The 2018 Sagittarius Full Moon is a powerful invitation to stand in truth, while remaining open to challenge our patterns. Define your mission statement and celebrate a brand new point of view, says Sandy Sitron …
Full Moon :: May 29 2018 :: 10:20 am EDT :: 8 degrees Sagittarius
The archer locks in on the target. The alignment of her body determines the trajectory of the arrow. Note—there must be alignment and there must be a target.
A Full Moon pulls back the bowstring into a state of tension just before the release of the arrow. There is a heightened build-up of energy.
This 2018 Sagittarius Full Moon is opposite the Gemini Sun. With Gemini we weave together our thoughts and perceptions. And with Sagittarius, we form the beliefs that are the result of these repeated thoughts and perceptions. One cannot exist without the other.
Remember the archer bringing her body into alignment? This is the Gemini side of things. This is where you examine the mental patterns that make up the foundation of your beliefs.
The target is where Sagittarius comes in. The goal. The philosophical mark you are shooting for. Your higher thought process. Your mission statement. Your truth. And the freedom to aim for that truth.
The purpose of the 2018 Sagittarius Full Moon is to help you understand not only how to drive your energy forward, but where to direct it. What is your truth? What do you believe? What makes you feel passion and purpose?
If these questions feel overwhelming for you, now is your time to find a new approach. The key to your new approach is to examine your form and bow, aka your self-worth. How’s your posture? Is there a flaw in the bow? Do you believe that you are enough? Do you know that you are already whole?
The message is to find a way to become more grounded and less self-critical. To become active and not get stalled in self-flagellating
If you feel overwhelmed, define a small and simple task you can dedicate yourself to. If you feel angry, assert a boundary. If you are frustrated, talk about it. Talk with someone who can hear you and reflect back how you are feeling without trying to fix anything. If you feel stuck, find something to celebrate.
Change the pattern.
At this 2018 Sagittarius Full Moon, there might be something that you need to fight for. With contacts between this Moon, Mars, and Saturn, asserting yourself and firming your foundation are key. Yet a serene grand trine between Venus, Neptune, and Jupiter, is also a soothing balm if you find yourself needing to be right at all costs.
Imagine the Sag Full Moon as a dial. On one side of the dial are the words “I Need to Be Right.” On the other side is “My Truth, Our Truth.” Tune the dial. Notice when you are more on the belligerent side of things—“I need to be right.” Dial yourself over to the side of things where your truth exists alongside the truths of other people—unique, necessary, powerful, but not zealous.
As you lock into the higher vibration of the dial, this receptive and expansive frequency will help you transcend fear …
Full Moon semi-sextile Saturn First you throw the stones, then you build a tiny castle.
You could use this energy to throw stones at yourself or others. You could look for all of the things that are “wrong.” Or you could get super honest with yourself and determine where you need to show up. We can all take more responsibility without compromising our integrity. This aspect reminds you to do the work.
Full Moon sextile Mars A bugle plays in a marching band.
Action will remind you that there is hope. Take action first. It will help you sift through the thoughts. You can be your own bugle player, encouraging yourself to wake up and get in the game. Give yourself a call to action. We can’t deny that there is fight in this Full Moon.
The below conversation starters for each sign are designed to help you dive deeper into the energy of the Sagittarius Full Moon. Gather with a trusted friend or friends, and each take turns using the sentences below to begin to share an experience that is currently front and center for you. Allow each person to speak without interruption, questioning the speaker further after each share to get deeper into the heart of the matter.
For the most accurate insight, find the sentence for the House that holds 8 degrees Sagittarius in each of your birth charts. Don’t have that info? Do you chart for free HERE.
Aries // 9th house “The teaching that’s had the most impact on my worldview lately is …”
Taurus // 8th house “I close myself off to intimacy by …”
Gemini // 7th house “The relationship that currently feels the most supportive to me is …”
Cancer // 6th house “I feel healthiest in my mind and body when I …”
Leo // 5th house “The creative project I am ready to begin birthing is …”
Virgo // 4th house “I am learning to take better care of myself by …”
Libra // 3th house “The most interesting thing I read about this week was …”
Scorpio // 2nd house “Beyond financial rewards, I feel most valued in the world when I …”
Sagittarius // 1st house “I feel most confident expressing myself when I …”
Capricorn // 12th house “The part of my life I am most ready to focus on healing is …”
Aquarius // 11th house “My vision for myself five years from now is …”
Pisces // 10th house “The career goal I am setting for myself is …”
Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandy here. And check out our Numiversity digital course MERCURY: YOUR COSMIC VOICE COACH with a special Mercury guided hypnosis from Sandy, plus symbols and activations for each Mercury sign.
The “special bond” we have with our moms can also feel like the most challenging relationship of our lives. Here six Moon Club members share what’s been the most healing thing for them and their moms …
The last time I went home to England to visit my mom, things were tense. She was upset that work commitments meant I was unable to visit at the same time as my brother and his baby boy. With me in the US and him in Berlin, she loves nothing better than having us all together like a normal happy family.
But our family has never been “normal” (whatever that means). I’m not going to write all the details here, but tragic circumstances, as well as emotional and geographical distance, mean that and my mom, and my brother, and I are kind of it.
Now I have a little nephew, our unit has grown by one, and time together is even more precious. So, I get why she was upset. Upset which spilled over to me, and which found us, barefoot and in our bathrobes, engaged in a 2.5-hour deep-dive in her kitchen the second morning of my visit.
We hadn’t even had our morning tea. But when she asked me, “are you okay?”, I decided not to reply with the grumpy shrug or tight-lipped smile that I have used throughout my life to avoid getting into a fight. I decided to tell her the truth of exactly what I was feeling. Which was pretty pissed that I was getting all the blame for apparently messing up our family time.
This opening led us on a journey of tears and rage and resentment, and into the depths of our family history. I learned things about my mom, and her mom, and the lineage of women in my family that I had never known. Mental illness, lost children, abandonment. I was also able to see how different we are, my mom and me, and how we were playing out old, outworn family patterns without even realizing it.
I said my piece and she said hers. All for it. And it hurt so much. But, finally, it was the TRUTH. We stood facing each other afterwards, two human women, like we were seeing each other fully for the first time. Ragged and scooped-out, but also complete and whole. Healed.
In astrology, our mother is represented by the Moon. Also showing how we mother others, the Moon is a reminder that our feeling self is sort of like the mother of us—sometimes fierce and frightening, but always guiding us towards what’s best for us. Not that it always feels that way.
In honor of Mother’s Day, and the conflicted feelings we often have about this most intimate of relationships, six Moon Club members share what has been the most healing thing for their relationships with their moms. PLUS we’re offering 50% off annual memberships through midnight May 13th 2018. Click HERE for more.
// Jerico Mandybur, Editorial Director, Girlboss.com and presenter,the Self Service podcast I think Gloria Steinem said, “the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” For my mum and I, the truth first almost broke her. It was only when I was in my early twenties and suffering severe depression that one truth from my childhood emerged; one of sexual abuse, neglect and violence. It hit her hard—the complicity, guilt, my anger, all of it. Everything was instantly cast in a new light. But standing in the light of the truth intrinsically changed us. Our mistakes were laid bare and there was nothing left to do but forgive ourselves and start over. We’ve been walking a healing path ever since. The healing never really ends, but that’s not the point. It’s imperfect, like all of us.
// Chantelle Brown, councillor and meditation coach, Chantelleerica.com The most healing thing for me and my mom has been our ability to reconcile past hurts. About a year ago, I was visiting her back home, sitting in the kitchen, and talking about the work we were doing with Moon Club. At the time, I was working to deconstruct all the systems I had put in place to tuck away my inner most feelings. Growing up, I always had the impression that I felt things too deeply. I would weep at Feed the Children commercials and ask my mom what we were going to do to solve the hunger crisis in Africa. She always seemed baffled! Eventually I learned how to suppress these intense emotions, but now I wanted to work on my ability to live comfortably within my own skin as a woman.
As I spoke about how empowering it felt to begin to accept myself fully, my mother told me that she never found anything wrong with the feelings I expressed as a child. She went on to open up about the sorrow in her own life. How, experiencing the loss of her grandmother meant she encountered tremendous grief at a young age, going on to conditioned herself to be emotionally closed off. Bearing witness to the story her early life was the biggest gift. It has transformed our ability to be vulnerable with each other. Now I’m happy knowing I’m not the only person in my family who feels things deeply. In fact, I can proudly say “I get it from my mama!”
// Ayesha Ophelia, Founder, The Girlfriend Manifesto Laughter. Just like many mothers and daughters, we could annoy each other with our silence. But when we found something funny the roar of our laughter connected us so deeply. Although my mom passed away three years ago, I can still feel her presence the strongest when I cackle about something inappropriate. We healed through our laughter. We remain in each other’s consciousness through laughter to this day. ***Ayesha’s Symposium of Wild Hearts is launching June 1. Click HERE to learn more!
// Marine Sélénée, Family Constellations therapist Writing my book The Movement. I had never found the strength and courage to tell my mom about the sexual abuse that happened in London when I was 13. I guess I wanted to protect her. My mother is a strong woman, but often doesn’t know what to do with her emotions. Her way of dealing with difficult situations was either to lock herself in a room or to go silent. It drove me crazy! As a result, I’ve always held back from telling her the truth about my life.
I think this helped me to become strong, to learn to count on myself. But, that’s another topic! Writing and self-publishing my book allowed me to get closure with this trauma. I knew she was going to read it but having worked on my own healing for ten years, I also knew that no matter how she reacted, I would be able to handle it. Finally, my mother knew what happened and I felt safe to share it with her. I was her daughter again.
