Gemini New Moon: Do you have a dirty mind?

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No, I’m not talking about sex. Sex isn’t dirty.  I’m talking about those thoughts in your head that mess you up.  Those thoughts that blind you to your beauty and innocence.  Those thoughts that stress you out.  Today’s Gemini New Moon can help clean up and clear out your dirty thoughts. Let’s move into the new lunar cycle with our minds open wide, letting the spring breeze blow through!

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Hygeia, Goddess of Health Maintenance

Gemini relates to how we think, how we get our information, and how we communicate.  This New Moon in Gemini is soaring through the sky with Hygeia, goddess of health maintenance.  When you put these two together, you get mental (Gemini) hygiene (Hygeia).  Like I said, it’s time to clean up your mind!

In its essence, the mind is like empty space, and Gemini, an air sign, is also spacious. Our thoughts are like clouds that pass through the wide, open space of the mind.  Thoughts arise and pass away. As my friend and teacher Fred Davis likes to say, “We don’t suffer from what we think. We suffer from what we believe.”  That’s because thoughts have a natural fluidity and lightness. If allowed their natural flow, they simply pass through us. But when we believe a thought, that thought becomes fixed, solidified, and it narrows our view  The vast open space of the natural mind gets closed down.  Solidified thoughts get stuck.  They can’t move on through.

We suffer the most when we believe our untrue thoughts.  How can you tell if your thoughts are not true?  One way to tell is if the thought involves shouldas, wouldas, or couldas.  Every “should” is an argument with reality.  Here’s an example: My car died in the middle of an intersection. It was a dark and frigid night, and I was ravenously hungry.  That’s why I was on my way to the store.  But my car died. I had the thought, “This shouldn’t be happening.”  But you know what?  It was happening. I didn’t know why.  I didn’t know how it fit into some Divine plan, but one thing was for sure: I was indeed stuck in the intersection with a dead battery.  When I let go of the thought that it “shouldn’t” be happening, I was able to simply be with the experience, do what needed to be done, and feel more at peace.  Then the cops came, gave my battery a jump, and escorted me home.  It shouldn’t have happened?  It should have happened?  All I know is that it did happen.

Any thought that creates stress, discomfort, or inner conflict is suspect. Any judgment about someone else is worth investigating.  Start by simply asking yourself, “Is the thought really true?”  For example, “Betty Sue is wasting my time.”  Is it true?  Maybe I’m wasting my own time, and that’s why I’m getting pissed at Betty Sue.  “Billy Bob needs to be nicer to me.”  Maybe I need to be more kind to Billy Bob, or maybe I need to be more kind to myself.

If you’re judging and criticizing yourself, those are dirty thoughts, too.  Thoughts like, “I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not _____ enough.” “I should be… getting more done, making more money, being more loving, taking better care of myself…”  If you’re shoulding on yourself, you’ve got a dirty mind.  Our dirty thoughts are not bad, they just cloud our awareness and put us at odds with reality. And when we argue with reality, we lose every time.

Open the doors and windows of your mind.  Welcome in the Gemini New Moon and Hygeia.  Let them help you sweep out your gull in skyuntrue thoughts.  At its best, the Gemini mind is open and curious.  It takes itself lightly and has a great sense of humor. It is like the mind of a curious four-year-old.  Everything is fresh, new, and full of possibility. Things aren’t limited by labels and explanations.  The clean and clear Gemini mind allows thoughts to flow in and out like puffs of cloud moving across a bright blue sky.  The mind is free and can move quickly, like a small bird flitting through the branches.  Let your mind fly beyond the clouds, expanding into the vast, open, unconditioned space that is the mind’s natural state.


Lunar Eclipse & Grand Cross: Rocking the Boat

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Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream…merrily, merrily…Whoops!

The currents are pretty strong, these days, and your boat may be getting rocked…or maybe it’s time for you to rock the boat. A lunar eclipse, with Moon in Libra and Sun in Aries, unfolds in the wee hours of the morning on April 15.  A few days later, there’s a cardinal Grand Cross (Uranus in Aries opposite Mars in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn opposite Jupiter in Cancer).  This is not the time to hold on to the status quo, especially if these Grand Cross planets are connecting with significant points in your chart.*  These powerful energies present an opportunity to take action, and create a whole new level of harmony. Let’s explore what rocking the boat can do for you:

Rocking the Self

  • Have you been playing small?  You may feel stirred up, because you need to claim your power, take a bold action, or step into a leadership role.
  • Is there something about yourself you just can’t run away from anymore?  Be courageous in facing your shadow.
  • Your True Self is way more than your personality. Inquire into your deepest nature. Explore the question, “What am I?”

Rocking Your Relationships

  • Speak your truth about what you need. If that brings up conflict, be willing to communicate and find a “win-win” resolution.
  • Have you been letting someone take advantage of you, disrespect you, or bully you?  It’s time to say, “No more!”
  • Is the form of your relationship no longer serving your mutual growth?  It’s possible to change the form and keep the love.

Rocking the World

  • Sustainable peace can only be built on a foundation of fairness and equal sharing of power.  Stand up for what is just.
  • If the world is rocking around you, whether it’s earth changes or political upheaval, you can still keep your inner peace.

In each of these scenarios, there are actions you can take, or changes you can make, that can lead to greater harmony.  When we make changes that bring us more in line with ourselves, we create more harmony within. When we stand up for ourselves, even if it brings up conflict, it ultimately makes our relationships more balanced. And when we work for justice, and respond to chaos from a place of inner peace, we create more harmony in the world.  So go ahead, rock the boat, baby!

 

*At the time of the eclipse, the Moon will be at 25 degrees Libra and the Sun at 25 degrees Aries.  The Grand Cross involves planets at 13 degrees of the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn).  If you have placements in your natal chart between 8 and 30 degrees, in any of the cardinal signs, you are significantly influenced by the current astrology.  You may find it helpful to have an astrology consultation to clarify what actions you can take that will create more harmony in your life.


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

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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

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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.

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

 


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?