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Posts Tagged ‘Chinese-Lunar New Year of the Rat’

A New Moon arrives on January 24.
And then after that, the Chinese New Year of the Rat on the 25th.

The duality of an old world dying, and a new one
birthing is laborious, and painful to watch at times.

This transition into a new age and paradigm
goes by different names, just like the moons.

Does that early leaf falling in late summer,
bring you into your fears about the waning light,
and cooler temperatures?

Like all transitions, many people are
questioning where they have been,
and where they are going in their lives.

Some say they don’t want to live on the planet anymore.

There are many forms that people play with to do
that in their consciousness by way of escapism, fantasies,
hitching a ride to another galaxy in a spaceship, running from
our feelings, or retreating into a personal bubble.

One of the ways people give up is through death by suicide.

Killing yourself is certainly one of the 10,000 ways into
the valley of death.

But there are more purposeful ways to expand our souls,
and liberate them, rather than by ending your body’s experience here.

Besides, it’s a really traumatic experience, and terribly confusing.

That’s why I try to be mindful of killing with kindness, and
remember to meditate on Groundhog to die without dying.

It makes sense to me that our ancestors celebrated the Imbolc,
because it marked the mid-point between the Winter Solstice, and Vernal Equinox.

The popular American holiday of Groundhog Day reflects
this symbolism because energetically Spring is starting already.

It’s good medicine to celebrate the light rising at the end of the tunnel,
and the wisdom to see light, and dark balancing each other out again.

As dark of a topic as suicide is,
it does not discriminate.

It doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, what your race,
ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation is, what political
party you belong to, or if you are an introvert or extrovert.

Suicide is something most people contemplate.
But most people don’t do it.

And one of the reasons people don’t end their lives is that people think about
the impact it will have on the survivors, and the holy hell it leaves behind.

One of the complexities of suicide is that people
who try to end their lives, or do end their lives
are sick of the pain, don’t want to deal with it anymore,
and wish their pain would go away.

As a survivor of a completed suicide,
it has been a long journey in working through my own healing process.

It hasn’t been easy to look forward to this month in a new way.

Anniversaries can bring all those feelings,
and old stories right back to the surface –
regardless of how deeply submerged or buried they were.

I can still remember getting the call that my mom
had left this Earth 25 years ago, like it was yesterday.

As you can imagine, that wasn’t an easy call to take,
even though I had tried to prepare myself for it from her previous
attempts, and knowledge of how extreme her shifts
between internal order and chaos could be.

I feel thankful to my family, friends, and fraternity brothers
who were there to cushion the blow, and help me see that
a safety net was there when I needed it.

There have been many ebbs and flows along the way,
regarding how I have handled this tragedy, or not handled it.

Like Sting, I have worn the royal crown of the King of Pain,
and traveled through Dark Knight of the Soul.

For a long time, I’ve been good at hiding that side of myself.
Wearing masks can do that.

But it can also show you who you really are before you are
ready to show your dark and shadow sides to others.

The old survival of the fittest paradigm is
part of a dying process, just as are old stories.

On some level, we have believed that “it’s just the way it is.”

People have been put into boxes, and believed in those boxes.

If you didn’t identify with one version of yourself,
or what someone told you about yourself.

Perhaps you’ve rebelled by becoming the opposite side of the same coin.

The grip of those old stories can be hard to let go of.

We humans have believed in them,
and developed attachments to those stories.

Like with all new moons,
this new moon coming is associated with new beginnings.

And so it is with the lunar energy of a new year.

Rats are shrewd creatures, and can symbolize prosperity,
according to Chinese astrology.

What shrewdness, and prosperity do you want to bring to the table,
and manifest on our Planet in the year ahead?

In social science, rats are associated with behaviorism,
and applied behavioral analysis.

Like humans, rats are intelligent creatures.

Sometimes, behaviorism gets a bad rap about
wanting to manipulate, and control people.

But any knowledge that gets in the wrong hands
embodies that kind of stupidity.

I recently saw an old you-tube interview with B.F. Skinner.
And it was illuminating to see him talk about how he
saw his psychology as a way for individuals to empower themselves.

And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that country rats have been
identified as smarter than city rats.

We all do better in smaller, more intimate circles where we feel
part of a community, and organically connected to Nature.

If you can see the maze for what it is, you can then
see yourself rewiring new cognitive maps.

These are the days of creating amazing portals into new ways of being.

Till we tweet again peeps,

Ari

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Dark days reach their pinnacle on the Winter Solstice this December.

