EMPOWERED ACTION IN THE FACE OF TRAUMA

Recent world events have stirred up many emotions. Louise Androlia shares her wisdom on how to use our feelings as a catalyst for empowered action…. Images: Katya Volpato

Recent world events have left many of us feeling traumatized, whether or not we’ve been directly affected by acts of mass violence. These are turbulent times, and having been working on my own path to trauma recovery recently, I feel called to share some thoughts on how to work on being present in reality—but at the same time not becoming immobilized by fear.

At the root of it all, whether facing our own crisis or confronted with mass crisis, the difficult art to master is that it is safe to feel our feelings and continue to connect, especially when we feel as though it would be wiser to shut down.

The strong emotions being stirred up among switched on communities now are actually a valuable call to action. Here are some ways we can use them—while avoiding losing our connection to our highest selves, or getting swept up in the hype.

THE EMOTION: Overwhelmed
THE GUIDANCE: You can’t save the whole world at once
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Focus your attention

Pick something you currently feel very passionate or perhaps frightened about, and then learn and feel your way through it. Endless browsing through social media feeds may make you feel more frustrated because you also end up reading the comments, which can lead to yet more overwhelm. Instead, choose to focus on your chosen subject and learn all you can. Yes this will be hard if you are used to endless scrolling—because as well as learning, you are re-training your mind to be present.

THE EMOTION: Fear
THE GUIDANCE: Catastrophizing only fuels the fears
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Get involved in local politics and community

Looking on Facebook lately, all I’ve seen is people screaming into the Internet abyss about the apocalypse and giving fuel to their own fear and sadness in the process. This helps no one, including you. So look at how you can actually get involved within your community, and if you don’t see anything obvious, start something. It is so easy to just say ‘Fuck the world’. But this is not the time to give up. It’s time to shout louder, IRL, and to remember your voice and your vote DOES count.

THE EMOTION: Anger
THE GUIDANCE: Do not fight fire with fire
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Feel your anger; then channel it into positive action

The elements can always teach us something—for example, anger is a fire element emotion, while compassion and feelings are water element emotions. And you don’t put out a forest fire by setting another part of the forest on fire! Action, and so activism, is a positive channel for anger, and if what’s needed now is more of the water element, become an activist for love, compassion, equality, empathy, and connection.

THE EMOTION: Grief
THE GUIDANCE: It is safe to feel your feelings
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Explore and nurture your shadow side

Man of us are experiencing a huge collective sense of grief, coming in all forms, and for anybody not used to this emotion, this level of pain can seem very frightening to the mind, body and spirit. This is not a time to numb the pain, but instead an opportunity to dive deeper in your own self-inquiry practice. Checking out of reality serves no one, including you. Allow yourself to acknowledge and feel all the fears that have arisen recently and know that it is okay to do so. It can sometimes feel like our own personal crises are not ‘bad’ enough to warrant being the focus of our compassion—but ignoring your own pain will leave you unable to serve. By learning to compassionately address what is currently coming up for you, then you are actually helping to heal the collective and creating connection between yourself, your peers and those strangers you are really feeling for.

THE EMOTION: Helplessness
THE GUIDANCE: Re-connect to yourself
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Take a media break

First of all, avoid watching or reading the mainstream news on a loop. Studies show that when we keep recycling the news over and over we are re-traumatizing constantly. And the more scared we feel, the more helpless we can feel. To be able to start being of service it is essential that we learn to reconnect to our selves, as once back in the present moment we feel more stable to help others. I’ve also lost count of how many people I hear saying they wish they could use social media less, as this can have a similar way of hooking us into judgment and fear, and distancing us from our own truths. The great news is…you can!

Some easy ways to start:

  • Leave your phone at home and go for a walk in your neighborhood.
  • Put your phone on airplane mode at night.
  • Create a ‘no social media after ***pm’ rule.
  • Log out of all your social media channels on your computer and phone. This means that when you go to use them you become aware that you have to login. This allows using them to become intentional.
  • Move your social icons on your phone to a folder and put it on the last page of scrolling. Again this means you CHOOSE when to look rather than it just being there.
  • Do not read the comments. I repeat DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS.

These small actions may feel massively uncomfortable, and if so, good. If you feel anxious without your phone, good. The present moment will continue to feel painful until you learn to be IN it. And look how much time you now have! What would you like to do with it? I suggest reconnecting to PLAY. Connecting with your inner child is another way to ease anxiety and help you reconnect to your natural energy of love and connection. When you refresh your true north, you are more likely to be able to shift your helplessness into self-love.

