality. Because we can never, ever tell what people's motivations are for anything, unless we ask and we choose to believe their answer. And likely, they're not posting updates to make me jealous. Likely, they're not thinking about me. Likely, they have their own insecurities and doubts and fears and think getting 27 likes on their photo may buoy their self esteem for a bit.

There is also something to be said for when I check Facebook. I work at a desk and have gotten into the horrible habit of auto-typing "command-T-F" whenever I want a distraction. So I'm in one of my more vulnerable arenas doing the comparison dance upwards of 11 times a day. Am I a masochist? This wasn't providing the distraction I wanted, and despite feeling fulfilled, challenged, and happy with my job, I kept thinking, "Why aren't I manning the first all women astronaut team to the moon? I'm such a failure!"

 So with a little self discipline, I've stopped doing this dance at work. Instead, I have the Positive Affirmations tumblr always open on my browser. When I feel the need for a distraction, I pop that up and soak in some goodness. I truly believe we become what we think. Why not think I'm beautiful, grateful, capable and worthy of loving myself and others? Below are a few of my favorites.