Raising Kids, Raising Ourselves: Something To Chew On For Trusting Adult Role Models and The Teens In Their Lives

Artwork by Aunt Barbara Merlotti

As a boy, I remember when Grandmother used to empathize with my complaints about teenagers by saying to me that “they were like a different species.” With no disrespect to our child who is a teen now or the teens that I work with in school, I’d say that Grandmother’s empathic statement was a spot on characterization of this unique stage of human development. Not long thereafter, I became a teenager myself, but she didn’t stop loving me or stop making me feel like I belonged. How she raised five kids of her own, especially coming from abject poverty, a significant trauma background, and no idea about how to be a parent is beyond me. But the woman had a strong survival instinct and stamina, as she had a household of five teenagers, back during the turbulent ’60s no less. Grandmother’s teenagers gave her and Grandfather a run for their money, especially by challenging the conventional cultural norms of the time. Before she could bat an eye, they all embraced the counterculture to varying degrees. Long hair, left wing politics, sex, drugs and rock and roll were all on the conversational table. Religion, conventional norms, and the Establishment were all being questioned, discussed, and protested at the family dinner ritual. By the time I came along, I thought all that was normal. And while it was natural, it wasn’t normal back then. Looking back in my time travels, I have never met anyone who would want to go back to their Middle School years again. Usually, there are other ages people fantasize about traveling back to, but not that time period.

Recently, a coworker friend inquired about what podcasts or other resources I might recommend for adults that are struggling with the challenging behaviors of the teenagers in their lives. In short, try to stand in your own personal authority, and stay away from power struggles. It’s your approach that matters. Easier said than done. Someone wise once said about parenting, “it doesn’t get any easier, it just changes.” Your kids might leave the roost, and then come back to live with you again. Before you know it, they might be changing your diapers someday. Might as well “teach your children well”, like the Crosby, Stills & Nash song posits. Nothing against having a sympathetic perspective toward someone else’s plight. But consider the power of empathy over sympathy, as captured in the following short Brene Brown cartoon vignette:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw

More importantly, parents and primary caregivers have a lot more power than we realize. At the end of the day, all we can really do is arm our children with the coping skills and strategies to build their resilience, and live their lives effectively. So it stands to reason that it is incumbent on we parents, caregivers, teachers, coaches and mentors to be good role models of those coping skills and strategies. When we do that, we are co-creating a safety net together to catch kids being good, and helping them bounce back when they aren’t. Self-care is a powerful way to be a good role model, and good replacement strategy for neglecting your own needs as an adult. Are you taking care of yourself? If the kids in your life are seeing you taking care of yourself, then they are more likely to pay attention to you when you instruct them to take care of themselves. Building in a commitment to a self-care routine in your life requires us to move beyond the entitlement of excuses that prevent us from making the wellbeing of our own souls a priority.

Just being honest, most parents who are struggling with their teenager (who isn’t) are also dealing with their own mental health issues because a teenager that is acting out impacts the mental health and well being of a family system. If this is the case, a parent might want to consider discussing their concerns with the family doctor. I know a wise psychiatrist who was very vocal about encouraging parents to push their doctors to do primary care, because mental health is part of primary care. Your primary care doctor might have some ideas to help you strategize about what steps to take. I have a coworker friend who informed me the other day that her doctor’s first “go to is are you meditating”, and has a chakra chart in their office. This doesn’t glorify the medical model. It just recognizes that our healthcare system is a support system, albeit not without its limitations. It is an embarrassment that the US does not have a universal single payer health care system yet (including mental health and substance abuse/addiction treatment). But to quote Bernie Sanders, “that’s a different conversation entirely.” However, by bringing up your concerns with your doctor, you become a catalyst for change, and a good role model for it. Also, as a parent/caregiver, perhaps accessing your own counseling or a family therapist is the prescription you need to take back your hearth. Let’s face facts here – you get an oil change for your car, don’t you? As a human being, shouldn’t you get at least the same level of care as a machine?

Furthermore, the point is that you are not alone, and it does take a village because the power of the community matters. But the parents should be calling the shots, not the other way around. Youth empowerment and child rights are about our youth finding and having their voice. But our youth still need the guidance of trusted adults to show them the way. When a child runs the show and has too much power, that’s scary for them and they can’t handle it. When adults are scared, that’s scary for kids. And given the times we are living in, coupled with the pandemic, that’s a common denominator for all of us to be sensitive to and appreciate nonetheless. Meditation helps you sit with what is in less reactionary ways to what is going on around you.

For example, a parent can be a good role model by being humble and vulnerable by reaching out to a teacher, school social worker or school counselor and starting a conversation about their concerns. At the Middle School I work at, we have a multidisciplinary team that consists of our building Principals, School Resource Officer, School Counselors, Nurse, Social Worker, and other supportive staff in our building. Our job is to discuss the students that are surfacing as the most vulnerable, which typically stems from issues going on outside of school, and typically within their family systems. Our collaborative work together comes from a trauma-informed, positive behavioral/restorative justice oriented lens. Our Civil Rights Team Co-Advisors facilitated a “Diversity in Unity” conversation at our last monthly staff meeting. It isn’t easy work, but having a multidisciplinary team that affords a sacred space for group process is a helpful constellation to any organizational structure.

