Creating Myself

unnamed1“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

So, how do I go about creating myself? Sounds like great advice.

I remember back in my working years, I was pretty much on auto pilot, just going through life the best I could. I had to be sure my performance at work was good so I could support my family. I identified as a Mom, rather than a professional woman, and, yet, I never felt I had as much time as I wanted to spend with my children. Of course, the day came when they totally left the nest – just about the time my work life was over. The Universe has a dark sense of humor sometimes. In the course of a very few years my children were on their own journey and my career ended.

This isn’t a sad story! Lol. I was happy to see my kids making their own way. I didn’t always agree with their choices and I realized I’d made some choices my parents surely did not agree with either.   All in all, I was happy for them and for me. I knew I’d done the best I could – not perfect by any means – but, the best I could. And, now I was free of the responsibility of parenting minor children. I hope being a Mom is always there in my life, even in a very broad support role. And, of course, in a very deep loving place.

I really liked my career. Like all jobs it had its moments – on average I was proud of the profession I was in and of the job I did. I grew up in that business role. It was very challenging and I found out what I am made of. And, I was ready for it to end and to move into a new phase of my life.

That was all many years ago. When I saw the above quote by Shaw I truly understood his point. Every day with every choice we each create ourselves and the material world we find ourselves in. As the years pass in our lives, we and our circumstances change. It is impossible to hang onto the past. It’s over. That’s really, really good news. It can be a lot of fun trying out new ideas and new experiences and meeting new people. Let go! Go for it! Jump!

One of our biggest fears as human beings is change. And, yet, to live vital, healthy, joy filled lives we must change almost daily. In one of Deepak Chopra’s books he makes the point that the cells in our body are constantly dying and being replenished with new cells. Cancer cells, he says, are ones that refuse to die a natural death, causing great stress and pain for the body. Think about that as a metaphor for the way you are living your life.

Look around and look inside. Where are you now? What’s dead, what’s dying and what’s ready to be born? Look at your fear of change. Is it holding you back? What new you are you creating today?

Namaste.

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As Above So Below

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“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…” – Hermes Trismegistus

Hermes Trismegistus is believed to be a fusion of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth. Both are associated with wisdom, writing and magic. What we know is that writings attributed to him have come down to us. They were written by unknown authors in Egypt sometime before the end of the third century C.E

One of the basic premises of astrology is the idea that human consciousness and the heavens mirror each other. They are thought to be governed by the same laws and organized around the same principals. It is believed that we can understand the human mind by observing our solar system. These ideas come down to us from Hermes Trismegistus. So, let’s take a look at the sky with this philosophical backdrop.

If you were in an imaginary spaceship hovering far above our star in the milky way galaxy, what would you see?

Our star, the sun, is a brilliant light. The first four orbiting bodies are like tiny pebbles, rock worlds – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Earth is bigger than the other three and our Moon is big in comparison to the size of Earth. From a distance, it might look like a double planet. Next, we would see the asteroid belt – it’s sort of like thick soup or a dust storm of stone. If you could squeeze it all together you would still have only a small fraction of the mass of a planet.

Next comes the gas giants. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. They are all big, gaudy, gassy balloons, averaging approximately thirty times Earth’s diameter – remember Earth is the biggest of the rocky planets. Notice that these four gas planets are very different from the four rocky planets.

So, what’s out beyond the gas giants? We see another haze of icy stones extending out into the infinity of space. On the inner edge of this band is the planet Pluto. It is truly a very small body – about two-thirds the diameter of our Moon. We are now discovering Pluto is one of hundreds of such bodies. Undoubtedly, we will discover many more as our ability to see is enhanced. These bodies are sometimes referred to as trans-Neptunian or as the Kuiper Belt.

As most of you know, with the discovery of many bodies in the Kuiper Belt, Pluto was demoted and is no longer an “official” planet.