// Gabriela Herstik, author, Craft: How to Be A Modern Witch “Taking our own time and growing and finding space within ourselves has allowed us to communicate with honesty and compassion, out of a place of stillness and not reaction. Writing my book about witchcraft has also been really healing for us because she’s been able to learn and understand my spiritual practice and how it’s such an important part of my life. Not only have her misconceptions about the craft cleared up, but she’s been more understanding of my journey, and adopted some of my practices into her own life. The internal work we’ve both been doing has let us get closer to one another and allowed our relationship to deepen. We’ve always been close and now it’s at another level and I’m so thankful for it.
// Sabrina Crockett, Queen of Operations, Moon Club My momma and I have grown together, held each other up when we both needed it, leaned on each other in light and dark times. Like any relationship though, it has not always been EASY—oh no! I did not grow up in the healthiest of households, and I felt myself becoming resentful and angry as I moved into early adulthood. I could have kept walking down that path, blaming my mother for everything. For my childhood circumstances, for passing on generations of trauma. I could have chosen to see what was lacking, instead of all the love that was also there.
But I didn’t want to! So I picked up a copy of Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life and started on my own path of healing, forgiveness and love. It has been a journey! There have been tears, purging, hugs, laughter, happiness and more with my momma. Whenever I feel feelings of anything but pure love bubbling up, I now remind myself “she did the best she could with what she was given.” And WOW what a game changer. Feel free to use this over and over as I do to remind yourself that we are ALL doing our best.
Check out our Moon Club community HERE and get 50% off all annual memberships through midnight May 13th 2018 HERE.
#throatchakraproblems making it hard to share your truths? Here’s why Story Medicine is a way for us all to feel seen …
When I first started regularly attending healing circles, I would always be holding my breath until after the “sharing” part. The part where, once everyone is seated and before you get into whatever teaching is about to happen, you’re invited to share with the group what brought you to the workshop, or some other detail from your life / healing journey.
Well, here’s an impression of me waiting for my turn—*sweaty palms, heart-racing, trying-to-work-out-what-I’m-going-to-say, if-I-can-get-it-out-past-the-lump-in-my-throat.* Sometimes, I would even fid myself choking back tears as I voiced whatever my “thing” was.
I know I am not alone with my #throatchakraproblems. When the importance of speaking up is not something you’ve ever been taught, if you haven’t been listened to when you do, or if you (or you mom or Grandma, for that matter) have ever experienced a period in your life where it hasn’t felt safe to use your voice, then there could be a serious blockage.
One that must be dissolved with love, become tears, before you can speak confidently from your heart again.
Which is what was actually happening in all those awkward moments. Why else would it feel so frightening to share my stories with these lovely humans, who had also just shared their stories with me? Each time I spoke, no matter how painful, I was chipping away at a lifetime (several lifetimes, actually) of the internalized belief that my voice, my story, did not count.
But the truth is, all our stories matter. They matter to us, because without the experiences we have lived we would not even be “us.” And they matter to others, because other people’s stories are how we fill in the gaps. Are a mirror in which to witness our reactions and judgements, and to become aware of our own blind spots.
And because of what I’ve learned about myself and others, about human nature, in those uncomfortable sharing circles, they’ve become my favorite thing. To the point I now co-lead workshops with Alexandra Roxo where the sharing part IS the workshop—where the stories are the medicine.
Our next Story Medicine circle will be in NYC on March 19. You can check out the details HERE.
Read on for five more reasons why we all need story medicine …
1 // All our stories need to be seen. We live in a world where certain people’s stories are deemed more important than others. Where some voices are louder, while others go unheard. But this does not create a full picture of our experience as one human family. Sharing our stories out loud, having our perspective, our suffering, our joy, be seen and heard by others, goes some way towards redressing the balance.
2 // Stories help us become whole. But not the social media kind of stories. We’ve learned that it’s good to be “vulnerable” and “real” online-but when you don’t know who’s listening and whether they are truly holding space for our highest good, it’s actually not 100 percent safe. As Brené Brown reminds us: “Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: ‘Who has earned the right to hear my story?'” We know this instinctively, and so we edit and hold back. At our ritualized Story Medicine circles, Alexandra and I create a conscious container for us to see and be seen in our wholeness. We banish judgment, and place the emphasis on deep, empathetic listening. This is where the medicine lives.
3 // Stories take away shame. It’s the stories we think make us “weird” that it feels least safe to share. In her work, Brené Brown teaches that this is because we’re terrified of being perceived as “other,” for fear of being cast out of our social groups. And yet when we practice Story Medicine, we begin to understand that nobody is weird, or other-because everybody is. We begin to understand that it’s our quirks and differences that make our human jigsaw puzzle so multi-faceted and beautiful.
4 // Stories help us heal ourselves. We all love the way movies paint a picture in our minds, transporting us to whole new worlds. But this isn’t just “escapism.” I recently learned from hypnotherapist Shauna Cummins that watching a movie puts our brain into the same trance state that shamans use. In this state, our “imagination” helps us access our own healing powers, in the form of messages from our subconscious. When we practice deep listening, allowing ourselves to sink deeply into the colors, textures, and emotion of other people’s stories, we go to the place in ourselves where self-healing happens.
5 // Our stories are our art. How we see the world is utterly unique to us. And like all the most moving works of art, Story Medicine allows us to see the world through the eyes of others. Broadens our perspective and helps us see into the shadows. But making art isn’t just for painters, and musicians! When we paint a picture with our words, our stories offer those listening a window in to our world, as we get to process the path we have walked and make our life into our art.
Story Medicine is also the heart of mine and Alexandra’s teachings in Moon Club, and our Moon Ambassadors regularly host FREE Story Medicine meet-ups for members and their guests all over the world. Click HERE for more info and to join our growing tribe.
As we prep for the Spring Equinox’s explosive fire, the Sagittarius Waning Quarter Moon wants us to sit with over-the-top emotions, and let the flames of feeling lead to powerful change, says Jennifer Racioppi …
Waning Quarter Moon // March 9 2018 // 6:18am EST // 18 degrees Sagittarius
As the Moon wanes back to new, we find ourselves at the halfway point between the most recent Full Moon in mutable Virgo and the upcoming New Moon in mutable Pisces.
Mutable signs correlate with a seasonal shift; they help us transition from stable and steady, fixed influences, into new beginnings. So as we embrace the Waning Quarter Moon in mutable fire sign Sagittarius—and with less than two weeks before the upcoming Equinox—lean into the winds of transformation!
Let the power of fire purify your soul. Let go of what you don’t need and burn, baby, burn.
// The Cycle // The current Waning Quarter Moon harkens all the way back to December 11, 2015. This late 2015 Sagittarius New Moon seeded events coming to fruition now. What’s culminating in your life now based on intentions set or decisions made then?
Beyond the lunar cycle, Mercury and Jupiter’s retrograde cycles are at play right now too. On March 8, Jupiter, the planet of good luck and good fortune, begins his retrograde journey in Scorpio until July 10. Jupiter retrograde in Scorpio will expose lies, and superficial tendencies that serve ego at the expense of soul.
Mercury, also in his retrograde shadow at this time, brings things to light that will require work and reevaluation during his upcoming retrograde journey in Aries from March 22—April 15. With Mercury soon to station retrograde, use this Waning Quarter Moon to really get clear on what you need to let go of!
// The Transits // As Mars in Sagittarius squares Chiron in Pisces, the masculinequalities of action come up against the influence of allowing. This may present as a healing crisis through which a wound becomes a teacher.
Yet with Mars in an angle of tremendous support to Uranus, breakthroughs abounds. Expect healing to redirect your path. And with Pluto sextile the Sun and Jupiter, this Sagittarius Waning Quarter Moon suggests that you can discern fact from fiction. Hear. Listen. Absorb. Integrate. And most importantly, trust yourself.
// The Square// With the Moon traveling through go-big-or-go-home Sagittarius squaring the Sun in soft, sensitive Pisces, this Moon might come with over-the-top emotions.
While the Sun in dreamy Pisces might shy away from anything aggressive or assertive, the Sagittarius Moon is bold and blunt. This Waning Quarter Moon asks you to do two things: sit with uncomfortable emotions and then find an outlet for excess energy.
There’s power in those emotions. Letting energy move through you brings the magic you need.
// The Opportunity // As we approach the upcoming Equinox and first Mercury retrograde journey of 2018, this Sagittarius Waning Quarter Moon is a preparatory crossroads. Take in where you are. Stay conscious of what’s surfacing now, as it will likely play into the emerging Mercury retrograde curriculum.
Learning how to sit with emotions (Pisces) and simultaneously move through them (Sagittarius) will prep you for these cosmic transitions. Magic becomes possible as you treat this Quarter Moon crossing with the respect of a shamanic initiation.
Discern lies and shadow, and move through the illusions that limit your potential. You’ll emerge with clarity and readiness for the changes ahead.
For more Moon wisdom or to book a coaching session with Jennifer visit Jenniferracioppi.com. And to learn more about how to work with each Moon phase, check out Moon Club, our community of lunar-loving cosmic change makers!
Amidst all the external noise, how can you tell what’s coming from the “real” you? Samantha Moyo reveals how to hear the voice of your soul and open a direct channel to the messages that count …
“You are gold, GOLD! Always believe in your Soul. You’ve got the power to know…” – Wise words from a 1970s Pop Guru.
Want more soulgasms? Connecting with our soul means more confidence, clarity, intimacy, sensuality, creativity, sexual empowerment, passion, heartgasms, tribegasms, naturegasms and if you’re lucky, multiple-orgasm orgasms! Want more of that? Of course you do.
I’ve included a ritual below to help you call the voice of your Soul back in, plus all the ways I know when it’s my Soul speaking to me—and my hope is that you reach the end of this article with the realization that you don’t actually need me to tell you jack shit, since your Soul has all the answers you could ever need …
But first, I am because we are My last name, Moyo, means Heart/Soul in a few different African languages. I grew up in Zimbabwe where life was a combination of breath-taking adventures, community celebrations and sunsets … and moments of what felt like hell. Poverty, Mugabe’s dictatorship, inflation, family drama, fuel shortages and AIDS spreading through families like wildfire.
