Leo Full Moon: May I Have This Dance?

 

Leo Full Moon

Part I:  Leo Wonders

Can you see me?

Can I see myself?

Can I free myself?

Who is doing the looking?

A cool and distant observer?

Or an unconditional, accepting, spaciousness?

Shining radiance

Appreciating her own Divine light

Not giving a damn

That’s freedom!

Part II:  Aquarius Watches

Aquarius stands apart

Breathing to her own drumbeat

Hesitant to join the dance

Leo’s infectious joy

Captivates and seduces

Come play!

There are no steps

There are no rules

Express your funky self!


Opening to Aquarius: Great Space

Big sky over Taos, New Mexico, reflects the spaciousness of Being.

Big sky over Taos, New Mexico, reflects the spaciousness of Being.

One of my favorite things about living in New Mexico is the big sky.  Seeing this vast space all around and above me is a constant reminder of the spaciousness of my Being.  Well, it’s not really “my” Being, it’s Being, itself.  Your Being…our Being…Being.  Who we are is way more than our bodies.  We can’t be contained by the body.  We’re too big for that!  Even our thoughts are too small for who we really are.  The mind, too, is like a big open space, in which thoughts arise and evaporate, like clouds moving through the wide open sky.  Have you ever watched as a cloud floated above you, high in the sky, and then dissolved into space?  Our thoughts are just like that: ephemeral and insubstantial.  Although we think of our bodies as solid and dense, physics tells us that “solid” matter is mostly space.  So, on this Aquarius New Moon, I’m celebrating spaciousness…will you join me?

The archetype of Aquarius (an air sign) can help us attune to our True Nature, which is spacious, unlimited, transparent, open, free, deep, and empty.  You could also say that our True Nature is “Love”, or “Peace”, or “Pure Awareness”.  Each of these descriptors is a way of pointing at our True Nature.  But no words, and certainly no one word, can truly describe our Being.  It is beyond words.  For now, let’s invite the Aquarius energy to enhance our awareness of ourselves as “space”.  I’m not talking about “give me space”, I’m talking about “I am space”!

Here’s a short breathing meditation, for the Aquarius New Moon:

Take a breath.  Fill your lungs with air, and feel the expansion of your inner space.

Take another breath and imagine you are breathing into every cell of your body.

Now, imagine that when you breathe in, the breath comes in through the front surface of your body. The exhale can flow out through the back surface of your body.

Sense your entire body as permeable, with the breath coming in and out, through all of the surfaces of your body.

As you “watch” the breath flow in and out, allow it to dissolve your body boundaries.

Now there is simply “breathing”.  No container.  No walls.  No “inside” and “outside”.  Just breathing.

Allow your sense of self to be the wide open space in which the breathing is happening.

Be the space.  Be spacious.  Simply Be.

Ahhhhh……

 

Want to do more Space exploration?  Here are some resources:

HAPPY NEW MOON!


Seeking and Finding

NM rainbow

The ego’s prime dictate is, “Seek, but do not find.”  What a perfect recipe for eternal frustration!  While the ego, or  “false self”,  looks through false eyes, it cannot see what’s right in front of it’s face and behind it’s own eyes.  What the ego is after is always right around the corner.  It leads us on the proverbial quest to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and leaves us empty handed.

As a spiritual seeker, how can you find the Truth and Liberation you seek?  First, stop identifying as a “spiritual seeker” and choose to be a “finder”.  Accept the idea that you can and will find what your heart and soul are longing to experience.

Next, fire that darn ego as your guide.  It will only lead to one dead end after another.

Who or what, then, shall be the guide?  The guides to Truth and Liberation are many.  Spiritual teachers, both living and dead, spirit guides, angels, ascended masters, the Holy Spirit, God, intuition, Mother Nature, animal and plant spirits, the Still Small Voice, within…any and all of these guides can be very helpful.  Yet, they do not really take you anywhere, for your Being is always, already fully present, right where you are.  moon over sunset cloudsThese teachers and guides, with their fingers pointing at the moon, can’t give you the moon nor fly you there.  No one can give you what you already are.  True guides are more like really good friends who can clearly see who you are…as well as who you aren’t…and always remind you of your True Nature…our shared True Nature.

True guides are also able to give you tools or practices that help thin the veil that the false self is wrapped up in.  One of the most powerful tools is inquiry, which simply means “questioning”.  Remember those bumper stickers that say, “Question Authority”?  Well, question the authority of those voices in your head.  When thoughts arise that make you feel guilty or worthless or afraid, look straight at them and ask, “Is it true?”  Byron Katie has developed a simple, elegant tool for inquiry called “The Four Questions”.