Moreover, these days, we are living the turbulent 60s on steroids, for better and for worse. A lot of good came from that time, opening up consciousness, examining racial, gender, sexual identity, and class disparities and equity. But we didn’t finish the job, and there is work to be done. You can run but you can’t hide. Nowadays, things are so divided. On the one hand, you have parents that want to rule the roost, and have their children obey their command. On the other side of the coin, there are parents that buy into the anything goes mentality without question, and overly rely on the child’s perspective. There’s more than one reality. Keep in mind the one of the “Qs” in the LGBTQ + movement is “questioning”, as in it is in our right as adults to also question what we don’t understand, and question our children about what they understand about themselves and their world. This is a key dynamic in youth empowerment. The + sign means that diversity in unity is about us respecting and honoring our difference but at the same time, seeing that we are all cut from the same cloth. There is always a ripple effect, and the parent/child interaction is a mutually influential process of interaction and learning.

Looking back on the past 15 years of working primarily in the Middle School level (Preschool-High School experience) with students in the 6-8th grades, what a long, strange trip it’s been. This time in human development is differently unique, and I’m not just talking about the kids. As a social worker in schools, we have a unique lens that is a minority perspective. We generally view ourselves as educators in a different light, and we see learning that way too. For us, our bias is toward improving systemic, and equal access to resources in mental health, wellness, and social emotional learning. We tend to think about systemic problems in our work, and ponder what we might do to affect change on that level. It’s what our line calls “mezzo” social work, a unique hybrid of “macro” and “micro” practice. Our practice includes direct clinical work, we do some case management, and work with other systems of care, including getting on various committees with a keen eye on political activism, as it is part of our code of ethics to advocate for the poor, oppressed, and other vulnerable and disenfranchised populations. Most of us have a background in trauma, so we tend to notice how the adults in the lives of our population reflect what our students are acting out. Some of the adults are more awake and aware of these nuances and see themselves as part of the solution, or at least wanting to be. Others don’t and seem to want to keep the blinders on or bury their heads in the sand. And then there are those that expect us to wave a magic wand and fix the problem. We can make easy targets that way. We’re not good at pleasing everyone, which is OK, because that helps many of us like me that are wounded healers sober up to our disease to please, and lick our own wounds. Besides, it’s not our job to medicate people. We give a lot more thought to boundaries than other professionals, we have a sensitive understanding of power in relationships, and our idea of professional supervision is radically different from other workplaces.

Reflectively, it’s harder to be a parent and a kid today. Learning how to be human has never been easy. Yet paradoxically, in some ways, our world is far safer than back in the days of saber toothed tigers looking for food with us on the menu. Today, our evolution is more about our brain development, which is why mindfulness/meditation is probably the most important factor in the human life cycle. We need to support our capacity to co-regulate with each other so that we can learn to effectively manage ourselves so that we can function at home, school and community. If a child doesn’t feel safe at home (or school/community) then it isn’t very realistic that a healthy approach to learning will take place. All children (and adults) do better when resiliency is being appreciated, cultivated and supported. We all can benefit from learning how to make the shift from our “downstairs” brain to our “upstairs” brain or communicate from our amygdala to our prefrontal cortex. It’s when our brains get tripped up offline that we experience a system failure, if you’ll pardon the pun. As adults raising, working, and interacting with teens, our best tool in the toolbox is to be good role models. It’s hard to teach mindfulness if we don’t have our own meditation practice. As adults, this requires that we move beyond a position of entitlement. Those that are hardest to love need it the most.

Encouragingly, the kids are really eating this meditation/mindfulness stuff up. In fact, teens are at a uniquely receptive age for an advanced meditation/mindfulness practice due the stage of their brain development. Ask them about it. When I was a guest speaker at an Elementary School, it made my heart sing when a young boy stood up and said that his dad started listening to a meditation app to learn how to calm down when he was angry. In that, the boy recognized that his dad was becoming a happier person and better parent, as well as learning to have more self control. As a social worker, many of my regular students I see feel like a burden to their parents or caregivers. Some are oblivious and could care less. Others recognize their privilege, and want to be a good ally to their peers in need, even if they aren’t friends. In my Civil Rights work, it is beautiful to see our students becoming empowered, and playing a lead role in creating a more welcoming school (and community) for everyone. It’s a sign of a good coach who draws up the play, allows the quarterback to call the play, hand the ball off to the running back and let him (or her) run with the ball. They all have to trust the linemen and rest of the team to do their job if the play is going to work. Football is the epitome of teamwork and group work in action. You have to practice the fundamentals on the field and put in your time and do your homework off the field. It’s about working smarter rather than harder. But when you get knocked down, and don’t get your way, you suck it up buttercup, and get back up.

