Monday, July 29, 2013

what else is possible .....

kristen tercek locket - this cat is ready to roar
I am taking a blog break this week -

to do some new things and they will take all my focus.

(me and multi-tasking go together pretty much like peanut butter and mayo - yup, that good)

I usually choose to look inward - my mantra from the Course has always been - "look around less, imagine more" and this has worked for me - but it seems some things on the outside need my attention.

(and my courage - I am channeling Kristen's tiger this week).

 Of course, I'll be checking in with myself (maybe you will be, too):

“What else is possible?”
“What’s right about this that I’m not seeing?”
“What can I learn about myself from this?"
"How do I feel when I take this step?"



 

Friday, July 26, 2013

when we think we want something and we don't really want it ....

cuddly rigor mortis locket (my new lunch buddy)
Ever since India Arie said on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday a few weeks ago,

"If you think you want it and you don't really want it, it makes you weaker."

it has been gnawing at me.

She was talking about a certain level of success, about the kind of "showing up" that is necessary to have that and about the spaces in us that sabotage the other spaces.

(well, I don't really know if that is what she was saying, what with my lack of focus and total disappearance of short-term memory situation, but that was what I was hearing)

I have always known there is a little resistant part of me that wants to stay put, that doesn't want to stand out, that thinks this blog is a little too know-it-ally now - a space in me that was much more comfortable when I was just whining on Wednesdays, that gets a little tense when a big thinker tells me how much more I could be doing.

The space that pretends we don't know what we want or that what we have is what we want because really wanting what we want would be pretty freakin' painful (and yes, I'll say it, embarrassing) if we didn't get it.

Especially since we live in a world where we can see other people getting it - am I the only person with Facebook friends who are always doing the most amazing things - was everybody else always doing all this awesomeness while I sat on my porch watching ants - I think I might have been happier not knowing this ...  

Or the space that pretends we do want it, because what are we a slacker, shouldn't we want that!

I've held this space for decades. I've nurtured it.

I've never thought about it the way she said it though - I think it was the word weaker that stopped me in my tracks.

I had an Etsy shop owner a few months ago ask me for some selling advice and she told me immediately she wanted to net $50,000 a year selling her jewelry which was priced at about $30 a piece. A quick estimate told me (assuming her raw goods and expense costs were about 30%, which I just totally made up) she would need to sell about 2500 pcs of jewelry a year retail or about double that number wholesale to make $50,000.

She was currently selling about 10 pcs a week.

Going from 10 pcs a week to 50 - 100 pcs a week would be a pretty big change for her - I asked her how much time she thought that would take (for me, and you may need more time than this you don't have Olive after all, I calculate 3 hours of total work for every 1 hour of production), if she could even source her raw materials for these kind of numbers, is she had the funds to support that kind of growth (it actually does cost money to make money), 

how she would double her retail sales and maybe pick up 3 wholesale orders a week?

People might think - "well, I'd still like to have such problems" when actually these are exactly the kind of problems that put a lot of good businesses out of business.

(whether we go out of business because of too few customers or too many, we are still out of business

They are also the kind of problems that some space in us sees even before we do and says "I'm not sure I want that."

I'm sure she thought I was being negative and we never spoke again. I was trying to get her positive (the definition of positive that means certain) with her intention and looking at what this would actually mean - to see what kind of stuff this brought up in her - because it was exactly the stuff that came up that would create her roadblocks.

She was very certain she didn't want to hire any employees or do any outdoor shows and immediately looking at her numbers and looking at what she made - she wasn't putting a made-in-China pendant on a made-in-China chain like at least half the jewelry makers on Etsy are now - my immediate reaction was that it would be a lot of work and I wondered if some part of her was realizing this and blocking the process.

Some space in her that really didn't want to step into that life; some space that found it easier to say "this just isn't working" than to make the changes so that it can work or really look at whether or not she even wanted it to.

If we think we want something - maybe because we think we should want it - or maybe because part of us really does want it but other spaces in us are holding resistance to it, and we don't really want it (making and selling 2500-5000 pieces of anything a year all by ourselves is a whole lot of work, folks), it weakens us.

It's this polarity (and not the amazing locket - warning shameless plug ahead - have you seen this) that creates the self-sabotage or the unhappiness; the negative emotions from the resistance not what we actually do. Of course, the actions come from the emotions so it all goes full circle, but even a circle probably has a space where we can just jump in (or jump off) - think of that spinning ride at the playground.

I am still not sure where I am going with this thinking. I know we can tell what it is we are really wanting by the way it makes us feel

the problem is that so many things that could be really good things, can bring up fear in us. It seems like things can initially feel bad (as in scary, mostly) so we don't think we can always trust our feelings to go with what feels good

We have seen the bad stuff work out and the good stuff go all to hell.

We think we should feel the fear and do it anyway. But then life becomes one challenge after another and I'm not so sure things should be that hard. Maybe changing the emotion from fear to excitement (joy would be even better) before taking action helps eliminate the resistance that creates the sabotage; it will be a lot easier to change the emotion than to rewrite our personal history.

I have to keep thinking about this. Or I have to stop thinking about this. I think I have to stop thinking about this - whatever it is I am intended to get out of it will show up in an easier way for me to grasp.