Another effective form of inquiry is to deeply consider, “Who am I?” or “What am I?”  Although at first glance, those may seem like ridiculous questions, the process can take you to the very truth of your Being.  Contemporary teacher, Adyashanti, clearly describes how to engage in “Authentic Inquiry”.  Through this process, the veil can dissolve, and your radiant Self shines forth.   Fortunately, inquiry doesn’t require that you subscribe to any religious beliefs, perform rituals, or sit for long periods of meditation.  It does require a fierce determination to sincerely investigate  the thoughts, beliefs, opinions, and habitual perspectives that are limiting your awareness of “What Is”.

One more ingredient to the recipe for “finding” is to be as compassionate and accepting of yourself as you can be.  Using the inner sledgehammer to beat yourself up for not being spiritual enough, not being awake enough, not loving enough, or not being able to see clearly enough, is a sure-fire way to NOT liberate yourself.  Of course it’s nice to be compassionate and accepting of others, but it’s also important to practice on yourself.  You’re always there to practice on!  Softening into self-compassion will hasten clarity of vision.

Do you need to go to India to find Truth?  Do you need to meditate for 30 years?  Do you need to follow Jesus?  Do you need to understand complicated spiritual philosophies?

Maybe…if that is part of your journey…if that is part of what draws you back to what is always, already here.
taos mtn in clouds 1Yet, truly, there is nowhere to go.  You’ve been found.  Your Being could never lose you, nor could your Being ever be lost.  It was simply overlooked, masked by a veil that seemed impenetrable.  You’ve been looking through the false eyes of the false self and seeing what’s not there.  The mountain, obscured by the clouds, still stands secure in it’s nature.  You are that amazing, beautiful, everlasting mountain.  Your True Self stands secure, changeless, and limitless…and it’s actually in plain sight…for those with eyes to see.  I trust you.  You can see it!

 

 


The Call of My Soul

eclipse 3

I started to get the call sometime last spring.  It was around the time of the eclipses, in April and May of 2013.  The eclipses, in Taurus and Scorpio, were impacting my North and South Nodes, as well as my Taurus Moon.  As an astrologer, I knew that big changes were afoot, and I knew which aspects of my life might be up for an evolutionary renovation, but I didn’t  know the details of how it would manifest.

With one of the eclipses directly on my Moon, it seemed to be a good time to do some healing work with my ancestral line.  I chose a beautiful Beech tree as the place to lay an altar for my ancestors.  Each time I sat by the altar and spoke with my Grandmothers of generations past, I felt an urge to connect more deeply with the energies and spirits of nature.  I sensed invisible portals in the natural world that I wanted to be able to move through.  Perhaps I would uncover new levels of understanding life and Spirit.  I wanted to learn how to navigate in those realms.Beech tree

To support that calling to relate with nature in a more multi-dimensional way, I began reading a book by Bill Plotkin, called “Soul Craft”.  The first section of the book talks about how there are times in our lives when we get a call from our souls, prompting us to move deeper into our soul work.  Each time I opened the book and read a bit more about this process of “getting the call” I would ask myself, “Is what I’m sensing a call?”

Here I was, in a sweet, loving and committed relationship….something I’d longed for my whole life…yet I felt an intense desire to be alone…to be with nature….to be with silence…to follow my own rhythm through the day. Yes, we had some challenges between us, as every couple does, and maybe they could have been worked through.  But as I searched my heart, as seriously and thoroughly as I could, all I could find was an irresistible urge to fly solo.

Sensing myself on the verge of a whole new phase of life, I wanted total freedom to respond to this soul call and discover who, or what, I was morphing into.

Yes, it was a call from my soul!

How did I know?  Because it was so strong it felt irresistible.  Because every time I checked in with my gut, my personal “truth meter”, my direction was clear.  I needed to move forward by myself.

It was ironic, because in my work as a relationship coach, I spent a lot of time asking others, “What’s your heart’s desire?”  Now, the discovery of my own heart’s desire took me by surprise.  It was the desire to be on my own, to hear and follow the moment by moment urgings of this soul call.

It was a difficult decision to unravel the life I had co-created with my partner…dissolving our intimate partnership, moving out of our home, saying good bye to our dog, and undoing the links between our businesses.  It also foreshadowed a shift in my work.

Suddenly the niche of Relationship Coaching felt too narrow for me.  I felt inspired to broaden my work beyond the realm of intimate relationships and attend to the Call of the Soul.  It is through hearing and following that call that we can be true to our authentic selves, in all aspects of life.  That’s where we find our power, our joy, and our fulfillment.

