Action or Stillness: Which cycle should you be in right now?

Sometimes as I go through the days, I’ll notice a particular pattern making itself known. As I pay attention to this I allow it to guide my direction for the day or week ahead. I like doing this because it gives me time to pause and be introspective; which is really what the next few weeks are for cyclically.

On July 14th planet Mercury went “retrograde” which happens 3 times per year and last about 17 days. Not that I’m terribly knowledgeable about astrology, but I do know when Mercury goes retrograde; I calendar it so I’ll be prepared. There are times I’m particularly sensitive to it and you may be too only you didn’t know why.

Mercury most notably influences our communication. If you’ve noticed your computer or printer doing odd things or your phone not working properly or vice verse, it is likely influenced by Mercury’s retrograde appearance. In simple terms retrograde means reverse or backward. So when Mercury goes retrograde it appears to be moving backward (it’s not really) but this is why communication can go wonky – feel backward. Additionally, we just had one of the biggest solar flare disruptions to our planet in many years. So, there is lots of cosmic activity.

It’s important to realize and remember that we humans transition through many different seasons or cycles just like Mother Nature. We are clear what to do during each of Earth’s quarterly seasons and yet I think we are sometimes stumped when we have to “deal” or “handle” our own cycles or are even surprised to realize we have them. Mercury retrograde is one of the cosmic reminders for us to pay attention to this quietly internal cycle.

Generally this means it is a good time to go within oneself and be introspective. Sit quietly with yourself and notice the things you’ve been avoiding and begin to work through them. I know this is easier said than done, but when I receive this message repeatedly I heed it. This is a time to work on those internal issues that you’ve been pushing to the back in favor of more prosperous pursuits.

Spend a little less time on sales, systems and logistics and a little more on relaxing and relating to nature, your animals and Mother Earth. Have more patience remembering that communication with others can feel more difficult. Our bodies play a tune we are sometimes unfamiliar with which is why learning to listen to your body’s needs is so important. We are not machines, at least not in the traditional sense. Give yourself time to be human before you rev up your engine again. It will happen all too soon. Taking charge of your life is quite often about listening to and respecting your inner cycles and wisdom.

Blessings n-joy,

When do you use the “D” word (Deserve) and the “G” (Guilty) word?

I was on my group mastermind Q&A call recently and one of the group members was in the Hot Seat receiving excellent coaching to her question. When the call was over I saw her post a comment in our Facebook group that she “felt bad” because she thought she’d taken up too much time during the call. While I appreciate her humility (because there are people who can self-servingly TAKE extra time) her well-intentioned comment struck me as a “knee-jerk” response. I know, because it’s a pattern and knee-jerk response for me.

Too often I hear women use responses like “I’m sorry” and “oh that’s OK” and “I feel bad” and do you know why? Because somewhere deep down we feel like we don’t deserve “it” or we feel guilty receiving it.

Sometimes we don’t even use these words to describe the knee-jerk feelings underneath because the pattern is so engrained in us as women. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has a motto: to Serve and Protect. Sometimes I think women have unconsciously adapted this motto to be: to Serve and Deny. As women we have grown up learning that we are “good” when we serve others and often learn to “deny” ourselves because otherwise we are selfish. If we do allow ourselves something, we often qualify it by saying ‘I deserve it’ as if we need to justify it to ourselves. I know you know what I’m talking about. These beliefs are powerful forces in our culture and believe me when I say it is a learned behavior.

Now, rather than ask ‘where or how did I learn it’ I like the question, “How do I un-learn it?” because feeling bad about things truly does NOT support you. It is interesting information in that it teaches you that having more resourceful thoughts, behaviors and actions does support you. Like anything you want to change, you must become aware that it is happening, when it is happening and how it impacts you.

How to Un-Learn:

  1. Paying Attention. Begin by becoming aware of when you have the self-deprecating thought, belief, action or behavior.
    1. What do you say in your head?
    2. Where do you feel it in your body?
    3. When does it show up, i.e., what trigger’s it?
    4. How does it impact you?
    5. How do you feel when you say/do it?
  2. One new different action. Once you discover the answers to the questions above, decide on ONE new action, thought or behavior you will take as soon as you notice yourself engaging in the old pattern.
    1. For example: If you notice yourself saying “I’m sorry” for no apparent (damn good) reason, a different action might be to ask yourself “what am I sorry about”? Or to even say “I take that back.” This will interrupt the unconscious pattern that continually plays out. There are tons of different things you can say and do to interrupt this pattern. Just find one that works for you and do it consistently.
  3. STOP beating yourself up! You didn’t learn this behavior overnight and you won’t unlearn overnight. Don’t even go there because it’s too BIG a gap to go from changing an engrained, unconscious pattern you’ve been using for years to not doing it all. There is an old joke: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time. Take one act, thought or feeling at a time.
  4. It’s OK if you slip up, just correct yourself and for goodness sake keep doing it! Falling down is expected.
  5. Take small, adaptable steps that continue to build.
  6. Be consistent. It’s KEY to your success!

Reflection: Taking charge of your life is a process. Applaud yourself on what a great human being you are and how you are striving to make your life better and better every day, it will begin to counteract the self-criticism. There is a fine line between humility and criticism.