In a climate like this, you learn very quickly about the importance of human spirit; rituals, tradition and ceremony that connect you to spirit are introduced to a child from day one. And with this comes an understanding of the word Soul, as well as the Ubuntu philosophy, which says: “I am because we are.”
Concepts of love, oneness, tribe, and generosity of spirit are infused in the blueprint of my people, to the point these are not even topics of conversation. When things simply are, they go unspoken. Like the sacred love you have for a beloved after 30 years of marriage.
The unspoken, hidden truth Some of my favorite childhood experiences were the times I’d spend with Grandpa in the garden. Hanging out with him meant sitting still, in silence, and staring at the plants and flowers. He’d sit there for hours and I’d challenge myself to sit with him for as long as possible. Little did I realize that Grandpa was teaching me to appreciate silence, nature, and the art of listening within. When we weren’t silent, he taught me African Proverbs.
In hindsight, all this time with Grandpa was teaching me to tune into my inner wisdom and read between the lines.
I remember from a young age understanding that we can see more than what others may see and we can see more than we share. That there seem to be unspoken truths to life that we all kept hidden away. Like the way my Soul could tell when an adult was lying about something to appease me, or knew that trying dangerous tricks on my bike and playing in the rain could get me ill (but still couldn’t stop me trying!)
The voice of my Soul in childhood was waaaaay less conservative than now. If my childish Soul could have her way, I’d escape the office daily to climb London’s scaffolding sites just for the fun for it!
A ritual to reclaim your soul Before learning how to know when our Soul is speaking to us, there’s some prep we’ve all gotta do, which is to reclaim our connection with Soul and learn how to tune in easily!
(*And by the way, I still lose touch with my Soul daily—like when I find myself practicing mindlessness in the form of social media scrolling, grabbing a sandwich with ingredients I “shouldn’t” be eating, or daydreaming about having a sacred sexual awakening with Cara Delevingne and Danai Gurira).
Here’s how to start:
1// Place thy ass on the floor / a chair
2// Smile and feel into the heart. If this feels weird, just think of a heart-warming experience you’ve had
3// Use “boyband-reaching-up hand gestures” to bring your soul into your heart (repeat x 8)
4// Close your eyes and sit in silence for ***as long as it takes*** with your attention on your heart space. (“You can’t hurry love, no you just have to wait!” said another pop guru).
5// Only open your eyes when you have felt your essence, your soul, your spirit, your passion, your glow, your fire, any hint of aliveness that feels greater than the incessant chatter of the mind. This feeling might resemble a moment of excitement, intrigue, elation, or joyful curiosity.
6// Take MORE time if it’s required. Kindness, compassion, and gentleness, are the way to this connection
**Bonus step: Book an appointment with your “Soul Doctor” Another way of reclaiming your soul connection is to prescribe yourself some Soul Medicine—meaning anything you can keep in your metaphorical tool kit for getting into your Soul space. Examples might be music, smelling essential oils, crystal bathing, nature walks, yoga, meditation, dancing, stroking your face. Anything that triggers the soft, raw, authentic You within you. Yes, you’ve got this! No health insurance required.
But how do you know if it’s your Soul speaking to you? We are all receiving internal messages and ideas all of the time, and it’s super important to distinguish what is Soul, what is ego, what is influence from the external world, and what is just plain old crap.
For example, feeling horny one night I texted my ex because I thought my Soul was telling me we needed to have break-up sex! Errr, yeah, this was not the Soul, it was pure horniness / ego.
The reason I could tell is because my ex laughed at me and had not had the same message from her Soul! What I was experiencing was loneliness and some vulnerability, and framing this as my Soul speaking to me gave me a romantic way out. #soulnotsoul
Here’s how to know it really IS the voice of your Soul …
1// There are no maybes.Ask yourself three times if it is your Soul. Close your eyes, place your hand on your heart and ask, “is this my Soul?” Then pause for an answer and repeat three times. The “yes” has to be clear and be a full body “yes.” A hint of doubt is “no.” “Maybe” is also “no.”
2// Messages from the Soul are loud and clear. When they are ignored they keep coming back to you. So that thing that won’t go away—yep, it’s your Soul calling.
In August I was meant to go to Burning Man to host a gig with Carl Cox and then spend a weekend at a gathering at Harvard Divinity School. Two very important things for my work life. Then a message came through to cancel both trips. I tried to ignore the message but it kept coming back to me. My body was experiencing the message in every cell and it was clear I had to cancel the US trip. Cancelling was the best thing I did in 2017, as I ended up going on an unforgettable trip through Africa. My Soul fucking knew!
3// Your Soul is in it for the long-haul. Your Soul is non-biased and gives messages for your long-term wellbeing, not necessarily short-term. The messages can be obscured and may not seem urgent, but listening will help you make choices in the present that will benefit you further along in your Soul journey. Your Soul is a Compass that is Connected with the frequency of everything else in existence. It therefore has the coordination/timing of when you are meant to do certain things—exactly in alignment with the rest of world, for everyone’s greatest good.
4// It’s not all “me, me, me!” Your Soul is pure love so sometimes a message has other people or the planet’s requirements to share with you. Hence soul-synched people are always sharing, spreading and uplifting others. You’ll know you’re listening when you find yourself acting this way too! When we’re working from a Soul space we tend to be driven by purpose, and pleasure comes from the joy of contributing positively to our world. Yes, you become a bit of an urban-hippy and no matter how much you hide it, you may find yourself being super compassionate, giving, loving, in flow, while coming up with ways to help the homeless.
5// You’re in an “unfuckwithable” space.When your Soul is speaking you are in an empowered, clear, confident, “unfuckwithable” space. This means your Soul may be telling you to say “no” more often, cut out the haters, and protect yourself. Your Soul is wild and strong and has no filter. Your Soul is loyal, direct, and loving, but doesn’t take your shit.
The relationship with your Soul will be the one that brings all your dreams to life. Listen even when it’s hard. Listen even when it’s not what your want to hear. Listen even when it’s takes you out of your comfort zone. Then pass the learned wisdom onto the next person.
Nothing I have said is rocket science, and you will develop your own ways of knowing when your Soul is speaking to you. This is the only true knowing or knowledge there is to attain in life. And you can’t google that shit!
**Want to jumpstart your Soul connection? Dive into Samantha’s digital course for Community Building and Entrepreneurship HERE.
Samantha Moyo is a wellness inventor, speaker, and mentor best known for founding Morning Gloryville, the sober dance experience that changed the face of clubbing in the UK. With the ability to help anyone connect with their purpose, Sam works as a wellness consultant for those looking for playfulness, wisdom, strategy, or new networks. Follow her on Instagram and connect with her at [email protected]
When we know how to listen, the Universe has a message just for us. We enlisted the help of mysti-cool, eco-conscious jewelry line Alex + Ani to help us tune into the magic symbols sending us cosmic downloads right now …
“Let go of coincidences and believe that the Universe is constantly trying to communicate with you”—Alex + Ani founder, Carolyn Rafaelian
The Universe speaks to us through signs + symbols. It could be a repeating number, a chance encounter, or seeing the same piece of graffiti everywhere you go. The first step to hearing the message, is to believe that this is true …
Having based her (pretty freaking incredible) career creating powerful magic symbols infused with pure intent, Alex + Ani founder Carolyn Rafaelian’s vision is to help her customers tap into this cosmic conversation.
“If you quiet your mind and look around you,” says a spokesperson for the design team, “you’ll notice the signs. Sit with them. Let them resonate. Use them to course correct, or to be assured in your direction.”
And to ensure accuracy, the company even employs a “Chief Symbologist” to research each new or redesigned symbol used in the collections. This can be a lengthy process—for example, the team’s new Buddha symbol was sent to Buddhist monks across the globe to verify the correct alignment.
So what message does the Universe have for you RIGHT NOW? Whether you’re drawn to the physical form of any of the symbols below, or by its intent, check out the descriptions of 13 magic symbols from let Alex + Ani’s navigational “meaning” wall help you work out the symbol that’s speaking your Cosmic language …
*Want to explore further? Use this personal blueprint tool, which uses astrology, numerology, and your intentions to curate a personalized jewel prescription just for you!
TRUTH The Feather: Ancient Egyptians believed a pure heart weighed as light as a feather. This symbol asks you to keep your heart light and pure, and let truth be your guide. Be honest with yourself, is there somewhere in your life where you haven’t been one hundred per cent upfront? Now’s the time to come clean.
INTUITION Crescent Moon:Ruler of watery cycles of change and transformation, this bright celestial body reminds us that light will always come, even when we feel like we’re totally in the dark. As we teach in Moon Club, life is about cycles, and the Moon symbol is asking you to trust that when you follow your intuition, you’ll be led into the next phase of your personal evolution. What is your gut guiding you to move towards in your life right now?
PRIMAL POWER Wild Heart:Tap into animalistic intuition and fearlessness with this symbol for antimony, a silver crystalline element used in alchemy, emblazoned on a panther’s forehead. Where in your life does fear keep you small? What would it mean to take up some delicious space in your life and seize your power?
DIRECTION Compass:North represents home and wisdom. South embodies passion and creation. East signifies new beginnings and inspiration. West symbolizes introspection and reflection. This symbol asks that you clarify what you’re seeking so the path becomes clear. Are your actions in alignment with what lives in your heart?What is your soul mission and how are you taking steps each day to achieve it?
POTENTIAL Unexpected Blessings:Symbolized by an acorn, never forget that the mighty oak grows from this tuny seed—and that sometimes miracles come when you least expect them and often in the smallest packages. Are you comfortable with experiential, process-based learning? What tiny steps could you take each day to start moving towards your larger dreams?
