MODERN FAMILY: A HIGH-VIBE HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE

In her holiday survival guide, Erin Telford has some tips for staying zen when you’re home with the fam… Images: Ofir Abe via Behance.net

 

“If you think you’re enlightened, spend a week with your family.” – Ram Dass

Nothing is truer than this statement, since THIS is the real spiritual work. Take it off the mat, take it out of the personal development book, take it off the cushion – family time means time to walk the talk.

If you are mentally steeling yourself for holiday family time this year, know that you are not alone. We always revert to children when we go home, no matter our actual age. And this inner child will always re-experience the same unmet needs for attention, affection, allowing, acceptance or appreciation.

This inner child may even be coming into a family gathering with an expectation of feeling old hurt. This child may unconsciously be watching and waiting for familiar signs that he or she is inadequate, unwanted, or less than.

And if these wounds haven’t been addressed and healed, even if there isn’t an overtly toxic situation to navigate there will always be people present that push these buttons.

The trigger might be a casual remark about your job or relationship status, your parenting style or appearance. The deeper the wound, the more power these off hand comments can have to throw you off your game, creating a spiral of anger and insecurity. Happy holidays!

And we’re talking deep, subconscious stuff, the kind of stuff it’s hard to see coming. One minute you’re “fine,” the next, an insecure little girl who wants to lash out teenage rebel style – or else go hide in her room.

With this in mine, here are a few tips to keep in your back pocket while you navigate…

:: EVERYONE IS FEELING IT ::
And truly doing his or her best (even if it doesn’t look anything like it from where you’re standing).

What if everybody was overtired, over sugared, feeling small, feeling ugly, feeling overweight, feeling anxious, feeling insecure, nursing old wounds, hurt by something that was just said to THEM, grieving, feeling lonely, feeling sick, trying to stay sober.

There are any number of reasons that people don’t act the way we wish they would, especially when our usual routines and coping mechanisms are taken away. They are trying with everything they have just as you are.

:: FORGIVE YOURSELF FIRST ::
If you lose it, if you feel petty, if your buttons get pushed, if you respond exactly the way you didn’t want to, if you fall into old unhealthy patterns of relating, if you get sucked in…you are ALSO doing your best. Here is my prayer for you: A Prayer to Release Your Burdens

I forgive myself.

I will no longer be held hostage in my own mind.

I will no longer replay events and wonder if I could have/should have/would have done more/been more.

I did all I could do.

I gave it everything I had.

I acted with all of the tools that I have and to the best of my abilities.

My intent was always love.

I forgive myself.

Say this in the bathroom when you sneak off to get away. Say it into your pillow at night.

:: WE CAN’T CONTROL HOW WE FEEL BUT WE CAN CHOOSE HOW WE DEAL ::
You are not a victim. You are an adult who has created a cozy little corner of self-love, proud achievements, acceptance for your authentic self, and emotional stability back home. HOLD ONTO THIS VISION.

If we walk into a situation feeling insecure and anxious, we are already poised to get knocked off our center. No wonder, then, that first obnoxious or critical comment already feels like the famous Last Straw.

It’s important to remember that what’s been said is magnified by the open wound we’re already re-experiencing. It’s like the salt jar accidentally fell in. So we can pick up the gauntlet and do battle, we can withdraw, or we can decide to eat/drink our feelings, depending on our personalities.

Or we can pause, we can breathe, we can excuse ourselves, and we can physically shake it off with a jog around the block or a brisk walk. Our call.

:: FOCUS ON GOOD SLEEP, EXERCISE, WHOLE FOODS, MEDITATION, PRAYER :: 
…but since it may not feel that easy to maintain your usual high-vibe routine, you can also ground and own the holiday space with this simple visualization. It will help shift the energy wherever you are to support you and help you feel comfortable:

Imagine a column of golden light in the center of the space you will be in. This column extends from the center of the Earth to the heavens.