One more scientific fact, then I’ll get to my point. Pluto weaves in and out of Neptune’s orbit. Sometimes it’s closer to the Sun and sometimes Neptune is closer to the Sun. They seem to be doing a cosmic dance.

Ancient wisdom was “as above, so below.” Observe the sky to understand yourself. As an astrologer, I know that to be very sound wisdom.

We humans are evolving – changing. Think back to thousands of years ago. Humans were very different than us. Their challenges and lessons were different. Astrological symbolism for the Sun and those four rocky planets speaks of basic human issues. The ancients could see the first two gas planets, Jupiter and Saturn. They, too, reflect basic, in this world phenomena.

Consider as our knowledge of the cosmos has deepened, so has our knowledge of the human mind. Many books have been written on tracing the discovery of planets and the events in our modern world coincident with those discoveries.

Here we are. The year 2017. What are our challenges and lessons now? How are they reflected back to us as we look up to the night sky? Symbolically, Neptune (discovered in 1846) is associated with spirituality and Pluto (discovered in 1930) with depth psychology. As symbols, they have other meanings. To keep my point simple, I’ll stick with those two.

Can you feel the dance between spirituality and psychology in our modern times? Not that many years ago – and, maybe still in some people’s minds – if you talked about seeing a therapist or psychologist, you were thought to be crazy. If you spoke of being a spiritual person as opposed to a religious one, you were killed or ostracized. Can you see and feel how that has and is different now? Neptune and Pluto, working together, are reflecting back to us our discovery of our own human depth of meaning.

As we now look more deeply into the vastness of space beyond the Kuiper Belt, we humans will look more deeply into the vastness of who we are as luminous beings. As other discoveries are made out there – we will also make new discoveries in here.

As above, so below.

Namaste.

Note: Parts of this post were excerpted from The Book of Neptune by Steven Forrest.

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God of the Gaps

tumblr_n9pr7nk4ec1sknuc2o4_5001“They [scientists of centuries past] call on God only from the lonely and precarious edge of incomprehension. Where they feel certain about their explanations, however, God gets hardly a mention.” And “God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson contends god has always been and is where our limits of understanding are. What we don’t understand – what continues to be a mystery to science – we give to god. Some philosophers call this idea the God of the Gaps. Gaps in our understanding of the universe.

In Tyson’s view once we can know everything (is that possible?) then god disappears. No more mystery, no more unknown, no more reason for any concept of god. It seems to me that god – by whatever name – has a much broader presence than merely representing what scientists don’t understand.

He often talks about scientists of old who made outstanding discoveries. When they had reached the limits of their understanding, they attributed the rest to the will of god. He contends many scientist today feel the same. To put this idea in context let’s remember scientist are seeking to understand this material world

The unseen, sacred mystery that permeates all that is, was or ever will be is a completely different thing. It’s there in the known and seen and in the unknown and unseen. Some call that mystery god, love, source, creator, or your own words.

So, as science pursues the God of the Gaps, let’s not forget the real pursuit is the feelings in our hearts – the unseen, sacred mystery.

Namaste.

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Suffering

av-97701691“And here is where we come to suffering, because what suffering tells you is where the mind is clinging.

“Now, I am talking about your suffering. I am not talking about somebody else’s suffering. Let’s just deal with us. For me, suffering is telling me where my mind is clinging. If I experience suffering because I am getting old, it’s because I have a model of myself that’s other than what this is.

“This is what this is, including dying, pain, loss, all of it. The models in our heads about it, and the way we cling to it, is where the root of suffering is.

“So when you wanna get free badly enough, you begin to experience your own suffering as grace. You don’t ask for it. You don’t say, ‘Give me suffering,’ but when it comes you see it as something that’s showing you a place where you are holding. The place to release.” – Ram Dass

I think Ram Dass captured this wisdom perfectly. Buddhism teaches something like pain is a part of life but suffering is optional. I was talking with a friend recently about the importance of letting go of our view of ourselves as the years drift on by. As I age, if I am attempting to hang onto “me” as a much younger person, then I’m setting myself up for suffering. We experience suffering as illness, depression, groundlessness, addiction, your own personal favorite.