What is more, challenging behavior and addictions are not unique to teenagers, or “screenagers” as they are sometimes called, given their penchant for screen time. Talk about a normalized addiction in today’s world. It reminds me of growing up in a family of cigarette smokers during my youth, who would seemingly all light up at once at extended family gatherings, and I’m not just blowing smoke, if you’ll pardon the pun. And while marijuana might be legal in Maine today, when asked by parents/caregivers, my consultation about it hasn’t changed since when it wasn’t. Like Willie Nelson says, it’s better to stay away from substances, and tell your kids to as well. But if you are going to indulge, it’s better not to do it habitually around your kids or alone either really. Repeated exposure to wellness and making healthy choices is more likely to result in teens learning healthy lifelong routines. Probably the best medicine is to learn self-control, self-regulation, and remember to breathe consciously in the living moment. As adults, if we are focusing on positive self talk, being mindful of our breathing, picturing peaceful, calming thoughts, then we are more likely to be teaching our children how to do that. If we are treating them with dignity and respect, then they are more likely to show it to us. If teens are being defiant, struggling with paranoid thoughts, obsessions, or other deeply ingrained behavioral patterns, like gaming, smoking, drinking, drugging, cutting, bullying or other addictive behaviors, then we should respond to these issues with a restorative approach rather than punitive measures that just teach more work avoidance and apathy. In short, “tough love” is about teaching cause and effect, as gently and softly as possible. Again, as an adult in their life, you might as well start with yourself. You can’t control everything they do, but you can control how you respond to it. Yeah, there is a fear based respect that comes with ruling with an iron fist. But there is a different quality of respect from doing it Dr. King’s way.

Finally, natural and logical consequences can be powerful teachers. For example, let’s say that your teen is heavily into the party scene, and running the show at home. If you haven’t already, you could set three basic rules or guidelines that can be visually posted as a point of reference. This is a concrete strategy and takes the fight out of it. There has to be some buy-in to incentivize the game plan, which kids can usually articulate on some level. There should be consequences to when they follow the rules, and when they don’t. Kids are naturally egocentric, so there needs to be a “what’s in it for me?” to promote their motivation to do the right thing. It’s harder to notice and focus on the positive behaviors (and consequences), but that’s what’s most important. If there is a significant pattern of defiance and disrespect, then it might mean a choice between therapy, rehab or getting the police and legal system involved. Accountability is key, and learning to take responsibility for their actions is something that should not be robbed from teenagers, or you’re just asking for arrested development, if you’ll pardon the pun. Cheap for me to say, I do this well professionally but struggle personally at times, as it’s always more challenging to do this at home. It’s hard not to be entitled as a man who is a social worker at home. I’ve put in my time at work, and don’t want to come home and deal with the BS or drama, as it would be easier to just check out. But that is exactly what I am being asked to do by the Universe. So I’m not asking any of you to roll up your sleeves alone here. Grandfather used to say that he couldn’t expect his workers to do that for him if he wasn’t willing to roll up his sleeves with them. Hang in there folks. All you can do is do the best that you can. Try to become the change you want to see in the world. Sometimes, you just limp along with the rapidly or flaccidly firing neurons of the teens in your lives.

Take care of yourselves everyone,

Ari

Please feel free to check out my new podcast series by clicking on the link below:

Raising Kids, Raising Ourselves: Something To Chew On For Trusting Adult Role Models and The Teens In Their Lives Classroom Mothership Earth

  1. Raising Kids, Raising Ourselves: Something To Chew On For Trusting Adult Role Models and The Teens In Their Lives
  2. Coping with Climate Change, and The Transition Into A New Age and Paradigm.
  3. Chakra Meditation

Chakra Meditation

Raising Kids, Raising Ourselves: Something To Chew On For Trusting Adult Role Models and The Teens In Their Lives Classroom Mothership Earth

  1. Raising Kids, Raising Ourselves: Something To Chew On For Trusting Adult Role Models and The Teens In Their Lives
  2. Coping with Climate Change, and The Transition Into A New Age and Paradigm.
  3. Chakra Meditation

Refer to the chart above to get a feel for where your Chakras are located in your body so that you can visualize yourself doing this meditation effectively. It might be helpful to look at this chart and practice doing the meditation before you feel comfortable doing this meditation with your eyes closed. That’s totally up to you and your call entirely.

The 7 major Chakras are typically associated with the same 7 rays of the rainbow. While balancing each Chakra, you can visualize yourself basking in each ray of the rainbow with each corresponding Chakra (Red Root/Red Ray, etc.)

The following Chakra meditation is especially powerful, and is inspired by the Andean Shamans of the Americas. Although you can do this meditation anytime, it is especially effective to do when you wake up to start your day or before you go to sleep at night. I do this meditation everyday, usually after I wake up, as a way to start my morning meditation ritual. I also do this meditation periodically when I am alone in Nature or before I go to sleep.