ROOTS Tree of Life:Like the tree’s powerful branches, we are all connected in an ever-evolving, mysterious cycle of life. This symbol encourages us to feel the eternal bond between mankind and Mother Earth, and to root down in order to grow towards the sky. What is your support system?What relationships and habits do you have in place that can let you grow wild and free?
DESTINY Endless Knot: Embrace love that defies time and space, and trust in the unfolding, with this eternal pattern. What is everlasting to you? This could be a relationship that’s endured, but could also be a part of your self, or your world, that you deeply believe in. What would it look like to recommit to an enduring belief in life as an eternal process?
UNITY Healing Love: Harness the healing power of love for yourself and humanity with this symbol that makes the world go ‘round. What does healing look like to you? Have you been spending enough time on self care? Are you balancing between giving and receiving? How could you bring this exchange of self love and external love into greater equilibrium?
FRIENDSHIP Pineapple: A symbol of hospitality, New England sea captains traditionally placed a pineapple outside their homes as a symbol of a safe return. Let a genuine sense of welcome forge lasting connections. When is the last time you gathered your tribe close?Or smiled to a stranger? Feel into moments during your day when you can open the doors wide rather than shut down.
SERENDIPITY Fortune’s Favor:Find yourself in the right place at the right time with a symbol that fuses the horseshoe, heart, and shamrock, and channels the Roman goddess of good luck, Fortuna. How would you act differently if you truly believed that life was on your side? What chances would you take right now?
ADVENTURE Godspeed:Channeling the Old English blessing for the start of a journey, this symbol’s magical sincerity protects you on your path. What kind of journeys are you ready to take? Review the great adventure you’ve been on thus far and don’t be afraid to project that into the future. Mood board it and get excited about all of the paths not yet traveled!
ALIGNMENT Cosmic Balance:Manifest your dreams by integrating the masculine and feminine symbols of the Sun’s light and Moon’s reflection. What does a balance of yin/yang, masculine/feminine look like in your life? How can you find a healthy equilibrium between acting and intuiting, between shining your individual light brightly and listening in to the subtler rhythms of the world as it is?
ABUNDANCE Hand of Fatima: Originating from the Hebrew word hamesh, which literally means “five”, this ancient talisman channels feminine power and fosters miracles by deflecting the gaze of the evil eye away from the wearer. Where do you operate from scarcity versus an abundance mindset in your life?What kinds of “negative” influences sap your energy? Get crystal clear on where energy is leaking and how you can redirect it.
Want more magical messages? Check out Alex + Ani’s customized cosmic jewels HERE, and follow them on Instagram.
In her latest Temple of Venus column, recovering over-achiever Elyssa Jakim asks: “How can I learn to be less hard on myself?”
Flashback: The blizzard of 1996. Greater New York metropolitan area. I am eight years old. I’ve spent several days frolicking in the snow with friends. When school resumes session, a fight breaks out on the school bus because I kept a girl’s rainbow shoelace that I’d borrowed for snow stomping. She tells me she knows I stole it. I yell and scream and insult her in self-defense (even though I’d had no intention of returning the lace—it was so beautiful!)
Later, I will feel terrible about this. Forever.
Skip to fifth grade. Every day of fifth grade. I replay all the things I have done wrong socially. The rainbow laces incident. That time I said the wrong thing to the boy I had a crush on. Or said the right thing to the boy my friend had a crush on. And I berate myself.
Repeating and repeating my wrongs in my mind. Every day.
To make amends, I grow up into a perfectionist. An intellectual, and a serious student. Someone who also takes up self-improvement projects a little too readily. Who always has a to do list that includes things like “have fun” or “breathe.”
But today I am a recovering over-achiever.
In fact, I am currently living in a college town…looking after babies for a living. Yes, I feel insecure about this as well; perhaps I have lost my intellect and let my critical thinking skills go. But here’s the thing: as fate would have it, I have stumbled upon the perfect teachers when it comes to the question I seem to have spent my whole life asking: How can I be less hard on myself?
Because in the room where I work, I am swaddled in literal softness of all kinds; soft rugs and pillows, soft baby hair and cheeks; warm hugs; the honey sweetness of baby laughter; the miracle of a sleeping baby in my arms.
And here’s what the babies have reminded me so far…
1. Trust your own innocence I have noticed, unsurprisingly, that I am always pre-disposed to give the babies the benefit of the doubt. To see “the light of the child” as Maria Montessori puts it. Even when a fourteen-month old deliberately does something “wrong” or “bad,” I can see her full innocence and sweetness—the “wrong-doing” does not make her unworthy of love to me. And knowing myself as an essentially good person, why should I be unworthy of my own self-love when I make a mistake?
2. Be your own parent. The biggest shift you can make in the direction of self-kindness, in my opinion, is one of self-talk. What if every time you notice yourself feeling anxious, hurt, or self-doubting, you take a big breath and imagine you are the nurturing parent of your self? What would you say to you? It would probably sound like: “It’s okay my darling. I love you and I see you. You’re doing so well. You’re working so hard. I think you’re wonderful.” In moments of self-criticism, a move toward self-compassion and self-softness is what the anxious heart truly needs. If you can remember to be gentle, sweet, and nurturing to yourself whenever you’re tempted to punish yourself, your whole inner landscape will shift.
3. Don’t take things personally. Because most of the time, the mean things people say or “accuse” you of, aren’t really about you—they’re about them. Strive to shrug off criticism, and don’t hold yourself accountable for the feelings of others. When a baby is upset, I know that it’s not about me. It’s about that child expressing a need for something like hunger or nap or connection. It isn’t healthy for me to take up a baby’s emotions or sense of urgency if I’m helping him, it’s best if I remain calm. When facing tough interpersonal interactions, try to remain calm. I like to zoom out in this moment and remember that we’re all spiritual beings having a human experience. Tapped into this Universal truth, who really cares if someone didn’t like my skirt, or the way I handled a particular situation?
4. You’re exactly where you need to be. Numinous tarot mistress Lindsay Mack often reminds me of this: “You are exactly where you need to be.” And these words are always a deep reminder straight to my heart space, which in turn relaxes my whole body. Nothing has gone wrong. There is no-one (especially not your self) to blame. In fact, here is an opportunity to accept. To find grace. Your situation isn’t your fault, it’s your opportunity. Your perfect situation for growth. It’s to show you what you’re supposed to be learning right now. Babies are always exactly where they are, in the present moment of being. We are born into raw presence, living one moment at a time. Isn’t that miraculous?
5. Laugh a lot more. Laughter releases stress in the body. Period. If we can take the seriousness out of life, it frees up the part of us that takes things too seriously. It can also be empowering to laugh at life’s trials and tribulations, to see the humor in any situation. Yogananda tells us to find the company of those who make us laugh to release our worries. You can also watch or listen to things that are funny, or find a laughter yoga class (which NYC friends, Maha Rose Healing Center holds from time to time). Needless to say, baby giggles, cuddle puddles, and facial expressions always have me laughing.
So, how does all this baby talk connect to the goddess Venus? In the mythology of Venus, we are always asked to consider her birth—that moment she arrives on the shore, born of the sea, resplendent. It’s funny to me that Venus was not born as a baby, but as a total babe. She was born and exists as the fullest expression of her being. She exudes self-confidence, which comes from true self-kindness. She is not a goddess who typically represents nurturing or mothering such as Mother Mary or Quan Yin.
But, in her luminosity, she is a wonderful teacher of self-compassion. She helps us to find the wild and free and sensual within ourselves. Being with babies and with Venus teaches us that we can always begin again. We can always infuse our lives with freshness, sweetness, and softness. We can always rebirth ourselves to be more loving. See the sweet little babe in you, and know that you are always worthy of love and even rainbow shoelaces. Protect her and hold her like you would a treasured gem. Come back to the Venus in you, and know you are glorious. That should make it easier to be less hard on yourself.
“To me, yoga is about deep, honest listening and truth-telling,” says Nina Endrst…who shares her story of healing from abuse for the first time.
I’m pretty fucking scared right now. I’ve never written about what I’m about to share, let alone shared these experiences with the world. It takes courage to be vulnerable and stand where we truly are, exposed. But it’s time to tell the Truth.
And the Truth is, I’m healing. Aren’t we all?
When I was nine years old, I was sexually abused by my babysitter’s son. I felt broken. Deeply ashamed and frightened. And for a long time, like many others, I remained silent, in fear. It took months for me muster the courage to even tell my parents—who were in the middle of a messy divorce at the time. Then I saw a Nick News segment on sexual abuse. Shit! What happened was really fucking bad, I thought.
And I felt even more guilty, the lump in my throat growing. I wanted to run as far and fast as humanly possible, but I was paralyzed. After what seemed like hours, I walked to my room, locked the door, and cried until I had nothing left. I was struggling with so many questions intertwined with intense emotions. Why did he do this to me? Why do they do this to us? I realized I had to talk.
I don’t remember much after that day, but I remember his parents called me a liar. After that, I just wanted stop talking about it, to forget it and go outside and play and try to reclaim everything I felt had been taken from me. So we back-tracked. Charges were never brought against him and I was once again, silent.
It took years to realize that this was not only the root of the profound anger and anxiety I have experienced in my adult life, but also would also prove to be the root of my subsequently developing Crohn’s disease. I can see now how my body and soul went into survival mode—how all the anger, sadness, and confusion went straight to my belly and rotted there, for years.
But in the beginning, I was a resilient kid and simply went on living my life. I had loving parents and an incredibly special group of friends (most of whom are still in my life) but deep down I remained a little girl, suffering in silence. I presented myself as tough and a little rough around the edges, when in fact I was incredibly sensitive and lost. When I got dressed in the morning, it was as if I put on an extra layer—a suit of armor to “protect myself.”
By 13, my hormones spun this carefully constructed regime out of control. My temper was explosive, and I made it my business to give my parents hell, regularly. It had all become too much to handle. One night, I took handfuls of pills and hoped that would be that. Thank god, it wasn’t. But the truth was, my soul knew I needed help and was screaming for it.
