Over It

 

I’ve been feeling riled up and at the end of my rope.  I have my list of reasons why my life is challenging right now.  I have my bag of feelings telling me: this is too hard, I need to find a way out, I can’t do this, I’m failing.  I’m keeping struggle and conflict nearby, like they are part of my identity.

I’m tired.  I’m edgy.  I’m “this close” to biting your head off.

Like a wounded animal, I snarl and back into my cave.  Don’t fuck with me.

I can taste the blood in my mouth, the blood of this heart I’ve been carrying around, and I realize that it is MY heart.  The anger and frustration are in vain because they only lead back to self-sabotage.

Bruises are blooming upon the mind that keeps punching itself.  But once you’re in a downward spiral, none of this matters.  You are drunk on this conviction that THIS IS ALL WRONG.

The blood leaks from the corners of my mouth.

*

I don’t know how to put my heart back in my body.

I don’t know how to find stillness in this world that is so very cracked.

I don’t know how to meet the standards it takes to be a “good mother,” a “good woman,” a “good human being.”

The satisfaction is always a step away, an achievement away, a validation away.

“I’m almost there.”

“I’m going to make it.”

“Everything is going to be okay.”

“My kids are going to turn out fine.”

“Someday, I will find love.”

But this is now.

*

Something in me is crying, because it is right here, and it always has been, and I’m so sorry I’ve forgotten again.  I forgot it about you, and him, and her, and me and all of us.

Help me remember.

Help me find my way back when I’m lost like this.

Will you shine your light on the path that leads to the field that Rumi speaks of?

*

I had a dream last night, full of the usual busy-ness and nonsense.  I had a million obligations.  I felt judged.  I was comparing myself to those around me.  I harbored a list of the 5,642 reasons why I suck.

Suddenly, I was drawn to lie down on a hidden patch of grass, dappled in sunlight.

I lay down.

It was the sweetest thing.

That feeling of failure was so strong and I was so tired from it.

I let myself rest.

I was being given a gift, lying here in the sun.  The chaos of the world was three feet away, but I was offered a respite, a moment of inactivity.

I didn’t earn that moment.

That moment didn’t fix me.

I didn’t escape my whereabouts or my looming obligations.

In that moment, as gave up on trying,

I felt loved.

*

And I was that love.

*

Broken Little Pieces

 

We are all refugees

here

Trying to keep our precious hearts alive.

*

It happens

as it should

That you will find yourself unraveled

into pieces

like so many messy parts

The veil is shattered,

and your brokenness is hanging like an unhinged door

So obvious —

There’s no use trying to make this look pretty.

*

When you find yourself this way

Crooked and unhinged

Will you please say hello to your mind

with kindness?

Step into the dark places, and find the ones who look like monsters.

See your Rage, sharpening its blade of resentment like a knife, silently seething with a killer’s white fury.

Step towards it and drop to your knees.

Stroke its perfect face, distorted as it may be.

Thank it for working so hard to protect you all these years.  All this time.

Feel how tired it is and let it take a rest.

Gently remove the blade from its hand, placing it nearby.

Lay its head down on a bed of moss covered with white flowers.

Let it rest.

Nothing to do right now, sweet Rage.

You can sleep.

*

See Rejection standing nearby.

Rush towards it with open arms.

Cradle it, hold it to your smiling heart, for there is nothing more worthy of love than this one who has forgotten its own worth.

Let it feel the comfort that you bring as you accept it exactly as it is right now.

Wrap it in your favorite shawl and help it to lay down for a nap on the soft, green moss.

*

Do this, continuously, for everyone you find in the shadows of your mind.

Greed.  Fear.  Judgment.  Perversion.  Doubt.  Sadness.  Jealousy.  Shame.  Irritation.  Hopelessness.  Worry.  Depression.  Control.  Denial.

Find these broken pieces.

Love them in their brokenness.

There is nothing to fix.

With a quiet kind of grace, we are sweeping the mind

and the story is falling away.

The Refuge is here,

ever-accessible.

Find it in stillness, in silence, in the breathing in and out.

Find it in weeping, in falling apart, in the heart that is bursting

with unconditional love.

*

 

Full Moon in Virgo

We’ve been having a waxing Leo Moon weekend – big, exuberant energy that is potentially excessive and prone to indulging.  When La Luna is reaching fullness, as she ripens, she is lending us the magic of the sign she is transiting.  In Leo, she is sensual, illuminated and self-oriented.  Now is the time to love yourself up to maximum capacity.

