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Knowing Yourself

Sunday, April 11, was the new moon in Aries and we are still in the new moon phase. Aries is the beginning of the zodiac, and the beginning of the astrological year. What do we begin with? Your self.

Your self is the most fundamental part of a relationship. If you are not centered in your yourself in a healthy way, any relationships you have will be problematic. You may have tendencies to give yourself away and not take care of your own needs. You may have problems with stating boundaries.

Aries is the sign of the warrior. I like to think of the peaceful warrior, the one who is strong enough to not need to do battle. When you are centered in your strength, and know that you have a right to take care of your needs and assert your boundaries, then it becomes matter-of-fact instead of a battle. There is no emotional charge. If you don’t have a strong sense of self, then you may not feel like you have a right to take care of yourself. If you assert yourself from that place, it may come out as aggressive because you are anticipating a fight. And if you’re anticipating a fight, that’s what you’ll attract.

The other side of the coin is being self-absorbed to a degree where you don’t consider other people’s needs. This is not sustainable in a relationship either. You might burn out the other person because there is not an equal give-and-take. Or you might create a relationship that doesn’t really satisfy you because the person you attract can’t really meet you.

To honor the new moon in Aries, you might want to look at where are you are in regards to caring for your self. Do you honor yourself? Can you say no without guilt? Do you consider how your actions impact the other?

To take this even deeper in an intimate relationship, a knowledge of yourself is essential for a satisfying sexual relationship. If you don’t know what you like then how can you let your partner know what works for you? We are all wildly different in our sexual preferences. To expect your partner to magically figure out what works for you can set you both up for disappointment in your sexual connection. But if you know what you like, you can gracefully guide your partner into giving that to you.

It’s also a good time to begin explorations into your sexual self. What feels good to you? How do you like to be touched? When you’re alone how do you touch yourself? If you have no idea of where to start with this, or how to communicate what you discover, I can help you. I’ve helped hundreds of others with just that. Click here to find out more.

This is an excellent time to begin a new way of being – a new Moon and the first sign of the zodiac. New moons are about new beginnings, and this is the newest of all the new moons because it’s in Aries. Harness the power of the new cycle!

Self and Others

Sunday is the full moon. The sun is in Aries and the moon is in Libra. What does this mean for you and your relationship?

Any full moon has an inherent opposition of energies. Full moons happen when the sun and moon are opposite each other, with the earth in between. The energies are at opposite ends of a spectrum. What that spectrum is changes from month to month.

Aries is the sign that is most about the self, and Libra is the sign that is most about partnership. Can you sense the tug-of-war that is embedded in that?

Most people have a predominant inclination of emphasis. Some are self-centered. Some are other-centered. Neither is bad; in fact, both are necessary for a balanced way of being.

A self-centered person is good at taking care of themselves, but maybe not so good at paying attention to what their partner needs. An other-centered person is just the opposite. They focus upon their partner’s needs, and often neglect themself.

Those are the extreme ends of the spectrum. Most people are somewhere in between, where it’s healthier.

Ideally, we each take care of ourselves so well that we overflow with well-being to give to our partner. Of course, this will vary from day to day. Some day you need a helping hand. Other days, you need to self-nourish.

I invite you to use the energies of this full moon to pay attention to this dichotomy. Where are you on this spectrum? Self-centered? Other-centered? This would be an excellent time to try out the opposite end of the spectrum.

If you are predominately self-centered, gift your partner with service. Offer them a day or an afternoon where you are at their pleasure. They can ask for whatever they like, and you give it to them in the spirit of service, with no expectations and no strings attached.

If you are more other-centered, take a period of time for yourself. Go inward, ask yourself what would YOU like in this time. A bath? Stretching your body? Self-pleasuring? A walk? Approach this time as if you have a date with someone very special — you!

In either case, notice what comes up for you. Is it uncomfortable? Unfamiliar? A relief? Whatever you notice, stay out of judgment about it. Let this be just information that might guide you into an adjustment in your orientation.

Happy full moon!

Mezcal As a Spiritual Practice

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Wait! Are you thinking, “I thought alcohol was low-vibe, something a spiritual person wouldn’t do, much less advocate as a spiritual practice.” Until recently, I would have agreed with you. But let me tell you about an experience I had that showed me something different.