Given that many souls historically leave
the planet around this time of year, it’s easy to become a sucker for the dirge.

It is important to grieve our losses.

But it is also important to be thankful for their lives, and then let them go
so that we can awaken to new relationships in spirit.

And it will be a New Year soon that brings tidings of new beginnings.

If 2020 doesn’t bring a heightened sense of new vision,
then it’s hard to see what year will.

May it be good intellectual property in the Chinese-Lunar New Year of the Rat.

Try to remember the spirit of the season, and the meaning behind the holidays.

Rampant consumerism makes it hard not to get deflated about the
peer pressure to run the hurry up offense, and mad push to shut up and shop.

Perhaps we may be inspired to come down into our souls,
like our ancestors traditionally did around this time.

But remember that in the tunnel of darkness, there is a flickering light.
And that light will get a little brighter every day after Winter begins.

Before you know it, it will be the Imbolc, which signals
the approximate halfway point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.

Bears, Groundhogs, and Chipmunks are either asleep, are about to hibernate now.
But they will be waking up before too long.

They remind us not to resist turning inward to meditate, contemplate, and
rejuvinate our souls, while slowing down, and resting in our dens.

When I think about the death of Winter,
I remember my old football Coach Mac, who died recently.

He was a big man, with a heart of gold.

And he was even once crowned offensive MVP in the historic collegiate Peach Bowl.
That’s a rare occurance for a lineman, where the game is really won and lost.

Coach came into my life when I was a High School Senior,
and inspired us to live by the mantra, “count on me.”

I tried to remember that when I didn’t want to go to practice, had a bad day,
if my general spirits were in the pits, worrying about my depressed mom, or
everyday experiences with excruciating back pain at the time.

Little did I realize back zen, that embodiment of this mantra,
would become a lifeline later in life right tao.

This positive self talk strategy helped us get through a seemingly
impossible season where our players were dropping like flies.

Unfortunately, some teammates quit, got injured, or even kicked off the team.

I wasn’t the only player that didn’t come off the field
until halftime or the end of the game.

And what we lacked in numbers or size, we made up for by being slow.

But even in the curse, there were plentiful shared blessings on the field,
that have become even greater treasured lessons for life.

Like the way Mountain Lion licks its wounds, and jumps
back onto the path, after being knocked off its tracks.

When you get knocked down, you get back up, suck it up,
blow the blood and snot out of your nose, and go back to the huddle.

Sometimes, your soul leaves your body when you get the
wind knocked out of you, your ears are ringing, you
see “the flash”, and then its lights out.

Elbows, and hands inflate like balloons,
after getting hit so hard – it leaves you bruised and battered.

Days could go by before buises would come up.
By then, the scar tissue were like a new set of pads.

We learned about the difference between pain and injury.
And sometimes that’s a fine line when you can’t afford to be hurt.

Glory wasn’t something we experienced much in my High School
football days, as in we rode the wave of over a decade-long losing streak.

We were a trophy soccer town, without a youth league,
and barely enough players willing to sign up for a violent game,
for the privilege of playing on a team with a bad reputation.

You know how difficult it is to rise up out of the throes of hell,
when sleeping under the security blanket of apathy.

Riding the team bus to away games was like a riding in a herse
on your way to a funeral procession.

But when our new coach came to town,
he resurrected a new hope into our learned helplessness.

We started developing a scholarly attitude about football,
and reported on the legends of the game that had otherwise
been foreign to young players that only knew about the stars on TV.

Coach wanted us to learn how to become men,
instead of just acting like men.

He metaphorically referred to our girlfriends as “Mary Lou”,
and used to say, “you think you’re married, and you’re not.”

Coach emphasized being respectful as a way of life, encouraged
taking responsibility, and frowned upon making excuses, or blaming others.

And although he had his favorites,
he didn’t play favorites, nor did he do drama.

I try to be like him in that way, and I respect others like that too.

We were the Indians – named after a local tribed called Tunxis.

So when I remember the Indians, I think of Coach Mac.

He was a class act, and a good Chief to be touched by.

But he was a human being, and not without his faults.
People tend to forget that part of our humanity is our dark sides too.

I’ll be standing around a fire in a community of men
to celebrate, and honor this Winter Solstice.

We will focus on gratitude, and letting go.

Fire rituals can be good medicine for that.

Do whatever you can to get in touch with the natural spirit of
the season, and connect with your deeper soul purpose.

We are meant to align with the Universe,
rather than try to control or resist its power.

Till we tweet again peeps,

Ari

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