When you are doing this meditation it is natural for thoughts and feelings to come up. Sometimes they might be unwanted, unpleasant or even traumatic. Try to just watch what happens without judgment, stories, clinging or fear. Be as gentle and kind on yourself as possible. Don’t try to grasp or hold on to anything you experience, push them away or throw them in the trash.

Sit comfortably in your inner royalty position, place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, and make a formation with your three center fingers gently pressed on your thumb like you’re holding a potato chip. Close your eyes, breathe mindfully, and let your belly sink and relax like a feather pillow. Feel your breath come into your body on your in breath, and then leave your body on our out breath.

You can say to yourself, activate spiritual light team or specify any particular guides that you would like to welcome in from the spirit realm for wellness.

Take a moment to visualize a rainbow, and see yourself basking in the energy of the rainbow. Use your imagination to feel yourself taking an energetic bath within the rainbow.

Hover your right hand over your Root Chakra, and move your right hand in a circular counter clockwise motion 10 times, and then squeeze (like you are going #2) to release energetically. Next, move your right hand in a clockwise motion 10 times to balance your Root Chakra.

Hover your right hand over your Sacral Chakra, and move your right hand in a circular counter clockwise motion 10 times, and then squeeze to release energetically. Next, move your right hand in a clockwise motion 10 times to balance your Sacral Chakra.

Hover your right hand over your Solar Plexus Chakra, and move your right hand in a circular counter clockwise motion 10 times, and then squeeze to release energetically. Next, move your right hand in a clockwise motion 10 times to balance your Solar Plexus Chakra.

Hover your right hand over your Heart Chakra, and move your right hand in a circular counter clockwise motion 10 times, and then squeeze to release energetically. Next, move your right hand in a clockwise motion 10 times to balance your Heart Chakra.

Hover your right hand over your Throat Chakra, and move your right hand in a circular counter clockwise motion 10 times, and then squeeze to release energetically. Next, move your right hand in a clockwise motion 10 times to balance your Throat Chakra.

Hover your right hand over your Third Eye Chakra, and move your right hand in a circular counter clockwise motion 10 times, and then squeeze to release energetically. Next, move your right hand in a clockwise motion 10 times to balance your Third Eye Chakra.

Hover your right hand over your Crown Chakra, and move your right hand in a circular counter clockwise motion 10 times, and then squeeze to release energetically. Next, move your right hand in a clockwise motion 10 times to balance your Crown Chakra.

Congratulations! You have just balanced your 7 main Chakras.

Thank you for doing this Chakra meditation.

Ari

The Spring Equinox, Big Night & A Full Worm Moon

Artwork Created by Aunt Barbara Merlotti

Here on the ground, the arriving Spring Equinox on March 20th means that more robins are around, singing melodious songs about the early bird getting the worm. A Full Worm Moon, also called the Sugar Moon by the Ojibwe, takes place on March 28th. The Ojibwe name was inspired by the time of year when the sap of sugar maples starts to flow. Of course there are other names for this Full Moon as well. Moreover, in Northern New England on Big Night, the salamanders, wood frogs, and peepers are driven to make their sensuous journey to find vernal pools to procreate, and embody being good role models for sustainable living on our Planet. We can do our part by respecting their natural intelligence, and way of life. How do they manage to muddle along, in spite of overcoming incredible obstacles, such as scary predators, and paved roads full of human traffic? How do they do this without any guidebooks, lesson plans, compasses or maps to show them the way? Talk about taking back the night.

Remember in last month’s blog that we discussed coregulation, which in part just means the process of learning to harmonize with each other, and our environment. We become more equipped to do this when we are true to our core, and centered in our souls. Awakening to our soul’s purpose, and discovering our human potential is merely seeing that “the Earth is like a reform school.” Moreover, the transition we are going through is that we are getting back to our connection to each other, and our connection to our Mother Earth. What better way to honor Women’s History Month in March? In a nutshell, nurturing this connection means that we are taking care of our home, school, and community. Of course we can do this best when we are meditating and connecting with Nature consistently. But without women or Mother Earth, none of us would be here.

Additionally, in this dreamy Piceas time of year, meditation on Whale is a powerful spirit guide to tap into the heartbeat of the planet, and deepen our understanding of our empathic connections to one another. Keep in mind that whales carry the memories of our planetary consciousness. Of course we come from different pods, and have our diverse expressions. But in our multidimensional depth, we can all dive into the fluid and elusive nature of alternate realities, and who we really are. From this standpoint, it becomes easier to appreciate the wonder and beauty of the world. “Day turns into night, and back into day, the moon waxes and wanes, the seasons go through their dramatic and subtle changes. When a flower blooms and starts to fade, we accept the poignancy of that change. Even if the decay of the flower makes us sad, we can appreciate it as part of the movement of life. Imagine what it would be like if things existed in a fixed way. Wouldn’t life get boring pretty fast?”