Place a golden rose at the top of the column with three words that signal your intention for your experience. These can be words like Stable, Peaceful, Relaxed, Strong, Joyful, Happy.

Imagine writing your name on all of the walls in the space or hanging pictures of you smiling and having fun.

This exercise helps you to set the energy of the space to a vibration that supports your highest good. And I wish you the absolute loveliest holiday season and strength for any challenges that come your way!

BALANCING ACT: GET TO KNOW YOUR LIBRA MOON

Libra season is also the perfect time to work on balancing the people-pleasing traits of a Libra Moon sign, says Ash Baker. Image: Prince Lauder via Behance.net

Hello Libra moons! Yours is the reflecting Moon, the mirror of the heavens. If our Sun sign is what others see in us, our Moon sign is what we feel within ourselves. As such, partnerships are big for the Libra Moon sign – you need to feel seen, heard, and appreciated. You don’t have to be glued to a mate, but having close friends, colleagues and family to bounce ideas, attitudes and emotions off is a necessity.

Represented by the symbol of the scales, this Moon feels a deep need for harmony and balance in all areas of life. You are the peacemaker of the zodiac, and sometimes to a fault, going to great lengths to keep things copacetic at home or work. You are a firm believer in fairness and can genuinely feel like you’ve failed when emotional waters get choppy – even when it’s not your fault!

The Libra Moon can be guilty of going against your authentic needs and desires to make the people around you happy. Libra Moon so dearly wants to be loved and accepted, but it’s of no use if you’re not being authentic. You want others to love you for who you really are, so there can be an internal struggle to keep the peace. Even worse, the people in your life can feel mislead if you’re always being a “yes woman/man.”

So how do you find balance? You focus on YOU. You get honest with yourself about what you want in any given situation and build from there. People who really love and care for you will accept your truth even if it’s not what they want to hear. Your soul will only feel heavy and burdened if you always end up doing, feeling and being what you think others want.

So keep the order, but not at the expense of your soul. Focus on showing others how to treat you, by how you treat yourself. Also, practice the art of saying “no.” It sounds simple but for the Libra Moon it can be torture. It’s worth the effort though. It will show you and others you can create healthy boundaries.

Ruled by Venus, planet of beauty, the Libra Moon also has an eye for the aesthetic. An artistic flair. You will probably find symmetry, composition, and the skilled use of negative space extremely appealing. So make an effort to spend time getting artsy. Painting, photography, or even creating vision boards will fulfil the emotional need for visual harmony.

Since the Moon also rules our home environment, Libra moons need a safe, nurturing space without clutter. And with such a sensitive Moon, you really need a place that’s peaceful. Hectic energy will only drain you.

:: CHILD’S POSE ::
You will know your Libra Moon is off if you find yourself plagues with indecisive thoughts. My suggestion for those moments is to go within with a simple Child’s Pose. Feeling confused and stressed about a situation is usually a signal that you’re not listening to your heart. Get grounded by connecting to the earth. Let go with your breath. Give yourself the time and space to really listen to your inner teacher. Really think about what you want, and make your decisions from that solid, still place inside.

:: GET GROUNDED ::
Libra is an air sign so this also an intellectual Moon. Your thoughts and feelings can move like the wind, and you can get quite ahead of yourself! When things get a little too breezy it’s a sign to get grounded. Create a habit that you do everyday – maybe it’s warm lemon water in the morning, or writing in your journal at night. Just pick something simple and do it without fail. Keeping a routine will help calm some of the nervous energy that comes with being an air Moon sign.

In short, take time to honor yourself and the rest will fall into place!

VENUS IS HER NAME: A YOGA SEQUENCE FOR LIBRA

With a Mercury retro period and two eclipses to navigate in the coming weeks, is the Cosmic joke on us? Ash Baker shares a grounding and balancing yoga sequence for Libra, to foster harmony and equanimity in the chaos. Main image: Brittany Alcorn.