THE EMOTION: Frustration
THE GUIDANCE: Express yourself in the way that works for you
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Show don’t tell

It can be really hard to express yourself in a way that you feel helps, especially when you’re angry and upset. It’s good to remember that we rarely get our point across when we try and force it upon someone and so preaching doesn’t usually feel good. You will always feel better when you can express yourself articulately and if you find it difficult to feel confidence with expressing yourself with words, remember also that you can always just BE the change. We always positively affect those around us with our behavior. So think: what small steps can you take in your day-to-day life that will provide example of the kind of world you’d like to live in?

*** 

A Final Word on Black Lives Matter. Vs All Lives Matter.

This is an argument that’s been raging, and below are a few of my favorite simple ways to explain the situation to someone who is having trouble understanding. It is part of human nature to make everything about ourselves (regardless of the topic) since in times of trauma our survival instinct kicks in. But it’s important to learn to recognize that not EVERYTHING is about us. The more that we can see ourselves connected to everyone else, the more empathy we can ignite.

  • “When we say ‘Save the Rainforests’, it doesn’t mean that all other forests suck.”
  • “Choosing to go to a rally for Breast Cancer does not mean that Liver Cancer is less important.”
  • “Saving an animal that’s about to go extinct does not mean that other animals aren’t important, it just means that right now, this one needs our help.”
  • “Yes, of course all lives are important, but currently it doesn’t feel like black lives are as important as other lives—and until the world is equal, meaning ALL people receive the same level of kindness and judicial treatment, then we need to speak up.”
  • “Choosing to support black lives does not mean your life is any less significant.”

You get the idea.

YOUNG, SCRAPPY + HUNGRY: THE ASTROLOGY OF THE U.S.A.

Sun in Cancer, Sag rising…and Chiron in Aries suggesting an ongoing healing around violence and anger issues. Amelia Quint breaks down the birth chart of the USA…

Happy Fourth of July everyone?

Given numerous painful events we’ve had to endure as a nation since our country’s last birthday, the mood at this year’s Independence Day festivities may be a little grim. Still, when Numinous founder Ruby invited me to look at the birth chart of the USA, the answer was an automatic yes! I was excited to look to the stars and see what answers they might hold about our national character, as well as America’s future.

The first thing I noticed was the Sun in Cancer with both traditional benefic planets – Venus and Jupiter – close by. That’s an amazing omen. Our founding fathers either had an incredible stroke of luck (or, some conspiracy theorists might say, some occult knowledge) working in their favor when they signed the Declaration of Independence.

Unfortunately, they also had Mercury retrograde in the same sign to contend with…

Cancer also rules heritage, something that’s deeply ingrained in the American way of life. As a nation of immigrants, we’re encouraged to always “remember where you came from,” with utmost respect for the family. And with family comes food, another inherently Cancerian realm – in particular comfort food, something our nation can do a little too well.

Cancer is also associated with hospitality, an American (especially Southern) speciality. With Venus and Jupiter here, it’s how we relate to and show our love to others, and it’s integral to our cultural philosophy. Mercury retrograde here in the USA birth chart means it might not always sound sincere, but when an American hopes you “have a nice day!” – we do generally mean it.

In contrast, Sagittarius rising gives America its “young, scrappy, and hungry” swagger.  Sagittarius ascendants are common among rebels, idealists, and philosophers – all archetypes embodied by the founding fathers. Competition comes naturally to this sign, as it has the United States, for better or for worse, at various periods during our nation’s history. Consider in particular the westward expansion, the early days of NASA, and the Cold War.

Saturn transited America’s ascendant from November to December last year, and will be hovering close by again throughout the summer of 2016. In close proximity to the ascendant, Saturn has changed and will continue to change we way we view ourselves as a nation.

What makes an American? Saturn is a difficult energy to contend with and, sadly, this conversation has taken a negative turn. It’s important to also remember that since Saturn rules karma, whatever we sow now, we will reap. If you are American, I invite you to work tireasly to invite more peace, acceptance, and openness into the American identity.

The United States also has Pluto in Capricorn, and will have a Pluto Return from 2022 to 2024. Because of his slow movement – it takes him 14 years to transit one sign! – it’s impossible for humans to have a Pluto transit at this point in time, but charts for events or countries can experience one. And since Pluto rules the cycle of death and rebirth, when he returns to his placement in the birth chart, an intensely potent transformational energy  is released. 2024 is an election year, so let’s hope the outlook then is much more positive than it is today!