Cosmically, sacred geometrical Arcturian wisdom reflects that the vibration of integration asserts that “the energy of integration helps you apply new truths in your daily life. The energy makes you aware that you are responsible for your own actions.” Moreover, the dimensional shift we are discussing here mirrors our movement into a New Age and Paradigm, aka an Aquarian Age or a New Earth. You already all know that the empowered freedom we like to highlight, is followed by the attached earmark of responsibility. But you don’t have to look at responsibility as a virus feeding off of its host of freedom. Same thing with taxes. If you’re making enough money to complain about how much you’re paying in taxes, then you might want to examine what’s underneath your disgruntlement. But try to remember to be gentle on yourself about it, and not too taxing in your self reflection, if you’ll kindly pardon the pun. Besides, alternative energy starts with you, just as it starts with me. Do you see?

Perceptually, marinate on the increasing phenomena of ETs or multidimensional beings as analogous to when our ancestors started to experience the arrival of Europeans in “Longer Boats.” For example, it wasn’t until a trusted Shaman or Wise Elder was able to integrate the reality of these crafts into their perception that they could report back their findings to the tribe. And then medicine people could share their visions so that the clans people could begin to see the reality of their new vision. Aborigines initially thought white people were ghosts from the Dreamtime, which to be dead serious, is both true and not true.

In much the same way as back Zen, the experiences right Tao are not all good or bad. Try to see these experiences as part of our collective, universal evolution. In that light, it is important to see the silver lining, and focus on making positive interpretations. This New Age of Diversity in Unity means that all voices matter, and that we should honor our differences. We all have different talents, and strengths. But that doesn’t mean that we have to go to war with each other or fight to make certain talents or strengths more or less valuable to the greater whole. That’s why cults and fascism are easy and seductive paths to the dark side, if we don’t do our own shadow work. Shining the spotlight on “power to the people” features the Divine Light of our better angels. The democratic process can get messy at times. But in the long run, a longitudinal and patient pace is preferable to the quick fix, and short term profits. It’s hard to go wrong with a diversified portfolio that supports the greening of the planet. BIPOC, LGBTQ, Super Pac supporters, and people who identify as “young conservatives” can all agree to disagree perhaps on their apparant divergent heritage or political differences without arguing or fighting with each other or taking their points of contention personally.

Furthermore, give consideration that the reported close encounters with ETs or multidimensional beings is a vibrational shift of them “slowing their vibration down” in a way or framework that makes sense to our brain consciousness.  Reflect back to February 25th’s blog entry about coregulation. A simple shift in perspective allows for a co regulatory opportunity that we can meet together in collective consciousness, from a place of curiosity and empathy. These entities meet us where we are at, and we can meet them where they are at. When we step into our fears with courage, we can use the power of our visualization to build up “multidimensional immunity.” We can also see ourselves as protected by a “vibrational vaccine,” as a way to empower ourselves during this pandemic, and the Climate Change that we are weathering on the planet right now. Or you could just literally shake out any trauma or fears that you experience, like many animals do naturally. It is amazing what a powerful release this simple strategy can have on your mind-body-spirit. That’s why martial arts, dancing, movement, exercise, yoga, taichi, and qigong can be effective wellness practices for good mental health. Of course there is no replacement for good therapy for personal/spiritual growth. I mean, you get your oil changed for your car, right? Just sayin’.

Finally, we hear a lot about the Growth Mindset in education these days. Similarly, we have heard good and plenty about the decay that mental rigidity and fixed ideas do to our well being. Growth Mindset involves developing inner resilience as an opportunity for learning and growth. A Growth Mindset framework allows for a developmental, life cycle approach to learning. Rather than striving for perfection, it is understood that imperfections are just examples of mastery in brilliant disguises that just haven’t happened yet. Sometimes, growing up is one step up, and two steps back. But paradoxically, see those masteries as already happening, and on their way. This requires an agreement of letting go of control, being open to trust, as well as having an open, passive attitude about learning something new. Given my strong, oppositional streak, and built in anger, this has been a challenging life cycle issue for me to relax on, lean into, and embrace. Systemically, being vulnerable, fostering inclusivity and belonging are part of the cultural paradigm shift that needs to take root in the matrix that we are mixing it up in together. It comes from a synergistic bottom up, and top down fluidity, where we are all working together, in the spirit of common language, and win-win politics.

Take care of yourselves everyone,

Ari

We Are Only One Song Away From Spring

Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com

For those of us that are looking through the spotlight of mindfulness, we can see that the old world and paradigm is fading further into the backdrop of our rearview mirrors. Looking back, the Trump presidency is officially over, but not forgotten. A new administration is establishing itself. Tis the season for the transition from the winter to spring spiritual saying, out with the old in with the new. If you were someone who got caught up in the good vibes of the election’s outcome, and predicated your cheer on a coveted new regime, you know that it didn’t take long for the chattering monkey mind to start up again with its negative self talk. But from a big picture/astrological lens, we know that we are shifting from an old Pisces Age that lasted a couple thousand years to a new Aquarian Age that will last for a couple thousand more. For we humans, a New Earth is awakening before our eyes. Diversity in Unity is front and center now as we move further into this New Age and Paradigm. 2021 will be breathing in more winds of change into the airways, as the rising tide is unstoppable, and inevitable. As we have discussed, we are in the birth canal, and the labor pains are being felt by all of us. Accordingly, we are all operating at different levels of consciousness. As such, we process these experiences in our own unique ways.