On this late fall afternoon, 6 months after the spring eclipses, I write this from a beautiful home in Taos, NM.  I’m warm and cozy, as clouds descend on Taos Mountain, shrouding it from view.  Inside the house, I’m embraced by the sound of silence.  Then, the rhythm of rain, drumming on the roof.

IMG_2343

How did I get here?  My soul brought me here!

 


Playing with Fire

With so many planets in Aries this month, the Fire element is in the house! How can we play with Fire, in our relationships, and not get burned? Fire can show up in lots of different ways: the spark of passion that fuels sexual excitement; a twinkle in the eye that incites play and laughter; or the flash of inspiration that sets you off on bold adventures. Fire gets things moving, and the springtime energy of Aries brings us back to life, after winter’s hibernation. What is stirring within you, in regard to relationships? What do you want to birth or renew? What (or who) are you motivated to move towards? What are you fired up about creating with a partner?

While the Fire element brings action, heat, and illumination, it can also get out of hand. We don’t want to burn the house down! When excessive, in a relationship, Fire can show up as an over-emphasis on “me” vs. “we”, which can ignite conflicts. Healthy self-assertion is a form of Fire that helps us stand up for our needs. But when out of balance, Fire can become aggressive, crashing recklessly past personal boundaries. That kind of fire will burn bridges and ruin relationships. In the bedroom, Fire is hot (in a good way)!  When unbridled passion explodes in ecstasy, happily exhausted lovers bask in the afterglow.  But blind passion can drive people to take stupid risks that lead to destruction. Some examples: Getting an STD after having unprotected sex or having an illicit affair that destroys a marriage.

Playing with Fire can be dangerous, or it can be a pleasure. It all depends on how well the Fire is cooperating with the other three elements. When Fire is in harmony with the Water of emotions, the clear communication of the Air element, and the stability of Earth, it can bring pure delight to any relationship! Take a look at how fire is showing up within you and in your relationships. Maybe you need to stoke the fire, or maybe you need to contain it. Maybe you need to act with courage, and ask for what you want. Or maybe you need to listen more closely, to understand the heart’s desire of your beloved. This month, as the temperature rises, have fun and channel your passion in creative ways!


The Heart and Soul of Desire

Heart and soul of desire

My earliest encounter with Eastern philosophy came via Hippy culture, in the early 80’s. The take-away message went something like this: “Let go of all attachments. Let go of all desires.”  One cold winter’s eve, I attempted to follow that guidance and be “spiritual” by throwing away a box of photographs and memorabilia from my childhood.  That rash act may have cleared out some space in my closet, but it didn’t do a thing for my enlightenment!  These many years later, my understanding has deepened and become more nuanced. We don’t need to let go of all desires in order to be “spiritually-correct”. In fact, our desires can actually lead us along our spiritual way.

Our hearts’ desires and our souls’ intentions are naturally aligned.  Their shared purpose is to support our evolution and spiritual awakening.  A Course in Miracles describes the “prayer of the heart” and how our hearts know, perhaps better than our minds, what we truly desire. “What you ask for you receive. But this refers to the prayer of the heart, not to the words you use in praying…The prayer of the heart does not really ask for concrete things. It always requests some kind of experience, the specific things asked for being the bringers of the desired experience.” (A Course in Miracles, Teachers Manual)  For example, your heart may be asking for a deeply connected, loving experience. Your heart isn’t saying “Give me a single professional who loves Salsa dancing and sushi.”

Spiritual teacher, Bentinho Massaro writes: “If you have passionate desires raging within that are not just revolving around protecting yourself, but feel truly inspired, that bear with them a spark of excitement, of joy, of possibilities…then they have a very real purpose. They are a glimpse into your possible future…Let it all out, and act on it with respect and integrity toward your environment and the beings in it…Everything you see is the result of desire. Without desire, there wouldn’t be creation. Thus, even The One, The Absolute, has desires. Why try to be more non-dual than The One?”

The important question is not “Should I have desires?” but “Where is the desire arising from?” Is it coming from ego or from your essence?  The litmus test is this:  Is the desire driven by fear? If so, that’s your ego talking.  The ego is based on separation consciousness, which breeds fear and a belief in lack.  Yet the heart and soul are rooted in your essence, which is love. Your heart and soul know that you are already whole and interconnected with all of life. From that place of love, wholeness, and interconnection spring the profound intentions of your soul and the precious prayers of your heart. What are they whispering to you?