La Luna is almost directly across from the Sun at this time, who is sharing the waters of Pisces with Neptune.  The Sun is newly in Pisces as of 3 days ago, and we are opening ourselves up to a time of increased sensitivity, caring and feeling.  The Sun is shining light on the area of your chart ruled by Pisces, so that house in particular is going to experience the “spotlight” with this solar transit.  Pisces rules my 10th house of career, outer identity and reputation – which also happens to be where my Moon dwells.  No wonder I am obsessed with writing about the Moon!

Neptune has been in Pisces since 2012 and will continue to travel in her waters until 2025.  Neptune is the modern ruler of Pisces and he is all about spiritual transformation.  Traditionally Pisces was ruled by Jupiter, which is probably why so many Piscean people have huge hearts are natural givers.  Neptune in Pisces can be prone to fantasy and escapism, but he is also extremely creative and clairvoyant.  Neptune in Pisces is the natural musician, and this 13-year stretch could speak to a time when a new generation of incredible musicians and sound-healers are being born.

La Luna is creeping up on a little square to Mars that is exact at 5:17pm PST today, and then she makes no other aspects (she is void) until she enters Virgo at 3:24am tomorrow.  Moon square Mars can bring up feelings of opposition and conflict, or emotions like anger and resentment.  Mars is in secretive waters of Scorpio these days (until March 5th) and he is digging in the depths of our desires.  Let that which arises, arise.  The thing we are guaranteed is change.

The full Moon in Virgo is exact at 10:20am tomorrow, Monday.  Virgo rules the 6th House of health, work and service.  She is grounded, logical and efficient.  Jupiter and the North Node are both planted in Virgo for quite some time, so as the Moon passes through Virgo she is also supported by the planet of benevolence and good fortune (Jupiter) as well as the aspect that speaks to destiny and life-purpose (North Node).  Now is the time to get real, folks.

March will be full of eclipses (total Solar eclipse on March 8th and Lunar eclipse on March 23rd).  Eclipses bring change and opportunity.  They can be pretty intense for some of us.

Anchor yourself at this time.  Compassion towards self and others will be a golden key that you are being invited to use as the power of transformation surrounds us during eclipse season.

Blessings and Peace.

~ ~ ~

If you are seeking an astrologer at this time, I can refer you to 2 amazing astrologers/intuitives in the Seattle area:

*Megan Skinner (www.meganskinner.com)

*Stephanie Gailing (www.planetaryapothecary.com)

Or online, I continue to learn so much from:

*Chani Nicholas (www.chaninicholas.com)

*Ainslie Faust (www.astroainslie.com)

 

 

 

How To Talk To Your Salty Teenager #1

 

When you have a salty teenager, it’s important to get on his or her level.  You need to be quick with the comebacks.  You need to know the lingo.  You gotta get hip with the vibe.  You GOTTA maintain a silent trickery, otherwise – what fun is it?

This is your chance.  Most teenagers walk a fine line between crazy and self-obsessed.  Their brains are weird, but still somewhat moldable.  The world is beginning to look and feel more and more cut-throat.  It is your job to provide the comic relief.  This will also stave off your own temptation to have a nervous breakdown and wind up in a padded room.  Laugh or cry, baby!

One thing I like to do is let them know I’m onto the drug lingo.

As I’m walking out the door, I like to say things like “I love you, buddy!  Do your homework!  Please do all of your chores perfectly!  And don’t smoke crack!”  Say it nonchalantly, and shut the door quickly.

I also like to leave notes.  Such as: “Help yourself to the beans, cheese & tortillas available to be made into simple burritos.  Also — NO METH, NO KUSH & NO LEAN. love, mom.”

Whenever you can, casually walk around pretending to talk to someone on your cell phone, saying things like “Yeah, I was CRUNK the other night!  Woo!  What a party!”

I think “crunk” means drunk plus crank?

The teenagers realize that you are full of shit, but they also have less to prove.

On another note, definitely DO play favorites with your children regarding their music choices.

I have one son who is super into Duke Ellington these days.  Another who is into Tyga.  I clearly have a favorite, and I am not shy about re-iterating who that favorite is when it is time to choose what we listen to collectively as a family.  Feel free to judge me.  Then listen to a song (any song) by Tyga, and judge me again.  That’s right – playing favorites with my children is totally legit.

It’s important to express your favoritism in a reasonable way – such as “Thank you *ustin, my favorite son, for playing music that is chill and classy, not totally shitty and degrading.”