(hopefully covered in something kind of grippy, I have dropped 2 test tubes in the last 24 hours). 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone - it's summer, so relax and let's enjoy it - actually don't even read this post - it is way too much to think about in late July ...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

but you knew that ..... a note from the Universe

Dreams come true, Cat , that's what they do.

For the slow approach:

Resist. Attach. Insist. Deny. Stop. Second guess. Whine. Argue. Defend. Protest. Cry. Struggle. Ask others, when you know the answer yourself.

For the quick approach:

Visualize. Pretend. Prepare. Dodge. Roll. Do not waiver over intentions, but only methods. Show up, even when nothing happens. Give thanks in advance.

But you knew that,
    The Universe



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

mercury for makers - transitions and crossroads and the lessons of paying attention

the impatient patient locket
Now that Mercury has returned from the underworld things will start to feel like they are picking up steam for us.

When I first started looking at astrology charts, back in my banking days, it wasn't possible for me to know anyone's exact time of birth,

(although I once had a very odd, elderly client and I was strangely drawn to ask him - he must have thought it a very thorough file I was putting together for him - after I asked his date of birth and place, both standard questions, I asked him if he knew the time he was born, he knew almost down to the exact second as I knew he would)

so I didn't pay a lot of attention to the fast moving planets since they change too frequently. Mercury is one of those fast moving, inner planets, though, that was always on my radar.

In a Tarot deck Mercury is the Magician card - an archetype many makers are familiar with even if they have never heard of him.

The Magician is the alchemist - the great conjurer; the maker of something out of nothing - we channel this energy all the time.

The shadow of the magician is manipulation, disorganization, depression, lack of focus and lack of motivation. Personally, I have no ability to manipulate (at least not successfully); the other shadows I am familiar with.

"Working with Mercury means that we must cultivate the art of recognizing significant communications, knowing what is truth and what is falsehood or else the lessons of the crossroads - the point where doors open or close, where persons have to make decisions that may forever affect their lives - will be lost." - Robert Faris Thompson

Maybe that sounds a bit more dire than it needs to be, but truly we do not need hindsight to have 20/20 vision.

Seen close to the sun at dusk or before dawn - Mercury is the mysterious messenger of the Gods who presides over all times of transitions; all crossroads.

I can't see everyone's chart to check where his royal elusiveness was hanging out when you were born, although if you email me I can tell you -

but I will say that Mercury in a fire sign receives and transmits insight through fire - think get your fire started inspiration here, in an earth sign (like mine) it is about building something physical with those ideas, in an air sign ideas are used to connect people or to make things beautiful and in a water sign Mercury is about introspection.

There is no particularly challenging placements for artists - although some are better than others for tangible manifestations. It's all good though, as they say. The speed Mercury was moving when we drew that first breath has an impact, too (deep, solid thinker vs fast, quick wit).

Mercury represents communication. He is associated with the lungs (my acupuncturist tells me that ailments to the lungs are unexpressed grief), the wind, birds, the hands (by creating with our hands we can heal grief), he reminds us to be cool-headed (meaning clear and responsible as opposed to hot-headed meaning thick and irresponsible).

One ritual for getting in touch with Mercury's cool thinking at a juncture is to pour cool water at the crossroads - you can do this at the bathroom sink - set something on the left side of the sink representing the one path and something on the top of the sink near the faucets representing the other path, cross the things and place them in their opposite places (left to right and top to bottom) - pour cool water at the point where the paths have intersected and speak the intention to get clear on your decision.

(know that this ritual means that you have taken action, see what happens and how you feel about it)

Mercury always reminds us that we are leading a magical life - that thoughts are things, that what we turn our attention to expands. Mercury reminds us that it is important to intend what we say. We are reminded to think about how our thoughts make us feel.

Does the thought we are thinking make us stronger or make us weaker?

Next post - how thinking we want something and not really wanting it makes us weaker (yes, back to that one)


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Part IV - Profit like a Prophet - Reclaiming our Authority with Saturn Energy

 
The shadow of working with this energy is the temptation to become too authoritarian.

(we are the authors of our own story but we are not here to write anyone else's - Saturn abhors ghost-writers)

Rigidity (in our thinking and bodies), insecurity, tyranny, taking ourselves too seriously are probably signs that we have moved into the shadow and need a reboot

(and some serious cutting-loose time).

Iron deficiencies (Saturn rules iron) often equal irony deficiencies. I would recommend spinach and Steve Carrell.

(I want to see his new movie this weekend - no cutting-loose in this one though)

James Hillman, who studied with Carl Jung, pointed out that silver (the Moon, creativity) and lead (Saturn, depression) are always found together in nature. He implied that depression is crucial to creativity. I'm not sure this is true, but depression can be a challenge for creatives. Loss of focus and inaction contribute.

Positive thinking is a great tool for working with Saturn's challenges.

The positive thinking that actually works though is the "positive" that means certain -

not the word "positive" that means "good". 

Being certain things are getting better and being certain our world is falling apart are both the kind of thinking that creates just that

It's the certainty that is powerful, not the goodness or badness of something we are thinking about. Life just demands expansion - it's up to us how that expansion happens.

We need to be thinking about what we are thinking about. We need to be paying attention to our emotions. We need to be taking action that feels good.