The formidable military-industrial complex will continue to crumble, but will not go without resistance. Remember that the dominant majority prefers to go unexamined. That is being challenged more loudly by way of the silent majority becoming less silent. As we gaze upon the chimes of freedom flashing, equality, and power to the people are becoming sentimental amplifications. White supremacy, and white privilege are being acknowleged, and examined in unprecidented ways. But keep in mind that most people who voted for Donald Trump are not Nazis, Klan members or racists. And yet they, like the rest of us have been programmed by a segregated, and divisive mindset that tries to seduce us into a cultural war of an us versus them mindset. Trumpsters just tend to be more in alignment with conservative-republican oriented values, which are not inherently right or wrong, just as progressive-democratic oriented values are not the only way out of the woods either. What is more, there are conservative factions in both the democratic party and the republican party. It is the nature of conservatism to resist change, and want to return to more traditional values. In actuality, it is natural for all systems to resist change, inevitable as change is. While I appreciate the gravitational pull of conservative mediumship, please remember “you can’t kill Aquarius.” Does it not appear that rank choiced voting must have its merits when the elites of the traditional two party system are outspoken against it?

More importantly, it is a new hope to perceive the new administration as bringing in “more peace, more connection, and less narcissism” into the political arena. The politics of Diversity in Unity underscores the individual person balancing their authentic selves with the unity of group consciousness. In this awareness, we respect each other for our differences in a way that facilitates unity. For example, the heart of Black Lives Matter is about being pro black, not anti white. It is about leveling the playing field to say that black people are entitled to the same human rights as everyone else, and should be treated with the same dignity and respect that all human beings deserve. The same holds true for Indiginous People’s rights, Women’s rights as well as LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and people affected by poverty. Regardless of your status, it is empowering to stand in your own personal authority, find your voice, and speak your truth. It’s when we get identified with our postions, develop an attitude about them, and forget to be mindful of our own projections that become part of the problem rather than being part of the solution.

Furthermore, from a multidimensional perspective, a growing body of research is revealing more evidence of the existance of UFOs and the existance of extraterrestrials. Moreover, there is an increasing reporting of evidence by the mainstream media that corroborates the informational disclosure process. Try to realize that the disclosure about the truth about UFOs and extraterrestrials is less about a single event, and more of a process. These days, it isn’t always easy to discern between what is human made technology versus what comes from another planet. Interestingly, the forthcoming astrological eclipse season in November/December 2021 is reportedly the same as when the Roswell incident took place back in 1947. Following whatever really happened in Roswell, reports of similar incidents skyrocketed, if you’ll pardon the pun. It wasn’t that we hadn’t experienced foreign visitation before, but the reports of unexplained phenomena in this area proliferated significantly, as well as the subsequent cover ups and secrecy. While the reality of this information is mysterious, there does appear to be a relationship between humankind’s development of atomic energy, and creation of nuclear weapons on Planet Earth. At least a faction of ETs appear to be concerned with humanity’s destruction of our Mother Earth, coupled with an intention to help wake us up to taking better care of ourselves, and our home. Ponder how what happens in our dimension might affect what happens in other dimensions. Is their plan for us a form of Divine Intervention?

Additionally, communication through I-messages or feeling statements is not something that can be argued with when it comes to standing in your personal authority, and speaking your truth. According to Sacred Geometry and inspiration by the Arcturians, “the energy of communication makes you aware that you are able to communitcate with your body, thus understanding its signals and solving discomforts. This energy brings your body and your spirit in deeper contact with each other.” For example, if someone calls you crazy because you say that you believe in aliens or makes a racial epithet as a way to make you feel inferior about yourself, then you have the assertive right to say, “I feel offended by that comment.” After that, you can stand by your statement without feeling like you have to argue or defend your position. Nobody can argue with you about your feelings because they are yours for you to own. Or maybe you’re just a bystander, and are being invited to tune into how the said comment makes you feel intrinsically. Perhaps you now feel called to stand up for someone else by being an ally to them.

Finally, a Full Wolf Moon arrives on Thursday, January 28th. Full Moons are a powerful time to charge your items of power, like crystals, rocks, and water by leaving them underneath the moon’s magical energies. The Imbolc aka Groundhog Day arrives on February 2nd. Groundhogs symbolize death without dying. Not coincidentally, this is the approximate mid-point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Thus, the rising light of spring seedlings are firing up underground, even though it is still cold outside. If you tune in, you can feel their stirrings. “Meditation on the in between times, mystical, mysterious energies, inner planes, echoing silence, void, and heartbeat” are good callbacks to tune into. Consider following the KISS (keep it simple sweetheart) model. Spiritually, Groundhog symbolizes death without dying, death of the old self, and the perception that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Remember that you can’t get to the light if you are not willing to go through the dark. The darkness, yin or turning inward into feminine energy is not something to be feared or demonized. It is something to be empathically curious about or a journey of awakening that wants to come out into the sunlight.