Another important point in America’s chart is Chiron in Aries. Chiron is an asteroid named for the centaur that trained Hercules and other Greco-Roman heroes for their great battles. His presence points out an area that will return again and again for healing: in this case, that’s violence. Gun violence numbers in the United States wildly surpass those of other nations; yet, we can’t seem to let this go.

And so enter Chiron in Aries, making the Second Amendment the eternal dilemma our culture can’t seem to solve. Visionary Uranus transited the country’s Chiron in April and will do so again in December – so perhaps this will help us find a healing solution to the gun control debate.

In September meanwhile, Jupiter and the North Node in alignment with America’s Neptune and Midheaven in Virgo bring humanitarian efforts and the spiritual wellbeing of all people to center stage. If there were ever a time to see big victories for marginalized groups, this would be it!

Shortly thereafter, Jupiter moves into Libra –  creating an exceptionally lucky aspect called a Grand Air Trine, with the country’s Moon in Aquarius and Mars in Gemini. The element of Air rules communication and logic, so this should help everyone keep a clear head and healthy level of detachment throughout the rest of the election cycle.

WHY ARE ALL THE LIGHTWORKERS MOVING TO LA?

Check out all the lightworkers moving to LA! Fern Olivia breaks down why life on the Left Coast is calling…Photography: Nicolas Jandrain

 

So what’s the real reason behind the mass exodus from cities like NYC to LA? You’ve noticed it, right? How the lightworker tribe are all feeling the call?

Well, it’s no coincidence that people are packing up their overpriced apartments, saying farewell to the brutal winters, and moving to the magical City of Angels. In fact, many of the Numinati made the move years ago, and now more of our tribe are arriving in waves.

When I heard the call of my soul to move to Los Angeles, I had no idea that I would be part of a major movement. I was not consciously aware that there was a deep reason for the work I was being called to do here, nor did I understand the energetic force by which it happened at this particular time in space.

It all makes sense to me now. If you, too, have been feeling a voice inside calling you West, what I’ve learned since my move may explain why – and in a radical way.

In April 2015, I was visiting my girlfriends in Malibu and I remember the precise moment, sitting on the beach, my soul clearly demanded: “Come home.” I had never lived in California, nor had I ever heard a voice inside as strong as this.

But I was not afraid. I listened.

The voice continued: “Move to Venice in the Fall.” So specific and commanding, right? I dared not question it, even though I had only been to Venice a few times for Kundalini classes at Ra Ma Institute with Guru Jagat, and for nourishment at Moon Juice and Cafe Gratitude.

But over the past several years, I have recognized my intuitive gifts and learned that in order to stay in alignment, I MUST TRUST this deep knowing.

And something inside me insisted that this was exactly where I needed to be. So I set about transitioning all my yoga classes and clients in New York, seamlessly found a friend to take over my lease, and effortlessly slipped out of my old life to plant myself in Venice Beach – the epicenter of the Now Age. And now that I’m here, I feel grounded and aligned.

So, back to why are we being called to LA, why should we trust the pull, and what’s next for us fearless souls who have listened to our spirit’s deepest longing.

Here are FOUR reasons that may help it all make it crystal clear.

1. We are being called to return to our Aphrodite – our pure, liberated Feminine.

New York City is literally on a grid – when you see the city from the air, the avenues and streets are angular and the buildings are close together. It’s tough to see the wide open sky unless you’re at the top of a skyscraper or in the middle of Central Park. We pound our feet on concrete and have little connection to the bare, soft, fertile earth. For most of the year, our feminine form is bundled in layers, and the sun has only a small window to kiss our bare skin.

Living in any city, we’re disconnected from the Earth, Air, Moon and tides – which in turn influence our moon cycles, our creativity, and manifestation capabilities.

When our creative expression is stifled, we become tight, rigid, stressed, and stagnation takes over our physical bodies. Living this way demands we’re dominated by our masculine energy – and it’s hard to keep up. Our adrenals burn out. We grow tired of being Wonder Woman – one of Dana James’ female archetypes – in the city that never sleeps. Rather, our hearts are longing to dance under the moonlight. We know we will rise in our true power when we feel grounded with the earth under our bare feet.

2. We got chewed up and spat out, and now our souls are strong enough to handle the work ahead.

Our souls brought us to cities like New York to do some major work on our karmic path. Our soul contracts had very specific lessons and experiences to learn in order to do the light work we were born in this incarnation to deliver.

New Yorkers have grit. New Yorkers are tough. We had to be, to get through the brutal winters, hurricanes, floods, terrorism, city noise, and commutes. And our souls had to practice becoming strong enough to do the major work that we are about to do in LA – influencing some of the brightest, most powerful, creative, receptive people in the world to step up to change the future of our planet.