Saturn is about our responsibilities - all the things we signed up to do here - the relationships, the challenges, the work, the projects.

He makes a complete orbit of the zodiac every 28-30 years (called our Saturn return, he returns to his place in the skies at the time we were born and basically proceeds to take our inventory - hard work, self-questioning, nowhere to hide - think of it as Saturn hitting all your houses at once). 

Now that Saturn is direct again - take a look at the house this affects in your chart - you can probably look this up online or email me and I'll tell you. This is the house where you will not be allowed to procrastinate or be indecisive right now (and thru 2014) - this is the space that you will have much universal support when you step into your authority!

Next week, Mercury finally moves direct again and since Mercury is all about our voice in the world, communication and magic - we will take a look at how we can make her work with our businesses and lives, too.


Have a great weekend all! The heat is making all of us in Jersey mad-hatter hysterical.

And typing the word hysterical reminds me that the word hysteria comes from the word uterus - because hysteria was thought to originate in the uterus - I know. 

I think men could not imagine that being a woman living in a world defined by men could make someone appear mad - that going bat-shirt crazy at midlife was actually a totally healthy reaction to an unhealthy situation.

Now that we are all living in an undefined world and men are crashing about mad as hatters, too - maybe it's time for a new word.

Of course who knows how much hysterical was actually in the hysteria anyway.

Once, many years back I called hubs at work because I found a drowned squirrel in the pool. Now, I had already fished her out and done a proper burial with my daughter and her little friends in the backyard, but I think I just wanted to talk to a grown up about it.

Anyhoo, we were talking on the phone and someone at his job needed his attention and he said to this person, "Hold on a minute. My wife's on the phone and she's hysterical". And I said, "Huh, I'm not hysterical." and he said "Well, you sound pretty upset."

To this day he insists I called him sounding hysterical. Of course, I just called all the people of NJ hysterical (not just the ones in possession of a uterus) ... I think we might be though - it is pretty freakin' hot .... xo all

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Part III - Profit like a Prophet - Reclaiming our Authority thru Systems

refuse to sink - nan lawson locket
Saturn energy supports us when we deliberately choose our focus.

Regardless of what we say is important to us, the truth of what we care about is what we spend our time on.

How are we spending our minutes, hours, days?

There is no right or wrong with this and if we are happy we should keep on keeping on, but if things are not going as well, this is one of the first things I always look at. 

When we don't consciously choose our focus our time gets stolen by Saturn's shadow called distraction - this is especially true when we have an online business.

When we set up systems for our business we work with this energy best and step into our authority.

Systems to value our time (Saturn was known to the ancient Greeks as Chronos or Time), secure our foundation, establish structure, take responsibility for the work we put out into the world, use self-discipline and create boundaries are the kind of systems Saturn can help us with. Saturn says everyone needs a job!

Setting aside specific chunks of time for specific tasks can be a great organizer for maker business owners.

We never had a job where we could do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted to and we haven't created one either.

We need structure to our days. We don't need the inflexible kind of structure that breaks because it can't bend, but we don't want to be bending so often that we break anyway.

Figure out what we need to do and schedule our week. My slowest days are at the end of the week, so I schedule non-essential business stuff for Thursdays and Fridays. I balance my books every month. I inventory my supplies every month.

I have a calendar with chunks of hours and I work with it as much as possible. Two hours for such and such - if it's not complete and I am out of time. I stop anyway. I schedule in another hour somewhere - that way I'm not thinking about such and such; that thing I have to do.

I'm not stressing because it is hanging over me and unfinished.

It's over for me until that time period on my calendar when I take it back out. When I started valuing my own time in this way, stuff hitting me out of the blue becomes much more rare. Saturn still throws me a curve ball- that's his job, but I am at least twice as likely to catch it now.

I am not perfect with this; I don't try to be. I get off-balance all the time and have to drag myself back to center.

When Saturn isn't honored he shows up as inertia, fear, depression - if we are off rhythm and out of balance, Saturn tells us to get back in touch with our rhythms - we can do deep breathing as a way to find our center.

Saturn also represents the father and the truth is that many of us were not honored and approved of by our fathers. Saturn invites us to let go of the yearning for this. Just let it go. We don't have to go through life passing this paternal torch to others in some misguided attempt to get an authority figure to validate us.

It's very powerful to ask ourselves "To whom did I give away my power to feel good about myself?" and then affirm "I take my power back." Breathe that power back in ... deeply.

Remember when doing exercises like this that you have the energy of generations of magic makers behind your intention. This is not something to take lightly. Once you take that power back - you own it. Blaming someone else for something that isn't working in your life will no longer work for you.

The Chinese art of Chi Gong shows us the coordinates of Saturn. Imagine a vertical line from the base of our spine to the crown of our head then imagine a horizontal line from the small of our back straight to just below our belly button.

This is the place of our true center, Saturn's energy rests here - it is a place where fear does not exist.

Many years ago I had uterine surgery in this area that left me with scar tissue and numbness and a couple years later I had another surgery that removed the scar tissue. Looking back on it I could see that during this time I had lost my center emotionally and spiritually and so my physical body lost its center, too.

Women who have pregnancies, miscarriages, abortions, hysterectomies, etc - usually need to work to get back to center.