At 19 I had my first panic attack, on a plane. Everything, I’d spent my teenage years avoiding came rushing to the surface. My heart was racing, breath stuck in my chest, my belly as hard as a rock. Anybody who struggles with anxiety will know this feeling all too well.
Only, from the outside, my life looked pretty damn great by this point. I was attending college, I had amazing friends, and managed to maintain almost straight A’s alongside a busy social life. I was fucking happy! So where the hell was this coming from?
The Truth is, I had been avoiding my pain for so long, I didn’t even recognize that I had been living a lie.
At 21, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s (a chronic intestinal disease). I believe this was a direct result of the emotional and physical stress compacting in my stomach over the previous decade. I had tried to survive it. I had made it my mission to ignore the pain—to suppress it, push it down, deep into my belly. But here it had seeped into my cells, my tissues, my spirit.
No one knew the Truth about what had happened to me. My dearest friends only knew bits and pieces. I’m not sure I even knew the whole story, back then. Sometimes we have to make choices, and I had chosen over and over again not to acknowledge the shadows, leaving a patchwork of half-truths.
At 29 (my Saturn return) everything changed. I had a flare-up and became very ill, ultimately meaning I had to take medical leave from my job in fashion. I found myself facing some harsh realities that I couldn’t ignore any longer.
At this point, I’d been practicing yoga on and off for years, but it was in this moment that I started to live my yoga. To begin healing my body and spirit, by fully living my Truth. I left my job, signed up for yoga teacher training and took a huge leap of faith—inviting my heart to crack wide open.
The Truth is I gave myself ample time and space to be alone during that year. To cry uncontrollably. To talk, to listen, and to forgive. This is because, to me, yoga is and always will be so much more than back-bending and headstands. It is about deep, honest listening and truth-telling.
Through my practice, I learned that the way to the healing light is found when we sit quietly in darkness.
At age 31, I wake up every single day, grateful for my mind, body and spirit. The smile on my face is not permanent but it certainly is genuine. My mental and physical health are better than ever, as are my relationships with everyone—from my loved ones, to strangers I encounter on the street.
My story is that our stories do not define us. But I do believe everything we experience on our path—bright and shiny or painful as hell—is to lead us to where we are meant to be.
The Truth may not be easy to say, or to hear, but my god is it the only way to heal.
Nina Endrst is a yoga teacher based between Tulum and NYC. She creates a safe and nurturing environment for students to explore themselves honestly. Her vinyasa sequences are thoughtfully designed to strengthen and soften the mind, body, and spirit. She lives her yoga and is inspired by traveling to places outside her comfort zone both physically and emotionally. You can discover more about Nina and her work at Ninaendrstyoga.com, and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
Heal the instrument of your voice to not only speak but also live in your truth, says Emma Whitehair… Artwork: Dr Steve Hinkey
The throat is a physical bridge between our body and mind, while its chakra governs our communication and search for truth. It’s the most powerful but also the most vulnerable of all seven chakras, and with so many of us struggling express our true needs, a blocked throat chakra is more common than a cold these days (even if the “symptoms” could feel the same).
If this chakra does not have a healthy flow, not only will your relationships with others be difficult but you will not be receiving clear guidance from your intuition. On the other hand, however, once beautifully balanced, negative experiences are transformed into wisdom and ultimately you are open to a higher level of consciousness.
My business is PR and writing, and no one who knows me would think I had any blocks in the area of communication. However, what can’t be seen is that I’ve had a pretty much permanent, choked up feeling for, I don’t know, months, years…lifetimes! It’s hard to tell as I only properly noticed it early this year, when I started to really get tuned in to Self.
At its most intense, it’s an energetic constriction like a noose around my neck, but mostly it’s a lump in my throat, like I’m on the brink of tears—even when there’s no apparent reason for it.
After googling ‘throat cancer’ and ‘thyroid problems’ then giving myself the all-clear (with a deep sense of relief!), I found myself drawn to a chakra workshop with James French advertised at the Yoga Loft in London—I was ready to find out if this throat funk was a spiritual malady.
On this two-day course, I discovered that Vishuddha (the Sanskrit name for the throat chakra) has a developmental age of 7 to12. Probably no coincidence that this was when my parents divorced and I was packed off to a strange boarding school. I also learnt that the corresponding sense of this fifth chakra is hearing, giving me the excuse I was looking for to connect with sound healing practitioner, Ashera Hart, who I had met a few days before.
Ashera had hosted an incredibly powerful sonic breath + gong bath event, that had been listed by The Numinous, which had helped open my throat and started to stir things up in that area. Wondering if my unbalanced Vishuddha could be realigned further with the power of sound, I made the most of the opportunity to have a one-to-one session with Ashera in my home, while she was in London (rather than her usual base of Bali).
After this session, I met up with my healer, psychotherapist Fiona Arrigo to help me process what my body had shown me. She explained that traumas to the throat chakra are often connected to early childhood issues; when, if we experience emotional pain, we encounter separation. She commented that my adult vocal personality—which “on the surface is ballsy, clear and wise” is in juxtaposition to the inner child—who swallowed down her tears, and never expressed how she felt.
I asked by subconscious to say out loud the stories I may have been holding onto, and one resonated deeply: “no one is taking care of me…I’m alone.” And with that tears of relief fell down my cheeks. It all suddenly made sense—that part of me, the child, who had swallowed her sadness, was physically manifested like a bitter pill, stuck in my throat for over 30 years.
Fiona reminded me “to meet the understanding that we ARE alone in this life.” She also explained that the feeling I encountered during the sound healing, of being held, was the Universal holding, and in that moment, I had flipped my scratched record. Rather than archived pain, I had experienced something way more profound—a spiritual embrace so meaningful it had helped heal that source fracture.
My journey with this continues. Read on for 10 STEPS I’ve investigated to help with starting to CLEAR YOUR THROAT CHAKRA.
:: STEP BACK IN TIME :: What unexpressed emotion or story are you holding on to? Once that’s understood, then it’s important to try and change the record, in order to free yourself. Byron Katie’s The Work might do it for you. Alternatively, perhaps you story is more complex—could it be from a pre-verbal era, or another life?
I spoke to Sue Minns, who’s book ‘Bodies & Souls’ touches on the throat chakra (as well as the others) and she explained the following to me:
“Chakras are like micro-chips of soul information that are links to our past experiences on earth, and connection to where we came from. The throat chakra, if holding negative memories, will become a bottleneck, a block to our true Self expression. Many of us (especially as women) have had gruesome deaths as a result of speaking out, spreading the word, saying the spells.
The throat is the chakra of secrets and lies, whispers and screams—and of speaking your truth without fear. A historical ‘block’ will obstruct cosmic, divine energy coming through the Crown and Third Eye to reach the Heart. It will short circuit at the throat if it cannot pass through. The central column (Sushumna) needs to be an open conduit between heaven and earth so that we can remember both our source and our purpose on this earth.”
:: SOUL MANTRA :: “The 1st Law of Healing—all disease is inhibited Soul Life. The job of the healer is to lift the downcast eyes upward unto the Soul, and the Soul does the work” – Dr Steve Hinkey
So how do we allow the soul to work its magic? Mantras should allow the soul to take position naturally and Steve gave me these to use to unblock the throat chakra:
Because ‘I am…’ is so powerful, and soul infusion the ultimate achievement: “I am the soul infused throat”.
To use if starting to experience, or resist tension in the throat: “I am wanting to know my soul’s process, as it expresses itself through my throat chakra”
As no-one evolves without loving what they have, including dis-ease, this as a good all-rounder:
“I love myself as I am”
:: SOUND HEALING :: Ashera Hart hosts The Frequency Shift solfeggio journeys, which encourage a Theta brainwave state, through healing vibrations, helping you access intuition, transform limiting beliefs and most especially—clear energy blockages.
I attended one of her ‘Sonic Immersion’ events (at Kind Yoga in London) which was a blissfully relaxing 90-minute experience. With the Zobet (solfeggio) healing frequencies along with sounds of the ocean, the cosmos and nature, Ashera accompanied this with an ethereal vocal invocation, tuning forks, chimes, shamanic drum and percussion.
We were told we may have dreams that night, that might reveal what is unresolved and one of mine was quite interesting. The throat chakra’s traumas can include alcoholism and yelling—both themes which were visited while in an abstract and gentle dream featuring my much loved childhood pet dog…
:: CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATION :: Which means honoring your feelings, understanding your needs and kindly requesting that they are met. With authentic expression however, comes responsibility. There’s also a delicate balance between being honest and tactful, and on some occasions silence is golden.
Voicing irritations and raising one’s voice, for example, can pollute the throat chakra, as can gossiping, blaming, criticizing, or any other type of negative communication. If you start thinking in these terms, try to raise the vibration before saying anything. Also use this checklist:
Is what you are about to say true?
If so, is it necessary to be said, and does it need to be said by you?
If the answer is yes, ask yourself if what you are about to say is kind/compassionate/loving.
Hearing is the fifth chakra’s sense and therefore listening is one of its most important realms of communication. That means listening to both your inner voice, and the voice of others. I think I may have an overactive Vishuddha, as I speak super fast (often with no filter) and sometimes feel impatient while listening.
With this in mind, I have made a conscious effort to start listening more intently, giving the other person my full undivided attention, putting away any devices and waiting (patiently!) to hear the them out completely before jumping in. This helps me to read between the lines and decipher others’ real needs, in order to respond in the right way.
:: THE AH MANTRA :: To cleanse and purify any impure energy of speech, let the “AH” sound fill your throat for a few minutes.
One of the most powerful mantras on the planet, this sound is found in the name of most deities: Tara, Buddha, Krishna, Yah, Yeheshua, Saraswati, Wakantanka, Quan Yin, etc., along with many of the sacred words (Amen, Alleluia, AUM).