A friend came up to visit for the holidays recently, bearing a bottle of mezcal. Now, I rarely drink spirits. (Interesting name, eh?) I do enjoy wine and beer, but in moderation. But I only drink distilled spirits a few times a year. But the smoky flavor of mezcal is so yummy. And my loving friend brought it. And it was the holidays, a time of relaxation and celebration. So I went for it, and shared a couple of shots with her, which was quite a lot for me. I got kind of rowdy for a little while.

Here’s where the spiritual practice part comes in. I had just had a conversation with my long-time spiritual mentor, William Rainen. He has been guiding me since the mid-1990’s, and he knows me well. He is constantly telling me that I am overthinking things, to just relax and let things flow, to trust that the flow will take me to the right place. And in that conversation, he had said it once again.

You know what the definition of an old soul is? A slow learner! Well, if that’s true, then I’m definitely an old soul!

So I was musing upon that while working a jigsaw puzzle by the fire with my friends, when shots were poured. Very soon, as the alcohol took effect, my puzzle approach changed. Instead of analyzing each piece and finding where it went, I started just picking one up that caught my eye. And my hand would take it to the right place, without my conscious mind deciding where to put it. I did it over and over.

There was a great teaching there for me. That there is something bigger than my mind that knows the truth, that is aligned with a divine flow, that will always lead me true.

I don’t recommend using alcohol on a regular basis. Most of the time it leads to unconsciousness rather than consciousness. But in this case, it led to an experience of greater trust in the universe.

I think that you can receive a teaching through anything, if you are open and ready for it. If you are constantly watching your reactions, noticing when you go unconscious or reactive, or when you are aligned with Source.

What’s probably even more true is this: life is a spiritual practice. All of life, even mezcal. It’s up to us to use life this way, and live aligned with Source.

A Time of Darkness

IntoDark

As the days get shorter and darker, I am reminded of this time five years ago, when I was grieving my former boyfriend’s death. The darkness of the season led me into the darkness that I was feeling.

I embraced the darkness fully. I spent many nights sitting in front of the flickering fire, with darkness surrounding me. I cried, I wailed, I screamed in pain. I felt like a crazy wild woman. But I knew to keep going, to embrace it fully. Because when I did, I would eventually pop through into a sublime state of ecstasy. I would feel merged with the light, empty, calm, peaceful.

It would be great to be able to just go straight there, to the ecstatic light. But I found for myself, and for many I have supported, that the gateway to the light is to drop the resistance to feeling the pain. It’s hard to do. It can feel so big that it threatens to overwhelm you. But the rewards are great.

A time of grieving is a window of opportunity. When your heart is cracked open, you can use that crack to pour out all the pain of a lifetime. To release far more than the current grief (which is plenty by itself). You can emerge from the time of grief reborn, healed, and whole.

It takes courage, the courage of a spiritual warrior. And it helps to have support. I often see myself as a kind of a lifeguard for my clients. They are jumping into the deep end of the pool, and I am sitting on the side, ready to throw in the plastic doughnut life preserver if it is needed. It creates a feeling of safety to have me there, a sense that it might be ok to dive into the deep feelings and release them fully, without resistance.

The holidays can be a particularly hard time if you’re grieving. You may be missing your loved one more intensely. You may not want to go to holiday gatherings where people are laughing and having fun. This is completely understandable.

I would like to offer you support to go into the dark. It’s not really a scary place, once you get to know it, just a very powerful one. I know it well, and I’m not afraid. I can hold you and help you find your way.

Many blessings to you!
Satya

Those Who Are Dead Are Never Gone

BryceHoodoo

Those who are dead are never gone:
They are there in the thickening shadow.
The dead are not under the earth:
they are in the tree that rustles,
they are in the wood that groans,
they are in the water that sleeps,
they are in the hut, they are in the crowd,
the dead are not dead.
Those who are dead are never gone,
they are in the breast of the woman,
they are in the child who is wailing
and in the firebrand that flames.
The dead are not under the earth:
they are in the fire that is dying,
they are in the grasses that weep,
they are in the whimpering rocks
they are in the forest, they are in the house,
the dead are not dead.
— Birago Diop,
in The Fruitful Darkness, by Joan Halifax