Next Post Part IV -Profit like a Prophet - Reclaiming our Authority

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Part III - Profit like a Prophet - Reclaiming our Authority thru Ritual

the elephant never forgets ring
I am not particularly interested in who says something as much as I am in,

"does this message mirror my feelings".

My mother was very trusting of authority - if a doctor said to her, "do this" - she did it and it very often worked for her, but it was always her belief as much as the doctor's wisdom that created the healing.

She trusted politicians to run the world, the church to teach us about God, the schools to teach us everything else and the police to protect us.

What she saw as safety, I eyed with distrust and one hand on the doorknob.

We were both looking at what was true to us, but because none of this stuff was actual truth, we could only see what we were looking for.

When we read advice for our business we have to be thinking about this.

For example many business coaches advise makers to 'get their work out there - don't wait until everything is 100% ready' - a just do it philosophy right out of the old Nike ads. Now, this is really great advice for perfectionists and procrastinators. And many makers are perfectionists and need to hear this. But other makers need to put many, many hours into their skill set and get clear with their intention and focus before launching anything. There is no one shoe fits everyone with any of this stuff.

(I do a lot of study with north nodes in astrology charts and for every chart that shows someone needing to release that Virgo perfectionism there is someone else who really needs to embrace just that)

None of this stuff is actually truth - it is only what is true for us.

My friend had a job she really, really wanted to quit. She tried an Etsy shop for a year, but it wasn't taking off and it began to feel as heavy to her as her oppressive job. She decided to close the shop. She was just too scattered.

(many makers have these half-assed, empty for months and even years, Etsy shops cluttering up their life - spaces they have moved on from - if this is you, unless you have some really good reason for keeping it open and "maybe I will get back to this some day" probably doesn't count with this, you might want to close it - save the pics first - no one is going to clean up these loose ends for us, we have to do it ourselves - and if you are the kind of person who leaves cabinet doors open after you have grabbed a glass, left checking accounts open with $2.00 in them - which then proceeded to rack up service charges - you especially need to close that empty shop)

When she closed it, she did a release ritual I told her about and she said for the first time ever - she felt like she left something cleanly.

She celebrated the stuff it had brought into her life and released any need to look back at her shop with any unfinished emotions. It didn't become something in her past she had failed at (which it never was, but the subconscious is a tricky thing) or something she is going to get back to when she has more time (she may one day open another shop - who knows - but if she does, it will be opened with the enthusiastic energy of new creation it deserves).

She set her intention for her life to improve in very specific ways. She didn't worry about how any of this is going to happen - the "how's" are life's job, not ours - she just sets her intention, meditates to clear her mind, eats cleaner to clear her body, looks at emotions that come up to see where she is over-reacting, acts on things that make her feel good and ... well, I will report back - this is a process after all.

Our beliefs really do create our reality (what is true for us) but even most people who believe this think in terms of the big things, but the little things create the big things. We leave these little doors ajar here and there as we go through life ... just in case we need them, little escape hatches whose very presence (picture little open doors into the space you are now occupying) tells ourselves that we need an escape hatch - they suck the oxygen from the current moment and take up space.

There are centuries worth of unbinding and cord cutting rituals and the very simple paper release I talked about it in the last post that I always recommend (which she did on a full moon - she said she felt totally crazy and had to resist the urge to start howling - a very good sign I told her. I only wish she had actually howled).

Now cord cutting and unbinding (some tribes will imbue a cord with the symbolism of some restraint you wish to release, tie it loosely around your waist - I did this once with one of hub's neckties - raise your arms and let the cord drop to the ground) are not like "don't burn your bridges" - this isn't about releasing anything good; the good stuff is the stuff we get to keep.

Next Up Part IV- Profit like a Prophet - Reclaiming our Authority thru Ritual

Monday, July 15, 2013

Part II - Reclaiming our Authority; Rituals for Abundance - Profit like a Prophet

galactic abundance - polarity locket
I think my plants have started talking back to me.

(not in a bratty, teenager kind of way  - they are much too polite for that)

But, lately after I tell them how beautiful and strong and amazing they are for hanging with me during this hot and humid July - I am hearing little whispers of gratitude.

George Washington Carver talked to plants - he would ask them "what are you for little guy?" and they would whisper back - probably something like "I am a peanut and I taste great with jelly".

I've been telling my hanging baskets all about George in the morning while I eat my poached egg on gluten-free toast on the front porch.

(gluten free bread btw if you haven't tried it, tastes pretty much like any dense bread, except it costs twice as much and needs to be refrigerated)

This morning I slipped up and started talking to them about Luther Burbank (another famous botanist - there is a reason for all this plant reading I've been doing lately which I will report on in a couple weeks). Luther talked to plants, too. He grew plants that were edible without their spines simply by saying to them "you are perfectly safe here, you do not need your spine" - then he would grow these incredible spineless fruits - how amazing is that!

(of course, he would then proceed to eat them which is maybe the reason so many plants have stopped listening to us)

We all have rituals and our rituals are very powerful. Even the most simple tasks, actually most especially and maybe only the most simple tasks, when done mindfully, invoke the power of ritual.

We can sweep our floor or we can sweep out the past along with our dust bunnies.