That’s all for now, folks.  I’ll try to keep you posted with my amazing parenting skills — as the epiphanies come to me, I will share them.

xo,

hang in there.

 

 

 

Ode to Venus entering Aquarius

 

Venus enters Aquarius tonight at 8:17pm PST, joining Mercury and the Sun.  We will have just over 49 hours with all three planets cavorting in the sign of the Water-Bearer/Energy-Bearer, as the Sun will enter Pisces around 9:30pm this Thursday evening.

Venus in Aquarius is bringing me a sense of laughter.  And bubbles like playful sea waves.  She is revolutionary, she is quirky, she is unapologetically herself.  Aquarius pioneers freedom.  What is it inside of us that is waiting to be set free?  There is that magic in all of us, that liberating force, that will shake down all the obstacles, real or imagined.  A freedom that one might imagine in death can, indeed, be felt and even lived.

As we are slowly turning into the Age of Aquarius from the Piscean Age, it is fitting that many humans are rapidly “waking up” and many “awakened” humans are coming into the world.  It makes sense that the kundalini energy lying dormant at the base of the spine of every human is finding more and more opportunity for rising like the sacred snake.

Somewhere I have a card with a picture of Kwan Yin, Goddess of Compassion, robed in white and standing on the back of a giant green serpent.  I think about that image often in yoga class, especially during final breathing.  Awakening Kwan-Yin in my heart chakra, feeling her power riding upon the serpent of kundalini energy.

Aquarius feels like kundalini to me….

Traditionally, Aquarius is ruled by Saturn, fixed, firm and structured.  The Energy-Bearer needs structure and guidance, like the kundalini.

The modern ruler of Aquarius is Uranus, the rock and roll wild child of our solar system.  Uranus is looking for nothing short of transcendence.  That is exactly what an awakened kundalini will bring.

Venus represents love, art, wisdom and the divine feminine.  She exists in all of us and is a supportive energy at all times.  In Aquarius, she will be transiting my 9th House of travel and philosophy.  Where does she affect YOU?

 

www.astro.com

www.astrolabe.com

 

Oh, Intimacy.

Intimacy.

It sounds so appealing, doesn’t it?   Enticing.  Fun.  Close.

Sexy.  Safe.  Secret.

Fantasy made real.

But then there’s the uncomfortable feelings that might occur.  Like fear and insecurity.  Or jealousy.  Issues of control.  Attachment.  Need and want.  Vulnerability.

Oh, shit.

It’s one thing to send someone a sexy photo of some naked portion of your body under just the right light.  It’s another to stand naked with your feelings and thoughts in front of someone without playing games of shielding.

For me, stepping into intimacy has been a slow journey.  I learned to hide early on, to transform myself on a superficial level to accommodate the external world.  I learned to be a yes girl.  An actress in everyone else’s story but my own.  I picked up on cues… what will make them like me?  What will make me acceptable?  How can I get the attention I need?   With men, I shared my body, but not my truth.  How intimate is that?  Not very.

None of this is unique!  A common, common story.

I denied myself food, and pleasure, and fun, and self-love.  My breath was shallow, my thoughts were often shallow.  My sense of suffering was chronic.  The paradigm I believed in depended on my oblivion to what it was that I actually wanted to experience.  My “want” was insidiously driven by the power of external validation.  The story of chasing my worth outside of myself, looking for love while holding my breath, is long and sort of boring.  It’s a story of false starts and dead ends.  A story of resisting my own knowing.

Intimacy is like waking up sober from your own thoughts, your own story.  It is the is-ness that is here now.

Intimacy has everything to do with honoring what feels good rather than what looks good.  Living without the story of some external reward or external validation, I am free to realize that breathing feels good.  Listening to my body feels good.  Self-love in its many forms of expression feels good.  Following my intuition feels good.  Not rushing to decide, respond or act feels good.

When I am free from the story of what I should or should not look like, feel like, accomplish or gain – I can look around with fresh eyes at this world that is truly, constantly, my own reflection.  I can move from that place.  I can smile first, or love, or hug.  I can receive.

I can say yes, gladly and honestly.  I can say no, simply.

Oh, Intimacy.

Dare I approach you?  Dare I let you in?  Dare I sit in stillness and ask the question: “Who?”

Who is having these thoughts?  Who is watching them?  Who is feeling the emotion?  Who is observing the feelings?  Who owns the sense of lack or want or need?

Who is chasing?  Who is forgetting and who is remembering?  Who is breathing in?  Who is letting it go?