Take care of yourselves everyone,

Ari

Venturing Down From The Mountaintop, And Into The Valley Ahead With Lion As A Spirit Guide

Images Created by Aunt Barbara Merlotti

A Full Beaver Moon on November 30th reminds us to set traps before a long wintry freeze.

Beavers are doers, and they really know how to produce.

May this metaphor warm your soul, and rekindle an attitude of gratitude during the accompanying price tag of stress that the holidays typically bring.

Thanksgiving is also a good time to marinate on gratitude.

But cat consciousness reminds us that there is time for sitting with non-action, and just being curious with an empathic watchful eye is just as important.

After a long, and winding road, we make our way down the mountain by coming down into our souls, and gathering around with our peeps.

Haven’t we all had to come out of our own personal/collective bubbles during the last year especially?

Pretty sure for most of us, it has been uncomfortable at best to step out of our respective comfort zones, break out of our boxes, and find new strategies to replace old ways that no longer serve us.

What once worked, no longer does.

Doesn’t 2020 feel like the year the turtle flipped on the backside of its shell, and the world as we know it stood still?

While that is a naked feeling, there is great release in surrendering to the divine will of the Universe.

In this way, perhaps we are receiving an invitation to attract more energies of vulnerability into our lives that are seen as strengths.

This experience can be hard on the ego, but freeing to the soul.

Like it or not, the global pandemic gave humanity a swift kick that we needed to turn inward, and change the way we operate in our outer world.

I have an old teacher friend who used to follow the saying, “change is bad.”

But in his own transformative process, he has come to see the pandemic, while not the preferred outcome, as a catalyst in changing the way we do Public Education.

There are other teachers, and people who have come to see the virus in this light, even though they wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone.

Humanity has been forced to deal with an inconvient truth of examining our business as usual ways that have largely skimmed the surface, and gone underexamined in the collective dream that we have all cocreated together.

This has not relaxed people’s anxieties!

But with Mountain Lion as a spiritual guide, we can leap into a New Year with a renewed sense of curiosity, mystery, and magic.

After a long December, may we celebrate the darknest day of the year on the Winter Solstice on December 21.

After that, we begin to coax back the light, as our ancestors did many moons ago.

Many people do this by circling around fires, and express what they are feeling gratitude for, and what they want to let go of.

This form of communication can be a powerful way to release old energies that want to be released, and transformed.

In their wisdom, our lineage connections knew to look for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Picture your spiritual DNA, and see its old traumatic tears healing themselves into a new figure 8 sign of infinity transformative wholeness.

From this perspective, we have the awareness that even in darkness, like the small circle of yang within the larger half circle of the yin, there is light.

Speaking of moons, a New Moon on the 14th, along with the signpost of the New Age of Aquarius marks the end of an old Pisces world fading further into our rearview mirrors.

And then at the end of the month, a Full Cold Moon on December 29th is the last Full Moon of 2020.

A New Earth is going through a rebirth.

But this transition is not without its labor pains.

Out of the ashes, the Phoenix Rises.

Relationships that become stagnant need to either transform or sometimes they need to end.

Open communication about these issues can help us work through these changes, hopefully with the grace of a swan.

But sometimes you just have to let nature take its course because mutual attraction cannot be forced.

People have a right to their reactions, including not being pleased with you for living your life in the way that you need to.

For those of you who have struggled with the disease to please, like me, this can be a tough pill to swallow. And the digestion process can be quite bitter.

It is also wise to remember that other people’s opinions are none of your business.

Looking ahead, the Chinese Year of the Ox arrives on February 12, 2021, shortly after the Imbloc or the modern American holiday known as Groundhog Day on February 2nd.

Of course, the Chinese Zodiac still follows the Lunar calendar, which is different from the Sun based Gregorian Calendar.

Sometimes, I wonder why we humans changed from a moon based calendar to a sun based calendar.

And then I remember that we are shifting from a dying sun based patriarchy to a budding new moon based sacred feminine age.

In the New Year, it would behoove us to acquire, and access oxen traits of humility, hard work, and emotional regulation.

Their energies also remind us of the good medicine for everybody to do their part, and that sometimes, it is better to stay in your lane.

In a nutshell, this wisdom can help us have good boundaries with self, and relationships.

Those insights can be particularly challenging for those of us that have strong oppositional streaks, like to march to the beat of our own drum, and have strong free spirited streaks like woodpeckers, and me.

But it can be freeing to accept that whatever “leash” you are dealing with in your life is really about making friends with that on the inside, than resisting whatever outer circumstances make you feel that way.