Rituals are the way God/the Gods/the Universe, our Higher Self (choose your comfort zone) know we are asking for help. Life is a collaboration.

I don't know what Webster or Wikipedia would offer up, but for our purposes we will define ritual as any act imbued with invisible intention. 

In Astrology, Saturn is the part of us that sets our intention - he gives us the power to focus and define our boundaries, our terms and our purpose. With intention and ritual we begin to grow the form in which that intention will be realized from inside out, rather than having it externally imposed.

Either we step into our responsibility and become the author of our own lives or we give our authority away - there is no in between place. Fear is a symptom of loss of authority - we can find the places in our life where we have not honored Saturn by the things we are afraid of.

And when we give our authority away, we should be afraid.

Saturn moved into Scorpio last fall for a two and a half year visit, then went retrograde a couple months later and just turned direct again last week. So, this is a great time to work with this energy (there is never really a bad time, but some times are better than others). Next Monday we have a full moon, which is an excellent time to set release intentions and to practice release rituals.

A really simple release ritual which utilizes the four elements (earth, water, air, fire) is to speak your intention of release, write it down by hand on a piece of paper, burn the paper and release the ashes into moving water (stream, river - once I used a flushing toilet in a bar bathroom; it worked).

The power of our results will directly mirror the power of our intention.

Challenging circumstances always drive us inward - where we get to use our Saturn to author a new chapter. Saturn asks us "how do you want your story to proceed?" - if we don't go inward willingly Saturn reaches up and yanks us down forcefully (which is why he has gotten such a bad rap) - this yanking is often experienced as depression, but it is really a reminder to step into our responsibility for our life; to not live life by default.

We really are on a quest here and ritual connects us to the bigger picture.

Last winter I was very focused on connecting with other people thinking these connections had to come in a certain way - forgetting that we set the intention and let life work out the 'how's'. Life showed me very quickly that crowds and people are no cure for loneliness; that maybe we need to be alone to find out what supports us. Solitude is the cure for loneliness; like cures like. Life was offering me a space for reflection because without reflection we can become as vulnerably off balanced as if we are sleep deprived. Insight must be earned, I guess. It's crazy how often I can know something and then act like I don't know it ...

Next up - Reclaiming our Authority; Rituals for Abundance - Profit like a Prophet Part III (some specific rituals for our business)





Sunday, July 14, 2013

whatever we take an interest in, takes an interest in us - reclaiming our authority with ritual and systems part I

jennifer johansson locket - pull up a chair and relax
I had someone write me this week, a very well meaning someone, to ask why my blog has such a mystical bent these days

and it got me thinking that

# 1 - I really liked the sound of that

and # 2 - it is probably good for everyone to have an interest in the invisible (ie the unconscious) right now since everything is getting all mixed together - better a dance than a battle after all!

Astrology isn't a science or a religion or anything like that - it is more of a language.

(so just pretend I am talking about the French language here unless you are French in which case maybe try thinking Dutch)

I don't do predictory (I guess that isn't a word or I have spelled it wrong, whatever the word should be for that, let's just pretend I said that) things with astrology - which has the same root as predicament btw and that certainly doesn't sound good.

Astrology is more about prophecy - patterns, mythology, collaboration - it is totally an invitation to experiment and engage - our real life purpose is always to co-create (with the heavens and with each other) in the most interesting, ingenious and loving ways possible.

That's really all there is to everything - of course there are gazillions of ways to do this which is where the fun comes in.

We work on grounding ourselves - (which yes, is stuff that I totally need to learn which is why I totally write about it) loss of balance is no small thing.

Loss of balance topples dynasties, folks.

Remember that 20/20 episode (Dateline?) years ago where they showed muggers videos of people walking down the street and asked them which people they would choose to mug and the muggers always chose the same people - the ones with the non-rhythmic, uncoordinated manners.

These victims weren't staggering down the street or anything, it is way more subtle than that.

And, there are many ways of getting mugged.

We can be mugged in a conversation, in a relationship, at work - there are as many ways for muggers to take away our authority (authorship of our life) as there are ways for us to allow it .... I think the off-balance thing is where it starts. We probably start tipping around the age of 3 or 4; maybe a sturdy few of us get to puberty.

(I think by the looks of the extremely oversized head I had in my baby pictures I was surely tipping over at birth)

Grounding works. Rituals (mystical) and systems (practical) work, too - so let's talk about that this week.

Next up Part II - Reclaiming our Authority; Rituals for Abundance - Profit like a Prophet .... xo all

Thursday, July 11, 2013

what all this groundwork means for our biz part II or part VI or part XLCV (is that anything?) or why what works for one person may not work for someone else

a head full of blooms
So, we set in place some practices to ground ourselves.

(this isn't something we will finish and then move on to something else - these are practices - they need to be practiced)

Putting energy into these things will change other things. If you, like me, are one of those mental people who look at things from a million angles before putting any new practice into place - skip that step.

(trying to see what will happen when we take a certain action doesn't work anyway because our taking the action changes what will happen)

Just set in place some practices to ground yourself emotionally, physically and mentally (the spiritual is always grounded). See what happens.

The last word I have on this grounding stuff is that although the general steps I outlined in this series I think will work for most people - everyone is different. 