So what is this work? Our world is suffering from the bankruptcy of love – we are living in a time of immense poverty, suffering, terrorism, abuse, and fear. It is our work to bring light to this planet through our creative leadership. We must be strong and clear in our own bodies otherwise, this difficult work can leave us feeling hopeless and depleted.

But first, we need some time to play. To retreat. To rest, rejuvenate, and restore. Once we have brought ourselves back into balance, we will have the clarity and vitality to do some major work as the next generation of visionaries on this planet.

3. We’re feeling the pull of the 33rd parallel (Allow me to explain…)

In heeding the call to LA, lightworkers are being called to congregate around the 33rd parallel – an energy vortex which happens to run through Venice Beach. You may know that in numerology, 33 is considered a Master Number and symbolizes the Christ Consciousness. The 33rd degree is highest publicly known degree for Freemasonry, and some say it signifies illumination and freedom from religious dogma. In Hinduism, Yoga Sutra 3:33 states: “Through keenly developed intuition, everything can be known.” And the Tibetan Book of the Dead speaks of the thirty-three heavens ruled over by Indra, and the thirty-three ruled over by Mara.

Furthermore, the latitude of the 33rd degree is shared with the ancient city of Babylon and by modern day Baghdad. The longest continually inhabited city in the world, Damascus, in Syria, is also on this line. The site of the first atomic bombing during WWII, in Nagasaki, Japan, also resides on the 33 parallel, and coincidently, so does the White Sands Testing Range in New Mexico, where the atom bomb was first tested. This geo-latitudinal line also passes through what is known as the “Bermuda Triangle” in the Atlantic Ocean.

So, clearly, there is something very powerful about the energy vortex around the 33rd parallel! And in essence, the quality of the 33rd parallel is that it shifts our energy more effectively and quickly. But looking at the history, it’s also clear that this has been utilized by some pretty dark forces – and now the lightworkers are moving to readdress the balance.

4. Our soul family is waiting for us.

To do the work we were born to, we need the support of our tribe. I’ve found there’s nothing more influential than a community of brilliant, grounded, strong, connected souls – our “soul clusters” as my dear friend Aimee Follette, chef and founder of Sun in Bloom, so perfectly calls it.

You know that feeling when you meet someone for the first time, but something inside you remembers them, as if you’ve known each other before? That feeling is real. Our souls have contracts with other souls – and we have these soul contracts with all the people we walk with, our parents, friends, business partners, lovers, and children.

The soul contracts of my New York life, including a controlling six-year relationship, showed me the work I needed to do: to heal deep-rooted karmic patterns of insecurity, self-doubt, and the inability to speak my truth. Many of us in New York experienced a similar struggle, freeing ourselves from lineages of insecurity, scarcity mindset, and fear of abandonment.

And having learned the lessons of city life, a tribe of stronger, fierce, liberated souls are reuniting together in Los Angeles.

Not feeling the call to move? That’s okay!

As explained by my teacher Harmonjot Kaur at Ra Ma Institute in Venice, it is important to understand that YOUR soul family will be found wherever you open your soul. “We are moving into a time where we stop looking outside for answers. Moving to LA to find one’s soul family simply because one identifies as a “lightworker” is a recipe for heartbreak I feel. Because wherever one is, that is where the soul family will show itself. And when we make expensive moves looking to satisfy from the outside what can only be satisfied from the inside, we really set ourselves up for great disappointment.”

There’s also a critical need for lightworkers to remain in New York City – since NYC is on an energetic grid that’s very powerful, meaning there’s an opportunity to amplify light work in the city.

And the truth is, we’re all designed to be more energized by different locations, explains Light Maker Cassandra Bodzak. “There are people whose energy field is actually more primed for NYC than LA, or vice versa, or for a different location such as Austin, Miami, or Boulder. You can even get a special astrology chart reading to determine which places on the earth will optimize your energy or deplete you.”

Another disclaimer from Harmonjot: The move to LA alone does not equal automatic self-discovery! “I’m reticent about encouraging people to move to Los Angeles because it’s touted as some kind of promised land. But many people have the illusion that their problems will be solved by coming out here. They likely won’t. Deep spiritual practice is what allows one to find the next step and the next place.”

So, my dears, wherever you feel the call, trust it. Trust your soul. Your soul family. Just as your future self is trusting YOU to heed the call. When you are living in alignment with your soul, you’ll feel home wherever you are. You’ll be in harmony with your body, and from this space of feeling healthy and in the flow, you will be your most creative self, and able to fully show up to do the work you were born to do.