Ohhhh…

So close, so intimate.  So completely woven into the tapestry of our lives, our stories.

Who is weaving?

 

Namaste.

 

 

Undateable

As the day of love approaches, I find myself considering putting myself back on “the online market” so to speak, as in online dating.  I’ve done it before, but it’s been over a year and I stopped because I wasn’t having very much fun.  However, I’ve heard of a couple of newer sites that sound like they might be worth a try, and besides – it’s all about where you’re at in the moment, right?  We attract that which we are vibing, that which we are putting out in the Universe.

I question the validity of my efforts, though, for there are a few “snags” in my fabric that make me feel a bit ~ you guessed it ~ undateable:

  • I’m a cat lady. I’m also a little crazy, but that is not a diagnosed condition, just my own self-assessment.  I only have two cats, but they are my children.  And they are the glue that holds my family together.  So my potential mate must like cats.  He must not be allergic to cats.  And he must specifically receive signs of approval from MY cats.  No pressure.
  • I am a single parent of teenage boys. I have been a single parent through the majority of their childhood.  I’m decent at it, but I won’t lie – the challenges are real and constant.  I love my boys something fierce.  And I bow to them as my greatest teachers.  They come first, always.  I need and desire a relationship in which I am understood as a mother.  I wear many hats and my superpowers are vast.  But damn, I could use a break sometimes.  Men I’ve dated often think they get it, but then they don’t.  This does not seem to be contingent on their own experience of raising children, but guys with kids potentially have more of a clue. “Potentially” being the key word….
  • My mind is cracked open to the awareness of human suffering. I care deeply.  Specifically, issues regarding sexism, violence against women, racism, violence against people of color, economic oppression, disregard of people living in poverty, violence against children, and the subtle yet violent brainwashing of men.  I want to talk about these things.  I want a meaningful discourse about these realities with the person I am dating.  I crave an ongoing conversation that makes our hearts softer and our words more kind, even as the pain of understanding suffering breaks our hearts and minds.  I don’t want the band-aid or the kool-aid!  Please, travel in this space with me.  Not for me, but because your soul is aware of its own contract and you, too, have come here to awaken and forgive, love and forgive, be and forgive, forgive, forgive.
  • I have experienced the end of myself. For many years, I kept hitting a cement wall (the end of myself), and it would feel painful and it would be a huge learning experience, but I kept re-creating my identity and my attachments.  Somehow, over time, I have given myself over to this death.  I still attach myself to my identity, but it is somehow looser, kinder and more porous.  The “me” I thought I was isn’t real.  This I know.  The “me” I identify with today is only temporary.  I long to constantly experience the end of myself, for that is the glimpse I have into a life of freedom.
  • When “I” stop clinging to “me” there is a letting go that usually makes me weep because I am so grateful and so relieved.  It is like a load of ten thousand bricks has been lifted from my mind and I can feel, for a moment, that the life that breathes and moves in this body is eternal and sacred and unaffected by conditions.  This presence is deathless, changeless and undeterred by my creative displays of suffering and story-telling.  In fact, it is through these experiences of suffering, these “dreams” if you will, that I seek the end of myself more and more.  Suffering was my introduction to freedom, for it was in times of trial that I rigorously pursued the presence of unwavering love.  I chased my lies until I found the thing that was far more interesting, and to this day I drop to my knees in my heart center when I feel this end, this death, this eternal nature.  I feel it as the the living water, and still I know that I am only grazing the surface of how brilliant it really is.

 

I suppose these are not too many deterrents, but in my experience, the trail gets less and less crowded on the path of soul-reckoning.  There often seem to be more women than men on this trail.  It is somewhat inconvenient that I am primarily straight.  So good luck to me!  Ha! 😉

Also, blessings and love to you – whoever and however you may be – on your love journey and in your seeking.  Namaste.

 

 

 

New Moon in Aquarius and Happy Year of the Fire Monkey!

The new moon in Aquarius was exact at 6:39am PST this morning, harkening in the Year of the Red Fire Monkey in the Chinese zodiac.  The Chinese New Year begins on the second new moon after the Winter Solstice.  I find the interplay between the Chinese zodiac and the zodiac of Western astrology to be quite fascinating – there are so many layers to dig into within each system, and when we merge them together we are given a broad, holistic view of our astrological make-up.