Our material bodies wear out – my Daddy used to say “nobody gets out of this world alive.” Sounds funny. And yet, many of us don’t get it. We cling to an illusion that we are the same as some previous age that to us was close to nirvana.

The really cool thing is – as we age, as we let go, as we die to an old identity – we have the opportunity to simultaneously be born into a new, wiser, lighter version of ourselves. To me that’s what the spiritual path is all about. I see more clearly, I release more easily. The ultimate freedom and peace.

Namaste.

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To Everything There Is a Season

2de872b2e6c6de95e6e33b42737312e9[1]Remember the song made popular by the Byrds – Turn, Turn, Turn. It was written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s. The Byrds recorded it in 1965. You can hear a version of it on YouTube here.

The lyrics, except for the title which is repeated throughout the song and the final two lines, are adapted word-for-word from the English version of the first eight verses of the third chapter of the biblical Book of Ecclesiastes written about 450-180 BC.

I decided to write a few posts as this year begins about change and this song came to mind. Here are the lyrics – as timely today as when they were originally written. It appears change has been an issue for we humans for a very long time.

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew

A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late!

Acceptance of whatever the turning wheel of life brings our way. Easy words to read and mentally understand. Very difficult wisdom to live. Letting go and trusting that whatever comes is potentially in our highest good.

Remember, you are love.
Peace.

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Cycles

image007[1]The planets’ cycles coincide with our natural human cycles.

When we reach our teenage years we naturally begin to formulate our own beliefs and ideas about life – the beginning of becoming independent thinkers. Some of us rebel against our parents, home and society. Others quietly begin changing inside. And everything in between. No matter our path, we begin the process of leaving our childhood behind, of leaving “home.”

In astrological teachings, the planet Uranus represents the freedom urge. It is the planet of extremes and sudden changes. It is a force that destroys the old and makes room for the new.   The old must be destroyed before the new can come in. Transiting Uranus makes its first major aspect to natal Uranus at age 14 – for everybody.

So, does the movement of the physical planet Uranus in the sky “cause” us in our teenage years to feel the freedom urge? People observing the sky and the planetary movements deduced that the two reflect each other. It appears our natural human cycle of leaving home and seeking freedom coincides with the movement of Uranus in the heavens. We are in resonance.

A child was born when the Sun was in the part of the sky labeled Aries. Astute observers long ago knew that child would exhibit certain characteristics as it grew. Again, was that because the Sun in that portion of the sky “caused” those attributes in the child? Or, did the Aries Sun reflect the seasonal Earth energies at the moment of birth?

The planets are symbols, the meanings of which were developed or theorized over long periods of time as people made observations and drew conclusions. If this sounds like a scientific model, it was. Prior to around 1700 AD astronomers and astrologers were the same person and the knowledge the same field of study. The purpose back then in studying the sky was to gain knowledge to help – society, kings and the like, as well as individuals.

We are attuned to – affected by – Earth energies which are clockwork like energies due to the Earth’s movement through the sky. She is a planet in this solar system and participates in the great cosmic dance. These movements are precisely predictable over vast periods of time. This accounts for the ability of the Mayan and other civilizations to produce such long range, accurate calendars. They were keen observers of the sky.

We humans exist within these energy fields and are affected by them much more than we want to acknowledge. It is true we have free will and the ability to make choices in our lives. We aren’t helplessly drug along. The problem arises because many of us rarely exercise our free will. Rather we are sleepwalkers living the lives of our parents, peers, society, religion or your own personal favorite. And, some of us are lifelong rebels – we never leave “home” – we constantly rebel. We didn’t heed the call of Uranus at 14 years of age. Free will.

The cycles of the planets reflect to us the call of the Earth energies as we experience our own growing and maturing cycles – wake up, learn this, try this! We dance together. That’s why observing the planets and their cycles relative to our lives gives us information about our own growth.