‘AH’ is also a sound related to the throat chakra, so it’s no coincidence that ‘AH HEM’—is the sound unconsciously made when a person clears his/her throat. While on a more conscious level, the Buddhist mantra ‘OM AH HUM’ is explained by my yoga guru Cat as “translating to body, speech and mind—speech being an integral part of having a harmonious co-existence with all living beings and speaking up for those who may lack a ‘voice’.”
:: USE YOUR VOICE :: As long as the intention is pure, ANY way that you use your voice will help draw fresh energy through your throat chakra. I touch on the benefits of singing in this story and you can also hum, whistle, groan, sigh—ask your body what sounds need to be released, and just go for it, dialing up the volume if need be.
:: TEAR JERKERS :: The throat is where I store my tears, and those that came with discovering my stuck story were beautifully cathartic. And as I know there are more to come, as part of my healing I chose my moments to indulge in deliberately triggering a little cry, with film.
When we watch weepies, it releases not only emotion, but also oxytocin, aka the love or cuddle hormone, which also regulates crying. A boost of oxytocin gives feelings of bonding, empathy, trust and maternal behavior, and it can’t differentiate between actual human beings and flickering images of them. If, like me, you have stuck emotion to release, this 10-minute supercut of tear jerking movie moments should have you sobbing in no time, letting those loving feelings wash over you. You’re welcome!
:: MUSIC :: As sound is Vishuddha’s sense, music can also be a powerful activator. Partly down to some of the lyrics, melody, story or my personal associations, these tracks seem to resonate with the emotions stored within my throat chakra, allowing me to feel and heal.
What would be on on your Vishuddha playlist?
:: YOGA :: Correcting one’s posture is key when re-aligning chakra’s, and these two yoga asanas, should help open up and/or activate the throat:
Fish (Matsyasana): Not only does this stretch the neck, it also strengthens the neck muscles needed to balance and stimulate the throat chakra.
Shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana): considered the Queen of all yoga poses, because of its amazing healing abilities. Doing shoulder stands regularly is an excellent way to keep your thyroid healthy and helps sufferers of asthma (like me).
Two Pranayama exercises that also bring heat and stimulate the throat chakra are the Ujjayi and lion’s breath.
:: HEALING ROCKS :: You can re-balance Vishuddha by stimulating its reflex points in the feet and hands: the connection point of the big toe with the feet, and halfway down the thumb. I’m taking this a step further by wearing a memento mori, which I had made by Zoe & Morgan, that hits this point of my left thumb. A gold ring depicting a skull with diamond eyes on angel wings. A little reminder of both my mortal and immortal self—to help me be more conscious and stop sweating the small stuff!
Zoe & Morgan have also created this beautiful throat chakra ring. Featuring Aquamarine, the stone of the sea, which helps the throat chakra to open, and communication to flow like water.
Other stones that are good for rebalancing the throat chakra include: lapis lazuli, blue topaz, turquoise, chrysocolla, sodalite and my favourite—sapphires, which I wear on a necklace and ring. Try wearing these stones so they sit on your throat chakra for the full healing benefit.
:: TRUE BLUE BABY I LOVE YOU :: Considered a hue for health, blue’s calming effect helps restore balance to the throat chakra, and for me, my blue healing comes from connecting with the ocean. My happy is getting out under blue skies (ether—the throat’s element) whenever I can, and in the sea at least every few months. However, when that’s not possible a pool also does the trick. So treat yourself to a spa day, and the immersion in water as a kind of soul soothing, spiritual cleansing.
Discover the truth about you and booze at Sex, Lies & Alcohol…our next Club SÖDA NYC event with Biet Simkin and special guest Betsy LeFae.
“Sober isn’t lame. Sober is brazen, hilarious, kingly, free; Sober is a spiritual quest riddled with madness, authenticity, and true love.” The Sober Life
What are the stories you tell yourself about booze? About why you drink, when you drink, and what people will think if you don’t? About how alcohol makes you feel? About the role drinking plays in your friendships, your career, your dating life, and in the bedroom?
Our collective myths around drinking are ancient, worn smooth like old money. Learned from watching our parents drink, our peers at college drink; from how they drink in books and movies, from Cosmos in Sex and The City. New York is a drinkers town, right? Work hard, play hard. Alcohol a stimulant, a way to relax, a marker of sophistication, of camaraderie, the key to connection in a crazy world.
But what if some of the stuff what we thought we knew about booze, some of the stories we just swallowed, was a lie? What if we were actually more confident, more relaxed, funnier, sexier, and a better friend…sober?
Sex, Lies & Alcohol, the next Club SÖDA NYC event from The Numinous and Guided By Biet, will begin with a group discussion to debunk some of our most deeply ingrained drinking myths—including one of the big ones: that you have to drink when you date, and that sober sex lacks passion.
Celebrated meditation coach Biet Simkin will then share her favorite sober flirting techniques, before bringing the group together with her signature Center of the Cyclone meditation experience.
To finish, intuitive coach Betsy LeFae will guide us through some simple exercises to help us tune in to the voice of our intuition, of our TRUTH, to help us navigate beyond the half-truths we harbor around booze—leaving us free to approach our future drinking choices with more clarity, confidence and integrity.
Club SÖDA NYC is a social experiment from The Numinous and Guided By Biet—a new space for the sober curious to investigate just how good life can get when we re-frame our relationship with alcohol. Far from “boring”, what if choosing a more sober life meant being “high” all the time?
This might not mean total abstinence from alcohol, either. The power of positive drinking can be a beautiful thing. A sacrament, even. But an occasional cocktail to celebrate life can also be a slippery slope into the kind of habitual drinking that becomes a substitute for sustained, self-generated joy; that dulls our awareness; that only exacerbates feelings of anxiety and emptiness; and that ultimately separates us from a true sense of self.
A series of meet-ups, talks, workshops, and other events, Club SÖDA NYC could be for you if:
– You drink to feel good, but it often leaves you feeling worse
– You want to drink less, but think this will mean the end of your social life
– You want to drink less, but think this will mean the end of DATING
– You want to cultivate a healthier relationship with booze
– You want to attend high-end, high-vibe events where alcohol is off the menu
– You love how good life feels when you don’t drink, and want to connect with other people who’ve discovered this too
– You want to experience getting crazy high on your own supply
And a caveat: Club SÖDA NYC is NOT an addiction recovery program – although it may be a stepping stone to AA for some people. If you think you might need a higher level of support to address a drinking problem that’s negatively impacting your life, or in dealing with any underlying emotional issues that may be part of this, we also have the resources to connect you with people who can help.
ABOUT BETSY LEFAE
Intuition Coach Betsy LeFae holds a BA in psychology and has nearly two decades of combined experience in social work and intuitive consulting. An expert educator in intuitive development, she teaches that our body is the tool through which we can learn to hear the messages constantly streaming from our intuition and, as a facilitator of the mind-body connection, how maintaining regular practices is an effective way to keep the channel clear. She has been featured on Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, NPR, Vice and Refinery 29, and was named one of the top psychic mediums in New York City by Time Out New York.
A reading for the Gemini New Moon – PLUS the essential questions for each sign to journal with, to make the most of the cosmic energy…By Hannah Ariel
“Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two.” –Octavio Paz
Gemini is easily misunderstood. We use words like “tricky” and “flighty” and “fickle” to explain this sign’s ability to weave in and out of worlds of ideas, concepts, and even illusions. But replace these words with ARTFUL, playful, adjustable, and you get a picture of the kind of magical thinking, the sheer ingenuous creativity that is Gemini.
With the moon in Gemini, we are naturally oriented to move between intellectual realities—and yet for all our mental processing, the conscious expression of this astrological placement would be to arrive at something that resembles a decision; a perspective; a point of reference.
This year’s Gemini New Moon (June 5th at 15 degrees) is an opportunity to get CLEAR about what to do next, particularly in regard to our personal CREATIVITY. Our relationship to our creativity and our relationships to the people who either bring the juiciness out or just suck the fun out of it will also be highlighted.
Prior to the Moon and the Sun joining forces, Venus will have been moving alongside the Sun in Gemini all week to clarify a connection between what we think we want, what kinds of interaction our personality craves, and if we are living this truth.
Venus in Gemini isn’t as sentimental as it is logical. Information is valued. Ideas are valued. The sensible application of the two is valued. At this time, it will seem like simple logic to do away with what no longer tickles your fancy. Seriously. If you’re not being stimulated, excited, and delighted, then it’s a time to think about why, and which part of your personality is being ignored.
This Gemini New Moon is also precipitated by a GRAND MUTABLE CROSS. What the heck is that? Why does it matter? What will it mean?! Well, to get technical about it, this cross is a squaring of energy—a confrontation so to speak—of four planets in all four mutable signs: Sun/Venus/Moon in Gemini in opposition to Saturn in Sagittarius meets Jupiter in Virgo in opposition to Neptune in Pisces. PHEW!
This configuration is not meant to confuse but to bring you closer to what is, what isn’t and what will continue to be true for you. A Grand Cross asks us to deal with conflicting realities head on to create one NEW one. Unsettling? Sure. Scary? No. Just be prepared to make BIG decisions this summer…decisions that will carry you into a whole new creative cycle.
In beginning this self-enquiry, included below are some questions to aid you in a journaling ritual this Gemini New Moon. Engage. Keep it real with yourself. And keep in mind, with Neptune about to go retrograde June 13, your answers may not appear logical to anyone but you—so simply follow your OWN intuition.
This your opportunity to clear the decks, to create as much clarity as possible, and make room for some brilliant breakthroughs.
*These are suggestions for your SUN SIGN. However, if you know which house in your chart the New Moon will take place in, take this into consideration too.
