THE LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF CHOOSING THE RIGHT FRIENDSHIPS

What if you applied the life changing magic of Marie Kondo’s tidying methods to choosing the right friendships, asks Victoria CoxArtwork: Found on Pinterest

Friendship is a constantly evolving thing. We have our inner circle of friends, our coven of trusted confidants. Then there is a secondary circle, comprising people we are friendly with but who are less likely to know our strange quirks and deepest desires; work colleagues, gym buddies or school friends.

Over time, lesser known friends move into the inner circle, whist others move out of the constellation entirely. The point being that our friendship circle is ever changing, as we mature and grow. It is not designed to be stagnant and fixed.

Some friendships gain strength year after year, reaching surprising levels of intimacy. Some fade away entirely either through neglect, distance or simply growing apart. Then there are others that come to an abrupt end, the flame of friendship extinguishing itself in a dramatic fashion.

I understand all of this. So why do I still find myself trying to maintain friendships that no longer serve me? The answer to this question can often be surmised in one word: obligation. After all, if we’ve spent years building up a friendship, investing our time and our hearts, it seems counter-intuitive to throw it all away.

But what if we could learn to accept that if things aren’t what they once were? Acknowledge that it’s time to move on, with no hard feelings?

After all, I’ve learned to do this is every other area of my life. I’ve walked away from dysfunctional relationships; shitty bosses and unfulfilling jobs without even looking back. Why not apply the same thought process to my friends?

And then I finally read Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and a light-bulb went on in my head.

Kondo, a Japanese organizing expert, touts the virtues of tidying by asking of everything you own: “Does this spark joy?” and if not, thanking it for its service and getting rid of it. But instead of pondering whether inanimate objects in my apartment sparked joy, what if I applied this method to choosing the right friendships?

Admittedly my first thought was to question whether or not I would qualify as a sociopath in comparing my friendships to my heavily stained shower curtain.

But really, what if we were to scroll through every friend listed in our phone contacts and ask ourselves: “Does this person spark joy in my life?” I would hazard a guess there’s probably a good thirty percent of people about whom we would either answer with a long “hmmm…”—or else blurt out a “Hell No!”

And when you really think about it, why would we choose to spend our valuable time with friends that no longer spark joy in our life? It simply doesn’t make any sense. Until you factor in that godawful G word. Guilt.

So powerful is the G-word (evil twin of the that O-word again—obligation) that I recently found myself spending hours with a friend who I didn’t want to hang out with, doing things I had no interest in doing and wishing I was somewhere else. Talk about soul-destroying.

And so turned back to Kondo’s book, seeking more pearls of wisdom to apply to my friendship circle.

She also wisely counsels that nostalgia is not your friend when it comes to your closet—and it turns out it’s not much help when it comes to friends, either.

How many times had I continued to hang out with a friend based solely on memories of what fun we used to have together? As it turns out, way too many. Our conversations always took a detour back down memory lane, peppered with “Remember when’s?” rather than “I’m so excited for…”

Sadly, the past is the past and if the only connection is over what was instead of what will be, then it might be time to reassess what purpose that particular friendship is serving. Is this person invested in your future dreams? Do they relate to the person you are today, or only the person you used to be?

Friendships are unique. Unlike relationships with our family, we choose to enter into them. And unlike a marriage, there’s no piece of paper reminding us we’re obliged to try and make it work. We choose each other because the relationship means something to us, it brings us joy, makes us laugh, brings over pizza when we’re feeling down and out.

Whilst it may be incredibly sad to bid adieu to a friendship that just isn’t working for us in the same way—because we’ve changed, they’ve changed or it simply doesn’t jive the way it used to—it’s also freeing to remember that since we chose to get into it, we can also choose to get out.

HEY GOOD LOOKIN: WHEN’S YOUR VENUS RETURN?

We celebrate our birthday once a year, right? Wrong – you also have a beauty birthday, says Kimberly Peta Dewhirst of Star Sign StyleArtwork: My Dinh via Behance.net

Wait, what does your “beauty birthday” even mean?!

Your traditional birthday is also known as your “Solar Return,” referring to when the sun (solar) returns to the place in the zodiac where is was when you were born. Hence how we coined the phrase: “Many happy returns!”

And so your beauty birthday is when Venus, planet of all things aesthetic, makes the same repeat visit.

Now you might already know your Venus sign, which says lots about the way you shop, flirt, dress up, and conduct friendships – your Venus sign reflects your tastes, and the image of your Venus zodiac sign can provide an aspirational archetype to express yourself through.

For example, if you’re a Pisces with Venus in Aries, imagine a hot, feisty passionate woman as your fashion and beauty muse (i.e. Pisces Rihanna, who has Moon and Venus in Aries). Your Sagittarius woman with Venus in Scorpio meanwhile, will totally gravitate towards a sultry look, a little more mysterious and private than the typical jovial nature of the archer (think of Sagittarius plus Scorp Katie Holmes).

And at some point during every year (for about one or two days), planet Venus is also in the exact position she was when you were born. Now, because of the constant nature of the Sun and its path through the zodiac signs we know that our birthday falls on the same day every year, making it super easy to plan a get-together.

Venus, on the other hand, can go retrograde (as we found out last year!) and so it’s not so straightforward calculating your “beauty birthday” – but it’s definitely worth it.

Why? Because your beauty birthday is when the stars are aligned for you personally when it comes to looking your best, attracting the right relationships, and getting a great deal on any luxury purchases you’re planning to make. Matters around money and your female relations can go well too – essentially, all things Venusian. (Hint: watch out for tomorrow’s special post on the Goddess Venus for more intel!)

So when Venus returns to the position of your “natal Venus” in your chart, this is no time to hide away – instead, come out, get dressed up to the nines, and celebrate your beauty birthday! Make it a time to indulge your senses, surround yourself with friends and notice how you attract likeminded people.

In fact, why not invest in a fabulous piece for the occasion? It’s a great day to get a new haircut, or even make-over your look at your favorite beauty counter.

Knowing the position of your “natal Venus” (where Venus appears in your birth chart), you’ll be aware when the planets are vibrating on her too – for example, you could have a slow moving planet like Pluto or Uranus passing over your personal planet of love, offering their transformative qualities to your relationships by “transit.” Invaluable information to have at your fingertips, I think you’ll agree!

Want to know your beauty birthday? Order a 2016 Astrological Calendar and Kimberly will calculate your beauty birthday for the coming year. Simply include your time, date and place of birth in the order notes (and try and get your time of birth as close as possible).

Kimberly’s brilliant calendar also includes the path of Venus in 2016, as well as the sign the Moon is passing through each day. The below YouTube video tells you more!

https://youtu.be/V03h4iiiUE0