Even some of our friends that have done hard time in prison came to that spiritual awareness while they were behind bars.

But then again, part of why we incarnate into a mortal body is to know the experience of form, and to play with forms while we are here.

While this is a blessing, it often feels like a curse.

A soul can feel trapped.

Like stagnant water, blockages can lead to getting stuck.

We all get stuck.

“For inside the woods: the poet was renewed and anxiety- stepped aside.”

Here in America, we have elected a new President.

But about half the people voted to keep Trump in office.

For those of you who feel good about the change, and say good riddence to Trump, please remember how bad you felt when he was elected in the first place, and how much you hated that feeling.

Try to remember that’s how many people are feeling now, and see if you can find empathy for those souls who feel differently from you.

You can disagree with someone else’s politics or beliefs. But however radically different they are from your own, they are not to be taken personally.

We are all in this boat together.

We really need to appreciate our differences, and find civil ways to coexist peacefully.

Our survival depends on it.

Till we tweet again peeps,

Ari

A Full Sturgeon Moon, Dragonfly, and a New Moon Shines in later August.

Artwork designed by my aunt Barbara Merlotti

A Full Sturgeon Moon is happening on Monday, August 3rd, followed by a New Moon in its wake on Tuesday, August 18th, 2020.

Sturgeons are tough fish that can outlive centurian humans by many years, can grow to 20 feet, and tip the scales at nearly a ton. They are the largest freshwater fish, and have especially thrived in the American Great Lakes.

Their peak catch is traditionally in early August, which is in alignment with the harvest of plentiful seasonal crops that are on their way. As such, their energies reflect abundance that want to yield to your bounty.

For these reasons, meditation on the energy of sturgeon can help you build resilience in challenging times, particuliarly in preparation for darker days ahead, and also while diving into the deeper waters of Climate Change.

Remember that we will be experiencing another intense astrological eclipse season in November/December, along with the Winter Solstice, the darknest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

The old world that is fading into a black hole, like your old self, is dying. As such, they are undergoing a funeral pyre. At the same time, a New Earth is rebirthing, as is your new self that, at a soul level, wants to align with this transformation during this rebirth.

Movement with these shifts, paying purposeful attention to the signs and synchronicities, taking note of the writing on the wall, will reflect powerful personal spiritual growth in your life.

Truth will be recogognized over harmony in your minds, but not without the balance of love in your hearts. They need to dance together in your soul, like the yin and yang, light and dark, masculine and feminine.

The Age of Aquarius is upon us, and the light of a New Age and Paridigm is impossible to ignore and resist now.

Some people fight tooth and nail to keep the blinders on, which of course reflects hellish nightmares of suffering. These are attachments that need to be released, and let go of. They need to be released and let go of on a personal and collective level.

Black people, women, LGBTQ, Indiginious people, and anyone else that has been oppressed have had enough. No more band aids to quell their desire for liberty, justice, and equality. Gone with the wind are the times where some people are entitled preferential treatment over others, and expected to stay in the lines.

The problem with the exclusive club of deep pocketed people who have access to material power and control systems, like Donald Trump, and Congress, are that they profit off of the ignorance of their supporters. And that isn’t right.

But you can’t point out the Emperor’s new clothes to the people who are enchanted by his seductive spell. And if you come at those that parrot the party line with hate, you only energize the charades they play into.

Now is the time to build more self-care into your daily routine. Casting out this line of intention, and reeling its committment will assist you in lean times.

For those of you who have watched the dazzling movements of dragonflies, don’t they remind you of the seemingly impossible ariel flight patterns of UFOs? Hummingbirds do that too.

Yeah, there is a lot of fake news out there. Evidence of creatures from other planets visiting us in no exception. But more evidence of the truth of extraterrestrials, and their advanced technologies, including those technologies that we have coopted is on its way, and will become harder to dismiss or ignore.

We are sitting on that technology that can leapfrog us out of the dirty energy mess that pushes us toward more war, and exacerbates Climate Change.

Instead of weaponizing, and profiteering those technologies, they can be used for clean energy that can help heal our planet, and level the playing field.

Consider inner peace as a state of consciousness. It’s easier to go with the flow when things are going your way, as following your bliss feels more natural.

But when you feel triggered by someone or something, it is so much easier to be ejected from the seat of inner peace, and become seduced by anger, other unwanted negative emotions like disappointment, and a botched sense of expectation.

And then comes the slippery slope of getting into past scripts, feeding an attitude about someone or something, and building resentments.

Now is a great time to focus on the spirit of Dragonfly to guide you into the magic of emotional regulation with yourself, and coregulation with someone else that you are having a disagreement with, instead of going to war with them.

If you are willing to look beyond the smokescreen, and peer beyond the veil by having an open head and heart, then you will see things as the really are. And that will set you free.

You can lighten up your energy field with the medicinal properties of Dragonfly, as well as color your vibrations with truth in your minds, and love in your heart.

Till we tweet again folks,

Ari