We literally are one with each other, Mother Earth and the cosmos. We are all swimming in the same energy sea, being called to grow and learn and mature in very predictable ways. We are free to choose how we will respond to the call. It’s important to realize we are all called. Cycle after cycle after cycle for all of life.

Namaste.

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It Was a Pretty Great Year

m57_nasagendler_30001“I guess it was a pretty great year after all, give or take. By all means, let us work to change the world. And when we can’t, let us make damn sure that it doesn’t change us.” – Chris Cox

Chris writes a column in the Smoky Mountain News. This quote is from a recent edition of that publication. In the article, he talks about his disappointments in the political process in 2016 – and all the good things that came his way. He’s searching for perspective.

He makes a great point. Change in our environment – political, social, religious, family – is inevitable. Some of it we welcome and easily accept. Other change may stir up anger, fear, sadness or other emotions we act out or push down and away. Either way we run the risk of changing in a way we don’t want.

Ultimately, each of us – here inside – choose our outlook. How we cope with the unexpected changes in our lives colors the world we each create for ourselves.   Am I creating a loving, peaceful, joy filled world for myself – or not? Am I taking the time to see, appreciate and be grateful for all the gifts in my life – all the miracles? Or, am I focusing on what changed that I don’t want?

Surrender is a word I read a lot in spiritual teachings. Surrender and miracles are related I think. I realize I control nothing. When I surrender my illusion of control, I am almost instantly living as and in a miracle. If I’m not in control, who is?

I do have free will and can respond to change in a variety of ways. In my personal experience, some of the ways I’ve chosen to respond to changes in my life have worked out well – other times, not so much!

I think of life as an ongoing classroom. I have no control over what change/lesson comes my way. Ok, here we go. As I formulate my reaction to the lesson, that’s where all my learning comes into play. Pass or fail? Hard to tell sometimes. Bottom line test is: how are you feeling through it all? Are you feeling? Are you on a great adventure or not?

Namaste.

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Intentions

nebula-orion2[1]I began writing a post on the New Year and remembered this one I had written  long ago.  Decided I couldn’t really say this any differently than I did back then.  So, here ya go:

“Things do not change; we change.” – Henry David Thoreau

I don’t make new year’s resolutions. I disappoint myself every time by not doing what I resolved to do. Then I beat myself up. What a trip.

Rather, I now decide what my intentions are for the coming year. Intention is a softer, gentler, more loving word than resolution. Or, at least, to me it is. Intention means I can change my mind, if I want. More room to adjust my intention as life unfolds.

When I intend something different in my life, the first thing I must do is make room for it. Letting go of something old, makes room for something new. What in my life is old, worn out, no fun, no longer in my highest good? What am I ready to leave behind. Maybe old programming, old beliefs, an old self image, habitual behavior, a job, a relationship – you can add to the list.

For me, step one is – what needs to end? That’s the step a lot of us skip over. Before we set intentions, the closet needs cleaning.

Without first letting go, when we just pile on more intentions or resolutions, we simply add more stress and more confusion.

Let’s say you intend to have more financial freedom, less debt. Until you simultaneously intend to let go of spending money you don’t have, you are simply setting yourself up to disappoint you. That could lead to an intention to let go of or loosen your need for material things. Which might lead to a realization of what’s important in your life – peace of mind or things?

Or, you intend to have more peace in your life, more time to rest, be closer to nature. For that to happen, you might first intend to clear your social calendar, be more selective in choosing your commitments and your friends – let go of social busyness. Let go of feeling you must have every moment scheduled. Maybe it’s OK if you don’t have hundreds of friends on Facebook?

Remember our lives are the result of our choices. Letting go and making room is a choice – as important, if not more so, than intending something new.

Namaste.