LIBRA
September 23rd to October 22nd

Ruler: Venus
Element: Air
Modality: Cardinal
Anatomy: Kidneys and lower back

7th sign of the Zodiac

Venus, cosmic queen of love and the ruler of Libra will be energetically present throughout the heavens this month. This is a time to focus on cultivating harmony, balance and peace within your life. So much change is coming upon us. Mercury will retrograde from October 4th – 25th, during which time we’ll also experience a lunar eclipse on October 8th and a solar eclipse on October 23rd.

Now people tend to run for the hills when Mercury retrogrades, but personally I prefer to use this time to pause and deeply reflect on all the changes that may be occurring within you and around you. Those changes may come apparent as the eclipses also stop by to say hello.

Eclipses are known for removing something in your life, may it be a fear producing attitude, a toxic relationship, or whatever is blocking you from getting your dream job. Thankfully, all this cosmic drama is going down in the month of love and harmony. Use the Libran energy to find balance in the crazy, cultivating gratitude for what is, and peace with what isn’t.

The poses below have been chosen to help you find your inner calm and be your very own Venus.

Goddess Pose :: Utkata Konasana
Come into Tadasana, standing Mountain Pose, at the front of your mat. Step the right foot back as if you were about to do a lunge. Instead, turn your whole body to the right, making sure your torso is in the center, right above the pelvis.

Step both feet to a 45-degree angle, with the toes out and the heels in. Take a deep inhale and as you exhale bend your knees directly over your heels. Make sure your hips are in line with your knees. Bring your hands in front of your heart in prayer.

Allow yourself to feel the heat being created from the strength in your legs, and with each inhale imagine scooping up that fierceness from below and exhaling it into your full, gorgeous heart. Hold for up to one minute.

Warrior Two :: Virabhadrasana Two
Come back to Tadasana. Step the right foot back three-four feet. Turn your right foot to a slight angle with the toes out and the heel in. The left foot should be pointed forward.

Inhale and reach the arms up and out in line with your shoulders like wings. Your torso should be facing the right side, arms extended above your legs. Simultaneously exhale, and begin to bend the front knee so it lines up with the ankle. If you’re a beginner, lessen the bend in the knee but never take it further than your ankle.

Look directly along the length of your left arm, chin aligned with your left shoulder. If you gaze down, you should see your 1st/2nd toes. Make sure your torso is directly above your pelvis.

Reach your arms out wider and feel them lengthening. Press your feet down into the ground, gathering energy back into the body. Hold for 30 seconds, up to 1 minute. Come back to Tadasana and switch sides.

Cat / Cow Pose :: Marjaryasana & Bitilasana
Come to hands and knees. Make sure your hips are right over your knees and your elbows are directly above your wrists. Keep a slight bend at the elbows.

As you inhale, arch your spine and pull your chest through your shoulders creating an opening in your collarbones. The chest and the sitting bones reach upward.

Exhaling begin to tuck your tailbone, press the hands downward into the floor and round your spine. Feel your shoulder blades spread wide across the back. Repeat for five rounds.

Scales of Peace Meditation
Find a comfortable seat. Prop yourself up on a blanket so the hips are higher than the knees, creating a slight pelvic tilt. Take a moment to notice your natural breath, but don’t change it. Just soften into your energy.

After a couple of minutes start to deepen your breath by following a count of five seconds for the inhale and five seconds for the exhale. Really focus on expanding your belly on the inhale, and then drawing the belly button inward towards the spine on the exhale. Try five rounds of this deeper breath.

Now bring your hands to your heart and think of something in your life where you want to create balance. Hold that in your heart space for a moment. Then picture what it would look like if it were in balance. How would that feel? Keep breathing with that feeling.

Stay here for as long as you need and allow yourself to arrive at answers that may assist you in creating actual balance in your chosen issue. Try doing some journaling afterwards to create action-worthy ideas to help bring equanimity into your life.

Monthly Mantra: “I am the ruler of my own harmony.”