Monthly Archives: March 2017

Honoring Your Body’s Cycles and Rhythms

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“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself, and only herself.” ~ Maya Angelou

 

As Winter turned to Spring last week, I found myself on the phone with several clients, who all said essentially thing: “It’s Spring. Why aren’t things moving yet?”

After a long, hard Winter, you may wish you could wave your magic wand and “Poof!” everything you ever wanted would appear. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. In a culture where we have gotten used to the instant gratification of the internet and fast food, sometimes we forget that life moves at its own pace. But, don’t be fooled. Things are moving – just perhaps a bit more slowly than you wished.

When I was in graduate school in Denver, I would sometimes take a break and drive to the mountains to hike. On every drive home, I was met with signs reading, “Truckers! You are not down yet!” The sign would usually be accompanied by an approximation of how many more miles of steep curves and downhills were still to come.

Spring is like that in many ways. The grass is greening up; the bulbs we planted last Fall are starting to poke through the ground. Yet, none of this will happen overnight. It’s gradual progress. There is still much of Spring left to unfold. The ground needs water so the plant roots can flourish and provide nourishment for the flowers to come. So too, we need time to rest, to replenish, to nourish ourselves to prepare for what is to unfold. We need to feed our “Soul roots” so that we can thrive. There is no rush. Everything will happen at just the right time. Trust in yourself, in the Universe, and know: everything has a season. Big things are coming, but first, you must nourish your roots so you can support the growth that is to come.

In today’s video, I dive deeper into the cycles of the day, the month, the year; the cycles of life.

 

New Moon in Aries

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This continues a series of posts on working with Moon energy. Each New Moon and Full Moon, I will post suggestions for working with that archetype and harness the energy of the Moon’s cycle.

New Moon Energy

The new moon is a time of new beginnings, a time when you plant the seeds you wish to harvest over the next month. Yet, do not neglect to let go of what no longer serves before you plant those seeds. It does no good to plant seeds in a barren desert. So the night before each new moon, in the dark of the moon, I like to hold a release ceremony. Some questions to ponder might be:

  • What do you need to release before moving forward with this new moon cycle?
  • What patterns have you been holding on to that no longer serve?

Once you have let go of the old, it’s time to set your intentions for this moon cycle. I do this on the night of the New Moon. Some questions to ponder might be:

  • What do I wish to create over the next month (from New Moon to New Moon)?
  • What do I need to allow my creations to come into light?

New Moon in Aries

Aries is a fire sign, so those born under this sign tend to be very passionate and can be known for their temper as they tend to be a bit impulsive and impatient. They are also quite verbally expressive – they don't tend to keep their emotions to themselves. This can be healthy, as long as you remember to be considerate of the person on the receiving end of this expressivity! 

So what does this mean for working with the New Moon energy? You can add the energy of Aries to your New Moon reflections by asking yourself the following reflective questions:

  • What is calling to be birthed/created in your life right now? How could this benefit from a little fire/passion in your life?
  • What feels like it's come to an end and needs to be released?
  • Where am I trying to force or rush things? How can I be more patient with myself and Universe while I wait for things to unfold?
  • How have I been hiding my truth or my true feelings? What area(s) in my life might benefit from Aries' gifts of clarity and verbal expressivity?

Enjoy working with the New Moon energy in Aries! It should be an action-packed, fiery time for all of us.

Setting Your Intentions for Spring

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As I write this, it is the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere (first day of Fall in the Southern Hemisphere). All I can think is, “Finally!” After an early, long, and especially brutal Winter, I am more than ready to emerge from the cocoon of winter. And yet, I find myself in a reflective mood today. Instead of going outside and enjoying the warmer temperatures, I find myself called to sit on the couch and journal.

I’ve been using the analogy of the butterfly in a cocoon to help explain how many of us have been feeling for the past two months. We were talking about this in one of my group coaching programs the other day and one of my clients said, “You know, when butterflies first emerge from the cocoon, they have to sit and let their wings dry before they fly away.” Apparently, a butterfly’s wings are very fragile upon emergence and they need time to sit and firm up. That’s how I feel right now. Spring is here, but I’m not quite ready to charge ahead. I need to sit and reflect about what needs closure from Winter and what I want to create for the remainder of the year. Then, I can make a plan and test out my metaphorical wings a bit.