**As much as Gemini rules writing and self-reflective journaling it also rules conversation. Cerebral discussions, heart-to-hearts, and astrological and/or tarot consultations of all kinds are favored right now. The key is to make this energy work FOR you, so don’t get dragged around by the universe. Get in the middle of it. Think about it. DO something about it.
:: ARIES :: Where am I channeling my mental energy? Where am I getting lost in mindless chatter? How can I speak more of my truth? What mental myths need to be dismantled? How can I see the bigger picture, and why it is so important for me to trust my intuition right now?
:: TAURUS :: How am I spending my time? How can I re-organize my priorities to align with my values? To what extent am I aware of my financial reality, and do I recognize where I need to depend more on my own resourcefulness?
:: GEMINI :: Am I always tapping into ways of doing my own unique thing? Where am I shutting down in fear of being heard or seen? Who am I placing too much value in? With Sun/Moon/Venus in Gemini, it’s time to learn and love all of YOU.
:: CANCER :: What needs to be retrieved from my imagination? Where is my lack of faith? When did I stop believing in the impossible? Where am I living in a state of mistrust?
:: LEO :: Who truly inspires me? How can I be an inspiration to my friends? Where can I take the lead more, and when do I find myself blindly following along with others?
:: VIRGO :: Who am I finally and fully expanding into becoming? Do I see the beauty in the big changes and encounters that life has gifted me with? What am I taking for granted? Is it time to release my grip on something or someone?
:: LIBRA :: Where are the holes in my own belief system? How can I patch them up? What new lessons does my life want me to incorporate? Where do I stand on forgiveness?
:: SCORPIO :: When was the last time I let myself fall in love? Do I continue to value what the experience of love honestly offers me? When was the last time I gave myself permission to feel grounded and whole?
:: SAGITTARIUS :: Am I living up to my word? What have I become responsible for? Where can I lighten up my load? With Saturn in Sagittarius you may be taking on more than you need to. Consider: what structures serve me and which can I release?
:: CAPRICORN :: In what ways do I consider myself to be spiritual? Do I know how to take a time-out and spend time alone with myself? How does it feel to be in my body these days? Am I truly thriving and enjoying my day-to-day?
:: AQUARIUS :: What can I use to express myself creatively? How can I update my personal toolbox? Do I trust myself enough to truly honor and express my unique gifts? Who invigorates the deepest parts of me? Where am I being drained?
:: PISCES :: How can I feel more securely connected to my roots? Am I allowing myself to fully let go of memories and people who haunt me? What takes up space in my heart—and what can I let go? How am I sacrificing myself to please others?
They told me that true love was sweet and sticky. They told me that if I manage to stay obedient and pure, a Prince will come and save me. He will wear tight-ass leggings and put me in a castle, where we will have mediocre sex until the end of time.
Well, my dating life used to be land mine after land mine and I know all too well about the brain fuck of modern societies’ views on romantic love. And it’s time to stop shitting ourselves and get real about what truly enlightening love looks like.
Here’s what you need to know if you want a mindful relationship where you’re free to love fiercely and be loved rapturously:
1. LOVE THEM SO MUCH THAT YOU PISS THEM OFF Relationships that are either dysfunctional or incredibly boring share one common trait: the lovers dance around one another trying not to piss each other off. The truth is, the best thing you can do is to be your wildest, most obnoxious self, especially around the people you want to keep in your life.
We’ve been through tremendous amounts of family programming, plus the societal conditioning that piles a ton of limiting beliefs on top of the unhealed trauma we’ve amassed over the years. As a result of our lived experiences, we develop vices and behavioral patterns for dancing around our true fears and desires. It becomes easier to surround ourselves with people who join in this dance with us, and to never even try to get off auto-pilot.
Being your awakened and audaciously high-maintenance self means dancing in the way of your lover, and interrupting their pattern. It means being the one who loves them enough to not enable them to keep re-living their past. So do not restrict your own beautiful range of expression to accommodate their sleep-walking.
Just being you, you are going to piss people off who’d rather not wake up—especially those closest to you. But it is an act of fierce love to make them deal with their shit instead of trying to make it easy for them.
It is your business to love, not to look the other way. But too often this is misunderstood, and people make it their business to keep the people they love comfortably numb. If you want to support the spiritual evolution of a person you’ve come to care deeply for, let yourself be difficult and speak your truth.
2. TELL THE TRUTH The #1 reason relationships end is because the lovers prioritize their own sense of comfort over the relationship. The glue for any mindful relationship is emotional intimacy, for no intimacy means no connection, and therefore no point to the partnership.
In order to keep the juices flowing, you need to continuously gather the courage to say the things you almost daren’t. You have to have the courage to be vulnerable and to make yourself look like an idiot. You have to value the relationship more than the desires of your own ego.
You can either be comfortable or be loved. Because if you don’t step up and show yourself in all your messy glory, it is simply hard to love you. We need to see you, to be able to love you. Don’t blame your shallow conflicts about who bought the wrong toilet paper for the deterioration of your relationship.
Every conflict is an opportunity to stand up and tell the real truth. To throw your lover on the bed and to show them how deeply you want to be with them. Fuck them until they know how much you love them. Or to keep screaming and making up stories, so that you can stay comfortable and lonely. It is completely up to you to show up and give it your all.
3. HOLD THEM THE WAY YOU WANT THEM TO HOLD YOU It is your job to see people for who they truly are. We all have a tendency to downplay our brilliance, to dim our lights, so that we can keep living within what feel like safe boundaries of being. If we never reveal our true nature, we will never make ourselves vulnerable, and we won’t be subject to any criticism.
But you know this won’t work.
By covering up what we really want and settling for something less, we are directing our creative force against ourselves. Playing small is lethal, because every heartfelt dream contains the energy to make it happen. If we pull back instead of going full blast, the energy intended to help you take massive action ends up being trapped in your body where it will slowly kill you.
Don’t let the people you love hurt themselves like that. See them for the genius they truly are. Remind them of how you see them and make a vow to only speak to their higher selves.
How do you want the people you love to show up for life? Don’t you want them to be empowered as creators, infinitely brilliant artists, and deeply loving souls? Hold them the way you want them to show up. Humans are forgetful, make it a habit to remind people of what they really need to understand about themselves.
Yumi Sakugawa’s cute illustrated books bring life’s big questions down to earth. But mastering them herself will always be a work in progress, she tells Gabriela Herstik.
If there’s one thing Yumi Sakugawa thinks you should every day, it’s meditate. And with her sweetly illustrated books, the Los Angeles based comic book artist and illustrator is on a mission – to teach the world that there’s no right way to meditate, and you should do it anyway. In fact, Yumi is leading a shift in how we approach our relationship to our consciousness – and her childlike curiosity on her everlasting search of ways to connect to the cosmos is creating some truly spectacular magic.
The Numinous: There’s an almost childlike innocence in the way you present very important spiritual and Universal truths. How do you think this helps get your message across? Yumi Sakugawa: I want to believe that core spiritual and universal truths can be distilled to simple and profound messages that can be easily understood by everybody regardless of religious background, spiritual training or level of education / life experience. Also, I don’t think illustrated books should be limited to just children.
TN: One of the points you emphasize is that we ARE one – with each other and the Universe. How do you think living in this truth can change your life, and how has it impacted your own? YS: This is a principle I illustrate a lot, but one I have the hardest time practicing for myself. I want to believe that in embodying this truth, we collectively awaken to the idea that other people’s suffering is our own suffering, to help remind us of our innate nature to take care of our communities and the planet as a whole.
I do feel ready, more than I’ve ever been, to really ask myself what cosmic interconnectedness means and how I can embody this more in my life and my work. Self-care and self-love must come first before extending that love to the community at large. Meditating on this truth gives me a greater sense of responsibility and purpose in the art I create and share with the world.
TN: How and why did you decide to tackle such a heavy (and worthy!) concept like oneness? YS: Again, I think I am drawn to this principle of oneness because I have the hardest time fully practicing it – even though I know on some primal, deep level that this is something the survival of our humanity and goodness depends upon. I spend a lot of time alone working on my artwork, which makes it easy for me to have an isolated and self-centered worldview. I am in awe of friends and colleagues who are really out there in the world interacting with more people from all walks of life every single day in very difficult, challenging situations – whether they are teachers, doctors, community activists, or work in the non-profit sector.
But at the same time I feel very lucky that my artwork has found an audience out there, and it’s so humbling to know that the work I create to ease my own mental health issues and insecurities can also help complete strangers from all walks of life, in all parts of the world. That, to me, brings a beautiful and profound sense of interconnectedness, that so many people may be experiencing the same shades of suffering, but can also experience the same spiritual relief by unshackling their minds from their own self-inflicted and self-limiting beliefs. I am reminded often that my artwork cannot exist in a vacuum and it must be seen by other people in order for the process of creation to be complete.
TN: What’s on the horizon for you in the upcoming Year of the Monkey? YS: I do hope to further extend my involvement with the world in 2016, though I am not sure yet what that would look like. In addition to continuing to create more artwork and comics relating to mindfulness, perhaps I will be doing more workshops and guided meditations IRL? To be continued! (Ed. Let’s talk Yumi, we’d love to create a Numinous Presents event with you!)
TN:What’s your process like for creating your art? Is there a special space that you tune into? YS: Especially with my books about meditation and mindfulness, it’s important for me to be in an intuitive flow state where I am feeling clearheaded and not overthinking things. This is why it is so important for me to meditate first thing in the morning. Having meditated for seven years now, I cannot imagine doing my creative work without a daily meditation practice, which creates the best mental space for me to pay attention to my inner guide – the voice that tells me when something is authentic or not. It is in this space where the best creative decisions are made, and the artwork that needs to be created unfolds with the ease of a flower opening its petals to the sun.
TN: What is the one message you hope to get across to all humans who read your books? YS: Pay attention, listen and celebrate.