(and this everyone is different thing is something we all give lip service to - we all nod our heads and agree that yes, it is our differences that make us stronger - then we encounter someone we do not agree with and get annoyed with them for being ... different)

Everyone. Is. Different. I don't mean this flippantly. Everyone really is here to experience different things. And even when we experience the same things we will experience those things differently.

Some of us need to spend more time alone and some of us need to get our asses out there. Some of us need to climb onto that stage and some of us need to get the hell off that stage and cede space to someone else.

The moment we inhaled our first breath - we took ownership of our life. We signed a contract with that breath. Our astrological chart (the skies at that very moment in time) represents that soul contract. This doesn't mean we do not have free will - we think thoughts, hold beliefs, set intentions and take actions with total free will and, of course, we wrote the chart after all.

So, what might work for YOU?

Well, I did some north/south node charts for some brave readers a few months ago? last summer? when was that?

and promised some Goddess charts, but never delivered.

(I am kind of like the Pizza Hut delivery girl except I often get lost and distracted and sometimes I show up empty handed and smelling of pepperoni and vodka)

The word warrior has been coming up for me all week and so I think it's time to see what my favorite warrior - the brave and wonderful Pallas Athena - has to say by her placement in a few charts if there are any brave volunteers.

If this doesn't sound completely nuts to you either drop me a line in the comments or hit the let's chat link.

(and remember a lot of people thought Copernicus and Galileo were nuts which is a good reason to always keep an open ear to the mad drunk in the corner! of course I am not Copernicus or Galileo, but I have a feeling neither of them would be quite as fond of Athena as I am)

Don't worry about giving me your birthdate (I will forget it 45 seconds after seeing it) or me discovering any secrets about anyone (I am simply not that good at this) - also I should warn you that this will be kind of a summer project so might take a bit .....

xo all - enjoy a wonderful summer weekend no matter what the weather!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

what all this groundwork means for our business ... the part I which is really part V

nan lawson's latest locket - you are deeply loved
There are the obvious ways all this grounding helps us as a maker with a maker business -

we can build a much stronger structure on solid ground than shifting sand after all.

But there are some less conspicuous ways grounding ourselves as human beings (as we become the human-doings this 3rd dimensional world still requires us to be) makes this whole thing run smoother.

1. Grounding Creates Focus

When we take care of our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual spaces we are not running around trying to figure out what we should be doing - we are not running around trying to figure out what our business should be doing either.

The people who get what they want, take the time to figure out what they want first.

The process of grounding ourselves creates the space for us to get clear on what we want.

This is how we do it. We practice grounding actions. It is virtually impossible to ground ourselves and end up with splintered thinking. This doesn't guarantee a "happily ever after" for every decision we make - expansion requires conflict after all - it does guarantee a "happily in the moment"which is the space of real happiness anyway.

This "not knowing what we want" thing is an epidemic. One reason I think is an overall societal lack of contrast (a really big reason we have to allow our kids to fail; to not have too much - getting what we don't want creates the space for us to figure out what we do want) plus the unending choices. It's a first world problem - no one going to bed hungry tonight has any problem knowing what they want.

Without a clear focus for our maker business - an intention for why we do what we do and what we want from this experience of creating and growing a business (and by growing I don't mean getting bigger and bigger and unsustainable - I mean expanding and changing and living - think tended garden, not overgrown yard filled with weeds here) - without this clarity we will not be able to make the clear decisions we need to make as a business owner.

If we are asked to fill an order that would require an entire weekend of work, a weekend we had family plans for, we will make a different decision depending on whether our focus with our business is paying our electric bill or being able to work at home to spend more time with our children.

And we have to allow this stuff to evolve - our focus and intention for our business will change. Sometimes the space of time when things are changing can make even grounded people feel very out of balance - that is perfectly OK. It's like the space when we shift from one foot to another, that shifting space (which is actually a great metaphor for the times we are living in, too) is the very space that allows us to expand. 

2. Grounding Creates a State of Allowing

Negative emotions always mean that we are thinking a thought that has us in a state of resistance. Positive emotions always mean that we are thinking a thought that has us in a state of allowing.

Grounding which is really all about self-love (knowing the way we handle what appear to be the unimportant things in life is the exact energy that creates the important things) creates a space for the positive emotions to expand.

A state of allowing doesn't mean we get played by life like a knight on a chess board. People are always saying things like "well, I guess the universe wants me to do this or that" as if we have nothing to do with it. We are the universe. There is only one of us here.

Allowing isn't a state of inaction. It's the opposite of that. It's a state of inspired action and deliberate focus. Forget the "life is a school" metaphor (although there will certainly be lessons). We are here for experiences.

Life is a playground.
If we are not playing our part -
there is no momentum -
 we are not giving the universe any energy to play with.

It's like we are holding the ball
and waiting for life to throw it back to us.

Allowing isn't a stagnant energy - it's a very forward moving energy.

People sometimes say that whatever happens is meant to happen. And while it's true that we can definitely know what should be happening by what is happening - there is no way to make a mistake here after all - sometimes, though, this way of thinking is used as an excuse to back away from being the creators of our own lives; to step away from our responsibility.

