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.

Honoring the Rhythms of Your Body and Of Life

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As I write this is it almost March, the herald of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Yet, if the inch of snow we got last night wasn’t enough to let me know that it isn’t quite time to Spring into action just yet, my body is telling me loud and clear: it’s still time to rest and hibernate.

We talked a couple of weeks ago about the Frustration of February and how, after a long, hard Winter, many of us in the Northern Hemisphere are ready for Spring to bloom. Yet, as in Nature and in life, there is a Season – a right time – for everything. If I’ve learned anything over my 43 years on this planet, it’s that you can’t force things to happen. You might think you are in “control” and have it all together, but don’t be surprised if and when Universe knocks you off your high horse!

I used to be a control freak. Truth be told, it’s still something I fight nearly every day (I was born on the cusp of Virgo…). Several years ago I had a pretty bad year. It was one of those years that was jam-packed more “life lessons” than I cared to learn, but learn them I did. Three of the biggest lessons I learned that year were:

  • Life happens for you, not to you – I used to get so mad at the Universe when things went wrong. I would think to myself, “Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” Yet, I learned two important lessons that year: 1) I wasn’t in control of everything; I couldn’t be. 2) Playing the victim and asking, “Why me?” was getting me nowhere. Here’s the thing: you can’t control everything, but you can control how you respond and what lessons you learn from everything that happens for you. Life is nothing but a journey of opportunities for growth, after all.
  • Honor the rhythms of your body and of life – I used to try to be the Energizer bunny. I would go and go until I crashed. I would work through pain, sickness, grief. Work became my go to coping mechanism because it’s what I learned growing up. Unfortunately, that viewpoint very nearly killed me (I almost died of pneumonia when I was 25). I’m nothing if not a slow learner, and I am still a work in progress. But here’s what I know about me: my energy levels vary. They are not constant. Also, I am not the Energizer bunny (nor are you, for that matter). We weren’t meant to keep pushing ourselves until we break. It’s not healthy and it likely won’t make you happy either. (See today’s video for more on cycles and rhythms.)
  • You can’t fight the Universe – after my very stressful year of learning these lessons, I started January of the next year with a new motto: instead of fighting the Universe (a battle I never won), what would happen if I tried to go with the flow more, laughed a little more at myself, and tried a little harder to pay attention to the lessons Universe was trying to teach me? This wasn’t easy, mind you, as it was a complete 180 from what I had been doing most of my life. But, I found that if I just stopped resisting for a minute and allowed myself time to breathe, check in with myself, and ask, “What’s the lesson here?,” Life got, if not easier, then at least more enjoyable. Those onions didn’t seem quite so bad and instead of getting hit with Cosmic 2x4s, Universe turned to more gentle nudges and whispers because I was finally listening so it didn’t have to scream so loudly!

In today’s video, I discuss a little bit more about these life lessons and how you can learn to harness the power of the cycles and rhythms of your body and your life.

New Moon in Pisces

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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 Pisces

Ahhh… the Dreamer of the zodiac. Pisces is a water sign, and water rules emotions. As such, Pisceans are very emotional and empathetic. They are spiritual and intuitive and have an innate ability to understand what other people are experiencing. This tends to make them more sensitive to their surroundings as well as other people's emotions. Although they are the dreamers, and they do tend to dream big, they are not always the do-ers of the zodiac. Thus, their big dreams don't always come to fruition because they've moved onto another dream before they finished making the first one come true, which can sometimes lead to frustration! 😉

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

  • What do I dream of (literally: what are your dreams telling you)? What does this mean to and for me?
  • What is my Big Dream? How am I taking steps to fulfill that dream? What’s holding me back?
  • Do I have any Big Dreams that I've let go by the wayside? Are those dreams still valid? If so, why have I not pursued them? If not, am I ready to close the door on those dreams and move on?
  • How am I getting in my own way?
  • Who or what in my life would benefit from a more empathetic approach? 
  • What is my intuition trying to tell me and why?

Enjoy working with the New Moon energy in Pisces! It should be an intuitive and dreamy time for all of us.

Why is This Happening for Me?

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I had the pleasure of being interviewed for a podcast, Lori's Lemonade Stand, this past week. I'll let you know as soon as the episode goes live. She started the episode by asking me to dish the dirt. She wanted to know where I came from, what my story was, why I say that my mess is my message. And dish I did. And I thought, “What a wonderful idea. What a wonderful way to begin a podcast episode!” 