The New Moon in Capricorn means business! Channel the energy of the goat to get what you desire in 2016, says Hannah Ariel…
New year, New Moon! The one coming up in the constellation of Capricorn is SOLID, and rock steady ready for your absolute resolution on January 10th. In fact, you may have noticed that the cosmos has already begun to test your accountability in the days leading up to this Moon. Beginning the third day of 2016, an astrological extravaganza of energy has been extracting deep, potentially life-changing realizations out of us, all to remind us to operate from a place serious integrity this year.
Venus in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces: Illusions are fading fast, we are becoming more attuned to attract what we really need rather than what we delude ourselves into believing.
Venus in Sagittarius meets up with Saturn, also in Sag: What we need and who we are being attracted to becomes so clear there’s no escaping the truth of what our creativity is urging us to work with and define.
Mars enters Scorpio: The actions we are taking are becoming more strategic, the way we go about getting what we want intensifies, we are driven by deep, nearly insatiable desires, and we are ready to test certain limits.
Mercury enters Aquarius and squares Mars in Scorpio: Moving into the future requires us to dig in to some inner work on ourselves first, redefining what we want.
Mercury goes retrograde in Aquarius and re-enters Capricorn: Before we move into the future we may pick up a few more pieces, and uncover a few more facts to keep in mind.
Sun conjuncts Pluto in Capricorn, square Uranus in Aries: We are triggered to re-identify with the breakdown/breakthrough story that began transforming us in 2008; we have experienced our annual renewal of personal power.
Jupiter stations retrograde right on top of the North Node in Virgo: What has expanded and evolved since August 2015 is up for review; time unravels the details of whatever big picture has unfolded; the destined meaning behind certain opportunities can be seen and integrated.
Now, take a deep breath, as all of this astrology has given us some seriously important information. It’s no exaggeration to say this very first New Moon of 2016 can truly be life-changing if we really get involved. It’s as if the Universe is asking us to be guided by the truth – our deepest truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. So help us god/goddess – a New Moon in Capricorn means business!
In fact, Capricorn doesn’t want to embark on anything it cannot successfully complete. A strong and empowered Capricorn takes all the information it can get and uses it to the utmost advantage to ensure a measure of reward. Capricorn learns exactly which mountain it is meant to climb, and then forges ahead without once looking back!
It’s a good thing we already ran through the whole gamut of our emotions by the end of 2015, when the Moon was full in Cancer. Because to the contrary, cardinal earth sign Capricorn doesn’t take into account how something feels; it simply puts in the work, and does what it must to get to where it needs to be. Now this may sound ruthless, but the truth is that without this earthy empowerment we’d hardly fulfill our destined potential.
Think of this New Moon in Capricorn as the captain that is poised to reign all this cosmic energy in, and steer your ship straight. The work will be in identifying not just where you are going, but why you are choosing a particular destination, owning that decision, and then continuing to decide how you’re going to get there. Again, all without looking back!
We are arriving at a powerful turning point where the more energy we use to turn around and look back, the more we will potentially be misguided, have some wind knocked out of our sails, and lose our cardinal determination. Even though Mercury is retrograde, it is traveling through an earth sign; whatever steps we take, even if they appear to be taking us backward, are nonetheless grounded in the process of moving forward.
The retrograde began in Aquarius; we’ve seen the future; we know what comes next. Now comes the time for some careful footwork. Contrary to how you might be feeling about it, think of this Mercury retrograde as being your saving grace. It will help things go oh so slow enough to make sure you don’t miss A THING. Another saving grace is that this New Moon in Capricorn makes a beautiful trine to Jupiter, implying that there is indeed potential for smooth sailing ahead. So long as we do the work, we will get there! With a beam from Jupiter, the cosmos is routing for us.
Also, among the multitude of transits mentioned, give extra attention to your understanding of the Venus/Saturn conjunction happening just the day before the New Moon in Capricorn. The fusion of these two is significant – although it happens in the constellation of Sagittarius, Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn. And if Saturn is up to something, we really need to get crystal clear about it!
Keywords: authority, architecture, responsibility, time. It is what must be. It doesn’t matter if it’s a petty situation. It doesn’t matter if it has to break apart a pre-existing structure. With Saturn, we see: IT MUST BE, and I will do what it takes. With Venus in this mix, this transit begs the question: How much does your life NEED this to happen?
It’s about knowing what situations will create more harmony for you in the long run. If you want to build that beautiful new relationship, job, creative project, business, family, home – you have to WANT it so much you are willing to sacrifice what is not helping the process, turn around, and go the other way.
Considering this is first time Venus has conjunct Saturn in Sagittarius in almost 27 years, what your life desires may very well be something you are experiencing for the first time in a long time (if ever) – something entirely new, wildly exciting, passionately daring; something totally ready for your adventurous creativity. What do you really want to begin? OWN IT, because right now you really can – if only you do indeed, begin.
Note: Even if you aren’t sure of where all of these aspects and transits happened in your personal birth chart, you are ahead in merely beginning to contemplate what the cosmos may have been trying to tell you these first ten days of January.
2016 is here. Be the determined mountain goat that is Capricorn, and let the force of this Saturn-ruled moon be with you. You will do it. You will get there. You’ve got this. For it must be.
Book a personal reading with Hannah Ariel at: firstname.lastname@example.org
As Mercury goes retrograde, the coming three weeks are the perfect time for some life laundry. For Victoria Cox, this meant asking: “am I living a lie?” Artwork: Aneta Ivanova via Behance.net
It’s an unsettling feeling to look back on the last decade of your life, only to discover that you’ve been living a lie. No, I haven’t recently been arrested for identity theft nor do I want to be the next Caitlyn Jenner. What I mean by living a lie is this: upon looking back at the arc of my burgeoning adulthood, I was astounded to discover that the career choices I had made, had never, in fact, been the choices I wanted to make.
There was no gun being held to my head. I made these decisions entirely voluntarily. Succumbing to my own burning desire to please others, I began to emulate a path that would impress my father. Abandoning my creative desires, I launched headfirst into a career in law.
Essentially, I took on what had been one of his ambitions and pursued his goal for myself. All, I can see now, in the hope that he would love me just a little bit more. Of course I didn’t realize what I was up to until much later in life, that’s the power of the subconscious mind. But there were signs along the way, tiny whispers asking if this was truly what I wanted.
Ultimately, it was finally paying attention to these signs that opened my eyes to the fact I’d been faking it all along.
SADNESS: The first sign was the persistent, heavy sadness that was my constant companion. I spent so long convincing myself that I was doing the right thing that I simply chose to ignore it. I knew it wasn’t normal to feel this way, but it took me years to confront my sadness and ask myself that terrible question. The one you don’t want to ask because you already know you don’t want to hear the answer. “Why are you really doing this?”
FEAR: Then there was the fear – fear of making any changes to my life. So, cushioned by my regular paycheck, I chose to play it safe. I convinced myself that it was the fear of losing my job that kept me awake at night, when actually I was afraid of something completely different. I was afraid I was missing out on living MY life.
RESISTANCE: I had always wanted to be a writer, yet I never wrote. Instead of putting pen to paper and creating a story, I created a litany of excuses. I was too busy, too stressed and this was killing off any creative inspiration. What I was really doing was a classic case of self-sabotage; I was refusing to get out of my own way.
DISTRACTION: I would do anything to avoid facing up to the truth of my situation. Cue night after night when, instead of turning on my laptop to write, I poured myself a glass of wine and checked in to see what The Real Housewives were up to. Anything to divert myself from… myself.
EMOTIONAL GUIDANCE: Sensing my malaise, a friend suggested I try a meditation class. Once my monkey mind finally settled I discovered a sense of peace I hadn’t felt in years. Meditation began to show me the true purpose of emotions and how they can actually provide valuable guidance. Quieting my mind had highlighted the fact that anxiety and fear were my sole companions while I was at work. In stark contrast, I discovered that the only time I felt any semblance of joy was in a creative environment.
BOREDOM: Another sign that showed me I was living an inauthentic life was a constant sense of boredom. I was bored by my work and bored with life. I would plan vacation after vacation in the hopes of brushing up against some kind of enjoyment, but nothing excited me anymore. The world seemed to have become one, long, monotonous…nothing.
ILLNESS: Being stressed and unhappy takes its toll on the mind, and on the body. My body decided to give me a sign of its own making, a physical wake-up call. My skin reverted to its teenage years and broke out constantly. I had severe insomnia and my adrenals were burnt out. My body was essentially screaming at me to get my attention the only way it knew how, through sickness.
IDENTITY LOSS: Despite the fact that I was desperate to change my career I hid behind my profession. I used my identity as a lawyer to impress people, because I was too afraid to show them who I really was. Ironically I spent so long holding up this mask as a “successful lawyer” that it was no longer a mask. I had morphed into somebody that I didn’t want to be.
SELF-LOATHING: I was disgusted by the realization that I had let fear hold me back from pursuing my creative dreams. In an attempt to remove these loathsome thoughts circling around my mind, I began journaling every evening. A torrent of hateful words poured forth providing another sign I desperately needed before I could move forward. I now needed to forgive myself.
PERSPECTIVE: The act of writing out my deepest fears in my journal showed me that I was stuck in a victim mentality. Instead of throwing a 24-hour pity party, what I needed was a change in perspective. Why was I choosing to hide this experience in the Life Mistakes folder, when I could file it under Life Lessons instead? Looking at my situation from a fresh perspective showed me that my experience had actually created a swath of writing material. What if I chose to write about my story so that it could help others who were in the same boat?
I’m still a long way off from the writing career of my dreams but that’s the not the point. The point is that each step of my journey has shown me I was living life out of duty rather than desire; acting always to please others rather than pleasing myself.
I hid behind my fears because I didn’t want to face up to the fact that in order to follow my writing dreams, I had to let go of those parts of my life that no longer served me. Yet the very act of finally facing these fears gave me the permission I had been desperately seeking; the permission to pull off the mask of inauthenticity and show my real self to the world.