When things are going wrong this way of thinking can be a comfort to us and can help us to release resistance (a good thing) - turning a negative thought or situation over to the universe is exactly what we should do with it,

but if we live our lives in a place where this way of thinking makes us feel powerless - we are forgetting that we are extensions of this very universe.

No one else is deciding what we get and what we don't get. It might appear that someone has to choose us (or our work), but this is only because we have set it up this way - we can choose ourselves. The only reason we are here is God/Life/The Universe (pick your comfort zone) knew the universe would benefit and expand by us being here which leads us to ....

3. Grounding Creates the Space for Us to Be Ourselves 

Authenticity is a powerful word; living authentically is a powerful place to live.

(how do we live there? ground ourselves emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually and take action from THERE - it's a space that feels like home - and even if we have not had a wonderful homelife in this lifetime, trust me that we have magical roots and are familiar with this energy - we will know this space when we feel it)

Younger people who know more about the things that change can feel the truth of it and older people who know more about the things that do not change can feel the truth of it, too.  It's taking root and it's changing everything.
 
I went to a Chamber of Commerce meeting back in my banking days and actually maybe it wasn't a Chamber meeting but a Women in Business meeting because it was all women and the Chamber meetings were mostly men.

Anyhoo, the topic of Oprah Winfrey was brought up and women were talking about Oprah's accomplishments (which are many) and her skills (which are many) and the gist of the conversation was how we could all be Oprah if we worked hard enough - look at her beginnings, everyone said, "if she can do it, we can do it".

There are some problems with this way of thinking about other people. Someone else having done something actually doesn't mean we can do it - we are all here for different things.

(and I'm not meaning that some people get the BMWs and some people get the Chevys - because our soul work has nothing to do with what we get and everything to do with what we are here to give)

We can be inspired by other people and some people are certainly here to be catalysts for others in exactly that way, but our real job is just to be us, comparing ourselves to other people doesn't work.

And you don't have to resonate with this, but maybe you do, Oprah didn't really start out as a poor girl in Georgia - she is an infinite being (just like the rest of us). We don't have the lifetimes and experiences she has had - we don't have the soul contracts, we aren't Oprah.

(As an armchair astrologer I have an obsession with north and south nodes and Oprah's north node is in Capricorn which means she chose a career focus for this lifetime - this puts Cancer in her south node which is the symbol of the mother - this is her been there, done that energy. She was no doubt a mother in many lifetimes. Choosing not to be one in this lifetime and taking the gifts she has accumulated with this mother energy and applying it to career - focusing on positive Capricorn stuff and releasing negative Cancer stuff allows her to get the gifts of both signs)

If we are trying to be someone else or doing something in the way someone else has done it - we don't create the space for what is authentically ours to emerge.

Imagine before we came to this planet we were shown a chart of the history of planet Earth.

(picture a beautiful vintage scroll being unwound in front of us)

The space on the left showed a world with alot of problems, the kind of problems that seemed insurmountable to the people living in that world. 

Next we were shown the space on the right of the chart - a beautiful, joyful utopia and we were told this space is the planet's future

then an area right in the middle of both these places lit up - a transition period - and we were told

"this, this space, this is where you come in." 

Next up the part II that is really part VI - OK, so I'm not Oprah - where do I come in.


Also Saturn has moved direct so if you know which house this is in your chart or if any area of your life has been at a standstill since February, it will start moving forward now - putting the focus squarely on us!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

happy 4th of july and a new moon on monday

olive is ready to rumble when the fireworks rumble
Happy 4th of July Everyone!

Olive is ready for the noisy fireworks this year with her new thunder shirt - which is supposed to support her in feeling secure. Has anyone tried this?

This is one of Olive's least favorite days of the year

(surpassed only by the days she is forced to eat actual dog food)

maybe this will be her first 4th not spent shivering and salivating under the bed. Fingers crossed.

There is a Cancer New Moon on Monday!

We are overflowing with Cancer energy right now - I hope someone is tracking pregnancy statistics.

Many of us will be 'crabby' - which will probably last about two and a half days unless you have some specific and stressful Cancerian aspects in your chart. It is a good time to not take things personally - since things are fluid and Cancers have that soft belly - making everyone just a little bit more sensitive.

Anyone who has gone into their 'shell' now, should probably be left alone there.

Better to entice them out when the time is right than try to shake them out or start banging on their shell to wake them up. Hard shell coupled with soft belly makes this a perfect time for any chronic back problems to act up or hidden ones to emerge so maybe hit the pool, water is our friend, instead of the gym if possible.

Our intuition will be very strong now. Lots of home and nostalgia stuff will probably be coming up for everyone. Deep inside, Cancer is a very powerful sign, they have the ability to stand up for what they think is right and they have lots of perseverance. They can do great on their own provided they don't let their emotions get the better of them and provided they have the stability they need. This is the kind of the energy we have available right now so ways you can find to work with this in your own life will benefit you.