If you’re feeling the same way, I offer you a few reflection questions for your change of the season ponderings (if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, you can find Fall reflection questions here.)

Reflections on the first few months of 2017

Take out your journal and answer the following questions:

  • What’s on my plate right now (roles, responsibilities, obligations, etc.)? Which of these do I want to carry forward into Spring, which do I want to discard, and which am I unsure about? (for a fun way to do this exercise, see today’s video)
  • What old patterns and beliefs keep cropping up that might be holding me back?
  • What has been the most difficult event/ situation/ life lesson I’ve been through so far this year?
  • What did I learn about myself having gone through that?
  • What am I ready to release (e.g., what do I not want to carry forward into Spring with me)? (Hint: this is where those old patterns, beliefs, and obligations you don’t want to deal with anymore go!) – there are a variety of ways to do this release work. You can write them down and burn them or bury them in the backyard. You can write a letter to them thanking them for all they’ve taught you, but saying why you don’t need them anymore and that you are ready to let them go. You can light a candle to symbolize all that you are releasing. You can blow the energy of everything you want to release into a rock and bury that rock or go for a nature walk and leave it behind. You can take a bath and visualize all the gunk seeping into the water and down the drain…
  • Is there anything else I feel I need to say or do to get closure on Winter?

Preparing for Spring

Here's the fun part! Take out a new piece of paper and answer these questions:

  • What do I want to manifest this year? – bonus points for making a timeline for when each of these tasks will be accomplished!
  • What is my theme/focus/priority for Spring?
  • What is calling to birthed/created right now?
  • What support to I need to make each of these things happen?
  • How do I want to feel this Spring?

I wish you a joyful, healthy, and productive Spring!

Emerging from the Cocoon (of Winter)

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In the Sacred Circle, we’ve been talking about the frustration of having one foot in Winter and one in Spring as we prepare for the seasonal change next week (Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere; Fall Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere). On the one hand, we are ready to Spring into action; on the other hand, we know that we are close, but not quite there yet. The message we keep getting is, “Soon.”

As frustrating as this might be, what Universe is telling us right now is this:

I spent the last week of 2016 on a beautiful beach in Belize, where it was sunny and 80 degrees – very unlike the negative temperatures and two feet of snow back home. While I was there, I planned my 2017, as I usually do at the end of December. However, an interesting thing happened. In previous Decembers, ideas have flown out of me as I put pen to paper and mapped out my year ahead. This time was quite different. My plans for January and February came easily, but when I got to March, I got the message, “Wait until March and the rest of the year will be revealed.” The detail-oriented Virgo planner in me revolted. What do you mean I have to wait until March to plan the rest of 2017? I need to have a full picture of the year ahead right now. Nope. Not happening. Instead I was told that I had to wait for Spring.

Then a sense of peacefulness came over me. It was as if I knew that any plans I made for 2017 in December of 2016 wouldn’t come to fruition. I couldn’t force this. I had to surrender, trust, and wait.

I was reminded of a scene from one of my favorite Indiana Jones movies, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In the scene, Indiana Jones (played by actor Harrison Ford) is faced with a tough decision. On the brink of a precipice, holding nothing but a crude map, he faces certain death. Yet, according to the map, if he just takes a step, a bridge leading to the other side will emerge. But only after he takes that first step into the abyss.

So is the energy of March, and of the Equinox. It’s time to let go of what is holding you back, believe and take a leap of faith, trusting in Universe and in yourself that everything will work out just as it should. It may not look like what you had envisioned, but it will be perfect.

“Give yourself space to let it be done differently; don’t expect it to unfold the way you’ve been planning.” ~ Lori A. Andrus

Yes, that’s it. As we move into this time of seasonal change, you may find yourself re-assessing your plans and priorities, including the goals you may have set for yourself two short months ago in January. That’s okay. Trust and take a leap of faith.

But what if your old stories about what you can and can’t do (or should and shouldn’t do) are holding you back? What if you’re afraid to take that leap of faith? Today’s video should help give you some perspective and a few reflection questions to help you make this transition into Spring/Fall a bit smoother.

