Are you overwhelmed? Stressed? Does it feel like all your deepest darkest “stuff’ is coming up? Are you being hit with one “curve ball” after the next?
Trust me you are not alone. This fall has been HELLACIOUS and I am not just speaking from personal experience. That is the general consensus.
Hit with what seemed like an eternal Mercury Retrograde and two eclipses, the universe threw us a motherlode of obstacles this fall. For those not well versed in astrological speak– (I am no expert) Mercury Retrograde occurs three times a year, most recently, from October 4-26th, but when you factor in the “shadow” phase, the effects were felt from September 14th to November 10th. Yes…pretty much the entire fall.
Mercury is the planet of communication and when it goes retrograde it breeds a certain level of confusion. Decision making is challenged, thinking is challenged and all that is going on within, comes to the surface. On a positive note it is a time of heightened inner awareness, but that also means fear, anxiety and all the emotions can be magnified as they are stirred up to be released.
On a practical level, it is a time fraught with “do overs”. One must be careful signing contracts, negotiating or buying/selling anything especially electronics, expect travel delays or complications, miscommunications, etc. Probably the greatest example of the “do over” effect of Mercury Retrograde was President Obama’s first inauguration. He messed up the oath and literally had to do it over the next day!!!
Towards the end of the Mercury “shadow” phase, I received an SOS from a friend. Her email– “Life is at its toughest, help!”… and while I responded to her, “EVERYONE IS STRUGGLING RIGHT NOW,” I realized that perhaps I should put this in writing for all to read and comprehend.
And yet, while misery loves company, empathy only goes so far. Sometimes we need something stronger than, “you are not alone, it sucks…” and no, I do not mean drugs, alcohol or any other numbing agent. What we all need is an arsenal of really good tools to weather a rocky road.
After three funerals this fall with two more memorial services to go as well as other “shit-storms” blown my way, here is what I do to stay balanced and calm. And full disclaimer– I am a constant maintenance kind of gal. These are my tools I use always in both good times and bad. Remember, happiness is not happenstance. Like everything in life, it too requires work and vigilance.
Whenever we are emotional or stressed, our breath becomes shallow. Be conscious of your breath and take deeper, longer breaths. You will feel your body settle and your head clear. Try breathing in for 8, out for 10 counts when you want to relax or breathe in for 8, out for 6 when you want to energize. In shorter count, out longer count= relax. In longer, out shorter count= energize.
2. VISUALIZE JOY
Recall moments of sheer happiness and laughter. Focus on these moments for a few minutes every day thus setting the energy that you are open to receive more joy. This is a manifestation technique as we are a reflection of our thoughts. If your thoughts are stubbornly negative, then use the karmic eraser– simply think, “cancel that thought” any time you catch yourself in a negative spiral. (My sources tell me you have 17 seconds to cancel a thought).
3. WRITE A “TO DO” LIST
Divide a piece of paper in half. On one side of the paper, write your to do list– get kids to school, fill out forms, call back so and so. On the other side, write “to-do list for the universe”. On that side you might write: find the perfect school for my son (which actually happened), energize fun opportunities and friendships, provide a moment of laughter every day. Remind me to smile more, restore me to perfect health emotionally and physically or whatever it is you want to draw into your life. Make sure to always phrase your desires or intentions in the positive.
4. RELAX YOUR SHOULDER BLADES
Be aware of your shoulder blades. When they are down and relaxed, you are fully present. Being present allows you to appreciate moments that would otherwise be clouded by the overarching negativity and fear of the times.
5. GET OUTSIDE
Go take a walk in nature. Notice beauty, the sun and breathe. Or go for a jog either with or without music.
Smile at a passing stranger, your children, your spouse, friends, everyone. Knowing that you just made their day brighter will make you feel brighter. And smile as you speak. Trust me when you speak with a smile, you are heard.
Start with 5 minutes preferably at the beginning of your day. Maybe just focus on your breath, or use a guided meditation. A good one I always recommend is by my healer, Jenny Lethbridge (who deserves all the credit for the tools in my toolbox:-). It is only 9 minutes and so relaxing. http://jennylethbridge.com/meditations.php Or use a mantra. I often use the phrase– “I am that I am.” Just repeat it over and over again. Breathe in “I am.” Breathe out “that I am.” It will relax and reset you. This was God’s response to Moses when asked, “What should I call you?” There is something about the cadence that is really soothing or maybe the focus on “I am that I am,” activates an awareness of “self”– of being just you without labels, judgments, perceptions and masks. All that “stuff”, as Jenny often calls it, is frankly exhausting and in the end crippling.
8. BE AUTHENTIC
When people are authentic and vulnerable, the response is generally magnetic. These are the people we love. These are the people we want to be because they dare to show their true selves. When authenticity is revealed and expressed, it is contagious offering safety for others to follow. In sharing our true selves comes greater compassion, understanding and gentleness. (This is also the magnificence of meditation. It unlocks us by affording us the time, commitment and intention to go within. It can be awkward at first like anything new, but with practice, it can become the most comforting part of your day. Who better to comfort you, than…you!)
9. RELEASE TOXIC EMOTIONS
Shut your eyes. Feel into the body. Identify the emotion. Figure out where it is in the body. For me, I generally always find the emotion in my chest or stomach. Then build up the emotion as much as possible like you are about to explode. When you are about to pop, visualize a valve or a tap where you feel the emotion in the body. Open it and see the emotion shooting out of you like a steam pipe that has burst. Keep doing this until you feel empty. If you can not identify a particular emotion like sadness, fear, anger etc., just call it, “that feeling.”
10. WATCH WHAT YOU EAT
Avoiding sugar will always make anyone feel better. The first two days of no sugar are always the hardest. As so many tend to eat when depressed or stressed, try to have the will power for the two days that it takes to reduce the sugar cravings which only exacerbate the negative feelings in the body.
Saving the best for last…
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Wishing you a very CALM, peaceful Thanksgiving and a special thank you to my friend for resurrecting an old Seinfeld term that perfectly encapsulates what we all need now more than ever… SERENITY NOW!
For more information on Mercury Retrograde and the effect of eclipses, go to Planetwaves.net.