The new moon is a great time for affirmations (the beginning time when things are still hidden - think seeds in the ground) - some Cancerian (I don't know why spellcheck keeps trying to correct this word - it looks so pretty) affirmations I am setting (to give you an idea of what you do with this energy):

1. I easily attract, recognize and purchase the right happy home for my family (home)
2. I easily handle my finances in ways that create a stable base I can count on (stability)
3. I easily and joyously learn from all the significant events in my life (growth)
4. I am aware of early childhood experiences in a way that frees me from unwholesome patterns (childhood)
5. I easily am vulnerable in ways that evoke positive acceptance and support from others (vulnerability, intimacy)
6. All nonconstructive, overemotional responses are lifted from me (pretty please)
7. I easily find myself defining goals for myself that empower me (decisiveness)
8. I easily take action leading to successfully restoring my gut health (stomach health)
9. I attract right information that leads to the healing of my digestive system (stomach health)
10. I win the lottery (what the hell)

Also a good time for any affirmations having to do with mothers, food, clinginess, breast health - any Cancer stuff.

AFFIRMATION TIPS: get into a happy frame of mind - always make affirmations from a positive place - write your affirmations down by hand, speak them out loud - I always write my affirmations on strips of paper and put them into a bowl of rice so I can mix them around every now and then with my fingers if things get stagnant - then release your attention from them knowing that your intention is known. Know these things are already yours. xo



Monday, July 1, 2013

the groundwork - part IV our emotional (energy in motion) body and practical ways to ground it


mini cork collection
To bottom line it with our emotional groundwork (and bottom line it to me is 1500 words- sorry) - it's about 1. awareness 

(notice when we are feeling an emotion, notice the patterns of behavior we have that get in the way of us just being us),

2. expression - to let go of the behavior, we let out the excess energy holding it in

(writing, talking, yelling, crying, laughing - you can sweat, run and dance this stuff out, too - but if you feel neck tension or problems with anything in that area - jaw, thyroid, etc - getting out the words we are holding onto can be very helpful)

3. forgiveness -  some of this stuff is very old and it takes a radical approach to letting go and forgiving to move on

(There is a method called the Hoffman Process that works with integrating the four parts of ourself - physical, emotional, mental, spiritual - and maybe integrating isn't the right word here, I remember it from many years ago. It is very childhood focused and many of us would say we don't have any issues from childhood affecting our behavior today -

that we don't remember anyway, that we have forgiven, they all did their best, we have moved on - 

and for our mental selves this can be totally true. But for our physical selves which literally formed around this stuff and for our emotional selves which recreates this drama over and over in new ways until it is released - it isn't always so easy to let go. Being an armchair astrologer I see a lot of past life issues in this stuff, but the healing is always done in the present moment and although the mental part of us gets us to the awareness space, it won't get us much further.)

4.  moving on - this is replacing the old behavior with a new behavior

Hubs used to get really crazy in traffic when we were younger. I could never understand the big emotional response he would get when someone followed closer than he would like or pulled in front of him.

(obviously there are times when this could be a big deal, but he would make a way bigger deal out of little - non emergency - happenings of this than was called for)

Being cut off (other spaces where we have been cut off, where someone has shut us up, where someone appears to be have gotten "ahead of us"),

being followed too closely (other spaces in our lives where people are on our back, where people have been nipping on our heels, breathing down our necks, where we have not been fast enough) -

the themes driving activates are pretty universal - we've all been there.

When we feel an emotion that is out of proportion to what is happening we know it is activating something else - something our physical or emotional self is holding.

Now, the idea isn't to stuff it - that's how the emotional moves into the body in the first place - the idea is to release it. Releasing stored emotions is holy work. It's how we move into the connection with others and with our spiritual self.

If we can see the anger we are releasing as a fire spreading through us, burning up years of old undergrowth in the forest, clearing a path for the new or if we can see our tears of sadness as flooding our body the way a flood of water can clear a dirty sink or if we can see our fear as shaking loose dead branches from a tree or spent buds from our flower gardens to allow more room for new growth - if we think of images like these while expelling our emotions it helps, too.

We can also take on other people's energy. Sometimes when hubs would get mad at another driver I could literally feel the tension in my body.

(this is a very, very rare thing these days, the driving stuff I mean, but I still pick up all kinds of things from his emotions and his body - a couple weeks ago he drilled into his left thumb - the next day I started having shooting pains in my left thumb when I reached for things, tendonitis is the diagnosis - and yes, I had been working more, driving a truck with sticky doors and windows and carrying a heavier handbag than usual on my left shoulder - and also, yes, I think his injury allowed an injured space in my body to come up for healing through my left thumb - I didn't actually say this to my doctor though)

The people we live and work with can definitely affect our energy. The real reason couples should never go to bed angry is that we are sleeping with the other person's energy! When their energy is angry, sad or fearful - we will have to be very grounded to stay balanced.

So, to ground ourselves emotionally some good tips would be : be aware of when our reaction doesn't equal the situation, express what we are feeling, forgive ourselves and others (not just mentally) and replace one behavior with another.

Abraham Hicks' work is all about using our emotions to get us into the space where we line up energetically with good stuff - with the stuff we are wanting - if you resonate with that, definitely google it. I've mostly been focusing on negative emotions here but the real key is to practice a higher emotion (joy, peace) and move out of the lower energies . The more often we can operate at a higher level, the more we feel comfortable being there, the more our vibration lines up with positive emotions without us having to work so hard.

Emotional grounding is work though and just like physical and mental work makes those areas stronger emotional work strengthens us, too - all the parts work together.

part IV what does all this gounding mean for our business