 

Full Moon in Virgo

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This is part of a series of posts on working with Moon energy. Each New Moon and Full Moon, I will post suggestions for working with that archetype and harness the energy of the Moon’s cycle.

Full Moon Energy

The full moon is the time of a birth, a time when the seeds you planted at the New Moon prior (approximately 2 weeks ago) come to fruition. So if you set goals and intentions at the New Moon, now is a great time to bring them out and evaluate your progress.

  • What do you need to do between now and the next New Moon to birth your intentions?
  • What needs to happen in your life for that to occur?
  • What do you need to finish up?
  • What do you need to let go of?

Full Moon in Virgo

It's time to dive deep. Virgos are meticulous and detail-oriented. They also tend to be highly critical, especially of themselves. As you can imagine, this can be quite stressful. On the plus side, Virgos are great at getting to the bottom of the issue and they are great healers (as long as they don't run into codependency or feel taken advantage of). As long as you remember to tackle anything coming up right now with a healthy dose of self-compassion, this Full Moon should be a great time to dive deep and get clarity on what you need to release/let go of and what you need to invest more time in. 

What does this mean for working with the Full Moon energy? You can add the energy of Virgo to your Full Moon reflections by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What issues are coming up for me right now? What feels stress-full in my life? What might the lesson be here?
  • Where am I feeling resentful or taken advantage of? What do I need to do to resolve this situation? How can I take my power back?
  • Where might I be over-analyzing things or overstepping my bounds (e.g., giving help when it wasn't asked for)?
  • Where am I being too hard on myself? How can I cut myself some slack or give myself a break?
  • How can I show myself more love and compassion?

Enjoy working with the Full Moon energy in Virgo! It should be a healing time for all of us.

Letting Go of What No Longer Serves

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I was sitting in a meeting at work the other day, laptop plugged into the projection screen, meeting agenda in hand trying to keep everyone organized and on task. After the meeting ended, one of my colleagues, who is rarely required to attend this particular committee meeting, said to me, “I didn’t realize you were in charge of this committee now.” “I’m not,” I replied. He raised his eyebrows at me and gestured at my laptop.

Did you just hear the sound of the Universe hitting me upside the head? Yep. Me too. Let me just put my Superwoman Cape back in the closet and then let’s sit down for a cup of tea and chat about letting go. [Puts cape in closet.]

I’ve been on that particular committee for 3 years now and I can’t even mark the time when I took charge of it. It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part. It’s certainly not something I wanted to do. If anything, I’ve been thinking lately about how I could get off of that committee. And yet… there I was, laptop in hand, running the show. It was crystal clear to everyone but me.

After that incident occurred, I did two things. 1) I made a list of all of my roles, responsibilities, and obligations and started going through them with the following question in mind: “Does this serve my highest purpose?” You can bet that committee didn’t make the cut. 2) For each role, responsibility, or obligation that didn’t make the cut (that is, I didn’t identify it as being part of my higher purpose), I asked myself 3 questions:

  • Is this mine? – Is this something I signed up for (consciously)? Do I even want to do this or like doing it? Or did someone else get me involved, I felt I couldn’t say no, I felt like I “should” do it … [insert reason you started this role in the first place if it wasn’t your idea/desire].
  • What role did I take in this? – There is no blame or shame here. What I’m asking you to do is to take responsibility for how this happened. In other words, get out of victim mode and take back your power. In my case (and this is an old pattern I am consciously working on), I didn’t say yes, but I didn’t exactly say no either. I allowed it to just happen over time. In other words, I gave my power away by not making my desires clear. (Codependency rears its ugly head again.)
  • What role do I want to take in this? – Is this something I want to continue doing? If yes, fine. But if no, then it’s up to you to make a plan to gracefully (or speedily) exit this role. Again, there is no blame or shame here, but at some point you need to let everyone involved know that you will no longer be serving in this capacity and either delegate that role to someone else or let the powers that be (the other committee members in my case) figure it out once you give notice.

In today’s video, I talk more about the steps involved in letting go. I hope it serves you.