The new moon is conjoined with the sun in Aquarius today – wild, rebellious and determined.  Aquarius is the fixed air sign, very mentally stimulating as well as firm in its views.  Aquarius is ruled traditionally by Saturn, the taskmaster and disciplinarian, but the modern ruler of Aquarius is Uranus, the planet of innovation, transformation and disruption.  This speaks to why Aquarius is able to contain such driven and focused energy, while at the same time remaining eccentric and untamed.

The Chinese New Year always occurs with the new moon in Aquarius, but the Monkey can straddle the spectrum of Aquarius deftly, for he is naturally wild and free, but also ambitious and mentally astute.  In particular, the Fire Monkey is a yang animal with the most yang energy of all the Chinese elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Metal, Wood).

We are being invited into this new moon cycle and into this Chinese New Year with a high level of intensity, intellectual passion and a need for revolutionary change.  What will you set yourself free from this moon cycle?  What kind of big picture liberation do you want to experience in your own life this year?  The Red Fire Monkey is here to facilitate empowering metamorphosis on a micro/macro, personal/political scale in 2016.  Here we go!

Our sun in Aquarius experienced a hard square to fiery Mars in Scorpio early yesterday morning, and today the new moon herself is squaring the red planet.  This is challenging energy that is bound to unearth hard feelings like anger, fear, resentment and jealousy.  Yuck, yuck, yuck!  It is time to tune in and observe.  Mars likes conflict, and as the traditional ruler of Scorpio, he is very powerful in the deep waters of the Scorpion.  In a square aspect with the sun and moon, he is literally banging on the doors of our consciousness and demanding that we deal with the crud and the sludge that we generally prefer to keep buried.  The intensity of this configuration is flowing over us like a mood, but it sets the stage for the current moon cycle.

As we go within and get quiet with the new moon, and as we plant the seeds of intention for the next 4 weeks, there are elements to be reckoned with that might not feel at all pretty or convenient.  However, the uncomfortable elements (shadows, if you will) being unearthed by Mars in Scorpio are truly necessary to our growth and development at this time.  May we let the lightness and global vision of Aquarius steer us towards working with our shadows to connect in deeper ways and take in the bigger picture.  In the words of Maya Angelou, Aquarius knows without a doubt: “The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free.”

If you are seeking an astrologer at this time, I can refer you to 2 amazing astrologers/intuitives in the Seattle area:

*Megan Skinner (www.meganskinner.com)

*Stephanie Gailing (www.planetaryapothecary.com)

Or online, I continue to learn so much from:

*Chani Nicholas (www.chaninicholas.com)

*Ainslie Faust (www.astroainslie.com)

 

Dear Men, my Brothers!

This week I have learned about the existence of a man named Daryush Valizadeh (Roosh V.) who is organizing men world-wide in support of legalizing and condoning the raping of women.  What the fuck.  No, seriously.  WHAT THE FUCK???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Men, my Brothers, please organize yourselves against this war on women.  Please do not let this man create the definition of “Neomasculinity” or brand “Return of Kings.”

Rise up, Men!  You have to speak, you have to act, you have to be heard and seen.  Yes, you have to listen, but so many of you already know what needs to change.

Supposedly Valizadeh is canceling the events that were planned for this Saturday because of death threats and such.  He has garnered so much attention from all of this, become a media sensation.  So maybe we should all just look away and not give him the attention he is seeking and the sick pleasure of outraging almost everyone who learns of his existence.

But we can’t look away.  We, women, we can’t look away.  I’m tired of looking, believe me.  But I’m more tired of seeing nothing change.  Seeing that the illness of misogyny is alive and well (and not just in the form of Valizadeh and his followers) is making me very, very tired.

Hearing women crying, raging, and grieving the effects of misogyny, but not hearing the voices of men is making me tired.

Men, my Brothers, don’t let this man represent you.  Don’t let the teachings of using your sex as a weapon be cast off as “satire” or cause you to simply label Valizadeh as “crazy” and move on to the next headline.

Please, my Brothers, use your voices, use your hearts, and organize yourselves as the real Kings that you are.  Whatever has gotten in the way of remembering the beauty and power that exists at the core of your being, cast it off now!  Shed the lies constantly!  Look each other square in the eye and remind each other of the honor and responsibility that the entire world so badly needs from you.  And please, please, please, whether or not you have children of your own, shepherd the boys of this world to connect to their own humanity and support their tender and precarious growth.

Every man becomes a reflection to these growing boys.

I’m over it, you guys.  I’m tired.  Let me hear your voices, read your words and feel your presence in this walk toward freedom and safety for each and every one of us.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

(May all beings everywhere be happy and free)

From the Gospel of Thomas:

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”