I talked about this before – on the blog, in my podcast, and on telesummits. Often times people think that because you have a podcast, or YouTube channel, or a blog, that you somehow have it all together, have it all figured out. When faced with a particularly challenging life struggle, clients often ask me, “When is this going to be done? Haven't I learned my lesson yet?” The answer is: it depends. Sometimes we may think that we've learned our lesson, and for a while – maybe even a few years – everything goes smoothly. And then there's that day. That day when you think that whatever lesson you thought you'd resolved comes roaring back into your life once again.

What I've learned in my 43 years on this planet is that life is but a lesson. We all have what I like to call onions – our particular life challenges, struggles, lessons that we were sent here to learn. But onions have many layers. We heal one layer and we think, “I'm done!” Only to find out weeks, months, years later that in fact we weren't done, it's time to dive deep into yet another layer.

As frustrating as these onions may be for us, I encourage you to start to look at them with a slightly different perspective. Instead of getting angry or frustrated, what if you could learn to see the beauty of the lesson that it's trying to teach you? In today's video I talk about how to do just that.

Emergence: Peeking Out from the Cocoon: Exploring the Energies of February

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February 2nd was an important day for many of us in the United States: Groundhog Day. February 2nd is the day that we anxiously await to see if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow (forecasting 6 more weeks of Winter). He did; leaving many of us frustrated with what has already been a long and brutal Winter.

This is not a new idea. In ancient times people turned to Brigid to forecast the remaining days of Winter on February 2nd. Instead of the U.S. Punxsutawney Phil, ancient peoples awaited Brigid’s sacred snake to emerge from his cave. The snake’s behavior indicated whether or not Winter was over. Thus, the tradition of February 2nd being an important day is not a new one.

Whether or not you want to rely on a rodent, or a snake, to predict the weather is beside the point. February 2nd marks the halfway point between Winter and Spring in the Northern Hemisphere (Summer and Fall in the Southern Hemisphere). Thus, it is a turning point in the Wheel of the Year; a time when we may feel like we have one foot in Winter and one in Spring. After a particularly long and brutal Winter, many of us are ready for it to be over. Yet, February is saying, “Not quite yet…”

I liken the energy of February to emerging from a cocoon. Many of us hibernate (or are at least less active and more introspective) during the Winter months. After the holiday season, we retreat into the safety, warmth and comfort of our homes and watch the snow fall while sitting by a warm fireplace drinking hot cocoa.

And then comes February. The robins of Spring appear. The crocuses may start to poke through the ground. Other signs of Spring begin to appear. Yet, we’re not done with Winter just yet. There may still be the occasional snow fall and the temperatures aren’t as warm as we’d like. This can lead to a lot of frustration. After a long, hard Winter, we think we’re ready for Spring! But, we’re not. We still have a few more lessons to learn and tasks to prepare.

In today’s video I discuss these key tasks that we should turn our attention to in February:

  1. Self-care – we are not out of the cocoon yet. We still need to take exquisite care of ourselves so that we will well-rested and ready when the season changes.
  2. Planning and preparation – we may have made New Year’s resolutions and goals in January, but usually by January 8th or so, those have already flown out the window. February is the time to get serious about figuring out what we want to create/manifest this year. What is calling to be birthed this year?
  3. Patience and faith – as frustrating as it might be to get glimpses of the changing of seasons without fully being there yet, we need this extra month before the seasons change to prepare for what is to come. So practice self-care, plan and prepare for your year ahead and then sit back and wait, trusting it will unfold for you in due time.

Full Moon in Leo

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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 Leo

Leo, the lion. When I think of lions, I think of courage, bravery, and daring. As a fire sign, Leos light up any room they walk into. They also tend to be flamboyant and like to show off and be noticed. Because of this, their motivation is off the charts and they tend to succeed at whatever they put their minds to. The downside is that Leos are sometimes seen as prideful or egotistic, or even drama Kings and Queens. Fortunately, Leos are also known for their generous and expressive nature. The best of both worlds with Leo energy? Shine that light of yours on those around you so that all can benefit.

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

  • What is my relationship to my fiery side? Have I been reining in my passions? If so, why?
  • What do I think about people who live in the “limelight?” How might my response be my shadow-self talking or my ego?
  • Where have I been hiding my light? Not shining? Not allowing myself to find and express my true potential?
  • Where has pride or ego gotten in my way and prevented me from living my Soul’s Purpose?
  • What is my Soul calling for me to do? What wants to be birthed through me right now?

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