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Winter Solstice

2bfa64be119dde55eb211c6d909f8dd21“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu

Here in the Northern Hemisphere the Winter Solstice is the shortest, darkest day of the year – tomorrow the light begins returning as the Sun makes its way back to the north. Of course, we all know the Sun isn’t doing anything, it’s our Mother Earth that is wobbling as she orbits the Sun. It only appears from our Earth perspective as though the Sun moves south in winter and north in summer.

In old pagan times this was the time of the birth of the Sun God – he died at Samhain (Halloween) and has been at rest until his rebirth here at the Winter Solstice. Peoples of olden times lived close to the Earth and her cycles. Their entire cosmology or view of life was centered around the seasons, movement of the wandering stars and the moon. Because of this, they realized that change is a part of life, as is death.

I have believed for some time if we want to understand where we came from and where we are going, its only necessary we look at Nature and look to olden beliefs when people were a whole lot more in tune than we are.

Back to the Sun God – he has a lot to teach us. He is born from the Goddess at the Winter Solstice. He brings longer days, more light, warmth, and hope for new life – at the darkest, coldest time of year.

By the Spring Equinox when the days and nights are equal Mother Earth is coming back to life from her long winter’s rest. The Sun God participates with the Goddess in fertility rites – life is honored and celebrated. New life covers the planet.

The Summer Solstice is celebrated as the peak of the cycle – abundance, warmth, the crops are in the field, Mother Nature’s many gifts are upon the Earth.

And, finally, the Fall Equinox when days and nights are equal again. Only this time the Equinox is bringing the end of the cycle – death. Crops are harvested, leaves and nuts fall from the trees. It’s as though the Sun God goes out in a glorious symphony of color and bounty to sustain life through the darkness until he returns at the Winter Solstice.

Have you ever wondered whether reincarnation is true or a fiction created by optimists, just think about this cycle – every year the answer is right before us.

If you’ve ever attempted to hold on to a time in your life – maybe your youth, or your years as a parent, or a time at the peak of your career, or maybe a time when a sane, left leaning person sat in the US White House! – you get the idea – you most likely found out fairly quickly that life moves on despite your desperate desire for it to stay the same. Remember the seasons. You will die to one cycle and be reborn to the next. Winter – Spring – Summer – Fall – in a never-ending cycle of change.

I think every wisdom teaching I’ve ever read has its own version of – let go and trust the flow of life – and death – and rebirth.

The Sun God is born, matures and dies only to be reborn again.

Namaste.

 

 

 

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Expect Miracles

d332ec722d88be4b8f005d0cc96551821“I am realistic – I expect miracles.” – Wayne Dyer

We are in the season of miracles. You and me – everyday miracles that we pass right on by and don’t see. Like Wayne Dyer, I’m a realist. And, I know without a shadow of a doubt that miracles are an integral part of our lives.

We simply might want to consider redefining what we believe a miracle to be. My heart beats, some magical energy breathes me. A very small seed has the life in it of an apple tree or a carrot – that magic happens in the darkness of Mother Earth. Some completely mystical force keeps you and me on this planet – I think they call it gravity. No one really knows what it is. If you’ve read this blog very long you know I’ve written posts about this before.

It’s worth repeating. You see the very basic aspects of our lives on Earth are all miracles. So, when we can stop long enough to just remember that, then it is a very small leap to “expect miracles” in all aspects of our lives.

Here is a partial list of the daily miracles in my life: The awe I feel when I watch the sun rise and set each day; the feeling of love in my heart for my family and friends; my very rich imagination – I can and do travel to worlds beyond this material one; the fire in my grate every evening – did you realize that some ancient cultures believe that the trees store the Sun’s energy so that it can be released through fire when we need its warmth – now that’s a miracle.

Consider spending some time in nature – really open your eyes and heart and “see” Mother Nature is nothing but one big miracle.

My point is that we simply are numb to the magic and miracle that is our daily lives. It may sound sort of “out there” to view the world this way. From my experience, it’s a pretty awesome “out there” place to be. You might want to think about giving it a try.

Namaste.

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